Federer Outlasts Del Potro in French Open Cliffhanger, History Awaits?
by Sean Randall | June 5th, 2009, 3:02 pm
  • 297 Comments

No one said it was going to be easy, but Roger Federer is now just three sets from that elusive French Open title and the career Grand Slam. Just three sets and just Robin Soderling.

But for the Federer, the road has been anything but easy even with his top rivals Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray reduced to bystanders courtesy of upsets.

Today Federer found himself again with his back to the wall this time against the powerful slugger Juan Martin Del Potro, but Federer somehow dug out of a 2-1 set hole, maintained his belief and overcame the Argentine with a 3-6, 7-6(2), 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 thriller in the semifinals.

Del Potro came out slugging right from the start, battering groundstokes and bruising Federer with one of his best serving days of his career. DelPo stormed to a 2-1 set lead before his power game began losing steam in the fourth set as Federer honed his game and really began working, if not overworking, his new drop shot.

Federer seized momentum quickly in the fifth the fifth, but DelPo recovered the deficit to level as the tension mounted. But a critical double fault from DelPo gave Federer the penultimate break for 4-3.

The win vaults Federer into the finals for a fourth straight year where he’ll meet Swede Robin Soderling with history, greatness, etc, on the line. Earlier in the day Soderling ripped the heart of Fernando Gonzalez, 6-3 7-5 5-7, 4-6 ,6-4 in 3-hours, 28-minutes, just one minute shorter the Federer’s epic win.

After climbing back from two sets downs, Gonzo actually led 4-1 in the fifth set before the Chilean lost the plot.

Federer and Soderling have played nine times before and the Swiss has won on each occasion. Their 10th meeting, however, will have just a little more at stake. Andre Agassi is reportedly going to be there, so too will Bjorn Borg and the ever present Guillermo Vilas. But what about Pete Sampras?


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297 Comments for Federer Outlasts Del Potro in French Open Cliffhanger, History Awaits?

Shan Says:

This Soderling is an entirely different one from the Soderling of old. I was very impressed with his grit and determination against Gonzalez in the 5th set. He really proved that he can handle the moment and fought back superbly. I don’t see the pressure of a grand slam final getting to him at all on Sunday.

Will be an exciting match to watch!


zola Says:

FoT and all the Fed fans here,
congratulations for another slam final for Roger.


SG Says:

Well, you can crown Fed now. Soderling won’t hold up in the finals. Too big a moment against a guy is a whole lot better than him. And Fed knows this is it. This is his last shot at this title. He’ll bring it all out on Sunday.

Have to give Federer credit. He’s faced adversity in this tournament and still found his way through. I’m not a Fed fan but hey, if he wins, he’s separated himself from Sampras in a way that is indisputable.


PietjeP Says:

It was a great match indeed. I think he fully deserves the credit from all fans. He just was determined!! Let’s not forget the pressure he is under……. it must be unbelievable.

I wonder how Fed’s nerves will be Sunday. For tennis it would be awesome if he wins!

Credit to DP also. He really gave it his all and played some great tennis!


jane Says:

I am inclined to agree with SG, on all points.


zola Says:

me three!


steve Says:

Plenty of people said it would be easy, that Federer had a soft path to the trophy. But as I said, there’s no such thing as an easy match.

Del Potro is extremely consistent and very powerful. He’s like a Berdych or Safin type, who can just hit the ball through the court and there’s nothing you can do. And Federer has always had trouble dealing with those guys when they’re on.

Del Potro’s only weakness is his footspeed. On faster courts, this makes it easier for Federer to outplay him. On clay the balls are slower and slices aren’t as effective, so it was harder for Federer to wrong-foot him, as he usually does. And once Del Potro gets a chance to set up his groundstrokes, the point’s over.

Congratulations to both of them, they both showed incredible class. I’m a fan of both of them and I hope that Del Potro gets the credit he deserves for playing a great match. And Roger, well, he has no need to prove himself anymore but he has shown his great heart once again. If he wins (and I hope he does), let no one say that he didn’t earn it.


jane Says:

Del Potro lost the match in the second set tiebreak in my opinion. He looked every bit his age, in terms of nerves and inexperience, there, stumbling, hitting into the net, and so on. I know some may disagree since there is no doubt he put up a good fight in the rest of the match and certainly in the third set. But as I said on the other thread, and will say again, Del Po has fitness issues and I’ve seen him do this before, fade away, tire, start making errors, and simply, lose momentum. However, this was a 5 setter, and the next time around, given this guy’s talent and determination, he’ll probably win in the same situation. This was like a stepping stone. He is totally steady and he is ready. We’ll get to watch him take the next step soon, I suspect.


margot Says:

Both semis were terrific, nail biting, cliff hanging and impossible to watch!! Soderling was mighty impressive coming back the way he did in the last set, despite Gonzo’s antics.
I thought Fed was fantastic, JMDP was on fire but he still came through! Felt quite sniffy!
In passing; Andy M and Novak should be very afraid of JMDP…


zola Says:

btw,
I had to leave towards the end of the match. I enjoyed it a lot. Great effort by Delpo for making it a match.


kf tennis Says:

Try sending an email complaint to NBC sports to Matthew.Weisbecker@nbcuni.com – he is listed as the head of West Coast Sports advertising.


sensationalsafin Says:

Fed’s experience def won out in that 5th set. But still, like everyone said, credit to both players. DelPo’s not going to let his chances slip next time. Although, I still don’t see anyone except maybe Nadal beating Fed on grass. No one has proved themselves yet. I don’t think Fed will win Halle, though, it’s only best of 3. But at Wimbledon, it’s his to lose. Especially if he wins sunday. The next 2 slams are his to lose.


Scottish Says:

sensationalsafin: “The next 2 slams are his to lose.” I definitely wouldn’t say that. He hasn’t won this one yet although he has his best chance ever. Nadal is still #1 and has had a great year and I doubt he will fade away. Guys like Murray and Djoker and Del-Po are only going to get stronger and better.

I’m really liking Del-Po for the future. I can’t stand Murray (even though I’m Scottish) and Djoker. When you look at Fed and Nadal as people, their character and class are miles above M & D. They are amazing ambassadors. It seems Del-Po has some class of his own so I’d like to see him go #3.


NachoF Says:

Nadal is gonna lose a lot of points this couple of weeks, first roland garros and now queens…. I wonder what will Federer have to do to pass him at Wimbledon.


Dan Martin Says:

Sean hit the nail on the head by predicting a second set tie-break and a Fed win in that tie-break. That gave him a foothold and from there he did enough to overcome the big 20 year old with a big future.


Dan Martin Says:

If this tournament has shown anything it is not to look ahead too much. Rafa has already banked 1 slam and 3 MS titles for 2009.


andrea Says:

too nervous to watch live – now i can go back without anxiety. i think the final will be challenging.

i’m really looking forward to both this years women’s and men’s finals. the story of two russian women slugging it out is awesome. and like both svetlana and dinara so i can actually watch while being partisan.

interesting to hear nadal is out of queen’s due to a knee injury. hope he makes it back to wimbledon.


NachoF Says:

Yes, but its not about 2009… its about whats happened since one year ago exactly.. if Fed (crosses fingers) wins on Sunday, they will both have two Grand Slams, with Federer having reached the finals on all 4… which, in my mind, makes him most deserving of the no.1 spot…. Im thinking the reason Rafa has that advantage is because of the Olympics but those points will drop eventually, theres no way to defend them.


margot Says:

Grendel: how interesting that at the end the “old man” looked as if he could go another 5 sets, whereas the “young pup” looked ready for a nice cup of Horlicks and bedtime!


jane Says:

Fed can stand to gain a fair bit of points at the hard court MS events leading up to the USO. Murray and Rafa will have the most to defend with the Canada and Cincy titles. That said, Fed has to defend Halle title, Wimbledon finals, and USO title. So this race for number 1, not to mention who’ll land where for spots, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc is really heating up — how cool!! We may have some surprises yet.


NachoF Says:

I was just looking at the ranking points breakdown for both players…. is there any reason why reaching the finals at the Aussie Open is worth less points than on any other GS??… Fed has 1200 points for his performance at Australian Open 2009 but 1400 for his Wimbledon 08 performance


JCZ Says:

Rafa will lose 800 points from the olympics, 1820 from RG, and 450 from Queens. A total of 3070 points, and if Fed wins Sunday he’d be picking up 600 points vs last year’s final. So that’s a quick 3670 point swing which makes No 1 anyone’s to take by the end of the year.


Dan Martin Says:

Nacho good point about the rolling 52 weeks side of the equation. Still, I think all of the top players prizes major titles above what the computer says so if Federer is #2 with a couple of slams in the past 52 weeks he can live with that I am sure.


Dan Martin Says:

prize not prizes


jane Says:

You may be right Dan, but I do think number 1 matters to Federer. After all, it’s another record right? Sampras has quite an edge still in that regard, weeks @ number 1. And Fed has stated more than once that no other spot matters more than number 1 and that being called number 2 seems strange. It’s difficult to know unless a player states his goals outright of course. Am purely speculating.


jane Says:

Sampras finished the year ranked number 1 for 6 consecutive years (93-98) and was ranked number 1 for 286 weeks, another record. Fed can’t touch the first one, but could he touch the second? It is interesting in looking at Sampras and Agassi’s records that a lot had to do with longevity. There are two different approaches in a way – go for a dominant period of winning a lot, or be slightly less dominant but last longer.


scineram Says:

The system changed. This year SW19 will worth 1200 too.


SG Says:

Not sure how much success a guy like JMDP will have. There aren’t many players slow afoot that have gone onto dominant careers. In fact, I can’t think one. Krajicek had one major…certainly not a dominating career. Guys like this are usually defined by one fortnight of magical tennis. We’ll see though.


Dan Martin Says:

I am sure Roger wants more weeks ta #1. I think he can win on Sunday, I doubt he adds a lot more weeks to his #1 total unless winning Sunday removes a lot of pressure and he just starts shooting from the hip vs. everyone who has plagued him recently.


andrea Says:

now here is a great excerpt from roger’s press conference….made me smile….at least he’s telling the truth!

Q. Will you not miss Rafa Nadal on Sunday?

ROGER FEDERER: No, not really. Not really. Maybe for you you’re going to miss him, but not me.


Daniel Says:

Nacho F

“Nadal is gonna lose a lot of points this couple of weeks, first roland garros and now queens…. I wonder what will Federer have to do to pass him at Wimbledon.”

- Nadal will enter Wimbledon with 12690 points (14960 now, less 1820 that he will drop with RG and – 450 pts of Queens)

- Assuming Fed wins RG, Halle he will enter Wimbledon with 10870 points
(10470 now plus 600 of RG minus 200 from Halle – even if he wins it because the points were doubled from last year, so he can only defend 250 pts if he wins Halle)

So if Fed wins Wimbledon he will reach 11470 pts and Nadal loses before the final, in semis: Nadal will have 11410 pts.
Which means Fed could regain n. 1 if he wins RG, Halle and Wimbledon and if Nadal loses in Wimbledon before the final! Very hard to achieve, but not completelly ou of the question.


jane Says:

Del Potro’s presser is very revealing. Do you think he’s proud of the way he fought? NO. He is sad, sad, sad. He knows he had a shot and he is very upset. This, imo, bodes very well for him. He hates to lose. You can see it. When he loses, he gets better/ closer next time. He’s beat Murray and Nadal already once this year, and he took Fed to the brink. Here’s an excerpt:


Q. Iimagine you can’t be happy, of course. But at least you can feel satisfied you fought so well against Federer.

JUAN MARTIN DELPOTRO: Yes, but I really wanted to be inthat final, and now I’m going to have to watch it on TV. That match was very tied, very even. I really had chances of winning.

If it had been in thebest of three sets, I would have won and I would have come out of that courtsatisfied.

Right now, I don’t have enough words toexplain what I feel. I just ‑‑ thatmatch escaped me.”


Kimo Says:

Soderling may not choke mentally in the fina, I give you that, but he’ll feel the pinch physically.

I don’t see soderling taking 3 sets from Fed. I predict a straight set win for Fed, maybe 4 sets max.


Kimo Says:

Also guys, remember Fed has never lost a slam final to a man not named Nadal :)


Kimmi Says:

jane, I have not read other threads, but I remember you kept saying that JMDP does not have a game to trouble the top guys..he is very predictable you said. With this perfomance today, I hope now you have changed your mind.


huh Says:

Sorry to be a little bit off topic but I couldn’t resist spouting my twocents on the GOAT topic. Well I suggest fans to just watch some video clips of Laver playing tennis at his prime and you’ll realise how foolish it is to claim Fed/Pete as the GOAT!


PietjeP Says:

Dan;

I think if he wins RG he gets the biggest pressure of his back. He equalled Sampras and has that one special slam: the FO! Should he be able to capture Wimbledon, then there will be absolutely no pressure left for him. Like you say, he can start shooting from the hip and that can get interesting…

Now everybody talks as if he already won, I have to see it happening first. The pressure will be HUGE and Soderling is on fire!


Gordo Says:

I want Fed to win – among other reasons – so I have a memory of him looking overcome with emotion, holding the trophy above his head.

This image will replace the current one I have of Gonzalez rubbing his rear on the line in the 4th set today, looking very much like a dog with worms.

Three more winning sets to undisputed tennis greatness.

Tick, tick, tick


huh Says:

It’s only probably players like Laver and Gonzales
who had a mastery of tennis . Federer and Sampras don’t even come close to them in terms of greatness (gamewise!) let alone match or outclass them.


FoT Says:

Thanks Zola!

Hey, I told everyone that we Fed fans had to take it one match at a time. No one is an ‘easy’ win on the ATP. Del Potro showed why he’s #5 in the world. Good job by Del Potro.

I’m so glad Roger made the final again. And I’m reading all of your comments about what Roger had to do to regain #1, etc. It’s fun and interesting because just a month ago most people had already written Roger off…saying he needed to retire, that he wouldn’t even be contesting for slams any more; that he needed to get out of the way for the ‘young guns’.

So to read all this talk about possibly number 1 has me laughing! It just goes to show how fast things can turn around in tennis. And I remember when Del Potro lost to Roger at the AO, a lot of folks said he was over-hyped. Now they are saying he’s going to challenge Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray for years to come. See…things do change in a hurry.

So… maybe some folks shouldn’t be so fast to write off certain players and just give them a shot.

But I’m happy that Roger is in the final. ONE MORE MATCH! I’ll have fingers crossed, toes crossed, and everything else that I can cross!


Giner Says:

What a run from Soderling, seriously. Nadal has nothing to be ashamed of looking back. Soderling is certainly no fluke now.

Except the big one remains, and Federer is good at taking out upsetters. This will be his 4th FO final while Soder will be awed by the occasion one would think.

My pick is, Federer in 3 sets. Fed makes history on Sunday. Soderling is not ready to win a GS just yet.

In the women’s final, Safina will win her first slam and lose the dubious honour of being a #1 without a slam.


Gordo Says:

huh Says:
It’s only probably players like Laver and Gonzales
who had a mastery of tennis . Federer and Sampras don’t even come close to them in terms of greatness (gamewise!) let alone match or outclass them.

Posted June 5th, 2009 at 6:29 pm
=========
This is why we can’t compare eras – the professional circuit was a joke in the 50s-early 60s compared to how it is run today. Now there are players from numerous countries where back in the 60s it truly was an elitist sport and the pool of available talent was scarce indeed.

That being said – I always wonder how many Grand Slams Rocket Rod Laver would have accumulated had he been allowed to play them during 1963 – 1968, at the height of his prowess.

One thing for sure – 13 time Slam winner Roy Emerson would not have had as many titles.

I do remember growing up watching tennis – Laver, Rosewall, Stan Smith and Newcombe and marvelling at their ability with a wooden racquet.

Comparing the speed, talent, stamina and agility needed to play in today’s game makes the pre-modern era of tennis next to the present era look like softball next to baseball.

Sorry – I’ll take today’s champs any day!


Giner Says:

“Federer and Soderling have played nine times before and the Swiss has won on each occasion. Their 10th meeting, however, will have just a little more at stake. Andre Agassi is reportedly going to be there, so too will Bjorn Borg and the ever present Guillermo Vilas. But what about Pete Sampras?”

If Fed wins, Agassi will present the trophy. If Soderling wins, it will be Borg to present it. If Fed wins the US Open or Wimbledon for #15, it will probably be Sampras presenting it to him.


Von Says:

Soderling’s thoughts on his match v. Gonzalez. He said at one point he felt he had nothing to lose — positive thought processes. Well, if he keeps thinking along those lines at the FO final, he COULD win, and would be extremely deserving, IMO, of the title.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090605/sp_wl_afp/tennisfraopengonzalezsoderling

Don’t know if any US fans are around, but Bob Bryan and Liesl Huber won the mixed doubles. That’s good for US doubles, and am happy the US did not leave Paris empty-handed. YAY!!!

http://msn.foxsports.com/tennis/story/9646308/Huber,-Bryan-win-mixed-doubles-at-French-Open


huh Says:

Jane has made a fantastic point which I got late in making here. And that is Del Potro’s not at all content with the fact that he gave Fed a scare but he keeps insisting that only a victory’d have made him happy. This reveals his great spirit
& big goals.


Von Says:

huh: I’m with you on Laver and Gonzales. Even though I’ve always been a huge Sampras fan, I have always thought Laver by far, was the better player.


Andrew Miller Says:

I think Sampras said he would be at the match where Federer breaks the record.


Von Says:

jane: We are pretty much synchronized in our post timing. LOL. We both posted at 6:47 pm.


huh Says:

Gordo, it’s very easy to dismiss the accomplishments of the former tennis greats but well i.m.o if they’d the technology then, Fed’d have no takers. It’s the modesty of Sir Laver that he allows the names of Fed & Pete to be mentioned alongside him.


huh Says:

Sir Laver would have won so many slams had he played those 6 years that today’s player might very well have stopped dreaming of matching them.


zola Says:

huh,
can you give a link to that Laver match?

Jane,
Del Potro choked. He knows that he could have won. This was serious. He is right. He could have been the one in the final. Pricy lesson, but never too late. he is only 20.


Von Says:

http://www.pr-inside.com/del-potro-in-awe-of-crowd-rm1303303.htm

DelPotro’s views on the French response at his match today.

I’ve not seen one match today, as I’m busy trying to win my own match on arguments that can drag on for weeks. OY VEY.


huh Says:

When you watch the Borg, Laver etc in the old video clip recordings they must be looking so colourless and patchy, no? And watching Fed/Rafa on color TVs must be making them appear so much more energetic, athletic and elegant or exquisite, no?
Got it?


vared Says:

Novak and murray in USO. Soderling FO. All beginners. Nice


Von Says:

HD TV is very self-promoting. The crispness is unbelievable. In Laver’s time, TV was in it’s infant stages which makes it difficult to see and appreciate the wizardry of Laver’s shots. the man was very nimble!


FoT Says:

Del Potro said:
“If it had been in the best of three sets, I would have won and I would have come out of that court satisfied.”

That’s why it’s so hard to win a grand slam. They are NOT best of 3. You have to be fit to win a slam and I saw that Del Potro got a little slow in the last 2 sets…like he was running out of gas a little.

But hey, he’s still only 20. This one today wemt to the ‘old man’.


huh Says:

You are welcome Von!


huh Says:

Zola, I’m a complete fool on posting links. I can only say that I watched it by typing keywords on Google. You can also do it , it’s easy and you can enjoy too. I have saved a clip of a middle aged Laver playing the young Borg & Borg had no ans at all.


zola Says:

huh,

when the clip is playing, put your curser on the link displayed on top of your browser. copy and paste it here.

I will go look for it too.

thanks.


huh Says:

Zola, I think that match between Laver and Borg must be of the time of somewhere between 75-80. I have seen some other great clips as well and will try to give you information as to how to find them.
But as I said it’s easy to find them googling.


Giner Says:

If Soderling manages to knock off Nadal, Davydenko, Gonzalez and Federer back to back to win his first Slam on a surface he was not known to excel on, this would be the biggest GS win imaginable.

On a side note, no Australian Open men’s champion has ever won the French Open in the same year since Jim Courier in the early 90′s.

Von Says:

“Soderling’s thoughts on his match v. Gonzalez. He said at one point he felt he had nothing to lose — positive thought processes. Well, if he keeps thinking along those lines at the FO final, he COULD win, and would be extremely deserving, IMO, of the title.”

There’s no question Soderling is tough mentally. The question is, does he have the -talent- to beat Federer? When a lesser player upsets one of the top players in the game, it’s rare that Federer will also fall victim to said lesser player.


Von Says:

Ah,ha, so that’s how it’s done. OK now I’ll be able to copy those darn videos. I used to try copying from the video itself and couldn’t do it. Ahhsooo. I’m such a computer dummy.


Von Says:

Giner:

I do believe Soderling could beat Federer. Last year at Wimby he was up 5-1 and choked serving for the set, then Fed took over, and guess what, Fed won. Soderling is a huge server and has excellent groundies, so that gives him a fighting chance. But, considering he had to fight today, from the posts I’ve read, he could be mentally spent, and Federer could have the edge. In one of his press interviews he stated he had the toughest draw but still made it to the SFs. So we’ll see ….


huh Says:

Zola, what I must tell you is that yes I know the curser, copy and paste stuff, but it’s not needed . Just go to google, type keywords and enjoy.


zola Says:

huh,
that was funny! I get it now. You want us to do the hard work! ok! I will!


huh Says:

Von, there was some link which led me to save that clip from rapidshare webhosting, something like that. However the good thing’s I downloaded and saved it in my laptop. It’s much more entertaining and classier than any Nadal-Federer clip lemme tell ya!


huh Says:

B.t.w. it’s become fashionable to term S&V tennis as less exciting than baseline tennis, again a misconception! In fact running like police dogs and hitting the ball like elephants from baseline’s anybody’s game but the art of S&Ving is not as easy !


Von Says:

huh: Thanks for the info. I’m not into computer stuff, and only do research for work on my computer. I have a deal with my assistant, she does the actual typing and I’ll do the research; which means I don’t download anything else. When time permits I’ll try to watch the Laver match.


Von Says:

huh: I’ve stated on a previous thread in response to a poster’s comments on the one-dimensional aspect of Sampras’ S&V game — it’s a very tiring strategy and I don’t think the present baseliners can employ such a game for a whole GS tourney. Anyway, considering I don’t play competitively, and presently not at all. it’s just my silly opinion.


grendel Says:

“He really proved that he can handle the moment and fought back superbly.” Shan, on Soderling’s fight back in the 5th set. Margot made a similar point. I was staggered by Soderling’s revival – he looked down and out, with Gonzalez rampant. But then he just started playing as he’s been doing all week. I mention on the other thread what a shame it will be if a great and also unique player like Gonzalez never wins a slam. He’ll live in the memory far longer than many slam winners.

SG: reassuring to hear you backing your old bete noir Federer to win, but I’m not sure your points are valid. 1) “Soderling won’t hold up in the finals”. But it’s a new Soderling. We saw how barely relevant was Fed’s record against del Potro today. del Potro is growing in front of our eyes. The same, I submit, is the case w.r.t.Soderling. Alright, so Soderling is a late developer, but that’s feasible, it seems to me, since his problem was always mental, and this has clearly been successfully worked upon together with his back up team. His magnificent fightback in the 5th set surely confirms this. Federer has generally tended to find Soderling’s actual game hard to handle – he has, to some extent, relied on the Swede’s self-destruction. He is unlikely to have that luxury on Sunday.

2)”This is his last shot at this title. He’ll bring it all out on Sunday.” But is this doable at will? What is surely essential is that Federer serves very well. He has struggled in this tournament with his serve, including today – where it wasn’t disastrous, but it wasn’t flying, either. I find it fascinating that how a player’s serve is functioning does not, apparently, depend entirely upon his will. I remember McEnroe turning up at Wimbledon one year and gloomily announcing that he had lost his serve somewhere, almost as if he had mislaid it. That sort of thing is kind of understandable, but with Federer, these days, it seems almost a lottery as to how the serve is going to behave- and that in itself seems to be independent of the state of the rest of his game. Very mysterious.

Zola, I think it is hard to justify the notion that del Potro choked. Essentially, two things happened. 1)He tired and 2) Federer started to play better. You could argue that 2) is a function of 1), and to a degree, perhaps it was. But these days, the old man (yes, Margot) never plays well throughout a match. And he tends to play better as the match proceeds. That is a matter of observation. Finally, del Potro mounted a spirited fightback in 5th set, but it wasn’t quite good enough.


huh Says:

Serve and volley can be very painful for your @$$. Otherwise to play baseline tennis even a fat@$$ can somehow get lucky and get his good racquet on the ball but S&V can very well make a @$$hOL of him!


huh Says:

What happened to my latest post? Is it there?


Von Says:

huh: When Sampras hits his first serve, he immediately begins going forward to set up to hit the volley. Could imagine how many more miles he’s logged in comparison to a baseliner who just stands at the middle of the baseline and extends his arm to the left and/or right, or moves a few steps sideways? I wonder if Pete ever used a pedometer to calculate the actual miles he ran per match and a GS tourney. I also bet his glute muscles are still very taut and not droopy with age. LOL.


zola Says:

I have one comment on the Federer-DelPotro semi.

Someone lost the right to Federer-DelPotro match, somewhere along the way from France to USA!

The stupid NBC showed just Soderling’s match. Of course with delay.

Many of us called ( on funches’s initiative) the NBC. The lady who talked to me said that NBC did not have the right to Federer’s match.Only Soderling’s.

ESPN and tennis channel did not show it either because only NBC has the rights to the semis and the final. They would show tape delays!

So the question remains? Who got the rights to Federer’s match today ?! no one?

Or did NBC think one semi is enough for Americans. who watches tennis anyway?


zola Says:

grendel,

I agree. DP got tired in the fourth and fifth. but what about the second set tie-break?

He could have won that match in straights and he knows it.

and sure federer is a smart player and sensed DP’s nerves and tiredness and pushed on.


huh Says:

Von, my God the style of play was really difficult back in Pete’s days! I myself can’t go to the net more than two to three times nor would I bend while at motion under any cost to win. My gist is baseline tennis requires less fitness than S&V tennis.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Tennis channel could not show the Federer/Del Potro match live because they could not schedule an exact time to begin coverage of the Fed match since it was dependent when the 1st match would end. NBC had that match.

What they need is one network to have the rights to both semis and broadcast both semis back to back.


zola Says:

huh
***My gist is baseline tennis requires less fitness than S&V tennis.***

maybe for club players. Just watch the AO final or semis between Rafa and Verdasco.


huh Says:

grendel, those who are constantly buzzing about Soderling being a possible easy picking in the final very well
know that this is not the case. They probably
are surer than us of the fact that Soderling can very well beat Fed in this year’s final !


FoT Says:

But isn’t that why grand slams are so hard for the men to win? You HAVE to be in great physical condition. And in past people use to say the French was the hardest to win because it test your patience (although this year it’s playing more like a hard court).

But in men’s tennis – you have to be fit to win a slam. I just watched the tennis channel’s replay of Roger’s match and Del Potro really did look like he got tired in the 4th & 5th sets – while Roger looked like he could have stayed out there for another 2 hours. Maybe it’s Roger’s ‘style’ of play becauses I know Del Potro had to bend down a lot and tried to wack the cover off the balls, but that’s an area he definitely need to improve. And with him only 20 – I’m sure he’ll work on it.

I agree with whoever said earlier that it was a combination of Del Potro getting tired and Roger playing better in those 4 & 5 sets.

It will be interesting to see how the final goes on Sunday. I know I hope their H2H continues in the direction it is right now because I want to see Roger hold up that trophy.


jane Says:

Kimmi,

“but I remember you kept saying that JMDP does not have a game to trouble the top guys..he is very predictable you said. ”

I said he doesn’t have the game to trouble SOME of the guys. But i have acknowledge before that he has beaten Rafa and Murray both this year.

Anyhow, yes, I revise my opinion insofar as today he was less predictable (although, most often he still went cross court or into the body) and he showed gumption, variety and served better than I think i’ve ever seen him serve.


andrea Says:

my mantra has always been that in a best of five format (as long as he isn’t playing nadal) fed has the edge.

i guess could make a math equation out of it. if soderling (x) beats nadal (y), can he beat (z) federer, even though (x) always beat (z) at this tournament? (z) has always beaten (x) in their previous 9 meetings so what are the odds?

it’s true that roger’s serve is hit and miss these days – in the madrid final it was in full force.

as a fed fan, obviously i hope he would win on sunday (from a fan’s perspective) but for all the history riding on the outcome, how can you not hope he wins? talk about a gold star day in the history of the sport….


FoT Says:

andrea – not all the tennis fans are fed fans! lol! Some don’t want Roger to make history. But I have to admit the cards are lined up for him now. Plus, Agassi will award the trophy. Agassi won his French Open in his 10th attempt. This is Roger’s 10th attemp. They come into the final with almost the exact record that year. I just hope Roger don’t have to go through what Agassi went through to win his (coming back from 2-sets down). After everything that Roger has put us through this tournament – it would be nice to get a 3-set win for a change.


grendel Says:

Zola

“what about the second set tie-break?

He could have won that match in straights and he knows it.”

It is pure conjecture to say he choked in the tie break. Federer has a particularly good record in breakers and, unless compelling evidence to the contrary is offered, you have to give the credit to the person who actually wins the points. Also, if del potro had won the second set the dynamic would have been different, and we just don’t know what would have happened.

In general, these days, if Federer is to win a big match against one of the top players, it is always likely to be close. He no longer has the ability to steamroll the very best, or even the second tier performers. Therefore, there will always tend to be opportunity to question the nature of his victories.

This will happen again and again, I predit – either that, or Fed will fade away altogether. The final on Sunday will be extremely close, I should imagine. I hope we will be able to agree that whoever wins deserves to win. Of course, there are bound to be missed opportunities to madden the hearts of all of us, one way or another….


zola Says:

grendel,
I said that because all DP was serving out of this world during the first two sets. I knw, tie-break is another dynamics, experience, nerves, …so many things. I think if he could concentrate more and at least hold, it could have been different.


zola Says:

grendel,
I think after tomorrow’s final, Fed will be a much happier person and more confident. And that will translate to other matches and tournaments.

and sure whoever wins, deserves to win. The match wasn’t handed over to Fed. He got it. But Del Potro could have been the winner too.


zola Says:

FoT
****Agassi will award the trophy. Agassi won his French Open in his 10th attempt. This is Roger’s 10th attemp.***

that is so interesting.

perhaps divine intervention! because this is the most bizzare FO I have ever seen.

and congratz for Fed’s win.


mel Says:

i’m still looking for fedisafraid…haven’t been posting in a while….


grendel Says:

mel

fedisafraid congratulated Federer on his victory


Gordo Says:

huh Says:
When you watch the Borg, Laver etc in the old video clip recordings they must be looking so colourless and patchy, no? And watching Fed/Rafa on color TVs must be making them appear so much more energetic, athletic and elegant or exquisite, no?
Got it?

Posted June 5th, 2009 at 7:11 pm

=========================

No, huh – they just looked slow. Talented, but slow. Colour has nothing to do with it. When Laver won his first slam the 100m record wasn’t even below 10 seconds.

Everything was slower then. Today’s athletes are just better. End of story.


Von Says:

A clip from solerling’s press conference.

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/ukyvideo?ch=5127641&cl=13834420&lang=

A clip from the tie-break, it looks like it was an excitement filled tie-breaker — wish I could have seen the match.

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/ukyvideo?ch=5127641&cl=13837136&lang=


Cindy_Brady Says:

Del Potro did like he got tired. His movement slowed down and he lost some pop on his big serve. Federer took full advantage. I don’t thin this will be the case with Soderling. He is in better shape than Del Potro. Soderling’s coach is a fitness fanatic.

Federer will have to out “Finesse” and play error free ball to beat Soderling. Power wise Soderling is stronger and fitness wise they are equal. It will probably come down to Feds experience and intangibles like his 9-0 record over Soderling.

Still though, I can’t help think how helpless Nadal and Davydenko looked. Two of the quickest and fittest players around. It looked like a heavy weight fighting a welterweight in those two matches.

My pick:

Soderling in 4 sets.


LFC Says:

JMDP is the upcoming nr 1!!!
zola: Borg vs Laver video at Hilton Head:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMfBpkUJeKE
Now slow motion is needed. And Laver-vs-Roche http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs


blah Says:

If it goes 5, Federer will win. Soderling Has to win the 1st set to have a shot, imo.

Federer in 5.


vared Says:

I predict a straight set win for Fed..”

Kimo, Fed couldn’t beat Acasuso, Haas or DelPotro in straight sets. Soderling beat Nadal, I don’t get the logic.


Andrew Miller Says:

Because Roddick is not in the final, I’d like Federer to win.


Von Says:

Borg is supporting Soderling, so I’m sure he’s whispering in Soderling’s ear, and it’s not ‘sweet nothings’ but Borg’s strategy on how to beat Federer. I still think Soderling could win, even if it goes to 5 sets based on physicality. Gonzo is not an easy opponent, and could have drained soderling physically, hence, if Soderling’s energy reserves are decent, he could go the distance and emerge the winner. On the other hand, Soderling could be mentally spent, and Federer would have the mental edge in 5 sets. But, only time will tell …. and it’s not esy to pick a winner in that match.

Yesterday, some posters, including Sean, predicted only six (6) more sets to go for Federer. However, we’ve seen today that prediction was off by more than a mile, which makes predictions kinda moot, and nothing’s a sure thing in sports.


Andrew Miller Says:

Soderling definitely can win. He’s focused. I think Federer is focused also. Should be a good outing on Sunday.

I had no idea Agassi would be presenting the trophy. It would be fitting if the favorite wins, but this is sports: whoever wins, wins.

I hope Federer enjoys this one though. I hope he really digs in.


Andrew Miller Says:

Ha, if Borg is whispering in Soderling’s ear about how to beat Federer, then Federer really and truly is playing against history itself.

Only more reason to cheer for Federer. For the first time in a while, I really would like to see him dig in and win it.


Giner Says:

Fed had a lacklustre clay season until Madrid, losing to Wawrinka and then Djokovic, and I had my doubts that he would make the FO final, but he just somehow always finds a way to step it up when the slams come.

The only thing in his way now is the realization that history is once again in his grasp. He could have made #14 in Australia and choked. The stakes are just as high as they were in OZ if not higher. Can he choke twice?

On the one hand, it’s Soderling (9-0 H2H) on the other side, and not Nadal (6-12) but Soderling has nothing to lose, and he says his mindset going into matches is “I don’t give a shit.” I’m inclined to think that if the match goes to a 5th set, Soderling will NOT implode, if he is being honest about his approach to big matches. For Fed to win, he’ll have to blow Soderling away in straight sets.

I’ll agree with the analyst who says Fed’s opponent can instill some self-doubt into him if he can keep it close. Fed likes being a front runner, and if he doesn’t have a comfortable cushion as he is used to having, he might panic.

Soderling will play aggressively and go for it. It worked against Nadal. He only needs to do it one more time for possibly the most satisfying GS win: To be a huge underdog and beat the odds 4 times in a row against 3 top 10 players.

If Federer loses this final, it will sting a lot worse than losing to Nadal in Australia. At least in Australia he was playing catch up against a guy who had a winning record against him. This is Robin Soderling, a GS final debutante whom he is undefeated against. A chance to win the French Open without facing his greatest nemesis, Nadal. This is as good a chance as he will ever get. The last time he had a chance this big was in 2004. It may be his last.

I’m not taking sides. Whoever wins, for me it will be a very big story for tennis.


Von Says:

Let’s hope Federer does enjoy the FO and hopefully he doesn’t cry, win or lose, because if he does, then all that will be left would be the USO to complete his career Grand Slams for tears and/or crying spells. LOL. I’m ducking from the virtual bottles and knives that are being thrown my way right now, not to mention the lovely adjectives of @#$%^&*. LOL. Sorry, but I just couldn’t resist this one.


Giner Says:

NachoF Says:

“I was just looking at the ranking points breakdown for both players…. is there any reason why reaching the finals at the Aussie Open is worth less points than on any other GS??… Fed has 1200 points for his performance at Australian Open 2009 but 1400 for his Wimbledon 08 performance”

The ranking points awarded for runner ups has changed for 2009. RUP in a Slam is now worth 1200 instead of 1400. You get to keep whatever points you got from 2008 until they come off. If Fed is RUP again at Wimbledon, his 1400 will shrink to 1200.

The same ratio is applied to Masters 1000s. RUP used to get 70% of the points the winner gets, now it’s down to 60% which I feel is unreflective of the effort needed to reach the final. Is one more win really worth 40%? Or more accurately, should coming one match short lose you 40% of your points? 70% was just right.


Dan Martin Says:

I think mats Wilander and Bjorn Borg (not to mention Magnus Norman) will be of a help to Soderling so long as he avoids Paralysis by Analysis. I think Soderling saw the blue print for how he needs to win in how JMDP played for 3 sets. Soderling is not going to emulate Haas or Monaco, but he can hit big serves, avoid break points and control return games with first strike returns. I think if he plays a really good match of first strike tennis and wins the first set he has a real shot. I think if Federer wins the first set and gets rolling it could be his day. If Federer can also use some of his defensive and offensive skills to limit Soderling’s free points, then Federer is playing the match he wants to play. If Federer can be tidy on his service games and even use placement and power on his serve to get his own set of free points, it takes away or neutralizes some of Soderling’s strategy. I guess the number of times Soderling can plant and hit through the court will be correlated to his success. The number of times Roger can wrong foot, hit behind and get Soderling off balance will correlate to Federer’s success.

I don’t think either should be tired from today’s matches physically speaking. I hope neither has a repeated use injury such as tendinitis or blisters hamper their play. 2 nights of sleep and nutrition experts should have them fit physically. Each may have expended a lot of emotional energy today and if that does not replenish it may lead to a flat final for one of them.


Daniel Says:

Von the “Crying Slam” is priceless! :) Lol
You can bet he will cry buckets if he wins FO!


Von Says:

Daniel:

“Von the “Crying Slam” is priceless! :) Lol
You can bet he will cry buckets if he wins FO!”

Thanks for not slaughering me, but I couldn’t resist that one even though I’d probably be killed. Hey, even if Fed doesn’t win the FO, he’d still have a career GS record for crying because he did cry at his first USO win. LOL. We’ll have a Kodak moment for sure with Sharapova using her shot spot camera. Why not go all the way, yes? no?


jane Says:

“Crying slam”? Ha ha that is a good one!! Yeah, I’d imagine that this would bring on the tears of joy.

Von the joke makes me feel a teeny tiny wee bit better about Djoko’s so-called “retirement slam” which is hopefully never going to happen!! Oh well…


Von Says:

Correction @ 11:53 pm, I should have said, “even if Fed wins or loses the FO, he’ll still ….


Von Says:

jane: “Von the joke makes me feel a teeny tiny wee bit better about Djoko’s so-called “retirement slam” which is hopefully never going to happen!! Oh well…”

Yeah, I hope for yours and Djoko’s sake he doesn’t accomplish the ‘retirement career grand slam’.


Von Says:

jane: BTW, I don’t know whether you or vared, (who is not talking to me) LOL, saw my post on the other thread in response to the garbage collector stuff.


vared Says:

From Von:I don’t know whether you or vared, (who is not talking to me) LOL, saw my post on the other thread in response to the garbage collector stuff.

I didn’t see it. Which thread? I don’t always go back and check older threads.


Von Says:

Daniel: How about if Fed wins the French could get that American band to accompany Johnnie Mac singing: “You’re still the one” like they did at the USO, and the other song “You’re better than all the rest”, sung by Cliff Drysdale, and then the Swiss National Anthem, sung by Borg, with Tony Godsig making laps around Phillipe Chatrier holding the Swiss flag (because he’ll be seeing his 20% commission and several sponsor endorsements flowing in) LOL. Can you just imagine that scenery. Ha ha.


Von Says:

vared:

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-06-03/1472.php

Mine is the last comment on that thread.


esterlyt Says:

Soderling has impressed me this tournament, that come from behind in the 5th was a miracle-like happening, blisters nearly crippling him and he overcame it all.
He has just as much game as Roger. It will be quite a match, I hope it goes 5.
You can’t really discount his win over Nadal and the clean win over Davydenko, he was on fire. I don’t see why he can’t do it again, he’s young.
Some day I’d like to see Gonzo win a major, bless him he always gives us good tennis.


jane Says:

Von – I think I saw that and agreed with you so didn’t respond. I had also mentioned to vared that it was a pointless exercise since there are clear favourites and others who are always ripe for the guillotine.


Andrew Miller Says:

I watched some clips from Soderling vs. Gonzalez. I think there is one thing that works: change of pace. I think Federer has the ability to do this – to mix spins and slices. Federer is not Gonzalez, whose questionable shot-making means he is either great or awful. Federer is smart enough not to enter into an arms race with Soderling.

So – the more Soderling is running, the better. I think Federer certainly has the ability to lure Soderling into that game of wrong-footing, running hard and genuinely feeling uncomfortable out there. So far everyone has played into Soderling’s hands: Gonzalez liked the idea of slugfest; Davydenko and Nadal’s “super consistency (in Nadal’s case, “ultimate power consistency”) basically allowed Soderling to un-nerve them with his “first fire” offensive – take the first shot and keep taking it.

So I think Federer has a real shot out there, so long as he makes it really uncomfortable for Soderling. I am sure that Soderling would like to play his smash the opponent game plan, hit hard as hell and Safinate Federer. But Federer has a lot of experience against the big bashers and handles power pretty well, because he has all kinds of spins.

So my hope is that Federer does not play “arms race” tennis – rather, that he does not get lured into the “rally until you drop or get dropped”. I hope he drop shots, serves and volleys, plays some first strike but also throws different looks. We have to admit that Federer is not Davydenko, nor Gonzalez, nor Nadal – he is a unique opponent.

Guys that have beaten Federer in the biggest settings (Djokovic, Nadal, Murray…that’s pretty much it) overturned Federer either with numbing consistency (Nadal), unnerving unpredictability and change of pace (Murray) or clever shot-making and a combination of things (Djokovic). Tennis is a game of match-ups, and I dont see how Soderling can possibly learn, in 48 hours, the maddening spins and change of pace of Murray, numbing consistency and fleet of foot, sheer speed of Nadal, or variety of game (Djokovic) – two of the three “out-Federered” Federer, and one of them got everything back and took lightyears to finish matches (one could argue that Nadal’s win at Wimbledon was due just as much to the fact that it took forever because of Nadal’s absolute bending of the time rules – if the game were played at the server’s pace, maybe Federer could have seen a W at last year’s contest).

Soderling’s game, if anything, is like Gonzalez and Safin: first strike, paint the lines. I think Federer enjoys playing those players (Soderling is not Del Potro). So I think there’s no chance that Soderling can “out Federer Federer”. I think he would have to serve exceptionally well and play well enough off the ground to force Federer to feel pressure and collapse mentally. It could happen.

But if Federer is curious out there…I think it’s Federer’s win. And from his press conferences, it is clear that Federer is thinking and improvising during his matches, and, despite hiccups, he’s coming out on top. He’s played all sorts of players this tournament, including those that play like Soderling. He can do it.

So can Soderling. But Federer’s already played a lot of Soderlings this tournament. He’s more than prepared.

But Soderling has not played any Federers this tournament. It’s a different beast for him.


huh Says:

Zola, it’s very bad to say that
JMDP choked yesterday in the TB. If winning against Fed in straight sets in slams was that easy, then everybody’d be doing that. Moreover these days it’s not only Fed’s rivals who lose sets they shoulda won, but Fed too !


margot Says:

Andrew Miller: this is why I like this blog, some posts, like yours are just so interesting to read.
grendel: I really do hope that this mighty champ doesn’t fade away like some poor wounded bull elephant. I hope he finds a way to go with dignity.
I like Soderling, I like his guts, I like the way he plays such “go for it” tennis. If he were playing anyone except Federer, oh and Andy M of course, I’d love him to win, but like everyone here I feel this is Fed’s last chance at RG, so here’s wishing and hoping…


huh Says:

Watchin Fed’s nervousness and tension sort of made me feel like he was playing against Nadal or the A-level Safin or Nalbandian ! In fact one FH of Del in 3rd game of last set was so good that even Fed smiled in appreciation! This speaks volumes.


MMT Says:

In reference to Laver, I think the match with Borg is the Hilton Head (Island in South Carolina) semi-final of 1976, which Laver loses in straight sets. Laver’s almost 38 and Borg is 20 and has already won the French twice, but not yet Wimbledon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-VeBIal8TU

The next clip is Laver losing to Connors in 4 sets at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas in a winner take all $100K exhibition. Connors had just lost his Australian Open title in the final to John Newcombe. Laver looks a lot better here because the surface is quicker and camera angles capture his quickness and agility better – he is 35 in this clip.

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

This next clip is Laver in his second calendar grand slam year, winning his 4th Wimbledon (second Open Wimbledon and second in a row). He beats Ashe in the semi-final in this one – he’s 31 here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpdPX9avs1M

This last one is the 1960 Wimbledon final against Neal Fraser. Laver is 22 here and has already beaten Fraser in the final of the Australian Championships, but he loses this one. His touch and feel at net aren’t nearly as good here as say the match with Connors, but he’s much quicker around the court.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0-6cRPqA8g

The commentary’s all in Italian – if anyone speaks I’d love a translation of anything interesting.


skeezweezer Says:

I feel like Nostradomas. I said in a preious post that out to the last two matches he had left his semi’s would be his toughest against Potro. JDP, a couple of years later with experience, could have pulled off the th upset. I knew it would had the potential to be a 50/50 match. But like I said, he if he wins the semi, he WILL take the FO crown. RS run will end, he played great, but what has he won? Feds Exp and the the seemingly great resolve through some obvious nervous moments through this tourney have seasoned him to play a solid final. He will find a way to win and undisputedly will become GOAT. I’m out


Ra Says:

Giner Says: “Fed likes being a front runner, and if he doesn’t have a comfortable cushion as he is used to having, he might panic.”

I feel that if Federer has shown anything particular of note this week, it’s that he’s not currently panicking when he sees himself behind on the scoreboard.

I was not at all of the opinion that Federer was going to have an easy match with Del Potro, but I’m a bit more confident that Federer will survive to hoist the trophy. I can’t see him losing this one unless he goes totally Federror or plays an extremely uncharacteristically one dimensional match.

I agree with Dan and others that this tournament has been a lesson on not looking too far ahead. On a personal note, Madrid was the first in a long time that I denied myself even a glimpse of the draw, and it actually made the tournament a lot more exciting for me. I don’t intend to shun the draw sheet from now on, but, at the very least, the change of pace was really nice.


Ra Says:

On an irrelevant note, how long will Simona Halep maintain the dubious distinction of Most Popular Photo? Because, you know, there’s apparently more than one route to tennis “immortality”.


Kimo Says:

I noticed that the GOAT debate on this thread was started by those who don’t like Federer or at least think he doesn’t deserve that title (if we can call it that).

Why are you getting defensive all of a sudden? ;)

Let’s put this debate to rest for now until the tournament is over, but I doubt any of you will change your mind. Some of us are lucky enough to see that what Federer is doing right in front of our eyes is history. His run as a tennis player may not be the best run “of all time”, but it will take decades at least before someone could match it. If we don’t wait that long to see such a talent again then hey, we’re just too lucky I guess. :)


Kimo Says:

vared said:

“Kimo, Fed couldn’t beat Acasuso, Haas or DelPotro in straight sets. Soderling beat Nadal, I don’t get the logic.”

Ok here’s the logic: Soderling never went this far in a best-of-five tournament. His body will shut down mid-match. I guarantee it. He’s never had an entire fortnight of best-of-5 matches. Don’t tell me he’s young and he’ll recover, we’ve seen what happened to Del Potro.

Also, GS finals are matches where experince plays a bigger part than probably any other match. How to be able to pace yourself and wait for the next momentum shift to really start going for your shots. That’s how Federer outlasts his opponents.

Let’s not forgget that Federer relishes playing big hitters like Soderling. Sure they may give him a run for his money if they’re having a great serving day like JMDP did (not being broken for 3 1/2 sets on CLAY(!) is almost an impossible achievement).

Last but not least, only Nadal can stand up to Roger in a slam final. Maybe Murray too, but we’ll have to see him in more finals to judge him better.

So Fed in straight sets for me, maybe four in Soderling can win the opener or the seconds set, but there’s no way the final will go to five and no way Sodeling is going to take it.


Kimo Says:

Did you guys know that last night’s match was Federer’s 200th in a slam?

WOW.


Kimo Says:

Fed said this after the match:

“It feels great coming through tough matches like this. It’s more emotional. It’s more satisfaction, even though I love matches when I can really dominate an opponent. But this is also a great feeling of coming through this way, not the easy way, showing different qualities. It’s not always something I’ve actually had a chance to show, because matches were over too quickly sometimes. It’s good for me, so my career hopefully is going to be longer because of those matches, in the long run.”


Kimo Says:

zola said:

“Del Potro choked. He knows that he could have won. This was serious. He is right. He could have been the one in the final. Pricy lesson, but never too late. he is only 20.”

He didn’t choke. His body did. It wasn’t a mental thing. His mind was there the enitre match, his body just shut down on him.


Roger would wins! Not that he is the best! Says:

Just like his previous grand slams. He will be cashing in for sure! That Soderling guy is lucky to get to the final of a grand slam. He could dead tired for his Gonzalez. And he is going to choke badly even if he is in the lead in the final. All these nerves he has for being in a grand slam final. Roger wins his grand slams, if the best players are being beaten. Roger would has another cheap grand slam win for his resume. And Soderling would gets beaten in 3 sets. He is lucky to to the final. So what? If he had beaten Davydenko? The guy just returned from his injury. And Nadal is tired. And Gonzalez is getting old.


Ricky Says:

I didn’t bother with the French. When Djokovic, Nadal and Murray were be beaten! They were tiring themselves out with all these tournaments prior to the French Open. This French Open reminded me, when Federer was winning all these slams. There weren’t really anyone there to challenge him. So this is really boring! Federer would beats Soderling in three sets in the final. That guy is lucky to be in the final, with Davydenko just returned to the ATP tour from his injuried. Nadal is tired! And Gonzalez is just happened to be a veteran on the tour. I am pretty sure that, Soderling could not handle the stress for being in a Grand Slam final. Well, Federer would wins! But not that he is best!


PietjeP Says:

Kimo, Zola;

I think the big thing was the DelPo serve. It got slightly less in the 4th and 5th and he wasn’t able anymore to finish of those high mid court returns from Fed.

But boy was his serve on fire! His second serve is 180km per hour! That is about Rafa’s first serve speed :)

In the end it was a combination of 2 things as well. Fed lifting his game up and DelPo getting a little fatigued. But he fighted until the end, so everybody needs to give DelPo the credit he deserves…


margot Says:

jane et al. : u r right re JMDP and stamina issues. As I was watching…sorry my American friends…the first couple of sets yesterday I thought, “Blimey!! How could Andy M have beaten this?” Then I saw full well how Andy did it, it was over 5 sets, whereas recently JMDP beat him over 3. If you look at the first serve sats for both players they mirror exactly the progression of the match. Of course JMDP is very young and still developing physically so time will tell, but I also feel, as has been said, he has speed issues as well. I think someone like Hewitt in his heyday, would beat him consistently.
As far as Soderling is concerned, I thought, as I was watching the match yesterday…sorry again…that there is a big weakness in his game. He’s very slow and awkward looking at the net. He doesn’t have those “soft hands” the pundits love.


huh Says:

Exactly PietjeP, I mean it was a match which forced even the rowdy Parisians to applaud the effort of Del Potro towards the match end though they were against him in beginning! The match was a super success and no choke was there from any side , simple.


Von Says:

Kimo: “His run as a tennis player may not be the best run “of all time”, but it will take decades at least before someone could match it. If we don’t wait that long to see such a talent again then hey, we’re just too lucky I guess. :)”

You’re kidding, right! Decades? Come on, it took Federer 11 years to equal Sampras’ record, and it took Sampras approx. 14 years to beat Emerson’s records, so why would it take ‘decades’ to beat Federer’s records? Considering Nadal already has 6 GS titles and is still actively playing, with 7 or possibly 8 more GS titles to catch Federer, I think there’s a real possibility Fed’s record could be broken in 3 to 4 years by Nadal.

I, for one don’t much care about records being made or broken, but for those who do, it should be remembered that history repeats itself every 10 years or thereabouts, hence records will be broken. I’m sure Mark Spitz didn’t think Michael Phelps would come along to shatter and exceed his gold medal count, but it happened and someone will come along to beat Phelps’ records. This is why we have absolute terms in adjectives: positive, comparative and superlative, hence for every good, there’s a better and then a best. And this one’s just for you: “great, greater, greatest”. (a smiley here)

___________________________
MMT: Thanks for those links to Laver’s matches. As time permits, I’ll try to fit them into my schedule, but I want to savour each one. Eventually, I’ll be able to give you and huh some feed-back. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Laver was a ‘nimble’ man, from the little I’ve seen of some of his matches. His height was perfect for running and moving on the court.


Von Says:

What is happening to my posts?


Von Says:

Staff: my posts are being eaten ujp. What’s goin g on?


Von Says:

Staff; I’m receiving a message that I’ve submitted a duplicate post, but it’s not here. Please help!!


Von Says:

Kimo: “His run as a tennis player may not be the best run “of all time”, but it will take decades at least before someone could match it. If we don’t wait that long to see such a talent again then hey, we’re just too lucky I guess. :)”

You’re kidding, right! Decades? Come on, it took Federer 11 years to equal Sampras’ record, and it took Sampras approx. 15 years to beat Emerson’s records, but it could have been 13 years had Sampras not taken a sabbatical, so why would it take ‘decades’ to beat Federer’s records? Considering Nadal already has 6 GS titles and is still actively playing, with 7 or possibly 8 more GS titles to catch Federer, I think there’s a real possibility Fed’s record could be broken in 3 to 4 years by Nadal.

I, for one don’t much care about records being made or broken, but for those who do, it should be remembered that history repeats itself every 10 years or so, hence records will be broken. I’m sure Mark Spitz didn’t think Michael Phelps would come along to shatter and exceed his gold medal count, but it happened and someone will come along to beat Phelps’ records. This is why we have absolute terms adjectives: positive, comparative and superlative, hence for every good, there’s a better and then a best. And this one’s just for you: “great, greater, greatest”. (a smiley here)


Von Says:

MMT: Thanks for those links to Laver’s matches. As time permits, I’ll try to fit them into my schedule, but I want to savour each one. Eventually, I’ll be able to give you and huh some feed-back. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Laver was a ‘nimble’ man, from the little I’ve seen of some of his matches. His height was perfect for running and moving on the court.


Von Says:

I’ve been able to watch Soderling’s SF match and yes, he’s not good at the net. Also, he’s awkward on his FH returns on the deuce side of the court. I think Federer will have already watched and analyzed Soderling’s return game and will most probably exploit Soderling’s FH returns.


zola Says:

huh
***
Zola, it’s very bad to say that
JMDP choked yesterday in the TB. If winning against Fed in straight sets in slams was that easy, then everybody’d be doing that. Moreover these days it’s not only Fed’s rivals who lose sets they shoulda won, but Fed too !

****

why is it **bad** to say he choked?
He was firing aces left and right. His serve was bot broken till the fourth set. But he was not able to serve properly in the tie-break. It was the second set. he was not tired.

Seems there is a “code of conduct” by some Federer fans that everybody else here has to observe.
please write a list of “bad ” things so that I do not commint another sin!


huh Says:

What’s surprising about the Fed-Del Potro match’s that Fed made just 29 U.E. over 5 sets while these days he easily makes 10+UE per set. Despite keeping UE this low, Fed couldn’t defeat Del
easily which means they were playing at top level for most part.


Shan Says:

I think Federer’s drop shot strategy against Del Potro was very good, it was really a conditioning test.

Contrast the earlier sets to the 5th set. Del Potro was retrieving very well early on, but Federer saw Del Potro’s conditioning diminishing later in the match and took advantage with all those drop shots – Del Potro wasn’t retrieving the same in the 5th. It takes a lot of energy to come to move to the and move back. It was a smart strategy.


huh Says:

Zola, I can’t set up any code of conduct for anybody out here, I’m not that knowledgeable. By the way you haven’t commited sin and neither have I by countering your allegation of choke from Del Potro.


Shan Says:

@Andrew Miller – I agree that Murray’s game uses change of pace a lot which a lot of players don’t see normally, but other than that and some droppers here and there I think that he could grow quite a bit more variety in his game.

I do appreciate his change of pace tactic in a lot of matches particularly with his improved conditioning, because it requires much more energy to return a Murray slow ball with fast pace, and over the course of a long match that can be much more physically draining


Shan Says:

Zola we’re not all Christians here so some of us cannot sin in its literal meaning ;)

But I’m sure that you use the word figuratively which is probably the same way huh uses the word “bad” – figuratively rather than literally to mean “I disagree with your opinion”. The message is the same


Shan Says:

Or Jewish


fed is afraid Says:

when did sampras take a sabbatical? that was agassi.


Shan Says:

He might have taken it in the 5th set, is he Orthodox?


Von Says:

Sampras had a back injury in 2000 and did not compete for quite a while.

He probaably is Greek Orthodox, since he’s Greek.


huh Says:

Zola, actually these real or perceived chokes happening from time to time have played a part in making some players appear too great. And for your kind information none have benefited more from these real/perceived chokes than my fav Fed or your fav Rafa.


huh Says:

Shan, you are very intellient indeed to understand that I used ‘bad’ not at all in a strictly bashing sense or with any hard feelings. Thank you very much for that as now I think Zola’ll listen to you and not feel too BAD in literal sense of the term.


Shan Says:

Kuznetsova took the first set…sweet, dat rocks


Kimo Says:

Von Said:

“You’re kidding, right! Decades? Come on, it took Federer 11 years to equal Sampras’ record, and it took Sampras approx. 15 years to beat Emerson’s records, but it could have been 13 years had Sampras not taken a sabbatical, so why would it take ‘decades’ to beat Federer’s records? Considering Nadal already has 6 GS titles and is still actively playing, with 7 or possibly 8 more GS titles to catch Federer, I think there’s a real possibility Fed’s record could be broken in 3 to 4 years by Nadal.”

Nadal is not going to win as much slams as he has already, let alone 7 or 8 more. Sure, records get broken all the time, but the records are sort of getting saturated. Human beings have limitations, You mention Phelps and Spitzer, there was a span of 36 years between there records. So there you go: decades.


Kimo Says:

I thought Safina had matured. I’m disappointed at he attitude today. She’s acting like the lil brat she’s been since forever.

Kuz is winning because he game is more of a clay court game: heavy top spin, the ability to run every ball, slides well, plays the drop shot well, volleys well.

Safina’s game looks awefully one-dimensional today.


Shan Says:

lol – Safina double faulted on Kuznetsova’s match point. Now that my friends is what you call a choke!


Shan Says:

@Kimo – absolutely, Safina is consistent but when it really matters, when grand slam fame comes knocking at her door, she crumbles. She needs to get a full time, 24/7, 365 days a year sports psychologist and she needs to become more independent


sensationalsafin Says:

Actually, that’s not a choke. That’s just being really tight and nervous. Choking is when you have the match on your racket and blow it by getting tight. It’s when you double fault on your match point then hit a bunch of errors. Djokovic’s first set against Federer at the 07 USO final is a perfect example. Djokovic was playing great, then at the end when he held set points, he started missing everything. That’s choking. DelPo didn’t have match points but he did choke in that game at 3-3 in the fifth. Safina didn’t choke when she was down a set and a match point. Only Kuznetsova had the opportunity to choke there. Although she wasn’t actually given the chance.


Shan Says:

@sensationalsafin – I see – thx!


sensationalsafin Says:

Don’t thank me, thank Pete Sampras for explaining it really well in his book!


margot Says:

Kutnetsova has a much more varied all round game and also looked like a much better athlete. Once again a women’s final disappoints. Guess real final was Kut v. Serena, which I didn’t see, but from scoreline seems much closer.


jane Says:

Didn’t think the final would be quite so lopsided, but congrats to Kuz for the win! I think Kuz’s draw was tougher and prepared her better, but it’s been back and forth between Kuz and Safina this clay season so I knew the final could go either way.


Cindy_Brady Says:

It’s amazing how a player can be ranked #1, yet not have won a grand slam tournament. I know they base these rankings on a 12 month calender and the points are based accordingly, but geez!!

Shouldn’t the #1 player in the world at least be required to own one of the 4 biggest titles in the sport? How can someone be number 1 when they can’t win the big one? Just doesn’t compute!


huh Says:

Women’s final teaches- keep working and you’ll be rewarded your @$$ off sooner or later! Just look at Kuz, won USO in 2004 & now FO ! But the most emotional for me was when the hard working-ever trying-never tiring Goran finally won HIS WIM in 2001 ! :-)


Kimmi Says:

Jane, I agree. Kutzy was prepared well with the tough matches with Serena and Stutor. I think she is becoming mentally stronger too, to come back on those matches after “choking” was incredible. Safina had it too easy, it was misleading to her. Unless you are Nadal last year FO or Federer in his prime winning easy matches all the way to the final.

Congratulation Kuzy, looks like she is starting to live up to her potential. I always thought she is a very good player with great variety. The forehand can be lethal and she can volley very well. Hope she continues this way and win many more GS.


TejuZ Says:

sensationalsafin Says:”DelPo didn’t have match points but he did choke in that game at 3-3 in the fifth”

Infact he was down 0-40 in that game and Fed dint return well the next 3 points on 2nd serve, Del Po took advantage it to bring it to deuce. Fed returned the next ball pretty deep which Del Po found difficult to return.. and then ofcourse the double fault. So.. i dont term it as a choke, cuz the match was never on Del Po’s racket at that stage of the match.. it was more on fed’s.


Giner Says:

Heh, Women’s final has been over for hours and still no report on this site.

Safy has made me look stupid. When two chokers play, one choker has to win right?

Now she’s 0 for 3 in GS finals, and remains a slamless #1.


Giner Says:

I forgot to congratulate Kuznetsova. Well done. This is a relief of sorts for her too. She has now shed the “one slam wonder” tag and won’t have to worry about that tag being passed around after she retires.

She can take it easy now. It’s still a disappointing slam from the women’s side, but this is the least predictable GS of the year for women (and as it turned out, for men too this year).

Venus is expected to win Wimbledon and one of the sisters for US Open. I don’t even remember who won the US Open last year. I was that indifferent.


grendel Says:

one could argue that Federer choked in the first set against del Pot – twice he had break point. But I don’t think it’s true. He just wasn’t quite good enough. Similarly, Federer raised his game in the tie break, del Potro did not choke I don’t think. People are too quick to bring up the choke word – and generally it’s used to try to make a point which makes them feel better about things. Yes, Djokovic against Federer was classic choke. The most notorious ones, I suppose, are Novotna against Graf and McEnroe against Lendl in French Open. Rafter openly admitted choking against Sampras in Wimbie final. Federer and Nadal have both choked against each other, Federer more grotesquely.

Kuznezova has had more than her share of choking. Good to see her win today. Apart from Serena, she is the most complete player on the circuit. Safina is a lovely person and a terrific trier, but she doesn’t have the options of someone like Kuznezova. There are some talented youngsters coming up, and if Safina doesn’t pull one out soon, her chance will be gone.

How tactful Kuznezova was following the handshake etc. Safina didn’t quite do a Federer, she managed to save it for the locker room – admire that, can’t have been easy.


Giner Says:

Andrew:

“one could argue that Nadal’s win at Wimbledon was due just as much to the fact that it took forever because of Nadal’s absolute bending of the time rules – if the game were played at the server’s pace, maybe Federer could have seen a W at last year’s contest”

Can I ask how Federer managed to get two W’s over Nadal at Wimbledon in spite of Nadal presumably also bending the time rules in those years as he did in 2008? If he can do it twice, why not a third time? I hope you’re not attributing Fed’s loss exclusively to this.

Fed’s shot sailed long on break point and he got broken. It could have gone either way, but he missed. It’s as simple as that. A game of inches and all that.


Giner Says:

“So can Soderling. But Federer’s already played a lot of Soderlings this tournament. He’s more than prepared.

But Soderling has not played any Federers this tournament. It’s a different beast for him.”

Can you define what a ‘Federer’ is? How many other Federers are there in the game? Can you name them?


zola Says:

Giner,
great post. Seems Rafa can’t do anything right!

Ah…
I wanted Safina to win her first GS.

But congratulations to Kuzzy, she has been waiting for this for a long time too….

I didn’t watch the match, but 70 minutes and a straight sets win, seems Safina did not fight that much.


jane Says:

“It’s still a disappointing slam from the women’s side, but this is the least predictable GS of the year for women”

In a sense, it was less disappointing. First, we really got a taste here of the upcoming talent and Sharapova returned. Second I thought both Serb girls looked a little stronger here. Third, this slam final in my opinion was as it should’ve been, in that Safina had won Rome and Madrid and Kuz had won Stuttgart. In many ways they were the best two of the clay season.

While I agree that Kuz is the overall better player, somehow I thought Safina would do better as she seemed to find both form and confidence on the clay. But she’s really not a big match player thus far. She may come into when she’s a bit older. Right now, I still think she’s just too intense. She needs to enjoy a little more. I think Kuz is there now. Not giving up the intensity but able to just play her best in a more relaxed way. Doubles might help Safina too.


jane Says:

Djoko didn’t only choke the first set of the USO final away, he had set points in the second set also. As J.Mac said then, he was down two sets to love when he should’ve been up two sets. Djoko has just beaten Fed in Canada so he knew how to do it. That’s why I dislike when people devalue his straight set win at the AO 08 over Fed. It was coming. He played an awesome match and Fed wasn’t playing badly. I hope Djoko can find some of that blistering form again soon.


Dan Martin Says:

Kuznetsova deserves credit and now has 2 slams to go with 2 runner-up finishes. I think women’s tennis would have been better off had Safina won, but this will make Wimbledon and the U.S. Open pivotal for the year end #1 ranking on the women’s side. If venus wins Wimbledon #6 then the women’s tour has much greater surface specialization than the men’s; a reversal from at least 30 years of the opposite being true.


SG Says:

You have to feel for Safina. She reminds me a lot of young Lindsay Davenport. Very big game but still trying to figure out how to use it. Her limited mobility makes it imperative for her be in a first strike mode. I suspect she’ll have some success on the faster surfaces where her shots will have more impact on her opponents. She still has to work through some mental hurdles but her game is solid. She’ll bounce back. Maybe a sports psychologust can help her a bit.

As for Kuznetsova, I like her game. She can be flighty but when she’s on, she has so much variety in her game, a nice first serve and an excellent forehand. She had this label as a bit of choker. I think this win will really help her confidence. She’ll be a contender for a while. She plays a very natural, thoughtful game. It will seve her well for the next 3 or 4 years.


jane Says:

” If venus wins Wimbledon #6 then the women’s tour has much greater surface specialization than the men’s; a reversal from at least 30 years of the opposite being true.”

When was Chris Evert’s domination of clay, was that 30 years ago?


SG Says:

I know that Grendel doesn’t agree with me but I still see a Fed white wash tomorrow. It’s not like Soderling is playing someone who doesn’t know how to win. If nothing else, Soderling will face a very battle tested Federer. This may be the most resilient Federer I’ve seen yet. He wants this title…nay…he needs this title to cement his legacy and he knows it. There’s no Nadal, no Djokovic, no Murray to ruin the moment. He’ll do what great players always do…take advantage of the opportunity in front of them. Fed’s match against DelPotro has prepared him for Soderling. Soderling and DelPo play very similar games. Fed won’t be pushed around. The only way Fed loses is if he serves less than 50%. That won’t happen. Not a chance.

Old Soderling or new Soderling, he is playing a guy who’s on a collision course with destiny. Unless Soderling can suddenly become left handed and hit a really insane topspin forehand that a foot kicks above Fed’s head, he’s toast. All this said, Soderling deserves his props. he beat the champ. But, tennis is about match ups. Soderling’s game isn’t much different than the other players that Fed is used to beating. Fed’s 9-0 record against him is more than proof of that. When Soderling starts seeing the incredible Fed defense and forehand, he’ll remember who he really is and crash to earth.


Kevin CK Says:

Soderling has not even played the final of Master Series, it is too much pressure for him at GS Final. It is the biggest chance for Federer to wind FO. Expect same result as Murray against Fed at US Open last year


Dan Martin Says:

Jane but it was always Chris vs. Martina or Chris vs. Martina vs. Hana Mandlikova or Martina vs. Steffi or Steffi vs. Monica etc. The same people in the final rounds regardless of surface. Maybe surface impacted who won and lost some but not who made it through the first 5 rounds. Now, Venus is a top 20 player on most surfaces and maybe #1 on grass.


Gordo Says:

Here is a primer for those new to the tennis-x blogs that have heard this is the place to bash Roger Federer; those who maybe have not had a spectacular life and want to dump on someone who has.

Perhaps you have been to golfing forums and have tried to rain on Tiger’s parade but are quickly discounted as being racist.

So welcome to tennis-x, one of many tennis websites for Federer fans and supporters, but the Internet’s main home for those who really dislike (some use the word ‘hate’) Roger Federer.

Here are some tips on what sort of comments to make, depending on the results, so this way you be made to feel at home instantly -

a) If Federer loses a match (this is simple) say he has lost it and should retire, and will never beat _____________ (enter name of who just beat him) again.

b) If Federer wins any match prior to the semis, choose one of the following -
i) He has SUCH an easy draw.
ii) He looks like he is struggling; wait
until he meets Nadal (or Murray or
Djokovic).

c) If Fed reaches the final but does not meet one of Nadal, Murray or Djokovic, write “well who did he really beat anyway. He wouldn’t have stood a chance against any of Nadal, Murray or Djokovic.”

d) If Fed wins a Slam event, write one of
i) I think these tournaments are fixed.
ii) He’s lucky Laver isn’t playing now.
iii) So what? This is the slam that really
doesn’t mean anything. He won’t win
(enter whatever the next slam is here).
iv) So what? Rafa will erase all his records
within 3 years.
v) Federer is so lucky he is how old he is -
men’s tennis is soooooo weak now and
there is no real opposition.
vi) If he’s so good how come he is losing
sets in these matches?

And if Roger Federer should win tomorrow, go on to win Wimbledon, defend the US Open and reclaim the number one ranking at year’s end, write one of
i) Yeah, but he’s only played with Wilson
racquets!
ii) So what? He won’t win all these next year.
iii)I can’t support a man from Switzerland; they should have picked a side during WWII instead of being neutral.
iv) 16 Slams? Big deal. Wait til Gulbis erases that within a decade.

Follow the above and you will be a welcome addition to the posters here!


vared Says:

only Nadal can stand up to Roger in a slam final. Maybe Murray too”
Kimo:
Based on Murray’s performance at USO I don’t know about that.

Soderling never went this far in a best-of-five tournament”

Kimo:
Neither did Delpo and he took Fed to five.

His body will shut down mid-match.
Kimo:
Did Delpo’s? No he took the 4th set.

his body just shut down on him.
Kimo:
He lasted until five sets. The commentators said Delpo needed more fitness. Robin seems more fit.

Finally Kimo
To Soderlings credit, he beat Nadal in five at FO and Fed never could.


vared Says:

Von: I just read the thread about Sean. Oh well, whatever. If Fed beats number 25 in Paris he will be the garbage collector of that trophy.


hola Says:

He might have taken it in the 5th set, is he Orthodox?

Shane, did you know Safina was a moslem?


huh Says:

Djoko’s win over Fed in Aus 08 is extraordinary coz i) Fed was not under any pressure then, ii) Fed himself didn’t know that he had mono which means mental pressure still hasn’t affected Fed’s game that much & iii) Fed still had aura of invincibility !


LFC Says:

Gordo, thanks a lot for the primer! Great post! I could already name a couple of posters who match your description! ;-)


SG Says:

Gordo,

Funny blog! Fed will get it done tomorrow. I have no doubt about it. But, if by some incredible twist of fate he does not, has Federer really been the 2nd best claycourter of the last 4 years? Hard to say.

No worries though. He’ll drill Soderling. Fed will make him feel like he’s on the wrong end of a 21 gun salute.


Gordo Says:

vared Says:
Von: I just read the thread about Sean. Oh well, whatever. If Fed beats number 25 in Paris he will be the garbage collector of that trophy.

Posted June 6th, 2009 at 1:52 pm

====================

Vared – thanks for a fine example of Fed-bashing.

If Fed beats number 25 remember it was #25 who beat #2.

You might be new to this sport, but here is what has to happen – there are 128 men in the draw. And it usually consists of all the top players in the world. The winner has to win seven best of 5 set matches. Whoever does that is the worthy winner. End of story. I personally do not care for Djokovic, but I will never take away his achievement of winning the Australian Open and the effort it took to do so. So what that Federer was not at the top of his game – he wasn’t and he lost. Same with Nadal losing. It happened. Get over it. Oh – and Fed winning tomorrow… get used to it!

There are no garbage collectors of grand slam trophies. Not in the modern era.

Grow up.


Gordo Says:

Sorry, when I said

If Fed beats number 25 remember it was #25 who beat #2,

I meant

If Fed beats number 25 remember it was #25 who beat #1.

I was looking ahead to the US Open, when Nadal may be number 2 again.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Gordo,

I suppose in your world everyone should just be a “Suzy Sunshine” and never present an opposing view point or argument concerning Federer. Anyone who dares to, I guess, according to you, has a shitty life. We should just all hold hands (like mindless cult people) and say glowing things about Federer every minute of the day.

How mind numbingly brain dead is that?

I prefer a scintillating debate from both sides. Negative and positive input. What you call bashing others may find informative.


Blank Says:

Gordo, that was very funny and at the same time a very intelligent post. That pretty much applies to everyone who disses someone or the other.

As for me, this is my first post here…though I’ve been following tennis-x for quite sometime now. I admire Roger like no other. I am exactly the same age and I take vicarious pleasure in his achievements.

I just hope he goes out tomorrow and simply wins. Then Wimbledon too…so that he goes one up on Sampras!


Gordo Says:

Cindy -

I have no problem with constructive observations, even negative ones. You yourself have posted a lot of these in these forums. Nothing wrong with an accurate criticism, and I welcome those.

Here – I will even throw in one of my own towards Fed, who I am a fan of – “If he comes out flat against Soderling I think he is going to lose. He escaped 5 setters against Del Potro and Haas and was lucky to still be in this tournament.”

But there are people in here who strike me as being, well – just tired of life. All they wat to do is bash – and it’s not just Federer, although he is the flavour of the decade. There are ones who pick needlessly and with no intelligent comments on Nadal, Murray, Djoko, you name it.

I have always marvelled at how anomynity brings out balls in people who otherwise would remain quiet.

I don’t want everyone to be “Suzy Sunshine. But how about “Mary Making Sense?”


huh Says:

I hope I’m not being termed as a Fed basher party spoiler coz Lord knows my love for Federer and I’m one of the Fed fans who prays 24*7 for his win. And if anyone disbelieves me then may God forgive him/her !


Gordo Says:

Huh – you may be labelled one, but not by me. I can tell from your comments you have been a student and fan of the sport for a long time. :)


margot Says:

hey Gordo! Your post and riposte was gr8 man/woman and made me laugh out loud! Was gonna post long, long one about Fed but won’t bother. Sufficient to ask you guys, leave alone his personality which seems to attract many brickbats, but what’s actually to dislike about his GAME?


grendel Says:

SG

I am in the odd position of someone who wants to believe you are correct, and in fact more so than you do yourself, who is yet not convinced. “Soderling and DelPo play very similar games.” But at the moment, Soderling is better than del Potro (though not of course in the long run.) Furthermore, Soderling will not run out of puff as did del Potro.

del Potro’s very poor record against Fed did not affect him in the semi. Why, then, should Soderling’s, in particular since the Swede’s confidence must be very high after all his heroics.

Objectively speaking, Federer has one of the all time great serves and it is, therefore, better than Soderling’s. But it is now unreliable. Sometimes it fires, sometimes it doesn’t. On the strength of this tourney alone, you have to say that Soderling has much the more lethal serve. His second serve (Sampras’s marker, recall, as to just how good a serve is) in particular has been remarkable.

Margot has pointed to Soderling’s lack of ability at the net. This is true. You’re not going to see volleys picked off the ankles, delicate drop volleys and so on. But that doesn’t seem to matter. Soderling has come to the net a lot this tourney with lots of success (and this seems different, in my memory of his matches with Fed – inept volleys crashing over the base line being the salient feature). He has obviously learnt how to move forward appropriately, and because of his terrific power game, he has been rewarded with relatively simple put aways.

As for pressure, this is always the great unknown. Will it affect Soderling? Of course it may. But being such an underdog, he may feel pretty loose.Just carry on as normal, that will be the goal, and if he pinches the first set, he might be hard to shift. Meanwhile, Federer reacts extremely well to pressure, as we have seen in this tournament, none better. But the pressure on him tomorrow – given what he wants – will be huge since it is, as SG says, his last chance. I assume he will respond well, but I think there are no certainties here.

So, tomorrow – a thriller. I expect to change my mind at least 6 times in the course of the match as to who will win…..


Kimmi Says:

Gordo, great post. But I am afraid you forgot to mention the biggest one that have been going on and on on this board.

“All Federer opponents choked, that’s why he is in the final”


Andrew Miller Says:

Who is a Federer? A “Federer” has every shot in the game – I dont think Soderling has that, and I dont think Soderling has played someone with the ability to speed/slow down the tempo. There are only two players right now executing that type of game in men’s tennis at an extraordinarily high level: Andy Murray and Roger Federer. I dont think Soderling has played anyone like that this tournament – so he’s obviously going to be facing a ball with a different sort of spin in the finals.

So be it, that’s tennis. I’m sure Soderling will play great, he hasnt come all this way for nothing, and he has quite a few grand slam champions in his ear with advice about how to take out Federer in the final.

Should be a great match.

And as for Nadal vs. Federer at last year’s Wimbledon – it’s true, Nadal won fair and square.


Giner Says:

Will the news be bigger if Federer wins, or will it be bigger if he loses? I’ve been stumped on this question for the last day or so. The suspense is killing me. I pick Fed to win, but an upset would not surprise me in the least.

Gordo,

Is everyone who isn’t a Fed fan tired of life? How can you tell apart those ‘bashers’ who are tired of life and those who aren’t? Are you playing the “You’re just jealous of him” card? Just because a critic hasn’t accomplished as much as he has doesn’t mean they can’t criticise him.

Fed has a lot more supporters than you realise. The reason you only notice the ‘bashers’ is confirmation bias. You’re remembering only what annoys you, and seeing those who don’t as norm.

http://www.skepdic.com/confirmbias.html

Read this link. It’s useful.

I only know of two people I would call bashers off the top of my head: fed is afraid, and Nadal is the GOAT. Others who criticise him may be biased themselves, but not bashers. The things you point out like easy draws and lack of credit, aren’t entirely fair but at least he never gets accused of using super steroids that aren’t detectable.

“There are no garbage collectors of grand slam trophies. Not in the modern era.”

I think Lleyton Hewitt was a garbage collector at Wimbledon 2002. Just look at the opponents he got and the opponents Nalbandian got. He was also extremely lucky against Andy Roddick at US Open 2001 when Roddick got a bad call or two at a crucial moment in the 5th set.

I will agree that since Federer won Wimbledon in 2003, there have not been any garbage collectors, since he was the one who took them all.


huh Says:

vared, now I get it, you are a garbage collector, no? I’m suprised as to how much you love your job and keep thinking about it always and ad nauseam talk about how people are collecting garbage. But hey, this ain’t where to dump the garbage you collect !


rafi Says:

You put nadal in two five setters in the same week and come tell me that he still came through! Nadal may well be the best player on clay, but let it be clear, if Roger wins tommorow he would have deserved it to the fullest.


SG Says:

I’ll be completely shocked if Fed wins in anything more than 4 sets. Straight out baseline power doesn’t bother Federer too much. I’d even say he likes it. Federer is more bothered by excessive spin and players who can change ball direction. If power bothered Federer, he’d have a lousy record James Blake (which he does not). Nadal is more versatile and nasty than Soderling. Bill Scanlon once beat John McEnroe at the US Open. Top guys sometimes lose to lower guys. It happens. But not in the finals.

When Mac ran into Chris Lewis in the 1983 Wimbledon final, he showed Lewis who was boss of moss. Same thing will happen tomorrow. Soderling’s game does not match up well against Federer’s. And if things start going south for Soderling, what will be his Plan B? Hit harder? The guy is toast. I’m not saying he’s just happy to be in the final but after he loses the first set 7-5 (or maybe 7-6), he’ll go away fast.


huh Says:

Thanks Gordo ! I need to further say that all my allegiance is towards Fed. I want him to play as well as he can and win whatever he wants to. Tomorrow’s so important for Fed, I want nothing except the FO for Fed !


SG Says:

Here’s a thought…If by some act of…I don’t even know what, Federer does lose tomorrow, does anyone think he might start considering retirement? This would be his 6th Slam final losses. Same number as Borg…I think. Not that he doesn’t have the game but perhaps mentally, he’ll be exasperated.


Gordo Says:

Personally I am hoping for a great final. Fed, should he win – deserves to win in style and not just a 3 set romp.

BUT – relatively recent history raises a red flag -

1) In the 2007 Australian Open Gonzalez stomped on Nadal 6-2 6-4 6-3 and everyone said Fed would have his hands full. The final? Fed won7-6(2) 6-4 6-4

2) In the 2008 Australian Open Tsonga walked on Nadal 6-2 6-3 6-2 and everyone said how can anyone beat Tsonga and that Djokovic wouldn’t stand up in his first GS final. Djoko won 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6(2)

3) In the 2006 Australian Open Final Marcos Baghdatis steamrolled to the final and was thumped by Federer 5-7 7-5 6-0 6-2.

The stats speak loudy -

In the 24 Grand Slam Finals since (including) 2003 Wimbledon (tomorrow’s being the 24th) Roger Federer has been in 19 final Sundays so far and now this becomes 20 tomorrow.

In these finals he has faced 10 opponents. The only one to beat him has been Nadal.

Does anyone really think Soderling is going to be able to control Fed’s game? You know the fans will be wanting Fed to make history.

I think it is already an uphill battle for the Swede. Good luck to him, and if he should pull it off it will be the biggest surprise in a Grand Slam final since Lleyton Hewitt beat Sampras in the 2001 US Open.


huh Says:

Thanks for your great response Gordo! My recent post to you isn’t appearing, I dunno why but I’ll have
to wait some more time in hope of my post to reappear or I will again post to you.


Gordo Says:

SG – Roger will retire in my opinion when he believes he can no longer win slams.

Yes it would be his 6th loss – but not in a row. He did win the US Open last year. In fact here are the results (in order) for his 19 Grand Slam appearances ( sorry, I said 19 above) -

W W W W W W W L W W W L W W L L W L(?)

I don’t think this s the record of someone who would contemplate retirement should he lose.


SG Says:

Nadal doesn’t seem to be bothered when he falls behind Federer. Pretty much everyone else has to be front running or they end up on the losing end. In this tournament, even the front runners have lost to Federer (Haas & Del Potro). There is a lot to say for experience playing a factor. Fed just knows how to play the big moments. And as good as Federer is in major championship finals, he’s even better at getting to them. If Fed wins tomorrow, I think he’ll win Wimbledon too. He’ll get a surge of confidence from completing a major goal that has eluded him. With the proverbial gorilla off his back, he’ll play more freely and just enjoy things more. He’ll be one dangerous dude the rest of the year if he can pull off this win.


SG Says:

Gordo,

Thats why I referred to Borg. Borg had a stellar record at all but one major (he didn’t really play the AO much) but the pain of that 4th USO loss kind of did him in.


Gordo Says:

SG – Borg was great, but he was not disciplined. He saw the change in racquet technology coming and I think he saw the writing on the wall. How he ran his life for the 15 years after his retirement showed that he didn’t have the right attitude to continue and I think he just got bored!

Also, Roger will have earned over $47 million after tomorrow’s match, and that is prize money alone. His endorsement deals are pegged to him playing on the tour.

Borg’s total earnings were $3.656 million.

Quite the difference.

Not that money is the sole motive. I have always said that Federer’s head can be in a much better place than a lot of the other guys on the tour by him having Mirka constantly with him. Recently he credited her for a lot of his success.

3 winning sets to greatness. I can’t wait.

Tick, tick, tick.


Kimo Says:

vared said:

“only Nadal can stand up to Roger in a slam final. Maybe Murray too”
Kimo:
Based on Murray’s performance at USO I don’t know about that.

Soderling never went this far in a best-of-five tournament”

Kimo:
Neither did Delpo and he took Fed to five.

His body will shut down mid-match.
Kimo:
Did Delpo’s? No he took the 4th set.

his body just shut down on him.
Kimo:
He lasted until five sets. The commentators said Delpo needed more fitness. Robin seems more fit.

Finally Kimo
To Soderlings credit, he beat Nadal in five at FO and Fed never could.”

Ok, let’s answer those one by one shall we:

1. If Murray was to meet Federer today in any match, Murray has the edge. Murray has won every single match they played since the USO final (4 of them I think). And I’m a diehard Fed fan and really don’t like Murray, but I have to be honest with myself.

2.Oh yes, Delpo did take Fed to five, only problem is his body got tired after three. Credit to him though, for he played brilliantly in the first three sets (who the hell doesn’t get broken on clay against Fed for three sets?).

3. Delpo didn’t take the forth (check your facts before you mouth off)

4. What did you want delpo to do? collapse on the ground and roll over? He lasted only three. He just wasn’t able to run down as many balls, and that was more than enough for Fed to take the upper hand.

5. Sure it’s quite something he beat Nadal, but that was a week ago. He’s more tired now.

I really don’t like picking fights, but please don’t pick one with me.


grendel Says:

“Straight out baseline power doesn’t bother Federer too much. I’d even say he likes it.” (SG)

Is that still true? It took him a long time to come to terms with del Potro’s power – after a scintillating start in which he couldn’t quite effect the breakthrough. And then Blake beat him recently, on hard court. They say this clay is playing a bit like a hard court.

You can’t possibly compare Soderling with Chris Lewis! Soderling is, as they say, the real deal.

This time last year, on the eve of the Nadal match, I read Federer’s interview. Although he tried to put a brave face on it, he was sounding resigned. I don’t believe he went into that match believing for one second he could win.

This time, he sounds, how can I put it, as if he’s trying to contain his exuberance. He knows it would be foolish to sound too confident, and obviously he wishes to appear respectful to Soderling, about whom he makes all the correct noises. And he talks about the match being open. But the tone is so very different to last year. It is impossible to escape the feeling that he believes he will win.

If, therefore, he loses, the devastation will be that much more telling. I think people are mistaken in imagining that the thrashing Nadal gave him (at RG last year) hurt badly. He expected it, was embarrassed by its scale and so on, and was happy to put it behind him and move on to the grass season.

Defeat by Soderling will not be so easy to deal with.


Kimo Says:

What is it with you guys and Soderling?! He’s done a great job so far but JEEZ, you guys make it sound like he’s the next Mats Wilander. The next great Swedish hope!!!

Soderling’s run came out of the blue, I agree, but at some point, his feet will have to come back to earth. That point will be tomorrow.

I can tell you this without a shadow of a doubt: He will never have a run like this at Roland Garros again.


Dan Martin Says:

The nerves people spoke about just watching the semifinals speak to how much the athletes have to do to control emotions while actually playing. It is hard to do. Safina may not have been able to do it today, but Goran, Mauresmo and Novotna (sp?) all eventually conquered their nerves. I see Safina doing so sometime sooner or later. Federer and Soderling need to be sure to not be emotionally fatigued tomorrow. I think Federer has a lot of experience being in a high pressure Saturday and having to play on Sunday so that could be a plus.


Shan Says:

Hola, I didn’t realize she was a Muslim but I’m sure there are many others Muslims on the tour as well


Cindy_Brady Says:

Kimo,

You sound nervous. And you should be!


Shan Says:

It going to be a tough French Open men’s final. The best 2 players from the past 2 weeks are rightfully there. The bookies have it at +300 / -400 Soderling / Federer so no surprise there, BUT I just have a feeling that this could be Soderling’s final. He’s playing exceptionally well, has tons of confidence, his on-court demeanor is very good, and he’s playing with much less pressure than Federer in my opinion. Soderling is playing to win RG, but Federer is playing to history. He really considers this final historically important and his expectations to win are higher – hence his happiness that Nadal is not in this final.

I think it will be really tough for Federer to close this match out if he gets the opportunity. I don’t see Soderling folding, not now that he’s gotten this far and proven that he can fight when the pressure is on. May the best man win!


Von Says:

Gordo: “But there are people in here who strike me as being, well – just tired of life. All they wat to do is bash – and it’s not just Federer, although he is the flavour of the decade. There are ones who pick needlessly and with no intelligent comments on Nadal, Murray, Djoko, you name it.”

How could you judge by Internet exchanges which posters are tired of life? have you ever thought that it all depends on your preception and comprehension of what’s written and you could be waaaay off mark?

I’ve been accused of raising my voice, which is ludicrous. How could another poster know if someone is raising their voice in a post. It’s all due to their interpretation and the hostility, anger and/or state of mind of the reader. I’m a very soft-spoken person in real life, so that accusation makes me laugh to high hell. We have too many judgmental arm-chair Fed-fan psychiatrists here who think they are so knowledgeable on human behaviour. Some are gutless, and can only let out their feelings through interaction with their fellow Fed posters by being sarcastic, because they know it would be overlooked and/or condoned by their fellow Fed posters.

It’s funny how so many have developed the chutzpah to lash out due to the greatness in numbers. The Federer fans are cognizant that they can gang up and ridicule any other poster and their actions will not be frowned upon. Demonization is the norm here. I’m finding it more laughable by the second to see how many mouths have been opened and we’re seeing their true colors now that Fed fans are posting en masse. There are some Fed posters who are regulars and I can see a huge difference in the personality shifts now that there are more Fed fans as opposed to when there’s a mix of Fed fans and other players’ fans posting at other times of the year — there’s a a monopoly of Fed fans. Up until Madrid, some Fed fans wanted to have discussions with the non-Fed fans, but now I realize they were just towing the line because none of their cohorts were around. Now that there are so many of you, I see a shift, where it’s only Fed fans are worthy of discussions, and the non-Fed fans are picked upon and are treated as outcasts. Anyway, that’s a good thing, because it gives me much insight as to who’s really whom when the chips are down, and who would be worthy of a discussion in the lean times . OY VEY!

Question: Who will some of the regular Fed fans have discussions with, when the majority of the present Fed fans leave the nest? Now that you’ve shown your hand and revealed your true selves, I’d be very interested to see what will happen. The moral here: “Don’t burn your bridges, because you never know when you need to cross over them again”.


Von Says:

Giner:

“Is everyone who isn’t a Fed fan tired of life? How can you tell apart those ‘bashers’ who are tired of life and those who aren’t? Are you playing the “You’re just jealous of him” card? Just because a critic hasn’t accomplished as much as he has doesn’t mean they can’t criticise him.”

We all need to wear blinders and plug our ears. In other words we need to con form and go whichever way the pendulum swings, and in this case, it’s lavishing praise on Federer. It’s so easy to be hypocritical here, but it matters to me that i have to live with a conscience and I write what I see and/or hear. As i’ve mentioned many times, i’m not heare to wins friends and influence people, even though i’ve been accused of forming alliances. The person who has accused me of such is a master of this game.

“Fed has a lot more supporters than you realise. The reason you only notice the ‘bashers’ is confirmation bias. You’re remembering only what annoys you, and seeing those who don’t as norm.”

We must all just bow down in unison, then we’ll be liked, but if at any time, we should step two steps out of the norm, Lord help us, an avalanche will begin.

As I’ve stated previously, they need to enjoy the ride now.


Von Says:

Gordo: “Also, Roger will have earned over $47 million after tomorrow’s match, and that is prize money alone. His endorsement deals are pegged to him playing on the tour.

“Borg’s total earnings were $3.656 million”

Making comparisons in prize money is ludicrous. Have you factored in inflation? I’m sorry but I find these comparisons to be childish. The ATP has raised the prize money by 3.9%. If we were to add this percent on to Sampras earning and give him the present prize money for each of his titles, you’d see it far exceeds Federer’s. the same for Borg and the older champions. Laver, Navratilova, Evert and Graf would far exceed Federer’s prize money if the same formula were applied to their prize money. Let’s be realistic here, we can’t compare the dollar’s worth of 20 years ago to day’s dollar’s worth.


Cindy_Brady Says:

A few years back, I read Borg was broke and had to sell his Wimbledon winning rackets and trophies.

Very sad if true.


blah Says:

I don’t know if it has already been mentioned, but there is a serious chance that Nadal might miss Wimbledon due to his knees. This came from Uncle Toni… Nadal basically traded a great chance to win FO and Wimbledon for a spot (and a loss) in the Madrid finals… Everybody kept bringing up scheduling and physical problems when it comes to Nadal, and these problems have dealt a great blow to him even earlier than I thought it would… It looks like he would be lucky to reach 10 slams now…


Tom Foober Says:

VON

Does Soderling get a set or what?

I think he pulls off the miracle but I don’t bet.


Kimmi Says:

Blah, I hope he recovers enough to play, because Wimbledon without Nadal will not be the same. I am afraid this is not good news to Nadal and his team. Nadal knees problem have always materialize during the hard court season, at the end of the season. If he is having these problems now during clay to grass season then it must be something more serious than we think. I wish him fast recovery, his never die attitude is what makes him good to watch.


Von Says:

Tom Foober:

Soderling can win a set and/or the match. He has nothing to lose. Last year at Wimby he was leading 5-1 v. Federer and choked serving out the set. Federer was a better player then than he is now. Soderling has the game and power to take it to Federer. The question to be asked: Will he play within himself as he’s done throughout this tournament, or will he allow his old demons to return and haunt him = choke, game, set, match = Federer? We’ll see.


Von Says:

blah:

There’s a thread on Nadal pulling out of Queens. It seems that Wimby is also questionable. Apparently, he’s been diagnosed with Bone Oedema/Edema, and it’s an advanced case of his knee tendintis, which does not bode well for him.

I bet many are licking their chops right about now with Wimby in mind.


Von Says:

cindy:

Borg was indeed broke. he had a tennis apparel line business, in which he heavily invested and it folded. through some of his tennis connections, he’s been able to keep afloat and earn some money in exhos and appearances. I think he’s financially better off presently, which is good. Bad money advice/investments is what destroys a lot of athletes financially.


blah Says:

Here is the article regarding Nadal’s status for Wimbledon

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=4236922

We all know the attitude Nadal takes to each tournament, so for him to miss a grandslam, one that he won in an epic fashion last year, one can tell this is pretty serious… Perhaps a sign of things to come in later years.

The thing with Nadal is that I am not sure just how much of the defensive game can he sacrifice and still be at the top of the men’s tennis game? He rose in the rankings and started to beat an almost unbeatable Federer early in his career by playing every point. I would say that the going after every shot characteristic definitely intimidates his opponents and make them very tired physically and mentally in the match itself, not to mention what his opponents could think before a match with him. The question is whether Nadal could adopt a more offensive approach and still win-

Personally, I don’t think Nadal’s game could ever be purely offensive or even be placed in the highest levels of offensive baseline. His serve is too weak and I don’t think he could ever hit too flat with that grip. If he loses enough of that defensive mindset he will no longer be intimidating- part of playing Nadal is that players have to hit multiple perfectly placed shots to get a point off of Nadal. I think his best bet would be to focus on clay and grass and just go easy on the other parts of the season…- again, it’s a shame, but he and his coach are responsible for the physical problems that are now coming up


blah Says:

Von-

I knew about the Queens part, but I thought that was just him getting some rest so that what happened at FO doesn’t happen at Wimbledon- I was not aware of the diagnosis- indeed, this could be very serious, perhaps he would have to retire at a younger age than most tennis players? (I always thought this was a possibility, but now it looks as if his career will be even shorter- around 4 more years?) I could be overreacting- but not reaching the second week at French Open and possibly missing Wimbledon due to the same knee issues- this is not something that will just blow over.

Just wanted to get some opinions- If Nadal doesn’t win 6 FOs, or perhaps even 5 (The latter would have been seen as absurd weeks earlier, and I still think he would at least get one more, but now it is a possibility that he stays at 4) Is he still a better clay courter than Borg?


Tom Foober Says:

Good luck Federer!!!!


Kimmi Says:

Blah**** “again, it’s a shame, but he and his coach are responsible for the physical problems that are now coming up”

It’s amazing how Nadal team don’t learn. Nadal had a scare end of last year which stopped him to play Davis cup and TMC. Now….You would think they would go easy on him this year but it’s all the same, so far no changes. He has played 10 tournaments not counting RG and that’s a lot for somebody with dodgy knees especially he has been going deep in almost all the tournaments he entered. Poor Poor decisions Uncle Toni.


Von Says:

Gordo: “I have always marvelled at how anomynity brings out balls in people who otherwise would remain quiet.”

Same here, and I wonder if we were to meet face to face, whether you’d be so bold with your ill-founded accusations.

In the business world, marketing is rife with psychology, and it’s been proven that face to face interviews are less honest as opposed to telephone surveys and/or interviews. An eye to eye confrontation is very intimidating and people will say anything to appear ‘nice’, because there is an underlying basic human need for us to be liked at any level.

I’ve been called a ‘bully’ because I choose to ignore my attackers and also because I most probably silence them by the truth of my answers. However, my accusers are using their arm-chair psychology to ‘bully’ me into being quiet by attaching their chosen names to my perceived personality, and are guilty of that which they are acusing me. It’s a great ploy to use if an attacker wants to win. Why not disarm the opponent by hurling insults, unfounded accusations, which are pulled out of the air and not based on truth but just fiction, exaggerate and or lie? These people are masters of the art of manipulation and are to be pitied. I liken them to a fishing rod: throw out a line, hook their victims, reel them in, and then snap their heads off. Once the victim is reeled in and they feel they’ve got them securely under their wing, they then begin to attack them with sarcasm and/or pick a quarrel. These are the true bullies, and a bully is a coward. Unfortunately, many fall for this kind of MO, because they feel the attention given them is due to their amiable personalities, et. al., however, they are cunningly being used, and probabaly only realize that, when the hammer falls on their heads. And even then, they fall again for the same ploy repeatedly. I can speak only for myself, but when I see that type of manipulation, I withdraw and get into a sort of caveat emptor MO, and it’s for this that I’m bombarded by more demonizing, because no one likes to know they’ve failed at their game-playing.


blah Says:

Also- does Federer retire if he gets FO and Wimbledon and even U.S., so that he could go out on top before Nadal comes back and before the rest of the young guns get better and more consistent, or does he go for even more to separate himself from the other greats (I think 16 should be enough and would be a record hard to break but who knows)

Has Federer heard of the Edema? He mustn’t get too happy now- he still has to focus on the finals tomorrow. Now the road is open for him to establish himself as the consensus GOAT and to go out on top- Who could’ve foreseen all this a month ago?


Kimmi Says:

Tom Foober, I too hope and pray for Federer win tomorrow. Best of luck Federer.


Kimmi Says:

It is surprising to see Federer who has not been as sharp as previous years, still can reach a final of the most grueling GS and has a chance of winning it. What does it tell you about his mental toughness, his fitness which was questioned before and his will…incredible!!


Von Says:

blah:

It is an indeed very scary thing for Nadal. But I think he is a very opinionated young man as young men go, and I can speak from experience, I have a son around Nadal’s age. They want to conquer the world like yesterday.

I’ve read some articles where Uncle Tony has told him to to withdraw from some tourneys, but Nadal was head-strong and insisted upon playing. In such scenarios, I don’t think his uncle could have stopped him, because it’s similar to locking a kid in their bedroom, however, they’ll just escape through the window. Uncle Tony can only advise Nadal, but he can’t entirely control him, so in a strange sort of way, I don’t think his team can be entirely blamed for what’s happening to Nadal. He’s the captain of his own ship.

I’m saddened that the tennis world will be losing such a talented clay-court specialist and/or player, who’s taken the bull by the horns and defeated it many times.

With reference to the Borg comparison, it’s so hard to tell, since Nadal has won many more clay titles than Borg, but I suppose tennis pundits only look at slams as the deciding factor. Let’s also not forget that Nadal has been on the pro circuit for 8 years, having turned pro in 2001, so it’s possible his knees are shot beyond repair, however, rest and proper medical treatment can definitely reverse some diagnoses. Only time will tell though. The tendinitis problem will flare up as soon as he begins to to over-use his knees. I’d say Nadal should stick to a moderate clay season, play the mandatory tourneys, forget the home tourneys, and concentrate solely on clay and grass. He’ll have to learn to do as little as possible on hard-courts, and by so doing, he could extend his longevity in the sport. Anything else, will only land sitting around his pool sipping Perrier.


Von Says:

Blah:

“(I think 16 should be enough and would be a record hard to break but who knows)”

Sampras said he thought 14 was enough for him, and look at what’s happening now. But then again, Sampras had a different mind-set. He didn’t care to break every record, nor have I ever heard him gloat over his accomplishments. when Sampras passed Emerson’s record he began slowing down and competing less, and after he won the 14th slam he packed it in. The 14th slam should have been his motivation to go for more, but he was contented with what he had accomplished and called it a day.

I’d say Federer will continue to play until he can’t win anything, and then he’ll retire.


Von Says:

Giner:

“I will agree that since Federer won Wimbledon in 2003, there have not been any garbage collectors, since he was the one who took them all.”

Are you talking ONLY about Wimby, but all of the slams. If it’s not just Wimby, then Roddick won the USO in ’03, Gaudio, Nadal and Djokovic have all won slams, since Fed’s Wimby wins. The ‘garbage collector’ designation to which jane, vared and some other Djokovic fans have taken umbrage, is merely due to Sean’s declaration of Djokovic’s win at Dubai, as the ‘garbage collector’ because the other top guys, except for Murray didn’t compete there. And his AO win was put down to Fed’s mono. Due to the top seeds dropping out of the FO, and Federer hadn’t played against a top 10 seed until the SFs, is the reason why the ‘garbage collector’ topic has emerged, and, if I might add, there is some basis for that argument by the Djokovic fans.


Tom Foober Says:

Get some sleep everybody.

See you in the morning for history.


vared Says:

I bet many are licking their chops right about now with Wimby in mind.”

Yeah Von, another big win for Fed with the absence of Nadal.

If Fed beats number 25 he will be the garbage collector of that trophy.
Vared – thanks for a fine example of Fed-bashing.”

Gordo, funny but I don’t remember your passionate defense of Djokovic (on priciple) when Sean called him a garbage collector. Shoe on the other foot now?

Cindy_Brady Says:
Gordo,
I suppose in your world everyone should just be a “Suzy Sunshine” and never present an opposing view point or argument concerning Federer”

Yes Cindy. One cannot have an opposing view regarding Federer that’s for sure.

Finally Kimo I repeat:
To Soderlings credit, he beat Nadal in five at FO and Fed never could. Whether Fed wins tomorrow or not it is and will remain a fact.


vared Says:

why the ‘garbage collector’ topic has emerged, and, if I might add, there is some basis for that argument by the Djokovic fans.”

Von, you are correct. That would not have emerged but for Sean’s garbage commentary and in 08 AO when Fed-crazed fans went ballistic over Djokovic’s win and said it didn’t count because he was “sick.”


vared Says:

Question Von, do you suppose Soderling will cry when/if he loses? Do you think Robin will ruin Fed’s win by making a spectacle of himself?


Von Says:

vared:

“Question Von, do you suppose Soderling will cry when/if he loses? Do you think Robin will ruin Fed’s win by making a spectacle of himself?”

Hell, NO. You’re putting me on the hot seat here bro, but that’s OK considering the dissertation on demonizing I’ve been handed out recently. I’m in the American Journal of Psychiatry as their prize patient, as a ‘DON’T’. LOL.

vared: “Yes Cindy. One cannot have an opposing view regarding Federer that’s for sure.”

It doesn’t have to be an opposing view, a non-Fed poster only has to state the truth and they get killed. I made a mistake of exchanging light banter when the baby thing was discussed and I was killed; I felt I had done a few rounds with Mike Tyson. That situation began a witch hunt, where I now have a reputation as cheater, liar, plagiarizer of Wiki and the whole nine yards. It didn’t stop there, but was sarcastically perpetuated a few nights ago in another post. The bottom line here, is we are in a minority, from different life-styles and are dealing with some who don’t know their $%%^& from their elbows, are blind worshippers, and have a common denominator, FEDERER, and we’re never going to have logical and/or meaningful discussions, of which I’ve also been accused of being unable to engage. I’m just a person who the Jewish people refer to as “MESHUGGE”.


Giner Says:

Von:

“Are you talking ONLY about Wimby, but all of the slams. If it’s not just Wimby, then Roddick won the USO in ‘03, Gaudio, Nadal and Djokovic have all won slams, since Fed’s Wimby wins. The ‘garbage collector’ designation to which jane, vared and some other Djokovic fans have taken umbrage, is merely due to Sean’s declaration of Djokovic’s win at Dubai, as the ‘garbage collector’ because the other top guys, except for Murray didn’t compete there. And his AO win was put down to Fed’s mono. Due to the top seeds dropping out of the FO, and Federer hadn’t played against a top 10 seed until the SFs, is the reason why the ‘garbage collector’ topic has emerged, and, if I might add, there is some basis for that argument by the Djokovic fans.”

Oops. I should have proof read that. Yes, I mean all slams since 2003 Wimby, not just Wimby. And Fed did not win -all- of them. I meant -most- of them. I believe Gaudio earned his French Open by beating the odds (and good players). Roddick was favourite to win that US Open, so he was no garbage collector. Djokovic wasn’t a collector either, beating Hewitt, Federer and Tsonga.

An example of a guy who really earned his slam was Ivanisevic at Wimbledon, beating the players he did.

Fed has had some good draws at a number of French Opens, but he didn’t win the title, so he avoided being labelled a collector. FYI, if a player is favourite to win a title regardless of who he goes up against, then I wouldn’t call him a collector even if all he got was pushovers.

I did not consider Federer favourite to win FO 2009 (or even a finalist), so the case for a collector is still debatable, but I’m a bit more generous than that. On the one hand, the good players all got beaten early, on the other hand, this was beyond Federer’s control and therefore not his fault. The most I can say is that he’s had luck on his side, and it wouldn’t be the first time that has happened.

He needed luck if he was to win his French Open, and he got it. Now to see if he capitalises on it.

I’m not rooting for either player tomorrow, I just badly want to know the result (I didn’t care one iota for the women’s result). I’ll be happy for either guy. If Robin Soderling wins this title, he deserves to be player of the year.


Ryan Says:

To Von :

First of all not that it matters but are you jewish? Second of all we can engage in meaningful discussions with federer but the problem is wen people have a tough time accepting facts.
Now I’m not saying that people should accept fed as the GOAT.Thats personal choice. But there is no question that he is the player of this era.The anti feds just wanna put their spin on it and say that it was all nothing but luck for federer throughout his career and weak competition and blah blah….nothing else or in other words take away from his achievements and greatness. Now I mite have done the same thing towards nadal but i still admit he is a great player wit a lot of talent.Now you tell me wats so logical about these anti federer statements that people make. If u got attacked for the baby remark that u made then thats just sad(I was not a part of it) but mostly anti federer posters dont come up with anything that intelligent. So yeah


Giner Says:

Von: “I’m saddened that the tennis world will be losing such a talented clay-court specialist and/or player, who’s taken the bull by the horns and defeated it many times.”

Whoa! Did I miss something? Is he retiring? Is he skipping Wimbledon? Is he pulling a ‘Borg’ and resting on his laurels?

Did he have a tragic car accident?

This site’s reports have become almost my sole source for tennis news, and I haven’t seen anything drastic reported yet.

What’s going on? If he disappears, Fed will lose one chief rival, and tennis will regress a step. Even if a tennis fan doesn’t like Nadal, he’s at least good for giving Federer a tough test a few times a year and keeping the game from being one sided.

As good as Murray and Djokovic are, neither have made a Wimbledon final, and I would give Federer an overwhelming edge to win the title now if Nadal is out, just as it was in past years.


vared Says:

It doesn’t have to be an opposing view, a non-Fed poster only has to state the truth and they get killed.”

Yes Von, one cannot utter a word regarding Fed. I did not know what I was dealing with.It’s really absurd thinking, almost fascist-like. I didn’t know that I couldn’t say… Soderling beat Nadal at the FO in 5 sets and Fed never did. I believe that is a fact, no?


Giner Says:

From The Sunday Times
June 7, 2009

Robin Soderling will play into Roger Federer’s hands

Pat Cash

LOOK at the way Robin Soderling has blazed his way to the French Open final and I defy you not to be in a quandary. He merits respect for being one win away from becoming a Grand Slam champion, having already beaten Rafael Nadal, the player many, myself included, revere as the greatest ever on a clay court. Despite that, Soderling epitomises many of the things I dislike about modern tennis.

He is Swedish but is no Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander or Stefan Edberg. There is no grace to his game, no guile, not a glimmer of personality. All he does is hit the ball hard. There is no plan B and he frequently blazes the ball so wide of the court that spectators are in danger. Yet all of that becomes irrelevant because he has reached the final of the most exacting tournament in the game when it comes to skill and patience. In doing so, he has ended one of the most historic winning sequences we have seen.

Nobody else has beaten Nadal at Roland Garros and Soderling will always be remembered as the man who stopped the Spaniard at the French Open. Some will ask whether Nadal was fully fit, given that he subsequently withdrew from this week’s Aegon Championship at Queen’s, but the Spaniard is vastly experienced and felt fit enough to play in Paris. Soderling’s unattractive, bludgeoning game sent the champion home to Majorca to lick his wounds, but will the Swede do something similar to deny Roger Federer the title he craves more than anything? Frankly, I think his chances are negligible.

Soderling beat Nadal in the same way that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga did at the Australian Open last year; he hit the ball very flat against him, attacked, took risks, used power and drove forward. It is the only way to beat the the world No 1 but Federer is a different proposition.

Federer enjoys playing big hitters, as his record against Andy Roddick proves. The Swiss has all the answers and I think his slice will be too debilitating for Soderling. The cooler weather predicted for today will also favour Federer. Soderling is totally reliant on pace and the damper it is, the slower the ball will travel.

Federer will be nervous because he is on the brink of finally completing the set of majors, and he knows that winning today would define his career. There is, however, no substitute for experience in Grand Slams and Federer has played in many finals, and his body knows what to expect. Soderling has never played seven best-of-five-set matches in a fortnight before.

I saw ominous signs towards the end of the Swede’s semi-final victory against Fernando Gonzalez. His back was stiffening, he was struggling to move his legs and his movement was compromised. He is hurting because this is uncharted territory for his body. Many surprise packages have reached a Grand Slam final, but few of them have picked up the main prize.

Remember the big Dutch player Martin Verkerk here just a few years ago. He couldn’t win a set against Juan Carlos Ferrero in a one-sided final and not too much was ever heard of him again. Marcos Baghdatis did well to reach the final of the Australian Open in 2006 but after a good start was ultimately powerless against Federer. It was the same story for the German Rainer Schuettler against Andre Agassi three years earlier.

Federer is not as good on clay now as he was a few years ago. He misses more. He goes through periods where he really struggles. He often starts nervously. However, everything has conspired for him to win the one prize that has eluded him.

Legends don’t waste such opportunities.


Von Says:

Giner:

No, you didn’t miss anything. I’m just thinking ahead, and I shouldn’t be voicing my thoughts so openly. I feel, due to the seriousness of Nadal’s knee, if he were laid up for a long time, or have to retire earlier than he had planned, yes, the tennis world would be losing a great competitor and the sport would lose some of its appeal. Nadal has a huge fan base, but all good things come to an end, and true tennis lovers will continue to support the sport. However, there will be a void in the hearts of Nadal’s fans, and some might stop supporting the sport for a while, but will eventually return.

If Nadal indeed takes a sabbatical, then Federer will again begin to dominate the sport and win additional GS titles.


jane Says:

Pat Cash is nothing if not opinionated, and highly uncomplimentary to Soderling. Sheesh.


Giner Says:

Having looked at the head to head between Soderling and Federer, in 9 matches Soderling has only taken ONE set from Federer, and it was a tie breaker.

This doesn’t look good for the Swede. As brilliantly as he’s played all tournament, the only chance he has is if Federer chokes and he does not. This can happen, and Federer has choked before but it’s rare. I just don’t see it happening. Immortality is only a match away, and he knows it means too much to him to come short now. Federer IS a mentally tough player who has pulled himself out of a lot of matches he should have lost. He did so against Berdych and Haas this year already, though admittedly those are weak players mentally.

If Fed finds himself down 1-4 in the 5th set, he’s not going to give up even if the effort kills him. This is what he’s playing for, and anything but a win will mean nothing to him. If he wins, his life is complete and he vindicates himself of all criticism (for example remaining coachless or starting a family will hurt his career). If he loses, he may lose the will to push on. This isn’t Nadal he’s up against. Losing to Soderling will hurt a lot. This would be the first time he lost a final to someone other than Nadal.

I agree with most of what Pat Cash says. I don’t think Soderling’s chances are ‘negligible’ — he does have a shot — but it’s David and Golliath.


zola Says:

Von,
let’s hope Rafa’s knee injuty is not too serious.

I think even if he takes a bit of time off and goes off the charts, he is still young and can come back and win more.

I also think like the silence in the music, Rafa’s absence might be good for the tennis world. We might have had too much of a good thing. The absence might help us appreciate what he brought to tennis.


Von Says:

Ryan:

“First of all not that it matters but are you jewish?”

No, I’m not. I’m a Catholic/Christian, but, I’ve worked for many years with some wonderful Jewish people, who have used descriptive Jewish words, which I find to be very appropos as opposed to English, and it’s the reason I like to use them.

“Second of all we can engage in meaningful discussions with federer but the problem is wen people have a tough time accepting facts.
Now I’m not saying that people should accept fed as the GOAT.That’s personal choice. But there is no question that he is the player of this era.
The anti feds just wanna put their spin on it and say that it was all nothing but luck for federer throughout his career and weak competition and blah blah….nothing else or in other words take away from his achievements and greatness. Now I mite have done the same thing towards nadal but i still admit he is a great player wit a lot of talent.Now you tell me wats so logical about these anti federer statements that people make.”

I, have always maintained that Federer is ONE of the greatest, but not the greatest, and have never deviated from such. He’ll go down in the history books as the greatest of his era, but, I’m sorry, I don’t believe there’s any one athlete that’s deserving of the GOAT designation, and I’ve pretty much made that clear to one and all. You’ve posted here longer than I have, and I’m sure you’ve seen that I have defended Federer a lot of times, given him kudos, etc., but on the reverse, I’ve spoken about some of his short-comings, and have been violated in the worst form and fashion due to my outspokenness, which I feel is a violation of my freedom of speech and grossly unfair to me. I most probably will receive another tongue lashing tonight or tomorrow for what I’ve written today.

Question: What purpose does a discussion serve, if everyone sounds like a ‘Mutual Admiration Society’? If everyone agrees by being ‘yes’ posters, then it becomes boring and false. There’s good and bad in every person, and I don’t think Fed fans should become so vicious when the bad is pointed out. Why don’t they become angry when the kudos are given? This is why I find the situation at times to be unbearable.

“If u got attacked for the baby remark that u made then thats just sad(I was not a part of it) but mostly anti federer posters dont come up with anything that intelligent. So yeah ..”

I was called the ‘scum of the earth, and a ‘disgrace to women’ for saying that I don’t feel having children outside of marriage was OK. Then another poster decided to list what he felt were my faults. Was that necessary, and did I ask for his opinion of my character? I mean why add insult to injury. That’s just one of the many examples where it’s so difficult to become embroiled in Fed discussions. You were here at the time, but thankfully, you didn’t join in the blasting.


Von Says:

Zola:

I hope with adequate rest and treatment, Nadal can still be a force in tennis. I happen to know a lot about joints and knees, and it’s one of the reasons I keep up with new discoveries, aside from the fact that I have had to study human anatomy for one of my degrees. I had a terrible accident some years ago which has caused me to stop playing tennis and has curtailed some of my activities, e.g., gardening, and I can tell you knee pain is horrible. It doesn’t get better once inflammation sets in, and can produce deleterious effects. Hence, the reason for my previous post.

Also, I keep wondering about Sharapova where she’s hitting the ball so hard again, and I’m hoping she doesn’t cause another rotator cuff tear.


Von Says:

Pat Cash project’s as a nut at times.


youyong Says:

If Soderling beats Federer, the upset will be an even bigger one than over Nadal. So far everything is going according to script for Federer. His toughest opponents were eliminated and he managed to survive the ones who would have had a better chance than Soderling (Monfils/Del Potro).

My gut feel – If Federer takes the first set, it will most likely be a straight set victory, if not, Soderling will need to win it in 3 sets himself. If it goes to the 4th or 5th, the match will be Federer’s.

My wish is for Federer to win this final and not for Soderling to just collapse and lose it. It would be a more “fitting” end for this tourney. But I guess, Federer will take a win no matter how it is played out.

Hope Rafa gets better soon!


Von Says:

vared:

“Yes Von, one cannot utter a word regarding Fed. I did not know what I was dealing with.It’s really absurd thinking, almost fascist-like. I didn’t know that I couldn’t say… Soderling beat Nadal at the FO in 5 sets and Fed never did. I believe that is a fact, no?”

You have a right to your opinions and conribute to this site as much as the other posters, so speak your mind. If someone doesn’t like it, they can proffer their rebuttal, but they need to do so in a respectful manner. The last time I checked this site is American and we are accorded ‘freedom of speech’ per that Amendment. Hold your ground! I’m sure you saw how I was demonized a few days ago.

I am the only Roddick fan who posts here frequently and if I defend him, I get blasted left and right, which makes it appear as though I’m always on the Russian front. I would have liked if there were more Roddick fans here to take some of the heat, but sadly they’ve all been bullied away. It makes me laugh at the insinuation that some Fed fans left out of disgust, then I can say the Roddick fans got bullied away. I become disgusted and stop posting, but then I realize I’m only empowering my adversaries, hence my presence.


Von Says:

“I saw ominous signs towards the end of the Swede’s semi-final victory against Fernando Gonzalez. His back was stiffening, he was struggling to move his legs and his movement was compromised. He is hurting because this is uncharted territory for his body. Many surprise packages have reached a Grand Slam final, but few of them have picked up the main prize.”

Soderling played some extremely tough players and had a tough draw. Any player would be stiffening up. Federer said that prior to his match with Monfils he wasn’t feeling good, but things got beter as soon as he began playing. Hence, why is this such a big deal if Soderling was stiffening up? sheesh, to Pat Cash.


huh Says:

I think it’s the stupid media that kept repeating a myriad times about his knee injuries and finally they are succesful in making knee injuries take a toll on Rafa’s mind and that’s why Rafa and his team are so much worried about his injury.


huh Says:

May be Rafa’s not that happy due to his FO loss and so his mind’s forcing him to take the knee injury with more than required seriousness. I don’t see him missing Wimb, but again,who knows? Anyway I’d hate to miss him at Wim, he’s as needed there as Fed !


TejuZ Says:

it should be a great final.. and i guess we might see another come-from-behind victory from Federer as has been the norm at this RG. What more fitting final could it be, when two players who have beaten Nadal convincingly this year on clay are competing for the French Open trophy. Both deserves to hold aloft the trophy. I guess Federer deserves just a bit more cuz he has been at the receiving end at last 3 FO finals… not to mention 3 of last 4 GS finals.


huh Says:

Oh Tejuz, I’m so freaking out right now ! It’s so tough to wait for the match to start, it’s like being burnt in hell-fire ! How good it’d have been had I never been born to go through all this, oh my tremblin body and fast beatin heart ! Plz win Fed !


grendel Says:

Von says:As i’ve mentioned many times, i’m not heare to wins friends and influence people, even though i’ve been accused of forming alliances. The person who has accused me of such is a master of this game2″

The final sentence is either a lie, and a contemptible one at that, or deeply stupid – take your choice. It is obvious to anyone that I am a loner. As for the first sentence, I don’t think I have ever come across anyone quite so self-deluding as Von, quite so impregnably self-righteous. You wouldn’t expect such a person to have the least insight into themselves.

“I’ve been called a ‘bully’ because I choose to ignore my attackers and also because I most probably silence them by the truth of my answers” – this is an excellent example of the never never fantasy land Von inhabits. Anything more absurd it is hard to imagine, and indeed it is so absurd that you feel to expose it would be equivalent to angrily insisting that 2 + 2 = 4. This is the kind of nightmare world Von drags you into, where anything can mean anything, just so long as Von is on top of the pile.When I got into quarrels with Von previously, I used to scroll around finding quotes. It is very easy in the sense that examples of Von’s bullying, for instance, abound. She rants screamingly at a person, often a mildmannered person who one suspects is totally baffled by the pile of excrement descending on them, and one senses that Von has no idea she is doing this. But I just can’t be bothered any more. Providing evidence of any kind is a waste of time, with Von. She simply ignores it. It’s as if it hasn’t been said. Of course, she uses easy and cheap little insults to protect herself – “armchair psychology” is a favourite when, in fact, simple observation is all that is required.

“I, have always maintained that Federer is ONE of the greatest, but not the greatest, and have never deviated from such”. Actuslly, that’s a barefaced lie. Or a convenient memory lapse.You can never tell with Von. There’s a sort of peculiar sincerity in her tone, but it’s the sincerity of someone who says 16 self-contradictory different things before breakfast without having the least idea she has done so. When Von gets particularly agitated, she questions whether there is anything creative about Federer at all – she states he’s some kind of cleverly contrived product. The sheer lunacy of this thesis, however, is a daunting one to sustain even in Von’s imaginative landscape, so this one tends to emerge only in extremis.

Finally, since this particular bout got started because I poked a little fun at Von in her endlessly bizarre manipulation of the evidence where Roddick is concerned, this:

“I am the only Roddick fan who posts here frequently and if I defend him, I get blasted left and right, which makes it appear as though I’m always on the Russian front. I would have liked if there were more Roddick fans here to take some of the heat, but sadly they’ve all been bullied away. It makes me laugh at the insinuation that some Fed fans left out of disgust, then I can say the Roddick fans got bullied away.”

Notice the delusion. Of course there are plenty of Roddick fans who post here. But of course they don’t post regularly in the sense Von posts regularly – nobody does or possibly could, Von virtually owns this site, she imposes herself on it so heavily, not just in number of contributions (jane possibly matches her here), but in her wordiness and the messianic self-promotion she goes in for. And then the “..if I defend him..” How risible can you get? Von never doesn’t defend him, she never accepts a loss, she never puts any qualifications on his behaviour, cleverly turning any untoward activities into examples of natural exuberance (as opposed to the robotic, dishonest behaviour of others – a dishonest robot, now that I think of it, that’s rather good, basis for a nice science fiction story). The silly thing about all this is that there is nothing wrong with Roddick, he’s an ornament on the tour; but Von’s slavish devotion (and please don’t bring that boring God stuff in, it’s not actually relevant here) has exactly the opposite effect intended. The simple fact is, Roddick is not even remotely as popular as Federer. I do not say that in a spirit of triumphalism, though naturally Von – who does indeed demonize, for whereas I can actually see good things about her but this is not the time to elaborate, when she has it in for you, me for instance,she very definitely regards one as virtually the devil; or maybe not, after all, the devil is impressive in his way, some horrible imp perhaps – naturally Von will assume that I am being triumphalist. But these are the bare facts, like it or not, and for reasons good or bad or some combination of the two, Roger Federer is phenomenally popular. And this stark fact is bound to be reflected on the various tennis forums. But Von just sees conspiracy.

Von does not get blasted left and right for her devotions to Roddick. Again and again, I’ve seen her make absurd statements and I’ve refrained from saying anything – Von has that effect on you. And I see she is yet again putting forward the ludicrous idea that her freedom of speech is somehow under attack. She talks about the “insinuation” that some Fed fans have been bullied away. No, not an insinuation, a straightforward fact. I provided a couple of names, and there are plenty more. Which Roddick fans have been bullied away? You just can’t state an equivalence in this sort of thing; that is, literally, the baby logic of the playground. You have to provide evidence.

This is very long. Von has that effect on one. I could even say more, because Von has managed a lot of very sneaky insinuations – but enough is enough. I am deeply, deeply bored by all this. And of course it is absolutely not the sort of thing the organizers of the site intended. I have left the site before, specifically because of Von, although I have other reasons too (for instance, I am always very unsure that, as a non tennis player except in the most rudimentary of senses I can make legitimate contributionss). And then I come back fully intending not to engage with Von, knowing what that leads to. But sooner or later she riles me so much with what I see as ddeply dishonest performances that I have to respond. Her way of responding, other than – by her standards – a quick blast, is to refer to me anonymously. That’s even more demeaning.

So I do quit. Yes, I know, I’ve said it before. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 goes before one learns one’s lesson. I shall not be looking in on this site again, simply because if I do, I will no doubt feel tempted to respond to something or other – and off we go again.


huh Says:

One thing’s for sure, if Fed loses today, it’ll be too painful for me ! I dread the thought of Fed losing this.


Von Says:

margot:

“If he were playing anyone except Federer, oh and Andy M of course, I’d love him to win, but like everyone here I feel this is Fed’s last chance at RG, so here’s wishing and hoping…”

I forgot to ask you about the above. I didn’t know you were a Fed fan also, I thought you were only a Murray and Tsonga fan. the l,ikght bulb finally got turned on. LOL. I’ll answer your questions re Nadal’s knees on the other thread.


Shan Says:

I never knew tennis fans were capable of writing psych dissertations /:-|


Ra Says:

grendel (not that you’ll be back to read this, but…),

it was nice to have you around. I’m not clear on whether you’re leaving because you just can’t stand to read (and then let go) comments that you find deluded or if you feel that you just haven’t got the energy to defend yourself against what you feel are unfounded attacks on your character. In either case (but particularly the latter), maybe you can simply let what’s transparent be transparent and rest assured that many who visit this site are perceptive enough to see what’s really going on in certain posts even if they choose not to address the content.


margot Says:

von: I’m a diehard fan of the beautiful game! I try to find things to admire in all top ten, and below eg love Davydenko, my blind spot is JMDP but there you go you’ve gotta have one! And I’ll still love the game when this lot are history. Yes, Federer on song I find a delight, not the GOAT or anything stupid like that cos you’re never comparing like with like. That’s why I want him to go with dignity. I found Giner’s story about Borg awful! Seems as if he didn’t have a final game (!) plan.


Ra Says:

Shan Says:

“I never knew tennis fans were capable of writing psych dissertations /:-|”

You must be new around here. Welcome to the funny farm.


Gordo Says:

Von -

Good Lord – did you sleep at all last night?

I hope you actually watch these matches.

:)

Good luck to all of you and all of the ABF rooters.

3 sets to greatness.

Tick tick – IT’s ON!


Shan Says:

At least 4 or 5 sets. Soderling is playing like the monarch butterfly that has finally made its way of the cocoon.


Shan Says:

the droppers are out in full force!


Kimmi Says:

2 breaks already, wow.


Shan Says:

Yah Soderling seems to be a bit nervous / overwhelmed right now, let’s see if he gets it together


Von Says:

As my father always says, the answer causes the problems. Isn’t it funny that the two who are my attackers also, are the ones who are providing the reinforcement and are the perpetrators of sarcasm and garbage? Have fun, because I won’t even dignify the drivel with a rebuttal. I can proffer the threads for evidence, but why argue with Wiki who knows everything.

_______________
Gordo: Not that it’s any of your business, but yes, I did sleep last night and very well too. I woke up early to watch the match. Did you sleep, or you were up plotting how best to attack any perceived Federer ‘haters’ as you call them? sheesh.

_________________
Shan: If you’ve been posting here long enough, you’ll know that this has been the norm for me with grendel. Ever since I began posting here I’m subjected to these personal attacks. I used to call them my report card and/or evaluation). He turns everything around, transposing his guilt onto me. I’ve stopped posting many times due to grendel, (who’s a man BTW, despite the woman’s name) but he’s very smartly turned this around now to say I’m the one responsible for him leaving. He fights with anyone when his madness gets too much for him to handle. I could show posts where he’s asked where I am, after I’ve left. LOL. As the guy says, if you’ve been posting here long enough you’d know, and you’d definitely know about him too. I’m a plagiarizer.

Bye all, enjoy the match and thank you Ra, grendel and Gordo. I often wondered if you look as the name implies.


Gordo Says:

Gee Von – for someone who doesn’t take these things personally – you sure are taking it personally.

I have always enjoyed your comments before. My comments towards the Fed-bashers were not directed at you.

Calm down, sweetie – it’s only a game. Yikes!

Besides… Soderling wasn’t bagelled.

Two sets to greatness… and counting down.

Tick… tick… tick


Gordo Says:

What Andre Agassi had to say…

“It ends the discussion of where he fits in the history of the game,” said Agassi, who is here with wife Steffi Graf who also won the 1999 Roland Garros title. “It’s not so much a question of Pete, if it wasn’t for (four-time champion Rafael) Nadal, he probably would have won a handful of these things, so nobody would underestimate where he deserves to fit in this game. This is going to mean so much to him, to have that hole filled. It’s something he’s going to earn tomorrow and I think it will to change his life.”

“It changed my career and as a result my life,” he said. “It’s probably the most profound moment in my career, getting over the obstacles and doubts I had to win here. (Sunday) there’s a chance to see history and I think Roger being the second best clay courter over the last five years, earning a spot in the final four different times, deserves this more than I did. It would be privilege for the game to see history being made and in some ways it feels like destiny for him. It’s going to be exciting.”


Kimmi Says:

Grendel, please don’t go. I have only been posting here for maybe 8 months and I have seen all what you are saying. I have enjoyed interacting with you and maybe just reading your posts. Please try to ignore, try to ignore.


Shan Says:

@Von – in any conversation, we know what we say, we someone else says, and what we think and feel. We do not know what others think and feel, but rather assume what the other thinks and feels, yet many of fall into the trap of treating our assumptions like fact


Von Says:

Gordo:

It’s difficult not to take grendel’s posts personally, since I’ve been subjected to his on-going abuse without any provocation on my part. I thought your comments were directed at me, and I apologize for my error. Call it paranoia, but I’ve sufered greatly from many Federer fans, so now it’s become the norm to expect them all to rise up, as has been demonstrated. This is what I mean by ganging up. I mentioned in my post to vared yesterday that I’d see another post today demonizing me, and grendel has run true to form.

________________
Ra: I promised I’d find that thread for you, as a gift, to remind you of your past behaviour, but I’ve refrained from so doing because I don’t like to repay evil with evil. However, since you’ve repeatedly attacked me for no reason whatsoever, except to perpetuate a witch hunt, I’ll post it now. Read your posts from 12:58 am and onwards.

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2008-06-20/507.php
_________________
Kimmi: You need to follow your own advice and stop meddling so much.


Von Says:

Shan: Could you elaborate a little more clearly for me, I’m a little confused. Thanks.


Kimmi Says:

Yeeees, the serving is almost like sampras


Gordo Says:

Von – no worries. In fact, the only person in here that REALLY annoyed me was Fed is afraid, and even he/she has sent respect to Fed these past 2 days.

Oh yeah – ONE SET TO GO TO GREATNESS!!!

Tick, tick, drip…


vared Says:

My comments towards the Fed-bashers were not directed at you.

Von, I believe the comments by Gordo were directed at me for saying…if he wins it will be against a number 25. My question was why he did not defend on principle Djokovic when his trophy was questioned by Sean and others.

And, Kimo was upset because of this:
To Soderlings credit, he beat Nadal in five at FO and Fed never could.

So even if you state a fact it is knocked down with Nazi-like precision by the above. BTW Von I like Roddick.


Ra Says:

Von,

I wasn’t talking to you, and I like it better here when you aren’t talking to me either. You really didn’t need to go to the trouble of finding a thread I’ve since referenced myself. You may or may not recall this quote from me:

“Von, you could have easily said, “You are not above unkind remarks yourself, Ra” if that is what you felt to be an appropriate response to my post (although I feel that would still have missed the point), and I would have freely admitted as much.”

The fact of the matter is that you and I got along just fine until I had an opinion contrary to one of your own, at which point you started spitting strychnine at me in the form of character attacks. I feel that it is appropriate (and well within my rights) to verbalize my support for another poster who feels likewise bullied by you. Of course I realized I’d likely see some more backlash from you, but I couldn’t in good conscience not offer grendel my support when I’ve been through a similar experience.

I’m not on a witch hunt; I’d find no satisfaction in that sort of thing. I won’t deny that I’ve long since lost all respect for you, but I’ve tried to clarify my position to you nonetheless (both because I generally value understanding and because I know there are some people here who value your presence). I don’t care what you think of me at this point, and I don’t care if you care what I think of you. I do, however, wish you’d leave me out of your self-martyrdom campaign, and I wish you’d stop torturing posters to the point where they feel they’ve no option but to stay off of this site. But then “if wishes were horses”… Oh, and while I’ve got quotes that you’re fond of on my mind: Why don’t you put “discretion is the better part of valor” to work and leave me the hell alone?

I’ll leave you with a question for you to explore for yourself if you so choose: If you aren’t motivated to pursue conflict, alienation, and drama, why do you so frequently assert something along the lines of (and I’m paraphrasing) “I know I’ll be demonized/bashed/attacked for this”? Someone as experienced in social workings as you claim to be must certainly be well aware that to do so will very likely amount to a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Von Says:

Ra:

For starters, i DON’T want to talk to you ever. And, you didn’t reference that thread, I did. Nice cover-up though. If you didn’t indulge in your sarcasm today and butting in where you shouldn’t have, I wouldn’t have mentioned you, but you seem to thrive on this sort of thing, and to me you were being your usual vindictive self — search your heart.

You attacked me for my comments on the Fed baby thread and it was uncalled for. Face it Ra, you’re trying to do a snow job cover-up of what you viciously did, and it was done because you didn’t like anything I mentioned with respect to Federer. I can show you the thread, and it wasn’t in a disagreement, you lashed out at my character and your subsequent posts after confirm that. I chose not to answer you. Just say the word, I’ll find the thread, and then maybe you’ll stop lying.

The thread I posted today where you went on a rampage attacking everyone who posted negatively on Federer, is a prime indication of your viciousness. Try fooling others, but I can see past the facade you try to project on these threads, Hailing everyone when you make your grand entrance. This last time, a few nights ago, not only did you go into your hails but you chose to be sarcastic. Do you think that exalts you? No it shows how small a person you are. Just remember when you put me down others also see and they won’t care to interact with you. In many ways you’re as vindictive as grendel and it’s no wonder you’re championing his cause. He’s left many times before after his tantrums with several other posters, unjustifiably attacking them. He’s turning it around now because he knows I would leave, so he did it instead. Today is nothing new, and he’ll be back again — this is his MO. They man is crazy. He came back this time and was attacking both jane and Zola, and as usual, he ends up picking on me, which is nothing unusual, but this time he went further to give the impression that it was due to me that he’s leaving. (I think the guy has a slack screw somewhere, but that’s just my opinion.) I don’t want to bring the the names of those he’s attacked into this, but I can, and if they are asked they can speak the truth. You’re talking off the top of your head without knowing much history, but I understand why, you’re vindictive and small minded. Grendel always makes such a scene, and if it’s not me, it’s someone else, — he’s unbalanced.

I thought of you as a reasonable poster until your behaviour on the thread I posted and then I slowly saw how very sarcastic and vicious you could be if you don’t like what you read. You didn’t disagree with me on my comments, because there was nothing for you to disagree or agree about, you were offended, and chose to lambaste me, but it’s no use trying to show you you’re wrong, is there?. You’re just trying to justify your behaviour to others, but I happen to know what happened and a few others at that time know. Maybe the thread will refresh your mind. Shall I find it for you?

As far as interacting with me, I DON’T want you to — I’m turned off of vindictive people. Just in case you haven’t noticed I ignore you and will continue to do so. I have the same respect for you as you have for me, which is ZERO. You know nothing of my academic background, and I want it to stay that way. I, on other hand, could care less what you do for a living. I hope maybe someday you’ll be mature enough to admit when you behave inappropriately that there are consequences. Just remember for every action there’s a reaction. And, had you not chosen to attack me, I would not have retaliated. Do try being honest with yourself, it’s good for the soul. It’s is something you have in common with grendel. BTW, I don’t have any experience in social workings, per you my words are not my own, I’m a cheater and a Wiki plagiarizer, and according to you, I use words which aren’t mine remember? I have to say this, for all you proclaim to be, how can you not see grendel’s motives? sheesh. I mean the guy is a psychological mess and one who’s not happy until he has a humdinger of a quarrel going. he admits to being quarrelsome! WOW. Bye Ra.

BTW, with reference to: “I know I’ll be demonized/bashed/attacked for this”? that’s because Grendel unload one of his dissertations a couple of days ago on me, so I was giving him the green-light, and he went true to form as usual.


Von Says:

vared:

Don’t feel too badly, look at what I have to deal with, it happens all of the time. Just be yourself and keep on posting your comments.

“BTW Von I like Roddick”. Thanks. I know he is a nothing player according to grendel, but I happen to like him, and I don’t care if he’s popular world-wide. grendel seems to think I’m comparing Roddick to Federer. LOL. He’s so off the mark, because I’m not like that at all. LOL. I like players for their appeal, not their beautiful tennis or popularity. LOL.


Shan Says:

^^TLDR. Here’s my Dr. Phil moment of the day for you guys:

Buy this book, today, read it and re-read it and keep it as a reference for the rest of your life. It’s called “Difficult Conversations”, http://www.amazon.com/Difficult-Conversations-Discuss-what-Matters/dp/014028852X.


vared Says:

Von, it really is hard to post on this forum with people here. I will post what I want and if the forum Nazis can’t deal with it then tough.
BTW I hope Roddick kicks butt in Queens and my statements still stand.Forum Nazis won’t change my mind.
REPEAT
For Kimo
“To Soderlings credit, he beat Nadal in five at FO and Fed never could.”
For Gordo
if he wins it will be against a number 25. Then attack by Gordo. My question to Gordo, why he did not defend in principle Djokovic when his trophy was questioned by Sean and others.


Von Says:

vared:

“Von, it really is hard to post on this forum with people here. I will post what I want and if the forum Nazis can’t deal with it then tough.”

I empathize with you. I’ve had to deal with it for 18 months, and has been slaughered for my posts, as you can see from what happenend today. I’ve left many times due to a couple of posters. I got to the point of trying to say what I thought they’d like to hear, but then I realized that’s not my personality to be a ‘yes’ person, so then I began posting what was in my heart and from my observations. I still get attacked and berated, but at least I’m my own person, not a conformist, and I can live with that.. Hence, my advice to you is “To thine own self be true” and don’t worry about the attackers, they never stop. Try ignoring the unkind remarks, which is not easy if one is sensitive, which I am. Hopefully, what i’m saying is helpful to you. Post, post and post — I’ve been ridiculed for posting too much. I mean is that ludicrous or what?


huh Says:

vared, may be it is not the first and foremost duty of Gordo to defend Djoko, him not being a Djoko fan!


vared Says:

Thanks Von I will heed your advice!

To Huh and Gordo and Weezer and Fed fanboys etc.

Yes, but on principle you all should agree, if people are saying Djoko’s trophy is an asterisk because Fed was sick with mono and couldn’t play well with Djoko then the same should be said of feds trophy “an asterisk.” AT LEAST Djoko knocked out Fed and played Tsonga. Tsonga knocked out Rafa. I see many similarites between the two situations.That’s all I am saying.
BTW Gordo accused me of being a Djoko fan and Weezer accused me of loving Rafa. Which is it? I like Roddick for Queens, whatever will you say about that?


vared Says:

No response, see? Double standards for Fed fans.


Ra Says:

Good grief, Von. I don’t know what I can do to get you to stop talking sh*t on me (whether or not I’m around at the time). I’ve apologized to you for misunderstandings on multiple occasions, I still feel that you’ve taken some of my rebuttals to your assertions as attacks when they weren’t, and I continue to disagree with your characterizations of me. You call me more and more names, criticize my soul, criticize my mind, call me a liar, and threaten me even as you claim not be vindictive. You’ve scolded me for talking to you, you’ve scolded me for talking to others, you’ve scolded me for saying hello to people, you’ve scolded me for not posting enough, you’ve scolded me for posting. I know I have some strong opinions, and I know that I sometimes express them harshly; but that doesn’t strike me as justification for you to be telling me what I should and shouldn’t do, when I should and shouldn’t do it, and how I should and shouldn’t do it – over and over again. I don’t appreciate being subjected to what I don’t know how to characterize any better than by calling it misplaced volatility; and I don’t appreciate seeing others go through the same. I know I’m not perfect, and I’ve never in my life claimed to be. I do believe that what you subject me to is a form of bullying, and all I can say about the plagiarism incident is that I see it as blatantly that. And, as I mentioned before (explicitly or implicitly, I don’t recall which), it was extremely uncomfortable for me and I (for the most part) wish I hadn’t noticed. I’ve made it abundantly clear how the sum of this has led me to feel about you, and I don’t see how I could possibly be more honest about it.

I don’t know what all this ammunition is that you threaten to unload on me, but I’m sure I’ll survive one way or another. So feel free to show me whatever thread it is with which you mean to educate me about myself (as well as any others in between that led you to whatever you “slowly saw”); maybe I will learn something, and maybe I will not. But if you’re going to take the time to search through lines on account of your desire to teach me a lesson, you may as well take a look at your own words along the way too, right? Perhaps you will be surprised in seeing all the derogatory names and character judgments you’ve placed on multiple posters over the better part of two years, and perhaps you will see that you’ve attacked everything from posters’ relationships with god to their ability to speak English as a second language to open source information to personal and subjective ethical/moral stances. You may even find that even some of the people who want to talk to you feel the need to preface or qualify there posts with an assurance that they are not intending to attack you. Then you will hopefully at least know that I’m not making it all up. Maybe you will learn something, and maybe you will not.

Of course I have no qualms with you ignoring this message entirely and simply leaving me alone (other than those I’ve already mentioned in relation to others’ experience on this site). That way we can at least accomplish one productive thing together in the form of sparing our company here any additional (and increasingly redundant) drama.


Ra Says:

“there” s/b “their” in paragraph 2, line 8. blah…

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