Nadal and His Victims Descend on Magical Madrid
by Sean Randall | May 10th, 2009
  • 97 Comments

Will there be any drama this clay season? It’s not looking likely as we begin today the final clay major before the French Open, the newly-minted “Magic Box” at Madrid Tennis Masters.

Despite all the talk of the altitude, the blue courts, the bad bounces, the buggy website and the overcrowded schedule, all the top players have rocked up in support of the event: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and even the newly-married Andy Roddick has made the trip to his first clay tournament of the season.

The notable absentees are David Nalbandian, my man Gael Monfils and countryman, the alleged coke-user Richard Gasquet who I’ll get to in another blog.

First, since the French Open is just fortnight away, Madrid offers the final chance for players to jockey for their Paris seedings. Much of that focus this spring has been on the No. 2 race among Federer, Djokovic and Murray. And unless Murray pulls a rabbit out of his hat and wins Madrid (well, he is defending champion after all right?) and wins Madrid and Roger crashes in the early rounds, looks like the Swiss will stay at No. 2 heading into the French. (I’m not sure if Novak can even earn enough in Madrid to pass Roger.)

But will it happen? On to the draw…

I almost think had Madrid never replaced Hamburg, that Nadal would not be playing this week. But in support of the tournament and his home country he is. And in front of his native fans I just can’t imagine him losing this week regardless of his complaints. But his draw is dangerous. Nadal will likely get the hot Albert Montanes in the second round, the mercurial Nicolas Almagro in the round three before another showdown with Fernando Verdasco. Three Spaniards, three wins to set him up in the semifinals.

The second quarter features the guy who’s been the second best player of late, that’s Djokovic. And given the draw, the Serb should absolutely coast into the quarterfinals where things could get dicey if Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s there, but I still like the Novak in that match and on this surface.

Murray and Juan Martin del Potro are the two bullies in the third quarter, but watch out for Stan Wawrinka. I like Murray to emerge to the quarterfinals, but his opponent on that day, which will also be his 22nd birthday, could be Del Potro, Wawrinka or even Tomas Berdych. I think I’m going to lean with Wawrinka there. He’s the best pure claycourter in his section, but not good enough to beat Murray.

The last quarter is where we find Mr. Federer. Roger could have a very tricky test with Igor Andreev provided the Russian is playing up to his level. From there maybe the suddenly sound James Blake who’s playing at the moment in the Estoril final. In quarters I think it will be Nikolay Davydenko who should handle Roddick. And I’m going to pick Federer to beat Davydenko for the final spot in the semifinals.

(A few of the better early rounders that I see include Tsonga v. Safin, Roddick v. Gulbis, Berdych v. Chardy and Wawrinka v. Chardy.)

My semifinals are set with Nadal v. Djokovic, Murray v. Federer. And that means the Top 4 ranked players will have all made the last semifinals, a total rarity in top tennis events so someone’s not going to make it, but who?

Anyway, the end result is going to the same, Nadal wins and for me, he’s going to with it over Murray.

I said at the start of the clay season Nadal would have a tougher time this year than in the past. Well, looks like I’m going to be proven wrong. Vamos! (Naturally, now that I’ve given in he’ll lose!)


Also Check Out:
Jerzy Janowicz Says What’s Happening To Polish Tennis Is “Magical”
Andy Murray Withdraws From Madrid Due To A Back Injury
Nadal Turns Away Djokovic in Magical 3-Set Epic in Madrid
Are These The 10 Best Shots Of The 2012 ATP Season? [Video]
Novak Djokovic Withdraws from Madrid

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97 Comments for Nadal and His Victims Descend on Magical Madrid

jane Says:

Sean, funny title. Just a note: Andreev retired in Belgrade with (I think?) a shoulder injury, so if that’s the case and he’s still ailing, I don’t see him troubling Roger. Djoko could experience a “let down” after Serbia and likely all of the personal stress leading into that event, but on the other hand he could feel buoyant that it’s over and he can player looser, so it’s tough to say how he’ll do. Fed, Murray and Rafa have all been recouperating this week which for Nadal will likely be a bonus. I think if Murray meets Fed in the semis the edge goes to Murray, although Fed’s still talking about winning the FO this year so he’d motivated also. I do think, like you, that Davy will be a test for Roddick, but who knows? Blake beat Davy today, so there’s no reason Roddick couldn’t also, especially if the courts play fast.

However, it’s likely Nadal will win everything no matter what anyone else does; he’s talking about the long calendar this year again I noticed.


Duro Says:

This is how I see it:

Nadal – no threats; Djokovic – no threats (but I’m not sure anymore after Belgrade); Murray – threats from Wawrinka and Del Potro, serious ones; Federer – only threat from Davydenko.

All in all: Nadal-Djokovic; Federer-Wawrinka or Del Potro (I’m picking JMDP).

Finals: Nadal-Federer.

Winer: Xisca.


Kimmi Says:

I think Nadal’s weight of expectation from himself, his team and maybe the Spain too, is becoming too much for him. The fact that everybody is expecting for him to win everything on clay does not help. Sometimes even people are surprised when he loses a set. I feel all this and more is making him worry too much, the altitude issue, the bounce etc. Everybody is playing in the same altitude, same bounce, he should just relax – take one match at the time in Madrid then FO the same thing. Regarding the schedule having too many tournaments, I still do not understand why on earth he had to play Rotterdam. To me after winning the AO, there was no reason for that especially he knew his clay season is going to be packed.

I hope he can live to all expectations because being number 1 it means you are the hunted not the hunter anymore.


NachoF Says:

Wow, that website really is a piece of crap.


NachoF Says:

Kimmi Says:

“I think Nadal’s weight of expectation from himself, his team and maybe the Spain too, is becoming too much for him.”

What makes you think that?


Von Says:

“NachoF Says:
Wow, that website really is a piece of crap.”

I thought it was just me because I’m not computer savvy and couldn’t even get to the draw; but as a whole, Madrid has always been a problem. I think the tournament needs to make some revisions rendering it more accessible to the fans.


Von Says:

I don’t think Nadal feels any weight of expectations because his Uncle Toni is very capable of shielding him from anything that hinders his tennis, thus, enabling Nadal to concentrate on only his tennis, and we see the results of that partnership = Nadal wins.


Kimmi Says:

Von, then why I feel he complains too much ? always complains about the calender, now complains madrid will mess up his FO prep ? It feels like, If he does not win the FO then its like the end of the world.


Von Says:

Kimmi: I don’t know, you need to ask him or Uncle Toni.


Kimmi Says:

Von: “Kimmi: I don’t know, you need to ask him or Uncle Toni.”

LOL, LOL !! What kind of an answer is this? If you don’t want to engage with me into some adult discussion then I think it might be best not to comment on my posts.


Von Says:

Kimmi: It was meant to make you laugh, but the truth is I don’t know and my speculation could be all wrong. Don’t worry, be happy, because Fed could win Madrid due to the high altitude, et al.


NachoF Says:

Kimmi,
The whole point is that there is no reason at all to think that the pressure has gotten to Nadal….. he hasnt lost a single match on clay yet…everyone expects him to win and he does… it seems to me like you are just wishing that the pressure gets to him so that he stops dominating…. and to be honest I wish that as well…


Von Says:

NachoF:

That’s the fact of the situation that Nadal keeps winning despite the perceived presure by the tennis fans. He has ONLY his tennis to think of due to his team, especially Uncle Toni, who is also his mentor, and you can’t go against those facts. Nadal has a fortress protecting him.


NachoF Says:

Exactly, even if Nadal somehow doesnt end up winning the FO and/or Wimbledon I wouldnt necessarily say it was because the pressure got to him….. unless he ends up completely tanking… and I really doubt that will happen


Von Says:

If Nadal doesn’t win the FO/Wimby duo it wouldn’t be because of pressure, it would most probably be attributed to him running low on energy, which is normal, considering how much tennis he has played. A week off is not enough, when we have to take into account air travel and adjusting to different surfaces, and he could easily lose one of the two tourneys.


Von Says:

Also, we should bear in mind that pressure and low energy are altogether different scenarios. One is mind, the other is physical.


Kimmi Says:

Von, I could not tell you were joking in that little sentence. Thanks for letting me know.

So you guys think everything in Nadal is under control? Even if he winning everything his persistent complaints made me doubt that a little. I agree he is done excellent so far, kudos to him but let’s see what happens, he is definitely the guy to beat.


jane Says:

“but as a whole, Madrid has always been a problem.” I think Madrid should concentrate less on finding “model” ball girls and more on making a functional website. But the players might disagree with me. haha.

Nadal does seem to have a super-force-field around him = Uncle Tony, the Majorcan mafia. Just kidding of course. :-)


jane Says:

Kimmi, Nadal has been complaining about the calendar for at least a year and a half, but ironically it’s been his MOST SUCCESSFUL year and a half. Maybe he’s one who FEEDS on the pressure, in which case, no one is going to beat him for a long while.


Kimmi Says:

Von: “Don’t worry, be happy, because Fed could win Madrid due to the high altitude, et al.”

Are you for really, what has Federer done this half season (sinceAO)? As much as I like fed to win it all, I still have doubts and he needs to prove to himself and his fans that he still have the mojo. He speaks on his pre-interview in Madrid that his main goal is to win the tournament; at least he has high hopes here rather than Rome where he aimed for the semi. C’mon Fed.

Jane: “Kimmi, Nadal has been complaining about the calendar for at least a year and a half, but ironically it’s been his MOST SUCCESSFUL year and a half. Maybe he’s one who FEEDS on the pressure, in which case, no one is going to beat him for a long while.”

Yeah, you are right. It’s probably his usual self rambling about schedule again. Him winning everything even after the clay season I would doubt it but it’s possible. Last year tournaments just after clay season saw Nadal with very high level of confidence. The way he played in Queens, Wimbledon, Toronto, Cincinnati and Olympics was unbelievable. But this year I see it to be a little tough due to Murray and Djokovic (maybe Fereder if he up his level )playing better than last year, I would add some other players there too before Von kills me.. But I agree he will be the guy to beat.


Von Says:

Kimmi: Yes, hes has everything under control for now.

jane: I agree, and I thought the same, so why bother or pay attention to what Nadal says. It’s the reason I told Kimmi that only Nadal knows why he complains with respect to the calendar. Despite the crammed clay season/calendar he wins, and that speaks volumes.


Von Says:

Kimmi; Don’t worry about Fed, I read in one of my emails where he says he’s up to the challenge and feels fine, so don’t worry, be happy.

I won’t kill you if you don’t mention Roddick, LOL,– he’s not in the conversation on clay. He has won some small clay titles and Davis Cup ties on clay, but none of the MS, and I’m fine with that. I would prefer it if he didn’t play on clay because he ends up being hurt and I like him too much to want that. I’m a tennis fan first and I enjoy watching good tennis played by other players, so it’s alright if my fave is not playing nor is in the conversation.

jane: I know a few guys who are just waiting to see the ball girls, with their tongues hanging out!! LOL.


Ezorra Says:

Von says:

“jane: I know a few guys who are just waiting to see the ball girls, with their tongues hanging out!! LOL.”

Von, how dare you! I supposed that to be our secret! LOL!!!


Von Says:

Ezorra:

ROTFL, I forgot about you, but now that you’ve posted I remember how hot you got under the collar about the ball girls last year. LOL. Now you’ll get your wish again. They usually have the hot ones at the Spanish players’ matches, especially Nadal’s, so enjoy! Take two aspirin and a cold shower, before you begin to watch. Ha, ha.


vared Says:

Nadal complains about things like that and usually underplays his chances of winning events. It’s false hope. This is just to psych-out his opponents and let them think they have a chance. Of course he crushes them. It’s cruel but effective. I read today that federer says he can beat Nadal on clay. Let’s see.


Von Says:

vared: “I read today that federer says he can beat Nadal on clay. Let’s see.”

Same here, that’s why I mentioned earlier that he could win Madrid due to his confidence. maybe he’s using some psychology.

I agree that Nadal is using some reverse psychology on the other players by the complaints, and then as you said, he just moves in and crushes them. Demolition Derby in full swing!

Funny, we have Nos. 1 and 2 playing some mind games — No. 1 using reverse psychology and No. 2 is psyching himself up. I’m anxious to see how it all unfolds.


Giner Says:

Sean Randall:

“(A few of the better early rounders that I see include Tsonga v. Safin, Roddick v. Gulbis, Berdych v. Chardy and Wawrinka v. Chardy.)”

Looks like Chardy has his hands full.

“I said at the start of the clay season Nadal would have a tougher time this year than in the past. Well, looks like I’m going to be proven wrong. Vamos! (Naturally, now that I’ve given in he’ll lose!)”

I would like to know if you still stand by this analysis here:

Why Roger Federer will Finish 2009 at No. 1
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-01-12/706.php


jane Says:

vared, von say “I read today that federer says he can beat Nadal on clay. ”

I read that too! Looks like Federer has high hopes; he feels he’s getting “better” at each event so I think he expects to go deep here at Madrid and he’s still talking like he will win the French Open, somewhat surprising given his results this year, and his blow out at the final last year. But I suppose Fed has reached enough FO finals that we have to listen to him without discounting it outright. Never say never right?


Von Says:

jane:

“Never say never right”? It’s necessary to have high ideals — reach for the stars and/or first rung on the ladder, and if you should fall, then you’ll only fall to the next rung. On the converse, should you aim low, you’d probabaly remain low. But, then again, if you fall from the top to the bottom, if would be wise to wear some padded seated pants, because it’ll hurt, both pride and the behind. LOL.


Kimmi Says:

Federer needs to be confident and believe he can win. If he goes in Madrid or FO with doubts then he will lose, believing he can win will give him that extra motivation. He did not have high hopes in Rome and then look how he disintegrates after the rain delay. C’mon roger bring back the Fed express.


Von Says:

Fed Express is now on making local stops. Take the local train to downtown. Ha, ha.


Nadal is the GOAT Says:

“I read today that Federer says he can beat Nadal on clay. ”

Ha ha. Didn’t he say prior to the French Open last year that he had figured out Nadal on clay and that he had some surprises in store for him. And he got murdered in the final. He just makes himself look more stupid by making these arrogant comments.


Von Says:

Giner: “Looks like Chardy has his hands full.”

He sure does, he’ll be playing v. Berdych with the left hand, and Wawrinka with the right. Some sense of humor you’ve got there. LOL. You’re pedantic!


Giner Says:

“I read today that federer says he can beat Nadal on clay. ”

He has done it before, believe it or not. And he’s come close on a number of other occasions. He CAN and DOES have the tools to beat Nadal, it’s just that everything has to go right, the planets have to align, Nadal’s second bottle has to have the label face a few degrees too far clockwise, and so on.

Can he do it? Yes. Does he believe he can? Probably. Outwardly he’ll reaffirm his ability to beat Nadal. Whether he’s being completely honest with himself, only he knows. Is he likely to beat Nadal on clay? I would say in 2009 he is further away from doing so than he was in 2008, which in turn was further away than in 2007. He is regressing unfortunately, and Djokovic has just become a real rival again, so there are a few obstacles in the way first.


jane Says:

“Nadal’s second bottle has to have the label face a few degrees too far clockwise”

lol – good one Giner. But, instead, Fed better count on the planets being aligned, because with Rafa’s “precision,” he’ll make sure his water bottles are aligned, no?


jane Says:

Fed could win Madrid, but I think Rafa would have to lose out for him to do so. I honestly think Murray will be looking to do well here, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he took out Fed, but I don’t know. It’s tough to say. I think this tournament is one of Fed’s best shots so far this year, though, for a few reasons: Rafa’s won three events in a row, so this may be the one he goes out in; Djoko’s maybe feeling a bit road weary; Murray hasn’t quite yet found his clay feet, though he’s getting there. Which means Fed’s main rivals thus far in 2009 are perhaps not at their best.

However, I wonder if players like Roddick or Davydenko, who have poor records against Fed, might feel like it’s their turn to start turning those H2Hs around? I wonder if they could do it? Davy has clay chops and Roddick got to the Rome semis last year. Blake’s also in that boat, and he is in Fed’s quarter I think too.

Anyhow, all this is mere speculation – it’ll be interesting to see how it all really shakes down.


Tj Says:

I wouldn’t want to hope I have Nadal-Federer final again. Last time I did that, I was disappointed. But still, hope he can manage to get to semi, I can’t see either Davy or Roddick will be able to pull upset against Fed.
Djoko will get to semi and he will have to face Nadal there. I can’t wait to see that match, which I think will be very interesting.


Marjorie Says:

For fun – look at : http://www.rafaelnadal.com/rafaforum/forum/viewthread_thread,450_offset,10 to have a preview of the RG pink shirt ! You can also pre-order it on
http://www.prodirecttennis.co.uk/deptHome.asp?depthome=French – Random post if there ever was one.


Voicemale1 Says:

Kimmi:

“The Fed Express” as we knew it from 2004-2007 is gone forever. Roger will never get back to that kind of dominance again. He’ll win matches and tournaments throughout the rest of his career, just not as often as he used to. This is not an anomaly. This descent happens to every player, period. The descent is more pronounced when you are as dominant as someone like Federer was, but it still ends – for whatever reason. As I said before, the same thing happened to other dominant forces of tennis: Laver, Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Sampras, Evert, Navratilova, Graf, Hingis, etc. And it will happen to Nadal, it will happen to whoever replaces Nadal, and so on ad infinitum. No one player is bigger than the game of tennis.

What’s troubling about Federer these days is that it looks like he’s basically choking in his matches now once the slightest things start to go wrong. When Federer was up a set and a break in the days of “The Federer Express”, it was his opponents who were the ones intimidated into submission, believing they had no chance. That doesn’t exist now. Federer’s failure to close out Djokovic in Rome and Miami under those circumstances tells us he’s lost that fear factor that won him a lot of matches before they started. Djokovic did extremely well to hold himself steady when he was down and just hang with Federer point by point until he’d clawed his way back into each match. In the two sets Djokovic won in Rome he was down a break in both. Once he broke back to get back on serve in each set, Federer never won another game in either set. Couple that with the fact that Federer still isn’t moving well to his forehand side, and you have opponents not only unafraid of him, they’re finding more spaces to hit into than they were before. Nalbandian was the first, Nadal the next, and then Murray, who have found ways to jerk Federer from side to side and keep him out of the Middle of the Court just long enough in matches to reduce the effectiveness of Federer’s Forehand by maybe 20%, which is all the margin they need to beat him regularly. And you can now add Djokovic to that growing cadre of threats to Federer. That these guys had to develop that exactitude of precision execution to beat him tells you what kind of game Federer had: the kind only a flawless strategy of staying the course & fouling up his timing would do the trick against him.

As a guess, I’d say the the aftermath of the The Australian Open is still lingering in Federer. As many said in the immediate moments afterward, their concern was whether Federer could come back from something like that. He hasn’t so far. This is also not unusual. Players often take a long time to shake off a defeat which cuts that deeply. For Agassi, losing the US Open Final in 95 to Sampras sent him into oblivion for 3 years. Borg losing both Wimbledon & The US Open to McEnroe in 1980 sent him into retirement. Sampras got so embarrassingly blown off the court by Safin in the 2000 US Open Final that he didn’t win a tournament for over 2 years after that. At the top of the game, it’s not shots keeping you there. It’s what’s going on inside your mind that matters most – and any tour player will tell you that. What separates the Top 4 from everyone else is what’s “upstairs”. And what’s “upstairs” for Federer these days is his biggest opponent. We’re all still waiting to see if that’s the one match he can win.


NachoF Says:

If Fed wants to win the FO he has to hope Djokovic or Murray take care of Nadal for him cause after the FO 08 final its just pointless to try again.


fed is afraid Says:

fed is a chump. he can’t beat anyone in the top three. he will never beat nadal again. when is he retiring?


Bob Says:

Now That Rafa is a threat on all surfaces and has become No.1 He is playing a lot more matches which takes a toll on his body This is why he complains about the schedule. It is why very few players stay No 1 for extended periods of time. Although he is totally dominating right now, it remains to be seen how long he can sustain it. He is a remarkable and intense competitor and I wish him the best. This also shows how remarkable Federer’s 4+ year run at No.1 with no injuries was. I think he was able to attain it only because of his economy of motion. Now that he is a bit older he will have to try much harder to get anywhere near that level of achievement. The challenge for Rafa is to sustain his relentless level of play for several years.Which, I believe is what he is feeling a bit. Either way they are both remarkable player who have and will continue to add to the game of tennis.


I like tennis bullies Says:

Will there be any drama this clay season? It’s not looking likely
::::

tennisx never complained about the lack of drama for the four years Federsnore dominated.


steve Says:

Tsonga beat Safin. I like both players, so it was a bit sad. But it is good to see Tsonga is back in action.


NachoF Says:

@I like tennis bullies:
There was a lot of drama during Federer years… australian open vs Safin?? Masters Cup vs Nalbandian…. pretty much everytime he faced Nadal…


Von Says:

I’m yet to see the magic of la caja magica in Madrid. The No. 1 court lacks the much needed ambiance of the other MS clay courts around the world, and the No. 2 court is absolutely ugly, sterile, and depressing. Except for the retractable roof, the No. 2 court is pretty much the same, it looks like a warehouse with some multi-coloured seats, and when it’s empty there’s an echo from the players’ ball hitting. I think that the echo and lack of fans in the early am matches has to be depressing for the players.


margot Says:

Daniel re Wimbly. There are always a certain number of tickets for sale on the day, as with most tournaments, so if you are prepared to queue, especially in the first week, you would get into the outside courts at least and see some good matches. If it’s a nice evening you could also try turning up after 4 o clock and I think you’d get in then too. My daughter used to do that after school and always got in. If you want the second week you’d have to queue overnight!! Believe me hundreds and hundreds do!
If anyone sees Daniel on another thread could you direct him this way? Ta.
Duro: Wawrinka a threat to Andy M? He’s just a ball basher isn’t he or am I missing something? Andy always does rather well against that kind of player. PS please don’t call him “Snowman” etc guys, I think it’s horrible, it implies he has no feeelings and he’s very very cold, well we know that’s not true!
In British press 2day jornalists said Gasquet had admitted cocaine use. Also talked of tremendous pressure he’d been under, also too much parental involvement.


jane Says:

margot “PS please don’t call him “Snowman” etc guys” Okay margot – per your request and because I agree that Murray is not the least bit cold, I’ll refrain from said nickname. :-)

I will also be sure Daniel see your recommendations if he pops in. cheers.


Von Says:

Margot: “In British press 2day jornalists said Gasquet had admitted cocaine use. Also talked of tremendous pressure he’d been under, also too much parental involvement.”

I think it’s the pressure from his parents coupled with the high expectations of the French tennis world that had weighed so heavily on Gasquet’s shoulders and they’ve literally destroyed him.

Re Murray: Take a look at the Djokovic thread where I asked that he be given a new name. Snowman is a lump of snow and created by mankind, whereas Murray is an alive human being. Now that he’s living in Florida, he’ll be tanned, and maybe too hot to handle.


Duro Says:

Margot, yes, I think you do. I quoted Wawrinka and JMDP! They are serious threats to almost everybody. Wawrinka is a descent clay player, very solid and consistent, runner-up in Rome last year, won a match against Fed recently… Threat indeed. Is it gonna be that way, hard to say, but comparing his play on clay with Andy’s I stick to my opinion. Del Potro also. Anyway, Xisca winer!


Duro Says:

Three things occur to me: One, there should definitely be a hawk eye system even on the clay courts. This was third time today that I noticed from Monte Carlo to Madrid that the trace checked out by ref showed the ball was out and it wasn’t. It happened 2 times in Novak’s matches, both in the match with Nadal and in today’s Lopez-Monaco match. Hawk eye proved it wrong! So, why not use it!

Two, for the Novak’s fans, he’s playing doubles in Madrid! What the hell…! 3 weeks without a single day of rest! No comment. Hopefully the Austrian ordered it.

Three, Novak should finally change his adorable blue outfit! It’s great but it’s about time. I’m sure Adidas provides him with some more outfit combination. But, if I think again, somebody doesn’t allow anyone to touch his bottles, so may be it’s a lucky outfit.


I like tennis bullies Says:

time to update the trunk and funk


jane Says:

Duro “Hopefully the Austrian ordered it.” – lol. I believe Novak’s goal is to hone his net game by playing doubles, and he did at Monte Carlo and got all the way to the semis in doubles. So it’s a good move in many ways. It could pay off huge dividends on grass, for example. I just think that if Novak can shorten points and go for the kill sooner it can be only an advantage. Sometimes short term sacrifices pay off well in the bigger picture.

And about that blue outfit, I’ll agree with you only so far. The shoes have to stay. I LOVE those blue shoes and weirdly I am noticing more and more youngsters around here wearing blue sneakers. It’s such a nice change from plain old white.

Finally, regarding Hawkeye, Von had mentioned a week or two ago how it would be a good idea to have it a clay events, and pretty much all of us agreed, I think it may’ve been during Barcelona. It does make sense!


jane Says:

I noticed that today too bullies – the trunk and funk are stuck.


Von Says:

jane: Inasmuch as I like blue, I think it’s too effeminate for a guy to wear blue shoes/sneakers, but that just my taste. Dress for Success tip: When in doubt, wear black or white. Sure-fire choices which never go out of style. Didn’t Elvis Presley sing about “Blue Suede shoes”? I remember years after he died. hearing that song


Von Says:

Fed’s stuck in the trunk. Ha, ha.


Duro Says:

Jane, did anyone mention that the hawk eye proved ref decision wrong, I mean when the ref got up from his chair, checked out the trace, called it out and it was actually wrong? If so, i must have missed something, and I apologize. It happened two times only in Novak’s matches in MC, both times not in his favor.

As website from Madrid, no comment…


Duro Says:

Good night for tonight.


Duro Says:

As for website from Madrid… typo.


jane Says:

Von – blue suede shoes, exactly! Most of the kids who I’ve seen wearing the blue sneakers around here are boys, so I think the standards have maybe changed since we were in our 20s. I like the blue shoes, especially how they look on clay, and I think they’ll look great on grass also. I like this look much better than the light blue and orange they had Djoko in last summer.

I notice the are calling the truck a “hotel” and telling Fed to “check out”, lol. Maybe he will this week.


jane Says:

Duro “did anyone mention that the hawk eye proved ref decision wrong, I mean when the ref got up from his chair, checked out the trace, called it out and it was actually wrong? ”

I am not sure if this came up, but I think so. I know pretty much all of us agreed with the suggestion to bring HE (hawkeye) into these events, in part because there are so many foot prints and ball marks that it’s tough sometimes to know which one is the right one. Did you see Soderling freak out about this when playing Rafa? Well it turns out, upon HE review, and even though he over-reacted, he was right and the mark was wrong. I don’t know if we talked about it with regards to Monte Carlo. I am pretty sure Von brought it up after that, perhaps during or after Barcelona at the beginning of Rome.

Have a good night.


Kimmi Says:

“I notice the are calling the truck a “hotel” and telling Fed to “check out”, lol. Maybe he will this week”

LOL – OK ! I missed the joke. thanks Jane.


jane Says:

Oops Kimmi – typo. “Truck” should of course be “Trunk”. Here’s the exact Tennis X. quote:

“2. Roger FEDERER
Get the hell out of the trunk, this isn’t a hotel.”

LOL.


Von Says:

jane: I’m a traditionalist, hence I like to see white/black trimmed sneakers in professional tennis matches. Kids wearing sneakers outside of professional tennis, that’s fine, but I wouldn’t let my kid out of the house with them.

What I’ve observed with Madrid, which is increasing my dislike for that tournament by the minute, the ball moves so fast on the surface which nullifies a clear imprint when it hits as opposed to the slower clay surfaces. End result, the umpire is making bad decisions because he is unable to clearly define the ball mark. sheesh.


jane Says:

I only followed the scores this morning Von but I will check that out if I get a chance to watch some matches tomorrow. I think they’ve got to consider instituting Hawkeye. I wonder if, with it’s more frequent use, the umpires aren’t becoming a little less adept at making in/out calls anyhow. You know how it goes; out of practice = rusty. Hmmmm.


Von Says:

I don’t think the umpires are rusty on clay when they are inspecting the marks, I think it’s a matter of the ball mark being unclear, and the umps errors could prove costly. Hardcourt is a different problem, the umps are too lackadaisical due to Hawk-Eye’s availability. I would like there to be a ‘happy’ medium.


Daniel Says:

Saint margot, thanks a lot!
Abusing your experties, do you know if there is any possibility of centre court mens semis or finals?! I am staying in a friends house (no hotels), so I am willing to pay even 300 pounds for semis or finals tickets.

Again, thanks a lot! At first I intended to watch RG but all tickest were sold out. I got a little, no a lot frustrated and even postponed my voyage at least to get a shot at Wimby. Now I am full of hope again, you made my day!

I am trying US Open too, but there is only seats on centre court where your nose bleed, much more altitude than Madrid! :)


Daniel Says:

In todays match one ball was called good by the ref (a service one from Lopez on deuce if I am not mistaken) and the TV showed it was out. Agree on Hawk Eye, as much as clay leaves a mark sometimes they all get confused (players and ref).

I also agree with Von, it seems like the clay is more compact, like it’s too wet. Sometimes when the referee cames down we couldn’t see the marks. And service marks leave a “v” type of mark when too strong, it’s weird. Ah, and a lot of bad ball bounces too, even Nadal said that after he practiced on it. Maybe the courts need some usage.


Von Says:

Daniel: How much are you willing to pay me for a suggestion I’ve thought about ref tickets?

I saw that match with Lopez/Monaco and it’s one of those marks I was referring to. Also, in the Fish match v. Tipsy, the bad ball bounces were many, and I can only attribute that problem to the clay being too wet, as you’ve mentioned. The umps made some pretty bad calls today. I vote Hawkeye all the way. I wonder if Wimby will have HE on the outer courts, because grass shows nothing to the naked eye.


Kimmi Says:

Did not see any matches too. Tomorrow the big boys are playing. Great, my best chance is the weekend – I cant wait.


jane Says:

Thanks for the clarification Von, re: the marks not being clear enough. In this case it’s difficult for the umps and the players. HE is much needed.

Daniel, you’ll have to give us a full report if you get Wimbledon semis or finals tickets! Are you traveling the world to all the slams this summer, you lucky guy?


Daniel Says:

Von, depends on how good this information is!
I feel like a watergate journalist and you are my “deep throat”. LOL!


Daniel Says:

Jane, so I wish! I had to chose between RG or Wimbledon.

US Open tickets are more acessible and I will be on vacation on September. This time I am just taking some days off and since a friend of mine is there, close to Wimby, I couldn’t let the oportunity pass.

But now there I have to bribe Von my time in London will be shorten!


jane Says:

I’d choose Wimbledon too Daniel; there are so many possibilities there this year so it should be really exciting.


Von Says:

Daniel: Go on line to check the London Times or neighboring newspapers for Wimby ticket sales ads. Scalpers usually place ads to sell tickets. OR, you can place an ad with your friend’s phone number or your email address for reply contact.

There’s more I can suggest, but that’s one of the easier steps. Is this enough appetite whetting for the moment?


Daniel Says:

Thanks Von, never thought on that. Well, at least for today I am satisfyed!
Some virtual Chilen Cabernet Sauvignon for you to close the night. Enjoy!


Von Says:

Daniel: Salud. BTW, how did you know I like Cabernet Sauvignon?


Von Says:

http://www.stubhub.com/

Daniel, also check out the above ticket marketplace.


Daniel Says:

Just a hunch! The way you described that you didn’t like too colored outfits, as I don’t made me think: humm, she must like Cabernet, as I do! Not that I am a wine expert but to me Cabernet is more soft and dry and flavors easier to appreciate. Merlot, Pinot Noir and Malbec are more, how can I say: dense, strong. You know what I mean or am I speaking nonsense?!


Von Says:

You’re right. Merlot has more of a robust flavor of the red wines as compared to the Cabernets, which have a soft, light flavour. Also, a better type of grape is used to obtain the taste and keep the wine on the light side.

About tickets, you can also call the ATP US office and ask for the London office number. I’m sure they will have some list on file as to where a ticket could be obtained. One other source, which could cost you nothing, is to find which corporate companies have boxes at the tourney and contact their PR departments. I used to work in Public Relations and I can tell you it’s a very efficient and cheap way to obtain a great seat if one of the executives can’t attend a match due to sickness or meetings, etc. It takes some phone time, but believe me if you get hooked up to the right office you’d probably come by some free seats. And, then look at you between the upper crust of the velly, velly, propah, rich and famous in London. TAH, DAH !!!!!! DRUM ROLL!!


margot Says:

Daniel: von has given you such good advice, I never thought of approaching corporates, please keep us posted! Otherwise, I’ve seen people camping overnight for tickets to the semis/finals, are you up for that? Daughter and I were at RG last year, I thought it was a fabulous tournament, we saw the women’s semis with Anna v Jelena, Jamie M going out in the doubles and some fantasic veterans including Johnnie Mac, Paoline and Becker, having such fun on court and displaying some fabulous tennis, made gr8 change from the usual intensity. Alas Monfils was playing Rafa in the semis so tickets were unobtainable! You mention US open, we looked at that but tickets seemed incredibly expensive, if otherwise please enlighten me. Of course for us RG much more accessible.
von: Rafa is rumoured to be going to play in …pink…whadyerthinkof that???


Von Says:

STAFF: WHY has this article been taken out of circulation? We now have three(3) articles on Serena/WTA and nothing of consequence for the ATP. How about leaving this article in the forefront and removing one of the Serena articles — very little interest there.

I NEED SOME SUPPORT FROM THE POSTERS HERE TO KEEP THIS ARTICLE ON TOPIC. THANKS.


jane Says:

I wonder what’s up with Tsonga; maybe the knee still? Anyhow, he’s lost out in straight sets to Ljubicic, who has been playing quite well since IW in my opinion.


jane Says:

I see Federer’s cruising against Soderling, even though he’s still serving at only 53%, while Murray’s match is much tighter.


Von Says:

Well, now you can stop worrying, Djokovic’s only perceived threat is gone.

Soderling is choking so much v. Federer. He’s losing 0-4 in the first set and can’t seem to hit one shot inside the court, UEs galore. I thought his Wimby choke was bad, but this is unbelievable.


jane Says:

“Well, now you can stop worrying” – haha Von, you mustn’t know me well; I’ll never stop worrying.

Looks like Murray may have a handle on the tiebreaker now. He’s up 4-2. Oops, make that 4-3.

Soderling, though he’s talented, never seems to be able to do too much against the “big boys”.


Von Says:

jane: Worry, if you must, but there isn’t any need for legitimate concern, whatsoever. he’s got it made to the SF.

What “big boys”? Is there such a thing as big boys? A difference in ranking, I suppose, which goes back and forth. Up today, down tomorrow. ha, ha. Soderling loves to fight tooth and nail against some players, another Tommy Haas, but he always chokes against Federer. Last year Wimby, he was up 5-1 in the third set and he choked serving for the set. And, what did Haas do, he gave Fed a walkover. I think Haas gives Fed these walkovers because he doesn’t want his H2H to be lopsided. It’s one of the reasons I respect Roddick, he keeps showing up and fighting despite the odds and the critics.

Not even Federer is able to pack the seats at la caja magica. They seem to have a drop in support from the fans. I suppose only nadal will fill up the seats. I don’t get it though with their scheduling. Between 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, nothing was scheduled for the Manolo Santana court, yet they put Murray, the No. 4 seed, on the graveyard No. 2 court. they did the same thing to both Murray and Roddick last year, which infuriated both players. The tournament director needs some advice on the tournament’s web page, scheduling, etc., because things are a bit whacked out.


Von Says:

This is for the guy who called me out on my information he found in Wikipedia, even though I didn’t extract it from there. Not to mention for the other two who have delighted in calling me a ‘cheater, ‘liar’ and the whole nine yards, using that incident as leverage and ammunition in their venemous posts. LOL, The Lord sure has a sense of humor and comeuppance is absolutely delightful. Whappa!!!!


Von Says:

http://www.yahoo.com/s/1070729

The link is for my 3;20 pm post. Maybe a few will acquire some much needed knowledge today. LOL.


Von Says:

Sorry for the many posts on Wikipedia but only one link at a time or else the post remains in queue for a while. Here’s another on wonderfully, flawed Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Wikipedia


Duro Says:

So, there’s three of them!? Shame on them! They must be wrong. Conspiracy prone bastards! Poor baby…


Duro Says:

Jane, are you there? I want to tell you something.


jane Says:

Hi Duro – I am here but not for long as I have company – what’s up?


Duro Says:

Well, I would like to say goodbye to you and to thank you for the friendly and inspirational thoughts that I had pleasure to share with you. It’s been a pleasure to communicate with someone as intelligent as you are. I won’t be posting here anymore. I simply don’t enjoy it as I used to do before. There is no much sense for me to stay any longer. I might drop by sometimes only to read the “words of wisdom” but that will be all. I wish you all the best and thank you for all. Say hello to Von in my name. I am sorry because of our incident, we used to get along so well, but that’s life… Love you guys!


jane Says:

By the way, Duro, I see that Djokovic is playing tomorrow both in singles and doubles, with a Serbian player I’ve not heard of before named Vemic; do you know anything about this player?


jane Says:

Duro! You can’t leave silly! I will miss you too much. From time to time people have these disagreements on the blogs, because we’re all passionate about tennis and/or our favorites, but the disagreements usually go away. Besides, where will you post about Nole? How can i read your predictions? You must at least promise me you will drop in from time to time to say “Hi Jane” — please??!!!


Von Says:

Duro: No need to be worry about that incident, these things happen all the time. Sorry is good enough. See you around later.

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