Nadal, Federer Roll at US Open; Tennis-X Notes
by Staff | September 3rd, 2009, 1:22 am
  • 98 Comments

World No. 3 Rafael Nadal was the big attraction on Wednesday at the US Open, rolling over former Top 10er Richard Gasquet, who is attempting to get back to form after being handed a suspension for a trace amount of cocaine in a drug test.

“Yeah, it’s tough, of course, to come back, because I stop [playing for] three months,” Gasquet said. “I played my last tournament in April in Roma, so I stopped three months. It’s a lot. I couldn’t practice. If you have this kind of [worry], you will see you won’t [want] to [practice].”

Unlike Martina Hingis’ trace doping find, Gasquet’s sentence was reduced and he is back on tour.

“If in the beginning of the year someone will tell you you will win the four Grand Slam and you will be tested for cocaine, for sure I will tell I will [be more likely to] win the four Grand Slams,” Gasquet said. “Incredible, but that’s happen. Now it’s finished and I can play, and that’s the most important for me.”

Gael Monfils, still dealing with injury, nonetheless dispatched of fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.

“I think I still have a little problem with my knee and I have to make sure,” Monfils said. “My wrist is getting better, so I’m quite good. But 100 percent? Not really.”

World No. 1 Roger Federer walked through a minimal-effort night match against German Simon Greul 6-3, 7-5, 7-5.

Other Top 10 winners on the day were (6) Juan Martin Del Potro topping Argentine countryman Juan Monaco 6-3, 6-3, 6-1, and (9) Gilles Simon beating Spain’s Gimeno-Traver 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-3.

Other notable winners were (31) Lleyton Hewitt setting up a meeting with Federer, (24) Juan Carlos Ferrero beating Fabrice Santoro in the Frenchman’s last US Open, and Jurgen Melzer beating Marat Safin in the Russian’s last US Open.

Melzer ended Safin’s last US Open appearance before he retires at the end of the year, defeating the Russian 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

“It’s okay. It’s the end,” the former No. 1 said. “So just it’s the last one. Could have been better ending, but still okay. I’m looking forward to afterwards my career, so I have no regrets.”

Thursday’s highlights at the US Open are (21) James Blake vs. Olivier “The Roach” Rochus, Marc Gicquel vs. (5) Andy Roddick, (4) Novak Djokovic vs. Carsten Ball, American Robert Kendrick vs. (20) Tommy Haas, and John Isner vs. Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan.
  
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS

Venus Williams on being a new part owner of the Miami Dolphins with the season kicking off: “Always following my team, and I’m a South Florida woman. My home team. It’s just been a great journey throughout my life, and this has been beyond my dreams. I’m looking forward to participating in everything I can, especially in the South Florida charities, you know, working with the Dolphins, with our team for that, so that’s going to be great for me. Looking forward to an opening home game after the Open.”…

Marat Safin says he never thought he would make it on the pro tour, and almost chose playing college tennis in the U.S.: “I would never think in a thousand years that I will be anywhere closer to even to Top 100. It was a mission impossible basically. Just give it a shot, try your best, and just to find your way in life. Whatever happens, happens. I was about to go to the college in the States, so…”…

Marat Safin telling the press (and Serena Williams) to lay off her sister Dinara: “Well, everybody is hard on her why she’s No. 1. You have this contest issue, is she a real No. 1 or not?  You open the page, she made eight double faults, 43 unforced errors. She struggled, almost lost to 18 years old. Who cares? I mean, she’s No. 1 in the world. I have to protect my sister. The poor girl, she’s trying her best. She’s doing really well. She gets the attention, but not the kind of attention that a person deserves, especially when you’re No. 1 in the world. Everybody is giving her hard time about, ‘Are you really No. 1 in the world?’ Yes, yes, she’s really No. 1 in the world. Go check on the ranking. She didn’t do the ranking. Apparently there is some guy who made the ranking. On this ranking, she’s No. 1 in the world. Serena, she didn’t say — even though she won two Grand Slams this year, she’s No. 2. Sorry, but that’s the way.  Deal with that. I’m just — personally, I’m really like, I have to protect her. I feel like she deserve a little bit more than what she’s getting right now. I think she’s playing ?– you can’t imagine how crazy she is about sport. I don’t think there is one person in the world who is more professional than her. Everybody is like hitting on her and giving her a hard time about this, how many, what happened to this serve, what happened this, what happened with that? Leave her alone. Give her a little bit less questions. So it’s just all to you guys. Make her happy. That’s it.”…

Richard Gasquet got into it with some journalists at his post-match conference who wanted to ask him additional questions about his cocaine doping suspension after he said he no longer wanted to talk about it…

Amelie Mauresmo on not wanted to answer a question talking about the flaws of players such as Jelena Jankovic, Dinara Safina and Elena Dementieva: “You know what? I don’t know. I don’t know. Who am I to just — I don’t know how they’re working. I don’t know in what state of mind they are. I don’t know how they feel physically. I just — you know, they know the best, and they can the best choose and see who’s better to help them and how and what. It’s so personal. I’m glad I’m not a journalist to write on this.”…

Amelie Mauresmo on how hard it is to pull the trigger on the retirement decision: “That’s for sure the thing that I don’t want to make the decision to stop and then after two, six, eight months thinking, shit, I should have — you know, it was not quite the time yet.”…


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98 Comments for Nadal, Federer Roll at US Open; Tennis-X Notes

Riff Says:

“World No. 1 Roger Federer walked through a minimal-effort night match against German Simon Greul 6-3, 7-5, 7-5.”

Minimal effort? Did you watch the match? Greul played an excellent match and Federer was definitely made to work hard.


Gannu Says:

“World No. 1 Roger Federer walked through a minimal-effort night match against German Simon Greul 6-3, 7-5, 7-5″

Gone mad??? He had to save two set points in the second set!!! was down 4-1 in third set..

Anyways hope fed brings his A game going fwd in all his matches…


chloe Says:

Great to see Rafa on court again doing what he does best. It was obvious from the start who the winner was going to be.

Roger had his hands full with Greul, the 2n and 3rd sets could have been tie-breakers.


Rick Says:

This isn’t fair! Nadal was playing his first round on the third day? What happened to the rest day? This is going to favourite Federer. Not only that, he has a pretty draw. Hewitt, Roddick, and Soderling. All the players that he could handle quite easily. Where are Simon Gillies, Andy Murray, Tsoonga and Del Potro. All these good players. So these guys are going to tired themselves out, when the final comes. Another walk in the park for Federer!


Rick Says:

Federer has a pretty easy draw for his tournament. What he gots are Hewitt, Soderling and Roddick!


Rick Says:

I tip Federer wins it again! Like the French, Wimbledon. All he got are veterans on his draw. Btw, can you believe that Soderling is 24? He looks like he is in his 30′s!


Gannu Says:

Rick – Easy draws???

The problem is that since Fed dominates 99.99% of the players any person not named Murray or Nadal in his side would be construed to be an easy draw for Fedex.. Its the same Hewitt who stretched Roddick to 5 gruelling sets in Wimbledon something which the so-called Nemesis Murray couldnt do..Its the same soderling that Fedex annihilated in French open.. the one who thrashed Rafa… and Del Potro the hot player and who has defeated Rafa, Roddick etc multiple times this year and gave andy a run for his money in montreal was beaten every time by Fedex..In Aussie he got trashed.. In French he gutted out a 5 set win… A guy can’t win 15 grandslams on easy draws!!! and if he wins.. he won against the second best player in that tournament.. As simple as that…


grendel Says:

just a point of interest, Gannu, whilst agreeing with you up to a point, I think Fed is fortunate not to have Delpot in his half. This geezer is a work in progress. Every time you blink, there he is, improving what he’s already devestating at and adding something extra just to tease (only a week ago, you had thought, well at least he’s not so hot at that, is he? History!).

At the moment, there seems to be a question mark over the man’s stamina. One doesn’t quite expect him to go the full 7. But I’m glad Murray’s got him in the quarters and not Federer – he’ll still be dead dangerous there.

If he keeps it up, who’s gonna beat him in a year or two, when he’s at his physical peak?


Gannu Says:

Grendel..

Connors once said tennis is 90% mental!!…So being physically fit alone will not help even if he has all the weapons in the game.. The way fed played against him in Aussie or the way Rafa played against verdasco in that match .. i doubt Del po could have beaten them.. Fed himself has said that if you have to win a Grandslam you need to be mentally and physically prepared for playing 35 sets… I guess what gets overlooked is the amazing attitude of Fedex… I mean how many of them think in that way.. The most common excuse which the current crop of top players use is that i played a 5 set match day before and i was tired.. Never ever Fed has said that he got tired and therefore he lost…The best eg is this year’s frnech open where he played tow 4 set and two 5 set matches (Fed’s 5 set was after soderling’s which mean less rest) and yet he came out on top.. thats a true champion.. and thats what differentiates the greatest from the great..

Fed never ever in his life has blamed tiredness or long matches for his loss…Surprisingly the nadals and murrays and del pos of the world do that… and what is even more irritating is critics attributing losses to tiredness… and overlooking the fact that Fed has been an epitome of physical fitness and that is a vimp part of defining greatness…

Point is that if the draw is tough to make you play 7 murrays you need to be prepared..!!!!


chloe Says:

It’s just as well all the other players are human apart from Federer, it would be unbearable otherwise.


jane Says:

Quotes from Safin, on defending his sister; Gasquet, on defending himself from more questions on the drug test; and Mauresmo, on not wanting to comment on other players’ form and weaknesses, not to mention when she will retire – they make a person realize how much the players are affected by the press, badgered as the case may be. Yes, I know, it comes with the job. But there is something known as tact, and Safin is right what he says about Safina, who is simply working hard and trying to do well, and meanwhile she is constantly doubted. As he says, it’s not like she made the ranking system. But she did win a bunch of tournaments and matches this year. So, well…. Meanwhile, Serena has not won 1 WTA event in 16 tournaments outside the slams.


chloe Says:

Gannu, Rafa’s record against the current top 20 ia not that bad either. Ok, he’s been beaten on the odd occasion by some of them, some only once and Gonzo, Berdych and Ferrer 3 times. Don’t forget that Rafa is only 22, so you must expect that the people who beat him in his early years are still around; the 28 year old Fed was beaten lots of times until he made a breakthrough when he was 23. All the people who beat then him are now retired.

Federer has a 77% win against the current top 20, and Rafa has a 75% win, so there is not all that much in it. Don’t forget that Federer has never beaten Gilles Simon in two tries, at least Nalbandian only has a 2:1 lead over Rafa.


terence Says:

well… that`s because serena is plying her best in the slams. and lets be honest. if serena is in top form. no one can beat her. not even safina. so credit to safina. she is playin 15 of the 16 WTA tournament. and is she won 5 of them. do the maths. that`s how “productive” she is. and if serena is plying 3 of the 16 and win 1 of the 3 than i live it to u to dicide who`s the best female player in the world.


jane Says:

chloe – slight correction – Rafa is 23. Murray and Djoko are the ones who just turned 22 this year.


leo Says:

Federer “walked through a minimal-effort night match”…

seriously, who writes this stuff?


jane Says:

Yeah, have to agree: it didn’t look like Fed “walked through a minimal effort” match. It’s true that there was never a doubt (in my mind) Fed would win it, but Greul made him work for it in sets 2 and 3 by not giving up and being persistent through both service and return games. Fed himself said he had to raise his level to come through it.

So, maybe it was a medium effort? and a jog? That sounds about right.


Shaky Says:

I thought Gruel got comfortable in set 2 and realized he may as well swing freely. He looked like he was hitting the stuffing out of every ball.

The problem though is that if we acknowledge that Gruel turned out to be a pretty legitimate second round match, then we have to acknowledge that it’s possible Federer’s draw wasn’t as historically easy as people made it out to be. And we can’t have that!


jane Says:

Shaky, it’s on the other thread we’re discussing draws – come on, get with the program. It’s true that a draw can look one way on paper but play out another way. Surely an analyst wouldn’t've thought – oh know, looks like Fed could be upset by Greul in round 2! But they might’ve though Gulbis could push around Murray. It’s just that analysis and reality don’t always match up, in the end.


grendel Says:

Gannu: it is true that some fans make excuses for their heroes on grounds of tiredness, although there is a genuine difficulty here. When is an explanation an excuse? That’s a tricky one. Federer has beaten Nadal twice on clay (oh, why didn’t he beat him in Rome, silly man, when the match was his for the taking and when there could have been no possible questions asked), and on both occasions, Nadal was definitely tired. You could argue, too bad for Nadal, coping with fatigue is part of the battle. But there remains this irritating little niggle, in my mind anyway.

But my point with del Potro is that, at 20, he is still not fully developed, and as a big, gangling man, that matters. In a year or two, I doubt if we’ll be hearing any more about del Potro being tired. And mentally, I think he is extremely strong – up there with Nadal, Federer and Murray. That’s my impression.


Kimo Says:

PEOPLE, PEOPLE!!!!!! STOP with the “they favor Federer” conspiracy theories.

NADAL asked to play his first match on Wednesday. It’s not the USTA’s fault, it’s not the draw’s fault, and it sure as hell doesn’t favor Federer. If Rafa wants it that way, let him.

And who exactly were you hoping Federer would draw in the first few rounds? Rafa? Murray? Djokovic? Del Potro? Roddick? Tsonga? That’s not possible because of the seedings, so you can all eat egg.

In my mind, Rafa, and only a very fit Rafa, can take three sets off of Fed in match. Other than that, Fed has to truly implode, something that he hasn’t done since April when his confidence hit rock bottom, in order for him to lose a slam match.

On a side note, Fed looked about as sharp as he usually looks in the first week, doing just enough to win in straights. However, I didn’t like his movement, expecially to his right. Greul got him flat-footed quite a few times.


steve Says:

Murray’s supposedly formidable draw was eased when Karlovic and Wawrinka, who were touted as potential problems for him, were knocked out. Shall we then call him the luckiest man alive? Any takers? No?

Anyhow, it’s BS to claim one draw is easier than another. Some unknown could always get hot and start knocking off seeded players, like Muller did last year. And remember, Nadal had never lost to Soderling before going out in the French. He was steamrolling everyone up until then. And Soderling ended up making it to the final.


jane Says:

Greul picked on Fed’s backhand side last night at times, and yeah, caught him off-balance. But Fed seemed slightly error prone, too, shanking a few balls (even though his winners-to-errors ratio was very good). So it was a combo of Greul playing much better than expected and Fed playing good but not great.


Kimo Says:

On the Safina issue:

I like Marat, a lot. I really admire watching the guy play and he will be missed, but I think his bias towards his sister is blinding him a bit.

Dinara doesn’t have one-tenth of her brother’s talent, and that’s the main reason why I don’t like her being no.1. It’s just an insult to the game, the WTA tour, the ranking system, and to us tennis fans.

Add to that the fact that she has failed to win a slam in three tries, and did so in typical Dinara-choking fashion. All those elements just lead to the inevitable conclusion that she is a joke of a no.1.


jane Says:

steve, while I wouldn’t go as far as saying this “it’s BS to claim one draw is easier than another,” I agree with your main point that surprises can happen once play gets underway.

As for Murray, I never thought Karlovic was a threat as Murray’s never had a problem with him, and Wawrinka may’ve been but he’s a very inconsistent player. The biggest threat for Murray is JMDP in the quarters, if the draw plays out as expected. And then possibly Rafa in the semis.


jane Says:

Kimo,

I don’t think Marat’s point is that Safina is the best player (though he does think she deserves more credit for her hard work) but that it’s NOT HER who made the rankings system (“some guy” did!). So it’s THE WTA who have to address the matter, if, indeed, it is a problem. Safina has done nothing but win matches and accumulate ranking points. So nothing wrong with that. Safin is just defending her against the bad press she receives when she’s done nothing but try her best.


Kimo Says:

chloe said:

“Don’t forget that Federer has never beaten Gilles Simon in two tries”

True, he never beat Simon, but both matches were last year when Fed was struggling for reasons known to us all. The one in Canada was the first match Fed played after his heart got broken at Wimbledon, and the second was at the Tennis Masters Cup was Fed’s back was killing him.

Do you honestly believe that Fed can’t beat Simon? Seriously? And don’t think for a second that I’m just saying this coz I don’t like Simon. I do. He’s one of my favorite players to watch, but his game can’t hurt Fed provided that Fed’s game is on.


PietjeP Says:

Kimo; maybe that just says everything about the women’s tour?

If Clijsters comes back from a 2 year retirement and she beats a couple of high ranked players. Including the winner of RG……….. it says just about everything.


Kimo Says:

jane,

The ranking system already gives slams their due weight, so I don’t fault the system for Safina’s rank. However I’m outraged by how Safina, unintentionally, is abusing that system. How she is yet to acknowledge that people have a right to question her rank coz she never won a big one. Maybe if she starts to face her critics she’ll push herself to grow up and stop getting steam-rolled against any decent player just because she’s in a slam semi or final.


jane Says:

Kimo “How she is yet to acknowledge that people have a right to question her rank ”

This is not really true – maybe it was before the French when Safina herself said that Serena can say she’s the “true” number 1 given her accomplishments in her career and that she’d won the AO easily over Safina in the final.

How on earth is she “abusing that system”?? It’s not like she’s played WAY more events than the others. In fact, Safina has played in 20 events and Serena in 18. (Meanwhile a number of other top ten players have entered more events than Safina, with Dementieva & Jankovic at 22; Zvonareva at 24; and Wozniacki at 28). It’s just that Safina gets consistently deep at most events, whereas Serena doesn’t. As staff noted on an earlier thread and I pointed out above, in the last 16 WTA events (slams excluded) Serena has not won ONE title.

Consistency is rewarded. Fed doesn’t only do well at slams; he does well at most events he enters right?

I think that’s the difference.

I am not saying the WTA is fantastic or the ranking system is perfect, but I am getting just a little tired of women’s tennis always being slammed. There are some good women players and some exciting matches.


Kimo Says:

Jane,

Please don’t put Federer into the no.1 discussion when you’re talking about Safina. Thar only makes her look worse.

I said “unintentionally” abusing the system. By that I meant that had the other players not been so poor outside of slams, she wouldn’t have been able to be no.1.

The problem with Safina is that her rank is more about how bad her opponents are than how good she is, coz let’s face it, she aint that good. Seeing her serve to Rogowska the other day was agony. She doesn’t have a no.1′s game. She doesn’t have a no.1′s mentality. End of story.

Now look the the ATP’s no.1. He’s been ranked that high for 237 consecutive weeks. He has won 15 slams. On big points his game rises rather than faulters. He’s the most artful tennis player and the most entertaining to watch.

You see, he’s no.1 coz he’s GOOD. She’s no.1 coz others are BAD.


Gannu Says:

Steve:
Well said..guess now the supposedly formidable draw for murray is no longer one!!!

Bottomline – Dont analyse draws..theone who beats 7 players over 14 days deserves the trophy irrespective of who was at the other end, his track record etc..

Btwn for all the talk abt safina – looking at the 2nd round match against Barrois.. i feel Serena would have gobled her up 6-0, 6-0… Lol…I mean men’s tennis continues to be miles ahead of Women’s tennis… that isnt a sexist statement.. thats just the current state of affairs… Double faults, mental cases galore!!!!!
Bring on the steffis and monicas of the past..
The only thing that can save Womens tennis is a strong rivalry and consistent one like Fedex and Rafa!!!


jane Says:

Kimo, okay I’ll remove Fed from the conversation.

But Marat’s just saying to cut Safina some slack since she’s only trying her best. To me, he’s right in making that request, is all I was trying to say.

Safina has a serve that goes in and out – like too many WTA players. But when Davydenko was ranked number 3, not that long ago, sometimes his serve was atrocious too, yet he wasn’t a horrible player. Anyhow…moving on.


Dan Martin Says:

Speaking of draws, I think an Isner-Roddick 3rd round match would be fun to see, but it is not an easy 3rd round match. If I am Andy, I want it as a day match to try to make the heat a factor. If I am Isner I want it at night, but my guess is CBS wants it as a day match on Saturday if it happens so … it will be a day match.


Kimo Says:

….And Safina loses yet another TB by yet another double-fault.

Pathetic.


Gannu Says:

Safina double faults to lose the first set .. complete Mental case.. the worst No 1 in the history of Women’s Tennis without any doubts..


Gannu Says:

Safina double faults to lose the first set .. complete Mental case.. the worst No 1 in the history of Women’s Tennis without any doubts..


jane Says:

Many WTA players have both mental toughness problems and serve problems.


Dan Martin Says:

Many players have held #1 on the WTA tour prior to winning a slam. Mauresmo did, Clijsters did, Jankovic did – forgetting anyone? At any rate, I think if Safina eventually does what two of those three did and wins a slam (Jelena is lacking) this whole mess will more or less dissipate. I might make a call to Jana Novotna or Amelie Mauresmo if I was Safina because they may have some words of wisdom on how to weather the storm and cope with nerves.


chloe Says:

ane Says:

chloe – slight correction – Rafa is 23. Murray and Djoko are the ones who just turned 22 this year.

That wa s typo, but my point is still valid.


jane Says:

chloe, I wasn’t disputing your point. Nadal and Fed have excellent winning records/percentages over the top twenty – no doubt.


jane Says:

Dan – thanks for that post at 12:19! I didn’t know that, but it kind of illustrates Marat’s point. Give Safina a break; she’s trying to win all the time. No one can fault her for lack of effort, though maybe she needs a new coach! Regardless of her ranking.


Voicemale1 Says:

Federer doesn’t have anyone in his Quarter who could actually beat him. But he does have a host of guys who could give him a lot of long matches, which you don’t want heading into the business end of the tournament. He was never going to lose last night, but he has played sloppier than he should at this point. He’s lost serve 4 times in his two matches: to an 18yo playing his second tour match, and an aged vet who’s never been inside the Top 50 in his career. Federer’s First Serve was missing it’s target more than it should, and Gruel was taking his Second Serve off the hop and crushing the return mostly down the line. That tactic led to both of his breaks. Most surprising was seeing Federer play some of the more extended rallies from 6-8 feet behind the base line. It’s really a credit to Gruel for being able to push and keep Federer back there to the extent he did. Federer’s had more matches in Canada and Cincinnati coming into this year’s Open as opposed to last year. Hopefully his winning Cincinnati this year won’t play against him at some point. But you don’t win 15 Majors without knowing how to fix what’s not working.

Nadal’s non-match against Gasquet is tough to gauge because Gasquet looked like he threw in the towel before he walked onto the court. The only good thing about Nadal’s match was his aggressiveness on both his serve and ground strokes, and his movement looked good. His upcoming Kiefer match should give a much better indication about where his game is, just for the fact that Kiefer will actually show up ready to fight.

Del Potro looked good against Monaco, but it looked like Monaco was trying to do Clay Court Tennis on a Hard Court. Not a good idea. Juan Martin looks to have the softest section of the contenders, and Murray caught some breaks with the early exits of Wawrinka and Karlovic. The looming QF between Murray and Del Potro might be the match of the tournament.


Ty Says:

Looks like OUdin is going to win.


Ty Says:

Has anyone else realized that Verdasco hasn’t lost a set in 7 matches now?


jimbojones Says:

Verdasco vs. Roddick would be hermosa


been there, done that Says:

Chloe:
….”the 28 year old Fed was beaten lots of times until he made a breakthrough when he was 23. All the people who beat then him are now retired.”

Slight correction, actually, Federer made his breakthrough at the age of 21 when he won his first slam at wimbledon. Also is compatriots, Hewitt, Ferrerro, Safin, Nalbandian, Gonzalez, Roddick, etc who used to beat him are still playing,…..they are all around the same age…the only diference is that since he won his first slam @ age 21, Fed has consistently defeated them.

But I’m not sure why we need the age comparison…the fact is that since then, he’s gone ahead and won 15. Some people break through very early and end up with few slam only. Boris Becker won his first slam at 17. yet his last slam was at age 22. Age doesn’t really matter….unless someone is clocking 30 & still slamless……but even then, as Andre Agassi proved, some people are simply late bloomers. Who knows, Roddick at 27 might just go ahead and win an extra 3 slams. who knows?

But if you must discuss age, Federer has said time and again that one of the things he admires most(or surprised by…depending on the interview) about Nadal is his great consistency at such a young age. Nadal’s achievements at such a young is not lost on anyone.

>>J.J match is so excting!!


Mindy Says:

Roger Federer walking through a minimal effort? Who writes this stuff? You would have to be blind as a bat to think that Fed had an easy time last night. I watched it from late in the second set to the end and Fed was frustrated and exasperated with this guy who just kept coming at him. The guy had no quit. To think he actually had a set point to even the match is quite extraordinary.

Fed didn’t play his best, but he managed to raise his game and close out the match in three sets. It was more than a light workout. I think he was a little surprised at the way this guy played. He sure didn’t look invincible last night.

As far as Rafa, well to be honest, it really wasn’t much of a test. Gasquet never got in the match either physically or mentally. I got the sense that he was pretty much going through the motions in that final set. Rafa looked sharp and moved very well. Some insist on questioning his knees, but I saw him running full out for a few balls and skidding along the hard court, extending his legs. I don’t think you can do that if your knees aren’t sound.

I expect Rafa’s match with Keifer to give me a better sense of where he’s at right now. Rafa showed good body language, shaking his fist when he served an ace or hit a winner and that’s good to see. He is certainly not in his best form right now, but I am hoping that he can manage to play his way into the tournament, gaining confidence as he wins and getting that rhythm and timing back, especially on his return of serve.


Colin Says:

Well, well! Oudin beat Dementieva. Is this a new star on the scene, or will it turn out to be a false dawn?
By the way, I wish the commentators wouldn’t keep saying “Dementy-ayva”. According to the WTA site it’s approximately “Demencheva”, with the stress on the second syllable. I think it’s disrespectful of broadcasters not to learn people’s names. It’s not as if Demnteiva is some newcomer.


Colin Says:

And then I mis-type her name! I’ll just crawl under the carpet, I think.


Veno Says:

been there, done that says:

“Boris Becker won his first slam at 17. yet his last slam was at age 22.”

Are you kidding me? Boom Boom Boris won his last slam age 28! The Ozzie open in ’96.


Peter Says:

Colin said: “By the way, I wish the commentators wouldn’t keep saying “Dementy-ayva”.”

What drives me nuts is why they keep calling Dinara “Safeena” with the second syllable stressed whne the right way is S-A-fina, the stress on the first syllable. I’d understand if they were confused because of her brother’s name if it were “Safeen”, but, no! they know to call him S-A-fin just fine. Why “Safeena”, then? Why nobody corrects them?


been there, done that Says:

veno: “Are you kidding me? Boom Boom Boris won his last slam age 28! The Ozzie open in ‘96.”

you’re right…..my bad…i checked wrongly & miscalulated…..my bad maths..*red face*

….but my main point was that despite breaking through at age 17, he only ended up with 3 slams while Agassi, despite being a late boomer, went on to win 8 in 30s…..so age doesn’t really matter.


jane Says:

I thought Roger first won Wimbledon – his first slam title – when he was 23 years old, not 21. Am I way off? Maybe it’s because he won it in 2003 that I always think he was 23.


been there, done that Says:

re: Boris becker…..I’m actually confusing him with another player…will have to go back to my files. Ignore my post regarding Becker


been there, done that Says:

@Jane:

“I thought Roger first won Wimbledon – his first slam title – when he was 23 years old, not 21. Am I way off? Maybe it’s because he won it in 2003 that I always think he was 23.”

Yes you are.

Born: born 8 August 1981
1st wimbeldon: 6th July 2003
Exact age at win: 21 yrs, 10 months

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

In 2004, when he was 23/24, he had 4 slams because he won AO, Wimby, & US open

>>Yet another upset. J.J is out to an ‘unknown’. loving it!


skeezerweezer Says:

Mindy,

Regarding Feds draw people are bringing up. Maybe its because he has been ranked #1 for so long people forget how rankings work. IF you seeded # 1, you are for a reason, YOU EARNED IT. A lot of times they ( #1′s) will get a bye the first round AND typically they give the perception they have an easier draw, and a lot of times they do. But hey, they are ranked #1 which means at present they are better than everyone else in the draw until you get beat down enough to get a lower ranking, then a tougher draw. If Rafa maintained is ranking at the top for an extended period of time the same thing would happen. I did not make up the rules, they are the same for everyone. Just get to #1 and you’ll get the respect and honor of accomplishing it when you enter a tournament. DOesn’t matter if its FED, Rafa, Roddick, Joke, etc


been there, done that Says:

correction:

“n 2004, when he was *23/24*, he had 4 slams because he won AO, Wimby, & US open”

Meant to be *22/23*yrs, so by 23 yrs, Roger had 4 slams, & 23/24, 6 slams……..etc till 15 slams by age 28.

Aiyaiya….maths is tough. lol. Anyway, bottom line, it doesn’t matter what age someone wins a slam, so long as he/she is winning them. Haas will gladly take his first at age 31!

>>I thought that J.J & Dementieva would win the slam if not reach semis. Maybe there’s still hope for Safina after-all. she’s had two bad matches but she’s hanging tough.


andrea Says:

roger’s match wasn’t a cake walk but it’s really uncanny how he lets sets get to 5-5 (or close to that) and then decides (or so it seems) to hit the gas pedal and pull out the break.

nadal was looking good against gasquet but i also wouldn’t use that match as the litmus test on how he is playing.


Kimmi Says:

mmmmm, so much drama in women matches today. We don’t have to wait till R16 or Qtrs anymore. What a day of upsets it has been…


jimbojones Says:

The women’s tour needs a sports psychologist on staff at every event and a player can break glass in case of emergency once in a tournament and get a consult. Steffi never fell apart like this. Aranxta was a steely player. This is not a gender thing just a bunch of idiots raised to hit against ball machines who are incapable of dealing with human resistance.


tenisbebe Says:

jimbojones – with no Plan B….


Tennisfan Says:

Women’s tennis not good (right now) … when 4 11″ Henin gets back there will be a new #1 … in the mean time Safina deserves ranking …


grendel Says:

What’s the story on Henin? There’s been talk of her coming back, because she’s been practising harder than usual, but is there any hard evidence? I can’t help suspecting it’s wishful thinking. Henin must be casting a pretty beady eye on Clijsters, she must, at the very least, be feeling wistful. I recall when Clijsters announced her retirement Henin remarked, with lofty detachment, that this was of course a matter for Clijsters, but that early retirement was not the Henin way.

But the brute facts seem to be that Clijsters has a physique which can bear the wear and tear of tennis in the day of giants, Henin does not. She has accomplished miracles with her little frame, probably can’t make any more demands on it. Of course, there is the baby factor – maybe for both of them……


tenisbebe Says:

Grendel: There is no “hard evidence, even her former coach denies the rumors. She is practicing for an exhibition match I believe. Here is a link:

http://thestar.com.my/sports/story.asp?file=/2009/8/28/sports/4603621&sec=sports

There are many stories on line – this is just one.


Tennisfan Says:

… she may be as bored as everyone else today following the WTA …

http://thestar.com.my/sports/story.asp?file=/2009/8/28/sports/4603621&sec=sports

Henin was outhitting the Williams sisters two years ago when she was no. 1. She also has something the other women players don’t have … strategy and the winning psyche of a champion … she’s what the WTA needs … someone that can play the game consistently …
A women player than can hit a drop shot … an overhead lob … an interesting angle …………. something other than just another baseline rally ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ


Dan Martin Says:

JimboJones – would the psychologist be encased in glass? I am not sure I follow.


Kimo Says:

Dan, I think jimbo meant it metaphorically. Sort of like breaking the glass of a fire alarm switch.


Mary Says:

Jimbo: I think these girls were raised to make fast money to support their families. I’m not saying it’s the case for all of them, but it’s not a secret that many of the girls are their families sole source of income.


jane Says:

Mary, even Marat talked about supporting his family after his tennis success, so yeah, I don’t think it’s uncommon for some.


Mary Says:

McHale is doing great. I had no idea she is 17 yo!


tenisbebe Says:

Jane – are you watching the Maria/McHale match? What an experience for this 17-yr old high school senior – and she breaks Maria and is up 2-1 in the first. I don’t expect her to do a melanie but she contained her nerves.


jane Says:

Nor did I know she is 17, Mary, wow & yep tenisbebe, I am watching.


Mary Says:

tenisbebe: and McHale is a local girl! This is one of the few times NYC allows Jersey to be considered local.


tenisbebe Says:

Mary – haha – you are SO right. They usually completely disown Jersey, don’t they?


tenisbebe Says:

When McHale was trying to break Maria at 0-1, the 3 woman commentators on ESPN (Carillo, MJ & Pam) were kind of “coaching” her from the booth with their comments, like “McCale needs to stand in close on Maria’s second serves & take a swing at it” & she did! It was kind of funny. Then they had one of these “polls” where you go on line & vote who will improve faster McCale or Oudin & Carillo was laughingly appalled, saying that they both are so new to the tour and we’re already voting one of them off the island. LOL


jane Says:

Ah, a Jersey girl. Maria’s serve is shaky at the moment…


tenisbebe Says:

I heard that JJ got word last night that her grandmother had died. And of course, he mother is back in Serbia now due to illness as well.


Dan Martin Says:

I caught the fire alarm thing, but was just giving Jimbo some crap. I think a lot of the male players would have more nerves or have misses look much worse if they could not get 1-4 free points each service game. If a top male player knows he’s going to get 2 freebies per service game when he overhits or underhits it is not nearly as devastating to his chances of holding. I am not saying their aren’t choke jobs on the WTA and I do prefer the ATP by the largest margin I ever have over the women’s game, but I think the games are a lot different.


jane Says:

Oudin and Sharapova should be an interesting match, as they’re both such determined competitors.


Mary Says:

Fire alarm?


Scottish Says:

AR looking on his game tonight. Straight sets coming up.


jane Says:

Yep – Roddick is looking like a title contender. He’s serving amazingly well (placement and speed), and he’s defending well, too, getting so many balls back that it forces his opponents go for too much and make errors. I would not be surprised to see him the finals.


Rick Says:

Jane! I think you are too optimisstic about Roddick’s chances at the Open. It is true that, his game has improved. But I doubt that he could ever beats Federer. Federer is in his head. He beat Federer once last year. It was simply because Federer was brian damaged by Nadal at Wimbleon last year.


Dan Martin Says:

Roddick versus Isner – John has a punchers chance, but Andy should go through to the rd of 16.


jane Says:

Rick – let’s wait and see. : )

I didn’t realize Fed was “brain damaged” when Roddick beat him at Miami in 2008, since Wimbledon hadn’t happened yet. Listen, clearly Fed has the winning record, and it’s a bad match up for Andy. But anyhow, imo, Roddick is looking sharp.


jane Says:

Dan, you think? I have missed most of Isner’s matches this summer, so that’s a sincere question. Is he really playing that much better?


jane Says:

Federer uses short angles a lot better than many players imo – those midcourt, short angled forehands & backhands often get him winners because so many guys play so far back, at or behind the baseline. So unless they’re fast, like Rafa, or anticipate really well, like Murray, they don’t get to it. Players in general could use the middle of the court more, but the key is to cut sharper angles like Roger does. You know, and come to net occasionally too.


Dan Martin Says:

Isner is strange to watch. He does not move terribly well compared to other players. He really needs to add a solid slice backhand. Yet, he played Roddick tough in DC, has wins over Tsonga and Haas this Summer and can get to a lot of tiebreakers. If he has a chance at winning, he has to win at least 2 tiebreak sets versus Roddick, but his mindset is already that he will play a lot of tiebreak sets so he may just try to do that. The thing that does impress me about Isner is most of his 1st serves are in the mid 120′s and hit for placement with a pretty easy motion. If he wants to he can crank into the high 130′s, but most of the time he knows he will get good velocity and seems to use his height for placement in the box more than just whaling on the ball. I think Andy will win in 3 or maybe 4 sets, but if a guy is going to hold serve 4 games or more per set he has a chance.


jane Says:

Thanks for the feedback on Isner, Dan.

Looks like Venus is first tomorrow under the lights, then Nadal. Murray plays the late afternoon match. Tsonga’s first up on the Grandstand, then Delpo on Armstrong.

Cilic, Simon, Monfils are all on Court 11.

Anyhow that’s some of tomorrow’s schedule.

Goodnight.


Giner Says:

A snippet from an ATP report on a Federer interview:

In his post-match press conference, Federer was asked about Andre Agassi’s prediction that Andy Murray would win this year’s US Open title. Did it bother him? “No, because there’s many experts and former players and other players who always have their picks. Not everybody can pick me, so it’s fine. I think Andy deserves also a few picks, no doubt, because he’s played so well… He definitely is in the best shape of his life right now. With one more year of experience, he’s definitely got a great chance to do well this year.”

———-

I like how that’s as much credit as Federer is going to give Murray. He has a great chance to “do well” this year. Note that he didn’t say “win”. He totally does not believe Murray is going to win this tournament. “Do well” is stating the obvious. He already “did well” last year — as well as possible without winning the title. Now that he’s in “the best form of his life” he has a great chance to do well, but not better? Well anyway, thanks Mr. Sherlock.


gordon Says:

What was than big noise at the end of Djokovic match?


Duro Says:

It was a tractor distracting Djokovic. New York crowd idea.


Mindy Says:

skeezerweezer,

I have absolutely no idea what your reply to me was all about. How on earth did you interpret my most recent post here to be a question about why Fed is ranked #1? I don’t get it.

I also do not appreciate being attacked for something I didn’t say. My goodness, some of the Fed fans on here are so thinskinned it’s scary. Is it just because I mentioned that I didn’t think he had such an easy time in his match? Well, he didn’t. That’s how I saw it and I get to say that. If I had an issue with him being #1, then I would address it. I have no problem accepting Fed being #1 and dislike being lectured for something about which I have no problem whatsoever.


grendel Says:

Giner

It is true that Federer is not great at doling out the compliments to younger players, apart from Nadal, whom he genuinely appears to regard as an equal. He used to be sniffy about Nadal too, though, and as somebody else pointed out his criticisms of both Nadal and Murray were quite accurate, so if an element of sour grapes was involved (not surprising, Fed is human not a saint)that was incidental really. The proof is both these players have, in the manner of their development, implicitly accepted Federer’s critical points as being accurate. Once Murray wins a slam, expect Federer’s tone to change.

Meanwhile, what does Federer mean when he says Murray has a great chance “to do well” this year? As explanation, heavy irony won’t do it, Giner, imo. This is code. “Doing well”, for Murray, can only mean winning, and I am sure Murray will understand the code perfectly well. There is a lack of candour here, but even so, there is no problem understanding what is meant.


Giner Says:

Fed is sometimes humble even about lesser players, and generous in praise. This just isn’t one of those times.

What Federer says may be accurate, but not always nice, and not someone a graceful champion would say. Players like Blake, Murray, Hewitt, Nadal or Roddick wouldn’t say sniffy things like that even if it were true. They’d only say nice things, even if they give more credit than is due.

As the guy who’s numero uno and carries the mantle, he should set a better example.

When Federer says “To do well” he means losing in the semi-final or final. There is no argument. It’s not even conceivable to him that anyone other than he will be the champion this year. I think that’s a mistake, and Murray has better chances than he thinks. If he truly believed Murray could win, he would have said he had a good chance of winning the title.

Murray’s performance last year already fits what I would consider ‘doing well’, so unless Fed upgrades that to mean something better, he is not offering anything Captain Obvious couldn’t.

Whether he’s just being blunt about what he believes or is using some code is irrelevant. His assessment is incorrect and I think he’s being overconfident. I don’t think Murray will win the title and I wouldn’t even be surprised if he was upset before reaching the final, but I give him more chances of winning it than Fed does. If anyone other than Federer is to win it, it’s Murray.

He said the same kind of things about Nadal at Wimbledon and Australia, even in the years he was beaten. I won’t call him a liar, but in my opinion a bit of modesty is befitting of a champion.


grendel Says:

Well, that’s your opinion, Giner. I disagree. You know the old cockney saying: “the boy done well” (or “good”). This is deliberate understatement. Now Federer is not, admittedly, an undercover cockney, and nor do his language skills cover provincial patois, so I’m just using analogy.

Federer, like all his fellow professionals, will be acutely aware of what constitutes doing well for his immediate rivals. Murray losing in the semis would certainly be deemed a failure, losing in the final could be considered to doing well if it’s a very tight match – otherwise, it’s a disappointment at best. You talk about “doing well” as if it’s a static idea. On the contrary, it is a relative idea the meaning of which changes according to circumstance. We’re all familiar with this sort of thing in our own lives, I should have thought.

When you say about Federer:”It’s not even conceivable to him that anyone other than he will be the champion this year”, I suspect Federer’s secret reaction would be: “if only!” I think (but this is a guess)that genuine contenders for the crown all want to think like that and try to gee themselves up to do so – whatever they may say to the contrary in public. And b.t.w., I am not as charitable as you are respecting the truthfulness of players’ public remarks. Like you, I am wary of the word “lie”, which carries so many overtones. Let’s just say that public relations is public relations, and no sensible person who is bent on discovering the truth of something is going to confine his research to PR statements. The question of Federer’s “modesty” or lack of it has been debated endlessly, including by me. I’ll only add here that I don’t think it is a straightforward matter.

Finally, I rather agree with you that Murray is somewhat the better bet than Federer to win, but there’s surely not much in it. And there are a number of other almost equally valid contenders, it seems to me, this year. An exciting prospect.


Rick Says:

Wait and see, Jane! ;) If Federer has to play Roddick again. Federer could do it in 3 or 4 sets. He has he psyhological advantage over Andy, especially because of his last win at Wimbledon. And Del Potro is another Andy’s nemesis. But I doubt that they would both make the final.


Veno Says:

I’ll be short: I agree with your reasoning concerning the “he can do well” Grendel

Although Giner raises a good point, I really don’t see it that way…Up to interpretation I guess…

They both know what Fed means by that.
They’re both in this tourney to win it and Fed’s going to say: “Yes, Murray is the favourite or as big a favourite as I am.” ?

Are you kidding me? A champion still in a tourney is going to give one of his main rivals a confidence boost? Sure.

And considering modesty….

Of course it’s becoming if a great champion shows modesty and humbleness and imo Fed has shown plenty! Especially considering how big a champion he is and how long he has reigned the tennis world. And he’s still in the middle of his career!!! Is the number one player! Is the 5 time defending champion.

Fed and Murray have oodles of respect for each other, I am absolutly sure, but I for one like the little psychologic battles and wars they fight. From both Andy and Fed. Modesty is fine but I like a good scuffle!!!

It’s a mano a mano battle. Ever look at a pre-fight weigh-in and presser of a boxing match?

Oh, sorry, I wasn’t being short.

Top story: Rafael Nadal: I Am Not The Favorite To Finish The Year No. 1
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ATP - Jul 28 WTA - Jul 28
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
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