Haas Shocks Djokovic for Grasscourt Halle Title
by Staff | June 14th, 2009, 10:07 pm
  • 80 Comments

Veteran Tommy Haas, who needed a wildcard to get into the Halle field, on Sunday won his first career grasscourt title with a 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-1 win over world No. 4 Novak Djokovic to capture the Gerry Weber Open title.


It was the extension of a recent hot streak for the former world No. 2 Haas, who at the French Open lost in five sets to eventual champion Roger Federer.

“It’s such an incredibly nice feeling to hold up the trophy again and to be in Germany as well, in front of German fans is even more special,” Haas said. “After a few setbacks here and there, struggling a little bit, having ups and downs throughout this year even it makes everything go away in some ways when you have these kind of moments. This is what you play for.”

The 31-year-old Haas won his 12th career title in 21 finals, with a streak of seven straight final victories.

“It was all about just focusing on the match and trying to beat a terrific player, to beat Novak which never happened before for me,” Haas said. “I respect his game a lot and I respect him as a person. So to beat him in the final is even more special, especially with what he’s accomplished in such young years it’s great. So, it’s perfect.”

Djokovic was left searching for a career-first grasscourt title.

“The week was great. I think I had enough matches prior to Wimbledon which is a positive thing I’m taking out of this tournament,” said Djokovic. “I didn’t play on the level I played these days at all today. I think I served really bad with a low percentage, gave him a lot of opportunities to get into the rally, was quite defensive. Most importantly, I think I didn’t return well and that was the key.”


Also Check Out:
Federer, Dimitrov, Ivanovic Collect Grass Titles
Federer, Nadal Win Grasscourt Titles; Destined for Wimbledon Final?
French Champ Federer to Show on Grass at Halle?
Gael Monfils Tried This Goofy Trick Shot For Some Reason In Halle Today [Video]
Grass Tennis Won’t Wait as Nadal, Djokovic Finish; Previews

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80 Comments for Haas Shocks Djokovic for Grasscourt Halle Title

skeezerweezer Says:

Way to go Haas. 31 years old! Totally awesome. Shows if you take care of your body as a ATP pro ( Agassi, maybe FED? ) 31 is not out of reach to win more titles!!!!! Can Fed make this kind of presence 4 YEARS from now? Wow……


jane Says:

Indeed – kudos to Haas! But his body has taken its share of hits over the years. He’s been sidelined by injury off and on during many of his playing years. I guess his win today shows that it’s nevertheless possible to come back from that, if a player is willing to put in the work. And that’s inspiring.


huh Says:

Ha ha ha, well done Haas, you have made yourselves and your admirers proud ! So a 31 year old Haas beating a 21 year old Djokovic clearly proves who has been in the weaker era, Rafa or Fed? The improved competition theory is thus totally wrong !


huh Says:

Sorry Jane for Djoko’s loss, but I sure hope that he’d go very deep into Wimbledon. And I’d not root against him unless he faces Fed. ;)


Von Says:

huh: I thought you said you were rooting for Roddick to win Wimby just a few days ago?


Von Says:

I’m very happy for Haas. It’s so wonderful to see an older player still winning titles, especially one who’s had such a terrible time with injuries throughout his career. I think Haas is an excellent player and a dangerous one at that. When he’s on, he’s beautiful to watch. I sometimes get angry when he beats Roddick and then goes out in the next round to a player even lower ranked than Roddick. As I’ve mentioned previously, Haas is a dangerous player, and certainly one who’s not to be taken for granted.


TejuZ Says:

yeah.. Haas is a good player, nice to watch when his game is on. Unlucky with injuries, but he cud be a serious threat at wimbledon because he does have the game to play well on grass. I remember, he gave Fed a tough time at Halle semi-finals a few yrs ago.

Just yesterday, i had downloaded Haas vs Fed AU 2002 5-setter match highlight. Both were playing great.. and every set was quite close, Fed eventually losing 8-6 in the 5th set.


Von Says:

tejuz;

That 2002 match was a humdinger and exceptionally enjoyable. I know 5 setters are hard on the athletes, but gosh, how I wish ATP didn’t change the MS finals from 5 sets to 3. I enjoyed those 5 setters. I often wonder how Sampras and Agassi, et al., feel about winning their MS shields having to play 5 sets as opposed to the new format. If I were they, I’d be mad.


Kimo Says:

Haas was the better player from start to finish. He earned it.

Such a win does make me wonder if there are many players out there who do best on grass but are virtually off our radar because of the shortness of the grass court season (Zverev and Rochus come to mind).

I like Haas. He seems like a down to earth person. I wish him the best.

On the 5 setter issue, I agree that a best of five format is more likely to produce epic matches than a best of three format, but you guys have to remember that such changes happened because of the Fed-Nadal final in Rome in 2006. After a five hour epic they both withdrew from Hamburg which left its organizers scrambling for big names. Sponsors down’t wanna see their money go to waste, and the ATP wants to keep the sponsors happy (can’t say I blame them). Furthermore, such long matches can lead to injuries which can lead to even more withdraws and can seriously shorten a player’s career.

So overall I agree with the best of three format. 5 setters should be left for Grandslams and Davis cup matches, because it will give these events more weight and prestige.


Shan Says:

Last time I saw Haas was here in Toronto in 2004 versus Andre Agassi. Agassi beat Haas and Agassi was 34 at the time ;) So yah, I agree with huh, although Haas was still coming back from injuries and more of “journeyman” at that time versus the young and at his prime (at his prime or near?) Djokovic. Anyhow, you can be 31 and win tournaments, 31 is not a death sentence ;)


TejuZ Says:

I did watch Haas live a couple of times at the Australian open between 2006 and 2008. Both were 4th round macthes and he won both of them. His game looked quite fluid and smooth on the eyes.. a bit of orthodox type, with a eastern grip. I dont think he uses western or extreme-western grip like most of the players nowadays.


huh Says:

Von, thanks for reminding me about Roddick. But even if you’d not asked me about my rooting for Roddick, it’d not have changed anything at all. Coz I’d still root for Roddick over everybody else including even Fed.


huh Says:

Von, I’m not saying this to please you or anything like that though I like your posts. But remember this,
I have never ever rooted against Roddick except when he faced Fed. I again say, now that Fed’s won everything, I’d root only for Roddick at Wimb.


huh Says:

Von, if you don’t mind, can you tell me whom else are you rooting for to win the wimbledon apart from Roddick?


Von Says:

huh: I mentioned Roddick, but was just kidding around, because you stated to jane that you’d not root against Djoko to win Wimby.

With respect for whom I’d be rooting at Wimby besides Roddick, I usually root for the Americans first, then the Brits, which is Murray, Safin, and a few of the older guys who have been my long-time faves. Anyone who has the chance of winning first time GS is also one I’d root for as the draw begins to pan out. In sum, if Fed or Nadal were playing against a non-GS player, I’d root for that player. I’m one who likes to see the spoils spread around.


huh Says:

Von, I also want Safin and Hewitt to do well in Wimbledon. Actually I prefer the golden oldies to the newer ones. In fact I’d rather watch a Hewitt/ Safin at prime than guys like Murray/Djoko playing at their best. This is how I’m.


Kimmi Says:

What a win for Haas! I am glad his recent good play has translated into a title. Many Congratulations. It’s always wonderful to get a win at home as well. And so is for Murray.

Hope for Murray to get the grand slam eventually, and how great it will be if he does it at Wimbledon !


Von Says:

huh:
“In fact I’d rather watch a Hewitt/ Safin at prime than guys like Murray/Djoko playing at their best.”

There you go, and now we’re talking the same language! I’m one who does not let go of the oldies, and it’s one of the reasons why I’ve hung in there with Roddick. The younger guys are good and fun to watch also, but the old guys have something so special about them which keeps me riveted to my chair when they’re playing. I mean Safin and Hewitt in their prime, were just sensational!


Shan Says:

Blewitt and Slapin were ok in their primes, nothing to bring home to meet mom and dad over. “Golden oldies” lol


Von Says:

Murray attributes physical well-being to mental toughness. that always works the best. I may be wrong, but i thought someone mentioned Murray had seen a asports psychologist, but from, this article he says NOT.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/16062009/3/murray-pins-wimbledon-hopes-mental-strength.html

What’s wrong with Ivanovic? I read last week she had dumped her coach Craig Cardon. She badly needs a coach in her corner and pronto.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/15062009/58/petrova-knocks-ivanovic.html


Von Says:

margot: For you.

Read all ’bout it — here’s what’s happening in Merry ‘ole England.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/tennis/barometer.html


jane Says:

Von, thank you for the links again. It was I who apparently mistakenly thought Murray had been to see a sports psychologist near the end of his time with Gilbert. Perhaps there’d been suggestions of it or something. In any case, he’s right that mental well-being is key! I hope he does exceptionally well at Wimbledon! He plays so well on grass and imo his game is suited to it, even though he thinks his best surface is hard courts.


jules Says:

I didn’t watch the match, is it a case of Djokovic playing below par or Haas played a fantastic match?


jane Says:

That’s weird: I just did a quick google search about Murray and sports psychologists, and I came up with this, which suggests he DID see one. I have a pretty good memory, and that’s why I did the search, because usually when I recall something, it’s from somewhere!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/usopen/2320009/Andy-Murray-forehand-is-back-in-business.html


Von Says:

jane: You’re welcome ref: links poted. Yes, the article states Andy M. did see a sports psychologist, but he’s says NOT. Or maybe he’s saying he’s not seeing one at the present time? Who knows what’s happening. Now you see why I don’t read too much on tennis I like to have a balance on the information I read.


Von Says:

jane: Another article on Djoko. He’s still agonizing over his AO loss. I think he has convinced himself that he won’t perform well at Wimby and that is a shame. I hope he can get his mind together and have a more balanced view placing things in their perspective and leaving the past behind. Here it is:

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/16062009/58/wimbledon-djokovic-keen-set-record-straight.html


MMT Says:

I read this article on Djokovic as well, and it’s interesting that he refers to “the pressure”. Sometimes its hard for us to appreciate that these players do have pressure that we don’t know about. I’m not saying this is the case specifically with Djokovic, but probably pressure in Serbia, pressure from his coterie of supporters and sponsors.

For example, how happy will Adidas and Head be to give him endorsement money if he suddenly drops out of the top 5 or worse the top 10? And if he values the idea of being considered the heir apparent to Federer and Nadal, that also placed additional pressure on him.

In 1996 I watched a second round match at what was then the Sovran Bank Tennis Classic (now the Legg Mason tournament) in Washington, DC between Andre Agassi and Pat Rafter. At the time Rafter was basically a journeyman who’d been on tour for quite some time, but never gotten really good results, and Agassi was in the midst of one of his down periods (although he would go on to win the Gold Medal at the Atlanta Olympics).

Rafter won the match, and the on-court interviewer told Rafter that it must have been a great experience for him to play on the stadium court against Agassi because he had nothing to lose. But I remember thinking that was not quite true for a journeyman – after all, when you’re actually making your living off of prize money EVERY result counts, because the better you do the more money you make, and nobody covers the expenses of an average player – or for any player, as far as I know.

But as I mentioned above, even the top players who’s results are not where they should be are subject to the perception of pressure. In my mind, real pressure comes only in the points – a hard deep approach shot, or increasing pace in the ground strokes, or a nice serve and volley. To me, that’s real pressure that any player can use to their advantage in the match.

But the other pressure is probably something that a hacker can’t appreciate.


jane Says:

Thanks for that article Von; two quotes struck me. The first one is the one which MMT also alluded to:

“”You have to understand that I cope with a lot of pressure. It is more a mental thing because physically I do everything I can. It is just a matter of my psychology.”"

And this sort of confirms what I’d been thinking; I know a lot of people refer to Djoko’s fitness issues, and there are some of those too, but I do sometimes feel when watching him that more of his problems on the court arise from the “psychology” he mentions above. I expect he faces a lot of national and familial pressure to perform well. And generally he shoulders it pretty well. But then there’s likely his own desire to win, and he’s found himself slipping instead. I do wonder if he saw a professional about these issues if it might help.

The other quote relates not to the mental but to the physical:

“”I felt bad but I take heat harder than other guys for some health reasons. I will never put tennis before my health. ”

“Some health reasons” … hmmm. I wonder what he means by this? I’ve always wondered if he has asthma. But it’s tough to know. I suppose he doesn’t want to come out and state any condition he might have. But on the other hand, some transparency might take the pressure off a little.

That said, I agree with you Von that he needs to let it go. In part it’s probably the media asking him about his poor recent slam results and so forth, and him responding. I really doubt that he brings up the retirement repeatedly. So he’s put on the spot to rehash it and defend it again. He should just tell journalists, “that’s behind me now, moving on…”. He needs to put it behind him and insist that others do too.


MMT Says:

To me, the retirements and the injurie are like “grunting” – they learn from their coaches and supporters that, “If it helps you to release energy when you’re striking the ball, then go ahead and grunt.” Likewise, I’m sure someone has told him, “If you’re not 100% fit, don’t continue playing – you’re very young and you shouldn’t risk long-term problems by playing unfit.”

I don’t know of any serious injuries Djokovic has had since he’s been a professional, unlike some of his contemporaries. I think it’s a mistake to quit on a match because you’re not “feeling well” – there are plent of examples of players who suck it up when they’re under the weather (that we know of) and probably oodles more that we don’t. Ultimately, each slam he retires in is one less than he can play and very soon he will get to the point where he has fewer in front of him than behind, and then all these retirements may come back to haunt him.

In yet another DC tournament example, the heat and humidity can make it an abysmal environment- particularly in the final which is always in the afternoon, for a player who has been playing exclusively at night.

This was the case with Agassi in 1999 when he played Yvgeny Kafelnikov in the final there and won while throwing up and in the early stages of heat exhaustion. THAT was for a relatively small tournament, and while he was in the beginning of his second renewal as a champion, Agassi never won in DC again, although he played there many more times. Not that he particularly cares about that title, but for a guy who had already won 4 times in DC, he had every reason to bag it and say, “I don’t need this one, I’m outta here.” But he didn’t, and it turned out to be his last title there.

Djokovic eventually will find out that any title/tournament can be his last – just ask Thomas Muster. Putting tennis before your health is one thing – if you’re on death’s door it doesn’t make sense to push it. But exactly how close to death’s door he is anyone’s guess – and I include him in that ignorance – he really won’t ever find out exactly how far he can push it until he does.


jane Says:

MMT, I take your points, and in fact earlier on one of the other threads I was wondering about whether or not Djokovic is coddled too much by his coach or team. Maybe he needs someone tougher around? I wish I knew what the “health reasons” are to which he refers, but in any case he must have access to very good doctors who could help and advise him on whatever condition it may be. And to your point on regrets, I think it’s clear he’s already having those. Judging by the way he talks about Australia in particular, the whole incident is clearly haunting him, even if he is defending his decision to call it a match (well what else could he do? I guess he wouldn’t want to admit publicly at this point that it was a mistake). That retirement and the Monte Carlo one weren’t necessary imo; in both cases he should’ve toughed it out. I think perhaps the Davis Cup one he should’ve too, but I didn’t see that one. The RG 2006 one I didn’t see either, but I know he did have his septum operated on afterwards so perhaps it was merited; and the Wimbledon 2007 one, while questionable, again didn’t bother me as much: he had infected blisters on his feet, had played several marathon matches back to back due to the rain, and it was clear he couldn’t move against Nadal after the first set. So it didn’t irk me as much as some of the others. The trainer calls same thing – some have seemed valid, others not so much. But he’s got himself into a bit of a “boy who cried wolf” situation as now even when he has valid trainer calls and were he to retire legitimately, everyone will be quick to doubt him and jump down his throat. It’s too bad. I hope he can live it down.


Von Says:

MMT: “To me, the retirements and the injuries are like “grunting” – they learn from their coaches and supporters that, “If it helps you to release energy when you’re striking the ball, then go ahead and grunt.” Likewise, I’m sure someone has told him, “If you’re not 100% fit, don’t continue playing – you’re very young and you shouldn’t’t risk long-term problems by playing unfit.”

When djoko retired at the AO v. Roddick, Vaijda remarked that Djoko had his blood pressure taken on court, (they didn’t show that on TV) and it was 150/100. Vaidja’s remarks to that ‘it was not worth it to continue playing’. Thus, in view of that remark, I’d hazard a guess, Djoko receives these affirmations and subliminal thoughts through his coach, and it’s in sync with your assumption that someone is telling him that it’s alright to quit if he’s not 100 per cent fit. there is a question in my mind, and a problem with Vaidja’s statement concerning the high blood pressure reading, how did he know it was so high when it was taken? Vaidja is talking after the fact, so was his statement just a ‘save face’ one? If so, he’s not helping his player.

If it’s really Djoko’s coach filling his head with that nonsense, then he needs to find another coach, and I then have to agree with jane that Vaidja ‘coddles’ Djoko. Djokovic needs to smarten up as to his coach’s mindset. His coach doesn’t have to worry, he gets paid regardless of whether Djoko wins or loses, therefore, the onus is on Djoko to proceed smartly and call the shots. On the other hand, if Djoko’s personality is one of a ‘quitter’ when the going gets rough/tough, then his coach will be engaging in an exercise in futility and/or wasting his time trying to talk sense to him. When all’s said and done, Djoko’s career lies in his own hands, and it’s for him to make or break.

I think this whole situation with Djoko is what’s responsible for the 360 degree turn, and it’s in the wrong direction. if he doesn’t wake up soon from this stupor, his ‘youth’ will have passed him by (MMT alluded to this) and he will be at cross-roads, not knowing which direction to take. He has now convinced himself that he’s now incapable of winning at Wimby. What’s wrong with positive thinking in the face of adversity? Too, too bad!


Von Says:

jane: I’d like to be blunt here and ask a straight-forward question: Would you prefer it if I didn’t post the Djoko articles? I know you usually thank me for so doing, but I’m just wondering if, by my doing so, opens Djoko to criticisms which, if given a choice, you’d prefer not to happen? If yes, then let me know, and I’d definitely desist, because I don’t see this as being pleasant for you. My objective in posting the links is merely to pass on the news on what’s happening in tennis and the players, but on the other hand, I don’t want for fans of the referenced players to be upset. Thanks.


Von Says:

jane:

“That said, I agree with you Von that he needs to let it go. In part it’s probably the media asking him about his poor recent slam results and so forth, and him responding. I really doubt that he brings up the retirement repeatedly. So he’s put on the spot to rehash it and defend it again. He should just tell journalists, “that’s behind me now, moving on…”. He needs to put it behind him and insist that others do too.”

Sorry, for the follow-up post, I forgot to address the above. Do you remember I previously remarked that Djoko needs to avoid the press as if it were a plague? Well, either he does that, or he begins to imitate Roddick (but I don’t like this, his answers should be original) by saying: “Copy what I said the last time, that question was asked and paste it here”? LOL. Was that original or what? Anyway, I think such an answer would definitely work for Djoko and the press would most probably leave him alone. The problem I see with Djoko and the press, is that he feeds into their web and he doesn’t know how to extricate himself. And, the press being the press, loves such an interviewee.


skeezerweezer Says:

Joke is on a good path and overall I think he will put his stamp on the coming year. He has improved his attitude ( remember Roddick? ) and his fitness ( no…no mas this year ) and I saw this past year him start slow in several matches and finish strong and win. He is still very young, trying to figure things out. I think the Joke fans need to be patient. The way I observe him playing mentally and physically he is on a good path. My only criticism is I don’t know if he wants to be a champion yet, I mean you have to have some arrogance that doesn’t show, and that is you feel you can beat anybody. He is for sure very close….

VON,

Left a message on the other thread you said you were out. I have been off the computer for awhile so I just got caught up. Sorry for the piling on of the subject, I was joking around also like you and other people however, like I said over on the other thread, my sincere apologies, and I will keep the subject on tennis :).
I’m out.


Von Says:

skeezer:

Don’t worry about it, I know that you were just kidding around, as was I, and I’m sorry also for doing the unforgivable, which is kidding around with a member of the opposite sex. sheesh. I love humor and see it in many scenarios, however, not everyone has a sense of humor, period. The subject and remarks on female and male stars has been touched upon on several occasions by many posters on this site and many other sites, so it’s nothing new. for example, people have commented a lot on Sabatini, Safin, Sharapova, Kournikova, et al., not to mention the movie stars — it’s normal. It’s a matter of how it’s perceived by others. If you noticed, I mentioned I work with men, as mine is a male dominant field, and I’ve learnt to kid around with males, but it’s all harmless stuff, and done in jest, as long as we don’t cross the line. This world would be one dull place if not for humorous people. Thanks for the laughs and I really like your sense of humor — don’t worry, be happy! I’ll try to stick to tennis also.


skeezerweezer Says:

Von,

:)

Thanks for the read.


skeezerweezer Says:

Von,

BTW appreciated the response big time. :)


jane Says:

Von,

It’s nice of you to consider the effect of your post; I appreciate the consideration. But I am fine with it. I like Djoko a lot as a player and I have a strange inkling I’d even like him as a person. But in any case, I can be open to criticisms of him because many of them are warranted. And then I can think about ways in which he can improve himself, or his game, or his situation, or what he could work on. And finally I get to hope and pray that he does it – LOL!

And I think I agree with you that the press goads him on, and so maybe your right that they’re a bit of plague on him and he gets all tangled up. He needs to be a little more guarded and firm in how he handles them.

skeezer – some very encouraging comments on Djoko there. Thanks for posting them. I am trying to be a patient supporter. Luckily I like a bunch of players and there are a handful that I follow throughout all of their tournaments. So when Djoko loses or is playing woefully, I can cheer on one of the others – often I cheer them on regardless. That way there’s lots of matches to which to look forward. Ideally I like to have two of my faves playing the finals, and then it’s “sit back and enjoy the tennis” and “what ever will be will be”.


skeezerweezer Says:

Jane,

May I ask who your tow favs are? It’s nice to here through all the FO from the many threads it’s not all about Fed and Nadal. Fed has been my fav but I think about the past and when I liked Pete and Agassi who was going to carry tennis and bring the fans in? So I have a keen interest in Djoko, Murray, etc, the likes of them who will be carrying tennis very very soon so I hope the best from them. BTW, when, and I mean WHEN Djoko can hit a confident dropshot, lookout competition! LoL
I’m out.


skeezerweezer Says:

I also gotta give props to Haas, Almost knocking out Fed and winning Queens against one the the potential guys who will carry the torch, at friggin 31 yrs old! Props to us older guys! Hope this group stays healthy and plays smart so we can see tennis players not end there careers before 30! Thank you Agassi and Conners for showing the tennis fan you can compete for a GS when you are past 30!


Von Says:

skeezer;

Haas will be going into Wimby with a ton of confidence, and I can tell you when he’s playing confidently the other players need to watch out. As I’ve mentioned previously, he can be dangerous.

We seem to share the same sentiments with respect to the older guys, and i so want for them to win titles too. I don’t think the sport and player focus should only be centered on the top 4, but more so the top 2. I used to become very angry when Roddick was ranked 3, and/or 4. In those days all we heard about was the top 2. Nowadays, we hear about the top 4. I remember listening to Jason Goodall who was lavishing praise on Fed and Nadal a few years ago, and then seemed to catch himself in the act so to speak. He then mentioned that there’s little thought and/or respect given to Roddick,and he then asked himself the question, out aloud: “I wonder why”? Well, if he didn’t know, I wonder who would have known at the time. In sum, I feel that there’s too much focus in the sport on what the top ranked players do and/or don’t do, and very little respect or attention is given to the other players. Case in point, and I submit the current threads, why wasn’t there a thread dedicated to Halle and Queens respectively/ The Nos. 3, 4, 6, 7, and 9 ranked players were playing but nary a thought nor respect shown for their efforts. @#%^*&*

The GS draw is made up of 128 tennis players and I feel they should ALL be given the respect and attention deserving of an athlete, regardless of where they are ranked. That said, let’s hear a big round of applause for the dinosaurs (the 30+ year-olds) in the draw, shall we!!!!

I believe Connors was Agassi’s inspiration. And, i know for a fact that Agassi is Roddick’s inspiration. I heard Roddick state that last year at LA, at which time he felt that if Agassi could have re-invented his game at 30, then Andy saw no reason why he couldn’t do the same at 25 (Andy was a few months short of turning 26 at that time).


jane Says:

skeezer,

It’s tough to narrow down to two favorites. Djoko has been my top fave since about 2007 – really from IW/Miami that year when he became the youngest guy to win in Miami (I think?). Shortly thereafter, especially late 2007 indoor season and early 2008, I grew to really like Murray also. So my most recent faves are these two. Prior to them I liked Roddick and Safin a lot and I still do; they’re both power hitters with the most engaging and hilarious press conference. And I have always admired Rafa’s gumption, the way he fights; I liked his old pirate look better though. I love watching Tsonga and Del Potro too. There are so many players. I never really took to Fed, mainly because I tend to like underdogs and he never was one – LOL. I didn’t mind his dominance in 2004, and even some of 2005, but after that I began to wish that other players would win more often. I didn’t like knowing who would win the majority of all the major events before they were even played! But I can appreciate his game and his achievements; there’s no denying the facts. And I hope he’ll be happy when his baby arrives; it’s an exciting time for anyone.


skeezerweezer Says:

Von,

Kudos and nice read. I think us tennis fans don’t appreciate the age and results enough, instead of just results. But I know in the end that is what counts.

But hey, Agassi won his last 2 GS at 29? And Connors got 2 GS at 29 also, AND made it to the Semi’s at the sweet age of 39 at US Open. I would expect on both the guys and the gals ( thanks to Martina ) that they take even take better care of there bodys and training, etc. My only concern is the “have to play” tourneys and so many. But on the flip side is tennis that popular now where people are wanting to see more and more of the players? That is good for tennis , but not maybe good for players. So we come to a cross roads soon that I think will play out if we see a great player like Nadal burn out at a young age ( not saying that he will, I hope not )

On a last note, let me see if I can help with your post on the “morse code”

I’ll take the hit. Quote. Your “@#%^*&*” deciphers as…
“WTF?” LOL


skeezerweezer Says:

Jane,

I saw Murray live at the Siebal open ( in San Jose, ca. ) a few years ago, I think it was his first ATP win. Agassi, Blake, Roddick were all in it. All of us that went were amazed that Murray could bang with them from the baseline but in could also hit fantastic slices from both sides and of course a world class serve. Great variety from the baseline, and it was impressive. We all felt we would see him as a way better player in the end than his fellow brit Henman.

I agree there are a lot of not only good players coming up ( sorry for the purists, but tennis needs some characters and personalities along with great tennis ) but they need to be attractive in there own way and entertaining.; If someone disagrees all I have to say is no matter what sport, most people are watching to be entertained, and, alos appreciate the talent. The purist will tell you hogwash, but the ticket sales will tell you otherwise. Was Agassi the GOAT? No. No doubt he was great though and left his everlasting mark in history. More importantly, was he entertaining and filled more seats and moved tennis forward?
I’m out


Von Says:

skeezer:

I’m not ready to let go of Safin, Blake, Ferrero, Ljub, and the Bryan twins just yet, even though my heart throb, Marat, wants to let go. I want to see them around for a few more years. and, I most definitely want to see Roddick around for at least 6 to 7 more years, so c’mon Andy R., you can do it, and ‘just do it’!! Nike didn’t pay me for that one — it’s gratis.

On my Morse Code, ooohhh, bite your tongue, you’ve defiled my ‘puritanical” ears! It was more like ‘biased ?? (you fill in the words here). LOL.


Von Says:

skeezer: “( sorry for the purists, but tennis needs some characters and personalities along with great tennis ) but they need to be attractive in there own way and entertaining.; If someone disagrees all I have to say is no matter what sport, most people are watching to be entertained, and, alos appreciate the talent.”

Some humor never hurts, but helps at tense times. It’s one of the reasons I like Roddick, he brings some electicity and flavor/colour to the sport. There’s never a dull moment when he’s playing, from the twitching to the ump tiffs, pressers, et al. He’s unique in his own rite, and I love it. I don’t understand why people become so offended by some of the players’ quirks, and prefer to see the robots. I’m a very cosmopolitan person in my tastes and I embrace all the fun. For example, I loved it when Ljub lost his cool with the ump at Miami. Ljub told the ump, in his accented voice, ‘Don’t tell me what you think the tournament referee is going to say, get him out here and let him tell me himself.” or Bjorkman at wimby and haas at Memphis (I think). Priceless, and/or Kodak moments!!! I think I saw Sharapova buzzing around there with her ‘Hot shot’ camera. ha ha.


huh Says:

I’m not buying this Novak Djokovic Freefall theory. After all he’s performed very well this year too. This year he’s done a great thing by back2back beating Fed. So why all this concern? IMO,it’s good that he downplayed his WIM prospect, now he’d do well.


Von Says:

Wimby put on betting alert. Anyone remember Köllerer who’s supposedly the most disliked ATP player? Well, it seems like he got into a litte tiff with Oscar Hernandez at the Ordina Open.

http://timesonline-emails.co.uk/go.asp?/bTNL001/mEBNCUA/qEB5UUA/uJ2Z22JB/x9KS4UA

Murray’s new duds for Wimby. His outfit looks very preppy, Ivy League, and/or similar to the cricketers, well the sweater vest that is.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article6504583.ece


Von Says:

Nadal attributes his success to the simple life.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article6504583.ece

John McEnRoe thinks this is the right time for Murray.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article6513934.ece


jane Says:

huh asks “why all this concern? ” For me the concern is based on his most recent slam results all being worse that the slam before:

1. Wimbledon 2007 = semis / Wimbledon 2008 = R64
2. USO 2007 = finals / USO 2008 = semis
3. AO 2008 = winner / AO 2009 = quarters
4. FO 2008 = semis / FO 2009 = R32

Moreover, in addition to his performance dropping off at the slams, he has not won a Masters Series shield since Rome in May 2008. Remember that in 07 he won a couple (Miami and Canada) and in 08 he won a couple (IW and Rome).

Finally, of course, he’d dropped off in the rankings, which is a reflection of his drop in performance ever since Wimbledon of last year.

That’s not to say it’s been all bad: he won the YEC and he pushed Nadal hard on clay this year. He also went deeper at Miami and beat Federer at two MS events. However, he wasn’t able to capture the title at either, running up against a hot Murray on hard courts, and a prime Nadal on clay (Rome and Barcelona were Nadal’s two best clay events this year imo).

But still, there is a definite pattern. And I am concerned about it. I guys you don’t have to “buy the freefall theory” but the facts speak for themselves.


jane Says:

typo in last sentence “guys” s/b “guess”.


huh Says:

huh Says:
jane Says:
“huh asks “why all this concern? ” For me the concern is based on his most recent slam results all being worse that the slam before:

1. Wimbledon 2007 = semis / Wimbledon 2008 = R64
2. USO 2007 = finals / USO 2008 = semis
3. AO 2008 = winner / AO 2009 = quarters
4. FO 2008 = semis / FO 2009 = R32

Moreover, in addition to his performance dropping off at the slams, he has not won a Masters Series shield since Rome in May 2008. Remember that in 07 he won a couple (Miami and Canada) and in 08 he won a couple (IW and Rome).

Finally, of course, he’d dropped off in the rankings, which is a reflection of his drop in performance ever since Wimbledon of last year.

That’s not to say it’s been all bad: he won the YEC and he pushed Nadal hard on clay this year. He also went deeper at Miami and beat Federer at two MS events. However, he wasn’t able to capture the title at either, running up against a hot Murray on hard courts, and a prime Nadal on clay (Rome and Barcelona were Nadal’s two best clay events this year imo).

But still, there is a definite pattern. And I am concerned about it. I guys you don’t have to “buy the freefall theory” but the facts speak for themselves.”

I don’t think this answer is satisfactory! First of all in 08 Wim he lost to the mercurial Safin who’s the greatest talent on tour besides Fed(and the great David Nalbandian!). And we all know that losing to Fed at the USO 08 semi is nothing to be disappointed/ particularly ashamed of about for you or for Djokovic. Then talking about Djoko-Rod qtrf at 09 AO, Roddick is again a player who, if at his best, is not easy to handle for anybody and this was the case at this year’s AO. Roddick’s a fairly good player to be honest and defeat to him must be held as not an offence. So the only defeat which was bad for him was the one that he suffered at this year’s FO. I agree that he shouldn’t have lost this match to Kohl under any condition(except serious physical ones that he may suffer at times). But again, who can blame him about this? And the last but not the least is beating Rafa in a final to win one of the clay MS at Rome/MC is near to impossible. After all the mighty Fed has also miserably failed in this respect, so it doesn’t surprise me to see Djoko giving his all and still coming up short there. Besides all these things, to except 5/10/15/20 consecutive GS semifinals/finals streak from him is not realistic. Djoko’s obviously a guy who’s much much hell much more hungry and determined than both of us combined for success. So he’d continue to give his best every time and you have to accept that. But one thing that I can assure you of is that he’s not going to give up easily in the future against Rafa/Murray/Fed and that’d be more than enough to fetch him a few more MS shields for your sake and probably 1-3 more slams too. I’m not saying this to hurt you or for any other selfish reason. All that I want is to give my honest and humble opinion about Djoko and the way I see things about him. Now be happy! Never lose hope, remember!


jane Says:

Thanks for your response huh. And I see your point that all of the opponents Djokovic lost to were ones that he could expectedly lose to, except for Kohls perhaps. Nor am I expecting Federer-like streaks from Djoko. However, the pattern, which you didn’t address directly, has been a downward one. And that’s concerning. It’s not that’s I’ve lost hope or am unhappy. I still cheer him on as well as my other faves. I’d just like to see him get back to his 07/08 form. If he is playing his best and loses, that’s one thing, and I can accept that. But when he is not playing his best, I can’t accept it. In the match against Safin (who I love b.t.w.), Djoko was flat and hitting double fault after double fault. It was not fun to watch, even though I love both guys! Same with in his matches at Halle last week – even though he got to the finals, other than the Melzer match, he was not playing his best. Anyhow, enough on this topic, unless you’d (or anyone) like to add more. I hope he can do better at SW19.


jane Says:

Let me clarify – it’s easier to accept when a player loses if he or she gave it their best effort and tried to do different things and/or notched it up a gear, etc. When a player plays poorly and let’s negativity compound the problem, or when a player chokes, or gives up, these sorts of losses are much harder to accept. I hope you can understand my point.


vared Says:

Fed answers:

I do think I’m the favorite actually, with the success I’ve had. I came close again last year. With no disrespect to the other players … I feel like I’ve got the game, I’ve got the mental approach and I’ve got the experience to win at Wimbledon many more times.


jane Says:

vared – where’s that Fed quote from? Just curious.


vared Says:

“if you were a bookmaker who would you make favourite for the
australian open?”

murray: “Well Federer wants to be favourite so much, so i’d give it to
him.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/7832696.stm


vared Says:

Jane looks like Murray and Fed are fighting for the favorite LOL Here it is
http://au.sports.yahoo.com/news/article/-/5658597/federer-aims-win-crown-man


jane Says:

vared, Murray said that at the AO too, when Fed was talking down Murray’s chances there. I kind of respect that Murray doesn’t kowtow to Fed. I like when younger guys believe in their chances and don’t show too much respect. Nadal has another way of taking the pressure off himself (Fed’s the favorite, the greatest etc.) but Murray’s “Federer wants to be favourite so much, so i’d give it to
him” works pretty darn well too. Hilarious!!


vared Says:

Someone said this about his health:
It’s not asthma. It’s hyperventilation. In other words his lung volume is too small to circulate enough air to feed oxygen to his blood system. He does some yoga to improve this situation. Still sometimes he is suffocating, especially when the ambient temperature is very high.


vared Says:

Here is Fed talking about his realtionship with Djok.

Q. I just wanted to know if you think Djokovic can win against Nadal at this stage? And can you tell us more about the relationships you have with Novak Djokovic?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, to start with, I think he has a chance against Rafa. He played a very good match against him in Hamburg, and he is very fit. He also played well in Rome before that. He had a very good clay season, just like me, just like Rafa.

As for our relationship? Nice. We talk to each other. I’m happy he is here for the future of tennis. At the moment, we ‑‑ everything’s okay.

http://www.tennis-x.com/story/2008-06-05/i.php


vared Says:

Jane, save these lol. It took a while to find them.
I’ll get to the restaurants tomorrow.


jane Says:

Thanks vared! I’ll bookmark em…


Von Says:

vared: People hyperventilate, by breathing rapidly, holding in their breath and not exhaling. As far as I can tell, it’s not a medical condition, but an action that’s done by the individual when he/she perceives a situation to be alarming and/or fearful. Anger also causes hyperventilation, e.g, children, when they experience one of their tantrums. Thus, are you saying Djoko is passing through his ‘terrible twos’ stage?


vared Says:

No someone said that and this is what someone else wrote on another board.

I’m no expert, nor esp informed poster, but as I understood from more knowlegable people and some interviews (mainly that of his and Rafas PR man Barbarilo), Nole has a classic case of undeveloped thorax (the part of the human body between the neck and the diaphragm, partially encased by the ribs and containing the heart and lungs; the chest) due to nose deviation that he operated on couple of years ago – his lungs couldn’t develop properly when they were due.

Such condition, while common and not esp hard on ordinary people can greatly affect professional athletes who travel the world and are exposed to various climate conditions.

That coupled with immunity problems (that are kinda side effects to this small thorax thing), competitive frustrations and anxious moments in crunch time, can lead to severe falls of play, best seen at Monte Carlo when he retired against Roger.

I believe that he is a smart young man, and is surrounded with smart people (barring some exceptions) that advise him to take it easy. So I think that the best of him in competitive and trophy terms is not to be seen until some years in the future, when his medical condition is brought in proper order. Until that time, however, breakdowns of that stamina/anxiousness type will still exist.
http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=129711&page=2


vared Says:

Another Djok view of his health, sort of.

I’m a little, sensitive, tiny guy,” he smiled. “Unfortunately every time I come back from a long trip and experience a change of climate my body reacts. Everybody’s different. Some people are more sensitive and I get sick pretty often, so I’m surprised when I’m healthy. No, I’m joking. I just have to be very careful about everything I do in between tournaments because I really want to be 100 per cent ready for every tournament I play.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/now-we-are-three-833617.html


jane Says:

vared – hope those shoes work! No (or little) slippage allowed. Thanks for posting it.


vared Says:

Jane here is a tennis psychologist view of Djok and others.
———————————————
Psychologist Bojan Gligorijevic, who is also a tennis coach with a Canadian licence, has also expressed his views on the current results of Serbian tennis players.
- “From the top of my head, I’d say Ana and Jelena are working well enough on all aspects of their game. They are technically excellent, physically they don’t have many problems – unlike Djokovic. They need to dedicate more attention to their games and to opposition analysis. What they lack is the ability to adjust their play depending on their opposition. The mental aspect is the job of the coaching staff, but I think they should be more committed when playing,” said Gligorijevic.


jane Says:

I wonder what he means here vared: “physically they don’t have many problems – unlike Djokovic.”? Maybe it relates to what you posted earlier about the thorax.


Von Says:

Ref: Djokovic’s health issues, I think the more it’s deliberated and speculated upon, the more he’ll be opened up to criticism, which i’m sure it’s something his fans would not like to see happening. I suppose the health specialists who are commenting feel they’re helping him by offering their insight on what they perceive to be Djoko’s health woes, and I can see where his fans can find solace in these supposedly enlightening details, but I personally don’t feel it’s a good road to travel. There will be repercussions, and some people will begin to use the old adage of: ‘If you’re not fit to play, stay in bed”, and “If you play, you’re fit”. And, until Djokovic comes out and says “XYZ” is what wrong with me health-wise, instead of using innuendos, we need to assume he’s fine.

Djokovic has been fine and healthy in the same tournaments he’s losing in this year, and he hasn’t stated he lost due to illness, except for the ’09 AO, where the heat caused dizziness and low blood pressure, hence is it only when he’s sick that he loses? I truthfuly think there’s an over-kill on Djoko’s health now that he’s not winning as much, as compared to ’08. He won Serbia this year, so I suppose he was well there.

“Unfortunately every time I come back from a long trip and experience a change of climate my body reacts. Everybody’s different. Some people are more sensitive and I get sick pretty often, so I’m surprised when I’m healthy.”

This is the norm for nearly everyone, not only djokovic. There are time, temperature, food, water, jet lag, and even bed/pillow changes, which we all encounter when we travel. It’s a transition period the body undergoes when we leave our normal habitat and enter a different one. Hence, I don’t understand the focus. If all of these things are a problem, then maybe, just maybe, djoko is in the wrong business ad sports is not his cup of tea.


Von Says:

“There are time, temperature, food, water, jet lag, and even bed/pillow changes, which we all encounter when we travel.”

correction: Should read: There are changes of time, temperature, food, water, air, jet lag, and even bed/pilllow changes, which we all experience when we travel.


vared Says:

If all of these things are a problem, then maybe, just maybe, djoko is in the wrong business ad sports is not his cup of tea.

This could be true. I read a thing once about him choosing between skiing and tennis. Skiing is his favorite sport and I guess he’s good at it. It’s also a sport done in cooler temps and he does it whenever he can. But he picked up the racket as a little kid before anything was determined about his thorax/lung development (if that is really true.) I don’t blame him for not making certain things known to the public. He is taking his flak for it but if he said he has XYZ I don’t think it would help him. I could see the talking heads at every match saying, you know, Novak was diagnosed with ……. What I do see is his planning the future already with schools, the tournament, the chain of restaurants. He will keep playing and keep his name out there but might not reach more than a couple of GS’s. He has said his littlest brother Jorge is the best athlete in the family so he might take over in a few years.


vared Says:

oh, another thing about naming your diagnosis. Tatiana Golovin of France quit tennis earlier this year at a very young age and she said it was a bad back. Period. I was reading someplace that she might actually have Ankylosing Spondylitis which is a very serious autoimmune disease. I actually wrote to her as I know of a “cure” for this. Kathleen Turner also was cured of her Rheumatoid Arthritis by this method. No answer yet from Tati. The family of autoimmune diseases all have one cause which require one simple lifelong treatment. Rheumatologists like to bring out the big toxic guns and if she starts with those treatments she is finished with tennis for sure. The quickness with which she quit tennis showed the seriousness of the illness. Anyhow, this is not the place to get into it. I think Tati is trying to get into commentating for France.I don’t blame her for not saying as it would not be good for her future to reveal it.


jane Says:

vared, care to share the “cure” or treatment for those ailments you’ve mentioned? I am curious.


Von Says:

vared:

Yes, please share. I have a lovely friend in Canada who’s suffering with Rheumatoid and is on orthodox medical treatments, thus your knowledge could save and or prolong her life.

I thought Tatiana had a benign tumor removed from her back, and I’ve not heard any mention of the ankylosing spondylitis, so that’s interesting to know, but sad for her to have to cut short her promising young career.


vared Says:

The first thing to do it read the book called The New Arthritis Breakthrough by Henry Scammell. It’s important to read this book to understand what is going on with your body. It is very inspiring and gives hope. I would recommend this for your friends.


vared Says:

Many years ago Kathleen was portrayed in the tabloids as being bloated and alcoholic. A few years later it was revealed she was on prednisone for RA. Steroids bloat you and the tabloids ran with the drunk theory. Years later she was slim again and she said she was being treated for RA in Boston. Turns out Boston is the home town of one of the main docs who uses the protocol. Later on she revealed she was being treated by Dr Trentham.


jane Says:

Thanks vared – I too have a friend I’ll mention this book to. He was in a car accident year ago and developed arthritis in his upper spine (i don’t know if there is a correlation between the two). Anyhow, at times he can barely turn his neck as there’s been some “fusing” of vertebrae. Anything that might help him would be wonderful and appreciated.

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