Tennis-X Weekend Wrap, Previews: Djokovic, Tsonga Win
by Staff | October 11th, 2009, 10:56 pm
  • 55 Comments

THIS WEEK

Shanghai ATP Masters 1000
Shanghai, China
Surface: hard

Seeds: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Roddick, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Nikolay Davydenko, Fernando Verdasco, Gilles Simon, Robin Soderling, Fernando Gonzalez, Gael Monfils, Marin Cilic, Radek Stepanek, Tommy Robredo, Tommy Haas, David Ferrer


Floaters: James Blake, Ivo Karlovic, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Lleyton Hewitt, John Isner, Ivan Ljubicic, Richard Gasquet, Juan Carlos Ferrero, (WC) Marat Safin, (WC) Ernests Gulbis, Tomas Berdych

Notes: Openers of interest include Blake vs. Karlovic, (11) Monfils vs. Mathieu in an all-French, Hewitt vs. Isner, (16) Ferrer vs. Gasquet, (13) Stepanek vs. Ferrero, (12) Cilic vs. Berdych; a first-time ATP event.

HP Japan Women’s Open Tennis 2009
Osaka, Japan
Surface: hard

Seeds: Caroline Wozniacki, Marion Bartoli, Sam Stosur, Francesca Schiavone, Shahar Peer, Aleksandra Woniak, Melinda Czink, Yaroslava Shvedova

Floaters: Shuai Peng, Sania Mirza, Maria Kirilenko

Notes: Openers of interest include (3) Stosur vs. Peng, (5) Peer vs. Mirza; Wozniacki is the defending champ.

GENERALI Ladies Linz
Linz, Austria
Surface: hard

Seeds: Flavia Pennetta, Aggie Radwanska, Yanina Wickmayer, Carla Suarez Navarro, Iveta Benesova, Sorana Cirstea, Lucie Safarova, Sara Errani

Floaters: Alize Cornet

Notes: Ugh.

LAST WEEK

Djokovic, Bryans Win China Open

No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic fended off No. 8 seed Marin Cilic 6-2, 7-6 on Sunday for the China Open title, while the Bryan brothers defeated Andy Roddick and Mark Knowles in the doubles final.

“So far I’ve had lots of success on Asian soil and in Beijing I have only the best memories,” Djokovic said. “Last year I reached the late stages of the Olympics and won the bronze medal and this year I won the tournament. So I have a great record here.”

Cilic said a rain delay during the match took some of the fight out of him.

“I think the rain delay took something more out of me than from him and he came back really good,” Cilic said. “In the second set I was playing well and was three times a break up, twice serving for the set, but in some moments I missed very easy balls and let him off the hook…Beating Nadal and Davydenko, two matches in a row, was unbelievable for me and coming today in the final I felt really good.”

With the win Djokovic overtakes Andy Murray to rise to the No. 3 ranking.

The Bryans defeated their American compatriot Roddick and the Bahamian Knowles 6-2, 6-4.

“We were ready for a dog fight,” Bob Bryan said. “When you’ve got one of the best singles players of our era playing with one of the best doubles players of our era it’s going to make for a great match up. Mike and I came out focused and played one of the best matches we’ve played in a long time.”

Tsonga Tops Youzhny to Lift Japan Open Title

No. 2-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga turned back unseeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday to capture the Japan Open title.

“I am so happy to win another title and this puts me closer to (qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in) London,” Tsonga said. “I just played so well in the semifinals and final here. I don’t know what happened but I just felt so comfortable on court.”

Ranked No. 49, Youzhny ousted three seeded players en route to the final.

Kuzy Beats Aggie for China Open Crown

Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday to claim her third title of the year at the China Open.

Radwanska had a perfect 4-0 career record in championship matches entering the final with Kuznetsova.

“Svetlana played really well today,” Radwanska said. “She had nothing to lose either — she’s already going to the Sony Ericsson Championships. I’m happy to come back to the Top 10 after this tournament. I finished last year in the Top 10. I’ve done well in two of the most important tournaments after the US Open.”

The China Open title was sweet relief for the Russian after repeatedly being denied in the past.

“In the finals I lost here, I lost to Serena Williams — who hit so many aces in that match, in 2004 — and Jelena Jankovic last year,” Kuznetsova said. “The other night when we had the official reception, I stood beside Serena and told her I remembered that match. But I love the atmosphere here and I try to bring my best in the big matches.”

Serena Williams, who again this week failed in her quest to win a first WTA Tour event outside of a Grand Slam, nonetheless overtook Dinara Safina to reclaim the No. 1 ranking
  
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND GRIT

SERENA SMART, WON’T THREATEN TO KILL LINESPEOPLE IN THE FUTURE — Serena Williams on learning from her US Open outburst: “Obviously I’d be not smart if I were to do the same thing. It’s important for people to learn from things they did in the past, and I learned and I would never do the same thing.” — Is that English, or even an adult speaking?

SAM SEDATED — Bonnie Ford of ESPN reports that Sam Querrey had to be sedated at the hospital in China when they brought him in for emergency surgery to fix him up after his arm was badly cut after falling through a glass table. “I couldn’t stop crying and shaking because I didn’t know how bad it was,” Querrey said. Writes Ford, “The glass left a nearly 3-inch-long gouge in Querrey’s forearm muscle but did not sever it — and also barely missed a nerve that, if damaged, could have compromised Querrey’s chances of ever playing again.”

SAFINA SETS NO. 1 UPSET MARK — Dinara Safina lost the No. 1 ranking to Serena Williams after losing first round at the China Open. Safina set a record of another kind, becoming the singular No. 1-rank holder to lose to the lowest-ranked player a No. 1 has ever lost to in No. 226-ranked Zhang Shuai, a wildcard entry into the event. The loss let Ana Ivanovic off the hook, as the Serb previously held that record when she lost to No. 188-ranked Julie Coin at the 2008 US Open. A sign of greater depth in women’s tennis, as some zealous ESPN female TV personalities would likely exclaim? Hardly. This is Safina and Ivanovic we’re talking about, two players that combined have less self-belief in pressure situations than Roger Federer’s discarded nail clippings. Said Safina after the loss, “I would like to take some break now…I’m very upset with myself.”…

“I’LL F*****G KILL YOU” = “GRITTY” IN WTA TOUR-SPEAK — WTA CEO Stacey Allaster on Serena Williams re-taking the No. 1 ranking: “Serena has achieved great results this year, impressing everyone with her gritty performances, especially at the Grand Slams.” By “gritty” if you mean ‘impressively making a little asian linesperson wet herself and almost have a heart attack by screaming she was going to kill her and shove a f*****g ball down her throat,’ we agree. Gritty. Guess that performance was WTA gritty-approved. Perhaps we’ll see another Serena gritty outburst at the 2010 Australian Open, ‘impressing everyone,’ etc…

“TOP” PLAYERS — Ana Ivanovic on her terrible, injury-ridden 2009 campaign: “On the positive side, I am still No. 11 in the world. I have no clue how I am ranked so highly, but to look on the bright side, I can’t play any worse than I did this year and I’m still in the Top 20!” — and barely out of the Top 10. She is currently 24-14 on the year, since Wimbledon losing second round at LA, Cincy and Toronto, and first round at the US Open and Tokyo…

Andy Murray pulled from Shanghai to give his wrist more time to heal…

RETIRE ALREADY — Amelie Mauresmo, writing on her website about trying to pull the trigger on retirement: “Since I came back from the US Open, I have been trying to practice but I did not find the desire to get back to competition. I do not want to rush things. I still give myself some time before making a decision regarding the remainder of my career.”…

LET’S GO PHOTOSHOPPING — Serena Williams says she loves her nude “classy and not trampy” cover shot for the “Body Issue” of ESPN the Magazine…

DOKIC DAD DIETS — According to ANI, Jelena Dokic’s father has launched a hunger strike to protest against his 15-month jail sentence for threatening Australia’s ambassador to Serbia. Damir Dokic’s lawyer Bosiljka Djukic said she had been informed that her client was no longer taking any food, water or medicines in prison. The 50-year-old Dokic is serving his sentence in the northern Serbia town of Sremska Mitrovica. He was arrested in May after reportedly saying he would blow up Australian ambassador Claire Birgin’s car…


Also Check Out:
Weekend Wrap: Gulbis Wins Marseille, Says Be Afraid
WTA Championships Controversy; ATP Basel, Valencia Previews
Dementieva on Top at Kuala Lumpur; WTA Previews
Davis Cup Wrap: Czechs at Croatia, Israel at Spain in Semis
Serbia Advances, U.S. Beat by Spain in Davis Cup; Wrap & Previews

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55 Comments for Tennis-X Weekend Wrap, Previews: Djokovic, Tsonga Win

alex Says:

“LET’S GO PHOTOSHOPPING” LOL. Everybody ‘shopped when they are on a cover shot… only some shopped more than the others.


huh Says:

Thank God, Djokovic won! :)


huh Says:

And Tsonga too! :)


huh Says:

BTW, my good wishes for Cilic too, the guy’s a damn exciting player, thoroughly refreshing and entertaining!


huh Says:

Though now we have many many guys who can beat the daylights out of each other on any given day, making it very exciting and all that, I’m a bit worried thinking about Fed as it will be very very tough for him in 2010 or afterwards to win any more slams! Will he ever win another slam? I hope so, but not sure about it, ugh!!! Exciting, but also tense times for Fed lovers.


huh Says:

Hmmm…. so Djoko is liked by Chinese girls, eh? ;)


huh Says:

No doubt Mrs. Jane, Djoko is a nice guy. And BTW, congrats to you, but I want MS and slam wins for Djoko more than these relatively smaller events. Djoko has got the game, but when he’d win the next slam remains to be seen.

I actually however feel a bit sad for Djoko coz he’s not won any MS or slam this year, but he’s been trying his best. He may be criticised for doing certain things like changing his racquet, nevertheless he seems to be giving his all throughout this year. He’s had many disappointments this year, but he’s not backed off from the challenge, and that’s why my respect for Djoko’s personality and spiritedness is increasing with the elapse of time. It also bodes well for Djoko’s future, I must tell you. I hope he wins the Shanghai too, for your sake(mine too!), though I wouldn’t mind that much if Tsonga does well. I really like Tsonga too, his game as well as his personality. To tell you the truth I was extremely happy for him when he beat Fed at Montreal.


i am it Says:

huh, you are quite a cheerful, spontaneous poster. i mean you appreciate all players. that’s good.

———-
shanghai results are flowing in:
blake clears Ivo out of rafa’s path but blake can be more dangerous for rafa. so that’s no good news for rafa.
Wawrinka barely made it in 3rd set tiebreak.
ferrer sends Gasquet home.
Zverev and gonzalez are battling in the 3rd set.
Stepanek starts strong against mosquito.
fognini-Gulbis match later today could be interesting.
some of the top seeds will be on court tomorrow.


i am it Says:

Fognini strait-sets Gulbis. as a son of a Latvian business tycoon, the royal kid is still playing tennis for recreation, one or two matches per tournament. i wonder if that is the plan !


MMT Says:

“Serena Williams on learning from her US Open outburst: “Obviously I’d be not smart if I were to do the same thing. It’s important for people to learn from things they did in the past, and I learned and I would never do the same thing.” —

Is that English, or even an adult speaking?

I think that’s about as close to a recognition of her own culpability in the whole affair as you’re going to get from her. WTA has shown itself to be absolutely toothless in the face of unaccpetable behavior, in the case of Serena and a few other players.

“Cilic said a rain delay during the match took some of the fight out of him.

“I think the rain delay took something more out of me than from him and he came back really good,” Cilic said.”

Frankly, I’m a little disapointed in Cilic – he says the rain delay hurt him more than Djokovic, yet he indicates he played better in the second set than the first. There’s no reason for him to accept that kind of performance in himself after crushing Nadal in the semi-final, although credit has to go to Djokovic for taking care of business.

There are so many players out there with the game to be more prominent than they are – it appears that Cilic, nice a guy as he is, falls into that category.

““I am so happy to win another title and this puts me closer to (qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in) London,” Tsonga said. “I just played so well in the semifinals and final here. I don’t know what happened but I just felt so comfortable on court.””

I watched both the semi-final and final of this tournament, and I have to say that Tsonga’s victory over Monfils really looked like a practice session. Monfils didn’t appear to be particularly interested in the struggle, and I have to wonder why (aside from the paycheck) would Roger Rasheed or any coach accept to work with a player who so often goes on walk-about. I mean what is the point?

Tsonga, on the other hand, although he did well to win this tournament (that’s all you can ask of him in that situation) should not read too much into this victory. Based on his ability, there’s no reason for him not to figure prominently in the latter rounds of the slams, and eventually win one, and it appears to me he’s still a long way off from that.

To me, there still Federer, Nadal, and everyone else. Djokovic is making a case to be included in that category, but he’s got to win another slam for my money – the same with del Potro.

Didn’t see anything on Roddick and Nadal’s complaints about the schedule – seems to me the players ought to take a stronger stance on this. I really don’t understand how the ATP has become an entity outside the interest of the players, but that’s exactly what’s happened. When it became more important to them to run the tour, than look out for the interests of its players, that’s when the tour and schedule became ridiculous. I think they need a good old fashioned strike to knock some sense into the powers that be.


steve Says:

I have no doubts about Federer’s ability to win more Slams. 19 to 20, at least, perhaps more, depending on his motivation.

If he’s focused and playing with joy and a light heart, he’s unbeatable.

He had a tumultuous year, starting off badly, then getting married, finally winning the French (after a grueling and nerve-wracking tournament where he was in danger of losing to Haas and then Del Potro), then breaking Sampras’ record at Wimbledon, then having kids. He had to expend so much emotional energy, and there were so many huge changes in his personal life, it’s not surprising he couldn’t quite win 3 of 4. Hopefully next year he will have gotten more used to being a dad and will be able to find a balance that works for him.

He may not win them all like he used to do, but you can’t count him out until he’s hung up his racket. And who knows? Laver completed the calendar Slam at age 31, so it’s not impossible that Federer might still pull it off.


jane Says:

So Blake beat Dr. Ivo and will have another shot against Rafa: should be interesting since they met so recently and can both take something away from their last match. Also, I see Fognini did the work for Djoko eliminating Gulbis, first round. But Fognini has an x-factor since he and Djok have never before played one another. Hopefully Djoko can built on the momentum from last week.


jane Says:

huh @ 6:07 – what a kind and nice post. Yeah, Djoko’s made it to a lot of finals and I think he’s been trying; he just needs to improve and stay positive and maybe he’ll get over the Rafa/Fed hurdle at one of the more elite events. He’s done it before, so I hope he can do it again.


jane Says:

MMT: ” I really don’t understand how the ATP has become an entity outside the interest of the players, but that’s exactly what’s happened. When it became more important to them to run the tour, than look out for the interests of its players, that’s when the tour and schedule became ridiculous. I think they need a good old fashioned strike to knock some sense into the powers that be.”

Interesting – of course this has happened in so many sports, not to mention entertainment, education, food manufacturing, etc…

Corporations run the world.

Okay, that’s the cynic in me.

I can’t decide about the tour and the players; on the one hand, players do play events they don’t have to in order to gain ranking points, but on the other hand, of course they want to gain ranking points so they can stay at the top, contend, get good draws. But then they risk injury and losing all that, and potentially more, anyhow.

The tour should pull back somehow – maybe it’s the amount of mandatory events required that should be revisited.

A strike eh MMT? Part of me would love to see it!


steve Says:

They merged the players’ union with the tour operation in the 90s. Don’t think that was the way to go to insure fair representation.

It’s as you say: players have a natural incentive to overplay, and the tour is taking advantage of that.

One thing if they cut down the number of required tournaments. The management would love it if the marquee players like Federer and Nadal played at every tournament, but cutting down would give other players a chance to shine and more visibility. For surely then the top players will choose not to play a few of the smaller tournaments, just to have a rest, leaving some spots open.


jane Says:

Here’s a good article on Serena/Safina number 1 discussion that is not sour or biased but which makes valid points for either case.

For e.g.

“Safina has the quantity numbers, having been in eight finals in 2009 to just three for Williams. Runner-up at both the Australian and French Opens, Safina won three of those finals while Williams’s only successes came at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.”

And another e.g.

“…everyone knows the Grand Slams are the epitome of competition in tennis. With Williams a winner at two of the four, and runner-up at a third, it’s easy to make the case that she came through under the greatest pressure and should be rewarded with the No. 1 ranking.”

Full article follows:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/match-tough/the-race-to-the-top-continues/article1320862/


sensationalsafin Says:

People were saying that if Nadal had won the US Open, the surely if he would have gotten the top spot back then he would deserve it this year. But since he didn’t, I think it’s safe to say Fed deserves it the most. Nadal leads in MS titles by one this year and in overall titles by 2, but he hasn’t performed as well as Federer has when neither won the tourny. I think it’d be pretty bad if Nadal reclaimed it this year. Next year is another story. Hell I don’t even want Fed to play anymore come next year.


sensationalsafin Says:

http://www.tennisweek.com/news/fullstory.sps?inewsid=6641166

I laughed at the end of the article.


sensationalsafin Says:

All this stuff about shortening the schedule is become increasingly important. I criticize Nadal and others who complain at this time by saying they should play less, but when Roger Federer, who practically plays as little as the ATP allows, still gets tired and injured, then it’s just a ridiculous problem that needs to be resolved. As much as I hate the tennis off season (they should have weekend exhibitions every now and then) I’d rather have a longer off season so that I can watch all my faves play in the big events.


jane Says:

sensationalsafin, while I agree with Tommyboy’s take in that article, that it’s difficult to rule out Rafa’s chances at a career slam, and I agree on the couple things he thinks need fixing, I disagree with some of his claims, like that Cilic’s and Murray’s forehands stink – huh? Or that Djokovic is a “poor mover” – huh? Maybe on grass, sure, but everywhere else he’s good if not great at getting around the court quickly and effectively.


MMT Says:

“…everyone knows the Grand Slams are the epitome of competition in tennis. With Williams a winner at two of the four, and runner-up at a third, it’s easy to make the case that she came through under the greatest pressure and should be rewarded with the No. 1 ranking.”

The author has made quite a factual error – Serena was not runner-up at any slam this year – she lost in the quarterfinal at Roland Garros and the semi-final at the US Open.

I tried to email the author, but the mailto link on the page is empty.


jane Says:

Good eye MMT; I am sure the Globe and Mail would appreciate knowing about that error. It’s quite a reputable paper. She was in the semis at the USO, but not the runner up, as you point out.


sensationalsafin Says:

That’s why I laughed at the end. Especially since I’ve never heard someone say Djokovic is a bad mover. Even if he is, he’s 13-3 at the USO in the last 3 years.


jane Says:

Ah, now it makes sense sensationalsafin. Actually Djok’s 16-3 at the USO for the last 3 years: 2007, finalist; 2008 & 2009, semi-finalist.


sensationalsafin Says:

Woops I miss counted. But yeah I think you got the point.


i am it Says:

“Cilic’s and Murray’s forehands stink – huh? Or that Djokovic is a “poor mover” – huh? Maybe on grass, sure, but everywhere else he’s good if not great at getting around the court quickly and effectively.”

j., i did not read the article, so don’t laugh at my comment.

Cilic has pretty good forehand, ranks one of the flattest; it is reliable; it could be more consistent (there is always room to improve, no matter how good you are), and it will get only better.

Murray’s forehand can be big, if he chooses to use. against tough opponents, you get to see a few times, and against weak opponents, you see it more. against top players, he waits too long and/or waits for an easy feed. of course, his on-the-run forehand is exceptional, especially when the return comes with good pace, his run generates and adds some more. but you don’t always get to do this.
it’s true murray’s backhand is more reliable than his forehand.

Dj is an extremely good mover in terms of feet and racket, but not a perfect anticipator (compared to fed), and his response time is occasionally off the mark, resulting in scrambles and squash shots while he could use forehand/ backhand.
though most significant in the combo, movement in tennis is more than the ability to move your feet; it is also a co-ordination between anticipation, response time, footwork, and racket trajectory or shot selection within that short span of time.
feel free to correct me.


sensationalsafin Says:

Djokovic isn’t AS GOOD as Federer when it comes to anticipation. I don’t think there’s a lot more the be said here. Djokovic has always been quick and he’s easily in the top 4 when it comes to transitioning from defense to offense.


i am it Says:

SS, that’s just my opinion. you may be right.
i agree about his transitioning thing, if not about anticipation.


MMT Says:

i am it: “though most significant in the combo, movement in tennis is more than the ability to move your feet; it is also a co-ordination between anticipation, response time, footwork, and racket trajectory or shot selection within that short span of time.”

I agree with this point – movement has as much to do with balance and the ability to be in the right position to hit the optimal shot, as it does about quickness around the court.

I didn’t see that part of the article (is there a link on the page to that part?), but I wouldn’t characterize Djokovic as having poor movement. His movement is good, and when he uses it to get in position to attack he’s very effective.

I find he has a tendency to defend a little too desperately, so that even if he gets to the shot, his balance isn’t where it needs to be to always hit the most effective response. Both Rafa and Roger seem to keep their balance a little better when they defend than Djokovic – Blake has a similar problem, and is probably quicker in pure foot speed than Roger or Rafa, but doesn’t defend nearly as well as either.


jane Says:

i am it, you catch the subtleties. Let’s see:

Cilic- agreed that he’s got to be way more consistent off that side; witness the errors in the Djok/final. But, it’s also killer when it’s on the mark; witness the pummeling of Rafa in the semi.

Murray – agreed that he sometimes waits to long to whack the forehand. But isn’t that the flaw with his entire game-plan sometimes? I don’t think it’s an inherent flaw with the shot.

In short, Tommyboy may have a point about these two guys’ forehands, but he WAY overstates his case by saying the shots “stink”.

Djoko – I am not sure if this is what you’re saying but Djok moves, and I think anticipates, better laterally. He could move better into the front of the court, just getting to the net etc. Agree with sensationalsafin that he is one of the best at defense to offense though. If you want, you could re-watch the following from about 3:22; to get to 4-2 he moves around quickly and from defense to offense (with the help of Cilic’s slip). But you know all of this, I know. Also in evidence in that video are the Cilic forehand misses. Again, not that it “stinks” but that it could be more consistent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw5YexP2gJE


jane Says:

MMT: “I find he has a tendency to defend a little too desperately”

Yes, and I think that’s what i am it meant too, when he says “his response time is occasionally off the mark, resulting in scrambles and squash shots while he could use forehand/ backhand.”

We’ve talked about this before, I think MMT, but maybe some of this is not about movement but about not conceding the baseline. And if you watch the AO 2008 matches featuring Djoko, he planted himself on that line and was very rarely pushed back. He needs to do more of that, in my view.


blah Says:

Djoker is not a “bad” mover, though I think he moves better on clay than on hc/grass now for some reason. I think the thing with him is that he needs to stop dropping service games inexplicably. A lot of times he’s broken or broken back without making his opponent work hard for the break.


i am it Says:

j., i am not saying Dj tends to “defend a little too desperately,” though i agree with MMT on: “his balance isn’t where it needs to be to always hit the most effective response.”
and i agree with you on: “everywhere else he’s good if not great at getting around the court quickly and effectively.”

this happens, let me repeat, when you don’t have the perfect co-ordination between anticipation, response time, footwork, and racket trajectory or shot selection within that short span of time.

i think we are saying the same thing variously, with a little plus/ minus.

ans blah’s point is also valid about the movement on clay, because Dj gets more time to execute.

i am not saying Dj stands jammed or he is a slow mover. all i was trying to say is he has to be fractionally behind rafa and fed: something has to be fractionally off the mark between his anticipation (reading in advance where the return is coming), response time, getting the racket trajectory ready, and deciding the right shot, generating pace and hitting.

imo, if rafa is supreme in in taking long strides and getting the racket ready in snap second, though fractionally behind fed in anticipation, fed is supreme in anticipation, which gives him more time, thus he gets behind the ball earlier with his short, quick steps.


blah Says:

I agree with the preparation point, especially with Rafa who uses such an extreme grip but can still get there and spin the ball for a winner. This can be improved on though, this was one of the first things that got better in Rafa’s game after he came into number two a few years ago and DelPo has also greatly improved in this area, especially on his fh.


i am it Says:

a couple of good matches for tomorrow:
raddick vs. Wawa (8:00 am ET)
cilic vs. berdych

how about?
monfils vs. PHM (6:00 am ET)
hewitt vs. Isner

others:
haas vs. becker
chardy vs. melzer
davy vs. kunitsyn
kohls vs. almagro
gonzu vs. bellucci
soderling vs. hanescu
stepanek vs. beck
troicki vs. monaco
Benneteau vs. Ljubicic


i am it Says:

j., i don’t know how much you are interested in technology, but this Time Magazine article (4 months old) makes a point toward the end that could be called embodied technology, however without using specialized language. this passage sort of captures what I am trying to say by “embodied technology”: “players developed aggressive topspin strokes with Luxilon because they felt they needed to swing harder to generate the same pace.”

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1899876,00.html

and a recent follow-up article “UTennis: The Lux Life” by Steve Tignor tends to be more simplistic in its conclusion, though it does good job in particularization with a couple of examples.
http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2009/10/utennis-the-lux-life.html

you may already have seen the 2nd one.


jane Says:

i am it, thanks. I haven’t read either of these, though I often do try to catch Tignor’s articles; I like the way he writes. I will read these and see what I can glean, but regardless, I love the idea/phrase “embodied technology”.


i am it Says:

Tignor’s predictions:

Semifinals: Davydenko d. Haas; Del Potro d. Nadal

Final: Del Potro d. Davydenko

Tignor vs. Sean. who will win?

i think Sean will beat Tignor this time. Dj is better prepared to win Shanghai. it depends if he can carry the momentum.

j., you know who i want to see in the final?

your man vs. my man.
that will do for me. i will be super happy if that happens.


jane Says:

“your man vs. my man.
that will do for me.”

Me too. I would be very happy if that final comes to pass. Fingers crossed.


Duro Says:

Who’s to beat Djoković? Roddick out, Čilić out… Davydenko? Haas? Simon? Funny.

Finals inevitable. If Nadal – Nole wins; if JMDP – Nole wins; If Tsonga – Nole wins (the only real challenge at the moment). If anyone can do it, it Tsonga, but 55 – 45 chances in Nole’s favor.

Alleeez allez allez alleeeez, No2(soon)-leeee, No-leee…


jane Says:

Duro – you have no worries about Haas, who beat Novak twice this year, or Simon, who pushed him hard at Dubai? Admittedly, I have less worry about Simon than Haas, but that’s tough to say also because it depends on form and Simon has been in pretty good form whereas Haas has been out for a while. Davydenko is dangerous, but I think Novak can handle his serve well, so that one shouldn’t be too bad. As for the others, I think he has a good shot against Nadal and Delpo, although Delpo is a different player than he was the other three times he nad Novak have played. Tsonga is the most dangerous for Djoko, I agree with you. Anyhow, I love your positive attitude.


Duro Says:

Hi Jane. Are you serious re Haas? I will rather die then choose to be afraid of Haas! He did it twice this year, all right, but third time would be too much. I’m always looking forward to matches with the opponents that won against Novak ( I was looking forward to the one with Roddick too, but unfortunately he had kneetittis twistittis, so vengeance next time). Nole is too good and too smart to let Haas beat him 3 times in row (these two times were on grass, once at Haas’s soil and for the other one no excuses, but Wimbledon courts perfectly suit his S&V game, unlike Novak’s).
Simon is no serious threat with Novak’s present form, same goes for Davy… As I said, only Tsonga, but I don’t think he’ll even make it to the finals (Novak can beat Nadal and JMDP, he most probably not).
So lets sing a winers song: Alleeez allez allez alleeeez, No2-leeee, No-leeee…


jane Says:

“(Novak can beat Nadal and JMDP, he most probably not)”

Do you mean Novak most probably won’t beat JMDP? I am not sure if I understood you correcly. So far, JMDP has not beaten Djoko, but like I said before, JMDP is a new player in many ways, and he will fight hard for a win if he gets to the final, and he’ll be the fresher of the two having lost early last week, so if it’s JMDP in the final with Novak, I would say it’s 50/50. Same with Tsonga.


Duro Says:

Jane, my mistake. Novak can beat Nadal and JMDP, he (Tsonga) – most probably not.
About JMDP, his biggest quality is his stubborn, not afraid of anyone, head. They call him Potro Loco (in Argentina). Crazy Potro that is. No much variety in his game. Novak can change pace and as long as it is best of 3, no time for his stubbornness and persistence in bashing the balls with that flat forehands of his to do the job. In 3 setter talent will prevail, in 5 setter endurance and strength. All in all, we have 2 guys at the top with a very visible expiring date, Murray still to be count on very seriously, youngsters with their height limitation (Čilić and JMDP) and Novak, pure talent, with only a sky as his limit. His time is only coming. No1 about a year and a half from now.
In Novak we trust! Alleeeez allez allez alleeez, No2-leee, No1-leee…


i am it Says:

Duro, you are crossing the line about my guy. stop pissing me off:)
next time if dj beats my guy at a grand slam, i’d bow to you. until then, you’ll continue to sound crazy fool if you talk crazy imaginary things about my guy.

don’t get me wrong, i like dj, too, almost as much, but i can get crazier than potro loco, and you’d have to run for your life. you don’t want my wrath, do you? you don’t want to turn me off of dj, do you? everything i said is in jest, so don’t take it too seriously.

the point is, though. if you want my unconditional and limitless love and support for dj, show some love for dePo. that’s how it works. reciprocity.


jane Says:

i am it, you’re funny. Duro, I agree with i am it – be nice to Delpo – he’s earned mega-respect winning a slam title, over Rafa and Federer, in the semis and finals respectively. Right?


Duro Says:

i am it, my deepest apologies! JMDP is the future of men’s tennis, future No1, not crazy at all, with beautiful style, handsome, clever, mighty, powerful, devastating, irresistible, warrior, dedicated, resolute, and definitely the winner of some more GS along with my Novak. Believe me, from the guys mentioned above, I think only your and my guy have couple of them to collect yet. Fed’s fading, Rafa limping, Muzz no gutts (may be one title at most) and no one else! The years of domination!!!
Alleeeez allez allez alleeeez, Loco-Nole Loco-Nole…


Duro Says:

Jane, i am it, have a good night. I gotta go now. Work tomorrow! See you around guys! I am it, seriously, your guy is really something! Enjoy in his career!
No2-leeee, No1-leee….


grendel Says:

jane says (re delPo)

“he’ll be the fresher of the two having lost early last week”. Is this actually true? Genuine question, not a disguised opinion.

There remains the possibility that following his heroics on the American tour, culminating in the Open, delPo is kind of out of it for a while. Just as Federer is, with this difference. Fed’s taking an absolute rest (having played less tennis, too) delPo’s taking a relative rest.

It may be that delPo will not be fully focused till Paris, or even London.

I have absolutely no idea whether this is true or not. But it strikes me as at least plausible. My suspicion is that delPotro builds himself up for a mighty campaign. This presumably entails, after success has been achieved, a gradual running down – until the circle begins all over again.


Kimmi Says:

“Fed’s fading, Rafa limping, Muzz no gutts (may be one title at most) and no one else!”

Duro…ha ha ha LOL.
Djoko is doing very well at the moment but stop dreaming too loud. I agree he is a very talented player but it won’t be that easy. Since he won his AO 08 Djoko has not proven in big matches yet. He is gone downhill in GS and failed to deliver when he met Murray/Nadal/Federer in Master 1000 finals. Winning in Beijing does not make him the one yet… until he wins another slam or beat the likes of Fed/ Nadal in a GS again then I will declare he is ready to take over the tennis world.

Take it easy, one match at the time for crying out loud.


sensationalsafin Says:

I don’t think Del Potro has no variety. His defensive skills are underrated big time. You can’t beat Roger Federer without good defense. And talent winning a best of 3 where strength wins a best of 5 is not true at all. Federer has always said a best of 5 can really show the better player is. A lot of times that’s true. Sometimes it is about strength. But in a 3 setter, it could be about who came out playing with more rhythm. Sometimes a player is caught cold and can’t do anything in a 3 setter.

Anyways, I do think Djokovic is the next number 1, but I think Del Potro might not let him hang onto it for too long. Once these 2 get their second slams, they’ll be battling it out at the top as Fed and possibly Nadal slip. Federer is bound to sleep due to age and he’s gonna stop caring about number 1 as soon as he drops more than 1000 points behind number 1 (give or take). Nadal might not be able to focus on number 1 either with his injuries. But Djokovic and Del Potro should be able to do well.

When it comes to next year, people are looking too much into Del Po’s US Open summer. Sure he’s got a lot of points there, but he doesn’t have a million points else where. He can gain a lot in plenty of places.


jane Says:

“Is this actually true?” – grendel. Well obviously I have no idea. lol. It’s speculation and I suppose yours is as good as mine in this regard. Delpo could experience a let down after his big win, physically and/or emotionally. After his AO 2008 win, though, Djoko kept doing well until he lost early at Wimbledon, and then he began his derailment. May be a different course for Delpo.

I think Delpo’s legs might be a but fresher, as I implied above.

Since Wimbledon, these two have played close to the same amount of tennis. Djok played quarters at Canada, Delpo finals. Delpo won Washington; Djok finals at Cincy. USO: Dj semis and Dp winner. Bejing Djok winner, Tokyo Delpo lost first round. So it’s probably pretty even, but with Djok obviously playing more last week – that’s why I thought Dp would be fresher this week.

It’s tough to say what’ll happen. So I’ll stick with 50/50 – if indeed this final even happens.


Kimmi Says:

I like to see DelPo do well in Shanghai. Possibly reach the semi and play Nadal again…Nadal should be waiting for this rematch, he would want to show DelPo that the previous three times they met..he was caught a little cold but will be ready this time. I feel it will be a very good match.


i am it Says:

welcome to my cheering squad, kimmi, but you sound like you want rafa to beat dePo in the semi. am i right?
if dePo loses, he will lose by the quarter final. then, it will be tough to stop him.


Kimmi Says:

I am it: I am in your cheering squad, as long as delPo is not playing my man Federer or Murray.

Re: nadal/delPo rematch, I want to see this because nadal fans have claimed that delPo only won because Nadal was not 100%..this could be true but my curiosity wants me to watch this rematch….

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