Djokovic Takes Down Federer in Switzerland; Murray Victorious in Valencia
by Sean Randall | November 8th, 2009, 12:28 pm
  • 193 Comments

That was not a good performance from Roger Federer. But credit to Novak Djokovic for playing a significant role in Fed’s level. In relatively comfortable fashion the Serb took down Federer in his backyard of Basel today 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to win his fourth title of the season.

The loss for Federer was his first in 20 matches in Basel where he was champion the last three years. But Djokovic, who was lucky just to be in the title bout after saving three matchpoints in a win yesterday over Radek Stepanek, was simply the better man, the better player today.

Djokovic grabbed the first set by saving five break points in an epic 24 minute game.

Federer recovered a break and strengthened his play in the second, but Novak quickly regained the momentum in the third jumping out to a 4-0 lead.

An error-prone Federer, who had not dropped a set or lost a service game on his way to the final, was broken four times and his forehand really let him down as he lost a final for the third time this season, following defeats at the Australian and U.S. Open. Federer converted just 2 of 11 break chances.

Novak has now won three of five meetings from Federer this year, but the Swiss still leads overall 9-5.

But for Federer it has to be a tough loss, a loss I admit I did not see coming. Losing to Djokovic is bad, losing to Djokovic in Switzerland is worse. And once again we see Federer struggling in deciding sets. We saw it at the US Open in the fifth against Del Potro and of course earlier in the year and during the second half of 2008. It seems on hardcourts he becomes very vulnerable in final sets and this problem is not going away. (I wonder if a year-end No. 1 has ever lost more final sets than he wins?)

For Novak, clearly one of his biggest and best wins of his career. By his own admission Djokovic was having a good week, but what a way to finish. Let’s see if he can ride the confidence from beating Federer in Switzerland to bigger and better things.

No surprises in Valencia as Andy Murray won his ATP-best sixth title of the year with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over unseeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny. Murray 14th career title lifts the Scot to a perfect 12-0 mark indoors this season, and that’s a good sign with the London championships on the horizon.

As for the No. 1 race, with a missed title in Basel Federer’s lead over Nadal is around 1,100 points heading into two major events, Paris (worth 1,000 pts) and London (worth 1,500 pts). And if needed, Nadal can collect extra points at the Davis Cup. So Federer can salt away the race in Paris, but Nadal can make up a lot of ground if he plays well and really put the pressure on Federer in London.

Federer, Djokovic, Murray and Rafael Nadal will all be competing this week in the Paris Indoors, the final ATP event of the regular season.

Quotes:

Djokovic: “It is definitely a big achievement to beat Roger in his home city and country. He had a huge amount of pressure on him to win today. I hope the crowd enjoyed it, I think we played a great match. I am really, really satisfied with this week.

“I started feeling really tense in the last game of the first set. He had a lot of break points and I had a lot of set points. It was funny for the crowd to guess who would win the game. I think it was the turning point, as once I won the set I started to feel better and more confident.

“Nothing is easy, believe me, against Roger. I knew he was going to try to come back at any time. Although I was two breaks up [in the third set], he had some break points but I served well at the key moments.”

Federer: “I think the lack of opportunities was the problem today. I missed too many chances throughout the match. Novak played well and make it tough for me to get chances, but when I had them he also played well.

“I think I could have played a bit better from the baseline, a bit more aggressive. I was maybe lacking a bit of timing on my backhand side, but it was still a good tournament for me. I think with a few adjustments I could have done better, but I’m still happy.

“I have won this tournament three times; nobody can take that away from me. That is why I am perhaps a little bit more relaxed, having lost today, even though I would have liked to have won. It is such a special place, playing in front of so many people I know. Also, playing in this part of Switzerland, it is special to be here. I will be back next year, hopefully better and stronger.

“We have some exciting weeks ahead of us, for all the players. I won Roland Garros in the summer, now I return to Paris. Of course having won Wimbledon, I will return to London. It will be interesting to see how the crowds will be, as I have never gone back to Paris as the Roland Garros champion. I am feeling well and mentally fresh. I am in the mood to do well there.”


Also Check Out:
Federer Reaches Basel QFs, Djokovic Plays Thursday; Murray Alive in Valencia
Tennis Players Top List Of Olympic Flag Bearers – Updated
Federer Begins Bid For Sixth Basel Title Monday, Murray Withdraws; Ferrer, Tsonga In Valencia Where Ferrero Set To Retire
Watch Roger Federer Get Carried Around The Court After Putting Switzerland In Davis Cup Finals [Video]
Federer, Djokovic Close In On Basel Final; Del Potro Stays In London Hunt

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

193 Comments for Djokovic Takes Down Federer in Switzerland; Murray Victorious in Valencia

huh Says:

Congrats to Mrs. Jane, Sars and all the other Djoko fans! It’s not bad for my Fed to lose to Djoko in a 3-setter. Must have been a good match, but I couldn’t watch it thanks to my out-of-oder TV.


been there Says:

“(I wonder if a year-end No. 1 has ever lost more final sets than he wins?)”

I don’t think it matters much given that Fed’s the only one reaching majority of the finals…with a perfect 4 finals appearances in ’09 slams. He’s waiting, & the challengers keep changing….so he wins some, & loses others..but he’s been the constant in slam finals…then you add a few 250s, 500s & masters finals here & there.

Basically, it would only matter if someone else made as many finals appearances as him.


huh Says:

Sean, Fed’ll come back, rest assured!


huh Says:

been there: Very well said! :)


Philip Says:

Fed put in a poor performance and it was still 3 sets. I didn’t think any of Fed’s shots had any punch and all the errors were just awful. So many shanks and several balls hitting the middle of the net. Inexplicable.

Honestly, maybe he’s slowly warming up after the long layoff but his current form doesn’t look that good going into Paris and year end finals.

He got to the final but he played a bunch of people who never had a chance in hell of beating him even if they played the match of their life. I didn’t really think Fed’s play throughout the week was that good. He was just cruising. But as as soon as he meets a decent player, he loses. And Djokovic wasn’t playing that well either.

Anyway, I’m sounding critical but know that I’m a huge Fed fan. It’s just disappointing to see him lose in this fashion, especially to Djokovic.


jane Says:

Thanks huh. No, it wasn’t Fed’s best performance, nor his worst. He served well today and he returned pretty well also. Just too many errors, especially on the forehand side. But he battled. I am just happy for Djoko’s win, and I think he stuck with it and showed some fighting spirit this week, which is great.


i am it Says:

this is a repost from the other thread as it fits in more here.
Dj leads Fed 3-2 in h2h this year. since 2008, they tie at 4-4.
Since 2007, i.e. the breakthrough year for Dj, Fed leads 7-5, which is not that bad, though his overall still stands at 9-5.
======================================
as for the year-end ranking scenario,
Update for the Top 4, as of today, after Paris and YEC point deduction.

Federer——-10,140
Rafa———-8,845
Djokovic——7,000 (or 7,120?)
Murray——–6,540

yes, Sean, Rafa can add some 300 points from Davis Cup, if Spain wins, which is almost certain.

(1) if Rafa reaches the Paris final (+600),
and Fed loses at the quarter (+180),

Fed——10,140+180= 10320
Rafa—–8845 + 600 =9445

at YEC, say Rafa wins 3 RR, and Fed wins 2 RR,
Fed————-10320+400= 10720
Rafa————9445+600= 10,045 (his DC points won’t be enough to pass Fed)

(2) if Rafa wins Paris title (+1000) and Fed loses in the semi
Fed———–10,140 + 360 = 10,500
Rafa———-8845 + 1000 = 9,845

at YEC, Rafa wins semi and Fed wins 3 RR,
Fed——-10,500 + 600 = 11,100
Rafa——9,845 + 1000 = 10,845 (add 300+ points from DC, Rafa regains year-end No. 1).

(3) if both Rafa and Fed reach the Semi at Paris,
Fed——–10,140 + 360 = 10,500
Rafa——-8845 + 360 = 9,205

at YEC, Rafa wins the title without losing a single match, and Fed wins only 2 RR,

Fed————10,500 + 400 = 10,900
Rafa———–9,205 + 1,500 = 10,705 (with DC points, Rafa regains the No. 1).

the point is it is possible but not quite probable for Rafa to reclaim the No. 1. all Fed will need to do is reach semi at the Bercy and win 3 RR (or 2 RR and 1 semi) at London, he is safe.


madmax Says:

been there, I thought your post was brilliant! Sean seemed to forget to mention that! (the fed reaching the finals in the first place..ha..hummm!)-

absolutely. massive congratulations to novak fans – he played a great match -though also – many UE’s from novak – but nothing taken away from him – he was the better player on the day! no question.

I know that this will make federer even more determined, huh! to win the next tourny! if he wins all of them, all of the time – he would be just horizontal – dont you think? he knows the stakes are high – he deliberately missed out the asian swing, so he could concentrate on basel, paris and london – he has planned his strategy! Now, he takes a couple of days off before he plays again – then gets right back on that horse and this time – wins! come on the fed!

i am it, i am slowly taking in all the maths above! you obviously have the knack for this!

Phillip, if you dont mind me saying, fed did have an easier ride this week, than novak (you are right), BUT did you see the draw that murray had in valencia? he played unseeded Youzhny in the final – murray cruised.

Fed played the No.3 player in the world, who 12 months ago, was 20 points away from taking Fed’s no. 2 position – novak was THAT close. So really, novak is working hard to move ever closer to rafa and eventually, (not before 3 years, please novak!), will be a No. 1 in the world, am sure of it. But federer did not play badly, just not one of his best. He always brings his best to the slams however. He is a different beast, and I very much look forward to that.


Gordo Says:

Hey Jane – you have to be happy. A good win for the Djoker. He did 2 things that were especially impressive this week – yesterday in the semi finals he saved 3 consecutive match points when he was down 0-40 against Stepanek. Today he saved I think it was 4 break points in the first set that probably would have sent the first set to a tiebreaker. I’m not saying he would not have won that set, but his “let’s get his done” attitude was impressive indeed.

Fed has got to be irked. Not that he lost in the final of what was clearly a warm-up event because he took so much time off, but that it happened in his own back yard.

He might be an angry soul in Paris.

Speaking of angry, does any tennis player look more like an out of control serial killer than Andy Murray? I think you can play tunes on his neck muscles. His jaw and neck must have gotten a real workout as a boy eating all that haggis.

And back to Basel for a second – as it was for over 3 years when Federer and Nadal were clearly (both in play and in the rankings) the #1 and #2 players the same is happening in doubles where the number one Bryan brothers have a really tough time with Nestor/Zimonic. The Canadian/Serbian team has spanked the Bryans 5 out of the 6 times they have played this year, including today. Last year the #1 team ranking went down to the final match of the year, with N/Z winning. It looks like this could repeat itself in London.

Fun times in the sport!

And I am it – thanks for the calculations! I need a new accountant – are you available? :)


i am it Says:

Paris won’t be easy for Rafa, though the draw is bit favorable to him up to the quarterfinal, compared to other top 4, again depends on how you look and how it opens up later. revisit my summary of the draw here and Sean’s predictions, which are usually wild, but this time he may get it right:
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-11-04/2586.php#comment-105531
=========================================

Fast forward to London,
assuming Roddick withdraws, the top 8 are

1. Fed, 2. Rafa, 3. Dj, 4. Murray, 5. DelPo, 6. Davy, 7. Verdasco, and 8. Gonzu or Soderling

Since 2002, No. 1 has drawn No. 8 four times in the 1st Rd. and No. 7 three times.
if the pattern (1,3, 5, 8) of ’08, ’04, and ’02 holds, the draw would be like
Red Group
1. Fed
3. Djoko
5. DelPo
8. Gonzu/ Soderling

Gold Group
2. Rafa
4. Murray
6. Davy
7. Verdasco

Assessment: Fed should do better than Rafa here, as Rafa will have to beat Murray and Davy, and Fed will have to beat Dj and DelPo. But Dj should come out as one of the semifinalists from Red Group and play Rafa or Murray in the semi. Fed would prefer Rafa in the semi.

(2) If the 2nd pattern of ’06 and ’07 (1,4,5,7) holds, the draw would be like

Red Group
1. Fed
4. Murray
5. DelPo
7. Verdasco

Gold Group
2. Rafa
3. Djoko
6. Davy
8. Gonzu/ Soderling

Assessment: this would be a neutral draw because Fed will have to get past Murray and DelPo, and Rafa will have Djoko and Davy to get through. I’d still give Fed a slight advantage.

(3) If a 3rd type, the 2003 YEC draw (1,4,6,7), repeats, the draw would be

Red Group
1. Fed
4. Murray
6. Davy
7. Verdasco

Gold Group
2. Rafa
3. Djoko
5. DelPo
8. Soderling or Gonzu

Assessment: This draw absolutely suits Fed. Rafa is toast here, not sure if he can win more than 1 RR on this one.


madmax Says:

I am it! I think you are my new best friend! Purely because, tennis critics like you in terms of your calculations are rare to find indeed. You are quite brilliant, I think!

Now. HUH! should you return this evening, I have found a wonderful interview given by federer on sunday evening (last week), prior to Basel rounds this week – very truthful – this is what he wants to hear from all those around him – the full article is about a page long – but i have cut out one paragraph about federer’s aspirations in terms of playing tennis. You’ll find the full article on GoTennis.com – it’s brilliant. This was the question which i thought was fab :-

Interviewer:

What is it like when you know you don’t have to work anymore?

Federer:
I don’t see it that way. Though I know. It’s a funny feeling, a good feeling. It is especially relaxing to know that I have won the French Open and the 15th Grand Slam titles. That I managed it within a month takes away a lot from the pressure of having to prove myself again. But I still have the bite, although I have lost the U.S. Open final. And I think the match (against Del Potro), I should never have lost. But maybe I went through too many things earlier this year, so what I had in the end wasn’t quite sufficient. I had muddled through the French Open and Wimbledon by too many matches. Luck was just maybe not on my side for once. But the bite is there, and the joy and love for the sport is bigger than ever. Therefore I don’t consider this question at all.

Read more: http://www.gototennisblog.com/2009/11/04/the-truth-about-roger-federer-he-wants-the-truth/

The ‘bite’ is still there huh! Thats good enough for me!


Robert m Petrozzi Says:

The greatest of all time should sooner or later consider retirement while still at the top and be remembered as the Greatest!However I would like to see more and more matches of this gretest of champions,I wish him welland if fate has it let him win more grand slams!


jane Says:

Thanks Gordo – yep happy! Did you see that Nestor/Zims won also, and sar has pointed out that if Nestor wins Paris he’ll have won em all! A golden slam and every event – not too shabby for a Serbian-Canadian tennis player.

i am it, you are to go-to guy for math. Wowsa. I can’t do all those calculations. It’s enough that I can follow yours!


Robert m Petrozzi Says:

I wish the Fed the v best!


sar Says:

Thanks I am it for all the stats you do every day.

Jane, that Globe and Mail article you posted the other thread was prophetic.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/match-tough/dwarfed-by-nadal-and-federer/article1353749/

While he looked strangely resigned in his losses to Federer in Cincinnati and at the US Open, lately there has been a renewed confidence and spark in his game. It indicates that things could be different if he is to meet the great Swiss in Sunday’s final, even if it’s in front of the Federer faithful at an event where he used to be a ballboy.


sar Says:

The Bryans are missing only IW so I hope N&Z win Paris and Bryans win IW.


i am it Says:

correction to Dj’s ranking points, it is 6910, not 7000 or 7120.

j. this is how the math is done. it is not that complicated. you can learn if you pay attention to this. this correction counts 17 events, as it should. remember there are 2 events to go (Paris and London), and for Top 8, 19 events are counted (YEC, 4 Slams, 8 Masters, optional Monte Carlo, 4 500-series, and 2 250-series, but the caveat is if you played MC and DC and earned higher points
than the lowest best in the 500-series, your 500-series will be reduced to 2 best results).

Dj’s Race Point breakdown, i.e. points earned this year:
1. USO-720 2.Wimby-360. 3.AO-360. 4. RG-90. 5.Cincy-600. 6.Rome-600. 7. Monte Carlo-600. 8. Miami-600. 9.Shanghai-360. 10.Madrid-360. 11.Canada-180. 12.IW-180. 13. Beijing-500. 14.Dubai-500. 15.Basel-500. 16.Belgrade-250. 17. Halle-150
Total: 6910

Non-countables:
Marseille-90
Sydney—-90
Davis Cup-10

The error i made earlier because of this ATP page, which has erroneously kept Marseille-90 and Sydney-90 under Best of Other Countable Tournaments.
see here http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Top-Players/Novak-Djokovic.aspx?t=rb


jane Says:

sar, I guess it was! I agree about the “renewed spark” but I also felt that the ONE thing that Djoko had going for him heading into the finals — as I honestly felt the odds were stacked against him — was that he has been showing a “fighting” side lately, and I think he’d gotten tired of losing in finals, as he’s been in so many this year but has lost more than he has won – as least now it’s 4-5. Maybe, too, the taste of victory in Bejing sparked a hunger in him that had been sort of missing. Anyhow, in the end, all that matters is the W. I hope he continues to do well!

Also agree with you on the Bryans – be great for them to have a complete set too!


margot Says:

jane: re serial killer, it’s Gordo on this thread. Not nice.


jane Says:

Gordo – you need to take that back about Murray; I missed it earlier. He’s just expressing his happiness and/or frustration. Whether he has tight neck muscles or not doesn’t make him look out of control to me. He’s utterly in control, and looks more like a tennis champion! Don’t be mean to Mr. Murray please. You’ll make some ladies around here perturbed.


huh Says:

Hi madmax:
Great interview by Fed, thanks for providing it! My belief in Roger’s wisdom’s vindicated by his insightful and typical answers. He’s thankfully not just the best tennis player, but also one of the best personalities, probably one of the least imperfect in this imperfect world. Really thanks for giving the link!


huh Says:

Right now, the most important thing’s that I really want to see Fed end this year as the top player.


huh Says:

I’d be utterly disappointed if Fed couldn’t end the year as No.1.


madmax Says:

huh, i’m with you there buddy – 100%.

Federer is just /awesome to me.
great discussions today, especially from you, i am it, been there, jane and margot – i have felt really at home here guys – thank you. really.

until tomorrow. xx


madmax Says:

huh! I have complete faith in the fed. I really do. He said he wants to end the year no. 1 and I believe he will!


huh Says:

It’d be a shame if Fed doesn’t end this year as No.1!


huh Says:

‘Hey i am it: You are a professional mathematician, statistician or what? ;) Thanks anyway for your tennis maths, it takes mind and dedication to do what you do. Kudos!


huh Says:

It was May this year when a man called Federer defeated a guy called Rafa in his own backyard, when all thought otherwise. And the rest is history!
Again today the same man Federer lost to a guy called Djokovic in, again, his OWN backyard. So would history be made by this Djoko fellow too? I’m waiting eagerly for next year’s slams.


huh Says:

I somehow get the feeling that Djoko’ll be much stronger next year and would perform much much better than he’s in 2009.


huh Says:

I JUST HATE TENNIS!


sheila Says:

yuck, my two least fvt players won. murray in valencia & djokovic in basel. hope roger bounces back although my consolation is in knowing djokovic will never win 15 majors. nadal maybe, but djokovic i doubt. also hope that if fed loses #1 ranking it is to nadal not whiney murray & mr macho man djokovic. 2010 is looking more & more interesting. roger did play a poor match against djokovic & he did have easy matches going into finals. just hope he gets the forehand back on track.


sar Says:

Sheila, I hope you don’t get too aggravated in 2010 when Djokovic and/or Murray take a slam.


Kimo Says:

To all my fellow Fed fans: Fed’s a lock for year end no.1. You can rest assured.

Sure he didn’t find his A game today, but so what? He’s only human, and the older he gets the more human he’ll become. The years where Roger has an 81-4 or 92-5 year W/L reocrds are simply over, and that’s only natural. I doubt Fed will be able to win three slams a year again, but he did that three times already.

We Fed fans must be at peace with the fact that Roger will lose a few more matches than we are used to, but he’ll still win tournaments, he’ll improve his slam record, and he’ll make it darn tough for anyone to snatch the no.1 ranking away from him. That’s saying something. Consider the fact that Roger’s 28, and the 4 players behind him in the rankings are 23(and he’s already past his peak), 22, 22 and 20. That’s how good our Fed is. The fact that he has dominated all those years despite being a lot older than his competitors is a testament to his genius. He’s been playing on borrowed time for at least two years now, and he has managed to make the most of it, unless you consider completing his career slam and breaking the slam record pathetic achievements.

There is a sense of serenity about him now. Losses don’t hurt as much, yet wins taste just as sweet.

And btw, watch out for Roger at the YEC, coz I bet he’ll have one thing on his mind: proving to all his challengers that he’s still the king. Paris Bercy doesn’t matter as much to him imho, so he won’t bring out his best tennis for that tournemant, but come the YEC, watch out.


contador Says:

thanks kimo: well said, too


Fed is GOAT Says:

Kimo,

Your point on Fed’s age is very valid. I have been saying the same for a while. In comparison, Sampras never had to face a 6-time slam champion 5 years younger. Ever.

I think next year Djoke will win at least one slam. I think he’s better than Murray. I just don’t think Murray can cut it in slams.

DelPo is the X-factor. I am not sure which way he will go.

Fed and Rafa can be counted to win one slam each.

So my prediction for 2010 is Fed, Rafa, Djoke win one each. The fourth is up for grabs.

The year end no 1 is a virtual lock for Federer. He just needs 1200 points from both tournaments to be absolutely certain – assuming Rafa wins everything. Otherwise less will do. A semi in Paris and just two RR wins will pretty much mean that Rafa must win make the final in Paris and win YEC. Not likely.


sar Says:

1. I think Novak’s fitness coach deserves a raise. No retirements since AO.
2. I think Novak will win one next year. Hoping for the RG title as his next one, just don’t know which year.


Daniel Says:

I am it,

I am wondering about this:
“but the caveat is if you played MC and DC and earned higher points than the lowest best in the 500-series, your 500-series will be reduced to 2 best results”

If this is true, Rafa will almost gain nothing with DC, even if Spain wins it. Because the DC points will surpass Beijing points (180), since he did play MC (which nwill enter as his 4th 500 tourney).

So he can gain tops 200 points wiht DC if he plays and wins his 2 matches.

I was kind of concerned that Fed could lose the n. 1 ranking due to DC points (doens’t seems fair to me to give DC points anyhow). But now that Rafa can’t gain that much points it won’t make that big of a differnece. It will all comes down to Paris and London, and Rafa still depends on Fed’s results to have a shot at N. 1.

A win for Fed in Paris and he secures Year End N. 1, no matter how Rafa performs.

Back to Basel,

Great win for Djoko, although Fed hit too many forehands in the net. That game when Djoko served for the first set I counted 5. This is a yellow light: He lost the last two finals he played.

But as he said, returning to Paris having won there the last time must be something special, will see..!


i am it Says:

Correction: Rafa can add only 220 points from Davis Cup.

How?
He played 2 1st Rd. matches (Rubbers)and has earned 80 points so far. He will play finals, for which the winner gets 75 points for each win, but there is a rule that awards only 70/match to a player who has missed preceding rounds.
this changes the Scenario 2 and 3 in my math above.

Redo of hypothesis 2
Fed——-11,100
Rafa——10,845 (add 220 points from DC, Rafa does not regain No. 1).

Redo of Hypothesis 3
Fed————10,900
Rafa———–10,705 (with 220 DC points, Rafa regains the No. 1 by mere 25 points, which would be insanely disastrous for Fed).

Fed has not sealed the deal yet, but that does not mean Rafa has or will, for which Paris and London would have to be flawless for Rafa, and a worst fall for Fed. Since Fed’s first YEC in 2002, he has won 27 matches, compared to Rafa’s 4, basically Fed leads Rafa 27-4 at YEC. Last year was the only year Fed won less than 3 matches (3 matches in ’02; 5 each in ’03 and ’04; 4 in ’05; 5 in ’06; 4 in ’07; and 1 in ’08).

For details, see my post above in this thread. click here: http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-11-08/2609.php#comment-106127

for the Davis Cup rules regarding ranking points click here:

http://www.daviscup.com/news/newsarticle.asp?articleid=14562


contador Says:

yeah, i think fed will be motivated and do enough to hang on to his #1. the loss today was strange. his reaction loss should be interesting.

the quarterfinal or semi in paris for roger and rafa. if the past week is any indication, nole and murray look in the best shape for paris final.

not convinced about delpo winning another GS any time soon.


Giner Says:

FIG:

“I think next year Djoke will win at least one slam. I think he’s better than Murray. I just don’t think Murray can cut it in slams.”

I have greater expectations of Murray than Djokovic at the slams. Unfortunately, he just hasn’t delivered on them. I think he’s a better player than Djoko on any surface except clay, and while Djoke will contend for the slams, if either one of them was to win one, I would bet on Murray.

Having said that, I think Del Potro, if he plays as good as he did during the US summer swing, is better than both of them. He has a losing record against Murray but I don’t think that will faze him anymore. He’s beaten Murray to his first slam which puts Murray in an awkward position among the top 6 as being the only one without a slam.

There’s no question Murray is overhyped, but to me he has more talent than Djokovic. I just hope he doesn’t turn out to be one of those Safin or Nalbandian types.


i am it Says:

Daniel,
not exactly. if you have played MC, you will have 3 spots for 5-series. if you have played DC, read this, please:
Q. What are the ranking rules for players who compete in Davis Cup?
A. Davis Cup points will be awarded for the first time in 2009 for World Group and World Group playoff ties only. Points allocated are as part of the 500 point category. Davis Cup does not count towards a player’s commitment to the 500 category. The points accumulated in the four ties within the previous 52 weeks can become part of a player’s 500 category if:

1. Player has not more than three 500 results within the previous 52 weeks and Davis Cup result(s) is better than lowest best other.
2. Player has four 500 results within the previous 52 weeks and Davis Cup result(s) is better than the lowest 500. Also, 500 0-pointers cannot be replaced.


Daniel Says:

So, DC will surpass Beijing adding only 40 points (220 from DC – 180 from Beijing).

This is my doubt?

He will have MC (1000 pts), Barcelona (500 pts), Rotterdam (300 pts), DC (220 pts) and Beijing (180). Beijing will entre as Non-countable tourney replacing DC if he does win 220 points with it. So you will have to reconsider your scenarios again cause he can only add 40 points with DC.


contador Says:

to clarify: federer’s reaction to losing in basel should be interesting. will he want to redeem himself?

hard to imagine he feels the need to prove anything or win anything again. he has to win or at least go deep to remain #1.

wonder how anything tennis can still motivate him? he has it all. he has more than anyone, so far, anyway.


i am it Says:

Daniel, in a sense you are right that Rafa’s DC points won’t make much difference because his DC’s 220 points will replace his Beijing 180 points. Net gain: 40 points.


Giner Says:

i am it: Did you take off last year’s points when you did your calculations?

“with 220 DC points, Rafa regains the No. 1 by mere 25 points, which would be insanely disastrous for Fed”

I wouldn’t exactly call that disastrous. He was 10 points away from being pushed to 3rd seed at the Aussie Open by Novak. Novak only needed to win one match at Brissy but the tennis gods helped Fed out with Novak’s draw (first round match with Gulbis).

25 points he will almost certainly regain early next year. Being year end #1 is just for bragging rights.

Daniel: “If this is true, Rafa will almost gain nothing with DC, even if Spain wins it. Because the DC points will surpass Beijing points (180), since he did play MC (which nwill enter as his 4th 500 tourney).”

Incorrect. The Masters Cup (now called ATP World Tour Finals) never counts as a 500 tourney. If a player qualifies for it, it’s a bonus event that always counts regardless of other results. From the ATP website:

“The eight players who qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals will count an additional 19th tournament on their ranking.”

Additionally, I’m not sure what Davis Cup counts towards. It might count as a 250 tournament perhaps. Who knows.


Daniel Says:

Sorry I am it, not read your last post.

So, he will have MC, Barcelona, Rotterdam, Beijing and DC. But why the ATP site are not counting the actual DC points he has as a 500? If what you are saying is true the 80 points he has now should already be at the 500 category.

I think as Paris points will be added next week MC will get down as a 4th 500 and DC stays out unless he gains more than 180 points to surpass Beijing. Note that he didn’t play two 250 tourney. He will end this season with 18 countable tourney, Year end included:

- 4 Slams
- 1 YEC
- 8 Master 1000
- 4 500 (MC, Barcelona, Rotterdam, DC)
- 1 250 (Doha)

What you are saying is that he will have 19:
- 5 500 (MC, Barcelona, Rotterdam, DC and Beijing)


Daniel Says:

Giner,

The MC I was referring to is Monte Carlo.


Daniel Says:

Once again I am it, you were ahead of me.
I am aslow typer and checking Rafa atp page at the same time, so, you are making me sound reduntant! :)

At least one of my fears has gone. It would be very strange if they were so close at the end that Federer would have to wait, hoping for Rafa to loses a DC match, cause that would decide the Year End N. 1. It would be akward.


i am it Says:

Daniel says, “A win for Fed in Paris and he secures Year End N. 1, no matter how Rafa performs.”

True, but that is unlikely to happen, considering Fed’s past performances at Paris. However, i am hopeful that he will do better than last year. he should get to semi. the reasons are: with the reconstruction, Paris surface this year is faster than previous years; Federer is healthy, rested, and match-grooved for Paris.

On the other hand, Fed may not need to reach quarter or semi at Paris, if Rafa tumbles early. plus, i would be shocked if Rafa wins YEC without losing a match. for me, an ailing Rafa achieving all that is inconceivable this year, not on indoor hard.


sensationalsafin Says:

Djokovic and Murray are identical and yet so different at the same time. I have big expectations for their rivalry. So far they’ve only met in Masters. That’s pretty cool.

But I’m still rooting for Djokovic. And I don’t know how Murray has a better chance at winning slams than Djokovic. Djokovic has already made 5 straight slam semis in his career which means he reached all 4 semis at least once. What’s Murray done? 3 semis with 1 final in his career? Pfft.


jane Says:

Giner says ” Being year end #1 is just for bragging rights.”

Not necessarily: if Fed wants to surpass Pete’s weeks at number 1, ending the year at number 1 would allow him to carry it for longer. So it matters. Moreover, he has a fair bit to defend next year: finals in the AO, semis at Doha, IW, Miami; then winner at Madrid, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Cincy, then finals at the USO. That’s a lot when the competition is getting deeper. So if Fed wants to break that other record, then ending this year number 1, imo, is pretty important.

Also, while Murray may/may not have more talent than Djoko (I like them both and see them as having different strengths and weaknesses), it remains to be seen how they’ll do at the slams. I guess you see Murray as having better chances at slams, and he may indeed have that. But personally I think they have about equal chances at a slam next year. Either one could win at the hardcourt slams, Murray has a better shot on grass and Djoko on clay. That’s how I’d divvy up their chances, and lots depends on draws too.

I just hope they both get one next year, that’s all.


Kimmi Says:

“It would be very strange if they were so close at the end that Federer would have to wait, hoping for Rafa to loses a DC match, cause that would decide the Year End N. 1. It would be akward.”

this situation will be very akward..I agreed. And if it has to happen, there will be a very small chance that rafa will lose a DC match – on clay.


i am it Says:

Daniel says, “What you are saying is that he will have 19:
- 5 500 (MC, Barcelona, Rotterdam, DC and Beijing)”

Yes, he will have 19 but only in the format= 1 YEC +4 Slams + 8 Masters + four 500-series, MC can replace one and DC can replace another if it has more points + two 250-series.
No, he cannot have five 500-series, with or without MC and DC. He can only have 4, including everything. there is no bonus tournament in ATP ranking system.
You already figured out the most difficult part, i.e. why DC’s 80 points sitting under Non-countable.
i can tell you are smarter than most i have encountered on this matter.


Daniel Says:

Yes, I am it, I agree with you regarding Rafa.
If he ends up with Djoko, Del Potro and Tsonga/ Soderling in his round he can very well wins not a single match.

Jane, you are totalyy right: Ending this year as N. 1 it’s crucial to Federer intentions on surpassing Pete’s record and a possible tie with 6 Year End Finales, if he manages another one in the next years.

Plus, he will tie Lendl as the only man to have ever lost and reclaimed Year End N. 1 Rabking, which is a pretty big deal for his resumé.


i am it Says:

Thanks, Daniel, for making me aware of the glitch.
Corrected Version
yes, Sean, Rafa can add some 300 points from Davis Cup, if Spain wins, which is almost certain.

(1) if Rafa reaches the Paris final (+600),
and Fed loses at the quarter (+180),

Fed——10,140+180= 10320
Rafa—–8845 + 600 =9445

at YEC, say Rafa wins 3 RR, and Fed wins 2 RR,
Fed————-10320+400= 10720
Rafa————9445+600= 10,045 (his DC points won’t be enough to pass Fed)

(2) if Rafa wins Paris title (+1000) and Fed loses in the semi
Fed———–10,140 + 360 = 10,500
Rafa———-8845 + 1000 = 9,845

at YEC, Rafa wins semi and Fed wins 3 RR,
Fed——-10,500 + 600 = 11,100
Rafa——9,845 + 1000 = 10,845 (add 40 points from DC, not enough).

(3) if both Rafa and Fed reach the Semi at Paris,
Fed——–10,140 + 360 = 10,500
Rafa——-8845 + 360 = 9,205

at YEC, Rafa wins the title without losing a single match, and Fed wins only 2 RR,

Fed————10,500 + 400 = 10,900
Rafa———–9,205 + 1,500 = 10,705 (DC’s 40 points, not enough for Rafa to regain the No. 1).

See this post of mine and my conversation with Daniels, if you want crack the nut about Rafa’s possible DC points 220, which will replace Beijing 180 points, with a net gain of 40 points.
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-11-08/2609.php/comment-page-2#comment-106202


i am it Says:

correction of the correction:
delete this sentence: “yes, Sean, Rafa can [not] add some 300 points from Davis Cup, if Spain wins, which is almost certain.”


i am it Says:

Daniel,
actually i don’t care if fed surpasses Sampras’ records or not, though it would be nice.
most would agree that, with 2 Slams plus other results, fed deserves more than anyone else to finish this year with no. 1. so, i would like to see him do it. next year is a different story.


Kimmi Says:

SS, different players breakthru at different stages in their career. Some when are very young and some a little bit older. I agree that Djoko has made a lot of GS semi and win 1 in his career, which is very good but I also think Murray is not going to stop here. Last year was his breakthru year, even though he has not done very well in slams than a semi (wimbledon) this year he has been consistent in best of three tournaments which I believe will eventually translate in slams.

Will you consider Djoko not good enough due to his GS results this year(QF, 3rd, QF and semi)? probably not. So to discount Murray abilities very early in his career.. does not just cut it.


sensationalsafin Says:

(AO, FO, W, USO)

Djokovic Murray
2007 R16, SF, SF, F R16, DNP, DNP, R32
2008 W, SF, R64, SF R128, R32, QF, F
2009 QF, R32, QF, SF R16, QF, SF, R16

Overall, the 2 are pretty much equal in 09. But 09 has been Murray’s most consistent year in slams whereas Djokovic’s results have dropped down from previous years. Djokovic can make a lot of improvements, though. He retired at the AO which surely he’s gonna try to avoid doing at all costs from now on. He peaked too early during the clay but was the second best player on clay heading into the FO (don’t forget Nadal only last one more round meaning he also peaked at the wrong time, both can learn). He was nervous against Haas? Hopefully there won’t be any more of this nonsense (it was still a pretty tight match, don’t believe him when he says he’s not comfortable on grass). And he was too content in his semi against Federer (he still kept it close despite Fed’s great play). He can improve everywhere, mainly in terms of mentality, which he’s showing is pretty fixable.

As for Murray, I’m pretty sure he got sick during the AO but he still hung tough against a red hot Verdasco. He lost to Gonzo at the FO in his first QF at the clay slam and Gonzo was playing pretty well (he almost beat Soderling after being down 2 sets). He lost to a super Roddick at Wimbledon and still kept it really close. Let’s not forget Roddick went on to push the King of Grass to 16-14 in the fifth set. And he had a bit of an off day against Cilic who played incredibly well (and was up a set and a break against Del Potro who went on to win the whole thing). People say he’s got a problem against players who really take it to him but it’s not like these players just randomly beat him. Verdasco and Roddick were playing the best tennis of their lives. Gonzo and Cilic went on to really challenge the eventual finalist/champion. Nadal has pegged Murray as a potential Roland Garros champion. That’s gotta say something. The problem with Murray was that he didn’t peak too early or get nervous (maybe he did at Wimbledon) not was he content with reaching where he did. It was his game that let him down. I’m sure he can improve but he’s gotta develop a one-two punch. It’s ridiculous watching him hit an effective serve then play out the point. Just hit a fuggin forehand winner just like every single other player does. You don’t have to do something spectacular every time.

So in terms of who’s gonna get the slam, Djokovic is in a better position. He’s already got a slam and great results at each of the slams so he knows he can do it. It’s just a matter of confidence and he’s been building on it lately. I expect that trend to continue, but still gradually. I don’t think it should be too disappointing if he doesn’t win the AO to immediately make a point. As long as he goes out swinging. Same goes for Murray. He doesn’t have to win the AO but he needs to go out swinging. A straight set loss like at the USO or getting bageled like at the FO is unacceptable. But Murray’s still got a lot of pressure from GB and the press and everyone and he doesn’t have a slam and he doesn’t have a semifinal appearance in all of the slams. Plus he’s gotta become more aggressive. Still. I can’t wait to see this rivalry really take off. I think it’s got tremendous potential.


sensationalsafin Says:

This got a little jumbled up in my last post so hopefully this will make more sense:

Djokovic
2007 R16, SF, SF, F
2008 W, SF, R64, SF
2009 QF, R32, QF, SF

Murray
07 R16, DNP, DNP, R32
08 R128, R32, QF, F
09 R16, QF, SF, R16


sensationalsafin Says:

I’ve been coming out as a Murray hater the last few months and I don’t mean to. I just hate how everyone thinks Murray is so great and completely overlook Djokovic. Djokovic is still the more accomplished player. Murray’s beaten Nadal at his worst slam whereas Djokovic has beaten Federer at… well… a slam where he’s won before… Wow if Nadal does win the USO it’s just gonna be really hard to say anything about either of these guys (Fed or Nadal). Anyways, everyone, and I mean, EVERYONE expects so much from Murray. And it sucks for Murray more than anyone else because it’s tough to do really well when you’re the favorite at 3 outta 4 slams even though you haven’t even won 1!!! I mean cmon. It’s unfair to him and it’s insulting to other more accomplished players.

I think it’s ridiculous to overlook Djokovic. He was the first one to break the Federer and Nadal duopoly. He caused the most significant chink in Federer’s armor. Despite all the losses to Nadal, Federer was still the best against everyone else. Then Djoker beat him at the AO and other players FINALLY started to believe… somewhat. There’s no denying Murray’s talent. But cmon, there’s no denying Djokovic’s talent either. Federer and Nadal have been the big rivalry of the Federer era. Yes, I’m designating it as the Federer era because he was the reigning champ for longer than Nadal made serious inroads. But in this new era that’s gonna feature several great champions, I think Murray and Djokovic will be the big rivalry. Bigger than Djokovic-Nadal and Murray-Nadal… and the rivalries with Del Potro. In the Sampras-Agassi rivalry I rooted for Sampras. In the Federer-Nadal rivalry I rooted for Federer. And in the Djokovic-Murray rivalry I will root for Djokovic. Maybe my trend of rooting for the one with more slams will continue :)


TD (Tam) Says:

Fantastic!


Twocents Says:

Fed’s loss to Djok did not surprise me a bit, jsut like his USO loss to JMDP. Fast court that always favors young legs, his own long break, weak draw, and last but not the least payback.

While we Fed fans cannot stop the clock, I feel blessed that Fed still has many good tennis in him. And losses like this motiviate him as well as his fans :-)).

I would not be surprised either IF he withdraws from Bercy (like last year).


Giner Says:

Daniel Says:

“Giner,

The MC I was referring to is Monte Carlo.”

I see. My bad. I apologise.

SS: “Nadal has pegged Murray as a potential Roland Garros champion. That’s gotta say something.”

I think Nadal is just being polite. The first and only time I’ve heard him say anything covertly negative about another player is when Agassi confessed to taking crystal meth. I don’t think he should have in this instance. There are times when I wish he did criticise people (and he doesn’t) but this was misplaced. I don’t know how much Nadal believes Murray can win a French. If the translation is correct “potential” is very vague and could mean anything. Anyone can have the “potential” to win anything if they get lucky. There’s nothing impossible about it.

“Anyways, everyone, and I mean, EVERYONE expects so much from Murray. And it sucks for Murray more than anyone else because it’s tough to do really well when you’re the favorite at 3 outta 4 slams even though you haven’t even won 1!!! I mean cmon. It’s unfair to him and it’s insulting to other more accomplished players.”

I agree with you here. He faces the kind of pressure Federer faced being favourite to win 3 of 4 slams a year. He has the ability to win, things just don’t go right. Apart from the loss to Gonzalez this year, the other 3 losses were upsets.

He is an excellent Masters Series 1000 player though.

“So in terms of who’s gonna get the slam, Djokovic is in a better position. He’s already got a slam and great results at each of the slams so he knows he can do it. It’s just a matter of confidence and he’s been building on it lately.”

His losses at RG and Wimbledon were very disappointing. His retirement to Roddick, nothing further needs to be said. As for the US Open loss to Federer — it looked like he wasn’t even trying. After he lost the first set, it looked like he gave up and wasn’t taking the match seriously, playing like an exhibition. Fed remained stern and focussed, did not lose concentration.

“Still. I can’t wait to see this rivalry really take off. I think it’s got tremendous potential.”

There is no rivalry really. Until one of them ascends to #2 again or drops to #5, the only place they can meet is in the finals, and that doesn’t happen often because someone has to knock out the #1 and #2.

Actually, it’s not so unlikely. Del Potro could conceivably reach #4 though he has a lot of work to do.

“But in this new era that’s gonna feature several great champions, I think Murray and Djokovic will be the big rivalry. Bigger than Djokovic-Nadal and Murray-Nadal…”

I think this will take a few years before they play each other often enough to make it a rivalry. How many times have they played each other this year? Once I think.

Twocents Says:

“Fed’s loss to Djok did not surprise me a bit, jsut like his USO loss to JMDP. Fast court that always favors young legs, his own long break, weak draw, and last but not the least payback.

While we Fed fans cannot stop the clock, I feel blessed that Fed still has many good tennis in him.”

Andre Agassi was almost 33 when he won his last Slam! What the hell is up with that?! And he was even competing for slam finals at 35 or 36 (he won 3 back to back 5 set matches before losing to Federer at the USO — very impressive for a mid 30′s baseliner without a big serve).

Fed has a more efficient game than Andre. He might have many years left in him!


Giner Says:

“The first and only time I’ve heard him say anything covertly negative about another player is when Agassi confessed to taking crystal meth.”

Correction: covertly = overtly.


sensationalsafin Says:

I said potential. It’ll take time, but don’t forget we’re spoiled by the Fedal rivalry because they’ve met a lot more times than most rivals have in terms of the number of times they play in a year. 09 has been slow for them but there are still 2 big tournaments left.

I think the Roddick loss was less of an upset than the Gonzo loss. Roddick really showed that he didn’t get lucky in beating Murray. The guy is a great grass court player.

The rankings don’t signify a lack of a rivarly.

Maybe Nadal was being polite, I don’t really care. I don’t take what Nadal says seriously. Especially after what he said about Agassi. Federer criticized Agassi, too, but he didn’t call him a cheater. Agassi didn’t cheat. Nadal needs to brush up on his drugs.


Ezorra Says:

ss, this was what Nadal said re Agassi’s confession.

“Cheaters must be punished and IF Agassi was a cheater during his career, he should have been punished.”

source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/sport/nadal-federer-shocked-by-agassi/story-e6frg7mf-1225793001564

I don’t think Nadal call Agassi a cheater…


Mary Says:

“I don’t think Nadal call Agassi a cheater”

Which makes no sense, considering that Agassi is writing and saying that he cheated.


Ezorra Says:

“Which makes no sense, considering that Agassi is writing and saying that he cheated”

which unfortunately i’ve to agree with…


Nina Says:

Murray better than Djokovic? You must be joking, right?
The only reason some people have great expectations for Murray and overlook Djokovic at the same time is because… they’re Brits!
Tennis and patriotism does nothing for me and that’s why I can root for a player based solely on my like/dislike of him. I’m Spanish but I don’t root for Nadal. I root for Djokovic because I believe he’s the next IT guy and he will start his own era soon. The Brits are just too desperate to have a big champion and have all their hopes on Murray. But let’s be honest, Muzz still has to prove a lot. I’m not saying he’s bad, but he still has to achieve what Djoko has achieved and they’re the same age. Novak has a clear advantage and I think 2010 will be his year.


madmax Says:

Everyone, I am absolutely loving your thought-provoking and knowledgeable posts – you are ALL amazing here. Clearly experts and yet I have so much to learn still about ALL players, EXCEPT THE FED.

Huh! and Kimmo – this post
‘Posted November 8th, 2009 at 7:20 pm’ was the best!

Yes, as federer fans we have been so spoilt by this Goliath of tennis – such a unique player, i cannot think of anyone who even resembles federer (a little bit of gasquet, in small doses), i see a baby fed – and also with the bulgarian player, grigor demetriov – i know that demetriov’s coach (ex coach of fed about 7 years ago), says that demetriov is better?! How dare he! Nooooooo..there is no one like federer.

Yes, Kimmo, it is coming to terms with federer not winning everything – been so used to him, but you know, even at 28 – he is in prime condition, (I know some people say, way too late – but remember sampras won his last grand slam, I think at 31, and Agassi at a year older?, so it is possible to be getting better and better-he has got to be one of the best – if not – THE best in terms of calculations on the court (something which murray is also good at – see jane, a compliment for murray!) – i watched his dropshots all year – and how they have developed to become a necessity in his game, especially playing rafa – and it works (not so much on faster, harder courts), but oh-so beautiful to see – the federer ‘of old’ is still there – just got to be a bit more patient. I believe that he has just as much chance (more) than ALL players entering a slam – he is a connoiseur of the game, knows what it takes – in his mind – 7 games to play, just 7 -in a match – so just knock ‘em down, one by one. Federer comes out with his best tennis in the slams, he is a beast!


Duro Says:

Maxi, I said hello to OllyK. She thanked you and asked me to invite you back to TT. If you ask me, you should wait couple of more days if you decide to.


Fed is GOAT Says:

For all the hype about djokovic and Murray – they both managed just one semi each out of the 4 slams in 2009. Nadal managed one win and one semi. Nobody was even close to Fed (2 wins and 2 finals). Heck, Roddick did better than djokovic or murray with at least a final!


Kimmi Says:

Nina, just because your fave player is Djokovic (which you believe will start his own ERA soon ?) it does not mean that Murray is less talented. Since murray breakthrough Djokovic already lost 3 consecutive times to Murray, he must find it difficult to play him…djoko does not just lose to anyone, there must be talent there. I know a lot of people are struggling with Murray personality which is a personal thing…but if you take that aside, he is one of the smartest players on the court. He might not blow you away with big forehand or backhand (which is very solid btw) but a great tactician, movement, expectations. Right now i think he is struggling with the confidence to win a major, I believe as soon as he wins one, he will relax and bring his best tennis forward. Some players are like that, like Federer for example, as soon as he won his first major..Nothing could stop him. Now don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying that Murray will win as many majors as the fed but I see their similarities on being late to make that major breakthrough.


Kimmi Says:

i am it, I see why you had Djoko 7000 points earlier. I see his ranking point as of this monday is 8300. Only one tourney to take away now, so its a little easier…take away 1300 from YEC = 7000.
I am wondering why is the race showing 6910, where is another 90 points deducted from ? I tried to look at his points breakdown, it does not show this. Do you know ? thanks


Duro Says:

Can anybody imagine (a question for everyone) someone to be the fan of Rafa and Fed both?
This is unnatural! It kills the sense of the sports itself, the purpose of athlete’s efforts, work, achievements, joy of winning, pain of losing, everything!

They are rivals! If someone uses that, towards both sides, love for personal promotion here, to be in good relations with everyone, it doesn’t seem right, normal or even sincere. It’s ok and even recommendable to be balanced, to respect every player, but to support something that cannot be supported, two opposite sides in the same time it’s like loving two persons, or cheating on one all the time. I just cannot accept it to be normal. For the fan, no. For the sports commentator and journalist, yes. And what are we here? Analysts or fans, do we love tennis itself without players that constitute it or tennis along with players that we support and love?
Is that possible (that Rafa-Fed in the same time thing)? Oh, yes. The very close friend of mine here, supports Novak and Murray!?

They are rivals, for god sake! They will fight each other for the whole of their careers, as long as they walk and breath!

I also like to be a friend to everyone, but my love is reserved only for the one. Respect to others, ok, but love, love can’t be desecrated!

And now, since someone said that Murray is better player or more talented than Nole, here are some facts. Find the answer here without any of my comments:

Novak has: 1 grand slam title, 1 grand slam final, 4 master series titles, 1 master cup title, 6 master series finals, bronze Olympic medal, total of 15 titles, number 3 in the world since 2007 and still (with 6 months break) and H2H 4:3 against Murray.

Murray has what? 4 masters titles and one grand slam final. That’s all.

No comparison there! When he deserves it I’ll be first to congratulate!


i am it Says:

Kimmi, the reason the so-called “Race” took away another 90 points is they are pre-vacating a spot for Paris, so it is counting only 17 events, where as the “Ranking” is not pre-vacating the 18th spot for Paris, meaning it is counting all 18 events (plus YEC as the 19th).
To summarize, the “Race” is counting 17 events; “Ranking” is counting 18 events plus ’08 YEC points (which will drop off on the 1st Monday before ’09 YEC begins).

When Paris point comes in, they will overlap.
I touched on this issue yesterday here:
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-11-08/2609.php#comment-106157


contador Says:

mr. duro, if i may:

how can anyone not love rafa? i mean off court especially, he is a great human being. on court? i don’t like his style- it’s my personal opinion and a matter of taste. must admire his tennis mind though and fighting spirit on court.

many rafa fans annoy me……but that’s to be expected and exploited…and whole other story. *smiling*

and, all of them are rivals: the whole story is yet to be written, don’t you think? i don’t think any of them emerge as close friends. that would be sort of pie in the sky dreaming. but a respect for each other is likely, although the media will always attempt to get a good story in where possible. cheers


i am it Says:

Ezorra, i hate to say this, but you really provoked me: it is also true rafa “cheats” all the time on court in front of every one’s eyes, taking more than allocated 20 seconds in between points and complains for “cheating.” he “cheats” all the time by adjusting his bikini briefs, socks, hair, and what not; yet, he gives the umpire a nasty look when he is cited for time violation. and a lot of times the rule has not been enforced in his case because of his star power, so i don’t recall him losing a point due to double violation, which he should have. both ATP and rafa are guilty here. all of his titles should be reviewed for forfeiture.

and he is being a hypocrite to defend Gasquet while the case was (and still is) being reviewed and try to to inflict pain upon Agassi, to show his heroism. why did rafa defend Gasquet and intervene in the on-going case when he claims to “the first one” to see the sport of tennis clean?
if he wants to clean the sport, help enforce the time violation, ask for review how many titles of his are in question, don’t try to influence an on-going investigation, and don’t try to inflict more on the person who’s just confessed he did wrong.

do i really think and believe what i said above, in my cool mind? hell, no. it was just a reaction to what you said.
but rafa should remember what goes around comes around.

here is what i think, in tennis, rafa cannot be half of the Agassies (AA and Stef), by any measure in big picture. we are talking about a family and their legacies here. to tell you the truth, rafa has lost a lot of American fans, which includes me.

this bad-mouthing will further diminish rafa’s chances of ever winning the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, which Fed has won for 4 consecutive years, or Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, which Fed has won 5 times in a row, or ATPTennis.com Fan’s Favourite, which Fed has won 6 times in a row.

i won’t be rooting for rafa until he earns me back, except, maybe, in the early rounds when he is drawn to face my no. 1 fave delPo in the semi, when delPo will have one more chance to crush the Spaniard.


margot Says:

As a HUGE Murray maniac, I’ve really enjoyed all the comments which have been thoughtful/ interesting/analytical/positive.
Agree about the British media, it did not help Henman and it’s certainly not helping Andy. It’s horrible like a giant sea monster that chews you up and spits you out! In fact Andy now has a flat in Miami and he’s not coming home for Christmas, perhaps he’ll just keep increasing the distance between himself and the vultures.
Duro, Duro it is quite easy to admire/like Roger and Rafa, Djko and Murray you know, for very different reasons, but still very possible and very enjoyable too.


Duro Says:

Margot, but how can you be fan of them both!!!
They are rivals!
This is unnatural!

I respect Andy, admire him, but I can like and support only one player!

Is it possible that you don’t understand me, people? Am I the only one here?


margot Says:

Duro: I love Djko- his flair, his athleticism, his mighty forehand. I love Andy for many, many reasons which I won’t bore people with here yet AGAIN! Only when they meet …..that’s gotta be Andy.


margot Says:

PS Duro: I love them also cos they’re flawed like you and me. You support Roger, well up to now he wins and wins, same with Rafa. Where are the wonderful highs and the terrible lows that make supporting players such a brilliant roller coaster?


been there Says:

Duro says:

“Can anybody imagine (a question for everyone) someone to be the fan of Rafa and Fed both?…”

I don’t see why not. For example, if someone has Del.P or Djokovic or Murray as their number1 player in the whole wide-world, then this person may not care too much for either Fed or Rafa & may support them equally…but I suppose that’s just an emerging trend for 2009 ‘coz in reality, it’s all been about Fed vs Rafa for the past 5 yrs.

So just considering the 5 years when FeDal were tennis tornadoes & sweeping all slams & masters, I definitely prefer Fed over Rafa any day. Up until 2008, I also cheered on Rafa to reach the finals from his draw ‘coz man-oh-man, a Fed-Rafa final is what edge-of-the-seat vein popping thrillers are made of. (sweet memories!!)But we all know what Rafa did to Fed in ’08…a good whooping left, right & centre. lol. :D…so after Rafa took Wimby ’08, I had had enough & ‘secretly’ hoped he loses before finals….hehe…’coz he’s got the upper hand on Fed’s glossy one handed backhand. lol.

However, I also belong to the group of fans who find the Fed-Rafa #1-#2 positions tennis ‘holy grail’. So for me, I always want to see Fed as no1, but should he lose it, it MUST be to Rafa only & vice versa. lol. For me, the two weeks or so when Rafa was ranked #3 was very odd & was glad when he got it back…though I still wouldn’t qualify myself as a Rafa fan. But this most wonderful reign is seemingly at it’s tails end, so I’ll enjoy it while it lasts in 2010.

>>But I think from 2009 onwards, the whole concept of strictly Fed-fan or Rafa-fan is a bit redundant ‘coz clearly, ‘new’ capable players have emerged…hence the possibility of being a fan of many players. e.g. Me, no1 player is Monfils-(but I’ll leave him outta this ‘coz he’s a head-case)…so of main title contenders, Fed, Del.P, Djoko,… & many admire many outsiders Tsonga, Sod, ‘Dasco, Gonzo, Wawa…let’s just list them all, no? lol

Also, the fan thing is also influenced by style of play & nationalities, e.g. Some Spaniards may prefer Fed’s style of play over Rafa, but ‘coz they’re Spanish, also find themselves naturally rooting for Rafa….& if Rafa is not in a final, they gladly cheer on Fed whole-heartedly. Same to Swiss fans who may prefer Rafa’s style but have to remain loyal to their nationality….in which case I suppose nationality takes precedence…but they aren’t too bummed if their home boy loses. For the same reason, I personally know many British fans who support Murray ‘coz he’s British…not because they love him or his tennis style.

Hence the very sincere & realistic possibility of supporting both Djokovic & Murray in equal measure.


Giner Says:

Nina Says:

“Murray better than Djokovic? You must be joking, right?
The only reason some people have great expectations for Murray and overlook Djokovic at the same time is because… they’re Brits!
Tennis and patriotism does nothing for me and that’s why I can root for a player based solely on my like/dislike of him. I’m Spanish but I don’t root for Nadal. I root for Djokovic because I believe he’s the next IT guy and he will start his own era soon. The Brits are just too desperate to have a big champion and have all their hopes on Murray. But let’s be honest, Muzz still has to prove a lot. I’m not saying he’s bad, but he still has to achieve what Djoko has achieved and they’re the same age. Novak has a clear advantage and I think 2010 will be his year.”

It goes a bit deeper than that. Murray considers himself a Scot not a Brit. Fans too are very divided on whether he is a Brit or a Scot. When he wins, he’s a Brit. When he loses, Scotland can keep him.

Check out andymurrayometer.com. It can swing massively after one single match!

Duro:

“And now, since someone said that Murray is better player or more talented than Nole, here are some facts. Find the answer here without any of my comments:

Novak has: 1 grand slam title, 1 grand slam final, 4 master series titles, 1 master cup title, 6 master series finals, bronze Olympic medal, total of 15 titles, number 3 in the world since 2007 and still (with 6 months break) and H2H 4:3 against Murray.”

Talent and potential in my opinion are greater in Murray, but that does not mean he will fulfill everything he’s capable of. I think Murray is an underachiever so far, and that Djokovic has achieved more. Talent does not automatically equate to GS titles. After Safin beat Sampras at the USO, he was expected to win many more titles. Sampras himself claimed that Safin at 20 was a better player that he was at 20.

i am it Says:

“Ezorra, i hate to say this, but you really provoked me: it is also true rafa “cheats” all the time on court in front of every one’s eyes, taking more than allocated 20 seconds in between points and complains for “cheating.” he “cheats” all the time by adjusting his bikini briefs, socks, hair, and what not; yet, he gives the umpire a nasty look when he is cited for time violation. and a lot of times the rule has not been enforced in his case because of his star power, so i don’t recall him losing a point due to double violation, which he should have. both ATP and rafa are guilty here. all of his titles should be reviewed for forfeiture.”

Umpires need to grow some balls. They shouldn’t be intimidated by players. Serena’s umpire sure wasn’t.

“and he is being a hypocrite to defend Gasquet while the case was (and still is) being reviewed and try to to inflict pain upon Agassi, to show his heroism. why did rafa defend Gasquet and intervene in the on-going case when he claims to “the first one” to see the sport of tennis clean?
if he wants to clean the sport, help enforce the time violation, ask for review how many titles of his are in question, don’t try to influence an on-going investigation, and don’t try to inflict more on the person who’s just confessed he did wrong.”

There’s a difference. Gasquet’s case was under investigation. Gasquet denied it (and later cleared his name, though whether he was telling the truth is anyone’s guess). Agassi’s was a confession. If Gasquet admitted to snorting cocaine or whatever it was, he’d be regarded the same way as Agassi.

You need proof to bust someone who’s under investigation. You don’t if they confess to doing meth and and lying about it. I don’t find it a big deal what Agassi did, though lying about it is. He should not have confessed at all, unless he knew it would sell more books.

“here is what i think, in tennis, rafa cannot be half of the Agassies (AA and Stef), by any measure in big picture. we are talking about a family and their legacies here. to tell you the truth, rafa has lost a lot of American fans, which includes me. i won’t be rooting for rafa until he earns me back, except, maybe, in the early rounds when he is drawn to face my no. 1 fave delPo in the semi, when delPo will have one more chance to crush the Spaniard.”

As far as I know, you never were. At least not first and foremost. I don’t agree with what he said, but I doubt he’ll lose sleep over this.


Duro Says:

Margot, you’re British, right? To simplify, can you be a fan and cheer for Manchester United and Liverpool in the same time? Now you got it?

I am a fan of Novak Djokovic. Why did you say I support Roger?


jane Says:

Duro refers to me above, as he knows Djoko and Murray are the guys I support. But again, I don’t see why it’s impossible or counter-productive or whatever. When they play each other, I guess I feel that it’s lovely, because either one winning is good. I also gage which one to cheer for based on which one has something at stake. E.G., At Cincy 08 I cheered on Murray in the final because I wanted him to get his first Masters. And at Miami this year, I cheered on Djoko because he’d been in a tailspin since the year’s beginning. But I was torn since Murray had lost badly in the final at IW to Rafa.

Beyond Djoko and Murray I like a lot of players. Because most of us are probably TENNIS fans first right? I’ve been watching 25 years. When the current crop move on, I’ll watch the next. Etc.

For me, unlike some, nationality really plays no part in who I support, since there are virtually no top Canadian players. I am sure I’d have a soft spot for them if there were. But it’s more style of play and personality that attract me to a player. Even though many don’t like Murray’s personality, or Djoko’s, I like both! I like Brits and Scots generally as people (love both places) so maybe that’s why I appreciate Murray, and Djoko is just a character and watching him grow up and mature in front of my eyes has been fascinating. I

Like margot, I tend to favour the human frailties in the players, though I also like style/play/fight. Rafa is amazing to watch for his focus and determination; Fed for his seeming effortless play, though that’s changing and I maybe even prefer when he has to fight things out.

Anyhow, fandom must be a little different for everyone. And that’s alright. Yes?


contador Says:

lol… Duro…it’s very possible we don’t understand each other…

and i am on the clock now and can’t stick around here to read more.

let me just say, however: i watch how the players behave toward each other and it’s very professional. as i am it reminds: look how many sportsmanship awards fed has won and i believe he and rafa have influenced nole and murray and all the rest. they are great ambassadors of the sport.

therefore, it’s easy to like all of them as a fan. my preference comes down to how they play their tennis.

since i was never a tennis fan in the agassi days, i don’t take exception to what rafa said about agassi. i can see both sides.

back to the point-

i was born and raised in the usa. so it is not through patriotism that i’m a federer fan. it’s more like: because of federer’s tennis, i am a tennis fan.

but i don’t dislike nadal, djoko or murray. although, much of the press i read during GS events would have me believing all kinds of, let me use the word, ‘rubbish’ about fed v murray, or fed v nole, or fed v rafa. british tennis press especially likes to invent a story, make a mountain out of a molehill. on one hand i can’t blame the media for trying. after all, tennis is a civil, well- mannered sport compared to other sports, which in a way, one could say it is lame-too tame, lacking in tension; media feels obliged to spice it up, i guess.

what i am attempting to say here, Duro: they are all rivals, but as a tennis fan i do not feel emotionally negative towards any of my faves main rivals. but i have grown into more a tennis fan than an ardent fan of federer. i think for you, tennis is about novak djokovic, right? nothing wrong with that, at all.

do i love fed’s tennis and wish him the best? yes. and i still hate seeing him lose but i don’t hate the player who beat him. this is a game. i can appreciate and be a fan of nolee too, can’t i??

well, i am trying here Duro, because i enjoy your enthusiastic, entertaining posts.

not sure i can explain adequately online. in person, eye to eye would help but not suggesting anything! i communicate better in person. online it’s harder to explain myself, sorry.

now i lose my day job if i don’t go. cheers Duro.


i am it Says:

Giner says, “You need proof to bust someone who’s under investigation.”

i am not talking about busting, but you need evidence to prove if someone is clean, or is not clean. the problem lies with these three statements from Rafa. how do you reconcile these three:
(1) rafa said this on Gasquet, “I support him. I’m certain that he’s not taking anything….He’s a good friend of mine and I discussed this with him last week and he’s most certainly not taking cocaine. This can destroy your career and this is most unfair.”
Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=4215398
[How is he certain. where is evidence of certainty, and why was he intervening in the Gasquet case?]

(2) “Cheaters must be punished…I believe our sport is clean and I am the first one that wants that.”
yes, they should be. but how is he first one to want that, considering what he says in the excerpt below?

(3) “The International Tennis Federation…put so much pressure on us. They harass us.
“It’s happened to Carlos [Moya] before. They sent him a warning and this is most unfair.”
Source: the same as above.

Do you see, on the one hand rafa tries to protect his friends, defend them publicly, and accuse ITF for harassment when it is doing its job; on the other, he claims to keep the sport clean? How is he helping to keep the sport clean, apart from not doing drugs? Has he initiated any anti-doping work or is he funding any programs or charities that work on anti-doping or rehab, or counseling? has he contributed in any significant way to keep tennis clean, other than dealing emotional blow to Agassi’s confession and defending his cohorts like Gasquet, and complaining about ITF’s anti-doping program, so that there would be lax when it comes to him and his friends? Why is this discrepancy?

I am not going to add a single word on this issue, i promise. I have said enough in other threads. if you missed, check this thread, esp the beginning section and the end:
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-10-30/2562.php


sar Says:

Nina, I think 2010 can/will be Novak’s year too.


huh Says:

Giner:”Fed has a more efficient game than Andre. He might have many years left in him”.

It’d be so nice if that were the case for some more years! ;)


huh Says:

Giner, however you must not forget that Agassi had also taken a 4 year sabbatical from tennis before he again returned to play at 29(is is?). But Fed’s playing constantly like Pete was doing. So by three more years, it’s more realistic to expect that Fed must become very very, if not completely drained.


huh Says:

Each of my big posts are disappearing, I think if you staff people don’t want me to post here, then tell me, I’d leave and not waste my time typing my long posts only to see it not coming here after submission. F#$@!


Duro Says:

Ok, sorry for waiting my answer… I’m neglecting seriously my marital obligations being the whole they up with tennis friends instead with my kids and wife. Does anyone have similar problems like I do here?

I’ll try shortly: been there, you’re a nice guy, but where’s the passion?

Giner, the main suspect, says: “Talent and potential in my opinion are greater in Murray, but that does not mean he will fulfill everything he’s capable of. I think Murray is an underachiever so far, and that Djokovic has achieved more. Talent does not automatically equate to GS titles.”

Giner, I don’t think Murrray is an underachiever at all. He exploded last August (2008) and become a force exactly from that point. The minute he gain 10kg of muscles, he become so hard to beat. He achieved almost everything he could from the moment he became a serious contender. Who was he before? He didn’t miss anything. He just wasn’t good enough before.
About talent, don’t touch that topic, please, when compare him to Djokovic. Nole beat him 6:0 6:1 couple of years before, for God sake and they are generation (7 days difference). When can you really see a talent with someone if not when he’s young. When they were juniors Nole used to beat hell out of him every time! You cannot learn talent; when you’re young everything is obvious and couldn’t lie. Your talent is something that you’re born with and something that can be seen truly in your early age. Later on, many can learn how to play and to become good players and contenders. He sure has talent, no doubt, but compared to Nole’s, his is not even close. Only Fed and Novak have that natural, classy, genuine and pure talent of their own. Like a jewel…

Jane, you and I don’t have to explain much. You’re a woman, Canadian; it all has to do very much with your comprehension of “fandom”. Yes, it’s all right definitely. Maybe, people in Europe like myself are used to cheer only for the one and to involve all our passion in it. In USA they cheer “defence”! It’s incomprehensible for us! We’re booing the opposite team! Not nice, but this is how it is! Don’t misunderstand Woman and Canadian part, please. You know I like you very much, but passion is what you need! And I can hardly “forgive” you: “Go Djoko and Murray!” I just can’t digest it…

Contador, you are definitely a fan of tennis, not of anyone particular. You should be tennis analyst and enthusiast.

That’s all for me for now. Cheers, people.


madmax Says:

Hello tennis fans!

Duro, my lovely friend – I enjoy your passion for Novak and I do understand what you are saying. You are putting him ‘above’ all the rest, because you ‘love’ everything about him – i understand that.

I feel exactly the same about federer – i adore him, the tennis player first, the person that he is, next (I know the two are intertwined, but i suppose i see federer’s sportsmanship on and off the court – he is an ambassador for the sport – of course – though duro. I like to see other players play. It is possible to be more objective about all players, yet have your own special favourite. I admire people that can have two equals, like Jane – with Murray and Djoko – i cannot be like that – i respect, admire, but when we talk about love – there can be only one – so yes, i understand what you are saying.

I am too young to see all the tennis greats, but i have seen games on VT, the great matches, of borg and mcenroe – but my era is federer – then the rest – tennis is greater than it has ever been, i read a lot of tennis articles about federer – as i am sure you do with novak duro,- they give a wonderful insight on our incredible players – and makes me think about what i write, a lot more – that can only be a positive –

what i dont understand, and will never understand, is how people want to badmouth other players – there is no need for that-AT ALL- we are all fans here – we love our own – some more than one player – but i am in the same category duro as you in respect of supporting ONE main player, but i think i like quite a few. Now if Federer is playing in any match – of course – he is the one I want to win! of course! but if he loses a match – like he did with novak yesterday – it hurts like hell – but as a fan – i have to deal with it and take the positives – that fed will learn, will grow, will get better, will improve for next time – else otherwise, i would be on the floor, banging my fists, crying every day – what is the point in being like this? It would be a crazy feeling and a crazy way to live my life -

Jane,

If i can say, one of the reasons that irritates me intensely about murray, is that I live in the UK – and really- come and spend two weeks with me in the summer – pre wimbledon – it is a nightmare – really. Murray is on billboards, radio,live tv, it is nauseating, the media build him up especially around that time and as a dual citizen, we are swamped – truly swamped with NOTHING about federer, rafa, novak, roddick, its ALL about murray – and it is IN PRINT, the BRITISH NO. 1. (they have to sneak in the No.1, you see), its the only way around it! I see that as disrespectful (to federer in the main), because it is federer who IS NUMBER 1. No one else. And then Murray has the pressure to deal with – no wonder he has bought a condo in Miami! But then, he makes himself available – like he did this year – made a record/did a model catwalk in London, it really did go on and on. So if people who dont live in the UK can understand this – then perhaps you will see where I am coming from?

I agree with those of you who say that Novak is better than Murray – he has to be by the very fact he has won a slam – murray hasn’t. I see Roddick, (in many ways), better than murray – why? he has won a slam and ARod has reinvented his game – i like roddick.

Federer – IS the ONE and the ONLY.


sensationalsafin Says:

Nalbandian used to beat the crap out of Federer. So it’s true? Nalbandian is more talented than Federer?


Duro Says:

sensational, be serious. Your Marat is retiring…


Duro Says:

Maxi, my post 7:46.


madmax Says:

Huh! i cannot imagine that staff would get rid of your posts, they are just too good – i posted a comment yesterday and it disappeared – sometimes this happens i think, when two people are typing at the same time, they must get lost in cyber space. It’s great to know there are other federer fans here.


andrea Says:

bring on paris so that i can watch tennis again on regular TV.


madmax Says:

Federer fans, i am not able to find the full interview after fed’s match yesterday, but i have found this – am posting for duro in particular – the one thing duro i noticed when i started posting on TT was how some of the people over there were not able to accept that federer and novak enjoy playing each other and federer has enormous respect for Novak – this is what he said – (part of the interview)-

Djokovic ends Federer’s Basel reign
By Scott Williams (AFP) – 1 day ago

BASEL, Switzerland — Novak Djokovic overcame Roger Federer on the world number one’s home ground Sunday, carving out a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 victory to win the Swiss Indoors title.

It was a Basel debut to remember for the 22-year-old world number three as he turned the momentum in his direction in a 24-minute game of the opening set which featured five break points for Federer and required six set points for the Serb to take the early lead.

Federer, the winner of the last three titles here, got back in harness in the second set through an early break on the way to levelling the final.

But when Djokovic got up a double break in the third, the Swiss top seed was unable to turn the tide.

“It’s disappointing to lose a final at home,” said Federer. “I tried hard, I was just outplayed.

“I was always down in the score and every time I got a momentum shift he would break me again. I could never get any momentum. Things did not go my way at all today.

“It was not like the 2007 US Open final (where he beat Djokovic). There I had more offense from the baseline and was able to dictate.

“But there are no excuses. Novak played tough and saved a ton of break points. I needed to play much better on attack.”

Go federer!


I like tennis bullies Says:

djokovic the man defeated king roger right in his own backyard lol
did federina cry his eyes out again?
well done to the serb
now take out andy in london


Twocents Says:

bullies,

After RG09 and the twins, we Fed fans could only dream of federina crying his eyes out again — that would mean more hunger. LOL.

huh, good one at 1:08pm. Time’s not on Fed’s side, unfortunately.

i am it, good one at 10:13am.


Twocents Says:

bullies,

2009 so far has been a year of no-defending-of-big-titles for EVERYONE. Let’s pray for Tsonga and Djok :-)).


Duro Says:

Maxi, thanks. I read that interview. “Novak played tough” (fair enough), “I was just outplayed” (that’s new for me, I didn’t see it). All in all, professional and correct. But I liked the most when he said that Nole was decent guy who would not turn his head to the other side and not say hello when passing by you in the locker room. I liked it very much. They are OK now.


sensationalsafin Says:

I loved it when Djokovic and Federer were at each other’s throats. It provided a spark for tennis that’s not been around for a while. I love both guys and I’d love to see them kinda team up and be dicks to everyone else. I’m tired of all the sissies. Especially Nadal and his politically correctness. We need a new Safin and fast. Djokovic wouldn’t dare and Roddick isn’t as retardedly blunt. Del Potro is too nice and Murray has good control since he’d love to tell everyone off but somehow sings praises. I know Federer gets criticized for it but I’d rather see him become an asshole in his late years. Not everyone has to turn into a saint.


sar Says:

Im glad fed and nole have buried the hatchet. No one needs that stress.


sar Says:

Madmax
You mean Murray feels the pressure of the press but doesn’t hesitate to use the press to his advantage to plug calendars and such?


Kimmi Says:

Kimmi, the reason the so-called “Race” took away another 90 points is they are pre-vacating a spot for Paris, so it is counting only 17 events, where as the “Ranking” is not pre-vacating the 18th spot for Paris, meaning it is counting all 18 events (plus YEC as the 19th).
To summarize, the “Race” is counting 17 events; “Ranking” is counting 18 events plus ‘08 YEC points (which will drop off on the 1st Monday before ‘09 YEC begins).

__________________________________________________

i am it, thanks for your answer, just came back home and saw it now.
OK, I get the fact that ranking is counting 18 plus YEC events and race is only counting 17. But maybe I missing something here..why is Fed, Nadal and Murray “ranking” does not count Paris points ?
Looks like Paris points have already drop out.

Fed 10340 – YEC 200 = 10140 (same as race)
Rafa 8845 – YEC 0 = 8845 (same as race)
Djoko 8300 – YEC 1300 =7000 (not same as race)
Murray 7140 – YEC 600 = 6540 (same as race)

fed & rafa reach QF and murray I think reach 4th round in paris 08. Do you see what I see ?


SG Says:

sensationalsafin Says:

I know Federer gets criticized for it but I’d rather see him become an asshole in his late years. Not everyone has to turn into a saint.

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

Between his racket breaking antics earlier in the year and tearing the umps head off in the final at this year’s USO, he’s well on his way to becoming the a-hole you want him to be. Fed is aware of his place in history. If he becomes an extroverted a-hole it will damage his legacy. I think you’ll have to settle from him being a more pragmatic a-hole.


Andrew Miller Says:

Mr. Randall is right. Final set collapses were signs of Federer’s fatigue in the collapse of 2008. That they are back in 2009, since the US Open final, are not good news for Federer. I am not saying that there is dooms-day any time soon, just that final set collapses signal that Federer is not playing optimally. The optimal Federer either wins big, wins close, or loses close matches. The less than optimal Federer loses final sets by large margins or loses in straight sets by any margin.


jane Says:

Don’t you think it’s appropriate, somehow, that Safin (who is leaving imminently) will play JMDP (who has just broken through) for the first time in his last tournament? It reminds me a little bit of when Safin played Pete all those years ago in the USO final and demolished him. Not that I am hoping Safin is demolished by JMDP; in fact, I’d rather see Marat win and linger a little longer (sorry, i am it, but your guy has many years to come). So I hope he goes out like Dylan Thomas proposed that his father go out: “Rage, rage against the dying of the light”.

Good luck to Safin in that match; I really have to watch that one!


sensationalsafin Says:

I’m just not ready for Safin to retire. Just not ready.


i am it Says:

Kimmi,
yes, the Paris drop date was last week, so everyone’s point has been taken off.
although it is a bit complicated to explain, let me try.
their (fed, rafa, murray’s) Race and Ranking points overlap if you minus YEC points (like you showed above) because Fed and Rafa did not play the required 2nd 250 series and have the remaining spots exactly occupied, and Murray has exactly 17 spots filled in, besides YEC in each, meaning each has nothing to spare and nothing to add before Paris points come in, therefore their Race and Ranking points match.

I already explained why Dj’s Race and Ranking don’t match. but when his Paris points come in, Marseille’s 90 points will become non-countable in the Ranking, which is already discounted from the Race.
do you see the three won’t lose a dime when Paris points are counted for ’09, but Dj will lose 90 points. let’s say you are comparing Dj and Murray, and both reach the same round at Paris, their difference would be 370-90= 280 pts before London.
Not sure if I was able to explain or not. If I did not, see their ATP Ranking Break Downs, and observe the spots for each, including those occupied by zero-pointers: (1 YEC )+ 4 Slams + 8 Masters + four 5-series (3 if they have played MC)+ two 250 series) and count best 18 for ranking plus YEC. important thing is each can sit in its designated place (e.g. 250-series can take only 250 spot, etc.).


i am it Says:

j., is that how you pay back for my steadfast loyalty to you, your puppies and kitties, and all those services i render as a gofer? :)


Ezorra Says:

Dear i am it…

First and foremost, I never thought about you when I wrote the comment so I don’t understand why you felt provoked by me.

Secondly, in my point of view, Nadal has never called Agassi a cheater; instead Agassi is the one who, in a way in his book, called himself a cheater (as stated by Mary in her comment which I, UNFORTUNATELY have to agree with her because I like Agassi too.) What Nadal said was “cheaters must be punished and IF (he said IF) Agassi was a cheater during his career, he should have been punished…” therefore; my statement (that he is a cheater) was clearly and solely based on his own words.

That said, do I think Nadal should offer his views in those two cases (Agassi’s and Gasquet’s)? NO, I don’t!

You said;

“it is also true rafa “cheats” all the time on court in front of every one’s eyes, taking more than allocated 20 seconds in between points and complains for “cheating.” he “cheats” all the time by adjusting his bikini briefs, socks, hair, and what not; yet, he gives the umpire a nasty look when he is cited for time violation. and a lot of times the rule has not been enforced in his case because of his star power, so i don’t recall him losing a point due to double violation, which he should have. both ATP and rafa are guilty here. all of his titles should be reviewed for forfeiture.”

As I said a million times before, I am Nadal fan but I have some disagreements with him as well, particularly on what you have said in the above post. So, if you think you can provoke me with that one, I’m so sorry because I’m with you in the matter.


Kimmi Says:

i am it, yes I understand very well now..your explanation is spot on. Murray has exactly 17 +YEC and Djoko 18+YEC..so murray has nothing to add since maximum is 18.

I also counted fed and Rafa which is 16+YEC and 16 respectively. They are both missing 2 tourney to make 18.

make perfect sense i am it. thanks very much. I am slowly starting to understand this thing.


jane Says:

For anyone who missed the match or the streaming, here are some highlights of the final, about 10 minutes, from youtube; there were plenty of good rallies in the match. I enjoyed some of the points at the beginning of the third set:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbGZ0QQOOAs&NR=1

—————————————————
Kimmi if i am it is helping you to “slowing…understand” the rankings and race, there may still be hope for me yet! lol.


i am it Says:

Ezorra, this is enough to win me over and we are good, “do I think Nadal should offer his views in those two cases (Agassi’s and Gasquet’s)? NO, I don’t!”

thanks.


i am it Says:

J. says, “Kimmi if i am it is helping you to “slowing…understand” the rankings and race, there may still be hope for me yet! lol.”

actually, if i were to grade her, i’d give Kimmi A. with those back-and-forth questions/answers, she has more or less mastered it by now. and you this very well, a good student makes a good teacher, and i have become better along the way.
there is more than hope for you, if you choose to spend an hour or two on this. but you have an accountant to do everything for you…right? why bother? :)


sensationalsafin Says:

Thanks for the link, Jane.

I have their AO 08 semi encounter on my computer so after watching a couple minutes of their Basel meeting, I skimmed through a few points of that AO match. I thought Djokovic added that extra spin he hits with but it’s always been there. He’s generally hit with a good amount of top spin. But Djokovic is playing his best when his serve is clicking. He can hit some incredible serves. And his second serve is not as bad as some believe. When he’s on, his second serve is absolutely lethal. He’s been able to hit it up to 118 mph (I heard that at some tournament, I think IW last year).

Duro, you haven’t addressed your contradiction. You said that talent is easiest to spot when players are young. Djokovic used to destroy Murray therefore he is more talented. But Nalbandian used to destroy Federer, so by that logic Nalbandian is more talented than Federer.


jane Says:

I have that match recorded too sensationalsafin. I find both of them are so good at switching between defense to offense. And in this Basel match I was happy to see Djoko stepping in more, not only coming to net, but hitting from the middle of the court, something Martin apparently wants him to do more of. This way he doesn’t fall into the mode of defending too much as he has done at times this year. Djoko’s ground strokes were almost more aggressive than Fed’s in this match, I thought, partly because Fed’s forehand wasn’t firing as well as we all know it can. But Fed hit some great drop shots and backhands too. Plus his serve was totally reliable in this match too. Not like at the AO or even the USO at times. In this match he kept his percentage up and hit several aces too. I didn’t think it was as poor quality of a match as some opined. I quite enjoyed it, lots of variety, lots of up and downs, good sportsmanship. Maybe too many errors but other than that, it was pretty fun to watch. All this in hindsight of course. During the match I had to remind myself to breathe. LOL.


sensationalsafin Says:

Like I said, I’m glad Djokovic won but Federer’s final set collapse are bothersome. And not just as a Federer fan. If the number 2s and 3s and 4s and 5s of the world beat number 1, then number 1 should put up a fight towards the bitter end. Federer hasn’t lost in straight sets to any of the top players this year. All the losses have been final set meltdowns. Yet Federer has no problem straight setting these guys. If they’re gonna go the distance then I wanna see an epic finish.


margot Says:

i am it: I don’t understand any of it at all, so you’ll have to start all over again…..(only teasing my friend, u r ace “teacher.”) P.S. I want Safin to win as well….sorry but as you never promised to wash my dishes I’ve nothing to lose….
agree with SS, too much sweet talk around these days, but when everything players say is just raked over and over by media and fans what do we expect? Also,would you not say Nalbandian IS as latently talented as Fed, but alas, alas.


huh Says:

“i am it Says:

here is what i think, in tennis, rafa cannot be half of the Agassies (AA and Stef), by any measure in big picture. we are talking about a family and their legacies here.

this bad-mouthing will further diminish rafa’s chances of ever winning the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, which Fed has won for 4 consecutive years, or Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, which Fed has won 5 times in a row, or ATPTennis.com Fan’s Favourite, which Fed has won 6 times in a row.”

As far as Agassi is concerned, Rafa’s already surpassed him in terms of tennis legacy. He’s won FO a freaking four consecutive times in supremely dominant fashion humbling all of the time the so-called GOAT(Fed). And honestly speaking, he has tortured and beaten the so-called GOAT to the extent of seriously hurting his legacy. Federer is being termed by many as the best player they have ever seen, even Borg was saying that! Can you imagine? Yet Fed has more often than not lost the wars to Rafael Nadal. Beating a player(some would say dominating) like Fed who’s being termed by past greats and peers as the GOAT has automatically led to the establishing a SHINING legacy by Rafa. And he’s done much more than just winning 4 consecutive FO which we all know. And the manner in which he’s done it is also incredible, unbelievable and impressive. And Rfa’s not finished yet. I feel that Rafa’s more chance than others to fininsh 2010 as the year end No.1 and I also feel at least one slam(may be more!) in 2010 is Rafa’s. But even if Rafa retires today, he’s going to be placed by me(and many others too) above Agassi.

Who cares about Sportsmanship award/Laureus as long as Rafa keeps winning slams? Slams are tennis players’ biggest award, awards can’t get bigger than slams.


huh Says:

And I don’t think it fair to compare Steffi’s legacy with Rafa either. There’s a reason why it is possible for players like Steffi to win 22 slams (and even more in the case of Court) while in men’s professional tennis, it was/is hard for someone to cross even Borg’s GS tally(just 11)!


Duro Says:

sensational, you’re wandering a bit… Marat is retiring, find another hero asap!

The minute you become devastatingdjokovic you’ll settle down and won’t ask from no one to be “asshole” and break racquets any more!

Who said I made a contradiction? I said clearly that “later on, many can learn how to play and to become good players and contenders.” I was referring to senior, adult days of someone’s professional career. As far as I recall Nalby has that H2H record against Fed when well grown up.

Besides, one exception doesn’t make a rule (if that’s a saying in English).

Every player has his nemesis in the face of the other one who doesn’t suit his style of play or finds him difficult to play against.

Further on, Fed has 10:8 against Nalby.

Murray beat Nole for the FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE AUGUST 2008! And they were playing each other since kids…

See you senstional. When a talent is a measure, Only Fed and Nole! And your Marat, of course, but he is over. Become devastatingdjokovic! You’ll feel better! Kidding, of course… Cheers.


huh Says:

I like tennis bullies is a a–hole. ;)


huh Says:

I am it: Ezorra’s a good guy, he’s a Rafa fan but level-headed. When people like mem and zola(who used to post here but probably now hiding in Nadal.com site) and also bullies (who’s probably another Rafatard)were busy showing excuses for Fed’s win over Rafa in Madrid, Ezorra was probably the only Rafa fan who whole-heartedly congratulated Fed-fans and asked the fanatics to stop showing excuses. His post to you further indicates his unbiasedness. So take it easy, Ezorra’s our friend. It is only for the fans of Rafa like him that I feel happy when Rafa does well. Otherwise mem-type people made me wish humiliation for Rafa.


huh Says:

Good post by sensationalsafin at 11.51 p.m.


huh Says:

Novak’s not more talented than Murray, that’s for sure. But from today, I’d address Murray as Muzza and Djoko as nole, it’s time-saving.


huh Says:

Hey sensationalsafin, for Fedfans’ sake please, just for one day become ‘perfectfederer’!


Duro Says:

No no, huh. He solemnly declared that he’ll become devastatingdjokovic after his beloved Marat end his career. That seat is taken! Sorry, but another time…

And what will you do once when your Fed ends?

The greatest player of all time! Fed, then Pete and the end.


Duro Says:

About Nole-Muray thing, even the Brits know that Novak is more talented than him. They even asked and offered Novak to play for Great Britain and to move there, along with his family when he was young, offering them money and such…

He refused.


Fed is GOAT Says:

an article written today about next year – not too bad eh!
———————————–
Personally I think there will be three grand slam winners: Federer, Del Potro and Djokovic.

Federer: He’s always in the finals, surely he will win at least one of them. I also even can’t remember the last year he didn’t win a slam.

Del Potro: Normally I’m a bit cautious to tip newcomers in the Grand Slam-club to win a slam too, but as I’ve seen him rampage at the French Open this year, I think he’s got a good chance there. Could even be a big threat to Nadal on clay.

Novak Djokovic: He seems like he has finally gotten fully used to his new racket, and proved it by playing very well during the last weeks. Will get probably back to his former best soon.

Why are the following guys non-contenders?:

Nadal: After a period of severe injuries, being past his peak now
and having been beaten badly by most of his rivals recently, I doubt he will ever get back to his old level. Still some chance to win RG, but i can’t get rid of the feeling he has no more slams left in him, that his tank is near-empty.

Roddick: I guess he made his swannsong at Wimbly. He played his best but still it wasn’t enough. It was his final chance to win another slam.

Murray: He is slowly crossing the maximum age of winning a maiden slam. History tells that his chances to win one now are pretty slim. Also doesn’t seem able to rise his game to the big occasion, one of the most important abilities to be a grand slam winner. Always plays descent, but never good enough on this stage.

Now that we hopefully all agree on this, let’s share the grand slam pot among the contenders:

Australian Open: Federer
He will be eager to win this one, as it has been so long ago.
By the way Old Guys seem to have more succes in this tournament.
I’m referring to Ivan Lendl and Andrug Agassi. Huge resistance from Djokovic though could be expected.

French Open: Del Potro
With Nadal being a spent force, and having become an even bigger threat to Federer than he already was at FO 09, he has a great chance IMO. High bouncing balls are suiting his Boom-Boomhitting.

Wimbledon: Federer
With Nadal gone, who can stop him here?
Surely Murray will find a way again to screw it up for himself.

US Open: Djokovic
He’s a great competitor on the hard courts. US Open is by far his most consistent grand slam. I feel he could do it this time.


i am it Says:

Huh,
(1) you have lost me completely.
first, mathematically. you’ve trashed the math, forgotten the history, and defended a player on purely emotional basis when you say: “Rafa’s already surpassed him in terms of tennis legacy. [Because] He’s won FO a freaking four consecutive times.”

so, in your supreme biased view, 4 consecutive FO is the measure of the Greatest player? How?

Historically (read history of tennis and Slams), FO ranks 3rd, after Wimbledon and US Open in significance and value. Wimbledon is the pioneer. US Open has attracted most top players who ranked USO as such. It is the epitome of hard court, which, ranking-point wise, makes 65% of the tournaments played by surface, and plus biggest market, most crowd, and now biggest prize money. How many US Open has rafa won? Zero.

As of today, factually, Agassi has 8 Slams (Rafa 6); Agassi is the ONLY player to achieve Golden Career Slam; has the record 17 Masters out of 22 Finals (Rafa has 15 out of 21); 1 YEC and 4 YEC finals (Rafa Zero), ONLY player to win 4 Australian Open titles (Rafa has 1), 15 Grand Slam Finals (Rafa 8), 60 Singles career titles out of 90 finals (Rafa has 36 out of 47); 101 weeks No. 1 (Rafa has 46).

even if you just want to count Slams, Agassi leads in USO and AO, ties in Wimbledon, and trails in FO.

Tennis magazine named him the 7th greatest male player—and 12th greatest player overall—for the period 1965 through 2005.
Read these: http://www.tennis.com/search/searchadv.aspx?tag=40%20Greatest%20Players&type=0

(2) when you contradict the logic that you propounded in the past, you are talking out of extreme biasedness, when you say, “Fed who’s being termed by past greats and peers as the GOAT has automatically led to the establishing a SHINING legacy by Rafa.”
check this one, which at the end of the article acknowledges your name and logic, or should I say your ex-logic: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/226249-logical-flaw-in-the-interpretation-of-rafas-13-7-h2h

(3) third, and most importantly, the issue in my post was not a comparison between Agassi and Rafa. it was a post intended to show rafa’s contradictory stance on anti-doping, one for his friends/favs and another non-friends/non-favs, b.t.w., i should have also added his defense of Michael Phelps: “It does not portray the best possible image, but everyone can have a slip-up. In the end sportsmen are just not machines. Everyone is free to do whatever they want.”

Source [add www]: independentweekly.com.au/news/local/sport/general/nadal-defends-pipesmoking-phelps/1423124.aspx

it seems you don’t know much of Agassi, so here is one long article on him: sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/magazine/08/30/agassi0717/index.html

Last words: if you are to continue in this vein, i cannot have a rational discussion with you, sorry.


i am it Says:

Huh,
my last question to you. how do you justify ONE-LINER statements like these:
(1) “Novak’s not more talented than Murray, that’s for sure.”
(2) “I like tennis bullies” is a a–hole. ;)
[wink or no wink]
you can do better than this, dude.


i am it Says:

Huh,
to sound credible, at least read tennis history and avoid sweeping judgments. i will talk to you in a couple of months.

start with basic Tennis History on ITF site and Wiki. here is 1st installment for you (if you have to, add http://):
1. http://www.itftennis.com/abouttheitf/worldwide/history.asp
2. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennis
3. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennis_statistics

Check out also all the links there.

you seem to be interested on GOAT, here are some:

1. sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1081522/index.htm
2. tennisweek.com/news/fullstory.sps?inewsid=503656
3. tennisplanet.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/who-of-these-is-the-greatest-of-the-wimbledon-once-only-champions-from-gerard-thanks/

For rare history of Pro Tennis, check this out (particularly those that start with “History…”):
tennisserver.com/lines/lines-archive.html


Duro Says:

i am it, don’t be a rain man.


sensationalsafin Says:

Federer’s not perfect.

I am it, I don’t know where all this hostility is coming from but thanks for all the great links :D

Duro, I still don’t follow. Because by your same logic, Nadal is more talented than Federer. Nadal was just a kid with raw talente when he beat a sculpted and fully trained Federer.

This “talent” debate is dumb, either way. It’s incredibly hard to just say one player is more talented than anotoher. Murray, like Nadal, was begged as a great talent from an early age who would go on to become great. Monfils was also expected to become a multiple slam champion. Yet Djokovic would destroy both these guys when they played in the juniors. But no one looked at Djokovic and even when Djokovic started rising, Federer still wasn’t impressed. Yet Djokovic makes 2 of the biggest statements in the last few years by beating the top 3 players in a row and then by beating Federer in straight sets on a hard court slam where he was 2 time defending champ. Sick or not, Djokovic was a force to be reckoned with. But once he dropped a bit and Murray finally started to beat everyone below him, the spotlight was back on Murray. I really want Djokovic to win 2 slams next year because apparently winning only one isn’t a big enough statement for him.


i am it Says:

Duro, don’t worry i won’t be autistic Raymond:)
i will write you, if you can tell me your email address. tell me the part before @, i’ll figure out the rest if it is yahoo, gmail, or hotmail. thanks.


margot Says:

I really can’t let pass you guys saying Murray is less talented than Djko because Djko beat him all the times they were juniors. All players develop at different rates/ages. Rafa was incredibly good, incredibly young, Fed picked up his first slam age 22. How old is Andy? Look how some players are improving in mid and late twenties eg Roddick, Soderling.
Andy is improving all the time, one of the reasons I like him so much an eg last time he played Youzny in 2007 it was a very tight match with Andy winning 7-6 in last set. This time? Cut him some slack you guys, if he’s not won a slam by 26, then I might join the criticisms, but till then…
Out of interest does anyone know oldest first time slam winner and oldest last time winner?


Duro Says:

devastatingdjokovic, how come you do not follow it? It’s very simple. You just pretend not to follow it.
Nadal was pro well behind 2004 when he beat Fed for the first time. He was 18 and not kid at all (some player will never have such muscles till the end of their lives, Nole the first one among them). The real talent shows with 7, 8, 11, 13 years of age…
Point is, you can “make” a player (anybody!), but you’re born with bigger or lesser talent than someone else. As simple as that. Do you follow football (not American)? Is Lionel Messi more talented than probably anyone else, or Kaka or Kristiano Ronaldo? There is difference, believe me…

Novak Djokovic is pure, genuine, classy, unlimited, sophisticated tennis talent.

Roger Federer + aristocratic!

Murray and other top players are talented, no doubt, but in terms of the pure, full-blooded genuine talent, only Fed and Novak.

In Novak we trust!

Alleeeez, allez allez alleeeez, No1-leeeee, No1-leeeee…


sensationalsafin Says:

I don’t agree wtih that. Nalbandian, Safin, and Murray are just examples of players who ooze talent. You can see their talent from miles away. How can you say Djokovic is more talented than Murray this way? Nadal was still pretty much a kid. He was far from becoming the well crafted player he is now.

I agree that real talent shows from about 12 and up (before that you can’t tell anything) but talent isn’t determined by who beats who. Not even close. Often times the most talented are the biggest head cases which hurts them a lot more when they are young than when they get older. It’s not just a matter of developing into a great player, it’s a matter of calming yourself down so that you can be that great player.


Duro Says:

i am it, no problem, but why wouldn’t you write me in public? No secrets here I think, or I missed something?

Here you are, for you and for anybody else who would like to rub my nose for supporting Novak that much. If he was American or British there would be no such need, believe me. The media and public opinion would do my job. It’s not easy to come from a small country and totally opposite to a western culture…

svetionikbar@t-com.me


Duro Says:

sensational, my post 4:30: “See you sensational. When a talent is a measure, Only Fed and Nole! And your Marat, of course…”

Move to upper league!

I got to go now, people. Nice chatting and not getting along with you…

See you all later. Cheers.


huh Says:

I am it:

Seriously no hard feelings towards you at all, trust me! And I’m by no means a Rafa fan and am not the one to believe Fed as the GOAT either. Of course it’s another thing that I just outrightly and outrageously[if you can call me that! ;) ] believe that Fed’s the best tennis player post-Sampras and has created the Federer era. Yes, this is the Federer era. And thanks for providing the article of bleacher report, I enjoyed it. However I’m not the one interested in getting history by heart, tennis-related or otherwise. ;) And of course I know that I can come up with better things, sometimes better than even you may be, whi knows! ;) Hahaha!

Anyway, enjoy, but don’t take things literally and always remember, YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!!!

And lastly I like your posts, you can dissent with me as much as possible, you’re entitled to it! And you’re right, I did not completely understand your post, that’s my problem though as Eng ain’t my 1st Lang. I still don’t understand to be honest. ;) I exactly don’t understand what do you mean by family (agassies’) legacy. However I’d try to be more clear in the future. Cheers!

BUT ON A SERIOUS NOTE:

I don’t care about tennis history or even History though I’m not a weak performer in the History subject. So I won’t and don’t need to go through any of the tennis history for which you have provided me links. And don’t talk about wiki, it’s hardly the most trutworthy or genuine as almost any TOM, DICK OR HARRY can edit it. And last but not the least, you seem to be interested in stats, but as far as I know stats don’t tell the truth. And you really seem to think me naive, but I’m not. I pretty much know at least this much that Wimbledon is the historically most significant and then follows the USO, I know it, you alone don’t . So try less to tutor me!

If you want to discuss with me, discuss, otherwise don’t think I’m dying to interact with you either. I’m not here to win any Mr. Congeniality competition, you know!

Be a friend if you want to, I’d be most interested to be with you. But if you don’t, I needn’t really bother.


huh Says:

I am it:

I don’t need to justify everything to you. You can think the way you want to.


huh Says:

Duro:

It is so unjust! Just give me one day to see the name ‘perfectfederer’ inscribed on SS. ;)


huh Says:

Then may be SS, you can say ‘ClassFederer’ or something like that!


huh Says:

Duro: Don’t refuse this time. ;)


huh Says:

Duro:

After Fed goes, I’d root for either DP or Muzza and then Nole ole ole! ;)


huh Says:

What’s happened to Gregor Dimitrov, anybody knows? I’ve a lot of interest to see how he does. Hope he’s going the right way. He’s a real treat to my eyes, two-in-one!! Serves like Safin and plays like Fed!!!


Duro Says:

huh, no problem, but as I saw a minute ago sensational is so mad at Marat that he’ll fulfill anyone’s wish for any name but Safin’s! You have my permission (but just for once).


huh Says:

Ok Duro!!! :)


sensationalsafin Says:

It’s fantasticfederer


Duro Says:

i am it, I answered you.


Duro Says:

Ha ha ha, here you are, huh! No one touches sensational any more! He’s mine! Devastatingdjokovic it is!


madmax Says:

hello lovely people!

Have been busy today, but checked in and it has taken me half hour to scroll down-

Firstly, Jane. Thank you for the links. will be catching those later.

Secondly, duro. Yep. read your 7.46 post to me. And went over to TT to read the threads. I dont like some of the bashing going on already duro. You know what i mean, lovely man? I dont understand some people. Why do some of the novak supporters (not you), have to divide the fans?

SAR,
YOUR POST TO ME: Posted November 9th, 2009 at 5:51 pm
sar Says:
Madmax
You mean Murray feels the pressure of the press but doesn’t hesitate to use the press to his advantage to plug calendars and such?

Posted November 9th, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Yes. That’s exactly what i was saying. Sometimes, murray brings the pressure on himself. So if he doesnt want the pressure, leave the country and practise – dont give interviews, dont do the stuff that he willingly takes a part of. And murray fans, am not trying to start anything here, but I see it/hear it/eat it/sleep it/every wimby year!!!

Sensationalsafin. I have been told by the goodpeople on this forum to ignore your comments about federer, to breath slow (am doing that SS!), and then to say 15 SLAMS! 15 SLAMS!. why so cruel SS?

Andrew Miller- you sound like a professor, but i think you are talking in a different language – we are taking about (federer), someone who has been at the top of his game for almost 10 years, someone who has reached 22 grand slam semi finals – oooppps!!! sorry, 22 CONSECUTIVE grand slam SEMI FINALS – which makes it all the more LUSH when i think about the magnificient federer! Not only that, he was the ONLY one of the BIG FOUR, to reach AT LEAST 4 GRAND SLAM FINALS THIS YEAR.ra..ra.. ra. ra..REWIND..rrrr.rewind! yup! Federer, WINS 2 GRAND SLAMS, GETS TO 2 FINALS OF THE REMAINING 2 SLAMS AND not only that – takes them both to 5 setters. You know, we can talk about melt down from the fed, we can talk about it. But I just dont buy it guys. Federer, aged 27 (for 3 slams), 28 (for 1 slam), beats the ‘young guns’ the 21/22/23/ year olds and yet still, the guy gets bashed? c’moon! people! federer hasnt lost his mojo – no way! Way to go federer! we love you! love you roger! So, he doesnt have to run about the court like he used to – he is a wiser player. And I mean wiser. He thinks more about his shots. He assesses the player. He has the maturity of thought, he didnt have before.

Remember what the haters/doubters said in 2008 people – fed is finished – that was a helluva-thing to say – this just fired him up and he whooped, yes whooped the other players, with his courage and fortitude. Guys, I love this man. I love him. Duro understands this love.

Dont be so mean ILIKETENNISBULLIES. I am going to ignore your comments. 15 slams! 15 slams!


sensationalsafin Says:

Why are you so desperate to cling onto the 15 slams? You don’t buy that he has been consistently losing easily in final sets?

I’m not saying he’s done. I just don’t like seeing a score lines like 7-5 6-7 6-1 or 7-5 4-6 6-3 6-7 6-2. So often a match is only as epic as the last set. Why isn’t the 07 Wimbledon match considered the greatest? Because the last set was 6-2.

I don’t see anyone doubting Federer. You just gotta be realistic. I’m not cruel, you just refuse to get out of the Federer fantasy. How can you not be bored???


madmax Says:

SS,

buddy. That’s not the way i work. you dont know me, so until you do get to know me, dont say i’m living in federer fantasy. Trust me. I have been following federer and he makes me extremely happy (overall), i dont lie about these things. I love watching him SS. I have a whole back up of tennis matches with HIM on it! Loving the fed. and really. I have just watched the link that jane has sent (thank you jane), watched the match highlights and actually SS, it was not as bad as you make out. I looked at his shots – some lovely forehands, volleys, what i would say is that I thought Novak played better ‘on the day’, i also thought that novak was much more aggressive, i dont think federer was as aggressive – this -to me- is what made the difference.
I am a happy bunny SS. I am one of those fans that can easily congratulate the winner of a match against Fed. I dont like to do it so often SS, and luckily for me, federer is still playing great tennis – not orbital tennis EVERY SINGLE MATCH, but certainly enough to make me thank the fed for bringing me such amazing tennis. you are entitled to your opinion, i just think you are a bit cruel SS (am a sensitive gal), BUT, hey. I can take it. Am far from bored by the way.

Go federer!

Jane,

thanks for the link. Just spent 10 mins on the highlights, some great shots from fed, would have liked to have seen more aggression with his shots.

also watched another link – the ceremony – what a helluva trophy! King size!


Blank Says:

I think Sensationalsafin makes a very valid point here. Fed’s performance against his top opponents (the guys who have given him most competition in recent years: Nadal, Djokovic and Murray) in the final set has not been impressive (beating Nadal in 2007 wimbledon is an exception; I am not considering other opponents such as Roddick since he has always owned them..and everyone other than these three has a miserable record against him). This year it has happened 3 times already in finals – Australia (6-2), USO (6-2), Basel (6-2) and several times earlier in the year…when he blew set and a break leads against Djoko and Murray.

I don’t doubt that he is great/consistent and significaltly better than almost anyone else who has ever played the game, but there are certainly some chinks in the armour, and they are starting to show with a certain regularity. I don’t know what the reason is…could be fatigue from so many years of playing at the top, younger opponents with more energy, slipping confidence, lack of drive, complacency etc.

In my book, I don’t think from now on he’s going to be the favorite going into the final set against his top young opponents. But whatever the reason is, it shouldn’t take away what he’s achieved so far…After all, he is human and hence we can expect Fed to be the superpower only for so long.


madmax Says:

Oh SS. No. I dont buy that he has consistently been losing in final sets. I know as a huge federer fan, he was asked questions from the doubters, I just think we have been so used to seeing him win EVERYTHING, for SO LONG, that now, things are different. I am glad in one way, because -for me- it does make things so much more exciting SS. Really, so many other great players. And when you are talking about consistency in the game and what he has accomplished in 2009, I am pretty happy with federer actually. Like I said, no other ‘big four’ player has achieved what fed has this year, in more ways than one.

I hope that answers your question SS, but it probably wont. I can live with that.


madmax Says:

blank,

yes. i read your post and I understand what you are saying, but i dont see how you can compare basel with the AO and the USO. a 500 point tourny with a 2000 point grand slam tourny? Firstly, if i can explain. The mindset for these tournys are totally different. When federer knows he is playing a slam – automatically and mentally he is already ‘up a level’ BEFORE he steps onto the court. Basel is special to him, ball boy,etc., but a slam is where it is at with Federer.

He has every chance of going far at the AO, even winning it, same with FO, Wimby and USO. He is a slam sandwich eater. The masters are his deserts, but the slams are fed’s main course. He is still hungry to win, and for me, as long as he maintains that passion, keeps up his training, puts in the work (which he is doing on all three counts), fed is where it is at. Plus, dont forget that no matter how much you want to put him down/write him off (even a little), I kind of heard this all last year, and it just made me mad, so i listen and I smile and I keep my faith. That’s just me. I watched how federer played at the AO, and it was even for the first 4 sets, the final set – i could see his serve pattern had changed. That changed everything.

USO, he got lazy, plus on slo mo, the serve pattern changed/back problems? I dont know. But you can see his change in movement.

Now that he has employed a full time physio “viv”, federer is going to be in ‘tip top’ ‘give him a pop’, shape, my friend. sorry to disappoint.


sensationalsafin Says:

Federer got LAZY at the USO? Are you sure you wanna stand by that?

So I went through Federer’s matches and I counted up his final set wins and losses. Bear in mind final set means 3rd set of a best of 3 OR 5th set of a best of 5:

2008: 8-9 in final sets. 4/8 that he won, his opponent failed to win MORE than 2 games. 0/9 that he lost Federer failed to win MORE than 2 games.

2009: 8-8 in final sets. 4/8 that he won, his opponent failed to win MORE than 2 games. 5/8 that he lost Federer failed to win MORE than 2 games.

Maybe it is just age. I’ll look up 04-07 later.


Duro Says:

Hi, Maxi. Nice to see you again. Fans like fans… No cure for that virus…
Avoid confrontation, you are a delicate person. You don’t need it, really. Federer is Federer. The greatest tennis player of all time. Period.


MMT Says:

Have to agree with sensationalsafin here, Madmax – I don’t think he got lazy at the USO – I think he got lazy in Basel, for sure. At the USO I think he started serving poorly, didn’t make any adjustments, and just flat out couldn’t keep up with del Potro’s level.


Blank Says:

madmax, I agree with you for the most part. I am a diehard Fed fan myself, these days I tend to not watch tennis at all when Fed isn’t playing. And, I dread the future when at some point he’ll stop playing. It could very well be his back that was the problem in Australia and USO…but it’s only understandable that after playing for so long he’s going to show signs of wear and tear. The only part of his game that I am not so comfortable with is his serving motion…the arch…I am scared for him and somehow feel like he’s bending it too much and that is contributing to his back issues. My point is whatever the issue is, it will most likely affect his game in the 5th set of a grand slam (only against the younger and fit opponents that have a good record against him). If he wants to bag more slams, he better try and wind up the last few rounds quickly…letting the other player into the game will not be his advantage anymore.

As much as I love him I hate it when he blows away a lead and loses to either Nadal or Djoko or Murray. Unfortunately too many instances come to my mind…especially this year and quite a few in the past. I wish he’d rather lose to a lesser known guy in the earlier round than self-destruct against these guys. Also, if he is really going to lose matches because he got lazy, that’s no good. That attitude will not help anywhere and will affect him in the slams too.


huh Says:

madmax:

I think it’s fun for many people these days to point out that Fed’s losing the final set by big margins, but what they ignore, knowingly or unknowingly is that yes, Fed’s surely recently lost the final sets badly, at slams, BUT ONLY IN THE FINALS, this is what matters the most! It’s much better to reach and lose a slam final fighting than to make earlier exits. Same’s also true for tournaments like Basel etc. At least Fed’s reaching the finals in all slams, in some masters, and in some of the lesser events, despite much decline in his form since 2008; that’s unbelievably good, to say the least. This year even, he’s hardly lost to anyone other than his truly formidable rivals in big events like the masters tournaments (of course he lost Monte Carlo match vs. Stan, but Stan’s a top ten material too). I’d certainly prefer to lose the fifth set in the final of a slam, in whatever fashion it may be, instead of crashing out before or at semi, there. At least, as Fed says, he’s giving himself all the chances at the biggest stage of the game! What are his rivals doing? They are unable to do even that!


huh Says:

Blank, you can’t imagine the repercussions and effect it will have on Fed if he starts losing to lesser guys at earlier stages at this point of time. A young guy wouldn’t mind much if he loses early to some ordinary guy at some earlier stage of a slam/MS/smaller events, but for a guy like Fed approaching his twilight stage, a few early losses in tournaments can cause havoc, dent confidence, sow seeds of self-doubt or even derail! So you better change your wish!

If Fed keeps reaching last stages of tournaments and there loses to Rafa/Nole/DP/Muzza, at least he’ll be satisfied thinking that he’s losing to the best ones only and not to the ordinary ones. He can accept the fact that he’s aging and so losing more but at least he can win some, he’d remain at least hopeful which is vital for him. But if the lesser ones start beating him more, how can he think of beating the much stronger ones? That’s my point, I hope you’re getting it, roughly at least!

That’s why it’s much better from my perspective for Fed to lose to the top guys than to the ordinary ones.


huh Says:

I also however don’t believe in this ‘Fed got lazy’ theory.


huh Says:

How about ‘DP/Djoko got more active’ theory then?


Blank Says:

huh, I understand your point. It’s just a personal preference that I was talking about. I hate to see Fed lose to Nadal/Djoko/Murry/JMDP in a final set in the finals. That to me only feeds the argument that he’s not better than those guys (also I simply hate it when he loses to good players; I don’t mind him losing to Canas few more times :P). I agree that my stated wish doesn’t make any logical sense…I just made it out of a passion for his game. I wish he was still younger…if he was, I bet he’ll have a far superior record against these guys than what he has currently.

When I am talking about Fed here, I compare him only to his standards. All others, including Nadal, have a lot more to prove if they are to be even considered to be in the same league as his. I don’t like the fact that he is 5 years older than these guys. That certainly will not help his cause anymore.


madmax Says:

guys, thank you, thank you. I take on board ALL of your comments. It’s strange really, because when I say ‘Fed got lazy’. It can be interpreted in so many ways, and, I thnk all of you who have replied took me literally (which you would), so i need to make myself clearer. sorry. should have done that already.

Fed got lazy (to me ) in the final sets. If you look at the stats in the AO this year, 1) he reached the final, being world No. 2 at that time, against World No. 1 at that time. First set to rafa, 7:5, second set to roger, 6:3, rafa, 7:5, Roger, 6:3. Final set. Look at Roger’s serve. It fell apart. Back soreness. You can see it. Up until then, he was brilliant, equal and flying like a kite. Loving the fed. Even before the final. Remember the match with Berdych? 2 sets down. Now, I am telling you doubters out there – there is NO-ONE. NO-ONE like the fed that has the mental strength to hang on in there when it counts. I think I held my breath watching that match for 4 hours. (that HAS to be a world record!). When I use the term “lazy”, i mean to say, Fed is a fighter. He didnt fight at the AO in the fifth set – perhaps he couldnt because of the soreness in his back.

USO – fed should have won it in straights. I am probably one of the few people that didnt think delpo played brilliantly. Dont get me wrong. am loving the delpo, but he wasnt brilliant. He edged federer in the fifth set. Fed took his foot off the gas, (lazy), he should have put his foot ON the gas in the THIRD SET. finished him off, earlier. That was my point.

And i know what you mean, I dont like it when federer loses, but by all accounts, he has had another brilliant year. 2 slams and 2 slam finals. No one else has done that SS, and you cannot argue with that. And like you have said, Huh, fed is AT LEAST losing to ONE of the top four. It’s not like rafa who lost to soderling in FOURTH ROUND at FO – no comparison (and by the way, i like rafa and i LOVE the fed/rafa rivalries).

I dont know whether this explains my point any more clearly guys, but i hope so. I know that i might seem a bit blinkered, and i know i am not as good as you people with stats (this is what i love about this forum, you are so much better than me at working out stats and who plays what, and the point scoring, I am impressed!), but I do know about some of the key matches, the crunch moments and I just grow more and more respect for federer when he could so easily have given up and walked away. Delpo in Semi final of FO, brilliant, beautiful federer. Federer against Haas in quarter final (? – check me out?), he came back to beat Haas. Federer hasnt lost his hunger in the slams. No one can argue with that. The beast that is THE FEDERER!(I just love him!).


madmax Says:

duro – yes. i will take your advice.

guys,

i will catch you all tomorrow. i have to sleep now, but thanks for your comments. Huh! and blank! you are grrreattt!


jane Says:

huh asks “How about ‘DP/Djoko got more active’ theory then?”

I like it! I do think Djoko came into this final with a purpose, and in watching the match and then rewatching the highlights (you’re welcome madmaxi :-)), I really think Djoko was just better on the day, but I don’t think Fed played terribly. He tried to break back in the third set, but Djoko wasn’t having it. Fed also fought valiantly for the first set, making Djoko win it only on the 4th or 5th set point. AND Fed fought back from a break down in the second set and ultimately won it, in part due to a loose service game at 4-5 by Djoko but the point is that Fed tried to win the match and was not lazy.

I know it’s difficult for some to do, but I truly think Djoko deserves more credit for his win than putting it down to a poor performance by Fed. In Miami, that was a pretty poor performance by Fed, especially in the third set (hence the smashed racquet). But in Rome and in Basel, I thought that Fed played well for the most part.


sensationalsafin Says:

So I’ve updated Fed’s final set results:

09: 8-8 , was unable to win more than 2 games 5 times , did not lose more than 2 games 4 times.

08: 8-9 , was unable to win more than 2 games 0 times , did not lose more than 2 games 4 times.

07: 11-4 , was unable to win more than 2 games 0 times , did not lose more than 2 games 4 times.

06: 18-2 , was unable to win more than 2 games 0 times , did not lose more than 2 games 6 times.

05: 15-3 , was unable to win more than 2 games 0 times , did not lose more than 2 games 2 times.

04: 12-3 , was unable to win more than 2 games 1 times , did not lose more than 2 games 3 times.

So here’s what I noticed. From 04-07, Federer was stretched to 5 sets anywhere like 2 times. But he played plenty of full 3 setters and there were plenty of tiebreakers. He lost very few but the ones he lost were usually tiebreakers. But what started to happen in 07 and continued throughout 08 and 09 is that he’s not digging to win those matches anymore. Federer used to be able to win on his off day, or days where he wasn’t the better player (hence the number of tiebreakers). He doesn’t dig much anymore. He prevented a lot of what now we see as straight set or even lame 3 set losses in his peak years. It started in the 3 setters but now it’s carried over to the 5 setters. The fear is that as he gradually loses that extra something to constantly fight to the bitter end (or if it’s simply because he’s getting too old), eventually he’s gonna start losing before he gets to 5 sets, and then before he gets to the finals, and before he gets to the semis, etc. Again, as a fan, I don’t want Federer to lose early but I’d rather see a 5-7 fifth set loss in the semis than a 2-6 fifth set loss in the finals. It means the tennis was better. Federer really did take his foot off the gas in the 5th set. He was solid off the ground throughout the entire USO final until the last set. His serve, however, had been crappy the whole time. Same goes for the AO. His serve didn’t suddenly get bad, it was bad throughout. It’s his ground game that failed him in the end. Without a serve and without a ground game… wtf is he supposed to win with? His volleys :P


i am it Says:

SS,
that is some serious work you did there, to back up your point. that’s what i like about you.

since i consider you a Fed expert around here, replay the ’09 AO final and help me understand why Fed resorted defensively to his backhand more than 70% of the time, without being forced on more occasions.

Then, contrast this with ’09 Madrid final, where he uses more forehand, speed, plays aggressive, and wins.

’09 USO final, he simply got overpowered in the 5th set, despite serving better than the 1st set. compare the 1st and 5th set. he could not sustain his speed and response of the 1st set. he looked overwhelmed, despite trying. his defense was not enough.

Compare Madrid with Basel, where he tried to use forehand but failed repeatedly, and reluctantly resorted to BH, thus switch to defensive mode, and loss of the match.


sensationalsafin Says:

I’ve been asking this question a lot regarding a lot of Federer’s matches against Nadal. I have no idea why he resorts to defense on the backhand. I’m as perplexed as the next guy. Since Federer has often fallen to players with really good two handers, he has developed a pretty beastly one hander. It’s not a perfect shot but he can smack a backhand down the line harder than a lot of other players. It’s possible that Federer thinks if he plays his backhand defensively, he’s lulling his opponent into a fall sense of comfort and then he smacks a forehand winner out of nowhere. And at the AO 09, that worked about half the time, it did go to 5 sets after all. But then he collapsed in the 5th set. It stopped working and he fell apart. Don’t forget that a lot of the slices and drop shots Federer likes to tinker with don’t work that well against Nadal because of his speed and ability to improvise as well, if not better, than Federer. The problem is that Federer could have won that match had he employed a different strategy. Rather than slicing and defending, open up the court more often with the backhand. The 30% he was aggressive on the backhand he came up with some brilliant ways of winning the points.

In Madrid he did just that. He went for it with the backhand. He pushed Nadal back with BOTH strokes, not just the forehand. So his drop shots became more effective. Overall, he just played a really smart match in Madrid. To beat Nadal, he must use BOTH strokes to break Nadal down. If you really look at all of Federer’s matches, I don’t think he ever uses less forehand (hit or miss), it’s about how much backhand he uses.

I like to use the 09 Wimbledon final as a reference and comparison. There, he served lights out but was second best off the ground. It was enough to give him an edgy victory. But the USO final was almost opposite of that. Federer’s serving was poor throughout. He upped it after the first set but it was still subpar. Yet can you really say he was second best off the ground? Surely Del Potro had a lot more fire power, but I felt like Federer was having a good day with his ground strokes. Speaking of defensive, why didn’t Federer use more slice in that match? He kept hitting it with top spin and letting it sit up for Del Potro to crush. Del Potro is tall and it’s no secret the guy is gonna have problems constantly bending down, especially over 5 sets. Again, Fed’s strategy was just wrong. But whereas at the AO his game fell apart (forehand started missing, whole strategy went down the toilet), at the USO it really looked like Federer stepped off the gas. I know I said it before but it just looked like Federer was playing a first set instead of a fifth set. Compare that to Del Potro who was playing every point like it was match point and never giving up, not even for a second (man I can’t wait for him to get even better). It wasn’t about Federer’s serve here. Surely it could have helped him, but he was up 2 sets to 1 with poor-decent serving. He kept letting up at the crucial moments. Perhaps Federer’s own words can make sense of this. He said that there are days when the serve just doesn’t click and sometimes, while trying to figure out the serve, you forget about the rest of the game. You could say that was very well what happened. Federer was overly concerned with his serve and forgot about what helped him get far in the first place, his ground strokes. The mind goes away, Del Potro blasts a couple of rockets, and boom, game over. At Wimbledon, with his serve being more reliable than ever, Federer could muster more effort into his ground game to edge out Roddick.

I only watched the highlights of the Basel match, so I can’t give a full assessment, but here’s what I can say. You say his forehand failed and he had to resort to his backhand. Well, Djokovic has made a point of going after Federer’s FOREHAND as opposed to the usual, seemingly more logical strategy of going to his backhand. Nadal always goes after Fed’s backhand. That’s no secret. And it works more often than not. In Madrid, Federer expected it and just went for his shots and it paid off. In Basel, Federer wasn’t at his sharpest. He especially isn’t entirely used to someone attacking his forehand. And Djokovic is no slouch, so he really made it difficult for Fed to do anything. Attack the forehand enough, eventually Fed’s gonna miss. I don’t think Fed intentionally his defensive backhands, but when you think that Djokovic pushed him back on the forehand side, he opened up the court and left Federer with little options when Djoker would finally hit to the backhand. Also, Djokovic was playing better than people give him credit for so Federer must’ve felt more pressure on his forehand, consequently going for too much even when he did have a chance. If you watch the great shots Federer hits, they’re usually when he’s right on top of the baseline and gets a shot perfectly in his strike zone. He’s a lot like Agassi in that he’s pretty much hitting half volleys from the baseline. I’ve been trying to find faults in Federer’s mentality but I’m starting to believe it really is age. It’s getting harder for him to keep up with the young guys who play smart and solid games and constantly push Federer back. Even at the AO, Federer was pretty far behind the baseline when he was hitting those backhands. That’s not Federer’s MO and it partially explains the losses. Murray said it at IW, Federer goes for low percentage shots and when you have to constantly go for them, you’re gonna lose.

I appreciate the compliment but I’ll be a Federer expert after I talk to the man for several hours.


i am it Says:

SS, simply wow, that is pretty detailed response, worthy of a book writing. i am speechless.
when i said, in your words,”his forehand failed and he had to resort to his backhand.” what i meant is this was an occasion (Basel), he tested his FH before sort of concluding it is not working, though he had no option but go for it, either being forced or thought the feed was too luring, only to mishit. when this happens, he chooses (or is relegated to) defensive mode.

in contrast, at ’09 AO, Fed appeared to have decided from the outset to rely on BH, without testing its accuracy on that day.

yes, i agree with you that his BH alone can do so much damage, from slice through approach and deep cross-court, but if his FH gets going and it bears half of the load, there’s no stopping of him from anything.


i am it Says:

s/b without testing its accuracy on that day = without testing the accuracy of his FH on that day


jane Says:

Great post @ 8:44 sensationalsafin.


sensationalsafin Says:

Maybe he determines it during the warm up?


huh Says:

To me , it appeared that in the USO 09 final, Fed was trying his best but DP was just too good in the 5th set. Mind it, if DP plays like he played in USO semi and final, neither Muzza nor Rod nor Nole nor Rafa nor even FED can beat him. He was as unbeatable in the USO as Nole was in AO 08. I strictly believe, if Fed had played better than he did in the fifth set, DP might have played even better. Can’t you see, Fed was being overpowered? How could he have returned the ferocious shots of DP that day? It seemed to me nobody could have managed to keep the ball in play better than Fed or even equal! DP is a very young guy, but plays incredible tennis and he can improve much (hopefully and also realistically). Fed was probably forced to step off the gas more due to DP’s strokes than coz of anything else.

If fans believe that Nole can beat Fed, then simply they must also accept that DP can beat Fed, end of story. And don’t say that Fed’s butt became sore/he got cold…blah blah blah. No need to lift Nole to more heights than he deserves, and in the same manner, no need to dismiss DP more than he should be. If people can see the good in Nole’s win, then they have to see the good in DP’s win too. Indications so far are that DP can do everything that Nole can do. Forehand of DP= insane, backhand=insane, serve= totally impressive and what not? Movement also good.

Only if DP remains injury free(hopefully coz I like him the most after Fed and Rod), then he may go on to become a great great champion.


sensationalsafin Says:

I don’t wanna take anything away from Del Potro’s win but I don’t agree that he was unbeatable in the final. Federer was a few points from a 2 sets to love lead. Del Potro got tight when he had a chance to go up 2 sets to 1. He played great but it was still his first slam final and there were nerves. And unlike plenty of other matches, I was pretty sure Federer would win up until he got broken in the 5th set. I’m not saying Del Po’s win was a fluke by any means and he deserves all the credit for winning. But that doesn’t mean Federer couldn’t have won. He had a butt load of chances. He even said how he was unable to produce those chances against Nole in Basel. There’s no doubt Federer tried his best. How could he not? There were plenty of records on the line. And he surely wanted that first slam as a father. Things didn’t go his way and he lost. It’s not the end of the world. I’m not trying to undermine or overrate anyone.


huh Says:

I’m talking about particularly the 5th set USO final. And yes, DP was playing like unbeatable, none of that tournament could have beaten him or could beat him. We can only talk about 2009 USO and not about 2006. There’s moreover a huge difference between having/had a chance of beating and actually doing it. The thin line which’s the finishing line’s much bigger than it actually seems. Fed couldn’t beat DP howsoever close he mighta been. DP was the ultimate winner.

SS, I was refering in my previous post to all the fans in general and not just you as so long as I have been here, you haven’t been the guy who refuses to give credit where it’s due. Moreover if I had wanted, I woulda addressed you directly and not vaguely, after all you’re not an enemy to whom I’d hate to post directly if I disagree. So it wasn’t entirely personal. Some/many fans also like Nole, but unlike you, they may jump up telling that while DP & Nole both beat Fed in slams, it was actually Nole who’s beaten the better Fed, to whom I have sderious objections. My post was addressed primarily to those types of fans, if they come here.


jane Says:

huh, comparison-wise, wouldn’t you say Djoko is a better mover than Delpo but that Delpo is calmer and has a more consistent serve?

BTW, the commentators of that Basel match mentioned that the players Fed has had some difficulties against in recent years have often been good movers, so good defense. I think that applies for sure to Rafa, Murray, Nole, and Nalbandian and JMDP also, to a degree, although JMDP’s power is a factor. And with Roddick, it’s his improved movement this past year, coupled with the power/serves he’s always had. Fed can usually overcome power players (Tsonga, Blake, Soderling) and big servers, but maybe it’s the ones with excellent defense and returns that make it tougher for him.


huh Says:

Mrs. Jane, the names of whoever you mentioned having good movement are all GOOD players. Just look at a good student! It’s highly unlikely that a really good student will score good marks just in maths/science, he’ll score very good marks in all the other papers too. Similarly, it’s only natural that a good player does all things well and better than most others. So it’s not surprising that Fed’s losing to guys with defense and movement. Those guys, e.g. one of them Nole., also have much better offence too. Therefore nothing so special about this ‘Fed loses to good defenders theory’ and it’s by no means a path-breaking invention.

Anyway, to your first question, I’d say, Nole moves slightly better than DP. But DP and Nole are overall close. I won’t go into who’s better coz that’s subjective. You’d feel Nole’s, but I think otherwise. As I say, it’s subjective. And don’t forget Toni Nadal’s assessment, way back, that DP is a future no.1. His talent is also second to none except Fed IMO.


sensationalsafin Says:

As of right now, Djokovic is still the third most accomplished player on tour. So by results, he’s still better than Del Potro. As for who’s game is better, they’re very different. Del Potro is quite a phenomenon because he is a pretty slow guy yet defends so well because of his ridiculous wing span. Djokovic still has the better footwork. Del Potro definitely has more firepower but at the same time, if he’s even slightly off, he could be terribly inconsistent due to how low his balls are when they go over the net. I also think that Djokovic has better placement on his serve whereas Del Potro picks his spot wisely and he has the edge in his power. But who’s better? Let’s wait a couple of years before we need to decide.


madmax Says:

sensationalsafin,

firstly,

your posts are A-mazing! you are an incredibly precise, artistic, astute mathematician and i applaud you for that – in fact, this weekend, I am going to print off your posts and stick them on my tennis board!!!! oh yes! thank you man! THANK YOU!

but, SS, if you dont mind me saying, why do you want to concentrate on the negatives of federer’s game – his demise is a long way off – i would much prefer to concentrate on his positives. I cannot post too much tonight as am coming down with a major headache (too much work), but i could not resist replying and to be fair to you, your posts deserve a further analysis and careful thought from me, which i wont be able to do properly until the weekend.

I like to concentrate on the positives of federer’s game. I sometimes get very frustrated as a federer fan (die hard 6!), because i think he is still continuing to OUTPERFORM the top four in terms of SLAMS. Like I said before, this is where fed’s mindset is SS. He is fully fuelled and raring to go when Slams are a-calling, and I really do think that fed is the one still to beat. I think it is very unfair to talk about his losses unless you go on to discuss the positives of his game. The media and fed haters tear his game apart, tear it to shreds, tear the man to shreds, and I hate it, because I feel it is so unfair on Roger Federer. What a man! What an icon SS! (i cannot help myself). I cannot apologise for loving to watch him play. Yes, I agree he has more losses, but equally, he is still putting the work in, still has the joy for playing tennis, still participating amongst the best of them, and STILL WINNING. You see, this doesn’t come through your posts – it is kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me (in places), that you almost have given up on the guy you say you support? I dont know. I know it is difficult sometimes SS, for tone and meaning to come through posts. Sorry if I misunderstand you. Essentially, I like to concentrate on the positives of his game, I know he has a great team behind him, I know that he is an expert of the mind, and really, I just support the guy through and through. For me, he is the best and always will be. I am going to do the reverse of what you have done in terms of Fed’s wins/games – but I cannot do that until Saturday when I have more time. But SS. I love reading your posts, thank you. And Huh! once again, I love reading yours and also Blanks!. Cheers everyone.


huh Says:

SS, your 11.58 a.m. post is very good and it pretty much satisfies me.


Michael Says:

Well, I’ll be short and to the point;
Federer is like a magician, but an old one. Smart and talented. If his backhand was more powerful and effective, he would still be unbeatable.
Djokovic is the smartest player of them all, as smart as Federer but not as arrogant. Doesn’t have any particular weakness in his play. Although not as mentally strong as Fed used to be, he is working on it.
Nadal is the best athlete, giving 110% all the time, but is smart enough to slow down a bit, in order not to become a cripple in his thirties.
My predictions for 2010:
1. Djokovic
2. Federer
3. Murray
4. Nadal
5. Del Potro


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Michael, I like your predictions but I’d like to see Del Potro higher and Federer lower.

I have to admit I’m extremely pissed off at Federer. I didn’t expect him to win Paris but I expected a couple of wins. But no, instead he loses to Benneteau. His second loss to someone outside of the top 5 all year. It’s unacceptable. That’s why I haven’t posted in a few days. I wrote all that insightful stuff on his game and it all ends up meaningless. Thanks Roger. I just want him to end this year as number 1. After this year, though, I don’t care what he does. I’ll always love his game (it’s perfect) but he’s a veteran now, and I don’t like veterans. Safin’s gone and it’s all about Djokovic for me. (Btw, totally love the Safin farewell video on ATP, especially Djoker’s closing line).

Madmax, honestly, I love Federer. I’ve been rooting for him for so long and I always will unless he’s playing Djoker (and Del Potro, but first revenge). Why do I focus on the negatives and not the positives? You saw how much there was to write about his negatives, and you obviously believe he’s got a lot more positives than negatives, so do you just want me to write you a book and send you a copy? :) At the end of the day, he’s got the greatest forehand of all time and the best all around game. Few players, if any, have had as much variety on the backhand side despite it’s short comings against 2 handed players. His serve placement is up there with Sampras’s and his second serve is just awesome (can’t have 15 majors without a GREAT second serve). He’s got awesome touch at the net and hits great drop shots off both sides. What else? Footwork is superb, probably the best ever. No one glides like he does. Speed? Even though people think Nadal has been the fastest player over the last few years, I think (and I’ve said it before) Federer was the fastest guy on tour until, at least, 2007. His court coverage is incredible, his ability to switch from defense to offense to defense to offense is second to none (he this ability a necessity in today’s game). Why don’t I talk about his wins and how good he is? Because I will always believe that at his very best and highest peak, he is untouchable. We don’t see it as much nowadays, but even his best today is unbeatable. Hell, I think the only player who comes close is Safin (at his absolute best). With Safin retiring, people think about what could have been if Safin had lived up to his potential. Honestly, forget about the slams and titles and rankings. Imagine if Safin and Federer had played 5 or 6 times a year at their peaks. Imagine how many times we would say “that was the greatest match ever… I mean that was… no that definitely was their best… no that was their best…” I’m not trying to knock Nadal because I’ve got a lot of respect. But Federer and Safin, talentwise, are on a whole different level.

Next time Federer loses to someone <= Benneteau, I’m going to punch him in the face. I’m gonna punch both in the face.

Federer Update: 2009 8-9 in final sets, was unable to win more than 2 games 5 times , did not lose more than 2 games 4 times.

Top story: Roger Federer Replaces Rafael Nadal In IPTL, He'll Play In New Delhi!
Most Recent story: Confirmed: Rafael Nadal Will Play Beijing And Shanghai
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Sep 22 WTA - Sep 22
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Petra Kvitova
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Maria Sharapova
5 David Ferrer5 Na Li
6 Milos Raonic6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Caroline Wozniacki
8 Kei Nishikori8 Angelique Kerber
9 Marin Cilic9 Eugenie Bouchard
10 Grigor Dimitrov10 Ana Ivanovic
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Shop | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2014 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.