Nadal Gets Three Set Win; Del Potro, Roddick Upset by Qualifiers in Asia
by Sean Randall | October 6th, 2009, 10:26 am
  • 147 Comments

A better sign, Rafael Nadal winning or Marcos Baghdatis taking Nadal to three sets? Playing in his first match getting crushed by Juan Martin Del Potro  in the US Open semifinals, Nadal defeated Baghdatis 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the first round at the Beijing China Open.

“I didn’t play my best tennis, but I’m very happy with how I played in the last four games, very aggressive with the forehand and going to the net,” Nadal told Reuters. “My body is okay today, and tomorrow, I hope.”

Nadal improves his perfect Beijing record to 12-0 with the victory. And he now gets a date with James Blake in round two.

Not so fortunate was American Andy Roddick who unceremoniously was shown the exits by qualifier Lukas Kubot. I have to wonder if Roddick, a professed football fan, was at odds last night over sleeping vs. watching the NFL’s regular season Game of the Century, the Vikings v. Packers in Brett Favre’s return against his old team.

“I’m going to be making obvious statements here but I didn’t play well,” Roddick said to the local press. “I was just trying stuff out there and nothing seemed to be working that well.”

Also winning in Beijing were Dayvdenko, Verdasco, Soderling and Gonzalez. No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic won yesterday.

In Tokyo, Del Po found out the hard way what’s it’s like to be a Grand Slam champ. In his first tour match since his US Open win DelPo fell apart to qualifer Eduard Roger-Vasselin losing 6-4, 6-4.

“Pressure and expectations, meet DelPo. DelPo please meet pressure and expectations. Hope you guys have a good, fruitful future relationship.”

Gilles Simon, Lleyton Hewitt and Tomas Berdch also won today in Tokyo which is now wide open thanks to the Argy’s elimination.


Also Check Out:
Safina, Venus Lose Opening Round in Tokyo; WTA Circus Continues
Kuznetsova Squeaks; Nadal v Dent, Henin v Dementieva Friday in Miami
Del Potro, Isner, WTA Qualifiers Collect Titles Entering Oz Open
U.S. with Young, Teenage Duval Lead US Open Qualifying
Juan Martin Del Potro Will Miss Asian Swing, Hopes To Return For European Indoors

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147 Comments for Nadal Gets Three Set Win; Del Potro, Roddick Upset by Qualifiers in Asia

jane Says:

Kubot is more of a doubles player, but he is good. He can be great at the net with all that experience at doubles. An enjoyable player to watch, but unfortunate for Roddick. Andy’s into the final 8 anyhow and that’s more important. It sounds like a bad day at the office.

Delpo – same thing: I watched a bit and he seemed rusty.


Vulcan Says:

Well I hope that Nadal has reached a clearing as far as injuries go – depending on what kind of form Blake is in that should be an exciting match.
As far as Del Potro goes – how exactly did he fall apart? – I couldn’t find the unforced error stat on ATP.com.


Vulcan Says:

Hmmm rusty? – there’s a very fine line between razor sharp and rusty considering how flat he hits the ball.


jane Says:

Vulcan: he had the trainer out so there was a physical niggle too. His serve wasn’t consistent, hence the two breaks by the qualifier to get the win. What I was surprised by was that Delpo couldn’t break back; usually Delpo is good on return.


i am it Says:

how about,
Two Former No. 1 and Beijing Defending Champions, Roddick and Jankovic, Crash. With quickly recovered wrist, Dr. Queen was able to play 3 tough sets. Roddick was only experimenting with a few new techniques but said nothing was working.

delPo, still Dizzy with USO Victory Party Hangover, Too Much Barbecue and Mixed Alcoholic Beverages in the Stomach, causing Upset, suddenly forgot how to play tennis. Maybe, he was experimenting with how it feels like to lose to a No. 189. The qualifier R-Vasselin: “I know him better than he knows me. That’s how I won. I saw him struggling and saw it was not his good day and thought ‘why not I win today?’

in the press room, Safina Finally felt comfortable in Her Rightful Shoe Size No. 2. Miss Shove the Racket Regains No. 1 and won’t be tormenting Safina any more.

djokovc is Silently Aiming for Retrieving No. 3 Heritage, and he will, if things go well, right before Paris, but only to hand it to dePo a week before London in the latest.

things can change quickly in tennis. i guess that’s what makes it interesting.


been there Says:

Re Del.P:

He did indeed look rusty. Firstly, even just in the first set, I was thinking….the man looks sleepy & tired…& shaking is head (though he usually shakes his head when in trouble). I thought jet-lag maybe?-a flight from Argentina to Tokyo can’t be easy….though I obviously don’t know when he arrived there.

Then there were too many balls shanked to the net, as compared to over-hitting a few mm out of the singles court….& the ones over-hit were a good 50cm to 1 metre out while other were closer to the spectators. First serve was just 50%

Usually when he loses a first set, I still have faith…even if he’s down a break in the 2nd…but yesterday, imo, he just looked tired & not trying hard enough. Though to be fair Roger-Vasselin played a very good game-like a top30 player.

Whatever the matter, hope he adjusts quick ‘coz such a performance won’t cut it in Shanghai


Vulcan Says:

As far as a data point in the analysis of whether Del Potro has the psyche of a “true champion” (yes I used the C word) the question is how significant is this loss. Did he fold under the new pressure level or was he really injured? It seems pretty common for players on the tour to call the trainer when they’re losing to someone they shouldn’t be losing to.


jane Says:

been there, Delpo himself said he was jet-lagging and that he had a stomach ache. It’s not the exact same, but I’ve flown from Canada to Hong Kong a few times, and when I’d arrive it was almost surreal with the time difference. It takes a couple days to adjust, really. But Delpo’s done it before, and won there, so it shouldn’t be that. I am more inclined to think rust than jetlag. But it’s not too big of a deal; it happens. I’m sure he’ll adjust.


i am it Says:

dePo deserved to party after his 1st slam like every other champions of the past.

significance of the Tokyo loss?

remember after rafa’s 1st major win, he lost in the 1st round to an unknown 147-ranked Alexander Waske, in ’05 Halle, and in the next event, he lost in the 2nd Rd. to 69th-ranked G. Muller at ’05 Wimby? after those 2 early loses, he righted his ship.

remember after Fed won his 1st Slam (’03 Wimby), his next title came after more than 3 months at Vienna and ended the year with YEC title. between that time, he lost to 5 different people

dePo’s said he wants to be like Fed one day, so maybe he wants to do the same. follow his footsteps:-)

my man delPo will play Vienna and Basel between Shanghai and Paris. you see we are taking it to fed’s hometown:-) show me the money, baby. that’s the significance of Tokyo loss. it also means we get more time to practice and prepare for a bigger occasion. remember we withdrew from Cincy before the USO. we could have withdrawn from Tokyo, but there was penalty, and we just did not want to pile up too many fines, so decided to appear in one match, as we were rusty, too, due to too much partying, which we deserved after the 1st major.


blah Says:

Odd losses. what was roddick’s score?


vared Says:

This is my from an older thread which I am posting here. I hope people will read this as it is my last post and wanted to say goodbye to all.

vared Says:
Von since you were perturbed with me about the appearance fee thing I mentioned, it was Sean Marshall that mentioned the girls maybe taking their fees and leaving.

“I understand in part that these top girls go to pick up an appearance fee…”
Safina, Venus Lose Opening Round in Tokyo; WTA Circus Continues
Sean Randall

-why are you so ticked off about anything related to the Serbian players?

I like eastern bloc players but am not Serbian or Russian myself. I was kind of wondering why you have a strong dislike for this small and specific ethnicity? Djokovic, Jankovic and Ivanovic. It’s really visible, your dislike of this group of people. Did a Serbian ever do something to you? On the other hand I make no bones about the fact I don’t like Serena, Safina, Fed and Murray. I’d say they represent a diverse sample of tennis players. Not yours.

-the guys you’ve cited have been on the tour about double or more the amount of time she’s been on the tour

Double or more? Not true, look at the years ‘I am it’ posted for Jankovic (2001 2009)and look at the years I posted for Haas (2001-2009).

vared: “Also, I had no idea that Roddick retired from three GS’s, two French and one Aussie.

–Those retirements were due to injury and were in the first round not QFs or SFs.

Wrong,one in the first, one in the second and Hewitt in the third. But let’s not get Von all upset. It’s OK to retire in a GS then, but ONLY if it is not a QF or SF. OK, another Von rule…people listen up.

–Roddick has never retired in a final.

Good for Roddick. But Mauresmo HAS retired in a final, aren’t you pissed off?

Von: “If I was there I probably would have booed Henin as Mauresmo is one of my fave WTA players, and I felt she was deprived from completing the match and an outright win.

–I suppose we can assume you don’t like Monfils, Gasquet, Roddick and Haas?

Negative. Just showing some stats. You were absolutely thrilled with stats when ‘I am It’ posted them. What happened? I get it, you only like “certain, selective” stats.

–I’m still waiting to see the MTOs

So am I. ‘I am it’ the stat guy says there’s no way to do it easily.I followed his lead for retirements and W/O’s and did it but he says we can’t do it fast track. If he can show me the way, I’ll do it. Speaking of MTO’s, this being recent, did you see Oudin take a five minute MTO against Dementieva in the 3rd set when she was in trouble? Didn’t see you complain about that, did I? Oh wait, maybe another Von rule coming up…
I bring this up because you don’t like MTO’s right Von? Or wait, you only think they are OK when people you like do it.

–To be fair, Sharapova was denied an outright win, so why aren’t you thinking that something wasn’t right towards her?

Yes, things could have gone better but I don’t care about people retiring in a final because they still get the money and I don’t care about MTO’s. YOU obviously do care, although selectively. So I am playing back what you said. I did some fact checking about Mauresmo since you were so outraged about JuJu and would boo her. Well Von, did Mauresmo deny Davenport an outright win at a final or not? Are YOU not outraged? Why not mention that little match when speaking of finals retirements? Another Von rule coming up here? You can retire like Amelie in a smaller tourny but not in a GS like Henin did. Is that your next rule Von? But wait, Tokyo is not a GS. But Jelena is a Serb. What is Von to do now?

Von don’t you think you are being a little bit hypocritical?

MTO’s are not mentioned if people you like are doing them. Retiring in GS’s are OK if people you like are doing it. Specifically, if anyone retires in a GS, Von now says they must do it BEFORE a QF or SF. Retiring in finals are OK if people you like (Amelie) are doing it. Von, you are just pissed because you made a big to-do about Jankovic retiring in finals and how poor Sharpie and Amelie were cheated– when Amelie herself wasn’t above doing it in a final. You are pissed because you said there would be bedlam in other places with finals retirements and I posted the Amelie JuJu AO retirement video and the crowd was calm and respectful.

Where do we go from here? I will leave this forum if it will help you. I have noticed that many on here have had run-ins with you and left. Others that stay always back down and defer to you in case you haven’t noticed it. In fact, now that I write this, I think I will leave here. If one cannot challenge Von, if one has to always walk around on tip-toe or egg shells so as not to offend Von, it’s not worth it.
Adios, over and out.

Sharapova Pockets First Title after Jankovic Retirement in Tokyo
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-10-03/2409.php/comment-page-1#comment-101827


huh Says:

Hoping for a Djokovic triumph at the China Open. Go Djoko, kick @$$es!


Vulcan Says:

A Nadal/Djokovic rematch of their Olympic SF match would be interesting…I’m sure the Djoker has nightmares of that overhead that he flubbed on match point down.


grendel Says:

Well, my son’s at University in Beijing and reports on one or two things, eg the characteristic totalitarian rituals – you know these 60th year celebrations of the Chinese Nazi, I mean Communist, take over of by far the greatest civilization in human history; Tom attempts to get near Tienanmen Square, the police do their stuff,(the stalinoids beat you when they’re celebrating; makes you wonder what they get up to when they have darker matters to attend to; actually, we know, don’t we).

Well, at least he can watch the tennis. That’s a big improvement, you know – there was no tennis or anything else in China 30 years ago except ping-pong. The players were ordered to lose in the name of international harmony. I often wondered what might happen if one of the Chinese, forgetting himself momentarily in the excitement of the game, won by accident. Instant execution, I imagine. Nowadays, the Chinese totalitarians have abandoned international harmony with the view to showing how superior they are at everything -viz their performance at the Olympics. It is interesting that tennis does not respond well to these blitz tactics.

Anyway, my son continues, rather cursorily (oh, to be young and possibly in love – no, on second thoughts, perhaps not):

“I got to see Safin which I’d always wanted to do, and he won quite easily. Also saw verdasco which was great and the ferrer/gonzalez match was great fun and really close. Then I saw Nadal/Baghdatis which was excellent, really close and exiting, nadal won unfortunately though, it came down to just a few points”.


margot Says:

grendel: there’s a wonderful poem by James Fenton “Tianamon Square”, not sure I’ve spelt it properly. Do you know it?


jane Says:

huh – me too! :)


jane Says:

grendel, if it’s not too personal I am curious why your son is all the way over there!? Anyhow, at least he got to see some tennis and is … seemingly … in love. That’s not nothing. Ooop double negatives, thoughts of Orwell, and somehow, slightly on topic.


jane Says:

vared, you needn’t leave over a disagreement or a misunderstanding; we all have them. But if you really would prefer to leave, all the best to ya.


jane Says:

margot: any new news on Murray and his wrist? When is he scheduled to play next?


jane Says:

huh, having said that, imo, Djoko could have a tough path if he has to get through Troicki (in the finals last week), Verdasco (the finals last week) and then Soderling (in the semis last week) all for a meeting with … Nadal? in the final. Those players could be (a) match grooved and (b) more aclimatized to the time change, or they could be (c) tired? You just never know. But it won’t be easy to get to the final IF those are the guys he has to face. We’ll see; fingers crossed.

——————————

Vulcan,he left the court in tears after that miss, so it must’ve weighed heavily then and after. But he’s gotta be over that by now, and he’s recently had a good hardcourt win over Rafa. If they both get to the final I think it could be a good one.


Vulcan Says:

Jane:

After the fiestyness he displayed in his post match interview after sending Roddick off with his tail between his legs it’s hard to imagine him crying over anything…he’s a fighter in my book. I wasn’t much of a fan of his up to that point but, contrary to popular opinion, I think he really showed a lot of courage and integrity when he went up against the entire (hostile) New York crowd and said exactly what he thought.


Vulcan Says:

As far as the Beijing Draw goes I would agree that Djokovic has the tougher road to the final…Nadal however would have to deal with Davydenko in the Semis who gave him a royal thumping down in Miami last year…although the score was 6-4 6-2 it didn’t seem that close where once again the flat ball hitters with two handed backhands pose all kinds of problems for Rafa on hardcourts.


i am it Says:

Some of the players who lost in the 1st Rd in the next event right after their first major include: (1) Nadal, (2) Agassi, (3) Borg, (4) Lendl, (5) Becker, (6) Vilas.

some of the opponents were Roger-Vasselin type in ranking.
this is a quick scan. i am too lazy to give you the whole list.

mr. author, did these legends have good relationship with “pressure and expectations” or just enjoying a couple of weeks after their 1st major?


Von Says:

vared:

I’ve read what you wrote and I honestly don’t see why you’re upset. It was a normal discussion and no where in that discussion was I being offensive to you, except that I asked you questions, one of which pertained to what I perceive to be your your favoritism, viz., only the Serbian players. I asked you why you were showing such favoritism to only Jankovic, and not supporting Sharapova since you claim you like all players, except for Murray, Federer, Safina and Serena.

In my view if a fan likes all players, why isn’t he seeing that some sort of injustice is being done to one by the other. That’s what fairness means, isn’t it? If anyone is being hypocritical, then it’s not me, as I don’t claim to like ALL players and only have a couple of faves. I’ve always found this talk of having many faves to be somewhat of a farce and untrue, because when there’s a problem, the poster having many faves only seems to become offended towards the special fave and very seldomly defends the other so-called faves. However, those times (which are few and far in-between) that the poster defends the other faves, the defense is never done with the same intensity as for the special fave. In your case, I’ve noticed whenever it’s anything concerning the Serbs you go all out to champion their cause, and yolu only seem interested in what they do, as in that race thing with Troicki. I’ve even asked you at one time if you were from Serbia due to your defenses of them.

You threw in the random retirements because you wanted to make a stronger case for Jankovic, which I thought was unfair and unnecessary, and I’ve said so. You’re the one who brought it up beginning with Monfils, even though he’s not in this thread. Then you followed with Roddick, Haas and Gasquet, ad were going to look for more. It’s at that time I spoke up, as I wanted to know why you’re doing that and for what purpose.

I was being very civil and polite to you in those discussions, so I’m at a loss as to why you’re being so offended and feel you need to leave. In discussions, people should challenge others if it’s reasonable, and I am being reasonable, to get the situation resolved. I don’t think that I’m being unnecessarily challenging, at all, and I’ve seen you do worse, multiple times with other posters.

“If one cannot challenge Von, if one has to always walk around on tip-toe or egg shells so as not to offend Von, it’s not worth it.”

This is a figment of your imagination. I’m being challenged all of the time because I have the guts to voice my opinions, and no one walks on egg shells for me. In case you haven’t noticed I’m lambasted for many things I don’t even deserve, especially from people like Kimo, huh, Gordo, some of Fed’s fans, not to mention grendel, Goat Girl, Brady, who are the most obnoxious and the biggest exaggerators of all the Federer fans.

If you want to be fair, look at which posters attack me, it’s the Federer fanatical posters.

From what I’m seeing here, you’re going along the same stencil pattern grendel has used because he’s one who likes to exaggerate and use extraneous factors to embellish his case, and now you’re doing the same to give you leverage.

My problem with grendel is the same as many other non-Fed posters who’ve had battles with him, viz., zola, jane, Voicemale1, where he always resorts to demonizing and exaggeration, hence, I call him the story-teller. But, I’ve had the worst demonizing of everyone grendel has attacked, because he feels he’s being good ‘cop’, and I pour ‘excrement and cause pain’. Before I began posting here grendel used to target, zola, and jane, and, isn’t it surprising that it’s mostly the women he seems to want to put in their places? He doesn’t go after the men as fiercely as he does the women, I wonder why?

If you’re keeping a ledger of who’s had tiffs, look no further than yourself. I believe you’ve had your share of them, or have you forgotten?

If I remember correctly, you and Kimmi had been going at each other for a long time on this site over Federer and Murray. I was very surprised to see you interacting last evening with her when you stated over and over to me in your posts, you don’t like to interact with her because of disagreements between the two of you. In the beginning I used to be the peacemaker, but then Kimmi turned on me backing grendel during the FO when grendel began demonizing me and re-affirmed all of grendel’s accusations.

Also, you’ve had it out with Colin and margot over your Murray aspersions, on numerous occasions.

I also remember you had a humdinger of a battle with been there, done that, during the Serena USO episode, which lasted for a week or more, moving from thread to thread, so don’t go there, and, don’t try to paint me black, while keeping yourself spotless.

Yes, I have a reputation of having battles with posters here. And, so do many others. Many of the regulars have changed their MO, and are now sucking up to their past nemeses, walking on egg-shells and taking the same zaps, by interacting with them, but I don’t do that.

In discussions on any forum that’s frequented by many regular posters, there will always be disagreements, it’s not what I like to do, and I don’t make it a habit of doing. I’m not an initiator, I’m a reactor. I don’t start the battles, but if someone attacks me, you can rest assured I’ll react,. I’ve let many attacks go, but some I can’t or won’t. If that makes me a bad person, then so be it — I’m not here to compete and/or win the Ms. Congeniality or most popular poster award. If posters are unaware that this happens and is the norm on forums, then all I can say, they are akin to ostriches with their heads in the sand. Those who don’t seem or want to get into arguments are ‘game players’, (we have quite a few of them here) who agree and disagree, even though they are being insulted, they keep going back for more.

If you would prefer, I won’t get involved in your posts. You brought my name into the discussion with the MTOs and other stuff, and it’s the only reason I asked those questions. Tell me honestly, would you have preferred me to remain silent about those comparisons you there in? And, I’d like to you answer me this, why was it necessary to use me to get your point over across to, I am it. You could have asked for that information yourself.

Anyway, vared, there’s no reason to leave on my account and blame me for anything. I honestly thought after your encounter with *been there, done that* you would have left, because that went on for days and it was very intense between the two of you, but yet you remained here. I remember you brought me into it a couple of times when you wanted to use the information from my posts to make some snide remarks towards him/her and I remained silent. You did the same with I am it, but this time, I said something. And, it’s only because I’ve spoken up, that you’ve taken this stance. Oh well, if you want me to be the scape-goat, then go right ahead, but I think you know I’m speaking the truth here, and you don’t need to use extraneous factors and my disagreements with other posters as a reason to embellish your situation. I expected better from you since my interactions with you have all been pleasant, and I honestly don’t see anything wrong with what I’ve pointed out to you. Did I hit a raw nerve on the favouritism/country thing? Because that’s about all i can see that could be upsetting to you, even though I feel I was being fair.

I honestly didn’t think what I asked you is reason to become so annoyed. You’ve challenged me many times, and I never once became angry with you. However, you may do as you wish, and if it makes you feel better, then blame me for leaving. Grendel has done the same in the past whenever he boils up and bursts at the seams, so why not you?

As for the rule thing with retirements, I’m not being selective. A GS is a big thing, not like a smaller tournament. and, i’m not the on ly one who’s remarked on those before. If GS are nolt big then why is a player’s greatness only determined by how many Gs he wins and not the other titles? Anyway, apply whatever rules you want to, I digress, as I’m the hated one. Again, you’re lashing out at other players while trying to cover up for Jankovic, but do as you please. Some people are always rights and some are always wrong. I’m in the latter group. Who knows maybe grendel and Goat girl will join you now and give your arguments credence then you can be a Federer fan convert. Grendel might probably do another one of his chronoligies and/or report card evaluation s with some more demonizing. It’s probably over due by now.


Von Says:

jane: “Djoko could have a tough path if he has to get through Troicki (in the finals last week), Verdasco (the finals last week) and then Soderling (in the semis last week) all for a meeting with … Nadal? in the final. Those players could be (a) match grooved and (b) more acclimatized to the time change, or they could be (c) tired? You just never know.”

Troicki, Verdasco and Soderling are now probably very tired. Verdasco is still ailing with a bad foot and he remarked that he got further in his last tourney than he expected. I think, except for nadal, Djokovic will meet some very tired players and should be able to walk over them.
_____________
Vulcan: did you know roddick was struggling with a bad shoulder and back at the USO in ’08, and that’s how Djokovic was able to send him away with his ‘tail between his legs’, if at all. BTW, what did Roddick do to Djokovic at the USO? All he did was answer some questions about Djoko’s MTO during his match with Robredo and the other ailments djoko claimed to have at that time, isn’t it?


Von Says:

Vulcan: “As far as the Beijing Draw goes I would agree that Djokovic has the tougher road to the final…Nadal however would have to deal with Davydenko in the Semis who gave him a royal thumping down in Miami last year.”

I don’t think so. In my post on the Beijing draw I mentioned Cilic/Davydenko had the toughest path. All the guys Djokovic will now meet in his section of the draw are battle weary.
________________
I am it: I believe DelPotro and Roddick most probably were suffering from a combination of jet lag, and unfamiliarity with the style of play of their opponents. These things happen, and it’s not the end of the world for the players, so chin up. I’ve never seen Roddick broken so many times against a qualifier, who are not easy to play IMO. They come into a tourney match-grooved and very, very hungry. Can you spare a shoulder to cry on? LOL.


Kimo Says:

Guys, it’s waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to early to determine how Delpo is gonna cope with the pressures of being a GS champ. It’s just his first match in a long time, and Delpo, like Fed, is a rythem player. He gets better when he’s in a groove, and he hasn’t played a single match in five weeks.


Kimmi Says:

Why have I been inserted into a Von’s post ? mind boggling. Pls I need peace..thanks.


Von Says:

Kimmi: Read my post and you’ll see why. Anyway, I’ll spell it out for you very clearly. Vared stated I get into tiffs with other posters, so I was showing him that he’s not above this as he got into it big time with you and others on this site also. capiche? You want peace? I saw you pushing some fire last evening with respect to the retirements vared mentioned, referencing which player looks bad and which ones were worse. Didn’t you mention Djokovic’s retirements? Is that wanting peace. sheesh. also, on the other thread you were pushing some more fire for wanting a thread on Roddick’s racket breaking. people who want peace don’t purposely incite, they remain quiet as in shhhhh, remember that. capiche?


Von Says:

i am it: “my man delPo will play Vienna and Basel between Shanghai and Paris. you see we are taking it to fed’s hometown:-) show me the money, baby.”

The words *show me the money* reminds me of another poster with whom I’ve had some very nice interactions, and have quoted him sometimes in that respect *show me the money*. As a matter of fact, I wanted to ask you if you were the same poster after reading a couple of your posts, because your writing style and syntax are very similar. I remember jane had asked you a similar question, and also you had stated you never posted here when you initally posted to Veno.


grendel Says:

Margot

I am familiar with James Fenton, a capable poet, though I don’t know the poem you mention. Will look it up. Tiananmen – 3 monosyllables (or characters), actually – meaning “heaven” “peace” and “gate”. Thus: Gate of Heavenly Peace. Pretty ironic, don’t you think, considering the uses to which the present set of gangsters have put it. However, the Chinese tend to take the long view: the present set up is, from this perspective, just an unfortunate blip.

jane: Tom is learning Chinese. His chief love is film (isn’t that your field?), any film in a sense, but in particular Oriental film. Which is why he has learnt some Japanese, and now Chinese. In this, so far as motivation goes, he is unusual; whereas 30 years or so ago, people would study Chinese out of love of the culture, these days it tends to be with “business” in mind. Tom has no interest in money, just film, and hopes a knowledge of Chinese will be a help.

His other passion, apart from music, is tennis. He is quite a capable player, and so he should be after all the loot I have expended on coaching for him. It is good watching tennis with him, as he is a sharp eyed observer, and can hold long rallies in his mind, too – something i find difficult, which is extremely irritating sometimes. You know something significant happened 3 strokes earlier, but for the life of you can’t remember what it was.

With both Tom and my 13 year old son, I used to play with them when they were very young for hours, hitting the ball across the road. Thereby annoying one neighbour, who would see red if the ball landed in his garden, (if it hit his greenhouse, well….) and someone else who lived down the road and so, when she drove down, she might have to wait when we were in a rally. “It just won’t do, you know”, she’d say.

It is a funny business about coordination. My younger son is an outstandingly brilliant pianist, and believe me, even doing quite simple stuff takes quite a bit of co-ordination. But he has – so far as I can see – no natural ability at tennis whatsoever. He has almost no coordination in this area. But because I spent so long with him, just hitting the ball across the bloody road, he gradually began to get a feel for when to hit the ball as it rises. To a natural, this is obvious, they never have to learn. And Jack too has now had years of coaching, so he is now quite good. Even his serve, the learning of which required extraordinary patience on the part of both his coach and himself, is now more or less acceptable. Even if it does look a bit odd. Sort of does the job. It shows what you can do without any ability just by dint of trying and trying. For the comical thing is Jack is much prouder of his tennis than he is of his piano, of which he rarely speaks and is reluctant to display his prowess.

It’s a good thing, tennis. For here is a boy, without natural sporting ability, who has now achieved a level of competence such that he will be able to play the game, just for fun,for the rest of his life. This is someone who lives very much in his head. Tennis has given him a chance to get out of it, and to use his body in a vigorous manner. He adores it.


i am it Says:

that phrase actually reminds me of you. in a quick internal search, i found that you used that phrase last 4 times before i did today.
funny that’d make me you instead of i am it.
sorry, i am “i am it” and just that and did not exist in writing prior to the moment you cited.

(1) http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-06-23/1684.php#comment-77080

(2) http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-06-28/1713.php#comment-77921

add www in the last 2

(3) tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-07-05/1765.php#comment-81182

(4) tennis-x.com/xblog/2008-08-21/581.php#comment-45838


Von Says:

Yes, I’ve used it, but as you can see I’ve stated I borrowed it from the poster you remind me of, that’s all. It was somewhat a compliment to you, as I really liked that poster, but I seem to be striking out. Sorry.


Kimmi Says:

Djoko have a chance to move ahead of DelPo in the race this week and he could also be No. 3 in ranking again depending on how Murray does in Shanghai ? I don’t think Murray will be able to fight for his ranking, too many points to defend (shanghai $ st peterburg), lets wait and see.


Sean Randall Says:

vared, what makes you think i’m anti-Serbian/anti-Eastern Bloc. I’ve been open about my distaste for Djokovic, but who else? (Not sure if you were aiming at me, however).

Jane, I would think Murray will skip Shanghai. No reason to travel all that way and risk damage when the bigger goal – London – is just around the corner.


Von Says:

No, I’m the one that’s perceived to be anti-Serbian because I speak up about Ivanovic’s endless fistpumps and pirouetting after every point she wins or her opponent loses; Jankovic’s many, many MTOs and retirements, and Djokovic’s references to his AO heat exhaustion retirement, which he’s also deemed as a walk-over to Roddick, coupled with his many references to the USO debacle. For that, I’m allegedly guilty of being anti-Serbian. I suppose I’m anti-russian because I don’t like Sharapova’s screams, nor Safina’s on-court crying. However, only the references to the Serb players angers vared, even though he likes all players, with the exception of Federer, Murray, Serena and Safina. OY


i am it Says:

compliment is nice. thank you.
just wished it did not come with an underlying baggage of playing another poster.
i am afraid i cannot pretend to be someone i am not. i like me as “i am it.” hope you understand.


Von Says:

Yeah, I understand. Posters change their names all of the time, for many reasons, some just because they like a different name, so it’s no biggie. As a matter of fact, I wish that other poster would return here, but he had gotten sick, so I doubt it would happen now.

‘i am afraid i cannot pretend to be someone i am not.”

No thought of pretence ever entered my mind. Again, sorry about the question.


Dan Martin Says:

I loved Slobodan Živojinović – 1986 Wimbledon semi was rough as was his loss to McEnroe at the U.S. Open in 1987 – I am getting old …


huh Says:

Von, I’ve not lambasted you at all. Why do you bring up my name unnecessarily? I don’t bear ill-will towards you, got it? I’ve attacked Zola with criticism for her countless and baseless allegations against Fed. But then, I also feel sorry for that at times, the conscience type of thing, you know. And I’ve also shown a few people like No Goat their true place. That’s all. But again, I’ve never tried to lambast you coz my lambasting or blasting anyone is not so mild and/or environment-friendly and luckily you’ve not done anything for me to be forced to go the extent of attacking you scathingly/exposing you. And I’ve in fact not attacked you anywhere in the very recent past, so don’t post stuff giving an impression of me doing or having done grave injustice to you. End of story.


huh Says:

Von, I further would like to tell you that I don’t blast anyone unjustly. Hope I’m clear.


huh Says:

Mrs. Jane, I think these days any player can beat anyone. So in that respect few draws are easy to go through. That said, I agree that guys like Soderling are threatening and tough for anyone including Djoko and Verdasco at his best is hardly an easy fish! Tough draw overall for Djoko. But can you tell me something about the pace of the surface at China Open? Is it fast?


Vulcan Says:

Von Says:

BTW, what did Roddick do to Djokovic at the USO? All he did was answer some questions about Djoko’s MTO during his match with Robredo and the other ailments djoko claimed to have at that time, isn’t it?

Well some time has passed since this event occurred and my initial opinion of Roddick’s comments has not changed very much. My opinion of what Roddick did in the press conference is that he exaggerated Djokovic’s injuries in an attempt to call into question Djokovic’s integrity – a very serious accusation. Because there was a lot of media attention surrounding Djokovic and his MTOs Roddicks comments can not be construed as “joking around” the way Roddick made them out to be. Once again, Roddick’s actions are either those of a complete imbecile or of someone who is manipulative and deceptive…I really doubt he is so ignorant as to be the former. From Djokovic’s vantage point these accusations were a serious attack upon his integrity and I believe the way he played in defeating Roddick really exemplified his character. Note that Djokovic’s reaction indicates that he did, at the time at least, have some respect for Roddick otherwise he probably could of cared less about what Roddick said. His comments after the match were just a manifestation of his anger over what he perceived to be an unfair conspiracy against him by the media (and Roddick) to tarnish his reputation. I won’t comment on the New York crowd’s behavior as that is a subject that seems to elicit some very vocal and caustic comments.


joppuehh Says:

“whos in tunk?” why del potro? uh… i watched that match tokyo first round and he was clearly ill, he didnt use it excuse but this is normal that these guys wont use injuries/illnesses excuse but to me his stomach was clearly bothering him, he didnt serve single serve over 200km/h and his footwork was bad and he was moving bad.


Von Says:

huh: To jog your memory: Isner/Roddick match at the USO. That was a month ago.

***************
Vulcan: Thanks for your reply; you’ve satisfied my curiosity as to why you have so much dislike for Roddick. That’s how you perceive it to be, and I’m not going to offer anything, as you’re entitled to your opinion, even though yours is a biased view – you don’t like Roddick, therefore anything he does is not going to be favorable in your eyes.


Goat Galz Says:

Von is killing this blogsite. I see she got rid of another one on here. So predictable and so anal-retentive. That’s our Von.


Von Says:

DelPotro’s rise, was it too soon:

Someone wanted a thread on Roddick’s racquet breaking, well here’s a beautiful picture of the broken racquet and an article, enjoy. I suppose if a player has to break a racquet and pay a fine, then he might as well do a super terrific job of it, and get the award for the best broken racquet. Carly Simon’s song from the Spy Who Loved comes to mind:

Nobody does it better
Makes me feel sad for the rest
Nobody does it quite the way you do
Why’d you have to be so good.
Baby, you’re the best!!


Von Says:

Staff: please fix the wrap on this thread. thanks.


I like tennis bullies Says:

djokovic and integrity do not belong in the same sentence.


been there Says:

fresh hot bagels served today for breakfast, lunch & dinner in Beijing.

Davydenko df Kohlschreiber 6-1, 6-0 ((what happened to Kohls?)
Cilic df Benneteau 6-2, 2-6, 6-0 (clearly, no one wanted to win, so Cilic just took it)
Djokovic df Troicki 6-3, 6-0 (I expected a better fight from Troicki, but still wit a Djoko win…managed to catch just a bit & Djokovic was wonderfully aggressive…why doesn’t e play that way in slam & master semis & finals?)

Dementieva df Na Li 6-2, 6-0
Kuznetsova df Bondarenko 6-3, 4-6, 6-0
————————————————-

Here’s hoping to less WTA bashing ‘coz from these results, the men can be just as bad as the women. If it’s rust or jetlag or whatever else, hopefully they are all up to speed for next week’s Shanghai masters ‘coz these are terrible results……at least for losers.

In Tokyo, Monfils & Warwinka are through to round three. I wish Warwinka was a more steady player ‘coz that backhand of his is second to none. Would be nice to see it in it’s rightful place in qtrs & semis of big events to make me go waaa-weeee. It’s quite admirable.


jane Says:

Von “Djokovic will meet some very tired players and should be able to walk over them.”

We’ll see. Verdasco does have the foot issue, but then again he played so well last week, getting to the finals. And Soderling has also been played exceptionally well, last week and pretty much all season. I think these guys have played only one tournament since the USO, which was approximately a month ago, so they shouldn’t be too tired I would think. I believe Verdasco didn’t play Davis Cup either. Plus, these is something to be said for being match grooved as opposed to rusty. Roddick and Delpo both lost early; Nadal needed 3 sets; and Djoko’s two sets were tight in the first round. The guys that have been out longer can be at a further disadvantage. But that’s six and one half dozen of the other – one can never tell, hence we watch! Anyhow, I hope Djok does well.


jane Says:

staff- seconding Von’s request: please fix the wrap on the text of this thread.


margot Says:

Gr8! It’s not just me then!


Von Says:

jane: I read some posts on another site, and just like I said, Troicki was tired. According to one poster, he looked to be asleep. I assume the same will happen to both Verdasco and Soderling, but we’ll see. The smaller tournaments and the MS are difficult to play back to back, as there’s very little rest in between. I believe Soderling played in Davis Cup also.

As for being match grooved, I believe Djoko played in Davis cup, so he’s had quite a bit of match play there, didn’t he?


jane Says:

grendel,

Wow: you’re lucky to have two sons who are interested in things like music, film and tennis. My son, whose still under 10, is taking piano, but he’s doing so only because we’ve goaded him into it – said it was necessary before he goes on to electric guitar, which is what he really wants to do. He’s quite musically inclined, his teacher tells us; he can listen to a song, figure out how to play it, and then write the notes down, so he has a good ear. We’ve tried to convince him to play tennis, and he’s done one round of lessons, but so far he hasn’t shown a real desire; maybe we’ll have to follow your lead and just make him hit. He does other sports though, so he manages to escape living inside his head, something that’s crucial for everyone. And he loves watching tennis, although my, er, overexcitement makes him LOL quite regularly. As for your other son’s love of Asian film, how cool! I like Japanese cinema, in particular, if I had to choose a fave from Eastern films I’ve seen of late, but Korea has released some great films recently as well. My field includes both film and literature – narrative studies, really.

Your elder son is lucky to have seen Safin play; that’s something I’ve always hoped I’d be able to do and now the old guy is hanging up his racquet.

Some people have told me that seeing professional tennis live doesn’t quite live up to the hype, that watching on TV is almost better, as you see the players’ expressions close up, you see their shots in replay, you get a better overall sense of the match without the distractions of crowd, weather, et al. I’d be curious to know what you think when you go to the YEC.


jane Says:

huh, I don’t know too much about the surface at the China Open, other than the obvious fact that it’s hard, but I think it’s on the fast side, no?


jane Says:

Von,

Djoko didn’t play Davis Cup; he hasn’t played since the USO. He went to the Cup to support the other Serbs who did play but did not partake in the games. His team did fine without him!


jane Says:

been there, thanks for the commentary on Djoko’s play against Troicki; I missed the match as it was at a time I couldn’t watch, so it’s nice to hear snippets, especially that he was being aggressive. As for why he doesn’t play like that all the time, esp. during key tournaments — that’s one for the ages! Maybe he’ll start to; I can hope.


Von Says:

Goat Galz:

Another name change, and I see your posts are still in moderation? LOL. I thought you said you never used any aliases.

You give me credit far too much power and credit than I really have, you know. Anyway, yes, per you and your very meticulously kept ledger on checks and balances, I’ve gotten rid of another poster, vared, but how come you’re still here? The others have returned, e.g., grendel.

I knew once vared mentioned that nonsense you and grendel would pick up on it, which is the reason I mentioned you both in my post. And, guess what, you’ve run true to form. LOL. But, you and grendel should be the last to talk. How many posters haven’t you both chased away, and grendel is still doing so with the Nadal posters. The two of you chased away nearly all of the Roddick posters, except for two that I can think of, myself included. But unlike you I’m not counting, as that’s kids stuff, which you two enjoy very much.

Vared is cunning, he knew why he stated that I’ve had problems with other posters to eek out sympathy and reinforce his position. Anyway, even though vared hates Federer that doesn’t bother you in the least bit does it, as your hate for me overrides that and you’d do anything to champion anyone’s cause on this or anything else. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why vared’s offended or to see through what vared is doing and why he did it, but you’re far from smart and is even more *anal-rentitive* than that which you have accused me of being. Try giving those brain cells some oxygen instead of taking care of the anal stuff.

Since you’re so dumb and can’t figure out anything, let me give you a little insight of what’s happening here on this site presently.

First of all, this is a Federer fan based site. Everything in tennis revolves around Federer, and many fans on forums came to tennis because of him, hence when he’s not playing, they don’t care to talk about or watch tennis. Further, some people only post during the GS and MS tourneys and that’s the time they talk tennis. Also, Federer lost the USO, and is taking a sabbatical, so what’s there for them to talk and/or gloat about now. NADA.

Secondly, the majority of the Nadal and Roddick fans don’t post here anymore, because pure and simply put, they were driven away by the Federer fanatics on this site due to the many negative articles, coupled with the nasty arguments from some of the fanatical Federer fans, especially grendel– it’s as simple as that. Those articles on Nadal’s injuries or Roddick’s problems offended a lot of their fans, and it’s now being manifested = zero Nadal/Roddick posters; and

Thirdly, the few regulars who post here faithfully cannot talk freely about Federer (I refrain from mentioning him as much as possible) or don’t want to because there’s a behemoth here who censors every word and becomes violently angry, using insults, exaggeration and any other points to discredit their posts, if he perceives anything written to be offensive towards Federer. People have to dance around him and/or walk on egg shells so as not to offend his nibs or else they’ll be accused of writing violent and abusive posts. Therefore, one’s freedom of speech is deprived, and, who needs or wants that.

Anyway, Goat Galz, aka Goat Girl, aka Roger’s Twin sister, (you said you never used any other name here which is a big, fat lie, but according to you I’m the liar) since my posts, the amount of them, the time of day I post, and everything else about me annoys you so much, then guess what, I’ll make a deal with you. If you can post on tennis, interacting with other posters, (not just with grendel) discussing all players, (not just Federer) and do so intelligently, I’ll stop posting. Is that a deal? Remember now, intelligent posts, not one-liners, but some very real and thoughtful discussions, will do the trick, and walla, Von will LEAVE.

I suppose you’ll respond with one of your famous, insightful and illuminating retorts, viz., “Von, another rant?” You’re a piece of work, and then some.


i am it Says:

from tonight, you can watch Beijing and Tokyo on espn360. if the live schedule is not good for you, you can replay ‘em at your convenient time.


been there Says:

Re: DelPotro’s rise, was it too soon?:

Not at all. He turned 21yrs on Sept 23th, so won the US open just two weeks shy of his 21st birthday….or more precisely (20 yrs, 11.5mnths). As as been profiled many times over, this is about the age that most players win their first slams, e.g. Djokovic, Roddick, Federer, Safin, Hewitt, Agassi….the list is endless…all won their first slams between the ages of 20-22yrs. So in this sense, Del P’s win comes just about the right time.

Also, imo, a slam win can never come too early…..as Federer always says, you never know when it’s going to be the last one (accident, mental breakdown, stiff competition, etc), so better to take any arising opportunity, & if you’re lucky enough to have multiple opportunities, rack them up as early & as quick as you can. At 21yrs old, in terms of slam achievements, which is what players are remembered for & the pinnacle of tennis, Del. P is now at the same level as the Roddicks & Ferrerros, who’ve been on tour at least a decade.

The article seems to be asking the question mainly due to the fact that Del P hasn’t won a masters yet & was never in a slam final before that. Seems like the author is changing the rules abit…’coz last time I checked, it has always been, ‘when will xyz’ win a slam?’ The question has been asked of players such as Nalbandian, Murray….& for those retired, e.g. Tim Henman, who reached Wimby semis four times but never quite made it to the finish line. Also in WTA, we all know the huge mental & media pressure that Safina has faced due to not having a slam. & we’re still waiting for Dementieva to win one.

All these players have won plenty of masters & some Olympic gold medals & been to many a final of slams & masters. Yet the bugging question still remains, ‘when is the slam coming?’ I’m sure Murray would trade his 4 masters win for a single slam….be it Wimbledon or US Open. So imo, the very fact that Del potro was able to win a slam before a masters shows me his unique talents. He didn’t fold under pressure. After his semi vs Roger at FO, he seemed to have the belief that he was ready to win something big, anything…be it at 500, masters or slam…didn’t matter which. He got a chance at a slam final & took his first golden opportunity….he surely knew that win or lose, if he didn’t give it his all in the name of stage-fright, tiredness, lack of fitness, etc he would only have himself to blame.

Sure, he might never win another…who knows?….but he himself has said that despite winning the slam, he’s got too many areas to improve in his game….so he’s got a whole career ahead of him to create opportunities for more slam & masters wins. What matters is that he’s got the big Win already.
.
Also, in the current ATP tour, anyone capable of taking out Nadal & Federer at whatever tournament is ready to conquer the tennis world. It takes an immense amount of good technique wich he steadily improved over months, will power & immense mental fortitude. He could have easily folded, just because he was playing Federer, but he didn’t….so no, it’s not too early a win for him.


Von Says:

jane: A player’s performance can, at time, be dependent on his opponent, viz., if the opponent is tired, sick, injured, etc., it will make the other look imperious. We see this at the GS level especially through R16, for the higher ranked players due to their draw, but then when the battle begins heating up after R16, and the opponents become tougher, we see those same imperious players begin to struggle. In sum, Rank has its privileges, and the draw can help the top players to get to at least the QF in the GS and SF in the smaller tourneys.

BTW, Kubot is the player who took out Karlovic in Belgrade, and then pushed Djokovic in the final to a tie-break in the first set. So he’s no slouch and can beat any top player if they’re having an off day. If he makes it to the SF, I think Djoko will have his work cut out for him.

**********
If any Roddick fans are around, FYI, Roddick/Knowles won their match in doubles vs. Acasuso/Gonzo, but from the live scores, it was a very difficult match, as they got broken quite a few times. The Knowles/Roddick team seemed to win their games more easily when Roddick was serving. In sum, it seems as though Roddick is finding some form, and his doubles play can be very helpful at this juncture, thus enabling him in becoming more match grooved for Shanghai.


Fed is GOAT Says:

DelPo needs to lose weight and get fitter.

Federer played crappy at the USO final, and yet it took 5 sets against a 28 year old who had played later the previous day, and a tough long 3 setter.

Look at what happened to Djokovic since his first major. And murray even before his first major. THis is men’s tennis, not women’s – being supremely fit is the first requirement. Otherwise players like Jesse Witten will beat you on their good days.

And just being tall isn’t enough. It could even be a disadvantage. Look at Karlovic.


jane Says:

I already noted that Kubot is a fine player on another thread Von; I agree he is indeed no slouch.

Of course it takes two to play any match, and if one guy is off form while the other is on, it can make a huge difference; however, one can simply look at whomever they’re cheering for (or even the other player)and analyse what shots they employed, how well they moved, whether they looked fit, focused, etc., and then make a judgement as to whether or not they seemed to be playing well. But each match is a new encounter so like the players always say: “one match at a time.”

I am happy Djoko got through easily today; I hope he can continue through the draw here! :)


Von Says:

jane: I know you want Djoko to win, and for your sake i hope he does. But to be truthful, I’m rooting for Nadal. Sorry ….


jane Says:

No reason to be sorry Von. A Rafa win is probably my second choice. If Rafa is to win here, then he’d potentially heat up the race for year end number 1. I feel for him, and the way he lost number 1 *partly* through the injury hiatus, so it’d be good to see him make a year end push to get it back. And even if he doesn’t do so, but gets closer, it would leave us with a kind of season ending cliff-hanger, waiting to see what will happen at the start of next season and especially the AO.

There could be many more shits in the top ten, not just this year, but throughout next.


jane Says:

Oops – major typo – sorry. I didn’t mean to type s*its in the above final sentence, although it may fit in terms of on court play or off court behaviour, or whatever. LOL.

I meant to type *SHIFTS in the top ten.


grendel Says:

jane

I haven’t watched much high class live tennis. Wimbledon many years ago, and the US Open 2 or 3 years ago (my sons and I were visiting my sister, who has been an American citizen for many years). Leaving aside the atmosphere, I personally found it a reality check. The sheer speed and difficulty of the game were more apparent. Plus one (for me) amusing incident. Because I was sat quite near to her coach, I caught Vaidisova’s eye at one point. That was a sort of interesting moment. Of course, one is more cognisant of the weather conditions, too.

I imagine one day, technology will be able to reproduce the live play more or less exactly. Not in my life time, but perhaps in the next 50 years or so. Hard to see how they can reproduce atmosphere, though.


grendel Says:

Von says: “I knew once vared mentioned that nonsense you and grendel would pick up on it, which is the reason I mentioned you both in my post. And, guess what, you’ve run true to form.”

There are actually 7 – 7!- distinct references to me in that post, and 4 in the second post. Nice to be popular! As a matter of fact, I have desisted from reading Von’s posts for a month or so, since that’s about the only way to avoid these battles, which are becoming a little repetitious now. Once or twice, I have guessed (though I can’t be sure) she was having a dig at me – after Gordo complimented me and after Voicemale1 did the opposite, simply because of the positioning of the posts. I still haven’t read them since I am easily provoked, alas. Like a fool, though, when scrolling down the recent ones, I caught sight of my name and, curiosity did the rest.

However, I still am disinclined to join battle. The reason for the quote at the beginning of this post is that it is unintelligible (as opposed to wrong). I have said nothing w.r.t. Von for some weeks now.

Von concludes her vared post by suggesting it is about time for another rampage from me. That is rather up to her. I am willing to avoid all reference to her. She has made some, to say the least, damaging assertions all of which I have decided to overlook. But I think from now on this will need to be mutual – or I will respond. And if I am obliged to do so, the language will be cool this time, but it will be documented. I respectfully suggest we avoid this.


i am it Says:

we may get cilic-rafa and dj-sod semi if davy does not spoil it. imo the title will go to one of these four. i vaguely sense that dj will win this title, regardless of who’s on the other side of the net. if lucky, we’ll get another dj-rafa final on the surface they match better and have not disappointed fans.


sensationalsafin Says:

FIG, you really need to get your head out of Fed’s ass. He doesn’t need such an extreme amount of praise. But I agree that Del Po needs to get more fit and he has indicated that he is well aware and working towards that. I don’t know if he really needs to lose weight, he’s pretty skinny. But he shouldn’t gain too much either because it could slow him down and he’s not that fast as it is.


Kimmi Says:

What I am hoping is for Murray to recover and play Shanghai..it’s still 50-50 right ? This is what Murray was worried about when he sacrificed to play three matches in Davis cup. I read somewhere that the injury was not serious? Well, let’s hope he is there… only couple of days now before the shanghai draw comes out.

Verdasco could be tricky for Djoko (he is tricky for anyone for that matter) I think it will be an interesting match. Their US open encounter was going verdasco way in the beginning then he fade away afterwards.

I am it, you think Cilic will beat Davy ? Davy is on a good form at the moment…maybe you are right, just checking H2H, Cilic has a good record against davy , surprisingly 2-0….the last time they play is 2007 though. This one is looking to be an interesting match too.


been there Says:

Andy Murray has actually withdrawn from Shanghai.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8296047.stm

Poor boy….should never have played Davis cup…but alas, there was no way for him to win that one…play DC & he’s exacerbated injury….doesn’t play & has a media & public barrage of criticism. Tough being British sportsman!


jane Says:

Kimmi, that link I posted for margot on the other “Serena” thread says that Murray has pulled out of Shanghai.

I agree that Verdasco could be a really tough one to beat for Djoko, or anyone. I am surprised to hear about Cilic’s lead over Davy too.


Kimmi Says:

Oh No ! Thanks Jane and been there, I didn’t know and was still hoping. Bad luck for Murray. He says it could be tendinitis..he might not play again this year. At least with the knees one can play if its not too painful but the wrist I think is impossible. I wish him all the best..just bad bad luck.


Von Says:

This is too bad for Murray! He has a lot of points to defend before the season ends.

His withdrawal from Shanghai will make Nadal the No. 1 seed, Djoko. No. 2, and the two will only meet in the final, similar to Beijing. Additionally, DelPotro and Roddick will only meet Nadal or Djoko in the SFs as opposed to the QFs, depending on whose side of the draw they land.

I suppose Nos. 1 and 2 will be looking at the draw to see on whose side DelPotro falls.


been there Says:

Kimmi, the guardian link Jane mentions has a bit more:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/oct/07/andy-murray-wrist-shanghai-masters

From that one, seems like he’s almost healed but wants to be completely sure. Seems like he’s in a position to actually play but wants to be in tip-top condition for London YEC…seeing that it’ll be home crowd present. Good to see that he’s taken medical advise as opposed to forcing issues.

Not his biggest fan (mainly coz of his playing style…I find it way too passive), but here’s hoping to a quick recovery. His injury has indeed come at a bad time…when his defending so many points….I guess some people are just plain unlucky! Fed somehow manages to get injured or worn out when he’s defending so few points. lol.

So Murray should be playing in November in Valencia to maybe make up for missing Tokyo? And if he’s well, he’s still the best of three player out there, so should reap some good dividends in Paris Masters.


Kimmi Says:

Roddick has played well against Djoko recently and so is delPo against Nadal. Maybe Djoko will be hoping to get DelPo and Nadal will hope for Roddick ? Just a thought.

Get well and comeback soon Murray and Fed.


Kimmi Says:

been there: Yes, this article is much better, the BBC one was very worrying…a lot of good news here…Valencia is 500, I agree this will help to redeem some of his points if he gets deep there, then Paris and London. Excellent! At least he still has a shot for # 3 ranking, to catch Nadal will be almost impossible now I think.


jane Says:

Kimmi @ 11:09 – I was thinking the same thing. So far anyhow, Djoko has done pretty well against JMDP but he’s had a losing year against Andy R, so he may hope for JMDP. Mind you, JMDP is dangerous too and he’s a different player when the stakes are high. Rafa’s got a better H2H versus Roddick (5-2) than JMDP (4-3). But any of these match ups could be tough and thus go either way – of course they’d all have to get to the semis first!

For some reason I thought Murray was going to play Basel? Or is that JMDP?


sensationalsafin Says:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39PByFQNCy8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv8jkkrlWew&feature=player_embedded

First one is Vamos Rafa and the second one is Federer Song. Sooo good and funny. Just came across these and had to share.


i am it Says:

murray will meet the requirement of one rule: “A player who is out of competition for 30 or more days, due to a verified injury, will not receive any penalties.”

Fed does not meet the above rule or the next: “Players with direct acceptance who do not play an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament will be suspended from a subsequent ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event which will be the next highest point earned ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event within the next 12 months. If an injured player is on-site within the first three days of a tournament to conduct promotional activities over a two day period, a suspension will not be enforced but a 0-pointer will be counted on a player’s ranking.”
——–
dePo is scheduled to play Vienna, Basel, Paris, and London.
murray has Valencia, Paris, and London in his schedule.


jane Says:

i am it, are “penalties” the same as losing ranking points in those rules? If not, what kinds of penalties do the rules refer to? Thanks.


i am it Says:

besides receiving zero pointer,
penalty means = that player will be “suspended from a subsequent ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event which will be the next highest point earned ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event within the next 12 months.”


jane Says:

So at some point in the next 12 months Roger will be suspended from a Masters Event for not playing Shanghai? I didn’t realize it, but I guess that’s what the rules you’ve cited imply, since Murray is verifiably injured whereas Roger basically said he needs a break.


i am it Says:

j., yes, that seems to be the case. i understood the same as you did. it will take the whole season to pass to accurately understand how these new rules work. by the middle of next year, everything will be clear.


huh Says:

“I like tennis bullies Says:
djokovic and integrity do not belong in the same sentence.

Irrational statement as usual from the idiot.


huh Says:

Von, what I did was a month ago, not very recent, ok? Moreover


huh Says:

Von, what I did was a month ago, not very recent, ok? Moreover I differed with your opinion merely and that’s nowhere close to lambasting. If anything bore a tone of disregard towards anyone(or at least as it appeared so to me) was your question to me relating to those posts of mine where you asked me , not in the most mild and welcoming tone perhaps, the question: “huh, Do you understand anything or just jump in and spout here?”, something of this sort, which I remember. Again you were saying that I need to comprehend, but that’s a different story altogether. I perceived it you being a bit rude towards me, I may be wrong though. But that’s it. Again however that was a month back, so it’s useless, my recalling those things. I’d move on, you too move on.


huh Says:

This is my exclusively independent opinion however. Von is not anyway responsible for vared leaving this site(if he really has/would!), this is a fact. Nobody can force anyone to leave this site unless he/she has himself decided to do so. vared personally seems to have decided to either leave this site or as they say, take a sabbatical.


been there Says:

i am it, jane,

Federer is iron-clad safe as far as suspension goes. For starters, doctors were involved in the decision not to play in Tokyo & Shanghai, so maybe by ATP rules, the soreness…arm & leg problems (I’ve read in some websites saying it’s a thigh adductor muscle strain) may constitute injury…especially since doctors are involved.

Anyhow, that’s not my main point. According to ATP rules, as of now, Federer can actually decide to miss a single masters tournament each year if he wants to go watch London/Paris/Milan fashion week or in future, take his girls to some special kids event & not incur penalty…Here’s the rule for exemption:

*************************************************

1.08 Reduction of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Commitment
A. A player’s number of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 commitment tournaments shall be
reduced by one (1) tournament for reaching each of the following milestones:
1) 600 matches (as of 1 January of the commitment year)
2) 12 years of service
3) 31 years of age (as of 1 January of the commitment year)

If all three (3) conditions are met then the player has a complete exemption from the
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 player commitment.
The first Year of Service shall be the first calendar year in which a player has competed
in at least twelve (12) tournaments offering ranking points.

B. A player who is eligible for a reduction of his ATP World Tour Masters 1000 commitment
tournaments must be in good standing with the ATP in order to receive a reduction
of required ATP World Tour Masters 1000 commitment tournaments.

*************************************************

He’s fulfilled the 600+ matches, so he won’t get a suspension for skipping Shanghai. I now totally see how his career will be prolonged ‘coz once he hit’s 31, he doesn’t have to play a full calender *scary in a good way*….obviously assuming he’s not retired by then.

A few other players, e.g. Roddick, & Haas also qualify; so I suppose Roddick’s also not getting penalised for skipping Rome. Good to see ATP rewarding hard working veterans.


huh Says:

If the fans of Roddick and Rafa left, it is again, as I believe, their personal decision(coz strictly speaking, none can force anyone to leave this site). None stops/can stop Fed haters from hurling insults at Fed. All that the Fed fans/ alleged Fed-fanatics can do is defend Fed, and if need be, expose the fallcy and/or folly of the Fed haters, now this is justified. Blaming Fed fans or so-called Fed fanatics for this cannot be justified.


huh Says:

“been there Says:
Re: DelPotro’s rise, was it too soon?:

Not at all. He turned 21yrs on Sept 23th, so won the US open just two weeks shy of his 21st birthday….or more precisely (20 yrs, 11.5mnths). As as been profiled many times over, this is about the age that most players win their first slams, e.g. Djokovic, Roddick, Federer, Safin, Hewitt, Agassi….the list is endless…all won their first slams between the ages of 20-22yrs. So in this sense, Del P’s win comes just about the right time.

Also, imo, a slam win can never come too early…..as Federer always says, you never know when it’s going to be the last one (accident, mental breakdown, stiff competition, etc), so better to take any arising opportunity, & if you’re lucky enough to have multiple opportunities, rack them up as early & as quick as you can. At 21yrs old, in terms of slam achievements, which is what players are remembered for & the pinnacle of tennis, Del. P is now at the same level as the Roddicks & Ferrerros, who’ve been on tour at least a decade.

The article seems to be asking the question mainly due to the fact that Del P hasn’t won a masters yet & was never in a slam final before that. Seems like the author is changing the rules abit…’coz last time I checked, it has always been, ‘when will xyz’ win a slam?’ The question has been asked of players such as Nalbandian, Murray….& for those retired, e.g. Tim Henman, who reached Wimby semis four times but never quite made it to the finish line. Also in WTA, we all know the huge mental & media pressure that Safina has faced due to not having a slam. & we’re still waiting for Dementieva to win one.

All these players have won plenty of masters & some Olympic gold medals & been to many a final of slams & masters. Yet the bugging question still remains, ‘when is the slam coming?’ I’m sure Murray would trade his 4 masters win for a single slam….be it Wimbledon or US Open. So imo, the very fact that Del potro was able to win a slam before a masters shows me his unique talents. He didn’t fold under pressure. After his semi vs Roger at FO, he seemed to have the belief that he was ready to win something big, anything…be it at 500, masters or slam…didn’t matter which. He got a chance at a slam final & took his first golden opportunity….he surely knew that win or lose, if he didn’t give it his all in the name of stage-fright, tiredness, lack of fitness, etc he would only have himself to blame.

Sure, he might never win another…who knows?….but he himself has said that despite winning the slam, he’s got too many areas to improve in his game….so he’s got a whole career ahead of him to create opportunities for more slam & masters wins. What matters is that he’s got the big Win already.
.
Also, in the current ATP tour, anyone capable of taking out Nadal & Federer at whatever tournament is ready to conquer the tennis world. It takes an immense amount of good technique wich he steadily improved over months, will power & immense mental fortitude. He could have easily folded, just because he was playing Federer, but he didn’t….so no, it’s not too early a win for him.”

Great post by you.


huh Says:

“Fed is GOAT Says:
DelPo needs to lose weight and get fitter.

Federer played crappy at the USO final, and yet it took 5 sets against a 28 year old who had played later the previous day, and a tough long 3 setter.”

This is an excuse and can’t be accepted. If Fed didn’t make excuses after the final, why you need to do that? I just don’t get it. Give Del Po and Fed some credit for one of the best ever USO finals played by them.


huh Says:

Fed is GOAT:

You cannot compare Djoko and Mutrray’s condition to DP’s, they are quite different. Djoko has the talent and the game to beat Fed, Murray too has. But DP’s has not just talent and game, but also a burning desire and the determination to excel. I’d say he’d definitely end his career as a better player than Djoko and Murray, unless calamity befalls him
(God forbid!). And don’t ignore the fact that DP’s already pushed Fed to two freaking 5-setters at slams within a span of one year, at his career’s dawn. How many genuine slam contenders except Rafa have done that at slams? So DP’s definitely chances to achieve more and more.


Kimmi Says:

“A few other players, e.g. Roddick, & Haas also qualify; so I suppose Roddick’s also not getting penalised for skipping Rome. Good to see ATP rewarding hard working veterans.”

been there: Thanks for the explanation, I also wondered about this when Roddick missed Rome. This eventually answers my question.


sensationalsafin Says:

Djokovic had that desire before. He didn’t just push Fed to a 5 setter at a slam, he straight setted the guy. He did this before even Nadal did. Federer went almost 4 years without being straight setted in a slam. But Djokovic has lost that flame and has backpedaled. It’s a shame considering his talent. I still have hope though. As for Murray, it’s not that he doesn’t have the desire, it’s that he doesn’t know how to play tennis.


grendel Says:

Excellent couple of posts, Huh. After Murray beat an exhausted delPotro in last year’s Us Open, I predicted, in a post here, that he’d be #3 within 18 months. I’m rather proud of that prediction, it’s looking quite good now!

I also said that, imo, delPo was mentally very strong. We all know that now, but it wasn’t universally accepted then. He looked down and out against Murray – even taking into account his deeply misleading tendency to droop – and his comeback (although ultimately unavailing) was telling.

However, although he is at the one slam stage of Ferrero and Roddick eg, it strains credibility to believe he will remain stuck there. As you point out he says, he still has so many areas in which he can improve. These kind of statements can, of course, be mere politically correct type rhetoric, but not here. It is obvious he means it. Again, just because a player says, and means, that he has areas in which to improve doesn’t mean he will be able to make good his intentions.

Again, however, one doesn’t have any doubt but that delPo will be in a position to make good his intentions.

As for those not quite making it – Henman never quite had what it takes, imo. I would agree with Sampras’ assessment – a very good player, not a great player. Henman wrung the very most out of what was – at the very highest levels – a limited repertoire. The exact opposite is true of Nalbandian. I got in some trouble a couple of years ago, from people who have much more knowledge than me, for suggesting that Nalbandian’s sheer native talent was on a par with Federer’s. I continue to believe that I was right on that occasion. The question: whither Nalbandian, once one fraught with interest, is now rather a sad one.


sensationalsafin Says:

Oh and is anyone else super stoked for the Safin-Nadal match?? How epic would it be for Safin to get a good, big win before he retired. Considering how crappy he’s been playing all year, I’m shocked at his win over Gonzo. And in straight sets! Safin has suffered some of his most crushing defeats at the hands of Gonzo (lost at Wimbledon after being up 2 sets, didn’t reach the atleast the third round of the French after losing to him in the first in 05?).

Last time Safin and Nadal played, Safin had a lot of chances in the first set but once Nadal got it he really pulled away. Call me Safin biased but even in losing the second set 0-6, Safin lost it more than Nadal. Safin has that tendancy to hit, hit, miss on every single point. Plus Nadal just beat Blake, which is a great win for the world number 2. And Blake’s got a new coach?!?!?!?! I can’t believe it!


sensationalsafin Says:

Grendel, I’m pretty sure I was one of the people who strongly disagreed with you about Nalbandian being as talented as Federer. At the time I was probably pissed he beat Federer around the time, but I still don’t fully agree. Nalbandian is definitely an incredible talent, but I believe he also has some limitations. His serve isn’t that effective. He’s had some good moments with it, but overall, it’s not as good as the Roddicks and Federers and Del Potros. His backhand is just ridiculous but his forehand is questionable. His footwork is great but he needs to be clicking in all departments to be as aggressive as he wants to be. And while he may look awesome when he’s on, isn’t it a part of a talented repertoire to be able to maintain a high level play for more than 2 or 3 weeks a year? Federer’s got that ability, Nadal, even Djokovic and Murray. But Nalbandian can only play his best once in a while, if that. Imo, that’s also a part of talent. Mental strength is a talent. Nalbandian has won enough times to know believe that he belongs at the top but he doesn’t. I still think Fed’s best vs Nalbandian’s best, Fed will win on any surface. I wanna say only Safin is as talented as Federer but that would contradict everything I just said. So the only player who must be close to Federer is Nadal, and that’s easy to prove.


grendel Says:

jane: bit late in the day, but just a quick point:”maybe we’ll have to follow your lead and just make him hit.” Never had to make either of my lads hit when they were very young – sometimes, so enthusiastic were they, it was them having to make me hit! Believe me, this could be very frustrating with Jack, because it took him a very, very long time to get some idea as to where the damn ball was. This is a common educational problem, isn’t it? In any area. Why can so and so not do such and such when it’s just so damn obvious? Always, one has to remind oneself that there are plenty of areas of learning, whether physical or mental, in which one is just as obdurately backward oneself as the youngster one is currently tempted to strangle.

I suppose it depends where you live, but if you have a tennis club in the vicinity, group coaching is both cheap and enjoyable – and provides a source of tennis playmates. Individual coaching can do wonders. Still, nothing wrong with other sports…


i am it Says:

yes, according to rule 1.08, fed and roddick will be exempt from the suspension, where as rafa does not have the same luxury yet.

however, they will not be exempt from the zero-pointer. which means it will have effect on the player’s ranking points because ATP will count those missed tournaments. there is no way around it. for instance, roddick has been given a zero-pointer for Rome. and fed will be given zero-pointer for missing Shanghai plus Washington has decided to give fed a zero-pointer because he had initially committed to play but later withdrew. as a result, besides YEC, roddick’s ranking will be based on 17 events, and after Shanghai, fed’s will be based on 16 events.

keep also in mind, though not applicable for roddick and fed: “If an injured player is on-site within the first three days of a tournament to conduct promotional activities over a two day period, a suspension will not be enforced but a 0-pointer will be counted on a player’s ranking.”
I believe players also have option to appeal to the 1000 tribunal and arrange a promotional work on a later date, in the next tournament.
again, the zero-pointer remains in effect.
———
as i woke up early this morning to watch sod-robredo match, it was delayed due to women’s prolonged match. i was able to catch a bit of safin-gonzu match as espn360 was replaying the last set. safin played a good match.

blake almost got rafa. he had 3 break point chances in the 5th game of the 3rd set to go 4-2, but he could not convert as rafa upped his level and stooped blake right there. rafa also had a couple of match points in the 2nd set, though. rafa is really looking sharp. i like his new outfit, fancy striped shorts.


i am it Says:

additionally, if tokyo decides to give fed a zero-pointer, his ranking will be based on 15 events, where as others’, who do not have any withdrawals, ranking will be based on 18 events (plus YEC).
note that tournaments are given the right to decisions on this matter, as far as ATP 500 and 250 series are concerned.


grendel Says:

Sensational Safin:”His serve isn’t that effective”. And yet, it could be! When Nalbandian was really on, his serve was a powerful weapon. I don’t know how you can compare strokes by great players at their very best (so consistency is not an issue). What you definitely can say is that Federer often played bad and was saved by his serve. I doubt that’s ever been true of Nalbandian.

“His backhand is just ridiculous but his forehand is questionable.” But one might easily rearrange this to say, vis-avis Federer:”His forehand is just ridiculous but his backhand is questionable”. And for those who point out that Federer’s bh SOMETIMES shines (or did!), very definitely so does Nalby’s fh.

The business about consistency being part of talent. Many people say this, in different ways. I don’t think I agree. Obviously to become a very great player, you absolutely must be consistent. Therefore, Nalbandian is not a very great player. But his talent surely consists of his inherent playing skills. The ability to marshall them for a substantial period seems to me to be a matter of character – and even that can be subdivided.

For instance, a player might be unable to sustain a very high level largely because of the anxiety and so on thereby incurred. On the other hand, he might just not be sufficiently bothered, is just not prepared to make the sacrifice – has other things he wants to do. I suspect Safin falls a bit into both camps, Nalbandian and perhaps Gulbis (too early to say, though) into the latter camp.

Suppose Nalbandian had had, at the age of 22 or so, every reason to suppose that if he didn’t make the absolute uttermost of his talent (and let’s include a few slams here) by the time he was, say, 35 – then he and his entire family and circle of friends would be kidnapped, tortured over a prolonged period, and then summarily executed.

I think we can reasonably hypothesise that, under these rigorous conditions, Nalbandian would consistently give of his best – and that his record would then be impressive indeed. I am not just being facetious, you know. Because if you were to say posit exactly the same circumstances w.r.t. any player taken at random with a ranking in between 10 and 30, say, you would not get the same result. No matter how hard they tried, the slams would not be forthcoming.

In this sense, talent seems to be indigenous, although naturally it can be nurtured. Mental strength – much more fuzzy; I’ll leave it at that……


grendel Says:

Yes, a Safin/Nadal match looks enticing. They’ve only played once, I believe? And then, Safin had every chance to take the first set, but folded in the second. He seems to be playing well now, it would be wonderful if, right at the end of his career, he could beat Nadal!


i am it Says:

after dj, i will be rooting for Soderling all the way. if not dj-rafa final, my 2nd choice would rafa-sod final.
it’s just beautiful to watch soderling’s power.
if you guys are awake and have time, don’t miss sod-robredo match. sod has broken rob and taken 3-0 lead.


sensationalsafin Says:

Idk. Even if you’re just talking about their games. Federer can do more with his backhand. He cant slice it and hit it flat and hit with topspin. Nalbandian can only do so much with his forehand. I think Federer has more finesse and variety. Nalbandian at his best is just really good at moving his opponents around. Federer at his very best is good at torturing his opponents. He can bring them in, push them back, move them side to side. He can serve and volley if need be, he can pass at will. Nalbandian’s game is more limited to super efficiency. That’s not a bad thing but I don’t think Nalby has as many options as Fed. Fed can dismantle an opponent about 1600 different ways. I’ve never seen Nalby do something that extreme, even when he’s on. Federer also has a better second serve whereas Nalby’s serve is only really effective on the first. Fed now even has a ridiculous drop shot.

I think Nalbandian should be compared to Djokovic. Both of them play supremely efficient tennis when they’re on. Their bakchands are their best shots but when they’re playing their best, their forehands are amazing. Djokovic is better in the serving department but Nalbandian is better at net. So if you consider those two cancelling out they’re practically the same player. So what happens when Djokovic meets Fed while playing his best? The same thing as with Nalbandian, he is capable of playing aggressive and moving his opponent around and knocking off winners. So is Djokovic’s best better than Federer’s? Honestly it’s hard to say but probably not. The talent is undeniable but Federer has an extra couple of things that not other player has. Again, the only player that comes close to Federer is Nadal, and Nadal taught himself a lot of the variety he now has, he wasn’t always like that. But considering how natural he looks, you gotta think that it simply took Federer to show Nadal what he is capable of.


jane Says:

Wowee – Safin defeated Gonza and will play Rafa next – could this be Safin’s last hurrah? Might have to stay awake for that one.


i am it Says:

somebody asked about the surface in Beijing a couple of days ago, it is decoTurf, the same as US Open, which is much faster than Australian Open’s Plexicushion Prestitage and a bit faster than Rebound Ace. Plexicushion somewhat favors clay courters.


jane Says:

been there @ 2:29 – thanks for the explanation of the rules. It is good that they cut some veteran players some slack; it means they can stick around a little longer. It also means they can concentrate on slams. One wonders if we’ll see the trend of this year, and to a degree last year, continue, then, with the “older” or vintage guard going deeper in some of the slams. It was quite prevalent at Wimbledon the last 2 years.

sensationalsafin – obviously I am thrilled for Safin’s win too. I didn’t know Blake hired a new coach, but that’s great for him; it may be a catalyst for bigger things, though one does assume he’s in the twilight of his career. Thanks for the link to that article; I totally agree with the ending: “are you nuts?” !!! Desire is key. I noticed you compared Nalby/Djoko re: forehands, and apparently that’s one of the shots Martin wants to work on with Djoko, to make it more consistent, like his backhand, and to get Djok to hit more angles, use it from mid-court, etc. I’ll be following to see if the shot seems to improve. All these matches are so late and/or early, I keep missing them. Drat.

grendel – “nothing wrong with other sports…” v.true. But I like tennis best! How selfish eh? I think group coaching is a great idea; my son is an incredibly social beast and that may be partly why tennis isn’t his favorite thing to go out and do. But were it a group thing, or were we to go to the court with another couple of parents/kids, I’ll bet he’d be keener. Tell me about it with the education thing; I have to remind myself of this daily. Then when I try to do math, I suddenly empathize with my stumped students. LOL.

Speaking of Nalbandian, will he be back to the court before the season is out? He’s always good around this time of year so it’d be nice to see him back.


jane Says:

i am it thanks for the feedback on the China Open surface; huh was asking if I knew whether it was “fast” and I thought it was based on the bits and pieces of matches I’ve seen – like Sod’s right now, through which he’s cruising. Your reply confirms that.


i am it Says:

good news that rafa-safin match is scheduled for the morning, US time, so early birds can watch live.


sensationalsafin Says:

Woot. Looks like I have something to look foward to at work tomorrow!!


Goat Galz Says:

Von:

A “behemoth” in here. What’s next? Pink elephants? You’re starting to sound a little paranoid. Maybe another rest at Bellevue would help to calm your nerves. How appropriate that you are now reviving spats with others like Grendel, Huh, Kimmi. Maybe you would prefer everyone to leave? What a shame you can’t handle varing opinions.


margot Says:

sensationalsafin: what are you saying about the other players if Andy M has got to no 2 while being unable “to play tennis”?
grendel: Tiananmen/is broad and clean/And you can’t tell/ Where the dead have been….And
You must not speak/You must not think/You must not dip/Your brush in ink…..And lots more. I love simple clean language.
As you can see am consoling myself with poetry….!


Polo Says:

Goat Galz Says about Von:
Von: A “behemoth” in here. What’s next? Pink elephants? You’re starting to sound a little paranoid. Maybe another rest at Bellevue would help to calm your nerves. How appropriate that you are now reviving spats with others like Grendel, Huh, Kimmi. Maybe you would prefer everyone to leave? What a shame you can’t handle varing opinions.”

I tried very hard to understand and like Von. But she just makes it so difficult sometimes. She writes good posts and has frequently been nice and funny but every now and then she gets off tangent and starts picking fights with everyone.


grendel Says:

Margot – yes, it’s straight from the hip, without ambiguity – very effective.
I THINK Sensational Safin is being playful. He doesn’t, of course, deny that Murray is highly gifted. I assume he means he is lacking in one crucial ingredient to enable him to win the very highest awards. Perhaps too reliant on being a counter puncher at the expense of taking the iniative? Not sure.


Von Says:

Goat Galz:

“How appropriate that you are now reviving spats with others like Grendel, Huh, Kimmi. Maybe you would prefer everyone to leave?”

You’ve always had a problem with comprehension you know, and that’s what has kept you on the RETARDED list and a permanent Bellevue resident. How about a course in comprehension 101? This way you’ll understand and comprehend why I mentioned those people. I’d suggest you try reading my post again, line by line, using a ruler if need be, with absolute concentration while endeavouring to assimilate why those people were placed there in my post. After you’ve done that Brady aka goat galz, aka goat girl, aka rogers sister, et al., then you can come back and talk to me.

BTW, I’ve noticed, like always, you’ve run true to form, you didn’t take me up on my offer to leave. But then again, you don’t want that to happen because you’ll lose your fun target and the *fun* (which is the only fun you have in your life) you derive from picking on me will be lost, as in gone forever.

For someone who wants me out of here so badly,(I supposedly take up your allotted writing space and time here) I’d have thought you’d jump at the offer and begin writing intelligently to get me out of here pronto. However, it’s obvious that the grey matter has now turned black and is mush isn’t it, and your thought processes are defunct, as in not working, hence the comprehension problems you’re having. LOL.

“What a shame you can’t handle varing opinions.”

*varing* opinions? What’s that? Never heard of it. Maybe you’re trying to say *varying* or a *diversity* of opinions, n’est ce pas? Well, to be truthful (which is something you can’t identify with — truth considering you claimed you’ve never used other post names here) I can’t handle diverse opinions (nor did the moderators = moderation of your posts) when they concern references to another’s *race and *hood/ghetto* behaviour as you so lavishly indulged in with respect to Serena. Or should I?. If I entertained those opinions, then I’ll become just like you A RACIST and full of hate for black people, and that is something I’d never want to be and/or do. capiche. Your racist remarks is what put you in moderation and has caused you to make several name changes, isn’t it? Have a great day *goat* whatever galz/girl. BTW, I’d never want to be identified as a goat. LOL.


Von Says:

Polo: “She writes good posts and has frequently been nice and funny but every now and then she gets off tangent and starts picking fights with everyone.”

First of all, who’s everyone, and what fights? I don’t see fists flying. This is a verbal disagreement. I didn’t pick a fight with you, did I? My disagreements in the past with you were begun by you and you had great backing from other sources = Polo was right.

Anyway, I would suggest you read all the posts here on this thread and the other thread also, where the problem began, then maybe you’ll understand why I mentioned a behemoth, and why I had to defend myself. After that you can apologize to me. But thanks for the positive reinforcement and joining up with the brady/goat galz. a huge part of the problem with some people here is they only read one post and come to conclusion, which is grossly unfair, but I’m in a minority here, hence the ganging up. Tell me, would you prefer I leave, since I don’t seem to do or say anything right where you and some others are concerned? Most of the disagreements begin because i’m not meekly compliant. Well that ain’t gonna happen. I have a brain and I’ll speak up when I disagree.

I’m not going to explain anything further to you as you have formed your opinion. Have a nice day.


Von Says:

BTW Polo, and FYI, I hope you know that by jumping to your biased conclusion, you’ve begun a *fight* with me, and it was not my doing, but your being meddlesome, which is your usual MO, but carry on. I would suggest you try flipping the switch in your head in the other direction, as in before you stopped posting, i.e., the USO final. Isn’t it amazing that your first post after all of this time, is picking on me for something that’s in no way any of your business? Now tell me, who’s the one guilty of picking *fights* and going off on a tangent, you or me? I had justification for mentioning those people, what’s your justification for jumping in and being derogatory towards me, NADA = meddlesome. Maybe, your cohort will help you out as he did the last time you picked on me. Enjoy the ride ….


grendel Says:

Sensational Safin @ 10.32 a.m. An illuminating post with which I have no argument. Nevertheless, the contrast between Nalbandian simplicity and Federesque guile reminds me of something I was trying to say a couple of years ago. I said (on Tennis.com) something like Federer was more gifted than Nalbandian but Nalbandian was as talented as Federer.

Andrew Burton, a moderator at tennis.com. had great fun with this wording, subjecting it to much drollery. Clearly he was justified in doing this, since what I had said didn’t make any sense. But I had an idea in my head which I couldn’t quite articulate.

Now SS has handed me the means, for which I am grateful. It is a very straightforward one, really. “Nalbandian at his best is just really good at moving his opponents around. Federer at his very best is good at torturing his opponents.” Federer has loads of options compared to Nalbandian, SS goes on to say.

So here we have the rub. Simplicity against complexity or the ornate. But when the “simple” game is perfect (e.g.Nalbandian ripping off insane half-volley backhands off very fast balls, from corner to corner – Federer’s winner suddenly becomes Nalbandian’s winner) it is a match for the perfect “complex” game. Two utterly different styles, the one direct and unadorned, the other the exact opposite – clash. You have the strong feeling the result will be in the lap of the gods.

Don’t underestimate the virtue of the “simple”. The pounding accuracy takes its toll of the “complex”, and suddenly all those options begin to look questionable. The “simple” begins to look daunting, superhuman. The “complex” looks a bit shifty, desperate. The scale can tilt either way. It bcomes a question of who will crack.

I miss those Nalbandian/Federer matches – the good ones.


Von Says:

SS: “Oh and is anyone else super stoked for the Safin-Nadal match?? How epic would it be for Safin to get a good, big win before he retired.”

I was rooting for Nadal to win the title, because I didn’t think Safin would get this far, based on his previous performances. Now that the two will meet, it’s hard to root against one of my all-time faves, Marat. He looked super terrific vs. Gonzalez. However, if he should win, the question would be, can he put the win to good use and make it to the final, and/or win the title? If Marat beats Nadal, I’d like to then see him win the whole thing for have done all the hard work, and not making it easy for the main rivals to win it instead. Only time will tell ….


sensationalsafin Says:

When it comes to determining a Federer-Nalbandian match, I think it comes down to what Federer is capable of doing on the day. I like to think back to 07 when Nalbandian crushed everyone for the Madrid and Paris Masters. First the 2 met in the finals in Madrid where Nalbandian won 1-6 6-3 6-3. Federer said that as the match went on he felt like there was nothing he could do. I remember that match because I hate Nalbandian and was obviously rooting for Rog and was upset at the loss. But even then, I probably couldn’t bring myself to say it, but Federer didn’t play bad. Nalbandian executed perfectly and Federer didn’t know, or COULDN’T know, what to do to throw Nalbandian off. I remember Von made the point that even though the first set was 6-1, it was still very close in terms of the way it was played out. Sean argued a lot but I agreed (or at least I agree now). What happened in that match was that Nalby’s super efficiency was too much for even Fed’s variety, but Fed still took the first set. When they played in Paris, I’m pretty sure Fed fought back from several breaks down in both the sets but still lost 6-4 7-6. So what does this mean? It means on those days Federer’s variety wasn’t enough to disturb Nalby’s efficiency. But why, then, have there been matches where Nalbandian is playing well but Federer wins almost easily with a score of 6-3 6-4? Did Nalbandian play that bad? Probably not. Nalbandian has often played some of his best stuff against Fed due to the way their games match up. But why was Federer able to win so easily? Because on that day, Fed’s variety was enough. Nalbandian would move Fed to the side and Federer would hit some sort of shot that he hadn’t hit before and that Nalbandian wasn’t expecting and hadn’t seen. Think to their 06 FO semi encounter. Nalby was playing incredibly well and was up a set and a break until Fed hit that ridiculous squash shot. Maybe Nalby or maybe something for Fed just clicked, or probably both, but from that point Fed would go on to win the second set and was up a break (or 2) before Nalby retired. You can say Nalby lost because of injury, but it’s not like that shot injured him, yet it was the turning point of the match. Fed probably realized “Wait a second, he keeps moving me around, so why don’t I try this instead of that” and that mentality would bring him the victory. On a losing day, Fed never hits a shot like that and never realizes he can. But how can Federer not realize what he can hit, you might ask. Well, shots like that squash aren’t exactly something you practice or go for when playing, it just happens due to feel. So Fed starts really feeling like he can do anything and he starts taking over. Nalbandian’s angled shots give Federer something to play with.

All in all, the biggest difference between Fed and Nalby is that Fed does believe he’ll be able to hit some sort of crazy shot every day, every week, every month, every year (even though he doesn’t always). But Nalbandian doesn’t believe he can always maintain that level of play, nor really cares to. Djokovic, who I said is very similar to Nalbandian, at least at some point believed he should be number 1 and so instead of being bewildered by Fed’s ridiculous shots (Fed hit plenty in the 08 AO semi), he just kept going on and on until he got the W. And yet, Djokovic has slipped up a bit. Is it belief? Yeah. But to be super efficient you also have to be very focused throughout the match whereas to hit a crazy squash shot, you can actually just be swinging without purpose.


Goat Galz Says:

From Von: I’d have thought you’d jump at the offer and begin writing intelligently to get me out of here pronto.

The above statement is from an absolute control freak. If you do this I will then do xyz. I hope this nutjob doesn’t have children. Look at her comments to Kimmi. She belittles and demeans her. It’s as if Kimmi were a compliant child in a house run by Nurse Ratchet from Cuckoo’s Nest. Von, please tell me you don’t have children.

After that she receives comment from others which are not very cordial. I’m sure this borderline personality will conveniently pick up a persecution complex next.

To Kimmi:capiche? You want peace? I saw you pushing some fire last evening with respect to the retirements…
people who want peace don’t purposely incite, they remain quiet as in shhhhh, remember that. capiche?
Posted October 6th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

From Grendel:There are actually 7 – 7!- distinct references to me in that post, and 4 in the second post
She has made some, to say the least, damaging assertions all of which I have decided to overlook
Posted October 7th, 2009 at 8:21 pm
From Huh:Moreover I differed with your opinion merely and that’s nowhere close to lambasting
Posted October 8th, 2009 at 2:06 am
From Polo: every now and then she gets off tangent and starts picking fights with everyone.
Posted October 8th, 2009 at 3:12 pm
From Nurse Von Ratchet to Polo: I hope you know that by jumping to your biased conclusion, you’ve begun a *fight* with me, and it was not my doing, but your being meddlesome.


been there Says:

sensationalsafin & grendel,

Thanks for the lovely analysis/comparisons of Federer-Nalbandian. Very nice read.

For me, a Fed-Nalby match is one made in heaven….so much finesse in technique, use of the whole court, variety of shots with both players overusing their brains ‘coz it’s rarely a power or baseline match. & so much tension…whatever the score….& the crowd is usually super-attentive, with many aahs & oohs…cause they can’t quite believe the sheer quality of the match :D

grendel says:
“The pounding accuracy takes its toll of the “complex”, and suddenly all those options begin to look questionable. The “simple” begins to look daunting, superhuman. The “complex” looks a bit shifty, desperate. The scale can tilt either way. It becomes a question of who will crack.”

Were it possible for him to read, I believe Mr. Federer would completely agree with your statement, as do I :) Federer has admitted that Nalbandian is the one player he is actually scared of….I doubt he’s said this about many of his compatriots, not even Nadal (or has he?)

Quite a badge of honour for Nalby. I think the reason for this is ‘coz imo, when Fed plays Nalby, it’s like he’s playing against himself, some mirror image….someone capable of matching him shot for shot,(if Fed can produce an in between the legs shots, angles, net play, etc so can Nalby)….comes as a bit of a shock to him….& he asks himself “who is this person £%$^%$^!” lol. ‘Coz as much as Nadal has the slams to back himself up (which at the end of the day is what really matters), in terms of finesse, skills, all-court game I gotta give it to Nalbandian….which leads me to my next statement….what wasted talent! Indeed, it’s what the player does to enhance natural ability that counts….that’s were Nadal’s mental strength wins ‘coz come wat may, he won’t give up.

Fed’s statement back in Oct ’07 before Madrid Masters final:
“We’ve had some tough battles over the years,” said Federer, who beat Nalbandian in the semifinals last year. “He won the first five, and he was the kind of player I was scared to play against.”

….after which Nalbandian handily beat him 1–6, 6–3, 6–3….very scared. haha. I wonder what havocs Nalby will cause for the top-ranked players on his return ‘coz his ranking will have dropped. He’s got a winning H2H to Nadal, Murray, Del.P, Davydenko…..while Federer, Roddick, Tsonga & Djokovic lead in the H2H, though by just one or two matches.

Basically, Nalby’s matchup against all top10 guys is very close and all must be on guard…..am making a hopeful assumption he’ll be fit & determined on is return, in which case he’ll be playing the appropriate role of ‘spoiler’.


Von Says:

@ http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-10-06/2445.php#comment-102011

You are one crazy b*tch. You do this stuff for fun, as it’s the only fun you can find, kook. The others who join you are just as crazy and are instigators. Everything gets turned around for yours and their benefit to justify the attacks. I didn’t start anything with you. You picked on me for absolutely no reason yesterday, and the other one joined in as per usual. Your hate for Serena and Roddick is consuming all of you. Funny like follows like, the others hate Roddick and Serena as well. LOL. Anyway, enjoy the hate ride and persecution all of you derive from your meddlesome behaviour ….


Von Says:

BTW, kook, I believe there are tons of posts testifying who’re the nutjobs here. And who begins the attacks on whom. brady is the all time *kook* on this site. You got moderated and had to change your name to Goat girl, when you joined forces and were playing good cop, bad cop with your friend. Then you said goodbye, because your posts were being moderated, due to your racist remarks towards Serena. You then came back, left, and now you’re back as goat galz, even though you claim you’ve never posted under any other name. To recap, brady, goat girl, goat galz, rogers twin sister — all the same kook person. LOL.

This is directed to you, and your friends who’ve joined forces with you — I’m not going to answer you again. Write whatever garbage you all want. It will fall on deaf ears.

BTW, oh gutless one, you haven’t answered my question, DO YOU WANT ME TO STOP POSTING HERE? WHY DON’T YOU ANSWER? I’ve asked you the same question many times, but you’re so gutless you won’t answer. Until you say YES, you don’t want me here, then you’re stuck with me. I was going to leave yesterday after I answered vared’s post, but you stupidly attacked me, and now I won’t, just to be a thorn in your side and the tennis ball in your throat, the same one Serena wanted to stick down the woman’s throat.

I see what you’re doing. You’re building up allegiances with Kimmi, (by pretending to defend her) your good cop friend and Polo to form your ‘hate Von clique’. Deja vu of Wimby all over again. I’ll say this, anyone who follows you is as crazy as you are, kook, and is no better than you. Have fun all of you. And, brady, I’ll guarantee one thing, I’ll write on tennis (which is something you don’t know how to do) and vigorously root for Roddick (which is what you hate) when I want and as often I want, kook, just to infuriate you some more. Keep reading …..


grendel Says:

“and the other one joined in as per usual”

Is this meant to be me?

I am subjected to a remarkable number of distinct attacks, and when I choose to ignore them (when I could easily have replied), since what you might call a “cold peace” seems preferable to endless noise, I am told I “join in” – when any objective person could at once see that I am trying to lower the temperature, not raise it. That is “joining in”, apparently.

The inevitable impression one gains is that Von wants a battle, is disappointed by my mild response.

There are only two alternatives. One, she is so constrained by aversion that she cannot interpret the simplest set of statements. Almost anything I say must be deemed to be inevitably hostile, including correcting her on a significant point of fact. Perhaps especially correcting her is the cause of offence. Two, I am mistaken, and I am not the other one who joined in as usual. Frankly, that doesn’t seem very likely – but should it be the case, then of course I regret what will be a redundant post and issue an apology.


grendel Says:

“I remember Von made the point that even though the first set was 6-1, it was still very close in terms of the way it was played out.” I too remember this, and happened to agree. If you recall, SS, I was making the point the other day that such is the scoring system in tennis, a 6-2 score line can be misleading… At the time (unlike Sean, if I recall correctly) I was not surprised that Nalbandian turned the match around.


sensationalsafin Says:

Btw, Grendel thanks for defending me about the Murray thing. I’ve been pretty vocal about how much I like Murray and his game in the past, but that was before I saw that he is incapable of finishing a point in 2 shots. Of course the guy knows how to play tennis though, if anything he knows how to play too much of it.

I don’t think Nalbandian can replicate all of Fed’s shots, but definitely a lot more than most. I don’t think Fed’s scared of Nalbandian anymore. He’s realized he is more than capable of beating him with his game. But Nalbandian is still a tricky guy. With Federer, he may be outplayed but he’s never bewildered. Nalbandian can get bewildered against Federer and let down. I’d like to say that Nalby isn’t as capable as Fed is at fighting back. Sure you can say “WHAT?? He beat him after being down 2 sets to love” to which I say, in a match he shoulda been atleast tied at one set a piece, a match where Federer barely edged the guy out in 2 tiebreakers. A match where only Nalby’s nerves really let Federer keep it close. But Fed managed to fight back in the 5th until Nalby stopped being stupid and continued playing well. In Madrid, his nerves let Federer win the big points in the first set but then he got his act together and consistently outplayed Fed. And in Paris, Fed fought back several times but Nalby managed to keep him at bay. I read an article on ESPN about how Federer wouldn’t be one of the top 5 players the guy would pick to play for his life. Maybe not one of the top 5, but I’ve seen Federer fight back so many times. Sure he had mental letdowns in 2 big slam finals. But that was just 2 matches in the grand scheme of things. And when Fed is being blown away and is forced to fight back, it’s usually because he’s playing bad (this is different from when the match is close and he loses, so I’m not trying to make excuses). But Nalbandian has RARELY (as opposed to NEVER) shown that kind of fighting spirit. And I think the only reason we see it more often against Fed than not is because he knows he used to own Fed and sometimes, when he plays well enough, he reminds Fed of those tormentful days.

As for Nadal, I don’t think Fed SHOULD admit he’s afraid of Nadal, but if you asked him who his toughest opponent is, it’d surely be Rafa. And Fed said that from the first time he played Nadal, he knew the kid would be a great player. That’s saying a lot considering Fed was in the infancy of his legacy when he played Nadal, so you couldn’t really call the guy an expert on great players just yet.


sensationalsafin Says:

So I just checked out Djokovic-Nalbandian H2H. My eyes kinda of bulged out when I saw the scores. They’re 1-1 on HC. Djokovic won 6-2 6-3 in Montreal in 07 when he was on his hot streak. Nalbandian won 6-4 7-6 in Paris when he was on HIS hot streak (ironically, he beat (3) Djoker, (2) Nadal, and (1) Fed to match Djoker’s feat of beating the top 3 players in 1 tourny). So Djoker has an outdoor HC win and Nalby has in indoor HC win. Then they played on grass in Queens in 08. That was a semi before Djoker went on to play Nadal in a great match (only to lose like a fool, imagine what could have been). So was Djokovic on a hot streak? No but he was definitely playing well, coming off a semi at the FO and his first slam earlier that year, and 2 MS shields to boot. But Djokovic is (or was) still a grass court novice. I’m gonna go with is still since his movement is still crappy. But Nalbandian was a Wimbledon finalist and had always (until that year or the year before) performed well at Wimbledon. Plus the guy always has great movement. And yet, Djokovic won 6-1 6-0. Maybe it was closer than the score indicated, but how much closer? A 6-1 set is one thing but 6-0! And I watched some of that match and read about it, too. It wasn’t that close. Djokovic rocked Nalby’s world. Idk what my point is. Well I kinda do. 2 very similar games yet one can play above so high above the other.


i am it Says:

SS says: “Djokovic won 6-1 6-0. Maybe it was closer than the score indicated.”

I remember this match vividly. it was not closer at all. nor djokovic had to sweat or play great. from start to finish, nalby was flat, at his lowest. he was just standing there.

look at the stats.
total match time 48 minutes.
total points won 51-25 (67-32%).
total service points won 24-17 (75-38%).
total return points won 27-8 (61-25%).

is djokovic better than nalby on grass? i don’t think so. nalby is better on grass and indoor.
but djokovic is a better player than nalby on outdoor hard and clay.


Von Says:

Wasn’t that the match at Wueens/Stella Artois? My remarks at the time was that Nalby grew roots and remained fixed in the ground as a *potted plant*. He seemed transfixed and could not move his legs two feet to the right or left, nor forward. It was an ugly match.


Von Says:

correction: Wueens s/b Queens.


jane Says:

Yes it was Queens, and I think (?) Nalby was ill. Nalbandian has gotten to the Wimbledon semis, hasn’t he? So has Djok, but I agree with i am it that Nalbandian is the better grass courter. Maybe Djok will become more skilled on grass in the future, especially with regards to movement. I know he loves Wimbledon. But there are a number of better grass-courters than him, in the top ten and beyond.

Grass seems like the surface Gasquet might win on one day. Or either or the Andys. Or Cilic or Tsonga. But then there’s Fed…

Clay seems like the surface on which JMDP or Monfils or even Djoko could win a / another slam. But then there’s Rafa…

Probably hard court slams are the most wide open…


i am it Says:

j. nalby played wimby final in 2002 and lost to Hewitt.


sensationalsafin Says:

How’d we get on Nalbandian? He’s not even playing! Why don’t we discuss the match from heaven that is Federer vs Safin? The two actually played in the third round at the AO. I remember I read a superb article on the match sometime later. the score was 6-2 6-3 7-6 (ish?). The article said that the match was basically 2 matches in one. The first 2 sets were just Fed owning and Safin not doing anything. Then the third set was just an epic set of the highest quality with both players just playing ridiculous tennis.

And what about their AO 05 epic? And their 05 Halle final? And the second set TB they played in 04 TMC? Of all the things that really bother me about tennis it’s Safin’s shameful H2H against Federer. You’d think he’d at least have beaten him a couple of times during the early part of the decade. But it’s not surprising considering the mentalities of the guys. Both are supremely talented but one believes he is destined for greatness and the other just trying to make a living more or less. Who would you put your money on? But is it because Fed’s game matches up well against Safin’s? I don’t think so too much. I think both of their games, when on, match up well against anyone. So when they’re playing their best, who’s got the edge? You would think Federer. Better forehand, more variant backhand, better net play, more consistent serve, and better movement. But when Safin’s on, he seems to have everything. What did he do against Sampras in the 00 US final? He played perfect tennis. It wasn’t just efficient like Nalbandian or Djokovic, it wasn’t filled with a ridiculous amount of variety like Federer, it was as simple as it gets, blast winners from both sides. That’s Safin’s game. He’s not gonna run you around much because the guy has so much raw power it pushes his opponents back. That’s what I was looking for. I’m not even gonna go back to rewrite this. Safin’s biggest asset is his raw power. He can blast you off the court like no one else. So when his game is clicking and he’s not missing, what’s going to stop him? Some slicing? He’s not bad at bending down despite his height, especially on the backhand. Coming in? As we all saw, he can blast passing shots against the best of volleyers. Rallying with him? Probably your best bet. But if he’s really on, that’ll only do so much for you. But what is it that separates Safin from Gonzo or Berdych or Blake? Why does he have 2 slams while the others have a combined 0? Because he’s better. His raw game allows him to do great things but it’s not like he just goes for broke. He has some variety. He can move surprisingly well. And he’s just naturally very athletic. I remember after Del Po lost to Fed at the French, I compared him to Safin and my older cousin (who plays NCAA tennis) told me Del Po can’t be compared to Safin because Safin was (or is) a great athlete whereas Del Po isn’t. My cousin hasn’t changed his mind much about Del Po. After the USO he said he was amazed at how Del Po got to so many balls considering how slow he is (6’6 wing span probably helps). Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen Safin play in a long time so I’m finding it hard to explain exactly what it is that makes him better than Gonzo or something, but I know I’d rather watch Safin play over almost anyone (I don’t like watching Gonzo play because he kinda bores me, and he always gets rocked by Nadal).


grendel Says:

“more variant backhand” – i.e. Federer than Safin. Strictly true, no doubt – although there is nothing wrong with Safin’s slice, for instance. But again, this is misleading, because Safin’s two handed backhand is up there with Nalbandian’s (he can’t switch the angles as Nalbandian so miraculously can, barely moving sometimes so you, and his opponent, don’t actually know which court the ball’s headed for until it’s too late), but he makes up for it in terms of concentrated, unremitting aggression. So the Safin bh is a weapon of incomparable power – you just can’t say that of Federer’s.

Why do I get the feeling that you know this perfectly well, Sensational Safin!

A niggle. Again, you compare Nalbandian with Djokovic as a super efficient player. No doubt Djokovic fans will bridle, although I must say, that’s how I tend to see Djokovic. But not Nalbandian. To me, when he is on, he has fire, and he has within him the inspirational quality to do the unexpected INSTANTLY. You get the feeling Djokovic is always working things out – that’s why I once compared him to Lendl, unbdoubtedly a great player but a touch clinical.

Yes, that Queens match – Nalbandian wasn’t there. Once he saw the way it was going, I am convinced he just went through the motions, eager to get off the court as quick as poss. In fact, that was the only eagerness he displayed. You have to take people as they come. Nalbandian has always had a touch of arrogance about him – if I don’t feel like it today, then I don’t, and who are you to suggest otherwise sort of thing?

In the Queens final, although Djokovic started off like an Olympic sprinter, Nadal steadily pulled him back and my feeling was that although Djokovic continued to play well, it just wasn’t quite as well as Nadal, who always looked like winning a close match.


margot Says:

sensationalsafin: cheers! BTW I agree with you, Andy often has too much shot choice. Also agree about him playing too many shots when he could finish off point with one. Can’t tell you how infuriating it is for a fan! However, he is young, he can change. He is certainly very ambitious. I personally think he needs someone else on the team, it’s maybe a bit too cosy?


sensationalsafin Says:

It really bothered me that Djokovic lost that match in Queens. In 07, Djokovic took the first set in their Wimbledon semi clash despite being injured. I assumed since Djokovic’s ability to overpower Nadal on hard would translate to the grass since the ball moves through the court quicker. And the fact that Djokovic was up a lot of that match shows he has what it takes to win, just not actually close it out. Plus, as Roddick said that year, Nadal was ridiculously match grooved. He had practically forgotten how to lose. But it would be Djokovic who would snap Nadal’s win streak.

Grendel that’s what I was trying to say, I just couldn’t figure out how to say it. When I said Fed’s backhand is more variant, I didn’t mean that it was necessarily better. Honestly, even now, who’s backhand would you prefer? It was just to point out that Fed can mix up his spins to throw his opponents off whereas Safin can only really just overpower his opponent. Again, not a bad thing, just more simple. I always thought Safin’s backhand was better than Nalbandian’s. With Nalbandian, if he’s not on, it’s just a good backahnd. But with Safin, even when he’s playing like crap, he’s natural power can still surprise even the Federers of the world.

It’s hard to just pin a label on a player but whenever I think of Nalbandian at his best, I get images of that Madrid final and how Federer said he felt hopeless and how obvious that was because you just had Nalby standing practically inside the baseline hitting angles while Federer was running around as if though he was from Mallorca.

Nadal has admitted that he was scared of Nalby’s backhand when they played in IW but then he stopped being scared and started attack it and ended up winning (in part thanks to Nalby’s will of steel).

I’ve always thought that Djokovic, at his best, is the perfect player to emulate. He does everything incredibly well. So with that I’d have to say there is a difference with Nalbandian since I would say it’s just impossible to emulate his best. It’s too much. I think I might know how to explain the difference between Nalby’s miracles and Fed’s miracles. Err, the difference in their games when they’re on, besides the one hander vs two hander. Like I said before, Nalby is incredible at moving his opponent around until he puts away easy shots at the net (he did that on match point in the 05 TMC final AND in the Madrid final, it was like deja vu for me). He hits his ridiculous angles until he can put the ball into the open court. Federer, however, probably due to having more firepower, doesn’t have to move his opponents around to hit winners. He can, but he can also just hit a winner past and opponent without them realizing what’s going on until the score is called. Nalby can hit aroung his opponents but Federer can hit through them, and it’s not just sheer power, it’s the shots themselves. There’s gotta be a reason why a) Fed does have a winning record over him and b) He has 15 slams to Nalby’s 0. Mental strength? That can account for the slam thing but the H2H is a little more than that since when Nalby goes out to play Fed, he knows he can beat him (or at least thinks he can) so it’s not like he’s afraid of putting him away.


jane Says:

Isn’t the simple difference between Djoko and Nalby, without “bridling” whatsoever, that Nalby plays rather instinctually, that he’s got something innate, be it talent, focus, both?, that he can use, and he tends to never get mentally down. Sure, he disappears, but he doesn’t get frustrated. It’s more like, he just transcends elsewhere. It’s like he’s out of his head when he not winning, and in a way he’s out of it when he is too – it doesn’t seem like the mental gears or grinding, but like he’s reached ultimate f-l-o-w. Djoko, by contrast, tends to be all in his head, he’s a self-conscious fella – “working it out” as grendel said – and this can actual hinder his game. When he let’s things flow, when he plays more from the gut/heart/whatever, and takes his head out of it somewhat, he plays better.

Somehow, this may not make sense. But it’s almost like some players can play better when they don’t overthink or overreact, but just go with it, point by point.

I think we see this with Soderling now; in the USO Fed match, he just kept going.It’s like he wasn’t even aware of the scoreline; just head down, hit, hit, hit. And eventually, that starts working and he begins to scare Fed somewhat right? Isn’t that sorta like Rafa too.

Probably this is all bunk. lol.


jane Says:

Maybe it’s that “focus” or “mental toughness” isn’t cerebral at all; it’s the exact opposite of that. Look at Nadal tugging his shorts all the time; no sense of self-consciousness at all. Just utter focus on the task and routine to the point of blinders. Others are much more easily distracted. Is this kind of focus even teachable? Or is it a done deal? Hmmm. It seems like players can improve in this area; both Verdasco and Soderling seem to have leveled out this year and as a result have played better.


been there Says:

jane says:
“….I think we see this with Soderling now; in the USO Fed match, he just kept going.It’s like he wasn’t even aware of the scoreline; just head down, hit, hit, hit…..”

For some reason, memories of that match makes me laugh. I remember after the first two sets, I switched off the TV and bundled myself to bed…for me, the match was over lol. Didn’t expect to wake up to a near 5 set scoreline! Had to re-watch many highlights to see how it happened, esp. since Fed played magically. Nowadays, Sod is a semi-finalist (at least when Fed isn’t there)…& I suppose that’s ‘coz as you say, he just keeps on going & shakes off the bad quickly…unlike Nole who keeps in the frustration, looks up to the sky, & whatever other things he does when in trouble.


margot Says:

jane: that’s interesting, in a way I think Andy M and Djko are very similar in that they let externals get to them whereas Rafa never does. Think that’s why Andy shouts “Focus” all the time! I’m sure it’s mostly temperament but for both their sakes hope you can learn it a little.

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