Fish, Querrey Out; American Massacre at ATP Miami, Men Go 0-5 Saturday
by Staff | March 29th, 2009, 10:57 am
  • 86 Comments

American men, seeded and not, took a hit on Saturday at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, compiling an 0-5 record on the day, with all five of those matches lost in three sets.

No. 27 seed Mardy Fish was the highest-ranked loser in second-round play, dropping a tight 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-2 contest against Chilean veteran Nicolas Massu. A bad match-up for the American, Massu led their head-to-head 2-1 entering the contest, with wins on hardcourt and clay.

Sam Querrey won the first set against No. 32 seed Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, but could not close out the mirror-gazing Spaniard in a 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-2 final tally.

John Isner had problems serving on the windy Saturday, extending No. 11 seed David Ferrer in a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 loss.

Bobby Reynolds was another American three-set victim, outlasted by the hot-handed No. 18-seeded Czech Radek “The Worm” Stepanek 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-2.

American Amer Delic ended the day with a three-set loss to No. 17 seed Marin Cilic.

All Top 10 seeds in action advanced on the day in Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Juan Martin Del Potro, and Fernando Verdasco.

Richard Gasquet withdrew from the event with injury.

Hope for the U.S. improve on Sunday with Andy Roddick, James Blake and Taylor Dent in action.

Matches Sunday include (5) Andy Roddick vs. (25) Dmitry Tursunov, (2) Roger Federer vs. (28) Nicolas Kiefer, (13) James Blake vs. (21) Tomas Berdych, (15) Tommy Robredo vs. (Q) Taylor Dent, and (22) Marat Safin vs. (9) Gael Monfils.


Also Check Out:
Querrey Dines on Fish in AEGON Queen’s Club Grass Final
Querrey Uncloaks The Magician Santoro in ATP Newport Semis
Dent Upsets Seed, TV Coverage Begins at Sony Ericsson Open in Miami
USA Takes Over England, Fish v. Querrey Reach Queen’s Final
Fish, Querrey Under Davis Cup Pressure Today in Colombia

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86 Comments for Fish, Querrey Out; American Massacre at ATP Miami, Men Go 0-5 Saturday

Andrew Miller Says:

Not bad scores for 3 sets – losing in 3 is better than losing in 2, much as winning in 2 is better than winning in 3.

I’ll take those results – they show some fight.


jane Says:

Yes, Querrey fought hard against Lopez; no shame in that loss. And Delic also fought Cilic well. So the losses were well-contested ones. And Roddick and Blake are still in it.


jane Says:

Tsonga broke Kendrick at exactly the right time, serving for a tiebreak, so I suppose that’ll be demoralizing for Kendrick; I’d imagine Jo will get through in straights.


jane Says:

I know I am biased but I love Novak’s blue shoes; I want those blue shoes. He wore those blue shoes on the clay and I thought they were awesome. I see the whole Djoko clan are there for moral support and wearing their usual matching outfits. I hope they can manage to be slightly more low key. =D


Von Says:

Duro: Move over here to the Fish, Querrey thread.


Duro Says:

Thank you Von! Are you watching him?


Von Says:

Djoko is becoming embroiled in too many long rallies, he’ll tire. Now he’s doing the drop shots – drop-shotitis.


Duro Says:

Gotta go! I’ll be around!


Von Says:

Duro: But, of course. I’m here to give you and nervous jane, moral support. Ha ha.

Sar and tenisbebe, where are you?


jane Says:

Yeah, I agree Von – he does need to try to end points sooner. Amazingly I thought Monfils looked very tired but somehow he ground out the win against Safin; I wonder if he’ll have anything left in the tank for Roddick? ;-)


jane Says:

Ack you called it Von. Nervous and griping my seat already.


Von Says:

Monfils looked very winded. He has a day off tomorrow which should rejuvenate him.


jane Says:

I am glad to see that Djoko consolidated his break. I hope he can continue to hold.


Von Says:

Except for that one hiccup, PHM is playing very well. He falls apart very easily.


sar Says:

I like the blue also. I feel kind of bad for PHM. Really like him.


Von Says:

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day, April 6th would be fine.


sar Says:

rain, time for a snack


Duro Says:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! I’m gonna kill him! Did you see how he has started? He was the old Novak for 4,5 minutes and insecure later again. It’s all in the head! Capital “H” or not…


jane Says:

Mathieu is very likable and hits the ball very crisply. But he does sometimes make bad errors. Not that Novak doesn’t these days. Sigh! Oh well rain delay… time to do some work in the delay.


Von Says:

Duro, he won the set and that’s important. I think he loses concentration at times and then the problem begins. He also needs to forget about the drop shots. I see a pattern to his drop shots. He usually uses the DS after a prior point long rally, which to me leaves him winded. I think you can hold off killing him. Ha, ha.


Duro Says:

Rain delay, and it’s 3:12 am and I work this morning. This tennis is killing me… Why don’t I fall in love with sailing, fishing, Carling, bob…


jane Says:

My feed keeps cutting out; it’s driving me mad! Djoko needs to be sharper to end points quicker; he’s letting Mathieu run him around the court a little too much, imo.


jane Says:

They call Safin and sometimes Hewitt for foot faults quite regularly as well, but it must be awfully annoying for the player.


sar Says:

I think the night match is helping him, thanks to the long Safin/Monfils match and the paramedic delay during the Tsonga match. I remember months ago the commentators said that Djok was alone on tour and he really missed his family. I see they are here tonight.


Von Says:

PHM has 9 double faults. That’s been the biggest problem for him over the last two years. He’s similar to Mauresmo/Dementieva in that respect — they give away the match. If their opponent can hold their own serve they’ll definitely receive some donations from PHM.


jane Says:

Well, it helps that Novak has completely cut out errors in this second set – he has only ONE so far.Pleasing to see! Meanwhile PHM has been making errors and faults. It’s too bad.


jane Says:

Djoko’s got a tough road ahead: either Blake or Berdych and if he survives that either Tsonga or Simon. If he comes through all that I’ll be amazed and pleased with him.


sar Says:

Good night everyone. Good to be with everyone.


Von Says:

Sar: Good night. I know you’ll sleep very well.


jane Says:

Cheers sar! Von – do you have a link to the Blake match? I can’t find it on atdhe.


jane Says:

Oh forget it, I just found it at the very bottom of the page…


Von Says:

jane: You’ll find Blake/berdych in the 1:00 pm time slot for Kiefer/Federer match. do i have to teach you everything? Ha, ha.


gordon Says:

Old Nole is back, we had a pleasure to watch hi old signature shots down the line. I hope he will continue with this play and prove his rankings!


margot Says:

Von: I dunno, huge wind…rain…paradise? more like Wimbledon to me! Cheers re Rover explanation.
Grendel: disagree with you so much, if you have a talent brother you should use it! It’s what I admire about Rafa so much, he had less talent tnan Nalbandian but he has made so much more of it! There’ll be plenty of time for him to laze by the river fishing, your sporting life is very short.
Re: peacocks, yes bring them on! You’ve only to go back a very short time in history, to the Georgians, to see how much men love dressing up and putting on make up! More tennis stars like Beckham please!


margot Says:

PS Grendel:It’s also why I admire Murray so much, not as much talent as Roger, not as much muscle as Rafa, but boy is he working hard to rectify things. Also, don’t think people realise how much injury time he had as a teenager. I think he’s one of those young men who grow very tall, very quickly, then it takes a while for the rest of them to catch up. Roddick’s another, re-inventing himself at 28, good for him! I’ve no time for dilettantes as you can see!
Duro: we’re back to that thing about beauty aren’t we? I think that Henin’s backhand is impressive because it’s hit so hard for such a small woman. No, the Rolls Royce of backhands is Gasquet’s. Though did see an impressive one in action yesterday, only trouble is, can’t remember whose!
That’s all folks, off to work now, catch up with you later.


grendel Says:

Margot, of course Henin had a wonderful backhand (perhaps still has; will we, that is, see a Cleisters like resurrection? I doubt it; Cleisters is happy-go-lucky, Henin extremely intense – very difficult to start that engine up again); I was responding, a little perversely, to Duro’s excessive claim by down playing it. I don’t go in for “bests”, however – Gasquet’s or anybody elses’. Re Nalbandian: we’re here in the mysterious world of character, and the even more intractable problem of free will. Best to say that Nalbandian just is the guy he is. Which says both nothing – and everything. Imagine, though, that the Nadal and Nalbandian babies (let us pretend they are exactly the same age) were delivered in the same hospital, and somehow got mixed up. So Uncle Toni is now Nalbandian’s Uncle Toni. What do you reckon? Who’s going to win that battle of wills? But it is difficult, to sort out what are the sources of a person’s behaviour, I don’t mean to sound glib, personally I feel myself groping in the dark.

“I read an article after Fed humiliated Roddick in that AO match, detailing a conversation between Mirka and Federer. Mirka told Fed: “Darling, you were a maniac out there”. That spoke volumes to me, vis-a-vis,(1) Fed loves to and enjoys humiliating his opponents, and (2) that he and Mirka joke about his tennis prowess and his defeat of his opponents” (Von).

Quite a lot going on here. First of all, this is journalese gossip. It may or may not be accurate, we have no way of knowing. But even if the report is true, Von’s interpretation is at best speculative, and seems to me to be highly tendentious, not the response of someone disinterestedly seeking truth. The scene is set with the remark Federer “humiliated” Roddick. Actually, he defeated him. If Roddick felt humiliated, that is his problem,(just as if Von felt humiliated on his behalf, there lies the risk in following a somewhat gladiatorial sport; we’ve all felt this pain) and similarly,for instance, it was Federer’s problem if he felt humiliated by Nadal’s thrashing of him in Paris. And so on. It’s in the nature of one to one sports that sometimes we get uneven results which are presumably pretty hurtful for the participant. I’m sure Roddick, who is a good sport, (and who delivers far more beatings than he receives) would be the first to say that this is all par for the course – for which they are well rewarded. The heat in that particular kitchen does have its compensations.

As for what Mirka was alleged to have said, you could take it several ways. On the face of it, it was a natural enough response – Federer just was insanely good on that occasion – and in no way justifies Von’s subsequent two comments. These come out of her own head. Given what she feels about both Roddick and Federer, they should be treated, at the very least, with extreme caution.

Instead, we have another poster agreeing with the views expressed – Federer enjoys humiliating his opponents – he has a cruel streak and so on.

Most of us have a cruel streak, do we not – skilful comedians exploit this facet of human nature, and I find myself a little sceptical when faced with denial. Still, undoubtedly some are more cruel than others. What is the evidence that Federer is excessively cruel (by excessive, I mean possessing more the normal dollop we all appear to be blessed with)? Certainly, his fellow competitors – the people who above all are in a position to know and tell – do not think he is. As ever, it is the fan – or shall we say “anti-fan” – who sees darkness where others do not.


grendel Says:

Q. Seemed like you were just trying to make him miss, just taking pace off the ball until he made a mistake. Was that your strategy a lot?
GÄEL MONFILS: Zero strategy. Nothing. My mind was empty.
Q. What do you mean?
GÄEL MONFILS: I mean just pushing the ball back and see what happened.
Q. Really? That’s what you were doing?
GÄEL MONFILS: Yeah.
Q. Do you feel like you can get to the top, doing that kind of game?
GÄEL MONFILS: No. It wasn’t a good match for me today. I played very bad. I mean, I just survive. In pure game, zero.
Q. But you never give up. Is that something you’re proud of?
GÄEL MONFILS: This is part of me. I never give up on the court. I had luck because he miss two shot on his match point, but purely tennistically [sic] it was very empty today. Nothing.
Maybe I have a good serve sometime.”

Thus Monfils following the Safin match. Geeze, he’s a funny guy. “Zero strategy. Nothing. My mind was empty”. Not, I think, the kind of emptiness Buddhists seek. The odd thing is, it was an amazingly entertaining match. Two great eccentrics giving their all, even if one was “tennistically empty”. I’ll have t remember that one.

Safin’s forehand just went, didn’t it – which I suppose is another way of saying his mind went. The boldness of youth, the fear of the aged. You’d think as you got older, you’d have more perspective, and this would temper your fear – but it rarely seems to work like that.


Duro Says:

Grendel, you asked me if some shot is more efficient then someone’s else, doesn’t it mean that it’s better in a first place. Not necessarily! If you stay close to the net and you hit the ball with an oar, and you score, it can be rather efficient but it doesn’t mean that it’s better. Andy Murray has a more efficient backhand right now then Roger Federer’s, but not better by any means then his.

Justin Henin’s backhand is the most perfect single shot in the history of tennis game! Period!


fedster Says:

GRENDEL SAYS: “I read an article after Fed humiliated Roddick in that AO match, detailing a conversation between Mirka and Federer. Mirka told Fed: “Darling, you were a maniac out there”. That spoke volumes to me, vis-a-vis,(1) Fed loves to and enjoys humiliating his opponents, and (2) that he and Mirka joke about his tennis prowess and his defeat of his opponents” (Von).

Quite a lot going on here. First of all, this is journalese gossip. It may or may not be accurate, we have no way of knowing. But even if the report is true, Von’s interpretation is at best speculative, and seems to me to be highly tendentious, not the response of someone disinterestedly seeking truth. The scene is set with the remark Federer “humiliated” Roddick. Actually, he defeated him. If Roddick felt humiliated, that is his problem,(just as if Von felt humiliated on his behalf, there lies the risk in following a somewhat gladiatorial sport; we’ve all felt this pain) and similarly,for instance, it was Federer’s problem if he felt humiliated by Nadal’s thrashing of him in Paris. And so on. It’s in the nature of one to one sports that sometimes we get uneven results which are presumably pretty hurtful for the participant. I’m sure Roddick, who is a good sport, (and who delivers far more beatings than he receives) would be the first to say that this is all par for the course – for which they are well rewarded. The heat in that particular kitchen does have its compensations.

As for what Mirka was alleged to have said, you could take it several ways. On the face of it, it was a natural enough response – Federer just was insanely good on that occasion – and in no way justifies Von’s subsequent two comments. These come out of her own head. Given what she feels about both Roddick and Federer, they should be treated, at the very least, with extreme caution.

Instead, we have another poster agreeing with the views expressed – Federer enjoys humiliating his opponents – he has a cruel streak and so on.

Most of us have a cruel streak, do we not – skilful comedians exploit this facet of human nature, and I find myself a little sceptical when faced with denial. Still, undoubtedly some are more cruel than others. What is the evidence that Federer is excessively cruel (by excessive, I mean possessing more the normal dollop we all appear to be blessed with)? Certainly, his fellow competitors – the people who above all are in a position to know and tell – do not think he is. As ever, it is the fan – or shall we say “anti-fan” – who sees darkness where others do………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. GRENDEL’S JUST SPOT ON! I’m much lesser in terms of grace and wit and insight in comparison to Grendel, yet I don’t regret it!


fedster Says:

By the way it’s nice to hear that the old Nole’s back (though momentarily)!!! But I’d like Nole to clearly step up at this point , after all he’s a great chance to win some clay Masters and thereby increase the lead over Murray!


fedster Says:

Anyone who thinks that Murray’d play well in the clay season? Don’t know why, but I feel like he’d do well in the clay season and at Roland Garros too!!! I may be wrong, but I’m not willing to change my opinion in this respect until the start of Grass Season.


Duro Says:

Margot, Gasquet’s backhand is the most beautiful one ever. Justin Henin’s backhand is the most perfect one ever. I was very clear. If you don’t know what’s the difference between these two terms, I’ll be happy to explain you. Murray’s backhand, with all respect, cannot be compared with Henin’s or Federer’s. More efficient, yes (at the moment), but not better by any means.


Colin Says:

Backhands? You young whippersnappers should have seen Rod Laver’s (on a black-and-white TV!)


fedster Says:

margot, Murray’s one of the most exceptional talents I have ever seen in any of the sports! He can beat everyone and anywhere! I prefer Murray to Nole too! I don’t thik there’s anyone more talented and deadlier than Murray on his day, the only exceptions being guys like Fed, Safin, and then comes Nalby! For me it’s hard to bet against Fed, Safin and Nalby (if they are on)! If Murray develops his game to a little more extent, then he’ll join these three in the unbeatable club! And it’s needless to remind others about who in fact is the only invincible player on a particlar surface, I mean to say Rafa on clay! Sorry for my poor English!


Duro Says:

Hey Fedster, take it easy with Murray! He’s got so much to prove! Physics, all physics… defender, game-wise, covers the playground fantastically, very hard to beet, but not classy! He’s a worker, his legs are best, but… Let him win something first. The only two genuine, noble, pure, classy aristocratic tennis talents Fed and Novak Djokovic.


fedster Says:

Duro you are right that Murray indeed has to win a Grand Slam to earn respect by some people. But I have been a fan of Murray since the day I first saw him play against Fed in Dubai 2008! Fed, Safin and Nalbandian are of course very dangerous, but so is Murray. I suggest you to watch his match against Fed last year at Shanghai and then even if you don’t accept that Murray’s incredible, then I may not be able to convince you otherwise! By the way, if you are recognising that the court-coverage and speed of Murray is incredible as is of Rafa and was once upon a time of Fed too, then people like youn and me must gracefully except that MURRAY’S SPEED IN ITSELF IS THE MOST EXCEPTIONAL OF TALENTS/ASSETS BESTOWED UPON A HUMAN BEING! That’s all! But Murray to me right now is the most GENUINE talent besides guys like Fed and Rafa; what he achieves remains to be seen, but if he does not win a few slams, I’d be VERY VERY SURPRISED ! And I’d like to believe that Murray clearly edges Novak in mental strength!


jane Says:

Maybe Safin needed more emptiness. His forehand may’ve went off but so did his serve and hence Monfils was getting everything, I mean everything!, back. He just stayed the course.

It was a helluva match – thoroughly enjoyed at this end. i hope Safin doesn’t take it too hard; he did go off, but he played some beautiful tennis along the way. Have to seek out his presser.


MMT Says:

Duro: “Margot, Gasquet’s backhand is the most beautiful one ever. Justin Henin’s backhand is the most perfect one ever. I was very clear. If you don’t know what’s the difference between these two terms, I’ll be happy to explain you.”

I’m curious – what’s the difference? Personally, I didn’t find Henin’s backhand to be so good technically, nor aesthetically appealing – effective, but not so exactly textbook.

A nicer 1HBH on the women’s side belongs to Carla Suarez Navarro – that shot is a thing of beauty.


MMT Says:

Jane: I watched the end of the Safin/Monfils match with my father, and just as I was telling him that this Monfils is a dead-head and will never make it to the top, etc….he started junkballing Safin’s forehand, and Safin took the bait and was trying to launch cannons up the line over and over again. It was the first time I’ve seen this guy actually think on court…and then these quotes.

Well, it worked for him despite himself, assuming he wasn’t just putting up a smokescreen. But either way, it really reminded me of Ashe junkballing Connors to death @ Wimbledon in ’75. Like a “rope-a-dope”, which of course requires a dope on the other end. I don’t think Safin played those points very intelligently. You could just see him loading up on each subsequent forehand he hit, and eventually he’d spray it long or dump it into the net.

He would have been better off rolling it short and coming in on the response. Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

I realize I just obliquely referred to Safin as both a dope and a dog, so my apologies in advance to Safin fans :-)


Von Says:

“As ever, it is the fan – or shall we say “anti-fan” – who sees darkness where others do………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. GRENDEL’S JUST SPOT ON! I’m much lesser in terms of grace and wit and insight in comparison to Grendel, yet I don’t regret it!”
____________
gulu aka/fedster: Is this all you have to do? For the past two weeks you’ve been on your rant. With the Nadal fans and all others who aren’t singing enough of Federer’s praises.

Question: When is enough, enough for you? Or is it that Federer is the Alpha and Omega of your damn life. You come here, posting with your many, many aliases, curse, swear, whatever, and yet, you cannot exorcise the bloody demons that have taken over your wasted mind. Carry on, but FYI, you sound like a bloody empty vessel, which is what you are.

Why shouldn’t anyone speak up what they perceive to be Federer’s shortcomings? Is he perfect? I hope you don’t think so, because no one is? Also, when you get into your mode of pulling down every athlete you don’t like, and has to re-affirm it many, many times over, repeat, repeat, repeat, not to mention the vacillation. For example: Last week and on-going, Nadal is blah, blah; yesterday, Roddick was this and that, Djoko is a so and so, today, it’s Murray that’s not so talented. Back and forth, and on and on, and around and around it goes, until we’re back to square one. You thrive on this garbage.

Question: Do you only dwell on the personalities? Don’t you watch a match and ever feel the urge to discuss it? No, not you, it’s only the players you’re concerned about. How much you can pull every player down to exalt your precious Federer, your Rogi. I’m sick of your tripe.
____________
grendel: I told you last week I won’t answer you, and I’m not. You see grendel, I have a very stubborn streak, and I won’t give in. You can push as much as you want, but it will be only you who is doing the pushing. And don’t start sermonizing me, it will fall on deaf ears. I know what you’re looking for; it’s a long drawn out battle, but stand back, I’m not going to give it to you.

Question: A rhetorical one: Didn’t you have your fill on Roddick over Dubai? So why shouldn’t I state what’s the obvious with respect to Federer? The last time I checked the US still has the amendment which accords us the right of speech, as American citizen, and since this blog is a US based one, I’ll exercise my freedom of speech. And, if you don’t like it, then tough.

On second thoughts, how about if I stop posting, then you gulu/aka/fedster,aka Ryan is an Indian, etc, etc., can post to each other enlarging upon and inventing more accolades to be strewn at the majestic one’s feet.


Duro Says:

Mmt, what were you watching all these years!!! Justin Henin’s backhand is not technically so good!? Come on, man…


Von Says:

Margot: I promise you, this is not usually the normal weather for us, it really is close to paradise. Rain is not constant as at Wimby. It lasts maybe a few hours or a day, but then it’s over. Today is beautiful.
________________
MMT: I thought of you last evening as I was recording the upsets and chokes. Did you see anything?

Also, did you see the Berdych/Blake and Djok match? That’s what really brought you to mind. In the past you’ve mentioned the towelling off and the kids opening the umbrellas, but last night, I thought was funny. As the rain came down, I heard someone mention umbrellas, and there they had these litte girls struggling to hold open these huge umbrellas over the players’ heads.

During Berdych’s match he had an altercation with the umpire due to time, because as Berdych stated he was waiting for his towel. The umpire consoled him by telling him he’d speak to the kid to bring the towel more speedily, but in the future Berdych needs to proceed with the game, not hold it up due to his towel. I thought I heard you protesting. LOL.


Von Says:

STAFF: Please remove the post at 11:02 am from: Ryan is an Indian. It is dirty and offensive!


Duro Says:

Fedster, he’s in form!!! Form doesn’t last for ever. Talent does. You became a fan because of the match played only couple of months ago!? What would you say about Novak-Rafa Hamburg 2008? Did you see that match? I know about Murray much longer then couple of months, he’s the same generation as Novak. Only when you’re young you can tell how talented someone is. Novak was a class ahead of his generation. He won the IW match against Murray 6-1 6-0 two years ago. Does it tell you anything? Genuine talent? No. Work, fitness, speed, calmness, self confidence, ok. Speed isn’t a talent, fitness isn’t a talent, hard work isn’t a talent, calmness is a natural characteristic, and self confidence comes and goes depending on the results. Talent he has all right, but only Fed and Novak (not even Nadal) have such sort of it to be called genuine! As I said before, pure, genuine, noble, classy, aristocratic talent (aristocratic partI give to Fed mainly). Fedster, stick to your Federer! He’s an artist. Murray is just good in-form player. Praise him when he proves many times what you expect from him!


grendel Says:

“I know what you’re looking for; it’s a long drawn out battle”. (Von).

Absolutely not. The last thing I want to do is to “push you” as you put it, and nor have I done any sermonising. And I am delighted that you continue to exercise your right of free speech with verve, vigour and plenitude. I am really not trying to personalise this, in fact I do everything I can to avoid it – unlike last year, where it became very personal and bitter.

But if you say something which in my view is both wrong AND scurrilous, and which is taken up by at least one more poster, then I exercise my right to free speech to correct it insofar as I can. You say: “So why shouldn’t I state what’s the obvious with respect to Federer?” First of all, it’s none of my business what you say, but this is a public forum and I’m am entitled to rebut what I feel is a seriously wrong allegation, whether it’s made by you or anyone else. Naturally, I disagree strongly that what you say is “obvious with respect to Federer”.

Even supposing the magazine got it right – and we all know how newspapers get this kind of thing wrong all the time – there are many interpretations one could put on to Mirka’s remark other than the one you put on to it. The most likely one would be that Mirka was joyfully stunned by Federer’s performance, as of course was Federer himself. When an expert gets something absolutely right, this is generally so unusual that it is an occasion for huge elation. The person feels on cloud nine. It’s a very good moment I imagine (obviously I’ve never experienced anything like this myself, but even getting small things right can induce considerable satisfaction), and the person undergoing it is surely entitled to his moment under the sun. He’s unlikely to get too many in a lifetime. To interpret this, in Federer’s case, as gloating over the destruction of Roddick just seems to me smallminded – and incorrect. I daresay other posters will make their own minds up as to who is nearer the truth. But I would point out, Von, that if somebody else had made the same allegations, I would want to refute them. Criticising Federer is one thing; like all big names, it is important to subject him (and Roddick and Nadal, though Federer, insofar as he has more fame, more than the others) to continuous scrutiny. But demonising him is another matter altogether.


margot Says:

Duro: two years ago Andy was just recovering from a wrist injury that laid him low in 2007. I don’t know what you mean by “genuine” either, I think it’s smoke and mirrors cos it’s obvious, with a combination of hard work, great talent and hunger Murray will overtake Nole soon. Also, please explain your interpretation of the difference between beauty and perfection.
Fedster: please decide, is it Nole or Murray you’re rooting for, I’m confused. If it’s Andy, I’d like to welcome you to the Murray supporters society. However, must warn you it’s a bit of bumpy ride at times!
MMT: YES! Carla Suarez navarro’s backhand is gorgeous! she’s very young isn’t she? I feel she’ll go far.


MMT Says:

Duro: I gave an example of Navarro’s backhand that I feel is technically superior to Henin’s, and I’ll describe the differences:

Whereas Henin’s topsin backhand was often hit on her backfoot, leaning back and hitting up against the ball to generate the top required to keep it down, Navrarro’s is very balanced, weight moving forward through the point of contact and equal parts spin and pace. Henin on the other hand relied more heavily on the slice and her outstanding movement to keep her in the point until the she was in a position to attack on that side. Furthermore, Henin’s backhand often interrupted the follow through in order to maintain racquet head control through the point of contact, often stopping the racquet head and actually bringining it back down – in other words, a lot of arm. Whereas Navarro’s follow through is almost completely open, allowing for the full release of kinetic energy through the stroke.

I would suggest that 9 out of 10 players could not hit an effective backhand using Henin’s technique, whereas almost anyone could with Navarro’s because Henin’s required better hands and racquet head control, but Navarro’s was more technically sound. I know Henin’s backhand was supposed to be a thing of beauty, but I beg to differ.

Mind you, I’m not saying it wasn’t a good backhand, or perhaps even more effective than Navarro’s, just that it is not a model that I would teach for the average player because it requires way too much feel and practice.


MMT Says:

Von: Well, we were 2 for 2 with McEnroe and Novotna. Coria I didn’t see coming but should have…Todd Martin I had no idea about that one. I didn’t even know Washington had beaten him that year. There was one more that escapes me…do you the other choke? I was half asleep when I watched it. Speaking of half asleep…

I saw parts of Berdych Blake, but fell asleep on the couch watching it – I’m sure it was a good match, but those two banging away at the ball alternating crazy winners and crazy errors just didn’t do it for me.

That said, based on your description, I think the umpire made a big mistake – he should have told him to leave the kid alone and get on with it. Pat cash used to carry a towel in his waist-line that he used between points and I think I saw Djokovic using sawdust (a la Borg and Lendl).

Just get on with it, already!


Duro Says:

Margot, look at your Murray now… So average, maximum number 2 player… He’s a defender. He doesn’t know how to attack. No respect for defenders!


Duro Says:

Mmt: You’re comparing Navarro to Justine Henin!? She’s a 50 kilos woman and hits stronger then he does! So, you teach now?


Duro Says:

Sorry, than she does!


jane Says:

margot says: “please decide, is it Nole or Murray you’re rooting for, I’m confused. If it’s Andy, I’d like to welcome you to the Murray supporters society. However, must warn you it’s a bit of bumpy ride at times!”

Well first off, it’s pretty bumpy on Novak’s train these days too!

But let me just say something to your imperitive “please, decide.”

Why must a tennis fan choose only one player for whom to root, and can’t the player for whom the fan is rooting vary from match-to-match, season-to-season, holding on even to sentimental faves along the way? I hate drawing lines in the sand, even though some lines must be drawn. But since this is merely sport,and nothing serious or life threatening… . I like Novak, Murray, Safin, Roddick, Tsonga, Simon, etc. etc. even though currently I am drawn to cheer most for Novak, but I also cheer for Murray in all of his matches; when he plays Novak I root for Novak but really just enjoy the ride, watching good tennis from both. Same with Fed/ Nadal matches; I’ve come to just appreciate their rivalry (though I often hope OTHERS reach the finals for some variety).

Bottom line: don’t we all just want to see exciting well player tennis matches?


jane Says:

well played…doh.


Duro Says:

Margot, wrist injury? They were in the same camp, training together for couple of years. Novak is one class ahead of him! Murray never won a match between them in that period, only 2 out of 6 now. If Nole returns (this is a matter of time) and starts playing as he knows, no Murray will match him. Novak Djokovic is simply better player than he is.


Duro Says:

Hi Janie! I wish I was you, to love everyone… You’re great!


MMT Says:

Sorry Duro – not sure what you meant here, but I only compared their backhands. Here’s Suarez Navarro in her finest moment against Venus Williams at the AO this year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiyWlbLmZV0

Now compare to Henin, in one of her best matches against Sharapova. She does hit some doozies in this match, no question about it, but if you look at the errors, of which there are a few, you can see her technique isn’t the best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oo93psAb7OQ

The thing is, you can hit the ball really hard without perfect technique if your movement and hands do most of the work for you, and I think this was the case with Henin.

Good backhand, but not one I would say, go out and emulate this. For that, I offer Suarez Navarro.


Duro Says:

MMT, I thought Navarro was some guy from the past until I read it all. This is why I said that Henins hits stronger than a man! Are you a trainer, coach, are you teaching tennis? You didn’t answer me that.


Duro Says:

Von, where are you? I miss you here!


Duro Says:

Margot, nothing impressive of your Murray… Even Massu has better forehand than he has. Defender, boring defender…


margot Says:

jane: I merely wished him to decide cos his posts appeared to be directly contradictory, one minute wanting Nole to stay no3, the next wanting Murray to overtake him. That’s all. I like loads of different players too , but like you with Nole, if they’re playing Andy M I want him to win…but…
… Andy was winning comfortably, suddenly he lets Massu right back into the match AAAAAHHHH …can’t stand the pain, think I’ll support Rafa, no worries, no anxieties, just win, win, all the way. how peaceful.
Duro: Andy’s exasperating and far too passive a lot of the time, I agree, but the talent is there I think. I also think he’s still quite raw and has a way to go yet. Not everyone is a fully formed tennis player at 21. In fact the mighty Fed took some years to perfect his craft, I seem to remeber. And are you doubting he had a wrist injury?


grendel Says:

Well, the most stunning backhand in those clips of MMT seemed to me to be one by Sharapova (early on). Goodness, she is missed. The shrieking is always irritating, but the sheer quality of her play more than makes up for it. If she’s a ball basher as some allege, well, to me, when she’s on song, she’s quite wonderful – I thought she matched the great Henin in that match, even though chronically short of match practice. Of course when she was off, she was quite dreadful. Quite what one should deduce from this, I don’t know. But I hope Sharapova comes back. She can, sometimes, provide real excitement. I’m still keen to know whether she will ever be able to offer serious resistance to Serena Williams – who will always ensure she is at her very best for the Russian. Serena has never forgiven Sharapova for her presumption as a 17 year old in taking her Wimbledon crown – at least, that’s the impression I get.

jane, yes, Safin’s serve went as well certainly. We were all rooting for Safin of course, even though Monfils is also a favourite. How can you not love a guy who can sometimes play such meaningless shots and yet shortly pull out a stroke probably beyond the capabilities of anyone on the tour? But when Safin was broken at 5-2, I felt that was it, even though he was still a break up. He just looked too tense.

“this is merely sport,and nothing serious or life threatening…” Well, Bill Shankley, the great Liverpool manager in the sixties ansd 70′s once said:”Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you, it is much, much more important than that”,. Of course to Shankley, who lived and breathed football, there is nothing hyperbolic about these words. There is a story that one Sunday he was on leave, and he wanted to watch some football and there was no league football in Liverpool and none on in Manchester and surrounding cities, either. So he took himself off to the local park, and watched the kids knocking the ball around. I wonder if those kids ever had any idea just who was watching them.


Duro Says:

Margot, no I don’t, but unless it lasted for 5 years it won’t convince me that it was the reason to lose every match from Novak when they were juniors. Every player and couch from that academy knows who was the biggest talent back then. Murray is very good contender now, very very hard to be beaten.


jane Says:

And I love Monfils’ hair; it looks so wild and uncouth, which somehow matches his tennis style. Very all over the place and shockingly sublime somehow too. He’s so fun to watch. Loose with Safin’s tightness as a counterpart. Still say it’s the match of the tournament so far.

grendel – well for some, who live and breath a sport – I suppose there’s a metaphorical life & death connection. But generally speaking no lines really need be adhered to except the ones on the court (in this case). It’s not like we’re talking about cloning or something, in which case, perhaps some lines should be drawn.

Oh yes – and I miss Maria too. I think her “swinging volleys” are tops and her competitive side too. She never wimps out even when she’s being beaten off the court. I like that about her. Shrieking, well, what can ya do? There is the mute.

margot – fair enough. Just had to throw my indecisiveness out there as another viewpoint. Murray pulled out the win in straight sets so try not to fret too much; you’ll give yourself a coronary (this is one of those many instances when I should take my own advice, of course).


grendel Says:

“There is the mute.” Except then you can’t hear racket on ball. Back to Shankley – a Scot who was acquainted not with grief (like Jesus) but with poverty. He could keep a straight face with the best of them. But he was being half serious. After all, what is important in life? If you say, children, for instance, then you have to ask: what then is important in their lives? And so you get into an infinite regression. The fact is, to someone, making mudpies might be the be-all and end-all – and why not? So why not tennis?

I remember going to a cinema to watch, live, Muhamed Ali versus Frazier. Cost me a pretty packet, I can tell you. Strange, smoky drinky atmosphere considering a few hours earlier it had been a sedate lounge to watch Paul Newman or somebody do his stuff. Anyway, this old fellow – yes, in those days, I was young and other people were old – plonked himself next to me, a thin fellow with a gaunt face and a peaked cap. “I expect you like boxing pretty much?” he said to me by way of an opener. I made some non-committal remark. “It’s my life,” he said simply. “Ah,” I remarked with as much wisdom as I could inject into that syllable. Of course, not only did he love boxing as such, but he hung onto it all sorts of other things. For example, he was outraged by Ali’s attitude to the Vietnam war, so he was looking forward to Frazier giving Ali a right old pounding. I was hoping for Ali to win, so I suspected this was going to prove a longish evening. As a matter of fact, the fight was so enthralling, and the battlers were so evenly matched and so utterly different in style that one just became utterly absorbed. We parted on good terms.


jane Says:

Well, I wouldn’t kill someone over a tennis match spat, but I would leap in front of a car to protect my son. I am not trying to act all moral or anything, but still, sport is sport. Somehow family trumps sport.

But wait a sec, the boxing story you share reminds me of “The Wrestler,” in which case, for the character, sport is life AND death. It is, on some level, where he shapes his family too. Back to muddy lines I see.

(weird – somehow it is important to hear the sound in tennis; the other night, I guess it was last night [they're all blurring through these days] anyhow, I noted how the sound of the ball Mathieu was hitting was so crisp and when Djoko hit it the ball sounded different somehow, the sound varied more…)


tenisbebe Says:

ok – where is everyone and what are they watching? My internet was down most of yesterday so missed Djoko’s match (and the blogging) – so bummed. He won, yes?

jane – I getcha with the rooting thing. Saw the Wawa/Igor matchup today, picked Igor to root for; started watching Gonzo/Worm – am rooting for the Worm (this is a first for me!). That’s what I truly like about tennis – I am not married to any one player right now (a year ago was a different story) so although you might watch your guy fall before the final (if not in the top 8), at least it’s more adventuresome.


jane Says:

tenisbebe, yep Djoko won. The first set was touch and go; he started strong and then began making unforced errors, but in the second set he cleaned those up altogether. However, he was helped along by Mathieu who kind of fell apart, making double fault after double fault, and foot faults, etc. His errors did not go down with Djoko’s, who also served better overall in the second set.

I see the Worm won the first set; suppose I should tune in.

I know what you mean about players falling; sure, I am disappointed when Djoko loses, but I am still thoroughly engrossed in the event, and really just decide who to root for on a match by match basis oftentimes. Makes it fun. Plus, there are just so many great players; how to pick one!?


tenisbebe Says:

Jane says: “…but I am still thoroughly engrossed in the event, and really just decide who to root for on a match by match basis oftentimes. Makes it fun. Plus, there are just so many great players; how to pick one!?” Precisely how I feel & operate – match-by-match, tourney-by-tourney.

Wow, Lopez is up 4-1b on Verdasco already – I adore both of these guys – for obvious reasons (wink). In person, Feli reminds me alot of Carlos, soft spoken and with a cat-like calmness. Hot sauce is much more bold. As Scarlett O’Hara said, “I just can’t decide which one is the handsomest”.


tenisbebe Says:

Re: Verdasco & Lopez, this can’t be easy for them to play one another. Lopez stayed up with Verdasco to calm him down & give him confidence before V’s Davis Cup final match.


jane Says:

I was thinking that too tenisbebe: two Adonises. F-Lo can turn it on, on the court I mean, especially a fast one, but I am still surprised that he won that first set rather readily, i.e., without a tiebreak. But he did take out Querrey, who has been on form too. Maybe this court suits him? Do you know if it plays a lot faster than IW?


tenisbebe Says:

Jane – I do not know if it plays fast than IW – that’s Von’s terrain, tee hee. Feli does seem to prefer HC’s to clay, odd isn’t it? They just said Miami is his preferred vacation destination (or should I say holiday?). More gossip. Notice we are not seeing fistpumps, etc. from either player – a sign of respect I think.

Thank you for the Djoko match update – I appreciate you filling me in. Glad Djoko steadied himself and won admirably.


TD (Tam) Says:

Good evening jane and tenisbebe.

I am watching Verdasco and Lopez now, its surprising how the stands are practically empty. Isnt this supposed to be the marquee match?


tenisbebe Says:

Tam – Yes, marquee to us! The fans that are present are very vocal! This third set is getting good……


jane Says:

TD (Tam) – Hi yourself; shame the stadium isn’t more packed. But it’s been a pretty competitive match. F-Lo was definitely in it until he gave that break to Tobasco on a double. Would be surprised if Fernando doesn’t serve it out now.

BTW, should be an exciting match between your Andy and Monfils tomorrow, depending on which Monfils shows up.


Bonita Says:

Roddick though is playing better than last year, I will like to say Roger will not lose to him this time. A straight set win by Roger is all that I wish for, sorry Roddick fans but he’s no match to Roger, Rafa, Djoko or Murray


tenisbebe Says:

Bonita Says: “sorry Roddick fans but he’s no match to Roger, Rafa, Djoko or Murray”

No match for Djoko? Even if you give Djoko the AO win by Roddick (which is a generous give), I guess that win by Roddick over Novak at IW was meaningless? hmmm

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