Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Federer, Brits Hit Skids
by Staff | March 3rd, 2009, 3:33 pm
  • 129 Comments

Who’s Got the Funk…

1. Novak DJOKOVIC
Cleans up the cash and ranking points in Dubai after all the stars drop out.


2. Mardy FISH
Overcomes final yips to beat Russian qualifier Evgeny “Anna Kournikova is my cousin — no joke — so hope I can someday win a title” Korolev in the ATP Delray Beach final.

3. Nicolas ALMAGRO
Cleaning up dirt titles down in Mexico, enjoying the week in Acapulco.

4. WTA MEXICAN SWING
The WTA implements a nice “break” in the calendar with two small Mexican claycourt events where players can either play or rest-up for the IW-Miami swing.

5. Boris BECKER
41-year-old Lonely Boris, fresh off the break-up of an engagement with his former manager’s daughter, announces he will marry hot African-Dutch 30-year-old model Lilly Kerssenberg.

…Who’s in the Trunk

5. Fernando GONZALEZ
Gonzo forced to pull from Chilean Davis Cup with back injury.

4. Sean RANDALL
Tennis-X blogger ranks on Djokovic after winning Dubai, feels the wrath of commenters.

3. Roger FEDERER
Sells out U.S. Davis Cup tie then pulls out with back injury (which X-blogger Sean Randall says is fake).

2. WTA Tour
Fines Dubai event $300K for dissing Israel’s Shahar Peer. That’s how much they paid to fill up their SUV fleet last weekend.

1. Andy MURRAY
All the hubbub over who will play No. 2 with Murray vs. the Ukraine in Davis Cup, then Murray is forced to pull out with illness. Now does Brit D-Cup captain John Lloyd regret telling Greg Rusedski to get lost?


Also Check Out:
Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Murray Funky, Federer Not
Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Murray, Rafa, Kim-tastic
Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Serena’s Trunk has Trophy Junk
Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Fed Sits, McEnroe Kicks Ass
Doha Big Money, Oh Kei: Tennis-X Funk/Trunk

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129 Comments for Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Federer, Brits Hit Skids

Von Says:

“4. Sean RANDALL
Tennis-X blogger ranks on Djokovic after winning Dubai, feels the wrath of commenters.”

Oh my God, Sean you really did it this time! You’re going to get crucified. Everybody and his brother will be coming at you from all angles. I hope you have on some armour. Ha, ha. This is so very, very funny, I can’t contain myself.


gordon Says:

What about Roddick? He won third class tournament and no trach talk againt him? Is this because he is American and his shit does not stink?!


ladyjulia Says:

“4. Sean RANDALL
Tennis-X blogger ranks on Djokovic after winning Dubai, feels the wrath of commenters.”

LOL!!! Is that why you put him on No.1 for “Who has the Funk?”


Duro Says:

He deserved the every laugh possible and got slapped for his comments proving that he has so much to learn. And he’s giving advices to Novak… No professional should make such a mistake as Sean did. Sean, see the Steve Tignor article and learn what it’s like to be professional, objective, impartial, clever, systematic and thorough in someone’s analysis. Novak Djokovic is a pearl of the tennis game, and your hatred is excluding you from the circle of serious reporters whose article are respected and have certain level of needed value. 12 titles out of 18 finals, 1 GS title, 4 master titles, 1 muster cup title, Olympic bronze medalist and he is only 21! Wake up, man! Where are you! You are only writing articles and you suck! What did you achieve in your life and profession to underestimate someone so brilliant? This is just the slap you needed for the sake or your journalist profession. Hatred not allowed!


Sean Randall Says:

Ha. I noted my inclusion in the funk yesterday, but now it has its own blog post? Sheesh! I guess the editor here really does have a sense of humor.

As for my remarks, I stick by them and if I have to take on all comers, as usual I will.

Duro, you said: “12 titles out of 18 finals, 1 GS title, 4 master titles, 1 muster cup title, Olympic bronze medalist and he is only 21!” Yet you left out Novak’s 7 career retirements. Quite an effort for a 21-year-old!

I would also like to point to some of my harsher critiques on the “pearl of the tennis game”:
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-01-27/783.php
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2008-09-04/603.php
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2008-04-26/436.php

And a semi-positive post on Novak:
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2008-09-05/605.php


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

You’ve become extremely important!! I think this is so funny and yes, I agree, the editor has one heck of a sense of humor. Next you’ll be put in the Tower of London. Start counting the seconds and do some soul searching while awaiting your execution. I bet this thread wil be very popular. I’m sorry but I just can’t help laughing — this is sooooo verrrryyy funnnny. Maybe the tennis bullies guy will come up with one of his jewels. Ha, ha, ha. Kudos to the editor.


tek Says:

Slight error in the article. While the Mexico event in Acapulco is played on clay, the following event in Monterrey is on hard court.


jane Says:

Duro is right about the Steve Tignor article; it’s a smart write up (at Tennis.com).

Sean you often get in trouble with posters for your sarcastic style, something I like, but sometimes, imho, you’re a little too flippant.

I remember you got in trouble with some posters when you wrote off Fed’s loss in the exo with Murray earlier this year as meaningless, but others said it wasn’t played like an exo. Yet, if I am not mistaken, you hadn’t seen the exo coverage?

Or you got into trouble with posters for not doing research yet writing off the doping suspicions.

Or, in this case, I take issue with the fact that you didn’t even see all of the Djoko vs/ Simon match, none of the final, and likely none of the Cilic match, yet you declare Djokovic a “garbage man” without analyzing the quality of his tennis, his opponent’s tennis, nor the matches overall.

You’ve also been rather hard on the American tennis players at times.

Every writer has a style and, yes, a bias. That’s cool. But some analysis is also needed to balance things out.

For instance, let’s say that Federer wins the French Open this year, but he does so because someone takes out Rafa along the way (okay – I realize this involves some serious suspension of disbelief, but please humour me). Let’s say he ends up facing, oh, Monfils, your man, in the final. Does it mean Fed’s a garbage man because, say, Murray or Djoko knock out Rafa, and then lose their semi to Monfils, where Roger beats, say Davydenko in his semi? (This is assuming either Djoko or Murray were on Fed’s side, but lost, or pulled out with injury or whatever.)

This would be a similar situation to Novak’s wins in Rome and the Masters Cup, where, in the latter event, Fed & Murray cxld each other out, and in the former event, Step ousted Fed, JCF ousted Rafa, and Roddick had to retire. How can this be Novak’s fault or how can it dirty his titles and make him a “garbage collector”? It certainly shouldn’t.

You write as though Novak signed on for Dubai *knowing* he’d clean up, so to speak. How was he to know Fed, Rafa and Roddick would pull out, or that Murray might retire with a virus? In fact he had talked about a Murray vs. Djoko final as being a kind of “dream” final if they could both get there as they were the top two seeds. Clearly he wouldn’t of known any of this; he could only play who was across the net.

To call him a “garbage man” suggests that he KNEW his job would be to COLLECT GARBAGE. But – as is clear – he didn’t nor could he have. That’s just the way the draw played out. And anyhow, his opponents weren’t garbage.

You could think about it — at least a bit — before saying, “come on, I’ll take everyone on, yada yada, look at this other critical stuff I wrote about Novak, now come get me – like you’re Ali or something. Maybe Rourke in the Wrestler!

At the very least you might’ve picked a better ruling metaphor than garbage man.

Anyhow, I guess you’ll have some time in the trunk to mull things over, or you could always blow some smoke out the key-hole!! LOL.


tenisbebe Says:

gordon:

Memphis is an ATP500 level tournament, just like Dubai.


Danica Says:

Can I please somehow collect garbage worth $383K ?


Von Says:

Danica:

I don’t know what you mean, please explain. If you’re talking about what I see as the editor putting Sean in the trunk as funny, that’s all I’m laughing about — it’s like puting your kid in detention for something you feel he’s done that’s not nice. Look at the humor in the situation — it’s between Sean and his editor. It doesn’t mean that I feel Novak’s win is garbage, just like I don’t agree with Gordon’s post about Roddick.

Many Djoko fans are not happy about this article, but what about when Sean wrote “Roddick was stinking up Wimbledon” when he lost to Tipsy in the second round? Was that OK? No, but Roddick fans had to swallow it. Vedry few spoke up. I think that was waaay worse because Andy was injured at the time and that statement was undeserved.

I suppose you agree with Gordon’s statement lashing out at Roddick for a matter he’s not remotely connected with, do you?


Von Says:

Daniac;

I am so sorry, your post was on the other thread and somehow my eyes saw it on the $383K garbage post. I just saw the other post about “Bad Gilbert’s son”. Please forgive the oversight. FYI I meant to say ‘Bad Brad Gilbert’s son” but left out the Brad. I think I should stop posting, my eyes are not focusing. I hope you understand the mix-up.


jane Says:

Von, I might be wrong, but I think Danica was making a dig at the title of Sean’s article (for which he’s been chastised and put in the trunk, as it were) – i.e., I think Danica is asking how Novak can be a “garbage” collector, if he collected $383K, and if that is really garbage collecting, then can Danica or I sign up for that garbage collecting job!?


Von Says:

jane:

I know you’re offended, but don’t you remember when Andy got injured and lost to Cilic, his first match after being laid up for close to two months, then lost to Nadal at Queens, and then the 2nd round at Wimby? What did Sean write: “Roddick is stinking up Wimbledon”. when I asked about this Sean, re-asserted that “Roddick was indeed stinking things up” and several agreed with him. Also, Sean didn’t believe Andy was still hurt at Wimby and Pat McEnroe confirmed this two months later at the USO that Andy was STILL struggling with his shoulder/back. At least, it’s not so bad for Djoko because not many are agreeing with Sean.

For what it’s worth, this is Sean’s style, and I suppose it’s what sets him apart from the other writers. We never know what he’ll write from one day to the next. Djoko and Roddick are NOT his favourite players. Be thankful you have many Djoko fans who are defending him.


Von Says:

jane:

I understand. I don’t know how I saw my name on her post as asking me that question. I think there was a post above hers with my name and my on it and my brain attached my name to her post. I’m embarrassed.


jane Says:

Yes Von – I do remember. Hence, in my post above, I included this line “You’ve also been rather hard on the American tennis players at times,” which was essentially an indirect reference to Sean’s post about the American players (if i recall correctly he included Blake in there) “stinking” on grass.

I also agree that’s it nice to see some of Djoko’s fans coming around to take a little swipe at Sean’s “garbage man” comment.

And I agree that his article is typical of Sean’s m.o. and writing style — however, that doesn’t mean that he can’t be a bit too flip or harsh at times. Esp, as you note, on Novak and Andy!!!


Twocents Says:

I like Sean’s writings much more than Tignor & Boodooo. That duo always kind of talk like they’re gods. But imho, they are really bandwagoners with no shame, and are very very biased most of the time against non-american players. It’s getting beyond ridiculous when Tignor lately singled out Fed not speaking out on Peer drama, conviniently forgetting that now is Nadal-era. Words and superlatives are second to contents, imho. Many writings of T & B are just plain bs wrapped in shining sheets. Sean’s writings are straight forward to the point and humorous.

Anyway, that’s just my view.

Of all Sean’s humors, the one I liked most was trading Decker with Mirka, LOL!

Jane, Sean’s not the first nor the only one call Djork “garbage collector”. Apart from all the facts you discussed above (which obviously was out of Djork’s control), people pointed out that Djork has never defended any of his titles. I don’t know if it’s true or not. But all people I saw used the term out of humor and fun, no real offense there. It’ll go away instantly the minute Djork wins a title from Nadal. I like his game. He’s not a bad kid either, just doing his share of growing up.

Von, Yeah, kudos to editor and Sean! Now I’ll try to post more here :-)).


jane Says:

I agree about Bodo Twocents, but I think Tignor’s is technically interesting and usually pretty balanced.

As I said above, I like sarcasm; I only wish that Sean would mix in a bit more analysis with his swipes.


jane Says:

I also agree Djokovic needs to prove himself more consistently, and I mentioned that under Sean’s first thread, and that he’s just growing up. Maybe he’ll hit his stride this year or next, or maybe never. Gotta wait and see I guess. The “Nadal-era” eh?


RG Says:

Hi jane:
I enjoyed the youtube link you sent on the other thread – between Novak and Ferrer. Thanks!


Von Says:

TwoCents:

You’re becoming smarter by the minute, by choosing to post here! (Smiley here)

I’m with you, and it’s the reason I post her, because I don’t like Bodo’s flowery English nor Tigor’s take on issues with respect to their writing style. Even though I’ve had some issues with Sean, I prefer his style, albeit at times, he could really dish it out, but at least he’s straight-forward. I don’t need to be grammatically challenged when blogging, and Tennis.X writers suit me just fine. They’re plain, simple and to the point, and sometimes more to the point than I would like, but hey, it’s either love them or leave them.

I’ve gotten accustomed to Mr. Randall’s slanted humor and Mr. Vach’s underhand compliments, and it’s the reason I post here. NB: Notice the handles: “Mr.” if you please.

Sean, for how long is your punishment supposed to last? You’re rather spunky, if I might add, about the whole thing. Carry on.

TwoCents: I’m holding you to your promise to post here more often so that H can laugh. Humor me.


Von Says:

Correction:

I’m holding you to your promise to post here more often so that H can laugh. Humor me.

s/b “so that I can laugh”.


tenisbebe Says:

Twocents & Jane:

I also agree that Tennis.com aka Tennis Magazine is a sterile, rah rah approach to tennis coverage. And also has a lopsided slant toward American player coverage (how times in the past have we seen articles on the Wms sisters when they haven’t played for months?), however Chrissy is the editor so am not totally surprised. Given that, thought the Tignor article was very well written, an “inside the players head” piece.

Von:
Check out this article:
http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2009/02/not-a-quitter.html


Twocents Says:

Jane, Tignor’s not as bad as Bodo. But he did get carried away a lot too on his own “insightfulness” and prejudice. No matter what Sean wrote, Djork is the one of three (Nadal & Safin) that beat TMF (Bodo’s old term) in slam since last time Texas had a big rain fall, and the only one who straight setted him outside clay!

Von, Now you really scare me :-)). Have fun at DC. It’s all USTA’s fault: how can Fed sell his $5k coffee machine, his Rolex, and his Mercedez SUV at a Alabama Birmingham? And I seriously doubt I can find reputable scalpers there!!!


Von Says:

tenisbeb:

Thank you for sharing that article with me. It was very good and made me feel proud of my little guy. He does have that litle brother fighting big brother side to his rants. TwoCents made mention of something similar that Andy learnt to hold his “water” meaning tears because he has big brothers. I’ll let Two Cents add the rest.
____________
TwoCents: Why am I scaring you? I agree, Fed can’t sell those expensive things at lowly Alabamy. No way. Put out an ad to the scalpers, with Decker’s swimsuit picture. You’ll get some bites.


tenisbebe Says:

Twocents Says:
“No matter what Sean wrote, Djork is the one of three (Nadal & Safin) that beat TMF (Bodo’s old term) in slam since last time Texas had a big rain fall, and the only one who straight setted him outside clay!
Isn’t it telling that we use a players win/loss record vs Federer in GS’s as a yardstick of said players greatness?


Sean Randall Says:

First, if someone can point me to this saintly Tignor article on Novak, I’ll actually take a look it. As I’ve said before I rarely if ever read other blogs, but I will reference a match report off a wire from time to time or point out an interesting feature story. I honestly, though, don’t think I’ve ever read anything of Tignor’s, so please enlighten me to what I’m missing (or not missing).

Jane, because of some of the phrases and slang I use I do tend to get in trouble, especially with people for whom English was not their first language, so I try a little (not a lot) to keep make my words suited for broadest audience when possible.

That said, I honestly stand 100% by those words. Of course I do get it wrong from time to time, but I call like I see it, and I will defend that belief as best I can.

Do I have bias? Absolutely. If you are looking for someone neutral or unbiased, sorry it’s not me. Maybe Tignor is your guy or Bodo, I have no idea. My job isn’t to be fair and balanced to everyone, it’s to offer my interpretation (important word here being “my”) on pro tennis. I’m just not Mr. Rah Rah. Sorry.

And that means i will take it out on guys I don’t particularly like. Which brings up…

So do I have a general dislike of Novak? Ah, yes, and I don’t hide it. I will say that I turned the corner on Novak a little after his win over Roddick at the Open if you recall, but his act against the same Andy at the Australian Open promptly put him back in my doghouse.

And with Novak, right now I see a guy with incredible talent, an incredible gift for the game but I also see someone with the inability to believe in himself and in his body. And it’s disappointing to see.

Again, regarding my “Garbage” comment was it really that bad? Was it worse than the other stories I’ve written on him and on his retirements (just wait ’till the US Open when he bids for the “retirement Slam”, I can’t wait! The champagne is already on ice!).

And the numbers don’t lie. In Novak’s last three titles has he beaten anyone ranked above him? And the guys that were ranked above him were either injured or withdrew. True, Novak beat the guys who showed up, but how come in recent tournaments when the big guys do show up he can’t win them? Just saying. If the guys above him post, he doesn’t win. When they are upset or skip the event, he collects. Really, no shame in that because no one else is doing it.

And Federer, Nadal and even Murray to some extent have shown they can consistently ball with the best. What’s Novak shown? He had a great run in Canada a few years ago, then beat a alleged mono-Fed in Australia, a tired Nadal at IW and Nadal again in Cincy the day after the Spaniard clinched No. 1. Roddick at the US Open was a tremendous win but to follow it up like he did in Melbourne was downright dreadful.

Novak’s lost his last five matches to Murray, Roger and Rafa as a group. And as I pointed out his best ranking wins since the US Open are two victories over No. 5 Davydenko in Shanghai.

That said, it will be very interesting to see Novak and Rafa play this weekend. I just hope it happens (more on that later).

Regarding the exos, true. I will continue to write off every single exo 100%. Count on it. You also talk about the drug suspicions we went over in a discussion a few weeks ago, where did I not do my research? Show me that post where it was proven I was wrong in any of it. I wasn’t.

As for Mickey Rourke’s Wrestler, that’s one I have to see. Thanks for the reminder.


Sean Randall Says:

Von, punished? No one actually punished me per se, just threw me in the trunk. Maybe having to deal with more criticism is my punishment.

And sorry, I still maintain Roddick stunk it up at Wimbledon last year.


jane Says:

Sean,

“but I also see someone with the inability to believe in himself and in his body. ”

Well, perhaps: it’s hard to know what goes on in a player’s head. Interestingly, Tignor’s article talks about just this issue. That’s what I mean; you could’ve offered a little more analysis of the Dubai matches and what you did or did not see from Novak before you took your swipe no? Tignor isn’t my favorite writer, but in this article he offers a balance of criticism, compliment, & analysis; here’s the link for you:

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2009/03/noles-frames-of.html

————————————–
“but how come in recent tournaments when the big guys do show up he can’t win them?”

But he has won Rome, where Rafa and Roger played, and the Masters Cup, where Roger and Murray played. But he didn’t have to play them precisely because the “big guys” didn’t show up in the FINALS! But, Novak did, and won both times. Sheesh. That’s my point.

________________________________________

“Novak’s lost his last five matches to Murray, Roger and Rafa. ”

Now – here’s a credible and valid statistic, and it’s one which should cause me and other Novak fans concern. When he DOES face these guys lately, he plays great matches, generally, but he losses on key points. As I noted on the other thread, under your garbage title, Novak lost to Murray in two tiebreaks at Cincy; played Fed fairly close at the USO, and had he taken that 3rd set, who knows; and lost a heart-breaker with a missed over-head smash against Rafa at the Olympics.

So – I think he can do it, but he needs to focus, work on making his serve a consistent weapon, and focus. Did I say focus?

But this is a valid criticism. Call him a garbage man isn’t imo, because he can’t beat who’s not across the net. And that’s it.

That he has beaten the big guns when he’s faced them lately is a separate issue, imo.

————————————
re: doping “where did I not do my research? ” I was only saying that you got in trouble with posters for that. I mean you were accused of it. I know very little on the topic, so could not say whether you did / did not do the research.

________________________________________________

Speaking of doping, yeah, you should see the Wrestler. It’s a touching film – and brutal too.


tenisbebe Says:

Sean:

If you’re interested, here’s the link to the article:

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2009/03/noles-frames-of.html

Great job. Night, night………


jane Says:

typo: “That he has beaten” should be “That he hasn’t beaten” (wishful thinking I guess…)


gordon Says:

To Von:
>I suppose you agree with Gordon’s statement lashing out at Roddick for a matter he’s not remotely connected with, do you?

Hi Von, you did not understand the reason for putting comments it the way how I did it. My intention was not to lash Roddick. I do not have anything against him. I went into extreme to show how biased are all comments against Djokovic. Is this because he is Serbian? I don’t know. But I will not be surprised if that is one of the reasons. On other side it is obvious that Sean has issues with him and he will continue to lash him on every opportunity. He is using him as a negative marketing material to create attention. Without controversial writing nobody will listen to him. We all know that we have very little knowledge of tennis. He is incapable to analyze the tennis match, but he is very good in criticizing and trash talk.
Going back to Rodick, I DO RESPECT his title and all congrats to him and his fans!
This incoming Davis cup match in Spain against Serbia, way will be on clay and in front of local crowd. It will be a miracle if Djokovic won. But believe me what ever happens it will be used as big ammunition against him.
If Novak is only pursuing his on carrier goal, he would not even show in the Spain. Indian Wells is way more important event for him because he needs to defend a title. This event will reduce his preparation time plus having clay matches before Indian Wells can only put him in out of balance.
Federer on the other side will not play on a Davis cup and this is not a first time for him. What will be reactions if Novak follows his steps? Nobody is either questioning Murray for polling out of Dubai and skipping a Davis cup.


gordon Says:

CORRECTION – Ignore previous posting!
To Von:
>I suppose you agree with Gordon’s statement lashing out at Roddick for a matter he’s not remotely connected with, do you?

Hi Von, you did not understand the reason for putting comments it the way how I did it. My intention was not to lash Roddick. I do not have anything against him. I went into extreme to show how biased are all comments against Djokovic. Is this because he is Serbian? I don’t know. But I will not be surprised if that is one of the reasons. On other side it is obvious that Sean has issues with him and he will continue to lash him on every opportunity. He is using him as a negative marketing material to create attention. Without controversial writing nobody will listen to him. We all know that HE HAS have very little knowledge of tennis. He is incapable to analyze the tennis match, but he is very good in criticizing and trash talk.
Going back to Rodick, I DO RESPECT his title and all congrats to him and his fans!
This incoming Davis cup match in Spain against Serbia, way will be on clay and in front of local crowd. It will be a miracle if Djokovic won. But believe me what ever happens it will be used as big ammunition against him.
If Novak is only pursuing his on carrier goal, he would not even show in the Spain. Indian Wells is way more important event for him because he needs to defend a title. This event will reduce his preparation time plus having clay matches before Indian Wells can only put him in out of balance.
Federer on the other side will not play on a Davis cup and this is not a first time for him. What will be reactions if Novak follows his steps? Nobody is either questioning Murray for polling out of Dubai and skipping a Davis cup.


Stephen Glass Says:

The garbage man comment was funny when it appeared on the tennis-x forum, as “garbage collector” a day before the article posted here.


Stephen Glass Says:

I don’t watch entire matches, read tennis blogs, and just cull random nonsense out of thin air in order to fill up blog space.
I could be your new Sean Randall but for less money.


jane Says:

gordon,

I agree with your comment that it’s unrealistic to *expect* Serbia to beat Spain on home clay, but that Sean nonetheless seems to expect Djokovic to be able do that – even though Federer has only beaten Rafa on clay ONCE in how many tries? And those were in “neutral” situations often with the crowd on Fed’s side. Murray has never beaten Rafa on clay. But yet, we’d expect Novak to do it? Come on. If he does, it’d be great; but if he doesn’t, THAT would be expected.

Second, I also agree that Djokovic is playing the Davis Cup event because he is a patriotic person; he knows he should be preparing for defending his IW title, but he has said he is proud to play for his country. I read it in his interview after the Dubai title. I hope for his sake he can get some rest in between.


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, thanks for the link, As promised I made time this AM to read Tignor’s article. It’s a fair story, well written, well detailed, etc. But it doesn’t want to make read anymore of Tignor’s stuff or tailor my posts like his.

Honestly, I don’t care about how Novak finishes up his forehand swing, be it a flick, a flop or a flake. That doesn’t interest me (Is he usually so technical? Too much!). But Tignor did remind me that Novak’s playing with a new racquet this year.

While I agree with most of Tignor’s points and analysis, i’m on the other side of the fence when Tignor says “For one, Djokovic proved to himself that he could win with his new racquet.” No it doesn’t. In my mind and likely Novak’s too he needs to beat Roger, Rafa and the two Andys to prove to himself he can win with this racquet.

On a side note, let me ask you or anyone else this, has a player who’s been in a legitimate position to get to No. 1 as Novak is, ever switched racquet manufacturers during the off season? I can’t think of a single guy, and there’s good reason, because you don’t do it. But Novak did. Why? My guess is bad advice from his handlers. Follow the money and follow the money he did, because there is no toher reason to make the change especially when he had just won the Masters Cup.

Again, more evidence that the people around him – more than likely “yes men” – are not helping his cause.

Back to the Ferrer match. As you know I didn’t watch it or really pay much attention to it because in my mind there’s wasn’t much of a story there. Ferrer’s a good player though probably off his peak level of a few years back, but Novak’s superior in just about every facet of the game. And in a best-of-3 on a faster hardcourt Novak’s beating Ferrer nine times out of ten. So for me looking at the final, the matchup wasn’t of much interest, it was business as usual and it turned out to be just that.

Now had the match been on clay as we may see this weekend or perhaps a best-of-five format at a Slam then it becomes much more appealing to me.

Jane, you mention Rome again. Did you take a second look at his path to the title?? He beat Darcis, Andreev (good win on clay) then received consecutive retirements from Almagro and Stepanek before beating Wawrinka in the final. He beat no players in the Top 20 to win a TMS – I wonder if that’s ever happened before, just like a player not beating a Top 4 guy to win the Masters Cup.

Regarding the upcoming Spain/Serbia tie, no I don’t think Novak will beat Rafa on clay. In that situation no one can so there’s no shame in losing to Rafa. But it will probably be the marquee match of the weekend if it comes to pass. If it’s on I’ll be watching that one.


Sean Randall Says:

Regarding Murray, if I had to bet I’d say he’s not going to play IW. Too bad, but if he was sick in Australia and is worse now, being fit in 10 days for IW is a real longshot.


jane Says:

Sean, you must know I am fully aware of Novak’s path to his titles. But again, he can only play who’s there. It’s not his fault the “big guys” crapped out at that event, or others retired.

At the MS 07 event in Canada, the highest ranked player that Roger faced before meeting Djokovic in the final was #21 and dropping (Hewittt); meanwhile Novak went through Roddick (#3) and Nadal (#2).

At the MS 07 Madrid event, Fed faced #72, #14, #42, #112, and then #25 (Nalby) in the final, to whom he lost. Had he won that Canas, a freak #14 in many ways, would’ve been the only top 20 played he’d've beaten.

At the MS event n 2006 in Canada, Fed faced #36, #33, #27, #41, #16 (Gonzo), #51 to win the title – so the only top 20 player was Gonzo.

To win the Cincy MS in 2005, the ONLY play ranked above #34 that Roger had to beat for the title was Roddick #5 in the title.

My point stands – played can ONLY beat who’s across the net from them. And if they get a title – good on them!!


jane Says:

Sorry for all the typos – “Roddick #5 in the title.” s/d in the “final” and ” played can ONLY beat” s/b “players”.


jane Says:

Sean,

“has a player who’s been in a legitimate position to get to No. 1 as Novak is, ever switched racquet manufacturers during the off season?”

I do know that many have switched racquet brands from the same manufacturer. A quick google searched showed this:

http://www.amersports.com/media/news/view/top_players_switch_to_new_wilson-k-factor_rackets_at_australian_open.html

AND the Bryans, Davydenko, Sharapova, and Jankovic all switched to Prince from their previous racquet manufacturer; the Bryans did so last year, after playing with their previous brand for 25 years. Here’s the link.

http://www.onthebaseline.com/2008/08/11/prince-03-racquets-lead-to-ranking-improvements/

So. Yes, is the short answer to your question.


Sean Randall Says:

As I said before, true, Novak can only play who he faces, but why is that he only wins when he doesn’t run into the guys above him? When the top guys do show up he doesn’t come away with the title. At least that’s how it’s been the last 6-9 months, even longer.

Regarding Novak’s title runs, his march to victory in Canada was incredible, but in my mind he’s yet to put together such a performance since.

Based on your findings, the question still remains, has a player ever won a TMS event w/o defeating a Top 20 player? I’d have to think Novak can’t be the only guy, but who knows.

Regarding racquet changes, there’s a big difference in changing manufacturers vs. just changing frames from the same company. It’s probably not that uncommon that when top players do switch models they actually stay with their old model but apply a the new model’s paint job.

So while the Bryans I believe did make a company change (from Wilson to Prince) I think Maria has always been with Prince. I’m not sure on Jelena and Dayvdenko.


jane Says:

“why is that he only wins when he doesn’t run into the guys above him?”

Umm, they’re above him, hence maybe better or more experienced? It does follow logically that a player is much more likely to lose to who is above him than to those below him no? As for Djoko and Murray, Djoko still has a 4-2 H2H and has lost only the last 4 sets (2 matches) they’ve played – and 3 of those sets went to tiebreaks. So the jury is still out on their rivalry.

As for Djoko against Nadal and Fed, they still have the upper hand, hence they’re number 1 & 2. We’ll just have to wait and see if Novak can puncture that barrier, but given that he’s wrestled his way to #3 and won a slam in the process, beating Fed in straight sets to do so, I think he’s doing okay. People like to slag on him a lot because he shows his weaknesses more, and maybe that’s fair. But he’s shown plenty of strength along the way too – only he came along to really break up the Fed / Rafa party.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘why is that he only wins when he doesn’t run into the guys above him? When the top guys do show up he doesn’t come away with the title. At least that’s how it’s been the last 6-9 months, even longer.’

Sean, yes, that has been the case in last 10 months of so. At IW last year he beat Nadal and since then he has posted just 1 win over Rafa/Roger/Murray.

BUT, he is still #3 in world and beating the rest of the field. So if he is the ‘garbage man’, then are you implying that the rest of the guys are ‘the garbage’? if so, then Rafa should be the ‘kind of the garbage’ and Roger will be the ‘greatest of the garbage’???? feel free to criticize a player…but dissing the quality of his achievement, however small it may be, kind of lowers the other players in the process too. I do object to that because I really think ATP has great depth right now in terms of talent…and seriously, he won Dubai beating some good guys…not some Futures event in serbia beating his younger siblings.


tennisontherocks Says:

typo: ‘king’ instead of ‘kind’…
sorry, I need more coffee :)


jane Says:

Sean,

The other thing is this – look at how long Nadal was at number 2 before he got number 1?! AND given that Fed and Nadal – the two players who have a hold over Djokovic – are being bandied about as potentially the “greatest of all time” (silly innit?), no wonder he has a tough time moving up or beating them.

It’s not rocket science. That he even has the ambition to want to do so is commendable imo, when some others will simply concede.


jane Says:

tennisontherocks,

AMEN to this:

“but dissing the quality of his achievement, however small it may be, kind of lowers the other players in the process too. I do object to that because I really think ATP has great depth right now in terms of talent…and seriously, he won Dubai beating some good guys…not some Futures event in serbia beating his younger siblings.”

That’s what I have been trying to tell Sean but he keeps coming back to the same comment, which is similar, in its way, to dissing Fed’s accomplishments because of the “lack” of competition he faced to win his earlier slams (i.e., pre-Rafa) – that’s unfair to Fed and to his opponents, and I used Fed’s MS titles as an example above only to try to make the point clearer. To no avail.


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, again, all I’m saying is that when Fed/Nadal/Murray opt out of a tournament, Novak’s the guy (the “Garbage Guy” as i called him) to clean it up. That’s all. The evidence proves it.

And as I said there are a ton of players who would love to have Novak’s ability and be able to do that.

That said, are the other player garbage guys also? No. He just happens to be the cocky player who we thought would content for No. 1 but now as of late he can only seem to win when the big guys aren’t at their best or they pull out.

True, Novak’s in some tough company playing in an era of Roger and Rafa. And because of that he needs to stop retiring in matches, stop running his mouth and stop doing imitations otherwise he may never, ever get to No. 1 (personally I think he will someday).


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, regarding Fed’s competition I took my shot a few years back:
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2006-10-25/104.php


MMT Says:

Sean: You shouldn’t throw Bodo in the mix of the unbiased. His hack job on Nalbandian after the Davis Cup final is the single most unprofessional thing I’ve ever read on tennis, and I’ve been following the game for 30 years. He even admitted he had an axe to grind against ALL ARGENTINES because of some lingering bitterness towards two playes who plied their trade in tight shorts and with wood racquets (Vilas and Clerc).

Personally, I’ll never read anything that man writes again. As far as I’m concerned he’s hack and a clown.


MMT Says:

And I disagree with your assessment of the 2002-2006 era – if you compare it to say, 1978-1981, aside from McEnroe, no player on tour had any kind of success against Bjorn Borg, even though many of them were grand slam champions. But if they won in the past, and couldn’t find their way past Borg in that 5 year period (with the exception of McEnroe) I’d say that’s an argument against their eras, and not 2002-2006. That era included Safin, Hewitt, Agassi, a smidgen of Sampras and Nadal – total slams won by that group excluding Sampras: 18. Not bad.


Duro Says:

Sean, you actually enjoy yourself provoking so many comments on your article. This is the whole point of your profession, right! And that makes you a good reporter? Believe me it doesn’t, something else does. Well, I’m not falling to that and I’m not gonna feed you with that fuel anymore. I will answer you one more time and conclude our conversation. You should understand that a man of 21 is still growing! He was even a child last year! He is coming like a storm my friend, just wait and see! Fed is 28 practically, going down, Nadal can never stay so long on the top like he did, he is already worn down significantly (knees and joints), and Novak will explode, this is only a matter of time! His pure, noble talent and class, and the upcoming experience and strength (lets say, in the age of 23) will put him in the place where he belongs, number one, my friend! When did Fed become No 1? Novak is 21, what do you expect from him? He already won GS and other 11 titles (earlier than Fed did). About Murray, he is strong physically and smart player, good defender particularly, hard to gain point against, but not the class that Novak is ( no offend to Murray supporters). 7 retirements? If you mention me only one that was not due to his physical condition, I will accept it. If he retired because he didn’t have enough will to fight that would be the other case, but every retirement was because of the objective reasons, not the lack of will. I know about the every reason that he retired of and they justify him completely each and every time. You want me to enumerate all of them? Too much you will say, comparing to other players but that was the case. Something tells me that he will not retire in his life ever again, even if it means that he has to play on one foot, after your (I’m referring to the critics) bloodthirsty vulturing hunger for the fresh (dead) meat of one of the players in the end. But, this all the part of growing up, I guess. He learned his lessons early and on time. Just wait for him to adjust his new weapon (Head) and get used to the new hostile perentless environment and you will see him soon on the horseback aiming the number 1 spot! So long and just wait and see!


jane Says:

Sean,

“stop retiring in matches, stop running his mouth and stop doing imitations ”

Really Sean, aside from the retirement comment, and I am with you that he needs to tough it up more, he has stopped the other two “running his mouth” and “imitations”. He stopped the former, for the most part, after he won the AO when he realized the heat was on, so to speak (i.e., that he COULD actually do what he was saying he could do!). And, he stopped the imitations after the USO 07, almost entirely, after players like Fed and Rafa said they could be insulting.

I do think he has show signs of growing into himself and calming down, but he does need to show that physical leap. I also think he needs to keep adding to and improving his game (improve volleys!) if he wants to run with the wolves.


Sean Randall Says:

Duro, thanks. Can’t wait to see Novak on horseback. Well, second thought, maybe I can.

As for your comments:
“Sean, you actually enjoy yourself provoking so many comments on your article. This is the whole point of your profession, right!”
No, I don’t care about the “many comments”.

“And that makes you a good reporter?”
Whoever said I was a reporter? I’m not.

“He was even a child last year!”
Really? A child at 20? Maybe in your world.

“He is coming like a storm my friend, just wait and see!”
Hurricane Novak? Awesome. Should I get my window shutters now or wait until the summer?

“but every retirement was because of the objective reasons, not the lack of will.”
Really? Thanks for clarifying.

“I know about the every reason that he retired of and they justify him completely each and every time. You want me to enumerate all of them?”
Please not right now. Let’s wait until the next retirement then we’ll need that list.

“Something tells me that he will not retire in his life ever again”
Something tells me you are wrong. What else do you see in your crystal ball, Pete Sampras coming out of retirement to win the French Open.

Sorry to pick on you, honestly, but people were getting too serious round these parts.


Sean Randall Says:

MMT, I’m not going to get into that 2002-2006 debate right now. Regarding Bodo, I don’t read his blog either, I had no idea he was so biased as you say. I know he’s a big Sampras guy (I have his book, yet to read it though).

Jane, I guess what i meant by imitations (and yes, he has stopped them) is that he just tries way to hard, and it shows. I see him as the kid no one likes in class and then when given the opp he pleads with them to like him.

Regarding his volley, I don’t see them as a big issue (I know Tignor mentioned that). What Novak needs to do is prove himself again to the top players. My guess is he’s not that well respected by Fed, Rafa, Murray and Roddick. They won’t say it (well, I guess Roddick did), but that’s just my opinion.


Duro Says:

Jane, you are clever but not firm enough. Stick to it with more passion. Don’t give anyone any credit! He (the author) is against him. End of the story. You believe or you don’t, you support or you don’t, you are on the one side or on the other one! None is left but Novak Djoković to be the next No 1. Fed is history, Nadal will last for a while and who is the next? Sorry for the Murray supporters but it ain’t gonna be him! It takes class to do so. Only Novak besides Fed has it. Even Nadal (The Roadrunner) doesn’t (pure, genuine, noble class)! My compliments to your posts though.


Duro Says:

Dear Sean, you are passionate. Great! I told that I will not answer you again but you keep asking me things. If you were fair enough you would make your comments without asking anything. So, what I’m suppose to do? To answer, of course! Why are you repeating my words all the time, invent your one! Why are you evading the truth about you not interested in readers comments? Why are you offering links to your previous posts so generously if not? You want us to comment on it. This is tho whole truth. So you care a lot! Your job depends on it! The age of 20? Men are growing (in height) till 24! Nadal is completed, no more physical improvements, Fed especially, but Novak… He can only be better in every possible aspect regarding his physicus and play. Do you know why he’s coming like a storm? Because, it’s natural! He has it all, and he is so young, it’s just a matter of time, even you know that very well. About retirements, he will never retire again (even Nadal didn’t in Rotterdam, only because of the affair with Novak’s AO, but it was so stupid and pointless, can’t you see?) Novak is too smart, he will never repeat such a mistake, because it cost him too much thanks to you, vultures. One other thing, he is Serbian. Nothing in the whole world makes them achieve things like a spite! You just keep doing what you did before. Crystal ball? You can appraise the situation in the future and I can’t? I never told you that you are using the crystal ball for doing the same thing. But, maybe if you would, your comments wouldn’t suck so much. I told you before, hatred not allowed!


tennisontherocks Says:

MMT, you are spot on about Bodo…the guy is in love with his own writing and rambles on and on with some absurd theories thrown in just to provoke the message board.

I like Tignor’s posts as he is one of the few tennis writers that talk about ‘the game’- yeah, the boring stuff about forehands, backhands, stroke production, grips etc etc :) its actually useful for my own game, unlike the detailed psycho-analysis about why Roger cries.


jane Says:

Duro,

Thanks for the clever comment; you have enthusiasm to burn! I like Novak a lot too; he’s currently my favourite player, although I tend to like several players at once.

I am a fan of Tennis more so than of 1 particular player.

However, I can be objective enough to see flaws even in players and people I like, so I am not ashamed to voice that. I admire people who can see the world in a kind of black and white clarity, but I tend to skulk around in the grey areas most of the time.


jane Says:

BTW Duro – I agree with you that Novak is smart and learns quickly from his errors and/or from people’s criticisms.


jane Says:

Sean,

I don’t know about his insecurities or whatever; but I do know he got to number 3 in the world. I am not the judge and jury of Novak’s personality; to me, he seems like a fun kind of guy, good to have a drink with and then go dancing. Fed, he’s a dinner & wine guy. Rafa? Boats, fishing – island stuff. Roddick? Pizza, a movie, beer afterwards. Murray? Deep-fried food, maybe the pub & a rental.

They are all different. I like it that way.


ladyjulia Says:

Sean,

You are very funny!!!!!

“He was even a child last year!”
Really? A child at 20? Maybe in your world.

“He is coming like a storm my friend, just wait and see!”
Hurricane Novak? Awesome. Should I get my window shutters now or wait until the summer?

“but every retirement was because of the objective reasons, not the lack of will.”
Really? Thanks for clarifying.

LOL!!!!!!

I generally like Nole,but this exchange was really funny!


gordon Says:

Hi Jane, excellent comments


Von Says:

Gordon:

Thank you for the explanation. Don’t wory I’m OK with it, and I understand your point of view. Serbia probably won’t be able to beat Spain, especially in their country. The US tried but Spain’s crowd support coupled with playing them on their favorite surface, is a lot for any team to have to deal with. We beat them when they played here in the US but when it’s playing against them in their country the odds become stacked very high in their favor. If Novak doesn’t beat Nadal in DC it’s not a big deal due to all of the reasons I’ve mentioned. Goodluck to Serbia.


gordon Says:

So Sean, since you are not a reporter. What is your profession? Tell us more about yourself and what have you accomplished up to today in your life. Maybe we all can learn from your example.


jane Says:

Thanks gordon – hi yourself!


tek Says:

Going back to the racket changes issue, a young Monica Seles, having won the French Open, and ranked either 2 or 3 at the time, switched from a Prince to a Yonex right after Wimbledon. It didn’t seem to be the smartest move, as she, even after winning L.A., lost early in the U.S. Open to Linda Ferrando in a huge upset.


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

“Regarding racquet changes, there’s a big difference in changing manufacturers vs. just changing frames from the same company. It’s probably not that uncommon that when top players do switch models they actually stay with their old model but apply a the new model’s paint job.”

I read somewhere that Djokovic did exactly what you’re saying about the paint job. He changed companies but was still using his old racquets with the new company’s logo and paint job. Because of what I read, I didn’t get into the racquet change argument as the cause for his forehand to be off as some were suggesting. I think his forehand and his game was suffering due to his unpreparedness for the AO heat and some other stuff, e.g.,confidence, et al., but certainly not the “new” racquets per se.

“Jane, I guess what i meant by imitations (and yes, he has stopped them) is that he just tries way to hard, and it shows. I see him as the kid no one likes in class and then when given the opp he pleads with them to like him.”

I’ve mentioned previously he needs to lose the after the match net embraces and going overboard on applauding of his opponent’s shots. That stuff doesn’t come across to me as genuine, but as you state “he pleads with them to like him”. I think he desperately wants to be accepted and when he feels he’s not making much of a head-way he becomes angry and lashes out. He does this with the crowd to a large extent and I believe it’s one of the reasons he didn’t do well at the AO because the crowd’s reaction was uppermost in his mind.

He’s young and he’ll learn that acceptance is a very long road to travel and it takes a lot of time and patience in the process, but he’ll get there. experience is the best teacher.

“My guess is he’s not that well respected by Fed, Rafa, Murray and Roddick. They won’t say it (well, I guess Roddick did), but that’s just my opinion.”

I believe Fed has been the most vociferous with respect to his feelings on Djoko. He’s spoken up on Djoko’s retirements and most recently the AO debacle. There’s a bit of hostility and history between those two which would probably go away if, and when, Djoko begins to hold his tongue and let his racquet do the talking. I believe his blow-up in NYC hurt his image more than he’d ever imagined. At the time I mentioned to some of the posters who were applauding the situation that Djoko will have a lot of repercussions in the future, and I hope they’ll be around to help him. For every action there’s a reaction, and I firmly believe all of these things are what’s causing him to lose his focus.


tenisbebe Says:

All this talk about Novak being a foregone conclusion as a future #1, there currently being no one on the horizon to stop him (Murray has been dismissed as a possibility above), is not taking into account M. Jo Wilfred Tsonga. Since having lost in the final in Oz ’08(their 1st meeting), Tsonga has prevailed in their last 4 encounters, all on hard courts but Tsonga was raised on clay. Despite his trouble with injuries in the past, I would not write Tsonga off.


tenisbebe Says:

Von says:
“I read somewhere that Djokovic did exactly what you’re saying about the paint job. He changed companies but was still using his old racquets with the new company’s logo and paint job.”

Yes, I read it too but I say it in comments on the Tignor article. Here’s what he said:

“Actually, I’m not sure if he’s playing with a new racquet. During the Australian Open, a TV camera did a closeup of his racquet during a changeover. While you could see the Head painted strings and exterior, on the inside of the frame there were still the Wilson signs. He’s probably still playing with his old frames.”


jane Says:

Von says

“I’ve mentioned previously he needs to lose the after the match net embraces ”

He didn’t embrace anyone at Dubai. I think he’s lost these as well. He heeds criticism well.

tenisbebe,

i agree that Tsonga is a serious threat, but I also think Novak can beat him; I think he strategically saved his energy at Shanghai for instance, but I could be wrong. The Tsonga match didn’t count though, so…

Tsonga wasn’t around last year for either the French or Wimbledon, so he could be a major X-Factor this year at those slams. Actually i was wondering about this the other day; is he good on clay? Do you know?

Finally, I would be interested to read where you or Von read that about Novak using a painted racquet of his old brand. Since there seems to be a definite switch in his game I find that a bit hard to believe, but I know players have done it in the past….


tenisbebe Says:

“I think he strategically saved his energy at Shanghai for instance, but I could be wrong. The Tsonga match didn’t count though, so…”

Well, it counted in their H2H stats but was a RR match of course. As for strategically saving energy……….So you are saying that he tanked the match after he lost the 2nd set? I don’t know if that’s a good defense for losing given that he’d lost in Bangkok 1 month before & ATP Paris the week before vs Tsonga (and then again 2 weeks ago). Looks more like a pattern to me, but anything is possible I suppose.

Don’t know his record on clay but will look for it and be back.

As for the my source on the racquet issue, it was merely the comments of a poster that I quoted above….not a journalist. He didn’t mention which match in Oz so very difficult to look for it on replay. Let me know if you find confirmation elsewhere as will I. It’s interesting.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane:

“Tsonga wasn’t around last year for either the French or Wimbledon, so he could be a major X-Factor this year at those slams. Actually i was wondering about this the other day; is he good on clay? Do you know?”

His career W/L records are: CLAY: 4/3 GRASS: 5/2
So, not many matches on either compared to HC’s but who would have thought he’d have a better record on grass than clay??


Twocents Says:

Von,

“I’m holding you to your promise to post here more often ”

If this is not scary, I don’t know what is, Lady :-)).

MMT,

Amen on Bodo. The guy’s a good laughstock. It’s mind boggling to see his editor allow him to diminish their credibility like that. Good thing we have this internet-backed New Media which is a two way talking, as compared to the Old Media where media monopolied all public voices.

Jane,

Djork actually did imatation of Roddick again in Shanghai TMC07 (after USO07), before the arrival of Roddick. Hence, Roddick even confronted him at the round table press on that. But it’s really all in a funny and friendly way in general. I think he stopped that all together after he won AO08.

Sean,

You go too far guessing no respect for Djork from Fed/Nadal/Roddick. I think they do respect his game a lot. Fed,as late as AO 09,was saying he might still lose AO08 to Djork even if he was 100% in shape cuz Djork played so well. Big mouth as Fed is and good friend to Roddick, he of course made it clear that he didn’t like Djork’s retirement. But that’s not really, imo, disrespect. Djork is not kissing Fed’s $ss like Nadal and his uncle off court. But I think he respect Fed no less, professionally speaking.


jane Says:

tenisbebe,

Well frankly I am not surprised that Tsonga is better on grass than clay, given his hardcourt prowess. Usually good hardcourt skills translate more to grass than clay. That’s why I am not sure what to expect from Tsonga on clay this year; same goes for Murray.

Rafa, Fed and Novak have all proven they can play with expertise on all of the surfaces, having all reached the semis at slams or better on every surface; that’s what makes them pretty special in my books. Murray and Tsonga may join into that group, and possibly others too.

Thanks for the update on the racquet speculation; if I find something more official -and article or a replay- I’ll be inclined to believe it more than from just a poster. But it is interesting. I am sure Hewitt did that, probably many others.


jane Says:

Twocents,

I didn’t know about that; well, Andy is good at calling people out, in a good way. I think you’re right that post-AO 08 Djoko changed and buckled down.

I agree with your retort to Sean w.r.t. respect. I think the guys generally respect each other professionally, no matter what their personal differences. I’ve heard Roger say very commendable things about Djoko’s game, and the other way round as well. Same with Rafa: Djoko called Rafa possibly the best defensive player in history. And I know long before Murray made his transformation, Novak kept saying he should be at least top five with his talent, etc. Sean just has a hate on for Djok.


Ezorra Says:

I heard that Federer is currently in Dubai training with Cahill. If this is true, I think this is good for him.

(source: http://sports.theglobeandmail.com)


tenisbebe Says:

Yee Haw – this would be great for him. We’ll see.


Von Says:

jane:

I read about Djoko’s racquet close to 3 months ago and I don’t remember the exact sources. There were quite a few people writing on the topic.

“Sean just has a hate on for Djok.” I’d say some dislike but I won’t go so far as to call it hate, and his reference to the “respect” stuff is partly true.

Two Cents is right, Roddick did call Djoko on the imitation stuff at Shanghai ’07. Andy also told Djoko that he could order ten (10) pizzas during the time Djoko bounces the ball before serving. I think Djoko paid heed to that and he’s been making an effort to cut down.

I agree with tenisbebe, that there definitely is a pattern with Tsonga and Djoko. to me it looks like Tsonga’s got his number just like Murray’s got Fed’s. Match-ups are funny things. I also think Tsonga won his match fair and square and it wasn’t that Djoko was conserving energy. That’s like a put down for Tsonga to say Djoko saved his energy or he didn’t care to win. Each win in TMC RR gives them more points and $125K, so I don’t see how he wouldn’t care. I don’t think that’s fair to Tsonga and I’m sure if anyone stated the reverse with respect to Djoko you’d be angry.


tenisbebe Says:

Rafa’s out of DC I heard.


tenisbebe Says:

Trying to confirm it…..


jane Says:

Oh gosh, I didn’t mean it as a put down. I like Tsonga a ton and recognize his talent. He can be moody, but whatever. I meant only that Djoko knew the match didn’t “count” due to RR format – Tsonga was out anyway and Djoko was in the semis so maybe he didn’t give 110% as he would’ve if it meant he might be out. But maybe not. Just speculation on my part.

It’s very possible Tsonga may have Djoko’s number. We’ll see going forward.

I used the phrase “hate on” in a casual way; it’s slang for a kind of abuse. I didn’t mean it literally. Sean just doesn’t like Djoko, as he’s said, but he acknowledges Djoko’s talents etc. I recognize that.


jane Says:

Interesting news about Cahill – this could be just what Federer needs. The article implies it’s merely a “trial” thing at this place, so I guess it remains to be seen how much they’ll work together going forward. But another Ozzie to try to help out the Fed…


jane Says:

tenisbebe,

I just read a “skysports” article that said Rafa is good to go for DC. Here’s the link:

http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12110_5005873,00.html


Von Says:

I wonder why Verdasco isn’t playing? Poor Robredo he always plays the first round and get them to the QFs and then gets kicked out.


tenisbebe Says:

Sigh – I apologize for my “Rafa’s out of DC I heard.” post – I can’t confirm it so must just be a rumor – very sorry.


tenisbebe Says:

Von:

Verdasco has an injury to his right ankle – that’s why no Dubai or DC.


tenisbebe Says:

Von says:
“Andy also told Djoko that he could order ten (10) pizzas during the time Djoko bounces the ball before serving.”

Ha, ha, Andy is a crack up – surely he’s headed to the anchor booth after tennis. When did he say this? It had to be before USO ’08 Kids Day I would think after the video.


jane Says:

tenisbebe,

Von can confirm this, but I am pretty sure Andy has said he does not want to commentate post-playing. What a shame; he’d be a hoot, but also knowing, in his comments.

I didn’t know that about Verdasco; too bad as his year began so well. Wonder if he’ll be ready to go for IW.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane:

Thanks for the link to the Rafa article. Do you notice they frequently show photos of the players screaming? Same in the photo of Djoko on the pre-Dubai article. I suppose it’s to make the players look like they’re going into battle but personally I don’t care for it.

Yes, too bad about Nando. Hopefully he’ll be good for IW and Miami.


Tejuz Says:

well… I guess if we have the top 4 square off against each other, based on the form of last 6-7 months we would probably have the this ranking … No.1 Nadal, No.2 and 3(Either Fed or Murray) and last in that group would be Djokovic. And i guess thats what Sean is implying here, that Djokovic needs to prove that he can win titles by beating those 3 regularly. Murray has shown it before in last few tournaments… Nadal and Fed always shown it numerous times.


jane Says:

tenisbebe,

I am with ya! Those “screaming” photos make the players look slightly demented imo. Why not put one of them holding a trophy. That’d be more inspiring. Or just an action shot or whatever.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane:

Yes, yet one more thing I’ll change when I’m in charge of things. :>))


gordon Says:

Since I am not an expert in painting jobs here is a link for that people with x-ray view:
http://i39.tinypic.com/125p307.jpg
Novak played with KFactor KBlade Tour 93. The new variation of a prototype (since he played with multiple variations):
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=209166&page=2

But hell what do I know, tenis-x blogers knew way more since they are capable in mind reading, future prediction, character anomalies, requet molding analysis …


margot Says:

Can’t get to work-blizzard and yes this is the UK!!!
So: Duro, I respect you like Djoko but please don’t diss Murray in the process. Murray’s backhand aint pretty but it is one of the most effective in the game, look at the problems it gives Rafa. Also, hate to say this Jjoko fans but Murray looks meaner and keener. It must be all those deep fries, Jane…


Sean Randall Says:

Re: Novak’s racquet, he’s not using Wilson-made frame any more. He’s using a Head-made frame. Now head may have sculpted/molded a near-replica of his old Wilson frame but they wouldn’t have simply painted over the old Wilson frame to make it look like a head.


jane Says:

margot – a blizzard in the UK in March? Whoa. I agree, Murray has looked the better player this season, and the end of last; it’d be hard to argue against that based on results.


jane Says:

Ra – thanks for the link. Looks like it is a go, at least on a trial basis. I personally think this is a good decision for Fed. It’ll help him to have that extra support. Sappy as it sounds, people need people.


Xeroninus Says:

Okay, I’ll have to say something about Novak’s racquet. I saw it and I hold it in my hand… It’s definitely not the same one that he used before. The frame is different. It’s a bit wider in the lower part. That changes the shape of sweet spot a little bit. The “density” of graphite is also higher which gives him more power (not so easy to control)… Weight and head size are the same. Not sure about the balance though.

Sean Randall:

“Re: Novak’s racquet, he’s not using Wilson-made frame any more. He’s using a Head-made frame. Now head may have sculpted/molded a near-replica of his old Wilson frame but they wouldn’t have simply painted over the old Wilson frame to make it look like a head.”

His old wilson frame was actually a replica of head – made frame (Radical). So in a way, he was playing with head all this time. But the new one is really a new one.


tenisbebe Says:

Xeroninus:
Thanks for the confirmation – sounds like you had a firsthand look at said racquet so we can dispel the rumours.

Gordon says:
“Since I am not an expert in painting jobs here is a link for that people with x-ray view…..But hell what do I know, tenis-x blogers knew way more since they are capable in mind reading, future prediction, character anomalies, requet molding analysis …”

May I ask what the point is of this attempt at sarcasm? I made it clear that the comments I quoted were from a blogger – not a journalist. I believe one of purposes of a blog is to discuss things that we have heard/seem elsewhere to determine their validity so as we are not limited to information spoon-fed by the traditional media. Please keep this in mind before you think about dissing me again.


Danica Says:

Sorry, I wasn’t here for the last couple of days.

Von,
please, don’t feel embarassed ;). I made similar mistakes numerous times.

As for my opinion on insulting Roddick after the loss at Wimbledon, I can just assure you that I share your view. I didn’t read that article, I didn’t even know about it, but I would’ve surely felt bad. Losing and winning is part of the sport and insulting someone because he didn’t win or did win against “non elite” players is downright wrong. I am fine with people criticising, I am not fine with biased “reporting”.

Jane, you were correct. I was wondering wether my post would be understandable considering the fact that English is not my first, or even second language for that matter. But that was exactly what I meant.


Danica Says:

I don’t know about the racquet paint job, but I know that there was a shoe paint job for last year’s Wimbledon (not that it helped much anyway). Novak appeared to slip often on grass (Queens) wearing his Addidas shoes. As there was no time to prepare new shoes, he came in agreement with Addidas to wear a different brand of shoes but cover the wathever sign and name.


Von Says:

Danica:

Thanks for understanding the mix-up.


Posts about Delray Beach as of March 5, 2009 | Delray Mid Town Says:

[...] Wise during Kids’ Day at Delray Beach recently. Aren’t they cute? (Images via Yahoo Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Federer, Brits Hit Skids – tennis-x.com 03/03/2009 Who’s Got the Funk… 1. Novak DJOKOVIC Cleans up the cash and ranking [...]


andrea Says:

hmmm…djokokic and garbage in the same sentence. maybe the stars are starting to align?


Von Says:

I’ve seen Andrea make some way too ugly statements before, but this one is the pits and takes the cake. How could any human being be aligned with “garbage”? Why’re you so ugly Andrea? It sure beats me as to why you feel it’s so necessary to degrade other players save your own. You’re too much!! Something ugly is coming through to the surface. Geez, I’m nauseated.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane (& others):

FYI – Here’s a link to an audio interview w/ Djoko re: DC.

http://www.daviscup.com/news/newsarticle.asp?articleid=15685

Just scroll to the bottom of the page to “Interview with Novak Djokovic”


Von Says:

Sometimes it’s amazing how things seem to back fire. Last year the Spanish DC team made such a fuss about Madrid as the venue being chosen for the tie v. USA; that scene even cost Munoz his job and put Sanchez under some heat. Well, the team got to pick the location, and look what is happening. Maybe some sort of poetic justice?


tenisbebe Says:

Von:

It’s a shame if they have to play through Monday then flight out to CA for IW. The most you can say is that the players on Monday will all be equally disadvantaged ie: clay, less rest.


jane Says:

No kidding Von, re: andrea’s comment. What’s underlying that, I wonder!

Danica, this is a shame about the Spanish weather because IW is coming quickly and these guys need to get a bit of rest between.

I have a tough time seeing Novak defending his IW title, given that he’s coming from Europe, and a tie on an utterly different surface, plus he won Dubai before that. But who knows? Maybe he’ll be match grooved. Let’s hope!

———————————–

tenisbebe,

Thanks for the link! That was really thoughtful; listened to Rafa’s interview too. His English is getting better.


Von Says:

tenisbebe:

I feel very badly for the opposing team’s players, but my point is, regardless of how we mortals try to manipulate things to give us an advantage, sometimes it’s best to just leave things and let the force set the tone of things without our interference. The fuss the Spaniards made last year caused a huge amount of problems for a lot of people — some lost their jobs . Now an act of nature is forcing them to play under worse conditions than Madrid.

Yes, I agree, all of the players on both teams will be at an equal disadvantage at IW. I’m sure they’ll all be given a late start at IW so that should help. Additionally, all who played DC will be going to IW with very little or no preparation, which places them on an even keel.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane:

You’re welcome – thought it was a good interview w/ Djoko (and also Tipsy, I like Tipsy alot).

Does anyone know if they are going to show DC USA & Spain/Serbia via an online link? Many thanks.


Von Says:

tenisbebe:

I’m sure ESPN360.com, ADTHE.net, JustinTV and Tennischanel.com should have some live streaming for Davis Cup.


tenisbebe Says:

Von says:
“The fuss the Spaniards made last year caused a huge amount of problems for a lot of people — some lost their jobs . Now an act of nature is forcing them to play under worse conditions than Madrid.”

I wasn’t aware of the fuss so didn’t comment on that (now will have to look it up). Ironic, isn’t it?

FYI – There’s a WTA match from Mexico on channelsurfing.net b/w Panetta & Strycova (CZE).


Von Says:

tenisbebe:

Look up DC SF Spain v. USA controversy and you’lll see the nonsense that transpired.

ADTHE.net is showing Mexico also and they even show challenger matches for men and women. Look at their schedule after midnight and you’ll be able to find the DC matches.


tenisbebe Says:

Thanks Von – will do.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane says:
“I have a tough time seeing Novak defending his IW title, given that he’s coming from Europe, and a tie on an utterly different surface.”

If Djoko doesn’t go deep into IW due to Dubai/DC fatigue & the transfer to clay (imo, he is equally disadvantaged with Tipsy & the Spaniards ie: Nadal, Ferrer in this regard), then he could very well make up the points in Miami as he none to defend there. As you know, he won Miami in ’07 so it’s very possible. He just needs to stay away from those South Beach bars…….


Von Says:

tenisbebe: Here’s an article re the Madrid DC boycott by the spanish DC players.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/00979/davis_cup_1_979278c.jpg


jane Says:

tenisbebe,

Yeah, that’s right about Miami; so maybe it’s lucky he lost there early last year. But you’re right – no clubbing allowed! LOL.


jane Says:

Oh, and tenisbebe, if you like Tipsy, I just read a sweet article about him: the tennis player who read too much. Here’s the link:

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/sport/tennis/article_1462797.php/Tipsarevic_the_tennis_player_who_read_&quottoo_much%22__Feature__


tenisbebe Says:

Von:

Thanks – I looked & looked on Google to no avail so thanks for the link(s). Played around with it and it actually this:

http://www2.journalnow.com/content/2008/may/10/spains-davis-cup-players-upset-over-venue/

Muchas gracias!


gordon Says:

tenisbebe don’t worry you are not on my radar screen…


tenisbebe Says:

Great – thanks Gordon.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane:

Thanks for the link to the Tipsarovic article – just got a chance to read it. He’s one of a kind!


jane Says:

tenisbebe – I agree. They broke the mold with Tipsy!

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