Nadal Battling Injury, Schedule, Weather at Wet US Open; Serena v. Clijsters on Tap
by Sean Randall | September 11th, 2009, 12:31 pm
  • 259 Comments

I said at the very start of the tournament one of the most important factors in winning the US Open is having the physical and mental ability to win best-of-five set matches on consecutive days on a hardcourt. Because of the weather and the schedule, this takes on even more importance for Rafael Nadal who is stuck in a holdover rain-delayed quarterfinal with Fernando Gonzalez.

Nadal and Gonzalez walked off the court at 3-2 in the second set tiebreak with the Spaniard having scraped out the first set in a tight breaker. Should the weather clear today, Nadal will have to play four straight days to win the US Open. Meanwhile, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are enjoying their second straight day of rest in preparation for their semifinal showdown Saturday. And Juan Martin Del Potro, who rallied to beat Marin Cilic yesterday afternoon in four sets, also has the luxury of a full day off before he tangles with the Nadal-Gonzalez winner either tomorrow or Sunday.

For Federer, Djokovic and DelPo life is good. For Nadal, not so.

During his match against Gonzalez last night Nadal stretched wide for a forehand in the first set breaker (I believe) and in the process he aggravated the abdominal strain he’s been dealing with the last month or so. The trainer came out in the second set to treat injury and while Nadal look good from that point until the delay, there is cause for concern. In an interview with ESPN’s Pam Shriver, Uncle Toni basically said the injury was a serious issue. “Bad” I think was the word he used.

Does the stoppage help Nadal or will his injury become worse overnight, It’s hard to say, but the bottom line is Nadal’s looking at four straight days of tennis if he wants to complete his career Slam and win the US Open. And he’ll have to beat Gonzalez, then beat Del Potro and then Federer or Djokovic in the final. And remember, all four players have hardcourt wins over Rafa. This will not be easy for any player let alone a guy with bad abs to go along with his bad knees.

As for the scheduling, I’m seeing a lot of disgust aimed at the USTA and the US Open. Is the men’s schedule unfair? Yes. Could it be adjusted to give players a day off between the semifinals and finals? Absolutely. Will it happen anytime soon? Probably not.

Ever since the mid-1980s when had the “Greatest Day in Tennis” with McEnroe, Lendl, etc, The US Open has fallen in love with the idea and the spectacle of “Super Saturday”. So my guess is that Saturday’s schedule is not changing anytime soon. It’s in stone. Two men’s semifinals and a women’s final.

And really there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just playing the men’s final the very next day that raises an issue.

They certainly could play the men’s final on Monday like they did a year ago due to the rain (and might have to again this year if Nadal does not finish today) but it runs right into the NFL Monday Night Football juggernaut and nobody wants to go head-to-head with football in primetime, and you cannot play the final during the day because kids are in school and people are back at work.

So we are stuck with what we have. And yes, for the men’s players it is unfair especially for guys like Nadal and DelPo who have to win three best-of-five matches in four days (Thursday, Saturday, Sunday) or even four in six days.

The schedule isn’t great but like it or not it’s part of what defines the US Open. Unfortunately, the tournament has long decided to put entertainment first, then the players.

And with that in mind, unless the schedule does change it’s going to be very, very difficult for someone like Nadal to ever win the Open.

As for the matches – provided the weather does break – I picked Gonzalez in my draw to beat Nadal in the quarterfinals. Gonzo had his shot last night and had he won that first set I think given Nadal’s injury issues and the road ahead, the Chilean would have finished the Spaniard off today. Being a set down now and having to come back in a breaker, I’m not sure if Gonzo can pull the upset anymore. But a lot depends on just how Rafa’s feeling. If his abs are bad maybe Gonzo can wear down Rafa enough to win in five, maybe four if he can grab the breaker. If Rafa’s healthy he’ll win.

For tomorrow, Federer v. Djokovic is a cracker of a match. Right now I like Federer but I think Novak has an excellent chance. Unlike a year ago when he came into the semifinal with Federer with a target on his back following the comments he made to the crowd after his Roddick win, Djokovic should be in good spirits and form with little pressure on him this time around.

Turning to the women’s semifinals later today, I think Caroline Wozniacki puts the hurt on Yanina Wickmayer in straight sets. Wozniacki’s so tough, especially off the backhand, and even though both players are in their first Slam semifinal, I give Wozniacki a big edge in experience to better handle the situation.

In the big one, I think Serena Williams knocks off Kim Clijsters in two tight sets. Serena hasn’t come this far only to lose. Kim also beat Venus last weekend and i think little ‘sis will avenge that loss!

Let’s just hope the weather allows…


Also Check Out:
Rafael Nadal Battling a Fever
Del Potro, Soderling, Sharapova Withdraw From Tournaments
Watch Genie Bouchard Give The Weather Forecast In Montreal [Video]
French Open Men’s Draw: Federer Needed A Dream Draw And Got It; Nadal Lands With Djokovic
Nadal Hammers Absent Gonzalez, Advances to US Open Sunday Semifinals

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259 Comments for Nadal Battling Injury, Schedule, Weather at Wet US Open; Serena v. Clijsters on Tap

I like tennis bullies Says:

phuck federer and his never ending dumb luck


jane Says:

” Unfortunately, the tournament has long decided to put entertainment first, then the players.”

The problem is that the final can be, and sometimes has been, anti-climactic after the Super Saturday matches; so in fact, entertainment is sacrificed when or if the last men’s slam final of the year is a let-down. I am not saying it will be again, but it can have that tendency.

I think this question was asked recently here, but when was the last time a men’s US Open final has gone the distance – to 5 sets?


Sid Says:

Sure, forget 15 Slams, or 17 final appearances; he is really lucky to have made 22 straight semi-finals. Peace. :)


tennisontherocks Says:

US open is the only slam that does not have full days gap between semis and finals. In past 20 years, ONLY 2 mens finals have been five-setters and only 4 womens matches have gone to 3 sets. None of these matches will make to ‘the classics’ series, but a whole bunch of US open semi-finals will make the cut. I don’t know adding extra days will make difference. But somehow the most traditional slam wimbledon has produced the best slam finals in last 3-4 years (even Venus-bartoli had one set of quality tennis). So USTA has to think about the scheduling here.

I am glad you mentioned football. Is football popular because of Monday nights or football is big enough that you can put it on any day? If US open had more faith in their product (as wimbledon does), do you really pack everything in one weekend?


Voicemale1 Says:

As far as scheduling goes, the USTA isn’t going to change anything itself because CBS pays them a hefty fee for broadcast rights to the event. So the scheduling will be what CBS wants. CBS has to consider what sort of programming would be preempted, and whether they can secure enough sponsors at the same rate they can charge for the companies advertising for programming already in place. In Mountain and Pacific Time Zones they would run into a problem aborting their morning news show, which despite their pitifully low ratings, they are watched regularly by a devout audience. That makes such shows Cash Cows since their production costs are negligible. It’s difficult to get the geriatric audiences devoted to the CBS Morning News to stay tuned for tennis, and worse, it’s a tougher sell to get the younger tennis viewing audience either awake or available to start watching tennis at 8AM Pacific Time. Moreover, the advertisers for both groups are VASTLY different. They’d have to interest companies that advertise during tennis that it’s in their interest to buy air time in non-traditional Sports Prime Time at a rate comparable to what the Osteo-Cal people pay for the same slot during a morning news broadcast. To a company sponsoring tennis now on TV, such as GEICO, they might not be sure that they’d get their money’s worth at that hour of the morning. And business concerns are extremely relevant here. Without businesses making profits through advertising or sponsorships, you wouldn’t have an ATP, WTA, or ITF. Just ask the Australian Open. They’re three big sponsors from this year – KIA, GE Money and Garnier have either said “No thanks” or are still non-committal to sponsoring the 2010 Event.

It’s a wiser decision for someone like ESPN to take up the honors of broadcasting. But their pockets aren’t quite as deep as CBS, which will concern the USTA. ESPN will be happy to accommodate the players requests of a better schedule of matches. But until they can come up with enough cash to interest the USTA to outbid CBS for the rights to the marquee matches, we’re not likely to see a lot of change. So until CBS can figure out a way to either make the most of their ownership of the Primary Matches in terms of a better schedule for the players – or sell the whole event off to ESPN lock, stock and barrel – we’re not likely to see any changes any time soon.


i am it Says:

rafa-gonzu match has been moved to Armstrong. serena-clijsters’ remains at Ashe. woz-wick match to Grand. all three begin at 2:00 pm.


margot Says:

jane: am away this weekend so won’t be posting/watching. Bad timing you could say, but the good news is, at least with Andy out, I won’t be fretting! Anyway, best of luck to Djko, all fingers and toes crossed.
PS with all this rain in New York, perhaps I’ll be watching the final on Monday, after all!


jane Says:

Thanks for the update on the matches i am it; they seem to have a clear patch just now and are drying the courts. As to how long it’ll last … who knows?


jane Says:

margot – thanks, and have an awesome weekend away!


JoshDragon Says:

I completely agree about the terrible scheduling of the US Open. In my opinion, they should change Super Saturday back to Friday.

As for the Nadal vs Gonzalez match, I’m going with Nadal to win, unless, that abdominal injury is seriously affecting his game.


jane Says:

tennisontherocks, this seems like a pretty amazing stat! “In past 20 years, ONLY 2 mens finals have been five-setters and only 4 womens matches have gone to 3 sets.”


tennisontherocks Says:

jane Says:
tennisontherocks, this seems like a pretty amazing stat! “In past 20 years, ONLY 2 mens finals have been five-setters and only 4 womens matches have gone to 3 sets.”

I started watching tennis seriously only in early 90s and all the best matches I can remember from the US open are the semis :) so decided to dig up the results and here you go:

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/about/history/mschamps.html?promo=topnav


Dryeagle Says:

JoshDragon, that’s ridiculous. Why would you change Super Saturday to Friday? Because you don’t have a job?

I work during the weekdays, as do most Americans. Leave the Mens SF matches on Saturday, when most people are off and will be able to watch these matches LIVE.


i am it Says:

delay by another hour. play will begin at 3:00 pm.


madmax Says:

guys, have been posting recently on tennistalk, and things are getting a little heated in places about the scheduling. I have posted sean randall’s thread about the scheduling and to be honest, i hadnt really realised in full depth the tension it causes. what can be done? looks like very little. unless the major USA channels put tennis first rather than NFL. I hadnt realised this affected the tennis, should it have to carry over into Monday? Anyways, good luck to all players. I dont think tho’ you can blame any of the players about the days rest/ etc. its not their fault.


Fed is GOAT Says:

US open scheduling is absolutely non-sensical. They stretch out the first round for three days unnecessarily (mon, tue, wed), then cram everything at the end. Its the only slam that doesn’t want a roof (even the French are getting it). And its the only slam with nonsensical late late late night matches, which are really unfair to the players, since they get to sleep hours after a match is over.

THey need to get a handle on the commercial aspect, and start treating tennis as a sport, not a commercial venture.

And then the fifth set tie breaker. Best of 3 mens doubles matches. These guys are ridiculous!

Its the worst of the 4 slams.


Skorocel Says:

Is there some camera that overlooks the skies over the Flushing Meadows? Any link to it?


sensationalsafin Says:

Well the AO has late late night matches, too. Or it’s had them in the past if they don’t wanna do that anymore. But everything else is true. USO is ridiculous.


Allmuscleandnoskill Says:

So moral of the story: Give the title to Nadal and tell the other players to go home. Still you won’t be happy. LOL. If they schedule the final on Monday, then you whine babies will cry Fed gets 2 days off and Nadal gets 1 day off! Let him win this match first. He’s gotten a day off amidst the match and got time off his injury. The rain got him some rest otherwise he might have lost this match itself with that stomach injury.


i am it Says:

now it’s 4:00 pm until it is postponed further. keep waiting forever.


madmax Says:

FEDISGOAT-

I’m from the UK. so am watching the USO through skysports and also Eurosport – LIVE – has the USO ALWAYS been like this re: scheduling? there are so many people out there who are kicking off about it (rightly so), but from the article that randall has written – what is the alternative? can anything REALLY happen? and if so, what is the BEST alternative – can the tournament run over 3 weeks instead of two? i dont know what the best answer is – would welcome any suggestions – the organisers need to get their act together!


madmax Says:

just wanted to say, i dont like the fact that people seem to be blaming federer (especially) – its so unfair when people do that.


tenisbebe Says:

“And its the only slam with nonsensical late late late night matches, which are really unfair to the players, since they get to sleep hours after a match is over.”

WRONG – how quickly we forget the Hewitt match in OZ where he went on court AFTER midnight – I think it lasted til 4:30am local time.


Colin Says:

Fed is GOAT. You say they “need” to stop treating tennis as a commercial venture. The trouble is they don’t NEED to. As long as any company or organisation makes money, it doesn’t NEED to do anything except consider that money. Maybe it ought to, morally, but it doesn’t need to.
At the risk of dragging politics in, may I say American sports fans want to have their cake and eat it. Americans are passionately attached to a free market economy, yet when the inevitable results don’t please them, they somehow expect the business community (which of course includes the US Open people) to abandon the free market. ‘Tain’t gonna happen!


Fed is GOAT Says:

Madmax,

They should run the US Open the way the other three slams are run, scheduling wise. No need for 3 weeks…..

Colin,

As for free markets working in the best interests of people – well, they don’t always, not until someone keeps close tabs on them. The current financial crisis showed loud and clear how free markets can totally fail and be disastrous and dangerous.

Try taking the cops off the road in any city in the US, and you will see how well free markets work…..


jane Says:

tenisbebe says, ” how quickly we forget the Hewitt match in OZ where he went on court AFTER midnight – I think it lasted til 4:30am local time.” Yep that was a crazy one! This year Djok/Baggy match ended around 2:30 am and I can’t remember when Rafa/Verdasco ended. The AO is almost worse for the super late matches than the USO.

But I do agree with a few of “Fed is Goat’s” other points: 1) back to back super saturday/final sunday problem; 2) final set tiebreaks; 3) first round spread out over 3 days.

To be fair, I suppose all the slams have their problems, though. For example, the FO needs lights on the courts; Wimbledon could play the middle Sunday in weather delays (they only have 1 roof, after all) etc.


Fed is GOAT Says:

As for late matches – yes, it happens at the Aus Open too – but not this often.

And US Open is the one that first violated the “equal pay for equal work” rule in terms of prize money for men and women….


tenisbebe Says:

madmax – Read Voicemail1′s post from 1:34pm. He explains it best.

As for these comments about tennis neeing to be “treated as a sport instead of a commercial venture”, what planet are you living on? Do YOU personally intend to foot the bill for these GS’s, the prize money, security, player transport, etc, etc, etc, etc. Sport has long ago ceased being just sport but a commercial enterprise. How is it that you are able to view these matches on line & broadcasted for free?

Once the Open era began, commercial interests heightened and prize money doubled within 3 years. This pheon has continued to the present day all to the players (& fans) benefit – if you can’t make good money playing tennis (it is an expensive sport) then you with opt to play another sport (ie: Rafa tennis vs futbol).


Duro Says:

Hi madmax!


Blank Says:

Wimbledon can play the middle sunday just for the reason that it’s holiday and people can come and watch.

UK needs to learn some free market principles like the US and try to make some money, while at the same time giving more entertainment value. lol


Fed is GOAT Says:

Tenisbebe,

There is a world outside US as well, just in case you missed it. The other three slams are pretty commercial too, they just don’t overdo it. Nobody here is saying commercialism shouldn’t be there, it just shouldn’t be overdone the way it is at the US Open.

When Wimbledon, French, and Aus Open can fund themselves through sponsors without doing all the nonsensical things that the US Open does, Why can’t the US Open do it?

A balance between commercial interests and sporting purity is needed – something that is a bit missing at the US Open.

I think not having a fifth set tie break is a unique element of slams. US open putting that in is destroying some of the charm out of a 5th set match, where you otherwise must break serve to win.

Mens doubles being reduced to best of 3 sets – only happens at the USO. Then how is it different from a low level ATP tournament, except for more and better teams? Why the hell don’t they just do it best of 3 for mens singles as well? There’s something special about these few tournaments that play best of 5. They should do it for the women to – after all, they get equal prize money, they should get it by playing equally, not by playing less.

THis whole super saturday stupidity is only at the USO. The other slams fund themselves without doing it. Why can’t the USO?

It may also be the desire to be different just for the sake of being different, even if it is idiotic.


Fed is GOAT Says:

Certainly, Wimbledon should play the middle sunday. That is also stupid (not playing the middle sunday).


Polifka Says:

I think the roof situation involves more than just money. I wonder if they don’t have a design problem.

It appears to me that to add a roof they would need to start at the ground level, outside the stadium, and build a structure to support a roof. If you are going to do this, why not reconsider the entire stadium. And how long has the paint been dry on this thing?

I believe the stadium is government owned and the USTA is just leasing it. Doesn’t look like a good situation to me.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane re your post at 3:22pm, here is what I posted yesterday re: Super Saturday:

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-09-10/2275.php

As for the 5th set tiebreaker, I have long wanted them to return to the “play it out” format for the finals at the very least. As for the first round being spread over 3 days, I have no opinion on this – have always assumed it’s a number of courts issue, I mean they use every court every day almost non-stop the first 2 1/2 days, yes?

The laundry list of things I do not like about the USO is long, beginning with the opening “ceremony” and on thru to finals weekend. However, one thing I do not object to are the night matches being 1 women’s & 1 men’s so the ticket holder gets their money’s worth. As for the matches going late, OZ has the USO beat by a long shot.


tenisbebe Says:

Fed is Goat – “Nobody here is saying commercialism shouldn’t be there, it just shouldn’t be overdone the way it is at the US Open.” Well I think they are saying that but… agree.

“A balance between commercial interests and sporting purity is needed – something that is a bit missing at the US Open.” Absolutely agree. I hate the overboard commercialism of it all – Yuck. Once upon a time, the prez of the USTA decided to make it an “entertainment event”, much like the Superbowl. God help us.


Veno Says:

@voicemale:

great explanation @1:34pm
Thanks for that!

And agree bebe, naiveté in full flight when people say things like: “tennis needs to be treated as a sport instead of a commercial venture”

It is funny you call soccer(in Europe called Football) futbol :)(don’t reply hon, only noting it, not a criticism)


jane Says:

tenisbebe, “However, one thing I do not object to are the night matches being 1 women’s & 1 men’s so the ticket holder gets their money’s worth. ”

Yes, this seems like a good format, and I think changing up which match comes first is a good idea too – i.e., putting the men on first every other night. Why not? They only tried it once this year so maybe it didn’t go over well, but it makes sense to me.


Kim Says:

Federer is really talented, and so is Nadal. Who won the match between Nadal and Gonzalez? Anyone know? The only way I’ve been following the tennis US Open is through Prince’s facebook page (www.facebook.com/official.prince.tennis).


Blank Says:

http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreation/golf/map/interactive/USNY0504?from=36hr_maps&zoom=8&interactiveMapLayer=radar

Press the ‘Future’ play button (right bottom corner) and watch the time (top right). Doesn’t look good at all for the rest of the evening.


tenisbebe Says:

Veno – I will reply to you anyway. I call it “futbol” because if I say “football” many posters think I mean American football. I refuse to call it “soccer” since it is actually played almost exclusively with the feet and is called “Football” or “futbol” all over the world except here but what the hell do we know – we are still using the English measurement system instead of the Metric System. LOL


madmax Says:

Duro! my man! how are you buddy!? Great to see you! duro, am feeling a bit fed up actually that phoenix in particular keeps comparing me to someone else – its getting on my nerves – i really hope this guy returns so i can have a conversation with him – but am so pleased that you are on TT, you seem reasonably minded and i love your passion – and you are never rude – which cannot be said for some of the other posters over there- also with tennis.x, i love it because the posters here (apart from the first) are objective, and speak sense – see you later.

fedisgoat – thank you for that. i re-read voicemails post and you are right – its very good.

Are you American yourself?


Veno Says:

hey bebe, no explanation needed….I’m aware about the whole Football-Soccer thing as are you evidently :)

But thanks for answering me anyway. I appreciate it!

Still nobody has given me an answer to the question why Rafa twice as the number 1 seed has played second in USO ’08 and Ozzie ’09.

Anyone know?


topspin Says:

What?

Serena will lose against Kim, mark it. Kim knows the sisters too well and yes it’ll be an entertaining match for Kim to win it all.


Kimo Says:

Veno Said:

“Still nobody has given me an answer to the question why Rafa twice as the number 1 seed has played second in USO ‘08 and Ozzie ‘09.

Anyone know?”

Maybe, and I’m just guessing here, Rafa wanted an extra day off to rest since he played longer than Fed at the Olympics.

Just a guess.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane – oops. The link to my Super Saturday comment should have been:

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-09-10/2275.php#comment-97278

And regarding your comment at 3:45pm, definitely I think they should alternate the men’s women’s nighttime lineup every other night – it’s only fair as the women get equal pay for less work :-). I think we all discussed this during the 1st night-switched match (don’t know what to call it).


Fed is GOAT Says:

While we are at it….

Tennis generally needs to be speeded up. Many players routinely violate the 20 second rule between points. I wonder why the refs don’t call them out on it.

Then the whole ritual of using a towel after every fricking 2 second point – get a handkerchief or something in your pocket, in any case you are resting after ever 2 damn games.

Then the whole thing about not keeping the second serve ball in your pocket, and asking for different balls every time. For God’s sake, there are things called “pockets” – keep one ball there, and serve the other.

In a 4 hour tennis match, you barely get 1 hour of actual game.

At least don’t have the “let” rule in serves. Nobody replays a point if the ball touches the net. Then why do it on a serve? Just makes things even slower.

And have a break every 3 or 4 games, instead of every 2 games…


jane Says:

Veno asks, “why Rafa twice as the number 1 seed has played second in USO ‘08 and Ozzie ‘09. Anyone know?”

I never know how they decide this; obviously top guys rightfully get center court preference (and hot babes too, at Wimbledon, ugh) because they are generally top crowd draws, but like you posted earlier on the other thread, I had alway thought that the top half of the draw plays first and the bottom half of the draw plays second. Therefore, I didn’t know why Rafa played second at both of those slams. Hastening a guess, it could be something to do with the funding and/or exporting of t.v. coverage. It could also be player preference/requests. But unless I see it in print somewhere (which can be dubious in itself!), this is just speculation.

So no, I don’t know. But I am curious too.


jane Says:

Fed is Goat says “keep one ball there, and serve the other.” The only drawback here is if the ball comes out during the play/point, the server loses that point. That happened to Monaco during a match here last year, I believe.


Daniel2 Says:

It’s funny, I could have sworn that the rain delay was also detrimental for Gonzalez, but no, it seems like the only victim here is Nadal.


tenisbebe Says:

FIG – Some thoughts on your post of 4:09pm

Yes, it would be nice to speed things up. The b/w point time should be observed and if need be enforced by umps. Also the ITF needs to have a uniform time limit b/w pts (some it is 20 seconds, some 25 seconds).

I don’t care if they towel off b/w points so long as they don’t go over the time limit.

As for holding a second ball, women don’t have “pockets” in their outfits and I for one do not like holding an extra ball in my underskirt – not very sanitary, ya think?

I do not like the idea of getting rid of the “let” rule. The server already has enough of the advantage without giving them yet more.

The changing every 4 games instead of 2 is interesting but if the conditions are extremely adverse (ie: wind, sun on one side versus the other) would 4 games be so long as to potentially shift momentum? Something to think about.


fed is afraid Says:

once again rafa is victim of the weather,
he can never catch a break.
but he will win anyway.


Kimo Says:

the rules of tennis are perfect, umpires just need to enforece them.


madmax Says:

sorry fed is afraid. fed is afraid of nothing. and much as i like rafa – rafa will be outplayed by federer – wishing rafa godspeed with injury, but next year he will be better. Federer is playing sensationally well right now, he is coming into his own.


Colin Says:

madmax – how will Rafa be better next year? He’ll be worse. This is not an injury, it’s cumulative wear to his knees, and it’s still months before he’ll get a (relative) rest on clay. Within two years, he’ll have to retire. Sad, but probable.


Dory Says:

I just hope play resumes tonight. Can’t stay awake all night till next day noon here in India. :-)


Fed is GOAT Says:

tenisbebe said “I for one do not like holding an extra ball in my underskirt”. That is funny!

I agree, as long as they stick to 20 seconds, they can towel off or do whatever.

Removing the let rule on serve doesn’t benefit or hurt anyone, on average. In some cases, it might benefit the server (ball falls too short). in other cases, it could benefit the player receiving serve (the ball slows down but still travels to the baseline). Both scenarios happen all the time.

As for balls falling off the pockets, well, that is a rarity. In any case, get better pockets.

As for the first line in this post above – women’s skirts can have pockets, can’t they? Or is it just too unfashionable, and fashion trumps sports?


Just wondering Says:

Jane, Veno (Re: Rafa seeding at USO ‘08 and Ozzie ‘09).
The seeding is based on the rankings AT THE TIME OF THE DRAW, which by definition is done a couple of days before the beginning of the tournament. So the week before USO ’08, Rafa was #2 in the world, Roger #1, so the draws were based on that. The following Monday, when the tournament actually started, the new rankings showed that Rafa was the new #1 in the world, but the draws are already made.

As far as Ozzie ’09 go, Rafa was the #1 seed (and #1 in the world), so I’m not sure what you’re complaining about.


Gordo Says:

Let’s not forget that Rafa (IHATTBIDHTT)Nadal requested to have as late a start as possible in the tournament. Officials agreed, and he was given the Wednesday start, unfortunately setting his match for last night.


Gordo Says:

Jane – I saw your question just now. There is a tradition that the defending champion starts off those tourneys.


Fed is GOAT Says:

The first rain break benefited Nadal. He got treatment from his own trainer, and for a longer period. He didn’t look in too good a shape after the first set.

Rafa is not going to be better next year. We saw Rafa’s peak just after he turned 22 (summer 2008), till he turned 23 (summer 2009). That was by far his best 12 months. I don’t think he will ever match that. His body is already coming apart. And every year a couple new youngsters are coming up who can give him a run for his money.


Colin Says:

Dory, can’t you get together with friends and operate a shift system, so whoever’s awake if play begins, can waken the others? You could even do it by phone, assuming your phone’s loud enough to wake you up. Or you could brew several gallons of black coffee!


tenisbebe Says:

FIG – “As for the first line in this post above – women’s skirts can have pockets, can’t they? Or is it just too unfashionable, and fashion trumps sports?” Well the thing is, they DON’T have pockets – a reality. Of course they can have them but haven’t you heard? It doesn’t matter how you play, it’s how you look :-)


jane Says:

Just wondering – personally I am not complaining, and I don’t think Veno was either.

The question was merely this – isn’t it usually the top of the draw that plays first and the bottom that plays second? Or is it more random than this?

Veno’s question was more specific to Rafa, i.e., why’d he play second at AO 09 & USO 08, when he was seeded first.

As for the USO 2008, you are mistaken – Nadal was seeded and ranked number 1 at that event. Here’s the draw:

http://2008.usopen.org/en_US/scores/draws/ms/msdraw.pdf


Skorocel Says:

Veno: “Still nobody has given me an answer to the question why Rafa twice as the number 1 seed has played second in USO ‘08 and Ozzie ‘09.”

No one has given you an answer because no one (save some individuals here) wants to pay attention to such trivialities…


Veno Says:

@just wondering

Where was I complaining? I just asked a question.

And second, Rafa was seeded 1 at the Open last year, dunno what the h. you are talking about man.


jane Says:

Gordo says “There is a tradition that the defending champion starts off those tourneys.”

Ah, thanks – this could make sense for the USO. Not sure if Djok started first at the AO, but if so, that follows too. For some reason I was under the impression that top of draw started and bottom of draw was afterward. At least that seems to be the case at Wimbledon, I think. But what you say is an interesting way of looking at it. I’d just never heard that before. Do you know if it’s a rule or something? i.e., in print somewhere?


Kimo Says:

If Rafa hadn’t played on Wednesday instead of Tuesday he wouldn’t have been in this position.


chloe Says:

Daniel2 Says:

It’s funny, I could have sworn that the rain delay was also detrimental for Gonzalez, but no, it seems like the only victim here is Nadal.

Posted September 11th, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I agree that Gonzo is also a victim, but I think the reason they keep relating to Nadal, is because it’s only because of him that they had to do the late night shift because the TV stations wanted him on prime time. Neither Delpo of Cilic had done a late match before, and Rafa had already done 3 out of the 4 matches he’d played so far, so they should have had their turn. If he’d done the earlier match, it would have been Delpo and Cilic who would be sitting it out now.Also, Roger has only done 2 night matches, and one of them was swapped with the ladies’ match, so it wasn’t that late.

I can’t see the SF taking place tomorrow either, so it’s very unlikely that the Finals will be on Sunday.


Veno Says:

lol@Skorocel

you assume: No one has given you an answer because no one (save some individuals here) wants to pay attention to such trivialities…

Have you been reading these threads?

And again, I just asked a question and I hope someone has the answer. Of not, no harm done.

And if it is such a triviality in your eyes, why comment on it? Just to get in a cheap shot? Now in my view that is trivial my friend.


tenisbebe Says:

Yes – Rafa obtained the #1 ranking on August 18th (I remember the date well), well before the draw for the USO was made.

I think Gordo explained it, that the defending champion plays first. That makes sense. Thanks Gordo.

Dory – a recorder is a beautiful thing. I am watching the matches I missed from all of Sunday and Monday being out of town, perfect for a rain delay.


Skorocel Says:

madmax: “and much as i like rafa – rafa will be outplayed by federer”

If only Fed himself was SOOO sicher ;-)


chloe Says:

Gordo Says:

Jane – I saw your question just now. There is a tradition that the defending champion starts off those tourneys.

Posted September 11th, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Roger was not the defending champion at the AO 2009, he wasn’t even a finalist in 2008.


Veno Says:

Thanks Gordo and Jane!

So that’s probably the reason Rafa started Roland Garros, Fed started USO last year and Novak started Ozzie this year and was on Fed’s draw. Makes sense…


tenisbebe Says:

Chloe – the question was about Rafa NOT Federer.


Skorocel Says:

OK, Veno. They did so because they wanted to give Federer as much of an advantage and the others (including Nadal) as much of a disadvantage as possible. They always do so, because that’s the only way Federer can win all those slams. Otherwise, Rafa would be already ahead of him. LOL! That’s what you wanted to hear?


jane Says:

Yep Gordo – if it weren’t for us meddling kids (Veno and me), you wouldn’t've solved the mystery. Well done.

chloe – Novak did in fact play on day 1 of the AO; here’s the schedule:

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/schedule6.html


Duro Says:

Madmax, hi buddy. Thanks for the kind words. As far as that paranoia of comparing and suspecting people to post under two or three names is concerned, I find it miserable. Conspiracy theories always come from fear, ignorance and weakness, so don’t mind it too much, be what you are, madmax here, Maxi at Tennistalk. Luckily, when it gets too unbearable you can switch to other site with some different people and surrounding. Believe me, there are some people on this site too to make go from here for good.


madmax Says:

Skorocel Says:
madmax: “and much as i like rafa – rafa will be outplayed by federer”

If only Fed himself was SOOO sicher ;-)

Posted September 11th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

Skorocel – i dont exactly know what you mean buddy? could you help me out? “sicher” ? what does that mean – or have i got to understand the lingo on this forum?

Am just saying that rafa is wonderful for the game of tennis – i respect him as a champion skorocel, i dont think he will win the USO, you never know, but having this rest is what he needs – in terms of federer though, he is out of this world. incredible athlete and i only have great things to say about him. He is “or some!!!!!”


Veno Says:

Skorocel says: “OK, Veno. They did so because they wanted to give Federer as much of an advantage and the others (including Nadal) as much of a disadvantage as possible. They always do so, because that’s the only way Federer can win all those slams. Otherwise, Rafa would be already ahead of him. LOL! That’s what you wanted to hear?”

Really? Again assuming something lol.
Again, only asking a question.
But because I don’t want to hash up on trivialities I will ask in the format of “closed questions” from now on.


been there, done that Says:

Gordo @2:07 says:
“There is a tradition that the defending champion starts off those tourneys.”

yes, i think this is true for most of the tournaments. I remember wimby ’09 where Rafa, as the no.1 seed was sheduled to open the tournament as the defending champ; owever, ‘coz he withdrew, Fed, as the #2 (& possibly he’s the biggest draw), started it instead. Likewise, Fed was defending champ in US’08, so despite being seeded #2, began first.

But I doubt any of these traditions are written & if on stone & if a defending champ requests to play on the 2nd day, that is how it will be. Just similar to whoever wins the coin toss-she/he doesn’t have to play first-they can choose to default it to the opponent.

That’s why it’s a tradition as opposed to a rule. However, questions only arise now ‘coz Fed was #1seed for so long, and multiple defending champ in most slams except the FO for so many years that questions didn’t arise.


Kimo Says:

chloe, why r u saying that Roger only got 2 night matches as if it’s unfair? He played 5 matches, 2 of which were at night, so it’s almost 50%.


tenisbebe Says:

Skorocel – what the hell is wrong with you??? The guy asks a simple intelligent question, one which only one person on this blog could answer, and you attack him, accusing him of being “trivial”. The question was about RAFA not FEDERER. Many of us are curious as to how the draws and schedules are devised, not because we are “trivial” individuals but curious ones.


blah Says:

Nadal won against Fed after the AO marathon with Verdasco, I wouldn’t worry too much about the rest. I don’t think his injury is too serious and he’s pretty fresh with the rest he got mid season, and although I hope that someone other than nadal or fed makes the final, if they make it again I don’t see the weather being a key issue unless Nadal goes 5 sets with both gonzo and delpo. Playing Federer seems to give him a boost.


sheila Says:

it still amazes me that nadal, with his injury, can manage to pull out 1st set and then go into tiebreaker 4 2nd set. gonzales had his chances in 1st set and it looks like nadal will get thru this in 3. how will playing with an injury affect nadal down the line? not a fan, but certainly hope he feels better. hoping, hoping, hoping, federer takes the tournament. if he loses to djokovic, i think that will definitely raise ? in tennis world. the media will instantly jump on that one and if federer should get thru 2 finals and play an injured nadal and lose, that will raise more ?.


Veno Says:

Veno donates kiss to bebe


blah Says:

If Nadal does indeed beat Fed in the finals here, that would only cause more drama, and I’ve had enough of Fed-Nadal drama, and would be very glad if anyone else wins indeed.


Veno Says:

oh my: just read this:

“5:15 PM
CBS just announced cancellation of all womens matches for today. Still trying to get Nadal/Gonzalez on court tonight if rain stops”


tenisbebe Says:

Veno – XOX back.

Am watching the Kutzie/Wozniacki match from Monday which I never saw. Good hitting so far but early in the 2nd.


tenisbebe Says:

Veno – did you see that on the USO site?


Lenny Says:

The US Open site & latest tweet both say today’s session postponed – does that mean for later today, or to tomorrow? Anyone know?


chloe Says:

Kimo Says:

chloe, why r u saying that Roger only got 2 night matches as if it’s unfair? He played 5 matches, 2 of which were at night, so it’s almost 50%.

Posted September 11th, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Rafa got 4 out of 5 matches 80%, that’s excesive!


chloe Says:

tenisbebe Says:

Chloe – the question was about Rafa NOT Federer.

Posted September 11th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

What question?


tenisbebe Says:

Lenny – My understanding is: Session 23 (day session) has been cancelled. There was no night session scheduled as of this a.m. however, if the weather breaks they said they will try to finish Rafa/Gonzo’s match tonight (who know’s if there will be anyone in the stands though). Session 24 (Tomorrow day) there is no news on as they don’t know what the weather will bring tomorrow.


fed is afraid Says:

when nadal beats fed in the final, roger will probably retire. can you imagine rafa beating roger in all four slam finals?? how would he be able to stand it??


Skorocel Says:

Veno and tenisbebe: People get real! I understand that this blog is a place for discussing tennis and all things pertaining to it, but to dissect and bisect such “million dollar question” like the one about who and why is going to start the tournament as first and who second would certainly be the last thing on my mind :-) Moreover, when some people here want to draw exaggerated conclusions from it. LOL! Ask Murray whether he feels Federer won that last year’s final because he had the “advantage” of playing first throughout the whole 14 days including that Super Saturday ;-) LOL and LOL!


Skorocel Says:

Good question, FIA :-)


tenisbebe Says:

Chloe – This was the sequence of questions/answers:

Veno asks: Why did Rafa play second opening match in USO ‘08 and Ozzie ‘09 when he was number 1 player.
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-09-11/2282.php/comment-page-2#comment-97462
—–
Kimo says: Guessing but perhaps Rafa requested at USO ’08 due to Olympic schedule.
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-09-11/2282.php/comment-page-2#comment-97464
————-
Jane says she doesn’t know but curious too.
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-09-11/2282.php/comment-page-2#comment-97467
————-
Just Wondering insisted that Rafa was still #2 when the USO ’08 draw was done (incorrect) & what are they complaining about.
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-09-11/2282.php/comment-page-2#comment-97477
————–
Jane responds that she is not complaining, only asking and corrects Just Wondering on the USO ’08 #1 status at draw time.
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-09-11/2282.php/comment-page-2#comment-97483
——————–
Skorocel chimes in that no one has answered the question because it is trivial.
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-09-11/2282.php/comment-page-2#comment-97484
—————
Gordo wins the prize by correctly answering the question saying that by tradition, the defending champion starts of each slam.
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-09-11/2282.php/comment-page-2#comment-97479
—————-
You (Chloe) respond to Gordo & Jane by stating that Roger was not the defending champion at the AO 2009, he wasn’t even a finalist in 2008

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-09-11/2282.php/comment-page-2#comment-97492
——————
Hence my response to you.


Dan Martin Says:

Federer followed his 05, 06 and 07 FO losses to Nadal with Wimbledon and USO titles. He followed the 08 Wimbledon loss with a USO title and followed the 09 Aussie Open loss with FO and Wimbledon titles. Players don’t retire for reasons such as you mention.


tenisbebe Says:

HEY STAFF – can you please delete one of my duplicated comments. Thanks.


fed is afraid Says:

roger hasn’t beaten rafa in a slam final since wimbledon 07. the us open is roger’s last firewall against rafa, since rafa hasn’t gotten to the final there. if rafa beats roger in final this year, it would have to be a crushing blow to roger. roger can only win slams when rafa isn’t there across the net.


Dan Martin Says:

Fed is Afraid I am sure Roger is pretty happy with his life right now. If he does not win this event, he will still be happy with his life. Federer will quit playing tennis when he stops enjoying it or is physically unable to continue. He seems healthy and happy so I don’t see him quitting.


tenisbebe Says:

Fed is Afraid says: “the us open is roger’s last firewall against rafa” Great metaphor.


Kimo Says:

fed is afraid: you are talking as if the Fed-Rafa H2H is 0-13. Fed beat him 8 times, you know?


andrea Says:

hmmmm…it does seem uncanny that nadal seems to be the one stuck in weather delay problems at grand slams.

too bad about the shift.

but the weather looks kind of dismal for tomorrow as well…the other players could also be affected.


chloe Says:

The Rafa/Gonzo match has been cancelled:

Weather and Schedule Information

(As of 09/11/09 at 6:15pm ET)

We are sorry to announce that due to the continued rain, we have postponed today’s session #23, including the women’s singles semifinals and the men’s doubles final. Additionally, the Rafael Nadal and Fernando Gonzalez match has been postponed.


Dan Martin Says:

It is funny Federer’s courage gets questioned. I don’t recall Federer skipping any slams or skipping any Masters Cups for any reason.


chloe Says:

You (Chloe) respond to Gordo & Jane by stating that Roger was not the defending champion at the AO 2009, he wasn’t even a finalist in 2008

tennisbebe, you’ve lost me.


tenisbebe Says:

Skorocel Says: “Veno and tenisbebe: People get real! I understand that this blog is a place for discussing tennis and all things pertaining to it, but to dissect and bisect such “million dollar question” like the one about who and why is going to start the tournament as first and who second would certainly be the last thing on my mind :-) Moreover, when some people here want to draw exaggerated conclusions from it. LOL! Ask Murray whether he feels Federer won that last year’s final because he had the “advantage” of playing first throughout the whole 14 days including that Super Saturday ;-) LOL and LOL!”

Skorocel, have you been drinking? It was a simple question with no ulterior motives attached. We always discuss how the draw & the schedule is devised and this question is along those lines. If other posters “draw exaggerated conclusions from it (the answer)” well LOL at them – one of whom would be you who made this colossal leap “Ask Murray whether he feels Federer won that last year’s final because he had the “advantage” of playing first throughout the whole 14 days including that Super Saturday”. Who the hell said anything about an “advantage” or Super Saturday for that matter. What would you have us discuss during a 6 hour rain delay, when the rains going to stop? Now THAT would be trivial.

I’ve chatted with you & seen your posts on here for a while now & something else set you off. Maybe all the “cupcake draw” talk & rain delay hand wringing. In any case, the question was answered so let’s move on.


tenisbebe Says:

Chloe – I don’t know how I can explain it any better. OK – one more time:

Question: Why did Rafa not play 1st up at USO ’08 & AO ’09 as he was #1 in the world at those times?

Answer: Because the defending champion starts first (regardless of who is #1).

Your post in response to answer above: chloe Says: “Roger was not the defending champion at the AO 2009, he wasn’t even a finalist in 2008.”

My post “The question was about Rafa not Federer.
————–

Hope that clears it up.


Skorocel Says:

“Gordo wins the prize by correctly answering the question saying that by tradition, the defending champion starts of each slam.”

And discovers America by that :-)


tenisbebe Says:

Skorocel Says: “And discovers America by that :-)”

LOL – well yes after today, you could say that it has “lost” it’s way, by tennis standard for sure.


Skorocel Says:

FIA said: “the us open is roger’s last firewall against rafa, since rafa hasn’t gotten to the final there.”

No. Judging how he fared against Rafa in their last 3 slam meetings, “farewell” would be more appropriate I guess :-) LOL! Can’t wait for that final to happen!


tenisbebe Says:

HEY ALL – Leave it to the NYT’s to have better info than the USO’s own site. Jezzzzz.

“Up first on Saturday will be Nadal-Gonzalez, scheduled for noon at Arthur Ashe Stadium. That match will be followed by the men’s doubles final and the first women’s semifinal featuring Yanina Wickmayer and Caroline Wozniacki. The second women’s semifinal match between Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams will not be played before 8 p.m. on Saturday….the men’s semifinals would be played on Sunday at noon, followed by the women’s final in prime time. Television coverage for Sunday will most likely be split between two channels. CBS will show United States Open tennis at 4:30 p.m. — most likely the men’s semifinals. Tournament officials would like to have the women’s final in prime time, possibly on ESPN, but that may depend on TV schedules, and whether or not Serena Williams reaches either the women’s singles final, women’s doubles final or both.

The men’s championship match, which was played on Monday at 5 p.m. last year, would be played Monday again this year, around the same time.

http://straightsets.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/11/rain-womens-semis-rain-mens-quarters-rain/?hp


jane Says:

tenisbebe, the info is up at the US Open site too; here’s the link:

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/weather.html

Of course, this is all assuming the weather cooperates tomorrow!!


grendel Says:

It is assumed that Nadal is the victim of the weather. But suppose he wins in one set tomorrow – likely, really. Gonzo puts on a good show, even stevens and so on, tends to be a different matter at the death, where Gonzo suddenly discovers that life is difficult and Nadal finds that death is fun.

Well, then, nice bit of practice, don’t you think? Meanwhile, Fed/Djok and delly are in danger of losing momentum.

Of course, if Nadal/Gonzo is a 5 setter, different matter. But really, how likely is that? And in any case, so what? I’m just putting forward different possible scenarios. So far, it seems to be assumed there is only one scenario.


Anon Says:

I am getting irritated with Nadal’s so-called stomach ailment and Uncle Tony’s constant references to it. To me, Nadal looked absolutely fine yesterday. I had never seen him hit the ball harder or better, with sharp angles and lots of top spin. Too bad rain had to interrupt play. No fault of Nadal’s, but it seems to me that Uncle Tony, ever since Nadal’s FO defeat, wants the media to put a disclaimer to every Nadal win or defeat. Thus, the whole world can marvel if he wins (despite the knee and stomach problems) or have a readymade excuse if he loses (because of the knee and stomach problems).


Anon Says:

All the more reason why we should marvel at Federer. The guy just goes out and plays whoever they put across the net from him, never making excuses for losing, never defaulting midway through a match, never asking for medical timeouts or massage therapy, and most importantly, playing without a coach most of the time.

I would recommend the following modifications to grand slam tournaments: no bathroom breaks (especially after losing a set), no time delays (strict adherence to existing time limit or incur penalty), no on-court coaching (total ban), and no coaching during intermittent rain delays. Once the match starts, player and coach should be separated, even through rain delays.


tennisontherocks Says:

If Nadal’s stomach muscle issue was very serious, then extra day’s rest could help. But mentally, a full day’s gap is little too big to stay focussed for anyone, so both Gonzo and Nadal have a disadavantage there. Even for DelPo, he spends 2 days not having a clear idea who he faces next. It will matter here as Nadal and Gonzo do play differently. The rest of the remaining players are all equally affected as compared to their opponents, so the only downside for them is boredom.


Skorocel Says:

“Even for DelPo, he spends 2 days not having a clear idea who he faces next. It will matter here as Nadal and Gonzo do play differently.”

Poor JMDP :-) What a terrible situation for him, isn’t it? What would he do? Give up? LOL!


RZ Says:

Apparent Nadal has angered the weather gods. He always seems to end up being the guy who has to play all those back-to-back matches while Federer sits pretty. Not that this has always helped the Fed, though.


Dan Martin Says:

I hear Scully and Mulder have been contacted to investigate the weather.


tenisbebe Says:

Anon – 1st the post scolding Rafa indirectly thru his uncle for playing thru an injury (perhaps he should just default) and then the second post using it as reason to praise Federer. Pleeeeze – you are not fooling any of the posters here with your simpleton tactics. We see this sort of thing with all the fanatics: Fed’s, Nadal’s, Djoko’s, etc.

As for eliminating bathroom breaks at the end of sets, you may want to stick to ping pong.


jane Says:

Rainy day reading for Djok’s fans, Duro, sar, vared, gordana and whomever else I can’t remember or is interested.

http://www.tennis.com/features/general/features.aspx?id=184848


Dan Martin Says:

Doesn’t Federer still have to win 3 sets against a pretty good player to get to the final? Doesn’t Rafa still have to win 1 full set and maybe 4 points plus beat Juan Martin del Potro to reach the final? It would be a great final to see, but I think any of the 5 guys left could provide a great final.


Giner Says:

It’s possible that the winner between Gonzo and Nadal might have to play two matches on the same day. Imagine if they both went 5 sets..

Hopefully the final gets pushed back to Monday.

Djoker, Fed, and DP ought to be laughing right now.

“And really there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just playing the men’s final the very next day that raises an issue.”

They could do what some of the slams do, which is begin day 1 on a sunday, making it a 15 day slam. Make round 1 over 2 days and not 1. That should free up a saturday for doubles or something. Or perhaps make it a sacrosanct day like the middle sunday at Wimby where there is no play.

“The schedule isn’t great but like it or not it’s part of what defines the US Open.”

Is that a good thing? In my opinion what sucks most about Wimbledon is its traditionalism which is what defines Wimbledon. They think it’s a good thing, but tradition for the sake of tradition without any justification is pointless.

Out of the 4 slams, the one who’s scheduling pleases me the most is the AO. They have a roof on the two main courts to mitigate rain delays, they have flood lights so play doesn’t get suspended because of darkness (though I don’t like how matches can go till the early hours of the morning — that’s bad for the players), and the men’s finalists get 1 or 2 days rest. Some say it’s unfair, but it’s the best they can do.

Paris scheduling is good, but no lights. Wimb used to be a big problem, especially when they refuse play on middle sunday even when matches are behind schedule.

US Open, well.. anyone remember USO 03? 24 men made it to the middle of the second week. How? 4 days of rain with no play.


grendel Says:

” But mentally, a full day’s gap is little too big to stay focussed for anyone, so both Gonzo and Nadal have a disadavantage there. Even for DelPo, he spends 2 days not having a clear idea who he faces next. It will matter here as Nadal and Gonzo do play differently.”

Forgive me if I’m being thick, but I don’t understand. Surely, in terms of gap, it is Fed/Djok and delPo who have the disadvantage. And incidentally, surely delPo is going to assume his opponent is Nadal, and plan accordingly. If it isn’t, so much the better. Scrap the plans and do a little dance.

I believe the final has been pushed forward to Monday, so there is no question of 2 matches same day, never mind two 5 setters. So, absence of laughter from Djok, Fed and delPo.


blah Says:

Really? I think AO is absolutely boring and would prefer Wimbledon and then uso, fo. The rain is becoming an issue at uso though.


blah Says:

so Fed/Djoker is going to play their semis tomorrow if weather is good while nadal and gonzo plays, or are they going to push fed/Djoker back to play on the same day as the other semis?


Anon Says:

Tenisbebe, sorry to disappoint you…I am neither a Fed fanatic nor anti-Nadal. I like them both, though I confess I like Fed more for the reasons I mentioned.

My point is simply this. I am truly sick of having to read or hear about Nadal’s many injuries every time he steps on the court. Why should we have to listen to Uncle Tony telling Pam Shriver that Nadal needs to win the second set because of his stomach injury? That is Uncle Tony planting an excuse in our minds, lest Nadal should lose.

Conversely, have you ever heard Mirka or anyone else in Fed’s camp telling the media that Fed needs to win a set or else his bad back will affect his serve, or something to that effect. Frankly, Fed would not allow it.

If you are injured, don’t play. If you chose to play, don’t bring up the injury every time. To me Uncle Tony is not just Nadal’s coach but a very smart PR manager.


Fed is GOAT Says:

I agree with one of the posts above – players should be asked to stick to the time limit between points, and ABSOLUTELY no on-court coaching. Yesterday against Gonzo, on one occasion, I CLEARLY saw Toni put his hand on one side of his mouth (as if to hide it from view from the other side) and said something to Nadal in spanish. He had done that MANY times before.

THAT IS CHEATING… I am amazed Nadal doesn’t put a stop to it, considering all his charade about being fair and sportsmanly. And he almost always violates the 20 second rule. So much for fairness.

And I am sick of this injury talk. Nadal’s knees are perfect. His abdominal injury appears EXTREMELY minor – it has not affected him at all. He and his coach have created this charade of serious injury just to have the excuse ready. There is always an excuse when Nadal loses.

Come on, man up Nadal.


Voicemale1 Says:

Mary Carillo tried to hint at something she knew, but wasn’t at full liberty to say regarding Nadal. She said her understanding from what most of us don’t know is that he felt he “probably” could have tried to defend his Wimbledon title. That he didn’t was apparently reflective of a lot of elements which came together at once: his parents separation; his loss at the French Open; and his goal to win the US Open. He was mentally drained, mostly as a result of the former two. His knees might have been troubling – but at no point during this year did he ever look like he did at the US Open in 2007, when the tendinitis was clearly so painful in his Ferrer match that he once went down on the court that day, and the agony to get up off the court made the rest of us hurt watching him. His year started to reach peak in January as opposed to May, when he normally hist full speed. The season, the family drama, the aches & pains bankrupted him of many assets by The French Open – especially his concentration, arguably his best asset.

Anon: Many here have documented Federer’s peevishness after many of his losses. He’s rarely as gracious as you describe. He often calls his opponents who beat him “lucky”; says some are “one dimensional”; blames his “mono”; his back foe losses he incurs, etc. Rarely will you ever hear Federer talk openly about how he just got outplayed (his defeat at the 2008 French was a notable exception). Then again, when you have the career he does, it probably doesn’t sit well to say someone else played better :)

But you’re point on Toni Nadal is well taken. He’s been spewing these injuries as near career threatening since Nadal came on the tour. It’s obvious what the attempt is: he tries to whitewash every match loss as a result of some lingering injury. He needs to shut up. Rafael basically ought to get rid of his Uncle anyway. Toni Nadal has been telling his nephew for the last 6 years that he’s not as good as Federer, but if he works hard he can beat him. Toni Nadal looked at every draw of his nephew’s and openly started talking about how difficult they all were – making the presumption all the seeds would make it where they should. Amazing that Rafael can maintain the quality of his positive attitude in the face of someone who openly doubts what he can do. Wacky.


Fed is GOAT Says:

And all the matches have been moved back one day. Final will be on monday. So Nadal really benefited from this rain, and is not at that much disadvantage any more. Max he would play 3 sets tomorrow. That’s not much, especially against Gonzo where rallies are not that long. Players practice a couple of hours anyway.


jane Says:

blah@ 9:21, Djok/Fed and Nadal or Gonza/Delpo semis would all be on Sunday; here’s the revised schedule:

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/weather.html


Shaky Says:

Thank you all for giving the revised schedule.

We can talk all day about Nadal/Gonzo having to play up to 4 days in a row (the horror!), but nothing would top me having to watch more doubles by mistake.


Giner Says:

Dryeagle Says:

“JoshDragon, that’s ridiculous. Why would you change Super Saturday to Friday? Because you don’t have a job?

I work during the weekdays, as do most Americans. Leave the Mens SF matches on Saturday, when most people are off and will be able to watch these matches LIVE.”

Do you also work evenings too?

Does that mean all the matches played M-F in weeks 1 and 2 you don’t care about? Because you can’t watch those live either.. Yet you don’t seem to have any problem with those.

Kimo: (about why Rafa always plays second and not first) “Maybe, and I’m just guessing here, Rafa wanted an extra day off to rest since he played longer than Fed at the Olympics.”

It’s not for him to choose. It doesn’t affect just him, but 64 players in his half. He can’t just say “start me on day 2″ because everyone else in his half would have to start on day 2 just to accommodate him.

Dan Martin Says:

“Doesn’t Rafa still have to win 1 full set and maybe 4 points plus beat Juan Martin del Potro to reach the final? It would be a great final to see, but I think any of the 5 guys left could provide a great final.”

The way I see it, the only chance Del Potro has of winning the title is if Djokovic beats Federer. I give Djok a 1 in 4 chance of doing it. He has beaten Federer before as have lots of people, but Fed steps up his game at slams compared to the Masters Series. Yeah he did beat Fed at the AO SF, but Fed allegedly had mono..

Ever since Fed lost to Safin at AO 05, Federer has only lost to two opponents at Grand Slam level: Djokovic once, and Nadal 6 times. I don’t like Del Potro or Gonzalez’s chances. If it’s not Nadal in the final, Fed wins his 16th. If it’s Nadal, it will be roughly 50/50, or 60/40 in Fed’s favour.


blah Says:

Thanks Jane. I am still rooting for Djoker lol. He needs to play better than he did against Verdasco but him winning would certainly prevent the annoying nadal-fed who’s better drama afterwards.

I think (assuming that Nadal moves on) the DelPotro-Nadal semifinal will be more grueling/physical, but Nadal is used to this style by now. Maybe DelPotro/Djokovic benefitted most from this rain delay considering that they’re not as fit as those two, but like I said before, I don’t think this is too big of an issue unless the Nadal/gonzo match goes 5 and then the DelPotro semi goes five as well.


blah Says:

Gonzo won’t win against Fed. That’s the only thing I am sure of.


jane Says:

Giner, JMDP could indeed win the USO final if he’s to meet Djoko (probably the most unlikely scenario behind Djoko/Gonza); I sure wouldn’t put much past JMDP. He has improved dramatically; he’s highly focused; he’s extremely ambitious; he works very hard. However, I wouldn’t say that it’s a shoe-in or anything, since Djok has won a slam and some masters series; has been in the USO finals once and semis twice now, losing only to Fed; and since JMDP hasn’t beat Novak yet in 3 tries. I’d give Djok an edge, were that final to occur, but not a huge edge.


grendel Says:

just as a point of info, who has Federer called “one dimensional” apart from Nadal? And w.r.t. Nadal, many people, including perhaps Nadal, believed he had a point. Of course, Nadal has changed his game enormously since Federer’s charge. So he has revised his opinion. That’s alright, isn’t it?

Federer also criticised Murray’s game after being beaten by him in Dubai. But Murray’s mother has since revealed that this criticism was taken – productively – on board. Actually, considering the performance against Cilic (not to mention Roddick at Wimbie), perhaps not productively enough.

The business of mono and the back. There are two, different points to raise here. Either Federer was making excuses, in the sense that he didn’t, deep down, believe that they were at least partly responsible for his losses, or he was simply being truthful. The second point is that, in the opinion of some, even if he was being truthful, he shouldn’t have been – he should have kept his trap shut. There are lots of possible nuances here, and I’m not clear in my own mind quite what was going on. I understand that he credited Djoko’s victory against him at the AO as due to Djoko’s superior play, regardless of the mono.


Ezorra Says:

I hope if Nadal manages to place himself in the final, he will meet Federer instead of Djokovic. In fact, I do believe that Federer is the easiest opponent for Nadal as compared to Djokovic and Del Potro (which he has no choice but to face him anyway if he is able to beat Gonzalez).


Dan Martin Says:

I agree that in the various scenarios the usual suspects are favored, but I think all 5 players have a lot to prove and could do a lot with a win in NY.
Federer – Could win 6 in a row and #16
Nadal – Career Slam, overcome the odds
Djokovic – Shake off doubters and put his hat back in the elite mix
JMDP – Breakthrough for a young guy!
Gonzalez – Could have the shinning moment (04 and 08 Olympic Medals aside) that a player w/ a good career in his late 20′s might not ever see. Interestingly Gonzalez was dropped by Stefanki to work with Roddick after the 2008 season ended so while most improbable to win in terms of how far he is from the finish line and where his game stands compared to the other 4 on most days – he could have the sweetest victory in a sense as this would be a crowning achievement and also put a spin on the “coach of the year” accolades.


Skorocel Says:

RZ: „Apparent Nadal has angered the weather gods. He always seems to end up being the guy who has to play all those back-to-back matches while Federer sits pretty. Not that this has always helped the Fed, though.“

You can bet it won’t help him now :-) This is an unique chance for Nadal to complete his grandslam trophy cabinet, and he won’t let it slip without a fight.


Skorocel Says:

Giner: “Djoker, Fed, and DP ought to be laughing right now.“

I wouldn’t say so. Don’t you know that JMDP has a very tough dilemma? He still doesn’t know if he’s to play Nadal or Gonzo! Let’s just pray he doesn’t retire because of that… And I’m not even talking about Fed and Djoker! Not only they don’t know who will be their opponent in the final, they don’t even know if they’ll advance there or not!!! LOL and LOL! :-)

„Yeah he did beat Fed at the AO SF, but Fed allegedly had mono..“

Mono, duo, trio – it doesn’t matter. Fed was outplayed on that day.


Skorocel Says:

Anon: „I am truly sick of having to read or hear about Nadal’s many injuries every time he steps on the court. Why should we have to listen to Uncle Tony telling Pam Shriver that Nadal needs to win the second set because of his stomach injury?“

Then mute the TV and watch. What Toni says is irrelevant. What Rafa does on the court is all that matters.


grendel Says:

Gonzo wins – 50 to 1 shot. Romantic’s delight – who could not, in some sense, be pleased.

Djoko wins – reputation recovered.

Del Potro wins – new, and extremely formidable champion takes the stage, one you sense will become harder and harder to beat.

Federer wins – the old lion can still just pull it off. That it? Or has he got another growl or two left in him?

Nadal wins – instantly, he is hailed as regaining the title of best player in the world; to have won a slam in what is perceived to be such adverse circumstances, the aura surrounding him will go supernova.


Dan Martin Says:

Grendel I like how you phrased it!


Twocents Says:

To this date, one of the arrogant Swiss’s major crimes, per some Nadal fans, is that he dared to call on Uncle Toni for his on court coaching at Rome 2006. How disrespectful in deed.

I’ve seen from courtside many times Uncle Toni’s coaching. I didn’t like it. And I was especially disappointed that Team Nadal still did it after he took over no.1. Rules are made for the little people. Someone is bigger than the sport.


Twocents Says:

grendel,

Good one, except:

Federer wins — Nadal is injured, tired, and rusty. Young guns are in-experiences. Plus he charmed off Mother Nature.


Ezorra Says:

Federer wins — Nadal is injured, tired, and rusty. Young guns are in-experiences. Plus he charmed off Mother Nature.

But you guys talk about Federer’s mono like forever as well, so what’s the different?


Dan Martin Says:

Maybe Netjets is seeding the clouds in the greater NY area.


Giner Says:

blah Says:

“Really? I think AO is absolutely boring”

What about it makes it boring? Is the tennis not the same? Are the players not the same? You don’t like the blue courts perhaps?

blah Says:

“so Fed/Djoker is going to play their semis tomorrow if weather is good while nadal and gonzo plays, or are they going to push fed/Djoker back to play on the same day as the other semis?”

No because they want to keep the super saturday. It wouldn’t be very super if it’s just a 6-1 6-2 rout from Serena. I don’t think the women’s final alone is going to be worth its weight in green, so they need the men to play on the same day to give people their money’s worth. Not being sexist, just stating a fact. If it were Kim vs Serena, then it might be a match, but that’s a semi final.

Fed is GOAT Says:

“And all the matches have been moved back one day. Final will be on monday. So Nadal really benefited from this rain, and is not at that much disadvantage any more. Max he would play 3 sets tomorrow. That’s not much, especially against Gonzo where rallies are not that long. Players practice a couple of hours anyway.”

Not really. He and Gonzo are still 2 days behind schedule. It’s not easy to sleep or relax when you’re match isn’t complete. You get anxious, just like before giving a speech or attending a job interview. So much is on the line.

Anon:

“My point is simply this. I am truly sick of having to read or hear about Nadal’s many injuries every time he steps on the court. Why should we have to listen to Uncle Tony telling Pam Shriver that Nadal needs to win the second set because of his stomach injury? That is Uncle Tony planting an excuse in our minds, lest Nadal should lose.”

Why are you listening to him if it annoys you? If he gets asked about it, he’s going to say it. It’s not like he’s walking up to Pam and volunteering this information.

“That is Uncle Tony planting an excuse in our minds, lest Nadal should lose.”

Is no ailment ever legit in your eyes? What if it was real?

“If you are injured, don’t play. If you chose to play, don’t bring up the injury every time. To me Uncle Tony is not just Nadal’s coach but a very smart PR manager.”

He wasn’t injured going into the Open. The stomache tear didn’t happen until 3rd round. It wasn’t serious enough to pull out, but it reduces him from 100%.

Fed is GOAT Says:

“I agree with one of the posts above – players should be asked to stick to the time limit between points, and ABSOLUTELY no on-court coaching. Yesterday against Gonzo, on one occasion, I CLEARLY saw Toni put his hand on one side of his mouth (as if to hide it from view from the other side) and said something to Nadal in spanish. He had done that MANY times before.”

That may or may not be, but I would like to know how audible you think Toni would have been amongst the 23,000 people in the crowd? With his hand covering his mouth, even lip reading would have been difficult. Also, how often do you see him look up? Does he look at Toni between every point just in case he has something to say? Would this not be noticible when the cameras are on Nadal?

“He and his coach have created this charade of serious injury just to have the excuse ready. There is always an excuse when Nadal loses.”

You mean like pulling out of Queens and Wimbledon where he defends both titles? That’s a charade he’s taking to an extreme. It cost him his #1 ranking. To trade that for a charade or excuse for losing is a big trade.


Giner Says:

jane Says:

“Giner, JMDP could indeed win the USO final if he’s to meet Djoko (probably the most unlikely scenario behind Djoko/Gonza); I sure wouldn’t put much past JMDP. He has improved dramatically; he’s highly focused; he’s extremely ambitious; he works very hard. However, I wouldn’t say that it’s a shoe-in or anything, since Djok has won a slam and some masters series; has been in the USO finals once and semis twice now, losing only to Fed; and since JMDP hasn’t beat Novak yet in 3 tries. I’d give Djok an edge, were that final to occur, but not a huge edge.”

jane, what I’m saying is the only CHANCE he has of winning is to play Djoko. Against Djoko he has a chance, but Djoko will still be favourite. If he was up against Federer, he’d have virtually no chance of winning, baring a miracle — and the gods of tennis love Federer. 6-3 6-0 6-0 was the scoreline when the two met in Melbourne this year.

Skorocel:

“I wouldn’t say so. Don’t you know that JMDP has a very tough dilemma? He still doesn’t know if he’s to play Nadal or Gonzo! Let’s just pray he doesn’t retire because of that… And I’m not even talking about Fed and Djoker! Not only they don’t know who will be their opponent in the final, they don’t even know if they’ll advance there or not!!! LOL and LOL! :-)”

Regardless, he got his match done and has 2 days rest. I’d rather be wondering who my opponent is than whether I will win the match in progress or not. Some players in Australia who finished their match and were awaiting the winner of the night match that ran late when interviewed about it said they weren’t concerned who their next opponent was and went to bed early without staying up to find out. I think Djokovic was one of them, when Baggy and Hewitt slugged it out.

Gonzalez is feeling it much worse than Nadal since he is down a set and 4 points away from being down 2 sets.

“Djoko wins – reputation recovered.”

This would put a cloud over Murray’s rightful place in the top 4. Is he actually worthy of being #2 when he’s the only one without a slam? On hard courts, he is the most hyped player of the 4 despite his as yet unproven credentials.

“Federer wins – the old lion can still just pull it off. That it? Or has he got another growl or two left in him?”

He’s not that old. A few months ago he just won 2 slams. A few more months doesn’t make that much of a difference. He will still be competing for slams at age 32 in my opinion. He’ll be winning fewer each year by then, but he’ll continue making his semi finals and finals, and be on the short list of title contenders.

“Nadal wins – instantly, he is hailed as regaining the title of best player in the world; to have won a slam in what is perceived to be such adverse circumstances, the aura surrounding him will go supernova.”

That would probably be the biggest story out of the 5. But it will also give ammunition for critics too. All his injuries will be alleged to have been faked and played up for theatrics and gamesmanship. After all, it’s not possible for his opponent to choke away a match they should have won of course or for him to win a match through sheer force of will.


sar Says:

Mono, duo, trio – it doesn’t matter. Fed was outplayed on that day.

Skorocel- I agree. Fed wasn’t exactly moping around out there. LOL
Here are the AO highlights
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNlyrcsUDBw

Tenisbebe: sorry we missed each other the other night. Did you get my photo/email?


Skorocel Says:

“All his injuries will be alleged to have been faked and played up for theatrics and gamesmanship.”

Giner, how can a player skip 2 tournaments where he’s defending 2250 ranking points just because he wants to make everyone feel he’s injured?


steve Says:

The several days rest should give Nadal a bit of time to recover from his abdominal problem. But some will surely argue that he would have done better to play Gonzalez when the injury was completely fresh. “The rain delay gave his muscles too much time to stiffen,” or some absolutely nonsensical argument of that kind.

I believe that Nadal often plays through pain. It just doesn’t affect him. Unless the man’s visibly hobbling, I don’t believe for a second his performance is hindered. He’s totally heedless of it.

And as for his being tired, bullshit. The guy played a five hour plus match against Verdasco, then four hours more to beat Federer. He simply doesn’t get tired.

If he’s beaten, it’s because his opponents played just a little bit better on the day.


madmax Says:

This is a post for VON – who has just posted on tennistalk (VON, i am madmax here and maxi over there)….hope this is an explanation and that things are fine – :)

von – i have only just seen your comments here. I joined TT a few weeks ago now, and told the guys over here what great posters you all are on tennis.x. and that i have learnt a lot from you – i have never been a poster who gets into fights/struggles over their own players – ever – and i did mention a while ago (tho’ you will have to read all the posts over the last few weeks) that it sometimes gets a bit heated over there – i dont like it – i have NEVER entered into fights/arguments over there – i like to see the good in people – i enjoy passion for the sport and it is as simple as that – when i said “crazy von”, it was kind of said in a way that was badly expressed (from me), i meant to say “passionate” (crazy meaning passionate NOT insane), so i hope that explains that one. I think you would have to say von, that i have never intervened in a “fight” between you and duro other than once (I think), and that was to say to shut up and stop the fighting because i couldnt stand it. hence leaving tennis.x for a while and coming over here for a bit of peace actually. i have also said that i have learnt a lot from you, because you are a very knowledgable poster – and you will know that i like most players, my favourite being federer – so i would ask you von to “be fair” and to ‘fess’ up yourself. your argument is with Duro and NOT me. Dont worry tho’, so far i have not seen that side of duro on this thread, but should it change (i hope not), i will be playing no part in it. cheers von and really good to see you here.
maxi , 9/12/09 9:37 AM


Duro Says:

Nice story from Novak’s site:

Roger Federer said in yesterday’s interview to the Swiss ‘Blick’ that he and Novak talked about the success of the football national teams of Switzerland and Serbia in qualifications for the world championships in South Africa.

‘I saw Djokovic this morning. We talked a little bit about football. We both concluded that our teams are close to a great success in qualifications for the World Cup, which is why we are proud of them’, said the best player in the world that will meet Novak on Sunday in the U.S. Open semi-finals.

Federer said for the Swiss newspapers that Novak is a well-mannered sportsman, and he does’t mind his imitations on court.

‘Novak is not one of those players that while passing next to your locker room after the match turn their head and don’t say ‘hello’. I love to talk with him. His impersonations of other players are interesting. I do not understand why many people criticise him for that. I saw Novak’s match against Verdasco. I think he improved a lot and therefore I don’t know whether he will ‘explode’ on Saturday against me or not’, said the winner of 15 Grand Slam titles.


chloe Says:

tenisbebe Says:

Chloe – I don’t know how I can explain it any better. OK – one more time:

Question: Why did Rafa not play 1st up at USO ‘08 & AO ‘09 as he was #1 in the world at those times?

Answer: Because the defending champion starts first (regardless of who is #1).

Your post in response to answer above: chloe Says: “Roger was not the defending champion at the AO 2009, he wasn’t even a finalist in 2008.”

My post “The question was about Rafa not Federer.
————–

My point is Roger did not start first because he was the defending champion, but maybe he did not start first, but why was his half scheduled to play before the top half. I can’t remember whether Djokovic as defending champion started first or not, which is probably what you are getting at, but I do know that the bottom half played before the top half, with Roger getting one extra day before the final.


fadingis Says:

roddick started the AO, djokovic was third on and roger was at the first night sesion


been there, done that Says:

Giner @12:02am says:
“He wasn’t injured going into the Open. The stomache tear didn’t happen until 3rd round. It wasn’t serious enough to pull out, but it reduces him from 100%.”

Actually, Rafa’s carried the injury from Cincinnati. He had it while playing Djokovic semis there & was strapped. In one of his interviews, Murray also confirmed that it is something that the other players have known for quite sometime, since they see it all in the locker rooms, so we us TV viewers, do not know exactly when it began…….but for sure, it was there going into the open.

Same to Verdasco’s stomach tear…occurred before the open but he managed to reach qtrs playing quite well. so it is definitely something that players can play through if they think there’s up to it.


Veno Says:

weather forecast Sat-Mon:

Today…Showers likely. Highs around 70. Northeast winds around 5 mph. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Tonight…Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and patchy drizzle. Lows in the lower 60s. North winds around 5 mph. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Sunday…Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower 80s. North winds around 5 mph.

Sunday Night…Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 60s. Northwest winds around 5 mph.

Monday…Sunny. Highs in the lower 80s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph.

Monday Night…Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 60s.


Andrew Miller Says:

In my opinion, the days off (Friday, most of Saturday) turns this into a whole new tournament.

For all the players, it’s as if the tournament “starts today” – meaning, Nadal has to win 3 matches to win the tournament, Gonzalez has to win 3 matches to win the tournament, Federer or Djokovic must win 2 matches to win the tournament.

I dont think the rest is unwelcome for players like Nadal, who needs some time to recuperate – the day off must be just what the doctor ordered.

The day off is probably not so good for Serena Williams, who, like Federer, seems to play better the less time she has off – for both of them it should be a little strange, but I imagine that some of the players (Nadal or Federer or both!) must have gotten some court time indoors in the City. These guys didnt come all this way for nothing!


i am it Says:

currently wheel chair matches are being played.


fadingis Says:

delpo was and is my finalist, for me he will beat rafa or gonzo in four but then he´ll have to wish that fed dosen´t come thoug because then tne tournament is over for delpo if not I do se him beating novak.


Veno Says:

Let’s pray it will stay dry!!!!!
Fingers crossed!!!!!!


jane Says:

Fingers crossed Veno! How odd for them to come onto the court in the middle of a tiebreak – seems weird as a fan anyhow.


Veno Says:

Well, Gonzo’s in for a fight back….3 UE and the set is Rafa’s


fed is afraid Says:

Go rafa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Kimmi Says:

Wow..that was easy for Nadal..would not ask for more.


Veno Says:

hi Jane, it favours Rafa as just witnessed because he never gives any presents and is always very focussed from the first point. It’s one of his strengths and it was no surprise to me(Gonzo had to win this 1 to still have a chance) he took the breaker


Veno Says:

Gonzo can’t keep it in, overhit the baseline 5 times already….He beeter step up!


i am it Says:

already 2 sets up rafa will wrap it up in next 30 min.
sort of practice match for rafa.


Veno Says:

Gonzo’s forehand can be nuclear, he hits it the hardest, but Soderling’s is consistently harder. I was amazed how hard he hit it against Federer.

Nadal in the driver seat now. Gotta hand it to Rafa, punishing Gonzo for not being sharp.

Let’s see if Gonzo can find a way back in the set


i am it Says:

rafa already a break up means the match will be over in 20 min.


madmax Says:

come on federer! oohhh.these rain days are no good. have been told there are practice courts in NYC around the stadium that players can practice in, so all players who have had “extra” rest, need to get their backsides down to those practice courts and go hit some serious balls!c’mon federer! your fans support you!


Veno Says:

8 UE in the third already….ouch!


madmax Says:

duro – nice post by the way! :)


Veno Says:

starting to drizzle again :(


Veno Says:

Rafa not having to do much, he’s preserving energy. If he takes this set, he’ll be fine.
Gonzo doesn’t seem to enjoy it on bit, seems bored


i am it Says:

now with 2 breaks, rafa should be complaining about the weather delay. Lol.


Veno Says:

11 UE in 3 games for Gonzo.

Likely Rafa will take it 6-2 or 6-1
Pity for Gonzo, but he never turned up today


Giner Says:

What a way to implode Gonzo. This match which has taken 3 days to get to this point has been a real letdown, even for someone who wanted Nadal to win.

I blinked and missed the tie breaker. When I tuned in, Gonzo was getting broken. At least it should be over soon.


Veno Says:

On a sidenote, the shorts-picking by Nadal, must be one of the most annoying things to watch as a tennis spectator. I had the feeling before his injury that he was decreasing the amounts he does it, but this Open, sheesh………


Veno Says:

Man, what a disappointment this has turned out to be…
Like a practice session. Well, good for Rafa, shame on Gonzo though


jane Says:

Gonza is flatter than a pancake this morning!


Duro Says:

Madmax, thanks. We must be careful with words these days… Everyone is so touchy; must be because of this rain :-)


i am it Says:

that’s total demolition of gonzu.
congrats to rafa.


jane Says:

Too bad for Gonzalez that he had to have a bagel for brunch; Fernando just wasn’t in it today, which is a shame after seeing the first and second sets of this match. Good luck to Rafa next round; JMDP will be tough.


jane Says:

Rafa was happy to have the break. LOL. And more importantly, he says he’s going to “try to win it.” Look out!


Veno Says:

They surely are going to move the women´s semi Woz-Wick earlier than the planned 15:00h start now aren’t they?


fed is afraid Says:

this tournament is rafa’s for the taking!!


Veno Says:

Like Fed, Rafa isn’t exciting one bit to listen to.

I love seeing them talk with their rackets, but off court…hardly ever anything sparkling comes out of their mouths lol


scineram Says:

Pathetic display. Rafa really was lucky with this rain break.


Andrew Miller Says:

Gonzo – missed opportunity. He was certainly playing well enough to make a match of it against Rafa. Wonder why he split with Larry Stefanki.

That said: results-wise, Gonzo is the best chilean player of all time (that includes Massu and the best ballstriker I’ve ever seen, Marcelo Rios).


Kimo Says:

i am it says:

“that’s total demolition of gonzu.”

Does it qualify as demolition of Gonzo imploded?

But anyway, great win for Rafa, he seemed to be happy he didn’t have to spend any energy or test his stomach strain.

JMDP will be very tough for him, coz unlike Gonzo, Juan Martin’s strokes will land inside the court. :)


Blank Says:

Wonder what match they are going to show next – the doubles finals or singles semifinals?


Kimo Says:

I meant “if” not “of” obviously…


Blank Says:

Ok…it’s the semifinals.


sheila Says:

if roger beats djokovic(hopefully) and goes on to play nadal in the final, then critics will say nadal wasn’t 100% healthy. if del potro can pull out the upset and beat nadal in semis, and roger should happen to beat delpo in final, then critics will say it was delpos first slam final & was nervous, if roger loses to djokovic, critics will criticize federer, if nadal wins final against roger, then critics will say nadal is a better player than federer. its a no win situation for roger, because he seems to always get criticized. everytime hes won nadal, theres always that asterik, but if nadal beats federer its because hes a better player. go figure


SG Says:

DelPo won’t be a cakewalk for Rafa. His big flat game and heavy serve will pressure Rafa. We’ll find out howfar along Rafa is in his comeback.

As for today’s result with Gonzo, it’s not a big surprise to me. Gonzo has always been a bit of a head case. He’ll have to live with laying an egg in the year’s final slam. Rafa gave him the chance to lose the match and that’s exactly what Gonzo did.


Duro Says:

If Fed wins his 16th everybody should shut up. Ajde Nole ole ole ole…


Kimo Says:

way to go sheila!!!! I agree with you 100%.

It’s a good thing that my man Fed just focuses on the prize and knows that if he racks up titles very few people can argue against him.


i am it Says:

drizzling again?


Kimo Says:

SG said:

“DelPo won’t be a cakewalk for Rafa.”

Actually I would go a step further than that. I would say Rafa is the clear underdog on a fast hard court against JMDP. Juan Martin beat Rafa the last two times they played on hard, and it’s now clear that Rafa is no longer in JMDP’s head.

Juan Martin plays an agressive game, and even though Rafa won his last set today 6-0, how many winners has he hit? Couldn’t be more than 5 winners. That just won’t cut it against Juan Martin.

Not to mention that over the course of the tournament Juan Martin has been more solid, and his wins were emphatic.


steve Says:

So much for all the insistence that the rain delay would hurt Nadal, hmmm? He played for forty minutes or so, and Gonzales was considerate enough to melt down after losing the tiebreak.

The Del Potro match will be interesting. Del Potro has a real chance, but it won’t be easy.


i am it Says:

knees broken and abdomen cracked rafa can reach grand slam semi on hard court. what does that tell you?


Kimo Says:

i am it, his knees are fine now. He rested them for 2 months and a half. His movement is clearly back.

Please don’t start making excuses even before Rafa loses.


Veno Says:

@Kimo and Sheila, don’t put too much weight on these issues. I doubt Fed still feels as much pressure to prove himself. Disappointed if he doesn’t win? Sure, but let’s be realistic. It won’t stick long. And he has proven already that he can bounce back after everyone wrote him off.

I truly think that everything he wins from now on is gravy, but it doesn’t mean he will give 1% less effort to win every time he steps on to a tennis court. Fan or no fan, rejoice the fact he is such a competitor who loves the game so much.

Through all the talk, innuendo, attacks, write-offs and immense pressure, who has been the constant factor for over 5 years now? That’s right, Fed

22 consecutive semifinals at slams and it’s still active.

Forget total number of slams or even a calendar slam(which is mucho impressive of course), this streak is mind-blowingly good in terms of continuity and consistency on the highest level of a physically and mentally gruelling sport playing 11 month seasons!


Kimo Says:

Veno, I agree, but just imagine if he wins this US Open and follows it up with an Australian!!!

A Roger Slam.

Even the most loyal of Laver fans who are still clinging on to his 1969 grand slam would then have to let go of their stubborn-ness.


grendel Says:

Yesterday, I pointed out that whereas most people were saying the rain delays were a bummer for Nadal and a piece of luck for his opponents, there was another possible scenario.

So it has turned out. Nadal has had some useful match practice which has taken nothing out of him at all. The other three are all rusty. 3 days off? That’s not rest, that’s coma time! It will be almost like a new tourney tomorrow evening.

You have to think Nadal is now favourite to win. Not huge – if anyone can beat him, it is Del Potro. Djokovic? Couple of sets max. Federer? That’s the intriguing question to which nobody has even the glimmerings of an answer. The surface suits Federer more than Nadal, and his game is currently good.

But where is his mind? In a good place, everyone says. The French in the bag, Sampras overtaken, cosy family life. Murray and Djokovic put in their place.

All this is obvious, but what nobody knows is, does it count for anything at all when weighed against the implacable presence of Nadal, camped on the base line, calmly envisaging 5 sets if necessary, 6 hours if need be? Brilliance which cannot be endlessly sustained against unremitting focus.

Impossible to call, in my view. Although there will be plenty of “told you so’s” after the event.


i am it Says:

if he loses in the final, after 3 months roger will say he had back pain or something else.
we all make excuses.
there is nothing wrong for rafa-tony to make excuses.

but unfortunately rafa may not reach the final.

most tennis fans say you cannot rule out rafa until the last point is played. he’s already surprised me enough. can he surprise me two more times in this tourney? I have reasonable doubts.
not because he cannot play but because my man dePo is playing better.


Giner Says:

sheila Says:

“if roger beats djokovic(hopefully) and goes on to play nadal in the final, then critics will say nadal wasn’t 100% healthy. if del potro can pull out the upset and beat nadal in semis, and roger should happen to beat delpo in final, then critics will say it was delpos first slam final & was nervous, if roger loses to djokovic, critics will criticize federer, if nadal wins final against roger, then critics will say nadal is a better player than federer. its a no win situation for roger, because he seems to always get criticized. everytime hes won nadal, theres always that asterik, but if nadal beats federer its because hes a better player. go figure”

Let’s wait for it to happen before making presumptions. It can go both ways. If Federer loses, don’t expect not to hear any excuses from his fans either.

steve Says:

“So much for all the insistence that the rain delay would hurt Nadal, hmmm? He played for forty minutes or so, and Gonzales was considerate enough to melt down after losing the tiebreak.”

It did. It’s just that it hurt Gonzo too and even worse. Even before seeing today’s result, I would say it was always going to hurt Gonzo more than Nadal.

Did the rain delay hurt Nadal? Yes. Depending on how you frame the question. Did it hurt his chances at beating Gonzo? No, because the delay hurt Gonzo just as much or even more. Did it hurt his chances to win the Open? Maybe a little. If they didn’t push the final back to Monday, then definitely.

Rain delays can go both ways. It can let the losing player regroup and take away the momentum from the winning player. The anxiety can also weigh heavily on the losing player who has more work to do.

i am it Says:

“knees broken and abdomen cracked rafa can reach grand slam semi on hard court. what does that tell you?”

His knees are 100%, he said so himself. I don’t know how serious the abdomen is, probably not incredibly serious, but it’s still better not to have it than to have it. It can affect you mentally even more than it does physically, though I don’t think it did for him.

Kimo Says:

“i am it, his knees are fine now. He rested them for 2 months and a half. His movement is clearly back.

Please don’t start making excuses even before Rafa loses.”

To me it sounded like ‘i am it’ meant that critically, as in, Nadal’s injuries are fake.


Rsutherland Says:

Fed and Nadal fans (of which I am one)should all chill and be happy. Fed has broken records which will not be equalled for a very long time (assuming we all get past Dec, 2012 that is, lol).

Nadal still has a winning record against Fed, as well as Olympics Singles Gold and Davis Cup (of which Fed has neither, I believe).

All this talk of excuses is nonsense and will be a non-issue when they are part of history.
They are both great so why not respect from all?

I think any of the 4 men should be a great final (unless Djok or DelPo get in and have a mental meltdown).

I rather expect the meltdown will occur in the women’s final regardless of personnel. Hopefully not…


steve Says:

Nadal loves a constant pace. The more homogeneously the points are played, the better for him. He wants the rallies to be as monotonous as possible, with little variation, until they start to blur together in his opponent’s mind and the opponent starts to make errors.

But Del Potro also thrives playing at a constant pace. Moreover the high topspin of Nadal merely serves to feed the ball into his strike zone, and he doesn’t make many errors.

Nadal’s only hope is to try to imitate someone like Federer or Murray and change the pace. But that will lower the effectiveness of his own game.

Del Potro has had a good summer, he’s been in a Slam semifinal before, and he really really wants to make it to a final.

The only real question is whether he will be able to sustain the highest level over a best-of-five match. My hunch after watching him nearly beat Federer at the French, is that he will. Unlike Federer, Nadal hasn’t got a great serve nor does he like changing the pace–the two things that saved Federer in the end. All he can do is to plug away and hope Del Potro makes a mistake.


i am it Says:

let me break down in hypothetical numbers:
roger will win the title————-80%
dePo will win—————40%
rafa will win—————30%
djoko will win————–20%


Giner Says:

grendel:

“But where is his mind? In a good place, everyone says. The French in the bag, Sampras overtaken, cosy family life. Murray and Djokovic put in their place.”

What I like about the current state of the game is not much separates the top 4 players in rankings points. They can easily continue trading places for the forseeable future, and even Federer’s lead is far from insurmountable.

Djokovic has not yet been put in his place. He can still finish #3 and within a few points of #2.

I don’t think any of these 4 guys is going to have an entrenched hold on the top ranking given how much they all have to defend. Djokovic probably has the most points to gain.

I wonder now who will play their semis first tomorrow. Which match is more marquee? I would say Fed and Djok, but they will probably be out first, being that they were first to play their QF matches. If this were the Aus Open, every match from QF onwards would be night matches, so all matches would be played prime time. IMO, both the men’s semi finals will be a bigger draw than the women’s final (the only evening match) on Super Sunday.


Veno Says:

It works both ways with rain delays. In this case it hasn’t affected Rafa much(good thing!) But Novak and Fed will have had Thursday, Friday and Saturday off.

I don’t think they will have too many problems handling it as they are pros and know how to deal with these circumstances, but from experience I know it’s unbelievably disrupting to have so much time off especially nearing the business end of the tourney.

Your tournament-flow, established through the first week and a half, where the intensity level increases with every further step, suffers a real blow having to wait 4 days for your next match.


steve Says:

Giner: how did the rain delay hurt Nadal? Did playing forty minutes against an out-of-it Gonzalez really deplete him so much?

Did it not, in fact, end up giving his abdominal injury time to heal? Did it not end up giving him a nice bit of practice to make sure he was all warmed-up for the semi? I don’t think he’d have been better off sitting around three full days doing nothing; he’s the kind of player who needs to be match-grooved to play his best.

Fortune smiled upon him this time. I don’t care that it did, but I do care that people are pretending that this was such a horrible unfair development for him, when actually it turned out pretty much to his good.


Veno Says:

Nice views Giner, like the post, however Rafa is the one who has the most points to gain, because Novak won the YEC last year collecting 1300 pts, while Rafa didn’t play. After this Open, of the top 4, Murray has the most to lose, then Novak, then Fed and then Rafa.

If Fed makes the final, he’s almost homefree to take the year end number 1 ranking, however not totally unsurmountable for Rafa but he’ll have to win everything and Rog has to break down.


Duro Says:

Lets put it this way: If Fed wins against Nole, and JMDL over Nadal, Fed 100%; If Nole wins against Fed, Nole 100% both ways; If Fed wins against Nole, and Rafa against JMDP, Fed 65%, Rafa 35.


i am it Says:

i said, “knees broken and abdomen cracked rafa can reach grand slam semi on hard court. what does that tell you?”
let me clarify. that statement has double meaning. one appreciation and the other criticism. the overblown news of “knees broken and abdomen cracked” is my critique. that “rafa can reach grand slam semi” is my appreciation.
it also accepts the fact that he is not 100% by any measure.
imagine he was 100%. he’d be going into this tournament as the second favorite, not far behind fed.
take your pick.


stu Says:

Giner,

Actually Djokovic can still finish at #2.

If Rafa had lost his QF, and Nole wins the USO, he would have been #2 as early as next week. Even now, as long as he defends his points from the Masters Cup, the #2 is still a possibility for him.

Don’t forget that a lot of points come off for Rafa and especially Murray when the Madrid 2008 points are adjusted on Oct 17th.


Veno Says:

speculation, speculation, speculation

And no matter what outcomes the 3 remaining matches will deliver, speculation as to the why results played out the way they did, will continue to brew long after the final ceremony has been completed.

That’s ok I guess, but to me, not relevant.
Either whether DelPo, Novak, Rafa or Fed wins the title I will applaude their effort and success and be happy for them and the fans.

I just hope the remaining 3 matches will be played uninterupted(which the forecasts predict they will) and will be exciting and of high quality.

The 4 gladiators giving us 3 great matches and hard fought battles would be the dream scenario by far, and whoever gets out on top let’s celebrate him as the best player and the deserved champion!

I for one am looking forward to some great action!!!! Vamos, Ajde,Allez, Come on and Vamos again!!!!


Max Says:

Rafa 60% favorite against JMDP, Djokovic 51% favorite against Federer.


Andrew Miller Says:

Veno were you a pro-tennis player? You mentioned you know from experience that a rain delay affects players.


sar Says:

Duro:
it’s strange that Fed and Novak are “friends” again. Maybe Fed intends to form an alliance with Novak now and push out Murray. Wasn’t it Fed that was complaining the most about his imitations? Saying that he was crossing a “line.” But really what can Fed say, Novak has stopped doing them except for this McEnroe one. That night Cahill asked Novak to do it he said “not current players.”


Andrew Miller Says:

I disagree on Nadal as having only high spinning shots – Nadal can also hit flat. He hit with a very high safety margin today because he saw that Gonzalez was having trouble keeping balls in play. Nadal is smart – he played how he needed to play to win, he didnt show all of his tricks because they were not necessary. Against Monfils, Nadal played much better – he hit harder and consistently – he probably looked at Gonzalez as a slower Monfils, so he slowed the pace down and ratcheted up the spin. He saw Monfils as a greater all court threat, so he probably kept the pace up but kept Monfils within the bounds of the court, seeing Monfils as a greater threat on the run than within the singles lines.


Giner Says:

steve Says:

“Giner: how did the rain delay hurt Nadal? Did playing forty minutes against an out-of-it Gonzalez really deplete him so much?”

It’s easy to say that now isn’t it? Before resumption of play, it didn’t help. It worked out this way because it hurt Gonzo more, because mentally he didn’t have what it takes to overcome the situation. It didn’t help either player.

And as I said, it depends whether you’re referring to winning this QF match, or winning the title.

“Did it not, in fact, end up giving his abdominal injury time to heal?”

I’m not convinced it was ever that serious. Had he won the 2nd set tiebreak on Thursday, he would have finished the job in 3 without a rain delay, and that would have been a preferable scenario, even if the 3rd set was not an anticlimax like it ended up being.

“Did it not end up giving him a nice bit of practice to make sure he was all warmed-up for the semi?”

Overrated. All players practice on their day off regardless. Do you think Fed and Djok just sat in their hotel and chilled with feet on the table and twiddling their thumbs this whole time? They have hitting partners too you know.

“I don’t think he’d have been better off sitting around three full days doing nothing; he’s the kind of player who needs to be match-grooved to play his best.”

We’ll have to disagree on that one. His game is physical, he would prefer as much rest in between matches as he can get.

“Fortune smiled upon him this time. I don’t care that it did, but I do care that people are pretending that this was such a horrible unfair development for him, when actually it turned out pretty much to his good.”

More like MISforunte smiled upon Gonzalez. It’s easy making statements like this after the fact and presuming it was true a priori. By all assessments, it shouldn’t have helped. You’re like a stocks analyst who sees unpredictable results after they happen and then calls out every other analyst on their erroneous speculations made days earlier.

Did you actually see this result coming before today? That Gonzo would lose 4 points straight in the tiebreak and then never win another game? If not, you can’t talk. You simply don’t know this ahead of time and can’t assume it.

This rain delay hurt Nadal but he got away with it nicely because it hurt Gonzo a lot worse. So relatively speaking, it helped Nadal’s chances against Gonzo (not that I think he would have lost anyway without the delay) but overall I still think he would have been better off without the delay.

Having 3 days off helps more than it hinders. They’re going to have to play back to back matches, so being as well rested as possible before the last two rounds is a good thing.

Duro Says:

“Lets put it this way: If Fed wins against Nole, and JMDL over Nadal, Fed 100%; If Nole wins against Fed, Nole 100% both ways; If Fed wins against Nole, and Rafa against JMDP, Fed 65%, Rafa 35.”

I think I’ll throw in my 2c too.

Fed vs DP: Fed 90%
Fed vs Rafa: 50/50
Djok vs DP: Djok 60%
Djok vs Rafa: Rafa 60%

Fed vs Djok: Fed 75%
DP vs Rafa: DP 60%

When I factor in semi’s odds as well, Federer has the best chances overall of winning the title.

Djokovic is a better player than Nadal on these courts, but in a big match I expect Nadal to wear him down mentally, and maybe even physically if he can drag out the match.

Del Potro is the least experienced of the 4, and I think he will blow his first GS final like Djok and Murray did. He’ll learn from the experience and be back stronger for the second time (like Djok did, and Murray should). He’s got almost no chance against Fed, and contrary to what some say, I believe clay is DP’s best surface, not hard. Sure he won some tournaments on hard, but they were even at Masters level, so the competition was weaker. He’s got no MS titles, and no GS finals yet, so inexperience will hurt him this time.

Fed, there’s not much that needs to be said. He is a much better player than Nadal in general on this kind of court, but they’ve never actually played each other in Canada, Cincy, or the US Open.

It’s clear that on hard courts, Fed is the better player. But is he the better player on the hard stuff when they play against -each other- ? Not clearly so in my opinion. Their H2H on hard courts is 3-3. The first time they ever played was on a hard court, and Nadal won 6-3 6-3 with 3 breaks of serve and never facing a break point. Against everyone else, Fed is way better, but against each other I would say it’s an even match.


Andrew Miller Says:

Nadal adjusts extremely well. I am sure he has a plan for Del Potro. Whatever is ailing Nadal, it certainly isnt his mental capabilities on court: Nadal is winning the strategy game: even providing opponents with a “less than perfect” Nadal, he has triumphed with seemingly few problems.

Winning by out thinking the opponent? Winning despite not playing the best tennis? Getting through matches without expending all energy? Out-smarting opponents, taking advantage of opponents’ mental collapse, playing the correct strategy – playing the right way when conditions are not favorable?

That sounds to me like “grand slam champion”.


jane Says:

Someone said ” It can go both ways. ”

Indeed – and it does. Over and over and over again.


Shaky Says:

Andrew–

“Winning by out thinking the opponent? Winning despite not playing the best tennis? Getting through matches without expending all energy? Out-smarting opponents, taking advantage of opponents’ mental collapse, playing the correct strategy – playing the right way when conditions are not favorable?

That sounds to me like “grand slam champion”.”

Sounds to me like “all four semi-finalists.”

I hate it when people say very haphazardly a player is outsmarting his opponent. It can be true, but often based on what I see I view it mostly as execution, not intelligence on the court, that wins most matches.

The bigger part is because this is often code for “I just don’t like the other guy.” People used to say this all the time about Venus/Serena vs. pretty much everyone that would squeak out a win over them.

But really, your description fits all 4 semi finalists. Not just your boy.


Andrew Miller Says:

Hey, if any of the four semifinalists win, that is good enough for me!

But really, who can disagree that today and against Monfils, Nadal out-smarted his opponent? Monfils’ strategy was clearly a losing one: he put all his energy into winning the first set – the 2nd set was bound to be a let-down. And Nadal even said to himself: “If I am playing like this, I am going to win the match.” He KNEW Monfils would crack – and crack he did.

So when he faced Gonzalez today, he also sensed that Gonzalez would self destruct. So he just let him do it – he played steady enough to win (no one can call today’s tennis “brilliant”). But it was a good decision – to just keep the ball in, with a lot of spin, and watch the opponent falter.

I agree – Federer, Djokovic, Del Potro – they are certainly playing well and thinking better. I dont think it’s just execution – I think taking advantage of conditions, noticing things, making adjustments. Players also have strategies that dont work: what then?

In Federer’s case, he has shown recently (this year) a willingness to do different things to break open a match. He doesnt just execute the same strategy – he notices and makes microadjustments. Against Soderling, he certainly saw that Soderling could not handle serves made down the middle of the court. So, he noticed and capitalized on it.

so sure – they are all capable of this and certainly all doing it. That’s why they’re great!


grendel Says:

“if he loses in the final, after 3 months roger will say he had back pain or something else.
we all make excuses”. (I am it)

True, we do. But it is implausible to suggest Federer will just make up a back pain problem. Or anything else. Some particular problem has to be in place for the excuse maker to be able to pretend it suddenly flared up. What is in place for Federer? If he loses, he’s just going to have to accept it. I don’t suppose he will be gushing with enthusiasm about it, but I expect him to grimly concede the better man won on the day.

“Djokovic has not yet been put in his place.” Fed beat him at Cinci, and if he gets to the final, obviously he will have beaten him again. That is all I meant – and I was, in a sense, putting myself into then other person’s mind. Djoko had been doing well against Fed, so he’ll be happy to turn the tables.I wasn’t talking about rankings at all. They are indeed very fluid.


Andrew Miller Says:

As for Serena and Venus Williams, I am totally in their camp. I think they are really smart players on the court during Grand Slam tournaments (except the french open – I think their results at roland garros prove that). Who can dispute that when the stakes are high, the Williams sisters play better tennis, most of the time?

No codes from me – the results speak for themselves!


Andrew Miller Says:

And if other players beat the Williams sisters, I tip my hat to them. They played better and smarter tennis.


Andrew Miller Says:

Just like Isner did against Roddick: he played a smarter match, Roddick didnt make the necessary adjustments to get a break in the sets he needed to, Isner outplayed him. Verdasco hits a flatter balls – that probably threw off Isner’s rythm (the spinning ball from Roddick did Isner quite a player, rolling into Isner’s strike zone).


steve Says:

Giner: You seem to be insisting that the rain break might potentially have hurt Nadal, so it was very unlucky for him.

My point is very simple: in actuality, it didn’t hurt him at all.

“More like MISforunte smiled upon Gonzalez”

That’s a mere quibble over words. Tennis is a zero-sum game. Bad luck for your opponent = good luck for you.

“Did you actually see this result coming before today?”

No, and I never said that I had. That’s my entire point–that no one predicted it, and it turned out much better than expected.

That’s the very definition of luck: that something that wasn’t expected to go your way did.

Judging on past evidence, Nadal might have had a harder time of it than he did, but it turned out very well for him. And that’s luck–things breaking your way when they might not.

There are endless conspiracy theories insisting that God personally hates Rafael Nadal and goes to especial trouble to keep him from winning, thereby making his achievements all the greater.

Insisting that the universe is conspiring against you is a subtle form of megalomania. To say that you control the world, or that all the world is in collusion to thwart you, is to say in either case that the world revolves around you. And I’m sorry, but that’s just not the case. Not for you or I, and not for Nadal.

Nadal’s a great champion. But he also gets lucky breaks, just like everyone else. And part of his greatness is that he knows how to use the luck when it falls his way. And he did get lucky.


Mindy Says:

I absolutely think that there is much more to winning than mere execution. Tennis is so much a mental game. You have to outthink your opponent. I believe that Fed said after his loss to Rafa in the 2008 Wimbledon final – he had me thinking out there, the great ones always make you think. Which is probably the highest compliment Fed has ever paid Rafa. I like to think that’s why they bring out the best in each other when they play. It’s like a chess match.

I do think Rafa plays smart. He was betting that Monfils would use it all up in that first set and his level of play would drop. He was right. Rafa ran Monfils ragged all over the court in those long rallies. While Rafa kept his level of play high, Monfils couldn’t match his play in the first set. Rafa played just well enough against Gonzo today. Gonzo beat himself by missing everything. Rafa just had to put the ball in play and then let Gonzo blow it. I think it’s the best case scenario for Rafa. The one thing he didn’t need was to come out and have to go full blast for a set or two to win this thing. This way he got it done quickly, got off the court and can get some much needed rest for the semifinals.

I think both Fed and Rafa are highly intelligent, intuitive players who are capable of making adjustments during a match. They both have great instincts on court.

It’s not always the one who plays best who wins. It’s the one who can outthink and outsmart his opponent. There are also what I like to call the “intangibles”, like mental toughness, guts, courage, will to win. They are the things that never show up on a stats sheet, but can be the deciding factor when it comes to winning.


Veno Says:

Andrew Miller Says:

Veno were you a pro-tennis player? You mentioned you know from experience that a rain delay affects players.

Alas, no pro player Andrew. But have a little experience in tourneys where matches were postponed a couple of times and it affected both the players waiting for the next match as the players waiting to be able to complete theirs.

Although obviously not in the same way the pros at a Slam but on principle it’s the same. I am not stating I know what they experience but I used to get in a certain frame of mind where I focussed a lot on what was to come and you internally follow a predetermined sequence and routine which gets easily disturbed when your scheduling changes and it’s not certain when you can pick up your normal routine again.

I and fellow players experienced a too long rest-time as nerving and difficult to cope with.


Andrew Miller Says:

I totally agree with Mindy:

“I think both Fed and Rafa are highly intelligent, intuitive players who are capable of making adjustments during a match. They both have great instincts on court.”

Exactly! Exactly that. I think Djokovic also does this, but to me Djokovic’s game is more unstable. Del Potro is also tough.


Veno Says:

Andrew Miller Says:

I disagree on Nadal as having only high spinning shots – Nadal can also hit flat.

Not really imo, he can hit with a little less spin when a ball is short, but he rarely does. Also Nadal’s extreme grip doesn’t make it possible for him to really hit flat.

Just look at the trajectory of Rafa’s balls in comparison to say Soderling’s, who hits really flat.

Although Rafa is a superb tennis player and athlete and he has done unbelievably much to get better on the other surfaces besides clay, his game will always be that of a great defensive player and grinder based on solidity and retrieving. Not many winners, but hardly UE.

And that’s fine by me, he plays the defensive game unbelievably well and is mentally tougher than anyone, so he matches up great to very attacking players like Fed and that’s why they have already played so many great matches.


Duro Says:

Max, as much as I like Djokovic he cannot possibly be 51% against Fed, unfortunately. But who says we are objective… Nole all the way!!!


Duro Says:

Sar, strange thing, but time is the cure to everything, besides, after Nole’s “Fed is too perfect”, “you cannot play perfect unless you’re Roger Federer” it’s normal that the things are lightened up now.


Henry Says:

To Veno: in 08 Rafa transformed his game into an all court game and hit very flat and deep shots even on clay. Also at Roland Garros 08 he was an agressive, attacking player throughout RG and won all his matches with great ease. That’s why that same year his game allowed him to also win Queens and Wimbledon, Montreal (hard), Olympic Gold on hard, and reach the semis at Cincy and US Open on hard.
This year, after his AO win, he has not played that deep and flat, neither on clay nor on hard and even though he won Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome, to Rafa observers and his own team it was clear he was not playing his best tennis – not even on clay.
So, to come back to the point of Andrew Miller, I totally agree with him that Rafa is more than capable of hitting very flat and deep, but for some reason has not done much of it this year.


madmax Says:

duro and stu! great to see you both here! duro, you seem much calmer – i hope so – (dont mix me up with “max” on this site tho’, similar names but different person – same with “maxim”).

Stu, i loved your post.

Giner/Veno – great comments from you. as always. and Giner – your analysis above i thought was brilliant- I wish i could be so analytical – but i am learning all the time-

-i KNOW that federer can win tomorrow. he has the shots, no weakness in his game- he is “the complete” player out there on the tour (imo)what a sight to behold watching “the federer” play.

VON – where are you? peace man :) I miss your comments on here :(


Duro Says:

Madmax, I am (calm totally) and I am not (mixing you with Max). You were asked something, I think you should respect that.


Veno Says:

hey madmax, thanks and I too miss my gal Von :(


Skorocel Says:

Well, so much for Nadal having to go through 3 “painful” matches within as many days… LOL, that was quick! Anyone still thinking Nadal’s a slow starter? The guy played that tiebreak and the rest of the match as if he was matchpoint down all the time, whereas Gonzo appeared to be everywhere except on the court… Can’t wait for the semis!


Skorocel Says:

One of the headlines from the USO website: “US Open celebrates 25 years of Super Saturday” Ouch!


Skorocel Says:

To giner and steve: Whether that rain break helped Nadal or Gonzo is pointless now. 4 points in a row in that 2nd set breaker and a bagel in the 3rd – that’s all what counts.


Skorocel Says:

i am it: „knees broken and abdomen cracked rafa can reach grand slam semi on hard court. what does that tell you?“

Nothing that I didn’t already know. When it really matters, there are only 2 players: Nadal and Federer.

——-

Kimo: „but just imagine if he wins this US Open and follows it up with an Australian!!!“

Are you talking about Nadal here? :-) Just kidding…

„Even the most loyal of Laver fans who are still clinging on to his 1969 grand slam would then have to let go of their stubborn-ness.“

Laver’s calendar slam (even though achieved on 2 surfaces) > Roger slam

——-

Veno: „On a sidenote, the shorts-picking by Nadal, must be one of the most annoying things to watch as a tennis spectator. I had the feeling before his injury that he was decreasing the amounts he does it, but this Open, sheesh………“

Guess he just needed to recharge his batteries ;-) LOL!

——-

grendel: „The surface suits Federer more than Nadal, and his game is currently good. But where is his mind?“

THAT’s the question!

——-

Andrew Miller: „That said: results-wise, Gonzo is the best chilean player of all time (that includes Massu and the best ballstriker I’ve ever seen, Marcelo Rios).“

I don’t think so. In slams, they’re maybe even (both reached the AO final once, got to 5 quarterfinals, but Gonzo also has that one recent FO semifinal), but Rios won 5 MS tourneys (IW, Miami, and as one of only three players besides Nadal and Kuerten also the MC + Rome + Hamburg combo), whereas Gonzo none. Of course, Fernando has that last year’s final appearance at the Olympics (+ bronze medal from Athens), but frankly, it’s still not enough to outweigh those Rios’s 5 MS wins.


chloe Says:

Let’s accept that Delpo has beaten Rafa twice, there are extenuating cicumstances, i.e Rafa was still feeling his way in Cincy, and those were best of 3 sets.

Everyone keeps saying how well Delpo has played at the USO, he beat Monaco and Meltzer convincingly, Koellerer in 4 sets, Ferrero retired after taking the first set 6:1 and Del Potro winning the next 2 and Cilic in 4. But Cilic outclassed him in the first set.

Rafa, on the other hand had to beat, Gasquet, Kiefer, Almagro, Monfils and Gonzalez and he’s only dropped one set.

Rafa loves being the underdog, so we’ll see.


Veno Says:

Side stepping to Golf…..Woods is ripping up the course in round 3 of the “Beemer” Championship in Illinois.

Sorry, but this waiting on play is worse for the fans than it is for the players :)


Veno Says:

Chloe, Rafa lost 2 sets :)


grendel Says:

Chloe, not only did Rafa lose 2 sets (Kiefer and Monfils), Gasquet is not yet Gasquet (although frankly, he’s never Gasquet against Nadal; he ought to remember that time in Monte Carlo, when he beat Fed – remember that outrageous bh down the line to clinch the match, and then he went on to compete on level terms with Nadal until running out of gas; so much promise unfulfilled). Almagro just goes thru the motions against Nadal:they say, don’t they, that in some matches, both players know who’s going to win before they even start. What proceeds is some sort of ritual which, to the unwary, has the genuine look of a game of tennis.

What d’you mean Ferrero took 1st set 6-1 against delPot and retired? He was straight setted, though he played well, I thought, but was outgunned.

Also, Cilic played out of his mind in the first set. If he can ever play like that for 3 sets, everyone else might as well go home. As it was, del Potro was positively Nadal like as he calmly rode out the storm.

It’s true, Nadal likes being underdog. But he isn’t. Either man could win, nobody has any clue, whereas Federer is slight favourite against Djokovic.


Mindy Says:

I just wanted to jump in here and say that I do not agree with the idea of enforcing the time limit. Are some of you confusing the sport of tennis with beat the clock? I don’t have any problem with players taking a little longer to serve. We also have the showboaters like Monfils and Tsonga and even sometimes Gonzo to entertain us with their hijinks between points.

Tennis is not a sprinting race. I have no problem with a slower pace. It’s nice to see players who can actually think on court, change strategies, make adjustments, and use their instincts to good advantage.

What I do NOT enjoy is seeing two giants smashing huge serves at 130 or higher, then cracking one point or maybe two and point over. That’s not tennis as far as I am concerned. I don’t have to watch players being timed by a clock or a buzzer or a bell or whatever. That is just absurd. Rules are rules and if they wanted to enforce that particular rule, then they would.

Also, I have noticed that it seems to be common place for some here to write Rafa’s epitaph. I think it takes a lot of gall to even attempt to write off a 23 year old tennis player. But then I am going to hear the arguments about his knees, all his injuries, how he can’t last, won’t last, will retire, won’t win more than 10 slams, won’t get into double figures in slams, etc. Yes, those are all specific comments I have read.

But there is a contradiction at work here. Many have said that Rafa uses his injuries as an excuse, Uncle Toni has been accused of doing that to lower expectations for Rafa. Fans of Rafa have been accused of painting him as the victim, citing his many injuries. So, on the one hand those who dislike Rafa want to write him off because of his injuries, yet then they say that he is using injuries as an excuse when he doesn’t win. So which is it? You can’t have it both ways.

I have no idea why anyone would think they might have a clue as to when Rafa will retire or be finished in tennis. That’s for Rafa to decide. If anyone here had a crystal ball and could tell the future, then and only then would they know that they were right. Otherwise, it’s just mind games or maybe wishful thinking. I am wondering why some here are so anxious for Rafa to leave the world of tennis? If there is nothing to fear from Rafa and he isn’t a threat, then why do some even bother to write his epitaph. If someone isn’t a real threat, then he would normally be ignored. But somehow that doesn’t happen here.

It really makes a Rafa fan like myself wonder.


Mindy Says:

Skorocel,

Don’t tell me that you are that rarified creature here known as a Rafa fan. Now you don’t want to annoy all those people who talk about enforcing the time rule in between points and who continue to accuse Rafa of stalling or slowing down the points, now do you?

You made a great point about how fast Rafa was playing earlier today. The ESPN commentators were also mentioning how quickly he was serving on Thursday night. Rafa also did it with Monfils, as he was trying to rile up the crowd to give him time to get his breath after another long rally.

I realize you may be trying to interject a reality check here, but don’t try to spoil it for the ones who love to take shots at Rafa. They won’t like it.


Skorocel Says:

Mindy: Actually, I’m a Fed fan in the first place – no kidding here! I’m just tired of all the excuses which the vast majority of the Fed fans usually bring up when it comes to discussing your fave or Fed’s H2H against him, you know. I maybe don’t like his game as it is vastly based on “safety first & make the opponent miss” approach, but that doesn’t mean I’m oblivious to the facts. Nadal’s beaten Fed in their last 3 slam meetings, has a positive H2H with almost every living soul on the ATP tour (including the Swiss), and is capable of winning tournaments on every surface (which some people here have evidently problems to digest). Between Wimby 2008 and RG 2009, he was clearly the best player in the world, and he may very well return there if he wins the USO. Should be interesting today…

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ATP - Dec 15 WTA - Dec 15
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Kei Nishikori5 Ana Ivanovic
6 Andy Murray6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Milos Raonic8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Angelique Kerber
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