Safin Takes Aim at Berdych, Roddick in Shanghai
by Sean Randall | October 15th, 2009, 12:42 am
  • 134 Comments

You have to love Marat Safin. With just a month or so left in the longtime outspoken Russian’s pro tennis career, Safin is simply not afraid to call a spade a spade. Warning to players and his opponents, if you irritate Marat, be ready to get an earful from Marat. And that’s just what the former No. 1 did in Shanghai on Wednesday dishing out some damning rants on the top players.

In beating Safin in the third round, Tomas Berdych took a medical timeout late in the third set en route to his win, and Marat was none too pleased at Berdych’s antics and clearly didn’t buy Berdych’s injury.

Said Marat: “Just come on; just grow up a little bit; 26 years old; just deal with that … If you’re losing, just be a man; be a man and lose as a man. … Don’t pretend that you are injured and then you start running around and start to hit winners and then all of a sudden you pull the hands up in the air after winning the match? … So then of course the guy will say: ‘No, I’ve been injured but then I felt a little bit better’. … Of course he will find 10,000 excuses. Still, it’s not enough. You’re playing or you’re not playing. If you’re playing, so just shut…up and play.”

Safin was so enraged he didn’t even shake Berdych’s hand afterward. Whether Tomas was really injured or not only the Czech knows, but it’s refreshing in a way to hear players talk about things many of us feel, that players do fake injuries.

As for Roddick, who had complained of the ATP schedule earlier in the week, Marat was having none of that either.

Said Safin: “In 2004 we had this discussion in Olympic Games with Roddick about it and they were blaming me that I’m playing too much. … And I was saying that the season is too long. We should make it shorter. And the guys, they jumped on me, like I was the one who was wrong. … So look at all of them—everybody is falling apart. Everybody is getting injured left and right, and everybody is complaining the season is long. It takes six years to realise that something is wrong? … They just have to deal with that, not when they are 21 and ambitious and want to make money. They have to think a little bit with their brains and to make the career a little bit longer.”

And for the most part Marat is right. Players hardly are upset when times are good, but when things turn dour they are naturally more apt to point fingers. I brought this up earlier that when Roddick finished 2003 No. 1 he seemed to be quite happy with the schedule. Yet, now having won just TWO matches in the last two months the American is suddenly disenchanted with the workload required of him? If only we could see Marat and Andy have a discussion now…

It goes without saying that we’ll all miss Marat. In an age in which every word, every sentence and every syllable that comes out of the mouth of a pro athlete is measured and guarded, Marat remains a breath of fresh air int he sporting world letting loose his inner opinions and beliefs. And given his size, accomplishments and the respect he’s earned through the years, few – even bullies like Roddick – would dare to respond.

Safin says he has his future planned out, but one can only hope that he stays in tennis perhaps as a consultant, a board member or in someway as the person in charge of a players union. I would love to see that. Marat in charge of the players!

As for the matches on the court, credit to top seed Rafael Nadal for turning away James Blake for the second straight week in three sets. Blake pushed Rafa once again, but the Spaniard fought off another valiant effort from the American.

Nadal now meets his countryman Tommy Robredo and then likely my man Gael Monfils who faces Ivan Ljubicic, a surprise winner over Fernando Verdasco. I like Nadal to beat Robredo (who doesn’t) but maybe in a shorter best-of-3 format Monfils can make an impression. Maybe.

Also tomorrow I like Fernando Gonzalez to get his first career win over Nikolay Davydenko. I’ll take Stan Wawrinka to end the drought and finally beat Radek Stepanek and I look for Novak Djokovic, Gilles Simon and Jurgen Melzer to all advance.

The best match on the card is likely to be the tussle between Jo Tsonga and Robin Soderling. I think the winner gets to the final in that one and I like Tsonga just as I have all week. Soderling more than has the game to win – he’s 1-0 against the Frenchman – but Tsonga’s the hot player right now and I’m going to ride him until he loses.

Yesterday we also saw two more injuries as Tommy Haas (shoulder) and Juan Martin Del Potro (wrist) were both unable to complete their matches. For the oft-injured, unlucky Haas it’s business as usual but for DelPo it’s cause for concern. Hopefully it’s nothing serious but his injury and play this Asian swing does smack of signs of exhaustion and weariness. Like Roddick who also failed to win a match this month, I wonder just how interested DelPo was in journeying to Asia to begin with.


Also Check Out:
Where are the Masters?
Safin Returning to Tennis, Senior Tennis
Andy’s Out
Roger Federer Confirms Shanghai Participation
Blake Bids for Nadal Upset in Shanghai

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134 Comments for Safin Takes Aim at Berdych, Roddick in Shanghai

jane Says:

I agree that Soderling versus Tsonga should be the match of the day; it’s tough to call, but I’d lean towards Tsonga also, about 55/45. Hope you’re right about Gonzalez over Davydenko.

BTW, I really think Safin will get as far away from tennis as he can – at least for a while. He says he’s “ambitious” and has other things he wants to do. I don’t think those things involve running a union. :)


i am it Says:

alright, j. the dirty-shock betting girl, i pick sod, 55/45. we have a bet.

i’d like to see Bird winning, for the sake of dj.

between Step vs. Wawa, i don’t really care. if Step wins, i can laugh at Sean. however, for dj’s sake, i’d prefer wawa cuz he is more predictable.

between davy and gonzu. i always like gonzu better, but davy will win.

monfils vs. Ljubicic. i like monfils, but who knows what the frenchman will do?

melzer vs. F-lopez. does it matter who wins?


Giner Says:

“And for the most part Marat is right. Players hardly are upset when times are good, but when things turn dour they are naturally more apt to point fingers. I brought this up earlier that when Roddick finished 2003 No. 1 he seemed to be quite happy with the schedule. Yet, now having won just TWO matches in the last two months the American is suddenly disenchanted with the workload required of him? If only we could see Marat and Andy have a discussion now…”

You’re only counting his wins. I didn’t check his records, but he may have had losses too, first rounders at that. Win or lose, you still have to travel and prepare for these tournaments.

In this case, I don’t think Roddick has overplayed. He’s picked his tournaments wisely. But it’s still a long season because of the way the events are spread. I’d say there ought to be one week off between Masters, start them a little bit later and finish them a little bit earlier. No back to backs, and no big 5 week spreads. With 9 events, make 3 of them optional. That allows a player to take a break when they need one if they’ve been winning a lot. Madrid would be a good one to miss, as would the two indoor events.

Of course, I totally don’t see any of this happening since moving the calendar around is always going to be difficult for the hosts of the tournament who have structured them rigidly.


i am it Says:

Sean, reminder, these are your picks.
semifinalists:

Verdasco v. Tsonga;
Wawrinka v. Djokovic.

Tsonga d. Djokovic in the final.

how many do you have left? Three as of now. One or two will go tonight.
that leaves you with One or Two. i’ll stick with, “you may turn out to be right about 25%.”

Allez Dj !!!


Ezorra Says:

Safin says:

“… If you’re losing, just be a man; be a man and lose as a man. …”

Irony huh?


Joe Says:

Why is Safin complaining? Probably because he is completely irrelevant to the tour. Roddick picked his schedule wisely, as someone already mentioned but on the other hand you get nadal who plays week in week out plus doubles event also.


i am it Says:

Soderling won. Tsonga out.
i won the bet, you know against whmo and you know what that means. pick a pair from the hamper…

dj. has not lost a set yet. simon gets the Bird. for dj, Simon could be a tough bird to hunt.

with Tsonga and Wawa gone, Sean, 3 of your semifinalists are out, like i told you !

2 more retirements, monfils and Wawa,(total 6 so far): i don’t recall a Masters with these many retirements and withdrawals.


sensationalsafin Says:

I counted 7 but it feels like there’s 5 a day. The top players shouldn’t bother to show up because they keep retiring. Interestingly Djokovic seems to be holding up quite well. I don’t want to jinx him but it’s not like he didn’t have a halfway decent year (by his standards). He’s made several MS finals and had a really good summer capped off with a semi at the US. He’s showing signs of improved fitness and I’m definitely not complaining. Hopefully he can get this MS to finally have one this year. I think if he does win Shanghai he should skip Paris so that he is more fit to defend the YEC.


Twocents Says:

Giner,

On Djok & no.2,I remembered back in Shanghai TMC, he could have got it IF Fed didn’t win any matches OR Djok won all his RR matches plus the title. While not Djok’s fault Roddick withdrew and Fed beat Stepanek, Djok did play half heartedly in his RR loss to Davy since he’s qualified for semi. There were plenty hot debates in Shanghai at the time on who was smarter: Djok tanked his last RR but won the title, or Murray beat Fed but was routed by Davy the next day? I kind of liked both young hot heads more by that debate. Guess that’s where my impression of Djok wasn’t full out for no.2. I remembered too Djok lost Brisbane but took a wild card for Oakland, didn’t do well though. I could be wrong but there’s a week before Brisbane or before AO where Djok could still pick up some points to become no.2 but he didn’t play?

It’s water under bridge. I agree with you they all care for ranking. My wishful thinking that Djok was/is trying to prioritize.


jane Says:

i am it: “Soderling won. Tsonga out.
i won the bet, you know against whmo and you know what that means. pick a pair from the hamper…”

A. I am not a betting girl remember? Wouldn’t we’ve had to shake on it?

B. I never, ever said I’d eat TWO socks!

: )

Congrats to Soderling; that’s a good win for him. We’re getting closer to a Nadal/Sod rematch. I agree that Simon is looking tough right now and may be the one to end Djoko’s run? We’ll see. I think both Rafa and Djoko would love to snag a Masters title right now, with people “falling” all around them. Plus there’s the added bonus of 1000 ranking points right?

I keep thinking Djoko’s going to fade out for some reason. Anyhow if he does win this title, which I am totally uncertain about, and even if he doesn’t, I think he should skip Basel, and just play Paris to see how far he gets. Then put all his effort into the YEC.

Twocents – interesting comments at 9:18, as usual. It was an interesting debate re: the YEC last year about Murray and Djoko’s priorities. Djok took the L from Tsonga but won the title, Murray got the W from Fed but went out to Davy. Frankly, I think both of them did what they needed to do to end the year on a high point. I am biased though since I like both of them a lot.


i am it Says:

j., by virtue of not being a betting kitty, you get an automatic waiver on that one. but i had a laugh on your (B), as if you were going to do it if it were one, instead of TWO.
——————–
for Kimmi, as of today (that includes Shanghai’s results)
(6) Roddick: 4410 year-to-date, not ranking pts.
(7) Verdasco: 3260
(8) Soderling: 2810
(9) Gonzalez: 2780
(10) Tsonga: 2730
(11) Davydenko: 2720
(12) Simon: 2150
——————-
as for the ranking, Soderling, to get the Top 10 spot, will just have to win one more match than Simon. so i’ve two reasons now that dj beats simon tomorrow. how does that sound?


sensationalsafin Says:

I don’t believe Djokovic tanked his match against Tsonga. Tsonga had beaten him several times up to that point.


sensationalsafin Says:

Plus Djokovic won the first set, he still played a 3 setter.


i am it Says:

“I keep thinking Djoko’s going to fade out for some reason.”
oh, please, noooooo, j., that cannot happen for my heavenly design. that would be interfering with the universal harmony that i’ve in mind.

let me declare affirmatively, dj. will win the title.
news of the day: we are heading into another Rafa-Sod clash, in the semi.
i’d love to see Sod do it again. then, i will have 2 of my favs in the final, but i’d not mind dj winning the title by beating rafa. it would look nicer in the news headline and his resume, as dj will close the h2h gap a little bit and will have 6-3 lead on hard against rafa.


been there Says:

An embarrassing display from Monfils **red faced from embarrassment**….couldn’t watch live, so I only got the story from live score..so don’t know the story with that retirement. Bad, bad, bad.

Soderling-Tsonga…was always going to be a tough one. Guess the Frenchie had to go, oui?…otherwise something would be wrong, you know, my head-case frenchies & all. hehe. The heart still loves :)

Re: Djokovic – “Hopefully he can get this MS to finally have one this year.”…if he gets to the final, for sure…well, depending on whose there…if it’s a new face, then they’ll both be deserving….if it’s an old face, well, would be painful if Djoko doesn’t get it.

All in all, I suppose it’s Nadal’s tourny to win….especially ‘coz he only has to face a #top10 in the finals.


sensationalsafin Says:

How can it be Nadal’s tourny to win? I think Djokovic should be more favored than Nadal based on form and surface.


sensationalsafin Says:

Djokovic and Nadal have played SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much in the last 3 years it’s ridiculous. I’d like to see Djoker beat Nadal in the final because it’d be the first time he beat him twice in a row which I think would do a world of good for the Serb.


Twocents Says:

It’s no fun getting old, sigh.

Djok lost his RR to Tsonga, not Davy. He beat Davy twice at TMC :-)).

Jane, I was amused that some people insisted that there was a right wrong call in that case. Both Djok’s & Murray’s TMC effort deserved high acclaimation. And of course Fed’s desperate hanging to the no.2 and YEC grip added the whole drama.


been there Says:

jane says:

“Murray got the W from Fed but went out to Davy. rankly, I think both of them did what they needed to do to end the year on a high point.”

Bragging rights, no? hehe…Fed is as big a scalp as it gets, & even someone as highly ranked as Murray gets excited over it. Once you beat Fed, losing in the next round (if you’re not called Nadal)isn’t too much of a big deal. It goes to your CV – I have a win over Fed! lol. Seriously, all I heard all the way from Jan till Wimbledon was Murray’s great H2H to Fed…’I've defeated him xyz times. He doesn’t scare me. blablabla….’ I put part of this down to youth & part to buying into the media hype. I haven’t heard these H2H bandied around since Wimby, ‘coz I guess the realisation has finally sunk in…you gotta reach the semis or finals to beat the man.

I hope he’s all heal now, or by end month…I think he’s gonna win Valencia & Paris, regardless of the draws…..even TMC..might just get them all ‘coz it’s all best-of-three.


sensationalsafin Says:

I’m starting to notice that I want Djokovic to win every tournament he enters. I want him to dominate like Federer used to but that’s nearly impossible. I think that’s Djokovic’s appeal, he’s so good yet so flawed and you just keep waiting for the day when everything will start clicking. Hopefully it’ll happen and it’ll be so satisfying.


sensationalsafin Says:

Now Agassi is saying Murray is gonna be the one to take over once Fed and Rafa are done. Really? Murray? Cuz from a talent standpoint he’s this this that this that that and then some. He’s a slamless pretender until he wins a slam or at least beats someone in a slam.

http://www.tennis.com/news/news.aspx?id=188778


jane Says:

“especially ‘coz he only has to face a #top10 in the finals.” – as per been there. Wow, I didn’t notice that. But with the win over Tsonga, Soderling is actually now going to be a top ten player, isn’t he? And certainly he’s a threat for Rafa, based on past matches, this surface, and dispatching Tsonga in straights.

I read a few articles and was confused because they implied that Djok was defending a title here, but they were referring to the YEC. This event has replaced Madrid, right? So no one is defending it as Madrid points have come off already haven’t they? Or do they come off next week?

sensationalsafin – yes Djok has seen his share of Rafa across the net! Their matches have usually been good too. The bulk of them have been on clay, hence the lopsided H2H, so I agree that another win for Djok would be a boost. But Rafa is definitely tough to beat!

Twocents – yes, Fed fought Murray so hard at the YEC last year didn’t he? That was one of the, if not THE, highlight matches of the event. I think I taped it, but I have so many tennis recordings that I need another hard-drive or have to start deleting. lol.


sensationalsafin Says:

The points from last year’s Madrid are coming off this week. That’s why Djokovic is gonna be number 3.

I’m calling old man Ljubicic to beat Nadal.


been there Says:

sensationalsafin says:

“How can it be Nadal’s tourny to win? I think Djokovic should be more favored than Nadal based on form and surface.”

Based on surface..yes..form, honestly, I can’t really tell. I say that ‘coz I remember last week, he played really well against Safin, & most ppl were like he’s def at his best….then he loses to Cilic, & his form is suddenly bad, etc. So I can’t really tell where he’s at form wise. And if he gets to the final, then form won’t matter much….& from his draw, he’s not facing any top10 till finals. If the Sod reaches the semis, then we might have a match…all depends on the Sod..he really unravelled last week against Djoko.

I guess I can never rule against Rafa…even if he’s limping on court!


sensationalsafin Says:

LMAO. How can you base someone’s form on a match against Safin. That tells you nothing.

I noticed Djokovic could really distance himself from Murray if he goes deep in Shanghai and Parisl. He’s only got a total of 300 points from last year whereas Murray is losing 1000 this week and 250 in Paris.

But Djokovic is gonna need to get to at least the finals at the WTF because he has 1300 vs Murray’s 600.


Duro Says:

Devastatingdjokovic has spoken!


jane Says:

“all depends on the Sod..he really unravelled last week against Djoko.” – been there.

I watched that match last week, and I thought Soderling played great tennis for most of the match. He began slow but by mid-first set he was cooking. That lasted all the way through until he was serving at 3-4 in the second set. At that point, he definitely blew it with a number of errors, and completely fell apart after that. But up until that point, imo he played well, and Djoko had to fight to keep the score close as I got the sense Sod could’ve got on a roll. Sod has a lot of power to handle.

“Djokovic is gonna need to get to at least the finals at the WTF” – sensationalsafin

That’s why I think he should skip Basel and just focus on the final Masters in Paris and the YEC.


jane Says:

The organizers at Shanghai must be happy that Nadal and Djoko are still alive, as so many other “top guys” and/or big crowd draws have lost out or retired: Roddick, Tsonga, Del Potro, Le Monf, Safin, Cilic…etc. Too bad. I hope both Rafa and Djoko can keep going through the draw.


Voicemale1 Says:

sensationalsafin:

Nadal has beaten Djokovic on that very Shanghai court: The ATP Year End Championships in 2007. Nadal won 64 64. On a similar court in Beijing Nadal also beat Djokovic on his way to the Olympic Gold last year. So the surface is relatively neutral regarding these two.

As for Djokovic dominating. He might have had his chance to do that when he first burst onto the scene. What’s become apparent is his mental fragility is his biggest obstacle. And his physical conditioning has also been mediocre at best; if he ever retired at the US Open he’d have a Grand Slam of retirements. Add that his Forehand doesn’t have the sting Federer’s does nor the damage of Nadal’s with any consistency. Federer & Nadal have the ability to literally change the complexion of a rally with one swing of the racquet on their Signature Shot. Djokovic has a good forehand but it goes south too often. He made a statement earlier this year that he feels unfortunate to have been “born at the wrong time” as a player, language that speaks to his non-belief he’ll go all that far. His H2H with Federer is close enough to be respectable even though Federer still has him, but his H2H against Nadal is a problem, 5-14. It’s true he has beaten Nadal all five times on a hard court, but the problem is he’s lost to Nadal on every surface. Overall, none of what Djokovic does on court bothers either of these two with any kind of consistency.

That said, he has the tools to sustain a long term Top 10 career. But as far as I can tell, he has never successfully defended a title he’s won the previous year. That’s an important mental hurdle he should set a goal to achieve. Sampras said it well when he’d said you can have talent to win a Major (but it applies equally to any tournament) but to be the Best of the Best you have to come back every year with the posture mentally that you’re the guy to beat. But you can’t carry the Man To Beat posture unless you earn it on the court. If anything is missing for Novak – it’s this very quality.


i am it Says:

Duro, we need your song, drawl, doodle, yodeling, whatever you call it, once a day, from now through the final, so we get the title.


been there Says:

sensationalsafin Says:

“LMAO. How can you base someone’s form on a match against Safin. That tells you nothing.”

Agreed – a win against Safin tell me nothing….I just quoted it ‘coz it was his last win before going out to Cilic. But my point is that Nadal reached the SEMIS when he’s “not” on form. And it’s well known that the more he plays, the better his form gets. So each match is better for him…so, should he reach the finals, whether he’s on form or not, 100% or whatever other % won’t matter match ‘coz he’ll be already there. So form-wise, unless he’s injured, his form or lack of it won’t prevent him from lifting the trophy if he’s in the finals…his opponent would have to beat him fair & square. And the way he played against Blake yesterday tells me that his form is quite ok.


sensationalsafin Says:

Voicemale1, I agree with you and that’s why I said I like Djokovic for being so flawed and I’m waiting for the day when everything starts clicking.

The Beijing thing is a good arguement especially since Djokovic had beaten Nadal about a week prior in Cincy. But the YEC win in 07 doesn’t mean much since Djokovic didn’t make a dent in any of his RR losses.


sensationalsafin Says:

Ehh it’s not like the China Open had an incredibly tough draw that made Nadal look miraculous in making the semis. But I agree you can never count Nadal out, I just think Djokovic has had some good wins and if he beats Simon and gets to the final, he should be favored no matter who he plays.


Vulcan Says:

been there Says:

And the way he played against Blake yesterday tells me that his form is quite ok.

Nadal looked MUCH better against Blake as compared to how he looked in Beijing overall. Hi energy level was higher…maybe its just the fact that its a Master Series tournament and the stakes are higher but I like his chances against Ljubicic, Soderling and Djokovic are another story however.


i am it Says:

Vocemail1, FYI, since last year’s YEC the court has been restructured to meet the Hard court specification, as per the ATP/ITF requirement, which primarily means it has now much less sand in the top paint, and less sand means more speed. With the restructuring, Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena, abbr. Qi Zhong stadium, has been overhauled.

yes, it is now similar to Beijing, and rafa beat Djoko last year (i call him DJ = disk jockey).
but DJ has 5-3 lead over rafa on hard.

you say, “he [DJ] has never successfully defended a title he’s won the previous year.”
can you name how many titles rafa has defended outside clay?


Vulcan Says:

As far as a Nadal Djokovic final goes I’m sure Nadal wishes the ATP would go back to it’s best of 5 set format for Masters Series finals.


jane Says:

Voicemale1 says “That’s an important mental hurdle he should set a goal to achieve.” [Djok defending a title from the previous year]

I agree. As for fitness, while the jury is still out, he seems to have improved. The heat still gets him but that may be an immune system thing if he has asthma. But he seems to have better stamina. As has been evident since clay. It’s his head. He does let things get to him and if he can learn to focus and stay positive, he can do better consistently. Re: the forehand, apparently this is something Martin wants to work on with him. He wants him to hit more of them from the middle of the court. Why the middle? I don’t know.

“The Beijing thing is a good arguement especially since Djokovic had beaten Nadal about a week prior in Cincy. But the YEC win in 07 doesn’t mean much since Djokovic didn’t make a dent in any of his RR losses.” – sensationalsafin

Agreed. At the YEC in 2007 Djok was much like Delpo has looked since his USO win – spent – mentally, physically, emotionally. But at the Olympics, Nadal’s win was telling: especially mentally. Djok had that bad overhead miss on match point in the 3rd set; it was very close. Indeed, Djok’s suffered a lot of tough losses against Nadal, some very, very close matches. So there is a mental edge to Nadal every time they meet, not only because Nadal is uber tough mentally anyhow, but because of all those close ones: e.g. Hamburg 08, Queens 08, Olympics 08, Madrid 09. It’s kind of similar in the Nadal-Fed match up. Their matches have been in finals and semis, so the stakes are higher too, and the losses even tougher perhaps.


Voicemale1 Says:

Vulcan:

Agree Nadal has looked good here for one main reason: he’s moving extremely well. When he moves that well he’s just more difficult to beat.

I’d like to see him against Soderling. Lost in the aftermath of The French was that a mere three weeks prior to that in Rome Nadal humiliated Soderling 60 61. If they meet it would be there first meeting on a hard court. But Nadal loves nothing more than revenge. A match between them ought to be a sight.


grendel Says:

re Safin explosion. Lancing of an enduring boil. Discharge. Watch out, anyone in the road!

Sorted?


i am it Says:

“But Nadal loves nothing more than revenge.”

that’s what i thought, but but he may not have felt the same way about dePo last 3 times they met. oh, wait, maybe just being revengeful would probably not win a match. have you thought about that? maybe, maybe the thought of revenge destabilizes you and you lose focus. possibility?


Voicemale1 Says:

i am it Says:

“you say, “he [DJ] has never successfully defended a title he’s won the previous year.”
can you name how many titles rafa has defended outside clay?”

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

Uh..the point is defending a title period, no matter the surface. You don’t need to bristle. Your attempt to diminish Nadal at the expense of defending Djokovic misses the point. The fact is even if you factor in Djokovic’s best surface he’s failed to defend ANY title. In fact, after winning Australia in 2008 he’s not even been able to make it back to a Major Final. So he couldn’t even back that up.


grendel Says:

One point about Murray’s debilitating defeat of Federer in their tremendous tussle in Shanghai – when he might have just tanked, and then had the energy to take on Davydenko.

Not necessarily just about h2h. He may have been calculating: if I get rid of Fed now, no Fed to meet in the final.


Voicemale1 Says:

i am it Says:
“But Nadal loves nothing more than revenge.”

that’s what i thought, but but he may not have felt the same way about dePo last 3 times they met. oh, wait, maybe just being revengeful would probably not win a match. have you thought about that? maybe, maybe the thought of revenge destabilizes you and you lose focus. possibility?

So your point is…what, exactly? Aside from the fact you hope he loses..


sensationalsafin Says:

Nadal loves revenge. Only problem is he can’t get it on HC. Nadal likes to get his revenge on clay.


i am it Says:

ditto: “So your point is…what, exactly? Aside from the fact you hope” rafa wins…


Voicemale1 Says:

sensationalsafin Says:
Nadal loves revenge. Only problem is he can’t get it on HC. Nadal likes to get his revenge on clay.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

uh..you just pointed one out on this very thread where he did: The Olympics against Djokovic after losing to him just two weeks before in Cincinnati.


Vulcan Says:

Voicemale1 Says:

If they meet it would be there first meeting on a hard court.

Hmm somehow it seems like these guys are longtime rivals and have played more than 4 times…I guess what happened at Wimbledon and all of the fallout from it just makes it seem that way.
Also, I guess the Wimby match might be the best barometer of what is likely to happen if (and likely when) they go head to head in Shanghai.
Some of the key things that are indicators that Nadal is firing on all pistons are: he hits occasional aces, he drills flat backhand crosscourt passes under pressure from 10 feet behind the baseline, he hits with impunity the running forehand down the line passes that have a ridiculous amount of curl on them.


i am it Says:

“Your attempt to diminish Nadal at the expense of defending Djokovic misses the point.”

ditto: Your attempt to diminish DJ at the expense of defending Rafa misses the point.

i’ll bow to you if rafa defends AO or a title on hard or grass, which has not happened until this day.
that’s the measuring rod you are using to diminish DJ, right?


sensationalsafin Says:

Since Voicemale1 is deciding to nitpick every word everyone’s saying, let me rephrase. Against opponents who have thrashed or at least beat him on a HC, Nadal isn’t as capable of getting revenge on HC as he is on clay.

As for defending titles, while I think Nadal could go his entire career without defending a title outside of clay and not affect how he’s regarded, it’s still an interesting point that he has yet to do that. And I don’t think anyone here would say Nadal needs it more than Djokovic, but it’s still something. Djokovic needs to defend a title for sure and I don’t think anyone here is gonna argue that it’s not vital for him.


jane Says:

All those “key things” Vulcan describes I can picture in my mind, lol. If Rafa beats Soderling to get to the final, I think he’ll be tough for anyone to beat as Rafa, like most, is a confidence player and getting matches and momentum will only make him play better, as he himself recently said. I’d like to see Djok win a Masters this year, since he got to so many Masters finals (4 is it?), but Rafa is also in need of a win in some ways, and it would heat up the race for year end number 1 wouldn’t it? Or is Fed a lock for that?


grendel Says:

“I’ve been working on physical strength and fitness a lot in last couple of months, and it’s been paying off,” Djokovic has just said. This, of course, is particularly significant right now with distinguished bodies strewn across the wayside.

But he makes another interesting point:” the bottom line is that you want to stay healthy after your career…….

“It’s great if you are successful in what you do but you don’t want to live up to 30 and then just have big problems with the knees and back like most of the professional tennis players do when they finish their career.”

Is this really true? Surely we have hyperbole here, or who would there be to play on the senior tour? Still, perhaps there is enough reality here to be a cause for concern. It seems absurd that young men whose careers are dependent upon a high level of fitness should be reduced to crocks before they are even middle aged.

I notice Djokovic used the term, or something like it, “bodily health” – and I suppose it has to be said that whilst this must entail “fitness”, the reverse is not the case.


i am it Says:

if rafa beats dj in the final, i will suspend my posting on this site for 2 months.

whatever i have said above and am saying about rafa-dj, it is only to hype up the final, so don’t take it otherwise.


jane Says:

Here’s what Nadal recently said:

“”When you come back after injury, you can’t think more than the next day,” “I say it every day: you are playing well, but it’s easy to have up and downs than when you are totally on the tour every week. “I need more weeks, I think. I need to play very well all the time, not like today, for example, I have this bad games, no? (early in the second set when he lost serve [to Robredo]).”


sensationalsafin Says:

First the schedule is too long now he needs more weeks? I’m confused.


i am it Says:

did you watch the rafa-robredo match this morning, j.?
if you did not, the score does not tell the whole story. the way he was playing, he might not get a chance to play Soderling. that’s what i felt.


Voicemale1 Says:

i am it Says:

“i’ll bow to you if rafa defends AO or a title on hard or grass, which has not happened until this day.
that’s the measuring rod you are using to diminish DJ, right?”

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Sweetheart – no bowing is necessary. But I’m not diminishing Djokovic. I was the one who said he has a lot of tools he doesn’t use. His self doubts cost him (or did you conveniently skip over the rest of what I did say about him?).

Since you wanna play this tit-for-tat, let’s do it full on. That said, there’s no reason for you to say anything else to me UNTIL Djokovic defends ANY title on ANY surface. Or how about him even defending a mere appearance in a Final of a Major? And let me ask you to remind me: how many weeks has Djokovic spent as World #1 again???. Your fawning over Novak has more to do with what you wish for him rather than what he’s been actually able to achieve thus far on the court. Get a sense of proportion honey: Novak’s a tennis player; not your child :)

But I do confess; that Nadal’s H2H dominance over Djokovic bugs you the way it does is kinda funny.

Game on.


grendel Says:

“Some of the key things that are indicators that Nadal is firing on all pistons are: he hits occasional aces, he drills flat backhand crosscourt passes under pressure from 10 feet behind the baseline, he hits with impunity the running forehand down the line passes that have a ridiculous amount of curl on them.”

Excellently put! Some delicious short angled forehands, too – just when the other fellow thought he was in with a decent shot of controlling the rally, too. But before the rest of the field pack up their bags and go home, he’s also been making more mistakes than usual. He’s still, a little bit, vulnerable.


Voicemale1 Says:

Nadal has zero business complaining about the Tour Schedule if he elects to play inplaces like Rotterdam and Barcelona. The schedule is the way it is, so either play less or keep quiet.

The only point the players have that IS valid is whether or not the ATP can mandate where they must play. No one should be able to tell someone what they have to do. But that’s a separate issue.
The players should change the mandates – as well they should. They should play wherever they like or want to.


sensationalsafin Says:

The ATP will never let them pick and choose but they could be more understanding to the top players and lessen the penalties for players who go deep in several events.


Vulcan Says:

Regarding Rafa’s comments about the schedule…to me they seem a little bit out of character for him…he’s had to deal with alot of adversity this year since AO what with not being able to play Wimbledon, suffering a brutal defeat at the hands of DP at USO and not getting a chance to once again prove his dominance over Federer on a big stage. He’s even shown some uncharacteristic frustration from time to time during matches. As unshakeable as he his mentally I think this is a very important juncture for him in terms of getting back on the horse and being ready TMC.
The comment about the schedule may have just been a manifestation over his frustration over recent events (Cilic didn’t help).


i love fed Says:

Safin should not accuse anyone of faking injuries.


sensationalsafin Says:

Yeah it is weird that Nadal would say anything, but Roddick shouldn’t say anything either. The guy misses 75% of the clay court season every year. Yeah he got married this year, but he didn’t get married in 04, 05, 06, 07, and he was injured in 08 although he got injured during the ONLY clay event he played. I’m sick of these players bitching. I’m glad Safin called them out because it’s just ridiculous. Nadal and Roddick miss enough of the year and yet they’re complaining.


i love fed Says:

agassi has bought into the Murray hype. Has Murray won a GS? Ag like Cahill is prob getting paid from the Murray PR firm.


jane Says:

Okay no one has answered so I’ll ask again. If Nadal does win here, and continue to win, say, in Paris and at the YEC, is it possible for him to nab back number 1 from Fed, or would Fed have to falter considerably?

———————————

i am it, there is no reason for you to stop posting here for 2 months if Rafa beats Djok! It’s entirely possible that’ll happen, so I’d say, just wait and see. One of them may not make the final, or they both might not make the final.

I saw only the end of the Nadal/Robredo match, so I missed where he lost serve. But I agree with both Vulcan and grendel. There are signs of Rafa returning to his best form, but also signs, still, that he’s not quite there. I guess the question is whether he can play himself into it, and we’ve seen Rafa do that before; Wimbledon 2007 comes to mind for me. As I said above, if Rafa beats Soderling that will be a HUGE ego boost after the loss he suffered at RG, and I’d say, look out whomever is in the final.

—————————-

Voicemale1, I don’t think anyone is refuting your point that Djok needs to defend a title or even back up a Major final appearance.


Vulcan Says:

Roddick not ever bothering to show up for Monte Carlo is one of the only examples I can think of of a top 10 player deliberately blowing off a Masters Series event…whenever other players miss them, such as Federer missing Shanghai for example, it’s clear that it’s a one time thing and for some reason other than they basically have absolutely no intention of playing that event as is the case with Roddick.


i am it Says:

Voicemail1, you have nothing besides your clay card:)

let me repeat, whatever i have said above and am saying about rafa-dj, it is only to hype up the final, so don’t take it otherwise.

and i like rafa. do i have to repeat the self-evident: who can diminish what he has achieved? he’s K2, the 2nd highest in order, next only to fed, in last 5 years.


Vulcan Says:

Jane IAI posted this on another thread:

i am it Says:

SS,
(i)
fed has 1,400 to defend, so if he goes out in 1st rd. in each (Basel, Paris, and London), he will have left 11255-1400+0= 9855

rafa has 700 to defend, so if he wins Shanghai and Paris, he will have 8945-700+2000= 10,245

(ii) if fed defends Basel, (or if gets 500 points in total out of Basel and Paris), he will have 9855+500= 10,355

if rafa reaches the Shanghai and Paris finals, he’ll have 8945-700+1200= 9445

(iii) if rafa wins Shanghai and reaches Paris final, he”l have 9845.
fed’s no. 1 is still safe even if he exits in 1st rd. at Basel and Paris (9855).

if the third scenario were to occur, which is very unlikely, if not impossible, the battle for year-end no. 1 would be fought at London.

so, fed will earn year-end no. 1 without much sweating, though, as i understand, he wants to win the YEC for historical significance as well as to distance the gap for 2010.


jane Says:

Actually, Djoko did back up a major final appearance, not at the same event – BUT – he did get to the 2007 USO final and then he won the AO in 2008, so that was a good run. Plus he then got to the semis in Dubai and won IW, before he lost early in Miami. So it’s not that Djoko is not consistent, though his 2009 season hasn’t been stellar. But it is definitely important that he continues to deal with the pressure and defend his points and titles. He came awfully close to defending his Rome title this year, but unfortunately he ran into a certain Spanish clay-beast in the finals. So again, I don’t think his consistency is that bad otherwise he wouldn’t have been in the top 5 for the last few seasons.


jane Says:

Thanks for reposting that Vulcan. Much appreciated. Looks like Fed’s a lock then. And Rafa will have to defend the AO to start 2010. But Rafa can really gain at RG, Queens and Wimbledon next season. Should be an interesting year in 2010.


i am it Says:

“there is no reason for you to stop posting here for 2 months if Rafa beats Djok! It’s entirely possible that’ll happen.”

entirely possible, but a little improbable. i see dj’s chances better, should they meet. obviously i am gambling.
if either of them does not reach the final, i won’t abide by those words.

any way, i only wanted to raise the final’s hype.


Voicemale1 Says:

I am it:

Big wet sloppy kiss to you :)


i am it Says:

DJ’s consistency may not be in par with fed or rafa, but, like you said, j., it’s better than others.
let’s make a list of consistency:

1. repeated Cincy finals (’08 & ’09).
2. winner ’08 Rome and finalist ’09 Rome.
3. finalist ’07 IW and winner ’08 IW.
4. winner ’07 Miami and finalist ’09 Miami.
5. Semi ’08 Monte Carlo and Finalist ’09 Monte Carlo.
6. quarter final ’06 Madrid, semifinal ’07 Madrid, and semifinal ’09 Madrid.
7. Winner ’07 Canada, quarter final ’08 & ’09 Canada.
8. quarterfinal ’07 Hamburg and semifinal ’08 Hamburg.
9. ’07 USO finalist and semifinalist ’08 and ’09 USO (lost to fed on all three occasions, had it not been for federer…)
10. Quarter Final ’06 RG, Semifinal ’07 & ’08 RG. lost to Rafa on both occasions.

11. R16 ’07 AO, Title in ’08 AO, Quarter final (lost to Roddick).

imo, only 2 mishaps at Slams, ’08 Wimby and ’09 RG. besides those two, he’s hardly lost to players outside top 5. Paris is the only place he has not done well.


MMT Says:

“I’m calling old man Ljubicic to beat Nadal.”

Ljubicic couldn’t beat Nadal if Nadal played right handed.


grendel Says:

Just watched replay of Tosnga/Soderling. Strange incident, Sod serving at 4-3, 30 all, Tsonga hits a winner – break point. Unfortunately, linesman put his arm up late, so tsonga didn’t see it, and when he wins next point, naturally feels he’s broken serve. Soderling too seems to think so. The umpire remarks he did call out the score – but, 40-30, 30-40 – when you’re convinced you’ve won the point, and it’s not your own language anyway, do you notice?

Morally, Tsonga broke for 4-4. Would that have made a difference to eventual result? One thing, Sod’s going to have a tough battle against Lopez, match of the round I’d say. I really hope Sod wins, because Lopez just crumbles at the thought of Nadal. We know Soderling has the game to beat Nadal on any surface, but he has to be playing at his absolute best, espec. with Nadal playing pretty well. So can’t quite see Sod pulling it off this time. Looking like Nadal/Djokovic final, and providing Djokovic is fresh, I’ll go with him.


jane Says:

i am it – on grass: Queens 08 final; Halle 09 final, so even on arguably his worst surface, he hasn’t fared too badly anyhow. We’ll see if he can improve going forward – hope so.


Dan Martin Says:

I guess we know the 2004 Safin-Roddick incident now.


grendel Says:

jane – w.r.t. Fed still being #1 at end of year – I doubt if he’s interested in that as such. What he wants is to beat Sampras’ record. I don’t have the figures to hand, somebody will (Vulcan?), but it could be very close. Even if he hangs on to his points, or even gains a few, between now and RG, it’s highly likely he’ll lose a lot at RG, and quite likely he will at Wimbledon. The point is, if he is only displaced as #1 at RG – will he have caught Sampras? That’s what I’m not sure of, it will be very close.


Dan Martin Says:

Grendel, I think if Roger runs the rest of 2009 out he will have added 24-26 weeks to his 237 so he’d be at 261-263 heading into 2010. That would place him 23-25 weeks behind Sampras’ overall total. Had he beaten JMDP in NY, the 286 weeks would be a lot more simple to surpass, but I think he has a reasonable shot at doing so. I am not sure how much he wants that mark, I know he will take it, but is he going to chase computer points at smaller events to do so? I doubt it.


margot Says:

MMT: agree re Ljubicic beating Rafa. Saw him serve for the match, against Verdasco(?). Promptly Lost his serve! How I hate it when that happens.


i am it Says:

grendel, “Fed still being #1 at end of year – I doubt if he’s interested in that as such. What he wants is to beat Sampras’ record.”

these two sentences cancel out each other, sort of.

fed has said he wants to end the year as no. 1, maintain it as long as he can, and hopefully break Sampras’ record.
so the 1st two are precursor to the last.
once you are out, it won’t be easy to get back, if you factor in the age.
how else would you achieve?


jane Says:

grendel says “I doubt if he’s interested in that [being number 1 at year's end] as such. What he wants is to beat Sampras’ record.”

Yes, but clearly the two could go hand-in-hand right? He’s picks up extra weeks if he can carry it between the seasons.


jane Says:

i am it – quit saying the same thing as me, or, more accurately, beating me to the punch, LOL.


i am it Says:

j., we do that a lot, without even knowing it, so what the heck..


i am it Says:

that phrase reminded of me an old song by Mary Wells.


Voicemale1 Says:

Federer has already accomplished more than Sampras. Anything else he adds is just gravy.


Duro Says:

My baby is turning one year tomorrow. He learned to walk with 10 month and 5 days, helping himself with, guess what… a racquet. No wonder cause my whole home is full of tennis balls and racquets. My older son turned 3 last Friday. He’s keeping asking me if Djokovic won. I never taught him to call Nole a Djokovic, only Gaga, but he kept listening to me saying Djokovic all the time, so he knows when he sees him that it’s him and he asks me that. The minute they turn four, direction – tennis court.
When I finish supporting Nole, they will continue with supporting Djordje (which is the name of my older one, too).
So, what to say people… Love is in the air! Alleeeez allez allez alleeeez, No2-leeee, No1-leeee… Till the very end.


i am it Says:

order of play:

davy vs. step at 2:00 am (ET)

Sod vs. Lopez at 4:00 am

dj vs. simon at 6:00 am

rafa vs. Ljub at 8:00 am


i am it Says:

Duro, how nice to have kids who already know your fav ! hope they become star players.
i wrote a post for you above. did you read that?
thanks for the good luck yodel.


Vulcan Says:

Given that Federer is already considered the GOAT by many I wonder if in the back of his mind he’s thinking that the REAL thing that’s missing and that he should be focusing on for the future is dominating Rafael Nadal. It’s the only part of the puzzle missing in terms of people questioning his greatness (the ultimate would be beating Nadal at FO). Unfortunately he hasn’t been given the opportunity to do that since AO. This year has been really disappointing as far as their rivalry goes…god forbid one of them should pull out of TMC for some reason.


Duro Says:

i am it, of course I saw it. The song was partly because of you, too.


i am it Says:

Duro, here is one for your kids: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMhmVVB4flg


Tennis served fresh Says:

Safin should become a coach! Eh, I don’t know actually. Perhaps he should whipping his sister into shape a bit.
As far as Andy complaining and getting injured, well that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I’m sure Safin was injured many times on tour.


grendel Says:

i am it and jane:

““Fed still being #1 at end of year – I doubt if he’s interested in that as such. What he wants is to beat Sampras’ record.”

these two sentences cancel out each other, sort of.”

I wondered if someone might say something like that, and whether I should cover the possibility. But I said to myself, ruminatively, nope, these people have got a firm grasp of English, and don’t need mollycoddling. We-ell..
What you have both missed is the “as such”. i.e., unlike some of the other #1 contenders, Fed (so my supposition goes, which may in itself be wrong, of course) is not interested in being #1 at the end of the year EXCEPT in the sense that it is indispensable if he wishes to overhaul Sampras. The latter, and the latter alone, is his all consuming goal.

Dan:”is he going to chase computer points at smaller events to do so? I doubt it.” Surely that depends on the circumstances. He wouldn’t want to get into the same humiliating position as poor old Rusedski. Rusedski needed a few points to overhaul Tim Henman as #1 in the UK at close of year. Who cares, you might think. Well Rusedski, who has always given the impression of feeling aggrieved at the British public’s rather cool reception of him, and being a little bit miffed at the love lavished on Dunkirk Tim – he cared alright. There was always a special frisson when Rusedski played Henman. Anyway, the Canadian Brit tooled off to Kazahkstan, I do believe – somewhere unspeakably remote, anyway – to play in a challenger tournament. All he need was to win in the first round, and he’d be #1. He lost.

We’re cruel people in the grendel household, and our laughter prompted concerned inquiries from the neighbours….


Fed is GOAT Says:

Nadal will probably beat the 30-year old Ljubicic, but if they both make it, Soderling is going to thrash him. Otherwise Djokovic will.

I see no way Nadal can beat Soderling and Djokovic on hard courts on two consecutive days.

I think players have figured out how to play him. Be 6 foot 6. Play two handed backhand. His top spin forehand doesn’t remain too high for them anymore, so there’s nothing left with Nadal to hurt them with.

Cilic, Djokovic, Del Po – all younger than Nadal, all have Nadal’s number on hard courts. Murray could take him out too. The future doesn’t look all that rosy for Nadal. May 08 – Jan 09 was his golden period, and his peak……


Duro Says:

Ha ha ha! thanks, i am it!


Giner Says:

i am it Says:

“i’ll bow to you if rafa defends AO or a title on hard or grass, which has not happened until this day.
that’s the measuring rod you are using to diminish DJ, right?”

This is a form of special pleading, and it’s silly. What you’re basically saying is, Djokovic can defend a title on any surface and he’s a champ. For Nadal, he has to defend a title on a surface other than clay — he has higher requirements. If Nadal defended Queens or Wimbledon, then you would change your tune to: Nadal has never defended a title on hard court.

The standards here are stacked. If Djokovic defended a hard court title, and no other surface, that would be enough for you, but Nadal has to do it on 2 or more surfaces.

He has however re-won titles in Indian Wells and Canada in later years, which imo is just as good.

What’s wrong with clay? That’s where the bulk of his titles are, so to exclude them from being counted would be like to exclude Novak’s hard court titles.

Two cents:

“There were plenty hot debates in Shanghai at the time on who was smarter: Djok tanked his last RR but won the title, or Murray beat Fed but was routed by Davy the next day?”

Let’s not forget that tanking is a suspendable offense. Players should play their best in every match. I’m not certain that his loss can be attributable to tanking, or that Murray’s loss was not due to being outplayed.

sensationalsafin Says:

“Since Voicemale1 is deciding to nitpick every word everyone’s saying, let me rephrase. Against opponents who have thrashed or at least beat him on a HC, Nadal isn’t as capable of getting revenge on HC as he is on clay.”

That’s nonsense. He got his revenge against Tsonga, Gonzalez and Blake several times on HC. They are the only 3 guys I know of who can claim to have thrashed him on HC. Blake and Tsonga have never met him on any surface other than HC, and he has winning records against both. Gonzalez thrashed him at AO 07 and he returned the favour this year at AO and USO. Also at the Olympics for the gold medal.

“As for defending titles, while I think Nadal could go his entire career without defending a title outside of clay and not affect how he’s regarded, it’s still an interesting point that he has yet to do that. And I don’t think anyone here would say Nadal needs it more than Djokovic, but it’s still something. Djokovic needs to defend a title for sure and I don’t think anyone here is gonna argue that it’s not vital for him.”

Believe it or not, most players haven’t. Safin hasn’t. Murray hasn’t. Nalbo hasn’t. I think it would be easier to only count those who have. Federer is a start. Someone else continue. To be fair, you can’t count titles defended on the player’s best surface…


Tony Says:

so roddick is bully because he complained about his schedule? Safin is retiring while Andy continues to play and remains in the Top Ten; enough said.

difference between Safin and Roddick. Roddick is not a quitter.


Giner Says:

Voicemale1 Says:

“Nadal has zero business complaining about the Tour Schedule if he elects to play inplaces like Rotterdam and Barcelona. The schedule is the way it is, so either play less or keep quiet.

The only point the players have that IS valid is whether or not the ATP can mandate where they must play. No one should be able to tell someone what they have to do. But that’s a separate issue.
The players should change the mandates – as well they should. They should play wherever they like or want to.”

I’m not so sure about him having no business playing Rotterdam, Barcelona, and Beijing. They are ATP500 events, and that was the only reason he played Barca.

Here’s what I pulled from the ATP website:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/Rankings-FAQ.aspx

Q. What are the requirements and rules for player participation for an ATP World Tour 500 tournament?

A. Top 30 players (based on ’08 year-end ranking) must play a minimum of four 500 level tournaments during the calendar year, including at least one event following the US Open (Monte Carlo Masters 1000 event will count towards the minimum of four and all penalties apply):
– A 0-pointer for each event less than four played.
– A 0-pointer for withdrawing from any 500 tournament after the acceptance list is out.
– A 0-pointer for not playing at least one event after the US Open.
– A 0-pointer can be appealed by a player to the same tribunal formed to hear 1000 suspension appeals.
– No suspensions or fines (including no withdrawal and late withdrawal fines).

——-

It doesn’t say you’ll be suspended or fined for not playing the four 500′s (one of which must come after the US Open by the way), but the wording there says you’re supposed to play them if you’re a top 30 player.


Giner Says:

jane Says:

“Okay no one has answered so I’ll ask again. If Nadal does win here, and continue to win, say, in Paris and at the YEC, is it possible for him to nab back number 1 from Fed, or would Fed have to falter considerably? ”

Mathematically it’s possible, but tall order. If Fed was a lock, a PR would have been released on the ATP site. Fed would need to lose early or skip the remaining events while Nadal wins the two 1000′s, and then they’ll be roughly even and the winner is decided in London. That was an armchair calculation but the points difference is something around 2000 points and a bit.

i am it Says:

“Voicemail1, you have nothing besides your clay card:)

let me repeat, whatever i have said above and am saying about rafa-dj, it is only to hype up the final, so don’t take it otherwise.”

I think that’s not just premature but disingenuous. Nadal is not a lock to even make the final. And you know this. It allows you to piss on him even worse if he doesn’t make the final, but if he does you can still claim you were just hyping up the final. You got your back covered already.

Fed is GOAT Says:

“I think players have figured out how to play him. Be 6 foot 6. Play two handed backhand. His top spin forehand doesn’t remain too high for them anymore, so there’s nothing left with Nadal to hurt them with.”

Because that’s something you can easily do when you want to, right?

“Cilic, Djokovic, Del Po – all younger than Nadal, all have Nadal’s number on hard courts. Murray could take him out too. The future doesn’t look all that rosy for Nadal. May 08 – Jan 09 was his golden period, and his peak……”

Head to head records of said players who have Nadal’s number on hard courts:

Cilic: 1-0
Del Potro: 3-2
Djokovic: 5-3

Those are some really lopsided numbers there dude.


Voicemale1 Says:

Giner Says:

“I’m not so sure about him having no business playing Rotterdam, Barcelona, and Beijing. They are ATP500 events, and that was the only reason he played Barca.”

– – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

There are other 500 Clay events he could play. Enough of them exist in places throughout the calendar for him to space his schedule a lot better. His complaint is almost all about the clay season in the spring. He plays Barcelona because he’s a member of the club that hosts the event, and that it’s in Spain. He could replace Barcelona with, say Acapulco in February, or even Hamburg in July. So if he wants to schedule it the way he does, he needs to keep quiet.

He scheduled originally this year Rotterdam AND Dubai. Why play both when they’re so close together? So he schedules 3 of his 4 mandatory 500′s all in the first 5 months of the year, then adds the mandatory 1000′s, the Majors, and the London 250 before Wimbledon. Given that, I still say he’s got no right to complain because he schedules poorly.


sensationalsafin Says:

I said AS capable. Blake and Gonzo suck so they don’t matter. The wins over Tsonga are mighty impressive though. Hell, his wins over Djokovic AND Federer are impressive enough. I’m just saying he’s got a pattern where he’ll lose on HC to someone then rip them apart on clay. He has yet to rip Blake or Tsonga apart (Gonzo sucks) but if he played them on clay, I’d be surprised to see either of them win more than 3 games in a best of 3 (is there even a point in mentioning best of 5?).


jane Says:

grendel @ 5:24, I got the “as such” but what you said still warranted my reply, thus:

“clearly the two [securing #1 and surpassing Pete’s weeks at #1)could go hand-in-hand right? He’s picks up extra weeks if he can carry it between the seasons.”

In other words, in order to beat Sampras’ record – which you imply is Fed’s supreme goal with regards to his ranking at year’s end (otherwise being #1, as such, wouldn’t matter to him) – the odds increase dramatically, imo anyhow, if he can secure year end number 1 this year, because, as I mentioned in another post, Nadal has a lot to defend at the beginning of next year (thus can’t gain a lot of points but could lose them), so unless Fed falls off the map and/or unless Djoko or Murray go on an utter tear, Fed has a chance to hold onto number 1 until the French/Wimbledon stretch anyhow. So beating Pete’s record and Fed being number 1 at year’s end, as I replied earlier, do, or certainly could, be mutual goals. Regardless of whether Fed cares about being number 1 – as such.


jane Says:

In terms of scheduling, I know this had come up before, but why does Rafa play doubles? Is it for practice? At the beginning of this year he played doubles at:
- Doha
- Rotterdam
- Indian Wells
- Miami
And this was all before the *beginning* of clay season!

I can see why he played doubles in Canada, as it was his first event back after a long stretch, but even then, you’d think he might want to be cautious and ease back into the swing of things.

——————————————-
grendel, further to my post of 7:47, while I think on some level we’re saying the same thing, you with your “as such” and me with my “hand-in-hand”, I am not sure I agree, I think, regardless of whether or not Fed beats Pete, he’d want to be at the top for as long as he can. He’s said before that number 1 matters, many times. That can’t be ONLY because he wants to beat Pete, but also because he desires to be the top dog. And thus the two goals feed one another.


i am it Says:

Giner says, “I think that’s not just premature but disingenuous.”
thanks for the honest compliment. and by the way, what do i get out of it? was i risking my back? from whom and why?
and you say i “get to piss on” rafa? how? will he let me? is that what he is playing for, to be saved from my piss? that’s more disingenuous.
you are presumptuous wit your accusations, Mr. Saint, and you are pissing on me right now, in back-and-forth conversation. do i get to do that if rafa does not reach the final? if i do, will i do that, as you presume? if not, why is the personal jab at me? how is this mature, a jab at a poster, personally, when we’re talking about players, in a light-hearted, playful manner?

if anyway, my posts (this afternoon) were offensive to you, my apology.

i like VM1 better for his sense of humor, at least for today.


grendel Says:

yes, of course “beating Pete’s record and Fed being number 1 at year’s end, as I replied earlier, do, or certainly could, be mutual goals.” My original comment was a response to your 12.34 post, jane: “Rafa is also in need of a win in some ways, and it would heat up the race for year end number 1 wouldn’t it? Or is Fed a lock for that?” This does imply – even if you didn’t quite mean it that way – that Fed is in the race for #1 (as such) by year end. And thus my point: as such, no, he wasn’t. He has other things in mind, but obviously, since this entails being #1 until such time as he catches Sampras, if he succeeds, by definition (more or less) he will be #1 at years end.

However, all this is getting close to angels dancing on pinheads, and I only made an issue of it because I was charged, imlicitly, with being illogical – and I wasn’t.

However, I believe you do make a substantial point, over and above what I was saying (God, I’m beginning to sound like a bloody lawyer) – and that’s because it didn’t occur to me so cheers for that (a back street lawyer, anyway) – when you say it is particularly important for Fed’s goal of catching Sampras that he retains#1 till Jan. Because after that, owing mainly to Nadal’s having so many points to defend, it shouldn’t be too tough to hang on till the French. The “as such” rider still relevant, though….A most useful little expression, I commend it to you!

My very, very original point, Dan addressed, and almost, but didn’t quite answer. Because he says that at beginning 2010, Fed 23-25 weeks behind Sampras. Now lets assume he gets beaten say, 3rd round in French – by no means an outrageous assumption, although nor is his getting to the final again an outrageous assumption – he’s going to be about a week or two behind Sampras. How amazingly tantalising were he to lose the #1 spot just then! And if Nadal wins Wimbledon, then I think it will be curtains to his goal.

So I think it could all be extremely tight, which makes it very interesting at least for Federer and Sampras fans. Incidentally, I detect a smidgeon of doubt that getting the Sampras record is a huge priority with Federer. Well, I don’t have access to his private thoughts, but I’d be astonished if it isn’t.

Did you notice, jane, the post from Tony? Judging by what he had to say this must, surely, be a different Tony. Odd the way the original one just totally disappeared.


sensationalsafin Says:

Why is everyone assuming Nadal is gonna win Wimbledon? Let’s see how he plays at the AO and especially the FO before we conclude he’s gonna win Wimbledon. Until Fed retires, he’ll always be my favorite to win Wimbledon. And as for it not being an outrageous assumption that Fed might lose in the 3rd round of the FO. 1) He’s defending champion and for Federer that adds a little extra something. 2) Until Fed loses before the semis of a slam, it’s outrageous to think he will. It doesn’t matter how close Soderling was to going 5 in the QFs with Fed, point is he was never close to holding match point.


grendel Says:

well, so I was right to detect a bit of doubt! This is going to be another of these angels mucking about on pinheads. Yes, absolutely Fed wants to be top dog for as long as poss. For instance, if he passes Sampras, he’s not going to suddenly curl his finger in Nadal’s direction and tell him:”o.k. chum, your turn now”.

But let’s put it this way. When he’s telling tall tales to his grandchildren, apart from the slams, it’s going to be that he was #1 longer than anybody else that’s going to be his proudest boast. The strict number of weeks hardly matters. That said, as you neatly put it “the two goals feed each other”.


jane Says:

grendel “Did you notice, jane, the post from Tony? Judging by what he had to say this must, surely, be a different Tony.”

OMG – I hope it’s a different Tony. Those posts about fashion, Anna Wintour, notches on shoes, and best bands in the world, and so on and so forth until eternity, it seemed; I REALLY don’t want to go down that road again, although on some level it was kinda fun. But I have way less energy or inclination for taking on those sorts of arguments anymore. And besides which, as you know, I’ve relaxed w.r.t. to a certain player, even kinda warmed to him in some ways. So maybe that (this?) Tony wouldn’t be quite so relentless.

“Odd the way the original one just totally disappeared.”

Yeah, but it happens around here now and then. And who knows? He might be a “Joe” or even a “Joan” now.


grendel Says:

Ah, but Sensational Safin, Haas damn nearly got Federer, didn’t he? One shot, just one, turned that match, and brought Federer back from a cold, cold grave. And actually, Federer has had some very close matches, over the years at RG, and it is testimony to his will that he has battled his way through every time. It seems imprudent to suppose he can always do this. (By the way, you meant delPo, didn’t you?)

Incidentally, I didn’t assume Nadal was gonna win Wimbledon – I simply suggested that if he does, it is unlikely Fed will get #1 back. I have no idea who will win Wimbledon – a lot of contenders, of whom the chief ones, at the moment, are Federer and Nadal.


sensationalsafin Says:

Nearly. Wouldn’t you feel some pressure when the only dude who’s beaten you at the same tournament for 4 years suddenly wasn’t a factor and it was practically your only chance to ever win the thing?

I’m talking about the QF at the USO where Sod almost took it to a 5th and everyone made a big deal about it and mentioned Fed’s semi streak. Berdych also had Fed on the ropes at the AO. Yet Fed made it through both Haas and Berdych. And Andreev and Tipsarevic. Fed’s a champion, just like McEnroe, Sampras, Lendl, Nadal, etc. Can you imagine how much confidence he must have in the early rounds of a slam? Even when he’s down 2 sets? Fed’s a confidence player just like Nadal if not more so (Fed’s game is more prone to falling apart that Nadal’s in a general sense). When you win 194 in the first 4 rounds of 22 slams in a row, it’s gonna take something special to snap that streak. I can’t think of anyone who has something special that Fed could meet before the semis. Roddick? Del Po since he’s still 5? Those are the only 2. But outside of that, who’s legitimately going to beat Roger Federer before the semis of a slam?


sensationalsafin Says:

Oh and I don’t know how Nadal can be a favorite heading into Wimbledon. At next year’s Wimbledon (or Queens technically) he will not have played on grass in 2 years. Unless you wanna count the 2 exos he played against Hewitt and someone else (Wawrinka?) to test his knees. But seriously, 2 years.


i am it Says:

we all know it was painful for fed to drop down to no.2. keeping that in mind, i’d say he would like to keep his no. 1 as long as possible, just to play tennis. he’d have to be the luckiest one if he could keep it till 2012 Olympics.
unlike many other legends, i think it won’t be easy for him to continue playing full schedule after he drops to, say, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. i don’t think he can do what Agassi and Connors did, continue playing after he drops out of top 10. however, i think, he will appear in as many slams as he can and as long as they let him, even as a wild card. not sure, if he would play qualifying, though.


Kimmi Says:

I am it: Thanks for the race..is it correct this time ?? I believe you.

__________________________________________
for Kimmi, as of today (that includes Shanghai’s results)
(6) Roddick: 4410 year-to-date, not ranking pts.
(7) Verdasco: 3260
(8) Soderling: 2810
(9) Gonzalez: 2780
(10) Tsonga: 2730
(11) Davydenko: 2720
(12) Simon: 2150

__________________________________________________
huh ?? verdasco still no.7 ?? somehow does not feel right he must have had a big cushion…very good for him…I hope he qualifies, he still looking very good but the early loss in shanghai didn’t help, he needs to win as many matches as possible now..C’mon.

I was thinking Tsonga must be good with the win last week but he still has to give his all if he wants to qualify.

Soderling and Davy needs to go deep here. Very close race.

Who will take 7th and 8th spot..i say anyone in verdasco, Soderling, Gonzalez, Tsonga and Davydenko….For simon to qualify will be big surprise but possible.

Thanks I am it.


i am it Says:

Kimmi, that’s what my math says. if i am off, it should not be more than 50 points +/-.
you are right about verdasco, soderling, gonzu, tsonga, davy, and simon’s chances.
they all will remain contenders through Paris, except maybe simon.

here is one for you.

http://www.tennis.com/features/general/features.aspx?id=188744


i am it Says:

Kimmi, here is the official one for you, most recently updated (that does not seem to include fully Shanghai points and does not QUITE calibrate 18/ 19 events, but this is official):

(6) Andy Roddick: 4,330 (Next up: Paris)
(7) Fernando Verdasco: 3,030 (Next up: Valencia)
(8) Robin Soderling: 2,820 (Next up: Stockholm)
(9) Fernando Gonzalez: 2,780 (Next up: Basel)
(10)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: 2,640 (Next up: Lyon)
(11) Nikolay Davydenko: 2,630 (Next up: Moscow)
(12) Marin Cilic: 2,205 (Next up: Paris)
(13) Gilles Simon: 2,105 (Next up: Lyon)

Source: Barclays ATP World Tour Finals website

http://www.barclaysatpworldtourfinals.com/en/home/default.asp


Kimmi Says:

I am it; Thanks.

Wowow !! Eventually the ATP site does it. (did they just put this up or was it there for a while ? I never visit the YEC site..so maybe we missed it)

Looks like it will stay there till the end. You were close but more that -+50 in Verdi and Cilic…he was the forgotten one.

I also see Novak distancing himself from Murray and DelPo, great effort from him.


i am it Says:

Kimmi,
they just put it up. it was not there in the afternoon when i checked last time.

i was off only by 10 pts in Soderling, my prime interest.

i was right in gonzu’s case.

off by 45 pts in Simon’s case. by 80-90 pts. in tsonga, davy, and roddick’s cases.

the reason i was off in those stances is due to on-going Shanghai, which affects the whole 18/ 19-event counting.

this explains how Soderling is best positioned to qualify, and what others’ chances are:
http://www.barclaysatpworldtourfinals.com/en/news/onthebubble.asp


Kimmi Says:

Why is everyone thinks Federer is almost lock to finish No 1 ?

I am it. From this list if Nadal wins Shanghai then ITS GAME ON.

Fed will be 9855
Nadal will be 9254

Fed will have pressure to do well in remaining tornaments. IMO for Fed to be safe he needs at least a semi or better in both Basel and Paris and hope Nadal does not win Paris.

What do you think ?


i am it Says:

Kimmi, check out my post on this topic on the other thread. it explains why fed is sort of locked for no. 1 (Vulcun has re-posted it above, too):

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-10-15/2494.php#comment-102817


Kimmi Says:

Thanks I am it, I saw the article showing different players with qualifying chances. Only 2 250 tourneys are counted and most of players have max them out..interesting…Looks like best bet is to play well in 500 and 1000.

Sod has a chance but only 160 points.


grendel Says:

Well, Soderling played a disastrous service game at 4-2 first set, and after that, it was all Lopez. Often, you think of Lopez as being flaky, certainly he is streaky, but he also – when he’s in the mood – has an obstinate component to his character. you expect him to go away, or lose patience in a long rally – instead, he plays a beautifully controlled point, executing the kill at precisely the apt moment. He is an enigma. Ion Tiriac once remarked about him that if he could have had him under his wing for a few years, he’d have been a Wimbledon champion.

Soderling looked bowed down by the pressure of getting to london. Cautious and reckless in turn, he was a shadow of the new Soderling, if not quite a reverson to the old. Still, I’m sure he’ll regroup in Stockholm. He does look awkward moving forward, and Lopez exploited this again and again. Apparently Lopez is anxious to impress Costa to gain a place for the Davis Cup final. Can we then hope that he won’t just freeze with nadal over the net? He has the game to trouble Nadal. How about surprising us all and showing he has the mind?

Sensational Safin – I agree with most of your points. Some quibbles. Since the French was being talked about, that’s what i thought you meant. But at the US, Fed beat Sod 8-6 in the final tiebreak – I can’t remember quite how that went, but it seems pretty close to a set point to me, and then Sod had the momentum going into the fifth, just as delPo did in the final. “Nearly”. How much scorn can be (quietly) delivered in one word. I have to applaud. But I’m not sure if you give sufficient credit to Haas – when on, he is a tremendously gifted player, a worthy #2 who might well have made #1 but for crippling injury. That said, Federer undoubtedly demonstrated a champion’s mentality.

My caveat is simple: he is, like the rest of us, subject to the less than tender ministrations of Father Time – and it is unrealistic to expect him to keep digging himself out of holes. That’s just biology.

No one has said Nadal is favourite for Wimbledon, well, I haven’t. But he’s got to be one of them. He LIKES the grass at Wimbledon. Therefore, if he is in top shape, I think you’ve got to say he’s joint favourite with Federer – as of now. Maybe someone else will emerge by June.


grendel Says:

If you have become attuned to a surface, does lack of play on it count that much? (leaving aside the question, which I have still not seen satisfactorily answered – does Nadal have a private grass court at his Mallorca home? Some say yes, and some say no. What do those who know say?) I mean, can’t you, especially if you are one of the greatest tennis players who ever lived, get back into the groove pretty quickly? Doesn’t the experience of the Williams sisters suggest that? Won’t Queens be perfectly adequate for Nadal to tune up? Perhaps – those of us who don’t want to see him winning Wimbledon – we can hope for some tricky wild card to bundle a rusty Nadal out in the first round. Much more likely, though, that Nadal will find his grass feet in the third set at 0-30, 3-5 down, the chap over the net (who hasn’t read his history) indulging in premature celebrations in his mind. Once Nadal wore Djokovic down in the Queens final – and it was a legitimate win, nothing fluky about it – you knew Federer would have his work cut out at Wimbledon.


sensationalsafin Says:

I don’t expect someone random to beat Nadal at Wimbledon. I just don’t think you can call him the joint favorite next to the defending champ when he hasn’t played in 2 years. Even if he’s played on the surface (how often can he really be playing at home?) he hasn’t played matches on the surface which is totaly different. What if Nadal is down 0-30 3-5 to Hewitt? Would you expect Hewitt to crumble? Especially on grass? Even having not played Nadal is still a better grass courter than 98% of the tour, but it’s still significant enough to say he’s not a joint favorite with the defending champion. He’s a joint favorite with Murray and Djokovic. I’d put Roddick as number 2 behind Fed.

Fed is still very fit even if he is getting older. At the FO, I think if anything else he proved how much more fit he was than everyone else. He looked like a tank at both the Wimbledon and FO ceremonies. Hell even at the USO he looked huge, it was just hard to see standing next to Del Potro. And considering how many times Federer has owned Haas, I don’t think it matters how talented the guy is. He was playing a lot better at Wimbledon than at the FO and Fed straight setted him because he wasn’t feeling the hang over of Nadal losing the day before. Haas was taking advantage of Federer’s lack of complete focus. The forehand Fed hit snapped him out of his funk and his presence became known again. If you wanna tell me that Haas is just that good of a clay courter, then I must’ve missed something. If Haas ever produces a similar result, I’ll give him credit, until then it was a fluke and only happened because of the pressure Fed was feeling.


grendel Says:

“The forehand Fed hit snapped him out of his funk and his presence became known again.” And Haas disappeared, don’t forget. He just played crap after that. He’d shot his bolt. That forehand of Fed’s – which I’m pleased to say I commented on at the time – was quite miraculous, in more ways than one. It was an inside out forehand from nowhere landing on the line. I’m with McEnroe, who believes there’s always a slight element of luck in such skilfull shots – to someone disputing this, he said incredulously “you mean you think he meant to hit it RIGHT THERE?” An extra couple of millimetres, and the match would probably have been Haas’s.

One more point. No doubting Fed’s fitness. But he is slowing down slightly, and also it’s in the nature of things that even the greatest don’t always win dog fights. Some, they’re gonna lose. o.k., I’m appealing to superstition now, so I’m on thin ground……


sensationalsafin Says:

I’m not saying Fed’s never gonna lose before the semis. But because it’s Roger Federer, I don’t think it’s fair to assume he’ll lose UNTIL he actually loses. Just like with Nadal, you can never count the guy out no matter what the circumstance, same goes for Fed. I agree that Haas went away but was it just the forehand that made him go away or the pressure of closing out the match in general? It’s Tommy Haas, after all. Had he broken, would he have definitely closed it out in the next game? Maybe, but since it’s Haas, still probably not. No kidding there’s luck on shots like that, but there are times when the pros aim for the lines. The serve is a good example, and on passing shots. Sometimes you just feel like you can place the ball any where. I remember a couple years ago I was playing doubles for my high school and we were just dominating. I’m a lefty and I had an inside out forehand set up on the deuce side and I just stared down the line and smacked the ball for the pass. I missed by millimeters. Afterwards my coach told me that I didn’t have to go for such ridiculous shots. If I had made that, I would’ve been lucky, but I still aimed for it. How different was Federer’s case besides the entire situation? He aimed inside out into the open court in hopes Haas wouldn’t be able to track it down. It happened to land on the line. It could have just as easily gone out by a little or gone in by a little. He still aimed there, though.


grendel Says:

Yes, you can aim somewhere and just miss, aim again and just hit – and can you really and truly explain the difference?
I also considered Haas serving it out. He is flaky, of course, but not usually when he’s on a roll. So I think he would have been in with a good shot.

About Nadal at Wimbledon. IMO, you can name him as outright favourite, as joint favourite with Federer or as second favourite to Federer. All three options make sense. I don’t think it makes sense to call him co-favourite (3rd tier) with Djokovic and Murray. The latter two just have not earned such an accolade (this being grass we’re talking about), though all that can change soon of course. Roddick – not sure about him. Obviously if he can reproduce this year’s form, then he’s in with a huge chance. How likely, though? I can’t help suspecting the gods have given Roddick his chance – and are now looking elsewhere. More tennis expertise……


sensationalsafin Says:

The difference? I can’t. Maybe Federer can. My cousin plays college tennis and I was just talking to him as I was writing this so I asked him. If you’re feeling the ball that well, you’ll know whether it was out or in. I think, from what he said, basically it just comes down to your aim. When you throw a ball, you have complete control of where so the direction it goes in is based on how well you aim. It’s obviously harder to have perfect control in tennis but when you’re feeling the ball really well, you can hit it wherever and where it lands is a matter of how well you aimed.

I still don’t think you can call a player who hasn’t played on a surface for 2 years the favorite to win the event. I’ll agree to put him about 3rd tier, but not co favorite with Fed.


SG Says:

Tennis served fresh Says:
Safin should become a coach! Eh, I don’t know actually. Perhaps he should whipping his sister into shape a bit.
As far as Andy complaining and getting injured, well that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I’m sure Safin was injured many times on tour.

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

Safin has always been injured…between the ears.


SG Says:

grendel Says:

Roddick – not sure about him. Obviously if he can reproduce this year’s form, then he’s in with a huge chance. How likely, though? I can’t help suspecting the gods have given Roddick his chance – and are now looking elsewhere. More tennis expertise……

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

Perhaps for Roddick, it’s a case of not running into Federer in the final at Wimbledon. A parallel being Federer not running into Nadal in the FO final. Roddick has the game to win at Wimbledon. He proved it this year. If Andy’s going to win only one more major, I hope it’s Wimbledon. He’s suffered some tough defeats in the finals. Maybe he can pull off a Goran and get 1 Big W for his trophy case.


sensationalsafin Says:

Safin was injured tons of times. 01, 03, 05, 06, 07, 08, to name a few years.


grendel Says:

of course, SG, Goran had one huge slice of luck. Remember, he was 2-1 down against Henman – and then the rain came down. Henman, in the company of about 50 million Brits, had all night to think about it, and not surprisingly he proved unable to do the business.

Perhaps that’s what Roddick needs, a little bit of help from the heavens at the appropriate moment. But it’s going to be tougher for him. Murray will surely have learnt his lesson, and stop this passive nonsense. Nadal will be back. Cilic and delPo will be better, and eager to go. Tsonga hasn’t shown up yet, but he’s definitely got the game for grass.

It’s gonna be a tall order for Roddick. Destiny came calling, and he spurned it. He may have missed the boat.


anonymous coward Says:

Gosh. I just read this article and went straight for the comments and got lost. Well almost nobody really discussed the news.

Marat might not be raking interest as he used to be… or this is just an old story we’re getting used to, eh?

I’ve been clawing my way through Safin’s interview transcripts and boy he does repeat himself: the season is too long – referring to Russia winning DC 2006 and then defending it just months later.

Tennis is a hard life. And not enough pay, I think.

Basketball stars don’t work as much, because it’s a five-man game, and they have ‘real’ rest. But they pile up millions and millions into their bank accounts.

Marat is one of the reasons I watch tennis.
Now he’s leaving I’m getting bored at my once shining prospects.

Aah.


anonymous coward Says:

I forgot. Basketball has subs too..


jane Says:

anonymous coward, this thread is off topic and doesn’t discuss Safin that much mainly because if you look on the previous thread (Blake bids for Nadal upset), that’s where most of us had already commented on Safin’s words after the Berdych match. Many posters at this site love the guy and like you will miss him a lot.

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