Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Murray Funky, Federer Not
by Staff | April 7th, 2009, 11:02 pm
  • 35 Comments

Who’s Got the Funk… 

1. Andy MURRAY
No. 4, but arguably the best? Watch out for the Brit.


2. Victoria AZARENKA
Default Miami winner, winning despite choke against Kuznetsova, and beating injured Serena in final.
 
3. Juan Martin DEL POTRO
Beats world No. 1 Nadal in Miami.
 
4. Serena WILLIAMS
Beats Venus, but injured in the process, Miami title was there for the taking.
 
5. Larry SCOTT
Getting out while the gettings good. WTA about to lose major sponsors, and Williams sisters retirement will mean end of American tennis.
 
…Who’s in the Trunk 

5. Rafael NADAL
Too tired to complete the Indian Wells-Miami double, but good effort.
 
4. Serb WOMEN
Ivanovic and Jankovic, who kicked the plug out of the wall?
 
3. Jelena DOKIC
Nice PR after Aussie Open QF, but no results since, and now pulls from PVB event with fatigue?
 
2. Roger FEDERER
Another meltdown, this time racquet smashing, in Miami, no 2009 titles yet.
 
1. WTA Tour
No CEO…but big announcement to come this week?


Also Check Out:
Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Murray, Rafa, Kim-tastic
Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Federer, Brits Hit Skids
Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Serena’s Trunk has Trophy Junk
Doha Big Money, Oh Kei: Tennis-X Funk/Trunk
Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Fed Sits, McEnroe Kicks Ass

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35 Comments for Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Murray Funky, Federer Not

Ezorra Says:

These are the grades by Mr. Steve Tignor for some of the prominent players in ATP and WTA so far:

Rafael Nadal – A+
Roger Federer – B+
Novak Djokovic – B
Andy Murray – A (I think this guy deserves to get better! A++ maybe?)
Juan-Martin Del Potro – A-
Andy Roddick – A-

Serena Williams – A-
Dinara Safina – B
Jelena Jankovic – D (Totally agree! Poor JJ)
Ana Ivanovic – B-
Victoria Azarenka – A

For further info, please refer http://www.tennis.com

————————-

-What happened to Safina, Jelena and Dimienteva this year? They played ready well towards the end of last year!

-Kudos to William sisters, they’ve been around in this tennis world for like 500 years already but still manage to keep themselves among the top 10 players in the world!

-Another thing is someone from another forum had stated this in his/her comment:

“He (Murray) has virtually no spin on his ground strokes. His most potent weapon – his serve- is also retrievable on clay much easily. The only thing he can do is grind it out by being defensive. That won’t win him matches. Both Nadal, Federer and perhaps even Djokovic would be able to dismiss Murray on clay.”
- imjimmy , 3/26/09 7:34 PM (tennistalk.com)

I’m not so good in technical part of tennis so I want to ask you guys, is the statement makes sense? Murray’s performance on clay last year was pretty bad so I guess this statement is true, isn’t it?


Von Says:

Ezorra: We can’t go by last year’s clay results for Murray — he was struggling the early part of the year, which includes the clay season. If you can remember he was knocked out of the AO by Tsonga, and that was hard-court, which spilled over to the clay season. Murrray began playing well around Wimby and from then on he began beating the top players.

Presently, one of the holes in Murray’s game is his second serve, but he’s working on it, and makes up for this weakness by returning very well coupled with good court coverage, which helps him to not lose the second serve point.

It’s a toss-up this year for Murray on clay, but I think we’ll see some good results from him. I think he has a good chance of winning Madrid because it’s iffy for Nadal who doesn’t like Madrid due to the altitude.


Ezorra Says:

Von,
Thank you so much for your clarifications. :)


blah Says:

Murray’s most potent weapon is not his serve. And grinding it out is what clay is about. Overall though I still think clay is his weakest surface and I think the next shot he will have at a slam will come at U.S. Open, but he should still do better than his results on clay last year and he may be able to make a run for number two once the hard court season begins again.


Voicemale1 Says:

Blah:

Agree that clay will be Murray’s worst surface. And grass for him won’t be that much better. His game of changing speeds & spins on his shots does have a reliance on, among other things, a consistent height of bounce off of the court to be optimally effective. Clay and grass will give him no such consistency. On clay many of the bounces to him will be much higher than on a hard court, forcing him further back behind the baseline than he plays on a hard court. He has the same problem in reverse on grass: the bounces often stay much lower than a hard court.

All of this will force Murray into playing much more defensively, trying to lower the height of the ball on clay and trying to dig his shots off of the court on grass. Murray doesn’t have that Killer Shot, like Nadal & Federer have their Forehands, so playing defense on the natural surfaces without a shot like that makes you a lot more vulnerable. Small wonder why, when asked some time last year whether Wimbledon was the his greatest goal, Murray replied that he’d prefer to win the US Open. Showing us that he’s aware of what surface and what court suits his game best.


zola Says:

voicemail1
nice analysis of Murray’s game on clay and grass. I think him and Djoko are playing in MonteCarlo. So we shall see.


zola Says:

Ezorra,
that was an interesting quote regarding Murray’s game on clay. No spin? wow!
Murray’s game is still evolving and he is such a hardworker, I won’t be surprised if he adds these bits and pieces to his game one by one. For now, I agree that his best chance for a GS is on hard courts and perhaps US Open where he already has reached the final. He might already had one if he was not so tired going to the final in 2008.


jane Says:

Voicemail1 says “Murray doesn’t have that Killer Shot, like Nadal & Federer have their Forehands”

I agree and take your point, that Murray doesn’t have one stand out weapon, per se. But as a side issue to what you mention above, do you really see Federer’s forehand as still a “killer shot”? A killer shot or weapon should be a measure of consistency, and Federer’s forehand, for a long time now (late 07 imo) has been inconsistent, with a lot of shanks and into-the-net shots. Djokovic attacked Fed’s forehand at both the AO 08 match and the recent one in Miami. Against Roddick in Miami, Fed’s forehand was inconsistent: brilliant and abysmal in turns. Same with in his match against Murray at IW. In the Wimbledon 08 final, in the last few games, Fed smacked a number of forehands into the net. So I am just wondering if it can still be called a go-to-weapon when it’s “off” or error prone almost as much as it’s “on”? Just curious. Because I think there are other players with wicked shots, but which remain somewhat inconsistent – Baghdatis and Tsonga both come to mind. Of course Fed’s forehand WAS the best in the game for a long while; I don’t discount that.


jane Says:

zola, I agree with you and others that presently Murray’s best shot at winning a slam is at the USO – he already won it as a junior and has reached a final now as a pro, so it’ll be interesting to see what he can do this year; a lot of people will be expecting big things from him there.


aleks Says:

rafa in the trunk? oh come on do you watch tennis. joke. but anyway he won a slam, won IW, finale in roterdam. i think this is the best effort in 2009. Yeah murray is close, but sometimes gets scared in the important matches against important players. he won against nadal in roterdam, but nadal was injured. i don t think murray stands a chance in grand slams. we all know who is gonna win roland garros. wimbledone most likely nadal federer rinale, i still think federer is gona come out strong on holy grass. the only chance on murray winning a slam is in US, but i am going to NY to watch, i hope it s gonna be federer-nadal running for the trophy. if i am lucky nadal winnig the year slam:):) fingers crossed.


MMT Says:

I don’t even think Federer will reach the Wimbledon final this year. Murray’s best surface is surely hard courts, but he’s got a good shot on clay if he can find the right balance between defense and attack on clay. You cannot do too much of either against experienced clay courters, but his strengths would seem to suit him on clay.

Grass may be a good chance for him because he’s in a rich vein of form and the crowd will support him. His only hope though, is for Nadal to have a bad day against him, and for him to play his socks off. Not good odds. I think Nadal’s my favorite to win both the French and Wimbledon.

The US Open is more unpredictable because it’s so far away and can be so heavily affected by injuries and fatigue. The freshest player is likely to take it, and it seems it would be Murray, who will probably not play a lot of clay court tennis just based on results.

I think it’s Nadal winning 3 slams in 2009, but falling short at the US Open again. I see Murray winning that at this point.


Von Says:

MMT:

“I don’t even think Federer will reach the Wimbledon final this year.”

Reading that sentence left me pondering its full impact on the tennis world. A few weeks ago that would have been unheard of, now it almost seems to be a given. Isn’t it amazing how time and tide waits for no man, and catches up with us when we least expect it t do its dirty deeds?
________________
tenisbebe: Where are you? Still cleaning, or are you nursing your own back while having sympathy pains for Fed’s back also? Say hello, will ya ☺. I invented a smiley just for you and hope it brightens your day.


Voicemale1 Says:

Jane:

I understand what you’re trying to say about Federer’s forehand. But I disagree on just how inconsistent it is. The guy has been to every Grand Slam Final since Wimbledon of 2005, save one. And that includes the last 4 Majors played. I think there are a lot guys that not only wish they had his killer shot, but would be eternally grateful if it worked with THAT kind of inconsistency.

The point is, when Federer’s forehand is firing, there’s nothing anyone, apart from Nadal, can do to stop him. And the only reason Nadal can stifle him is because he’s got that same killer shot of his own. Federer’s forehand still fires often enough on the big stages to out-hit just about everyone.


blah Says:

I still think it’s a lock to be Nadal and Federer at the wimbledon final, I just don’t see a lot of guys with the games for grass. But if his clay draw gets a little bumpy (which has not happened in the past) I could see Federer taken out before the semis.


Vared Says:

I hope Murray doesn’t win very much. His demeanor, cheering on his opponents errors.He has a bad personality.


Kimmi Says:

Blah, I would not count Murray out, I see him doing very well at wimby, he has the support and I remember federer saying he thinks murray would actually play better on grass that even hard court. I believe fereder words, he knows where talent is…

I hope federer wakes up soon, he needs more matches to build confidence, it would have helped him to play monte carlo…what happen if he loses early in Rome and madrid, then he will be very rusty come the french.


zola Says:

MMT

***I think it’s Nadal winning 3 slams in 2009, but falling short at the US Open again. I see Murray winning that at this point.***

MMT, I will buy you virtual wine/tea/chocolate/coffee, whatever you want if Rafa wins three slams this year! that would be excellent.

I am a bit worried about the clay season. He is playing every tournament in the universe andif he plays Madrid, I don’t know about his chances in RG. I hope he at least skips Madrid. His team need to learn to prioratize!

Federer/Wimbledon, tough to say anything. Remember how he cruised to the final. We talk about his demise but his “worst” is much better than many players’ “best”. Who knows, he might put things back together in his head. So I do not want to speculate. It also depends on the arrival of “baby Fed”.

Vared,
I am surprised at your statement. Murray has some on-court antics but I have not seen him celebrating an opponents errors and off[court he is very respectful to all his opponents.


aleks Says:

i think no matter how many matches nadal has under his belt, he will come out strong in RG. maybe not in wimbledone or US but RG is his. if you look back a year, he almost lost monte carlo to federer, almost lost both semis an finale in hamburg (just a week before RG) but on a red dirt of paris, he was invincible. novak came the closest but even he could not win a set.

and i agree with Vared, something about murray just doesnt seem right. i think it is his attitude that bothers me. he never won a major and he talk like he is the best there ever was. maybe it is also the way that everybody especially english press talks about him. i think they should wait a bit. first he has to prove himself and then he can be considered as a real threat in majors. all said i do believe he ll win a slam, it is only a question of time.

as for federer, dont rule him out just yet. i still believe he has what it takes to win one, to, maybe even 3 slams. You cant judge his season on a few bad matches. last year nadal did not win anything till monte carlo, and then he had the best season ever. i think we ll just have to wait and see.


Vared Says:

He shouts “come on” or “yeah” after every miss like Hewitt did.


MMT Says:

Von:

The end does seem to come quickly for the greats in tennis – Laver didn’t win another slam after 1969, nor did McEnroe after posting the best 1-year record in the history of the open era in 1984. Wilander dropped off the face of the earth after winning 3 of 4 slams in 1988. Connors, Lendl and Borg lost all subsequent slam finals they reached after repeating at their penultimate slam wins, so the pattern is there for Federer – it’s just hard to imagine it because he’s been so good for so long.

Zola:

I actually thought Nadal could win the calendar slam this year based on his peformance in Australia, but Murray seems to be on the verge of something big and I think he’s most likely to derail Nadal’s coronation at the US Open.

I wouldn’t be too concerned with how much Nadal plays on clay in the Spring. He won’t play Madrid if he reaches the finals of Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome and will have plenty of time to recuperate for RG.

As for Federer, if you look at the “demise” of Sampras, it started in the smaller tournaments where a loss of motivation and focus first attaches, then a player begins to develop bad mental habits, such as losing their cool, thinking too much about the result instead of the points, etc., and before you know it, they get upset in the 4th round of the beloved Wimbledon by some kid from Switzerland that nobody outside of tennis has ever heard of…;-)

That Federer has not won a masters shield since summer of 2007 is telling. At the moment, he’s had a good record in slams, but it becomes progressively more difficult to “turn it on” for the slams as bad results in smaller tournaments beging to pile up.

No player is immune to mental walkabouts, and it is in this area that Federer has become more vulnerable in smaller tournaments and soon enough will be the same in bigger ones. The fact that he has hasitly signed up to play Monte Carlo tells me he’s feeling the pressure from playing so poorly outside of slams.


jane Says:

MMT says “The fact that he has hasitly signed up to play Monte Carlo tells me he’s feeling the pressure from playing so poorly outside of slams.”

Well I was wondering about this on the other thread; I wonder if his motivation is solely points, or to get in some matches on clay at a non Masters event, or because he’s thinking ahead to the birth of his child. I don’t know, but it reveals something. Does he suspect Murray could dethrone him at #2? Does he care anymore about rankings or does he just want to get a couple more slams? So much is going on with Roger at the moment.

BTW, I assume you’re a Tsonga “fan” MMT just by a few postings hither and yon – how do you think he’ll do on the grass this year? Have you seen him play on grass? He’ll be interesting to watch over the next while since we missed him last year during this stretch.


jane Says:

Voicemale1:

Thanks for your thoughts; I see what you mean, though I do think Roger’s backhand is surprisingly solid except against Nadal especially and sometimes Murray also. His serve, other than in that AO final this year, and from time-to-time has also “served” him immensely well; I think it dug him out of that hole at AO 08 against Tipsy, and it was a big factor in both the Wimbledon 07 and USO 08 titles. Given his talent and variety, he hasn’t always needed his go-to weapon of the forehand. Although now, with the back troubles, his serve has been in and out as well, and as MMT points out, so has his focus at times.


Voicemale1 Says:

MMT:

Interesting stuff about the decline of greats. I agree a pattern is an important indicator when looking at long range results. But each had invariably different circumstances. Laver was already at an age in 1969 that would be past his prime by todays standards, even though he was still enormously competitive into the early 1970′s. McEnroe fell victim to the New Era ushered in by Ivan Lendl in 1985 – Fitness As A Weapon. Johnny Mac, who never saw the inside of a gym during his entire ATP career, slid into insignificance because he gave away fitess to more & more rivals. Borg and Wilander suffered the same reason for their slides: their supreme physical fitness and supreme powers of concentration reached their exhausted limits. Connors (who Nadal is really the most like) never really went away. He just continued to be his opportunistic best until he finally hung up his racquet.

Sampras, by the summer of 2000 looked invincible after he won #13 at Wimbledon essentially on one leg. Then he was destroyed by Safin in the US Open Final a mere 60 days later, which is what truly characterized and began his descent. Coincidentally, the summer and fall of 2000 marked the advent of the New Generation of equipment, especially the strings. Luxilon and other synthetics, along with lighter weight racquets, were giving players all sorts of power from the base line that was unthinkable with natural gut and graphite sticks. More and more of the Sampras serves were not only coming back, they came back with interest, and were often already below the net before he even made it to the service line. Sampras was seeing his game as he knew it become less and less effective, which will definitely lower your morale. It’s to his enormous credit that he pulled it together for that one last Major in 2002, but he also knew it was time to quit since it took him over two years to go from 13 to 14.

But for all of those declines, there was the resurrection of Agassi, who won a bunch of Majors after age 29. And that was only made possible by Agassi’s dedication to a state of physical fitness that few achieved before then. He never would have been able to otherwise, and the new technology helped his base line game soar.

And according to Tennis Trainer Sergio Cruz, this is what Federer is facing now. Cruz has long believed that Federer’s overall physical condition was mostly mediocre (by ATP standards), but got away with that for years because his stroke production & execution was essentially flawless. Cruz argued the only one from Federer’s generation to expose Federer’s average fitness was Nalbandian, who had a winning record against Federer all the way up until the Fall of 2006. And even today, their H2H is extremely close, 10-8 in favor of Federer. Nadal came along and exacerbated the same opening in Federer’s game, only more so. And now Murray does the same. All three of them make Federer continually run from side to side, and Federer doesn’t hit his forehand on the run anywhere near as well as Sampras used to hit his forehand on the run. Cruz did say if Federer, should he choose to get as fit as Agassi did, he could defintely be back to dominating all of these guys again. But with his baby coming, and if his back is truly problematic, it’s possible that now he might not be able or willing to go to that length that he’ll need to get to so he can more assuredly bag another Major or two.

And Nadal winning 3 Majors this year? I’d tentatively say I’d could see that. It’s very tough for me to see anyone today who can take 3 Sets from him on clay, so he looks a lock at the French, barring an injury to him. Wimbledon – sure, he could win there again having been to three finals there already. As for Murray? Dunno about that. He’s a Counter-Puncher, and a lot of tennis players pejoratively refer to that as a Junk-Baller. That kind of game isn’t exactly ideally suited by a Best of 5 Set format. Michael Chang was an exemplary junk-baller, and it took every ounce of his energy and every trick in his book (like serving underhanded) to win the one Major he did win. So until I see Murray actually win a Major, I’ll buy into him as a genuine threat at a Major.


MMT Says:

Hi Jane:

I do enjoy watching Tsonga play, and he has both the physical tools and the game to be #1 in my opinion. I also feel that’s probably 25% of the equation. The rest is upstairs, and here, he hasn’t shown much steel against the better players.

I thought you were going to ask how I thought he’d do at RG, to be honest, but my assessment is the same as Wimbledon. I don’t believe Tsonga has the footwork to be successful on natural surfaces. To me, this is the only part of his game that is really behind the great players on tour. He appears to bully his way around the court physically, and he doesn’t make enough adjustments to the natural surfaces to maximize his footing for his strokes.

If you see how Nadal’s footwork is completely different on grass than on hard courts or clay, you can get a sense of what I’d be looking for him to do. You actually have to think about footwork, just like your strokes, because different surfaces require different adjustments.

For example, on hard courts you can explosive as you want on the first couple of steps – it’s stopping that’s the problem, and a lot of players have resorted to sliding. I think that’s bad for the joints and bad for the next shot – you’ll never see Federer or Murray do that, and even Nadal has minimized his sliding on hard courts. You’re better of taking little steps to slow down…like a human ABS system.

Whereas on clay, you’ve got to work your way into your stride or you’ll slip initially, but you can either slide into the stroke and be ready for the next, or delay your dip into the stroke and slide after it in cases of desperation, giving you the option to continue at full speed without the temptation to pull out of the sprint in anticipation of having to slow down.

On grass it gets tricky – you have to start subtley, accelerate quickly, and apply your ABS after the shots – both of the adjustments you have to make on hard courts and grass. Sliding is unpredictable on grass, since you can hit a spot of good grass and just keep on going, or chunky dirt/grass and get stuck and/or roll your ankle.

Tsonga’s footwork is entirely thoughtless, and so on clay and grass he tends to be all over the place physically. Indoors and on hard courts, he’s fine, because the sure surface let’s him do as he pleases with his footwork with few consequences.

Ironically, if he could learn to master his footwork on grass, it could be his best surface – with his serve, he’d rarely face breaks, and his volleying would make life very easy for him on the return where he could really apply pressure to his opponents. Ironically the more “playable” grass in existence today doesn’t help him at all, even though he’s a natrual baseliner, because it allows him to get stuck behind the baseline, which to me has been his undoing against the best players on tour.

I don’t see him doing too well at the French or Wimbledon – I think his best bet for a slam is at the AO or US Open, and more the AO, because he’s usually got some physical ailment by the time labor day rolls around.

I hope I’m wrong!


zola Says:

MMT
tennis is so unpredictable that I really do not want to even think about US Open. I will be more than happy if Rafa can win French/Wimbledon one more time. That will be just out of this world. and if he does that I cannot imagine the pressure on him to win the US Open and it means someone else, perhaps Federer/Murray/Djoko will have a better chance. So I just want to wait and see.

Jane

Monte Carlo is a masters 1000 toutnament but it is not mandatory. The winner gets 1000 points like any other master series. Federer has 700 points to defend from last year. I think he is not in a situation to forfiet 700 points plus his estoril points from last year.

Vared
I hope you find something positive in Murray’s game. He is not that bad.


MMT Says:

Voicemale1:

Very good history lesson on the details of various demises. They did indeed all arrive at their demises in their own special ways. But the end came quickly for all of them and I think it will be the same for Federer.

One thing I would disagree with is the assessment of Federer’s fitness. I think it is underrated. After all, it’s not easy on the body to make double digit finals every year for 4 years. Just ask Nadal what it’s been like to play the latter half of the year every year for the last 4 years. Even in 2008, he didn’t have a single tournament victory after the Olympics. Only Federer has shown an ability to win throughout the entire year, whereas others have merely peaked at various times.

He has become mentally incapable of staying in the point long enough to rally from the back and this would support your fitness contention. As such, I’ll have to reconsider it :-)

Agassi was a grinder – a damn talented one, but a grinder nonetheless. He didn’t start winning majors until he tempered his desire to win points outright, and focused instead on breaking down his opponents. I don’t see that as an option for Federer. I think his only choice is to go the quick route, but he’s surprisingly tactically unsound at net – have you noticed that if he has to hit more than one volley at net he typically loses the point?

I think fitness has been a problem for him in the last 2 years, so again the fitness issue seems to have merit – it’s just hard to square with all those years when he was winning tournaments from January to November.


Von Says:

MMT:

“I think his only choice is to go the quick route, but he’s surprisingly tactically unsound at net – have you noticed that if he has to hit more than one volley at net he typically loses the point?”

Are you saying you want Federer to hit out ala Blake/Gonzalez? ☺ That would then make him a ball basher and not a smart one at that. I get what you mean though, and I also believe that the reason he loses when having to hit too many balls is because he becomes impatient, loses his focus and becomes tired. It’s because of the tiredness that he loses the point. I see this as a fitness problem but more a slightly more mental than a physical one.

On an aside, the DVR called a strike, and had to be replaced. I lost all of my 5 best recordings and the Pepsi Grand slam matches too. Isn’t that a bummer? I think I need to sit the new DVR down and have a good tete-a-tete with it. What do you think? Have you been watching all of the Monte Carlo matches from last year that are presently being shown? I want to start a library comprising of GS, masters and DC tournaments.
______________
Voicemale1: I’m happy to see you posting more often nowadays. I think you and MMT make a very good team. You are two of the most tennis savvy, informative and knowledgeable guys on this site and I enjoy your input and discussions. I hope you don’t mind it that I’m more partial to MMT ☺☺, he’s been my mentor and has always very graciously filled in the blanks for me. I hope you stick around an post more often too. ☺ ☺


jane Says:

MMT says “Only Federer has shown an ability to win throughout the entire year, whereas others have merely peaked at various times.”

That’s true, but there has been an interesting trend in Roger’s year since early 2007, where, although he played exceptionally at the AO, he lost out earlier than expected at both IW and Miami, both times to Canas; the trend has followed in both 2008 and now 2009 to the degree that Roger has remained titleless until clay! Very interesting turn of events, but certainly a pattern if it’s followed now for 3 or at least 2 years in a row.

MMT replied “I thought you were going to ask how I thought he’d do at RG, to be honest, but my assessment is the same as Wimbledon. I don’t believe Tsonga has the footwork to be successful on natural surfaces”

Thanks for your feedback – I found your comments on the footwork fascinating. During the Roddick/Fed match at Miami the commentators were talking about just how important Roger’s footwork is to the success of his game, so that if it goes off, so does the timing, the shots, and everything. I tend to notice the shots WAY more than footwork, so I find this very interesting to read about.

I has asked you about Tsonga on grass rather than clay because he seems to be quite a shot-maker, and clearly the big serve and touch volleys would (or would have in the past) lend themselves to grass. I look forward to seeing how he fares.

I agree he has shown mental ups and downs, particularly in big matches; he really rides the wave of crowd support too, which was evident in Paris last fall. This facet of the game, perhaps like footwork, is so central to success on a “Grand” scale. I think his best chance at a slam title is the AO too. He’s fresh and fit to start the year, the surface suits him, he can go for his shots. Tsonga should remember the “controlled aggression” mantra, I suspect.


MMT Says:

Von: so sorry to hear about your DVR – that is a bummer. I just added Becker coming back from 2 sets down to beat Agassi in the DC in 1989. That was a great match and absolutely hilarious to see Agassi with his ridiculous hair and denim shorts – oh, man!

I have another problem though – I can only hold about 8 hours of HD video, but it really does make a difference even on old matches. How many hours of video can you hold on yours?

I think Voicemale1 has convinced me that Federer has a real fitness problem. Agassi always said fitness gave him the patience to grind and that’s when he always had his best results.

BTW – I really appreciate it, but I think you’re giving me just a little too much credit. You know PLENTY about tennis, and I do a lot of research just for the fun of it. Maybe 1 or 2 gems from my own memory banks, but the stats are mostly from the ATP, wiki and DC sites. SI Vault has got some great articles on tennis, though. It’s where I learned the most about Pancho Gonzales and Jack Kramer, god bless ‘em.


MMT Says:

Good catch Jane, Federer does seem for the last 3 years to hit a wall in the spring hard court season. And controlled agression is exactly how I would describe Tsonga’s best style. I don’t know if you follow F1 racing, but there are two pilots that remind me of this distinction – Gilles Villeneuve and Ayrton Senna.

Villeneuve was super aggressive and an absolute crowd pleaser – that’s typical Tsonga – big shots, big serves and beautiful drop shots. Villeneuve never became world champion.

Senna was a master of getting right up to the line but rarely crossing it – that’s Tsonga against Nadal – pushing him left right and center and then killing him softly with skill. Senna won the title 3 times in 4 years.

I wonder which pilot Tsonga will be when it’s all said and done?


Von Says:

MMT: I’m sorry about my DVR too,– mourning period is now in full bloom coupled with frustration.

The new DVR is an updated one with enhanced features and there are a few tricks I can now do with the new as opposed to the old one. The technician was very, very nice to me and gave me his card with the invitation to call him at any time should I encounter any problems on anything. tah, dah!! I’ve got a friend!

The replacement DVR should not have entailed a service call, but due to my shoulder that’s ala Sharapova, I’m afraid to hook/lift anything and my spouse travels a lot, which means I’d have to wait until he returns home. Anyway, Verizon was kind enough to send out a tech to do the hook up and it was well worth the time I had to take off from work. The tech’s visit lasted for approx. one hour and he fixed quite a few things. Did you know you can adjust the picture/screen by using the # button on the remote?. Try it, it might not work on yours, but on the new DVR it’s easy.

I haven’t yet recorded much using HD on the new DVR, but could only record approx. 7-8 hours on the old one. I’ll know this weekend, because I’ve set it to record the Spain WTA SF and finals and Houston too, and I’ll give you an update then. In the past I could record approx. 45 hours of standard TV.

You’re entitled to all of the kudos I send your way. I’m not one for handing out compliments easily to ingratiate myself, someone has to absolutely earn them, and you’ve earned your stripes, mon ami, likewise Voicemale1 — you’re both in another league as compared to moi. Do you think I could make Voicemale1 laugh? Keep up the good work guys and post, post, post.

You flatter me, I don’t know very much about tennis, I’m learning all of the time. I don’t look up stats and such, nor do I visit many tennis sites, since I’m not very much into the Internet. A pity I had to stop playing tennis, because with all of the new tips on The Tennis Channel, I think I could have given Serena a run for her money, and become WTA’s star girl. Ha, ha. ☺ ☺. I hope you know that I’m dreaming.


Voicemale1 Says:

To Von:

Many thanks. Appreciate the words.

MMT; Just wanted to clarify – that wasn’t my assessment of Federer’s fitness. I was extrapolating from what I’d read that Cruz had to say.

Nonetheless, evidently Federer is feeling much better because he just took a Wild Card into Monte Carlo after saying since January he had no intention to play there. I wonder if his decision had to do with Nadal’s recent disclosure that he’ll probably pass on Madrid?


Von Says:

Voicemale1:

You’re welcome. And, BTW yoy’re really that good. In fact, both you and MMT are so similar in your analyses, that I at one time asked MMT if he posted as Voicemale1. That was funny and embarrassing at the same time. Anyway, can I anticipate a smile from you once in a while? Here’s one for you. ☺ ☺


Voicemale1 Says:

Von:

Just for you :) :) ;)


tenisbebe Says:

Von says: “tenisbebe: Where are you? Still cleaning, or are you nursing your own back while having sympathy pains for Fed’s back also? Say hello, will ya ☺. I invented a smiley just for you and hope it brightens your day.”

Von – muchas, muchas gracias! I have been cleaning & organizing – boring I know but necessary. It’s so easy to get sucked into all the discussions and then the evening is gone. Anyway, I am going to try to limit my perusing & posting til my ducks are in order. Back is MUCH better – thanks for asking – am back to yoga & tennis regular schedule this week which is wonderful. Thanks for the smiley Von – I needed it!!! Here’s one back atchu :-)

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