Nadal Wins Title, Djokovic Ranking Drop in Rome
by Staff | May 3rd, 2009, 3:35 pm
  • 274 Comments

The two best claycourters on the ATP tour were on center stage Sunday when world No. 1 Rafael Nadal kicked Novak Djokovic off his red dirt hill, defeating the No. 3-ranked Serb 7-6(2), 6-2 for the title at the Masters Rome.


The competitors were even entering the first-set tiebreak before Djokovic cracked, staring at his coaches box and miming strokes after missing on big points, or screaming at the top of his lungs during other missed opportunities. Nadal ran out to an early break in the second as the match quickly turned in favor of the Spaniard, who collected a record fourth career Rome title.

Djokovic, who won the event last year when Nadal was defeated early in the event, will on May 11 lose his No. 3 world ranking to Brit Andy Murray. It was Nadal’s 15th career Masters series title.

“One of the most important of my career,” Nadal told reporters in regard to the Rome title. “Win in Rome is a a big title. I have right now 15 Masters 1000 in my career, so that’s a lot, and I’m very happy for that. Win here in Rome is always unbelievable.”

It was also the 30th consecutive claycourt victory for Nadal, who hasn’t lost since Rome last year. For Djokovic it was his second claycourt loss to Nadal in the last three weeks.

“Obviously it’s his patience in the certain points (that is key),” Djokovic said. “When I needed to maybe stay a little bit more patient and just play the right shots — I made some unforced errors. It happens a couple of times already on this surface that I’m close, and in the deciding moments he just overcomes the pressure better than me. But that’s why he’s the best in the world in this moment.”

Djokovic defeated Roger Federer in the semis, coming back from a 1-3 deficit in the third set. Rome is the third claycourt title of the year for Nadal after Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

“[Regardless] the result in Madrid and Roland Garros, the clay season is unbelievable,” Nadal said. “I’m very happy for everything. Sure it’s a big surprise for me to win three titles in a row in three weeks. But I never did in the past, so it’s a good thing for me to know I can do.”


Also Check Out:
Djokovic Holds Slim Chance to Overtake Nadal for No. 1 Ranking at Rome, Will He Even Play?
Crafty Martinez Sanchez Beats Jankovic for WTA Rome Crown
Novak Djokovic: Wawrinka is a Big Challenge [Video]
Roger Federer Will Play In Rome!
Breaking Down the No. 1 Ranking Between Federer, Nadal

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274 Comments for Nadal Wins Title, Djokovic Ranking Drop in Rome

zola Says:

Great match and two great champions. Rafa has to be proud of all his achievements so far. At such a young age, he has already many records to his name and only two master series titles shy of Agassi’s records.

Djoko started the year with questions about his ability, his racquet, his stamina and he answered to them all on one of the toughest surfaces, clay. He has everything to be proud of. Yes, he got tired and perhaps frustrated against Rafa in the second set, but he knows what to do and what to improve.
So far he has been in the finals of the two master series on clay and he proved that so far he is the best on clay and second only to Rafa.

One important point is that these players all come from months of playing on hard courts. The more matches they have on clay the better they get. That’s why I give the advantage to Rafa and Djoko over Federer and Murray. If these two can get proper rest before Madrid and FO, they can remain the best two throughout this clay season.congrats to both.


Kimmi Says:

Zola; “One important point is that these players all come from months of playing on hard courts. The more matches they have on clay the better they get. That’s why I give the advantage to Rafa and Djoko over Federer and Murray. If these two can get proper rest before Madrid and FO, they can remain the best two throughout this clay season.congrats to both.”

Its good to have a lot of matches but not always guarantee. we have seen players losing early in coming tounaments even after a magnificent run. I agree Rafa is crazy good right now but lets wait and see. I like to have that unpredictability factor.


zola Says:

Kimmi,
I think it is the experience they get and they find out what is wrong or right with what shot. If you look at the level of plays from almost all players, no one was really good in MC and they played better in Rome. I feel those who lose early miss the experience and the opportunity to assess themselves in crucial matches.


Kimmi Says:

After losing # 3 ranking to Murray, Djokovic said

“He has been playing really well lately. But it’s still close. I can get it back. It’s really up and down.”

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/03052009/58/murray-moves-top-three.html

I think we are in for a nail biting finish to # 2 ranking. looks like everybody is fighting for their ranking, this can only be good for tennis fans. I hope Federer can sort out his game to be able to fight for his # 2.


Daniel Says:

In the beggining of the match Nadal was playing great, I just thought no way Djoko will pull this one out. Djoko didn’t use slice not once in the whole match, he didn’t force Nadal into the net, out of his confort zone, no break in the rhythm of the match. He won’t outplay Nadal from the back an entire match, you just can’t!

Nadal’s defensive shots amazes me, specially forehand under attack, his balls are always 1 feet from the baseline or closer, regardless of how hard you hit. It’ just remarkable, he just doesn’t miss the court, not ever! I am trying to apply his paralel forehand under attack to see if I can put the ball where he does, I am even mimicing his termination.

Kimmi is right, not Federe nor Djoko nor Murray, somebody else will have to beat Nadal, and so far I don’t know who will that be, but he will have to play the match of his life and Rafa will have to be on a A- or less day.

Just some thoughts: Nalby, Monfils or Tsonga. The others lost too many matches already on clay against him, the films must pass over and over their heads!


stu Says:

Isn’t it true that Murray will not be #3 if Djokovic wins in Belgrade?


fed is afraid Says:

how does crybaby stay at number 2?


Dan Says:

How do they decide if the finals are best of 5 or best of 3? I thought Rome was Best of 5 (at least from the Federer-Nadal final few years back)


Giner Says:

Novak might avoid a rankings slide if he plays the week before Madrid, but 3 and 4 are functionally the same. It’s just for bragging rights and pride.

Belgrade is a 250 event though, so it may not be enough.


Giner Says:

fed is afraid Says:

“how does crybaby stay at number 2?”

Crybaby is defending a Slam title and 3 runner up finishes. In case you didn’t know, that’s a better GS record than all else’s bar one.


Von Says:

Giner:

Wouldn’t Belgrade be categorized under the “non-countable’ tourneys and points not added? I saw that happen to roddick in Doha. he hadn’t played Doha the previous year, yet his SF points were placed under the “non-countable” points category. The same for the DC points. We had a discussion about that, but you pointed out that the points from DC will eventually be added onto the regular ranking points, or something to that effect.


Von Says:

I’m not surprised Djoko is doing so well on clay, and is above the other players because next to Federer and Nadal (the top 4), Djoko has also been trained on clay in Germany when he left Serbia, so I’d say in time, he practically grew up on the stuff and could or should be the one to really push Nadal on the red dirt.

It was obvious how much energy he put out in the first set which lasted close to an hour and by the middle of the second, he seemed winded to me. I kept thinking that he should not engage in so many long rallies with Nadal, but just do enough to stay in the set and if he wins or loses fine, but to wait for the second set to begin pouncing on Nadal. I saw the same pattern yesterday against Fed, but the rain helped Djoko out there, or else i think Fed would have won due to Djoko showing wear and tear by the 4th game in the second. It now seems to be a decided pattern with him, that unless he conserves energy from the first set, he won’t last past the middle of the second set, unless his opponent is not as fit as Djoko, as in the case of Montanes, then he’s able to win the match. However, if the opponent can stay in the match, despite Djoko winning the first set, and come in fresh in the second set, they can pull off the upset, because the next two sets will probably be a loss for Djoko. for him, energy conservation should be the key words.


Daniel Says:

Even with Djoko winning Belgrade it will replace Sidney points as the 5th countabe tourney (other than Monte Carlo which isn’t a Mandatory masters anymore), meaning he can only gain 160 points with Belgrade.

Murray will lose 60 points by tomorrow (last year he also reached R32 in Rome but he was not seeded, so he got 70 pts, this year he gets 10).

So, on May 11th Murray will be with: 9050-70(Rome last year)+10(rome 2009)=8990 pts
With Djoko winning Belgrade he will be with: 9160-1000(Rome last year)+600(finalist in Rome this year)+250(Belgrade 2009)-90(Sidney 2009)=8920 pts

Just 70 points going into Madrid if he wins Begrade and 230 points difference if he skips Belgrade. They can change again in Madrid!


Ezorra Says:

I’ve question. Who’ll be considered as the defending champion in Madrid? Is it Nadal (who had won Hamburg last year) or is it Murray (who had won indoor event in Madrid last year)? Who will have to defend points in Madrid this year?


Dave B Says:

I’m certainly no Djockboy fan but the level of play was pretty fantastic. If anything I thought that Nadal’s game in the second set was not up to this form in the first set. His first serve percentage was way down. A terrific match and my respect for Dhockboy was increased a bit.


Kimmi Says:

I have read somewhere that if Novak wins Belgrade (250 pts) he will knock his old countable results of (90 pts) so he will only gain 160 and that will not be enough. But don’t know how that works, very confusing this ranking system.

If somebody can explain I will be very glad to know.


Kimmi Says:

Daniel: Thanks, you answer my question. I posted before I saw your post.


Daniel Says:

Kimmi, try my post at 9:47 pm.

The rankings is confusing now cause last year the tourneys were played with no week of rest between Rome and Hamburg. After Madrid 2009 (replacing Hamuburg) the order will be restored. But only when the year end and everybody has the new points for the new rankings that it will settled. During this year we’ll have a lot more players reaching the same stage in a tourney but with less points. This new rankings favors more a win.

I don’t think anybody will defend Madrid, cause Murray who won it last year will have his points for this tourney untill October. It will be a virtual Hamburg. Nadal, for example, is supposed to defend 1000 points, but as he won Rome I don’t think will make that difference for him. Unless he wants to win a full clay season, with 3 Masters, Barcelona and RG, something that not even he has done before. He always won 2 out of 3 Masters, Barcelona and RG!


Daniel Says:

And I reposted before reading yours!:)


Kimmi Says:

Nadal seem to have so much energy left in him this season. Last couple of season he looked very worn out come this time. I think this is because he did not have too long matches on clay so far. I think he is changed his game to his advantage, shortening the points even further.

I would think RG is more important to him, but points in madrid will not hurt either, they will help him to separate himself from the pack even further just to make sure # 1 ranking is guaranteed till clay season next year.


Daniel Says:

Kimmi agree with you too!
He didn’t face sets more than 6-3 and have you noticed that he almost never had to serve for sets or match, once he made 5-something he broke for the set or match, several times (against Djoko, Verdasco, Gonzales, Ferrer, Murray) not to mention the lesser ranked players. I think this year he will be more rested going into US Open, which must be his priority for the year, and winning a Masters Cup.
As much as he was undefeated on grass last year, I don’t think he expectes that again.
But he already has 41 matches (38-3) and the season is not even in the middle, eventually all this tennis can catch him.


Von Says:

Daniel: Thanks for explaining the points. I knew that there were non-countable poits but I didn’t know how many. I’m glad that you, Giner and Gordo (where is he) are into the numbers crunching or else I’d be lost.


Alex Says:

It was a high quality and entertaining first set, but Djoko can’t maintain the same aggressiveness in the second. Watching Nadal now remind me of Fed in his good days, not the playing style, but the way the opponents need to consistently work hard for every point, and really need to play aggressive with sustained accuracy the whole match, which is, very difficult to do.


sheila Says:

yes, djokovic is definitely #2 claycourt player. federer, whom i am a big fan, has somehow lost his confidence. the #s show it. when he lost to djokovic in semis, he had, what 2 of 10 break chances and 47% first serves in. that says y he isn’t winning any tournaments and as much as i hate to admit, i think it will b a djokovic/nadal final @ french open. i just keep hoping federer will regain his confidence in the slam events. being a fan of his it is so hard to watch him lose consistently when he should be winning. nadal is unbeatable. the guy is like a machine. djokovic, whom i really don’t care for, is, however, a really good player. but, in my opinion, people remember the players who have won multiple slams not multiple masters events. nadal, at tender age of 22, has already proven he can win slams consistently, djokovic, as yet, has not proven that and murray still has yet to win one. they are both good players and i do believe they will eventually win slams, but i still feel nadal and federer(when he was playing well) are a bit above murray and djokovic. i just dont c djokovic or murray winning slams consistently the way nadal has. its just my opinion


Von Says:

Ezorra:

Well, it YABBA-DABBA-DOO time for you! CONGRATS !!!! I know you’re very happy. I think you’re one of the most analytical and open-minded Nadal supporters, same as my friend Kroll (where are you?), and of course Giner and Voicemale1. You guys have my respect because you aren’t worshippers.

I think your assessment of the characters you likened to those on American Idol, is very funny, LOL. I don’t watch American Idol so I can’t say you’re spot on as to my characterization. You’re very perceptive though, ref: Sean’s and my relationship. Could you imagine if we were married to each other how stormy a relationship we’d have? LOL. He does like to chide me though, and I kinda feel that I’m re-living my time spent with Mother Superior — those were fun days. Ha, ha — I love it!


Von Says:

Sheila: I wouldn’t give up on Federer and throw in the towel just yet. He’s still the guy to beat in the slams. I also think his recent results show that he’s lost some of his zeal, but that’s a mind-set that happens when an athlete loses to his nemesis too many times. Sometimes, the zeal returns, but it also is contingent upon how much he wants it. We all know he wants to win the slams, which makes winning the other tourneys of lesser importance. If I were him, my mindset would be, the slams first and if I win the others, then that’s alright, if I lose, no big deal. I doubt whether he’s say it openly, but to me it’s beginning to look that way. However, only time will tell.
_________________
Margot:
Glad to see you’re back. I had posted to you on the thread: “Nadal, Federer Win; Murray Toppled Early at ATP Rome” on April 30, 09 @ 12:28 am. Fret not, our Andy M. will return, and I think he’ll be rested enough for Madrid, and the FO.


jane Says:

Hopefully, for Djoko’s sake, if he’s to meet Nadal more often, his new fitness coach, hired directly after Monte Carlo, will have a plan that works specifically on endurance, and judging by the comments I have read, that’s precisely the goal in Djoko’s camp. Nole is 100% aware of what it takes to face Nadal, and off clay, their H2H is only 5-4 in Rafa’s favour, so if Djokovic can get fitter we may see more excellent matches between these two, as well as Murray, and other players in the top ten. Lots, still, to look forward to this season.


sensationalsafin Says:

This is ridiculous. The ATP tour is snoozeville nowadays. Even when Fed was winning everything, he wasn’t actually winning EVERYTHING. He lost here and there. Didn’t play sometimes. Other people had their titles. Yet Nadal doesn’t let a single clay event get past him. He plays everything and wins everything. Before it was all about “will Federer ever beat Nadal?” Now it’s “will anyone ever beat Nadal ever?” It’s not even ridiculous, it’s boring. Super f*cking boring.


Von Says:

sensationalsafin:

Seems like you’re really steamed up. I suppose you can understand why I dont like the clay season. Aside from one player winning everything, it’s so difficult to see the ball on TV at times and when there’s a shadow on the court it makes it even more difficult.

I also feel that Hawkeye should be used at the clay tourneys, especially the MS and more importantly the FO. There have been several instances where the umpire and the players have been in doubt as to which ball mark they are supposed to question due to several ball marks in the same area. This is where HE can be very helpful, if not for accuracy, at least it will put the players’ mind at ease and allow them to move on positively, putting the questionable call out of their minds. I vote for HE.


sensationalsafin Says:

I agree Von. It is really hard to see the ball on clay. I hate when all I see is players swinging racquets then stopping… and I have no clue what went down. And the hawkeye thing, too. Everyone knows the clay leaves marks but considering the length of all the rallies, there are thousands of marks on the court. Not to mention footprints.

I didn’t mind the Djokovic-Federer match. Sucks Fed lost like a dumbass again but good for Djokovic battling till the end. Pretty high quality match, too, with a fairly unpredictable outcome. What about every single Nadal match? Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal. Game, set, match, Nadal.
ENOUGH!!!!!!!!


Von Says:

sensation alsafin:

All I can say is BLOODY DAMN boring and ENOUGH!!!! Fed says he’s glad the HC season was over, I say puhleez bring back the HC season. Anyway, I won’t comment more before the viper antennae comes up and then I’m deemed “hateful and idiotic”. Pouncing on others for their observations and comments is stagnating the blogs, but because people don’t want to face the truth it’s “hateful and idiotic” — small minds, but the masses will win, so why bother.


Von Says:

Margot: Especially for you. Absolutely mahvellouz for the Brit, n’est ce pas? Sorry Djoko lost his No. 3 ranking, but 3 or 4 it really doesn’t matter much, when we think about the significance of the numbers. It’s Nos. 1 and 2 that count, but only for the seeding in the tourneys, and of course, ego. Additionally, it keeps the the Nos. 1 and 2 from clashing until the final, which is good for the money-makers. Money, money, makes the world go around.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/03052009/58/murray-moves-top-three.html


sensationalsafin Says:

As much as I liked watching Federer dominate, I’m not upset he’s not like that anymore. I’m upset he doesn’t win at all now. We have 4 incredible players holding the top 4 spots and I really wanna see the world go round with these guys. Instead, Nadal just wins every single thing until he gets tired. It’s so ridiculous. And it’s not like I’m saying Nadal doesn’t deserve it, because he does, he really really does. But I’m bored with this. I still remember last year when Nadal lost to Ferrero and I was on top of the world. It was so great to see that upset. But will it ever happen in the near future? God no. Because Nadal makes the world go snooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooze.


Von Says:

You’re soooooo funnnnny!! Now, you’re putting me to sleep. I suppose you can now understand why some people don’t want to see more Nadal/Federer finals. If I were a Fed fan I wouldn’t want to see that scenario, just like I don’t like Fed v. Roddick. Of course, the Nadal fans say it’s wonderful, because they know Nadal’ll win and they love to see that happen. We see hugs and kisses and hear how great a player Federer is, but that’s only WHEN Nadal BEATS the hell out of Federer — the world becomes a wonderful place, love and magnanimous statements freely dispensed. Now we’re seeing the same love for Djoko today, but that’s because? — HE LOST and Nadal WON. If it were reversed, there wouldn’t be a peep only silence … There’s a kind of hush …. all over the blogs, and then later ….. the criticisms will begin. It’s sad but also hilarious. I suppose I’m a cynic but I don’t fall for such free flowing magnanimity/benevolence.


Giner Says:

Von Says:

“Wouldn’t Belgrade be categorized under the “non-countable’ tourneys and points not added? I saw that happen to roddick in Doha. he hadn’t played Doha the previous year, yet his SF points were placed under the “non-countable” points category. The same for the DC points. We had a discussion about that, but you pointed out that the points from DC will eventually be added onto the regular ranking points, or something to that effect.”

You’re right. I forgot about that. If he wins Belgrade (which he should) the 250 might knock off some other tournament that was counted if that tournament was less than 250. That means he won’t get the full 250 value from it.

I’ve just looked at his points breakdown. They count your best 4 ATP500′s (Monte Carlo counts as a 500 that is worth 1000 pts) and your best 3 “ATP250 & Other”. He already has 3 “ATP250 & Other” counted, which are worth 410, 310, and 240. If he wins Belgrade, he’ll lose the 240 and gain 250, a net gain of only 10. He’s basically wasting his time as far as rankings go, but it’s his tournament. He’s sponsoring it, so I guess the Serb fans expect him to be there.

The 90 pts from DC is too low to count for Andy Roddick, so it’s pushed down as non-countable until it accumulates high enough to knock something else off. It’s a lot of work for what might amount to 500 points for winning every DC tie. I feel it should be worth 1000 for winning the title since it’s a year long event.

Djokovic already has 4 non-countable events including DC, and this will be his 5th. What that tells us is he is playing a lot of tennis, much more than he ought to be. He’s probably chasing appearance money.

Nadal has DC and Doha (45) as non-countables. Next week the Barcelona 08 points are removed and his only non-countable will be DC rd 1. That shows a much smarter playing schedule which is good to see. He’ll inevitably lose some points even if he defends these Other events because they are worth less this year than they were last year, and he’ll lose 800 for the Olympic Gold which isn’t replaceable.

Ezorra Says:

“I’ve question. Who’ll be considered as the defending champion in Madrid? Is it Nadal (who had won Hamburg last year) or is it Murray (who had won indoor event in Madrid last year)? Who will have to defend points in Madrid this year?”

Murray is officially the defending champ on the ATP tournament profile page, but at Nadal’s expense. Murray’s points won’t come off until after the US Open, so he will have Madrid counted twice. Nadal is not the defending champion at Madrid but he is the one defending the points. Nadal currently holds three clay Masters 1000 titles simultaneously (with RG). No one has ever done that in the same calendar year.

I feel awful for the Hamburg tournament which is now held post-grass season and demoted to 500.


Von Says:

If I were Murray, Djoko and the other top guys, I would try to incorporate some of the smaller clay tourneys into their schedules because it will be the only way for them to build their confidence and expertise on clay and then challenge Nadal with that newly acquired confidence. It’s amazing what a small win on clay would do for them. I’d bet if Djoko wins Belgrade after this loss he’s going to be more confident in Madrid and the FO, not to mention how much more finesse he’ll acquire. It most certainly will help not hurt. Perhaps Murray should have played in Estoril.


Von Says:

Giner:

Thanks for the points information and the explanation of the non-countable/countable tourneys.

I think Djoko is playing Belgrade because it’s his country’s tourney, but I’m sure some of the other smaller tourneys were for the appearance fee, which in some cases can be quite a hefty sum.

I think Hamburg’s demotion is/was a political/money move. More money is to be made in Madrid than Hamburg as can be seen from the packed-to-the-rafters stadiums in DC, as opposed to Hamburg which had poor attendance, not to mention the bad/bleaky/ugly weather, which didn’t help their cause. Ideally, with Hamburg on the clay route, it was a better mapped out schedule leading to the FO, but the demerits are what counts. Money, money, and more money.


Vicky Says:

He may soon lose his #3 ranking but Novak is now 2nd in The Race for year-end #1:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/tennis/3/en/rankings/championsrace/


jane Says:

I’m not sure if Sydney counts as a small tourney, but I know Djoko played that event strictly because of the early loss in Brisbane; thus, he played the same amount of events than Rafa/Fed/Murray did, as they all played an exho and Doha pre-AO. It’s true Djoko’s played a lot of ball this year, but actually not much more than Rafa was scheduled to play; he played Rotterdamn and was scheduled to play Dubai also but pulled out due to injury. Otherwise I believe they have played the same amount or very close. If money is a partial consideration in Nole’s schedule, (i.e. appearance fees) it may’ve been used to feed the Belgrade event. I know the Djokovic’s have put in mucho grando to create the Serbian tournament.

Speaking of which, Querrey plays Troicki tomorrow, which could be a good match.


jane Says:

Actually, the link Vicki just posted shows that Nadal has played 9 events to Novak’s 10. And the exho that Nadal played wouldn’t show, so they’ve played close to the same amount of tennis at this point.

What happens with the Hamburg points from last year? When are they deducted or have they been already? Maybe it’s soon?


Giner Says:

The link Vicky posted was the 2009 race. It doesn’t include the 2008 events they are defending. Djokovic has entered more non-mandatory events in the past 52 weeks than Nadal did, which I presume he will re-enter in 2009.

Upon closer inspection, this may not be entirely accurate. There is not much difference between the number of events entered, but Nadal has points for 3 ATP500′s while Novak has only 2. Djoker entered more smaller events instead, which I presume pay good appearance fees in order to sign up the big names.

He should play some 500′s. The ATP wants every player to play 4 of them with one coming after the US Open. If you don’t, you get a 0 pointer, which logically means the 0 can’t be replaced by a better result (or else it’s not much of a penalty).

If a player complains about the season being too long, then they lose credibility if they have a lot of non-countable points. They are entering non-compulsory events of their own volition and can’t really blame the tour for it. Well actually, you can still make the case that without the 250′s the season is too long, but that’s a story for another time. Novak D can cut down on some of those 250′s though.


zola Says:

sensationalsafin

lol to your post at 12:06 pm. really funny! you have great sense of humor!

OK, Where were you when Fed was winning everything? Did you feel bored at that time, I bet not! so let Rafa fans have some good days too!

But seriously, it is not all about Rafa winning. Sometimes it is about the other players “losing”. As much as you want Rafa not to win the next event, you have to ask from other players to step it up and win it. I think Djoko and Murray are getting closer, but I hope they don’t catch Rafa until another couple of year!


youyong Says:

I beg to differ that one person winning all the time is totally boring.

We are fortunate to be able to see old records being broken and new ones established. With each win, the next tourney becomes exciting too because a loss would mean having to start the streak from zero again (for the “streak” records) or having to wait for another GS to have yet again a crack at having the most GS titles.

I am admittedly a Nadal fan, but I won’t write off Federer if they were to meet again in another final. Nonetheless, I’d give both Murray and Djokovic better chances based on current form. Back to Nadal/Federer finals… why are they so boring? We have (or had) the 2 best players battling it out and the amazing shot making from both, as well as drama in their many previous finals, were certainly quite entertaining.

Another point is if titles were being “rotated” amongst the current top 4, wouldn’t it be just as boring? If no one is having a dominant streak, would defeats/upsets be as dramatic and exciting?

Anyway, I think we are blessed to have 4 very interesting players at the top now.


zola Says:

Giner,
I think Djoko has enetered only 9 tournaments this year. You can check it here:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/tennis/3/en/players/playerprofiles/playeractivity.asp?player=D643


youyong Says:

Based on current points, I doubt Fed will lose #2 before RG. Which means that a Djokovic-Nadal final may not happen if Djokovic ends up in the same half as Nadal. Which would be more interesting? A Djokovic/Nadal or a Djokovic/Federer RG semi-final?

I have a funny feeling Federer will be upset before the semis this year though.

Also, all the talk about Djokovic’s fitness. Nothing has changed over the past 2 years. If anything works against Novak it’s his fitness! He has only improved slightly in this respect. I see it more as a physiological limitation. Unless he goes for some intensive/extensive fitness regime (which may mean sacrificing tournaments), how much can we realistically expect him to improve?


Giner Says:

zola Says:

“Giner,
I think Djoko has enetered only 9 tournaments this year. You can check it here:”

I’m aware of that zola. That is only one more than Nadal. But by the end of the year, I expect to see a bigger differential in events entered. He’s not even resting this week, so he has a busy schedule for a guy who does make it to the tail end of tournaments. Three ATP1000 finals in a row, and he’s playing Belgrade, then Madrid where he might make another final or semi final.

It would not surprise me if the small events he enters is due to appearance fees. The guy did change his racquet for $2 million or so after having his best season.


margot Says:

Von: hi there, thanks for that! Andy M has been in London practising on the new clay courts, so fingers crossed. I am confused about Madrid though. Surely he can’t be defending points there, as they’ve changed the venue and it’s no longer hard and inside. Doesn’t seem right.
sensationalsafin and von: so so agree re clay courts and Rafa, sorry you fans, but it is b—-y boring! As an Andy M/ Tsonga/ fan I live on the edge, but it’s an exciting place to be!
Is it me, or is clay court tennis just a wee bit boring anyway?


youyong Says:

Something doesn’t make sense here. Is it boring because it is Nadal who is winning all the time? My point is that no matter who is winning all the time, why should it be considered boring? Isn’t it exciting to see records being set or broken? Isn’t it more dramatic when someone foils a record attempt? This works for both supporters and those against! The higher one climbs, the further he can potentially fall…

Plus, if for the past few years we didn’t have the likes of Nadal/Federer dominating, would we be having the ever continuing GOAT debate? Wouldn’t we want to see someone (be it Nadal, Murray, Fed, Djokovic…) come out to set a new standard?

I can remember during the years between the decline of Sampras/Agassi and emergence of Fed/Nadal… men’s tennis was not as interesting just like what is happening now to the WTA! There isn’t anyone to root for/against ever since Justine quit :P

I think we see more passionate interest in men’s tennis now! Having one dominating or one falling from greatness has given this blog so much fodder for discussion, debate and bitching ;)

Yes it is irritating/disappointing when the one you are supporting isn’t winning, but it certainly isn’t boring.


Fairypin Says:

I happened to like Djoko more, will call him Nole from now on. He’s such graciuos in defeat. Despite loosing worse this time than last time in Monte carlo,falling to defend his title, loosing his 2y-long no.3 in the world, loosing 3 timies in 3 finals in a row..he still had brigth smile on his face and more fun left in his heart to do that Rafa’s impression in front of the full crowd.That made this trophy ceremony beautiful, much better than AO 2009. Glad to see Rafa smile that wide. Love both of them.

Love Rafa’s mental toughness, I don’t see anyone match this ability at the moment. How he managed to not lose his temper and so his control was incredible. He even got better after any opportonity losses while anyone could simply collapse.

How many times did Nole smash his (no fault) racket and how many times did he thank God for his unbelievable point won?

That’s the difference between them.

Good tourney for Nole anyway.

More and more from them, hopefully.


Fairypin Says:

For anyone asked above who’s defending Madrid title in 2009, I’ve read from Shark’s Bite at ATP tennis.com that it’s Murray. Madrid has changed everthing from surface to schedule but the past could not be changed. So, Nole has a chance to reclaim his no.3 spot since Murray needs to defend his title points (1000) on clay at Madrid next week. The competition has been brutal so far. Good for the fans.


Ezorra Says:

youyong,

Hi, I am Nadal fan too. However, I’ve no problem if people feel bored due to Nadal’s domination. How can we argue about someone’s feeling, no? It’s normal, people were born unequal.

Having said that, I love Nadal’s domination just simply because I’m his fan. I may feel boring if this situation happen to other players. I think it’s fair, right?


Duro Says:

Fairypin, the problem is Murray’s points will drop in October! Look at the ATP Rankings breakdown for Murray!


Rsutherland Says:

Von: I hope you will accept a peace offering.

It is true that I do not like what I read as attacks on Nadal (who seems like such a sweet kid) and will continue to occasionally chime in to defend him in the future, though with not as much vendictiveness. His victories should be the best ammunition.

You obviously have strong opinions and even get emotional about them – it makes you an easy target, unfortunately.

However, I am nowhere near as knowledgeable as many of you regarding this sport and learn quite a bit by reading this blog. You, VON are definately among those. Thank you for that!

I choose to like players because of their personalities as much as their play. To me, Federer and Murray do not seem comparable to Nadal in their behavior as losers, nor does Nole as a winner. Nadal seems a bit like Blake (nice guy no matter what) except that he wins.

I believe we share a fondness for Roddick – though mine is because I love his press conferences.

Lastly, I write things to get a laugh (IE: comments about Rafa’s butt – I mean my God…).

Did you notice that I seemed to scare off NADAL IS THE GOAT after I asked if he (or she -irrelevant) was hot?

Cheers!


Rsutherland Says:

PS:
Rafa and Serena should make babies!!!


Skorocel Says:

Rsutherland: “Rafa and Serena should make babies!!!”

You really hit a nail on the head with this one :-) These two brought a word “disgust” to a whole different level in tennis, and now you want them to make babies? :-) Are you kidding? Another 10 years of ball-bashing, grunting, yelling & pant-picking suffering? Nooooooooo, I’ve had enough!


Skorocel Says:

Von: “I also feel that Hawkeye should be used at the clay tourneys, especially the MS and more importantly the FO.”

I’m of the same opinion, however, what is it then that makes possible for the TV viewers to see those replays? I mean, a logic would tell that it should work on the same principle (i.e. having the cameras mounted around the court, just like the “regular” HE works), so why aren’t they using it after all?

“it’s so difficult to see the ball on TV at times and when there’s a shadow on the court it makes it even more difficult.”

Actually, Rome wasn’t that bad in this regard (unless you didn’t watch some live-streaming, of course). On TV, it looked fairly allright, which, however, can’t be said about MC, where (especially in the early hours of play) the sun makes it almost impossible to see the ball – even on TV. Btw, how did you watch the Rome matches in the US?


Duro Says:

Giner, one small thing: Do you suggest that he enters “small” tournaments because of the money? What small tournaments did he play? 2 in Australia, one was the beginning of the year, other one because of the early exit (so he could have some more matches before AO), and Marseilles, because he traditionally plays there, plus it’s convenient for him because he lives nearby, in Monte Carlo. I hope you doesn’t expect that he should skip Belgrade which is his home town and his family owes the tournament?
About the racquet thing, the contract with Wilson was expiring 31st of December ’08. They didn’t offer him even near the amount of the money that Head did to prolong the cooperation so he have chosen the Head. Do you think that couple of millions is something that he should ignore? It cost him, all right, but in less than a 3 months he had conquered the racquet issue and he is playing excellent, yes with a new racquet! This was a business decision and he new he was up to the challenge, he’s too good not to get used to any racquet (plus, the Head is not actually new for him, he was using it before the Wilson). Number 2 player in the ATP race this year! Could he be any better with Nadal in the race? He has earned 12 millions until now. Believe me, when you earn that much in the age of 21, you don’t have to do anything because of the money any more, especially to play “small” tournaments, unless you have the other reasons.


Tj Says:

Nadal keep on winning.


Tj Says:

Also hope Fed can pull it together, before people start writing him off


Von Says:

Rsutherland:

Thank you for the olive branch/peace offering, and I willingly accept. As the Americans/Texans would say, “that’s mighty fine of you,” and I commend you for your open-mindedness, and the ability to sense that something needs to stop. I apologize for being so open with my dislike of some of Nadal’s ‘gamesmanship’ behavior, but I’m sorry, that’s how I am. I’ll call a spade a spade and that angers some. I don’t believe in playing games and I abhor incongruence.

At one time, I too liked Nadal, but I gradually became disenchanted with some of his on-court behavior, and I would have refrained from saying anything had it not been for Zola’s untiring criticism of Roddick and the American players. She seems to enjoy bashing them and it’s the reason why I do not hold back on my criticisms of Nadal nowadays. I decided to give her a taste of her own medicine, but I discovered that she can’t handle what she dishes out. I’ve also tried many different approaches in an effort to stop the feud, e.g., ignoring her comments, withdrawing from posting on the threads, refrain from mentioning Nadal’s name, but to no avail. Anyway, she’s got a nice little version of what has transpired, all tied up in some beautiful gift wrapping making her appear to be the good guy and I appear to be the proverbial b**ch. That’s OK with me, because I know I’m not, and I also think that the intelligent people who post here, will eventually figure her out. Also, when she gets her teeth “jaws of life” into something or someone, she’s on full throttle — no end is in sight.

You say you like Blake, well just recently he lost at Barcelona and there was a thread on that loss. If you were to look at that thread, you’d see the most effusive poster on Blake’s loss, is Zola. It took a lot of will power to refrain from getting into an argument with her. On one thread in the past Zola wrote about Blake: “I don’t like him, his sweaty head-band and his baggy shorts.” Please tell me what significance, if any, does that pertain to tennis? None whatsoever. She wrote something similar about Davydenko’s clothes, etc., after he beat Nadal in Miami. These tongue lashings always happen whenever a player beats Nadal. There are several threads on Roddick where she has posted non-stop, degrading him for everything in creation — the name calling was sickening. And coincidentally, it was after he beat Nadal in Dubai, but also because he’s American. Methinks, something is really amiss here. I hope you notice that now you’ve got a friend in her because you have joined in her cause and have given her the ammunition she needs against me. I’m curious to see how she’ll react to your peace offering.

BTW, I come here for laughs too. I love humor. I watch TV Land and Nickelodeon, the Golden Girls, and the Nanny, all for laughs. I didn’t know you were making fun of Nadal is the goat, but you certainly did scare him/her off. Shame on you! LOL. That’s funny and you are very wicked for so doing. Ha, ha. I believe his is a troll name for a regular poster here.

Rsutherland, thanks ever so much for your kind post and your offer of peace. It is greatly appreciated. I can’t promise you that I’ll completely refrain in the future from writing on what I perceive to be Nadal’s gamesmanship, but I’ll do my utmost to keep my remarks centered on the analysis of his matches in general, which I’ve been doing, however, there’s always room for improvement. PAX.

PS: Yes, Nadal and Serena will definitely have some generously butt endowed babies. LOL.


Von Says:

Skorocel:

I watched the MC and Rome matches on TV, and you are correct, the ball is more discernible in Rome than MC, but still not good enough to see the spins etc.

I think HE is absolutely needed for the clay tourneys, especially the FO, where a slam is at stake. It’s not used because of the expense involved, so there is the rationalization that the ball makes a mark that’s discernible to the human eye. I agree it does, but when so many balls are hit in the same spot or close thereto, it’s renders a good view impossible. I’ve seen on quite a few occasions in Rome where there was some difference of opinion as to which was the correct ball mark. With HE, there wouldn’t have been that problem, so I say bring on the HE and as the saying goes, “Let’s get it on”.


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“I’m of the same opinion, however, what is it then that makes possible for the TV viewers to see those replays? I mean, a logic would tell that it should work on the same principle (i.e. having the cameras mounted around the court, just like the “regular” HE works), so why aren’t they using it after all?”

Do you remember when they used to use “shot-spot”? Well I think it’s something similar that’s being used on clay. As I’ve said before, I think HE would definitey put the players’ minds at ease and not have them wondering about the couldas, wouldas, shouldas, of a particular shot. Let’s petition ATP to make the investment for the FO because it’s a MUST.


Von Says:

margot: You’re welcome!

No it’s not just you, I don’t like clay also. Of all the surfaces, I dislike clay the most, but some fans like it because they like the grinding that’s employed by the clay-courters and the prolongation of the points. I’m of the mind-set, enough already, let’s get the match moving. Two hours for a 2-3 set match is way too long, especially if it’s only 9 games per set.


Von Says:

Duro:

Are you going to Belgrade to see any of the matches? Give us reports on the new stadium/facilities, etc., will ya.


Skorocel Says:

Von:

A petition to ATP? Those imbeciles don’t give a damn about tennis fans! If they did, they wouldn’t come up with such stupid ideas like PPV MS matches or that idiotic “rebranding” of almost everything… I’ve almost laughed to death when I read that Nadal, as the year end No. 1 player in 2008, is now called “ATP World Tour 2008 champion” :-)


zola Says:

youyong,

***Something doesn’t make sense here. Is it boring because it is Nadal who is winning all the time? My point is that no matter who is winning all the time, why should it be considered boring? Isn’t it exciting to see records being set or broken? Isn’t it more dramatic when someone foils a record attempt? This works for both supporters and those against! The higher one climbs, the further he can potentially fall…
***

you nailed it!
It is boring to some, mostly because it is not their favorite who is winning and it is perhaps the human nature.

I think they are missing on a big time in tennis. Right now they say Rafa might be the greatest clay courter ever. we may not see someone like him in many years. Federer is the same. When will we see another player with at least 13 GS titles? the last was Sampras about 10 years ago. What about Murray and Djokovic? When will be the next time each and every master series or grand slam will have four serious contenders?
We see tennis being pushed to new limits. Players working harder, overcoming challenges, improving constantly and it is great. I am sure it is much easier for Rafa fans than others for now, but things can change very quickly.this is tennis.

Skorocel,
Rafa was the first player to suggest having the hawk-eye on clay. I think that’s a great idea.


jane Says:

Giner: “He’s not even resting this week” Well, nor did Nadal rest last week, as he played Barcelona. What do you expect, Novak not to play in the inaugural event in Serbia funded (in part) and created by his own family? I get your point about the 250/500s, but Novak’s schedule is pretty close to Rafa’s otherwise, in terms of sheer numbers of events.

youyong: I don’t know if you know, but Novak recognizes he needs to work on endurance and so has just hired a new fitness trainer after Monte Carlo. I hope it pays off; I agree with you that he could use more stamina. I also agree that he is very emotional on the court; he recognizes this too. After his win over Federer, he said that the whistle when he was about to serve on break point distracted and angered him, as it would, but in his presser he acknowledged “I probably shouldn’t care”. So he knows he needs to try to temper is emotions and I suspect we’ll even see a change in this. He’s a great learner this one, and I think he admires Rafa enough to try to follow his lead of constantly improving; I noticed him mentioning this in his pressers a lot lately too. Murray also. These young guys are keen to keep evolving and doing what they can to get better. Roddick is another classic player in this vein. Gotta love it!

I will say one thing: I never have liked this ongoing GOAT babble as I don’t believe in fairies or GOATS, only the goats in the pasture. Too many factors and variables. But that is just a personal opinion that to me doesn’t work in favor of your argument that dominance of 1 player is exciting.

Fairypin – I am so with you on the ceremony thing. The AO ceremony I found totally uncomfortable. With Roger weeping and Nadal, the winner, having to hug him, it was kind of awkward. I found the ceremony yesterday to be lighthearted and fun by contrast. Roddick, after losing to Federer at Wimbledon once, quipped “I threw in everything, the kitchen sink, the bath-tub, etc.” This is in defeat!! It shows a lot of character to be able to be a good sport, support the winner, and I admire that in players.

Ezorra – excellent post at 5:32 – you’re right. We are all different so we have different views. There’s nothing wrong with that and although you’re a loyal Rafa fan, you’re always open- minded. (p.s. Paula Abdul? LOL! :))

Von – good point about the plethora of ball and foot-marks on clay; HE or shot spot would be a great addition to these events.


zola Says:

Giner,

**Three ATP1000 finals in a row, and he’s (Djoko) playing Belgrade, then Madrid where he might make another final or semi final.***

I think Djoko is playing Belgrade just because it is his country’s tournament. Something like Barcelona for Rafa. I am sure if they could have changed the date for Belgrade, they would have. So he has no choice.

Regarding participating in smaller tournamnets, sometimes they have commitments because of either appearance money or their sponsors or their management.I am sure they all like to rest as much as they can.
One other factor is the points. Sometimes playing smaller events provides some points as a cushin. So it may not always be the money.


vared Says:

Murray will, like Jankovic, be a slamless #3


jane Says:

I should add this: I don’t think that being a good loser or accepting defeat graciously preclude the hunger to win. The desire to win, the disappointment when losing, the hunger to win next time, none of these things are mutually exclusive. It’s just a matter of saving the disappointment for later, and discussing it with your team, partner or whomever after the ceremony, even though it might be difficult to keep those emotions under wraps. Ceremonies should be about honoring both the winner and the runner up for their great efforts in that particular tournament.

As Rsutherland points out about Rafa, he is a “nice young man” smiling and positive after a number of defeats at Roger’s hands. Even though he cried after losing Wimbledon 2007, he did it at his chair and during the ceremony he was magnanimous, even positive, giving Fed the low-five while circling the court with his runners up plate.

All players are different and react differently; I just prefer a fun and positive ceremony to cap off an event. Even if my guy loses, then, I can walk away with a smile.


margot Says:

Crystal Ball time vared, and while you’re peering in there who’s gonna be the next American President?


St4r5 Says:

Can someone please tell Roger that he does not have to go for corners to beat these guys! He can just bully them, 2 or 3 backspin shots then finish it with topspin or 2 or 3 shots with no pace then finish it off with one that is full of pace, or make a combination of them all, be creative but within the comfortable and safe zone.


zola Says:

Jane,
I have to admit it was refreshing to see Rafa “enjoy” a win, rather than being sorry. The ceremonies in Barcelona and Rome were lots of fun with interesting traditions. It is afterall just a game.

I am sure Roger did not intend to cry on stage. He was just too overwhelmed by his emotions. I can’t imaginge the what goes through one’s head after battling 5 hours for a record-breaking 14th Gs title. But you are right that yesterday’s ceremony was way more fun to watch.


St4r5 Says:

Roger, please start thinking again. However, don’t think too much of corners! Just play around with different shot selections that you have in your bag of tricks!


zola Says:

St4r5
***Can someone please tell Roger that he does not have to go for corners to beat these guys! ….***

I’ll tell him next time I see him! lol!

But do you think the problem is that he us going for too much? Why do you think he has a chance to win against Rafa/Djoko/Murray if he drops the ball shorter?

He has all the shots as you say. What I see is that he does not have the confidence to execute them and going out of tournaments early does not help. But sometimes one win or one great match can turn things around. You saw how he used the meomentum from winning the olympics doubles in his favor to win the US Open. he needs another good win.


fed is afraid Says:

rafa is so incredible!! the toughest competitor to ever step foot on a tennis court. he will beat pete’s 14 slams. take it to the bank.


Von Says:

vared: “Murray will, like Jankovic, be a slamless #3.”

That’s some crystal ball you’ve got there. Does it also tell you that there’s no need to consistently pull down any player just because your own is doing fine at the moment? How do you know what’s going to happen for Murray this year or a few years down the road? You continuously keep hurling insults at Murray, e.g., your pet name for him is the “snowman”. Would you like it if the Murray fans were to begin tacking onto Nadal a few chosen names? This is the kind of nonsense that causes a domino effect and manifests itself into a full-blown war. I think you should give the foregoing some thought.
_____________________
jane:

Talking about ceremonies honoring the winner and runner-up, I’d like to see ATP give the runner-up a better looking keepsake than the waiter’s serving platter. It’s absolutely ridiculous to see a 6+ foot guy holding up an insignificant looking plate. I would like to see a smaller version about 2/3 the size of the winner’s trophy given to the runner-up in lieu of the plate. I’m sure ATP and the sponsors can spend a few more dollars — I don’t think it would break the bank.
__________________
With reference to fans who are bored to see utter domination, for me, it’s totally unrelated to the fact that if it’s not my favourite player dominating then I’d be bored. I happen to like to see several players sharing in the joy instead of only ONE player experiencing the glory all of the time. When there’s total domination morale takes a nose-dive and the viewing public also becomes very disinterested in the sport. Variety is indeed the spice of life.


Von Says:

margot: That’s some esp we’ve got going. I wrote pretty much the same thing ref crystal ball as you did. LOL. That’s some thought process we have going, don’t you think?


sensationalsafin Says:

When Federer was all-dominant, he wasn’t all-dominant. Nadal dominated clay, Fed dominated grass. And if you look at 05, they shared the HC masters. Fed skipped events here and there, and he was sometimes upset (Nalby, Safin, Murray, Djoker, Canas, etc). Who has Nadal been upset by on clay? When? How many times? It’s incredible. It’s unbelievable. All credit to him for the most ridiculous record on a single surface like that. But I’m not saying I wish he never did that, I’m saying I wish he would stop. Or be stopped. He’s like 32425132-2 in the last 5 years on clay. Does he really need to double that? I don’t see how that record can ever be approached again. Win Monte Carlo, and win the French. Let someone else win Rome. Hell, let someone else win Barcelona! I mean is it really THAT important? The only reason Fed has 5 (or 6?) titles at Halle (probably the smallest tourny he plays all year) is because he needs it to prepare for the big W. Does Nadal REALLY need Barcelona for the French? Fine. It’s like a hometown event type of thing. Win Barcelona, too, then. But why everything else? I can’t take it anymore. When I used to wake up in the afternoon to check if Fed won whatever title match he was playing, I’d be so nervous. Nowadays, oh Nadal won again, fml, big surprise. Hope he had fun. I know he did. I’m sure his opponents did, too. Losing for the 123414th time. Nadal is amazing. I’ve got nothing against his brilliant play. I just wanna see someone else biting the trophy. I want Djokovic to experience some glory. Hell, I’d even settle for Ferrer hoisting the trophy. It’s just lame. Nadal’s a greedy one.


vared Says:

Margot

Well, he will be number 3 in a few days. Does he or does he not have a slam? He will be number 3 without a slam. No crystal ball needed.


Steve Says:

Isn’t Hawk-Eye already available on the main courts at these master series events on clay, when watching on tv or on stream on close calls in which the umpire comes out to check the mark, the broadcast feed also shows what seems to be a HE replay which by the way usually coincides with the ball mark precisely. doesn’t that mean it’s available but they choose not to use it.


fed is afraid Says:

someone will just have to have the toughness to step up and beat nadal. but so far there isn’t anyone. nole seems to be coming the closest, maybe in a year nole will be winning some clay events.


youyong Says:

***Von: With reference to fans who are bored to see utter domination, for me, it’s totally unrelated to the fact that if it’s not my favourite player dominating then I’d be bored. I happen to like to see several players sharing in the joy instead of only ONE player experiencing the glory all of the time. When there’s total domination morale takes a nose-dive and the viewing public also becomes very disinterested in the sport. Variety is indeed the spice of life.***

Errr.. isn’t that happening with the WTA now? There isn’t one personality that we can passionately root for or against because all of them are so bloody INCONSISTENT!!!! I think it is great when we have guys who r going for records and/or dominating the circuit. It is then those who root for them are keen to see them continue their success and those who don’t will always be on the edge when there is potential upset!

BTW, I believe if it were Andy Roddick who’s winning 12 straight GS… you wouldn’t be bored! *wink* ;)


Von Says:

It’s not HE, it’s a system similar to shot-spot that was used prior to HE. Anyway, I could be wrong, but that’s what I think it is. If indeed it is HE, then I’d like to see them use it and not have the umpire and the players guessing and trying to figure out which is the correct ball mark. I believe they are too lax in the clay tourneys. Additionally, a lot of time is wasted when the umpire has to climb down from his chair to inspect the mark and try to satisfy/appease the player that the call was indeed correct.


youyong Says:

fed is afraid… nole has already won some clay events and will probably win belgrade this year.


vared Says:

Von

People routinely call Stepanek, the Worm, Verdasco, hot sauce, Querry, kid Porsche, Djokovic, Jerko etc.

Murray has a ghostly complexion and he is called Snowman and the Ghost on other boards. And why is having white, snowy skin considered “bad?”


jane Says:

sensationalsafin, I agree that when Federer was dominating at least Nadal still dominated on clay; however, you note only that Fed dominated grass but he dominated on hardcourts too, and for a very long time. Nadal has been dominant on other surfaces only for about 6 months, so not nearly as long as Fed dominated the 2 surfaces (winning nearly ALL the hardcourt and grasscourt slams for how many years??) and got to the finals of almost all the clay events too. It was ALL Federer All the time. Nadal HAD TO be greedy on clay in the past in order to keep his points up and have a chance to take over the number 1 ranking from Fed someday.

But now, Rafa doesn’t have to win everything on clay as he’s winning on grass and hard too. As much as I agree with you that the extended dominance of one player, for a long time, whether it’s on one, two, or all three surfaces, ultimately becomes boring, I still think you’re showing a little bit of a double standard when it comes to the dominance of Federer vs. the dominance of Rafa; after all, Fed dominated much longer and many more events than Rafa has on clay. It’s just that Rafa’s dominance on clay is and has been pretty much TOTAL. Only when he’s been injured, ill or exhausted has there been an upset.

“I want Djokovic to experience some glory.” I am with you here!!! I totally want to see him and Murray win a few MS shields and slams. Others too. I hate that people sometimes refer to Djoko as a one slam wonder; he only won his first slam just over a year ago. What?! Is he supposed to now win every slam in sight!? He’ll get another one; Murray will get his first. That’s what my crystal ball shows anyhow. :)


andrea Says:

what i can’t believe is that nadal doesn’t get into hot water with the ump for his insanely long changeovers and time taken between each point. it really drags the match down. it likely works in his favor since he can dictate tempo but really….you can go for lunch sometimes in between points.

my other commentary is that despite fewer challenges on clay since you can see the marks, there were some pretty obvious ‘good’ serves that were called out – you could even see the chalk fly. i’m curious why the players – who are so quick to use challenges on any other surface – tend to really ignore the system on clay.

after watching the match yesterday which was really close up until 2-2 in the second, you could just feel nadal’s mind clamping down. getting to the finish line. whereas novak lost his serve and his body language and playing style after that were
that of a defeatist.

the only way to crack nadal is to keep on track and be strong mentally (not to mention play out of your mind). but, after watching nadal win so often now, it is far more the mental strength he possesses that gets him to the finish line. obviously he has the skills to match his mental prowess but the man is like a brick wall when it comes to mental fortitude.


Von Says:

youyong:

I’m not one for watching records being broken. I like to watch tennis and see many share in the joy of winning. to me records are insignificant. How many of the same titles does a player need? Repeat, and repeat — enough.

It’s not possible to break all of the records. How about some of the present players trying to break Laver’s, Connors and Gonzales’ records? Not even Nadal can break Laver’s records of 169 plus titles, or come close to Connors 120+ titles.

You’re wrong, I’d be bored if Roddick were to win all of the time, because then I wouldn’t have anything to look forward to — it would be a foregone conclusion and like looking into a crystal ball. At one time, I was be able to look at a draw when Roddick had his break out year and say with certainty he’ll win this tourney, etc. Now that he’s not doing that I wonder will he or won’t he. Therein lies the excitement, gotcha.


sensationalsafin Says:

Youyong and the rest of you guys are kinda getting the wrong idea. I’d rather Nadal win every single tourny all year long than have the ATP in any way resemble the mess that is the WTA Tour. Someone mentioned it’s fun to see a guy have a dominant streak. I agree with that. Like Murray making the finals and winning the other HC masters. Djokovic has been pretty dominant, too, if you think about it. But like, I’d rather Djokovic makes 3 straight MS finals and wins atleast 1. That way it’s more interesting because several players hold the big titles. And it’s not like the top 4 are random players. My dream for this year was Murray winning the AO, Nadal winning the FO, Fed winning W, and Djoker winning the USO. Honestly, how is that not interesting? And if they were to split the 8 MS with like 2 a piece. And then it’d be like a 4 way battle for number 1 come the WTF tourny. That’s a huge fantasy, I realize, but cmon. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Not knowing who’s gonna be number 1 at the end. Or even 2, 3, and 4. Nadal’s year end ranking is a forgone conclusion. Even when Fed was dominating, I always wished he would have to battle for the YE1 instead of getting the number 1 trophy during the USO. That’s also boring. Fed’s right that only the number 1 ranking matters because that’s what the record books look at. Who cares about the battle for number 2? Make a battle for number 1!!!!


Giner Says:

margot says:

“Is it me, or is clay court tennis just a wee bit boring anyway?”

Clay tennis isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. When it’s too slow, I don’t like it either. But compare that with grass courts that used to be ultra fast. When more players serve volleyed, a typical match from two big servers would look something like: Ace, ace, service winner, ace, volley winner, ace, service winner, volley winner. I like rallies. I don’t like points that end before the opponent can even return serve, or when the point is over in 3 strokes. That to me is even more boring than clay court tennis.

Clay provides more rallies, which I like as long as the players aren’t moonballing it back and forth. My favourite surface to watch tennis on would probably be medium speed hard courts where anyone’s style could work.


Von Says:

vared:

I didn’t know Murray was called the “ghost” on other site. I haven’t seen it mention on this site and thought you were using that name because you don’t like him. My apologies.


jane Says:

sensationalsafin:

I think you’ve clarified your points well here:

“But like, I’d rather Djokovic makes 3 straight MS finals and wins atleast 1. That way it’s more interesting because several players hold the big titles… My dream for this year was Murray winning the AO, Nadal winning the FO, Fed winning W, and Djoker winning the USO. Honestly, how is that not interesting? … a 4 way battle for number 1… ”

I agree that this is great scenario / fantasy; a four-way battle for number 1 would be awesome! Even a three-way battle.

I also would add that the odd “upset” slam win would be great too – say someone from the top ten or twenty has a great run and swipes a slam. Or some new / young player comes along and wins – like Tsonga’s run to the AO final, or when Becker and Sharapova won Wimbledon at 17 years old out of the blue – those wins are etched into my tennis memories because they were SO EXCITING and unexpected.

It’d be good to have one of those once in a while too!


Von Says:

The review we see on TV is done for the commentators and is not seen by the umpire nor the players. On those reviews it’s clearly shown that some balls were good, some serves were in and some were out. That’s what HE does, but unfortunately there’s no HE so the players can’t challenge. Too, too bad., and shame on ATP!!


zola Says:

Steve
***Isn’t Hawk-Eye already available on the main courts at these master series events on clay, when watching on tv or on stream on close calls in which the umpire comes out to check the mark, the broadcast feed also shows what seems to be a HE replay which by the way usually coincides with the ball mark precisely. doesn’t that mean it’s available but they choose not to use it.***

I am not sure if it is HAwk-eye. I don’t see the trajectory of the ball in and out as they show on hard /grass. I can’t imagine them installing an expensive service and not using it. But good question. Perhaps Sean can answer or find out for us.


jane Says:

youyong, I don’t know why people keep bringing up the WTA when dominance is discussed; zola used this example the other day too.

I can honestly say I don’t think ANYONE here wants the ATP to transform into the mess that the WTA is in right now, with very few consistently good players.

What people are looking for is a few more players winning the events: consistently good top ten or twenty players, maybe with the odd upset. That’s all. No one is saying Rafa shouldn’t win on clay or whatever; people are just saying they don’t want to outcome of events to become predictable.

It’s like you watch an entire tournament, and you expect the final Sunday to be exciting, to cap everything off. But it’s not super exciting if before the tournament even begins pretty much everyone who follows tennis KNOWS and would practically bet their houses/dogs/kids on the fact that so-and-so (Fed, Rafa) is going to win.

It’s like the “Twilight Zone”; you keep taking different roads, trying to find an escape, but you always end up back at Centerville. LOL. :)


zola Says:

sensationalsafin,
What I see right now is that Murray and Djoko and to some extent Federer are trying to get to No 1. Even Del Potro or Verdasco, Simon…none of them go to the match expecting to lose.
Playing a player with such high standards just makes them work harder and makes Rafa work harder to maintain his own standard.
For this to break, someone needs to work extraordinarily hard and step it up. Like what Rafa did to Federer. Then it will be exciting. I see Djoko and Murray already doing. It is no longer a 2-men domination. Now it is the top four.

What we see from Rafa on clay is something exceptional that may not happen in men’s tennis again for a long time. Still, everything good or bad will come to an end. So I am sure you will get your wish sooner or later.


Giner Says:

Duro Says:

“Giner, one small thing: Do you suggest that he enters “small” tournaments because of the money?”

That would be one of the reasons. Rankings would not be the reason. Frame the question differently and the answer will be different. Would he have played those tournaments if he didn’t receive any off the books appearance fees?

“What small tournaments did he play? 2 in Australia, one was the beginning of the year, other one because of the early exit (so he could have some more matches before AO), and Marseilles, because he traditionally plays there, plus it’s convenient for him because he lives nearby, in Monte Carlo. I hope you doesn’t expect that he should skip Belgrade which is his home town and his family owes the tournament?”

Playing in Australia was a good idea for match practice, and it’s not his fault that they are only 250′s. I get your point. And of course I don’t expect him to skip Belgrade, but he should have skipped Marseilles to make room for it and changed up his regular schedule since the schedule itself has changed. He has no reason to enter any more 250′s for the rest of the year except Queen’s club, so we’ll wait and see if he does. He should enter some 500′s instead.

“About the racquet thing, the contract with Wilson was expiring 31st of December ‘08. They didn’t offer him even near the amount of the money that Head did to prolong the cooperation so he have chosen the Head. Do you think that couple of millions is something that he should ignore?”

It was a risk, and not too many commentators thought it a wise one. It didn’t seem to have any lasting effect on him, but you have to wonder whether that 1st round loss in Brisbane and maybe his AO and Sydney losses had any connection to it. The potential prize money lost might have offset some of that contract money. The thing is, players change racquets if they provide an advantage. How many players do you know that would change a racquet simply because someone else offered them more money? A guy like him doesn’t need that kind of money.

“It cost him, all right, but in less than a 3 months he had conquered the racquet issue and he is playing excellent, yes with a new racquet! This was a business decision and he new he was up to the challenge, he’s too good not to get used to any racquet (plus, the Head is not actually new for him, he was using it before the Wilson). Number 2 player in the ATP race this year! Could he be any better with Nadal in the race? He has earned 12 millions until now. Believe me, when you earn that much in the age of 21, you don’t have to do anything because of the money any more, especially to play “small” tournaments, unless you have the other reasons.”

Yes, like you said, he doesn’t need to do anything for money anymore. Which is why I find puzzling his racquet decision. In spite of the money he’s made, he continues to enter tournaments for money and change equipment for money. It would not surprise me if he changed his clothing to Nike when the Adidas contract is up. There shouldn’t be any consequence for doing that, but it would confirm my belief that he’s a bit mercenary.


jane Says:

zola says “It is no longer a 2-men domination. Now it is the top four.”

This is true, although numbers 3 & 4 aren’t really winning the slams yet; when that happens, things will really heat up! And hopefully some more surprises along the way…


jane Says:

Giner, I know you’re responding to Duro, but I’d like to respond to some of your responses:

“He has no reason to enter any more 250’s for the rest of the year except Queen’s club, so we’ll wait and see if he does. ”

Novak has signed up to play Halle this year, as had Tsonga. Federer will have more competition there this year.

” The thing is, players change racquets if they provide an advantage…A guy like him doesn’t need that kind of money.”

Well, there are a couple of ways of looking at this: as Duro pointed out to you already, Novak USED to use a Head racquet, then switched to Wilson, then switched back. He’s also commented in pressers that the Head racquet has “more power”. SO – if you think about it, and you think about the fact that a lot of his losses have been against Rafa, maybe he DID consider the “advantage” factor that you mention. I don’t think Novak or his team are greedy idiots Giner; I am sure they thought about what they were doing. Besides, any switch will have an adjustment period, and so Novak had to make that sacrifice. Maybe it was risky, but he seems FINE now.

The other thing to consider, which I already mentioned to you, is that the Djokovic family are committed to raising a tennis scene in Serbia: they’ve created and largely funded an entire tournament, AND they want to look at creating an academy in Serbia. This is incredibly admirable and expensive. So maybe they did need to think about the money.

Things are never black and white; usually there are several factors why people do what they do.

I have no idea why you’re trying to paint Novak as a greedy person. If you think about where the money is going – back into tennis growth in his own country – then you can hardly call him “mercenary”.

But to each his own.


RZ Says:

Not to diminish Rafa’s achievements (b/c we all know how good the guy is, especially on clay) but if the other players had half the tenacity and self-belief that Rafa has, he wouldn’t have as many titles. But Fed, Djokster, and the rest just don’t believe they can beat him.


zola Says:

Jane,
***I don’t know why people keep bringing up the WTA when dominance is discussed; zola used this example the other day too.

I can honestly say I don’t think ANYONE here wants the ATP to transform into the mess that the WTA is in right now, with very few consistently good players.

What people are looking for is a few more players winning the events: consistently good top ten or twenty players, maybe with the odd upset. That’s all. No one is saying Rafa shouldn’t win on clay or whatever; people are just saying they don’t want to outcome of events to become predictable.
****

I think the reason I brought up the WTA as an example was the statement that says: One person winning all the time is boring, or one person’s domination is boring.

This brings out the assumption that perhaps that one person should not be so dominant or win all the time.

What I said in that discussion and now and I see you and others agree to is that we cannot expect the dominant player to lose, but the others to increase their level.

My argument ( and perhaps what youyoung says too) is that if we want the level of the dominant person to drop so that we have a mix, then WTA is a good example of low level tennis.


sensationalsafin Says:

My complaint with Nadal winning all the time extends to my complaint with Fed losing in the semis all the time. I don’t mind Murray and Djokovic winning because I really love these guys (especially Djokovic, who, again, I’m pretty much fully backing since Fed seems hopeless). But the way Nadal wins every tourny, Fed loses in the semis. He’s a consistent semifinalist. I don’t care how many players wish they had that record but this is Roger Federer. He’s number 2 in the world. He should be winning more semis than he’s losing, or atleast that he’s lost. The way you can predict Nadal winning any tourny he enters is now the same as you can predict Federer will lose to Murray/Djokovic if he faces them in the semis. Despite how much of a “toss-up” these matches seem, they’re not. They’re just not anymore. With the Fed-Nadal 1 and 2, it always seems like no matter how good number 2 is, he’ll come up short of number 1. When Fed was dominating, Nadal would lose to random players here and there. It’s not an exact comparison but it’s something.


sensationalsafin Says:

“then WTA is a good example of low level tennis.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That’s brilliant. Low level tennis. The WTA really does suck. Zola, you’re definitely right that there needs to be a dominant force. Nadal is necessary, just as Fed was. He forces other players to raise their levels. It just seems like no one stands a chance against Nadal. Not even a little one. Like if they play him, they’ll lose, no matter what. Even if Nadal beats his rivals more often than he loses to them, I still wish he would lose sometimes. He just doesn’t. I hate how Djokovic’s best isn’t enough to beat Nadal’s semibest. It’s just ridiculous. If Nadal is playing his best (like last year’s FO where he demolished the entire world) then fine, he can win. But if he’s playing subpar and still wins, it just takes away any excitement that could possibly exist.


zola Says:

sensationalsafin,
I think when the hard court season starts, Rafa’s wins will not be so certain. Even right now many think an upset in FO is very probable. If you look at the stats, it is very unlikely for a person to win a GS more than 5 or 6 times. That’s it!

You said it yourself that your frustration with Rafa’s wins, is because you see federer losing in semis. Correct me if I am wrong, but it means you expect Federer to win most of the times.

I think you are looking at the empty half of the glass. Seriously who can win all his life? The guy swept every title on planet except FO for 4 and 1/2 years. There were years when he lost 3-6 matches in total. How long do you expect him to keep that level of play? Even 4 1/2 is a record in itself.

Instead of bening disappointed in Federer for not winning all the time, perhaps you can congratulate him for all he has won till now ( God knows how many titles) and can win in the future. If you accept that players cannot be at their peak all the time, it might make it easier to accpet some of Fed’s results and support him when he wants to come back and achieve his goals.


zola Says:

sensationalsafin
***I hate how Djokovic’s best isn’t enough to beat Nadal’s semibest***

this may be true only on clay, and as I said, rafa is just an exception. But on hard courts, Djoko knows how to win Rafa. He has already done it 4 times.


youyong Says:

Yes I do agree with Zola that’s the general point I was trying to make.

I can also see why some of you want to see others have a decent shot at winning titles too, but I think that is precisely what we are seeing now! Andy and Novak (and even Federer) can still deservedly beat Nadal. I think most of those matches could have gone either way.

I just find it amusing that those of you who are “bored” by Nadal winning all the time, are also predicting he will win Madrid and RG. Based on current form, it is likely but the ball is round and anything can happen. Isn’t that something interesting to look forward to then? Wouldn’t a Nadal upset be even more enjoyable/relished? I personally think that “boring” happens after the fact, but only until then, and in the process of watching them trying to make an upset… isn’t that “interesting”???


youyong Says:

sensationalsafin… maybe it won’t be boring with regards Federer. He may not be losing at semis any longer if he continues this downward trend.

Let’s hope he somehow manages to regroup… my gut feel though is that the year will continue to be miserable for him and that it will be Murray and Djokovic who will dominate the grass court season this year and meet in the Wimbledon finals! I’d be rooting for Murray if that happens :)


margot Says:

von: Yes! Lets get lots of ESP positive vibes rolling towards Andy M from us both
vared: never seen Andy called “Ghost” he’s called Muzza on the sites I look at.
youyon: A.O. very exciting- Rafa wins, Wimbles very exciting, Rafa wins US Open very exciting, RG very, very boring. Let’s face it we’re going to be sitting around wondering who the poor sod is going to be who’ll be the sacrificial lamb. How is that remotely exciting?
Giner: I agree with your perfect surface, it promotes variety and interesting matches.


sensationalsafin Says:

I’m not saying I’m mad at Nadal because of Fed, I’m saying I’m annoyed with Fed the same way I’m annoyed with Nadal. I don’t care what Fed’s accomplished. I know. I watched him the whole way. It was great. It’s over now. But he’s still a capable Champ. Why is he titleless?


NachoF Says:

Rafa is the dominant player right now… just like Federer was for many years… lets not blame the other players for his dominance, they are all doing the best that they can.. hes just too good as of right now….lets see how long it lasts.


NachoF Says:

Federer hasnt won this year cause he has not been able to beat Murray-Nadal-Djokovic this year…. they have all beaten him on the big matches….last year drought was much worse cause he was losing to Roddick, Karlovic, Simon, Nalbandian, etc.


zola Says:

sensationalsafin,
You say you don’t care about what Federer has won do far, then why would you care if he wins again? It will be another title the fans will forget as soon as the next loss comes.

Why is he titleless? Many reasons. I think he is mentally struggling with not being the best. Look at his interviews. He said he wanted to be the one playing the final ( I think last year) . If it is hard for you as a fan, imagine the pressure on him as a player. Losing in AO, FO and Wimbledon last year was a big shock to him too and now look at all the mdia and even some of his fans are writing about him. This is the same “Mighty Federer” ( as Bodo used to call him!).

It is a hard time for him and his fans. Fed still has lots of tennis in him and once this phase os over he will be back. I think you Fed fans were so spoiled by seeing him beat everyone that now it is hard to see him not winning a title. But he will come back.


fed is afraid Says:

roger has no titles cause rafa has shown the guys how to beat fedmug. no one is afraid of him anymore thanks to rafa, and he will not win anything big again. rog is stuck at 13 slams. he is done and over.


jane Says:

Here are the links to Nadal and Djokovic’s interviews after the final:

Djoko:
http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=56106

Nadal:
http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=56104


steve Says:

zola–this goes to the point I made before about the misunderstanding some people have about the fans of Federer.

It’s not the fact that he’s not winning everything that bothers me. It’s that he’s not playing to his full potential.

I could stand to watch him give it his best and lose. Everybody loses eventually, it’s inevitable.

But that’s not what happening. He’s got a mental block against the top guys, Nadal, Murray, now Djokovic. Every time he’s got the upper hand, and every time he shanks balls, makes errors, throws away service games, and screws himself. It happened with Nadal at the AO in the fifth set, it happened with Murray at Indian Wells, it happened with Djokovic at Miami and Rome.

It’s excruciating to watch, because of the horrid contrast with the beautiful way in which he plays when he’s at his peak. I think he’s the only player of whom it can be said that his best play is synonymous with his most beautiful play.

He’s an artist as well as an athlete. More than any other player, he needs a motive beyond mere competition to play his best. He’s not just a winning machine who plays to crush opponents; as he said once, he wants to play a perfect game.

He’s standing out there, getting his ass kicked, looking for some kind of private answer that hasn’t come to him yet. And it’s painful to see him wandering out there lost and confused, coming up short every time without having found it.

I have faith that he will find what he’s looking for and break his mental block, but that doesn’t make it any easier.


vared Says:

Everyone is talking about others but I wish Roddick could win the AO.
I have seen Murray called Muzza (whatever that is) in some places and ghost on Down the Line forum and usenet. If he wins one fine but I’m not a fan.


fed is afraid Says:

roger should retire and stop embarrassing himself. he looks and acts like a mental midget.


Sar Says:

Jane, Regarding Novak having only one slam: it took Sampras almost three years to get his second one. I am sure he will get another.This year he is reworking his PR and getting fitter. I think he is pushing for 2010 to be his year. There will be less of Fed around. Nadal will have won his 18 MS, USO and YEC by then. For Novak, I think he has simpler goals…one of each GS would make him happy.I still think he has physiological limitations. His family are opening two tennis academies in Serbia and ultimately I believe for Novak that is where his future will be–the business end of tennis. In the academies, Tipsy, Troicki, Zimonjic, etc. will be employed as trainers, coaches. That’s the way I see all this heading.


jane Says:

Hi sar – thanks for the updates; I agree with you. I know Novak would like to reach number 1 some day and I am sure, as you say, he’d love to win at least one of each of the slams, which is not too much of a stretch considering he’s the youngest player in the Open Era to have reached the semifinals of all of the Grand Slams. I hope he can do it.

I didn’t know the Djokovic’s were officially opening an Academy or two, but I think this is wonderful for them to try to build tennis in their country. This is the first ever tournament in the history of Serbia so they deserve major kudos for that. If Novak ends up at the business end of tennis, that’d be great. On the other hand, a career on the stage would be wonderful for him too. :)


Kimmi Says:

Vared, you are going to see Murray at the crunch time of a lot of tournaments in the future so for your sake you better warm up to him or you will find tennis very boring.


Kimmi Says:

Serena Williams in Rome:

“We all know who the real number one is,” Williams said at the Italian Open on Monday. “Quite frankly, I’m the best in the world.”

Serena felt she could back up her claim because she owns 10 grand slam singles titles while Safina’s tally stands at zero.

Safina responds:

“She can say this because she won many more grand slams than me,” said the 23-year-old.

“But she’s also older than me so she has more experience. So let’s see when I’m her age how many titles I have and then we can say,” added Safina, who has contested 10 finals over the past 12 months, winning four titles.

“It’s not luck. Nobody gave it to me. I played two grand slam finals and last year I won four titles. This didn’t come out of sky.”

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/04052009/58/serena-m-world-s-best-player.html

LET THE CAT FIGHT CONTINUES !


Al Says:

Jane..Thanks for the interview links. I agree that Nole is maturing as a player and is trying to make changes to help himself improve as a player. He is a good sport despite the lost and I do believe he was trying real hard to win.

Players change racquets all the time–I do not think it is a big deal. Head designed a racquet specifically for Nole. He said that he is able to hit through the ball quicker with this racquet and he wanted that especially on clay. By the way he is playing it is a good decision. I think the media blew everything out of proportion, I think his losses had more to do with the weight of expectations. He put a lot of stress on himself, made mistakes in dealing with the media and the crowds and he had to learn how to deal with these things.
The WTA is just going through changes. I mean it was real exciting just a couple of years back when you had both Belgians, the Williams sisters, Amelie and Maria competing at the same time. I think it will be exciting again–just not this year.–Hopefully Venus can win Wimbledon again this year.
I hope that Murray could win Wimbledon, and Nole the US Open but at the same time, it would be exciting to see Nadal go for the Grand Slam in the same calendar year to. The last person to accomplish this was Steffi I believe.


Giner Says:

Duro: “I hope you doesn’t expect that he should skip Belgrade which is his home town and his family owes the tournament?”

I didn’t before but now that I think about it, I DO think Barcelona 500 would have made more sense.

Jon Wertheim and his readers point out that there’s a big conflict of interest in his family owning the tournament and the boys playing in it.

—————–
The Djokovic clan and some private investors recently bought the Amersfoort tourney and are transforming it into the newly-named Serbia Open, which debuts as an ATP 250 event this May. It’s mentioned on his website he will be taking part in the tourney. A few readers (and me) were wondering if there’s any precedent for this situation, e.g. an active baller buys into a tourney and then enters the draw? And wouldn’t this setup be a conflict of interest for the tourney officials?
– Rich, Brooklyn, N.Y.

• It’s a huge conflict of interest, of course. (How would you like to be working as a line judge when Djokovic plays!) While I can’t recall anything quite as flagrant as an active player’s family owning a sanctioned tournament, conflict of interest is the coin of the realm in tennis. How different is this from a management group owning a tournament and also having players in the field under contact? (Gee, think IMG clients might get preferable treatment and first dibs at wild cards at IMG-owned events?) How different is this from broadcasters commentating on matches on which they have a financial stake in the outcome? How different is this from handing out appearance fees — an inherent acknowledgment that some players are worth more to the tournament than others?

Taking a more charitable view here: tennis is obviously hot in Serbia right now and it only makes sense to penetrate that market. In addition to seizing the initiative and ponying up the cash, the Djokovic family can deliver the top draw but put him through his promotional paces. (“But I already went to a sponsor party yesterday!” “Shut up and press the flesh, son.”) It’s not an ideal situation, but you could argue the greater good is being served here.
———————

He put the Djokovic’s in Deuce this week:

Djokovic family
ATP’s Belgrade event — and its astronomically high “conflict of interest” quotient — kicks off today. But nice that a tennis hotbed is getting rewarded with a pro event.

It’s a tough situation either way, but this is unprecedented.

On the topic of Djokovic, he’s just lost his third title defense from 2008 to Nadal (AO, IW, Rome). Now all that’s left is TMC. This would be a record of sorts.


jane Says:

Keep on trucking Giner! We now “know” the following thanks to your posts in the last month or so:

1. That Novak is losing everything to Nadal (you’ve posted on this before).

2. That Novak changed his racquet because he is a greedy or shall I say “mercenary” man. Or perhaps his whole family is greedy?

3. That the Djokovic’s bringing a tournament to their country is a bad decision as it’s a conflict of interest having their son play in it.

4. That Novak has a bad schedule as he plays too many 250 events.

Anything else you can dig up and share with us? Perhaps you’d like to discuss his bad PR moves or his retirements now? Or how he is a garbage collector and can’t beat the big boys? :) =D


Al Says:

“Everyone is talking about others but I wish Roddick could win the AO.”
Vared my dream for Roddick is for him to win Wimbledon. It is the only goal that he has that he has not accomplish–so many things would have to happen in the draw for it to happpen for him. It breaks my heart to see him at the slams. He gives it his all–but time is running out quickly for him, his days as a top player is numbered.
You never know though-stranger things have happened


jane Says:

Hi Al – “I hope that Murray could win Wimbledon, and Nole the US Open but at the same time, it would be exciting to see Nadal go for the Grand Slam in the same calendar year to. ”

I think that’d be great; it’d be nice to see a British player win Wimbledon. It’d also be fun to see Novak win in New York. He typically plays quite well there, but he may have his hands full as there are so many good hard court players at the moment.

On the other hand, like you, I think it’d be pretty cool to see Rafa win a Calendar Slam – wow! And then see Djoko and Murray really make a push next year.

Steffi is one of my all-time favorite players!


jane Says:

Al – I, too, think that if Roddick could win another event, it would be nice for him to win Wimbledon since he came close two times and since I think that’s the one he’d like to win also.


Al Says:

I read that quote about Serena. I wonder why she felt the need to say anything. Serena is older that Safina, but not that much older. Isn’t Serena 26. We are talking 3 years. Unless Sfaina goes on Nadal like run- I don’t see that happening, and Serena will still be playing. Nice to see some challenges being thrown out there–now if these gals can step up their game then they will be saying something.
Safina only won 4 titles?


Sidmore Says:

I love to see Nadal work the dirt. Lucky me and lucky REAL tennis fans.


Sidmore Says:

Al,

Serena will love you for the 26, but she is 27 and about to turn 28.


Al Says:

So how old is Venus, I thought she was 28?


Kimmi Says:

Al: I think Roddick has a great chance now as his big nemesis Federer is in a slump. If his big serve is firing and he manage to reach the semi, anything can happen.


Kathleen Says:

andrea Says:
“there were some pretty obvious ‘good’ serves that were called out – you could even see the chalk fly.”

They don’t use chalk on clay courts. The lines are made from a nylon tape which is pegged into the ground.


Giner Says:

Kind of interesting break down of this week’s events:

http://www.tennistalk.com/en/blog/Ricky_Dimon/20090504/Approach_Shots:_Nadal_rests,_Djokovic_hosts

I didn’t look at the draws but the Serbs aren’t going to get the dream final they are hoping for. I think Von will be satisfied that the draw wasn’t rigged at least.

————–
Serbia Open
Where: Belgrade, Serbia
Surface: Clay
Prize Money: 450,000 Euros
Points: 250
Top Seed: Novak Djokovic
Defending Champion: None (inaugural tournament)

Draw Analysis: Djokovic had envisioned hosting an ATP tournament in Serbia for a while, and Serbian fans have to be ecstatic over the fact that the dream has become a reality. No matter that the field is definitely the weakest of the three this week. They have a tournament, and they have Djokovic himself.

The Serbs cannot, however, be happy with how the draw played out over the weekend. All three of the directly-entered Serbs are in the same quarter of the draw. If Janko Tipsarevic wins his opener, he will face Djokovic in the second round (Djokovic and the rest of the top four seeds get first-round byes). Viktor Troicki, the No. 5 seed, is slated to do battle with either Djokovic or Tipsarevic in the quarterfinals. That means only one of Serbia’s top three players can reach the semifinals. To make matters worse for Troicki, he has to go up against dangerous American Sam Querrey in the first round on Monday night.
————–

Sorry jane to pick on Novak Djokovic a lot, but the guy is a magnet for criticism. I didn’t mention anything but retiring or his physical condition — in fact that part of him I’d completely forgotten about, but I’ll be sure to humour you when and if it happens, such as say at the US Open. I didn’t even pick on the bigger controversies of his. He and his family have a way of drawing attention to himself (his dad broke into a TV station to criticise the commentators for not cheering him on enough!). There is no doubt in my mind he will make headlines again this year. Alas, all in good time.


Kimmi Says:

Giner: “I didn’t look at the draws but the Serbs aren’t going to get the dream final they are hoping for. I think Von will be satisfied that the draw wasn’t rigged at least.”

LOL very funny.


jane Says:

Actually Giner, although you say “the guy is a magnet for criticism”, and although I’d agree with you that he’s made some bad choices in the past and that his family may be overbearing at times, MOST of what I am reading presently says the opposite – that Djoko has shown improvement in many ways, seems to be making better choices on and off the court and so forth. Not only that, but it’s clear his game is coming back on form.

And yet you rarely acknowledge the positives with the negatives where Novak Djokovic is concerned.

In any case, you’re totally entitled to keep on sniffing out the dirt and to “pick on” Djokovic, as you put it. No need to apologise to me; there is room here for everyone’s views. And for the most part I enjoy reading your posts, even if you can be loquacious. Heck, obviously I can too. haha.


jane Says:

Kathleen, thanks for that bit of wisdom; it makes sense as the lines would be gone in 60 seconds if they were chalked onto clay; that’s clear.


sensationalsafin Says:

Steve’s pretty much nailed it. If Nadal had won the AO final 9-7 in the fifth, fine. If Murray and Djoker beat him 7-5 or 7-6 in their third sets, fine. Federer was up 3-1 in the third and lost 5 straight games. This is Roger Federer! Not Marat Safin! Federer doesn’t give up 5 straight games. It’s unbelievable. It’s one thing to lose, but it’s the way Fed’s losing that’s just terrible.


Sar Says:

Jane, to my understanding reading this article it looks like one academy in Belgrade and another in Kragujevac.
http://www.blic.rs/sports.php?id=1745


Kimmi Says:

sensationalsafin: I agree. Yesterday, I was watching Federer AO matches QF, SF even final and how sharp he was. It is so strange to see him so bad just months after that. That’s why I am thinking, all is not lost from the master. He will bounce back. When? that’s a million dollar question. I hope it’s soon.

Men’s tennis needs somebody like Federer right now, to be one of the guys to challenge at the top. He has been there countless of times, just 4 months ago he was there. Apart from the top four guys, other players don’t have that consistency at major tournaments. And I am not implying that he plays his 2004-2006 game…no…even his second best game can trouble a lot of players. This stretch of form from IW to Rome is not the Federer we know. Not taking this away from players who beat him but those loses ?? I hear you sensationalsafin.


Voicemale1 Says:

What’s happening to Federer has happened historically throughout tennis history to all great tennis players. The point is reached where several elements blend which precipitate the slide down the rankings: the game gets to another stage beyond what it was when they dominated; the competition gets better, fitter, or both; at 27 and beyond the physical recovery from matches takes more time than it did when you’re 23 or 24. No tennis player can just keep doing it forever. They all reach the point where they cannot do what they used to do as effectively as they used to do it – for whatever the reason. And it usually begins at around 26-28 years of age. They can still play some decent ball, they just don’t play it as often as they once did. Laver, McEnroe, Lendl, Sampras – it happened to all of them. The domination just ends, as it eventually must.

Word is starting to leak out in articles and interviews about the mediocrity of Federer’s fitness, most notably from Sergio Cruz & Robert Landsdorp. This may or may not be due to any physical troubles Federer might be having, such as a back issue, and if he’s having back troubles both his training and subsequently his matches are going to reflect that. It’s understandable too: when you rack up 13 majors and over 50 ATP Titles in a mere 6 years, at some point the body’s price does get paid when you get that much tennis into your legs & back in that short of a time frame. The wear and tear is cumulative.

All this talk about lack of fitness by others was corroborated by The Man Himself in his interview after losing to Djokovic (an interview in which he offers some bizarre explanations on why he keeps losing to Nadal at the French Open – but that’s for another thread). Germane to this was his own comment about “getting back into shape”. But even if he does, it’s no guarantee he’ll automatically start winning tournaments in bunches again. Nadal, Murray and now Djokovic are becoming much more adept at punishing his backhand, nullifying his forehand enough, and more importantly making him run and run and run more than he’s ever had to before. Like every tennis great before him, So it’s really not complicated, when you look at Federer in a historical context of the game and not myopically. At almost 28, Federer will stay have his good days. But the bad ones will continue too – just like they have for every great one before him.


Von Says:

“Al: Vared my dream for Roddick is for him to win Wimbledon. It is the only goal that he has that he has not accomplish–so many things would have to happen in the draw for it to happen for him. It breaks my heart to see him at the slams. He gives it his all–but time is running out quickly for him, his days as a top player is numbered.
You never know though-stranger things have happened.”

Make that me two or three. I’m just hoping for once in Andy’s life he gets his dream — A Wimby title, but I’d take an AO, or heck how about us knocking Nadal over the head and give Roddick the FO trophy. LOL. I like Andy because he’s not greedy, wanting to win everything. He just wants to be a Top 10 tennis player with 2 slams, that’s all, but fate is fate, so we’ll see. I always believe we do at times get the desires of our hearts, if we are patient and trusting, so here’s to patience and trust, with some Divine intervention.

If Roddick wins another Slam I’d personally throw a shin dig bigger than the one he had at Stubb’s for his wedding and no virtual anything, everyone is invited for some real big time bar-b-que. C’mon Andy R, you can do it!!!


Von Says:

giner: “I didn’t look at the draws but the Serbs aren’t going to get the dream final they are hoping for. I think Von will be satisfied that the draw wasn’t rigged at least.”

Dang it all, I’m truly disappointed.

Knowing Tipsy, I’m sure he’s going to give his all to win this one because he loves to be in the limelight and friend aside, Tipsy would want to upstage Djoko. This is going to be a dog fight, where did all the cats go?


sensationalsafin Says:

Voicemale1 can you elaborate on this mediocre fitness thing and interview about getting back into shape thing?


Von Says:

Voicemale1:

“Word is starting to leak out in articles and interviews about the mediocrity of Federer’s fitness, most notably from Sergio Cruz & Robert Landsdorp. This may or may not be due to any physical troubles Federer might be having, such as a back issue, and if he’s having back troubles both his training and subsequently his matches are going to reflect that. It’s understandable too: when you rack up 13 majors and over 50 ATP Titles in a mere 6 years, at some point the body’s price does get paid when you get that much tennis into your legs & back in that short of a time frame. The wear and tear is cumulative.”

You mean to tell me I was RIGHT? That it’s a FITNESS problem and not “mental”. I could kiss you for writing that, mwah, mwah, on both cheeks. Sean Randall emphatically told me I was wrong and some other posters too, that it was “mental”. I didn’t read about Fed’s problems stemming from fitness, it was an educated guess from what I’ve been seeing, but boy am I happy I proved Randall wrong, especially since he dismissed me and my arguments so emphatically. Yippeee!!


Von Says:

Kimmi: “Men’s tennis needs somebody like Federer right now, to be one of the guys to challenge at the top. He has been there countless of times, just 4 months ago he was there. Apart from the top four guys, other players don’t have that consistency at major tournaments. And I am not implying that he plays his 2004-2006 game…no…even his second best game can trouble a lot of players. This stretch of form from IW to Rome is not the Federer we know. Not taking this away from players who beat him but those loses ?? I hear you sensationalsafin.”

Where do you think Federer is right now, if not at the top? He can only go one higher to No. 1, but he’s at the top. Believe men’s tennis does not need anymore people being at the top, because there’s only room for a limited few. I wish people would stop concentrating on the “top 4″ and treating the other players as though they are non-existent. The top 4 can easily be toppled in a matter of months. Give the poor guys from Nos. 5 down some kudos. If I had a dominant voice — I’d tell them all to strike and let’s see the top 4 play the tourneys since some people feel the others are ‘unimportant’ or drones who are working hard so that the king can walk in and take the spoils. Dang this draw system!!


Kroll Says:

Von

“You’re wrong, I’d be bored if Roddick were to win all of the time”

Yes luv, I totally believe you! :)

sensationalsafin

Its not surprising how your irrelevant comment about you disliking Nadal’s dominance(about 500 posts before) is so popular. Like the usually enlightening “Who is the GOAT” discussions, these have an obvious deja-vu quality about them and get recycled almost verbatim through the ages, so to speak. So after that put-down I should probably shut the hell up and say nothing. However being a hypocrite, here’s my two cents (and I am being generous here) worth. I enjoy Rafa’s period of dominance because they ve involved a lot of closely fought matches with some crazy tennis. The wimby final, the aussie semi and finals and so on. Fed won rather more easily during his time and often was so dominant, it was insane. The occasional Safin- Fed match comes to mind but I dont remember that many great Fed matches (unless it was Rafa on clay). Essentially, the victor is rather less important than the match itself. And no its nothing to do with one of those ludicrous(and cringe inducing) adages “Its not not the outcome but the journey which counts”. Its just a matter of the pleasure that I derive from the contest.


jane Says:

About the fitness thing, I wonder if these highlights from the Fed vs. Djokovic semi support Voicemale1′s assertion? You can see how crisply Federer is playing at first, and then, when Djokovic began to apply pressure after the rain delay, you can see Fed pulling the trigger quicker. Djoko said after the break he tried to be more patient, extend the rallies a bit, run Fed around a bit more; could it be related to fitness then? One could also argue that Fed’s rhythm was throw due to the rain break, but he’s experienced enough to deal with that. So maybe it’s fitness and mental combined; seems most likely it’s both.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP9awcW0oIs

Kroll – it’s true when Fed was at the apex of his dominance it was exciting if his opponent won a set! And a number of his wins were wash outs. At least, as you say, with Rafa we get a few more hard-fought contests, although these are rare on clay. Look at the hoopla made just because Novak took a set off Rafa on clay at MC – the first since 2006! On clay, Rafa is King/emperor, whatever. But on other surfaces, we see him battle through more, which makes it exciting.


Kimmi Says:

Von, I am glad you are taking to me, because I like you and will be very sad if you did not talk to me anymore.

I know there is a lot of other players, and I know it hurts to hear “some people” say this, but please lets be realistic. How many ranking points between the top 4 to # 5? a lot. What I was referring to is consistency at major tournaments. Other players have been there but only a one off here and there, that’s why their ranking is where it is. Of course I don’t know what will happen in the future, even myself I am hoping for other guys to consistently be there but I have been waiting waiting and waiting..

“The top 4 can easily be toppled in a matter of months’

Why, it did not happen for 2 or more years now, and I will give credit when a break thru happens… I like it now Murray is consistently up there, and that’s what we need. But the truth Von, the top 4 are way ahead.


Kimmi Says:

Von: “Dang this draw system!!”

Just to add, please stop blaming the draw system, that is a lame excuse. Every player has been subjected to the same system. Nadal, Federer, Murray, Djokovic. These guys did not just wake up and find themselves at the top, they all went thru the same draw system you despise so much. They had to crawl their way to the top. How tough this draw system is, is what makes me appreciate the guys that can reach up there. It means these guys have to beat top players consistently to get there. And that is not easy.


Voicemale1 Says:

Sensationalsafin:

This was a quote from Sergio Cruz that he posted after Federer lost to Djokovic in Miami this year. A link to his resume is at the end, and he has some impressive creds, enough to know what he’s talking about. Landsdorp made his comments on tennisplayer.net, basically saying Federer long ago had stopped putting in the work he needed to turn the tables on Nadal.

Here are the Cruz comments:

Nothing is wrong with Federer. What everyone failed to notice is that Federer’s physical conditioning and movement has ‘never’ been up to par with the demands of the game. Yes, movement. Whenever Federer is forced to run from side to side (which he does not like to do), the point generally ends in a mistake or a framed hit.

Between 2003 and 2007 Federer was able to get away with a mediocre physical condition, because most of his matches were a breeze, rarely contested. And everyone buckled and bowed to him without even considering what the possibilities were (on how to play him by exposing his mediocre conditioning). For almost 4 years the mediocre conditioning of Federer was thrown under the rug. Though players like Nalbandian where able to expose it clearly on many occasions, including Roland Garros 2006 where, if injury had not struck David, Roger was in for a major spanking! (Nalbandian was up a set and a break before his back gave out forcing him to quit the match).

Once the ‘mononucleosis’ struck, the framed hits (caused by Rogers extreme sideways head positioning) and the misses of 2002 came back to haunt Roger. If Roger really had a strong physical base he would be thriving today and problably even dominating once more.

Unfortunately that is not the case and apparently he was never willing to put in the work, so we see him falling like a house of cards in 3 set matches, showing efforts that do not justify such mental and phsysical tiredness!

Sergio Cruz credentials here: http://tenniscruz.com/content/view/210/84/


Von Says:

Kimmi:

“Von, I am glad you are taking to me, because I like you and will be very sad if you did not talk to me anymore.”

I thought I made it very clear that I wasn’t angry with you, but I thought it was best for both of us if I refrained from interacting with you due to the climate of the discussion at that time and the abusive comments thrown my way by other posters. I’m not one for holding onto grudges, but when I’m angry, I’ve found that it’s best to just bow out. Anyway, it’s all in the past, so how about if we just move on and discuss other stuff.

I know I shouldn’t blame the draws but I do think that it’s a bit unfair to the lower ranked players to have to battle from round one while the top 4 have it easy until the QFs. However, I suppose it’s fair to say “rank has its privileges”.

Additionally, I know the top players have earned their way to the top but I can’t for the life of me understand why they have this assistance ensuring they remain at the top. I want to see them have to battle just like the lower ranked players and then I’m positive we won’t see the domination nor the huge difference in points. I can’t seem to correlate this in my mind.


Von Says:

Kroll:

“Yes luv, I totally believe you! :)”

Before I type my answer, you have to picture this and set your ears to be correctly attuned to a soft British voice, using my female wiles, saying:

“But dahling, do you honestly think for a moment, I’d lie or try to deceive you?”

And, knowing you, in your brusque way, you’d say: “Hell, yes, you betcha!”. LOL, ha, ha.

With that out of the way, where have you been?


Von Says:

Voicemale1:

“But even if he does, it’s no guarantee he’ll automatically start winning tournaments in bunches again.”

That’s true, because by the time he turns the fitness problems around, and that’s if he’s making a concerted effort to do so, he’ll be beaten some more by the other players and his confidence will definitely be at nadir. Fitness is cumulative, and it doesn’t happen overnight.

“Nadal, Murray and now Djokovic are becoming much more adept at punishing his backhand, nullifying his forehand enough, and more importantly making him run and run and run more than he’s ever had to before.”

Absolutely. Nadal’s team figured out Federer’s weakness, but not only Federer, the other top players as well. The blueprint was a simple one, because they had the product that could harvest the results = Nadal, a player who could run faster and outlast the other players, on a surface most of the players hated. What better way to establish Nadal as Fed’s foremost rival. And, once the break-through was achieved, Nadal was gradually honed into an all-around player. Nadal’s tennis will never be acclaimed “beautiful or artistic”, but that’s unimportant — it’s the end result that matters. Nadal is similar to Hewitt in the running/movement department, but Nadal has something extra, raw power, and it’s the reason he has been able to demolish the competition.

“Like every tennis great before him, So it’s really not complicated, when you look at Federer in a historical context of the game and not myopically. At almost 28, Federer will stay have his good days. But the bad ones will continue too – just like they have for every great one before him.”

This is why we see the sporadic wins and then the losses. Maybe, Fed will play a whole tournament just breezing through the competition, and then he’ll be mediocre in the next. Unfortunately for the competition, they’d be kept guessing as to which Federer will show up.


FoT Says:

Well I’ve read all of you guys comments. I agree with some…disagree with others, but they were ‘interesting’.

I’m a Fed fan as most of you know and when he was dominating… I was in 7th heaven, inspite of so many others (many Nadal fans) saying it was ‘boring’ because Roger was dominating most of the tour. People are seeing how Nadal is dominating by making all these finals but I remember when Roger made something like 17 out of 19 finals in ONE year and won just about all of them. It was fantastic for me because I am a fan of his. But so many times I heard that Roger was ‘hurting’ the tour….that he was bringing the ATP down by dominating so much. I replied that – hey, don’t get on Roger for winning…get on the other players for not stepping up and challenging him.

Now I say the same thing. I’m not really a Nadal fan, but those who are saying it’s boring with him winning. I say to you – don’t get on Nadal for winning. Get on the other players for not stepping up and beating the guy. You should never get on someone for WINNING as that’s what the players are out there trying to do. If someone doesn’t step up and win – that’s their fault!

And for those who are saying that ‘it’s no use…no one can beat Nadal, especially on clay’. I say to you – nothing is never a “never”. I’m sure not many people expected that 50-1 long shot to win the Derby this past weekend either. Yet he won. If things always went the way they are ‘suppose’ to go – we wouldn’t need the word “upset” in our vocabulary.

So right now it may seem like Nadal is unbeatable but on any given day, anyone can beat anyone. My hat goes off to Nadal for doing what he’s doing because I’ve seen it done before with Roger! For 4 years Roger was practically almost unbeatable but things can change in a hurry so those who are bored right now – I say to you – just hang in there because Nadal, as good as he is right now, can not go on winning forever, just as Roger couldn’t.

But in spite of Roger not winning like he has in the past – he’s still my boy and I’ll always back him and pull for him no matter what. My hat goes off to the true Federer fans (and tennis fans in general) who don’t bash him when he’s down and can still support him now because he needs the support more than ever now.

Sorry this was a long post…but I just had to get that off my chest!

Congrats to all the Nadal fans for what he is accomplishing.


margot Says:

voicemale1: Aren’t you being a bit harsh on Fed? I can’t believe someone would be the top player for so long with “mediocre” conditioning, also implying that at the time the opposition was tacky. That’s just putting down his achievement in the past, which was amazing. As you get older it’s harder to put in the extra work required to stay at the top I guess. I also think there’s a mental thing going as well, he almost thinks it’s his right to keep winning.
Years ago, a BBC commentator said they thought Fed would keep going much longer because the nature of his movement made less impact on his joints, as opposed to Rafa’s which is high impact. Alas, as you say, in your late twenties time catches up with you, no matter how you’ve played.
vared: so you’re not a Murray fan, wow that’s a surprise.
jane: take heart No 2 on clay can always rise, whereas No 1 can only fall……


Voicemale1 Says:

Margot:

I don’t understand what you mean by me being “harsh”. I didn’t make those comments above, I posted comments made by others. And it’s germane in this sense: Federer himself has been complaining of back troubles since last fall. Which is understandable, given how much tennis success he’s had in the short time frame he accomplished it. No one can keep up their tennis at that level ad infinitum. No one. The Decline is inevitable, and has happened to all the great players before him; it’s happening to him now; it will happen to Nadal; it will happen to whoever replaces Nadal. It will happen to everyone who plays tennis for a living. The game is bigger than any one player.


vared Says:

so for your sake you better warm up to him or you will find tennis very boring.

Kimmi
I will warm up nicely to whoever is playing Murray, thank you. :-)


jane Says:

margot says “I also think there’s a mental thing going as well, he almost thinks it’s his right to keep winning.”

I see what you mean margot; probably Federer is still getting used to the fact that he’s lost the number 1 spot and that Rafa now owns 3 of the 4 slams. He hasn’t come round to the idea that he won’t win as easily anymore perhaps. He just doesn’t seem happy on the court imo, and unless he does put in the “extra” work he now may have to in order to keep up with the hungry younger guys, he may get more and more frustrated.

I know people say that Federer wants to concentrate on the slams now, and that he’s been to the last 4 slam finals winning 1 of them, but I wonder if he can keep that up?

Historically, have other players who’ve chosen to focus on the slams later in their careers, but who’ve lost earlier at Masters events and smaller tournaments, been able to come along and win slams? I guess I just wonder that if Fed is not mentally or physically pulling it off at the smaller events, how will he do at the bigger ones? Maybe he can go deep but can he win? I guess he has experience going for him.


Duro Says:

Giner, what’s wrong with you? If you have some personal issue with Djokovic solve it with someone who does it professionally. I can’t stand the hatred! I cannot help you but to repeat you the thing I’ve already said, but you obviously don’t listen! Do you copy what I say or just repeat your own words? What small tournaments did he play!? Marseilles he plays traditionally, it’s close to his home in Monaco. OK? As same as Tsonga, Simon and other good players. Do you accuse them that they are doing it because of the money? It’s in France, right? They pay respect to the fact that they should play in their own country. You suggest he should play Barcelona instead of Belgrade!? Could that possibly be more (pardon my word) stupid and disrespectful to his own people and country.
To conclude: Your small tournament money theory stink!
About racquet, they designed it precisely by his instructions, especially for him! It has “more power” and it’s “faster” than the old one! It’s a fine peace of a tool, actually very opportune to his play (once when adjusted to, which is now, right?) So it wasn’t a decision that would jeopardize his career or his chance for improvement (expected adjustment period included). So, he didn’t do it only because of the money but because of the assessment that he can also improve his play with it. To gain extra couple of millions for the contract? Of course! It turned to be very very good decision, after all, risky at the moment, but brave and smart. He was familiar with the Head, and he knew exactly what he was doing.

All in all, your accusation are over the good taste limit. I won’t answer you any more. Show some respect first to earn my answers. If there’s a thing that I cannot stand, it’s a hatred.

Jane, thanks for trying to answer instead of me, I was too busy until now.


MMT Says:

Voicemale1:

I think we’ve had this discussion before, but I have to reitterate that I think Cruz’s is way off the mark. I don’t think his fitness level is at its best right now, but I don’t think he had mediocre fitness during his dominance. I’m always suspicious of anyone alluding to the “weak competition” argument, which is essentially his explanation for why his fitness is now not up to the challenge. I disagree.

Federer did not appear to me to be even remotely fatigued during the Wimbledon final in 2008 and that was a long match. He also last 5+ hours with Nadal in Rome in 2006, and held match points. There are other examples of him going 5 sets and/or 4+ hours in the last 4 years that tells me this argument, although it seems plausible on the surface, doesn’t add up. Furthermore, if you’re having injuries at age 27 after 11 years on tour, I think that’s par for the course, and not an indication that you were never fit to begin with.

Furthermore, I really can’t understand how he can attribute his mishits to the positioning of his head on his strokes. There isn’t a tennis pro on earth that wouldn’t recommend keeping your head still through the point of contact the way Federer does, but somehow THIS is his albatross? I suppose he should be looking at something other than the ball when he’s hitting it. I’m sorry, I’m being facetious, but I’m just pointing out that his analysis appears to be simplistic.

I think there are other technical problems with his game, which may be due to a gradual degradation of his hand/eye coordination and/or movement, putting him that one or two steps out of position for his strokes. This does suggest current fitness issues, but I don’t think they’ve been there all along and it is only now that he has stronger competition that it is revealed.
Cruz has also severely underrated his defense during his dominance, and I would say, his inability to effectively transition from defense to attack is what is causing him his biggest problems against the best players today.

Landsdorp definitely knows what he’s talking about, so I would have to take a second look at this. It is a fine line between physical fitness and mental fitness that separates Nadal from Federer and there is evidence (like his terrible serving, at the moment) that his fitness is CURRENTLY poorer now than it has been in the past, but I’m not prepared to accept that it’s always been mediocre and the rest of tennis just wasn’t competitive for 4 years.

P.S. I have not been able to confirm any of Cruz’s credentials. I’m sure he was a fine player, but he’s not listed at all at Davis Cup.com or on the ATP site, and his credentials include dates and events that should be captured in both.


MMT Says:

Jane Said: “Historically, have other players who’ve chosen to focus on the slams later in their careers, but who’ve lost earlier at Masters events and smaller tournaments, been able to come along and win slams?”

That’s a great question Jane, and by my recollection this has never happened. The overwhelming evidence suggests that players gradually win only smaller events and no slams as their careers come to an end whether they focus on them or not.

Sampras is not an exception – despite winning his last tournament/slam at the 2002 US Open, Sampras actually didn’t win A SINGLE TOURNAMENT between that and his last Wimbledon in 2000. At best, his victory at the US Open has to be considered quite an anomaly.

Laver won a calendar slam in 1969, and didn’t win another slam in his career, although he continued to play a full schedule, including the slams, through 1975.

Edberg won his last slam at the US Open in 1992, and continued playing for 4 more years on tour before retiring without another slam, reaching just 1 more final.

The only historical beacon of hope for Federer’s case is 1 James Scott Connors, who went almost 4 years without winning a slam from the 1978 US Open to Wimbledon 1982. At that time he was 28, it had been 8 years since his first Wimbledon and almost 4 years since his last slam, which also happened to be the last time he was ranked #1 in the world.

However, Connors played full schedules throughout those years and if anything targeted smaller tournaments that he could win in order to keep his ranking up and get good seeds in the slams.

Great question.


Al Says:

Voicemail “Nadal, Murray and now Djokovic are becoming much more adept at punishing his backhand, nullifying his forehand enough, and more importantly making him run and run and run more than he’s ever had to before.”

You know I was just thinking about this. I was watching some old matches and Federer is running way more than before. I was wondering, how come? I never remember seeing him running so much with Roddick, Hewitt and company. Has Federer gotten slowerer? Does he not set up his shots correctly? What is i?. He was running a whole lot at the AO, it was ridiculous. I think Federer just got so tired at the end, it ws obvious to me, he had nothing left in his legs.


jane Says:

MMT,

Thanks for your reply. I am glad you think it’s a good question; actually, after I asked it I was googling around and I found an article at ESPN by Garber that backs up what you’ve said about Samprass. In fact, one could argue, perhaps, that the reason Pete was able to bag that last and final slam was due to his reconnection to Annacone a few weeks before the USO after Pete crashed out at Wimbledon. At the time, apparently Pete and Annacone were on a “break” for 8 months, so it might’ve been their reunion that boosted Pete to get that final slam. Here’s the link to said article for anyone who’s interested:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=4137246


jane Says:

Sorry s/b only 1 “s” in Sampras. Also MMT, I was wondering about Agassi? Is he comparable to Federer or is it different because of the number of ups and downs in his career, and also his dedication to being extremely fit? It seems like Sampras is the better, or closer comparison.


Tj Says:

On his prime, Fed was able to position himself within the range of the opponent’s shot, therefore it didn’t show he was running a lot I guess. He also happens to have the best instinct and quick react to the opponent’s shot. Plus don’t forget he can half volley better than anyone else in the tour.
I remember reading an article somewhere, where they said Fed was sort of gliding around the court better than anyone else in the world.
For some reason, lately Fed could not able to find his way around his opponent’s shot range (I’m not sure why?). I think that’s way he got tired when playing the big boys.


Tj Says:

I still hope Fed can bounce back though. At least he still playing at Final of the Slam and semis at the masters. That alone still very good achievement.


Kroll Says:

Voicemale
Tennis credentials or not, I think Cruz is seriously mistaken. I always thought that when he was on top, Fed’s fitness was possibly only second to Rafa’s during his dominant years. I dont remember Federer ever coming up short on fitness in any match that he has ever played in the ‘pre-mono’ years. The countless matches with Rafa (Rome,wimby,RG) or those brilliant aussia open matches with. He played an impossibly long tour in 2006 and ended playing almost every masters tournament with virtually no rest. How is that fitness short?

The reason Fed is not doing so well is I think rather simpler. He always played ridiculously high percentage tennis and havent we all ooed and aahed at eh amazing shots he managed to pull out of the bag? That I think is called form. And considering the level that Fed was at (somewhat unnatural in my opinion) I dont see why he should be getting it back.


Voicemale1 Says:

Al:

I think the amount of running Federer’s doing today was the central point Cruz was trying to make. In fact, it was Martina Navratilova commenting on Tennis Channel’s broadcast of the AO Final who said just as you did: Federer got tired in the fifth and had lost his legs. If you say he ran much less against guys like Hewitt & Roddick, OK. But one guy did do to Federer then what the younger crowd is doing to him now: David Nalbandian. He’s the one who made Federer run and run and run in every match of theirs. And it’s worth remembering that Nalbandian had a winning H2H against Federer all the way up until the Fall of 2006, by which time Federer had already banked 9 Majors. Their H2H today is extremely close, 10-8 in favor of Federer. Nadal did the same thing to Federer even more than Nalbandian, and Murray picked up the same page of the book. Murray said as much after beating Federer at Indian Wells this year, saying Federer was running a lot and had to attempt low percentage shots, and therefore errors are inevitable when anyone does that.

MMT:

Again, we can debate whether Federer is as fit as you think he is or not as fit as Cruz and Landsdorp say he is. I don’t know whether it’s fitness or the back problem, but after losing to Djokovic in Rome Federer himself said getting back to where he was before was a matter of getting back in shape. So if his own words won’t sway you that he has fitness issue, then I guess nothing will. It is interesting that you mention 5 Set Matches, and that’s the one category where Federer does not shine. His record is barely over .500 in career 5-Setters. Granted, many factors can contribute to that, but you’d have to say that first rate fitness would have to be an essential element to succeed once you get to a 5th Set.


Kroll Says:

Von
A straight answer from me?I d probably have said something obvious with a wealth of sarcasm. FYI, I used to be a huge Wodehouse fan and I draw considerable inspiration from him (especially when I m being nasty).

“With that out of the way, where have you been?”

The travails of Grad school, I’m afraid. For a while I m gliding along doing absolutely nothing in the way of work, and suddenly there is a mountain of it and nowhere to run. Funny how its a pattern that keeps repeating…


zola Says:

FoT

****- don’t get on Nadal for winning. Get on the other players for not stepping up and beating the guy. You should never get on someone for WINNING as that’s what the players are out there trying to do. If someone doesn’t step up and win – that’s their fault!

And for those who are saying that ‘it’s no use…no one can beat Nadal, especially on clay’. I say to you – nothing is never a “never”. I’m sure not many people expected that 50-1 long shot to win the Derby this past weekend either. Yet he won. If things always went the way they are ’suppose’ to go – we wouldn’t need the word “upset” in our vocabulary.

**********

Great post. I also agree with you that if Roger is not winning right now, he has 13 Gs titles and 4 1/2 years of dominance that him and his fans can be proud of.

and again true, that everything comes to an end and it will happen to Rafa too. I like to enjoy this exceptional period of having two ( or more) tennis greats.


fed is afraid Says:

it will take a miracle for fed to ever beat any of the top players again. maybe one of them will take pity on him and lose on purpose. LOL


MMT Says:

Voicemale1:

I don’t dispute that he has a fitness issue NOW, I just don’t buy that it’s been there all along, and the other players haven’t been good enough to show it. I agree that his 5-set record is not great, but this article (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/aus/2008-01-17-fivesets-tennis_N.htm) calls this into question, even though the title seems to support Cruz’s contention. There are some of very average fitness at the top of that list.

As for his career 5 set record he’s at 13-12. You could argue that this shows a lack of fitness, but to make this argument I think it should be decidely worse, like say, a losing record. At 50/50 it’s hard to accept it as evidence of his lack of fitness. In fact, his 5-set matches are evenly distributed throughout his career, so again, Cruz’s contention is hardly supported.


Von Says:

Voicemale1:

“Again, we can debate whether Federer is as fit as you think he is or not as fit as Cruz and Landsdorp say he is. I don’t know whether it’s fitness or the back problem, but after losing to Djokovic in Rome Federer himself said getting back to where he was before was a matter of getting back in shape.”

I’ve mentioned after Fed lost to Djokovic that fitness comes under the umbrella of physical. Anything that’s troubling to the body physically, translates into a fitness problem, physical = fitness, and is further linked to mental, because when the physical self is not up to snuff, the mental problems begin to appear, sometimes in the form of limited or zero confidence.

Presently, Federer states he has a back problem, which comes and goes, and it’s been argued that he’s never been the same since his bout with mono. According to Federer, and he has mentioned this many times, he has never been able to return to his level of fitness during his mono period because he couldn’t practice or do whatever it was he needed to do to maintain his desired level of fitness.

In view of the foregoing, I’d say that presently Federer is suffering from a fitness problem, which is blatant when he is taxed in matches, where he is forced into exerting himself by running much more than he’s accustomed to doing, and much more than his present state of health permits. When he becomes physically tired, he eventually begins to make poor judgment calls on his shots, hence the FH shanking and over-hitting out of the court, and the many other shots some of us wonder “why is he doing this or that”.

Just for the sake of argument, is anyone of us able to perform at our peak when we are physically exhausted? The answer is, hardly likely. It’s also very difficult to remain focused mentally, and it’s the reason why we see so many UEs entering his match play. Nadal, Murray, Djokovic and Nalby all employ a running MO; Nadal and Murray much more than the others, and it’s the reason why Federer has problems when he has to play against Nadal and the others I mentioned. Wawrinka also had Federer running a lot during their MC match, end result Fed lost. I must say Fed does a good job of disguising his fitness/tiredness, but the UEs and FH problems are testament to a lack of fitness and can be used as a barometer as to how he’s feeling at any stage of the match.

Federer’s game is built on precision/timing and when physical fitness issues are creeping into that kind of game, it is impossible to maintain mental clarity and perform as he previously had been doing. And, if the mono is still an issue, there are definitive studies which state that people with mono suffer from “mental/brain fog” which causes impaired thought processes.


Von Says:

Kroll:

“A straight answer from me?I d probably have said something obvious with a wealth of sarcasm. FYI, I used to be a huge Wodehouse fan and I draw considerable inspiration from him (especially when I m being nasty).”

Knowing you so well, it’s the reason I supplied my own answer. LOL.

Sorry about the work piling up, the paperwork does seem to multiply. I remember the days of winging it and had to use brain imaging to help me when I didn’t study. I’m glad they are over for me, but you just hang in there, if even by your fingernails.


Sean Randall Says:

Some of you clearly see a different Federer than the one I do. The one I see is struggling mentally and dealing with confidence issue. I do not see him tired, fatigued or physically exhausted.

If you want to make the case that his back is troubling him, that’s fine. But just because your back is ailing doesn’t mean you are not fit!

I’ve said before I think he’s lost a half step, maybe a full. And his mind has yet to recognize that he can’t hit/reach the shots he once could.


Von Says:

MMT:

“Sampras is not an exception – despite winning his last tournament/slam at the 2002 US Open, Sampras actually didn’t win A SINGLE TOURNAMENT between that and his last Wimbledon in 2000. At best, his victory at the US Open has to be considered quite an anomaly.”

I remember that period of drought for Sampras. I was a huge Sampras fan at the time, well always have been, but during that period, I just couldn’t understand what was happening to Pete, and the fact that Pete talked so little, unlike Federer, he left us wondering as to what was the real problem. I think some Fed fans believe and hope, Fed will do a Sampras and win additional slams, but that’s easier said than done. With each loss to his younger competition in the MS tourneys, a little more of his self-confidence is whittled away, and eventually the mere thought of playing in those MS and lesser tourneys will probably become repulsive to him. Presently, Fed looks as though he’d rather be any place but on the tennis court, and I’m thinking that he’s already feeling the repulsion of competing. The only joy he has to look forward to is the GS, which unfortunately there are only four (4) per year, and for this year only three (3) left. I think we can almost discount the FO, because that’s Nadal’s territory. Hence, for this year Fed has to concentrate on Wimby and the USO, but even Wimby is not a lock-in for him anymore, since Nadal has already encroached upon Fed’s teritory there and has taken up residence in his house.


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

“But just because your back is ailing doesn’t mean you are not fit!”

You’ve obviously never had back pain, or else you wouldn’t be so emphatic stating that even though Fed has a back problem, doesn’t mean he’s fit. Do you have any idea how important a healthy back is to an athlete? It’s everything. Back pain is extremely handicapping. It affects bending, running , sitting, standing, you name it. I’d say Fed’s back pain has got to be mild, because had it been worse, he would definitely have to refrain from competing.

“I’ve said before I think he’s lost a half step, maybe a full. And his mind has yet to recognize that he can’t hit/reach the shots he once could.”

And, to what do you attribute his loss of step? It has to have a physical component underlying the loss of step. Fitness is a sort of checks and balances scenario, debit/credit scenario. There’s a root cause.


Sean Randall Says:

To be clear, when I talk fitness I am speaking of players having the energy and “tank” to go the distance or go five sets at a high level w/o fatigue when needed.

If you are injured, that’s different.

Re: back injuries. I played a lot of tennis growing up and I had back issues of my own that required months of therapy. It was an injury and it had nothing to do with how well I could or could not last on a tennis court.

As for Fed’s quickness. Fed was so quick in his peak days it’s only natural (with age) to suffer a drop off. Very few, if any, players, are quicker in their late 20s then they were in their early 20s. Just ask Safin, Ferrero, Hewitt, etc…


Duro Says:

People, read Steve Tignor’s article at Tennis.com! Real master peace.


Von Says:

“Very few, if any, players, are quicker in their late 20s then they were in their early 20s. Just ask Safin, Ferrero, Hewitt, etc…”

Let’s take this a wee bit further, and, are Hewitt, Safin and Ferrero as fit as they once were? I don’t think so. Safin has lost so much fitness that he can’t even close out a match, or is it mental? In some ways Federer is now paralleling Safin re the chokes on closing out matches, and the root cause is …. “Fitness”.


Von Says:

Duro: Am I in the dog house or something? I asked you yesterday whether you were going to the Serbia tournament, and if so, to give us some details of what the new facilities are like, and the tourney in general. However, I received NADA. Instead of answering me, you are embroiled in this love/hate relationship with Giner. I’m hurt. LOL.


jane Says:

Hi Duro – thanks for the tip; I actually often like Tignor’s articles, although I know some here do not. They’re much better than, say, Bodo’s, imo anyhow. That was a very good article, and I like the way Tignor shows how Rafa has spurred imitators in Djoko and Murray.

Here’s a direct link for anyone who might be interested:

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2009/05/the-rafa-rules.html


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“You really hit a nail on the head with this one :-) These two brought a word “disgust” to a whole different level in tennis, and now you want them to make babies? :-) Are you kidding? Another 10 years of ball-bashing, grunting, yelling & pant-picking suffering? Nooooooooo, I’ve had enough!”

I should have mentioned this yesterday but I got involved with the other stuff. Anyway, you sound as though you are about to lose it in the above-mentioned response to RSutherland. LOL. I think it would be very nice for you to watch in your old age, because the kids won’t play until they are about 14 and considering the two have not yet mated, you’d definitely be in your rocking chair by that time. Happy days are ahead. LOL


Sean Randall Says:

Fitness does equal quickness, and vice versa, quickness does not equal fitness.

Safin and Hewitt both have battled physical issues. Ferrero’s had his problems. And no amount of training will get any them back to their peak speed.

As for their fitness level, I wouldn’t bet against of the three in a fifth set. I’d say they could go the distance provided they do get injured going so.

On a hot day they’d each outlast Novak…


Duro Says:

I left a comment on Steve’s article: “Nobody can write an article of such quality unless there’s true love involved. Steve, thank you for loving tennis so much.”
Jane, what do you think about my conclusion?
Von, I’m mad at you.


zola Says:

Sean,
****Some of you clearly see a different Federer than the one I do. The one I see is struggling mentally and dealing with confidence issue. I do not see him tired, fatigued or physically exhausted.***

same here. I think Federer has not been able to put the wimbledon final and loss of No 1 behind. ( or perhaps started from AO 2008). Once he can come to terms with being No 2 and accepts that he cannot be at his best all the times, he will make the adjustments to keep him on track for more GS titles. perhaps periodically he has had problems with his back or mono or whatever, but so did Rafa and Djoko and Murray. each had their own fitness problems. Federer needs a good tournament or a great won (hopefully not over Rafa!) and he will be back. But perhaps for a shorter time than 4 1/2 years!

Duro/Jane,
Tignor is one of my favorite sport writers. His articles are never disappointing. Can’t say the same about Bodo.


Sean Randall Says:

Duro, if you or anyone else, ever wrote something like that as a comment for one of my stories it would result in an immediate lifetime ban.

Love = Zero in tennis.

Hah.


Von Says:

Duro: “Von, I’m mad at you.”

What did I do? I can’t think of anything, so please enlighten me. Unless, you’re still mad at me because i left, but I clarified that to you in a post a couple of threads ago. Anyway, let’s hear what are my perceived demerits. Thanks.


jane Says:

Duro – yes, I agree with you; Tignor loves tennis. He’s also very adept at both writing and analysis (i.e., breaking things down into their component parts in order to better understand the whole, which is exactly what he does with Rafa’s game in that article), which makes his work a pleasure to read. That’s important to me. I will have to go back and read through the comments, but I am sure they are mainly positive.


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

“Duro, if you or anyone else, ever wrote something like that as a comment for one of my stories it would result in an immediate lifetime ban.”

Whoa Sean, that’s the wrong use of power! I thought freedom of speech was good for the bolgs, and isn’t it what you’d want from the posters? Or, are you only interested in snow-jobbing? Many do that here quite well, but you’ve got to ask whether it’s sincerely meant or just trying to ingratiate themselves with you. For me, I’d rather someone NOT snow-job me. Anyway, to each his own, and I had better stop before I cross the line of “no return”.


Duro Says:

Love=everything in tennis, articles, brad makings, bugs catchings… Nothing of any significance can be made without love. Everyone can criticize, but few can truly love and create. I certainly won’t write such a comment for one of your stories, that’s a promise. It’s obvious why. No hard feelings.


Sean Randall Says:

Meant in jest, in a kinda/sorta way.


Von Says:

Be careful! About what Sean?

By now, I think you know I have a problem with understanding quarter, half ow one liners.


Duro Says:

Von, relax. Everything is ok with you and me. I like you very much. Do you want me to explain it further more?
I’m working so I couldn’t go to Belgrade to see the matches (I’m from Montenegro, 550 km away from Belgrade) but I happen to know every detail re tournament and new facilities, conditions, atmosphere, partying. Just ask if wont to know something.


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

“Fitness does equal quickness, and vice versa, quickness does not equal fitness.”

I could show you more of where this all fits in under fitness and how it is all inter-locking, but I can only extrapolate such from memory without providing cites. To provide cites I’d have to go paging though my library and I’m too lazy to do that now, hence I’ll just leave it alone.


Von Says:

Duro:

I want to know what the facilities look like. Is it a lavish and ostentatious atmosphere or just moderate? How many courts they have? Are the courts only clay, or are there 4 surfaces for the Academy attendees on which to learn and practice? It’s important for the younger generation to grow up playing on all surfaces.

I’m glad you’re not mad at me and only jesting. You had me concerned for a moment there, Mon Ami.


Sean Randall Says:

Sorry for the typo, should read:
Fitness does NOT equal quickness, and vice versa, quickness does not equal fitness.

True they interlock, but it’s not always an absolute.

In my mid 30s I’m fitter now then I was 10 years ago. But I’m definitely not as quick. That I know!

I can run 10 miles or so now. Ten years ago or while I was playing in school I only had the stamina for about 2-3.


Duro Says:

Von, I noticed it ha ha ha! Don’t worry, you just had to pay a little bit for your disappearance. Since it’s 1:15 am here and have to go early on a trip I hope you’ll excuse me for this time, but I won’t leave you without your answers, as soon as I grab some time. OK? Thanks.


Duro Says:

Jane, good night to you too. You’re always backing me up. Real friend you are.


zola Says:

Sean
quickness has a lot to do with reflexes, muscle memory and anticipation. Fitness comes second, because the person needs to have the stamina to move a lot.


Von Says:

Duro: Bon soir, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you on Serbia tomorrow.


Danica Says:

Von,

even though the question was not targeted at me, I’ll be able to tell you more about the Belgrade tournament. I have tickets for 1/4 finals (evening session) on Friday and finals on Sunday.

[I so wanted my older son to meet Sam Querrey last Sunday during the "family time" (when players supposedly met with the kids and autographed t-shirts, tennis balls, caps and what not) because he too was born in San Francisco, but alas, my little one wasn't feeling well :((. ]


Von Says:

Danica:

Thank you very much. I hope you enjoy the matches and I look forward to hearing ALL of the details..

I had posted to you re; hormonal Mirka on the other thread.

I’m so sorry your son was sick and missed Sam Querrey. That would have been nice for all of you to meet our Sam. I like him because he’s so laid back and always smiling. He got knocked out by Troicki, so that ends it for him in Serbia. Catch ya later.


Danica Says:

I think that Sam is also playing doubles.

I like Sam too. In fact, if I want to be totally honest, and I know I might get hacked by the Serbian fans for saying this :)), I rooted for him against Viktor (there, I said it! :)) ).

As far as your other post, I can’t seem to understand this site :( and I never can remember where and when I posted. I don’t have time to come here every day so I have to just let go.
I know that I said I expected Novak to win and I should have come back and said something like “not this time” or so… But I was really busy and didn’t have time to go and look for that thread. Now that I know you replied, I might check it out. Tomorrow though – it’s 03.25am here :)). Need to get some sleep.

See you all later ;)


Kroll Says:

Sean
—–
Fitness and Quickness? I mean, Really? What happened to Speed and Endurance? Hardly the person I expect to be linguistically challenged…..

Duro
—-
“Love=everything in tennis, articles, brad makings, bugs catchings… Nothing of any significance can be made without love.”

Good Lord! Enough cheese for a lifetime supply of sandwiches….?
Von, why on earth are you encouraging this?


sar Says:

I watched the Querry and Ljubicic matches from Serbia Open on channelsurfing. After the Ljubi match they had a nice opening ceremony. I didn’t see it all cuz I had an appt. but Zimonjic and Nestor got a nice trophy, national anthem. I saw Djok in the stands with his dad and in the seats his mother and brother. I don’t know if Djok spoke or not. What I saw looks very nice.


Von Says:

Kroll: “Von, why on earth are you encouraging this?”

To what exactly is your question targeted? I have to tell you, I don’t understand sentences with a few words, and you of all people should understand why. Because I am verbose. Hence, please elaborate. Thanks.


jane Says:

Sar – I checked channelsurfing.net this morning for that very match! I must’ve missed it. Darn, it was a tight match too; I’d've liked to see it. Oh well, more tomorrow.

Kroll – cheese is good for you.


Von Says:

Sar:
Thanks for the info. It seems as though they are really partying and handing out a lot of gifts. Well, I hope the tournament is a huge success for them and rewards them for their efforts, not to mention the money spent. I think it would be heavily supported.

_____________
Danica: Sleep well. My response was the last comment on: “Federer Looks Better, but Djokovic Next; Nadal Remains Unbeatable in Rome”.

I don’t see anything wrong rooting for the opposition. BTW, Troicki has a very beautiful, exotic looking, girl-friend.


sar Says:

jane it could have been atdhe.net…I switch between the two.


Skorocel Says:

Von:

You may find it amusing (I know you do :-) ), but believe me, if I had to choose, I’d rather see 1000 Federers than one Rambo on a tennis court!


Skorocel Says:

Just saw some images of “la Caja Magica” (the venue of the Madrid tourney)… Pretty interesting! Just google up “la Caja Magica” and see for yourself!


MMT Says:

Von:

Pete’s barren spell was tough for everyone to watch. There were a lot of people saying he’d never win again, that he was ruining his legacy, etc., but in the end he was able to pull one more rabbit out of the hat.

But if you contrast his approach to the last stages of his career to Agassi’s, it’s clear that while Agassi was careful with his schedule, he didn’t simply ignore the non-slam events. He played them to win, and I don’t think you can win slams without playing all out all the time. You don’t have to PLAY all the time, but you have to play all out when you do.

Interesting thing is happening with both Safin and Federer in varying degrees – in the last 3 to 4 tournaments, they’ve both gone out after building leads that they should have converted into victory, and this is a trend that speaks to some inability to close mentally.

Both are having trouble holding serve after they break or when they are in a position to win the set. Both are starting the match out very well and then losing. Safin has already announced he’s on his way out, so it’s not clear to me why he’s basically choking; but Federer has made no indication that he plans to quit, so his choking makes a lot of sense.

Once you hear enough questions about what’s wrong, what you need to do to get back on top, has the game passed you by etc., you begin to hear them when you’re in a position to disprove them, and faced with this, he has not risen to the occassion.

On the plus side, he has been in position to win matches, so his game is not nearly as bad as people are making it out to seem. Aside from one loss to Warwrinka, all his losses have been to the top 4 players on tour; but if he starts losing to others with regularity, then I think it will be very difficult for him to reverse the trend.


Duro Says:

To the ones that don’t watch Nole-Tipsy match, Nole’s dictating with authority, hitting like “mad”. I personally was concerned about his upcoming performance today, but he’s taking it very seriously. Break for Tipsy at the moment, but it can hardly change anything. 6-3 for Nole expected first set result.


jane Says:

Duro, I think Djoko knows how dangerous Tipsy can be! He’s beat, or come close to beating, a number of top players on occasion. But Djoko is playing well. The clay is so bright on the streaming it’s hurting my eyes! And it looks quite heavy, perhaps from the rain. The stands are certainly packed.


Duro Says:

Hi Jane! Glad to see you there! 6-2 for Nole, still. Break back. The stands are full. Around 7000 people. Moist surface a bit, but it looks nice.


jane Says:

Hi Duro, yes I am watching, of course, but I have to leave very soon unfortunately so I may not see the end of it. Djokovic’s serve is dropping off a little here: end of first set, beginning of second. I don’t think he wants this to go three sets, so he’d better get things working.


Duro Says:

Tipsy is so persistent! Like a worm! 1-0 for Nole in the second. 2 sets it will be. Don’t worry about the result and missed details, I’ll inform you!


Duro Says:

Did you notice their socks, Jane. They are bright clean. Not a drop of dust.


jane Says:

haha- yes Duro – clean socks. I guess that might be partly due to the rain or humidity there: no dust flying. It’s really nice they’ve been able to orchestrate a brand new event in what seems like a relatively short period of time. And it can only get better as time passes and they go through the process of running it once.


Duro Says:

Two applause in a row from Nole to Tipsy. One of the greatest points I’ve seen in a while. Went to Tipsy. Surprisingly serious approach to the match from both of them, for Tipsy expected, but from Nole it’s a bit of surprise.


Duro Says:

No worries for the tournament. It can only grow bigger. Next year I expect some serious names to attend.


Duro Says:

3-3. Hm…


Duro Says:

Oh my! Break for Tipsarevic! The audience is divided. Great support for Tipsy also.


jane Says:

Tipsy is serving well; more aces than Djokovic. We’ll see what happens, but it’s looking like 3 sets. And i have to go!


Duro Says:

It’s getting serious… I start to worry.


Duro Says:

6-4 Tipsarevic! The audience is delighted to see the third set! I’m not.


Von Says:

MMT:

I agree with what you’ve stated with respect to both Safin and Federer. It seems that Fed in some ways is mirroring Safin. I expect the chokes from Safin considering the ebbs and flows, plus his injuries, but it’s not something I expect from Federer, and even though I feel Federer has a fitness issue, the chokes are definitely “mental”, but they are mental because he’s not physically fit and doesn’t have the confidence in his body’s ability to perform as he once did. I think that both guys are unable to hold their concentration throughout the match — it’s almost similar to an attention span deficit, and that’s something that’s attributable to a saturated mind, feelings of insecurity and/or confidence issues. Then if we were to go further, the confidence issues stem from their lack of fitness and match play coupled with their conscious inability to perform in the manner they once did. It’s a vicious circle. Had they felt that their game and fitness were up to snuff, there wouldn’t be any signs of choking and/or breakdown.

Think of college, when finals were approaching. There were times I felt absolutely confident that I’d ace my test, but only when I put in the necessary time studying for it, and my confidence grew. Hence, at test time, I didn’t have any fears. On the reverse, when I didn’t have the time to study and had to rely on brain imaging and winging my finals, I was edgy and unsure. The Fed situation is the same. He doesn’t feel confident about his fitness and as a result when he’s being pressured he just falls apart. It’s not possible to feel confident if a player is feeling unfit, because he knows within his heart that he did not put in the required time to maintain fitness throughout the match, and he becomes edgy. This scenario is what makes me feel that fitness is the problem and it’s being manifested as mental. I most decidedly feel that people do things by rote, same with tennis players. These things are second nature to them, going for their shots and playing within themselves, thus I can only say that the fitness issues are similar to the cause and affect scenario we’re seeing with the chokes. It’s as though somewhere deep in their subconscious they feel insecure about their bodies performing and holding up to the challenge they’re facing in their matches and they then panic. When they are at the panicked state they lose control of their game plan and the chokes begin — their minds become a blank.

Last year when Roddick hurt his back and shoulder so badly, I saw him choking. He was fearful he couldn’t serve and as a result began double faulting. He was a mess at Wimby. At one point he was supposed to hit a shot from Tipsy, but he just stood there frozen doing nothing, and then as if something jolted him into action, he hit the ball back to Tipsy and lost the point, the game, the set, and ultimately he match.

At the USO when he was leading to get the match even, he choked, double faulted, and gave the match to Djokovic. That set was on Roddick’s racquet, except he couldn’t deliver. I’ve listened to him talk after that match and he admitted he choked, but what he also said made me think that fitness does affect them mentally. He said he had lost a lot of time being laid up and as a result his fitness is suffering, added to that, he’s match deprived.

Which brings me to your point on Federer playing/winning in the smaller events. You mentioned Agassi. Yes, Agassi continued to compete, as opposed to Pete who just laid down his racquet. Federer is doing similarly. He is picking and choosing what tournaments he should play, because he feels that the slams is what’s going to define his career, and as a result, he’s neglecting the necessary match play that would keep him match grooved to win in the slams. As you’ve stated to win the slams he’s got to be competitive, but it seems he doesn’t want to do that. He’s not playing to win at the MS, because his heart’s not there. He manages to get to the QFs because the competition is not tough en route, but once he gets there and faces the tougher players he falls apart, and it all goes back to what I’ve mentioned above — fitness deficiency. Look at Nadal, he dedicates a lot of time to practicing and when he’s playing, he plays to win. He doesn’t choke, why? Because he feels physically fit. He knows that even if he’s not at his best, he’s still above the rest and it all comes down to his confidence in his fitness. Djokovic has a fitness problem. He’s not as fit as a guy his age should be, hence we see the breakdown in his game at times. He can also shine when the competition is not tough getting to the QFs, but if he were to meet a tough opponent we’d see an upset. Fitness is the key word. It causes confidence to grow and it makes them mentally tough = winning. On the reverse, unfit = choking, and mentally tough deficient = losing. The prescription is simple, become physically fit and the results will change.


Duro Says:

Djokovic 6-0 in the third. All in all, very nice.
Von, I owe you one. Didn’t forget but, still no time. Children to take care of. Little annoying pains in the …es ha ha ha! I’ll give them racquet in the hands.


Von Says:

MMT:

A footnote on Pete:

Last evening I watched the “Five Best Greatest Upsets” and saw Pete’s Wimby fiasco v. Bastil. Pete went into Wimby very unprepared, both physically and mentally. It was if he felt he would play himself into the tournament and keep on winning, but instead he lost to Bastil. Had Pete been fit, do you think that would have happened? I doubt it very much. I also realized how huge egos these guys have. Pete stated he was extremely angry and felt insulted that Wimby would put him a seven (7) time Wimby champion on the grave-yard court No. 2. He said he felt that his past record earned him the right to play on center court, and as a result he played badly because he was so upset about the whole situation. WOW, that blew me away. I can’t envision that he could feel that way despite the fact that he’d not been playing for some time plus his ranking had fallen to such lows. His was a case of pride goeth before the fall. Unbelievable.


Von Says:

Duro: I’m glad Djoko won. I had mentioned previously that I expected Tipsy to fight hard, but he’s not been playing well recently. He likes to be in the limlight and also winning against the top players. The guy gives me the creeps watching him.

No problem, we’ll catch up later. Think twice about giving the kids racquets, because they might get the idea that it’s a good way to render a swatting to the father. Role reversal LOL.


Duro Says:

Ha ha ha! Exactly, Von! I’ll give them tennis balls instead. Hopefully, they won’t throw it at me and hit me in the eye with it. My older boy (2.5 year) always recognizes Nole when he sees him and call him by his name. He is “forced” to watch tennis all day long because of me. Either he’s gonna hate tennis when he gets older, or I planted a tennis seed inside him right on time.


Von Says:

I don’t know about the tennis balls either. Soccer ball kicking cost me $300.00 one night. My son decided to kick his soccer ball in the house and he smashed the glass doors leading to the pool. We had a view alright, but a very un-airconditioned one. This happened at 5:00 pm one night so I had to find a glacier who did emergency calls — I can’t say here what I wanted to do to that kid. At 2 he slammed the front door shut and locked me out of the house, which means I had to find a locksmith at 6:00 pm at night. Enjoy these times and hopefully you’ll still have your humor in tact when they’re 20, after the adolescent years, which are much worse than the twos and threes. LOL.


Von Says:

Ezorra:

http://uk.yahoo-email.com/a/hBKAUqzAbKI4DB7W7qF-QyucuZG/uksp18

Sorry Arsenal lost but I suppose you know who’s happy in my family because who won? Manchester United!


jane Says:

Phew! My meetings are finally over and I was dreading checking in to find out that Tipsy had pulled off the upset, but I am happy to see Djoko put him in his place, so to speak, in the third set! Smiles to Duro, sar, and other Djoko fans; he can use the extra points this week leading into Madrid and RG.


jane Says:

Duro, my 8 year old son already “knows” how to analyze a tennis draw sheet. LOL.


Danica Says:

Duro,

was it just me or did Nole purposefully let Janko get some points? For some reason, I had the feeling that Nole could have run to get some balls but didn’t.

All in all, it was a pretty good match. Strange somehow. I am sorry that Janko can’t seem to win at least one ATP title – he certainly deserves it. Some shots he made were spectacular.

Btw, where in Montenegro do you live?


Danica Says:

Von,

hm, yeah, Troicki is kind of cute but, technically, I could be his mother :))). So, no thanks. I guess I’ll see on Friday how cute he really is ;).

(Speaking of mothers, a bit of trivia if anyone is interested – Viktor’s mom works for the USA Embassy in Belgrade. My husband happened to be there and she was the one in charge for him. She had just returned from Miami where Viktor won over Nalby and then lost to Murray.)

As for the Belgrade tournament, I read somewhere that the red clay they used for courts is the same as the one in Rome. There is a nice, thick layer of it on Center court and it seems to be fast. I was really dissapointed on Monday when I found out they didn’t prepare the covers in case of rain. This part of season is usually quite warm, dry and beautiful in Belgrade and I guess no one really thought rain a possibility. What a shame! :(

For curious ones: http://www.serbiaopen.rs/index.asp


zola Says:

Danica,
Thanks for the link. It looks nice. How many seats?

I like the blue picture of the city.

don’t worry about the covers. Let’s hope it won’t rain. Did they build the court from scratch or re-did an old one?

Why would you think Djoko would lose a set to tipsy on purpose? I think he might have been tired from playing Miami/Rome and perhaps was not able to play his best in the second. Last year in Estoril ( or maybe the year before) I remember him losing the second set to Baghdatis and then taking the match in 3.


Von Says:

Danica:

I mentioned Troicki’s “girlfriend” is pretty and exotic looking, NOT him. I don’t see him as handsome. He could be my son as well and I’m not into cradle-snatching. LOL.


Von Says:

Danica:

I’m surprised that Tipsy hasn’t won a title because he’s a very good player. His game is beautiful to watch. Notice I didn’t say he’s beautiful. LOL.


jane Says:

Hey Danica, thanks a lot for the link to the website! I thought Djoko’s movement was a bit off today, but he’ll get grooved.


Duro Says:

Jane, these extra 250 points are extremely valuable! It’s so hard for Nole these days to collect any, because he had a very successful this part of the year last year, so he’s defending a whole bunch of it. AO cost him 1500 points, Rome 400, IW 820 I think. It’s amazing that he’s still positioned very good considering that. For example, the Dubai title only provided 320 points for him, only to be left with 180 in the end after DC event, seven days later. It’s so hard to earn any points considering that situation and 250 is a huge prey, especially in the race with Murray who should be 40 points ahead after Belgrade, by my calculations. The rest of the year is more convenient and I have big big expectations from Wimbledon (2nd round last year exit), so many many eventual points to collect.

Danica, I’m from Bar. Well, in my opinion that wasn’t a case at all. I know everyone is suggesting it, but I saw Nole trying pretty hard not to drag it to the third set. Tipsy made some spectacular points and he earned the second set fair and square. Was it deliberately lost by Nole? Not a chance! He tried, but not enough. May be he thought it will be enough to defeat Tipsy, but it wasn’t.


Duro Says:

Von, our guys used to get along very well ones upon a time… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONndsZ9WjmA&NR=1


Duro Says:

Hi Jane!


jane Says:

Hey Duro!


Duro Says:

Do you agree on my post about the importance of the eventual 250 ranking points from Belgrade?

It’s pretty much strange, Murray is defending Madrid title, and if he loses some points (which is very possible), it will be deducted from his total not until October! The end of the year will be excited like never before!


Duro Says:

Hi Von!


Von Says:

Duro:
Thanks for rekindling the memories. I’ve seen that YouTube video before and they both have very soft hands at the net. Yes, at one time it seemed they shared camaraderie, but unfortunately the USO changed that. Too bad, because they’re both outgoing in different ways.


Duro Says:

I posted you a link.


Duro Says:

That episode cost my boy a lot… Semi with Fed at least. He was so suffering… Always too sensitive about such things. He admitted 3 days ago in the national TV of Serbia that it influenced him that much that he couldn’t recover and play against Fed. I knew it from the beginning the minute I saw his face and body language. I am pretty sure he wouldn’t lose that match if it was otherwise.


jane Says:

Duro, yes, I agree; it would be great if Novak could get that little boost of 250 points before Madrid, but you’re also right that the points race will really heat up from Wimbledon onward.


Von Says:

Duro: Yes, I saw that link and thanks. Incident aside, I don’t think Djoko could have beaten Fed at the USO, because Fed was playing very well there, plus he has more slam experience and he feeds off the NYC crowd, which is huge. So for Djoko to make such comments 3 days ago is somewhat looking for a reason to save face for that loss. I’m sorry but I don’t by it one bit.


Von Says:

corection: ‘I’m sorry but I don’t by it one bit.’ Should read: ‘buy’ NOT ‘by’.


Von Says:

jane: Djoko will not get 250 points from Serbia. I think per Daniel he’ll still be out 70 points even if he wins Serbia.
______________
Duro: Due to the shift in the tourneys this year the points are not taken off or added on as each tourney is played. It’s kind of confusing.


Duro Says:

No no, my dear Von. Novak never said that he would have won that match. I did. There was no need for any excuses for losing to Fed. Everyone can lose to Fed anytime, so it wasn’t that at all. It was a sincere confess what was going on inside of his mind and soul after that unfortunate episode in New York. Don’t forget he was 21. It was very tough and heavy burgeon upon his back. Roddick himself didn’t cost him directly, he just initialized something that was going on afterwords. It’s not easy to be so young and all alone in outside world, in front of 15000 hostile people booing all the time and cheering for you to lose and miss every shot. They were against him, and those were the same people that loved him the year before. Someone wouldn’t care, but for someone sensitive as Novak was, it was pretty much devastating. They choose to cheer for Fed. As for Nole, they choose to cheer for him to miss and lose.
So, my dear Von, you don’t need to buy it one bit. He was suffering, it was obvious and it affected his game against Fed big time! I knew that it would be like this the minute I saw the audience booing at him after his on court interview after match with Roddick. But, that’s a school, better sooner than later.
So, all in all, it was sincere (I knew it all along) and I strongly believe that it cost him that semifinal with Fed. I now my Nole, I can feel him and I can recognize every pulse that’s going on inside his mind and soul. I am a fan. I love people that I cheer for. In conclusion, your boy cost mine a semifinal in the US Open 2008. No hard feelings, but this is how it was, like it or not. Anyway, you are Ok and we’ll stay friends after all, if you agree.


MMT Says:

Isn’t it more accurate to say that Djokovic’s inability to concentrate on the task at hand MAY have cost him the match against Federer? After all, it was Djokovic who chose to bring it up in the post match interview, not Roddick. The crowd didn’t really get on his case until he did, up until then they were simply cheering for Roddick, which happens every time Roddick plays at the US Open.

There are plenty of players that have faced similar or worse treatment in tennis matches and found a way to win (Serena Williams at Indian Wells 2001 comes to mind), so you can hardly say that Roddick cost Djokovic the match, even if Djokovic was responding to something that Roddick said. He had his motivation, wanted to stick it to Roddick, and then he tried to show him up afterwards by reminding everyone how Roddick had upset him, but it backfired.

That was all Djokovic. Mind you, I like the guy – I can’t stand his parents – but he seems like a nice person. Sure I can do without his chest thumping, but he’s not the only person who engages in this type of historionics: Monfils, Tsonga, Hewitt, Blake, Nadal…they alld do it.

At the end of the day, you have to admit he brought it on himself entirely because if he hadn’t mentioned it, nobody would have gotten on his case. He did, the crowd didn’t like it, and he couldn’t handle it and MAYBE that cost him the next match.


Duro Says:

MMT, yes! All true. Bottom line is (after that chain of reactions, starting with Roddick, Nole hurt reacting, audience booing, Nole suffering, poorly playing because of it, audience cheering against him) it influenced him, his mood, his play and cost him that Semi! That’s my point. Very expensive school for something so unfortunate. But, every school should be payed, and he certainly payed for his. I just don’t like at all seeing him suffer emotionally. He deserved to have equal chances against Fed in that semi and not to pay because of the Roddick’s big mouth. Too young to know and to young to deal with it.


Von Says:

Duro:

No hard feelings — we’re still friends.


Danica Says:

Aaaaah, I NOW get what you meant, Von :))! Hahahaha! I thought that that sentence rang strange and I obviously missunderstood it. I was like “Oooo-kay :)” but didn’t want to hurt your feelings in case you thought him cute. As far as girlfriend is concerned, I agree. They say she is a model (no wonder).

As for Tipsy, I happened to be in the same plane to Belgrade with him and Jelena Jankovic on their way from London (Wimbledon) last year. They shared the economy class with the rest of us mortals :)). He is sweet but too short for my tastes (sorry Janko ;) ).


Danica Says:

Hi Duro,

I was in Bar only once :( but recently met up after a long time with the two of my friends that now live, or lived, there ;).

I must clarify something – I never said or thought that Nole lost a set on purpose. I just said that I had a feeling he didn’t run on some points I was sure he would have run against Nadal, for example. Then again, maybe against Tipsy he could allow himself a broader comfort zone whereas with Rafa you have to return everything and pray for the best ;)


Danica Says:

Hi Zola,

I think the Center court originally had 7000 seats but then they added some more. In any case, it’s not more than 8000 now.

I think that there were tennis courts previously there (it’s a sports center with other courts and swimming pools). I heard Troicki say that he started playing tennis there as he also lived (and still does) nearby. Most of the courts in the country were/are clay courts. On the other hand, my in-laws took a stroll there about month and a half ago and told me at a time that it was a construction site with bulldozers all over and nothing to see. So maybe they actually redid the whole thing. I am quite sure we never had a court with so many seats. I remember watching the Balkan tennis games 20 years ago with 17 year old Ivanisevic, on a court that had only few dozens of seats. So this is really something new.

The University games will be held at this same place this summer. But Serbia Open next year will take place on new courts that the Djokovics are supposedly building.


Danica Says:

Hey Jane ;)

Let’s see how Nole will perform tonight. I’d like to see Viktor move up in rankings, just not today ;)


jane Says:

I agree Danica, Troicki should have to wait for the rankings jump. ;-) I was surprised to see that Marko Djokovic and Darko Madjarovski beat Nestor and Zimonjic! But the latter team might’ve been burnt out, having won the last three events in which they’ve played, including Rome.


MMT Says:

Hi Von:

I agree that Federer has fitness problems now and that’s costing him close matches. It’s hard to say if he’s actually thinking to himself that he better finish this point off now because he’s unfit, or if he’s just running out of steam in the points and going for kill shots too early.

I have to say though, watching his match with Djokovic in Rome he really appeared to be very tentative at critical moments, and that appeared to be less a question of over-agression than simply lacking confidence/belief.

To me, the solution for Federer is to engage in controlled agression. He’s too far behind the baseline to start, and then he’s going for too much on his approaches. Also, he needs to develop a bit more of a tolerance for getting passed. Passing shots are not easy to hit over and over again – eventually you make an error at a critical moment, and then the next passing shot is that much harder to deal with mentally which tends to elicit weaker attempts.

I think Sampras went about the end of his career all wrong – you can’t just focus on slams. It doesn’t work that way. You have to be in form, and to be in form you’ve got to play and win matches, no matter who you are. The only exception is the Williams sisters who are so far ahead of the field right now it almost doesn’t matter. I don’t believe they really believe they are invincible, but they are very good at projecting this, and their opponents, in my opinion have too much respect for them and too little tools in their kit to put more pressure on them than just trying to hit harder.

That said, congratulations to Safina for her win over Venus.


Von Says:

MMT:

Hi, I just came on line and there you are! I need to stop following you around like this before you file ‘stalking’ charges against me. Ha, ha.

I’m thrilled you’ve seen my point that to some extent Federer’s fitness is a problem presently. I think he’s becoming very prone to playing more defensively now that his form has fallen off and as a result he’s making more errors. He needs to start turning defense into attack — he’ll probably lose a bit for a while, but I’m sure that will pull him out of the funk he now finds himself, wake up his adrenalin and let’s see a pulse. Keywords “shift from defense to attack”. I mean if he’s going to lose at least give the other guy some agita in the process, right? Ha, ha. Why just hand it to them on a platter, shake ‘em up! I’ll probably infuriate some Djokovic fans, but I wanted for Federer to make Djokovic work as hard as he makes Roddick work. I sound a bit sadistic don’t I? Ha, ha. His recent two losses to Djokovic were given away too meekly. It’s probably what has Djokovic thinking he could have beaten Fed at the USO. Oh well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles, isn’t it?

I agree Sampras went about his pre-retirement years the wrong way, but he had recently met his wife while taking a sabbatical for his back, and the girl simply had the guy in a love grip. The guy was in luv — got bitten by the love bug.!!!!! He didn’t want to think of tennis only Bridgette.

I’m surprised Safina beat Venus, because Safina didn’t look so well in her prior matches. But again, this is another affirmation with respect to fitness and the lack thereof. Venus hasn’t been playing and/or competing as she is supposed to, hence, she was not match and/or fitness grooved, and the evidence speaks for itself in the loss to Safina. I think both Venus and Serena feel the field on the women’s side is so weak now, that they can just simply show up and play themselves into the tournament even though they are not up to snuff. Well, they got some wake up calls alright, hopefully they’ll change their thinking, but that depends on how much they want to win. Both Venus and Serena has gone out early in tournaments and to opponents they should not be losing to, which translates to their lack of fitness. I hope they don’t join Federer as ostriches with their heads in the sand, and ignore the signs which are staring them in the face.


Von Says:

Breaking news:Thursday, May 7, 2009

“Roddick to Have New Management Company

Super agent Ken Meyerson, has left the presidency of BEST Tennis to establish a US office for a new company, Lagardere Unlimited, a division of the French media giant Lagardere.

Meyerson is taking a number of tennis players with him including Andy Roddick, who will be shared with BEST Tennis.

Lagardere and BEST have reached a partnership where Lagardere will utilize Best to produce select tennis events across the US.

Blue Entertainment Sports Television (BEST) announced that John Tobias will take over as its President.’
________________
Sean Randall and MMT:

Do you guys have any additional information with respect to: “Lagardere and BEST have reached a partnership where Lagardere will utilize Best to produce select tennis events across the US”?

I wonder if this new partnership has any connection with those two exhos Roddick recently played in South America and will we be seeing (if we’re lucky to see them on TV) more exhos being played by Andy and some American players in the US? I’m glad Andy has a sponsor in Legardere — they are supposed to a huge media company and hopefully that translates to good press for Roddick.
________________
TD(Tam): Have you seen the above? I think it’s great for our Andy R. What do you think?


Von Says:

For anyone interested in playing the Madrid bracket. I don’t know if it’s the same as that I’ve seen posted on this site by Zola, if not, feel free to register and play.

http://links.mkt1003.com/ctt?kn=13&m=32894442&r=MTEwNDQ5NzIwMQS2&b=0&j=NDg1NDAwNDUS1&mt=1&rt=0


sar Says:

Djokovic in Nadals half for Madrid.

Top story: Isner Upset (Literally) In Washington; Serena Returns With A Roar In Stanford, Azarenka-Venus Tonight
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