Juan Martin del Potro — The Future is Now
by Dan Martin | September 15th, 2009, 9:19 am
  • 204 Comments

Belief in Victory

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray entered the U.S. Open finals in 2007 and 2008 in a similar position to Juan Martin del Potro in 2009. Each was a first time Grand Slam finalist taking on the defending champion and tennis icon Roger Federer. Djokovic broke Federer’s serve to take a 6-5 lead in the opening set and raced to a 40-0 lead. Roger somehow broke serve and won the first set in a tiebreak. Murray nervously stationed himself well beyond the baseline hoping to work his way into the match only to have his court positioning exploited by Federer. To Djokovic and Murray’s credit, both realized they did not play their best tennis in those matches, and each exacted some revenge on Roger in subsequent meetings. Djokovic’s 2008 Australian Open semifinal victory over Federer being a particularly satisfying way to avenge a U.S. Open loss.

The 2009 final was following the pattern of 2007 and 2008. Juan Martin del Potro trailed by a break in the second set after being outclassed in the first set. The Argentine battled back with some explosive forehand passing shots that reversed the momentum of the match. Del Potro won the second set tiebreak 7-5 on one mini-break. Del Potro looked to have claimed control of the match with a break of serve to lead 4-3 in the third set only to have Federer immediately break back and hold. Del Potro seemed to choke as he hit two double faults to lose the third set.

The script at this point read that Federer breaks serve early in the fourth set and wins the U.S. Open. Del Potro had other ideas and saved break points in his first two service games of the fourth set. Another tiebreak was upon both players and del Potro took advantage of a Federer double fault to win again on a single mini-break. Despite saving a break point when serving at 2-0 in the fifth set, del Potro basically dominated the final frame of play.

Juan Martin del Potro won in part because he did not ever check out of the match. The second set and early portions of the fourth set offered circumstances in which many players have folded versus Federer. Roger played a great first set and had a solid game plan. Del Potro weathered the storm, kept hitting the ball and eventually imposed his style of match on Federer. How many drop shots and net approaches did Federer attempt when court positioning was in his favor? How many did Federer attempt in the final three sets? Perseverance helped del Potro play the match on his terms.

Chippy Stuff?

John McEnroe mentioned that Novak Djokovic played well in the semifinal, but never projected belief that he could beat Federer. I generally agree. Juan Martin del Potro asked for a let when a plastic cup blew onto the court in the second set. He used the challenge system judiciously even when it irked Federer. He contested a use of the challenge system by Federer. I am not positing a feud between these two players. They like one another and that was evident in comments before their French Open semifinal showdown as much as it was in post match comments at the U.S. Open. What I do contend, is that del Potro conducted himself as though he belonged on the same court as Federer.

Spanish

It is too bad that CBS, the USTA and Lexus could not afford a few moments for Juan Martin del Potro to address his family and Argentine fans in Spanish. The fact that del Potro insisted on doing so once again demonstrates that he is determined and mentally tough.

No Pressure = Lack of Hunger?

After the French Open, Roger Federer ended a quixotic quest and completed a career Grand Slam. He contended that he could play the rest of his career without pressure. Yet, Federer had unfinished business at Wimbledon and played a tense final with purpose and came away with a five set win and a sixth Wimbledon title. After losing the U.S. Open final due in no small part to sub par serving, Federer seemed oddly at peace. I think Roger wanted a sixth U.S. Open title, but it is worth monitoring his no pressure approach to tennis in 2010.

A Taller Game

Tennis is getting taller. Juan Martin del Potro is not always graceful, but he moves surprisingly well while generating tremendous power. Marin Cilic is 6’6” and reached the quarterfinals. These two seem to be the most coordinated of the tall brigade, but other tall players have made strides this year as well. Tennis in 2015 may be populated with tall players crushing serves and ground strokes. It is too early to give the keys to the city to taller players, but anyone under 6’4” might want to add a solid slice backhand and drop shot to their repertoire. So long as most of these taller players model their games after del Potro, I think the sport will be fine.

Kim Clijsters

Hats off to Kim Clijsters for winning the U.S. Open for a second time. One way to look at her return and victory is that the WTA lacks depth. Another way to see it, is that the WTA now has another quality player active in the game.

Women’s Doubles and the USTA

While Venus Williams has to be happy that the USTA did not suspend Serena, I have to wonder what message it sends that on Saturday night a player can cross many lines and on Monday afternoon a player can win a Grand Slam doubles crown? I suspect the ITF may be considering a suspension from the 2010 Australian Open and this motivated Serena’s second apology and post-doubles match third apology. Venus and Serena have now won ten women’s doubles Grand Slams and two Olympic Gold medals in doubles. These doubles victories are helping both of their legacies. If I am Venus, I ask Serena not to jeopardize doubles opportunities.

Final Thought

Juan Martin del Potro won his first Grand Slam title by beating two great players consecutively. He won two tiebreakers without dropping a service point. He reacted to victory with joy and humility. Tennis can make headlines for human failings, but tennis is best when news is being written about 110 mph forehands.


Also Check Out:
Juan Martin Del Potro Says Messi Can Be Greater Than Maradona
Juan Martin del Potro: I Think I’m Playing Better Now Than When I Won The US Open
Bad News, Juan Martin Del Potro Withdraws From Rafael Nadal Match with Hip Injury
Rafael Nadal: I’m Worried About My Foot Injury
Juan Martin Del Potro Was Robbed Today At A Paris Train Station

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204 Comments for Juan Martin del Potro — The Future is Now

Dianne Says:

The ESPN, CBS commentary was horrible. John McEnroe is so obviously for anyone besides Federer it is unbearable to listen to his constant chatter the whole match. Why does he only discuss the strategy the “other” opponents need to do particularly when Roger is playing. If I have to listen to this constant chatter give me both sides of strategy.
No one will ever beat Federer in the record books. 22 GS SF and 15 finals.


Tejuz Says:

Agree with you Dan :-)

Del Potro’s body language was always positive and he seemed to have the belief, especially after that French open semifinals.. lot has happened between then and now.. he has beaten many big players. Am really glad he will be in the mix when we discuss about top-players. I hope he stays uninjured and win more slams along the way


thetennisguy Says:

Dan,

Thank you very much for this beautiful, insightful write up! Please do more write up comparisons like this because you’ve got some great ideas!!

My favorite part in your article was the “Spanish” … this was truly horrible of Enberg … he’s got to go. It was readily apparent they were trying to usher the ceremonies off as quickly as possible. We as fans have been waiting 2 weeks to see a champion crowned and here he is … he’s a new guy … he’s in the USA and we’re treating him like crap. This sucks.

As for coverage, thankfully Tennis Channel had Martina and Jimmy doing some fine commentary and not talking too much about themselves like the McEnroe / Enberg / Carrillo debacle on CBS. Thankfully TC takes tennis seriously.

Oh, and CBS also blacks out the internet live feeds so you can’t watch those on the USTA web site. CBS Die. Die. Die.


Tennis Mom Says:

I totally disagree with the Tennis Guy with regard to the commentators! The Tennis Channel has ruined the commentary, as Martina constantly & consistently talks through a live point!I had to mute the sound sooo many times!She also does way too much talking about herself.I did,however, really enjoy Jimmy Connors and Justin Gimelstob was ok,too. John McEnroe is a Professional with his dialogue, as is brother Patrick. I DO agree with TheTennis Guy’s analysis of Dick Enberg, and not allowing DelPotro to speak Spanish. That was tacky! Good thing Del Potro was insistent!


St4r5 Says:

Del Potro’s games rely much on his size, he is tall and big, therefore he has better reach and is strong. Fed’s games rely on his natural talent. Del Potro can beat Fed on one condition that is he plays at the top level of his ability all through out the match without losing focus. I really don’t think Del Potro can do it all the time, on the other hand, Fed can beat Del Potro without having to play his “A” game because he has so much variety. I like to say that the next time they meet, Fed will be ready and morelikely will win the match.


Steve@TennisNewz Says:

Great match by Del Potro. I didn’t know if he’d be able to handle the pressure but he never let up. Also very smart preparation for the tournament by taking two weeks off prior to make sure he was well rested. Other than his serving Federer played a pretty solid match but was just beaten by a very confident player who kept hitting great shots.

I couldn’t believe that at first they didn’t let him say anything in Spanish because they were ‘running out of time’ and needed to talk more about what kind of car he had won. The guy just won the US Open, give him time to talk. In the end he was able to say a bit but that’s brutal that they would actually not allow him to talk. And it’s a tennis match with no set duration. How can you be short on time? It could have still been going on if it had gone to a tiebreak.

The CBS coverage was really bad but that’s nothing new. I couldn’t even watch Oudain’s matches with the sound on. When she was playing Sharapova they kept going on about how she was only 17. That’s nice. When Sharapova was 17 she won Wimbledon. There hasn’t been much going in in US Tennis other than Roddick and the Williams sisters for a long time, but give it a rest until Oudain gets some results. Has a lot of potential but that was brutal commentating. Yesterday was pretty bad as well. They were on serve and McEnroe was acting like Federer was about to win the match. I’ve always found they tend to back one player and not give the other any credit. You can see it by their reaction to similar winners by each player. I think it’s actually the worse when Serena is playing. They don’t give anyone else any credit. Even if she’s losing badly and makes one nice shot they are always act like it’s the turning point in the match and the other player no longer has any hope. They spend the whole match talking about her and rarely mention anything her opponent does. But I guess it’s similar when they are covering any good American player.


Joe W Says:

Great article and topic contruction Dan as always.

Have to say you called this win before the first ball was struck at the Open…

I’ve never seen Fed pushed around the court like he was in the last two sets. He was really overpowered and his serve failed him.


potro Says:

the king is dead, long live the king


i am it Says:

beautifully written, dan.
i would have added another paragraph on where dePo stands among the top players and his future prospects. which you had covered in your comments en passim.

thanks for covering the Spanish under Chippy Stuff.

A Taller Game needs a more cautious approach. height alone does not yield fruit. it has its upsides and down sides. generally more downsides than upsides. from movement through low balls. dePo at 6’6″ is the tallest player to ever win a Slam. this is more an exception than a pattern. we know why Ivo at 6’10″ has not won any and why Isner will never win one.
Grand Slam title requires more a solid well-rounded game than height. ask 5’8″ rod laver, 5’9″ michael chang, and 5’10″ poncho gonzales, to name a few.
ONE 6’6″ guy’s win does not promise much.

if you are looking into future take into account the fact that humans have been becoming shorter. yet, you say—”Tennis in 2015 may be populated with tall players crushing serves and ground strokes…taller players model their games after del Potro.”
my response is they simply cannot. if it were that simple they would not have awaited dePo’s arrival for a model. do you really think all that tall players needed was a model to copy?

you end it impressively–”tennis is best when news is being written about 110 mph forehands.”


jane Says:

Excellent article Dan! I pleasure to read, as always.

“del Potro conducted himself as though he belonged on the same court as Federer.”

This is half the battle innit? I like how you say earlier that JMDP “never checked out” of the match either. He stood his ground, he never gave up — and lo and behold — he won. Hopefully, the other young players, Djok and Murray, will watch and take note. Same with Roddick, although I think at Wimbledon this year Roddick showed that he too believes.

I was thinking that maybe they should’ve had JMDP “pimping” those “BELIEVE” sneakers. LOL.

i am going to ask the same question a third time, then I promise I’ll leave it alone — does anyone think, after witnessing that final featuring 30-odd forehand winners, that JMDP’s forehand is now the best, or at least one of the top 3? 5?, forehands in tennis? It seems to me that it is in the top 3 for sure, maybe higher. Wow.


jane Says:

pls. note error – “I pleasure” s/b “A pleasure”.


Dan Martin Says:

Thanks for the feedback. I did say JMDP would win the US Open last Tuesday when I did my radio interview. Skipping Cincy was important. If JMDP ups his conditioning and loses some of the nerves he had at the outset, he will be even tougher. Handling success can be tricky, but JMDP seems very focused and hungry. One person I spoke with at Cincy raised the point that many of the top 30 players have a lot of talent, but once they get some money they start to embrace being top 30 instead of aiming higher. He said something along the lines of “Some of these guys are banking 500,000 or more every year after taxes and coaching salaries, they are driving nice cars, dating beautiful women and traveling the world. Are they really willing to do that extra road work, play with extra discipline etc. to become slam contenders? Most aren’t.” JMDP seems to be one who is.


Dan Martin Says:

Yahoo sports has some nice photos of JMDP with the trophy up – sports.yahoo.com/ten – look for photos the specific URL is really too long to paste


been there, done that Says:

Dan,

Great article. I’ve been harping on about the height thing for the past two weeks….Del.P was literally being written off by many mainly ‘coz of his ‘questionable’ fitness & partly ‘coz of his height. Tennis is becoming a tall man’s game & the likes of Roger & Fed at 6’1″ are just average. Even the women are becoming taller. As far as Karlovic is concerned, I believe he decided to develop his serve, but even with a few improvements he was able to blow out Verdasco & Tsonga off @Wimby & reached qtrs. So as much as he is impeded by height, I believe that had he bothered to develop other parts of his game he would have been a bit more successful.

Back to del.P, if his fitness is still questionable, then he might find it difficult winning master series seeing that they are back-to-back….but for grandslams, the day in of rest between mean that he will always be ready, fully fit or not.

>>Re:12:46pm post:
I also believe that not all players are in it to win everything in their sights, e.g. Davydenko…..he could care less if he wins or loses. lol. The ‘i must win & improve’ mentality is seen in the likes of Soderling & JMDP. Blake also has it but is just not improving. gasquet…he couldn’t care less…maybe after his cocaine-kiss ordeal, we might see more effort from him.


i am it Says:

j, most would contend that it is one of the best forehand in the tour, if not the best.
when the same question was asked, fed named a few in his interview and refrained from calling it the best in the world (for unknown reasons). he said—”I guess he hits it well on the forehand side. The inside‑out is good, too. But I mean, there are some better ones out there. He definitely strikes it with great pace and good margin, too…I don’t know if I could put it up to González and Blake and Nadal. He’s got a very good forehand, but I don’t know if it’s the best in the world right now.”
for me, it is the best i have seen in the last decade. it is 110+/- mph and it is consistent. and the way dePo slaps down and the sound it produces are just unparalleled.


vared Says:

Are they really willing to do that extra road work, play with extra discipline etc. to become slam contenders? Most aren’t.”

Dan, I agree here. Ana I. seems to be lazy and greedy right now. She’s seen with her golf boyfriend Adam Scott and they must have conflicting schedules so I am sure they are both slacking off on practice, etc. She is making money modeling but in the end must decide is she wants to make the sacrifices needed. Who knows? Maybe she is the marrying type.


jane Says:

Thx i am it. I hadn’t read the post-match pressers so didn’t even know that was a question posed to Fed. What is remarkable to me about Delpo’s forehand was how *few* errors he made off that side. It just seemed like winner after winner. We know, however, that a couple of others Fed named -Blake and Gonza- can often miss the mark and spray forehands like crazy (witness the last set of Gonza/Nadal quarter, for e.g.). Nadal’s forehand is “up there” because of the unique buggy whip and tremendous top spin. But to me JMDP’s forehand has to considered one of the more formidable weapons in the game if he can hit at that speed and with that much accuracy so consistently.


been there, done that Says:

Jane@ 12:35,
Re:forehands: Roger reckons gonzalez, Blake & Nadal have better forehands….he should know ‘coz he actually plays them…..but as he says, doesn’t matter ‘coz JMDP won. hehe. Here’s the bit from his yesterdays interview:

Q. Could you talk about his forehand, just talk about it and how it compares to other big forehands on the tour.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it’s different. I guess he hits it well on the forehand side. The inside‑out is good, too. But I mean, there are some better ones out there. He definitely strikes it with great pace and good margin, too. Sometimes he hits crazy ones, too, but that’s what happens when you go for it a lot. He has a great technique at backhand. Rock solid.

Q. The other ones, you’ve spoken highly of González’s forehand. Who are the others, the better ones?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, his is different. I don’t know if I could put it up to González and Blake and Nadal. He’s got a very good forehand, but I don’t know if it’s the best in the world right now. I don’t think so. But it doesn’t matter. He won the match, right? Doesn’t matter if you have a great backhand or forehand.


Dan Martin Says:

I think JMDP has the best offensive forehand due to the winners he can hit and the consistency he hits with (Blake and Gonzo go off the grid more often). Fed and Rafa both have better defense on the FH wing, but when JMDP’s serve is setting him up and his returns and backhand are working he is not often scrambling.


jane Says:

Dan, good point about defensive vs. offensive forehands; I hadn’t really thought of that distinction. I agree on Blake/Gonza – said the same in my 1:26 post.

been there, done that – thanks for the interview excerpt; I should read those, but haven’t got round to it yet…


Dan Martin Says:

Jane should I start posting under – Daniel Martin (del Potro)?


margot Says:

Dan: perhaps you should! Ages ago tennisfreaks called me “Miss Margot Murray” which I actually thought was hilarious!


Dan Martin Says:

I like it Margot. I do tell people I play like a fat Federer (more like Stanislas Wawrinka’s fat cousin), but the one handed backhand and all court game plus some extra pounds does draw laughs when I mention it to people who have seen me play.


andrea Says:

after re-watching the match, i have to say that roger didn’t look like he really wanted to be there….especially noticeable during the 4th set tiebreaker (which was abysmal for him) and then the 5th set.

didn’t see that same vibe during the wimbledon final, but i guess as he said during the presser – everything that happened to him this summer…what more could he ask for?

that being said, he had his chances to close out the match and got outplayed at key moments.

you sense that the crowds don’t mind an upset but roger is so well liked that most people want him to win anyway.

i’m not so sure that i want to get into the debate of who has the better forehand etc. it seems that whatever player has minorly shone through at key moments – novak, murray or del potro – everyone is quick to heap on the accolades.


been there, done that Says:

Re: chippy stuff,
The mood during the match was definitely testy, & not in a competitive sort of way…just very uneasy from all the bad calls, umpire not enforcing rules, telling Roger to be quiet, Roger cursing, etc. It was like, yeah, I’m the umpire, & at this moment, I’ve got power over you & going to show you. lol. Not good at all. I was glad when it all over.

These umpires should stop sitting pretty on their high chairs & start enforcing the rules. Also, if someone from the crowd shouts ‘out’ or whatever, & everyone has heard it, how can the umpire claim he didn’t hear it….how is a player to know it wasn’t called by a lines judge seeing that they are so highly concentrating on returning the serve?

Honestly, some of these umpires are really annoying….wait for the machine for a let call & call out the scores…job done! I believe most of the little ‘feuds’ on-court could be avoided if the umpires bothered to enforce rules, especially pertaining to timing. I don’t remember who umpired Roger vs Roddick @wimbledon but I think he did a pretty good job, & depite it being highly competitive, the general mood was quite good.

They ought to do the umpiring & defuse situations, not get involved in a verbal contest with the players. Even the Serena thing, as much as she was wrong, I believe the umpire could have done more instead on being the ‘powerless, I didn’t see/hear nothing’ so let me call the tournament director. It really shouldn’t have gotten that far.


Kimo Says:

The top umpires are known: Lahyani, Graff, Ramos, Maria and Bernardes. Only these five gentlemen should be given the tough duty of umpiring a grand slam final.


vared Says:

According to TV channel RTBF, Justine Henin has placed an order for 14 racquets tailored to her specifications and may announce her comeback in a press conference held as early as this week.


huh Says:

Great article as always by Dan Martin! :) By the way belated congrats to Kim Clijsters, she’s so good, thank God, she’s back1 And if Henin indeed returns, WTA would become very very interesting indeed! That said, women must be paid only 60% of the prize money in comparison to male players. Why give them equal money for giving us some boring and uninspiring mechanical tennis? Just look at the mens’ tour, three epic matches at AO, USO & WIM final! The French Open final wasn’t bad either, at least way better than any of the semis or finals of this year’s women’s tennis! Women honestly don’t deserve equal treatment re: prize money at slams! Either reduce their prize money drastically or make them play 5 set matches compulsorily in the finals and if possible, in both finals and semifinals. Otherwise it’s in my opinion, a cruel joke. :(


huh Says:

IMO, Fed & JMDP have the best forehands, Fed’s absolutely the best forehand no doubt, JMDP’s 2nd. And the best backhands CURRENTLY IN BUSINESS surely belong to 1.Murray and 2. Rafa. If Gasquet were playing full-fledgedly then the best backhand without doubt belongs to him, superior than Murray but only equal to Nalbandian(may be you’re surprised but I think ultimately the backhand masters are Gasquet and Nalbandian !


Von Says:

Dan Martin:

Thank you for a very insightful, illuminating, concise and complimentary article on behalf of Juan Martin delPotro, kudos to you!!

I’ve always maintained that Gonzo’s FH is *nuclear*, as was evident especially during the ’06 AO, and yesterday I commented in the form of a question about the similarity between JMDP’s and Gonzo’s FH. At the time of writing, JMDP was hitting his FH extremely hard and his powerful FH hitting caused him to grunt, but hit out of the court too long. His grunts were audible only in the instances throughout the match, when he put more umpf on his FH, which tells me that his shot emphasis is concentrated on his FH.

After the DC final, JMDP stated, he likes to play on HC using his serve and FH, but he did not like to bend and/or run. In light of what JMDP stated, I believe it’s safe to assume that his MO in matches will be: the huge serve, followed by powerful FHs (inside the court, ha ha) = point won. That’s exactly the MO JMDP adhered to during his match vs. Federer, especially when other parts of his game weren’t clicking = USO champion. If I were a player, (that is provided they read his remarks) I’d try to keep him running, stay away from his FH, and hit flat down to his shoe laces, thereby preventing him from returning anything with his FH and thus annihilating one of his major strengths. However, there’s very little anyone can do to dilute his serve, especially when he serves out wide or to the body. JMDP loves to employ the use of the wide kick serve, which is nonreturnable, but anything up the ‘T” I think the players should at least try to block it back and keep him as long as possible in the rally, and stay away from his FH.

I’ve been harping on the advantage the taller guys have vs. the guys below 6’2″ (pro), and some have countered with their lack of movement (con), however, with a huge serve and FH, I still feel that the taller ‘giants’ are way in front of the other players and have the added advantage as opposed to the shorter guys. The power the taller guys are able to generate from their arm strength is unmatched by a shorter player, plus they have the added advantage of being able to see further on the court.

Below is my comment:

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-09-14/2348.php#comment-99990


Von Says:

correction: “His grunts were audible only in the instances throughout the match,”

s/b His grunts were audible only in *those* instances …


grendel Says:

Dan Martin, Zinaldo, MMT, Andrea – all point, with different types of emphasis (in the case of Zinaldo, to put it mildly) to a different caste of mind in Federer.

Federer was not the same player after the cup incident. He certainly let it get to him in a way which would have been unthinkable when he still had urgent goals to attend to.

It is difficult to altogether avoid the feeling that Federer came to be crowned. Apart from Hewitt and perhaps Greul (neither of whom represented serious danger for Fed) Delpo was the only opponent Federer faced who projected the feeling that he was there to fight and win a battle. One had the strange feeling that Federer slightly resented this (how dare he, this is my court, my slam, my title….).

The anger wasn’t deep, more a kind of seething irritation. Once he’d realised Delpo was going to win, there was a resigned air about Federer. So at the presentation, he was able to accept his defeat with reasonably good grace. It clearly didn’t matter to him the way loss at the AO did.

So you have to wonder. How hard is Federer prepared to work, especially mentally, in preparation for future slams? Can he really get to grips with the hunger of the young?

The one thing I can see might push him to re-engage in the battle is boredom, and a reignited craving for the attention he sees going to others. Tennis is Federer’s life, and hopefully he will remember this when it is not too late to still do something about it.

None of this is to take away from Delpo, easily the most exciting young talent in the world for me. The thought that he can, and will, improve, is, as they say, mid blowing.


grendel Says:

Correction to the above: of course, Soderling, when he finally woke up, was a lethal danger to Fed, and Federer was a little bit fortunate it didn’t go to a 5th. In that event, my money would have been on Soderling.


Von Says:

Re: Chippy Stuff? Judging from the fiasco yesterday and Saturday night, is it any wonder the players jaw at the umpires for wrong calls due to their ineptness? I don’t blame any player for ripping the umps. IMO, much of it is deserved and brought by the umpires upon themselves. The umpires’ ineptness in some matches and towards some players (they have their faves) have caused matches to swing and a player to lose a match.

With the advent of the HE challenge system, we’ve seen more umps becoming in-active as opposed to pro-active, and the burden/responsibility shifted from the umps’ shoulders onto the players which has reached epidemic proportions among the ump crew. The majority of them are just content to passively sit like a bump on a log, staring into space, pretending to be deaf and mute and let the players and the technology do their jobs. I think the ATP/WTA/ITF, should revamp their rules and fine the umpires for their ineptness, with the emphasis that the umpires should leave their exalted position of sitting high up and get down to the court level if there’s a problem on the court.


jane Says:

andrea says re: accolades are heaped on those who’ve “minorly shone through at key moments”.

Er, I’d say that JMDP more than “minorly shone through”; the guy just won his first slam, taking out Rafa then Fed. That’s pretty majorly shiny imo. He deserves the consideration and the accolades.


jane Says:

“Daniel Martin (del Potro)?” – hey Dan, I like it!


Mike Says:

Speaking of powerful forehands (and I’m in no way suggesting that this player’s overall forehand rates even in the top 5 on the tour), when Tursonov uncorks his I think it’s up there in terms of raw power. I’d like to see a speed gun on his and Gonzo’s to see which one has more oomph.


Von Says:

andrea has run true to form again, whereby she never gives any player, save her fave, recognition and respect for their valiant efforts. Way to go andrea, you’ve done it again!!!

Also, I have to disagree with andrea that Federer appeared as not wanting to be there in the match. Well, if that’s the performance of a player not wanting to be there, then I’d say Fed’s a very good actor, and I’d like to suggest Fed take up acting as in the movies, and leave tennis for those greener pastures, because his acting skills are superb. I say this, due to what I perceive to be Federer’s fighting spirit in that match, even though his serve was sub-par and he, at times, used poor shot selection. However,despite it all, Federer fought to win that match, even becoming angry at a bad call and the umpire. I don’t think any player who does not want to be at a match would display that type of emotion.

In sum, I think andrea is selling her fave short on his dedication to the sport in her efforts to diminish JMDP’s win. Way to go andrea, and keep it up!!!!


Von Says:

Mike: I agree on Tursunov’s FH. A few years ago, especially during Russia’s DC SF match v. the US, Tursunov did some huge damage to Roddick in that 5 setter match with his FH, thus enabling Russia to win that tie. Nowadays, Tursunov has veered away from exploiting his FH, his main weapon, and it’s one of the reasons his game has deteriorated.


Skorocel Says:

i am it on JMDP’s forehand: „for me, it is the best i have seen in the last decade.“

Looks like you haven’t seen that much from that last decade, have you? ;-) No offence to JMDP – his FH is simply bludgeoning, but when it comes to this stroke, there’s absolutely no one who could match the Federer’s FH from his peak years (2004-2006). Back then, he could basically win 90 % of his matches just with this particular shot – such was his FH good. It had everything – power, speed, disguise, superb placement, it was VERY reliable, but most importantly, thanks to that crazy flick of Federer’s wrist, it could change the direction (and eventually the outcome) of the rally literally in a flash. I’m not quite sure whether JMDP’s, Blake’s or Gonzo’s FHs have all these attributes. Nadal’s FH is a special case. On clay, it’s without question THE shot in the game, but on hard, it can sometimes be exposed (or better said nullified) by big hitters such as the three guys mentioned above. On the other hand, Federer’s FH in his prime was almost as effective on hard as on clay.


Von Says:

Hey Skorocel, let’s not forget my old fave Pistol Pete’s running FH — a thing of beauty.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘Von:
I’ve been harping on the advantage the taller guys have vs. the guys below 6′2″ (pro), and some have countered with their lack of movement (con), however, with a huge serve and FH, I still feel that the taller ‘giants’ are way in front of the other players and have the added advantage as opposed to the shorter guys. The power the taller guys are able to generate from their arm strength is unmatched by a shorter player, plus they have the added advantage of being able to see further on the court.’

A short player using heavier/longer racket can hit as hard as a taller player. And more raw power is useless unless you can control it with enough topspin to keep the ball in court. So tall players do get advantage on the serve, but on groundies you need to maintain low center of gravity for best results and tall players don’t necessarily get any unfair advantage.


Mary Says:

“What I do contend, is that del Potro conducted himself as though he belonged on the same court as Federer.”

Great point. Del Potro did not act like a gawking tourist on court.

Any opinion about the lousy calls during the USO and the inconsitency in calls in general?

Nole was five for six on hawkeye calls at one point in Sunday’s semi.

I guess del Potro has arrived because, as far as I know, this is his first cr%ptacutal pic on Tennis-X. Here’s looking to many more.


i am it Says:

i did not say it is the best. i said “for me.”

i like fed’s speed: the time between the ball’s traverse, foot work, and response. fed generates his forehand’s power more out of shoulder rotation than from arm.
fed’s looks more beautiful.
i like dePo’s forehand better. its power comes more from arm and wrist. occasionally he adds power from his body, when on the run or when the ball is easy and he has more time.
dePo’s looks brutal.
that’s just my personal taste.


been there, done that Says:

“…to what I perceive to be Federer’s fighting spirit in that match, even though his serve was sub-par and he, at times, used poor shot selection…”

Exactly. the man pushed Del.P to five sets on a mainly second serve game. His average 1st serve for the whole match was just 50%!…..at one point during a set, the commentators were like “omg, in this set, so far, his first serve is just 13%!”. it was that bad. Anyone else with such an abysmal 1st serve would have been wiped out in 3sets by almost any top30 player. Not to mention 11 double-faults from ROGER. He goes through entire tournaments without that many. Unbelievable…..stranger things have happened. Maybe he had a problem which we don’t know about…or maybe the serve just went. It happens-nothing to do with lack of fight.

I don’t understand why people question Roger’s ‘state of mind’ & motivation. He reached the finals & lost in 5 sets….even if he lost in 3 sets, 0-6,1-6,2-6….it wouldn’t have been because of lack of motivation since he’s already in the finals. Del-potro played well, & Roger’s serve went awol. it happens. Nadal’s serve also failed it in the semis. It happens-I doubt it means he’s not motivated!

Only Roger has reached ALL FOUR grand-slam finals in 2009, won 2, & lost 2 to two great champions in 5 sets (though as I said, doesn’t matter if he lost in 3, 4 or 5). In his ”08 ‘downfall’ year, he still reached 3 finals. If this is someone who lacks motivation & not fighting hard enough, then I doubt anyone else in the ATP tour is. If this was the case, he may have as well lost his 1st round match (lose 1st set & retire), fulfilled ATP rules of appearing & spent quality time with wife & kids.

Also, I don’t understand the constant citing of age whenever he loses. As someone said, he didn’t just age drastically in 3 months (between his Wimbledon win & US opoen final loss). To add to that, he didn’t suddently age in a span of four days (between his dismantling of Soderling & Djokovic…not to mention that special shot. lol. So what are we to say of the likes of Roddick, Gonzalez, Davydenko & Haas, Hewitt who are also around the same age or slightly older?

Del potro played well, took opportunity of Fed’s poor serves & won….taking opportunity of an opponent’s weakness is part of playing well. It’s that simple. Fed himself says he can’t win them all. In his best yrs, he won 3 a yr…yrs later, he’s won 2. Looks pretty good to me.


TopSpin Says:

I’m glad Dick Enberg didn’t allow D-Potro to talk in Spanish. This is the United States Open. We speak English here.

That’s all I have to say.


Mary Says:

Here are the challenge totals for Federer’s last two matches:
Del Potro 3 for 4.
Federer 1 for 3.
Djoko 7 for 8– wow.
Federer 2 for 6.

USO Challenges:
http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/challenge/challenge.html?promo=leftnav


grendel Says:

“fed’s [forehand] looks more beautiful”

“i like delPo’s forehand better…dePo’s looks brutal.that’s just my personal taste.”

Some people like wine to the exclusion of beer, some vica versa – but there are those who glory in both.

I belong to the third category when it comes to delPo’s and Fed’s forehands. On quite different grounds, I find both utterly exhilarating. The nature of the exhilaration is quite different in both cases, though I wouldn’t care to analyse that. You’d need a poet of mood to bring out the difference in feeling properly….


Skorocel Says:

Re: that controversial line call which happened in that 2nd set (or was it the 3rd set?) tiebreak at 4-2, JMDP serving, I guess Fed got lucky when he was even allowed to challenge it. From what I remember, the rally looked like this: JMDP hit a serve very close to the line, which the line judge and the chair umpire considered good, and which Fed barely returned it whilst hearing someone from the crowd shouting „Out!“. Once he hit the return, he stopped for a moment, as if he was unsure whether to continue playing or not, but unfortunately for him, he then decided to return JMDP’s next shot (or at least moved towards it; can’t remember, but it makes no difference), and only then stopped playing and asked for the challenge. Anyway, it didn’t matter for him a bit, as he lost the point anyway when it was replayed.

Anyway, the fact is, the crowd in general was very loud and unsportsmanlike. Don’t know if it were those Argentinean supporters or someone else, but there were many times where you could hear them shouting just before Fed or Del Potro were about to serve. Totally unnecessary & stupid!


Naydal Says:

I was waiting for this tall crap argument to start. Del Potro played lights out and Federer played mediocre. Even though Federer was not on his best game, he still should have sealed the deal in the second set. That’s the story to take away.


Cindy_Brady Says:

JMDP will be everything that Andy Roddick was supposed to be. A winner!


Von Says:

Laughs are in store. LOL and LOL again.

Gotta love the comparisons. ROTFL and my laugh for the day.


blah Says:

forehands: gonzo, verdasco, delpo, fed-soderling-rafa

DelPotro does have one weakness- his net play. He shanked a couple of smashes and easy volley winners yesterday. He needs to improve on that. Other than that, probably just his movement.


Dan Martin Says:

I think the Hawk-Eye system is supposed to be accurate to within 2 milimeters. The only call quite that close yesterday went against Del Potro when Federer heard an “out” call from the crowd and JMDP was awarded 2 serves. Anyway, my only gripe with Hawkeye is that if they know its margin for error on the few calls that are 1 or 2 milimeters in or out they should just play a let as the technology has a limit to it. It might only change 1 call per match to a let, but if the tech has a limit it should be recognized.


Von Says:

been there, done that:

“Also, I don’t understand the constant citing of age whenever he loses. As someone said, he didn’t just age drastically in 3 months (between his Wimbledon win & US open final loss). To add to that, he didn’t suddenly age in a span of four days (between his dismantling of Soderling & Djokovic…not to mention that special shot. lol.”

There’s a deep psychological issue here and one that would need a psych analysis report comprising of pages upon pages of written data as to the whys and wherefores behind those comments. In gist, it’s a point used and exploited to the hilt by some who need to rationalize away their feelings of disappointment.

On one hand, it’s a defense mechanism to soften the blow from a loss whenever that occurs, and on the other hand, it’s used as a form of subtly lauding praise and to WOW the readers. Those points are well taken and filed away for future reference.

“So what are we to say of the likes of Roddick, Gonzalez, Davydenko & Haas, Hewitt who are also around the same age or slightly older?”

These players do not count when we are talking ‘elite’ whatever that is supposed to mean on the ATP tour. They are relegated to the caste of ‘journeymen’ and I suppose it’s why they do not factor in the grand scheme of things. In other words, they are just fillers for the meat and potatoes guys.

I tell you what, definitive studies and case analyses have proven that there are two sides to the brain and one side is very rarely used. However, when one side is somewhat deficient the other kicks in and helps out, even becoming more potent than the other side, and the individual is unaware of these changes.

I’d love to be able to turn back the clock to age 28, however, with age, there’s experiential learning which is unmatched by youth, and wisdom. The profound statement that “youth is wasted on the young” is very true in many walks of life. Of course, in terms of physicality a player’s power begins diminishing as he approaches 35, but that’s on a case-by-case scenario and is contingent upon DNA/genetics/diet/exercise/rest, et al., and a very infinitesimal decline, which is cumulative, and one that slowly and gently manifests itself. However, that physical decline (as you’ve alluded to above) is not as drastic as that of a stroke victim, and one that definitely does not occur over the period of 3 days; it’s an on-going and cumulative process, and it goes unnoticed by the individual.


grendel Says:

“I don’t understand why people question Roger’s ’state of mind’ & motivation” (Been there, Done that)
You make an excellent case. I, too, was amazed by how he nearly got away with it on the basis of excellent second serving (although at one stage, I was yelling at the television, for God’s sake, just for once, get a bloody first serve in. Immediately, Federer answered my appeal, got his first serve in, and delPo smashed it away for a winner!)

Certainly Federer was fighting, that is not the issue. The question is, how much, deep down, was Federer prepared, or even able, to invest emotionally in this match.

At both the French and at Wimbledon, Federer looked utterly committed, a man on a mission you might say. He was down many times, and he dug himself out of potential calamity again and again with extraordinary fortitude.

I just don’t know how often a person can draw on the spirit in this monumental way within a relatively short time span, in particular when his major goals are already achieved. To my eye, Federer’s demeanour was quite different yesterday to what it was in Paris and London. I may be wrong, I accept that. But I can only report what I see. Strictly speaking, I suppose I should say: what I think I see.

And incidentally, the question of where the first serve went is in itself interesting. Was it just one of those things? I don’t believe bringing up the case of Nadal’s serve is relevant, he was plainly hurting. But back to Federer, I wonder whether the malfunction of the serve was not somehow symptomatic of the possibility that the reserves were running empty. At Wimbledon, the winning of which was infinitely more important to him than this US Open, he absolutely had to serve out of his mind to win – and he did.

I accept that this is speculation. I guess that’s allowable? This business of age, b.t.w., of course it can be overblown. Of course it is a gradual thing, but I would have thought that it would affect a mover as unique as Federer more drastically (initially, I mean) than less gifted athletes.


Skorocel Says:

“Hey Skorocel, let’s not forget my old fave Pistol Pete’s running FH — a thing of beauty.”

Indeed, beauty it was!


sensationalsafin Says:

Idk if anyone’s mentioned this since there are too many comments to read, but what are the chances of Nadal figuring out Del Po now? A lot of people were bringing up Tsonga and Gonzo and even Soderling as big hitters who haven’t maintained any kind of edge over Nadal (well Soderling remains to be seen). But Gonzo and Soderling barely put a dent in Federer after taking Nadal out, Tsonga lost to Djokovic, who had conquered Federer himself. But Del Potro, who’s younger than all these guys, BEAT Federer. And in my mind, Del Potro is still on an insane improvement curve. This US Open win hasn’t even raised the thought that Del Potro might stagnate for a while. And his confidence against ANYONE, including Nadal, should be at an all time high. Federer hopes to win the WTF and it’s too hard to rule him out (something tells me Fed will get it because he wants atleast 1 big hardcourt event) but there’s not guarantee. I’d say Del Potro is the best hard court player right now. Federer, Murray, Djokovic, and Roddick aren’t far behind. Nadal is a tough call because who knows what’s going on with his injury. But I think we’re in for probably the most exciting WTF in a long long time. Seriously, I think every match will more than likely go to 3 sets. It’s going to be an epic close to an epic year.


sensationalsafin Says:

Speaking of Federer’s state of mind, to me, it just looked like he didn’t want it that bad. He wasn’t overly upset about losing. And his overall level didn’t drop that much, he just kinda gave in. And not in the sense that “Oh there’s no way I can win” but in the sense of “I don’t think I need to win this one, so whatever”. He seemed content to playing the “old champion welcoming the new champion” role. He likes Del Potro and he seemed legitimately happy so see him win. It’s not that bad. Atleast now we might see some new champions. But it’s strange. I don’t know if I’ll be happy watching Federer not care about winning. But knowing him he’ll just pick his moments. Can’t count him out of any slam until he starts losing early.


Von Says:

I’ve seen some instances where the player is standing right at the spot the ball hit as in ‘out’ and HE shows the ball to be in by a *hair*. That blows my mind, and it seems to blow the players’ minds also. It’s one of the reasons I’ve stated joking (*yoking* ala Soderling) that some players have poor eyesight.

The HE is still not used enough IMO by the older players, who seem to forget it’s there, and as a result are left bewildered and angry at a lines call. Maybe the solution to the disputed HE vs. human eye calls, could be an improved resonance imaging system which shows contrast as opposed to trajectory, etc., but that kind of technology is extremely expensive.


Skorocel Says:

“Idk if anyone’s mentioned this since there are too many comments to read, but what are the chances of Nadal figuring out Del Po now?”

Good question. After all, 3 losses in a row can’t be a fluke. Time will tell.


Von Says:

SS:

“Idk if anyone’s mentioned this since there are too many comments to read, but what are the chances of Nadal figuring out Del Po now?” A lot of people were bringing up Tsonga and Gonzo and even Soderling as big hitters who haven’t maintained any kind of edge over Nadal (well Soderling remains to be seen). But Gonzo and Soderling barely put a dent in Federer after taking Nadal out, Tsonga lost to Djokovic, who had conquered Federer himself. But Del Potro, who’s younger than all these guys, BEAT Federer. And in my mind, Del Potro is still on an insane improvement curve.”

I’d love to answer this, but answering would mean speaking out truthfully my opinion on the Nadal/DelPotro topic and I doubt some would like to hear it, hence, discretion is the better part of valour.


blah Says:

Sensational Safin- I think Del Potro is a level above Tsonga and Soderling. Tsonga is way too inconsistent to win a slam and I don’t think Soderling has enough weapons. I think there is a difference between AO and USO. Del Po owns the faster hard courts but Nadal can probably make it a match on other surfaces. Nadal has an edge on him in grass and for now I would say on clay too, but that can change. Fed cared about winning, as you can see with the cursing, but he doesn’t feel he absolutely has to win now.

Murray is still the best 3 set player on hardcourt, I think Roddick has lost a bit of his edge after Wimbledon. Nadal will be fine, but Djoker is the one I really can’t figure out. He’s troubled by veterans for whatever reason, and he doesn’t have a major weakness in his game. I don’t see Federer slipping from the top for at least 1-2 years, though I don’t think he cares about masters series that much anymore.


blah Says:

Von: I’d love to hear your take. :)


Skorocel Says:

Re: that dispute which Fed had with the umpire about that JMDP’s hesitating with the HE system, well, he was maybe right, but then again, it’s not like he’s not hesitated with it in the past either. In my opinion, the chair umpires should be strict here. No more of those „Do you think the ball was in or out?“ type of questions from the players. Either you want to challenge it or not. The rules are clear, and should be adhered to.


sensationalsafin Says:

Von, don’t say you have an opinion then not state it. What is it? I’d really like to know.

Blah, don’t you think there’s gonna be a shift? Del Potro and Murray have always played close matches. And Del Potro showed he can beat Murray if he’s fit. We’ll see in the coming months, but I think Del Potro will beat Murray next time they play. Roddick is still a tough out for anyone, but yeah, I mean how many heart breakers can one handle. I agree about Federer, he’s just, other worldly no matter what the situation. As for the AO and USO, even if Nadal can make a match of it, there’s only so much you can do against beastly forehands and backhands and serves. I think the biggest issue concerning Del Potro is how is he going to cope when he’s not playing his best. Against Nadal or anyone else, will Del Potro be able to raise his game the way Nadal and Federer can even when they’re not at their best. Del Potro still has to figure out grass, that’s true, but he’s got the game to atleast trouble Nadal on clay. But we’ll see. I think Del Potro is going to be a huge factor for Nadal’s reign. Federer’s reign is coming to an end no matter what his rank is, but Nadal is supposed to be the one to succeed him, not Del Potro. He’s a real twist in this plot. God knows I’m not Nadal’s biggest fan, but I appreciate everything he’s brought to the sport and I’m really excited in seeing HIS reaction to Del Potro more than Federer’s or anyone else’s.


Von Says:

been, there:

“Del-potro played well, & Roger’s serve went awol. it happens. Nadal’s serve also failed it in the semis. It happens-I doubt it means he’s not motivated!’

It happens to all of them and to the best of them. Roddick’s serve deserted him at the most crucial moments at that DC final, and he lost the breaker. Same as in his 5 setter vs. Isner. It’s quite laughable when this kind of unfortunate situation occurs, a panic button is pushed and people become supremely negative even fearful as though this will be the Mo going forth. I don’t know why this happens, but it appears that some view these athletes as robots whereby they should be performing at a very efficient level every time they step onto the court. I doubt any of us can say we feel the same health-wise every day of our lives. For me personally, no two days are the same, and that applies to the athletes as well.


Von Says:

blah & SS: Sorry to have whetted your curiosity, and in retrospect I shouldn’t have said anything. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement, but if you don’t mind, I’ll sit this one out. Sorry.


Kimo Says:

With Regards to the forehand discussion, excuse me, but Roger’s forehand is simply the best ever.

It’s not as good as it used to be in his peak years (2004 to 2006), but it’s still better than everyone out there, including Delpo.

You see, it’s not just about power. The variety of strokes and spins and pace that Roger can generate from his forehand are yet to be matched. Delpo has pace, but that’s it. Rafa has insane spin, but that’s it. No one hits a forehand moving foreward like Fed. No one can change the direction of the ball on the forehand better than Fed. No one can hit a half-volley forehand from the baseline like Fed. No one can go from hitting a flat forehand on one shot and then a moonball forehand on the next wihtout losing the upper hand but rather gain the upper hand in a rally like Fed. And just this year Fed showed us the no one among active players can hit a forehand dropshot like Fed.

I must admit, yesterday some of Delpo’s forehands were so fast that I lost track of where the ball went for a split second, but he doesn’t have the variety on that wing at all. Most of his forehands, even the let’s-just-get-it-over-the-net-one, are so flat they are barely able to go over the net.

As for Nadal, on clay, his forehand is the best, on other surfaces it’s ordinary at best and a liability at worst. He doesn’t change the direction of the ball on that wing very good either (he managed to improve that until this year’s AO, then he went back to his old ways). He will go cross-court with it 10 times, 20 times, without getting bored and without trying to do anything different coz most times he just bullies his opponents’ backhand and they eventually miss.

I’ve seen tennis experts debate who has the best serve, the best return, the best backhand, the best volley, the best dropshot, and they all come up with different names. But on the forehand, they are unanimous: Fed’s is the best.


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“Re: that dispute which Fed had with the umpire about that JMDP’s hesitating with the HE system, well, he was maybe right, but then again, it’s not like he’s not hesitated with it in the past either. In my opinion, the chair umpires should be strict here. No more of those „Do you think the ball was in or out?“ type of questions from the players. Either you want to challenge it or not. The rules are clear, and should be adhered to.’

I agree, and IMO the umpires are the big screw ups and culprits in the HE and lines calls. they’re too wish washy. Can you tell I don’t like or respect them? LOL.


sensationalsafin Says:

I don’t think Federer’s serve and his motivation are connected. I mean sometimes, maybe, but this isn’t women’s tennis. Federer had a bad serving day. Of course it happens. It’s not that he’s not motivated, he wouldn’t be in a 5th set in the final of a slam if he wasn’t motivated, he just isn’t as willing to dig super deep like before.

Skocorel, Federer’s words and reaction may have been inappropriate, but yeah I think he’s right. The umpires need to be strict with that. Sometimes they allow players a lot of time other times no time at all. Remember a few years ago in Cincy, I think, Ginepri and Murray played each other. Ginepri won the first set, they sat down, then like after the commercial break, Murray challenged and won the challenge and ended winning the FIRST set!!! That’s just ridiculous. And I know it was because Gilbert signaled Murray to challenge. Another thing they need to fix. I mean cmon, it’s ridiculous.


blah Says:

I don’t think Del Potro will win as many slams as Nadal when it’s all said and done. I think he might succeed Nadal on clay though. As for Murray-Del Potro. I am not picking Murray in a slam until he wins one, his game doesn’t fit the 5 set format, as for master series, to be honest, I don’t think it matters that much unless you win a slam first. Murray can win all the hard court masters series he wants, but his future in slams is looking pretty shaky right now. I think Del Potro will beat Nadal on USO, and at AO it’ll probably be a 5setter. If Nadal gets back to the level he was at in the beginning of the year, that would be a fun match.

As for who is succeeding Federer, well, I don’t see anyone who has the game to be that consistent and dominant right now. Maybe Nadal but he has knee issues and Del Potro to worry about. If Del Potro was not as tall and moved better, then maybe he has a shot, but Fed is a once in a life time player. 23 finals and 15 slams in 6 years is just crazy.

And I’ll still put my question out there- Does anyone know what’s up with Djokovic? If we are talking about technical game, he should have the most upside to succeed Federer… He’s the only top player I can’t get a read on.


been there, done that Says:

grendel:

“I just don’t know how often a person can draw on the spirit in this monumental way within a relatively short time span, in particular when his major goals are already achieved…”

This is where I disagree. Since Nadal is the one said to have the most fighting spirit-that’s why I cited him…& also he reached semis & won previous matches against fairly good players despite his problems. So on this point, Nadal could have given Federer his fighting spirit, & more from some lion….none of this could have helped him yesterday. His serve was out…he continued trying & continued failing. Nothing he could do about it, however much he tried. 11 double faults almost = 3 games = no. of break games Del.P needed to win in straights had he held his own games. Maybe he just kept going for too much (coz most were out as opposed to shanked to the net)…who knows. Yesterday, his serve was out, & at Wimbledon, it was as on as it could have been, to the point of out-acing Roddick. The will & spirit was there…the serve was out.

Here’s Roger’s take on a bad serve day from his interview on 31st Aug. (apologies for the length…it’s a copy-paste). In short, he says sometimes it’s just out & you try to figure…is it the toss, wind, swing….as the player tries to figure it out, the match is continuing….sometimes she/he gets lucky, other times, before you know, the match is over, the player has lost, game over, take a flight back home.

Unfortunately for him, it went out at a GS final.

—————————————————
Q. A question about serving, not necessarily germane to today’s match, but when you’re on those rare occasions when you’re struggling with your serve, can you figure it out within the match, between the matches, or is it really something that is for the nontournament…

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I think it depends on how you’re feeling. Sometimes you have a back problem, chest problem, shoulder problem. Then sometimes your serve is up and down. It can be up and down during the match, it can be up and down during a tournament, or it can be up and down throughout a year.
Once your serve is sort of doing well and your body is fine, I think you just sometimes go through maybe a set where you don’t serve very well. But I think it’s always important that your second serve is good, you know. No matter if your first serve goes out, you know, you have a very solid second serve. That’s why you actually can go after more on your first serve, because you know you have you’re backed up by a good second serve.

That’s why one of the reasons I can also go for aces, because I feel like I have a very reliable second serve and I can still mix it up actually a lot. Sometimes when things go bad on the serve during a match, it’s hard to change them. You try to find what it is, if it’s the toss, is it the wind? Is it, you know, the swing? Are you going too fast in the beginning?

But then you’re asking yourself many questions, and the next thing you know you’re not focusing about playing the baseline points anymore. You’re just trying to serve well. It’s not a good approach to have. That’s why then you just almost say, You know, what? I’ll just serve and hopefully it’s going to work out for me, you know, in the long run of the match.
But sometimes it doesn’t. Then you lose, you leave, and you try to fix it.


blah Says:

21? finals I think. not 23, but still. since he started winning slams he’s only been taken out before the final by Nalbandian, Safin, and Djokovic.


sensationalsafin Says:

Best forehand of all time: Roger Federer.

The biggest forehand in today’s game is Del Potro’s. Sometimes bigness matters more than variety. But when Fed’s playing his best, yeah I think it’s still the best. But it can misfire too much nowadays.

Best serve of all time: Pete Sampras.

Federer is up there. Roddick’s serve seems to dessert him when he needs it most. Del Potro’s serve is huge and another part of his game that just continues to improve.

Best return: Andre Agassi.

This one’s tough but I’m gonna go with Agassi since he was able to punish returns so well for such a long time. Federer is great at blocking returns back and Murray is able to do a lot with the return. I think Nadal and Roddick are great at punishing second serves but suck on first serve returns. And Del Potro is just beasting returns 1st or 2nd. Also improving.

Best backhand: Marat Safin.

Just let me have this one :P

Best volleys: Pete Sampras.

Maybe not the most elegant volleyer, but he won 14 slams. And he had a great stab volley. Nowadays I think Federer and Nadal have the best volleys, but everyone makes a lot of stupid mistakes at net. Murray and Roddick are good, too. Djokovic and Del Potro can still improve a lot in this department.


Kimo Says:

blah, Djoko is a fine player, but he needs a better serve and, let’s face it, he need more power to succeed in this day an age.

I’ve said this about Djoko ever since the beginning of ’07: He doesn’t have any weaknesses, but he doesn’t have any signature strengths either. With Fed, you have the serve and the forehand. With Rafa, you have his forehand (on clay) and his movement.

Djoko doesn’t have a money-shot. That’s his problem.

One more thing: his movement on court has changed over the last two years. Peter Bodo mentioned this after the semi. In ’07 his movement screamed “hard court specialist”. Now his movement is more suitable to clay than to hard courts, coz sliding that much on hard courts can’t be a good thing for your game or your body. And his movement on grass is poor, at best.

I agree with you regarding the fact that no one among current stars of the game seems destined to have Fed like dominance over the sport. Hell, since the open Era began, no one comes close to Fed’s dominance on the sport. He is truly a once in a generation kind of player.


Kimo Says:

“Nowadays I think Federer and Nadal have the best volleys, but everyone makes a lot of stupid mistakes at net”

I’d put Tsonga before Nadal. In fact, I won’t say Nadal at all. Sure, he can hit a great volley when coming in on his terms, but not when his opponent draws him in.


sensationalsafin Says:

I agree Kimo. Good point. Tsonga does have some ridiculous volleys.

I don’t mean succeed Fed in terms of dominance, that’s impossible, just in terms of “Number 1 player in the world”. It looked like it would be Nadal, but then he got injured. Maybe Nadal will get his act together, but to avoid injury, will he be able to maintain the number 1 spot? I wouldn’t mind alternating positions, but I want the year end number 1 to earn it. Like, if there are 4 different slam champs in the year, then the number 1 player should be the one who won the WTF or more masters or something, not more little tournaments. It’s gotta be something epic.

At the same time, I kinda love having Federer the undisputed number 1. I mean, he’s so far ahead that only all the other rankings are up for grabs. So let’s keep it like that :D Federer is THE number 1, he can’t be switched, but everyone else has to battle for the 2nd spot I guess. That’s crazy. At the same time, that’s kinda what it is.


sensationalsafin Says:

Does anyone else feel like Soderling and Verdasco should be the last 2 players to play in the WTF as opposed to Davydenko and Tsonga? Not that I don’t like them but I feel like the other 2 are more deserving with the year they’ve had.


grendel Says:

“I don’t think Federer’s serve and his motivation are connected………….Federer had a bad serving day. Of course it happens. It’s not that he’s not motivated, he wouldn’t be in a 5th set in the final of a slam if he wasn’t motivated, he just isn’t as willing to dig super deep like before.”

Not “willing” or may be not “able”. That was my point.

Kimo: I like what you say about Fed’s fh, although incidentally, I’ve seen him do a half-volley BACKHAND from the base line – right to other end of court, and it was in this tourney, too, can’t remember the match unfortunately.

You say Delpo has pace but that’s it. Well, he certainly has the court craft to know when to use pace, it’s not just with dollies, and his accuracy is astounding (only Nadal and Djokovic, I think, are as good there).

But I wouldn’t want to underplay the “pace” thing. Simplicity has its own compelling attraction. Raw power, accurately executed and unmediated by spin or subtlety of any kind, and delivered over and over again – this is one of the glories of sport in general and of tennis in particular. This is why delPo is so exciting – at least to me. The pleasure I get from Federer is of a different sort. There’s room for both, and indeed more…


blah Says:

Anyone who saw Dent play knows that he has crazy good volleying skills. He just lacks in all other areas of the game. Tsonga is up there, so was Gasquet. He always won something like 80% of his net points when he came to the net often (before the suspension.) Also I’ll just say he has the best and most beautiful dropshot ever, a total opposite of Murray’s. It’s really sad that I can’t think of another great net player in today’s game. Worm? then Fed maybe?

Best Serve is Pete definitely, but if we are talking about only 1st serves, Goran pwns everyone. Roddick is up there in top 5. Becker, um. I wouldn’t put Roger in top 5 but in top ten.

Forehand- Federer, without a doubt.

Backhand- recent ones are Nalbandian’s and Gasquet’s, and yes, Safin’s, Agassi also had a damn good backhand.

Return- I think Fed is underrated here. You don’t ace him a lot and he doesn’t give you free points. Probably Agassi though.

Net game- This one is tough. Probably a bunch of guys close together. Rafter, Edberg, Sampras, Mac. I’d go with Rafter but there’s no definitive goat here.

Footwork- Fed. no need to mention anyone else.

Court coverage- Nadal, Hewitt, Chang, Murray.

And yeah, Soderling and Verdasco deserve it more than those two. I don’t know how Davydenko is still in the top ten at all.


Von Says:

“Kimo: blah, Djoko is a fine player, but he needs a better serve and, let’s face it, he need more power to succeed in this day an age.”

I agree on Djoko’s serve — he in curs too many DFs and gets broken too many times. With respect to his insufficiency of power, I mentioned this during and/or after his SF vs. Nadal in Madrid. It was clearly visible how much Djoko’s lack of power hurt him in that match. There were several instances when Djoko attempted to match Nadal’s power in returning his shots, whereby he was pulled up in the air on those returns and at times seemed to drift from the power coming at him, which caused him to become unbalanced with his footing. To me, it was pretty scary.

“Djoko doesn’t have a money-shot. That’s his problem.”

He has several shots in his arsenal, but not one very clear and distinct money shot. His serve is good but not powerful, and not the best. His BH is good, especially down the line, but again, not a money shot that he can bank on all of the time.

“One more thing: his movement on court has changed over the last two years. Peter Bodo mentioned this after the semi. In ‘07 his movement screamed “hard court specialist”. Now his movement is more suitable to clay than to hard courts, coz sliding that much on hard courts can’t be a good thing for your game or your body. And his movement on grass is poor, at best.”

The sliding on HC has caused him an ankle injury at last year’s USO, but it appears that the sliding is now ingrained into his movement and will eventually cause leg and lower back problems. On grass, Djoko’s all over the place, and again, this could be attributed to his lack of a powerful frame. Maybe, his leg strength and lower body strength is not as strong as some of the other athletes, e.g., Nadal, who has tree trunks for legs. I think as Djoko ages, his lack of lower body strength will become a huge factor for some concern. In some respects I think Cilic mirrors Djoko in the lack of lower body power, except in Cilic’s case he has a huge serve to compensate for some of his deficiencies.


Von Says:

errata: “I think as Djoko ages, his lack of lower body strength will become a huge factor for some concern.”

s/b a huge factor and one of some concern


Von Says:

SS: I’d prefer to see Soderling and Verdasco make the eight player group in lieu of Davydenko and Tsonga. Albeit, tsonga’s a good player, he runs hot an d cold and who knows which way he’ll be running at the YEC. Therefore, all things considered, I’d prefer to see Soderling there.


blah Says:

Von & Kimo, thanks for the analysis. I do remember the 08 uso roddick and djokovic match, and how Roddick was making a comeback because he started playing more aggressive and start to hit flat with power, and how Djokovic couldn’t keep up. Roddick probably would have won that had he served the 4th set out. It’s a shame because I think Djokovic’s forehand went in the wrong direction since AO, and his movement on court is a bit awkward. And nice Cilic-Djoko comparison Von, though I don’t think Cilic will have a better career than him. I guess Djokovic is not exactly aggressive but not a grinder like Nadal/Murray either, which puts him in that spot where his game is without a great strength. His physical/mental fitness doesn’t help either, though he seems to have gotten better in both areas. It’s a pity because he has all the shots and really looked like he could take over Fed for a while there. I think he’s probably top four in clay- Nadal, Fed, Djokovic and Del Potro, and perhaps top four in hardcourt slams? He needs to recover his form to be able to go through two of those three guys in a row though.


blah Says:

Another note- I thought coming into the uso match if they get in tie breaks, it would’ve been interesting to see how Del Po holds up. In the summer hc season, he has played almost every tie break to near perfection, and he won the match because of how he absolutely gave nothing for Fed to look at in the tie breaks. To any player who gets into tie breaks with him in the future, watch out. One mini break on their serve and they’re done.


been there, done that Says:

“Does anyone else feel like Soderling and Verdasco should be the last 2 players to play in the WTF…”

For me, Soderling for sure.. unfortunately, he’s had the misfortune of running into you-know-who in the past 3 grand-slams. He’s worked really hard.

Verdasco…I don’t know. Can be up & down

Tsonga….imo, the only reason this man has not won a GS & not broken top5 is ‘coz of his mood-swings when he loses a set. Game wise, i.e. shot making abilities & movement he is right up there with Fed, Rafa & Djoko. Should he keep his cool in the remaining master series, he should qualify. otherwise, if he wants it real bad, he’ll have to play some smaller tournaments.

>>on a side note, the shot form ‘WTF’ is just……erm….I constantly have to remind myself that it means world tour finals as opposed to you know what.


sensationalsafin Says:

HAHAHAH, yeah TMC was a better abbreviation for sure.

Tsonga is also prone to injury.


ShayHay Says:

They are repeating the Del Po/Federer match on ESPN classic right now :-)

WOO HOO!


Skorocel Says:

been there, done that: „>>on a side note, the shot form ‘WTF’ is just……erm….I constantly have to remind myself that it means world tour finals as opposed to you know what.“

He he, me too :-)


Skorocel Says:

Kimo: „You see, it’s not just about power. The variety of strokes and spins and pace that Roger can generate from his forehand are yet to be matched. Delpo has pace, but that’s it. Rafa has insane spin, but that’s it. No one hits a forehand moving foreward like Fed. No one can change the direction of the ball on the forehand better than Fed. No one can hit a half-volley forehand from the baseline like Fed. No one can go from hitting a flat forehand on one shot and then a moonball forehand on the next wihtout losing the upper hand but rather gain the upper hand in a rally like Fed. And just this year Fed showed us the no one among active players can hit a forehand dropshot like Fed.“

I am signing this!


Skorocel Says:

blah: „As for who is succeeding Federer, well, I don’t see anyone who has the game to be that consistent and dominant right now. Maybe Nadal but he has knee issues and Del Potro to worry about.“

I don’t think it’s only Nadal who has to worry about JMDP. Sure, Fed leads the Argentine 6-1 in their meetings, but when you think how the Swiss crushed him at AO (where I don’t think he played any better than at USO) and then you see JMDP winning that match yesterday, it’s just unbelievable how much the guy improved since then.


Skorocel Says:

grendel: “Kimo: I like what you say about Fed’s fh, although incidentally, I’ve seen him do a half-volley BACKHAND from the base line – right to other end of court, and it was in this tourney, too, can’t remember the match unfortunately.”

Well, I don’t quite remember seeing that shot at this year’s USO, but I certainly remember the one which he hit against Blake in the TMC 2006 finals! No comment…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjW-0K6X8jc
(at 4:14)


been there, done that Says:

sensationalsafin,

I assure you I have a very clean mind. It was just screaming out in capslock. lol.

Re: Tsonga: Yeah, injuries have been an issue for him, though I think he’s been ok for most of the year, no? Hopefully he qualifies.

blah says: “I don’t know how Davydenko is still in the top ten at all.”

He dropped to top15 after FO, but entered & won two smaller tournaments after wimbledon: International German Open and ATP Studena Croatia Open Umag. (via wikipedia)

Remember when ppl were asking why some players were still stuck on clay after wimby? I think it was for ranking points. Soderling did the same…I think he played 2 clay tournaments after wimby.

Still on Davy, the other thing is that he oscillates between Rnd16 to Qtrs at all slams….so him going out at say rnd3 at any slam doesn’t have a drastic effect in his ranking as the other top10s who usually make at least Qtrs. He loses, drops slightly, enters the smaller tournaments, wins, & is back in the top10. It’s survival of the fittest-you do what you gotta do. Quite clever of him I think.


Scottish Says:

I am happy for DelPo that he won and I do think that Fed seemed different than the FO and Wimb. But let’s face it, there’s only one stat that matters in the match and that’s Fed’s horrendous serve. Everything else aside, if he serves his normal numbers it’s a 3 straight set win. he should NEVER have lost the second set like that. The same was true of his loss to Tsonga in Montreal. So while I give all the credit to a great guy who I really enjoy watching play and who I know will win more slams it was Fed’s. In the end the best player won.

I also think that with DelPo, Fed really likes him and he didn’t mind him getting the title. He seemed genuinely happy for him and you can tell he respects him. I look forward to many more matches between the 2 and I’d love to see then duke it out in the FO final next year.


Dan Martin Says:

I did my final US Open radio interview today – it was a lot of fun. I hope he gives me a few more shots but I am not sure any of the remaining 2009 events are on the local sports radio radar. We shall see.


Cindy_Brady Says:

My new logic.

If Del Potro and Nalbandian meet in the future of a slam, Nalbandian should not try too hard to beat Del Potro. Here is the reason.

They are both from Argentina and should not put individualism in front of their nation’s best interest. Because it is apparent Nalbandian cannot win grand slams while Del Potro can.

Why should Nalbandian try so hard to beat Del Potro when he will just lose in the next round? It makes far more sense for Nalbandian to give an easy win to his country man Del Potro. Thus allowing the best chance for an Argentina man to go all the way and win the tournament.

Flawless logic


Mary Says:

Dan Martin: Where can your radio interveiews be heard? Are there podcasts available?


been there, done that Says:

Is it me or is Del Potro not receiving enough exposure with the Media? I’m just not seeing enough of him anywhere & I gotta really dig for his interviews & even then, I only get pictures.

I understand that Fed & Nadal are bread-butter for ATP & whenever they win, it’s a big deal, especially after one of their epic matches & the whole fed-fan/rafa fan thing. And with Fed, it’s even crazier ‘coz any time he even wins just a match, he’s breaking one record or the other. Everyone wants in – from the US to Japan to Australia to Dubai to South Africa.

But I would have thought that a first time champion – especially one who had not been considered by many, let alone written off – would have generated more news. I thought the BBc would have run with this story, especially ‘beat Rafa & Fed back to back’ in the same tournament – since thy love such dramas – but nothing…just the post-match interview on it’s website. I’ve gone through media of other English speaking countries, also little or no mention.

I hope he’s receiving better coverage in Spanish outlets apart from in Argentina…he deserves it. it’s just a day after he’s won but for me, it already feels like a week. When Fed won 14 & 15, I couldn’t get away from it for almost a month ‘coz every other sports website had him for that long, & newspapers had him splashed all over for almost a week. Granted, it was a very big deal, but still……seems to me like only the ATP website is the only one doing JMDP enough justice.


Tejuz Says:

sensationalsafin Says:”Speaking of Federer’s state of mind, to me, it just looked like he didn’t want it that bad. He wasn’t overly upset about losing.”

its looked like that to me as well.. even though am sure he gave it his all..probably not with the same focus and intensity. Had it been Nadal on the other side of the court, Fed would have probably focussed more cuz am sure he wouldnt want to have the record of losing to Nadal in all GS finals and do his utmost to prevent Nadal from completing his GS collection..(as Nadal had done the same to him before). It would been the same had it been Murray at the other end too i guess..because of all the talk of him eclipsing Fed as No 1.

From previous and post match interviews, it seems like Fed genuinely likes Del Potro (compared to other top-fivers) along with a few others like Safin, Berdych. Thats the reason, i guess he dint mind losing to Del Po.


Tejuz Says:

I have a feeling that Del Po is not the kind of guy who would get affected by the media adulation (like Murray or Djok.. or even Fed)… he seems quite mature for his age and knows his limitations.


sensationalsafin Says:

Exactly. I’m not saying Federer didn’t try. Del Potro even mentioned how he admires Federer for fighting until the very end.

But when Federer won 3 straight games to win the 3rd set, I was like, huh? Because based on their body language, it didn’t look like it registered with Federer that he was a set away from victory. It’s like, physically Federer gave it his all, but emotionally, he definitely could’ve pushed (not that it would’ve guaranteed him victory or anything, either way).


Tejuz Says:

Now it seems like the fight will be to stay in the top-4 ranking.. cuz who ever is No 5 will have have to go through atleast 3 of the top-4 players to win the tournament.


Von Says:

Come on guys, you sound like apologists and conspiracy theorists with respect to speculating on Federer’s mindset and his loss yesterday. Your mention of Federer not being intent on winning is absolutely not true. If that’s so, then tell me why did he fight to take the match to a 3rd, 4th and 5th set after he lost the second set? Also, why did he become so hot around the collar over a disputed line call, which is only one point, if he didn’t care about the match? To me he played like a guy who wanted to win every point, and win the match.

I’m sorry to say, but you are doing exactly that which some have accused others of saying whenever they put forth reasons of why their faves lost. Why can’t you all just accept the fact that Federer lost due to his serve being off. I mentioned in one of my posts above, it’s not every day a player wakes up he is 100 per cent. Yesterday Fed’s serve was off, and that was the problem. Had his serve been firing as it did in Wimby, he would have won that match in straight sets.

I doubt Fed’s liking for DelPotro would make him want to drop his level of play and give him the W. Maybe, at a 250 tourney, but definitely not a GS. No one is that genereous!
_________________________
blah: You’re welcome. In that USO ’08 QF match, I think Roddick was still nursing his injured shoulder and back, and was in a bad place both physically and mentally. The fact that he double faulted on set point speaks volumes as to his lack of confidence. Roddick mentioned during Wimby this year that he played at Wimby and the USO, against his doctors orders in ’08. Also, I think he went into that match thinking it would have been an easy win due to Djoko’s form in his previous match, and then he got a shock attack when Djoko came out attacking. After that first set, Andy tried to raise his level and had it not been for that double fault, I think the match could have gone either way. It’s all water under the bridge now.


Von Says:

been there:

I think DelPotro’s inability to speak fluent English is the primary reason for his lack of media coverage. DelPotro will most probably be featured all over South America and on the Spanish speaking TV and radio programs.


Von Says:

That WTF acronym made me do a double take, and had it not been for the mention of the 8 players, I would have been lost as to why that acronym was there. LOL.


been there, done that Says:

Re: Fed wanting or not wanting it bad enough:

For sure, he really wanted it. He said it in his interviews after reaching the semis that he’s there to equal Tildens (sp?) records.

The only thing with Fed is that he doesn’t easily give away his emotions while playing & he’s game is quite effortless (as has been said a million times over) & makes everything look easy. This gives the impression that he’s not trying hard enough or wanting it badly, but I think the reality is different. Beneath that calm if red-hot-fire burning.

I watched the match on some Australian channel & save for that exchange with the umpire, he was calm though-out when he was up or down. The commentators kept on saying his facial expression is just not changing. Even when Del.P went up 4-2 on 5th set, they kept wondering…like…ok, get angry or something. Now, compare this to Del.P, when things were going bad….shirt over his face, hands over his head as if he just received a disastrous news, almost smashing raquet, shaking head, mumbling to himself etc. Then when he hit some crazy winner (I forget at which point), he took something akin to a victory lap in athletics…slapping the spectators hands at the from row. You would never see this from Fed-even after THE SHOT at fed vs. djoko, all Fed did was jump, raise his hands and a bit of what appeared to me an embarrassed smile for being so good…& the next serve, he’s back to the dead-face expression. Also, he almost never grunts, & doesn’t do the acrobatic c’mons with the fist & raised legs. In fact, from watching Fed over the yrs, the more he’s struggling, the more serious the dead-pan expression gets & at worst, gets a bit irritable with poor line calls. But that is all.

For these reasons, it appears like Fed ‘doesn’t want it that badly’. But the reality is different.

Re post match: true, he didn’t appear that upset, but that’s ‘coz he’s got the FO…which imo was more important to him than either 14 & 15. and to be fair, he only cried at the AO ’09…this was an exception, not the norm…..unless I forget the other occasions where he cries after losing?

So imo, Fed wants it as badly & tries as hard as all others who show each & every emotion while playing like the Murrays, Nadals & Del.Ps.


Von Says:

blah: I think Cilic could win a couple of slams, but I’m not going to bet on it. I also feel that the guys e.g., DelPotro, and those around his age group will have an easier time of winning slams as opposed to those who are in Fed’s age group or a couple of years his junior. Hence, I think in 4 years when Fed’s not competing as much, if DelPoro keeps on improving, he could surpass Murray and Djoko in slams. Call it bad timing, but some were born at the right time, and some at the wrong time. The guys Who have suffered the most from Fed’s dominance are those in the 26-30 age group. This is bad timing by their parents. LOL.


jane Says:

blah “Does anyone know what’s up with Djokovic? ” Good question. :) I’d say he still has confidence issues. He hung with Fed the entire semifinal, and he had chances, but on the “big points” he didn’t ‘believe’ or step up like Delpo did. And when he lost his break advantage, it was like he just conceded instead of fighting back. So maybe JMDP is hungrier? More focused?
JMDP has never beaten Djok so I’d like to see them play soon. Their last match was on clay in Rome this year, and Djok won 6-3, 6-4. Their other two matches were on hard in 08 & 07, both straights by Djok. But obviously JMDP is a different player now.

To me the major issues for Novak are 1) confidence, mental toughness, and/or focus & 2) serve consistency (when his serve is clicking, it’s wonderful, but it can go off and his second serve doesn’t hold up like Fed’s). He can get too negative if things go wrong; he needs to just play the next point, move on and stay focused.

Not sure I agree that he lacks power: there is a lot of pop on his shots, and he can hit flat and very deep. He’s also improved fitness-wise so I think he can last. He didn’t seem the least bit tired after 3 sets with Fed, which all went basically the distance (7-6, 7-5, 7-5). I think it’s more mental.

I wonder if he still doubts himself due to the changes he made earlier in the year? Or stuff that happened? Don’t know. Maybe Martin will help him find his way.

Movement – it’s good except on grass, imo. On grass it’s a weakness; I agree with Kimo. Grass will never be his best surface, but he got to finals and quarters this year, so that’s not too shabby. If he can keep those sorts of results he may develop a knack for it.

He’s still a top contender on clay and hardcourts, imo.

Hopefully he can perform better at the slams next year.


been there, done that Says:

Von says:
“The guys Who have suffered the most from Fed’s dominance are those in the 26-30 age group. This is bad timing by their parents. LOL.”

….& even slightly younger. Djokovic should know! He keeps mentioning he’s born in the wrong era & I get a bit worried ‘coz am not sure if he’s serious or joking. (seeing that am reading & don’t have the tones. but even then, I don’t notice the laughter in brackets). For his sake, I hope he’s joking ‘coz barring poor health or injury, Fed intends to play till 2012, not to mention he cites Agassi as a role-model for longevity! & who knows what’s gonna happen to the youngsters between 23-26 between these yrs….thri games might just start slipping or younger contenders are arriving. imo, Fed is now playing in the 3rd generation. (1.Agassi/Sampras 2. Roddick, Hewitt, Safin, etc…3. the current youngsters)

Everyone must emulate Del potro & take their chances while they can (serve present or not). they mustn’t bet on Fed’s or Nadal’s ‘imminent’ retirement ‘coz despite the age-hullabaloo & knees-saga, who knows when this gonna happen? Haas is reaching Qtrs & semis at the prime old age of 31 :) Though he claims that due to his many injuries, his tennis body is actually that of a 25 yr old ‘coz he’s skipped many tournaments over the yrs. I’m like “ok, crazy uncle Haas”. lol.


jane Says:

been there, done that – I hate when Djok says that, whether he’s joking, or serious, or whatever. He needs to just focus and have confidence in his abilities. Saying stuff like that is defeatist.


PietjeP Says:

Congrats to DelPo for his win! I really like him and his style of play; the just go for it style! So much better to watch than Murray’s and in some respect Nadal’s style! I’m really happy for Delpo.

I saw the match and really enjoyed it. Fed’s serve and inconsistency costed him the match. Maybe he will look back with regret. Maybe the hunger left him a little bit. Who knows… he had all the chances to win.

What amazed me was how poorly Roger started the fifth set. After that Delpo just ran over him like a steam train and in the end really deserved the win! I hope he will win many more titles. When Fed retires I know who I will be pulling for… :)


Dan Martin Says:

I think Federer may have been exasperated a few times. He started so well (minus first serve percentage) and was 2 points from the second set – the drop volley at 6-3, 5-4 30-15 is what cost him more than any hawk eye over rule. Victory looked near and then pulled back. He came back in the 3rd set and had chances early in the 4th and once again victory pulled back (JMDP was doing the pulling). Then at 4-5, 15-30 in the 4th he was 2 points away from the match. The tiebreaker was another potential opening for victory. I think he played well enough to have some good chances, but did not convert those chances (in no small part to JMDP tracking down that drop volley and then hitting 2 massive forehands to get the second set to 5-5) and was kind of out of firepower/game plans by the time the 5th set arrived.


huh Says:

“jane Says:
andrea says re: accolades are heaped on those who’ve “minorly shone through at key moments”.

Er, I’d say that JMDP more than “minorly shone through”; the guy just won his first slam, taking out Rafa then Fed. That’s pretty majorly shiny imo. He deserves the consideration and the accolades.”

Absolutely correct Mrs.Jane.
#####################################

For others who still refuse to acknowledge DelPotro fully:

Don’t forget that he’s beaten Murray once, Rafa thrice and Fed in a slam final at arguably Fed’s best suited surface. Who cares how much tired Fed was or injured Rafa was, he’s beaten them back to back in style! :) Add specs to my smiley and imagine it resting in some beautiful Australian beach, ha ha! To add to it, most importantly, it is one and only Del Potro who has played against Fed and pushed him to two gruelling epic 5-setters at slams. Djoko blew Fed away but since Fed’s been flogging him at slams! IMAO, he can’t compete with this Federer in a 5-setter. The only guy who beat/challenged Fed apart from Del Potro is Rafa and we all know what Rafa is: mentally stronger than Djoko/Murray. Roddick also has more mental strength and competitive spirit than Djoko/Murray, don’t forget/ignore the guy, he deserves Kudos for taking one after another losses from Fed, but then he’s also making sure that none else is able to extend his dominance over him. And formerly I believed that Djoko is more talented than Rafa. But now I’m slowly kind of beginning to think that Rafa indeed’s more talented than Murray and Djoko. I couldn’t realise this before but now I’m realsing this seeing how tough it is to even push Fed to 5-sets and let alone beat him! Djoko/Murray hasn’t done it even once and Fed’s already 28.

Poor Roddick, he’s so easily forgotten while talking of the big guys, but it’s not his fault, but that of the people who forget that Roddick has pushed Fed to 5-set this year, and this is not even Roddick’s prime! For some mysterious reasons, Roddick never did it before though he should have, he was capable of it, it’s tough as a die-hard Roddick admirer to accept it. However Rafa could do it from 2005 itself!!! Unbelievable player Rafa really is! This has forced me to change my stance of putting Djoko/Murray over Rafa talent-wise, much to my own dislike. And it’s better if I further admit that I doubted aggressiveness of Rafa before , but now I’m forced(by my own mind) to admit that Rafa’s much more aggressive than Murray and more aggressive than Djoko as well. If he weren’t so, it was impossible to outplay Fed at the Wimbledon/Australia.

And did I forget to say that I had joined Del Potro has recently shown signs of mental strength next only to Fed and Rafa? (Just like the 19 years old Rafa showed while beating and challenging Fed at his prime)

Finally……….Vamos Rafa! ALLEZ FED(My No.1)!
Viva DelPotro! Hurray Roddick!


PietjeP Says:

You are right Dan. Besides, hawkeye has nothing to do with it, other then maybe annoying Fed a little. The ball was good and should have gotten the right line call in the first place. And DelPo pulled of an absolutely great shot at BP there.

Fed failing to convert more breakpoints earlier in that 2nd set costed him that set. If Delpo would have lost that 2nd set, I don’t think he would have came back in the match. After that break he started to belief a little more and really upped his level.

Again in the 4th set, Fed failed to convert. But as you said; DelPo played a couple of good points to win his first service game. The break point in the 2nd game of the fourth set was a missed chance for Fed. He tried the down the line winner, but it wasn’t close enough to the line. If Fed would have broken there I think it could have been the knock out punch again. BTW the down the line forehand shot from Fed didn’t work. I think he should have stopped doing those and go for the inside out. Delpo just hammered the majority as cross forehand winners later in the match. Some were really awesome!!

Fed could and maybe should have won the match. But in the end Delpo deserved to lift the trophy. He kept coming back, didn’t crumble, played really awesome tennis and really converted his chances and took maximum profit from Fed’s small lapses of consistency and maybe concentration. It’s all part of the match…


huh Says:

“grendel says:

The one thing I can see might push him to re-engage in the battle is boredom, and a reignited craving for the attention he sees going to others. Tennis is Federer’s life, and hopefully he will remember this when it is not too late to still do something about it.”

Amen!


huh Says:

“Well, if that’s the performance of a player not wanting to be there, then I’d say Fed’s a very good actor, and I’d like to suggest Fed take up acting as in the movies, and leave tennis for those greener pastures, because his acting skills are superb.”

LOL! ;) One more feather in the wings of Fed, lol lol, ha ha ha!!! ;)


huh Says:

Re: DelPo’s FH, it also seems almost effortless. Though he smashes it hard, still it doesn’t look like putting into it that much effort as Rafa looks while hitting FHs. This is special about Del Potro IMO. May be it’s coz DP’s so lean & thin!


PietjeP Says:

Hey what happened to my post?!? It dissappeared………. :(((


PietjeP Says:

Although I didn’t mind DelPo winning, in some way it’s too bad. Think about the buzz there would have been at the Australian Open; a possible Grand Slam for Federer…….. and this time not at the French against the monster of clay.

Too bad :(


grendel Says:

Someone mentioned that Federer was in exhibition mode in the second set- and I must admit, that’s exactly what I was thinking at the time, although the illuminating term “exhibition” didn’t come to mind. Tremendous praise is due to delPo for disregarding that absolutely, and instantly capitalising on Fed’s “exhibition” mode error. This turned the match around.

I disagree with you, been there, done that, that Fed’s expression remained the same. The changes are “slight”, because Federer has laboriously trained himself command over facial expression, but they are nevertheless significant.

The initial genuinely calm, even playful mien became a sort of mixture of peevish and rueful, that’s how I read it. By “rueful”, I mean, what a fool I’ve been, and it doesn’t look like there’s much I can do. It was quite similar, though not as pronounced, as the expression he had when he fell apart against Tsonga.

Federer is a natural warrior – even though he lacks the killer instinct of Nadal – and of course he kept fighting. But against someone as good as delPo – and I am guessing that Federer made the huge mistake of underestimating him – it was always going to be too late. When he was donated the 3rd set due to the double faults by delPo, I never had any sense at all that the tide was turning. And that expression on his face did not change. That’s my impression – you may think otherwise.

At the French, Federer was overwhelming favourite against Soderling – but even so, he took nothing for granted and was absolutely bent on winning regardless. That deep fire continued through to Wimbledon. I do not believe it was there on Monday.

You make a remark like this, you are instantly accused of special pleading, being a sore loser and so on. The temptation is to keep mum. But what if one is convinced of one’s own argument? It is sort of cowardly not to argue in favour of it.

It goes without saying that delPo is a worthy winner. It will be very interesting to see a return at the AO. Whatever people say, Federer will know two things: one, he wasn’t mentally prepared for the US in the way he was for the French and Wimbledon and two: unless he is mentally so prepared, he has little chance of winning another slam (of course there is always luck, injury to key players and so on).

We don’t know whether a fully prepared Federer can beat a delPo who will certainly have improved by January. That’s what makes it so intriguing. Throw in a fully fit Nadal, the ever improving Soderling and Cilic, and not only is there a feast to look forward to, but in an odd way, I foresee a certain pressure being off Federer. That is, because of the lethal threat of delPo and company, Nadal will no longer be in his head. He might even welcome the prospect of a final with him.


Polo Says:

Nobody can win a man’s final with a poor serve anymore. All the top guys are such big returners, especially given a second serve. I don’t think anybody can win a final serving like Federer did. Serve poorly, you lose. That simple.


Polo Says:

del Potro beat Federer only once and it went five sets with Federer hardly getting any first serve in! How can anybody even question that Federer can no longer beat del Potro. Is is 2008 again?


been there, done that Says:

grendel,

Then we agree to disagree….for me, I saw Federer as wanting it really badly; the hunger was there, the will was there, & the drive was there. Unfortunately, the serve was out. Also, at no point do I think he underestimated Del Potro. In fact, during his pre-tournament interviews, he was asked if Murray was his greatest threat. His answer was something like ‘no’ ‘coz there are also other good players, & in the examples he gave, Del.P was among them. Though he also said Murray has a very good chance as well. Moreover, after winning semis, he said that it was going to be a very tough match ‘coz Del.P pushed him to 5sets in FO & he was lucky to escape there….& that Del.P had improved much from the FO so it was going to be very very tough. And he adds that once someone has reached the finals, he cannot be underestimated. So I fail to see how this is tantamount to Fed under-estimating his opponent, ‘coz all his interviews indicated otherwise.

For me, in as much as Fed failed to convert many break point opportunities, the main problem was his catastrophic serve…(double-faulting in 4th set tie-break!)…though of course, as I said, Del.P must be congratulated for fully capitalising. So we’ll disagree on this point.

But on their next meeting, despite this, I’ll still pick Fed over Del.p as favourite to win.


Kimo Says:

been there, done that said:

“But on their next meeting, despite this, I’ll still pick Fed over Del.p as favourite to win.”

Yeah I think Fed wants revenge :)

But it won’t be easy. Delpo is now almost a household name. And because of his slam and Djoko’s and Murray’s failures, he is now the clear world no.3 in terms of having a fan-base and drawing crowds.


grendel Says:

i don’t really go much by interviews. federer is more candid than most, admittedly, but they are still pr jobs.

The question is: why was the serve off and why was it on at Winbledon? Are we really to believe that kind of thing is in the lap of the gods?


sensationalsafin Says:

Federer’s serve being off isn’t up for much dispute. It’s clear as anything, the guy had a bad serving day. But like Grendel said, even after the 3rd set, I never felt like, ‘ok this is it, now fed’s gonna step up and run away with the match’. I usually get that in every single match he plays, but not this time. To me, Del Potro was still playing better and I didn’t see a reason for him to lose, considering he shouldn’t have lost the third set anyway. And Federer really f*cked up in the second set, but I agree that he was in “exhibition” mode. He just seemed like he thought he could play just well enough and win, but Del Potro wasn’t having it. In the 5th set, he seemed a little resigned, like, he wanted to win of course, but he didn’t want it nearly as bad as Del Potro. The 5th set is all about who wants it more, and it was incredibly clear that Federer did not want it that bad.


jane Says:

“why was the serve off and why was it on at Winbledon?”

Fed said repeatedly in his post-match presser that he was tired; maybe that had something to do with it? Why must it be mental or motivational. His serve was on-and-off throughout the USO. Who knows why. Players have better days at the office than other days. It might also have something to do with surface.

I agree with been there, done that; I didn’t notice a lack of desire to win on Fed’s part.


huh Says:

Fed needs to be careful with his health from now onwards so that he’s enough strength to boom serves at his rivals, especially at slams. Why was he tired by the way, if at all?


Von Says:

Polo: “del Potro beat Federer only once and it went five sets with Federer hardly getting any first serve in! How can anybody even question that Federer can no longer beat del Potro. Is is 2008 again?”

Absolutely true. People only see the results, sometimes they need to look deeper. It’s always necessary to look at the whole picture and then come up with an analysis instead of doing so based on superficial facts. There are many factors surrounding a loss and the events leading up to the loss, however in the final analysis, it’s the W that matters. However, that does not necessarily mean that the next time the two meet the results will be the same as on Monday. Each match is different. Anyway, moving on …..


huh Says:

“Kimo Says:
been there, done that said:

“But on their next meeting, despite this, I’ll still pick Fed over Del.p as favourite to win.”

Yeah I think Fed wants revenge :) ”

Totally agree with you people, but somehow I’m beginning to think that Del Potro’d give Fed tougher challenge overall than Djoko/Murray irrespective of what the outcome of the matches. There are chances Fed’ll play more 5-set matches with Del Potro. He won’t back out of challenge like Djoko, this eve if Del Potro isn’t at his best! And I freakin sure won’t be overjoyed the next time I see DP in Fed’s quarter or half of the draw in slams.


huh Says:

“grendel Says:
i don’t really go much by interviews. federer is more candid than most, admittedly, but they are still pr jobs.

The question is: why was the serve off and why was it on at Winbledon? Are we really to believe that kind of thing is in the lap of the gods?”

So true grendel!


sensationalsafin Says:

Federer’s number 1 in the world. Obviously beating him, even not at his best, in a slam final is going to be challenging. Until I see otherwise, I’m going to question Fed’s motivation to continue breaking records. As for everything else, Fed’s still playing great. The US Open final is a testament of Del Potro’s inevitable greatness more than it is Federer’s inevitable downfall, if at all.


been there, done that Says:

huh says:
“And I freakin sure won’t be overjoyed the next time I see DP in Fed’s quarter or half of the draw in slams.”

Lol. All’s not well in Fed-land & Nadal-land…..someone’s trespassed & shaken the FeDal kingdom to it’s core. Seems like none of the fans want Del.P in their fave’s qtr or half. For sure, Del.P has truly arrived. Will be interesting to see what happens in AO…though there’s still 2master series, & a TMC…a lot could happen till then. Though I think he’s more of a threat to Nadal than Roger…..but time will tell. imo, Nadal is still Fed’s no1 nemesis & the one to be feared, so there must be a sigh of relief from camp Fed that Rafa’s back to No2.

>>On a side-note, I wonder how much bashing Del.P will start receiving if his success continues….seeing that for now, a win must still come through either Fed or Rafa. I think that with time, this is the one place where extreme fed & rafa *fanatics* will finally find a common ground!


Ezequiel Says:

I remember that about 2 years ago my father asked how were the promising names in argentinian tennis. When I named Del Potro he made fun of the name, because of its meaning, and what i told him was to sit and wait. At the beginning of 2009 when he lost to federer at the aussie open the critics flew in for the kid, even though all knew how good he already was. Why I recall the most is how many people described his lack of experience against top ten players and unstable mentality during long matches.
Toda, not even a year later He’s the US Open champion and the critics have dissapeared.
I wonder who gives the rigths to people to think how many years may take a player to win a grand slam and how good or bad the might be in tight matches since while many believed that Del Potro still needed a few years to win a grand slam, he showed everyone he only needed a few months


sheila Says:

well delpotro is in big league now. so everyone will start gunning for him. although im a loyal federer fan, i at least am glad if he lost it, it was to delpotro. i like this kids personality. seems humble. now, the ? is can delpotro win week after week and year after year the way nadal and federer have done in majors that is. must say, however, that i am so surprised federer let this one slip away. it really took me by surprise. 2010 just got a lot more interesting. but, i will always be rooting for federer above anyone else. delpotro is my 2nd fav. who will be #1? who will win majors? we will c in 2010. ao should be very exciting.


i am it Says:

good to hear from Toni Nadal, “I have said for a long time that del Potro could be World No. 1. He has the best chance of doing it, along with (Andy) Murray and (Novak) Djokovic.”


SG Says:

I agree with the posters on this thread. Another well written and articulate article by Dan.

DelPo didn’t let himself collapse mentally, even when he made some mistakes e.g. those DF’s at the end of the third set. He really learned something from his loss at the FO to Federer.

DelPo is the biggest hitter on tour off the ground. He has the ability to really flatten out his forehand and drive the ball through the court. And his 6′-6″ frame enabled him to get back enough of Fed’s first serves to make him uncomfortable. Kind of like what Becker did to Lendl. I still think his mobility is suspect. Nonetheless, he never backed down to Fed and that is the most important thing to remember when you play Federer. You have to contest every point, every inch on the court, every marginal line call and let Fed know that he’s in for a fight to the bitter end. If you can get Fed to the 5th set, he has proven to be very vulnerable. 2nd time this year he cracked in the 5th set of a major. And he didn’t play a great 5th set against Roddick at Wimbledon either. He was fortunate that Andy has never really been a great returner.

I don’t think Fed’s 5 set record is much better than 50%. Fed gets pretty emotionally edgy in 5 set matches. They take him out of his comfort zone and that’s exactly where you have to drag him.


BENX Says:

Federer might not have seemed as upset after this loss as he has been previously, but that is to be expected. His emotions after losing the AO this year were BEFORE his elusive French triumph, BEFORE his record breaking slam record at Wimbledon. His enormous emotions after losing in Melbourne were the emotions of a man who, after losing to his up and coming rival on a hard court (evidently, at least, Nadal’s least fav surface), thought he would never win another slam, never break the record and never win the ‘career grand slam’. Now that he’s won the French and broken Sampras’s record, he can relax even if he loses to a #6 seed at a tournament he’s already won.


sensationalsafin Says:

Fed’s 5 set record is like 15-11. Federer didn’t play that great of a match in the Wimbledon final, the 5th set was more of the same.

I kinda agree and kinda disagree. I mean cmon, the guy is actually 4-2 in 5 setters this year. Not great, but not bad either. And technically, 3 of the ones he won were the most important (2 at the French and 1 at Wimbledon). And in the 2 5 setters he did lose, his serve let him down the most. And it’s not like he lost to random people, he lost to players who were fighting harder than he was. The AO final was a real mental letdown against his arch rival. The USO final, the guy on the other side of the court wanted it more. Del Potro wanted to win that match more than Federer did, and it was evident in the 5th set. Fed’s 2-3 in 5 setters against Nadal. Not exactly a terrible stat considering the way Nadal fights.


Kimo Says:

Ezequiel said:

“When I named Del Potro he made fun of the name, because of its meaning, and what i told him was to sit and wait.”

Why? What does Del Potro mean?


Kimo Says:

sensationalsafin said:

“Fed’s 2-3 in 5 setters against Nadal. Not exactly a terrible stat considering the way Nadal fights.”

And one of those losses came in Rome 2006 where he held match points in that 5th set :)


william Says:

I looked it up and Del is Spanish for “from the” or “of the” and Potro means “an intact young male horse”, i.e. “colt”.


jane Says:

huh asks with regards to Fed: “Why was he tired by the way, if at all?”

I don’t know the answer to this, of course, but one could speculate. Let’s see: he won the French, he won Wimbledon, he then “had” twin daughters, he then got to the quarters in Canada and then won Cincy the following week, all BEFORE getting to the finals of the USO.

No wonder Fed said in his post match presser, more than once, that he is tired. Phew!

I just don’t agree that he didn’t want to win the match or that Delpo “wanted it more” – Fed fought hard to get to the final, then he fought throughout the match without a great serve, arguing with the ump along the way, and going all the way to a 5-setter. You can bet that Fed wanted to win. However, in my opinion, after getting broke to begin the 5th, and then not being able to break right back, I think he may’ve relented somewhat in the 5th set. But NOT before then. In my opinion, he was fighting all the way through until a few games into the 5th, when Juan held for 3-0 or maybe 4-1.

And at that point, Fed may’ve gave up the ghost so to speak.

But this thought that he was in exo-mode? I don’t get it. He was playing well, but for his first serve, and we all know he can manage quite well, even beating most guys, without a high percentage of firsts in.

So it was a well-contested final but the better player on the day won.


sensationalsafin Says:

But the 5th set is all about who wants it more. And the winner obviously wanted it more. Del Potro won, therefore he wanted it more.


jane Says:

I don’t agree that the 5th is “all about” who wants it more – you see Fed could’ve wanted it just as much but he might’ve been unable to serve his way through, or unable to break JMDP. You’re implying that tennis can be taken right out of the equation. I say, Fed was just outplayed. Maybe he just took this lose better because he’s had such a fulfilling summer, but you don’t think he wanted that 16th? That 6th USO, to tie Tilden? I think so. But sometimes this is a matter of perception in which case we might never agree or see eye-to-eye as the case may be.

That’s okay right? : )


jane Says:

* lose s/b loss…


blah Says:

I agree with Jane. There’s no way that Federer didn’t want it that badly. Before that Del Potro had only won the two tie breakers, and Federer had been pretty pissed near the end of the third set with the judge and after DelPo double faulted twice to lose the set Fed was excited. There’s no way that the fifth set came and Fed just decided eh, I don’t have to win everything.

If things were this way, then the only way Fed would lose while wanting it really badly would be when he plays Nadal. I think he didn’t feel as much pressure this time and took the loss better. If it were Rafa again, and the talks of “well if Rafa was around during fo and wimby” start up again, I doubt he would’ve been that calm in the ceremony.


blah Says:

If Fed’s serve was working, If Nadal’s groundstrokes were in top form, If Murray was attacking, If Djoker wanted it more, If Roddick stuck with his tactics, etc. I see the 100% argument made for Fed than any other player. What If Del Potro kept his nerves and held after he broke, you get the point…


blah Says:

Will most Fed fans still be this fond of Del Potro if he beats him in other slams a couple more times :)


huh Says:

“been there, done that Says:

Nadal is still Fed’s no1 nemesis”

Can’t disagree.


huh Says:

However I’d rather see Nadal as Fed’s opponent, I think this Del Potro can become very dangerous, more dangerous than Rafa was for Fed. DP is young and as I said, he’s unlikely to collapse against Fed in the near future slams. For Fed, Rafa’d be easier prey in comparison to Del Potro. After all all Rafa does is pound Fed’s backhands and run down balls, but this DP fellow can hit lights-out, powerful shots as well as make Fed tired by making him run for his points from one side to the other and give him aches in his @$$. And Fed ain’t gettin any younger. Rafa had just 5 year age advantage, but this guy has 7+ years age advantage! Not to mention, he’s more aggressive than Rafa. All this means not good news for Fed :( And I hope, the next time Fed faces DP, he cuts down on some of his liking for him, at least for the match time. It’s time Fed starts hating DP, if at all he wants to give himself better chances against DP!

By the way, as much as I disapprove of Toni Nadal’s constant speakin on Rafa’s behalf, but kudos to him as to me ;) for predicting great things w.r.t. DP so far back!


huh Says:

“blah Says:
Will most Fed fans still be this fond of Del Potro if he beats him in other slams a couple more times :)”

From my side, I won’t be too unhappy to see DP win against Fed more consistently if he can, however I think the wins of their clashes from now onwards will be shared between Fed and DP.


huh Says:

“On a side-note, I wonder how much bashing Del.P will start receiving if his success continues….seeing that for now, a win must still come through either Fed or Rafa. I think that with time, this is the one place where extreme fed & rafa *fanatics* will finally find a common ground!”

For sure!


huh Says:

“Ezequiel Says:
I remember that about 2 years ago my father asked how were the promising names in argentinian tennis. When I named Del Potro he made fun of the name, because of its meaning, and what i told him was to sit and wait. At the beginning of 2009 when he lost to federer at the aussie open the critics flew in for the kid, even though all knew how good he already was. Why I recall the most is how many people described his lack of experience against top ten players and unstable mentality during long matches.
Toda, not even a year later He’s the US Open champion and the critics have dissapeared.
I wonder who gives the rigths to people to think how many years may take a player to win a grand slam and how good or bad the might be in tight matches since while many believed that Del Potro still needed a few years to win a grand slam, he showed everyone he only needed a few months”

Absolutely spot on! Kudos to you… :D


huh Says:

“sensationalsafin Says:
Fed’s 5 set record is like 15-11. Federer didn’t play that great of a match in the Wimbledon final, the 5th set was more of the same.

I kinda agree and kinda disagree. I mean cmon, the guy is actually 4-2 in 5 setters this year. Not great, but not bad either. And technically, 3 of the ones he won were the most important (2 at the French and 1 at Wimbledon). And in the 2 5 setters he did lose, his serve let him down the most. And it’s not like he lost to random people, he lost to players who were fighting harder than he was. The AO final was a real mental letdown against his arch rival. The USO final, the guy on the other side of the court wanted it more. Del Potro wanted to win that match more than Federer did, and it was evident in the 5th set. Fed’s 2-3 in 5 setters against Nadal. Not exactly a terrible stat considering the way Nadal fights.

Very nicely put by sensationalsafin. :D


huh Says:

As soon as I heard DP saying that he’d fight till the last point in the final as it’s his dream to win the USO, being played on his fave surface, I sort of suspected like, look, nobody wants the trophy more than him, and I’m pretty sure after what happened in the final that my suspecting wasn’t baseless. DP wanted not only the trophy, he most of all wanted to beat Fed. So he beat Fed. He wanted it more till the last point and he knew it, end of story.


huh Says:

Fed also realised it, but it was too late. Sometimes we are resally confused even with regards to what we want, no? And we are human just like Fed/anyone else, no? That said, may be if Fed wanted it even more, he still would have failed! Who know and who cares and should care about it? Heck!


grendel Says:

There is a misunderstanding here. Of course Federer wanted to win. How could it be otherwise? But he was not, in my view, emotionally and mentally up for it in the way that he was for the French and Wimbledon. As for the exhibition mode, that’s a matter of perception. It was perfectly plain to me, and incidentally, tells you also something about Federer’s state of mind. There is nothing mysterious in any of this. Motivation is not something limited to the day, and it does vary with a particular individual, according to circumstance.


grendel Says:

One more thing, though. Whilst it is obvious that the nature of motivation varies and is dependant upon circumstances, it is worth bringing up only as a point of inquiry. That’s the sort of thing which is of interest to some, of deep boredom to others.

But in any case, such inquiry can say nothing about whether or not Federer would have won had he been able to dig deep. Very possibly delPo would have won anyway. And by definition, the better man won on the day.


i am it Says:

two sides, may be three, of the argument run like this
(1) fed loses because he had mono or back pain, he was not 100%, which may include forehand missing and/ or his serve not working or his lack of anticipation or his not wanting more or things along that line or combination of two or more things.
(2)fed wins because he is healthy, his serve working, his forehand/ backhand perfect, his anticipation infallible, he does not choke or blink. in sum he is 100%.

Is not this true with every player?

[the difference is fed has been more consistent, and most others' consistency fluctuates and varies in degrees. with fed, there is not much gap between his average form and his zone, which is 100%+. with most others, there is a considerable gap.]
(3) and you have to take into account the opponent’s performance because fed alone does not determine the outcome of every match he plays. if not all times, his not being 100% has to do with the opponent’s execution.
“wanting more” can help sometimes, but it is not the sole reason a player wins.
are we reasonable to attribute fed’s losses to not “wanting more,” e.g. wimbledon 2008 or FO on those 5 occasions he lost to rafa, or any other loss?
can we say the same thing about other players? for instance, can we say murray lost to roddick, verdasco, gonzalez, and cilic because he did not want to win a grand slam?
or, is it a special rule that is exclusive to fed and that it applies to no one else?


i am it Says:

take also into account fed’s loss to henman after beating sampras at wimbledon 2001 and to ancic in the first round of wimbledon 2002.
i think fed wanted it more in those 2 years than any other year.


i am it Says:

sequel to my last 2 posts.
1. if it is not rafa on the other side of the net, fed would not “want more” and not win another slam title?
2. if that is the case, then we would not see fed winning another slam if rafa does not get to the final?
3. could it be that fed’s “wanting more” caused that double fault and gave dePo the first match point? or would you interpret that as willing surrender?


jane Says:

I like your point #3 in the sequel i am it. I got the impression that maybe Fed was a bit anxious/nervous once the 4th set got to a tiebreak. He must’ve sensed by then that JMDP was not one to “go away” – physically, mentally, or whatever. And so by the 5th, maybe Fed unraveled mentally. But he still tried to dig deep. It was obvious he was trying to break back, as well as fighting to hold his serve when serving at 2-5, but JMDP kept coming up with the goods! At deuce, at Ad-Fed, JMDP did not stop fighting. He was true to his word that he’d fight for every point. Thank Rafa for that.

To me Fed seemed up for the win mentally and emotionally from the start of the match; I fully believe he was motivated to fight and win, that he wanted to tie Tilden.

I found some Eurosport coverage of the end of the match on youtube, and the camera held on Fed for a long time when sitting at his chair while/after JMDP went up to his box for hugs. Fed looked strikingly sad and/or mad. He did not look like a content or “you can’t win em all” competitor. In my opinion, he wanted that win, but he held himself together for the ceremony.


chris Says:

Congratulations to Juan Martin, he is a great player.


sensationalsafin Says:

It’s not like Federer didn’t want to win. And this doesn’t only apply to Federer. The 5th set is about heart and who wants it more. Just ask Boris Becker. Federer lost the 5th set because he went away because he didn’t want it as bad as Del Potro.

Look at the 5th set of Wimbledon where both players clearly wanted it and were waiting for the other to crack. Look at the 5th set of the Fed-Haas match where Federer made sure to up his level of play and win. Against Del Potro in the 5th at the French, Federer didn’t go away and made sure he did everything he had to in order to win. When you see someone lose a 5th set 6-2, they checked out mentally. It applies to everyone.


jane Says:

I thought Boris said the 5th set what about mental strength?

I don’t think you can simply compare 5th sets either, sensationalsafin. Because, for example, at Wimbledon Fed was serving very well, throughout the entire tournament! He was on a roll. But at the USO, his serve was patchy from the start, as we saw Britton break Fed twice. Not mention many others: Hewitt, Djok etc. So to me, going into the final Fed’s serve was vulnerable, whereas JMDP had been solid the entire event.

As for Fed/Delpo at the French, I believe that Fed got momentum on his side, and Delpo didn’t go away in the 5th; he broke back once, but Fed was just stronger.

I cannot agree that 5th sets are about who wanted it more on what day; imo, it’s more about who was playing better on that day, or who played the big points better, that sort of thing. Maybe mental toughness plays into it; I’ll certainly buy that. But I think no matter who is playing in a 5th set final of a grand slam – they want to win it!


grendel Says:

” and you have to take into account the opponent’s performance because fed alone does not determine the outcome of every match he plays………………”wanting more” can help sometimes, but it is not the sole reason a player wins.” (i am it)
Absolutely. Which is why I said that however Federer had played, delPo might have won.

I disagree with some of your details, but the main gist of your argument is good. It boils down to: why make a special case for Federer? Why indeed?

Like it or not, and obviously because of his record and because the world is, generally, star struck, people have been extremely interested to see whether Federer can maintain his motivation at the same high level, given his recent triumphs. So he is, in this sense, a special case. This may be galling for non-Federer fans,it may even be irrational, I can see that, but it’s the way it is.

Certainly Fed would have liked to equal Tilden. I never for one moment thought he looked content. He was bloody irritated, and had been for a very long time – I went into that in an earlier post, I’m not going to repeat it. Certainly he fought to the best of his ability. But these things are not decided just on the day.

He was absolutely not, imo, in the same utterly determined groove that he had beem at the French and at Wimbledon.


i am it Says:

when did boris becker become the ultimate authority? he was a good player. not a good analyst.
so, you are basically copying and pasting what becker said? or, you found the excuse fitting in what he said?
so, whoever has heart and wants it more wins the 5th-setter grand slam final? if that is the rule, my coach has not told me yet.

so, it has nothing to do with skills and execution? it has nothing to do with how your opponent overpowers and cripples you?

no analyst and no coach, who’s been in the business for long, has ever said, “The 5th set is about heart and who wants it more.” at least i am not aware of it.

tennis is not an EXCLUSIVE contest about who has a bigger heart and who wants it more, not even for a single point, let alone the whole 5th set.

keep in mind we are talking about grand slam final’ 5-setter, not any other, which is different. we are not talking about 5 setters of pre-final rounds.

and remember fed was only 2-2 in a grand slam final 5-setter match before playing this final. he only had 50% shot, based on that stat. now he is 2-3. so, after this USO, statistically he will have only 40% shot. a prediction based on stat, which may not always turn about to be true, though bears some relevance.

TO ME, “heart” and “wanting more” are only fuzzy things. can you make a prediction based on this? this is an unknown territory.

if fed had said or if he ever says, he did not have heart and did not “want more” to win the 6th consecutive US Open, i might consider believing him. i doubt he will ever say that. i don’t think he will attribute his loss to dePo’s “wanting more,” either.

i am not sure how much credibility you have on this. i will let others judge.

to me, you are only trying to discredit dePo’s win, inadvertently or otherwise, and look for an excuse for fed’s loss, apparently with the bias that he wins it all if he just wills it more.

plus, you did not address any of the issues and questions i raised.

i rest my case.


grendel Says:

i am it

you didn’t address me, but I’ll answer your post all the same from my perspective.

There’s a lot of honest passion in your post, and it’s led me to think again.The point I was making (which is a bit different to Sensational Safin’s, so I make no comment on that) is really quite academic; after all, motivation is bound to vary with every player in every match to a certain degree. Usually not much, very occasionally, quite a lot. Impossible to be precise here, though.

What is undoubtedly the case, however, is that delPo beat Federer fair and square. The result looks quite close, but I thought delPo was in control from breaking Federer in the second to the end. (Losing the third set, in that freakish way, was against the run of play).

I allowed my academic side to get the better of me. Apologies for that, because I think delPo fans have legitimate cause to rejoice without carpings from the “opposition”, so to speak.

I hope Fed and delPo meet in the AO. The question is not: will Federer learn from his loss here. Of course, as a seasoned professional, he will. But will it do any good, or is delPo just too strong for him? That’s what we don’t know, and what will be fascinating to find out.


sensationalsafin Says:

I’m not saying Federer didn’t want it. And I’m not saying Del Potro didn’t deserve the win. To me, Federer looked reserved in the 5th set. He played it like it was the first or second set. He seemed to be still trying to feel his way into the match and crack Del Potro. But it was way to late for that. And had Federer dug deeper, it would’ve been closer. I’m not saying Federer played better. He didn’t. Del Potro played better from half way through the second set to the very end of the match. Even when he lost the 3rd set, he was playing better. I’m glad Del Potro won and I think he completely deserved it no matter what Federer’s state of mind was or wasn’t. But when a match goes into a 5th set, it becomes less about execution because obviously both players are executing pretty well. What else did you want me to address?


i am it Says:

i don’t have anything to disagree with the last two posts.
in general 90%+ posts coming from SS are reasonable. that was just one instance of aberration that i picked on.

g, more than “utterly determined groove” was there in the first set and a couple of games into the 2nd set.

fed wanted to intimidate dePo with his speed during that period, hoping that would suck the life out of dePo and he would surrender in panic attack. dePo stood the ground and steadily made his way into the match, except briefly at the end of the 3rd set when he double faulted.

since the beginning of the 4th set, there was, if you may, a reverse effect, when dePo showed courage and persevered to play better.

metaphorically, again, the effect impaired fed when he double faulted in the 4th set tie break and it only continued to aggravate as dePo started hitting more freely.

as a consequence, fed started missing more, not just the first serve, which was worse in the 1st set than the 5th set. In the 1st set, fed’s first serve was 41%, but in the 5th, it improved to 54%. In the first set, the UE was 8; in the 5th, it was 15.

in a way, if you just look at 1st and 5th sets, fed and dePo changed roles. DePo did to fed in the 5th set what fed did to him in the 1st set. in the 5th set, fed became what dePo was in the 1st set. a kind of reversal. a nice revenge.

now the question how they will fare when they meet next time. i wish i knew the answer. as much as i like dePo, i think it will be a 50-50 on hard and clay.


grendel Says:

nice analysis


grendel Says:

“fed wanted to intimidate dePo with his speed during that period,[first set and a bit, i.e. - grendel] hoping that would suck the life out of dePo and he would surrender in panic attack. dePo stood the ground and steadily made his way into the match,”

It occurs to me that there is here a very curious almost repetition of last year’s US Open final. Then, too, Federer came storming out and, it seemed, shocked Murray. However, Murray did pick his game up in the second set, and if he had taken his chances, he would have been rewarded as was delPo.

Who knows, then, what might have happened. As it is, Murray fell away. He WAS intimidated as delPo was not. It is an instructive parallel, I think.


sensationalsafin Says:

Isn’t that what tennis is all about? Who knows what’ll happen next time they meet? I don’t know and I’m glad I don’t. I don’t wanna know. When the time comes for them to play again, I wanna sit back and enjoy quality tennis. Federer did what I think every Federer fan wanted him to do, win the French and break the slam record (I’m especially glad it was Wimbledon because I wanted to see him reclaim that). A lot of people are writing how great it was to see Del Potro’s emotions after he won his first slam and I couldn’t agree more. It was such an innocent reaction and I feel like a lot of people probably couldn’t help but smile, no matter happy or sad about the result, when they saw Del Potro. It really has been a long time since someone won their first major the way Del Potro did. When Djokovic won the Australian, the reaction wasn’t as “innocent” because, to me at least, it felt like it was beyond inevitable and that it was Djokovic’s 4th slam or something. And even when Nadal won the French for the first time, as happy as he was, it was so expected and we had already seen Nadal fall into the clay a thousand times after winning the Masters leading into the French. But this was something that I personally haven’t seen in a long time. Everyone knows how much I love Safin and I’ve rewatched his first win several times and Del Potro reminds me a lot of Safin, only hungrier.

I also read a good article on ESPN about what we can take from the US Open and one of the points was that Del Potro still has a lot of room to improve. His volleys, fitness, and even slice backhand, are all far from perfect. He’s going to be a great player. I just hope in the years to come as the young players become better and better and Federer fades out, people don’t say, “How can he be number 1 if he only won 1 slam this year?” because chances are everyone else won 1 slam that year. There isn’t going to be another Roger Federer. And I think tennis doesn’t need one anymore. Federer, and Nadal of course, have done a lot for the sport and their records are just other worldly, but I wanna see more champions. Murray sucks but I still hope he comes through some day.


jane Says:

“if you just look at 1st and 5th sets, fed and dePo changed roles. DePo did to fed in the 5th set what fed did to him in the 1st set.”

Great point i am it. I agree. And also grendel raises the point that Fed’s often been starting sharp, particularly, perhaps, against more tenacious or dangerous opponents (like Soderling), but when they just don’t go away things can get dicey (as they did in that Soderling match, which almost went 5). Witness, too, Fed’s 3 set losses at the Master’s events this year, to Djok in Miami and Rome & to Tsonga in Canada. At Cincy, Fed came out with guns a-blazing against both Djok and Murray, but both opponents came back to play very tight second sets. One wonders what might’ve happened had they been able to go over that hurdle, win the second set, and take it to a third.

Could it be that Fed is going for quicker wins these days? Or has he always? I dunno. We know he’s an excellent front runner, and while he has shown real grit in digging out some 5-set wins at slams in the last year or so, sometimes those wins were also down to the unraveling of his opponents – e.g., Berdych at the AO, and perhaps (?) Haas at the FO.


sensationalsafin Says:

I think so, too, jane. I was gonna bring up that Federer looked old in the final. And not just in the final, but during the whole US Open, whenever they showed him during the change over or an interview, I’ve noticed he’s aged. The way he keeps going so deep in slams is beginning to feel like he just doesn’t know how to not go deep in slams anymore. Like, it’s like instinctive for him to get into the semis and finals. Hell, his last 3 slam losses were in the 5th set in the finals. Federer doesn’t know how to lose before then, haha.

But seriously, another reason for him trying to go for the quick kill is also probably to prolong his career. Get off the court quicker, rest more, be able to play more. Fed’s had a really good summer hard court season, too, which can attribute to him seeming tired. That’s not even age, though, Del Potro was tired, too, going into Cincy (good thing he pulled out). Idk, I love Federer but he’s old. I hated Agassi in his last few years. I wanted him to retire so that the young players can win their tournaments. Federer, however, has been winning everything since he was 22. So 6 years he hasn’t really let anyone else win. So he needs to stop, not retire, but let other people win. Idk how to explain what I’m trying to say, but I’m looking forward to a new era.


grendel Says:

“Could it be that Fed is going for quicker wins these days?”

The feeling I have is that Federer can’t sustain the level of excellence which characterises some of these first set blasters. Once, he sometimes could.

Now he can’t. But since he is a very capable grinder, he can often build upon the easily won first set. It does seem to me, though, that his adversaries are going to be pretty wise to this. Where once, the shock will almost have had the effect of buying Federer a second set – the opponent, still reeling, hasn’t yet taken in the fact that Fed’s level of play has dropped – now surely the word must be: hang on, and there’s every chance things will go your way.

Given that this phenomenon has been evident for a while now, it seems reasonable to put it down to age. 28 IS quite old, actually, in tennis terms.

What other explanation is there?


grendel Says:

Sensational Safin

You made this point before, many months ago, about wanting a new breed to come through, Federer being too old and so on. So there’s no problem believing you.

It might be hard to believe, but every now and then, I get just a bit sick of Federer, especially watching him grinding out his backhand. It sometimes seems as if I’ve seen it all a million times – and I have, certainly, watched him far more than anyone else. You can get tired of a favourite author. But you still feel a loyalty to him. As a matter of fact, there was a writer I loved as a teenager, and I haven’t read him for 30 plus years, and I doubt if I could. But I still feel a strange loyalty to him, and resent it when he is attacked – as he often is these days.

So I wonder whether you’re feeling the same ambiguous pull with Federer. It’s hard to drop old favourites, it’s a bit coldblooded to just announce – as you did – at such and such a time, I shall back so and so (in your case, I remember it being Djokovic; I was frankly sceptical. Has it worked out?) So I’m not surprised when you say:”Idk how to explain what I’m trying to say”. Mixed feelings, in my experience, can be puzzling.

I too find delPo a breath of fresh air. Murray, Nadal and Djokovic – all young – seem to have been around for ever. I want Federer to win more slams. But if the thought of him winning loads more seems somehow dreary and lifeless, it’s a needless thought. The competition these days is so strong, even getting a 16th slam is going to be a monumental hurdle, 17 or 18 obviously even tougher.


jane Says:

I’d say age makes sense, an adjunct of which is wear & tear, after years of going deep in most events in which he played/plays. That has to tax joints, muscles, endurance, etc., over time. And with the onslaught of power Delpo sent his way in the final, maybe he just wore down? Similarly, Nadal keeps at him until he wears down mentally and maybe physically, at least off the backhand side. But Fed is still a great enough competitor that he’ll be a serious contender for a couple more years anyhow.


sensationalsafin Says:

Exactly my point, Grendel. You worded my thoughts perfectly :D

I’ll still root for Djokovic because, not just his personality, but at his best he’s got a phenomenal game. Plus, with what’s gone on in the past year or so with him, he’s like the underdog of the top guys, which makes him more appealing to me.

I’m going to continue being extremely critical of Murray until he learns to play tennis. I used to like his game but now, not so much. And I can explain this well:

During his match with Cilic, Cilic would often hit a big serve and then hit a big forehand winner. I’ve seen countless players do this all the time (Roddick, Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Del Potro, and just about everyone else). But I never ever see Murray do this. He puts himself in a grinding position even after he gets a good serve in. It just makes me so mad. He needs to learn to play tennis.

I don’t like Nadal.

I’ve been impressed by Del Potro since his 4 tournament run last year. I’ve been saying it for a while and the US Open just made it more true, I’m impressed every single time I see the kid play. His game impresses me a lot. And it’s almost the exact opposite of Murray’s, which makes me like it even more.

I like Roddick when he plays aggressive like Del Potro, but not when he plays like a push over like Murray. But he’s getting old, too. At least he’ll always be funny.


Kimo Says:

What’s all this nonesense about “Who wants it more?”

Maybe Roddick didn’t want to win Wimbledon bad enough and that’s why he lost the fifth set in the final!!!

That’s just pure rubbish.

Look, I think you guys are over-analyzing things right now coz there isn’t any tennis being played. That’s why I try not to post nowadays coz this is just about the time “silly season” starts.

Look, Delpo played great and won. Fed didn’t play so great and lost. End-of-Story. How their matches would end up looking like in the future is nothing but speculation at the moment. Maybe Fed will come up with a better game plan next time they play. Maybe Delpo with be Fed’s new nemesis. Maybe…Maybe..Maybe…….

Take a break guys, will ya?


Daniel Says:

grendel and sensational safin,

I think Federer spoiled you guys. No way I am getting “tired” of him!

I am getting a bit bitter cause I know it will end in a near future. We’ll only regreat when he is gone and we are gonig to see a lot of sentences starting with: “During Federe time……

To all,
Nice analysis of the match, agree in several points.
I don’t know if DelPo wanted it more, but Fed seemed tired and his mistakes in the 5th set was awfull to see, like he lost timing and patiance.

He should have at least made DelPo serve for the tilte, which could have turn the match completly. Inexperience and nerves would have made a huge deal for DelPo.
I had belief in Fed when he got game point serving 2-5, but when Delpo unleashed another great forehand to Fed’s backhand leveling to deuce, I thought: well, that is it, Fed will lose his serve and match.

The Argentine never cracked, the same happened in the Nadal match, Nadal didn’t made DelPo serve to close any of the sets.
DelPo didn’t even put himself in a position to crack. All merits to him and his development into a soon to be great champion!


Duro Says:

They call him Potro loco. Does it ring any bells?


margot Says:

grendel: in response to going “off” favourites. Au contraire sensationalsafin, I shall continue to like Andy M whatever he does because I actually admire the way he plays. Yes, he does drive me nuts by not ending points but you guys, apart from Fed., seem to like “ball bashers” or am I wrong? I like Andy’s subtlety, to be honest, and the way he uses his brain, overuses probably. I like Tsonga v. much but one more display like the one he did against Karlovic, rolling his eyes to heaven etc etc rather than getting down and dirty and I don’t know…I like Djko for his humour and flair etc. and am unlikely to change my mind. Dimitrov is so good and hope his star rises, unlike Gulbis whose continues to fall. Nobody, IMHO, will ever match Fed’s amazing talent, but we really, really did need a change!


sensationalsafin Says:

I don’t mind Murray’s thinking game, but there needs to be a balance. He can’t ALWAYS use the thinking game. Sometimes he needs to hit a big serve and hit an immediate winner. Look at the way Federer mixes things up. He does the whole playing aruond with his opponent thing but then he also goes for outright winners when he needs to. Nadal does the same thing. And Nadal is naturally a counter puncher yet I always see him go for the big slice out wide then forehand into the open court. It saves energy. It’s an efficient way of winning the point. I don’t like outright ball bashers like Gonzo who just go for broke all the time. I like smart play. Murray’s a smart guy who doesn’t know how to play tennis.

“During the Federer time, Federer won everything”
Ok, and post Federer time, there were a lot of great players sharing the slams.

I addressed the Roddick-Federer match. I think both players were waiting for the other to crack but wanted it bad enough to give the other guy very few opportunities. But Boris Becker said Roddick didn’t believe enough.

Federer didn’t have the same conviction in his shots that Del potro did in that 5th set. DelPo played it like a 5th, putting his everything into every shot. Federer played it like any other set and kept trying to feel his way into it. Del Potro knew how bad he wanted it, idk wtf Federer was thinking at the time. All credit to Del Potro for stepping it up when he had to. The guy’s a champ, I wouldn’t wanna take anythhing away from that. All I’m saying is that Federer could’ve made it closer but his mindset wasn’t the same as it was at the French and Wimbledon.

And for whoever mentioned Federer looking mad/sad when he was sitting down after the match ended, no sh*t. Who wouldn’t be mad after losing a 5 setter in a major final. Federer will bounce back but obviously he’s not going to be ecsatic right after he loses, whether he played well or not, he wanted to win and he’s gonna be upset about losing. I’m not saying Federer doesn’t care, I’m saying he doesn’t care as much as he used to, as much as Del Potro and probably some of the other younger guys trying to become legends and win their first or 2nd or 7th slams. Fed’s got 15, he’s gotta be somewhat content.


jane Says:

Hey margot, how are you? Will you get to watch any Davis Cup? Re: Murray, I too like his subtlety. There’s something very unique, imo, about the way he plays, which makes him fun to watch. And while I know what you mean about sticking with faves, at the same time, if new guys come along that you enjoy to watch, won’t they just be added to your list of ones to watch, like, for e.g., Dimitrov? Of course I don’t imagine you wouldn’t suddenly stop liking Murray, if this Grigor starts to impress, but just might cheer on some more? For me, anyhow, that’s how it works, and it’s almost unconscious. It’s not like I declare I’ll stop or start rooting for someone, it just happens over the course of time and watching. I don’t choose who I root for, usually it just sort of happens. Weird eh? I don’t have the option of rooting for any country-man/woman as we don’t have a lot of Canadian players, but who knows? That might be a factor if it were possible.


sensationalsafin Says:

Jane I know what you mean. It’s like no matter what I say prior to the match, I can’t help but root for Federer and Safin. Winning or losing, I want them to win. And I live in the US and come from Russian decent and we all know how jingoistic those 2 nations are, but I don’t really care about nationality all that much. I love Djoker and Federer. Safin is loved by all. I like gulbis and Baghdatis, Del Potro, Roddick, etc. Davis Cup becomes hard for me. I know I wanted Russia to win their semi on clay a few years ago and then I wanted the US to win the final because it had been so long since the US won DC. But nowadays, idk if I could root for either team since Safin’s gone and everyone exept Roddick sucks on the US team. Unless they start including Querrey and Isner (assuming they get better).


grendel Says:

Daniel

It’s more subtle than that. But I can barely explain my occasional feelings of weariness even to myself, so I won’t try with anyone else. I’m sure it has more to do with me than with Federer.

Federer will always be unique, in my mind. Yes, I sometimes indulge in looking forward, and seeing people looking back. I do believe Federer is the stuff of which legends are made, but this will not be fully appreciated until some years after his retirement. Always, the image I will retain of him will be his movement. And there is a sadness in that, just as there is a sadness in the image of a beautiful young girl, knowing how fleeting this beauty is. Oh, the years, the yerars……


grendel Says:

Kimo:

maybe not a justification, but it was what you might call the nitpicking of myself and others which goaded i am it into the excellent analysis at 6.57pm, 17th. I commend it to you. Only thing wrong with it, not quite long enough!

Margot

You will know all about Britain’s endless love affairs with gallant not-quite-winners. I had thought Murray had broken the mould, but one’s beginning to wonder now. Still, we tend to be mesmerised by the most recent results. I daresay things will change at the AO.

I saw Dimitrov at Queens, playing Simon, and very nearly taking him. He certainly looked a most attractive player, one to root for in years to come if injury doesn’t get him. This “little Fed” handle is a burden, though, isn’t it…


margot Says:

jane: hi, well thanks, and your good self? Re faves I agree it just kind of happens and whenever I settle down to watch a match and supposedly “don’t care” who wins, within two ticks I am off the fence and yelling! Makes it more interesting anyway. I saw an interview with Dimitrov and fell for his charm and normality. As grendel says though, he’s already got a mighty heavy label round his neck.
grendel: no, do not believe Andy M is in same mould as Tim H. Pressure not doing him any good though. What we need is another couple of male players to divert attention. Have got two promising girlies so perhaps that’ll help. Agree totally re Fed’s movement,balletic, effortless, almost ethereal, why he’s lasted so long with minimal injury of course.


Von Says:

“But Boris Becker said Roddick didn’t believe enough.” SS

I’m not one for predictions, speculations and post-mortems, but I’d like to address the above statement by Becker. I disagree with him on the ‘believing’ part and the other famous statement he makes about the 5th set that it comes down *all heart*. I feel that Becker’s opinion probably goes to the heart of his own thinking of how he played his matches, and also a lot of speculation based only on his perception but not fact. I also don’t think we should place too much emphasis on his thinking as being the gospel truth, a template and/or benchmark by which to judge all players. I doubt anyone, be it former and/or present day players, writers, and/or commentators, actually knows what transpires in another’s mind. For Becker to say Roddick didn’t believe enough is tantamount to Becker being a mind reader, and I doubt that he possesses the ability and/or the gift of mind reading.

What I most dislike about the remarks of the former champions is their lavish criticisms of the present day players. Maybe, they should try encouraging them instead of habitually putting them down. My question to all of them, if they feel they absolutely know all of this stuff, is why some of them made such glaring mistakes in their matches and why weren’t all them more effective players, winning 30 GS titles? That said, I think the past champions should refrain from engaging in such criticisms, if based on nothing else but just to be respectful of the feelings of the present day players, especially a player like Roddick, who IMO, put his heart, soul and whole being into the 5th set of that Wimby final. If I were Roddick, I’d be extremely ticked off at Becker for issuing that statement.


Von Says:

Margot Re: Having several faves

I have to commend you guys who are able root for many faves. I suppose I’m single-minded whereby I have only one main fave and enjoy watching him play above all others. While I embrace, root for and support many players, and also enjoy watching them play, I’m sorry to say, no other player stirs my excitement for a match as my No. 1 fave, who at the present time, is Roddick. I felt that way about Sampras in the past, and was somewhat broken-hearted when he retired, until eventually, I began embracing Roddick. And, I’ll continue to feel this way about Roddick until he retires. However, it does not mean because Roddick is my fave that I don’t have a few other faves and enjoy watching them play, but my allegiance is to Andy R. anyway, to reiterate, kudos to you guys for being so versatile, but I suppose I’m an oddity who’s just one-tracked in my heart when it comes to having faves.


Von Says:

Goat Girl: I know I shouldn’t answer because you are beyond contemptible, but what the hell, I’m having a great day, so why not make it better. I gotta tell you, I absolutely love your pathetic attempt at a psych analysis LOL. How about adding biological liar to your list, as it could be in my genes too, you know. LOL.

Anyway, here’s my apt descrition of you: FED TARD, (that’s what made you target me from the very inception of posting here isn’t it, because I dared to make a comment on Federer?) FED FANATIC AND BELLEVUE RESIDENT, HEDONISM, with distinct olfactory hallucination, ego-dystonic and ego-syntonic tendencies, along with many others that are too many to mention. Anyone who would incorporate *Goat* in their post name earns those titles. LOL. Wasn’t it Rogers Sister before? FYI, in order to obtain my psych degree I had to complete some hands-on hours at Bellevue interviewing and observing psch patients, and it was patients such as yourself who turned me off completely after I got my degree from pursuing that career. Thank God, or else I’d most probably be walking in your shoes, KOOK. Have a nice day.


margot Says:

von: Hi! How’s you? Well, if Andy M is playing then I want him to win, for a number of reasons, but I do like other players too, if I’m honest for less biased reasons! eg. I find Tsonga on song so exciting to watch but blooming heck he’s such a prima donna! I’ve been a Murray watcher for years, ever since he won USOpen as a junior and I guess it’s the same for you with Andy R. It’s exciting to watch a player develop and change over the years and while Andy M does not have Andy R’s ready humour and outgoing personality he does share a great determination to improve his game. Much to be admired. And I do notice that players who seem to like fast cars and fast women, rather than dedication to the game, get loads of stick but the converse is nary true. That’s life.


Von Says:

been there: “Forget the Rogers, Nadals & Roddicks of this world. We have a new contender of ‘match of the yr’. So the story goes that Radek Stephanek has just defeated Dr.Ivo in a 5set ‘thriller’ 7-6,6-7,6-7,7-6,16-14!!(yes, 16-14 in 5thset.)in 5hrs, 59mins!!, with Karlovic setting a record breaking 77aces!!! (If only Roger could have borrowed this serve on Monday. lol)”

I think Roddick’s match at the AO vs. Younes el Ananoyoui was a longer match.

“I belong to the rear breed of fans who support Dr.Ivo even though he can be so boring…guy’s just making use of his ‘limited’ talent. Better luck next time. One thing is for sure….his serve’s never going to fail him. lol”

I like Dr. Ivo as well. He’s the gentlest of all the giants, not to mention the tallest. I have a feeling that DelPotro is taller than 6’6″. I think Federer is 6’2″, yes? However, when he stands next to DelPotro it looks like DelPotro’s about 6 to 7 inches taller, which would put DelPotro around 6’8″. Brad Gilbert initially pointed out DelPotro’s height a few months ago, and having made a mental note of it, my mind was drawn to it during the presentation ceremony whereby it was evident to me that DelPotro could in fact be taller than 6’8″. if that’s so, then it’s more Oy Vey for the other guys with respect to that serve. LOL.


Von Says:

margot: Hello to you and I’m fine; thanks for asking.

“And I do notice that players who seem to like fast cars and fast women, rather than dedication to the game, get loads of stick but the converse is nary true. That’s life.’

Yes, I suppose it’s par for the course. I find if people don’t like the other, they’ll find everything irritating about their personalities and it be the furthest thing from the truth, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles, and very sad isn’t it? Speaking of fast cars, especially red ones, another reason young guys are given more speeding tickets than the other drivers. LOL. Therefore, stick and speeding tickets seems to be the norm for those guys. LOL.


sensationalsafin Says:

Von, I didn’t say I agreed with Becker. I agree with you about past champions. Especially players like McEnroe who played in what I called “Max Serve 35 MPH” Era. Becker wasn’t the most complete player, either. But, at least when I think about it, what’s going to separate 2 players at 7-7 in the 5th? Is one really playing better than the other? Is one winning more big points? What is it that makes the slight difference at the end?

I guess in this case, the 5th set of the US Open final wasn’t as much about heart as it was Del Potro simply outplaying Federer, which he certainly did.


sensationalsafin Says:

Wow Steps and super wow Karlovic. Karlovic actually hit 78 serves, 1 was a second serve ace. I’m amazed. That’s just epic. Absolutely epic.


Von Says:

“I guess in this case, the 5th set of the US Open final wasn’t as much about heart as it was Del Potro simply outplaying Federer, which he certainly did.” SS:

Yes, that’s exactly what DelPotro did, he outplayed Fed.


Von Says:

Margot: I forgot to mention an English commentator’s slight towards the Americans, and one to which I took umbrage. I was watching a PBS program entitled, ‘The Monarchy’, pertaining to the the Queen’s visit to the US during President Bush’s term. Protocol was being discussed and this English woman stated: “The US and England are two countries which share a common language, *sort of*”. OY, was my blood boiling. I don’t think that was very classy of the genteel dame at all.


jane Says:

I don’t know if anyone has linked this article yet, but it’s in keeping with Dan’s theme, that the future is somehow connected to JMDP and/or his win last week:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4477897&name=tennis

Top story: Rafael Nadal: I Am Not The Favorite To Finish The Year No. 1
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