Murray Says He Can Be No. 1 This Year; Dokic on Downslide
by Staff | April 5th, 2009, 11:17 pm
  • 119 Comments

Interpublic Group’s The Martin Agency has taken over the approximate $8 million ad account for the USTA…

Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish were supposed to play the shooting game “Horse” with the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade during the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, but the meeting was called off due to scheduling conflicts. “Mardy’s actually got a pretty good shot,” James Blake told the AP leading up to the meeting. “Hopefully the cameras will be rolling and you can watch Andy throw up a few bricks…If they’re both together and they get about five extra letters, they might — no, they still don’t have a chance.” Roddick was the one with the scheduling conflict after his second match scheduling was announced. “I’m kind of mad. [Wade]‘s like my favorite athlete, so I’m just going to have to pull out — of the tournament,” Roddick joked…


Italy’s Filippo Volandri has had his three-month suspension for using the banned substance salbutamol (for asthma) overturned after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport…

According to the Miami Herald, one-third of the spectators at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami/Key Biscayne have a net worth of $1 million or more. With the event drawing approximately 300,000 patrons during the tournament, that’s a lot of cash coming through the gate…

Serena Williams held a press conference during the Miami event to reveal her new “Signature Statement” fashion and accessories collection, including handbags, jewelry and apparel, whihc will be available exclusively at HSN and HSN.com…

INJURED — American Robby Ginepri recently had appendix surgery; Japan’s Kei Nishikori is out with an arm injury…

Serena Williams won Player of the Year at the awards ceremony for 2008 at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami last week, but was a no-show at the presentation…

REMOVE BIG BILL? — Tennis writer Charlie Bricker has a suggestion as the USTA polls tennis writers as to who should be next nominated for the US Open’s Court of Champions: “Remove that disgraced pedophile Bill Tilden from the Court of Champions. It’s an outrage to the sporting public that Tilden should be celebrated by the USTA. He was a great tennis player, dominating the game during the 1920s and remaining at No. 1 for seven years. He was also a pedophile who no doubt destroyed the lives of dozens of children. He was a criminal who perpetrated one of the most disgusting of crimes. Somehow, he was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1959, even after he had spent jail time for his sexual involvement with children. That obviously doesn’t matter to those people who run the Hall of Fame. Go to the Hall web site and read about Tilden. At the end of a long list of his tennis accomplishments, he’s described as having run afoul of “morals charges” that made his later life difficult. Morals charges! Funny, but not funny humorous. Funny disturbing. I guess the executives at the Hall couldn’t quite bring themselves to call Tilden what he was. What Michael Vick did to his dogs was reprehensible and he’s paid for it. What Tilden did was far worse.”…

The Swedish Tennis Association was fined $25,000 and the City of Malmo was banned from hosting Davis Cup matches for five years because of the decision to play Israel while banning fans from attending. “The committee strongly condemned the decision by the city government of Malmo to refuse to allow spectators to attend the matches and the resultant fact that the Swedish Tennis Association played the tie behind closed doors,” the committee said in a statement…

Andy Murray says he can be No. 1 by the end of the year…

Since her stunning quarterfinal run at the Australian Open, Jelena Dokic has lost twice in the first round (Memphis, Indian Wells) and has now withdrawn from the PVB event citing “sports fatigue syndrome”…

Jurgen Melzer signed with Dunlop…

LARRY HAS ONE FOOT OUT THE WTA DOOR — WTA CEO Larry Scott is already into the transition to become commissioner of the NCAA Pac-10 Conference. Two Fridays ago Friday Scott was in Indianapolis watching some March Madness and visiting NCAA offices. Scott will replace Tom Hansen on July 1, and told the media he has a “unique vantage point” after “repositioning” the WTA…


Also Check Out:
Henin Pulls from Sydney; WTA Previews
Serena Whines; Federer Swipes Murray; Nadal Thai Cash Grab
Nadal, Murray, Roddick, Venus Highlight Day One at Wimbledon
Unseeded Serena Williams, Clijsters to Meet Early at Rogers Cup
Tennis-X Notes: Rafa Rages Against ATP, Dokic Wants Help

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119 Comments for Murray Says He Can Be No. 1 This Year; Dokic on Downslide

sar Says:

Andy Murray says he can be No. 1 by the end of the year…

Don’t think he can do it.


sar Says:

Murray may skip Madrid

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article6031864.ece

“Though he will not say so publicly, the 22-year-old is worried that a
tournament staged at 650 metres above sea level does not offer the
most suitable preparation for his fourth defence of the French Open,
which begins in Paris six days later.”


sar Says:

sorry, meant Nadal


Jo Says:

I think Andy Murray maybe able to become No. 1 by the end of the year if he can manage to sweep the Wimbledon & the US open. Also, it will depend on how Nadal performs on up coming events. Time will tell.


Von Says:

The following underlines my post a few days ago regarding breaks for injury time-outs, its effects, and its disruption of the opponent’s rhythm. I think ATP should take action pronto in this regard, because too many players lose matches when their momentum is broken; some players on the surface seem to not be affected, but are probably boiling up inside.

In Murray’s match v. DelPotro he was consistently signaling the umpire regarding DelPotro’s time, by pointing to his watch. However, the umpire as usual, sat there like the usual bump on a log. Is it any wonder why tennis does not get any respect regarding TV coverage?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article6042003.ece


margot Says:

Von: have got to agree with you. In Andy’s match against Jko Andy was leading by a set and a game when Jko called the world and his wife onto court. They had a wee chat, then left without Jko receiving any treatment. Andy’s concentration was clearly upset and he lost the next 5(?) games. I don’t know how much the American commentators made of this but the Brits were fairly p—-d off!


jane Says:

Von – interesting article, a little hyperbolic perhaps; I doubt that tennis fans are “turning away in droves” but there is no doubt that it is up to the umpires to be more proactive: making quicker calls and overrules, timing people on serve preparations, cracking down on time outs and/or trainer calls.

Presumably, too, if the ATP think Novak, JMDP or whomever are abusing the rules, then they should likely address those players personally and/or adjust the rules, or basically do whatever they need to do in order to crack down on any real or perceived abuse.

These sorts of delays are nothing new, though, are they? I remember Santoro and James Blake, at the USO at couple years back, and Santoro’s cramping and sitting with an icepack on his head and so forth; it was crazy! Or Mac’s endless on-court tantrums, which were tolerated to a point, and then which cost him a point or a fine.

But there’s no doubt that people are tired of Novak’s trainer calls, myself included, and I am a fan. So I hope something can be done to help him and hinder him or anyone from abusing the rules.


Von Says:

Margot: You probably missed my post on another thread, but when Djoko called for the trainer, I closed my eyes for what I thought would be a few seconds, and I heard the commentators say the trainer call concerned Djoko’s heat exhaustion, he was feeling very tired and couldn’t move his legs, etc., to which the trainer replied that there’s nothing they could do for him. And, that’s all I heard. I suppose I fell asleep, because when I again looked at the TV Golf was being shown and I hadn’t a clue as to who won. Our commentators were the Americans on CBS with Carillo, and I have no idea what was said.

“Andy’s concentration was clearly upset and he lost the next 5(?) games.”

Wasn’t there a similar situation with Nalby after Nadal called for a trainer? Nalby just seemed to go away, his focus and game went down the drain. I’m very much against stupid trainer calls. If a player is legitimately hurt, yes indeed, call the trainer, because no one should suffer needlessly, but for God’s sake, don’t call for a trainer for an significant problem that can wait or doesn’t absolutely need attention. Anyway, that’s just my opinion, and it’s one of the reasons I’m watching more Basketball nowadays. I’m hoping by the time A-Rod retires, I’ll be fully weaned from tennis, but then Andy M will still be around, so I’m hoping the rules change. Ha, ha.


margot Says:

Von: couldn’t agree more. It’s called “gamesmanship” isn’t it?
Staff: you are STILL using that photo that makes Andy look like a werewolf. Can’t you afford a new one?


Von Says:

jane: Maybe a bit of hyperbole, but you’d be amazed how many sports fans don’t care for tennis due to the amount of time that’s wasted and the never-ending returns for long points, towelling off, etc.

Yes, the delays are nothing new, but they’ve hit epidemic proportions. It seems like everybody and his brother is calling for a trainer for nonsensical stuff and I personally feel that the time violations are tantamount to cheating. I used that phrase before, do you think the writer plagiarized my words using them in his article?. ha, ha.

“Presumably, too, if the ATP think Novak, JMDP or whomever are abusing the rules, then they should likely address those players personally and/or adjust the rules, or basically do whatever they need to do in order to crack down on any real or perceived abuse.”

Djoko and JMDP are not the only offenders, there are quite a few of them, who are recidivists, but the problem definitely lies with the umpires who are becoming more and more lackadaisical in their jobs. I think umpires are a hindrance to the sport, because their ineptness could really hurt a player and cause him to lose a match. To cite a few, Roddick 2001 USO, Roddick 3rd set at Bercy, and Ljub at IW. During Blake’s match v. Berdych, Blake spoke to the ump re Berdych’s time wasting, but it was like talking to a deaf man, eventually the ump did something and gave Berdych a violation for wasting time – Berdych said he was waiting for the ball kid to bring his towel. Why didn’t he just walk over and get the towel? That would have simpler, but the real reason was that Berdych was tired and was stalling to buy some time to catch his breath. At IW during Roddick’s SF match, nothing was done either by the ump re the repeated time violations.

“But there’s no doubt that people are tired of Novak’s trainer calls, myself included, and I am a fan.”

He’s not the only one. The problem for Djoko is when his ITOs are done — they are at the high profile tourneys, which make more of an impression, hence the complaints. Hopefully, he can find a coach and a trainer who are wiling to impress upon him the seriousness of the situation and then we’ll see some changes. Get rid of Vajda — problem solved.

________________
Margot: “Jko called the world and his wife onto court.” when did Djoko obtain a wife. do you know something we don’t? Ha. ha.


Colin Says:

Von, you’re apparently are not familiar with the phrase “The world and his wife”. The wife is the world’s, not Novak’s.
As for the heading of this article, I want to see chapter and verse. When and where did Murray say he could get to No.1 this year? I’ll believe it when I see a reliable reference.


Colin Says:

Murray is quoted as saying after the final:
“There are so many great players just now – Novak, Rafa [Nadal], Roger [Federer] – and they’ve been dominating the slams for the last few years. It would be nice to get in there and take one.” I wonder if the writer of the article misinterpreted that to mean “Number one”. Of course Andy meant “one of the slams”.


zola Says:

Colin
**
I wonder if the writer of the article misinterpreted that to mean “Number one”. Of course Andy meant “one of the slams”.
***

Nothing with the media surprises me. They do anything to create a big title and sell more. Have you noticed how they ask a player something and then go ask the other player ” did you know that …. said this about you”?

I read Murray’s presser and can’t agree with you more.


MMT Says:

Colin: “I want to see chapter and verse. When and where did Murray say he could get to No.1 this year? I’ll believe it when I see a reliable reference.”

I too was more than skeptical about this quote. It turns out it’s a complete lie: he didn’t vow to become #1. Even the citing arcile doesn’t provide a quote “vowing to become #1″.

The article is written by Alix Ramsay of the Daily Record (http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/tennis-news/2009/03/25/andy-murray-vows-to-become-world-number-1-by-end-of-the-year-86908-21226291/).

Here’s the exact quote: “If I win that percentage of my service games during the whole year I think I can finish No.1 in the world.”

Coupled with the next quote, which is clearly taken out of context in the article: “If I’m breaking serve around 40 per cent of the time and getting broken 13 per cent I’m going to win pretty much every match I play.”

Technically he’s correct – if he wins almost 9 out of 10 service games, and breaks almost 4 out 10 returning games, he will never lose. But he never “vows” to become #1 by the end of the year.

This is pure sensationalism, and she is officially on my DO-NOT-READ list, along with Peter Bodo.


jane Says:

Yes, I read the same quote MMT that referrs to; i believe it was either Murray’s post-IW loss to Nadal interview or his pre-Miami tourney interview:

“The Scot said: “If I win that percentage of my service games during the whole year I think I can finish No.1 in the world.”

I don’t think he “vowed” it either; he was merely talking about how well he’s been playing – ref. to his serving in particular.


MMT Says:

Von: I think a solution to the time violations is a clock on the court 25 seconds from the moment the score is called – if the player hasn’t hit his serve in those 25 seconds, then they start with the standard code of conduct violation sequence. That takes the umpires out of it, who clearly do not want to be the bad guy, and vary their assessments based on god knows what.

As for the injury timeouts, I think a player should have 1 per TOURNAMENT, with an additional time-out at the discretion of the umpire if the player (for example) falls and appears to injure himself. If they’re really injured, they’ll use it, if not they’ll get on with it like they do in every other sport.

One more rule: the injury time-out can only be taken before their own serve. If they can’t wait until their service game, then they would have to forfeit the game (which they could do without incurring a lack of effort violation).

It’s hard for me to say if Djokovic does this on purpose. Generally he seems like a honest person, so it seems to me he’s just really quick to call a trainer – a bit of a hypochondriac. It was rightly pointed out in another thread that against Tsonga he took a time out while leading, which contradicts the suggestion of gamesmanship. Whether it’s done for gamesmanship is largely irrelevant – it’s not fair to the opponent if it’s not a genuine injury.

Murray clearly had a dip in form after that, while Djokovic was able to catch his breath and start hitting belters. It was obvious there was no “injury”. Even the trainer just sat their next to him, and didn’t do a damn thing.

The players have had it too easy for too long – it’s time for them to ante up and kick in like men…all of them.


jane Says:

What I mean to say is I believe the snippet the Daily Record quoted (out of context) was from one of Murray’s pressers, as mentioned above.


doobee doug da dinker Says:

As undeserving as it would be, Andy Murray could be ranked #1 and have never won a major title somewhat similar to Marcelo Rios and Jelena Jankovic. The points and ranking system in tennis is the dumbest in sports we all can agree to that. Good morning Jane and thanks for all you do here to keep this site fresh and informative.


Colin Says:

Actually, there’s no need to take a timeout or call the trainer. Remember what happened earlier in the year? Murray fell down and yelled, looking as if he’d ruptured himself, and it seemed to put Federer right off his game. Of course you’d have to be careful to get it just right or you’d be genuinely injured!
P.S. I’m not really suggesting Andy did it on purpose.


Colin Says:

Another topic concerning Andy Murray – clay. A poster on the BBC website forum ststed the following:
“When Murray was 17 and playing on the futures circuit, clay was actually his most successful surface.
Clay- 24 wins, 5 defeats, 3 Tournament wins.
HC- 18 wins, 5 defeats, 2 tournament wins.”

Being a lazy so-and-so, I haven’t checked the accuracy of that, but it’s certainly interesting.


doobee doug da dinker Says:

If Murray were to make it to the final at the French to face Nadal or Federer I would be so stoked and excited as ever and maybe he is destined to win it in Paris. It would be nice if for once a totally, shocking upset could occur at a major where an unseeded player wins a title. I am all for that type of story to capture the interest in tennis, anything I can do to help the game I will do it. Even Andy Roddick would be nice to see win a major after all he has been through, Von. Like the old saying goes, “its Miller time”… well people welcome to “Murray’s time” if he can beat Nadal at the French I would probably run down the street in my underwear from my apartment. Just kidding I would not do that I would probably get arrested for the way the cops are in my neighborhood. I off to the grocery store then coming home to pack for trip. I think I just twittered jane. LOL


andrea Says:

murray is definitely getting better every month it seems but he still has an inconsistent streak. he just got blown away at IW a couple of weeks ago (even it it was a final), and struggled in a 5 setter against verdasco at the AO.

he seems to blow hot and cold much more than the other top players. but, since he is one of the top players now making machinations towards the #1 ranking is par for the course.

i never saw the final, but heard about the trainer incident. it’s getting to the point where novak needs to question his ability to persevere and have longevity in this sport with now fairly regular trainer calls for exhaustion. he obviously has the chops but it’s a real drag to see him in these semis and finals pulling this kind of stuff.


Naydal Says:

Murray will not be number one. end of story.


Colin Says:

Naydal – “End of story” you say, but you seem to have missed the middle of the story! As has been discussed at some length, Murray never said he could or would be No 1 this year.
Andrea – yes Murray does tend to blow hot and cold, but it’s in a match rather than in a whole tournament, usually. At Indian Wells he was literally blown off course by the wind. Yes, Nadal handled it better, but Andy could hardly be expected to change his entire game literally overnight to suit the conditions. And what do you mean by “machinations toward the #1 ranking”? See my reply above, to Naydal.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Andy Murray thinks he can be #1 by the end of the season. Andy try winning a grand slam 1st. What a joke. He wins Miami by beating Del Potro and a “not in form” Djokovic. He didn’t have to play Nadal or Federer. He was lucky. He still has a long way to go. How long was Nadal #2 before he became #1?

Nadal, baring injury, will be #1 by the end of the season again. Who is going to beat him at the French or Wimbledon and please don’t say Federer?

Under pressure, Nadal is the greatest player ever.

Murray has yet to prove he can handle those types of pressure packed moments. Let’s see him wear down Nadal in 5 sets. Not likely!


MMT Says:

Cindy_Brady: While Murray is yet to prove he can win a slam, of all the players on tour who haven’t, I wouldn’t bet a dime on anyone else other than Murray. I don’t know about his abilities on clay, but I wouldn’t put it past him to win that tournament, given his scrambling and variety. On grass, he lost to a very in-form Nadal, there can be no question about his pedigree on hard courts.

At this time last year, if you’d said Federer would lose the #1 ranking before the US Open, you’d have been laughed out of the room. I’m not saying I think it will happen, but once he wins his first slam, I think more will follow.

I must also take issue with one more point – there are a lot of players in the history of the game who have played well under pressure, Nadal is just the latest. He may go on to be the greatest but I don’t think you can give that to him just yet.


Colin Says:

Cindy, it’s getting tiresome, people posting without reading what’s come before. Read my posting just before yours. Murray DID NOT say he would be No 1 this year. That’s been discussed and thrashed out already, at some length.
As for beating Nadal in 5 sets, it may have escaped your notice, but Murray has done just that.


jane Says:

Colin,

And if you read at the ATP website, under Murray’s “player profile” (or whatever they’re called), I am pretty sure it says his “favorite” surface is clay! (I am being lazy too and have not double checked that.)


jane Says:

Okay I just double checked – it’s under the player section and then under the “career/bio”
section, and yes, Murray declared his favorite surface to be clay; I know as a junior he reached the RG semis, and also won the USO as a junior; we know he can play good on grass, so it’ll be interesting to see. He’s got the variety and talent for every surface.


Vared Says:

He wins Miami by beating Del Potro and a “not in form” Djokovic. He didn’t have to play Nadal or Federer.

Cindy Brady:
I agree with you. Let him win a GS first. Isn’t Sean usually saying that about Djokovic wins? He didn’t play this guy or that guy so it doesn’t really count? LOL


Dani Says:

two minutes of a med break between the two sets was REEEALLY such an abuse of time, really?

time Nadal between the points to see what a real abuse of time is


Cindy_Brady Says:

Clay is Murray’s best surface? LOL…

What has he accomplished on it. All his big wins have been on hard courts.

There isn’t one person on this site who would bet on Murray over Nadal at the French open. AND if they did I would say they don’t know shit about tennis!

Pardon my FRENCH!!


Vared Says:

Cindy Brady:
There is something called karma and the announcers yesterday said that Murray and his team when they saw the weather report showing the high heat/humidity index for the match said “GREAT NEWS.” The last time a player said some crap about Djokovic at DC got karma-spanked. That player would be Federer and he hasn’t been the same since, nor will he ever be. Murray will suffer due to his wishing negativity on others.


Von Says:

MMT:

“Von: I think a solution to the time violations is a clock on the court 25 seconds from the moment the score is called – if the player hasn’t hit his serve in those 25 seconds, then they start with the standard code of conduct violation sequence. That takes the umpires out of it, who clearly do not want to be the bad guy, and vary their assessments based on god knows what.”

The clock is a very good suggestion, but we’re dealing with humans here, the umpires, whose job it will be to set the clock. I’m positive many of them will forget to do so, conveniently. There’s also a huge problem with respect to the umpires that I’ve noticed, some of them clearly have favourites and turn a blind eye to what their favourite players do, but they come down very hard on other players they don’t like. What can we do about that kind of human error or emotion? Absolutely nothing.

“Whether it’s done for gamesmanship is largely irrelevant – it’s not fair to the opponent if it’s not a genuine injury.”

This is my point, why allow a player to call a trainer for a non-injury problem that is not hampering their game. I must emphasize that Djokovic is NOT the only player who does this. I mentioned this a few days ago with respect to other players calling for non-injury problems and I know I’m now ‘permanently’ on their fans’ hate list for my remarks. The non-injuries to me, is pure unadulterated gamesmanship to catch their breath and give them a pause to refresh after playing a long point that has knocked the wind out of their sails, or if they are losing, to throw off their opponent’s rhythm and momentum, which is without a doubt the MO of some of the players, and one that has also proven without a doubt, to be very effective.

People talk of some players as being classy, but to me there’s nothing classy about a plyer who consistently indulges in gamesmanship through the use of trainer calls, which culminates with his opponent losing the match, and the so-called injured one wining. If there is indeed something such as “karma” then those who win matches by needless trainer calls, will eventually face their karma. This whole injury thing is sickening for me to watch

“Murray clearly had a dip in form after that, while Djokovic was able to catch his breath and start hitting belters. It was obvious there was no “injury”. Even the trainer just sat their next to him, and didn’t do a damn thing.”

The trainer told Djoko that they couldn’t help him for his problem which was: his legs were feeling heavy and he felt listless and tired from the heat, etc.. I fell asleep after that.

“The players have had it too easy for too long – it’s time for them to ante up and kick in like men…all of them.”

Michael Chang has said this many times, that the present day players are spoilt and pampered, and I concur. I also think the ball kids are abused in the worst way. As a parent I wouldnt let my kid be a ball boy/girl because they are abused and shown zero respect by the players — they are treated as modern day servants. I think the towels should be placed at areas around the court and on the players bench, and the players should get their own towel. Likewise holding up the umbrellas and reaching for the water bottles in a six-foot ic-filled drum. All of those things a player can and should do. Next they’ll probabaly ask for the kids to swallow the water and their gatorade for them, help them change their shirts and untie their shoe laces. Disgraceful.


Von Says:

Colin:

“Von, you’re apparently are not familiar with the phrase “The world and his wife”. The wife is the world’s, not Novak’s.”

Thanks for the explanation and it now makes sense to me. Having left the UK for so many years I’m not too familiar with that phrase. I know the American equivalent, which I’ve often used here on these threads: “Everybody and his brother”.


Von Says:

Dani Says:

“two minutes of a med break between the two sets was REEEALLY such an abuse of time, really?

You’re correct, it’s not big deal, but I think people are upset about it because he does it in the big matches. As I’ve stated before, he’s not the only one. DelPotro is fast becoming a time waster and a fan of the injury time-out advantage.

“time Nadal between the points to see what a real abuse of time is”

Absolutely unfair, but the umpires seem to selectively turn a blind eye to that kind of abuse, and even when the opponent points it out, the umps still do nothing. I sometimes wonder if it’s an edict by ATP to the umpires that they should indulge the top players in all of their idiosyncrasies.

I think, and it’s just a silly thought, if the players know they become winded, tired, etc., after engaging in long rallies, why do it? It’s counter-productive, but they’ll return and return to the point of exhaustion for a point. To me it’s absolutely ridiculous, especially if it’s not their service game. Sure it’s nice to break their opponent, but even when they accomplish that, is it absolutely necessary to win every point after the break? I would think that after breaking they should concentrate on holding their own serve and conserving energy for the balance of the match. However, greed and the desire to humiliate the opponent for some players, prevents them from using that kind of strategy, which is counter-productive.

I loved the Sampras MO, break the opponent, hold his own serve, match point, winner = Sampras.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Colin….

Andy Murray said if he continues to break serve at the same high percentage he has been doing, he sees no reason he can’t be #1 by the end of the year. He’s been breaking serve at a rate of 40 percent and being broken only 13 percent of the time. So he did claim he can be #1 conditionally.

It is you who should do you homework before you post. How tiresome!


Kimmi Says:

When you hear Murray speak he.. refers hard court as is his best surface. I bet he used to think clay before until he really got to play with clay courters. He should ask his profile to be changed to hard court.

Fake MTO,really makes me wonder !! I did not see del potro v nadal match, but what was wrong with nadal to take MTO…anybody ?


Cindy_Brady hater Says:

Cindy__Brady, you should just keep quiet because posters in this blog have already noted how twisted your lazy mind works in trying to spin stories to justify your incompetent and lazy blogs. You will most definitely give your lousy excuse of an answer but it is too late. Your twisted logic have already been found out. You have no credibility.


Ezorra Says:

How Murray can catch Federer

The world rankings, updated after each tournament, are based on a rolling total accumulated over the previous 12 months. Players therefore have to “defend”, or try to improve on, the points they won at tournaments the previous year. In the coming weeks Andy Murray could catch Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who both have significant points to defend in the clay-court season.

Current rankings

1. Rafael Nadal 14,470 pts

2. Roger Federer 11,020

3. Novak Djokovic 9,010

4. Andy Murray 8,840

Monte Carlo Masters (12-19 April)
Murray would replace Djokovic as world No 3 if, for example, the Scot was knocked out in the last 16 and the Serb lost in the quarters. In choosing to miss the event Federer will lose the 700 points he earned last year.

Points to defend: Nadal 1,000, Federer 700, Djokovic 450, Murray 150.

Rome Masters (27 April-3 May)
Djokovic’s victory at the Foro Italico last year leaves him particularly vulnerable to progress by Murray.

Points to defend: Nadal 10, Federer 250, Djokovic 1,000, Murray 70.

Madrid Masters (10-17 May)
Federer, who will have lost the 350 points he earned last year through winning Estoril (which he misses this time around), also has runner-up points to defend in Madrid, which replaces Hamburg in the clay-court schedule.

Points to defend: Nadal 1,000, Federer 700, Djokovic 450, Murray 150.

French Open (24 May-7 June)
The top three all have big points totals to defend, whereas Murray needs only to reach the fourth round to improve his tally.

Points to defend: Nadal 2,000, Federer 1,400, Djokovic 900, Murray 150.

- Paul Newman (www.independent.co.uk)


margot Says:

I think the biggest hole in Andy’s game is his wandering focus/concentration in some matches. I’ve followed his game for years and often he seemed to get almost bored in some matches against not so good players, and lose. These days it still happens eg that flying paper at IW and Jko’s coaching time at Miami, but thankfully he seems to be able to regain that focus and win.
I also think he is starting to play his best tennis against Fed or Nadal, players he regards very highly, IW obviously being an exception. I think Grendel or MMt made the point that Rafa always raises his game against people he regards as dangerous.
Final point was Tsonga’s the most disappointing performance at Miami? He really should have won against a very below par Novak.
If this appears elsewhere, apologies, serious problems with my computer!


dora Says:

i love nadal and i dont want nadal to slip down and murry to rise


Cindy_Brady Says:

Oh Hai!

Cindy_Brady hater,

So nice of you to create a troll name in my honor.

Keep up the splendid work. You are a true credit to this blog!

——————————————————

On a more serious note. Andy Murray will certainly be #2 by the end of the season. Djokovic has fitness issues and Federer has age issues.

I love how people compare Sampras and Federer in terms of age and grand slam potential wins. Just because Sampras did it late into his 20s so can Federer. Games are completely different. Sampras quick serve N volley pts expended less energy. More favorable type game for an older player to rise up and win a slam. Like Goron’s win at Wimbledon 8 years ago.

Federer’s game is based on foot speed and endurance. Even losing a fraction of that like Federer has is making a huge impact on his precision ground strokes and especially his forehand weapon which is now as inconsistent as Paula Abdul at an AA meeting. But what I find most interesting these days is Federer’s mental strength issues. He has lost it. Saw in the 5th set against Nadal in the AO, Indian Wells, and now in Miami. Combine age, a little loss of foot speed and mental issues and you have a Federer who smashes rackets and slings water bottles at ball boys. It’s all so predictable just like his early exits will be at the French Open and Wimbledon this year. Mark my words.


zola Says:

Cindy-Brady
***Under pressure, Nadal is the greatest player ever.****

didn’t you accuse Rafa of using performance enhancing drugs in an earlier thread? Then how can he be the greatest player?

————–
I don’t blame you for throwing thrash at players left and right. Maybe you don’t know any other way to communicate.

But I am very disappointed at this site , Sean, Staff and whoever is in charge that they have no limits for accusations, verbal attacks to other posters and rumors that some spread on this board. They have no concern whatsoever about the credibility of this site.


zola Says:

dora

I love Nadal too. But this is tennis. No one is going to stay on top forever. Sampras, Borg, federer, they all had their time and then there was time for new blood. I hope Rafa can play up to his potential and stay healthy until he can win all he can. I don’t want his career to come short because of an injury. But when his time is over, there will be a time when other players will take him over and start winning against him and that is just life. I hope that he can handle it properly and conduct himself then, in the manner he has been conducting himself so far.


MMT Says:

Margot: Tsonga was a huge disappointment. There’s no way he should have lost that match to Djokovic, and only did so because he became way to defensive against him and made far too many errors. Djokovic was hardly playing at his best, but he figured out a way to win against Tsonga and this is the kind of thing he needs to do.

When you watch a Tsonga match, a good indicator of how likely he is to overcome his opponent is how far behind the baseline he is. It’s easy to say he should approach the net more, but it’s hard to do when you’re 6-8 feet behind the baseline. The main reason he was able to dominate Nadal so handily in Australia was he stayed right on top of the baseline, neutralized the bite on his strokes and attacked.

In his losses to Nadal, Federer and Djokovic in the interim, he has drifted way beyond the baseline and hasn’t been nearly aggressive enough. One adjustment that Nadal has made in his hard and grass court games is to never conceded the baseline – he steps into the court and takes strokes off the half-volley if he has to, in order to maintain the initiative – this will be key to his success, and I think his coach is doing him a big disservice by not insisting that he playing forward be-damned the consequences.

Uncle Toni is constantly telling Nadal not to concede the baseline and it’s working; the rest of the men’s game should take notice.


jane Says:

MMT says, “One adjustment that Nadal has made in his hard and grass court games is to never conceded the baseline”

Although he conceded the baseline a lot against both Wawrinka and Del Potro in Miami. I think, given his play on clay, Nadal’s natural inclination is to play far back, and occasionally on hard he lapses back into that.

One of the things about Djokovic’s early / breakthough success on hard courts in late 07 and early 08 was stepping into the court. It wasn’t that he was playing a net game but he was hitting deep and taking time from opponents; in the final against Tsonga, Djoko didn’t allow him the opportunity to attack the net near as much as Rafa did; Djoko ran him around the baseline, which is what, imo, which is slightly biased, Djoko is great at.

Murray’s different because he lures the player all over the court, front, back, side to side, angles, you name it.


Voicemale1 Says:

Makes sense for Nadal to pass on Madrid. He’s played Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome for the last four years and there’s no reason to change what’s worked so well for him. And since he lost early in Rome last year because of the blister on his foot, he’s got an excellent chance to recover the points he lost last year by going deep this year. I’m thinking he’s saying “maybe” to keep Madrid as an option in case another temporary physical thing sidelines him from any of the other three. But if he runs through the other three like he’s done many times before, he’ll very likely pass Madrid.

Federer is passing both Monte Carlo & Estoril this year, tournaments he played last year. He’s only playing two clay events this year: Rome and Madrid, the events he’s required to play. It’s doubtful any player will play more than three clay events before the French Open.


Sean Randall Says:

Cindy, if you start making allegations of steroids abuse here you better come with some hard evidence.


jane Says:

Voicemale1,

Actually Novak is playing 4 clay events pre-French Open, but I assume this is mainly because of the new Serbian event. So his schedule is Monte Carlo, Rome, Serbia Open and Madrid. I wonder, too, if he wants to make sure he doesn’t lose too many points, which he could stand to do because of the win in Rome last year.

Looking ahead to grass, I find in interesting that people like Tsonga and Djokovic have chosen to play Halle this year instead of Queens.


sensationalsafin Says:

Djokovic at his best has a pretty much perfect baseline game. I remember they were showing his win over Fed at the AO last year on TTC right before this year’s AO. I watched a couple games here and there and I was thinking “mono, shmono, Fed’s playing his ass off but he just stands no chance”. Djokovic was dominating with his early strokes. Fed just had no time. Djokovic at his best is seriously a force to be reckoned with. If only he could get back to his hungry ways where he wanted nothing more than just to kick everyone’s ass and show them who’s boss. Some of the hardcourt wins Djokovic has against Nadal are complete blow outs. When playing his best, Djokovic is just way to tough to break down and he’s nearly unbeatable. The same can be said about the other top 4 but I think it’s a little different with Djokovic. His game is the definition of efficiency. Nadal has to go against his own nature and work hard to flatten out the ball and hit deep and stay close to the baseline. Murray’s game is based on moving his opponent around so much to the point of dizziness and confusion. And Federer just hits ridiculous shot after ridiculous shot when he’s playing his best. But Djokovic has a compact, straight foward game that he used to really dominate with (beginning of last year, anyone?) And I think he’s lost that because he sees himself as a top dog and has lost that hunger of eating everyone up.


MMT Says:

Von: “I think the towels should be placed at areas around the court and on the players bench, and the players should get their own towel. Likewise holding up the umbrellas and reaching for the water bottles in a six-foot ic-filled drum.”

Spot on.

Voicemale: “I’m thinking he’s saying “maybe” to keep Madrid as an option in case another temporary physical thing sidelines him from any of the other three.”

Spot on.

Jane: “on hard courts in late 07 and early 08 [he]was stepping into the court. It wasn’t that he was playing a net game but he was hitting deep and taking time from opponents;”

Spot on. If you watch a video of his AO semi-final and final in 2008, he is almost unrecognizeable today. Actually, years ago I remember watching Graf as a woman, watching videos of herself as a teen, and remarking at how fearless she was…that was fascinating. I wonder how many other players bother to watch themselves playing their best tennis? Djokovic, Tsonga and Federer should all do themselves a favor and indulge.
Jane: “Looking ahead to grass, I find in interesting that people like Tsonga and Djokovic have chosen to play Halle this year instead of Queens.”

Why do you think they’ve made the switch?


Voicemale1 Says:

Jane:

Let’s just say Djokovic is “entered” in the four events, as is Nadal. Whether Djokovic actually plays all of them is a stretch, to say the least. Especially given his delicate physical condition. I’d be surprised if he plays all four of them. But even if he does, it won’t help him come the French Open, where he’ll have to buck up for Best of 5 vs. the Best of 3 in the other events.


Sean Randall Says:

MMT, why the switch? Money perhaps. If I’m not mistaken Queens lost their sponsor so their coffers may not be as deep as they once were.

Regarding time violations (discussed earlier), as I’ve said before look for a “serve clock” a la basketball shot clock on court in a few years. In my mind it’s too easy not to do.


Voicemale1 Says:

Sean:

Queens does in fact have a sponsor, going from Stella Artois to Aegon. If players are switching, it’s because the Queens field is usually stacked much more heavily with top players. In Halle, it’s usually Federer and then no one else in the top 25. Makes sense for Djokovic & Tsonga to go to Halle. They’ll get deep just because of who they are.

Regarding time violations, the “serve clock” is about the most ridiculous idea for the game I’ve heard. Nothing like that would be needed if the umpires would just follow the rules already on the books. You give a warning, then you penalize a point. The very second Nadal or anyone else loses a point for taking too long, you watch how fast the pace of play speeds up.


jane Says:

MMT:

IMO – and this is pure speculation – I think the switch for Djoko is that the field is so deep at Queens, and he made his way through it last year only to lose an excellent battle against Rafa in the final. So in essence, he knows how he fares against Rafa on grass, but he has never played Federer on grass (to my knowledge), so Halle may give him the opportunity to do so. Is it cooler at Halle? I don’t know, but that would also be incentive for Novak. Tsonga? I am not sure about his reasoning; I can’t remember how he fared on grass last year?

Voicemale1:

Well, I guess you’re right; it could be, if he does well at the first 3, he’ll drop Madrid. And I didn’t mean to imply it’ll help him at the French. We’ll see if he can defend his semis points there this year.


jane Says:

Oh that’s right – Tsonga was injured this time last year! Well, he’ll be a dangerous one to move up the rankings and knock a few guys down too, then. He’s got a game that should translate well to grass.


Sean Randall Says:

Voicemale1,

Just speculating regarding Queens. Will the new sponsor be willing to pay out similar guarantees to what Stella did? I doubt it. I’m sure the tournament’s “guarantee budget” had a change under new sponsorship.

As for the serve clock, what’s so ridiculous? Time violations have been a gray area, and this would take the mystery and the guess workout out of it. The ump, players and fans would all see how much time is left before the server must address the serve. Simple.


Voicemale1 Says:

The “guarantees” for Queens are a moot point because the grass season is virtually non existent. The players who had any serious ambitions to do well or win Wimbledon needs grass court play prior. There’s just not enough options for them to do it. So “guarantees” don’t matter like they do in a place like Dubai, when several other hard court tournaments exist at the same time.

A serve clock is ridiculous. What about something like the IW Finals, where 50-plus MPH winds wrought havoc, and therefore that “gray area” was right to allow players time to get at least a decent non wind nanosecond to serve? Or the unruly crowds going ballistic – which disrupts play all the time? Among many other variables in countless other examples. I don’t think the issue is steadfastly holding feet to the fire for 20 seconds, period. The problem is someone like Nadal takes usually twice that. It’s about a good faith thing. When Nadal walks over, towels off, takes two balls from one side, one ball from the other side, slowly decides which he’ll discard, does his customary bounces, and has a deliberate slow serve motion anyway – this is a CLEAR violation of the spirit of the 20-second “rule”. But if Nadal were to skip the toweling for every serve, collect the balls as he’s moving toward the line, does a quick discard, etc., then no one will care much if 20 seconds turns into 30. It’s when he turns it into 60 seconds that it’s a problem. And an umpire can, and should, penalize him accordingly. Once he starts losing points for violating the spirit of the rule, Nadal, and everybody else, will work to stay within a reasonable proximity of allotted time.

That’s why a serve clock is stupid. It’s easy for everyone who is not, or does not, play in any ATP level match. You try it, lemme know whether you won’t look to catch your breath for an extra 10 seconds :)


Cindy_Brady Says:

Sean Randall,

Fantastic job of moderating. Shutting down VALID questions asked by many in the tennis world today.

What a credit you are to this site silencing thoughts that differ from your own.

Thumbs up!


Sean Randall Says:

Voicemale1, I guess you would argue that Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Roddick etc., all play the grass tournaments for “free” in that case. I don’t buy that at all. Regardless of the season or the circumstances, they will try for market value. They may get less compared to Dubai, but they’ll get some added money just for playing.

Sure, there are some problematic issues with the serve clock and you make fair points, but the umpire can start/stop/reset at his discretion. If used correctly I think over time play would speed up.


Voicemale1 Says:

Sean:

What do you mean, “free”? There IS prize money for these things, isn’t there? None of the people you mentioned would play for “free”. My point was they wouldn’t care if they got paid just to show up, given the nature of the short grass court season. The players, especially the marquee names you mention, need the time on grass a lot more than they need any “apperance fee”. This whole point is basiclaly moot anyway, because you initially speculated that Djokovic & Tsonga abidicated Queens in favor of Halle due to “guarantees”, which is a premise I don’t buy. Last year at Queens, the field included all Top 10 guys except Federer. That’s a tough field. Look at Murray – he went out before the Quarters last summer – that’s how tough it is there. It’s makes much more sense to me that Djokovic & Tsonga head to Halle because, apart from Federer, the draw there is MUCH easier. And therefore they can get more matches in on a grass court before the Big W.

And you final comment you made about the clock, in my view, undermines your whole argument for having one in the first place. If you now claim the umpire can use his discretion to reset it, or even ignore it, then why have it? Everything NOW is at the discretion of the umpire, the very “gray area” you said a clock was needed to eliminate.


Sean Randall Says:

Voicemale1, of course there is prize money, but by “free” i mean that the players get no added remuneration. And I think in 99% of the non-Slams, non-masters events, the top players do get something “extra” for appearing at the tournament. It is a business afterall.

Regarding the serve clock, all I’m really asking is to make visible/public the timer the umpire has in his hand. That’s really all.

I think it’s beneficial in that players would no see clearly just how much time they or their opponent really are taking, instead of guessing as they do now. And ultimately it would speed up the game.


Sean Randall Says:

Voicemale1, for your reference, read the last paragraph of the link below.

http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1005166/6/index.htm

I know it’s 15 years old but no doubt it still goes on. I don’t think it’s far-fetched that Federer likely gets well into the six figures just for playing Halle.


margot Says:

Re: Andy M’s ambitions. Guardian 7/04, Andy M. “World rankings, winning a slam and playing well on clay- I think I can do those things but it may take time. Some guys mature young and others take a bit longer. I have to be more patient and more consistent and if I can keep that mentality and not get ahead of myself……then I can do it…….I think I can play well on clay -I used to when I was younger.” You can read more on Guardian on line.
There speaks a mature and still develpoing young man.


Von Says:

“Actually Novak is playing 4 clay events pre-French Open, but I assume this is mainly because of the new Serbian event. So his schedule is Monte Carlo, Rome, Serbia Open and Madrid.” –jane

I’ve read recently, a few days ago to be precise, Djokovic, when asked by a reporter on the Serbian tournament, he answered he’ll play but it depends on the amount of the prize money. I found his mention of ‘money’ as the main reason to be very strange considering the Serbian tournament is his and his family’s ‘pet’ project. Additionally, the Serbian tennis population would definitely want to see their main ‘star’ Djokovic playing. I hope he wasn’t serious about the money issue because it definitely places him in the category of that of a ‘mercenary’ or an avaricious minded person, and considering the family’s involvement with the tournament, money should be inconsequential.

Furthermore, the tournament seems to be encountering internal problems with Pilic who quit due to Djokvic’s father’s overbearing personality. The article further elaborated that Djokovic had to personally call Pilic and apologize for his father’s behavior, to which Pilic replied he’d continue to take an interest in Djoko’s career and they’ll remain friends. According to the reporter, it was very sad and embarrassing for Djoko to have to apologize for his father who is such an embarrassment.


Von Says:

With reference to the time violations, as I mentioned previously, it’s the umpires’ job but they are not doing their jobs and are selective as to whom a time violation is given. For example, in the Roddick v. Nadal, SF at IW, when a few of us were commenting on the match along with Sean, Nadal was eventually given a warning by the umpire, after numerous violations. What ensued was a joke, Nadal continued to violate after the warning, and what did the ump do, nothing. One violation was so clear, and I don’t know whether Sean remembers saying “isn’t the ump going to take away a point”, however, the ump did nothing. In that case, the umpire should have followed through, but he clearly didn’t want to, and it’s one of the reasons why I’ve stated that the umps have favorites and are probably under instructions not to discipline the top players. A time clock would have been useful there, but even though the clock is there, can we assume the umpire is going to set/start the clock? a lot of that stuff falls within the realm of the umpire’s duties, and they are cognizant of their duties, except they are resistant to enforcing and adhering to the guidelines as set forth.


Von Says:

MMT: “Tsonga was a huge disappointment. There’s no way he should have lost that match to Djokovic, and only did so because he became way to defensive against him and made far too many errors. Djokovic was hardly playing at his best, but he figured out a way to win against Tsonga and this is the kind of thing he needs to do.”

I thought Tsonga handed that match to Djokovic on a platter. He was playing extremely impatiently and hitting out ala Blake. However, it was obvious from his facial expression and profuse sweating that he wasn’t feeling well and that could account for his impatience — trying to end the match as soon as possible to get off the court and rest.


MMT Says:

Sean Randall: Appearance fees still happen in tennis – rumor has it the top players were getting 7 figure appearance fees for Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but I can definitely see it as a plausible reason they would play Halle instead of Stella.

As for the clock – if the umpires don’t enforce the rules as they are now, then why is that the case? Either they’re just gutless people, or they’re being instructed not to enforce it heavily or, and this is what I think, there is an incentive to get in good with the top players and let them slide a bit – then the umpire is more likely to get a featured match (as a “favored” umpire) than not.

The best part about a clock, even if it’s at the discretion of the umpire is that everyone can see his discretion – it’s not a guessing game, and fans and opponents can see exactly how and when the violations occur, instead of this murky waters when an umpire basically does it whenever he feels like it.

If everyone sees it, he’ll have a lot more explaining to do than now, when nobody pays attention until somebody complains. Here THE CLOCK does the “complaining” so to speak, and if it doesn’t start quickly (at the discretion of the umpire) we’ll see that too.

I also disagree that wind or sun or heat or fatigue is an excuse to give the umpire discretion. In no other sport played out doors does the referee/umpire have such random discretion as to time keeping. Imagine a kicker in the NFL deciding to step a way from the snatch because the wind kicked up – they don’t. They just go do their business and tennis players should do. These unwritten rules that players need towels and time and a chance to catch their breath, etc. is purely a creation of the modern television and star driven game.

In the old days they just got on with it, and even the slightest of delays to do anything was derided by all, and not as it is now, excused by many.


Voicemale1 Says:

Von:

You’re exactly right. Once the umpires start actually penalizing Nadal, you watch how quickly play speeds up. The thing is, the umpires would be best served by having Nadal’s opponent pull the trigger on the penalty. That helps to let the umpire off the hook from the tournament directors, who’d fear a Nadal boycott of a tournament that wasn’t a required one.

That said, I’m not convinced he does it out of spite. At Wimbledon last year in the final game of the match, at 30-all, Nadal was going through his motions in his unrushed manner completely oblivious to the fact Federer had stopped play to ask the umpire about a distracting flahing light on the scoreboard. Nadal was actually getting ready to toss before Paschal Maria had to stop him and fill him in on what was happening, so he didn’t actually serve while they were trying to figure out what the problem was. He gets trance-like. That said, the umpires still need to nail him. And once it happens, it won’t happen much anymore.


jane Says:

Von – I’d love the link to where you read that article. Of course Djokovic is playing the Serbian tournament; he must’ve been joking. Now, that his father was behaving in an overbearing way? That seems like it could be true based on things I’ve read in the past.

I am not sure why you call the event his family’s ‘pet’ project, perhaps because it’s not their main business, but I do know they are quite serious about trying to improve the tennis opportunities in their country – facilities, access, tournament, and so forth – which imo is an admirable project regardless of any monetary reward in the process. We won’t have to hear about the next crop of Serbian players playing in pools anymore, nor will they necessiarly have to leave their homes to train with a proper coach and facility.


Voicemale1 Says:

Sean:

Again, as you staed it, having a Public View Serve Clock would serve no purpose. With all of the extemporaneous elements that slow down play anyway, and your contention that an umpire could use his discretion to reset or ignore the clock because of those circumstances, the Serve Clock serves no purpose. You think play wouldn’t slow down if an umpire arbitrarily reset a “Serve Clock” for whatever reason and then have a crowd start expressing it’s own opinion about such a move? Fat chance.

If the umpires just did their job as the rules outline – all of this would be moot.

And I’m through pointing out that it’s irrelevant whether appearance fees are paid or not. The short grass season doesn’t allow the luxury of picking & choosing events to play. It’s irrelevant whether Federer or anyone else gets an appearance fee or not. All of them still need the grass court matches , especially after coming of the antithetical surface – clay.


MMT Says:

Von: “it was obvious from his facial expression and profuse sweating that he wasn’t feeling well and that could account for his impatience — trying to end the match as soon as possible to get off the court and rest.”

That’s a tricky one because Djokovic, whether real or imagined, was not feeling 100% either, but he figured out his best way to shorten the points and win.

I feel like Tsonga has the game to become #1 in the world, I really do. The question is whether he has the mentality to do it and he definitely doesn’t right now. Too much historionics, and too much floating or shrinking mentally when the going gets tough. I’m sure he’s tough as nails – anyone who’s been what he’s been through to even be playing tennis today has grit. But mentally, I don’t see.

I sincerely hope that changes.


Von Says:

Voicemaale1: “But if Nadal were to skip the toweling for every serve, collect the balls as he’s moving toward the line, does a quick discard, etc., then no one will care much if 20 seconds turns into 30. It’s when he turns it into 60 seconds that it’s a problem. And an umpire can, and should, penalize him accordingly. Once he starts losing points for violating the spirit of the rule, Nadal, and everybody else, will work to stay within a reasonable proximity of allotted time.”

Again, this is an area where diligent enforcement of the rules should be a priority, and maybe some intervention by ATP hierarchy would be helpful, because it’s clear the umpires do not want, or are scared to be the enforcer. Nadal’s flagrant disregard for the rules and his disrespect for his opponent is ostensible, and unless he is made to feel the consequences, where it hurts the most, viz., deducting points, especially in view of the fact that he’s one who wants to win every point, then anything short of deducting points is not going to make an impression on him, and he’ll continue abusing the rules. Yes, he could fore-go the towelling off, and then not so much emphasis would be placed on his time violations, but the question should be asked, does he really care to skip the towelling off, which buys him time? The whole routine of towelling off, deciding which balls he wants, and the lengthy preparation to serve is now ingrained into his routine, hence for him to desist from the towelling off, is akin to asking him to drop the whole routine — everything is intertwined. Even before he has completely finished a point he begins signaling for a towel, this is not a sign of a necessity but one of obsessive compulsion.


jane Says:

Von,

In a quick google search I found several links about the Pilic / Srdjan incident, most of which mention that Novak didn’t even know about what had gone on between his dad and his father, and how Novak called Pilic to apologize for his dad. No wonder Novak is distracted on the court if all this is taking place off the court.

But as I say, I’d love a link to where you read Novak saying that about money because I have seen it and can find it nowhere. I did read this funny quote:

“I’m not going to clean off the court, for sure.” – Novak Djokovic, when asked what he will be doing at his own tournament, the Serbia Open. And then one of the other people in the room replied that Novak’s “job” at the tournament would be “number 1 seed”.


Sean Randall Says:

Voicemale1, as MMT points out, by having a visible clock the fans and the players would clearly see who’s going over the allotted time limit. Right now we can’t. It’s just guesswork.

Regarding the extemporaneous issues of wind or fans yelling out, most of that happens when the player is ready to serve or during his motion, at which time the clock would be off anyway.

The clock would help cut down on the toweling off time, etc. And the chair umpires would be pressured to do there job because everyone would see the violation right before their eyes, clear as day.

And on appearance fees, guess what? Djokovic and Tsonga are both getting good sums to play in Halle. How much more (or less) than they received at Queens I don’t know, but rest assured they are getting paid. Could this payout have influenced their decisions? Definitely. Just like Novak took the money for the new racquet deal, it’s no so far-fetched to assume he took the bigger appearance fee.


Von Says:

jane: I read Djoko’s remarks on not playing in Serbia unless the money was good from a link provided by a poster in one of his pressers in Miami. I think it was after he beat Tsonga, but I’m not 100 percent positive. Check his pressers. The Pilic resignation link appears below.

http://www.gototennisblog.com/2009/03/28/novak-djokovic-dad-nut/

“I am not sure why you call the event his family’s ‘pet’ project, perhaps because it’s not their main business,…”

I’m not sure myself, but it definitely trumps everything else the family is doing considering how much money they’ve invested into the tournament, and I’d say it definitely would be my ‘pet’ project if I put so much into anything — money and time.


Von Says:

jane:

“In a quick google search I found several links about the Pilic / Srdjan incident, most of which mention that Novak didn’t even know about what had gone on between his dad and his father, and how Novak called Pilic to apologize for his dad.”

I don’t pay attention to to much stuff, but sometimes some of it sticks in my memory. I’m glad you found it though.

“No wonder Novak is distracted on the court if all this is taking place off the court.”

jane, sorry to say, you’re grasping at straws here, and have jumped into your defense mode again, because Djoko has to be extremely mentally deficient for Pilic’s problem to distract him on court – let’s get real. Would an altercation your spouse had with someone working for him hinder your performance when you’re doing finals, etc.? I doubt it.


Voicemale1 Says:

Sean:

The crowd has ZERO to do with the officating of a match. Who cares whether the crowd know if some ones has taken 20 seconds or 30 seconds? Why, exactly, is it of any importance that a spectator knows? Tennis isn’t like other sports in that a match takes place under a proscribed time frame. Basketball has a shot clock because it tries to prevent a leading team from just simply holding onto the ball and run out the clock and guarantee a win while depriving the other team a chance retrieve the ball. A tennis player taking a lot of time to serve has zero effect on the outcome of a match. The time taken by one player doesn’t negate the opposing player of the point, or an opportunity to win the point. They still have to play no matter how long it takes someone to serve. Your comparison to a shot clock in basketball is fundamentally flawed.

The crowd is irrelevant ATP Rules. And to make any rules so as to involve spectators into a match is trying to politicize a match. Have you ever seen how long some golfers take to swing, or worse, putt? That doesn’t seem to bother the throngs that show up for, or watch, golf. Or are you gonna propose we need putt clocks and drive clocks for golf?


Sean Randall Says:

Voicemale1, and I would add with the emergence of Murray Queens will have to shell out a lot more now than they did a year ago for the Scot to keep him in the tournament. He’s likely getting six figures now. So maybe they just shifted Novak’s money into Murray’s leaving little left for Djoko, so he goes to Halle.


Von Says:

MMT:
“As for the clock – if the umpires don’t enforce the rules as they are now, then why is that the case? Either they’re just gutless people, or they’re being instructed not to enforce it heavily or, and this is what I think, there is an incentive to get in good with the top players and let them slide a bit – then the umpire is more likely to get a featured match (as a “favored” umpire) than not.”

As I’ve stated previously, the umpires have favorites and they bend the rules when it’s their favorite player that’s playing. And, also, ATP could probably be at the root of this problem by issuing an edict that the top players are not to be disciplined. Then there’s also the other component of the umpires being picked for the higher exposure tourneys when they appear to be amiable and not get into altercations with the players, as you’ve mentioned. I think there’s more to it than meets the eye and a lot more that goes on behind closed doors than we could even begin to fathom.

I mentioned after the Ljub mess with Hawkeye and the ump’s reluctance to over-rule, that we won’t see him at any more MS tourneys, and sure enough he wasn’t at IW. It could be a co-incidence, but I think the ump at the Ljub match caused the tourney to be hugely embarrassed and probably cost them money too, and that’s not something an ump needs on his record.


Sean Randall Says:

Voicemale1, it’s not just the crowd, but it’s the players, the media the tournament itself who all can see when the umpire is not following the rules. Right now we can’t. With a serve clock we could. Agree?

In the case of Roddick-Rafa…
Andy: “Fergus, the clock just hit zero again and Rafa’s still toweling, call it!”
Ump: “Andy, Andy, I’m aware.”
Andy: “If you are aware, then Damnit Fergus, call it. Everyone can see it.”
Andy: “F this, I want the supervisor out here now.”

Net outcome, chair ump lose their jobs if they don’t start following the rules and tennis speeds up.

If you are not at the service line when the clock hits zero, it’s a violation.


Von Says:

Sean:

You’d probably say I’m making excuses for Roddick but I think that incident coupled with the many other time violations that were happening from Nadal’s end, upset Andy a lot and caused him to lose his concentration = Nadal wins. Thanks for posting that, becuase many like to harp on Roddick’s umpire tiffs, but he’s got good reason, and darn well entitled to press a point. Fergus was being a real ninny and a coward. It’s as I’ve said, the umps are afraid of the top players which is unfair to the lower ranked players and it’s why I find tennis to be so infuriating. If everything revolves around the top players then they should play in the tournaments all by themselves. The other players are merely used as pawns or drones.


Sean Randall Says:

Von, Andy gets upset pretty easily, especially when he’s losing (coincidence).

Time violations or not, Andy still loses that match to Rafa. Just how I saw it.


Von Says:

Sean; It’s normal for someone to be upset when they are losing and especially if extraneous factors are taking place which is contributing to the loss. It’s human nature. Why did Nadal become so frustrated when he was losing to DelPotro? He was angry with the ball kids, et al. Same goes for Fed with his racquet explosion. No one likes to lose, period.


jane Says:

Von says “you’re grasping at straws here, and have jumped into your defense mode again”

Well, not really. I just read these ideas in two of the articles that discussed the Pilic/Dad incident and both of them hinted at the fact that this could at least be an off-court distraction.

And it goes to what we were talking about on the other thread, re: your post about Roger being off his game in part because of the stuff going on with the baby/Mirka. Off court, imo, will to some degree, affect on court. Not that it’s the full reasoning for being off form of course.

Djoko clearly has a tight knit family, and on the other hand, from age 12 or so he was living and training with the Pilic academy making Pilic like a very close secondary father-figure. Given how much his family have invested in the tournament – money and time – and given how in the middle of it Djoko is, I’d imagine his father and Pilic having a falling out would be bothersome, and hence his call to Pilic to apologize for his dad.
Lots going on there. To close for comfort maybe. Not as an excuse for poor play either, since he put himself in this situation, but as a viable factor.

Here is where I got the idea, from these articles:

“So, is Novak feeling the strain of the implementation of the Serbia Open and his over-indulgent father?

Together with his racket change, is his on-court performance being hindered further by such off-court antics?”

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/145914-djokovics-father-in-trouble-again-after-pilic-resigns-from-serbian-open-post

“No wonder poor Nole’s been less-than-his-best, lately. Why doesn’t his dad realize that his antics are hurting his son’s reputation – and maybe even his on-court performance?”

http://www.gototennisblog.com/2009/03/27/novak-djokovics-dad-pisses-pilic/


Voicemale1 Says:

Sean..

And how exactly would your dialogue above “speed up play”? Roddick insisting the umpire fetch the Referee isn’t time consuming? You write a script whereby the shot clock not only DOESN’T speed up play – it delays play beyond anyone’s recognition! As you state it, all are kept waiting for some referee to be fetched from some tournament bar in the stadium, make his way courtside where he has to hear the Roddick Verison, the Murphy Version, and then the Nadal Version before deciding what needs to be done. Yeah..atta boy Sean. REAL good thinking there that your shot clock will “speed up” the game LOL LOL..

And again – you miss my point. It’s irrelevant to the outcome of a match whether a server takes 20 seconds or 30 seconds. Therefore, what “we” know as spectators has nothing to do with anything. If the tournament director wants to know if an umpire is following the rules, he can watch the match himself, decide what to discuss with the umpire, and take action if needed. “You” as a mere spectator are irrelevant in the process. A tennis match is not a mob-rule democracy where spectators become de-facto participants.

And if you’re so bent on “speeding up play” (which I seriously doubt), then let’s do something really relevant toward that end: eliminate the 2nd Serve, no 60-90 seconds break between every other game, play the let cords, cap the number of strokes allowed in a rally (you could place a Stroke Clock next to your Serve Clock). The point is Sean you wouldn’t be talking about any of this if it weren’t for Nadal. The fact he takes long is something easily fixed by umpires doing their job, or players like Roddick speaking up.

And Von, about that…

If you felt Andy felt his concentration was so disturbed that it cost him the match, then why didn’t he say something? Since he’s playing tennis for a living, and you argue that he was compromised to the point of defeat here, and given that he has sponsors, employees, etc., counting on him to win often for the expressed sake of generating revenues – isn’t it not only his responsibility but also his obligation to tell the umpire to enforce the rules? If Roddick (or you) felt like that cost him the match, the he’s obligated to say so. Seems that way to me.


Von Says:

jane: You can’t compare the advent of Federer’s baby to the Pilic/Djoko father’s problems. For Federer, the baby is a huge life changing scenario, while for Djokovic, they can easily find another tournament director and it’s not something Djoko will have on his mind 24/7. Meanwhile, Fed’s babay will be around 24/7 and that’s not an easy change.

“No wonder poor Nole’s been less-than-his-best, lately. Why doesn’t his dad realize that his antics are hurting his son’s reputation – and maybe even his on-court performance?”

That’s pure speculation. How does the writer know to what extent the Pilic problem is detrimental to Djoko? If it was so bad and has a huge impact on Djoko, then I’d think the last person he’d want to see at Miami would be his father. Instead dad was there in his full glory. Sorry dad trumps Pilic in Djoko’s thoughts and that incident is just a memory now.


jane Says:

Von, I mean only to say that it *could* be in the back of his mind bugging him; I don’t mean to suggest it’s life-altering like the arrival of Roger’s child. But off-court stuff affects on court. As a correlative, hypothetical situation, if my mom and a close family friend were fighting over, say, my wedding, something I am in the middle of, I do think it could distract me from doing my best at work, cause me to make mistakes marking, or whatever. That’s all.

Anyhow, I’ll leave it at that. Gorgeous whether today – have to get outside.


jane Says:

weather, not whether. oops.


Von Says:

Voicemale1:

“If Roddick (or you) felt like that cost him the match, the he’s obligated to say so. Seems that way to me.”

Andy did speak to the umpire, see Sean’s extract at 4:43 pm. He even asked for the supervisor, who didn’t show up, because I suppose Fergus didn’t call for one. Fergus has a way of letting such things slide. He had a similar altercation with Ljub at IW, where Ljub told him he wanted him replaced, asked him to call for the supervisor, and Fergus took his sweet time doing so. (This was not the HE incident, which involved a different umpire.) Fergus went so far as to tell Ljub what he thought the supervisor would say, and Ljub asked him how did he know what the supervisor would say — he didn’t want to hear what fegus thought. Fergus said because it’s the rules. It’s the rules, yes, but Fergus does not abide by the rules.


Voicemale1 Says:

Von:

Then if he did, good for him. Then at this point, Roddick needed to go to the referee after the match, and take it to the Tournament Director, then the ATP. I’ll stand by what I say – if Nadal starts actually getting penalized points for taking time too excessive, he’ll stop doing it.

And I saw the Ljubicic match you mention, and in that particular case Murphy acted correctly. It had to do with a line call that couldn’t be reversed because no Hawkeye was available on that court. It was unnecessary to summon the referee for a line dispute where The Chair Umpire has the last word anyway. Ljubicic thought it shouldn’t have gone against him, Murphy thought otherwise. That time it was just Ivan being kind of a drama queen.


Von Says:

Voicemale1:

“I’ll stand by what I say – if Nadal starts actually getting penalized points for taking time too excessive, he’ll stop doing it.”

I agree with you, and I mentioned something similar in one of my posts earlier on. It would matter to nadal if he lost a point, beause he doesn’t like losing points.

“That time it was just Ivan being kind of a drama queen.”

I’m glad you saw the match. You’ve got to admit it was pretty hilarious though, with Ljub telling Fergus he didn’t want to hear what he thought the referee would say, and how did he know what the ref would say. I couldn’t help laughing at the mind-reading taking place, and Ljub’s insistence to wait for the ref instead of proceeding with the match.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Can’t wait to see what transpires in Monte Carlo with the big 4.

I’ll be back and have plenty to say then.


Sean Randall Says:

Voicemale1, obviously in my extreme hypothetical script play would be instantly slowed to a standstill.

But, umpires would learn to call violations when the clock hits zero and players would learn to watch the clock and adhere to the rules. Simple really. I really don’t see the downside that you do in this case.

Overall, I don’t harp on time violations, but some people do and there’s just cause for it.

Do these time violations impact the outcome of matches, hard to say. Some players play quick, some slow. That’s a fact. And rhythms can be upset.

I admit when I play and my opponent is “hot”, I purposefully slow down my service delivery, hoping the extra time will “cool” him off. (Doesn’t usually work!)

That said, why have a rule at all. Well, like basketball it’s better for TV and for fans to have continuous or near-continuous play, so there needs to be a cap.

As for Nadal, his lengthy pre-serve routine has never been the focus of any of my blog posts – feel free to prove me wrong.

My issue is the trend has been for more and more players through the years going to the towel, the wipe down, etc., at the end of points and I really fear in the future the kids watching at home today will really be taking advantage of that when they get to the pros. And that’s not good for the sport.


Sean Randall Says:

Von, Andy’s pretty much of a “hot head”. I wouldn’t label Fed or Rafa or Novak as such. Yes, everyone is grumpier when losing, but I’d say Andy get a little more grumpier than many other guys in such situations.


Voicemale1 Says:

Sean:

There is a clock on the match, and the umpire has it. What I failed to understand is why YOU need to know what the clock says? It’s not as though 20 seconds is an inordinant length of time you couldn’t intimately know or assess on your own. But again, your awareness of what a clock on the serving time reads as a spectator is irrelevant to anything that goes on within the match. For example, in the AO Final 4th Set, Rafael & Roger played the Point of the Tournament: 16 shots of mind-boggling hustle before an incredible Nadal winner up the line eneded it. In your scenario, the Clock just keeps rolling where you want these two held to the 20-Second Rule the clock sets for them, period. If it was me in the chair, if the 20-seconds turned into 30, or 35 after that for the guy serving, who cares? Moreover, why do YOU care if it did go beyond 20 seconds? And why would you be so bent on holding those guys to account after an incredible display they put on? Tell you what, YOU go through a point like that on a stage like that, and you then live by your own Serve Clock on the next point you have to serve. Ok?

We all agree players take time during their matches. Some more than others. If a player decides their rival is taking too long, he’s obligated to speak up. It’s the players responsibility whether to invoke the rules, not yours as a spectator. And incidentally, after a grueling point, what makes you so sure any opponent of Nadal’s isn’t HAPPY he’s taking his time to serve? Maybe after a winded point, a Nadal delay could help him, too. Think about that. Maybe that’s why there’s not too much angst being churned up by players. For all the time Nadal takes between points, it might be time they utilize to their own benefit.

That’s why a serve clock is a stupid idea :)


Sean Randall Says:

Voicemale1, I get what you are saying.

Why I need to know? Because it would end these time violation discussions and help speed up play.

And as I said before, the umpire still would have the discretion (just as he does now, no change!) on when to start the clock after a point. A longer point would allow more time for recovery before starting it up.

Again, all I’m asking is that the clock be made public. What’s the harm? Will it cost too much? Will players be upset? Will fans be upset? Will it cause confusion?

What’s the downside?


Sean Randall Says:

Case for a Serve Clock:
* Speeds up play
* Ends all these time violation issues
* Puts players minds at ease

Case against:
* Cause confusion (start/pause/stop)
* Put pressure on umpire to call violations
* Some players need to adjust
* Cost for the LED clock
* Trigger happy umpire after a long point

Then again, maybe in your mind the pace of play is fine as it is. For the most part I think it is, but there are blatant abuses of the rule now and then which do go unpunished. Not just Rafa.

But for me the pros outweigh the cons and I think the game would do better with the clock.


jane Says:

sensationalsafin said “Djokovic has a compact, straight foward game that he used to really dominate with….And I think he’s lost that because he sees himself as a top dog and has lost that hunger of eating everyone up.”

Do you really think he’s lost his “hunger”? I don’t. To me, it’s a pressure and/or confidence thing more so. After he got beat on clay 2xs by Rafa, then on grass at Queens, I think he began to lose some of his confidence that he could move up. Then he lost early at Wimbledon, and so on. He became the hunter instead of the hunted.

I think he’s maturing still too. Murray has moved up slower and seems a more mature, settled guy. Rafa’s always been in a bit of a cocoon with his family, and Roger didn’t have his success until later, when he was already more mature and had grown out of his emotional self, survived the loss of his coach and so on. Anyhow, food for thought. If Djoko has lost his hunger that’s not good. There are a lot of hungry players jonesing for a big meal.


jane Says:

This should be the other way round “He became the hunter instead of the hunted.” — he WAS the hunter but was now the hunted.


Twocents Says:

I second Sean on server clock. It’s not a perfect solution to time violation. But it’s sure a step forward, shifting some of human responsibilities to electronics and giving us paying fans more exposure.

I told my girls long ago that soccer/basketball are alley sports cuz players have to finish the game in a fixed time span, so that they can get back to work to earn their bread. while golf/tennis are country club sports cuz one can take as long as he likes to finish the game. Times change. We now trust electronics more over human beings, like it or not. Tennis has introduced hawkeye systems. Me, for one, never believed it’s acurate. But when hundreds thousands dollars are at stake in a game, do you expect umpire to act like a machine? I do not. While I understand every bits of Federer’s distaste of HES, I think he should move on and live with it. Server clock should be the next new thing, for this ancient game. When you play tennis to earn bread, it’s no longer country club.


Twocents Says:

Sorry for the typo “serve clock” not “server clock”. Too many computer networking!


zola Says:

well, I watched Roddick-Rafa in IW and did not see Roddick losing that match because of Rafa’s toweling. That would be one game. The guy lost in straight sets for heaven’s sake. But as we need excuses, let’s go with this. Maybe if it was not for Rafa’s toweling Roddick could have won 4 French Open titles, one wimbledon and one Australian Open! Shame!

*********
About the clock, I think we had discussed it before and even constructed the idea on this board. But now thinking about it, several considerations come to mind.

First of all, is 25 seconds enough? How was it determined and when? Now when players go on 20-40 shot rallies, do they need some more seconds to catch their breath or not?

The other argument against introducing ANY electronic device is that like Hawk-eye we will have mistakes and more arguments. What of the clock goes off earlier. What if it stops and doesn’t function? what of if flashes or buzzes? That’s why I think the less electronic interference is better.

However, the umpires are there with a clock. They should do their jobs. Why is an umpire sitting there if the let cord is electronic, there is a hawk-eye and now a buzzer/clock for time AND an electronic scoreboard.


zola Says:

Jane
didn’t know about Djoko’s dad/Pilic.

I think Djoko’s family has a lot to do with his performance.


jane Says:

I like hawkeye. It’s fun and I think it helps to move things along, as once the challenge has been revealed, then the players can’t moan and groan, and they just get on with things. Plus crowds like it and they’re paying, so you know.

I am not against a clock either. I guess the umpire would be there to announce things, like “let”, “second serve’ and “game, Tsonga”, that sort of thing.I suppose the ump could still overrule stuff, and if there is a clock the umpire could start it and stop it for all the world to see.

zola says “introducing ANY electronic device is that like Hawk-eye we will have mistakes and more arguments.”

Yes, well, we have mistakes and arguments with humans too; in fact, I bet there are WAY less arguments on court since hawkeye have been brought in.

Then the next step might be robots for umpire and also lines people, and maybe robots to hold umbrellas, and bring towels. Oh, maybe I am getting carried away.


zola Says:

Jane,
I think Hawkeye is different. It is covering the whole line and it is to reduce “human mistake”. Because the lines people can have a “wrong” call.

A clock is not correcting any mistake. It is just covering for an umpire who is not doing his job. Allthe umpire needs to do is to say “time” or give a notice to the players during changeovers and it usually works.

robot umpires, …that would be fun! an electronic Mo Lay or Fer Mur!


Von Says:

Well, here we go from the sublime to the ridiculous, BS GALORE! Need an argument anyone, well you can find it here, trimmings rich with sarcasm, et al. Yet we see statements about posters being unable to discuss anything without attacking others? Ha, ha. Some people are devoid of reason and lack the ability to have a discussion without the histrionics/semantics and intelligence.

Roddick is a nothing player and should not even be in the discussion, my bad. Yet he is always thrown in by some for what i don’t know. How dare me suggest that anything could have affected his play throughout the entire match, not one game, but repeatedly. This is just wishful thinking and musings of one living in dreamland. Andy can’t win a thing, because he ain’t got that special zing, doo wop, doo wop!!

Cindy Brady what have you done? You have poured gasoline on a flame that was begging to erupt. Now it’s hell to pay for all. Shame on you!! OK let’s have it, run people run. The flight path is lighted and the Concorde is perched for flight.


zola Says:

here is someone else who thinks Murray can be No 1 by the end of the year:

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/07042009/58/reed-murray-s-chance-number.html


Von Says:

TwoCents:

“Server clock should be the next new thing, for this ancient game. When you play tennis to earn bread, it’s no longer country club.”

You’ve said it!! Every point and game counts and one measley point could throw off a player, making him so angry, blow his concentration, and he’ll end up losing. The psyche is very frail/delicate. All it takes is one point for a player to lose his serve when he’s seving at 30-40, then he loses the set by a break. One break, which is ONE game, in each set = match lost. The game should be played honestly, without any one player bending the rules to his advantage. Matches are serious business, and only ONE game is huge.


blah Says:

Looks like I am late on the discussion of serve clocks. I really have more of a problem with the returner making the server wait than how long the server takes- for example, the server is ready but the returner walks slowly to towel off,and then take their time doing it.

It’s really unfavorable to players who like to play a fast paced game. Slow players can take their time doing anything they like, while fast players have can’t do much about it, and umpires will usually say nothing, and if they were to say something they would be intimidated by the players.

It often frustrates me to see the display of gamesmanship and rule violations nowadays- do players really need to towel off for fourty seconds after every point? The use of injury timeouts are becoming a joke, there are very few players who respect their opponents on and off court now- one could see how different the game was just a decade ago, when top players weren’t treated like royalty and when they behaved like gentlemen.

About the service clock- it would not be such a bad idea- it is done to help enforce the rules after all, but can anyone really see atp doing this? To require the opponent to say something about the time violation, and then to have the umpire reluctantly tell the person in violation, then to see the umpire rudely rebuffed, in a way certain parts of the game has become farcical.


blah Says:

Not to mention- I think some here already have- the treatment of the towel boys/girls- it’s ridiculous seeing players complain that they don’t bring the towel fast enough, or blaming it on towel boys/girls for the reason of the player taking too long to get ready to return serve(cough- Berdych), or just seeing them get yelled at (Does Nalbandian scream at them like that in every match) and then having them bring the water cause there’s no way the player can reach over and grab it, and then having these kids hold a giant umbrella over them, christ.

How about wiping your sweat off with a wristband between points until the game is over, or is a point with five rallies just so tiring and capable of producing so much sweat that the toweling off process actually takes longer than the actual point? Is it hard for the tournament directors to set up an umbrella that can stand next to the seats? Quit treating them like gods.


Von Says:

jane:

Here’s the link for Djoko’s interview/presser and his remarks with respect to Belgrade, if the money is good he’ll play.

http://www.tennis-x.com/story/2009-04-07/j.php

The following pertains to the money question.
_____________________

Q. Which one of the clay court tournaments will you play at? Belgrade and…

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. If Belgrade offers good money I’ll play in Belgrade. I’m going to play Monte-Carlo, Rome, Belgrade, Madrid, and I’ll skip French Open. No, I’m joking.

Q. What did you do to train in the off-season?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I had — I always like to the mountains for about ten days. I grew up on the mountain, and the air is really good. You get lost of oxygen.
I went for a mountain, and then a couple weeks in Monte-Carlo.

Q. Where was the mountain?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: In Austria.


zola Says:

blah,
I remember Tsonga said in one of his interviews that he ran about 1 km more because he had to go get his towel and the ballkids did not bring the towel to him! and he implied that was a reason for his loss!
In another incident, when Youzhny smashed his racquet and started bleeding I think it was a ballkid who had to clean the blood off the court.
These kids are volunteers and the tournament will not run without them.


zola Says:

oops , did not finish my last sentence:

….so they deserve a bit more respect from the players and the tournament.


jane Says:

Von, thanks for the link; I still think it was a joke. I can’t imagine him not playing. Of course he’d be fully aware of how much Belgrade would pay out. But thanks for finding it; I appreciate it!

————————————————–

zola, you said “A clock is not correcting any mistake. It is just covering for an umpire who is not doing his job.”

I take your point; however, like some, I wonder if there was a clock, if it would help move things along? I mean no one could really dispute things (i.e., that the 25 seconds are up) if it was made “public” for fans, players, etc. So it may help in that regard.

It does begin to feel like the umpires are superfluous sometimes, but they’re not. They still announce the score, make overrules and settle disputes. They have less control, now, because with hawkeye, the player can have back some control. With the clock, it will take away the favoritism / overlooking element as EVERY PLAYER will be timed.

——————————————–

blah, I agree especially about the way the towel, umbrella and or ball boys and girls are sometimes treated by the players. It’s crazy!! I remember in Shanghai Tsonga was complaining how tired he was because the towel kid was too slow and so he had to (gasp!!) walk to get the towel. Lordy lordy.

—————————————–

As to whether or not 25 seconds is enough, I don’t have a clue; I suppose that was decided some time ago. And I suppose if the players think it should be longer, then they could take it up with the rule -makers. I suppose to that if the players played an exceptionally long and exciting rally, the umpire might overlook penalizing them. Maybe a friendly warning or something. I think it’s fairly feasible, this idea.


zola Says:

Jane
I was among those who suggested a clock (some suggest a buzzer).I talked about it on another forum as well. Perhaps it can be something on the scoreboard and people can see it. But now thinking about it again, I see that it is something that can be perfectly done by a human. Hawkeye is different because the human eye can make mistakes. we can introduce tens of gadgets and buzzers and other devices. They will seem interesting at the beginning but the add to the expense and make managing a game more complex.
But as many now suggest this, perhaps ATP can give it a go in some tournaments and see what happens.

Another mechanism can be an external review. An ATP official can watch a match and fine a player for taking more time than necessary and also the umpire for not giving a warning. That can also extend to reviewing injury time outs.


jane Says:

zola, an external review is interesting, but I suspect it wouldn’t be implemented enough, as once a match is over, most people – players, umps, fans – consider it, well, over. So I do think something should be done during the match re: stalling, taking to long to serve, taking too many injury time outs and so on. Maybe it should be done by the umpire, so he earns his pay. But trying out as clock, as you say, at a few of the bigger events, would be a good idea just to see if it would work.

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5 David Ferrer5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 Milos Raonic6 Maria Sharapova
7 Tomas Berdych7 Angelique Kerber
8 Grigor Dimitrov8 Eugenie Bouchard
9 Andy Murray9 Ana Ivanovic
10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga10 Jelena Jankovic
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