And the Lone Voice Against Dubai’s Tennis Travesty is…Andy Roddick?
by Richard Vach | February 24th, 2009, 4:46 pm
  • 180 Comments

When the WTA Dubai tournament announced at the last minute it was denying Israel’s Shahar Peer a spot in the field, the tournament went on (as it pretty much had to, from a litigious and financial standpoint).


Amelie Mauresmo, who was not playing the event, condemned the move, as did Venus and Serena Williams and other players involved in the event — but not one player pulled out in a show of solidarity for Peer. The event was fined $300,000 by the WTA, but for the money-laden sheiks, that’s a couple nights out at dinner.

This week the men are in Dubai, and only American Andy Roddick withdrew from the event while condemning the Dubai power play.

“I thought that was a pretty gutsy move on his part to do that,” U.S. Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe told reporters today in a conference call, with the Davis Cup competition looming next week. “It’s been interesting over the years to see Andy Roddick, who I mentioned [played] his first tie as a teenager. He’s really grown up and become a man. I think he’s principled, and I think we’ve seen that not only in his decision to not go to Dubai, but in what a professional he is and his commitment to Davis Cup and getting the most out of his ability and what he has…”

Roddick is not above the on-court f-bomb-laden explosion, dressing down chair umpires and reporters in front of the cameras, or engaging in antics that have led to on-court or locker room confrontations with other players. But aside from his “man’s man” persona, or perhaps because of it, he doesn’t flinch in following up on his ideals, whether it’s supporting Davis Cup or, in this case, supporting another player — on another tour.

When Dubai Tournament Director Colm McLoughlin attempted to brush Roddick’s withdrawal off as an injury, Roddick got right to the point.

“I really didn’t agree with what went on over there,” Roddick said. “I don’t know if it’s the best thing to mix politics and sports, and that was probably a big part of [his withdrawl].”

Captain Pat Mac says it has been a pleasure seeing his charge grow since his Davis Cup debut in 2001 — and since then put himself on the line in situations where other players might say ‘Travel to Spain and play Rafael Nadal on clay in a bullring packed with 50,000 people? — Uh, no thanks.’

“He’s really matured a lot,” McEnroe said. “I’ve been lucky enough to see him play every Davis Cup match he’s played. I’ve seen him go out there when really everything was stacked against him, and he goes out there and gives it 110%. To be honest, to beat [Rafael] Nadal on clay in Spain is not going to be easy. He’s sort of willing to go out there and take one for the team, as you might say. So I’m not surprised, but I’m impressed with the stand he’s taken.”

Roddick was the defending champion this week in Dubai.


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180 Comments for And the Lone Voice Against Dubai’s Tennis Travesty is…Andy Roddick?

xman Says:

lol poor richie vach is devastated that it was roddick who showed the biggest balls and not his “gentleman” hero federer who ran away home to count his money.


neal Says:

subtlety of writing is lost on all of tennis-xs 14 year old readers who’s sole comments are flaming writers or other commenters


Von Says:

“Roddick is not above the on-court f-bomb-laden explosion, dressing down chair umpires and reporters in front of the cameras, or engaging in antics that have led to on-court or locker room confrontations with other players.”

Was the foregoing superfluous details necessary? Why write anything if you can’t do it without giving with one hnd and retracting with the other? It would have been best not to say anything. But, what can one expect from a writer who’s so prolific?


reader Says:

Even when Roddick does good things that are worth praising and discussing Mr Vach can barely contain his contempt for the young man. Why so jealous and hateful, Richard? Did he turn you down for a date or something?

Maybe you should refrain from trying to write about Roddick seeing how you cannot do so without malice and it pains you so when you do.


judy Says:

whooo andy! the only player with guts.


Von Says:

For those interested in DelRay tournament, I’ve found live streaming per the below site. Presently, Baggy v. Gulbis are playing. Baggy won the first set.

http://www.livescorehunter.com/Live-Streaming-Video.php


sar Says:

engaging in antics that have led to on-court or locker room confrontations with other players

Which players has Andy confronted in the locker room?


Twocents Says:

“It would have been best not to say anything. ”

Bingo! This applies to PMac too. Andy’s always been truthful to his heart, his deed, and his love to the game and country. What’s this “mature” thing? Get real!

Von, I didn’t cut tickets for DC cuz 1)I knew I’d be on the ‘wrong’ side of the earth that week; 2)After all these years of following these superboys, I only cut tickets AFTER they physically arrived the city, even if it means to go to scalpers. Yes. I know lots of scalpers :-)).


andrew miller Says:

I think this is a great tribute to Roddick – I think it showed that his decision to not play Dubai has a history. Thank you, Mr. Vach. I disagree that “if you dont have anything nice to say, don’t say it”. In writing about Roddick and his outspoken-ness on the issue, Mr. Vach is condemning, silently, those silent about their reasons – figures such as Federer (who has more to lose by denouncing Dubai) and Nadal (who, clearly, finds no problem with calling a spade, a spade if it has to do with insulting Spanish Tennis leadership that posess poor text-messaging etiquette, but refrains from doing so if it regards something other than Spain). Maybe other players held silent because they would like to see Andy Ram finally play a doubles match at the tournament – who knows.

But, today, Roddick comes out as the big winner. I am glad Mr. Vach acknowledged Roddick. And, no, Roddick has had some tantrums that are nothing less than tantrums, and fair or not, he had them and they were not so attractive out there. But that same willingness to speak out led him to a great moment now. You win some, you lose some.


Mary Says:

Von: I didn’t take Vach’s sentence as anything negative because of the next sentence: “But aside from his “man’s man” persona, or perhaps because of it,…” Even without that sentence, I don’t think he wrote anything negative.

We talk so much about who and what is “real” in tennis. For most of the top players on both sides– let’s face it– it’s pr nonsense and spoonfed nonsense to create an image on and off court, according to their handlers. On court and off, for better or worse, Roddick is not a bs’r.His action over Dubai called out a lot of players on both sides of the tour.
Although Nadal and Federer are not playing, they had nothing to say about it. Don’t get me started on the women’s side.
The guy is the top US player and is willing to take a stand on his own says a lot about him. As someone (henry?) put on an earlier page, this is not about politics but the breaking of a contract and a smack in the face to the player’s orgs.

Roddick can be a pain in the ass, but I pull for him (unless he is playing living and breathing sex on the court: the Worm)because he has not faded away like others from his “era.”
When a Safin or Nalbandian take the courtin a slam, god only knows if they feel like playing. I know when Roddick shows up, he plays to win. After he was bounced in the first round of the USO the one year, he came back wanting to win it.


kenny todd Says:

Andy Roddick is NOT driven by the almighty dollar as many of the athletes from the United States of America are these days. The guy gets a bad rap for losing to Federer and others, but mostly Federer, which is the guy who has hurt Andy the most in how he is percieved by the tennis Hall of Fame, especially. Don’t be fooled though… Andy understands the economics and tennis is a business which any of us would take full advantage of if we were in his shoes. “Roddick” is a brand and he does not need to mess with that by partaking in racial discrimination which the world knew was wrong but others went along with anyway like the Williams sisters. The sisters can’t win in this situation… they should have pulled out and so should of the entire field but they did’nt. It does not have to be ALL on their shoulders. For those who played this tournament and took their filthy money… they should really look in the mirror. Thank you Andy Roddick for your display of leadership, compassion, and honor not only for Ms. Peer but for yourself for not playing in Dubai.


Mary Says:

Edit: so many of the players have handlers, pr, agents, parents, hanger-ons, and assorted relatives that dictate a player’s personna on court and off.


Von Says:

TwoCents:

Vach is one American that’s anti-American, or maybe he’s not American — my bad. He has zero positive anything to say about them, especially Roddick. ALL of the players use bad language on the court, unfortunately, yes even the saints. The Americans speak loud and clear English while the non-English speaking players mouth it in their own language. Ride the NYC Subway — it’s an introduction to Profanity courses 101, 02, and 03. I’ve heard it all.

Emilio Sanchez Vicario said he was inspired and admired the camaraderie and team spirit of the US DC Team and tried to incorporate that team spirit into Spain’s DC team.

I thought I would have seen you at the DC tie in Bama, with your two Scottish friends from the Olympics. I remembered. Be careful you don’t get scalped by the scalpers.


Von Says:

Mary:

“So many of the players have handlers, pr, agents, parents, hanger-ons, and assorted relatives that dictate a player’s personna on court and off.”

I call it political correctness. They say and do what they think the public would want to hear and see. It’s all a game for their precious image. Give me the nuts and bolts kind of guy without the frills. It’s the reason I like Roddick — what you see is what you get. WYSIWYG.


sar Says:

How much do they get for appearance fees in Dubai?


TD (Tam) Says:

TennisX sounds surprised that it’s Andy Roddick and only him who has stood up in defense of Peer but those of us who have been watching him for years are not surprised and not shocked.

Roddick’s actions confirm what we’ve always known and seen with our own eyes– that he is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in, that he’s not afraid to open his mouth and say something if he feels something is wrong, no matter if this makes him popular or not. Roddick has proven himself to be the hero in this whole sordid mess and I couldn’t be prouder of him!

As an aside, it is also not shocking to see neither Federer or Nadal or the Williams sisters stand up for Peer. They are more interested in their money and in being liked. I am glad that Roddick is not concerned with shallow appearances and being ‘The Nice guy’. Nobody can ever accuse Roddick of having a phony bone in his body. He is as real as it gets!


fed is afraid Says:

roger can’t say anything, they might kick him out of his apartment in dubai!!


Twocents Says:

Von,

English does put some big disadvantges on its native speakers, especially on tennis court where the microphones may can not be always perfectly located. At last year TMC in Shanghai, Murray was booed by massive Fed fans at his SF against Davydenko. The usually enigmatic Chinese fans explained to me that they were pissed off not only by Murray’s oust of Fed, but of his complaining of Fed’s medical time off on court the day before. Same stories ran thru all Chinese media. Guess what? Murray was just complaining to Chair Empire Cedric about photo flashes in btw his 1st and 2nd serve. Obviously, the non-English media and fans all guilt him wrong. And it actually hurt Murray big time. Maybe ATP should define Spanish their 1st working language.

It’s a love and hate thing btw me and scalpers :-)). Enjoy the DC fun, lucky you. Wish the Scotish couples enjoy Murray’s breakthru too. Wish I could let them know about that rather unfortunate incident on their fellow patriot.


andrew miller Says:

Confirmed anti-Roddick critic or not, R. Vach has pointed out that Roddick, defending champ at the Dubai Duty-Free, is not afraid of taking a stance. He disagreed with Dubai, and this time it was Dubai with more to lose. Roddick had the stature to saw what he thought and correct other statements out there, and he did it, all in one swoop. He may not be a hero, but he has acted admirably here. Simple as that. When he made light of Djokovic at the US Open, he made a mistake and created his own misfortune, a Djokovic QF win. When he criticized the kingdom of Dubai as defending champ for a cowardly decision, the player known for the best press conferences on the planet delivered his best line yet.

Whether or not Roddick wins another slam, this is a great moment for tennis that one player had the guts to say, “this is wrong”, and the resolve to suggest “that’s one of the reasons I’m not going back, even as defending champ.”


jane Says:

Shouldn’t the title of the article say “Andy Roddick” rather than “Any Roddick”? Otherwise, we could assume you mean his brother or perhaps his mom, or maybe even his dad, heck – any ole Roddick! Well, no, not likely, but the title should be fixed so that ANDY Roddick gets full props!! :D


JojoKing Says:

Spanish athletes Iker Casillas and Rafael Nadal have both condemned Israeli atrocities against civilian Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas announced Wednesday that he would not attend New Year ceremonies in the central square of Madrid to show his great sadness over Israel’s violent crimes.

“You will find it impossible to join people and laugh after you see what is happening in the Gaza Strip,” 28-year-old Casillas said in an interview with the Fars News Agency.

The heavy assault on Gaza was also denounced by the Spanish professional tennis player, Rafael Nadal, on the same day.

“I keep telling myself it is against humanity if you don’t help children in the Gaza Strip,” Nadal, 23, said.

Jan 1 2009
—————-

Roddick action is great but i think this is very commendable too!To put aside your own happiness and celebrations for what is happening in another country,it shows how selfless and morally upright they are.I have great respect for all three of them! We need leaders like Roddick, Nadal and Casillas to speak out!


Von Says:

Sar:

How does a million dollars or thereabouts sound to your ears. The top ranked athletes are paid very hefty appearance fees.


Lenny Says:

I have always been a fan of Roddick’s, not because of his game – it’s a little too one-dimensional for me – but because of the person he seems to be. He leaves his heart out on the court every single time, and he wears it on his sleeve as well. A lot has been said against his on-court flare-ups and so-called disrespect to the umpires and press, but all that is, imho, just Andy being Andy. He seems to be an utterly genuine person, completely unafraid to voice his views, and stand up for what he believes in. You know you can always trust him to call a spade a bloody shovel – even if it does get him into trouble. That is very rare quality in these times of PC BS, and it is a very admirable quality. This latest action of his just goes to show that the person he seems to be is exactly the person he is.


Dan Martin Says:

Roddick is the man. He is joining Arthur Ashe in this gutsy move.


RAJAN VAIRAWANATHAN Says:

Exposing the truth by Richard Vac, has hurt a lot of bum suckers to Arabs for a Pot of Gold.He exposed the hyprocracy of Colm Mcloughlin who is enjoying the Arab Money.I was always a Federer Fan, but after reading about Roddick, I will always be his fan. He has principles. Further more, If Iker and Nadal have any Principles, they wont comment on Politics, which they did about the assault Israel gave on Gaza. In otherwords, they did not speak one word about the suffering of the Israelis with Rocket attacks from Gaza. This is not Sportsmanship. Sportsmanship is talking about the sufferings of both sides, whatever side it may be. They were only another batch of Bum Suckers, sucking upto Arab Money.


Von Says:

Roddick won the Arthur Ashe humanitarian Award a couple of years ago.

I don’t think we can equate the Spanish players’ non-celebration of the New Year’s festivities to that of Roddick’s open declaration against Dubai’s mis-treatment of Peer. How much did the Spaniards lose financially? Talk is cheap; it’s actions that count. Roddick will lose ranking points, appearance fee, and prize money.

It’s against human principles if we ignore the suffering of people around the entire universe, not just one race of people. Christianity bespeaks of the Greatest Commandment of all, which is: “To love one’s neighbor as one’s self.”

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”


Ezorra Says:

“Further more, If Iker and Nadal have any Principles, they wont comment on Politics, which they did about the assault Israel gave on Gaza.”

IMO, their audacity to speak their mind (in this particular issue) has shown me that they undoubtedly have principles.

“Sportsmanship is talking about the sufferings of both sides, whatever side it may be.”

So you were saying that talking about the sufferings of the CHILDREN in Gaza is not sportsmanship?

“Roddick action is great but i think this is very commendable too!”

I am totally with you. Iker and Nadal’s opinion regarding situation in Gaza and Roddick’s decision not to play in Dubai was refreshing and highly regarded, regardless of where you stand on the issue.


funches Says:

Von, stop being a complete tool.

Roddick blows up at umpires more than any top 20 player on tour and acts like as ass when he does it. Vach is simply being a journalist. This isn’t a stupid fan site where the writer blathers about his favorite player and refuses to point out negatives.

As for players he’s had confrontations with, Lapentti, Lubijcic and Santoro spring to mind. The latter two appeared dead wrong to me when they ripped him, but it’s clear that a number of players don’t like him or didn’t like him in the past.


Ezorra Says:

Von, Andy Roddick is the man with principles and everyone should honor him for that. At the same time, I also believe that he will never compare his sacrifices with others’. For that particular reason, IMO, if he doesn’t, why should us, right?

To me, both Roddick and Spaniards will have to face their own consequences for what they have said/done/decided. Like you said, Roddick will lose ranking points, appearance fee, and prize money. In the meantime, the Spaniards may lose a lot of Israelis fans too. That will then cause a trouble between them and some of their sponsors / potential sponsors (if I am the CEO or shareholder of any of the Jews corporate companies, I will think twice before sponsoring them) which will eventually cause them financially too, right?

Having said that, let us enjoy the moment of having such a great tennis player and a person with principles like Andy Roddick in the world of tennis.


Von Says:

Funches:

How dare you! I have every right to my opinion as you have. Aren’t you one of the so-called moderators on this site? Why don’t you do a better job of watching the language and distaseful nonsense that’s written. Why the name calling? No need to suck up to the writers — your moderation is safe. Keep your dignity without sucking up and being THE tool.

So what, if all of the players don’t like him? Does everyone like you? Did he ever say to you or anyone else he’s running for Mr. Congeniality?

It’s the derogatory stuff that people such as yourself write, which became the basis for my statement that the negative stuff was unnecessary. There are many like you who just wait for an opening to slag and that statement presents the perfect opportunity to begin. This thread should be about a good deed not used for slagging. Maybe you can think about that before jumping at me.

Maybe you have something more to add to Roddick’s list of faults. Don’t let me stop you.


Von Says:

“This isn’t a stupid fan site where the writer blathers about his favorite player and refuses to point out negatives.”

No kidding. Perfect statement from a TOOL.


Von Says:

Ezorra:

The Spaniards made those statements at the end of ’08. If there were to be any repercussions I’m sure we would have heard of them by now.

As I stated previously, we cannot compare the Spaniards’ statements to Roddick’s action. One is speech, the other is a deed. The two are like North and South. The statement was political, unlike Roddick’s action which was solidarity for a fellow player. I was merely responding to a previous poster’s statement.


Oh Please Says:

I hardly think Roddick’s actions were in support of Peer, more likely he didn’t want to catch a flight from Memphis to Dubai.


Shan Says:

Any Roddick is a rare person indeed.


SG Says:

Well done Andy. Federer and Nadal may have more majors than you but they’ll never have more class.


Roddick is a donkey Says:

It is not like the donkey was a guaranteed winner in Dubai. He better score some brownie points like this, coz the big four will not let him win any tournaments.

Very likely the donkey saw djokovic and murray in the draw and crapped his pants. His PR team must be commended for making the cunningly smart decision to use the misery of another player to anoint donkey as a martyr. The dubai issue is not about donkey….. it is about Peer – which might be a rude surprise to all donkey’s fans. It is pathetic to see people stoop to the levels of using other people’s misery to glorify themselves.

Should have expected this from the donkey and his jackass fans!


Ralph Says:

Yeah, with Nadal and Fed out, he didn’t want to risk losing to Murray or Djoko.


tenisbebe Says:

For myself, had the author omitted mentioning the well-known past transgressions, the article would have carried less weight. I know nothing about locker room incidents; however having witnessed firsthand displays of obnoxious behavior toward the chair on his part (the ’05 Indian Wells QF being foremost in my mind), I would never have counted myself in Roddick’s camp, far from it. In the past 2 years, I have slowly come around to supporting him, because in the end his other qualities (dedication to the game & the fans, desire to win, refreshing candor, & forthrightness, sense of fairness ie: Roger’s Cup, unwavering support of Davis Cup) outweighed the negatives, this latest gesture being the topper.

Roddick is no angel, but despite the on-court antics, he has earned my respect and support.


tenisbebe Says:

Off thread:
FYI – Gasquet won a 3-set nailbiter. Hopefully this spells a turning point for him in close contests. Love the Frenchman’s game.


I like tennis bullies Says:

what do the jews think of their hero roger federer now that he has been exposed as a spineless coward and anti semite?


grendel Says:

he is also reputed to eat babies (when nobody’s looking – bloody wanker, can’t be open about his vices….)


funches Says:

Actually, I’m considered a Roddick supporter on the message board, and you’re right, my response was unnecessarily inflammatory.

It’s funny to see how the argument about Roddick has changed over the years. About six years ago, it was about how many grand slams he would win. Then it was about whether he would ever win another grand slam. Then it was about whether he would remain a top-10 player. Now it’s about whether he’s a good guy.

What angers the Roddick fans the most is his critics (and I was on the wrong side of the debate for a few years) have been, for the most part, right. Yes, the people who don’t like him go overboard, and I will defend his work ethic and tenacity and his sense of humor forever, but the bar on his greatness has been lowered considerably.

Vach isn’t Anti-American. He’s anti-overhyped tennis player with a limited game, and he gives Roddick props when he deserves them. I guarantee you anyone who had said Roddick would never win another grand slam after the 2003 U.S. Open would have been labeled an American-hating moron by a lot of tennis fans. As it turns out the person almost certainly would have been right.


tennisontherocks Says:

Roddick deserves applause here for
a) taking a action that matches his words and being a ONLY player to do so
b) doing so without much drama or blaming other players for not following the suit etc etc, which was quite classy of him.

But really, his game is still unwatchable for me and I doubt it that’s ever going to change :)

and Roger should have at least skipped the players party. maybe they were offering free back massage to him with a complimentary henna tattoo, but what happened with Peer was wrong and I don’t expect him to correct it…at least don’t join the party.


Veky Says:

I wonder if Roddick had even heard about Sahar before the incident ocurred. It sounds like a really good exuse not to fly to Dubai. I don’t believe one bit…and it does sound like PR i don’t think he himself had come up with it…


Mary Says:

Veky:
“I wonder if Roddick had even heard about Sahar before the incident ocurred.”

Roddick may not have heard of Sahar, but he probably heard of Shahar.


Polo Says:

tenisbebe Says:

“For myself, had the author omitted mentioning the well-known past transgressions, the article would have carried less weight…”

I agree with your assessment of the article. I think it was very well written. It was really in praise of Andy Roddick and was not negative at all. It merely tells you that Vach thinks that Roddick is a man of conviction and will do what he thinks is right even if somebody else will feel otherwise.


Von Says:

Funches:

Thank you. Your admission has restored my respect.

“What angers the Roddick fans the most is his critics (and I was on the wrong side of the debate for a few years) have been, for the most part, right. Yes, the people who don’t like him go overboard,”

This is the main reason behind my comments. All they need is a small opening and they take off like the Concorde, without any restraint whatsoever. However, they can’t handle the reverse when it happens, and because there many of them, it’s an exercise in futility to attempt to give them a dose of their own medicine concernin g their player.

As you can see from the negativity and nastiness that’s evolving, why it underlines my reasons for stating that it would have been best if nothing was written. I’ve been posting here for close to 15 months and I know exactly what statements turn on the nonsensical garbage and what motivates the anti-Roddick clan to crawl out of the wood-work.

The posts here reminds me of a eulogy, (at eulogies we’re supposed to speak well of the deceased, right) where the person delivering the eulogy complimented the deceased on his exemplary life, but then he decided to list the deceased person’s flaws. Needless to say, it angered many, and left those who were in attendance, with a bad feeling. It was the consensus of opinion, that it would have been better to have omitted the eulogy altogether.

The focus of this article, which is praise for Roddick’s stance on the Peer problem, is now being changed to focusing on his character flaws. And, this is how I honestly feel about this article and what has traspired since it has been published. The good has been overshadowed by the venom that’s now being spewed.

Yes, I agree with all who have stated that Roddick is using this as a PR stunt. A very crafty guy don’t you think? And, I also agree with those who feel he would have been beaten by Djokovic and/or Murray, neither of whom are playing stunning tennis at the moment, or some lower ranked player from the decimated draw. I see from the results on Dubai, which is amazing to me, that there are so many 3 setters being played — the high ranked players are being pushed to 3 setters. It makes me wish Roddick DID play in Dubai; he couldn’t have done any worse now, could he?
__________

Veky: Roddick probably got the idea from your PR firm. Your company is doing a great job! Keep up the good work. However, I think the real problem is the fact that Roddick is so dumb, that he just couldn’t find his way to Dubai. He thought Dubai was in the “Sahara” Desert where he thinks “Sahar” Peer is residing. You know “Sahar” Peer = “Sahara” Desert and he’s been wandering around there over the last 4 days trying to find his way to Dubai. Who knows he might be stuck there for 40 years. Maybe, just maybe, Moses might emerge from the burning bush and lead Roddick back home. Gosh, how dumb can a guy get?


Von Says:

“It merely tells you that Vach thinks that Roddick is a man of conviction and will do what he thinks is right even if somebody else will feel otherwise.”

I agree with that aspect, but I’m looking at it from the vantage point that just a smidgen of negativity hinted in Roddick’s direction will start the domino effect that’s taking place.


jane Says:

Von, I think what Andy did was noble, as you know. But just an aside: do you how many ranking points he’ll lose? I know he didn’t do as well at Memphis last year, so he picked up a few points for winning this year, but then he’ll lose title points for Dubai.

Del Potro is behind him by 370 points, so he should be secure at number 6, in any case.


Von Says:

jane:

Thank you. I agree about Andy’s fight for a good cause, but I truthfully would have preferred it to be ignored much more by the media. There are some who can’t handle the limelight when it’s on on other players, only their own, and that brings out the viciousness that’s uppermost in their minds. They vent it in the most despicable ways. some seek comparisons and excuses. I dislike it, and by now you of all people should be cognizant as to my feelings on injustice.

I don’t know exactly how many ranking points he’ll lose. As you know, they changed the ranking points, but they also have that 5 best results feature in the ranking points. He got to the final at Doha and didn’t receive any additional points for that so, maybe that will feature into the 5 best for this year and render the Dubai loss a wash. I’ve never paid much attention to the formula used to base the points, so this is a grey area for me. Maybe, MMT the genius, or Daniel and gordo, who are knowledgeable on the points could give us some insight.

Is Del Potro playing at any tournaments this week? From the litle I’ve seen of Dubai the lower ranked players are pushing the higher ranked players. I won’t be surprised if two lower ranked players end up in the finals.


Von Says:

I can’t believe what I’m seeing. Christophe Rochus is dominating Sam Querrey. Sam can’t even get his serve going. He’s another one that goes into these highs and lows. Unbelievable.


jane Says:

Von,

Yeah – I know you’re not a number-cruncher, but thought you might have an idea as to Andy’s ranking. I hope he stays at 6 and moves further up, maybe overtake Davy as there aren’t a ton of points between them.

And no: Del Potro doesn’t seem to be playing this week, so Andy’s ranking should be fine as is.

I also know what you mean about preferring players to fly under the radar, esp. favorites, because whether it’s negative or positive press, their will be conflicted voices and opinions. I’ve learned to skate over the negative as much as possible, but it’s difficult sometimes.

Finally, I noticed the same about Dubai. Murray played well today so maybe he’ll rise up and get to the final, but Novak has been up-and-down all year and next meets Cilic, who could easily take him out in best of 3. Novak will have to serve consistently well, and he hasn’t been doing that all season so far. i am hoping he gets it together soon, or he’ll be sliding and losing points like mad. Foolish to change the racquet, imo, not to mention personal distractions like bringing a tournament to Serbia, though in some ways that’s a good gesture for tennis development in his country, and to be admired therefore. I just wish he was performing better on the court at present. Sigh.


tenisbebe Says:

Polo – Thank you Polo

On a different topic….did anyone see the Djokovic match today from Dubai? He barely squeaked out with a win vs #66 Hernych and in the 3rd set looked very tired. Based on this performance, I’m taking Cilic in the QF’s.


jane Says:

oops – “their” in 2nd paragraph s/b “there”.


Von Says:

jane:

Yes, Andy could move up to No. 5 because there’s just about 400 points separating him and Davydenko.

Djoko is going through a very flat period and I hope for his sake he gets into a higher gear or else, as you say, he’ll be losing points all over the place. Today, Hernych pushed him to three (3) sets and it wasn’t as if Hernych was playing any super tennis and in the zone, but Djoko was just out of it. He did get lucky toward the end of the last set and got the break, but he definitely has to raise his level against Cilic. But, considering his H2H against Cilic is in the positive, coupled with the fact that Cilic also has not been playing super tennis himself, Djoko might just eek out the win.
__________
tenisbebe:

Yes, I saw the last two (2) sets of Djoko’s match and he was struggling big time. It’ll be a toss-up with Cilic, because he’s been hitting 3 setters also. May the best man win.


jane Says:

tenisbebe,

I know Henrych shouldn’t be a challenge for Djoko on paper (i.e., the rankings), but for some reason he’s a tough match up for him (won on grass against Novak, and last week pushed Djoko in 2 tight sets) – besides the fact that Djoko was serving like crap – 55% or something.

I’d say the Cilic match is 50/50, could go either way. As Von says, Cilic isn’t all that consistent, although when he gets on a hot streak, look out! But he can be error prone. It will likely come down to day form.

Murray vs. Gasquet could be interesting too.


tenisbebe Says:

Good points. I didn’t see the match in Marselle b/w the 2. My biggest concerns about Djoko was he seemed very unhappy from the get go & then in the 3rd looked tired. Let’s hope Djoko/Cilic is a good quality match for us fans!! Good night everyone.


CSSteve Says:

Andy is a 24 karat gold human being. Here is a great article on the very same topic:
http://tennispinellas.blogspot.com/2009/02/andy-roddick-puts-his-money-where-his.html
It really puts all this Dubai business in perspective.


Polo Says:

Since after Djokovic’s Australian Open win in 2008, I have noticed a change when he plays. The joy which I used to see before seems to have dissipated. He seems listless and anxious when he plays now. He responds too much to the crowd and usually in a negative way. He gets angry and directs it to the spectators. Soemthing has gone wrong in that guy’s head which ought to be corrected before it gets too late.


Polo Says:

Von,

I have seen through Roddick’s supposed negative attributes and realize now that all those are part of his character. He is consistent in his behaviour and I could see why he did what he did about the Dubai tournament. When I think back about what I did not like about him before, I know now that they were not negative attributes. He was simply stating what was in his mind when he argues against linesmen and umpires, commented about Djokovic, etc. etc. So his backing out from the Dubai tournament in support of a colleague is an honest action, not a PR stunt. It is believable because it is consistent with what Andy is wont to do and he seems to say “If I believe that you are wrong, you will hear it from me and I will fight you.”


tenisbebe Says:

ALERT – Murray is pulling out of Dubai – Gasquet gets a walkover. Looking much better for Djoko now.


Rod and dick Says:

Roddick should stop making statements about things like international politics which he has no clue (like about 80% of his fellow americans) If he really wants to make a stance how about giving up his 2003 US open, which came in a year when US used lies and deceit to wage the most deceitful war ever. Anyone see that happening?

To portray him as a great human being and criticizing the top 4 for, apparently, not standing up for what Americans believe is right makes no sense at all. Americans have a problem with Dubai – you deal with it. The rest of the world has no issues with that 21st century paradise on earth. I am sure the UAE govt. has enough valid reasons for what they did ( definitely more than what the US offered the world for its lame war in Iraq!) If the donkey (nice name suggested by a fellow poster) really is gutsy, how about you stand up to the atrocities your own country is perpetrating?

till then, rod-dick should be called the donkey (apt name whoever chose that!) donkey fans, please talk about tennis – i know it is tough for you guys with the donkey getting flogged by 4 top athletes now. he is actually their bitch now – not a donkey.


jane Says:

That’s too bad about Murray; I hope he doesn’t turn out to be injury prone. He’s had this ankle thing the last two events, and he had a virus at the AO as well as here. I’d like to see Murray have a consistent year, like it’s been so far.

Still I don’t see Novak as home-free or anything; Gasquet is not an easy man to beat.

Novak played pretty well in the first set against Cilic, especially because his serve was on; he kept it above 70% for most of the first set. But near the end of the first set and to begin this second set, his serve is dropping off (currently down to 64% and (deuce) so if Cilic picks up his game, this is still anyone’s match. We’ll see…


tenisbebe Says:

To all Roddick fans
and all other true fans of the sport of tennis:

Following Henry’s lead, let’s do our best ignore the RAD person. Fools in the world abound….


jane Says:

Nice, confident-looking win for Novak today, although I still think he could serve more consistently. At least he saved every break point he faced.

Cilic has a lot of potential; he can move so well. But he has to cut down on errors and improve his second serve too.


a reader Says:

jane Says:
Well, no, not likely, but the title should be fixed so that ANDY Roddick gets full props!! :D
———-
Give Roddick full props for doing the right thing? TennisX would never do that.

CSSteve Says:
Andy is a 24 karat gold human being. Here is a great article on the very same topic:
http://tennispinellas.blogspot.com/2009/02/andy-roddick-puts-his-money-where-his.html
It really puts all this Dubai business in perspective.
jane Says:
Well, no, not likely, but the title should be fixed so that ANDY Roddick gets full props!! :D
———-
Nice article! Thanks for posting.


sasha hartley Says:

roddick is a donkey is a complete tool – tenisbebe, gracias for all you do here:}
just ignore him then he goes back to the tennischannel.com site.


Von Says:

jane:

“Still I don’t see Novak as home-free or anything; Gasquet is not an easy man to beat.”

I see your mind is working overtime. Hang on now, you’ve got Djoko already beating Simon and Gasquet beating Ferrer to set up a Gasquet/Djoko final. Steady on girl — there are two more matches to play before that scenario could take place. Can’t blame you though, for setting the scenery up in your mind — dreaming will do that to you every time. Smiley here.


Von Says:

Polo:

“I have seen through Roddick’s supposed negative attributes and realize now that all those are part of his character. He is consistent in his behaviour and I could see why he did what he did about the Dubai tournament.”

Yes that’s Andy. He speaks his mind and is up-front. He doesn’t leave you wondering as to what his next move will be — it’s all there in the open for you to see and hear. It’s the reason I like him for his openness and his spirit to defend what is rightfully his. If he feels the umpire or linesmen are wrong, he’ll let them know. You either like him or dislike him. It takes strength of character to speak up and defend one’s rights, unfortunately, those who don’t think like that, see him as being bellicose or irascible — I see it as someone who is confident, truthful and has strength of character.


sasha hartley Says:

TennisX is fair on their reporting covering the sport we all love, needless to the say the great conversations and ability to free our minds to express opinions respectfully.


;o Says:

Hey, put Federer in the trunk next week.

Hes injured, can’t play a tournament thats being weighed with controversy, yet still shows up to the players party and picks up his appearance fee.

Now thats unprincipled.


Polo Says:

;o Says: Re: Federer

“…Hes injured, can’t play a tournament thats being weighed with controversy, yet still shows up to the players party and picks up his appearance fee.”

I checked this and it true. There is even a video. That is quite incredulous! Everytime I see or hear about Federer, he keeps diminishing in my eyes. Roger keeps chasing the GOAT title but what he could well turn out to be is just one plain greedy goat.


Noel Says:

With due respect to various posters who have expressed themselves on the Peer controversy and the stand taken or not taken by different players,I get the feeling that the reactions have been a bit exaggerated. This is hardly surprising given that most of us see only in terms of black or white and are generally not willing to see the various shades of gray especially if it involves the players we like or dislike strongly.

The UAE authorities were clearly wrong in denying the visa to Peer and the tennis authorities involved are to blame for the sorry situation because something similar happened last year as well. The option for the WTA was to either cancel a prestigious tourney at the last moment and face the associated problems in a financially fragile situation or to go ahead and incur the wrath of some people for opting for “business” instead of “principles”. It surely must have been a tough one for Larry Scott and I think he didn’t do too badly in the end because cancellation would have opened a separate can of worms/issues. The WTA tour can sure do without that sort of unwanted limelight at the moment. The issue has been resolved, more or less, to everyone’s satisfaction and the authorities in Dubai have been rightly forced to reverse their discriminatory policy with the ATP event seeing an Israeli in action. Too bad for Peer for this year but these things can happen and sovereign states sometimes can have policies which may be at variance with what their sports bodies may commit to their respective world governing bodies. It has been asserted that the organizers and the government are one and the same but that is debateable esp w.r.t. coordinated action and hardly very relevant to the larger issue of the right of a sovereign state to express its protest against the crimes aginst its fellow Arab fraternity. The fact that Peer is innocent is hardly the point here.

There is nothing new in politics interfering with sports and it will happen in the future too. We may approve or disapprove depending on how we perceive it and as has been the case most of the time,might is right be it military might or fiancial might. Thay is why big and powerful states can get away with anything and impose a different set of standards for the smaller/weaker states.

It is not as if heavens have fallen after the visa denial and the outrage is a bit too much in the larger picture. It is not an ideal or fair world we are living in. I don’t see why leading players from the WTA-or even the ATP- must jump the gun and necessarily take a ‘stand’ on the issue and be very vocal to show solidarity to someone just because she happens to be a fellow professional. They have to, after all, abide by a code of conduct. Their silence would have been wrong only if the WTA didn’t do anything on the issue and let the status quo continue. We also don’t know if some leading players-female and/or male- did not work on it behind the scenes to lean on the authorities there. I think the matter was dealt with pretty quickly although,unfortunately, not in time for Peer to play and that is the only regret. However, I can live with it because a bad policy has been reversed without too much resistance and the damage has been controlled pretty well.


Noel Says:

Now to the “stand” taken by Rod AFTER
the matter had been resolved and not when it first came to light on the 15th. Fed withdrew on the 17th and the visa policy was changed on the 19th. Penalties and other conditions were imposed on the 20th and Ram was given the visa to play the ATP event. Peer was appeased suitably and the show was ready to move on. It is AFTER all this that the news of Rod’s withdrawal came although he himself was not very strong or certain in his views. He didn’t ‘condemn’ the Dubai power play as some have claimed. He just “didn’t agree” and the decision was “probably” due to the controversy but not ONLY or ENTIRELY due to it although it played a “big part”. He also said that “it will probably help for Davis cup also”. He also praised the event as “great” and didn’t think the organizers-as opposed to the UAE government- were to blame. He said he had always had a great time in the UAE in the past. Given that the matter had been resolved, I don’t know what point he is trying to make and how much importance his ‘stand’ should be given under the circumstances. He is hedging his bets with his tentative statement and hasn’t said that he will never play in Dubai/UAE or in other countries in the middle-east having this policy. He had no problem playing in Dubai with the same policy last year. He has played in Doha and Abu Dhabi as well and very readily accepted the “filthy” money to appear at those events. It is due to the “money-laden” sheikhs that Dubai attracts the strongest field outside of the slams and AMS events and Rod himself couldn’t resist taking the money last year even if it meant taking a lot of trouble to reach Dubai. He normally always stays in the USA and plays the ATP events held there during this time of the year and it obviously is a pain for Americans to make the long trip just for one event but the lure of money is not easy to ignore even for a man as rich as Rod and I don’t see anything wrong with it at all. Remember, he reached only the qf of Memphis last year and had two extra days to recover-apart from no upcoming DC matches- whereas he played the final in Memphis this year and would have found it difficult to reach Dubai in time for his first round. Even if he did,he’d have been absolutely exhausted even for a Wednesday start due to a combination of fatigue and jet lag. All this and the upcoming Davis cup tie probably led to this “sacrifice”. Had he played in Dubai and done well there-unlikely due to the fatigue but not impossible due to the lesser competition-he’d have returned to the US totally exhausted for the DC tie. DC matches will carry ranking points too and it appears a very wise and practical decision. We must also remember that Rod wasn’t originally scheduled to play Memphis and took a wildcard this year. Memphis’ status has been upgraded with more points and higher prize money this year albeit with a weaker field on paper compared to Dubai. He probably had decided to skip Dubai if he did well in Memphis. Both Dubai and Memphis carry the same points. Therefore, the loss of Dubai points has been fully made up and the prize money was decent as well. Who knows if Memphis put in some really good appearance money to keep Rod playing there like he has always in the past. He is always a big draw in the US. The financial loss doesn’t appear to be too much either given that he won’t be getting as much as the really top players would command in Dubai. Not much of a “sacrifice” under the circumstances. Brand Rod sells most in the USA and the long-term spin-offs will probably be much greater as his image impoves even more and his popularity reaches new highs with the electronic and print media-dominated by the jews-lapping him up and his “stand”. I can also understand that he could probably have been under some pressure to take a “stand” given the reach and influence of the Jewish lobby in the USA. He’d surely be branded anti-Semitic if he said anything remotely similar about the Israelis and their very real crimes.

Rafa and Fed could have turned up and tanked their first rounds and pocketed their “filthy” appearance money.Fed won’t have eede to even travel. I don’t see how they are counting their money when they have lost big sums. Fed has most to lose by not playing because he hasn’t played after AO and could have only gained some much-needed points in Dubai. I also don’t understand what Fed and Rafa stand to gain by remaining silent. It is Rod who is being hailed for his “heroism” and I’d say that is the easier route to take esp for him. He is projecting himself as the “nice” guy who is apparently never “driven’ by the almighty dollar whereas everyone else is. If Fed and Rafa are being “spoonfed” by their alleged PR handlers, they are certainly doing a very bad job going by the reactions on this blog whereas Rod-or his handler- has done a masterly PR job himself to create an image which can’t really be faulted on the face of it. I hate to be so cynical but I just get the feeling that a virtue is probably being made out of a necessity.

Now to Rod’s newly-found “guts/balls” and the rest of the world having none of them. If he is a big “hero” this year, one supposes he was a “zero” when he played Dubai last year when the same rules were in place. Ditto for Doha/Abu Dhabi. I don’t think Murray,Nole,Safin etc are doing anything wrong by playing in Dubai. As for Fed,Rafa,Davy and Verdasco, I can’t say they withdrew to protest against the visa rule and are probably genuinely injured although a silent protest can’t be completely ruled out. Give hints without blowing it out of proportion. Rafa’s injury was not anything serious and he could well have withdrawn in protest. Whatever be the case, the protests became virtually pointless AFTER the UAE visa policy had been reversed. What is even more ridiculous is to expect players to remain in mourning for something that has already moved on.

I think Fed is resting his back and won’t have played Dubai anyway because he had withdrawn from DC too. I don’t believe he is still suffering so much from the AO loss as to skip Dubai and DC. In In any case, Dubai is a second home for Fed and I won’t expect him to be too vocal about it just as I won’t expect Rod to boycott the USO to protest against USA’s numerous crimes against humanity esp in the middle-east. The greatest intellectual in the world denounces USA as a terrorist state based on the US government’s own definition of terrorism. “Compassion for Humanity” doesn’t mean much if it extends only to one side without at least trying to appreciate the other side’s point empathetically. If a foundation or charity is the only ground for liking a tennis player, Fed has a much bigger foundation and he is the UN goodwill ambassador to boot. I am sure Rafa,Nole,Murray, Rod etc are liked by their fans primarily for their tennis skills.

FWIW, Fed has also won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian award and so have Moya,Ljubicic,Agassi,Kuerten,Ashe and Mandela among others. Surely Mandela is a much greater humanitarian with much more leadership,compassion and honour than probably all of these worthies put together. Ljubicic played Dubai and I don’t think he becomes any less humanitarian than Rod because he wasn’t as “manly” as Rod. I presume we like a player primarily for his/her tennis and shouldn’t be looking for a Mandela or a Teresa or try to put them on a pedestal or create a halo around them. I think most of the players are pretty nice human beings in their normal lives and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have some demerits/weaknesses too. They are pretty young and not very educated in most cases. Most of them are journeymen and it is unfair to expect them to follow our apparently lofty standards when,in reality,most of us are probably much worse and big hypocrites. This holier than thou attitude w.r.t. a player’s conduct is pretty unreasonable.


Noel Says:

Which brings me to the remarks about Rod’s on-court and off-court tussles/tiffs. I don’t think he ever does it in a pre-planned manner. I have never gotten the feeling that he indulges in gamesmanship. Some of the players-including top names- stretch/violate the rules/spirit of the game very intentionally and very frequently. Rod is amongst the few players on the tour who play very fair imho. If anything, I get the feeling he is more likely to hurt his own chances whenever he has these episodes on the court. He almost did that in the Memphis sf. The bit about his locker-room confrontations is frankly news to me. I have never read anything about them.

Rod has a great attitude and work ethic and his efforts to improve his game even at this stage of his career are really admirable. I think he deserves much more respect for being a consistent top-10 player for such a long period whereas some of his more “multi-dimensional” contemporaries have faded away. The ATP tour needs witty and likeable characters like him.

I also disagree with the assertions about him being “one-dimensional” or “unwatchable”. He is a WAY better player today than he was in 2003 when he won the USO and became number one. He just won Memphis playing some very good all-round tennis to beat Hewitt and Stepanek. He played a great match vs Hewitt who looked really good after a long time. A fresh Rod would have done really well in Dubai.It is sad that Rod’s recent results and improvements have not been talked about and appreciated esp given that it is an America-based blog.


Von Says:

oY VEY!!!!!!!!!!


sasha hartley Says:

Let us refrain from the novel writing and keep our post to the point of the topic which is expected from TennisX.


Twocents Says:

Good points, Noel.

Much easier (and more fun) to understand than Obama’s budget plot :-)).


jane Says:

Noel, I know this isn’t honing in on the tennis aspects of your posts, but I am just curious as to whom you’re referring to in this statement:

“The greatest intellectual in the world denounces USA as a terrorist state based on the US government’s own definition of terrorism. “


Von Says:

“Peer was appeased suitably and the show was ready to move on.”

I don’t think “appeased suitably” which in Peer’s case, is offering/giving her money for humiliation, and in lieu of a forthcoming or possible law suit, in other words a bribe, is apropos or an act that should be so flagrantly minimized. There has been far more irreversible and/or irreparable damage done to her, and an offer of money is like rubbing salt in the wound. Money is not always of the utmost importance to some people. I doubt whether any self-respecting person would compromise their values by taking money for such a heinous offense.

“..and Rod himself couldn’t resist taking the money last year even if it meant taking a lot of trouble to reach Dubai.”

Are you positive he was cognizant of the ban on Israelis’ participation in Dubai last year? If not, this is an ambiguous statement.

“All this and the upcoming Davis cup tie probably led to this “sacrifice”. Had he played in Dubai and done well there-unlikely due to the fatigue but not impossible due to the lesser competition-he’d have returned to the US totally exhausted for the DC tie.”

He’s done it before. Last year he played The TMC in Shanghai and played the DC final just a few days later. He was exhausted but he still played and WON.

“DC matches will carry ranking points too and it appears a very wise and practical decision. We must also remember that Rod wasn’t’t originally scheduled to play Memphis and took a wildcard this year. Memphis’ status has been upgraded with more points and higher prize money this year albeit with a weaker field on paper compared to Dubai.”

He took a WC for Memphis “after” he spoke up on the Dubai mess, and made the decision to withdraw, instead of sitting home and twiddling his thumbs. He made good use of the time he had available to him. He has always played DC with great passion and without ranking points, so why would the lure of ranking points change its importance to him? I think ranking points is the last thought on his mind where DC is involved. some people just love their country, even though some might find it hard to understand. He’s unlike those who are now clamouring to play DC making it sound as though they are so “patriotic” when in fact it’s the ranking points that’s the true enticement.

The following was his statement at the trophy presentation ceremony, which outlines his motivation for playing in Dubai in ’08.

“I stated a couple of weeks ago that a big part of my decision to come here was to try to get a shot at the top players and I was able to do that, and success here has made it look like it was a good idea. I’m just happy to be playing really good tennis right now.”

He wanted to prove to the naysayers that he CAN beat the top players. I don’t see money being the motivator there. it was more to prove a point. True, the money was good, but again, it was NOT the sole reason he played there.

Roddick arrived in dubai on the day he had to play, Tuesday, due to lack of a decent transportation schedule. He played his first match with zero sleep and zero practice time. Money was not in that, it was heart and a huge desire to shut up the critics.
____________
I could go on and defend all of the foregoing statements against Roddick and his perceived untrue motives for withdrawing from Dubai, but why bother.

Again, the foregoing underlines in bold red, why I feel this article would provoke unnecessary criticisms for Roddick. Bearing in mind, he is NOT the one that has built up the media stories. He made his decision to withdraw quietly and was sought out by the media to confirm his stance on the Peer controversy. This was NOT a PR gimmick by him. The media played up this story. It was unclear as to why he withdrew. There were statements by the tour representatives that he withdrew because of the “start of a hernia” which prompted the need for clarification.

BTW, thanks for the morsels on his game improvement. I’m sure it will pique the curiosity of more tennis supporters to want to watch his now not so “one” dimensional game.


Von Says:

Correctioln:

“Last year he played The TMC in Shanghai and played the DC final just a few days later. He was exhausted but he still played and WON.”

Should be 2007, he played …..


Von Says:

Two Cents:

I hope Obama does have a budget plot going, this way, at least, I have some hope that my two bits stocks will rebound. I’m about to start a collection for the right to camp under a bridge with a few shopping bags. Any takers?


Big Jim Briggs Says:

Von.,

Obama knows nothing about the economy!!!

I am ready with my “will work for food” sign,. LOL


TD (Tam) Says:

“I checked this and it true. There is even a video. That is quite incredulous! Everytime I see or hear about Federer, he keeps diminishing in my eyes. Roger keeps chasing the GOAT title but what he could well turn out to be is just one plain greedy goat.”

I could not agree more! I think Roger’s image gets more tarnished by the week.

Welome Noel and good evening Von and jane. :) I have nothing to say about the matches this week because I haven’t been watching but I see that jane’s Dokovic is in the semi finals so good luck to him.


Twocents Says:

Von,

My first impressions on the Orzag’s plot are that it’s high high risk: spend a trillion more at first and then begin to save from med insurance, tax increase, blah, blah. But then, what’s the alternative? It’s hard enough even to figure out a ATP250 economic case, let alone a country with 26% of global GDP. Then, when you get to be the president of that country, you get to play with all these cards. If ever Obama dares to plot a grand scheme like this, the time is now — his honeymoon period with the nation.

Yes, score 8+ out of 10 for Obama’s budget move.


;o Says:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/tennis/en/multimedia/default_video.asp

Click the player party video.
Federer is actually quite prominent in that video. Sorry to burst your humanitarian-Fed bubble Noel, but I highly doubt he showed up at the party without taking some kind of appearance fee. Apparently, he didnt even need to enter and tank a match for the money.

I personally can’t stand Federer and his game. I have the utmost respect for him and would never wish him harm, but thats a pretty shoddy move from him


jane Says:

Von,

Oops I did overlook Simon, but it wasn’t even conscious on my part, so maybe it was a dream, or a Freudian slip or something! Simon is always a tough out. Oh well, even if Djoko loses to him, it’s at the same stage he lost to Andy last year (semis) so he won’t lose many (any?) points. I am happy he made it past Cilic, if he can go further and get to the final, maybe even nab the title, that’d be a good boost for him. We’ll see.

————————————————-
I wonder why Roger went to the party; would he really receive an appearance fee for that? Maybe it’s because it’s his “home” so he thought why not go to the party?

But I do agree that Roger’s withdrawal didn’t seem like a political move, or like a protest. it was likely just the injury.

————————————————

TD (tam) – Thanks for the kind words and good wishes Djoko’s way!


Twocents Says:

It’s on the record that Fed likes Dubai and UAE. If this time he took a stand against Dubai and UAE, he’d be acused of hypocricy, wouldn’t he?

I don’t like Dubai the place: construction everywhere, and stupid looking duty free shopping mall with prices you easily get anywhere in Macy’s or Dillards. But Arabic culture is as old and interesting as Jewish. Very diffrent from that of Swiss-German.

Von,

No worries. USA will be the last one standing IF the world goes down, imho. Lots of other countries began to charge for shopping bags lately, yours are still free :-)).


Twocents Says:

Jane,

Fed was at Dubai selling his coffee machines. Coffee was originally from Arabs :-)).


Von Says:

TD(Tam):

What do you make of this mess and Roddick’s supposed PR gimmick that a few have accused him of so doing? I can’t believe people would take something that’s good and tarnish it so badly, unless it were their player receiving the glory, then all would be fine.

I watched the final 2 sets of Djoko’s match with Hernych, a few games of Sam Querrey’s match v. Rochus, which left me very disenchanted with Del Ray. Not to mention the 4 x 6 live streaming video. I don’t understand why we can’t get decent live streaming or TV coverage for the US tourneys — too bad.
___________
Two Cents:
That budget plan seems to spell out higher taxes and cuts in areas that are detrimental to the public. Oh well, I’d better secure that under the bridge spot. Thanks for the good news.


Von Says:

jane:

The mind can make some things real without our even thinking about them. The ever-loving sub-conscious.

I hope Djoko does win the whole thing, it would help his mind-set. Keep the faith, and don’t worry be happy!!


tenisbebe Says:

The pictures from the players party have been out there for a few days now. My understanding Fed attended to fulfill a commitment to one of his sponsors (not for a tournament appearance fee). He has an apt in Dubai for training purposes (obviously he can’t train in Switzerland where his primary residency is due to it being winter). Players train in areas with adverse climates: Intense heat and/or humidity, high altitude, etc. Some of the lesser ranked players train in Israel & Africa – Agassi trained in the Nevada desert. And Fed trains in Dubai.


jane Says:

Twocents – the coffee machines – of course! Why didn’t I think of that? (^_^)

Von – thanks, hope so too.


Twocents Says:

Jane,

Also, Fed has to guard his loft Dubai flat from being robbed. News had it that one of his Swiss player pals stayed for free at his place. If I get the chance, I’d for sure take a guffy coffee machine back to Switzerland :-)).

I hope Djork wins too. I like his game.


margot Says:

Any other Andy Murray fans out there? It’s really bad news,he may have mononucleosis, a nasty persisent virus.


Top 4 are Fabulous 4 Says:

Roddick’s game is so pathetic his miserable fans have to hang on to any little morsel that comes their way. This is an absolute PR gimmick from the roddick team. It just shows how much the americans are out of touch with the reality. I will sing roddick’s praises when he stands up against the BS that the US is orchestrating in the middle east and elsewhere in the world. till then he better let smarter people lead the US public which has already been misled for the last 8 yrs by one of the smartest guys ever to be born on this planet. Only a delusioned country could give such a moron 2 terms.

The problem for US and the world is that half-baked dumbasses like roddick can mislead the public with their stupid actions


Von Says:

I’m a Murray fan, but not a very vocal one due to the lack of media here in the US which seems to indicate he’s under the radar — hence there isn’t any need to defend him. I believe Murray is suffering from burnout. He put in a lot of work on his path to becoming the No. 4 player of the world in a short space of time, and he’s now suffering from the after-effects of all that stress.

I sincerely hope he’s not suffering from any disease but just from exhaustion. I felt this would happen because he’s not physically built for such a stressful schedule. The slogan “all things in moderation’ applies to Murray.

Has there been any reports pertaining to his health, except that which mentions the virus? I sincerely hope that it’s just exhaustion and hope with a lighter schedule he’ll fix his health issues. I’d be extremely distressed if he has indeed contracted mono. It has taken mario Ancic about 2 years to find some relief and be able to play a few tournaments. However, it’s obvious after 3 matches Ancic becomes extremely exhausted, and then his game begins to decline.


Von Says:

Big Jim Briggs:

So are you saying we are in for a rocky road until things turn around and I won’t be able to retire at 65, which is a long time away, but will have to wait until 75? I don’t think I’ll make it. Maybe, I need one of your signs too. How about a squeegie bottle, some windex and one of those sponges? Another would be, “I haven’t had a meal all day”. LOL


Von Says:

jane;

Congrats, Djoko pulled off the win. Good for him. I’m sure you’re happy. He’s made to the finals. I woke up early to see the match and it was worth it. Now I can go back to sleep.


Top 4 are Fabulous 4 Says:

Roddick did the wise thing by pulling out and listening to the cunningly shrewd plan that his PR team came up with, which has most sheep-like-thinking people fooled.

If roddick went to dubai, djokovic would have pulled his pants down and flogged roddick’s sorry ass in public – all the way to his home in austin, texas.

Props to andy’s PR team. They are as good as bush’s team in deceiving a gullible public!


Twocents Says:

margot,

I hope Murray well. Not a big fan of his game style. But like the way he played his match in earnest at TMC08 RR against Fed, when he could have tanked. Stupid? Maybe. But guts, professional, and refreshing. Also, he took his AO loss like a man.


Polo Says:

Von,

Take a deep breath and expunge the bad karma.


jane Says:

Von – YAY!!! Two good wins in a row from Novak. Cilic and Simon are both good competitors, and in different ways, so I am happy to see Djoko getting these sorts of wins under his belt and getting to the final.


jane Says:

margot, I just read your post – oh no!!!! Say it ain’t so. Is there an article or something suggesting he has mono? I like Murray’s game and really wanted to see him win a slam this year. I hope this is just a persistent flu or something that he needs some time off to get rid of – maybe it’s just burnout like Von suggested. Really hope so.


jane Says:

Here’s what Djoko said after winning, which suggests that he knows this was an important winning psychologically for him:

—————————
‘You have to work for luck, it doesn’t just fall through the sky,’ said the top seed, ‘I had to fight my way through in the match, I really believed till the end.

‘Mentally, this is a very important win for me.

‘If I want to stay (among) the top of the men’s game, I have to win these matches, because Simon is certainly one of the best players in the world.

‘Simon plays a very unique game, is very solid from all sides, and plays with few unforced errors.
———————————–


jane Says:

Wow, okay. Ferrer is a good player, but that’s a surprising pummeling of Gasquet. I wonder if he’ll beat Novak now? He certainly has a good shot, as they’re 3-3 H2H. Mind you, two of Ferrer’s wins over Novak were on clay. But Djoko clearly had the more difficult semi, and there’s little doubt that Ferrer is more comfortable in the heat. Djoko will have to be aggressive from the start to win, and he’ll have to serve well, because David will be all over him otherwise.


grendel Says:

jane, I assume Noel had Noam Chomsky in mind. As a matter of fact, I find this “greatest intellectual idea” as problematic as GOAT. For how do you compare a great linguist (which is what Chomsky is) to a great physicist, say? In any case, Chomsky’s expertise in linguistics does not carry over into foreign affairs, for the two are not connected in any sense, as he himself has insisted. Personally, I find his pronouncements increasingly shrill and dogmatic – every evil tends to boil down to American imperialism, and so on; this has the effect, I have noticed, of making Chomsky seem more important. Great intellectuals are no more immune from vanity than are great tennis players.

If I appear critical of Noel here, I am grateful for his input, which was full of common sense. There is a tendency at the moment to treat Roddick as if he were a saint, instead of just an ordinary human being who happens to be a great tennis player. Most people, when they make ethical decisions, are quite pragmatic about it, and weigh up certain pros and cons. Even people who are entirely self-sacrificial – and although rare, they exist – usually act out of some compulsion. Of course there are exceptions, anonymous people for the most part who spontaneously (and in an unheralded way) give their lives to protect the weak. But Roddick is just like most of us, full of mixed motives, and in the case of the Peer decision, perhaps in the manner described by Noel. To try to portray Roddick as some kind of ethical hero is actually not being fair to him, since it raises him onto an impossible pedestal. Conversely, to point this out, is not to be unduly critical of Roddick, to have it in for him in some sense. I resist that notion absolutely.

Furthermore, whilst I agree with Noel that Roddick is not the type to indulge in systematic gamesmanship – pre-planned as it were – he certainly does engage in it from time to time, just like most players. For instance, in the match against Federer at the AO, Roddick made a huge song and dance about a point not being replayed – insisting he had been put off by the incorrect call of out. But the replay showed conclusively that Roddick gave up just before the call. There wasn’t much in it, and I am prepared to believe that Roddick, in the heat of the moment when everything happens very quickly, simply deceived himself as to the actual sequence of events. I imagine that sort of thing is quite common, and no undue blame should attach to the player. But Roddick went on and on about it. The event occurred in the first set. He was still making a fuss, in his inimitable sarcastic way, towards the end of the third. I agree with Rusedski (a man who knew all about gamesmanship) that this was Roddick’s way of trying to generate adrenalin, to keep the motivation going as the match was inexorably slipping away. Hardly culpable, fairly normal, really; but definitely gamesmanship.

Again, it is just not the case that every time Roddick has one of his oncourt brouhahas with the umpire, he is honestly expressing his legitimate sense of grievance. Sometimes, this may be so. Sometimes, he is simply taking his frustration out on the umpire, knowing full well he is likely to get away with it. This is bullying, and Roddick has been known to engage in it. Roddick is a great character, a man of pronounced light and shade. In the long run, it does him a disservice (imo) to glide over his faults. For one thing, you can expect an eventual reaction.

This is what seems to be happening with Federer. Once the blue eyed boy, now he seems to be everyone’s favourite villain. Hypocritical, spineless, money grubbing to a ludicrous degree and so on. But just as the original character assessments were unrealistic, so, I am convinced , a lot (not all – it rarely is) of the mud being thrown now is just an expression of modishness. Most of it will seem extremely silly in two or three years time – most fads do – if it is even remembered.

I agree also with Noel that there is a good deal of hypocrisy in our expectations of the tennisplayers, and wishful thinking, too, which is the other side of that particular coin. Examining oneself is a more difficult option.


jane Says:

grendel, yeah Chomsky is a likely candidate (though I still think, besides his linguistics work, that Manufacturing Consent is his best social critique). But to call someone the “greatest intellectual” – I agree with you – is simply unprovable. There are even more fascinating brains in the world than fantastic tennis players so the phrase is tougher to back up than GOAT. That’s why I singled it out.


jane Says:

Oh – and I agree 100% with you grendel. I think we tend to judge the players to harshly, and we also tend to react to violently when perhaps some of our favorite players’ foibles or perhaps better put, human inconsistencies, are pointed out. I learned this the hard way when Novak won the AO and then a vociferous battle, which often got personal and political, broke out on these threads afterwards. It caused me to step back and examine my own motives for attacking Fed unduly up to that point, and i have tried to comment on all players in a more measured way ever since. I let the outright insults roll, because, they’re kind of funny, and really just ridiculous. No point in commenting, unless – as you did the other day with your baby eating, Swift-like comment – one wishes to join in with some foolish barbs and quips. And those have their place, really. What would the world be without insulting comedians? Rather bland I suspect.


jane Says:

gulp, in the first sentence, two of those to’s should be too’s.


margot Says:

Hi Von ‘n Jane, there was talk in the British press that Murray was ill with a virus at the AO, but not much was made of it. the article is in the Guardian newspaper sports page, 27/02.
I hope u r right Von and its “just” burn out, this virus could lay him low for ages. He did make enormous progress 2008.
Two Cents: I must support Murray, he’s the only one we’ve got! Actually, second thoughts, think I’ll become French….


Polo Says:

I am the only one who feels that this blog site is getting a little bit pedantic? There is so much philosophizing and psychoanalysis going on. Why can’t I say that I like Roddick now because he has character? Or I like Federer less now because what he has been doing and saying recently? Call me shallow but this place seems to be getting to deep for me. I come here to have fun, not for psychoanalysis.


jane Says:

Polo – LOL. You have a point! I think the politics of the Dubai events amped things up.


grendel Says:

Say what you like, Polo. I just disagree with your assessments, of both Roddick and Federer, but mainly of Roddick. And I think it is reasonable to say why. I don’t think Roddick’s role in the Peer incident is anything like as straightforward as is being currently portrayed, but I accept I am in a minority on this one. Must I then shut up? Quite happy to do so if that is the prevailing thought. Silly to stick around in hostile terrain. But I expect there are a few who agree with Noel and myself on this one – but are reluctant to come out and say it, such is the current fervour.

All this is a matter of opinion, obviously, although what I was saying about gamesmanship and bullying is not; it is a matter of recorded fact – but I was careful to imply that I didn’t think it any big deal, because it is neither huge nor persistent. It’s fairly normal, and doesn’t detract in the slightest from Roddick being a character. The psychoanalysis jibe is unintelligible to me.

“Ferrer is a good player, but that’s a surprising pummeling of Gasquet” – jane.

jane, I recall watching Ferrer destroy Gasquet in Shanghai a year or so ago. the h2h is 3-1 in Ferrer’s favour, now 4-1. Have we got one of these strange situations where the match up is just unfavourable to the more talented player? You know if Gasquet plays Murray, say, it’s probably going to be tight. But for some reason, he doesn’t seem to like Ferrer.


jane Says:

I didn’t know that about the Gasquet / Ferrer match up. I had simply thought, since Gasquet was seeming to hit form, fighting nicely through a couple of matches in Dubai, and since Ferrer has been almost nowhere to be seen for a while now, that the outcome would favor Gasquet – so the lopsided result came as a surprise. I hadn’t checked the H2H but this may be one of those cases, as you say.

———————————————

I still think what Roddick did was noble as it will draw attention, if only for a little while, to the Peer incident, and it may make others follow suit in the future. But I wouldn’t throw out the possibility that he weighed other things in the balance – like the distance to get there, his chances, and Davis Cup around the bend. There are many factors that go into all the decisions we make, whether deliberated, unconscious or whatever.

But even so, it doesn’t take away from Andy firmly making a statement to the press that he “didn’t agree” with what went on. And to do so as defending champion may make the organizers think twice next year.

So Roddick still deserves kudos even if other factors went into his decision to withdraw.


grendel Says:

And then, Polo – and others – instantly assume the worst w.r.t. this players’ party. tenisbebe has offered an alternative interpretation which at least has the merit of being attached to a few facts. So when Polo says he likes Federer less because of what he has been doing, and asks why shouldn’t he, the obvious answer is, does he actually know what he has been doing?

jane: you put the case for Roddick very well.


Noel Says:

Von,

It is quite clear that you-and probably other Rod fans- think my posts are meant to deny Rod what some poster here termed his finest moment and that I am somehow trying to take away his ‘glory’. The inherent presumption is that another player’s fan must have some nefarious motives and can not digest the ‘glory’ coming Rod’s way. I won’t probably be able to ever convince you about my motives and I don’t intend to do it now given that you are so obviously upset. However, I don’t think my point makes the slightest difference to Rod’s ‘glory’ if the rest of the world thinks otherwise. I am probably in a hopeless minority of one on this issue. I tender my apology if my posts have offended you and other Rod fans.

I am sure Rod’s finest moments have been due to his exploits on the tennis court. I have merely tried to present some circumstantial evidence to provide a different perspective and questioned the importance/significance of taking or not taking a ‘stand’- by him or others – given the circumstances. I have made a very tentative assertion about the seriousness of his stand if you noticed terms like “cynical”, “probably” and “get the feeling”. I haven’t said it is DEFINITELY a PR stunt because we probably will never know. You are probably going by the preceding sentence which-if you read carefully- is a conditional and hypothetical one. It was in response to suggestions that the top two were being “spoonfed’ and I said that “if”, indeed, they were, the results were disastrous compared to Rod’s PR.

As for Peer’s appeasement, it is clear we are poles apart esp given how strongly you feel about it and which is made clear by your choice of such strong words. I’d only say that nobody stops her from suing the WTA and I am sure there are enough top-quality lawyers willing to represent her for free. The possible windfall could far outstrip any money she may earn in her tennis career. Despite such an obvious course, I do wonder why she chose to accept what was offered to her and she doesn’t appear to have the same sense of ‘humiliation” as you think she must or should have felt. You insinuate that she doesn’t have any self-respect and has “compromised her values” by taking money for such a “heinous” offense. I don’t see what great “irreversible and/or irreparable damage” has been done to her. I wonder if she shares your extremely strong sentiments. If THIS was “heinous”, I guess we will need to redefine the term as it is used today. I guess you’d like the authorities to be handed nothing less than capital punishment and the players on the ATP/WTA tours to be imprisoned for life for not taking a stand against such a ‘heinous’ crime. They could be pardoned only if all of them petitioned the Pope to make an exception and canonize Rod during his lifetime for his compassionate humanitarianism and services to mankind in general and Peer in particular. Fed should be executed for going to a party while the rest of the players/officials in the party should be applauded for tolerating the abhorrent presence of the “greedy goat” who should be ashamed of not following Rod’s noble path and still remaining alive. I wonder what poor Andy Ram makes of all this. He should be tried for treason.

Have you considered the possibility that both the Atp/Wta didn’t want to face a lawsuit from the lesser players for denying them the right to earn a livelihood – I wonder if it counts as a “heinous” offense- esp in a lucrative tourney and, therefore, didn’t cancel the events

I totally agree that money is not always of the utmost importance to some people although I am sure we will disagree on who these people are.

“He took a WC for Memphis “after” he spoke up on the Dubai mess…..”

Rod spoke up after his qf win over Querrey at Memphis and that was on Friday, the 20th of Feb. and he had played two more matches before that. You can follow the chronology of events at Tennis-x itself. Alternatively, just take a look at the following link.

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/feb/20/ten-memphis-022009/?zIndex=56272

“Are you positive he was cognizant of the ban on Israelis’ participation in Dubai last year? If not, this is an ambiguous statement.”

My statement becomes “ambiguous” if I am not “positive” about something. It is like asking you if you are ‘positive” that Rod was honest about his “stand”. Only he knows it for sure. I, therefore, can’t be “positive” about it. As far as the visa issue is concerned, it is not something new and I am pretty sure a guy as intelligent, educated and well-informed as Rod-extremely bright as you say- would have been aware of it. He has also played in Abu Dhabi and Doha and he would be totally naïve if he didn’t know about it. Most people probably knew about it but nobody wanted to talk about it. Even if I were to assume that he was very ignorant-unlikely as it is- and didn’t know about it last year, the problem has been resolved this year. Andy Ram was given the visa this year before Rod’s withdrawal and, therefore, there was no point now to ‘boycott’ the event this year if you think Rod’d have definitely not gone last year if he knew about the visa issue. There is no issue anymore and nobody can say that they aren’t aware of this policy change at least.

I am surprised you brought in the 2007 TMC and DC to show that Rod could manage a tough schedule. FYI, there was a gap of two weeks for Rod after he played the TMC sf and played only one match in the final after which the off-season started. Here, he had around two days after Memphis with the DC as well as IW and Miami to follow. I really don’t know how you can compare a gap of two days with that of two weeks. Rod is a very fit player and theoretically could be a superman and play numerous events on the trot but it is never prudent to do that. He must rest his body with big events coming up and the stakes are getting higher for him considering the state of affairs at the top. That is why I said it was a wise and practical step. He looks like a genuine contender to me for IW and Miami.

My DC rankings point bit was to emphasize that there was a simple-and prudent- decision to make because he was going to get rest and have an opportunity to do well-and earn some points too-in the DC. This probably made the decision not to go to Dubai much easier. I know about his commitment to DC. Whether players want to represent their nations at DC or Olympics is up to them and I don’t read too much into it one way or the other given that the ITF/ATP themselves have degraded these events’ status. If you define patriotism by what you stated, Rod didn’t play the 2008 Olympics in order to concentrate on the USO. I don’t think it makes him any less patriotic. Those ‘clamouring’ to play for the points have played several times in the past although when they withdraw, the same ‘lure of points’ theory goes for a toss and some other theory about fear of losing is applied. Make your mind what you choose unless you have a completely new theory by now. I can put forth a very convincing theory about why a player does or doesn’t play in DC/Olympics and their motives thereof. I guess I better do it on some other occasion.

I have no problem believing that Rod wanted to have a shot at the big players in Dubai last year. He is good enough to beat anyone on his day. However, I don’t see how any player-Rod or Fed or whoever- will openly say that they enter an event for the appearance money which can be the clinching factor for playing at such tourneys. Desire to shut up critics can not only be generated for Dubai and there are many other events on the tour where a good performance will silence his critics. Rod has a shot at the top players in the slams and the ams events and it is not as if he doesn’t get any opportunity to play them. He only had to wait for a few days and could have had a shot at the big players in IW. If you think he went there ONLY for a shot at the big guns, you are entitled to your opinion. I think the reasons were similar for playing at Doha and Abu Dhabi. I don’t see anything wrong with taking the appearance money either although you must somehow have us believe that he is different from others and goes to these not so noble sheikdoms ONLY for some greater and nobler cause. Most sportsmen have a relatively short career and they must make the most of it when they are in demand.

As for his lack of sleep/practice and all sorts of other problems, I don’t know why he couldn’t plan a better schedule. Only he is to blame for his poor planning. He learnt his lesson this year and planned better by dropping Memphis from his original schedule but took a wildcard anyway. I don’t see this as smart scheduling if he was serious about Dubai.

“I can’t believe people would take something that’s good and tarnish it so badly, unless it were their player receiving the glory, then all would be fine.”

Since you believe that something good is being badly tarnished, I don’t think you’d ever think there’s even an iota of a possibility that something simple is being glorified. You are correct w.r.t. the bias for/against our faves and others’ faves but the ‘glory’ is being questioned based on at least some doubts which you probably dismiss as entirely illegitimate.

“BTW, thanks for the morsels on his game improvement.”

I know you are probably being sarcastic, but the so called “morsels” are genuine and I truly think he is on the right track with Stefanki. I can see better movement, better bh and generally better all round play. He is in good form and that is why I think IW and Miami will be huge for him as far as this season is concerned. I expect him to do well at these events.

“I could go on and defend all of the foregoing statements against Roddick and his perceived untrue motives for withdrawing from Dubai, but why bother.”

Well, I will be glad if you bother a bit more unless you think your arguments are most reasonable and mine are BS and that there’s no point trying to convince an apparently lunatic fanboy. Let us try to persuade each other thru reasonable sounding arguments. We can open alternative channels if you want.
I don’t want to make sweeping statements without providing at least some basis for the argument. For all I know, Rod could well be genuinely supporting Peer and I have never asserted emphatically that he DEFINITELY wasn’t. I am merely guessing based on the facts/circumstances that I stated. I know I will be very unpopular and the Rod fans probably won’t forgive me for trying to crash/spoil their party and not going along with their perspective. I guess I will have to face the consequences and the sarcasm/ridicule is already evident.


Von Says:

Polo:

Thanks. I have no other choice but to try to expunge the bad karma. I don’t expect anything fair in the analysis of Roddick’s stance on Peer. Except for a few, and they are in the minority, who see beyond the connivery that he’s accused of, there will be those who will usurp this opportunity to talk about every little negativity and reinforce it with their convictions. I’m OK with that, except I’ve made it a point not to speak out against the other players, with the expectation that their fans will follow suit. Additionally, if I did, an avalanche will begin and fuel will be added to the fire that’s now progressed to flames.

The God of fire is doing a good job all by himself, posting with his many aliases. He’ll know who he is by my designation of his original post name. His next action will be the production of his favourite YouTube video of the Roddick AO match v. Kohschreiber’s umpire tiff. The spineless one lives in this country, like so many others, enjoy its benefits, yet complains and ridicules our government. I’m baffled, why not move out if this country is so bad?

Throughout this whole debacle I’ve refrained from voicing any opinions as to why the top two pulled out from Dubai. I’ve read so many articles written again st them by many writers giving their opinions and have come to my own conclusions, but were I to voice my opinion, I think there would be an army of their fans shooting at me from all angles. It’s easy when others criticize another player, and they can be very effusive, as in Noel’s case, but when it’s the reverse their fans can’t handle it. Further, because there’s a majority, and I’m in the minority, I’ve learnt that it’s not a two-way highway. I’ve been burnt in the past from being outspoken, so now, I remain mute as to most of their shortcomings — not that I’m unaware of them, but it simply ain’t worth it.

If Noel was offended by the comments made by other posters with respect to Federer, all he needed to do was to express his distaste for them. There wasn’t any need to embark upon his mission to strip Roddick of every vestige of his good actions. However, that wasn’t the real reason behind that novel. Whether it will be acknowledged or not, the true reason hinges on what I perceive to be, some envy. Why should Roddick be in the limelight instead of the top players? Roddick is just a piece of garbage as compared to the great ones, and should always be relegated to the back of the line. Envious feelings are sometimes very subconscious and can manifest itself in many of our actions. search yolur hearts!

As I’ve mentioned previously, all of the players engage in their on-court semantics, but for Roddick, and sad to say Djokovic too, it’s always brought to light and embellished, while for the others it’s hushed up and swept under a rug. Many can’t take what they shovel out. nadal has more injury time-outs than any other player, but it’s Djokovic who is being brandished all of the time.

I’m not shocked Noel is being praised and/or supported for his bisecting and dissecting of Roddick’s motive and how and what he perceives it to be. i’m surprised he hasn’t yet been knighted. Oh, but I forgot, we have to wait un til june ’09 for the Queen’s birthday list of honours. It’s the balm many are seeking to soothe the wounds caused by the criticisms of their players’ action and/or in-action. Noel has done that quite well, in very minute detail, writing a book in the process. Was it necessary? Absolutely not. This is just someone who is angered that another player, and not his own has received some glory and has set out to ensure that much of that glory is stripped away as possible, leaving Roddick to appear as a very conniving villain, who has used Peer’s distress for his personal gain. Supposedly, Roddick wants to appear as an angel with a halo encircling his head. Had it been the other way around, and Federer or Nadal had taken a stance speaking out loudly against the injustice towards Peer, there wouldn’t be any questions or psychoanalysis performed, they would be regaled as the greatest. Not only is Roddick being condemned but our whole country is under scrutinty for all of its heinous crimes. The USA is the most despicable nation, n’est ce pas? yet so many clamour to its shores for refuge. Oh wow.

If you recall, I’ve been very vociferous about this article, and gave my reasons as to why I didn’t favor Vach’s mention of Roddick’s umpire tussles, because I’ve read threads upon threads in the past, where he has been severely criticized, in the crudest form, for any umpire or linesmen problem, and the statements that are now being written have supported my reasons.

I do hope that Noel and his supporters are indeed joyful that they have achieved exactly that which they wanted all along, and that is to dispense with any type of good feelings Roddick’s actions have produced for his fans. Enjoy the damage done.

PS. FYI, w.r.t. which means “with respect to, or, “with regard to” are 3 words that’s an acronym WRT. Periods are unnecessary. One person started it and others are following. Carry on smartly!

I may have repeated myself on some points, but I’m sorry I’m not writing for the london and/or NY Times.


Von Says:

jane:

“But I wouldn’t throw out the possibility that he weighed other things in the balance – like the distance to get there, his chances, and Davis Cup around the bend. There are many factors that go into all the decisions we make, whether deliberated, unconscious or whatever.”

You’ll receive a commendation and/or an MBE for that wonderful analysis. Why not just state positively instead of hedging, that you agree with Noel’s statement, viz., roddick didn’t want to travel to Dubai, because he most probabaly woujldn’t have won the tournament and it would have left him too fatigued to play Davis Cup. be thankful, because Djoko might not have made it to the finals had roddick played in Dubai. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth and frown upon it.


Von Says:

Margot:

I feel that Andy is suffering from a severe case of burn out. He pushed himself too much to get to No. 4 and his body is now telling him to stop. Unfortunately, it takes a much longer time for the immune system to recover under such circumstances.


jane Says:

Von,

You’ve taken my quote out of context above. I also said this:

“I still think what Roddick did was noble as it will draw attention, if only for a little while, to the Peer incident, and it may make others follow suit in the future. ”

And this:

“it doesn’t take away from Andy firmly making a statement to the press that he “didn’t agree” with what went on. And to do so as defending champion may make the organizers think twice next year.”

All I am saying is that it is *POSSIBLE* that Andy thought of other things, or maybe they were there percolating under the surface when he made the decision not to go to Dubai. I cannot know for certain.

BUT REGARDLESS, I still think Andy did something noble and meaningful as he stated he “didn’t agree” so he took a REAL STAND. And this is where I strongly disagree with Noel (besides the “greatest” intellectual), because he used the word “stand” in brackets in his post, kind of implying that it really wasn’t a stand.

I also strongly disagree with ANYONE who says it was a P.R. stunt because I feel Andy is a genuine character. That said, it doesn’t make him any less genuine, generous and kind if he also determined, all things considered, that not going to Dubai was not only the best decision politically, but also that it was not going to hurt his tennis career much and may even help keep him rested for D.C.

AND believe me you, I am fully aware that Roddick could’ve done serious damage at Dubai again, and probably could’ve won it, even if he’d've been even more tired since he won Memphis this year.

So please don’t misunderstand me. I am merely conceding that it is *possible*, having made the decision that he did not agree with what had gone on with Peer, that he then weighed the pros and cons and decided not to go at all.

It is also *possible* that the Peer incident was the only reason for his not going.

And imo, either scenario is equally noble, particularly because Roddick made a public statement about not agreeing with the way things were handled, and also because he was defending champ. I hope other players follow his lead.

He also donated to China after the earthquake. He has an incredible charitable foundation. The guy has a good heart and strong values. I know it.


Ryan Says:

Ferrer is a bad match up for gasquet…..but djok will finish him off in the final and win it.


Ryan Says:

Now I hate nadal even more…..he feels sorry for the children in gaza…..so wat bout the people in Israel and wat they go thru with rockets coming from the other side every day.


sam Says:

Von,

You are one sick person.

Jane,

Please stop kissing Von’s or anybody’s ***. You have right to express yourself as much as any body here.

I know I will be abused or whatever for this , but I expressed what I feel truly.

Rest of the bloggers you are doing great job , please carry on, specilly Ryan who has no inhibitions telling what he wants.


Von Says:

sam or whoever you are:

Thank you. I’m glad that the great doctor has been able to make a diagnosis as to my problems. Pray tell me what sickness do I have, dd?

Its news to me that jane is kissing anybody’s ***, especially mine. She has always struck me as a very independent person and doesn’t have the need to kiss anyone, especially my ***. Anyway, you’re entitled to your opinions, and as you can see there’s no abuse attached to my answer. If anyone is doing the abusing it’s you by saying to me that “You are one sick person”. I’ve come to expect any type of abuse from anyone, because I have the audacity to defend what I think is unfair.

Thank you for your comments, dear doctor; they are most appreciated.


Von Says:

jane:

I apologize if I have offended you per sam, the doctor, an d/or kissing my ***. I wasn’t aware that you do this sort of thing, but sam seems to thin k otherwise. I was merely stating that you should speak up as to what you mean and there’s no need to make excuses if you want to agree with Noel — just come out and say so. It’s your prerogative to express yourself, without being guarded. Anyway, thanks for the explanation, but it wasn’t necessary.


margot Says:

Hi Von, I don’t know if you are aware that Andy Murray spent last year getting himself much fitter and assembled a team around him, almost exclusively to do this. Hence the distasteful (I feel!) display of muscle on court, the boy’s just showing off, they’re new! So, if you are correct and it is “burn out” this is almost as worrying, for us fans, as mono. I am a big fan, although his game infuriates me often.
Jane, I know you like Novak,I saw a bit of the match with Simon. What has happened to his forehand?? Can’t just be racket trouble can it. for me, he hasn’t performed well since Rafa beat him at Queens last year.


sam Says:

Von,

Von Says:
jane:

I apologize if I have offended you per sam, the doctor, an d/or kissing my ***. I wasn’t aware that you do this sort of thing, but sam seems to thin k otherwise. I was merely stating that you should speak up as to what you mean and there’s no need to make excuses if you want to agree with Noel — just come out and say so. It’s your prerogative to express yourself, without being guarded. Anyway, thanks for the explanation, but it wasn’t necessary.

My question is why do you care wheather she agrees or disagrees with Noel. Tell me why should you care? And for saying what she said you gave her MBE.

And everytime there is comment against Roddick or if you disagree with some blogger, you come out with big lengthy blog and telling in that blog how you have been crucified for saying truth and taking a stand etc. Why cant you just let people express themselves. I think this what blogging is for right or every one has to agree with you.

I aplogise sincierly for calling you sick. But I was very irritated the way you bully everyone.

PS I am not the same sam who blogs here usually.


Von Says:

Noel:

I truthfully don’t know how to answer you. I absolutely am at a loss as to why you felt the need to discredit Roddick because you were offended by the comments made by some posters’ remarks, which you deemed to be unkind towards Federer. You could have just addressed those posters’ comments without attacking and/or questioning Roddick’s motives, his itinerary and going into detail about the chronology of events that took place before and after he made his decision to quit the Dubai tournament. To me that was totally unnecessary. What difference does it make on what date or when he made his decision to not play in Dubai? The point is he took a stand against a perceived injustice done to a fellow player and took action.

You went to extreme lengths to discredit Andy’s actions by your statements, even hinting that he didn’t have any problem taking the Dubai money the previous year, and entered into great detail with respect to Doha and Abu Dhabi. Andy isn’t responsible for the statements made by those posters who independently saw fit to praise his actions, while making comparisons to Federer’s actions. Those posters made their comments of their own free will.

I don’t want to pursue this matter any further, because however we look at it, there were questions and points raised by you which questioned Roddick’s credibility regarding the Peer matter. I personally felt he acted out of compassion and solidarity for a fellow player, and you seem to think he had other seeming selfish motives, per your statement: “I can also understand that he could probably have been under some pressure to take a “stand” given the reach and influence of the Jewish lobby in the USA. He’d surely be branded anti-Semitic if he said anything remotely similar about the Israelis and their very real crimes.” You are inferring that he was pressured by some arm of the Jewish lobbying organization in the US to take a stand. Aren’t you allowing your imagination to get the better of you? I don’t’ see the importance you are attaching to the foregoing is in any way connected to his withdrawal from Dubai and his support for Peer.

You stated: “I hate to be so cynical but I just get the feeling that a virtue is probably being made out of a necessity.”

In other words you’re saying Andy has seen fit to make himself some sort of avenging angel and he’s using Peer’s situation to obtain some kudos and making himself appear to be a “great guy”.

How did the Israeli politics/crimes feature into this situation? And why would Roddick be branded “anti-Semitic” for stating anything “remotely similar” about the Israelis and their crimes? Israeli crimes and Arab crimes were not in question here. some posters brought that situation into the picture, but it was the Arab policy of disallowing Israelis to participate in the Dubai tennis tournament that caused a reaction, from Roddick definitely not their ‘war” crimes. I believe Noel, you are melding the two situations into one and that is totally unfair. Also, in so doing you have branded the USA as a “terrorist state based on the US government’s own definition of terrorism.” Is all of this necessary?

Noel, I’m going to stop here. I don’t want to delve any further into anything concerning the Peer/Dubai situation and Roddick’s stance. I was very careful, despite all of the comments being bandied about, to refrain from mentioning the politics of the Middle East and the US politics as well. I also was very careful to pass on any comments relating to Federer, because I knew if I mentioned anything at all, I would be bombarded by some of his fans with uncouth statements, and I certainly didn’t want that to happen. I haven’t said anything and yet there were so many comments levied at the Roddick fans.

I am answering you out of politeness for a fellow poster, and I would prefer not to have to become embroiled in any further discussions on this matter. It’s now become very complicated with each poster adding his/her thoughts, and the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. I’m sorry if you feel insulted that I don’t see fit to address all of your comments, but I honestly feel that this situation should be put to rest. Roddick didn’t go to Dubai; the tournament is over and I think we should all move on. As it is, I’m being told “You are one sick person” by someone who appears to be jane’s champion, but I believe it’s deeper than that. It’s probably someone in retaliation to my previous comments on injury time-outs by Nadal, to which that poster has taken umbrage. I know I’m very unpopular with respect to the Nadal and Fed fans, who are great in numbers, and they post under several post names. Roddick is very much disliked on these threads and my being an avid Roddick fan who speaks up in his defense, is the reason why I’m pounced on so much. Hence I’m not surprised about sam’s post.

Thank you for your time on this matter, and I sincerely hope that my explanation is a good enough answer for you, but it’s all I can give at this time.


Von Says:

sam:

Here we go again. Now I bully everyone. If that were true then tell me why do I get picked on so much when I express my views? Is it a lie that I get picked on for my responses or my comments? I don’t believe I write any more lengthier blogs than several other people. And, yes, that’s what the blogs are for; to express ones-self. However, shouldn’t it be both ways? Why do I get called names because I express my views?

I mentioned the MBE to jane because I thought she handled the matter very diplomatically.I realize now that I probabaly didn’t express myself fully and it came across as being sarcastic.

You state:
“And every time there is comment against Roddick or if you disagree with some blogger, you come out with big lengthy blog and telling in that blog how you have been crucified for saying truth and taking a stand etc.” Is this a lie? I do get pounced to ensure that I don’t express myself and shut up.

” Why cant you just let people express themselves. I think this what blogging is for right or every one has to agree with you.”

I do let people express themselves. I’ve never stopped anyone from so doing, however, it doesn’t work both ways. It should work be a two-way conversation. They speak and so should I. I, at times, have to remind others that I’m entitled to my opinions the same as they are. I don’t suppose you’ve read that, have you?

“I apologise sincerely for calling you sick.”

Thank you.


Von Says:

margot:

Yes, I’m aware of Andy’s fitness team and the time he dedicated to becoming fitter. I personally feel that he overdid it — it was too much in too short a space of time, and he is now suffering from it’s after effects. From all that I’ve read on training it’s an incremental improvement, but sometimes when we want it like yesterday, the burnout happens. I’m so sorry this is happeneing because he needs to have a consistently good year and if this continues his progress will be retarded. Let’s hope for the best.


margot Says:

Hi Von, just b4 I watch dubai final….I think one of Andy’s problems is that he has felt it necessary to “beef” up in order to beat Rafa,and indeed this may well be the case. Rafa has bought a whole new physicality and endurance to the game.
There were those who said Fed “choked” at the AO and for sure he should have won, but it’s just possible that come set 5, he was bloody exhausted!


Big Jim Briggs Says:

Hi Ryan, you also said Murray would take down Federer at the U.S. Open, remember.

You was wrong there and if you think Andy Murray is going to win Wimbledon or the French your crazy!!!!


jane Says:

Von,

I wasn’t kissing your a**. i was merely trying to clarify that while I saw merit in some of what Noel said, I disagreed with other parts of his first post; that my take on it wasn’t black and white. That’s all. Anyway, got a final to watch here!! Nice to see Novak playing well!


jane Says:

Correction: nice to see Novak *was* playing well! But then he takes his foot off the gas and let’s Ferrer back in it. Novak – god! Credit to Ferrer for hanging in but that game was a wash out for Djoko. He needs to stay focused when he has a lead. Sheesh!


jane Says:

Yay – and also Phew!! Ryan you were right this time!

Never let Ferrer ferret his way back into a match; he’s the road runner. I am happy that Novak’s forehand seems to have healed; the last three matches, it’s been on.


jane Says:

margot,

I know Novak’s forehand has been off, but I do think it has been his adjustment to the new racquet. He has said he tends to overhit with it so he’s just learning to make the necessary shifts. I thought his forehand was finding its range throughout the last 3 matches, and particularly today.

I don’t know if I’d pinpoint Novak’s troubles to Queens, but he’s certainly been up and down since that point last year. He did play a hell of tournament at Cincy, demolishing Rafa in the first set of the semi, and Murray only eeking out the win on the Sunday. Plus Novak won Bronze in the Olympics and got to the semis of the USO, and won the Masters Cup. So he’s still up there, competing with the best.

However, he has been inconsistent. And this is what I’d like to see him overcome. In particular, I’d like to see him fight through matches more regularly, like he did against Simon; i’d like to see him serve more consistently on a day-to-day basis (he tends to have great serving days and then poor ones); and I’d like to see him play within himself, not let the crowd or a bad game or shot or whatever, cause him to take his eye off the prize. To me, his ground strokes are blistering, he’s added a great backhand slice, his movement is excellent and his flexibility also first-rate, his volleying is definitely competent. So he has what he needs. Just those few things above and he’d fly.

The other thing about Novak – he can play well on all surfaces. I believe he was the youngest player in the Open Era to reach the semi finals of all 4 grand slams. That says something. He just needs to keep working, improving, stay focused etc.

I think Murray and Novak could have a fantastic rivalry, and as I love them both, I’d like to see it develop into a slam for one, then a slam for the other. Roger and Rafa have a good share of them and have monopolized slams for some time. I’d like to see Roger get 14, and Rafa win the USO to have the big SLAM; I’d also love to see Roddick win Wimbledon. But I hope in the future we get a bit of a Djokovic VS. Murray show for a while! :D


tenisbebe Says:

Thought Djoko’s forehand looked atrocious in the first set and half vs Simon, not to mention the volley & smash; but he got it together gutted it out and found a way to win, the hallmark of a top player. Today’s performance in final was much more solid – like the Novak of olde – he must be please as the forehand looked much better as did the rest of his shots. Maybe he is finally getting comfortable with that new racquet. He said in one of his pressers that it has power and he has had a difficult time controlling his shot. This makes sense ie: UE’s on his FH side.

What a fantastic awards ceremony! With the exception of the long speeches by the officials thought it was just grand. I’m happy they included the doubles winners/runnerups – wish they would do this at all tournaments.


tenisbebe Says:

“He said in one of his pressers that it has power..”

Sorry, should have said “more power than his is accustomed to”.


jane Says:

tenisbebe,

Yeah, he was off in that first set with Simon, but he played well the night before against Cilic. In fact, I think partly why he was off for the first set and a bit against Simon is that he had played all his matches in Dubai at night, and now he was playing in the hot (40 degrees they said) afternoon. Simon, on the other hand, had played all day matches so he was more aclimatized.

But I was happy to see, as you say. him “gutt[ing] it out” and winning that match against Simon, even though it seemed he wouldn’t.

I agree with your racquet analysis.


margot Says:

Hi Jane, I’ll second your vote for a great new rivalry, though I don’t think Rafa and Roger are done yet! And I’m really worried about my man Murray. Thought Novak played brilliantly at times, though Ferrer was disappointing.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane:

Yes, the change of match time from evening to day very well may have affected him as he seems to have a little more of a problem with this than some others. Do you know where he trains? I assume in the Serbian mountains as his parents own a business in the mountains but I honestly don’t know. If this is the case, I wish he would consider a change to an area that would combine extreme heat/humidity with higher altitude, something like Namibia. Having said that, players are on the road so much that being home is surely preferred. Agassi was fortunate that “home” (Nevada) was an area combining extreme heat with high elevations.

Completely agree with your statements as to playing within himself, etc. He did a fine job of that today and you must be happy and proud of that performance vs Ferrer. Congrats to you and Nole.


jane Says:

Yeah, Ferrer made some bad misses off the backhand side and with the inside-out forehand, but there were flashes of his great play in 2007 and early 2008 when he forced Novak way back and out of position today, so maybe he’s getting back some of his previous form.

I read that Murray was having some tests done today at the doctor’s so hopefully we’ll know what’s up soon enough. I hope he’s okay as well.


jane Says:

tenisbebe,

He resides in Monte Carlos, so trains there somewhat, but also in the mountains in Serbia, as you say – he says he likes to get some fresh mountain air in his lungs. But I agree. Particularly in the off-season to get ready for the AO, Djoko should opt for a different training ground to adapt to the hotter climate. And providing it’s not dangerous to do so, perhaps just push himself a little more.

Thanks for the kind wishes!! I am happy to see him playing better and hope he keeps it up.


TD (Tam) Says:

Dear Von- “What do you make of this mess and Roddick’s supposed PR gimmick that a few have accused him of so doing? I can’t believe people would take something that’s good and tarnish it so badly, unless it were their player receiving the glory, then all would be fine.”

Von, you and I both know that it is laughable to think that Andy’s stand was a PR stunt. He made a quiet point without grandstanding or picketing anything. His comments were carried by some sports media but it hasn’t blown up into a bigger issue than it needed to be. Andy did the right and brave thing. Anybody who says otherwise is being petty and jealous because THEIR favourite players werent as brave or strong last week to take a moral stand and they are embarassed that Roddick has made them all look weak and pathetic. :D

Cheers to Novak’s fans today, a great title win for a nice young man!


Noel Says:

Von,
I wonder if you read my response yesterday which apparently appeared at 5:18 pm although I had posted it WAY earlier and I know for sure that I waited till at least 6 pm to see if the moderators had allowed it. I guess any post with a link is kept on hold for approval. It still doesn’t explain the ‘time’ of the post though. I even got the feeling that I had been banned from posting.

It is likely that your 6:40 pm post was written without reading my 5:18 pm post although it appears that it’d not have made much of a difference to the way you saw my point.
You accuse me of ‘unfair’ analysis, “effusive criticism” ,having double standards and sinister motives, being “envious/jealous” of Rod, being in some maniacal rage at his ‘glory’ and being on a “mission” to “strip” him of it to derive some perverted pleasure for me and my “supporters”. Your entire approach is premised on your conviction that I have been “angered” by ONLY the vicious attacks on my fave and by the fact that he isn’t receiving the “glory”. You insinuate that I am a lunatic fanboy doing this heinous crime of Rod’s character assassination ONLY to get back at my fave’s haters/bashers and that there is simply no intrinsic merit in any of the issues/points I have raised and no such possibility exists. You also can not tolerate it if some other reasonable poster saw some merit in what I said. He/She must be a hater too. Simply put, you are right no matter what and I am the sinner.

I can similarly say that I said so many things covering many aspects and players but you are enraged ONLY because you think Rod’s great deed would have somehow remained the most glorious story had I not poked my bloody nose. You think it is ONLY due to me that your God has been made to appear more human and you are absolutely disgusted by it. Making sweeping pronouncements-as you did- is very easy and I could also do that and run away like so many do on this blog. I’d have liked it if your arguments were more obvious than your conclusions. If I don’t write the “book/novel”, many reasonable posters will be justified in asking me to elaborate esp if it is apparently an extremely unpopular point that has no takers. You’d agree that Rod is being hailed just about everywhere for his “stand” and I have no option but to go into minute details/holes just to even raise any question mark and my conclusion is hardly a definitive one and we-except you and other Rod fans- will never know for sure one way or the other. I can also say that you have made a mountain of a molehill of the Peer issue ONLY to suggest that a “stand” NEEDED to be taken even after the issue had been resolved. This was done by you ONLY to justify Rod’s “stand”. I brought in the terrorist state bit to point out how trivial the Peer issue was in comparison. Do you ever get even remotely outraged by the death and suffering of hundreds of thousands of innocent men/women/children in Iraq due to two wars and the sanctions regime imposed on it by the USA? I suppose that is trivial but visa denial is a “heinous” offense. Are you aware of the Visa/immigration policy of the USA and how paranoid it became after 9/11. The worst sort of ethnic/racial/religious profiling was done to determine who to let in and the discrimination still continues albeit not in the sort of way that it used to be. I can understand security concerns but a lot of genuine applicants suffered. Do you think there is absolutely no threat to the security of Israelis in Arabic/Muslim nations? I will be the first person to join you in commending Rod if he takes a stand on the more unpalatable issues. I am not saying that it his duty as a tennis player to do so but his current “stand” doesn’t somehow sound convincing or very significant to me under the circumstances. Sorry.

I can sense how hurt you are and, at some level, I am touched by your blind love -adoration/reverence if you will- of Rod. It is like the love of a mother for her child whose merits must be exaggerated and whose demerits must be hushed up and ignored. You only want to hear good things about Rod and anyone even remotely suggesting something to the contrary appears a lunatic monster to you. That is why it is so difficult to discuss Rod with you. You become a totally different person when Rod is the topic of discussion.

Of all your charges/insinuations, I can readily accept that I may not be beyond double standards although in the case of my presence on this forum, I think my track record so far with respect to Rod-or Fed/Rafa/Nole/Murray for that matter-is not as bad as you’d like to think and it is only over a long period of time that you can come to a definitive judgement w.r.t. any perceived double standards. I wrote a post defending Rod on whether he could win a slam or not and this is the first time I have seemed to appear critical of him although you have focused ONLY on this. If I had posted only the third post, I’d probably have been accused by some of being a Rod fanboy. All other charges are a figment of your imagination . Even then I’d like to respond to some of them.


Noel Says:

Von

As for my ‘mission” to denigrate Rod and ‘strip’ him of his ‘glory’, I can only say that you give a two-bit poster on an insignificant blog WAY too much credit. Almost the entire world is praising Rod for his ‘noble’ deed and I don’t know why they wouldn’t. Can anyone say that they ‘agree’ with what happened to Peer? Do you think Fed, Rafa, Nole, Murray etc. will say-if asked- that they ‘agreed’ with the Dubai authorities? What Rod did was that he went on record-albeit very tentatively and very late-and this was lapped up by the media. I am merely questioning the significance one might attach to such a “noble” deed-esp the boycott- under the circumstances that I stated in my original post. I haven’t been on a “mission” mobilizing support, visiting and posting on thousands of relevant websites etc etc to somehow ensure that he is “stripped” of his glory. The lives of most top athletes are like an open book and my views on a small blog don’t affect their image even one bit in either direction. I am sure there are thousands of sources on the web praising Rod for his great deed. I just happen to beg to differ and I know I am in a hopeless minority here. Rest assured, “your” Rod is destined to be regarded as the sole voice of reason and sanity in this mad and bad world. Since you appear to be handing out prizes/honours so freely, please give the Nobel peace prize to Rod although canonization is the only thing that will ultimately satisfy you.

“Throughout this whole debacle I’ve refrained from voicing any opinions as to why the top two pulled out from Dubai…”

Please voice your opinions and I promise I will try not to say a word because I have already stated whatever I had to say on the entire issue. I can handle any reasonably-argued criticism of my fave and I criticize him and praise his rivals quite often given that I don’t post here very frequently.

“Envious feelings are sometimes very subconscious and can manifest itself in many of our actions. search your hearts!”

I guess you didn’t follow your own advice on many occasions in the past. Can I say it is envy/hatred that gives you so much pleasure due to the misery of him and his fans whenever Fed is beaten esp by Rafa? You love to say what goes around comes around. Can I say that you see that as a punishment for committing the sin of denying Rod so many times? Have you ever considered that it applies to everyone? Do some soul searching and a bit more dispassionate outlook
will help you appreciate others’ views better instead of jumping to conclusions that suit you. Simply attributing baseless motives won’t take your arguments anywhere. You already determined my REAL or TRUE motives behind my posts and, therefore, can’t consider any other possibility. I am surprised you think Fed ‘fans’ are likely to be anti-Rod. ‘Logically’ they should be anti-Rafa/Murray/Nole/Simon etc.

“I’m not shocked Noel is being praised and/or supported for his bisecting and dissecting of Roddick’s motive….”

Yeah, it is as if one lunatic is supporting another. ONLY a lunatic will agree with me. Reasonable and fair posters MUST ONLY go with the current fad and MUST not stray from the prescribed duty of hailing the greatest ever deed by a tennis player.

“ Supposedly, Roddick wants to appear as an angel with a halo encircling his head.”

Whether or not Rod wants it is a moot point but you certainly want that halo around Rod. Otherwise, why would you say that you liked Rod for his “compassion to humanity” or mention the Arthur Ashe humanitarian award. Your reasons for liking him should make you an even bigger fan of my fave. I understand that the double standards indulged in by fans can get very obnoxious in the mine vs yours competition. I accept that a lot of fans exaggerate the qualities/merits of their faves and try to put them on a pedestal and denigrate others but your reason is baffling. It is the tennis skills that I like in my fave and all his other merits/demerits are secondary. I know he received very good press-a lot of it was justified- for a long time when he was elevated to a tennis-god like status and I am sure at least some of it must have gone to his and his fans’ heads. This could happen to Rafa,Nole and Murray fans also if they keep on doing well for a long time. The media like to put people on a pedestal and then bring them down equally as readily when the going is no longer as great. However, I can’t quite recall if some fan/writer said they loved Fed for his charity/foundation and other social work.

My cynical view is that at least a part of these players’ decision to do such work is influenced by PR concerns whether it is Fed or Rod or any other player although I don’t see anything wrong with it because at least some people will benefit from such work. The iconic status of players does make it easier to raise a lot of money for these charities.

Rod is a very good player and a nice human being and that should suffice. Ditto for any other player’s fans.

“Not only is Roddick being condemned but our whole country is under scrutinty for all of its heinous crimes. The USA is the most despicable nation, n’est ce pas? yet so many clamour to its shores for refuge.”

The USA is a great country in many respects but the crimes it has committed in many parts of the world after the WW-2 are indeed heinous and you’d be shocked – as most good-natured Americans would – how much it is hated in those parts for grossly abusing its frightening economic and military power to achieve its various objectives. This is not to say that other big and/or powerful countries are any different but USA easily tops the list since it is the only superpower. All great powers/empires in the history of mankind have grossly abused their power. The problem is that the mainstream US media sweeps these unpalatable issues under the carpet and people like Chomsky are avoided like a plague by them because that sort of truth is difficult to digest. History is distorted to hide inconvenient truths of the past. I wonder how many Americans are aware of even the genocide of red Indians and the magnitude of it.

If you read a bit of Chomsky you’d be horrified by the excesses of US foreign/strategic/military policy over the years. One of the factors that does make US a great nation is that a person like Chomsky can live in the USA and is generally allowed to do his work freely although it hasn’t always been smooth sailing esp during the cold war. It helps that the USA declassifies most of its sensitive documents after a certain period. A China or a Russia probably would imprison him and the official secrets acts of many nations are unduly strict.

“I do hope that Noel and his supporters are indeed joyful that they have achieved exactly that which they wanted all along, and that is to dispense with any type of good feelings Roddick’s actions have produced for his fans. Enjoy the damage done.”

I don’t see many “supporters” and I don’t see what I have “achieved” to make me “joyful”. When you believe that you-or your supporters- know the ONLY/REAL truth-not only w.r.t. Rod’s but also my motives-I don’t know what material damage has been done to be “enjoyed” by a sick pervert like me. Rod’s fans can continue to have great feelings about his great deed for a very long time and the lunatic views of one single two-bit poster-with sinister motives no less- on a small blog can be surely dismissed as an aberration. Please continue the party and the celebrations.


Noel Says:

Von,
I am sorry I didn’t see your last post addressed to me although it is again quite clear that you and I are on totally different wavelengths. The moment I address the points raised by you,the goalposts are shifted rendering the earlier effort totally meaningless. You change the tone,tenor and direction of the arguments as per your convenience without even bothering to appreciate what I may be pointing at. You raise a point initially about the chronology of events and now you are saying it is totally irrelevant when my argument is premised primarily on it.

Now,you are saying Andy is not responsible for what his supporters have been claiming. I am absolutely stunned and don’t know what to say. I am sure that is the case almost all the time. Are Fed/Rafa/Nole/Murray etc are responsible for what their fanatical fans frequently claim on these blogs. I have at least stated exactly what he said. My guesses w.r.t his ‘boycott’ can be debated.

I am now totally convinced I am wasting my time here because the overall context and tenor of my points are not being understood at all. That is because you are seeing every point of mine with the prejudiced notion that it is to discredit Rod. Can’t you appreciate that there is a political side to it? Hence those comments in the larger context of the topic. Don’t ever underestimate the power and influence of the Jewish lobby even if it sounds totally ridiculous to you.

I will stop arguing because it is frustratingly useless when it comes to discussing Rod with you. I apologize again for my temerity to question the great deed and causing so much grief to you in particular.

Thanks for being so generous and answering me “out of politeness for a fellow poster”. Please rest assured I wasn’t responding to you out of any perverted/maniacal cruelty.

I sincerely hope we can discuss something more agreeable in the future and any hard feelings on your side do not last for too long.


tenisbebe Says:

Noel:

Can we please move on? Thank you.


Noel Says:

Jane,
Sorry for the late response. As grendel guessed rightly,I was referring to Chomsky. While I concede that “greatest” is very tricky,I didn’t mean to say that in the “GOAT” sense or with any great sense of certainty. I normally preface such terms with ‘probably’ and I am guilty of carelessness here. Even then, I don’t know if anybody has documented,dissected and analyzed and exposed, so painstakingly and courageously, the wrongs committed by the USA and other powers. His arguments are very persuasive,logical and powerful although I haven’t read any of his recent works. It is not for nothing that he was once described as the most important intellectual alive on the planet. I have tremendous respect for a person like him. He is a great hero as far as I am concerned.

BTW, congrats on Nole’s win. He looks to be back in business and his confidence seems to be coming back. He served extremely well imo against a very good returner and his fh was deadly both cross court and up the line.


jane Says:

Noel,

Thanks, yeah I hope Novak is back to his old self, that he has some fun while picking up some titles. He’s great to watch, imo, when he’s lose and hitting the lines and having fun.

As to your reply: I agree Chomsky has done some good work – I particularly liked /Manufacturing Consent/ since I believe the media, and the people behind it, wield almost as much political power as the politicians! But I’ve not read his most recent work either.

I am staying out of the politics discussion on this board, however, as it’s not to purpose, given we’re here to discuss tennis, though what went on in these last two weeks has shown how politics is really, well, everywhere.

Us Canadians like to go about our business under the radar, as you may know, so I’ll stick with m.o., or at least try to.


Noel Says:

Grendel,
I must admit I haven’t read any of Chomsky’s recent works and his ideas are probably incompatible with realpolitik. Even then,I think some of his older work is quite outstanding.

As for your comments w.r.t. Rod’s on-court episodes,I still maintain that he is more likely to harm his chances. He had such an episode in the sf vs Hewitt in Memphis. He remained agitated for virtually the duration of the second set after an overrule by the chair on a crucial point. He could easily have lost the match due to any lapse in concentration. He took the set after playing a great breaker and went on to win the match. I certainly got the feeling that he’d lose his focus sooner than later and it’d cost him dearly. Fortunately that day,he didn’t have to regret it.


Noel Says:

tenisbebe,
I hope you read my 6:49 pm post. I am sorry if you -or others- got irritated. I got tired myself and even had a moment when I asked myself if it was worth the effort. I have ended up greatly hurting at least one Rod fan and I am sure some others have tolerated me silently and not expressed their displeasure. I will try my best to think twice before posting any potentially unpopular comments in the future.


Ryan Says:

“Hi Ryan, you also said Murray would take down Federer at the U.S. Open, remember”

when the hell did I ever say that….do u have any evidence? Wen it comes to predictions with fed and murray all that I stated was that fed might have to face murray in the AO 2009 semis which turned out to be false since fed was in djokovic’s side of the draw.


Von Says:

jane:

Congrats to you and all Djoko fans for his great win over Ferrer! I told you to keep the faith, don’t worry and be happy, so now I hope you’ll remember that in the future. I didn’t watch the match but have it taped and will watch it AFTER Del Ray. Mardy is in now playing in the the Sfs, and thankfully, it’s on HD TV no less. I hope he gets to the finals.

I know that you know how important our American players are to me and I hope tomorrow I’ll have something to celebrate too. Not that I’m in any way looking to overshadow Djoko’s win and I want all of his fans to enjoy his win today and make it more meaningful. I’m glad DelRay final is being played tomorrow so that today will belong to Djoko and him alone.


tenisbebe Says:

Noel – I don’t have a problem with you posting you opinion as you are entitled to do that. I thought your original post was very insightful and well thoughtout. But this beginning to look a dissertation, pages & pages & pages of it. We always run the risk of “offending” someone when we express our opinion but sometimes it’s best just to let things drop. That’s all I mean. Thanks.


tenisbebe Says:

Von –
Fish won, hurray! Off to the finals. Did you see that stat that he’s 2-12 in finals? I couldn’t believe that statistic when I heard it. Hopefully he can win tomorrow and start reversing that. Go Fish…(no pun intended)


Von Says:

Noel:

I began reading your other post a couple of minutes ago and then I read the following:

“You think it is ONLY due to me that your God has been made to appear more human and you are absolutely disgusted by it.”

My God? And, who is that, may I ask? Andy Roddick I assume because we are discussing him? Right?

How dare you! You are taking and have taken far too many liberties. How dare you assume that Roddick is my “God”? Maybe athletes, things and influential people are gods to you and other people, which to me is idolatry. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m way past that.

First and foremost, I am a CHRISTIAN (AND I’m SORRY I HAVE TO BRING RELIGIOUS BELIEFS INTO THIS). I worship and have ONLY ONE GOD, who is the CREATOR of this universe. It is the reason why I don’t have the need to focus on any one person or things to make me happy. My belief in HIM makes me joyful. Happiness is fleeting, joy is lasting. There is joy iN worshipping MY GOD, not Roddick. Sure, it makes me happy to see Roddick win, but he isn’t the alpha and omega for me. If mankind were to remember that there is ONE who’s greater and above all others, then life would be much more simpler and pleasant. I also feel He’s the great equalizer and there are times we see HIS hand move like lightning and sometimes it’s slow but assured of action. It’s my belief in “The Only God” which has allowed me to be forgiving, kind and compassionate, because He strengthens me — of my own flesh I am helpless and weak, and HE’s the reason why I’m able to forgive those who are so mean on these threads. There are those who are so mean, that they can’t find it in their hearts to celebrate and be happy for another fan when their player wins or is complimented. Stone cold hearts.

Please do me and yourself a favour and refrain from confusing me with your ideological beliefs.

You have really crossed the line with me this time and there really is no excuse for this.


Von Says:

tenisbebe:

Yes, I’m watching and I’m so happy for Mardy!! That Chardy is beginning to impress me somewhat. I’m waiting for TC to show the Bryans’ match and I hope they win too. Tennis in the US has dropped to an all time low, but the few guys and gals we have are doing their utmost to keep our flag a flyin’. Go Fish is right. They are on the beach there and a lot of fish to catch. Mardy is the epitome of a beach guy. Take a look at his shoes and socks. Funny!

As I stated previously, I’m happy that DelRay finals is tomorrow, this way Djoko can have this day all to himself.


jane Says:

Von,

Hopefully Fish will break “the curse” as they say at the ATP site, and yes I know you’re a patriotic gal and so want your guys to keep to their winning ways – fair enough. I have to “adopt” players as we Canucks produce mainly hockey players, and some decent actors too.

Fish always does well at this time of year hey? I wonder if he’ll excell at IW again?

Thanks for the good words about Djoko, too.


Von Says:

jane:

You’re welcome on Djoko. You Canucks have good Ice Hockey teams. I used to be an avid ice hockey fan, rooting for the NY Rangers and NY Islanders, and was a regular visit to Madison Square Garden and the Coliseum on Long Island. However, since I moved to Florida and we don’t have much in the way of ice hockey to root for, it’s mainly tennis now for me. I also love ice skating and your Salle and Peltier won the olympic gold a few years ago. You also have Lausanne and her husband, whose name escapes me, Lynn Summers (very pretty) Brian Orser and Kurt Browning. Of course, we have Scott Hamilton, Boitano, buttons, Hammill and Fleming. I’m being a bit of a show off here, just kdding around. No smileys yet.

Our Bryans are not playing well at all. They lost the first set to Butorac. I wonder what Jamie Murray is doing thse days since parting company with Butorac. Maybe margot knows. Calling Margot.
____________
tenisbebe:

The title sweep at DelRay doesn’t look good at the moment.


tenisbebe Says:

Already saw the match so I won’t tell. Am watching the Almagro/Monfils final match – this should be good!!!


Von Says:

Ok, don’t tell, we won, I mean the Bryans won. What an exciting doubles match. Usually, unless it’s the top 4 teams playing, doubles could be boring, but this match wan’t.

I’ll be watching Acapulco at midnight on the Tennis Channel. I prefer TV to live streaming even though it means waiting. What can I sat, I love being a couch potato.


Von Says:

Monfils played very well in the SF. If he should win this title, which I’m hoping he does, it will be his first title for this year, but also in a loooong time.


Big Jim Briggs Says:

Monfils will smash Almagro!!!!!


tenisbebe Says:

ATTN: PLEASE DON’T POST THE ALMAGRO/MONFILS SCORE
for awhile so Von can watch at midnight est (45 mns away) and enjoy the match.


tenisbebe Says:

OMG – that is NOT runners up trophy, is it? That’s the size of a trophy I get for winning a club tournament. LOL.


tenisbebe Says:

And what is the significance of the Giant Pear winners trophy?


anon Says:

wtf? Chomsky has absolutely nothing to do with what Andy Roddick did. Roddick stood up for a player who was discriminated against, he felt that was wrong and made a quiet protest. Religion, middle east politics, USA foreign policy, ad nauseum, had nothing to do with his decision.

Go peddle your anti-American garbage somewhere else. This is a tennis website not a political one.


tenisbebe Says:

anon – you’re about 3 days late for this discussion.


Von Says:

tenisbebe:

Thank you for your thoughtfulness re Acapulco match. I wanted Monfils to wins. Poor guy, he has won only one (1) title and gotten to 6 finals. I had hoped he would make it two (2) today.

Yeah, what’s with the little 5″x7″ plaque for the runner-up? They could have done better. And I also wanted to know why the pear? I would like to see more masculine type trophies for the men. The vases are a bit effeminate and too many tournaments are pedaling them. How about some trophies similar to Dubai’s. The wood base and metal carving adds a nice touch and it looks substantial — a man’s trophy that draws attention when it’s on display and looks good in the study or on the fireplace mantle. I vote the tournaments get rid of the vases altogether, along with the second place serving trays. Hors d’ouvres anyone?


margot Says:

Good morning Von. Jamie Murray is having an awful start to the season! He looks really off form. He has been dropped from the Davis cup team too. Andy’s been told to rest for at least ten days. Not a good time.


Von Says:

I’m looking forward to DelRay tomorrow and hope to see Mardy and the Bryans as the winners.

BTW, Venus Williams won the WTA Acapulco tournament. Good job Venus Williams.


Von Says:

Margot:

Good night for me or very early am. I suppose GMT it’s around 10:00 am for you. I had a few hours sleep earlier on this afternoon and have until 2:00 pm tomorrow to sleep. Thank God for Sundays!

Oh no, poor Andy M. He must have a very potent strain of a virus. Wow, that’s going to weaken him big time. Indian Wells is just about 2 weeks away and he won’t be able to practise and keep up his fitness if he has to rest. This is probabaly very frustrating for him. He could lie on the Beach in Miami, but we’ve had on e of the coldest winters in 7 years, which means he’ll have to remain indoors. But, rest he must, or else he’ll have a few relapses if he doesn’t. I could cry! This year seems to mirror ’07 when he had that bad problem with his wrist.

Too bad about Jamie, but he had such a good doubles partner in Butorac and dropped him like a hot potato. He didn’t even tell Eric to his face but had his agent call him with the bad news. See, one never knows how good they have it, until it’s gone. Eric (he’s American BTW) has won 5 tournaments with five (5) different partners this year and he played a very tough match at Del Ray. Had his partner, Soares, been a more accomplished player, I think they would have beaten the Bryans. Whenever Eric wins, I always count it as an American victory, even though his partners aren’t American. Aren’t I greedy? I would take even a one-half doubles win for us. (smiley here).

What’s with John Lloyd? Why didn’t he allow Rusedski to play for the UK? It’s not like they have a contingent similar to France or Spain where they could pick and choose. They need every player. Alex Bogdanovich (sp) what’s going on with him. Any hopes there. I see that girl Keothavong (sp) has a brother James, who’s an umpire also. All in the family. My favourites have always been Tim Henman and Virginia Wade, even though she was way before my time, but as a five year-old kid I saw her at Wimby — it was the last time she played and her statuesque figure has left a permanent picture in my memory.

Good night Margot (I like to think it’s still night). I’ll expect my answers tomorrow. tah, tah.


grendel Says:

Noel

No, I rather agree with you about Roddick. Because although he does, like most players, indulge in gamesmanship from time to time, he does it in a curiously innocent way, which a)renders him rather likeable and b) perhaps does him more harm than good, for the reasons you say.

I’ve always thought Roddick POTENTIALLY a very dangerous player. i.e. when not passively marooned in becalmed waters as, puzzlingly, he is from time to time. Despite Federer beating him onall those occasions, I’ve never just assumed he’s going to win. And despite the ignorant comments of certain people anxious to disparage Federer’s record, neither, I am convinced, has Federer. He always knows the danger of Roddick, and prepares carefully for him, always aware that an upset is just around the corner. It is true, the h2h gives Federer confidence, but that’s not the whole story.

I am assuming that for Wimbledon and the US, Roddick is up there as one of the absolute favourites – assuming good health and form. Another “oldie” in with a chance? My son has espoused the – one would have thought somewhat doubtful – theory that Safin believes he has one more tournament win in him. And he’s saving that for the big occasion. Safin holding up the championship trophy again in New York? Now that would be an occasion for the tears to flow along with the champagne….. (actually, have never much liked champagne, an overated beverage…)


margot Says:

Hi Von! Nice sleep? I’m sorry to say I don’t think Andy M. will be playing at Indian Wells-those ankle problems wont help. I thought he looked really lethargic at the AO and now I know why. No excuses were given though, all credit to him.
I didn’t know Jamie Murray had behaved like that to Butorac, I’d assumed the split was mutual. Well, he certainly hasn’t done very well since, poetic justice you could call it. He partnered Hutchins in the Davis cup and they lost, mainly down to him.
I’m on John Lloyd’s side re Rusedski. Greg’s 35,36,retired over a year ago and has had no tournament play since. He tried to get wild cards at a couple of events and failed. Andy Murray was also quite outspoken in not wanting him back and I think Lloyd probably listens to Andy!
I also reckon recalling him would’ve seriously undermined the young team too. Bogdanovich is out, I think, he’s choked too often.
Honestly..the state of British men’s tennis is beyond belief, down to the class system probably. I can only gaze across the channel at the strength and depth of French and Spanish tennis and turn a very unbecoming shade of green..
Grendel, you disappoint! Champagne is just the best drink ever! Shall we have an argument about that? Might be less incendiary than some…of course if there are French people on this blog, might not…
Talking of the French, any other Monfils fans out there? Didn’t see match, on at the wrong time, but he blooming well lost to someone I’ve barely heard of..AAAAAHHH


Djokovic Cleans Up in Dubai; Monfils Not the Man in Mexico Says:

[...] And the Lone Voice Against Dubai’s Tennis Travesty is…Andy Roddick? [...]


Noel Says:

Grendel,
I am amazed how similar our views are on Rod’s threat. I have always gotten the feeling that Fed is very aware of the threat posed by players like Rod/Safin/Berdych etc. who have a big game. Rod stands out there because he has such a deadly serve.I am hard pressed to recall if I have seen any player who can serve such bombs and still consistently maintain a first serve percentage at just under 70%. In the Memphis sf I talked about,Hewitt was playing very well and returning well although not as well as he used to in his glory days. He was as good a returner as I have ever seen and still is better than most. You could occasionally see that hapless sort of look even on Hewitt’s face whenever Rod came out of a tricky situation with a bomb. Rod himself returned very well-an aspect of his game which is hugely underrated even now- although Hewitt’s serve got progressively worse as the match went on.I talk about this because I really wanted to see where Hewitt’s return game in particular was. He had just beaten Pete in an exho and Pete’s comments were slightly surprising. Apparently,Pete served very well and yet was broken in both sets. He said he was surprised by Hewitt’s intensity as if he expected Hewitt to take it a bit easy given that it was an exho. Hewitt was fabulous in the first set vs Rod and I got the feeling that he might potentially be another ‘oldie’ who could make a comeback so to speak. When a player can handle the serve of Pete and Rod on reasonably quick surfaces,he has to be in decent shape. Sorry for digressing…

Fed has himself confessed quite a few times that he always gets a bit nervous whenever he plays guys like Rod or Safin. I also never assume anything in these matches although Marat has become slightly more predictable of late. The h-2-h may or may not give Fed much confidence before a match with Rod but I certainly don’t get any. That h-2-h is SO misleading and unfair to Rod as far as their rivalry is concerned. It just doesn’t represent how well Rod has played in many of those matches. Fed has had to play incredibly well to subdue Rod in many matches. Somehow,Fed got the rub of the green,as it were,in many of the close encounters and won the crucial points on most occasions. I also agree that he is always a big favourite at Wimby and USO -esp the latter- provided he is healthy and in form. He may have slipped up somewhat at wimby recently but he almost always plays very well at the USO. It takes a very good performance by someone for him to be beaten at the USO. I’d like him to win the wimby and/or the USO if only to see him rewarded for the hard work he puts in and the positive attitude he retains despite the heart-breaking disappointments in the past.

He beat Fed,Rafa and Nole last year and I will never count him out on the quicker surfaces. I think Stefanki is just the kind of person Rod needs. Rod’s work ethic and attitude are excellent and I expect him to do really well in IW and Miami. He is also very comfortable in a best of five format although he is more likely to beat the top guns in the shorter format.

I don’t share your son’s optimism w.r.t. Marat though. I also would have thought that he’d root for Verdasco at the USO esp after that incredible OZ open run. I know you can’t predict anything about Safin but I have almost given up on him simply because he hasn’t moved on with the changing times. The game is on an entrely different level today and you have to keep running just to stay in the same place. He just hasn’t improved at all compared to a Rod for instance. His game hasn’t gone anywhere over the last several years although he can still be a handful on a really good day. He is good for the occasional upset but winning seven best-of-five matches in a tourney appears a stretch now even for a player as talented as the likeable Russian. I’d love him to win a big one because he was my fave before the aesthetics of Fed’s game compelled me to switch my loyalties although I was very happy for him when he won that 2005 oz open. Unfortunately,he hasn’t done anything since then to inspire any confidence.


grendel Says:

Noel
Oh, yes, Verdasco’s the man alright, so far as my son is concerned. Everything is looking very bright. But Safin is an old favourite, and I reckon there is a degree of wishful thinking. Trouble is, after 2005 AO which you mention, injury -which Marat had courageously put behind him – reclaimed him. My hope is that in this, his final year, he can relax, pick his moment, forget his troubles, roll back the years, and once more, one final time, show the world what the great Safin can be. Remember, at Wimbledon, he swept Djokovic aside – plainly overawed him such is his charisma – and imo outplayed Federer from the back of the court for large stretches of the semi(luckily for Federer, the serve was working on that occasion). As a matter of fact, Federer did not look good in that semi, and I awaited his match with Nadal with deep foreboding. I think Safin must take some of the credit for Federer’s struggling performance – after all, Fed had been playing very smoothly up to that point.


Von Says:

Margot:

Yes, did I ever get some nice sleep — I needed it. I’m as contented as a Cheshire cat. I couldn’t wake up for the DelRay match, which turned out fine, because when I did, I found out there was a rain delay, and was able to see the entire match live as opposed to tape.

Thanks for the update on British Tennis. I try to keep abreast of what’s happening in my mother country, even though I’m now an American.

I’m so sad about the player problems the LTA is encountering. I couldn’t help thinking how much of a waste of money Bogdanovich was. He never showed much potential even under Gilbert’s tutelage.

I’ll defer to your judgment on the Lloyd/Rusedski saga, since you’re there and know first-hand what’s happening. What players are on the DC team now that Andy cannot play and Jamie is ousted?

Yes, I’d say Jamie has had a lesson in poetic justice, and maybe a well-deserved one too.

I’m with you — I love the bubbly. A nice glass of Dom Perignon or Crystal and I’m in heaven. Don’t like the fish eggs though.

I was very disappointed with the Monfils match. I stayed up late to watch it and was so very shocked to see him so lethargic. I have a feeling the heat finally got to him.

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