Federer Survives Haas Hair-Raiser, Monfils Next at French Open
by Sean Randall | June 1st, 2009, 6:54 pm
  • 267 Comments

Wow. What a French Open. Roger Federer nearly became the third shocking upset in as many days at one of the craziest French Opens or just Grand Slams in recent memory. Federer was all but six feet under against his buddy, Tommy Haas, earlier today in the French Open 16s.

The German Haas won the first two sets and then on break point at 3-4 with the Swiss serving in the third set a Federer inside-out forehand just managed to find the painted line saving the Swiss from sure defeat and place alongside his rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as week two spectators.

But, karma, luck, a gift, hard work, who knows, Federer hit the shot, recovered and won the battle going away in five sets. As I commented during the match, Haas’s subsequent collapse after his lead was almost on cue, and one really has to feel bad for Tommy who has had more than his fair share of suffering and setbacks while on the pro circuit the last ten years or so.

For Federer, it was a serious escape in a serious moment in a tournament, with Nadal and DJokovic both out, he absolutely has to have. So is he feeling the pressure? I’d say so.

Next up for Federer is my man, Gael Monfils, who thumped Andy Roddick in the fading light of court Suzanne Lenglen. Monfils raced out to a two-set lead when Roddick began complaining that he couldn’t see the ball. Well, right or wrong, it didn’t matter in the end because on a clay court Monfils is just the better player.

Roddick simply does match up against a speedy and powerful player like Gael because the Frenchman can retrieve just about anything Roddick can dish out.

Against Federer, though, it’s a different scenario. Monfils will not be able to get away with being perched so far behind the baseline in hopes of a Federer miss – who knew that Federer’s drop shot would come in handy against someone other than Nadal?

Also today we saw Juan Martin Del Potro beat down Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. I picked Tsonga just on emotion so I’m not terribly surprised at the result. DelPo is much more consistent of a player and if Tsonga’s not on a hot streak he can fizzle pretty easily, especially on clay.

DelPo now gets 2009 claycourt match win leader Tommy Robredo, a four set winner over the man who upset Djokovic, Philipp Kohlschreiber.

As for Tuesday, I see now there’s a wild rumor that Fernando Gonzalez may have a virus issue. Gonzalez did withdraw from the doubles but as I commented, until I see an actual news story I won’t believe it. And I really think Gonzo has a very strong chance against Murray and if the Chilean is in fact 100%, which I hope he is, I think he gets the upset win.

The other semifinal puts Rafael Nadal’s conqueror, Robin Soderling, against Nikolay Davydenko. So raise your hands if you had that matchup in your quarterfinal bracket at the start of the tournament. I’m guessing no one did, but that’s why you play. Anyway, I’m taking Davydenko because I don’t think Soderling will be able to recover from that historic win over Nadal. Players that post big upsets more often than not lose the following round, and that’s what I’ll go with here.


Also Check Out:
Let’s Watch Andy Murray Try To Style Grigor Dimitrov’s Hair [Video]
Gael Monfils Tried This Goofy Trick Shot For Some Reason In Halle Today [Video]
Hot Or Not? Maria Sharapova Gets A New Haircut (FAKE!)
Tommy Haas Undergoes Hip Surgery, Out Indefinitely
What Happened To Andy Roddick’s Hair? Is That A Mohawk? [Video]

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267 Comments for Federer Survives Haas Hair-Raiser, Monfils Next at French Open

Cindy_Brady Says:

I predict now…Monfils will upset Federer.

Monfils is playing more consistent while Federer goes into unexplained error modes. Especially these days, on his forehand. Had Haas been a little mentally tougher, Federer would be out right now.

Monfils is going to thump Federer in straight sets!


cmb Says:

Monfils is injured. He is playing great now in 3 sets but in 5 who knows ? Federer has beaten Monfils here last year as well in the Semis. He should be able to handle Monfils.


ThyGodisTennis Says:

I too can see Monfil winning.

He is in someways the sleeker version of Nadal. He may not have all the power but that guy will go after every shot. I do not see Roger with an exceptional drive to dictate matches.

He always says he is looking for his game and I wonder why he can’t remember to bring it along in his matching carry bag.

I love TMF but I have serious doubts.

Ok, I still hope he wins but Monfils is pumped and ready to die on that court.


Kimo Says:

Cindy, Even though MOnfils has been playing well this tournament, Federer is a nad match for him. Just becasue Monfils beat Roddick, who has been pretty luck so far this tournament, doesn’t mean he can beat Fed.

I think that once Tsonga is out, Fed’s path to the semi-final is now even easier, all that stands in his way after La Monf is eaither Del Potro or Robredo. I don’t think someone who move as clumsily on clay as JMDP can beat Fed, I’m actually concerned about a match up with Robredo. TBH I’ve never seen him play this well this deep into a slam (but again, Robredo maches are not my no.1 priority). He’s playing well and a couple of years ago he took a set off Fed at RG (albeit Fed was serving at 28% 1st serves).


andrea Says:

if anyone is going to take out fed, it will have to be in straight sets cos if they give him a chance to win a set he’ll fight back.

monfils gave him some grief in last years semi but i’m going for broke and predicting straight sets for fed.

but would love to see some more on court dives from monfils as he goes for broke!


Sean Randall Says:

Monfils is my guy, but I really think Fed’s going to hurt him with the drop shots.

And yes, Federer absolutely owns DelPo. What’s it like 12-0 in sets?


jane Says:

So you pick Federer Sean?


Peka Says:

Hmmm…

Let’s not judge Monfils after today’s match. He did look fantastic, but Roddick played way too bad, he was so nervous. Even without that, he would hardly win a set against Monfils on such a slow surface.
AR didn’t feel natural, not for a moment, couldn’t stand a rally >3 shots, so many netted smashes. I don’t know how he managed to win 3 matches here. Today he looked like he’s comming from another sport altogether.

In my opinion, Federer is the favorite for the SF, but Monfils can upset for sure, especially if Roger is nervous. But, I think that the Haas match helped Roger to be more confident.

The bookies stand around 1.25(Fed)/3.00(Mon). I tend to agree.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Monfils will also have the crowd with him. I also think Monfils has great belief and the defensive skills to wait for an inevitable Fed error. Players like Haas, Roddick, Mathieu, Acassuso don’t. They panic and go for bigger shots than is necessary at critical moments. Press too much. Make errors themselves and let Fed off the hook.

The players who give Federer the most trouble these days are fast and have great high percentage defensive skills. They transition defense into offense consistently. Players like Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray. They wait for Fed to make errors. Monfils can do this too. John McEnroe believes Monfils should have beaten Fed last year and he is better this year. He also looks like he has more pop on his serve.

We will see.


tennis_fan Says:

Is Monfils the last Frenchman standing? He’ll have pressure on him also. I give him a decent chance, but I think Federer will pull through.


Daniel Says:

Sean, I am with you too. I think Murray will go down with Gonzo.
Gonzalez remains the only player who hasn’t lost a set into quarters!

The problem with Monfils is that he doesn’t have a game plan. He will just go there and seize the moment (trying to use the crowd wiht him). I don’t think it will work against Fed, as much as Fed is playing with danger this whole tourney. It’s about time for Fed to deliver an “I am here to win” perfomance.


Wade Says:

No offense but Federer is clear favorite against Monfils who hasn’t yet been challenged by a true clay court player. I hate saying this but if Murray ain’t in the final Federer is going to be 2009 French open Champion. I’m a massive Nadal fan and almost cried when he lost to such a douche bag player in that being Soderling. Nadal’s the easiest best clay court player of all time and for him to achieve the record of 5 French opens in a row would of proved that. And with Federer I just can’t believe the luck the mans had over his career the gods are truly with him nothing can stop the mans fate in being the French open Champ and being crowned best of all time which could of been different if Borg or Sampra’s stayed in the game longer!


Hari Says:

I mentioned Federer’s strength to adapt in my comment yesterday (http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-05-31/1437.php#comment-71636). That was NOT in display today :(. He still managed to survive (sure, courtesy Haas). That is good news for Fed camp – it can only get better for Federer from here, level-wise.


Edward Says:

Wade, I think Federer made his own luck all these years, if one excludes his natural knack for the sport. he has put a lot of work into becoming the player he is, being a constant presence in the sport at the big tournaments. maybe Federer’s greatest achievement will turn out to be longevity, especially in this new era of physically demanding and draining tennis. maybe he’ll be the ultimate survivor. there’s no telling what will happen for certain.


tennis_fan Says:

I think the QF round and beyond is where great players like Federer tend to raise and tighten up their games. The closer they are to the finish line, the better they get.

The best chance to KO him is in the early rounds, and a couple guys blew golden opportunities.


sports fan Says:

I have been a sports fan for 30 years and have watched all the sports, and I can tell you that I have never known any athlete to have as much pressure on them as Roger Federer does here in the next 6 days……..First, he is now the favorite with Nadal losing and he knows that this oppurtunity will not come again, period!…….He is trying to win a record tying 14 majors…..He is trying to win a career grandslam……He knows if he wins it and goes to Wimbeldon with that unbelievable amount of confidence and wins that he will break the record and also regain the #1 ranking………I have watched tennis for 30 years as well, and can tell you that Roger deals with pressure better than anybody I have ever watched, and with out a doubt plays the game like no one else has ever played it, having said that the pressure that is on him is almost unbearable even for Roger Federer, but if anyone can do this it is Roger, and if he does win the French Open there will be nobody who is being honest that will not say he is the “Greatest Tennis Player of All Times”…….The next 6 days will define Roger Federer’s legacy and I think he knows it…….If anyone can do this it is Roger Federer…..Lastly, I am not a fan of one tennis player over the other, but instead a fan of the sport of tennis, and I can tell you that this loss from Nadal does nothing to diminish his legacy as one of the top two clay court players of all times… (1 Borg, 2 Nadal) but what it does once again is make the accomplishements of Roger Federer that much more breathtaking…..some of the records he has set will not be seen again in our lifetime, and that is a fact!…….He is one of the top 5 most dominant individual athletes of all times…….My list looks like this

1. Muhammad Ali
2. Lance Armstrong
3. Roger Federer
4. Tiger Woods
5. Jack Nickalas

P.S If Roger wins the French Open on Sunday he will go to number 1 for me without a doubt…..


FoT Says:

Sure Monfils has looked great against Bobby Reynolds, the world class player who had one a total of 1 career match this year in V. Crivoi, Metzer, who had not made it past the 3rd round of any slam in his career; and good old clay-court specialist – Andy Roddick. So I give Monfils credit – he handled these people like he should have, but I would like to think that Roger is in a different class on clay that those folks so I hope Roger uses his experience, his arsinal, and his H2H results with Monfils that he’s had in the past and take care of business.

People talk about the pressure on Roger, well according to McEnroe, Brad, and so many other ‘experts’, they are picking Monfils to win. He’s the last Frenchman standing. Tsonga said the entire country rest on Monfils…and this is from a player who really had no warm up before this French Open, and who, I believe, has a total of ONE career title in his life. So there is pressure both ways in this match.

I also hope that the crowd is better towards Roger than they were towards Roddick and Nadal. I know Roger is playing a Frenchman, but I think the French AND Monfils respects Roger to not let it really get ‘out of hand’.

So I hope Roger proves those experts who picks Monfils wrong. I want him to first get to that 20th straight SF in grand slams in order to give him a shot at getting this title. He has to get past Monfils first.

One match at a time!


Tom Foober Says:

Roger has a tough date with Monfils.

The FO title will read Roger’s name soon.


vared Says:

I like LaMonf for the win.


Von Says:

“Sure Monfils has looked great against Bobby Reynolds, the world class player who had one a total of 1 career match this year in V. Crivoi, Metzer, who had not made it past the 3rd round of any slam in his career; and good old clay-court specialist – Andy Roddick. So I give Monfils credit -” FoT

Giving with one hand and taking away with the other? How very magnanimous of you! Reality check! Every player, making it to the QFs, including Federer, has handled who they’ve been given in the draw. I suppose Federer had a very tough draw as compared to every other player at RG?

I’m by no means a Monfils fan, but I see this trend happening with you putting down every other player’s draw, save Federer’s? Initially, it was Roddick, then it was covered up with an excuse by you, and two Fed fans, who wanted to surrender their souls to the devil by saying you didn’t say anything out of line. Now we’re back to square one again, with you putting down the other players again? maybe, I have a comprehension problem, but isn’t this you’ve been doing all along?

WOW, does anyone else post here nowadays besides Federer worshippers? sheesh


Dan Martin Says:

I think the final 8 all have to like where they stand. Fed is the only guy left with a slam title so maybe that lowers pressure in one sense but he is also keenly aware of what is missing in his trophy case. Murray has a great chance to maybe win a title that seems least likely of the big 4 as his 1st. JMDP is a steady player with a lot to look forward to. Robredo has a chance to win this thing. He has never done well vs. Fed, but beyond that he can beat these guys on dirt. Soderling has to make sure not to come down too hard. Soderling seems to have the lowest chance to keep it together for another 3 matches. Davydenko could win this as well. He has had even better career credentials than Robredo and can play on dirt. Gonzo is an intriguing pick. He has big wins and near misses (AO runner up in 07 and Olympic medals in 04 and 08). Monfils does have pressure but he is playing a guy he nearly beat last year who is considered by the average fan to be a major favorite.


St4r5 Says:

There’s something wrong with the photo of Federe blowing that long trumpet! It’s just wrong.


margot Says:

Am very mixed on this one. Yes, I’d like Fed 2 get the only grand slam that he’s lacking, a good time to retire then! But equally I’d love someone new to get it, just to have something else in the mix, its been a long time since Novak did it.
As an Andy M fan, realistically I don’t think he will this year, next more likely. But fingers and toes crossed guys!


blah Says:

Monfils in four- his injuries haven’t shown up so far and Federer would be in big trouble if his forehand/backhand is a bit error prone tomorrow. Monfils will grind him down and could also switch to an offensive game. Few expected this final eight and it’s the perfect year for someone to come out of nowhere and win.

And yes, it’s funny that people talk about Monfil’s easy draw. Who has Roger beat up to this point so far? He was down two sets playing against Haas, who hasn’t been a threat in years and whose game isn’t really dangerous enough to challenge the top guys. These fans are true worshipers indeed- they only show up when Federer wins and when Nadal has been taken out. They’ll disappear as soon as they came if their king is slayed.

I also don’t know what everyone sees in Gonzo- I don’t think it’ll be a walk for Murray but I think Murray will win without being pushed to the brink. The Davydenko-Soderling match would also be very interesting- Davydenko hasn’t really been back for a while but if Soderling can keep up his game, he would win it easily. The power he was delivering on the backhand was absolutely ridiculous. I think the consistent Davydenko can beat him though.

Just so that I could laugh at my own picks later- my predictions-

Davydenko, Murray, JMDP, Monfils move on.


margot Says:

blah: am always amazed that Roger and Rafa fans seem to expect their man 2 win EVERY blooming match!!! The grief they seem to xperience when the inevitable happens, seems very strange to me.


TejuZ Says:

I guess the most under-estimated player here is Davydenko. And Federer rightly said it that hez a dangerous player very adept on clay and can beat the likes of Murray or Gonzo. Yeah he has these confidence issues while facing Federer, but against others he could blow them out just like he did to Verdasco. Masters-cup last year he beat both Djokovic and Murray. Also beat Nadal in the Miami finals last year. And he was top-5 for quite a long stretch of time.


TejuZ Says:

Agassi lost 2 French Open finals before he won it in his 11th try in 1999. Exactly 10 yrs later, Fed is trying to do the same thing in his 11th try after being a finalist 3 times.

Agassi was helped by the fact that he had to play a 1st time finalist Medvedev who choked after being 2 set up. Probably Fed will need similar kind of help here as well. Except for Murray all the others will be 1st time finalists at a Grand Slam. Probabaly a Davydenko in the finals.


TejuZ Says:

Sorry… i forgot Gonzo there.. he was a finalist too. Both of them losing in straight sets to Fed eventually


Von Says:

blah: “These fans are true worshipers indeed- they only show up when Federer wins and when Nadal has been taken out. They’ll disappear as soon as they came if their king is slayed.”

Spot on! I mentioned on the other thread that they come out of the wood-work by the handfuls, posting ad nauseam, especially since Federer won at Madrid. They want their faves to win EVERYTHING. Anyway, don’t get me started on the draw thing, which you know, is indeed a pet peeve of mine.

I’d love to see Murray win his first slam, or Davydenko, or even Gonzalez win a slam here, because they’ve been in the trenches for too long, fighting off the tough competition and making the task easier for the higher ranked players to win.

margot: “am always amazed that Roger and Rafa fans seem to expect their man 2 win EVERY blooming match!!! The grief they seem to experience when the inevitable happens, seems very strange to me.”

It’s called GREED. I’d like to see the day when slam counts did not determine a player’s greatness and/or worth. We see posters talk of other players a a “nothing player”. However, that’s another pet peeve of mine, and I honestly don’t think there could be any such person in sports, as a ‘GOAT’. To me, that’s something the fans identify with, as it makes them feel important that their player is the top dog, or in this case the GOAT. It’s also the reason we see some fans change their preferences/allegiances to the most dominant or one of the dominant players, because they want to back a ‘winner’, all of the time, hence the grief when the player loses. Who knows in 5 years some young kid could break the supposed ‘GOAT’ records, and then these discussions will have been moot. according to Laver, there is no such thing as the ‘GOAT’, and if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, then who does?


Von Says:

Tejuz: “Agassi was helped by the fact that he had to play a 1st time finalist Medvedev who choked after being 2 set up.”

Agassi was blessed by the rain, and Brad Gilbert’s rant, which prompted him to get back out there and beat Medvedev. The rain can be a curse to some and a blessing to others.


zola Says:

On Fed’s half, only Monfils can be of some danger, just because he is French ( and I am sure the crowd will support Fed too, like they did in his match with PHM).

Fed is an experienced player and has all the motivation in the world. I think he will try to play his best when nevessary and his H2H with Monfils is 4-0! To me this is a 60-40 to Fed.

Neither Robredo , nor JMDP will be a tjreat for Fed. I think he will reach the final very easily.

Murray is still trying to find his clay game. he is getting more confident, but I am not sure he can win Fed in the final of his life!

Davydenko and Gonzo will be no match for Federer. Perhaps if Soderling can reach the final and can play with the same resolve, he might be a threat. But we saw in AO how Tsonga beat Rafa and then went away in the final.

Again, I think this FO title is Fed’s to lose!


zola Says:

FoT,
I watched Fed-PHM and the crowd were very much cheering for Fed. He is swiss and the French love him.

Blah,
don’t be so quick in judging people! :)


Von Says:

margot:

I answered your post on the other thread, and also put in my two bits on the ‘collective noun’ topic, even though it was not addressed to me. Also, if it’s not too much trouble, could you please point me to the thread on which you posted the Sam Smith quote. Thanks.


Edward Says:

Von, I agree with your : “there is no such thing as the GOAT”

I remembered reading this comment before:

“There is a Pantheon of All-Time Greats. No single player can officially lay claim to Greatest Ever, since there’s always a player who has achieved something the other has not — and each of those achievements is significant.”


zola Says:

btw,
I think the WTA part is very exciting too. Safina has lost only 5 (or 7?) games! I would love to see her win her first GS title.
Serena is very much alive and fighting. She will play Kuzzy. I want to see how far Stosur will go.

Safina-Sharapova will be a nice match to watch and perhaps a Safina-Serena final will be very interesting.


zola Says:

Sean
***But, karma, luck, a gift, hard work, who knows, Federer hit the shot, recovered and won the battle going away in five sets.****

It is the mental toughness. I think that’s what separates the top players from the rest. They play better at the key moments and are able to stay focused and come up with something incredible.
We saw berdych go away in AO. Acasuso was not able to close a set. Haas wasn’t able to convert today.

That’s why I think because of his experience and confidence, Fed gas a great chance to win his remaining matches.


Von Says:

Edward:

“No single player can officially lay claim to Greatest Ever, since there’s always a player who has achieved something the other has not — and each of those achievements is significant.”

There are too many stats to be taken into account for any one player to hold simultaneously and to which they can lay claim. For instance, Sampras has 14 GS titles, with 65 titles, and held the No. 1 ranking for 6 years. Laver had 165 titles and Connors, I think 102 titles (?), which means that each has attained a significant stat that the others do not. Also, the generations are problematic, where stats were not kept as accurately as they are now due to our computer age. Furthermore, we have to take into account the new racquets and strings, which enable the players to hit ridiculous shots as compared to their predecessors. What would have been the likelihood of Laver, Gonzales, Rosewall, and probably Connors, et al., winning more slams and piling up ridiculous stats using the new racquets? I’d say it would have been very huge, and they most probably would have won a lot more slams than Sampras and/or Federer. Another comparison between the older guys vs. the present day champions, surrounds time. In the past most players had to work at other jobs plus play tennis due to the paltry prize money or zero prize money. I often wonder how our present guys would fare under those circumstances, considering how spoilt they are nowadays. I think the players of past eras absolutely loved the sport and were in it for the joy in their hearts, as opposed to the present players who are spoilt with huge pay checks and celebrity lifestyles.


Von Says:

margot:

For you — Murray’s wary of gonzalez, but not thinking of the final.

http://uk.yahoo-email.com/a/hBKJOM0AbKI4DB7W7qF-Qyucu-J/uksp19


Fabio Says:

I just don`t see Monfils` passive game hurting Federer, unless Roger`s unforced errors multiply. GM`s play confuses and throws off-balance players like Roddick, who can`t find the lines (don`t look for them?) too often, but it just gives Federer too many chances to finish the points.


TejuZ Says:

well.. Gael can certainly trouble Fed.. And if Fed’s game is a little off.. he starts making unforced errors.. and then he starts losing confidence pretty quickly in his own shots. yes, he does take risk and goes for the lines, but Gael is fast enough to retrieve most of them. I guess he has use the drop shots quite frequently, which will prompt Gael to play a more aggressive brand of tennis which hes not used to.


Shan Says:

Fed has an easy ride into the Semis. Monfils doesn’t have the variety in his game and is too frail. Bookies are right, you guys are wrong, nyah nyah.


margot Says:

von: thanks for post. Can’t remember thread but Sam Smith said Roddick was just “like a mature French wine, it just gets better with age!” I think she has a very soft spot for him. Actually their commentary was very complimentary, pity you couldn’t hear it.
I’d like to point out to both Rafa and Roger fans,that their heroes are both trying to beat one man’s grand slams records on clay and grass – Bjorn Borg! If we’re gonna discuss gr8s and I don’t think that’s useful as the Rs are still playing, lets start with him.


grendel Says:

I thought Monfils’match with Meltzer was one of the most entertaining of the tourney – spolit only by a limp 5th set. FoT, Meltzer is a class player, but he’s not really a competitor (except, I believe, in Davis Cup, where the communal atmosphere helps him). He generally gives Andy Murray, for example, a lesson or two before inevitably fading away. So I wouldn’t discount Monfils’ performance here. The Roddick match was of course disappointing, but Roddick has presence which I believe counts for a lot, and Monfils was in no way swayed by this.

So I think you have to say he is the form player out of him and Fed. What is intriguing about Federer at this slam is that we don’t really have much idea what to expect. Leaving aside the serve, he was so lacklustre against a solid but not brilliant (the way Acasuso was so brilliant)Haas, that one has to assume the pressure exacted by Nadal’s elimination was getting to him badly. Why should this ease as the prize creepingly draws nearer?

I am amazed at Shan’s remark about Monfils not having variety in his game. I should have thought he has more than anybody else,with the possible exception of Federer, and by quite a long chalk. As for being “frail” – well, sometimes he is. And sometimes he is unyielding. Trying to make predictions about Monfils is a mug’s game. He does have one negative feature in common with Roddick, sometimes he gets lulled into a passive game, and I suppose, given that he is essentially a counter puncher, that’s always a danger for him. What I mean is, as he’s doing his stuff, waiting for the error, he can lose focus and not realise it, sometimes he just pops the ball over the net as if he’s having a practice session with a young nephew – and then looks mortified when the ball comes sailing past him for an easy winner.

And yet few can switch so suddenly from defence to offence – that’s what specially makes him thrilling to watch. And whereas he can get an easy ball and do nothing with it, he can get a really difficult ball and make an impossible winner out of it.

So getting the balance right is crucial for Monfils, and no doubt this is especially what Roger Rasheed is working on with him. For if Federer can “prompt Gael to play a more aggressive brand of tennis which hes not used to ” as TejuZ says, he’s getting, under the guidance of Rasheed, more and more used to it.

So if Monfils is on song, don’t expect him to go away. He’ll be as strong as you like, and will be inspired by the support, not intimidated (as Mauresmo was). Federer is going to have to be a crafty old fox, and he has always had this side to him. He often used to grind out wins in adverse circumstances even at the height of his powers. People forget that, assuming it was all easy. Never. Federer may or may not be a boaster, big headed and so on as some people like to say. But where it counts, on the battlefield and away from the glitz, he is deeply respectful of his opponent. And this has been an essential ingredient in his success.


Shan Says:

@grendel – re Monfils variety I don’t mean tactical I mean strategic. Everyone on the tour has tactical variety.


grendel Says:

By tactical, do you mean variety of strokes and so on? Yes, everyone has all the strokes, I have all the strokes for that matter, though none of them are any good. Thing about Monfils is, he has a few that NOBODY else has.

Still, am a little puzzled, “tactical” doesn’t usually mean that, and I have always struggled a little with the distinction between “tactical” and “strategic”. The latter is supposed to be long term, but you can talk about a person’t tactics in that sense.

But you intrigue me. Are you saying Monfils can’t adapt when the situation requires a different approach? What is the evidence for this? I do remember he got stuck against Mardy Fish, and simply played into his hands. But I took that to Monfils being perverse, for he can be like that. But not typically so, I shouldn’t have thought?


St4r5 Says:

Wow, Soderling only gave Davydenko 1 game in the first set! Impressive!


TejuZ Says:

Soderling is pretty impressive in the 1st set.. confidence from his last win


St4r5 Says:

He could be the dark horse that would clear up the way for Fed in the final! He could be the one standing on the opposite side of the net to Fed, for only to give the crown to The God of Tennis.


TejuZ Says:

well.. the way hez playing right now.. hez on a hot streak… just like Verdasco was in Au open. i guess he will be tough to beat for murray or Gonzo


TD (Tam) Says:

blah quote-“These fans are true worshipers indeed- they only show up when Federer wins and when Nadal has been taken out. They’ll disappear as soon as they came if their king is slayed.”

You are so right blah. It is disgusting to see all the fair weathered Federer fans show up and gloat now that Nadal has lost. they weren’t around when Federer lost the number one ranking, wimbledon, and the australian open! People like them make me so happy whenever Roger loses. Their arrogance and sense of entitlement is disgusting.

btw the Parisians are the ugliest people in the world (both in looks and attitude).


Cindy_Brady Says:

Soderling looks to be this year’s “Martin Verkerk” of the French open.

Who would have thunk it?


Sean Randall Says:

Soderling destroying Davy while Azarenka falling apart.

Good to see that Gonzo is okay.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Very disappointed in DaveyDenko. Thought he would at least put up a better fight. Who ever plays Soderling in the semis better get ready for a war. It ain’t gonna be easy!


Daniel Says:

Soderling is playing like a champion. I consider him favorite to the final now. Let’s see how Murray and Gonzo will perform?!


TejuZ Says:

well. hez much better than Verkerk. He has beated clay specialist like Ferrer, Nadal and now Davydenko without much fuss. Hez in the same kind of form as Gonzo of 2007 AU Open, Verdasco of 2009 AUOpen, Tsonga of 2008 AU Open .. and all these three have beaten or given Nadal a tough fight along the way. Soderling has done one better by beating Nadal on his fav surface and when he was No 1.


TejuZ Says:

Wow.. women’s QF match is taking more time than the Men’s.. Safina coasting to victory i guess..


grendel Says:

Daniel, I agree utterly. To adapt Oscar Wilde, an unexpected win is one thing, two in a row is beginning to look serious.

Actually, I think comments here are quite restrained. This was one of the greatest displays of controlled, relaxed power hitting since Safin at his very best. I would be interested to hear from any old poster: has anyone, ever, given such a display of pure power at the French Open? One has to think now that if Nadal couldn’t find form, that is because Soderling did not allow him to.

I suppose Murray with his loops and changes of pace might disrupt Soderling’s rhythm. But say it’s a Federer/Soderling final: I’ve just checked, and the h2h is 9 – 0 to Federer. imo, that is about as misleading a statistic as it is possible to imagine. I’ve seen quite a few of those matches, and everyone has been as tight as a monkey’s whatnot. Always, Soderling was threatening to blow Fed away – but he used to be just that little bit flaky.

No longer. This man is contained and serene. If he gets to the final, he will win.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Where has Soderling been all this time?

Is he just a one slam wonder who will disappear after the FO?

Probably yes.


JCZ Says:

@ grendel: I’d accept a 3-0 h2h as misleading, but 9-0 is not misleading at all. You’re basically saying that Soderling was winning every match and then flaked out. Give the Fed some props, he’s beaten him EVERY single time the’ve played. That’s not misleading. Plus if he gets to the finals, he’ll be getting a lot of media attention for the first time (think Murray in the US Open last year) which might just get to him more than now.


Dan Martin Says:

No let down for the Swede.


St4r5 Says:

He will be one finalist slam wonder that will disapear after.


zola Says:

wow! Soderling won Davydenko in straight sets.
I think he is really motivated and for Murray or Gonzo it will be hard to stop him.

Azarenka is a fighter. I think this was Safina’s toughest match in thos tournament, but she won! congratz!

tennischannel tv does not have live coverage anymore! but has the first week’s matches on archive. I watched the first set and Monfils was very comfortable against Roddick. I didn’t see the drama in the second set, but read that the matches ended at about 9:40 pm. That’s a bit too. I don’t think playing the next day would have changed the outcome, because Monfils outplayed Roddick, but I don’t think it is fair to have matches that late without light and if a player complains, at least do something about it.

Again, I don’t understand why the matches do not start earlier, say at 10 am.

I think it was a good tournament for Roddick, considering he did not have much of a preparation for it. Still he was able to get to the second week. I had him to play QF with Federer, but maybe next year.

Kimmo,
You had asked me about my bracket in another thread. It is of course not in a very good shape with Rafa and Djoko gone. but I guess the majority had Rafa as the winner so it affected everyone! I think I am no 8000 something out of 17000 sthing! so top 50%?


zola Says:

oops, sorry, I meant Kimmi !

btw, where are you Kimmi?


Twocents Says:

Sean,

Just as I picked Djork over Fed, now I’ll pick La Monf over Fed. Not because of game, but because of nature’s order. Youth wins. Fed may have used up his nine lives at FO09, unfortunately.

I remember Yanick Noah, the last French FO champion.


jane Says:

Wow Soderling! Ya think he believes he can win this event? What a display of confidence and shot-making. He’s dictating.

st5r5 – “the god of tennis” lol, maybe you should start a church, or perhaps you have a shrine already.

Tejuz, Davy didn’t beat Djoko at the Masters Cup last year; Djok won both their matches.

Von, you’re back. Was wondering where you’d wandered off to.


jane Says:

I like Gonza, but I am for Murray here, would like to see how he matches up with Soderling now. And if by any chance this is a break through for Robin, he could do well at Wimbledon as well.


Dan Martin Says:

Sharapova is not doing so well.


Shaky Says:

holy cow. Serving 5-3 down 0-15, Gonzalez hit an incredible drop shot from the baseline. That’s really gutsy: he misses that and he’s in really big trouble.

Good match here though.


Daniel Says:

Gonzelez remains the player with the best performance so far, didn’t drop a set and is already 1-0 against Muuray.
Although, Sodering beat 3 straigh clay specialist with a flawless attacking game. Seems like as clay is more slow he has more time to execute his balls that as in Rafa’s matches are still deep, flat and heavy, plus the big serve.
If it is Soderling vs Gonzo the ball will be punished when they trade forehands.


zola Says:

oh man! Sharapova is fighting hard to avoid a double bagel!
Still great run coming back from surgery and if I amnot mistaken this will be her first straight set match in this FO!


andrea Says:

i thought davydenko would offer more of a fight…good for soderling to back up his major win against nadal. haven’t seen the match yet.

watching andy and gonzo…funny how hard gonzo makes tennis look.


Sean Randall Says:

Twocents, I’ll have my pick in that one later today. But if Gonzo does knock out Murray the pressure will really be on Federer considering the players remaining.

Maria getting shellacked. Can Dominika serve it out? 50/50 prop!


Shaky Says:

was gonzalez’s backhand always this good? He’s hit a number of shots from that side I didn’t think he had in him.

At the risk of irking the Murray fans, is it me or is his body language just horrible? When he’s upset he also looks like a scruffy napoleon dynamite.

Just so nobody gets mad at me: His baseline defense looks effortless though, really awesome.


jane Says:

Gonza’s forehand is nuclear so far. Murray needs to find a way around it.


Sean Randall Says:

Very surprised about Soderling. But hard to see him advancing to the final over either Murray or Gonzo.

I would like to know if anyone in the world had Soderling to come through to the semifinals in their French Open bracket.


Kimo Says:

Shaky, it has always been this powerful, but not that consistent. It has become more consistent over the years and that’s why Gonzalez beat Federer in the TMC. It’s because of that backhand.

But what about his forehand!!! What an AWESOME shot, and by awesome I mean frightening. It’s just explosive!!!!


Sean Randall Says:

My goodness, 6-0, 5-0, 30-30, will Dominika be able to close…????


Shan Says:

Soderling is quite the surprise story. Borg has him pegged to win the final!


Kimo Says:

Sharapova out!!!

I’m surprised by the scoreline but not the outcome. Maria was out for almost a year. She needs to have a few more matches under her belt. She played three setters the past three rounds. It’s pretty damn great that she reached the quarters.

I hope she focuses on her tennis now. Endorsements are ok, modelling is ok, but she has to remember that she is a tennis player first and foremost.

The grunter will be back.


St4r5 Says:

Wow, Murray and Gonzales have quite a good match. 63 and 36 each, this is going to be a long one I think, unless one of them breaks down.


Kimo Says:

St4r5, to me Gonzalez looks better overall. He’s more solid and on clay he has more weapons. He only lost the second set because of a lapse in concentration in the 6th game of the set. His stats are better than Murray’s overall. Way better. The match is on Gonzalez’s racquet and that’s why he’s going to win.


jane Says:

Gonza’s dominating this third set, don’t know quite where Murray’s gone to? Come back Andy…


Daniel Says:

Wow, Murray lost 13 straight points before Gonzalez made a silly mistake. Things not looking good for him now.


Kimo Says:

See now? 6-0 in the third. Gonzalez had control of the match since point 1.


jane Says:

Borg’s often been right on his predictions; he called the Rafa Wimbledon win last year. But he’s clearly got a soft spot for Robin considering he’s a compatriot and he stopped Rafa from passing his record and remaining only tied with it.

Oops bagel for Murray. Hope he’s full now and can settled down and play.


Kimo Says:

Why are the commentators so biased when it comes to Andy Murray? I know he’s British and all but get a grip!!!


Daniel Says:

Urgh! Murray smashes the feet of the net. Never saw him collapse like this before.
He should have made at least 1 game to get back in the match with some rhytym for the fourth.


zola Says:

wow! a bagel day!
Gonzo vs Soderling will be interesting. They both go for broke.

But I want Murray to win this although I had already picked Gonzo in my bracket. He is the one with more clay experience.


jane Says:

One thing Murray has to fix are these lapses, wherein he begins to play passively or just completely goes off the boil. Meanwhile, Gonza is always aggressive. With him it’s just a matter of whether the shots can stay in the court and he can keep his temper under control. But his forehand has to be considered one of the best in the game presently. And his serve is nothing to shake a stick at either! He’s been winning the majority of his second serves. Come to think of it, although it’s been improved, that’s another area Murray could work on, improving his second serve.


Daniel Says:

38 winners for Gonzo against 12 by Murray, both has equal unforced errors, 18 and 12.


Daniel Says:

18 and 17 erros, sorry.


Daniel Says:

Yes Jane, I think he is serving with a lot of slice in the second, in the T when in the ad side and Gonzo is already running away to hit his forehand.


St4r5 Says:

Kimmo – I agree with you! But I think Murray is under performing today, he could do a lot better than what he is doing right now. What happened with him?


jane Says:

I agree. While there’s no doubt Gonza is playing fantastic and aggressive tennis at the moment, I think Murray is capable of better. Let’s see if he can up his level at all today. If not, it seems as though Gonza will take it. But Murray needs to step up.


Kimo Says:

St4r5, Andy’s game is about mixing his shots up, always changing the pace and the rhythm, but to be able to do that he has to be able to gain the upper hand and the rally. Gonzalez has been preventing Andy from playing his game, just like Soderling prevented Nadal from playing his.


Daniel Says:

Murray is trying to change, he was more agressive with his retunrs in the last game, some were in and other were out. But agree with Kimo, Gonzaez is preventing Murray from aplying his game, Murray needs to faten his strokes a litle more, he is not bothering Gonzo enough.


jane Says:

Does anyone know if Soderling has ever ranked in the top ten? What’s his highest ranking? Just wondering if it’s now. He’ll certainly rocket up after this event.


jane Says:

There haven’t been many long rallies, and that’s down to Gonza I think. But right now you can see that Murray is going for his returns, as Daniel mentioned, and trying to play back behind Gonza so he can’t always hit that forehand.


Ty Says:

Ok, so evidentally Soderling wasn’t a fluke? What happened to the Brad Gilbert proclaimed “crowd killer” today?


Kimo Says:

jane, Sodeling’s best ranking was 15th. Last year he was ousted in the 3rd round, so yeah. he’ll rack up a lot of points.


Shaky Says:

Does Murray have an offensive, aggressive game to play though? I think of him as an amazing counterpuncher/tactics guy, but not someone that is looking to take control from the first shot.

This 4th set is solid. Nice to see him not roll over after that lame 3rd — fighting is always good.


Kimo Says:

What a forehand by Gonzo to break Murray’s serve. Take it home :)))


Kimo Says:

What a shitty game by Gonzo :(((


jane Says:

That’s the strategy from Murray, go to the Gonza backhand. He breaks back at love.


Daniel Says:

Murray painted the lines on 2 or 3 occasions and dictate play to break for love, that’s how he shouul be playing, not his usual passive style.


Daniel Says:

What was this drop shot! They are both showing mental breaks.


Kimo Says:

Murray played a drop shot at 0-30. that’s just stupid. Triple match point.

And Gonzo WINS!!! YES!!!!!!


jane Says:

Lots of errors at the end there from Murray. Sad to see him go, but a big congrats to Fernando nonetheless. *sorry margot, maybe Wimbledon?

Kimo I’d say that wasn’t a shitty game by Gonza where he was broken, it’s just that Murray played to his weakness, the backhand side. It is improved but it’s still his weaker wing.

Shaky I do think Murray can play aggressively, but his tendency is to counterpunch and work his way into a point; he likes to use the court that way.


Ty Says:

What a bizarre tournament.


Daniel Says:

Wow, if Fed had lost yesterday the top 4 would have gone out in consecutive days before the semis. Really dramatic tourney!
Congrats to Gonzo, for keeping his cool and his first RG semis.


zola Says:

I just watched the last game. what an effort from Murray to break and stay in the match. But then I think he was too nervous in his own service game.Still, a great run by Andy. I am sure next year will be better.

Gonzo-Soderling semi! 50-50!


St4r5 Says:

Good night every one! Looking forward to wacthing Fed tomorrow.


Ty Says:

MOnfils – Gonzalez final? yuck.


Kimo Says:

Roger will never get an RG like this again. I gotta say, this is by far the most exciting slam I’ve seen in a while. Why? because it was full of suprises. But I must tell u, had Federer lost to Haas I would have lost all interest in the tournament.

If Roger ends up losing to Robredo, Monfils, Gonzalez, Soderling, or Del Potro, all of them players he’s dominated so far, he has only himself to blame.


jane Says:

“had Federer lost to Haas I would have lost all interest in the tournament.” This speaks volumes. Can’t really understand it. It’s a grand slam and if you’re a tennis fan usually they’re super fun to watch.


Ty Says:

Yes ESPN build up Maria again. She almost got double bageled today.


jane Says:

Mind you, after having said that to Kimo, I guess it was similar for me when Fed was the only one winning everything. However, even then I watched every match, including the finals, and still remained interested in tennis per se and slams for sure. Different strokes…


Ty Says:

Jane: I’m a huge tennis fan also but I have to admit it that had Fed lost yesterday I most likely wouldn’t be following the French as closely the last couple of days.

I would just feel too bad for Roger I think.


Kimo Says:

jane, they’re only super fun to watch when the quality of tennis is good and when there is historical significance. What is the significance of Robredo or Soderling going all the way? Just about of the same significance as Johansson’s win at the 2002 AO.

But for Fed: Trying Sampras. Career Slam. Putting an end to the GOAT debate. Now THAT’s significant.


Shan Says:

It’s ROGER TIME!


steve Says:

I tip Soderling to go all the way, and Federer will be facing him in the finals.


jane Says:

Ty, I have faves too, but when they lose I still remain totally intrigued. I felt bad for Djok, Rafa, Roddick when they lost here, but I am still interested to see what transpires. I love watching tennis.


Ty Says:

Federer: Greatest of all Time.

Except for the fact that he can’t beat Nadal anywhere anymore. Except for that one guy he couldn’t beat who whipped him in almost every major final they played.


jane Says:

Kimo, so when Fed is not playing the quality of tennis is not good? I mean, look at the AO 2008 final between Tsonga and Djoko – it was total quality and nary a Fed or Nadal in sight. And it has to have historical significance? I don’t get it. Doesn’t EVERY slam win have that?


Ty Says:

Jane: I agree with that sentiment. But the way the draw has broken for Fed, it would be too much I think if he couldn’t pull through.


jane Says:

“What is the significance of Robredo or Soderling going all the way? ” This is so insulting to these players. The significance is that they’d win their first slams! Of course this matters, as did Johanson’s win. This is very arrogant to knock players because they don’t have 13 slams.

There are no GOATS, only goats. See Von’s points above.


jane Says:

Ty, I understand you’d be devastated if Fed doesn’t win when the opportunity seems ripe. However, my point is that I don’t get it when people just stop watching when their favorite player loses out. I like tennis too much to miss the end and outcome of a slam.


Kimo Says:

I’d say the only final where Fed got whipped by Rafa was the 2008 RG final, but other than that, the matches were pretty competitive: 3 5-setters and 3 4-setters.

Ty, Rafa is the king of clay. He’s the best clay courter or all time. I can’t argue with that. But if you take clay out of their H2H, it’s 5-4 in Fed’s favor.


fed is afraid Says:

if roger doesn’t win this now, he might as well retire. all the threats to him have been removed.


Kimo Says:

I dunno jane, the prospect of someone other than Fed or Nadal winning a slam is not that exciting to me.


grendel Says:

what a strange ending. Murray 3-4 down at 15-40, and two wonderful backhands down the line into the corner retrieve the situation. But finally an explosive Gonzalez forehand re-retrieves, as it were. But Murray looking good, and he deservedly breaks Gonzo right back. And then he just gives it away. Overall, Gonzalez certainly deserved to win, but the last game was just Murray brain dead. But I think the boy done good on the clay this season. Watch out for good results next year.

So now Gonzalez and new look Soderling. Fascinating. You’re a world weary and sceptical bunch on this site! Perhaps I am naive, I am certainly ignorant, but I can’t easily put into words how sheerly exhilerating Soderling’s play has been.

He stands there, straight like a soldier, readies himself, a surprising amount of preparation, and then he just clouts the bloody ball. Deceptive, no doubt, but it all looks amazingly simple. he gives the ball an almighty crack, no nonsense with spins and swerves and all the rest of it, subtle Mr.Soderling is not, and time and time again, the ball goes sailing to the lines. It’s the sheer simplicity of it which is so exciting, I think.

if he can keep it up, noone will beat him. This business of Fed’s 9-0 h2hwith Soderling. I insist that it is misleading, on these grounds. Of the 5 or 6 matches I have seen, Soderling was very close indeed to Federer – it tended to take tiebreaks to sort him out. But this a new Soderling, he is clearly composed, his confidence must be sky high and will be even further enhanced should he beat Gonzalez. I submit, in such circumstances, the stats are irrelevant. That doesn’t mean to say (supposing he makes the final) federer can’t win. Of course he might. But in my mind, at any rate, Soderling will start favourite.


jane Says:

I don’t get it Kimo. But like I said, different strokes…

grendel I am amazed by the composure and seeming effortlessness of Soderling’s as well. If he pummels Gonzalez like he did Davydenko, then he’s got a good shot at the title.


Ty Says:

Grendel: That is a very interesting string of opinions on the matter, well said. Does anyone else get a stricking resemblance of Martin Verkerk and his run here a couple years back when they think of Soderling? A power player just blowing people off the court unexpectedly making the final and bowing out under the pressure of the situation.


Kimo Says:

grendel, I see where you’re coming from, but if you look at how different stylez of play match up against Federer, you’d find that he dominates those who hit flat and hard, unlike Nadal, who faces the most trouble against that style.

I’ve seen a lot of Fed-Gon, Fed-Sod matches. It’s hard to see how they can beat Fed. When Gonzalez got his only win against Fed in the 2007 TMC, Gonzalez was unbelievably good, and that was a best of three match. In a best of five, no, I just can’t accept it.

If Fed loses now, it’s because he blew it more than anything else.


Kimo Says:

I’d also like to remind you guys that Murray, who had a WINNING record against Fed going into the US open final (and even better record now), crumbled under pressure on the first GS final of his life.

Do you see someone with an emphatic losing record to Fed pull of the W in a best of five?

I sure don’t.


margot Says:

Oh well next year! I don’t know if you saw the match but after the second set that Andy won so well and it looked as if he was gonna make it, they really heavily watered the court and it was so wet the umpire came and looked. I think this, Andy being unused to clay, completely disrupted his rhythmn, hence the bagel. Fourth set the court was much drier and he started to play much better, but it was too late. I guess its been a huge learning curve. I’m really looking forward now to grass and hard. Andy M fans can come out into the daylight again!
jane: I’m 500% with you. Of course I’m disappointed but it wont stop me enjoying the rest of the tournament. Actually it’ll be MORE enjoyable cos my nerves wont be so shredded! Now…will it be FEd or someone new and who am I gonna cheer for……?


jane Says:

Kimo, Murray did not “crumble” in the USO final against Fed. Do you recall the schedule? The rain delay? The fight he had with Rafa? Fed’s lucky Rafa was drawn on Murray’s side as he might’ve had even more of a fight on his hands. I think Murray’s loss in that final may’ve been partly down to the pressure of his first slam final but it was partly fatigue also.


jane Says:

hey margot, you have a point there about the watering of the court. That changes the dynamics doesn’t it? And I hadn’t really thought of that, but it would explain, at least in part, the drop off in the third set because I was wondering about that. I am so glad you agree about the other stuff 500%. I just don’t get these “tennis” fans who are fans of only 1 or 2 players and aren’t interested in watching tennis otherwise.


zola Says:

Kimo,
In the US Open, AGAIN, they put Federer’s match first, although Rafa was the number 1 seed. Rafa and Murray had to go through rain delay and sit in the locker room that day and come back and play the next day and it was an epic match that left no energy for Murray. He came back to play the final against a fresh and rested federer the next day!

So, now, I don’t think he crumbled either!


Von Says:

I’d like to see the new, rejuvenated Soderling, who has Magnus Norman whispering in his ear, play against Federer in his present ‘iffy’ form. In the past, Soderling has been able to push Federer, but for some reason, he seemed to choke when it really mattered, e.g., last year’s Wimby, he was leading 5-1 in the second set and choked to close out the set, letting Federer back in, and the rest is history. He’s also been able to push Nadal, but has been shattered in their last two of three meetings. However, he didn’t falter or bat an eye lid last week, and I feel that’s due to Magnus Norman. Anyway, it would be interesting to see what happens if he should meet Federer in the finals.

For those who can’t appreciate tennis if their faves are not playing, and it’s the reason why you’re blogging so enthusiastically at present, all I can say, you’re losing out big-time and are not in love with the sport but with a specific player or two. That’s your loss though, but it’s one of the reasons why the blogs are so top-heavy at times and completely Federer/Nadal saturated. Just remember that each of the 128 players in the draw contribute their own special talents and some have it more easy than others. Each player is a hero in my opinion and should be given respect for going out there, playing in the first round of a GS against the No.1 or No.2 player, and knowing fully well they’ll be pulverized. Question: Does that take guts or what, and would any of you be able to do that, in face of the humiliation that awaits you after the match is over? Let’s hear it for the 128 heroic men in the draw who give us pleasure, and not just the supposedly ‘big boys’.


Kimo Says:

“I just don’t get these “tennis” fans who are fans of only 1 or 2 players and aren’t interested in watching tennis otherwise.”

Oh come on jane. That’s unfair. I lose interest in any tournament in any sport if my charge is not in the running. I think that makes perfect sense. It doesn’t mean that the quality of tennis will stink now that he’s gone (although it will definitely drop), but since 2003, one has been emotionally invested in Fed’s accomplishments, and even though Nadal stood in his way on numerous occasions, those struggles made Fed’s accomplishments even more impressive.

Last year I was depressed for two weeks after Fed lost Wimbledon. People who didn’t follow tennis asked me if someone in my family died.

Maybe it’s a boy/girl thing. In football when my team doesn’t go through I just stop watching. I can’t. It’s too painful.


jane Says:

I don’t Kimo. But I guess that’s how it is for some. As I said, different strokes. Mind you, I don’t watch many other sports, hockey once in a while, so I throw all my interest into tennis. Perhaps that’s why I don’t lose interest, because I am more in it to watch the sport than one player. Don’t get me wrong. I have faves and am sad when they lose, but I don’t lose interested in the tournament.


steve Says:

Good run by Murray, also by Roddick, whom I respect greatly for his determination to improve even though he’s in midcareer. As we’ve seen this week, it’s not impossible that he might find himself in a situation where he could take another Grand Slam.

The Gonzalez-Soderling match will be hugely entertaining and the balls will fly fast and furious.

I think Soderling will make it to the final, and he’ll win unless it’s Federer. If Federer makes it to the final (which is not a foregone conclusion by any means), he will win it.


Ty Says:

Von: A couple things.

First off, I don’t remember Magnus Norman being anything close to a “mentally strong force” on the court so I’m just not sure what he could offer Soderling as far as advice besides strategy, etc.

Also, I don’t think anyone here would have a problem (if they had the skill) of going out and losing in the first round of a tournament. I would glady accept the $32k paycheck for 1 match any day. And I think I speak for everyone here when I say I would much rather be doing that than wasting away at the job I have now.

And Jane, I can’t take anything you say seriously because everytime I see “Jane says” all I can think of is the song with the same title..lol.


zola Says:

margot,
sometimes they ask at the beginning of the match if the players want the court to be watered, because it can get too dry and fast. I guess if either Murray or Gonzo had objected, they wouldn’t have done it. But yeah, it makes the court much slower and changes the dynamic.

Murray has practiced on clay all his youth. So he is not “unfamiliar” with clay. But he hasn’t done so well during the clay season. I think he said beofre RG that he was trying to change his game too much but now he is just tweaking a few things and it is working. I think he had a great run this year. next year will be semis or better.


jane Says:

Very well said Von “Just remember that each of the 128 players in the draw contribute their own special talents and some have it more easy than others.”

I do think the early round matches are some of the most exciting sometimes because we get to see those other players fighting valiantly. And qualifiers have to play an entire tournament before playing the tournament!!


Von Says:

Kimo: You’re forgetting that Murray is NOT a clay specialist, and it’s not about pressure. Federer grew up on clay, but clay’s not Murray’s forte. Let’s see what happens at Wimby or the USO should they meet.

Margot: Did you see my post on the other thread re the collective noun? I hope you did, considering it was a labour of love. LOL. Thanks for the Sam Smith quote, BTW, that was super nice of him. You know there’s a saying ‘a prophet is never recognized in his own country’. That’s very appropos to Andy R, an d it’s the reason why some of the writers are so ugly towards him here in the US, especially here at Tennis.X.

Well we can both cry on each oter’s shoulders for our Andy M. That same watering of the court happenend to Roddick in Madrid in his last set with Federer. I saw Roddick slip just after they watered the court and a couple of other times and he just went away. I wanted for him to get out of there pronto, with visions of Rome ’08 coming to mind. Clay, they can keep the dirt for all I care.


jane Says:

Ty, ha ha. I loved Jane’s Addiction and saw them live in the first Lollapalooza in 91. Cool!


jane Says:

Murray did play in the Roland Garros junior’s final but lost to Del Potro, right margot?


fed is afraid Says:

and murray was jobbed out of a break in the second set. if murray gets the break in the second set we are talking about a whole different match.


Shan Says:

@Jane – there are GOATs. In hockey there’s Gretzky, Orr, Maurice Richard. In dodgeball there’s Patches O’Houlihan and Steve the Pirate. In tennis there’s GOATs as well. Every sport has more than one GOAT, it’s not an exclusive singular club. That’s why halls of fame exist, to celebrate all the greats of each sport.

I’m routing for Federer because of the higher historical significance and also for the chance I would have to witness a rarity in history, just like I wished I could have been a part of tennis when Borg was setting an important part of history. These types of moments are rare and few between.

If Soderling or Gonzalez win Roland Garros their moment in history will also be remembered but it will not be as significant as if Federer wins.


MMT Says:

grendel said: “Still, am a little puzzled, “tactical” doesn’t usually mean that, and I have always struggled a little with the distinction between “tactical” and “strategic”.”

That’s about the best question that’s been asked in a long time, and here’s my shot at the answer.

I am a firm believer that in tennis you have only 2 generic strategies that you can employ: 1) you can try to win points or 2) you can cause you opponent to lose points. Everything you do in the game of tennis is geared towards one of those two objectives.

Tactics are the methods employed to achieve those ends; counter-punching, coming to net, serving and volleying, lengthening the court, attacking the serve, attacking the return, shot selection and placement.

Skills are the tools used to employ tactics – topspin, slicing, wide angles, short angles, moon balls, volleying and variation of the serve.

Fundamentals are all the details of a players skills that they need to master, in order to execute them consistently and effectively.

If we look at a player like Monfils, there are holes at every level of this tool set, and as such, his results are inconsistent and vary based on conditions. If you look at a player like Federer or Nadal, there are very few holes in their tool set, and as such they have a much higher success rate.

Well…that’s how I see it.


Kimo Says:

Jane Said:

“I do think the early round matches are some of the most exciting sometimes because we get to see those other players fighting valiantly.”

I wonder if you think that applies to the women’s tour. Too many 6-0s and 6-1s in the first three rounds, don’t u think?


sheila Says:

watching roger play the last 4 matches makes me extremely nervous about him winning this. he is obviously under a lot of pressure w/nadal & djokovic out, but he certainly doesn’t look in top form. monfils looks in top form. whats on paper doesn’t mean anything @ this point. i am simply hoping federer woke up from the haas match like he did @ the us open last year after almost losing to andreev in 5 and gets his a game going. he, in my opinion, seems 2b playing so passive while the other players are so aggressive. if federer should win the french open, i should think it would help him mentally, however, if he loses to monfils are any of the other players, i feel it will be a total mental devastation for him and he will not bounce back and win any other major. so much pressure is on him and he may be 4-0 against monfils, but the way hes playing and monfils is playing, i have to give the edge to monfils. i am a federer fan all the way and will be rooting for him all the way. this is his last opportunity to win the french and lets face it, if he loses, how can that not take its toll on him mentally


Kimo Says:

Shan Said:

“In dodgeball there’s Patches O’Houlihan and Steve the Pirate.”

LOL….Dogde, Dip, Duck, Dive and Dodge.


jane Says:

Okay Shan, I’ll agree with you IF you pluralize it. In my opinion of course there are GREATS in every single sport, and even greats of a particular GENERATION. However, there are NO GREATEST OF ALL TIMES. For one, time isn’t done. Unless we have the apocalypse directly following a Fed win at the FO, I will not accept that he is “THE” GOAT. If the end of times doesn’t arrive after all, and he does indeed win it, I will accept most definitely that he is ONE OF the many great players in this sport. Frankly, he is already that whether he wins or not, ain’t he?


jane Says:

Kimo, the women’s tour is a whole nother ball o wax tho innit? I can’t say I love watching routs. But I will say I have renewed hope for the WTA after this event. Sharpies back, Safina’s keeping her head, Azarenka is a comer. So things are okay. Not great. But okay.


Von Says:

Ty:

Yes, $32K is a lot for a day’s work if we look at things that way. However, you need to look further than the paycheck, which is not enough, if we were to take into consideration that there’s more of an out-put than an in-put. First of all, these guys train for several hours per day and have to employ a trainer and a coach. Coaches and physios are very costly to retain. Hence, for each pay-check received, a pie is formed and cut up according to the players’ expenses, and the bottom line tells me that not much is left over from the $32K, so those guys have got to love playing in the sport more than for the paycheck. And, that’s the way the cookie crumbles!

Re: Magnus Norman, no he hasn’t been a huge force, but he did get to an FO final and therein lies some experience. A new voice in a player’s ear, even though he’s set in his ways can be very helpful, and nothing can buoy someone’s spirits if they are being told they ‘can do it’. Per Tom Sawyer: “a compliment can go a long way.” it’s the self-belief that’s been lacking in Soderling’s matches with the top guys. And, I don’t buy it when people say that there’s nothing psychological when some players choke and can’t stay in the match, especially when they are closing it out. I’d say there definitely IS.

“And Jane, I can’t take anything you say seriously because everytime I see “Jane says” all I can think of is the song with the same title..lol.”

FYI, jane has been a stalwart poster here throughout, and has contributed hugely to this site, so I don’t think you should make fun of her.


tim Says:

Seems like RG is playing fast this year, with clay courters like Nadal falling like flies to the power players like del Portro. I expect to see Soderling vs Fed in the final, w/ Fed winning in 4 sets. Fed will beat Monfil in 3 close sets- Monfil is fast, but gangly, and his strokes are hard to read/anticipate because they are so unorthodox. Probably best for Fed to play his forehand, as it’s most susceptible to errors. Del Portro is looking more favorable though, if he gets to the finals, he wins.


Ty Says:

Von: I wasn’t poking fun, hence the lol. I thought that was the assumed expression of humor used on blogs such as this one. Maybe I’m just out of the loop.

The question asked was “who would have the guts to go out and play the no.1, no.2 and get annihilated”, not “who would want to be a professional tennis player and go out there and get annihilated by a top player”. I was simply answering your question as it was literally asked.

I agree that a huge part of tennis is psychological when there really aren’t that many things that seperate the top players from each other. Look at Fernando Verdasco this year compared to how he played last summer leading up to the USO.


Von Says:

People keep talking of the ‘pressure’ on Federer to win the FO. I’d like to ask what pressure? As far as I know, this is all self-imposed pressure from Federer himself and his fans, who want him to get that elusive FO trophy. What’s the big deal of ‘it’s now or never’, who says that? Has time run out for Federer that it’s now or never? I don’t think so. And, even if Federer wins the FO, he’d just be tying Sampras’ GS record, not Sampras’ 6 year-end No. 1 ranking, nor his 65 titles, nor Laver’s 2 career GS and his 165 titles. As I’ve mentioned before, there isn’t anyway any one player can be the greatest of all time, unless he has dominated in every category, and Federer is a far way from dominating in every category. He’ll go down in the stats as “ONE’ of the greatest, but NOT ‘the greatest’ as some of his fans want him to be and to hang that shingle around his neck. Get real people, it ain’t gonna happen, so relax, please.


steve Says:

For those looking for a good omen for Federer–he played a five-set match against Tommy Haas before, at the Australian Open in 2006, and he won that tournament. That one was even worse in some ways, because he was two sets to love up and lost the third and fourth before getting it together in the final set.

I really want him to win this one. I’m nervous that he might not make it to the final, but it’s not for nothing he’s made it to 19 consecutive Grand Slam semis (and 14 of the last 15 finals) and I believe he’s very hungry for this win and that he can do it.

As was so vividly demonstrated on Sunday, that “weak competition” canard that’s trotted out to diminish Federer’s accomplishments is crap–any player can beat anyone on any given day.

Soderling was not one of the usual suspects–Djokovic or Murray or anyone who had been tabbed as a future champion–he was unknown before this, and had an 0-3 record against Nadal. You wouldn’t have found one bookie in the world willing to bet against Nadal in that match.

Anyone who can maintain the level of consistency at the Grand Slams that Federer has, year after year, is very special, and I hope people understand how great an accomplishment that is in and of itself, even irrespective of how many Grand Slams he wins.


jane Says:

Here’s Soderling’s press conference, in which he is smirking with pleasure

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/interviews/2009-06-02/200906021243959298412.html

And Von, thanks. Don’t think I’ve ever been called stalwart before.


Von Says:

Ty:

“Von: I wasn’t poking fun, hence the lol. I thought that was the assumed expression of humor used on blogs such as this one. Maybe I’m just out of the loop.”

No, it’s I who should apologize, my humor is off today, which is unusual for me since I love humor, so sorry. I’ve been working too many late nights and am a bit flat today, hence, I’m devoid of humor. Hope you understand that I have to get my buddy’s back, and all’s fair on the blogs, so you’re right again.


Von Says:

Ty: “Look at Fernando Verdasco this year compared to how he played last summer leading up to the USO.”

I’d probably be knocked over by one of Verdasco’s fans, but I think Verdasco has had his run and he’ll be soon back to his old ways. If it does happen, remember who said so. LOL.


Von Says:

“As was so vividly demonstrated on Sunday, that “weak competition” canard that’s trotted out to diminish Federer’s accomplishments is crap–any player can beat anyone on any given day.”

This is why I take umbrage to some people’s remarks when they put down other players due to their draws. We’ve seen it done so many times when a WC can knock out an in-form player. Nothing’s a sure thing anymore in tennis and none of the players’ wins should be put down.


jane Says:

Soderling and Gonza have not played since 2007.Their H2H is 4 to 3 in Gonza’s favor with Gonza winning the last 4 matches and Soderling the first 3. Not sure if any of this matters anymore though.


jane Says:

Soderling and Gonza have not played since 2007.Their H2H is 4 to 3 in Gonza’s favor with Gonza winning the last 4 matches and Soderling the first 3. Not sure if any of this matters anymore though.


margot Says:

Well Kimo you do like to knock a man when he’s down, don’t you? For goodness sakes USOpen was Murray’s first Grand Slam final!
jane: yes, delpotro beat Andy M junior clay court RG and went on to win. I’m still with you sister! Even when I’m watching a match between two players I know nothing about, I still rapidly start wanting one of them to win! Makes it more interesting! The women’s is shaping up. Safina had a terrific scare. Young Rumanian(?) was brilliant, gr8 range of shots.
Who do you thinks gonna win now? Is Fed gonna come through or are we in for another upset. Must say Soderlings impressive. £ sets against Davydenko!
von: have u thread for collective nouns please, I’ve 4gotten, I find it quite confusing on this site sometimes.


jane Says:

Sorry folks don’t know why that last comment posted twice.

margot, I don’t know who’s going to win. You’d think Federer is the obvious choice, but he’s looked a bit shaky here so I am not 100% convinced. I think it’ll be easier to speculate after the other quarter finals are played.

Right now, I am just “enjoying the ride” on the advice of our local Tennis brain MMT!


Ty Says:

Has anyone actually ever seen Safin and Safina together in person? Just sayin’. That’d a hell of a way to make some money for Marat now that his career is dwindling.


Von Says:

margot: Here’s the post:
____________________

“Von Says:
margot: Sorry, I didn’t see the quote from Sam Smith re Andy R., as I’ve only been reading the posts on a very limited basis, but thanks for thinking of Andy R. I’d like to see Davydenko, Gonzo, or Murray get to the FO finals and win. I think Davy and Gonzo are getting up there in years and should win something for all of their many years of toiling in the trenches, so to speak.

I saw your post on ‘collective nouns’, and as someone who’s been British schooled through A levels, and then American college and further, I’d say it depends on the country’s preferred usage, i.e., to use the noun as plural or singular, which means the collective noun could be used with either a singular or plural verb. In American English, a collective noun, e.g., a company, corporation, ‘media’, is usually used as singular, and referred to as: ‘is’ and ‘its’, e.g., the media ‘is’. On the other hand, for British English, collective nouns are used as plural with the verb ‘are’, e.g., the ‘media are’ and ‘their’. However, in formal writing, which can be confusing, the singular and plural forms should not be used in the same sentence. I suppose then we get into parallel construction, etc.

Hopefully, I’ve not been too confusing, but then again, the English language IS very confusing, isn’t it?.

Posted June 2nd, 2009 at 3:21 am
_____________________


JCZ Says:

This is incredible for Fed. He has a 38-1 against the rest of the field with the only loss coming to Gonzalez in TMC a couple of years ago.

Soderling : 0-9
Gonzales: 1-12
Del Potro: 0-5
Robredo: 0-8
Monfils: 0-4

Ridiculous! He just has to show up and play his game.


margot Says:

von: thankyou! And let the good times roll at Queens and Wimbles.
JCZ: after this week, do those stats mean as much, Fed looked v. nervous against Haas. Any left handed defenders on that list….?!


FoT Says:

“blah Says:
my predictions-
Davydenko, Murray, JMDP, Monfils move on.”

Blah, I hope your perfect record continues tomorrow! lol!


jane Says:

FoT, please note that blah’s predictions were sound ones if we go by the books – both Davydenko and Murray are the higher ranked players. Federer even went so far as to say that Davydenko could win the tournament.

Just goes to show that predictions aren’t always by the books or by past history; they go more by current form, and even that hasn’t always held in this event. In fact, they can go down to day form or confidence or crowd support or whatever. Which goes to show that predictions can become awfully unpredictable in certain situations.


JCZ Says:

margot: No left handed player left in the tournament. I listed the players left in the draw. He’s owned them all. But you’re right, if he comes out playing badly and nervous it may not matter. But I think it will ;)


blah Says:

haha, two down, two to go. I knew I would screw the picks up badly. oh well, hope we get to see closer contested matches tomorrow, whoever wins. How weird it is that offensive, go for broke guys like Soderling and Gonzo is in the semis of the french. Perhaps the clay is playing a bit weird this year.


FoT Says:

Jane, I’m not getting on Blah for his picks, I just want them to continue to go the way the went today! So since he picked JMD and Monfils tomorrow, you know I hope the opposite happens. That’s all. I’m glad blah is (as he/she said) ‘screwing up the picks badly”. I just hope the trend continues. Go blah!!!!


jane Says:

LOL FoT. I see the fan logic behind it all now.

blah, I agree that the clay is playing faster today. JMDP has been saying all tournament that it is playing fast, especially when the court is dry and it’s hot. Same with Haas playing like he did; he’s more of a hard court, grass court kind of guy.

I won’t get into conspiracy theories but it’s difficult not to recall all the people who said that the grass at Wimbledon was slowed down deliberately so Nadal could win it. Ha Ha. Well, if that’s the case, I guess it follows that the clay has been strategically sped up so Soderling, oops, I mean Federer can win. LOL!!! ; )


Shan Says:

Whether one has been sped up or another slowed down, the tour has made all surfaces more alike over the past 20 or so years. They’re not all identical but speed-wise they’re more alike than they used to be. I have no doubt that the main driving factor behind it is more global marketability of the top tennis players.

Some people hate what has happened with the homogenization of court surfaces but personally I like it since I believe that it is the only way to make tennis a mainstream sport, and thus something that more parents can dream as a viable career for their kids.


Von Says:

From what I’ve been able to gather (and I’m a gatherer of facts) each court at RG has been playing differently. Yesterday, Lenglen was playing very slow and heavy, and even though Monfils beat Roddick, I have to wonder if the court was playing faster, would Roddick have gone away so much in the second and third sets. Also, the skies began darkening rather quickly by the minute, and Andy became so very angry due to the tourney referee’s lax attitude and stubbornness to his plea for stoppage of play. Roddick began hitting out wildly and into the net, uncaring as to where the ball landed, which is understandable if he couldn’t see the ball.
Monfis was behaving like the perfect l’enfant terible’ when roddick was complaining about the light and didn’t want any part of the discussion. He was also raising his hands continuously to spark the ‘froggies’ in their wild cheering. What a guy and a true sportmasn! Too bad that there’s so much gamesmanship from players who are so eager to win, that they’l resort to the dark side.

I live in the sunny state of Florida where the sun shines until about 8:00 pm in the spring, at 9:30 pm it’s very dark, and without electricity, I’d not be able to see anything. I know from having also lived in Europe, that it’s pitch black at around 8:30 pm, which makes me wonder how the FO director could have been so mule-headed in his decision. From TV it looks lighter, but that’s because of the camera’s lighting and it’s not the actual conditions we see. Even with the camera lighting the clouds overhead were very dark.

I know there are those who would say the conditions were the same for both players, but eye-sight is individual and does vary considerably from person to person. For example, we see kids wearing glasses at age 10 and some adults never have the need to do so. Hence, it’s all relative on an individual basis.

I also think at the Wimby ’08 final, play should have been stopped due to the poor light and carried over to the next day. I know of the arguments for and against, but we still need to question the individual tournaments’ decisions in matches, and take into consideration the difference in every player’s physical makeup. ATP should have a law that play should stop at open air courts, if the lighting is not appropriate for any player, unless there’s adequate lighting, or else players will lose important matches due to the differences in eye-sight.


Shan Says:

The thing that still flabbergasts me to this day is – why the heck don’t the majors have court lighting on all courts?!?

Oh…forgot how many tournament directors it takes to screw in a lightbulb…


sensationalsafin Says:

I agree with Shan. The slams are the top of the top tournaments, they can’t afford lights on their main courts… that’s just, awful.


margot Says:

agree with all above comments, to have a player lose cos of bad visibility. mad!!
von: was feeling a wee bit down but then I thought “didn’t our boys do WELL at the French Open?” Beyond yours and my expectations I’d guess. “Let’s look on the bright side of life” tum ti tum, night folks.


Von Says:

It’s not a matter of screwing in bulbs, it’s the fact that the outdoor tournaments have not been built with adequate lighting to begin with, hence lights can’t be turned on. There should be electric poles with overhead wires similar to street lighting and/or flood lights focusing on the courts. To do that wouldn’t alter the courts aesthetically but would provide the much needed lighting to enable the players to finish their matches without having to focus so hard on trying to see the little green/yellow ball, which becomes increasingly smaller in size as the environment becomes darker, IMO.


Von Says:

margot: Thanks, and I agree, our boys did do fine, beyond our expectations at the FO, so I should look on the bright side. I just dislike what could have been scenarios that could have never been, had some things been different. Oh well, onto Queens, Halle and Wimbles for our guys. Sleep tight and don’t let the buggies bite, but it’s only 4:45 pm for me!


jane Says:

Yep, they need lights on the courts; like at the USO, when the players play “under the lights.” Not only shouldn’t a player have to lose because of visibility, but as well, it’s not really fair to post-pone matches and make the players play the next day again. In slams, players are supposed to have in-between days off, not to finish their postponed matches. And this applies to all those who are scheduled to play last in the day. Which brings me to scheduling; as much as possible they should try to schedule players as fairly and consistently as possible. Of course this can be incredibly difficult. But if one player plays until midnight in a night match under the lights, then they should try not to schedule that player to play early in their next match. That said, I am aware it’s impossible to give all players equal recovery time because they never know how long a match is going to go let alone who is going to win. However, they do have the power to shuffle things if need be, and they can anticipate a certain amount. I know they try to accommodate fans and time zones, but fans will watch their favorite no matter when s/he is playing. They should accommodate the players first in this situation in my opinion. Others may disagree. But that’s how I feel.

Lights, and, as much as possible, consistent scheduling.


jane Says:

So Shan – would you say then that there are no more surface “specialists” or that this will go by the wayside in the future? Just curious.


vared Says:

Never saw him collapse like this before.”

That’s why I can’t understand why they picked Murray to win AO this year and people even picked him to win this FO with Nadal out. He has not proven himself in 5 set situations. He was exhausted, it looked like to me.

Gonzo looked very good as did Soderling-poor Davy. PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEE Monfils.


vared Says:

Wow, Laura Robson the junior female Brit hope knocked out in the 2nd round.


Mina Says:

Jane – I totally agree about the scheduling. It’s ridiculous that with the amount of money the FO generates, that they can’t install lights to prevent matches having to be postponed and resumed the next day.

They complain all the time about how the top players don’t play doubles. How the heck would they possibly be able to at the FO with the scheduling nightmares that they would most likely encounter? Just look at the horrible scheduling and back-to-backs that Venus and Serena had to play last week as an example. Any high-ranked player with a chance to go deep would be risking a lot with the scheduling if they opted to play singles and doubles.

If Wimby has finally come around and installed a roof and lights at Centre Court, the FO can too!


Shan Says:

@Von – in the past 150 or so years humans have invented the combustion engine, electricity, the telephone, computers, flown to the moon, and created the internet. I think we can figure out how to puts lights on courts whilst keeping the courts aesthetically pleasing!

@Jane – Players who play exclusively on one surface most of their lives will probably perform better on it, even if all other surface types are equal, just as a mental thing. But there will always be differences even on the same surface due to altitude, humidity/environment, indoor/outdoor, etc. So there will probably always be specialists but the playing field will be a bit more level i.e. hardcourt guys will be enticed to play clay more


I like tennis bullies Says:

it’s pretty sad that the “GOAT” need to have all his rivals removed from his path before he can win his last slam


Von Says:

vared: “PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEE Monfils.”

Sounds like a wrenching plea straight from an agonized heart there, my friend. LOL. I know what you’re thinking, but it’s still funny, from my vantage point any way. LOL


Von Says:

Shan: “I think we can figure out how to puts lights on courts whilst keeping the courts aesthetically pleasing!”

I agree, and it’s why I mentioned that having lights installed would NOT hinder the courts
aesthetically. Here’s a portion of my post: “To do that wouldn’t alter the courts aesthetically but would provide the much needed lighting to enable the players to finish their matches ….”

It’s a matter of breaking tradition from some old fuddy-duddy thinking, as was demonstrated last evening with Roddick. I tell you I could have strangled that guy over the TV cables. I walked away and couldn’t watch anymore. What can I say, I don’t like the froggies period.


Dan Martin Says:

As for people saying draws were watered down, does that mean Lendl gives back his FO title victory over Pernfors because his other two FO titles came against McEnroe and Wilander? Do Sampras’ 2 wins over Pioline have to go? Do Agassi’s wins over Clement or Scheutler must go? Any of the 6 guys remaining can win and whomever wins the title will have won the 7 matches put in front of them. A player cannot control upsets in other sections of the draw etc. Also, dismissing draws that look odd would seem to indicate that tennis must be totally dominated by the established players in order to be fun. Some chaos is fun too.


jane Says:

Dan Martin says “player cannot control upsets in other sections of the draw etc. ”

Can you tell that to Sean R., who likes to call Djokovic a “Garbage Collector” when he wins titles not having to face Rafa or Roger because they lose out early? Because if it applies to Novak for Sean, you’d think it’d apply here too.

I argued then against this interpretation, saying it’s not Djoko’s fault that Fed lost early in Rome last year and Rafa had to pull out with blisters; nor was it his fault that Fed and Murray lost at the Masters Cup; nor was it his fault that they all pulled out of Dubai, injured or ill.

But Sean stood by his interpretation and I will be interested to hear what he says about this title if Fed wins it – with Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray all out, all the guys he’s been losing to this year.


Cindy_Brady Says:

I think Andy Roddick acted childishly and gave another black eye to the “Ugly American” syndrome. True champions suck it up and play the conditions. He let it get to him. Didn’t act like a professional. Looked more like a whiner because he was losing. Monfils was soundly beating him before it got dark.

Roddick supposedly has one of the fastest serves in tennis. Wouldn’t that give him the edge in dark conditions? I just think if the scores were reversed, he wouldn’t have uttered a word about it.

They have played late matches at the FO for half a century. Give it a rest Andy!


zola Says:

Cindy,
Monfils was certainly dominating the match with Roddick, but the match ended after 9:30 pm. It is very possible that Roddick was not seeing the ball as well as Monfils did . And even if you are a great server, it is no good if you can’t see the line or the ball.

I think it is stupid that they start the matches so late. How quickly they assume the players can play? Why not start at 10 am or even 9 am?use the daylight or put some lights and let the players see the ball.

I think if the match was delayed for another day, it would not have changed the outcome, but it should not have been scheduled for such a late time.


grendel Says:

MMT

You give an interesting chain of command, as it were, of strategy through tactics, skills and resting in fundamentals. I think there is some blurring, especially between “tactics” and “skills” – but it is a useful framework. I wanted to question your two generic strategies:”you can try to win points or you can cause your opponent to lose points” – for instance, why shouldn’t a player switch from one to the other as occasion suggested. But after some thought, I realised that was implausible. Each “generic strategy” will, I take it, generate substrategies (still not “tactics”), and when commentators talk about a player having or not having a “B” game to fall back on when the “A” game is failing, this “B” game is likely to be another substrategy as opposed to THE other generic strategy? Would that be your opinion? On the whole, that is, and depending on a player’s flexibility. Do you agree with Shan that Monfils lacks strategy – and does it matter? I mean, if he wins the French Open, you’re not likely to qualify his success, are you, by adding:”of course, the man has no strategy…..” I know quite a lot of people think Federer is not, basically, a strategic thinker, but the problem of Nadal has forced him to reconsider his instinctive ways. Do you agree?

Ty says:”Has anyone actually ever seen Safin and Safina together in person?” Apparently, they were having dinner together last night, and Marat told his sister that she could pay, since she was the one earning the sheckles these days. Seemingly, she obliged.

jane: people take these things differently. Football seems to attract more passion than most sports. One fan actually shot dead a goalkeeper, outraged by what he deemed to be his sloppy performance. And people have certainly killed themselves. I had an acquaintance who used to get depressed after his team had WON. His reasoning was as follows:the joy of victory would all too soon be replaced by a feeling of anti-climax; was that all it was, after all? on this site, we see again and again very high passions being expressed. It would be naive to suppose that their source is solely the ostensible subject, e.g. a favourite player and so on. I won’t say any more, this is a touchy area, but I don’t think we should be surprised by anyone’s particular attitudes; they are not arbitrary (although they may seem absurd or even demeaning) and nor – in my opinion – are they really a matter of choice. Of course, that itself is a controversial notion which many dislike.

Zola: Murray’s claycourt background is quite limited; he only trained in Spain for a few months, something which surprised me, I must say. People talk about Soderling’s game as being naturally adapted to hardcourts, and in particular to indoor surfaces. But next time you see him, watch how he slides. He does as it as someone born to the clay. Perhaps he was?

Von: of course the pressure on Federer to win the French is self-imposed. It generally is. I think the idea that Nadal’s departure increases the pressure on Federer is valid. Partly because of the window of opportunity it represents and which may not come again. Of course Federer would deny this, since it kind of concedes his inferiority. Nevertheless, it is hard to believe he does not have some private thoughts along those lines. Mainly, though, because if he fails when Nadal has gone, it will be a cause of at best, eyebrow raising, at worst gleeful derision. You could argue that he should rise above that, but most of us wouldn’t, that’s for sure. The business of GOAT and so on is a red herring. Some people are temperamentally disposed to this idea, and not simply on account of Federer or even in the arena of tennis. No amount of argument will sway them. Nor can one easily despise such a position without inviting the charge of hypocrisy. Positions taken on emotional rather than rational grounds can be very powerful – and I respectfully submit that we all take them in one area or another. Certainly you can mount excellent arguments against the GOAT idea, that’s a different matter. But it is very understandable – and reasonable – that Federer and his fans should want him to win the French Open. To win slams on three surfaces is a monumental achievement. It certainly won’t prove that Federer is greater than Sampras, not in my eyes anyway. But it will consolidate his reputation as an unusually complete player. Strange that one should care about these matters, but it seems we all do.


Edward Says:

tennis bullies: pretty sad that Federer’s rivals could not survive and were knocked out, meanwhile the “GOAT” is still around to fight another day. This tournament is about survival. Whoever makes it to the end deserves the trophy.

please employ more sense.
please?


Sean Randall Says:

Sorry, that whole Roddick couldn’t see the ball is garbage. I thought Roddick had the bigger and better serve, and if so wouldn’t that give the edge to Roddick since Monfils would have to return that?

If the situation had been reversed and Monfils played Roddick at the US Open, the US Open would have done everything in their power to appease Andy. And Andy to some extent understands that.


zola Says:

****Can you tell that to Sean R., who likes to call Djokovic a “Garbage Collector” when he wins titles not having to face Rafa or Roger because they lose out early? Because if it applies to Novak for Sean, you’d think it’d apply here too.
****

Sean, you really did?
So will Fed be a garbage collector too? :)

Actually just looking at the draw and I see he has not and will not play any top 10 to get to the trophy! Poor Djoko!


jane Says:

“Why not start at 10 am or even 9 am?use the daylight or put some lights ” There both sound like sane suggestions zola; I was wondering why they don’t begin a bit earlier.

Cindy, I watched the whole match and Andy wasn’t petulant or anything; I mean he was making his point about the light but he wasn’t going on and on about it and/or yelling and/or doing anything really “ugly.” He was discussing the conditions with the umpire, which is totally his right to do. He didn’t whine. I don’t agree with your interpretation of his complaints. All the players have a right to discuss conditions. Have you not seen Federer complain about flashbulbs or moving fans in the stands? I have. Is that “ugly” or “American” – nah. It’s the players’ right to try to have optimum conditions to play in. Anyhow, Andy finished the match fair and square, gave his handshakes, and left.

Moreover, he was very fair about it in his presser, and I quote:

“He handled the conditions better than I did. My opinions are irrelevant at this point.”


jane Says:

grendel – OMG – “One fan actually shot dead a goalkeeper, outraged by what he deemed to be his sloppy performance.”

This is insanity. Pure and simple.


Edward Says:

have to agree with zola. this “garbage collector” thing is total nonsense. Djokovic would deserve the title if he was last man standing of the top seeds.
These tournaments have always been about surviving the draw. There are no easy draws. Not enough credit is given to the players on tour. There are many outstanding players.


zola Says:

grendel,
I thought Andy was in Spain for more than a few months. I think he has progressed a lot this year on clay. I picked Gonzo to win, because I knew he had more experience in clay finals, etc. I didn’t think Andy could win him ( hoped though!).

Is soderling the new Nalby? He has great power and works great angles. I didn’t pay attention to the footwork during his match with Rafa ( can you blame me?), but I will watch it next time.

I think he has the game and now after beating Rafa and Davy, he has found the heart and belief.

Sean,
It may or may not be garbage. But if it is dark and he is complaining, they should do something about it. It was the organizers’ fault!


Sean Randall Says:

Zola, ha. Regarding Garbage Collection, Fed’s proven that in Slam he’s can beat the top guys. Obviously this week he doesn’t have such a worry, but in the past he’s beaten Rafa, etc.

As for the scheduling, if you as player don’t like it, then don’t play!!

At the US Open they start night matches too late. At the Australian Open they finish too late or it’s too hot. At Wimbledon it rains too much and now in Paris the darkness affects outcomes. Please, cry me a freakin’ river. Just play.


jane Says:

” To win slams on three surfaces is a monumental achievement.” – Indeed. Ask Rafa. : ) I


zola Says:

Edward,
Exactly! The players play whoever in their draw. It is not their fault that the others could not win their matches.

I think whoever wins the FO,likely Federer, has done it deservedly. Rafa, Murray and Djoko should have played better to reach the final.


Von Says:

Whether Roddick could have won, had the match been postponed or not, is not the subject of the discussion here. The fact of the matter is the FO tournament director was behaving like an idiot and if Roddick supposedly ‘whined’ he was acting within his rights to do so. Jim Courier did the same when he played the FO and he got the match post-poned, so why couldn’t the same courtesy been applied to Roddick? Let’s see those who mention that it was not difficult to play at that time find a penny if it were lost. Some reality checks are needed people. And, for the sake of argument, who knows what could have happenend had Roddick played next day and taken the match to 5 sets, which he can do very well. I think Mon fils would have run out of his dancing energy for sure or had a lapse in concentration. It’s one thing not to like a certain player, but when we make statements, let’s do so with a certain degree of fairness, shall we?


jane Says:

“Fed’s proven that in Slam he’s can beat the top guys. ”

So has Djokovic; in fact, he beat Fed to win the AO now didn’t he. But there must’ve been a reason for that too I suppose. Oh for crying out loud! Give ALL players their due.


grendel Says:

Yes, indeed jane, but it’s the logical conclusion of extreme emotional positions. For every person who actually kills, there will be thousands with, temporarily, death in their hearts. Sport does generate extreme passion, you only have to look at the tone on the various sporting sites. Given that we are, at bottom, tribal creatures, this is not so surprising.


zola Says:

sean
***At the US Open they start night matches too late. At the Australian Open they finish too late or it’s too hot. At Wimbledon it rains too much and now in Paris the darkness affects outcomes. Please, cry me a freakin’ river. Just play.

***

yeah, some incompetent organizers!

It is easier said than done Sean. It is a GS QF at stake and they force a player to play in the dark with the roaring French crowd. Where would it go?

Hasn’t Djoko won Fed in GSs? lol? no double standards plz!


jane Says:

And just to back that up further – Djoko beat numbers 3, 2, 1 – in succession (Roddick, Rafa, Federer) – the first player to do so since Becker in 92, (i think I’ve got that historically right) to win the Canadian Masters title.


grendel Says:

…..indeed. ask Rafa. No need, to jane. I absolutely concede Nadal’s monumental achievement….


Sean Randall Says:

Well, flip it around. Had Monfils played Roddick at the US in the final 16s there’s a good chance it would have been a night and it would have followed a competitive women’s fourth rounder. Therefore, it’s not totally far-fetched to say such a match would not begin until around 10pm which for Monfils would be 4am. Is that fair?

I have absolutely no issue with Roddick bitchin about the match not being stopped due to the light. But at the same time I can understand why they didn’t. It’s called home cookin’… Happens in France, happens in Australia, happens in London and believe it or not, it happens at the US Open.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Jane,

He gave a good tongue lashing to the umpire and kept staring down the the tournament director after every point. The crowd saw it and monfils used it wisely to his advantage.

It even looked like Andy purposely netted a volley and missed an over head to get his point across. Did nobody notice that? Andy knew Monfils was handling his serve so he made the darkness an excuse for his play. He was frustrated by Monfils.

After the match, Roddick probably re-thought his actions and went into damage control mode. Thus his

“He handled the conditions better than I did. My opinions are irrelevant at this point.

Statement.


jane Says:

grendel – I know. I guess I don’t get it. i saw it in my three older bros. who were devastated when their team lost. Me, I just latched onto tennis as a sport – not one player. I just love watching tennis. And sure i get emotional and passionate. That’s the fun of it. But to be depressed for weeks because a player or team loses. I don’t get it. Maybe if a player dies. Okay. But loses? Durrrr isn’t that the nature of sports? Your friend or that chap who is depressed when his team wins – he should read up on Safina. LOL. Maybe they could drink some vodka together. haha Okay, sorry for the stereotype.


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, did Novak beat 1,2,3 in a Slam?

This is a sport measured by wins/losses at Slams, not by Masters Series events.


zola Says:

sean
***Well, flip it around. Had Monfils played Roddick at the US in the final 16s there’s a good chance it would have been a night and it would have followed a competitive women’s fourth rounder. Therefore, it’s not totally far-fetched to say such a match would not begin until around 10pm which for Monfils would be 4am. Is that fair?***

Darkness affects the play. It is something that hinders the ability of the player to strike the ball. It is not comparable to a scheduling conflict. Sorry! You have to find another scenario!


Sean Randall Says:

Zola, but shouldn’t the bigger server have the advantage in darkness. And the ESPN guys all gave Roddick the edge in serve…???


Von Says:

Sean Randall;

Please don’t make excuses with respect to the US Open and insult my intelligence. The US open has lights. Does the FO? Then tell me why did Courier complain about the lighting at the FO and got the match postponed? That’s garbage too and you know it. In sports there shouldn’t be extraneous factors giving an opponent an unfair advantage over another. You say you like Monfils, even though you’ve NEVER mentioned why when Giner asked, and you despise Roddick. Or maybe it’s really that you’re trying to show others you’re not taking sides due to this site being American. If, you’re trying to say to people on the blogs here that you’re not prejudiced, by championing MonFils’ case, I ain’t buying it! I’ve worked in PR/media and I know that everything is aimed at what sells or to make people look GOOD, even if people have to move over to the dark side and sell their conscience. The truth of the matter, Roddick could not see the ball and you need to find an ophthalmologist to prove differently. Until then, he should have been given some courtesy and the benefit of the doubt. It’s as simple as that!!!! I suppose my post wil be lost now.


jane Says:

Cindy,

Maybe i was reading during the tongue lashing, or dusting or something. But so what? I think you’re being too tough on Roddick. He wanted to win and felt he couldn’t do so in those conditions, and perhaps since the FO had postponed so many other matches he felt it wasn’t unreasonable to suppose his could be too. I can’t see Andy purposely losing points, nah.

Sean,

I don’t think it’s a problem to want to give the home town boy the best chance possible, so I can see your point there, but I don’t think that putting some lights on the court would’ve hurt Monfils game any but it might’ve helped Andy if his vision isn’t as good or whatever. And your example of the “4 am” time zone factor doesn’t really hold since the players would be over any jet lag or whatever by that time in a slam.


jane Says:

Sean – he beat #1 in a slam semi – does that count? Or not? I guess Fed wasn’t feeling well so… Let’s just throw that title out the window shall we? But this FO title, should Fed win it, will be monumental, even though all the 3 top guys, who’ve all beaten him this year, are out.

Whateva dude – talk to the hand. : )


zola Says:

Sean,
now you are changing your argument. It is irrelevent. First of all Monfils doesn’t serve that bad either . secondly, nowhere in the ATP rule book it says that a player with a huge serving ability can be forced to play in the dark.

If it is dark and the player complains that he cannot see, the organizers have to believe him. It was a legitimate complain.

I understand that they perhaps did not want to bring the crowd back the next day etc., but then they could have started the matched earlier. why should the player be penalized for the poor scheduling?


grendel Says:

“he should read up on Safina” I’m intrigued. What did Safina do or say? I have noticed that she takes a surprisingly objective view of her opponents – not the usual insincere flattery, but genuinely considered, dispassionate remarks. She seems to be a very interesting person.


Von Says:

What good is a huge serve if a player cannot see the lines to serve it. OY VEY!! Come off it Sean, you’re just fishing in a huge ocean for excuses and to show you’re not being partisan.


Sean Randall Says:

Von, “The truth of the matter, Roddick could not see the ball”. Really? How do you know that? Because Andy said so?

Oh yeah, athletes never, ever lie to get an edge. How could I forget that axiom.

Again, Andy was trying to get the match stopped and I don’t blame him for trying. He had to do anything he could to stop the bleeding.

Now, had Roddick been up two sets then I bet the match would have been stopped had Monfils had wished it so, but again, home cookin’ folks…


zola Says:

Sean,
and don’t get me wrong. I love Monfils. But it is insane not to have lights in the center court, but still start matches at 11 am and force the players to play in the dark!


Sean Randall Says:

Zola, does Monfils have night vision?


Von Says:

Cindy Brady:

Roddick hit the bloody ball into the net several times because he couldn’t SEE. GET IT, HE COULDN’T s-e-e!! Maybe it’s how you think, but I can say that Roddick is an HONEST guy, and he doesn’t use excuses. Not only should he have given the bloody tournament director a tongue lashing, he should have have knocked his bloody head off. I would, wouldn’t you, consider how much you’ve been waging the drg wars with such gusto?


Sean Randall Says:

Von, darn. I get it now. When players miss volleys it’s because they can’t see! That explains all those chunked volleys Tommy Haas hit LATE in the match against Federer…

Puh-lease.


jane Says:

grendel, Safina is sometimes depressed when she wins, just like that chap of yours. She wants to win decidedly, or as she put it today in her presser – “to dominate from the first point.” I just wish I’d see a little more joy from her about the sport. She seems so so serious about it all. Maybe that’s require of a champ, but she could lighten up just a little.


Von Says:

Sean;

Are you arguing for the sake of argument? I’d like to know? Because if that’s the case then I can understand your introduction and comparison of Haas’ volleys. Tell me something Sean, what time of day did Haas play v. Federer? After this, I rest my case because I come here for fun not to argue over pointless stuff.


zola Says:

Sean,
It is irrelevent if Monfils has cat eyes or not. I give up!

It is a fact that it was dark. Isn’t it? and it is a fact that some people ( Monfils is not one of them obviously!) may not be able to see in the dark. and it is a fact that it was not the last one or two games of the match? Am I right?

Then one player , say X, comes through and says I cannot see the ball. If it is daylight, you will tell him not to joke around. But of it is 9 pm and it is cloudy you have to consider his request , even if he is trying to delay the match. It was not his fault that they start the matches late.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Von,

Monfils’s game bothered Roddick far more than the lighting did. Funny how Roddick broke Monfils in the 3rd set (during so called darkness) and no complaining at that point. Suddenly Monfils breaks back and Andy is complaining again.

Don’t buy the sour grapes by Roddick!

PLEASE!!!


zola Says:

grendel,
****jane: people take these things differently. Football seems to attract more passion than most sports. One fan actually shot dead a goalkeeper, outraged by what he deemed to be his sloppy performance. And people have certainly killed themselves. I had an acquaintance who used to get depressed after his team had WON. His reasoning was as follows:the joy of victory would all too soon be replaced by a feeling of anti-climax; was that all it was, after all? on this site, we see again and again very high passions being expressed. It would be naive to suppose that their source is solely the ostensible subject, e.g. a favourite player and so on. I won’t say any more, this is a touchy area, but I don’t think we should be surprised by anyone’s particular attitudes; they are not arbitrary (although they may seem absurd or even demeaning) and nor – in my opinion – are they really a matter of choice. Of course, that itself is a controversial notion which many dislike.

****

very interesting ( and philosophical) post.

btw, about the fans, I remember years ago that a man ( I think in Italy ) threw his wife out of the window, after the wife had thrown the TV out of the same window while the guy was watching the soccer world cup!


grendel Says:

well, I think she has a twinkle, a Safinesque one at that. But there is pressure from that source, too… That “chap of mine”, b.t.w., was kind of philosophical, not depressed. He was a very interesting character. A naturally thoughtful and intelligent person who, for some reason, was a cleaner. So, as he observed the antics of those set above him, he was given to considering the vagaries of life….pretty hard to make sense of from some perspectives…


Sean Randall Says:

Zola, is it a “fact” that it was dark? Obviously the chair ump and the referee didn’t think so. Haven’t they been playing until 930pm local time? Even Venus/Serena played until 945pm.

Von, define dark? And is that definition the same for everyone?


zola Says:

sean,
I think if it is after 9 pm and if it is cloudy, it can be dark.

Look, they start the matches at 11 am, put no lights on the grounds ( not even center court) and schedule 5 matches. It is insane. Of course the referee and the umpire want the matches to end that day. They would not stop the matches for anything. Rafa played his second match in the rain. I was worried he could injur himself.


jane Says:

Sean,

FYI:

“dark |därk|
adjective
1 with little or no light : it’s too dark to see much.
• hidden from knowledge; mysterious : a dark secret.
• archaic ignorant; unenlightened : he is dark on certain points of scripture.
• (of a theater) closed; not in use : on Tuesdays he’d wait tables because the theater was dark.
2 (of a color or object) not reflecting much light; approaching black in shade : dark green.”

I hope that’s clear now, or should I shed more light on it? ha ha.


zola Says:

Jane,
Safina and Safin were both coached by their mom. I wonder if that contributed to their sometimes strange attributes. They are both very likeable but very self-critical and tend to panic quickly on court.

I don’t think Safina’s coach is any different though!


Von Says:

Where’s my answer for the time of day haas played v. federer? i’m a waitin’.

Dark, for me, is when there aren’t any stars in the sky nor the moon isn’t shining and the clouds overhead are black and/or deep grey. Drop a penny and see if you can find it, or take off your shoes off, and see if you can see them. You’d probabaly end up wearing someone else’s shoes, if they happen to take theirs off too. And, that’s dark for me.

I remember during Venus/Serena’s match, Pam Shriver was complaining about the dark night. Doubles is not the same as singles. there are two pairs of eyes seeing the ball, as opposed to one set.

The bottom line here, whether Roddick was losing or not, if Andy said during the second set he couldn’t see the ball, the tourney director should have called the match at the culmination of that set. there isn’t an excuse for bad sportsmanship. Your boy monfils has a lot of it in his arsenal.

Tell me Sean, if MonFils beats Federer are you going to cry, or will he still be ‘my man Monfils’? I don’t think so, but i have to ask nonetheless.


Edward Says:

Sean: Von is right, the U.S. Open has stadium lights and the French Open courts do not. Night matches at Flushing Meadows and Melbourne Park are not a problem. Roland Garros would do better to invest in lights instead of a roof.
that said, I think Roddick could have tried to keep the match going a little longer by staying in the game with Monfils, and bringing about the necessary halt to match play.


jane Says:

grendel maybe you’re right and she does have a Safinesque twinkle. I hope to see a little more of it. Maybe she’s not yet feeling secure in her spot, so to speak, and she really wants to earn it in earnest. So perhaps, once she’s won a slam, she’ll lighten up. Maybe she’s philosophical too – she has that kind of, as you put it, objective, even existential, view of her opponents. There’s no “bad faith” diva in her. She tells it like she sees it, only she’s still just a little too hard on herself imo.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Darkness is a judgment call. It’s up to the tournament director and umpire to determine that. They both said it wasn’t dark enough. The conditions were playable. Only the player BEHIND said it was too dark. What a coincidence?


zola Says:

Sean,

Last year they had the “tennis at night” in Miami. Fluorescent lines and fluorescent balls and clothes for the players.

let’s get that official for the FO!


Von Says:

It’s 9:00 pm here in Florida, and it’s an overcast night where I live, a lot brighter than in France — remember it’s only spring there, and the days are still SHORT. I just looked out of my door and I can’t see a darn thing in my backyard. I wonder what it will be like at 9:30 pm.


Sean Randall Says:

Five matches? Zola, you sure. I thought Roddick was the fourth match that night.

Thanks Jane, quite informative!

Von, yes I was being sarcastic. Fed beat Haas in the late afternoon or so.

Honestly, can anyone find me a singles that was stopped at 9pm local time EVER at Roland Garros due to darkness with one player up two sets. If so I will drop my argument…

I have to run, chat later (I logged in to write a post on Monfils-Federer, but clearly got sidetracked. Will have to do it in the morning now. Argh!)


Sean Randall Says:

Von, last one, check the sunset in Florida vs. the sunset in Paris.


Von Says:

Cindy: Do you know anything about orders and conspiracy? I’m sure the tournament has issued instructions to the umpires to keep the matches as long as possible on court at night so that there won’t be any further post-ponements to drop them off schedule. I wonder why? You guys need to inject some fairness into your arguments. I tell you what, if you ever go to Europe, Paris/France to be specific, check what it’s like at 9:30 pm at night, and then maybe you’d have a change of heart and won’t be so judgmental.


zola Says:

Sean,

see you later!


grendel Says:

Zola, that’s a pretty funny story. They always say humour has its roots in cruelty (from the banana skin onwards). Presumably this woman died? That’s horrific really, isn’t it? Yet, it’s impossible not to laugh. If we knew the details of the woman, however, what she looked like, did she have a lover, what kind of a cook was she and so on, probably we wouldn’t laugh. Odd, isn’t it? Talking of Italy, I was in Venice when Italy was bundled out of the world cup – literally that moment. people were huddled around television sets, expressions grimly set as the match drew to a close. A little later, I went in to a cafe to order an icecream or something. The man behind the counter looked at me as if wondering on earth I was talking about. Finally, he rather tetchily performed his task, looked at the money I proffered him with a kind of bored suspicion, and then sullenly gave me some change. It all felt very like like intruding on a private grief which happened to be universally felt. But there was a certain tension in the air, too. If you said the wrong thing, it would be easy to imagine shadowy figures converging menacingly towards you. Yes, rum business, sport. Same everywhere, too.


zola Says:

Sean,
just a note. Where I am the sunset is about 9 pm. It is now 7 pm and it is pretty dark, because it is cloudy and it has been raining.

The sunset in Paris is about 9:45 pm. The same thing could have happened there. I now beleive Roddick even more.


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

Be careful in the dark, and don’t stump your toes. OUCH!


jane Says:

Well and twilight is a tough time as one’s eyes are adjusting to the transitioning light. It’s great for sitting on the beach drinking wine, to watch the light sink and shift, but probably not so fun battling in a grand slam match.

grendel I once read somewhere or heard in a film that comedy equals tragedy plus time. Maybe too comedy equals tragedy plus distance. As you say, anyone who knew that woman wouldn’t be laughing with their gasp of astonishment.


zola Says:

grendel,
Yes, I bet too that if we knew that woman, we wouldn’t be laughing. But I have heard many of these stories and we laugh perhaps at the stupidity of that decision and the tragedy that the stoppage of mind can cause.
Your moment in Venice is also something to write about. Especially in Europe I think people are very passionate about soccer. Well, my husband is also very much into soccer and now I know I shouldn’t throw the TV out of the window!

Jane,
I will remember that: comedy=tragedy plus time or distance. very interesting quote!


weatherman Says:

Time of sunset in Paris yesterday was 9:47 pm.


grendel Says:

you could certainly say indifference equals tragedy plus distance, jane. Remember that telling scene in the Third Man, when the Orson Welles character high up in some fairground edifice with Joseph Cotten, points to the milling figures dotted around at the bottom. They literally appear to be only dots from the high vantage point. Welles challenges the morally anguished Cotton character to admit he wouldn’t care if a “dot” or two were to be casually eliminated. It seems to be unanswerable, which is pretty disturbing if you think about it. And thinking like this lies behind the almost universal feeling in the West that slaughtering people from aeroplanes is quite distinctive from ground based terrorism. And after all, THEY are bearded fanatics, whilst we brush our teeth and worry about our children’s homework before setting off for a quick bombing raid. Don’t mean to trivialise, there’s some genuinely puzzling stuff here….getting a bit far from tennis, so I think I’ll hit the sack.

I hope del Potro wins. I couldn’t exactly say why, but whilst readily conceding Robredo’s general excellence and so on, for some reason he always induces a huge yawn in me. Such matters are personal, so apologies to those who are keen on Robredo.

What? You mean such people exist?

Whoops, that slipped out, better be off…


Dan Martin Says:

Jane,

I will say it just for you :) Sean, a player can’t control what happens in matches in which he or she is not involved. Luck of the draw? Maybe, but Guga was a big underdog vs. Corretja in 1997.


jane Says:

Simulated warfare equals dehumanization. Yes, the Third Man is still SUCH a disturbing film. Anyhow, way off topic… good night.


jane Says:

Ah shucks Dan. You’re too kind!


TD (Tam) Says:

Careful Sean, you’re betraying your bias. Federer makes a lovely garbage collector himself doesn’t he? ;)

As for the darkness why haven’t Wimbledon and the French discovered lights yet? When the US Open plays at night they play under lights but these other tournaments insist on playing in the dark. It’s madness.


scineram Says:

“btw, about the fans, I remember years ago that a man ( I think in Italy ) threw his wife out of the window, after the wife had thrown the TV out of the same window while the guy was watching the soccer world cup!”

I would do the same thing.


scineram Says:

“Honestly, can anyone find me a singles that was stopped at 9pm local time EVER at Roland Garros due to darkness with one player up two sets. If so I will drop my argument…”

What about Santoro. Just stopped playing against Rochus. Little after 8.

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