Cincinnati Day 2 – Hewitt, Simon, Ferrer Show Mental Toughness
by Dan Martin | August 19th, 2009, 2:49 pm
  • 77 Comments

Strange Start

I went to the air conditioned press box immediately after my arrival at Day 2 of the Cincinnati Masters 1000 event. The monitors in the press box featured the image of a seemingly bored film crew member slowly clapping his hands every 3 seconds to test the sound pick up of the TV microphones.

Andy Murray was slated to give an interview at 10:30 AM, but the interview did not start until 11:05 AM. This is a common occurrence as John Isner also arrived 25 minutes late to his interview (Gilles Simon arrived 10 minutes early). I get the sense that the top tennis media and the main organizers from the ATP and USTA are locked in an adversarial but mutual relationship. Murray’s interview revealed one interesting thing – he wanted to drive from Montreal to Cincinnati. Due to international law and insurance restrictions, Murray’s team was driven to Buffalo and then his team drove to Cincinnati once crossing the Canada-U.S. border.

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez vs. Fernando Verdasco: Una Guerra Civil?

On day 1, I gushed about how well Verdasco hits the ball. In all fairness, he hit the ball exceptionally well vs. Garcia-Lopez, but did not seem to choose the right shot at the right time. Sometimes Verdasco would go for winners when grinding a point out would have been more appropriate. At 4-4 in the second set tiebreaker, Verdasco opened the court up with a massive forehand and could have gone down the line for an apparent winner but instead played a conservative cross court shot back to Garcia-Lopez and fell behind a fatal mini-break at 4-5. I don’t have any advice on knowing when to play it safe versus when to go for broke, but that issue plagued Verdasco on day 2.

Garcia-Lopez deserves credit for his win. He served well and his one handed backhand held up versus the spin Verdasco generates. Garcia-Lopez found a winning formula of hitting big serves, making judicious approaches to the net and taking advantage of Verdasco’s unforced errors. Garcia-Lopez won 7-6, 7-6 and was elated as the match ended. I imagine the Spanish players take a special satisfaction in beating their countrymen.

Lleyton Hewitt vs. Robin Soderling

The first set was an exercise in clean power tennis from Soderling. The Swede only broke Hewitt once but had Hewitt in trouble on serve throughout the set. A quick 6-3 set was punctuated by a forehand winner from Soderling. Hewitt immediately asserted himself in rallies and held for a 1-0 lead in the second set. The change in Hewitt’s body language was obvious as he gained traction in the match. At 5-6 Soderling saved 1 set point by hitting a 130 mph serve. The 2nd set tiebreaker saw Hewitt jump to a 5-2 lead all based upon Soderling’s play as the Swede made 5 unforced errors, hit 1 ace, and hit 1 backhand return winner. Soderling then went on a run winning the next 4 points to earn a match point at 6-5. Hewitt saved the 1st match point with an ace. Soderling saved a 2nd set point at 7-8 with a 128 mph serve and then hit a 132 mph serve followed by a backhand winner to gain a 2nd match point at 8-7. Hewitt elicited a forehand error from Soderling to level the tiebreaker at 8-8, and 2 points later the set ended on a Soderling backhand error. Hewitt yelled “c’mon!” The 3rd set got off to a shaky start for Soderling who twice double faulted when holding game point leading to a service break. Each man held serve fairly easily the rest of the way and Hewitt won 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.

Gilles Simon vs. Igor Andreev

This match intrigued me as both players are willing to rally. The first set was close with Gilles Simon winning the tiebreaker 7-5. In a surprise tactic, Simon moved to the net on set point and hit a winning volley. The 2nd set saw some dicey service games, but both players held and pushed to another tiebreaker. Andreev jumped to a 4-0 lead in the tiebreaker in part by slicing his backhand and taking pace off of the ball. Simon feeds off of pace, but generating his own pace led to uncharacteristic errors. Simon fought back to take a 6-5 lead and hold a match point. Andreev hit a big serve, big forehand combination to save match point. Inspired by new life, Andreev powered through the next two points and leveled the match 7-6 (5), 6-7 (6).

Watching the #9 and #27 players in the world from close range at 7-6, 6-7 was awesome. These two guys are among the 30 best practitioners of their vocation in the world, and I was sitting 15′ away as they went toe to toe. Andreev’s forehand was bothering Simon, but Gilles’ ability to change the direction of the ball by hitting his backhand up the line also bothered Andreev. Simon hits both his serve and ground strokes harder than he did when I watched him win Indianapolis in 2008. As a fan, this is all I could ask for because 2 excellent players were dead even after fighting for 26 games.

The third set showed me why Gilles Simon is in the top 10. Never once did he look discouraged after losing the 2nd set and failing to convert a match point. Instead, he converted 2 of 2 break points in the 3rd set and saved 3 of 3 break points he faced. The 3rd set was a one sided 6-1 conclusion that easily could have been another tight set if Simon had not converted 100% of the break points he earned while saving 100% of the break points he faced.

David Ferrer vs. Marin Cilic

I know Day 3 features the top 5 players in the world, but much like the Andreev-Simon match, I watched the 15th ranked Corat take on the 19th ranked Spaniard from 15′ away and the humidity of the day session was gone. Perfect conditions for watching two top 20 players at close proximity is priceless. Any ticket holder could have sat right where I was sitting for either of these matches. I love the early rounds on tennis tournaments for this reason. As an aside, David Ferrer’s tennis shirt looks a bit like how I would imagine people from the 22nd century will dress to play tennis, but it is not a bad looking shirt.

Cilic is green, but has a lot of game. He has a powerful fluid service motion and hits a big open stance forehand. Ferrer was less vocal than he was on day 1. Ferrer played a tidy first set, and Cilic hit bombs and earned the free points a player needs to beat Ferrer; once again the score was 6-6 heading to a tiebreaker. Cilic twice took a mini-break lead. At 4-3 in the tiebreak, Cilic served a double fault. He then hit 3 consecutive unforced errors to lose the set 7-6 (4). The veteran sensed that Cilic had blinked in the 1st set tiebreaker and confidently held in the first portion of the second set. At 6-7, 2-3, Cilic trailed 15-40 and saved 2 break points to force deuce, but Marin then made consecutive unforced errors to drop serve. Ferrer once again served confidently to take a 5-2 lead. He gladly accepted an anemic service game from Cilic to close the match out 7-6, 6-2.

Concluding Thoughts on Play

Hewitt, Simon and Ferrer each demonstrated to me how important mental toughness is when it comes to winning. I did watch the 3rd set of John Isner vs. Tommy Haas and was impressed with Isner’s poise in the 3rd set tiebreaker. Isner came to the net on the final 2 points of the match and this seems like a winning tactic for such a tall player.

Interviews

I asked Gilles Simon about his mindset after losing the 2nd set despite holding a match point. Simon’s answer was great. “… I had the impression I was still about to win the match.” Simon may never win a major, but his tidy play and fighting attitude are things average players can emulate. After answering questions in English, Simon took 15 minutes of questions in French. My French is beyond poor, but it was nice to hear nonetheless.

I asked John Isner about his service placement now compared to when he first joined the tour. Isner explained that his approach to serving is not much is different, but that he does now try to take some pace off of his wide serve on the deuce side. Isner said he likes his wide serve best on the ad side of the court, but that he also has now established his serve up the T to add variety. John mentioned that he changed shirts 9 times during a night match! He is aiming toward being in the top 50 by the end of the season. He will go to Florida in December to recapture the fitness he lost due to mono. Isner said he feels his serve always gives him a chance to win. Given that he has victories this year over Monfils, Safin, Tsonga, and Haas, it seems realistic that he will be a factor on the tour for several more years especially as the lingering effects of mono diminish.

A Third Installment

I did a few interviews with volunteers for some of the charities present at the tournament and also talked to a few of the tournament volunteers and other members of the press corps. I will share this side of the event with you sometime later this week.


Also Check Out:
UPDATE1: Clijsters Officially Announces She Will Un-Retire in 2009
Federer, Nadal Lead Top Four in Cincinnati Quarterfinals
Federer Lands in Nadal’s Half at Cincinnati; Roddick Returns
Roanic Roughs Up Verdasco (Again) in Memphis; Roddick, Del Potro Return Today
Cincinnati Draw: Djokovic Tries To Become A Golden Master, Federer-Murray Quarter?

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77 Comments for Cincinnati Day 2 – Hewitt, Simon, Ferrer Show Mental Toughness

margot Says:

Just a stroll on the park….


Colin Says:

Murray beat Almagro 7-6, 6-2, which is satisfactory. After all, Federer needed a tiebreak in his match!
The interesting thing was the stats. Murray’s first serve percentage was poor, just creeping over 50%, yet he won pretty well all his first serve points. This happened some of the time at Montreal. In one way, it’s great that he can win without being at his very best, but I hope he gets the serve in its groove for later in the tournament.


Kimmi Says:

Wow, clijsters continues her excellent form..is Azarenka going to be another one of her victims ? Looks like it.


Kimmi Says:

Oh No..after leading 7-5, 4-1, Clijsters went to lose 5 straight games..I guess its not over until its over…


andrea Says:

international law on driving from montreal to cincinnati? unless there is some new law that focuses on tennis players, anyone can drive from montreal to the US if they have the appropriate documentation.


Dan Martin Says:

Andrea,

Murray explained that crossing an international border with a car he intend to leave in the U.S. when he returns to Europe was the issue. I guess if he was somehow going to take the vehicle to his permanent residence there would be no issue, but ferrying the car across the Atlantic would be expensive for someone who already has a vehicle.


jane Says:

The mental toughness came up on the other thread, too, re: Verdasco and Tsonga. It is so important, and it is what separates the top guys in tennis (and the women – watched Azarenka vs. Cjlisters at the dentist, on the roof, and Kim was just mentally more level and sound; she deserved the W in that match, though Azarenka did rally to get the second set at least).

The other thing I am noticing is how important the odd point at the net is. I noticed this on grass, of course, with the likes of Haas and Roddick. But it’s noticeable on the fast hard courts too, where following a serve into the net can yield quick and positive results. I wonder if we’ll see a slight return to a little more S & V play?? If guys like Roddick, Haas, isner, Karlovic, JMDP, Tsonga, etc are using it now and again… why not a full scale resurrection?


jane Says:

Should be on the ceiling from the dentist’s chair. Honestly, my dentist doesn’t see patients on the roof, although were it a roof top garden … could be kinda cool.

I digress….

Back to Sam and A-rod.


Kimmi Says:

Jane, talking about mental toughness, have you watched JMDP matches, this guy has come up with the biggest serve, FH or BH when he is down. I was very impressed with him last week the way he handled the Roddick match as well as Murray (in the first 2 sets)

I agree about cjlisters, she regrouped and played her best tennis in the 3rd set. A lot of top players are beaten early in Toronto (venus, Safina, kutzy)


Kimmi Says:

Wow..this tiebreaker is VERY close


jane Says:

Kimmi, I agree about JMDP, and the scary thing is that his game is getting better to match his toughness. I like him, though I don’t often find watching him too electrifying, like watching Safin or something. But JMDP is admirable for his hard work, his mental toughness, and his improvement. I am certain he will win a slam. Maybe a hardcourt one first, though he’s up there as a candidate for the FO.


Scottish Says:

Hey Kimmi, Jane. JMDP has been loving up the ranks of guys i am cheering for. He’s now my #3 for sure. I think he has all the tools to be a real contender in the elite group. He definitely needs to improve his stamina and fitness but hey he’s 20 and look where Murray has come in 2 years. He’s definitely a guy to watch.


Scottish Says:

*moving up the ranks…


Kimmi Says:

Scottish, I am starting to like Delpotro too, he has impressed me since the French Open. He is improving everytime I watch him play. Jane is right, he is getting closer and closer to be a contender in Slams.

This Roddick/Querry match is getting very close, Roddick gets the break..I think now he will relax a little.


Scottish Says:

Tough match here but Roddick should pull it out. Too bad for Isner today. Was hoping he would win it.


jane Says:

Roddick and Querrey look to be headed for another tiebreak, unless one of them cracks here. It looks incredibly humid there. Both guys are soaked. But there is a lot of pop on their serves, that’s for sure!


Scottish Says:

What a match. Great tennis. These guys are really duking it out. They do look to be really sweating out there. Can they last 3 sets?


Scottish Says:

I didn’t get to catch any of the matches today. Any comments on how players did, especially the top 4?


jane Says:

Well, it was Querrey’s night tonight; he really was playing well. So sorry Von. I am sad to see A-rod go, too, but on the bright side, he can get in some much needed rest and practice pre-USO. I did so want to see Fed vs. Rod again, alas. : (


tennismonger Says:

JMDP is South America’s answer to Todd Martin…


Kimmi Says:

Roddick one match too many ? Sam played excellent today, was nervous a little in the 1st set but manage to win in the end. Second set was much better from Querry.

Roddick should rest and get ready for the Open.


Scottish Says:

Yeah sorry Von. I was hoping AR would pull out the win. But yeah he can get some rest. He’s still a top favourite for the USO.


jane Says:

Scottish,

I saw Djoko, most of Fed and some of Nadal, but not much of Murray. I’d say, in all honestly, none of them looked spectacular, but all of them did what they needed to do to get wins. Namely, all of them served well enough when it mattered, and were able to play the big points well, i thought. Fed relied on his serve as a weapon, whereas Djoko went more with his return in trying to break Ljub’s serve. Acasuso was up and down in terms of his serve, which helped Fed. And Ljub’s forehand was inconsistent, which helped Djoko. Nadal played the important points really well vs. Seppi and evidence of his strong forehand and mental tougness were on show. The little I saw of Murray in the first set suggested to me that he was doing what he needed to do and not expending too much effort (though Murray can look lackadasical when he’s not) – it seemed a bit of a serving contest. But I didn’t see the second set.

In any case, they all live to play another day.


Dan Martin Says:

Roddick like JMDP went deep in the draw the past 2 weeks. Taking nothing away from Sam who has logged a lot of matches since Wimbledon at Newport, Indy, and LA, but Roddick might view this as a blessing in disguise. Not good for the Decker family who live about 15 miles north of Cincinnati on I-75 in Middletown, OH. I am sure Andy’s in-laws will now insist he come over for dinner tomorrow.


sar Says:

I was on center court tonight. I won the Roddick/Querrey coin toss. It was exciting. I was waiting in the tunnel the players come into and out of and Nadal was coming in to go to the locker room aftr winning. I said great match, rafa. LOL I was so nervous. Also saw Stefanki about two feet away from me. The umpire was Lars and he instructs you as to what to do. You go out there, they announce your name and town,toss the coin and get a photo with Sam and Andy. Andy shook my hand and said how ya doin? Great experience. Oh and you get to keep the coin and they email you the photo!!! Dan, did you see me?


Scottish Says:

Thanks Jane. I hope to see some matches tomorrow. I didn’t think Murray was that impressive last week but he won. JMDP ran out of steam which was predictable. It’s really becoming a toss up these days which is better for tennis overall. I’m enjoying the sport a lot right now. Would love to see a Fed/Nadal final this week.


jane Says:

Hey, i heard that Todd Martin has joined Djok’s team; does anyone know in what capacity? Vjada is still around as the “main” coach, and I presume so is Djoko’s fitness coach (who seems, imo, to be doing something right, as Djoko doesn’t look too worse for the wear on court, at least he hasn’t done so since the AO/ Miami period – in other words, since just prior to when the fitness coach was hired. He can still seem slow, but no retirements and no trainer calls. I hope I am not jinxing him saying this! Knock wood.). So anyhow, I am not sure why they hired Todd. Is it to work on volleys? I sure hope so!!!


Ezorra Says:

sar, I’m so jelous right now! Are they generally tall?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

This is good news for Roddick AND society. Yeah, he needed the rest, but more importantly for citizen safety, one more loss to Fed and I think Roddick would have gone postal.
What a wide open US Open this is building up to. I’d love to see Fed or Nadal win Cincy, but if not them I’d like Nole to show he’s still in the mix. I REALLY hope we get a Fed/Murray semi.


Dan Martin Says:

Sar,

Sounds like a great experience! Sadly, they only gave me credentials for the first 2 days of the event so my daughter, wife and I are in Louisville today visiting my parents, older brother and 2 of my 3 sisters. I had a wonderful time covering the first few days and the press box was fun – some real characters cover tennis. The press box was like a mini-UN and I suspect as the week wears on a lot more media arrive. I did meet tenisbebe yesterday and she is a very nice person. I wish I had seen you Jon. Oddly, my dad went to the matches today for the day session. Rafa, Sam, Andy and Stefanki – great stuff.


Dan Martin Says:

Jon should read Sar – never do 4 things at once


Kimmi Says:

Sar, what an experience, I would have love to do that too.


jane Says:

sar – how cool girl!! If you feel like it, you should send the photo to Tennis-X so they could post it and we could all see you. : ) LOL! Great to hear that you’re having fun!!

Scottish – no worries; you’re welcome.


Ezorra Says:

Tennis Vagabond, personally, I don’t think Nadal can win Cincy. To me, by his standard, he played pretty bad today. He can’t even return some of Seppi’s average second set that well. His unforced errors were also unbelievable! Honestly, I don’t think he can surpass Mathieu tomorrow.


Dan Martin Says:

The sheer number of tie-break sets in the first 3 days of this event tells me that if a player gets his first serve in frequently he will hold. That cuts against Nadal’s grinding style as these points are quite short. It also means long sets and long matches which may not be ideal for someone just trying to work through some rust and get his tennis timing back. Humidity is also insane at Cincy.


sar Says:

Jane, maybe I will when I get it. LOL

Ezorra, most are huge. I got a photo with Nestor and Z and they are huge. I am 5’9″ so that’s saying a lot. Saw Ferrer coming out of the players lounge today and he looks not taller than me. Saw one of the Bryans just walking around. They are tall. Oh I saw Feliciano Lopez walking off court after he lost. OMG He is sooo handsome up close.


sar Says:

Dan, you have that right.Brutal. The humidity today was so unbelievable that really whoever wins this tournament DESERVES it.


Polo Says:

Watching Nadal play makes me wonder if his knees still bother him. I may be reading into his face too much but he looks worried and not as intense or confident like he did before. I do hope he gets completely healthy again and return to his usual intense self.


Dan Martin Says:

Sar the winner will have earned it for sure. The sad thing is few will remember who won Cincy in 2009 10 years from now. Isner said this draw with inly 54 is a tougher draw than a slam. The first and second round matches have had a lot of parity. Cilic drawing JCF and then playing Ferrer? Monfils drawing Ivo Soderling drawing Hewitt? These guys were seeded and got rough early matches.

Because of the humidity I think some of the top players look at this event and think, “I’ll play and if something opens up I’ll try to win, but I am not risking the U.S. Open.” Then again Cincy in 2004 was Agassi’s last big title, and I bet he remembers it.


jane Says:

Scottish, I’m just re-watching Nadal’s match, and while he did hit some good forehands, in fact, that side was letting him down a lot in the match, and he was making way more UEs than is usual for him. Thought I’d add that addendum to my earlier post, since it’s very noticeable the second time round.


FoT Says:

I was impressed with Sam tonight but I wonder if anything was wrong with Roddick? Usually Roddick takes all of 10 seconds in between the change overs and is usually pacing back and forth on the court just waiting for the chair to call “time”.

Well tonight I noticed Roddick was in his chair for the entire time and even stayed a little longer after the chair called “time”. Unlike Roddick. So I wonder if he wasn’t feeling well or something? Then when he lost, he left the court really fast.

Just wondering if anyone else heard anything on this?

Oh, and by the way – I’m happy that Roger won. lol


jane Says:

FoT, the other thing I noticed about Roddick was how much he bent over himself after points, and gestured for the towel; my thoughts were that he’s just tired from getting deep in the last two back-to-back tournaments, but who knows?? Maybe his hip is acting up or…something else. But not to take away from Sam either, who, as you say, played well, and very much within himself.


jane Says:

Also still wondering re: Todd Martin as an adjunct to Djoko’s team, don’t know why he’s joined on so would love to hear what anyone knows. Thanks.


Bojana Says:

Jane, according to the Serbian press, Todd Martin has joined Novak’s team in order to improve his serve and volleys. We’ll se if it works :)


Cindy_Brady Says:

Roddick looked tired and old to me. The younger stronger Americans are beginning to assert themselves. Changing of the guard.

Roddick logged many matches in 2003 too but captured Canada, Cincinnati, and The U.S Open. He’s just getting old. face it Roddick faithful.

I predict Roddick will go no further than the QFs at the U.S Open if he’s lucky.


Abby Says:

Hi everyone! Who all is @ Cincy? It is the first time I have ever attended a tennis tournament and it has been SUCH a great experience. It has been fascinating watching the players practice – and shocking to see how much different a handful of them look on t.v. Was not expecting that. Was really hoping Roddick would play better, especially considering he has looked good all summer. Although I was lucky enough to have front row seats to watch him practice the first two days.

Jane – He definetly did NOT look like himself during the match. Noticed it during the changeovers more than anything, but something, without a doubt, was “off” with him. Could not tell if he was sick, in pain, or mentally…somewhere else. Interested to see if we find anything out from the press conference.


sar Says:

Dan I sent a photo to contact@tennis-x.com


sar Says:

Hi all
on the way to the grandstand to see Novak. Talk to everyone later. Sun is peeking out…arrrgh. Overcast skies, please.


jane Says:

Bojana, thank you for the update on Martin’s role in Djoko’s team. I’d been wondering about it ever since I read it somewhere online.

I sure hope it works; Djoko’s returns are still generally good, but his serve needs to be more consistent, and he definitely needs work at the net! More power to him for trying to address it with some new help. I believe Martin worked with Fish, who is, albeit naturally, a very good server and net player, so maybe there is a connection.

—————————

Abby, if you noticed Roddick wasn’t looking himself, and so did I and FoT, then clearly, as you say, something was “off” for Andy last night. I hope he gets the rest he needs before the USO.


Dan Martin Says:

Abby,

The practice courts are really something to watch. I have a similar experience every event I attend. Glad you liked Cincy.

Sar,

I don’t have access to the tennis-x email. I am not sure exactly who does, but I can send a message to one or two of the higher ups and see if the photo can be posted.

I think these courts are playing fast enough that if the US Open courts mimic them, I’d expect to see a lot of tiebreakers in New York. That means upsets can/will happen as far as I can tell.


Dan Martin Says:

Sar,

I just found out we have a facebook presence here at tennis-x and I became a fan on FB. If you and anyone else wants to take a look at the page just search tennis-x on facebook. That may be a good way to initially share the Roddick – Sar – Querrey picture. I will send Rick and/or Luke an email to see if we can get it posted on the main website as well.

Dan

PS – I doubled posted this accidentally on the day 1 thread. Sar we need you to be a freelance writer and give the rundown of the remaining days from a first hand point of view.


Von Says:

FoT: “Just wondering if anyone else heard anything on this?”

The commentators mentioned that something was amiss with Roddick last night, but they didn’t give any details. I doubt he’d say anything in his presser because he’s not one to embellish. At one point during the tiebreak in the first set when he was leading, I saw him urgently beckon for a towel and he heaved in his towel as though he wanted to puke, and then after that he lost some points and went on to lose the first set. I saw him do the same at Indy in ’07 in his match v. Dancevic, where he ran off court to the bathroom without the telling the umpire, and then come back to play the match the to last point, which many would not have done. It was later mentioned by his brother that he had eaten food that was contaminated.

I watched Roddick for years and I know by now that something was wrong with him during that match, and Sam realized that too and took full advantage of his opportunity. However, the ‘haters’ will say different and spew their garbage as usual. I don’t know how a 26 year-old can look old, but I digress.

As a fan who wants the best for him , I’m beginning to wish Roddick would retire soon, because I think he’s becoming tired of all the injuries and misfortune that’s happened to him over the past two years, and this is the best time to do it as he’s still up there in the rankings.


margot Says:

von: hope Andy’s OK. Can’t see him retiring though, didn’t he say “What else would I do?”


jane Says:

Besides which, Von; I don’t want Andy R to retire! He’s playing really well, and it’s bad enough that Safin is leaving. We need some players with personality to stick around – non-PC guys. : )


Von Says:

Margot: Thanks for your concern. Andy says he loves his charitable work more than his tennis. Presently, he’s got many viable alternatives to tennis, he just has to explore them. You know, sometimes in life we need to make changes and I feel all the signs are there for him to make that change, so he should just embrace them and then his critics would leave him alone because they feast on negative garbage, so why give it to them — I’d rather let them choke instead of feeding them.


Von Says:

jane: They’ve got ‘the Federer’ who oozes charm and personality and ……


Von Says:

“I predict Roddick will go no further than the QFs at the U.S Open if he’s lucky.”

Then why were you offering USO tickets for sale ‘if’ Roddick were to get to the finals, surely your crystal ball must have told you differently that he’d only make the QFs, so why the panic? LOL. ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave’. LOL.


margot Says:

von: like jane I’d be really sad if he retired. What no more brilliant “saying it as it is,” press conferences? No! And don’t get me started on Peter Perfect please. Yet again he’s been sneery about Andy M. It’s a shame actually, because I do feel he has been, emphasis on has been, a sublime tennis player but alas has fallen rather too in love with himself for my taste.


Von Says:

margot: LOL, sure seems that way.


Dan Martin Says:

I hope Andy R. does not retire anytime soon either. If he looked peaked last night, it might just be due to 3 cities in 3 weeks and playing a lot of matches. Also, as I have mentioned his in-laws live near Cincy maybe he ate normal food instead of something the trainer recomended. Anyway tennis is better for having Andy Roddick in it and active.


Von Says:

Dan: If I remember correctly, last week you were writing his tennis obituary when he lost to DelPotro, by saying he’ll be remembered for his pressers, etc., and you likened him to a football team which only won one tournament. So all things considered, Roddick should retire, yes?


Dan Martin Says:

Von,

I compared him to the Atlanta Braves baseball team saying they were always in the playoffs but only once punched through to win the whole thing.

I said I worried he would be remembered as a guy who got close and had good pressers. I think Roddick being in the top 10 from 2002-present deserves more respect than he is likely to get unless he wins another slam. In a sense I think that is a ridiculous standard because if you took at other sports and said this guy was a top 10 basketball player for a decade people would marvel at him. I do think Andy has had a lot of tough losses in later rounds at Slams, Masters Series/Masters Cup events and smaller events. If I was unclear, I hope he does win some more big events to avoid what I would consider an unfortunate fate in terms of sports legacy.

I am going to say this Von, I try to be fair to all of the players and don’t view anything I said about Roddick after the Montreal loss as an obituary. I say this out of personal concern more than anything else, but do you think maybe you are taking tennis too seriously?


Von Says:

Dan:

Please don’t be concerned, I don’t take tennis any more seriously than you or anyone else on these threads. Do you see the way some people go after others for just a simple remark when they thinks it’s unfavourable to their faves? Or, the repeated resume details we are treated to when their fave wins. I think you did a lot of that after Wimby, and still do, whenever the opportunity arises. At least I don’t get into that and I don’t think I fall into that category. I suppose you think I’m taking it too seriously because I picked up on something you mentioned, which at the time I felt was inappropriate, and I doubt anyone likes that, yes? When I read that comparison, I just couldn’t understand you’d say that and thought, WOW, where did that come from because of a loss? But, I digress ….


Skorocel Says:

Man, that guy named Bolt really has some “bolts” in his .ss! Another WR!


Von Says:

Skorocel: Bolt is what I call AWESOME. Forget tennis, gimme Swimming and Track and Field. I often wish those sports had a longer season similar to tennis — I’d be in heaven!


Dan Martin Says:

Von,

I think you are reading into comments a lot more than is actually there. Also, if you had an issue with what I said after the Montreal semifinals why wait until Thursday of Cincinnati to raise the concern?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Anyone see the Fed match? Any comments on how he looked?


Von Says:

Dan:

My apologies if you think I’m reading more into your comments; I do try very hard not to do so with respect to anyone. I only mentioned it because of your post @ 2:08 pm, and I’m now thinking that it would have been best if I had overlooked the 2:08 pm post altogether and said nothing. However, sometimes I find it difficult to do so, my bad. Anyway, had I said anything with reference to your post on last week Saturday’s loss for Roddick, many would have said my comments were done due to ‘sour grapes’ and I’m a ‘poor loser’, and it’s only the reason I didn’t address it at that time. I hope you understand my reasons and my answer is appropriate, and to reiterate, I now wish I had left it alone, sorry.


jane Says:

Tennis Vagabond, Fed looked uneven – not good at all at first, with his serve misfiring and his movement sluggish, but he did pick it up for the second set. Personally I think he was “lucky” to pull out the win. Ferrer was up a break in the third and then he gave it back, christmas wrapped with a bow. Fed basically stood there and watched Ferrer self-destruct. Fed played a great game to get the final break, mind you, raising his level to close it out, but overall he did not look spectacular, and Ferrer, imo, really had a good-to-very-good chance of winning. Too bad for him he isn’t mentally tougher.


Dan Martin Says:

I did re-read what I wrote and it had a fatalistic tone. My basic point is that being one of the 10 best at anything in the world is hard and laudible. Roddick has been in the top 10 for most of a decade and won a lot of big prizes. In other sports the U.S. media would be reverant toward a top 10 basketball player or baseball player, but tennis seems to only get attention in the U.S. if someone is #1. Basically, I think Roddick’s actual tennis legacy is a lot better than the way the non-tennis U.S. sports media sees him. They don’t seem to get how hard being in the top 8 from 2003-present and top 10 from 2002 – present is in tennis.

Usain Bolt is the man.


margot Says:

Thought Stephanek set up some nice points against Andy M but my oh my did you all notice those evil looks he gave Andy every time he, Stephanek, won a point? But no, Andy’s so sullen, sulky, obnoxious, arrogant etc etc it must have been his fault…..


sar Says:

Went to practice courts today, saw Karlovic. Berdych hitting with Davydenko.
Skipped Murray and Fed matches today for grandstand matches.
Djokovic on grandstand against Chardy. He looked solid today despite his racquet breaking tantrum. I was second row behind baseline. After Novak left the grandstand he got mobbed by fans. The security had to break through the crowd so he could make a mad dash to locker room. Roddick was mobbed yesterday coming from practice courts, it’s nuts. Benneteau and Garcia-Lopez, Julien had to work hard to win that one. Evening match. Nadal started out slow but breezed through. Mathieu put up a good fight but went up in flames in the end. I really like PHM but he can’t seem to get very far. When Rafa left for the evening through the players entrance, Uncle Toni and Xisca went straight to the car and Nadal signed autographs for fans.Left during Bryans doubles match. Again very hot today. Supposed to cool off tomorrow and only be in the 80′s.


jane Says:

Thanks for your report Sar : ) I was waiting for it. Were you one of the fans who mobbed Djoko?? Just wondering… LOL. I thought Djoko’s serve wasn’t as strong today, but it’s true that he had a “solid” performance overall.

Have fun tomorrow and give Novak ALL the positive cheers and vibes you can muster; he may need it. Simon is a fighter who hangs in there until the bitter end – just ask Fed, for example! I want Novak to get to the semis here, at least.


sar Says:

Jane, we never felt Novak was going to lose the match…at any time. He and everyone out there looked boiling hot though. Vajda was dying out there.

Forgot to add, Garcia-lopez was swearing up a storm, really nasty Spanish phrases. LOL We were so close to the guys we could hear everything. One time after a point Djok said Thank God.


jane Says:

That’s so good to hear sar. I guess things might be tenser watching on t.v., or maybe it’s just me. LOL. Anyhow, as I mentioned, enjoy the matches tomorrow. Funny that the guys are cursing and praying.

———————————-

Just watched Sharapova beat Zvonereva and Shrieky played well, serving strongly and really going for her shots, as she is wont to do. But not only “bashing” them imo, as she was really playing the angles of the court, and adeptly switching between defense and offence. She looked good in that match. Anyhow, I know she doesn’t have many fans around here, but thought I’d throw those details out in case anyone is interested. :)

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