Murray Meets Nadal in Indian Wells Title Bout
by Sean Randall | March 22nd, 2009, 4:18 pm
  • 53 Comments

At the start of this tournament I picked Rafael Nadal to win this Indian Wells Masters title. But having watched yesterday matches I’m struggling to maintain belief in that pick.

Saturday, we saw – at least I saw – the pattern of this event continue. Be it weather, be it focus, be it just the timing of the tournament, but players are winning not necessarily on their own merit but rather despite their own poor play or more often thanks to the failings of their opponents.

We certainly saw that when Murray upended Roger Federer for the fourth straight time Saturday. After Murray took the first set, Federer really raised his level to capture the second. But then in the third the once almost-unbeatable Swiss absolutely unraveled once again, all but handing Murray the win behind a flurry of miscues.

Federer’s final set performance was eerily reminiscent of his final set meltdown in that epic 5-set heart breaker to Rafa in Melbourne. Clearly, Fed’s lost some confidence against the top players when push comes to shove and that’s not a good sign for Roger who, based on what I’m seeing, may very well slip to No. 3 at some point this season.

And that’s because Murray’s coming on strong. I said if he was fit and playing to his level he would win. And while he did get a lot of help from Federer in that third set, he seemed to be striking the ball pretty crisply right from the get go.

A guy not striking the ball very yesterday, however, was Nadal. Even though he fought off a game Andy Roddick in a 6-4, 7-6 win, Nadal uncharacteristically sprayed balls all around the court. Wind or no wind, balls were flying long, wide, in the net, out of the stadium. You name it, Rafa was hitting it. So while Nadal did survive and advance, he certainly did not look like a guy ready to capture this crown.

So entering today’s final we have Murray, who’s been quietly and confidently going about his business, taken what’s been given to him, and Rafa, who’s virtually set the nozzle on his ground game to spray in recent matches.

Of the four potential final matchups we could see from the semifinal lineup, I think Nadal v. Murray is the toughest to pick. It’s the most even. Nadal has the 5-2 head-to-head lead, but since Murray’s really emerged in the last nine months the Scot’s won two straight over the World No. 1 (three if you throw in an early season exo win) including a victory in the Rotterdam finals indoors last month.

And right now I think Murray’s playing far better tennis. But if both play up to their levels, on this slow, grainy surface it’s Rafa’s match to lose.

In finals play, Nadal also has the edge. The Spaniard enjoys an exceptional 32-9 record in title bouts while Murray is no slouch himself at 10-5.

That said, I’ll begrudgingly stick with my pick and take Rafael to cut down on the errors, fight through the forecasted wind and somehow, someway down Murray. If, however, there’s any hint that’s Rafa’s not on his game, Murray’s going to take this match. But in the finals that I’ve seen how often does a healthy Rafa bring his “A” game? Answer: Almost always.

Vamos.


Also Check Out:
Andy Murray: The Courts At Indian Wells Are Very Slow, They’re Also Very Slow Here In Miami
To Rest His Knees, Rafael Nadal Might Not Play Indian Wells
Nadal Crushes Murray for Masters Indian Wells Title
Andy Murray Won’t Play Dubai In 2013, He’ll Focus On Indian Wells
Nadal, Djokovic Leads Seeds Today at Indian Wells

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53 Comments for Murray Meets Nadal in Indian Wells Title Bout

fedster Says:

Well…. I’m hoping Sean just did it for me by picking Rafa to win the title. I’m hopin for Sean’s jinxing to remain true to its form to down Rafa tomorrow. May Murray win again! Amen…


Yan Says:

Has this not started yet? Is it delayed?


Colin Says:

I haven’t been watching the women’s final but apparently it’s very windy. This may bother Murray more than Nadal. Andy likes to hit the ball deep, near the line, and may find it harder to be accurate. Rafa also hits deep, but his massive topspin will help to keep the ball in.
Fingers crossed for Murray, though!


Sean Randall Says:

Looks very, very windy!

If i had to pick I would think the wind helps Nadal. He’s the better mover, has more power to hit through the wind and he played in it yesterday. But I really don’t think the wind will impact the outcome.


jane Says:

Both Roddick and Nadal talked about the wind yesterday in their press conferences. Nadal simply explained that the solution to higher winds is to keep moving because you never know which way the ball might shift, so you have to keep moving in case it takes a strange shift or whatever. It kind of makes sense: more movement in the wind, more movement in the ball = more movement from the player to try to neutralize things. I am inclined to think the wind will bother Murray more too, but he’s a smart player and good mover too so we’ll see.


Sean Randall Says:

Well, Gimelslob says the wind favors Murray. Not sure if I agree with that assessment. But as I said, I don’t think it will factor in the end outcome.


Von Says:

Sean:

Koenig says the wind favors Nadal, just like it did yesterday in his match v. Roddick. What does Gimel know? Only how to TRY to get a date? He must have suffered mucho rejection in his teen years which has him in a perpetual state of fishing for compliments.

I’d say Nadal has a definite advantage today due to playing yesterday in the wind, and he is now shortening his shots, allowing the wind to assist him landing the ball deep. I do think even though this strategy would work for him it could somewhat wreak havoc with Nadal’s point construction to a small degree.


rose Says:

fantastic indian wells final!!!


jane Says:

It seems to me the wind is favoring Nadal, but Murray needs to let the paper incident go and not play into Rafa’s hands. He’s letting Rafa dictate a little too much imo.


jane Says:

OK Murray – you’ve made your point about the piece of paper – focus!


Von Says:

Oh my what a blow out for Andy M! Had he played in the wind yesterday he would have been able to adapt better today. Nadal has first-hand experience and is benefitting from that. I must say Andy R. did pretty well yesterday considering what’s happening to Andy M.


Sean Randall Says:

Surprisingly in the brutal wind Rafa has really cleaned up his errors.

Meanwhile Murray’s certainly lost some focus since the paper incident.

First set to Rafa. Match could still go Murray’s way but right now Rafa handling the conditions and the stage much, much better.


margot Says:

ooooo guys, had a really bad feel about this one, not looking good is it? Andy’s game is much more susceptible and he’s going on and on about that paper. Oh well, put it down to experience. Champers safeely unopened, I feel. Rafa in two?


Von Says:

margot: Don’t give up, things could turn around, but right now Nadal’s got the advantage of prior experience with the wind.


jane Says:

Don’t give up yet margot. Murray’s been know to drop a first set or two and still win. Let’s see what happens in the second set.

Pray for not floating debris though. LOL!


Von Says:

Nadal is in every one of Murray’s games and is working the points more, which makes holding for Murray that much more difficult.


Von Says:

The wind is nullifying one of Murray’s major weapons, his serve, just like it did to Roddick yesterday, and it is assisting Nadal’s serves. IW as a whole is not a server’s court. It’s unbelievable how atmospheric aberrations can produce such a seismic shift. Murray now seems to be on a precipice.


jane Says:

Murray is moody today. The wind and paper have thrown him off and he can’t find any rhythm serving, as you say Von.

One thing about Rafa; he rarely gets rattled. Nalbandian rattled him the other night and nearly took him out of the tournament. But then… oh well. We all know what happened.


grendel Says:

“I must say Andy R. did pretty well yesterday considering what’s happening to Andy M.” -Von. Ah, but Nadal does what he needs to do to win. It’s called conserving energy. The Nadal against Murray is a different creature to the Nadal against Roddick. Murray is a potent threat, and needs to be dealt with. Unfortunately, this is exactly what Nadal is doing. Nadal just will not be denied his claim to being overwhelmingly the best in the world – not for a good long time, anyway.

I admire him, and I hate him. He is without doubt extraordinary. I expect him to win the grand slam this year. If he can’t, by the way, I doubt if anybody ever will again.


jane Says:

Rafa really played within himself today, and as the commentators said, he dealt incredibly well with the wind.

Hopefully Murray will take away from this how important it is to stay focused. It wasn’t his day. margot, save the bubbly. You’ll be able to have it soon enough!

Congrats to Rafa’s fans for another win.


Von Says:

OK that does it. Today was not Murray’s day.

Congrats to Nadal and his fans on his IW win.
Ezorra, yabbadabbadoo to you!!!


jane Says:

grendel, I assume you mean the calendar slam? I almost said the same thing in my previous post. I was thinking “one wonders if this guy can do it – win all four in the same year?” And then I started to type “but I don’t want him to; I want them all to go to different players.” But then I started to type “Though it would be amazing to see because who knows when it’d happen again?”

Then I deleted it all as it was getting to complicated. Ha.


Giner Says:

Looks like Nadal just stole Djokovic’s 08 season, with an AO followed by Indian Wells title. Will Rome be next?

Murray didn’t handle the conditions very well today. Too bad. I was expecting this to go 3 sets, and based on the way Murray played him in the last 3 matches (including the exo), Murray was looking to win it. The wind changed things a bit.

It’s hard to see Nadal not finishing #1 this year. He’ll be a big favourite to win the French, and Federer would need to win both Wimbledon and the USO to tie it at 2 slams apiece.

Disappointing performance from Murray who didn’t play his best tennis. Some very good rallies, but Nadal was winning them.


Von Says:

grendel: Yes, Nadal does what he needs to do to win, but yesterday Roddick broke him several times, and was in his service games many times, as a result olf which Nadal began taking more time betwen points, even incurring a time violations. That happens when he’s is feeling the pressure. I don’t want to make excuses for A-Rod, but the wind frustrated him while he was serving and it assisted Nadal’s shots too. Roddick could/should have won that match, and he fought valiantly. With Roddick’s new game plan, I’d like to see them again on a fast court without the strong winds, and then we’ll see. After that I’ll concede if Nadal wins. At Queens last year, Roddick had just returned to the tour, rusty, when he played against Nadal who won by a break in each set. Coincidentally, it was windy at Queens also. These guys have to learn to handle the high winds by packing on some extra muscle.


Giner Says:

Von, I know this is a bit late, but a bit more fodder for Cahill’s disingenuous excuse for rejecting Federer. I fully admit that IF he really did have issues with the agreement outside of family, he would not be up front about it.

Looks like these two agree with you.

Wertheim had this to say in response to a letter:

How do you reconcile Roger Federer’s brilliant strategic mind with his decision to — yet again — return from a brief tennis hiatus without a coach? Here’s a future Hall-of-Famer, oozing with guts, game, and determination (the Aussie Open was no straight sets cruise by Rafa), and yet he foregoes a calming voice to settle any niggling nerves? I confess I’m having troubling distinguishing stubbornness from stupidity…
– Michael Selby, West Chester, Pa.

• I think you answer your own question when you suggest “stubbornness.” Like most of the great ones, Federer believes in his own singularity. The same certitude that serves him so well on the court, can work to his detriment in other contexts.

I remember an interview with Pete Rose in which he said he was convinced he was the best hitter in baseball, so he had a hard time taking instruction. I keep thinking of that when I consider Federer’s reluctance to hire an aide-de-camp. Objectively, it’s such an obvious personnel move; but when you have supreme confidence, it can be hard to defer to someone else. I think it shows that even a guy who, by all outward appearances, is “normal” and down-to-earth, still is wired a little differently from the rest of us.

I thought there was also something a little “off” about last week’s explanation. Darren Cahill flies to Dubai, works with Federer and yet no agreement is reached because of the….travel demands? Isn’t that like interviewing for a job in a coal mine, then saying, “Wait a second; you mean I might get dirty?”

With the full-time coach situation on hold, I think Federer would do well to hire a sports psychologist or, if that term still carries too much stigma, a “performance coach.” Again, it’s pretty obvious that w/r/t Nadal, Federer still has some mental issues to work through. I think even Federer would agree that these matches are only partially about tennis. A Jim Loehr type could help solve a lot of problems.

——————

The ever witty blogger Cheryl Murray was also suspicious of Cahill:

Federer won’t have the Cahill magic after all
2009-03-12 09:10:42

Well….that didn’t last long. Rumors have been circulating for more than a week about the possible teaming of Roger Federer and Darren Cahill. It would have been a match made in tennis heaven. Just think of it – two of the sport’s most famous gentlemen together at last. Of course they might have spent half their day at the hotel elevator…”After you…” “No, no. After YOU.” “No, REALLY…” and so on. Alas, it is not to be.

After working with Federer on a trial basis, Cahill determined that coaching would simply be too disruptive to his family. And that’s understandable, right? Cahill lives in Vegas, Federer in Switzerland. Cahill would be forced to spend about half his time away from his family globe-trotting with the ATP tour. I can see why he changed his mind. Really. Seriously.

I mean, obviously Cahill is new to the whole “coaching a world-famous player” thing. He clearly had no idea of the demands and pressures of life in the ATP. It isn’t like he’s coached two other world number one players or anything. It’s not like he was a player himself… THAT’S why he was suddenly so shocked and awed at what was expected of him. REALLY. SERIOUSLY! Nothing fishy going on there…

I’m just kidding. Please don’t send me hate mail – or if you do, at least make it creative. “You really suck” lacks flair. Thanks in advance. Honestly, I have no idea why the Cahill thing fell through. Maybe it is for exactly the reason they said. But if it is? Cahill has some SERIOUS issues with his memory – that’s all I’m sayin’. However, that’s neither here nor there.

The real issue is that Federer remains coach-less. To be honest, I don’t know if that’s a bad thing or not. Remember Jose Higueras? Federer hired him last year to “help” with the clay season. He got the title in Estoril for his efforts. Estoril. Later that season – and notably without Higueras – he netted the US Open. Maybe he really just doesn’t need a coach???

One thing is for sure – the whole Cahill thing didn’t do Federer any favors. After our last tear-stained and devastated images of the Swiss star, he could have used some good publicity. Cahill saying “Nah. I guess I’d rather not” stinks all the way around. And just for that, I hope Roger comes out playing brilliantly this week.


Giner Says:

“Yes, Nadal does what he needs to do to win, but yesterday Roddick broke him several times, and was in his service games many times, as a result olf which Nadal began taking more time betwen points, even incurring a time violations.”

Von, when it’s windy, players are allowed to take extra time on serve to adjust to it. I think this was the more likely reason for him doing that, though admittedly, I didn’t see the match.

I don’t doubt that the conditions favoured Nadal whose game is less affected by wind. It’s unfortunate for his opponent, but that’s mother nature for you. Heat does this to other players. Some day, the changed conditions will go against him. You win some, you lose some.

If Spain plays the US in Davis Cup this year, it will be interesting what surface the US picks.


Von Says:

Giner: Thanks for sharing that article. It reinforces my thinking that there’s more to that situation than meets the eye. I hold to my thought that Cahill used that situation to gain bargaining leverage with Adidas. Cahill loves being around Agassi and Reyes, but I’m sure had the price not been right for Adidas, he definitely would have gone on coaching Federer. He sacrificed a fantastic resume for more money, but that’s the bottom line in the coaching business and life in general, isn’t it? Money, money and more money. When is it ever enough?

furthermore, I’m sure if we look at the long term picture, Cahill’s stint with Adidas will last for 3 years, as opposed to being with Federer, which could end any old time, and it’s nothing concrete. Hence, Cahill opted out for the sure thing, and he also gets to be around the people with whom he enjoys interacting. A win, win situation in many ways. Can’t say I blame him.


grendel Says:

well, I remember that match against Roddick at Queens. Again, Nadal just did enough. Nikori, if you remember took a set off him – then Nadal did the needful. Djokovic looked good in the final. So Nadal stepped it up, and to me – though not to everyone – always looked the winner.

I think that Nadal has become a master at pacing himself. Roddick is indeed valiant, but I just don’t think he begins to have the game to threaten Nadal. If Nadal indulges in a degree of gamesmanship – in terms of timewasting – that’s one way of handling pressure. What he does not want to do – this is my impression – is to give his all unless he absolutely has to; as, for instance, in pulling out an outrageous backhand winner when facing match point from the very dangerous Nalbandian (in Rusedski’s estimation, the best bh he’s ever seen in such circumstances).

I’ve often wondered how this works, this deliberate husbanding of energy whilst playing a difficult match, but I am in no doubt this is what Nadal does. It would certainly be good to see Roddick against Nadal on a fast court; clearly if everything went well, he’d have a chance. But if it was a big final , sorry, it’s bye bye Roddick, just like it’s bye bye everybody else at the moment. Nadal is simply monumental at the moment – when he needs to be.


Von Says:

Giner;

The ump called time violations and he was liberal throughout the match at other times.

I’d say the US will go with what works best for them, and it would definitely be hard-court. They cleaned up Spain when they played against them in ’07.


Von Says:

“But if it was a big final , sorry, it’s bye bye Roddick, just like it’s bye bye everybody else at the moment. Nadal is simply monumental at the moment – when he needs to be.”

Well, I’ll concede when that time comes, until then, I’ll keep on thinking Roddick can blast Nadal away on HC, and I’m hoping the dear boy does exactly that. We’ll see … .


zola Says:

I was out all day and missed the match!
But Rafa won and I am very happy and surprised at the result. Seriously the way he played JMDP and Roddick, and the way Murray was playing all week, i thought the title would be Murray’s and Rafa pleasantly surprised!

I agree, it was probably because Rafa used yesterday’s experience. Also Rafa’s top spin shots are safer than Murray’s. I guess this is an advatage/diadvantage of playing in the open. I wonder if there is a wind speed that would make the match get delayed like the extreme heat policy.

well, hugs to Andy’s fans. I like him a lot. He is a great player and will win many titles.

As for Rafa, he is now one title behind Fed’s 14 MS titles and 3 behind Agassi, just at the age of 22! amazing!

Grendel,
Great to read your comments again. I liked this one:
**I admire him, and I hate him. He is without doubt extraordinary.**

this is called love!


Long live the king Says:

What a pathetic match for a final. The wind just killed the match. Maybe the result would still have been the same, if the wind was not there. Maybe not. I am sure the quality of the match would have been much better. It is very sad that the quality of a tennis match is still so dependent on external factors.

Anyways, just proves that murray and novak have a lot to do before they can be mentioned in the same breath as Roger and Rafa. I cant imagine the pounding Rafa is going to deliver on the clay courts this year. The only guy who challenged Rafa the last 4 years has to pick his game from the dumps and the same can be said of the only other player who has come close to be termed as a challenger to Rafa on clay courts in the past year. He brutally mauled them in their last matches against him on clay.

This is the best start to a year Rafa has ever had. One of the argentines – nalbandian or delpotro has to step in at the clay season to avert such embarrassment excuse of a “match”. Time for a new champion at Roland Garros.


margot Says:

Grendel: here I am contemplating the wreckage! I certainly don’t “hate” Rafa, but I certainly fear him. I had this feeling first when watching the Wimbledon Final 2007. Rafa made Roger’s talent look fragile. I saw this again last night. Andy M loked like a Will o’ the Wisp. just waitng to be blown away, as indeed he was. Now, Rafa’s not only extreme physicality, he’s so much more than that, as you say “extraordinary,” but that physicality is so dominating it’s a huge part. I really fear that unless players like Murray,Jkovich, Tsonga et al. find ways of consistently defeating him, we are in for five years of watching Rafa crushing all in his path. Watching tenis matches will be like going to the amphitheatre and seeing the Christians thrown to the lions, not a prospect I relish.
I didn’t feel like this when Roger was so dominant
so i’m probably being a total hypocrite and probably a very fanciful one and the future will unfold in a completely different way.
Meanwhile my new nickname for “Muzza” is “Phoenix”, well, a gal’s gotta hope!


grendel Says:

well, Margot, in the sense you’re talking about, I suspect a lot of us are hypocrites – certainly I am. But is it hypocrisy to be pleased when your favourite is winning everything and appalled when someone else is, especially if that player’s style is at the opposite end of the spectrum you favour? I’m not sure. Like so many things, I think it perhaps depends on the tone you take.

Of course, when a player is totally dominant, it does feel as if he’s going to carry on for ever. Who’s your tip for winning Wimbledon in 2019, for instance? Why, who but Nadal? Know what I mean….But even Nadal, you know is mortal, and his reign may not be as long as we all fear… There’s a lot of hungry people out there, and one or two of them are going to be as gifted and determined as Nadal. God, perhaps they’ll be worse, and we’ll all be singing: “Bring back Rafa!”


zola Says:

margot,
I think if the conditions were not as windy , the result might not have been that lopsided. Of course it is credit to Rafa for managing the conditions better but Murray would play better say indoors against Rafa.

about dominance, I felt the same with federer and his matches were not exciting to me. I was bored to death. We don’t know if Rafa will dominate like him or not, but he certainly has improved a lot and keeps on improving. Like Fed set the bar higher and made others work to reach him, Rafa is also making the other players work. No one is stopping Murray, Djoko, Tsonga, federer or other players from tweaking their game and practicing new tactics to overcome Rafa. We see how discipline and hard work gets rewarded on court. Look at Murray, verdasco, Roddick and even federer ( with his Dubai sessions). Now they have to take it up a notch and practice harder. Study Rafa and each other and try to win him. This will just make the game better and more exciting.
Look what is happening to WTA. It is no different to a vacation resort.no competition.


I like tennis bullies Says:

lol this new rivalry is looking as lopsided as the federer rivalry lol


Giner Says:

The thing about outdoor sports is the elements are not predictable and conditions can never be guaranteed. You can say that the unusual conditions favoured one player over the other and that if they meet again in different conditions the result would be different. However, you can’t guarantee that the conditions will be better the next time around. The US Open is known to be very windy itself.

Rain, wind, heat, late night finishes, early follow up matches, being second semi finalist and playing a marathon while the other guy is well rested for the final.. these things can happen at any time, and you have to be prepared for them instead of hoping that they don’t happen.

Roger Federer was nearly derailed at USO 2004 against Agassi due to extreme wind. The match was delayed due to fading light (why? There are lights unlike in Paris and London, and the AO seems to have no problem keeping players past their bedtime) with Fed leading 2 sets to 1, and resumed the next day in the windiest conditions ever seen. The match became more about luck than tennis, as both players aimed for the middle of the court and waited for an error from the other player. There was no aggression at all. Fed ended up winning in 5 sets, but it was a coin flip and he admitted being very lucky to have been up 2-1 going in.

Berdych had Federer beat in Melbourne this year, but late in the afternoon when shadows were creeping across the court making it hard to see the ball when it goes from light to shade and vice versa, Berdych was completely blinded. He just couldn’t see the ball (and often didn’t run to retrieve it because he lost sight of it), while Fed didn’t seem to have any problem with it. Fed handled the shade better and won.

Fed blamed darkening twilight for his loss to Nadal in the final set at RG 05 and Wimb 08. Nadal saw the ball, Fed struggled (it’s darker than it appears on TV by the way).

Heat in Melbourne caused a lot of upsets or near upsets. Too many to mention.

Nadal has had a good record at overcoming elements that may have been unfavourable. The person who won isn’t at fault. The elements are things that have to be contended with. With outdoor sports, there’s always going to be some unpredictability here and there.


margot Says:

Grendel: do you mean 2009? I think 2019 is beyond even Rafa! So, 2009, if Rafa wants it again then he will have it! If he wants the US Open then he may want to conserve himself a bit, so more unpredictable.
Giner: completely agree, adapting to adverse conditions is part of being a champion and phoenix better get his act together.
Zola: again agree but life, leave alone tennis is littered with “if onlys”


fedster Says:

Giner said: The thing about outdoor sports is the elements are not predictable and conditions can never be guaranteed. You can say that the unusual conditions favoured one player over the other and that if they meet again in different conditions the result would be different. However, you can’t guarantee that the conditions will be better the next time around. The US Open is known to be very windy itself.

Rain, wind, heat, late night finishes, early follow up matches, being second semi finalist and playing a marathon while the other guy is well rested for the final.. these things can happen at any time, and you have to be prepared for them instead of hoping that they don’t happen.

Roger Federer was nearly derailed at USO 2004 against Agassi due to extreme wind. The match was delayed due to fading light (why? There are lights unlike in Paris and London, and the AO seems to have no problem keeping players past their bedtime) with Fed leading 2 sets to 1, and resumed the next day in the windiest conditions ever seen. The match became more about luck than tennis, as both players aimed for the middle of the court and waited for an error from the other player. There was no aggression at all. Fed ended up winning in 5 sets, but it was a coin flip and he admitted being very lucky to have been up 2-1 going in.

Berdych had Federer beat in Melbourne this year, but late in the afternoon when shadows were creeping across the court making it hard to see the ball when it goes from light to shade and vice versa, Berdych was completely blinded. He just couldn’t see the ball (and often didn’t run to retrieve it because he lost sight of it), while Fed didn’t seem to have any problem with it. Fed handled the shade better and won.

Fed blamed darkening twilight for his loss to Nadal in the final set at RG 05 and Wimb 08. Nadal saw the ball, Fed struggled (it’s darker than it appears on TV by the way).

Heat in Melbourne caused a lot of upsets or near upsets. Too many to mention.

Nadal has had a good record at overcoming elements that may have been unfavourable. The person who won isn’t at fault. The elements are things that have to be contended with. With outdoor sports, there’s always going to be some unpredictability here and there.”………… I ABSOLUTELY AGREE!


zola Says:

margot
yes, but Murray has shown before that he has a good game. Rafa’s win in those conditions showed that he does not get frustrated with disturbances and his game is solid enough. That’s another mastery of his that I admire. But I wonder how Andy would have played if it was not that windy.


jane Says:

I hope Rafa doesn’t come to dominate like Federer did. It became a predictable affair when one knew pretty much would’d be winning each event. In fact, it made Roland Garros the most exciting event to watch because one DIDN’T know if Fed could beat Rafa in those finals. If Rafa wins every slam this year, it will be something to see, of course, as I am not sure if I even remember watching Steffi capture her golden slam, but then I’d want desperately for things to shift.


zola Says:

Jane,
I think if someone works hard to achieve a goal, s/he should be commended for that. If Fed or Rafa or anyone else are successful at a period of time it is because of their hard work as much as their talent.

So should we wish for someone not to work hard so that there is no dominance or should we wish for the rest to work harder so that they make the sport more interesting?

I have enjoyed watching Murray, Verdasco and Roddick put the time and effort to become more fit and better players and see how exciting their matches have become. Would have been boring if Rafa and Fed dropped their level so that there would be no dominance.


zola Says:

Actually a good example of that is the current WTA. There is almost no competition and I don’t find it exciting at all.


jane Says:

zola,

I said nothing about “no competition.” I also said nothing about not admiring hard work:


zola Says:

Jane,
true. Maybe I should have asked in straight words.
what do you mean when you say you hope Rafa won’t dominate like Federer?
Do you mean that you wish the rest get better to compete with him better?

If that is so, then it is up to the rest of the field to up their games and I completely agree with that.


jane Says:

oops hit submit too soon… I do admire hard work. HOWEVER, as you even said on the other thread (or maybe this one), you didn’t enjoy when Federer was winning everything either. Well, I feel the same way if it’s Rafa. Like I said, I’d be interested and even happy to see Rafa win the calendar slam, but after that I’d hope others could challenge him. I find it tedious when any player dominates for a long period. 1 year of dominance is one thing, two, it’s starting to be tiresome, three? “Oh god already can’t someone beat this guy!!!!!!”

But that’s just me. :-D — really have to go to work now! Bye.


zola Says:

that’s true jane, but i did not wish him drop his level so that others could win more. I admired Rafa because he stepped up his game and started challenging Federer.

Same here. Rafa will be challenged by someone who is willing to put the hours on court and ithe gym. Then it will exciting to watch.

Then I think instead of wishing for Rafa not to dominate, perhaps it is better to wish for the other players to step it up.


zola Says:

I correct my last sentecnce. You should wish whatever you want. But then when it is written here, this is my personal feeling about it.

here is to a great year for players and fans.


Giner Says:

jane, what if Djokovic was the dominator?

I’m curious to know why you don’t capitalise your name?

Btw, I did reply to your message RE: Fed and Mirka’s baby, though a week late.


jane Says:

Giner,

If Djoko was the dominator? Honestly, I’d probably enjoy it immensely for the first year, and even into the second, but then… same thing; after 2 years or so, if it was utter domination like it was for Fed for almost 3 years, in which he won almost every single tournament he entered, except for clay after Rafa started winning all those, which is also becoming predictable, I’d probably start to root for some other young gun or old sentimental favorite. I like the unpredictability of sports, the drama, and although there can be surprises along the way, even if the same guy wins in the end, the same guy still wins in the end. You know?

I don’t know why I don’t capitalize my name? No reason really. I signed on that way and have left it that way ever since.

I did see you’re reply. It still wasn’t nice to call Mirka a “fat chick” even if you were trying to make a point about Federer. She’s packing only a few extra pounds, maybe 10, though more now obviously….


Giner Says:

You can find lots of unpredictability in the women’s tour. Do you follow it?

I care more about the quality of the tennis than the surprisingness of the result. I was a bigger fan of Fed when he dominated than I was before it, or after it. He was just magical, and a guy who can consistently beat or dethrone a magic man is always going to be entertaining to watch for me even if he’d be the only face I see holding trophies.

“Fat” is a vague word. There’s ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ which are clearly defined in BMI value. Perhaps the more politically correct word I should have used is ‘overweight’, but to me both are fat, and I used the f word literally. It was nothing personal. I don’t go around calling in people in real life fat, or even talk about them that way behind their back to someone else. But it’s still true by my definition of fat (which is beyond ‘healthy’ weight), thus my use of the term.

She was not the fattest person I’d seen, and by no means obese, but fatter than was healthy. Using the word fat was just easier and shorter than overweight which would have been the more technical term. It wasn’t meant to offend. When you look for offense, you can find it anywhere.

And I think you’re wrong about the extra pounds she was packing. I was overweight a few years ago, and I was way more than 10 pounds heavier than was healthy, but I didn’t look as ‘fat’ as she did. I’d say she gained 20 kilos (about 44 lbs) since 2003.


jane Says:

Giner,

Occasionally I follow the women’s, but there are no players I totally gravitate towards at the moment. I do like Dementieva though and wish she’d come through in a tight situation, same as JJ. The tour is floundering somewhat at the moment, especially in the consistency of its players, and frankly that makes the unpredictability predictable, as paradoxical as that may sound.

Anyhow, I am not suggesting that I would sacrifice the quality of tennis played for mere unpredictability. It’s not that simple! I love good quality tennis. And when Roger first began his rise in 2004 I enjoyed watching him. Really, it wasn’t until about 2006 that I started to get bored of him winning everything, regardless of his “magic”. Remember that Roger’s dominance for that long period was UTTER and very exceptional. He won almost everything for a couple of years there – 05 and 06 – which made it tough for people who weren’t his number 1 fan. I was a Roddick & Safin fan back then, so…., well you get the picture. And I am not alone. Here’s an interesting piece written early this year:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hes-beautiful-hes-brilliant-hes-boring/416639/

This piece is more about his personality, but the statistic at the beginning of the piece is kind of intriguing.

Basically I started to not watch finals when he was in them, unless it was against someone like Rafa who never cowed to Federer’s magic. Then the results were up in the air, and I’d sit back and enjoy the matches. I did always watch the slams too, thankfully, as I’d be shooting myself in the foot if I’d've missed the Safin vs. Fed semi at the AO, or the Fed vs. Rafa final at Wimbledon, or other classic matches that Federer played.

But I never enjoyed watching matches that were non-competitive, where he all but humiliated the player off the court. Similarly, I didn’t so much enjoy last year’s French Open final. One expects a grand slam final, or hopes anyhow, to be a climactic affair, a 5 or at least 4 setter. Sometimes even the 3 setters are good if they’re tight. But that rout last year, while demonstrating Rafa’s prowess on clay, was disappointing. We’d seen Rafa’s prowess all two weeks until the final – so now one wants to see a BATTLE!

Anyway, I am going on way to long about this. And I suspect you will not agree with me anyhow based on your previous post, which is fair enough. We can agree to disagree.


jane Says:

Giner,

Further to the above post, that link is really not the one that expresses clearly what I was trying to say. However, I think there is a better article, which clarifies how I felt back in 05, 06, 07, and I found the link to it.

http://www.faniq.com/blog/Roger-Federer-Once-Exciting-Has-Become-Boring-At-Wimbledon-And-Elsewhere-Blog-9805

The quote that really hit home was this one: “I begin to care less and less each time he wins, because there exists no more intrigue. It’s the same destination with a slightly different path.”

Imagine, it’s like being stuck in the twilight zone or groundhog day, every time the tournament ended, every path one takes through the maze, the end was the same – Roger holding the trophy.

Now, this is likely all very subjective, as grendel pointed out on another thread: one man’s robot is another woman’s genius. So I guess that is why we won’t settle this. Some people are content to watch greatness endlessly from the same player; other people like to see that greatness challenged and overcome more regularly by other players, who also possess greatness. And maybe some like a little of both. And as I said, I can appreciate dominance for a while but then I want to see it challenged and beaten and different types of greatness take the stage. Right now I am happy with the game; Rafa is experiencing a kind of dominance but it doesn’t feel utter quite yet. I feel like there are players who can beat him, like Murray and Fed and maybe Djoko on hardcourts, and certainly Roddick seemed to be getting close at IW, or Nalbandian. Nadal’s dominance is not yet utter, and there is plenty of talent down the chute. And Federer still has magic. So it’s all good right now from my vantage point.

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