Another Spanish Choke Puts Nadal into Paris QFs; Murray Upset
by Sean Randall | November 12th, 2009
  • 175 Comments

For the second day in a row Rafael Nadal pulled a rabbit out of a hat at the expense of a countryman. Yesterday, Nadal survived five match points from Nicolas Almagro who could not finish off the Spanish great. Today, a near carbon copy as Tommy Robredo found himself serving for the match in the third set at 5-4 but just like Almagro, his nerves simply couldn’t handle the occasion.

Nadal didn’t need to save any matchpoints in this one but it doesn’t diminish the Rafa’s effort and attitude at the Paris Indoor Masters in his 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win.

“The better news is I didn’t play my best but I played much better than yesterday,” said Nadal who crept a wee bit closer to Roger Federer’s No. 1 ranking with the win. “I felt the ball much better than yesterday. For moments, I felt I have the control of the ball. I have the chance to play big rallies without having mistakes. So that’s very important for me.”

Next up for Nadal is Jo Tsonga who made quick work of his ailing countryman Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-3.

“He’s playing really well,” Nadal said of Tsonga who he leads 3-1. “Sure, he’s playing at home in good conditions for him – indoor, fast court, France – so probably he’s gonna be the favourite tomorrow. But that’s the tennis. I’m gonna try to play better, to play my match.”

Despite the head-to-head edge for Rafa, I’m picking Tsonga here. There won’t be no Houdini act for Nadal in this one. Tsonga needs the win more than Rafa and I think the last two days has to have taken something out of Rafa. So I give a slight edge to JW.

Also today, almost as expected Andy Murray was bounced by Radek Stepanek 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. After a near 2am finish last night and with London looming, it was all but in the cards for Steps to notch his first career win over the Scot.

“I wanted to try and play as many matches as possible,” a content sounding Murray said. “I would have signed up for playing seven matches and winning six of them before these couple of tournaments, and it was kind of just what I needed before London. I get nine days’ rest to get rid of all the niggles and stiffness. I’ll be feeling good going in there, I’m sure; a lot better than I would have been if I had gone out early both weeks.”

Stepanek now meets Juan Martin Del Potro who was the beneficiary of a Fernando Gonzalez retirement. The two had just split two breakers when Gonzo called it a season.

I picked Stepanek to the semifinals, and after two tough matches for DelPo I think Steps is ripe to pull another upset Friday.

In the other two quarters, my man Gael Monfils collides with Marin Cilic. As I said yesterday, Monfils should expect to go deep in the draw, perhaps even walk away with the title. There’s no reason he can’t get to the final and at the very least I think he beats Cilic, who surprised Fernando Verdasco today. The loss takes Verdasco’s London hopes out of his hands into those of Tsonga and Robin Soderling. The Swede kept his London dream alive after beating Nikolay Davydenko in three sets.

Soderling will now have his hands full with Novak Djokovic who’s arguably playing better than anyone right now. Somehow, I think Soderling wins tomorrow. He needs the win more than the Serb. And at this time of year that’s often what it comes down to: Who wants it, who needs it.


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175 Comments for Another Spanish Choke Puts Nadal into Paris QFs; Murray Upset

kamret Says:

That’s a good point. It’s true that around this time of the year, the win often goes to the one that needs it more (and the one who is already qualified tends to relax). However, I don’t see Stepanek beating Del Potro. No way! Del Potro has monstrous grounstrokes (the kind of power that we have never been seen before) and Stepanek’s serve-and-volley game cannot handle that kind of power. No way! Not a chance!


i am it Says:

this is a sort of common consensus: “Tsonga needs the win more than Rafa and I think the last two days has to have taken something out of Rafa. So I give a slight edge to JW.”

however, i will be rooting for Rafa for Dj’s sake, so he can reduce his h2h margin plus rafa should be easier to deal with than Tsonga. that’s just my wish, not likely to happen.

i am a dePo supporter, but i have to agree with Sean on this: “I picked Stepanek to the semifinals, and after two tough matches for DelPo I think Steps is ripe to pull another upset Friday.”

if dePo had had a day match today, i would have some hope. Going home at 2:00 am and having to play next day does not bode well. more over, dePo is not fully awake from the US Open euphoria and is still out of shape. add abdominal strain to that.

only a miracle can save my guy from the willy Worm tomorrow.

I disagree with Sean on Cilic and don’t think Monfils will beat Cilic easily, though quite possible.

i agree with Sean on Dj: he played far better today than yesterday. so, he is looking good.


huh Says:

I hope that either JMDP/Tsonga win the title now! Go guys!!!


huh Says:

Go Tsonga and send Rafa packing!


jane Says:

How many points is the YEC? Is it 2000 like a slam, or 1000 or what? I’ll go to the ATP and see if I can find it.


sar Says:

I think the worm is going to win tomorrow.
Nadal/Tsonga toss up.
I hope Novak one more time over Soda.
Cilic, if he can ignore the bongo man.

But mostly, go Nestor and Zims


i am it Says:

j., it is 1500 for YEC, if you win without losing a match. 200 per RR, 400 for semi, and 500 for the final.


Kimmi Says:

“He’s playing really well,” Nadal said of Tsonga who he leads 3-1. “Sure, he’s playing at home in good conditions for him – indoor, fast court, France – so probably he’s gonna be the favourite tomorrow. But that’s the tennis. I’m gonna try to play better, to play my match.”

______________________________________________

Why does Rafa always like to be an underdog in matches ? he was calling Federer the favorite even when he was ranked number 1. Now he calls Tsonga the favorite..huh ? he is world number 2, he has won the last 2 or 3 times they play, he is the favorite in this match.


jane Says:

i am it – I checked, and Djok won 1300 points for last year’s YEC. So if he can win here in Paris and then do pretty well at the YEC then he’ll still be okay, i.e., won’t lose too much even if he doesn’t win the YEC again, which would be very difficult to do.

I guess Nadal and JMDP have the most to gain at the YEC, as they weren’t there last year; and Roddick too since he quit last year due to an injury. Then whomever gets the 8th spot, unless it’s Tsonga, stands to gain as well.

It should be very interesting to see how things finish up.


jane Says:

I think Murray has his sights set on winning the YEC; he seems very content about losing to Steps. :-) It would be great for him to win in London. Maybe he can do it this year?


Kimmi Says:

jane, DelPo won one match, did he ? same as Federer. They both defend 200 points I think.


Ezorra Says:

Kimmi,

Due to H2H between Nadal and Federer, I have to agree with you that it is unnecessary for Nadal to keep telling the public that Federer is the favorite whenever they play.

However, I don’t see anything wrong with Nadal’s statement in Tsonga’s situation today because the “indoor, fast court & France” factor will definitely give a very huge advantage for Tsonga. In addition, everyone can see how bad Nadal played this week so in my opinion; Tsonga is certainly the favorite to win tomorrow.


jane Says:

Kimmi, I had thought Fed did better than winning one match. Then Fed can really do well at the YEC too. And I completely forgot JMDP was there last year. Guess I need to refresh my memory. I do remember Fed/Murray’s match and I remember Djoko/Davy’s final. That’s mainly what sticks out.


jane Says:

Ezorra, I agree with you. I didn’t find it to be falsely modest in this case, because Tsonga has been playing better than Nadal and he will have the crowd behind him. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for Rafa to say that this time. However, with more thought, personally I’d say it’s 50/50.


Kimmi Says:

jane, its one year ago..but suprisingly is still fresh in my mind.

DelPo won against Tsonga, but lost to davydenko and Djoko.

Fed won against stepanek but lost to Murray and Simon.


Kimmi Says:

Unless they are hitting the ball so big and flat a la DelPo and Cilic, it’s always going to be difficult to play Rafa. Tsonga groundies are not as consistent; he is susceptible to make unnecessary UE. I say rafa will fight in this match and will come out the victor


i am it Says:

Kimmi, you are right.

j., that’s what it appears to be. Murray has been saying this for a couple of months already. he seriously intends to win the YEC, obviously for no other reason than it is held in home country. is he creating an extra pressure on himself, by overemphasizing the significance and reiterating his intention publicly? you know better than i do, so i keep my mouth shut. i only can wish him well.

on a historical note, Àlex Corretja and Nalby are the only non-Slammers to win YEC (in Open Era).


been there Says:

Rafa simply loves to play the underdog, & the players know this as well. I remember a USO pre-interview, you know how interviewers tell a player so & so said this & that….so one of the interviewers asks Fed something like ‘Nadal said that you are the favourite to win…..’ (+ a couple of other players…but only mentions himself after them)…then Fed replied something like ‘Seems like he is never the favourite…’ at which point the whole room burst out laughing ‘coz it is now a well known fact that for whatever reason, Nadal would like people to believe that he’s not favourite for any match,…not even at FO! lol.

——————————————————-
I only have the written script…probably more google for video link:
http://www.tennisweek.com/news/fullstory.sps?inewsid=6638121

It’s buried down somewhere, so I’ll copy-paste relevant bit of Fed’s reply:

Asked to assess Nadal’s pick, Federer suggested the third-ranked Spaniard is sticking to the script in deflecting pre-tournament attention away from himself.

“It seems like he’s never the favorite, so I guess I’ll definitely have a shot, you know, after winning five times, but so has he,” Federer said. “He’s only lost a handful of matches this year. Many other guys like Murray and Djokovic have been up there in the past in the finals. Then the other guys right behind them, Del Potro and stuff, they also have chances. But, yeah, I think definitely the top few guys have the best chance.”


sar Says:

Jane are you saying Murray did a tank?


been there Says:

As for Rafa vs Tsonga, I also think it’s 50-50. For starters, Rafa is a great fighter and he’s played all over the world with different crowd atmospheres, so while the crowd will for sure be for Tsonga & inspire him, this should not affect Rafa’s game. Another thing, for me, if Rafa & Fed get through a match playing poorly, I don’t really take their previous play into account while trying to assess their next match…simply ‘coz they’re that good…unless there’s an injury problem or something…which I haven’t heard Rafa mentioning (maybe there’s something up & his team hasn’t announced this time round?…but again, on Wednesday, he said he was ok practising in Mallorca)

So just based on the above, the only thing imo that Tsonga has going for him, tennis-wise, is that it’s on a fast hard-court (which to my eyes isn’t even that fast…hehe…my amateur eyes). Hence 50-50…I might even be brave and say 60-40 to Rafa…taking H2H into consideration.


sar Says:

Been there, Djokovic said the court in Basel was much faster.


jane Says:

Sar, no I did not mean to imply Murray tanked at all! I don’t think he’d've come out and won the first set 6-1 if he intended to tank! I watched the whole match, and Murray kept fighting, and he got one break back in the third set, too, I believe.

What I was saying is that, priority-wise, I don’t think he’s too disappointed with this loss. I think he’d rather win the YEC, as i am it says, because it’s at home. That’s all. If he could have he would have beat Steps, but Murray was tired, and when the match went to 3 sets, I think he was just worn out.


sar Says:

Oh, OK. I thought Murray was out for bear in that first set when I saw it.
Saw this on another site:
Marat and Novak are planning an exhibition in Banja Luka, Bosnia for 1 December – including Ana and Jelena, Ziki, Viki, and Janko


been there Says:

sar, thanks for that…my eyes ain’t too amateur after-all…the balls are bouncing quite high.

hmm, what’s that you’re saying about Marat. Is he missing tennis already such that he’s playing an exhibition so soon? People, Marat’s coming back to play competitive tennis in Jan 2011!…or, we’ll be seeing Marat in all exhibition matches next year…or he’ll join senior tennis after a yr or two? LOL. Anyone knowledgeable, is there an lower age limit for senior tennis?


jane Says:

Sar -I noticed in the “good-bye” Marat video at the ATP site, that Djoko said something like, “this isn’t good-bye; we’ll going skiing this winter.” Can you imagine seeing Djoko and Safin skiing – how cool that would be!

Marat in senior’s tennis would be a hoot. Him and J-Mac could throw tantrums together. :-)


Voicemale1 Says:

If Tsonga “zones” like he did the only time he beat Nadal then he will win. His only chance is to blast Nadal off the court, which is possible. In their other matches Nadal has learned to keep pressure on Tsonga by staying with him. JWT isn’t one of those “thinkers” on the court; he pretty much just bashes. And Tsonga could easily feel the weight of the occasion: playing at home, and he is the title holder here. Nadal’s challenge will be to hold his own serve. He did it better today than yesterday. But must do better still.

Their H2H turned to Nadal at IW 2008, their next match after Tsonga beat Nadal in Australia. They split tie break sets. Then Tsonga broke to go up 5-3 in the third and served for it. Only to stand dumbfounded as Nadal went on a roll and won the next 4 games to take the match, 7-5 in the third. Tsonga’s remarks in his press conference that day were reported to be spoken in a “daze”, because he had no idea what hit him. After that match Nadal won two Majors, Olympic Gold and World #1, and Tsonga went into the toilet in Miami and then on the Injury List in Casablanca. In fact, Toni Nadal subsequently cited that very IW match against Tsonga as the turning point in Nadal’s ascent to #1.


i am it Says:

Dj breaks Sod and takes an early lead 3-1.
where is Duro?


i am it Says:

a couple of sloppy volley from Dj hands the break back to Sod. 4-4.
Sod is playing cautious and low percentage until he gets clean opportunity to hit big.

Dj is handling Sod’s serve well. he breaks Sod again, in love. he will be serving for the set. 5-4.


i am it Says:

dj has faced 9 break points by the end of 10th game, 1st set.
he saves 2 BP here.
Dj’s drop shot has been a disaster.

Sod is returning Dj’s serve easy.

Dj somehow manages to win the set, thanks to Sod’s errors.


i am it Says:

with double fault, Dj faces double break point in the 2nd set opener. but manages to deuce.
in the 3rd BP, Sod breaks, as Dj throws a couple of BH/FH long.
Sod leads 2-0. Dj will try to break back right away.


i am it Says:

In first 3 games (2nd set), Dj’s unforced errors near double digit (9-10), while his UEs in the entire 1st set numbered only 12.
Sod comfortably holds and it’s 3-0.


i am it Says:

Dj faces double break points, again, and he gets broken.
Sod is serving for the set and certain to take it to the distance. Sod is winning much more points in his serve, 91% out of 49%, where as Dj is winning only 64% out of 65% In.
Dj loses the set, 1-6. in the 3rd set, he will have to serve much better and cut the UEs, or else he is in trouble.


i am it Says:

Dj is forced to deuce in the opener in the 3rd. he barely holds. 1-0.
he has to play corner to corner. that’s the only strategy works against Sod.


i am it Says:

Dj’s error campaign continues, and it is not looking good. Sod holds after pushed to deuce. Dj had a chance, but committed a couple uncharacteristic errors. it is getting scarier.
he holds easily in love, in a while. 2-1.


i am it Says:

Sod wins 15 out of 19 times at the net, which is unprecedented. he is striking the ball much cleaner. and he holds. 2-2.
Dj continues to make errors, no sign of slowing down.


i am it Says:

Dj can not return serve. Sod holds easy, losing only one point. 3-3. he is all pumped up.
Dj’s body language is uninspiring. his serve has been terrible, cannot get 1st serve in, but he holds. 4-3.


i am it Says:

Good, good, good, finally.
2 BH long and a double fault from Sod give Dj triple break point. and Sod throws one in the net. Dj breaks and will be serving for the match.


i am it Says:

Dj barely gets through, now to the Semi. he did not play great (19 winners and 29 unforced errors) but managed to win. what counts is W.
Congrats to my man.
Stats
19-23 Winners. 29-39 UEs.


i am it Says:

Congrats to me more than Duro, j., margo, SS, and been there.


jane Says:

i am it – great play by play & stats as usual. Congrats to Djoko for scraping out another win! He’s shown a lot of heart this last while.


jane Says:

I missed the match (too early), but it sounds like it was a good one to miss, at least from the perspective of Djoko’s play. In a way I am sad for Sod, as it would have been nice to see him make the YEC, but then again, I’d love to see Djoko win an MS title this year after having made so many finals.

I wonder who will win Tsonga/Nadal?


i am it Says:

j., i was nervous through out, esp. after the 1st set. it was scary to face 14 break points, but somehow luckily saved 11 of those. 29 UEs are too many. His 1st serve % may not look that bad but winning % was really bad,68% out of 66%. i am super happy he scarped through at the ens, courtesy to Sod’s errors.

Now on to Tsonga-Rafa match.


sar Says:

I thought Djok played a lackluster match. Looks like he didn’t care but he pulled it off. That crappy umpire asks Sod if he is SURE he wants to challenge? He’s trying to help Sod there. Then, idiot umpire tells Djok his ball was out and of course Djok challenges and it’s IN. Twice he had balls called out and they weren’t. Also, fanboy Koenig said that Soderling would win because he wants it more. Well, Sean you must be disappointed, guess Djok wanted it more than Sod.

PLEASE NESTOR WIN THIS ONE


i am it Says:

j., i think Tsonga will win, but Rafa has a way to surprise, routinely, so cannot rule him out.


i am it Says:

Tsonga outplays rafa and gets 1st BP. rafa aces down the T to deuce. throws FH in the net. 2nd BP for Tsonga.
serves nice wide angle. deuce.
another good serve. Game point. Tsonga throws FH long and misses the chance to break. 1-1.


jane Says:

Hi i am it and sar – well at least Djoko came through, against Soderling, playing not his best. As you said earlier i am it, the W is all that matters. Sar I hope Nesty/Zims win too!!

Tsonga starts strongly, but you get the sense with him that it’s just a matter of “containment” (a word Bodo used when describing how Fed dealt with JMDP in the early part of the USO final)- if Rafa can contain Tsonga’s brilliant shot-making, eventually Tsonga may go off the boil and hit more errors. And in that case, Rafa will pick up speed. Also, in his last preser, Rafa said he is “feeling the ball” better and that’s always a good sign for him. Tough to call this one – I still feel it’s 50/50.


i am it Says:

yesterday, i said, “i will be rooting for Rafa for Dj’s sake, so he can reduce his h2h margin plus rafa should be easier to deal with than Tsonga.”

but on the other hand, rafa’s win will not help fed secure the year-end No. 1, so i am kind of torn between rafa and tsonga.


jane Says:

I feel the same i am it; I am torn. I love Rafa’s fight, but I love Tsonga’s shot-making. Tsonga has more at stake: he’s defending the title AND it could mean a spot at YEC if he’s able to do so. Then again, Rafa wants to get back to the top and challenge Fed. Also, by the sounds of Djoko’s play today, whose to say he’d improve his H2H against either guy! Nadal can play into form and Tsonga knows Djoko’s game pretty well. It’d be tough to call the next round too.


i am it Says:

triple break point for Tsonga. rafa’s wide serve saves 1. wow, Tsonga slacked there. he could have hit a batter volley from the net, and got lobbed.
2 saved.
that half volley at the net saves the 3rd. 2nd serve. Tsonga throws an easy FH into the net.
Game point 1.
2nd serve. Rafa throws BH long in the corner. Deuce. Tsonga shanks another FH into the net.
Game point 2.
Tsonga pounds on the 2nd serve.Deuce.
Rafa serves well. Game Point 3. another big serve. Tsonga cannot return either of those. Rafa holds.
Tsonga could not capitalize on those chances. this means the match becomes 50-50 at this point.


i am it Says:

the way Tsonga is holding easily and rafa is struggling to hold suggests that Tsonga has a slight edge.


i am it Says:

Tsonga’s 15 winners against rafa’s 7 is better but his error is twice as many as Rafa’s, 9-4.

what’s keeping rafa alive in the set is he has low UEs, only 4.
first time tsonga faced BP, but he held. 5-4.


jane Says:

My sense is that Tsonga is too nervous; Rafa is more familiar with these tense matches. Tsonga’s errors are because of the tension and pressure he feels; he is giving Rafa break points and he will pay. To me, Rafa has the momentum.


jane Says:

Yep – Rafa breaks.


i am it Says:

Tsonga has gotten a little tighter in the last 2 games. and he faces a BP, again. deuce. but misses BH. 2nd BP for rafa. rafa is attacking Tsonga’s BH and it is working.
Rafa breaks to lead 6-5 and will be serving for the set.
momentum swings to rafa.


i am it Says:

j., i agree Tsonga is nervy and it is such shame that he is missing easy ones. Rafa is all pumped up.
he takes the 1st set.


i am it Says:

Tsonga/Rafa winners 17-14 and UEs 17-5.
the errors killed Tsonga in the 1st set, plus rafa dramatically increased his winners in the last 3 games.


jane Says:

Rafa will win and at the same time will secure Verdasco’s berth in the YEC.


huh Says:

Rafa’d win as I was thinking.


i am it Says:

if Tsonga cannot right his ship in the 2-3 games, this match will be over pretty soon.
Tsonga’s volley at the net has been a major failure today. and rafa is routinely luring him to the net.

tsonga barely holds. rafa is serving remarkably well, 83% 1st in, 12% better than Tsonga. it won’t be easy to break rafa when he is serving like that.


huh Says:

I think Rafa may end up even the year-end No.1, to my utter dislike!


jane Says:

Yes, i am it – Rafa is serving tremendously well.


sar Says:

Bryans out
Nesty takes first set


i am it Says:

time and again, rafa beats tsonga at the net and makes him look vulnerable at his so-called strong turf.


jane Says:

sar – Nesty/Zims now up a break in the second set!


i am it Says:

rafa wins much more convincingly, using good tactics: get tsonga out of his comfort zone, outplay him at the net, and force him to play baseline and couple extra ball and draw errors. and rafa’s serve and forehand were infallible.
Congrats to Rafa.


Max Says:

Great win for Rafa. He really needed a victory against a power player like Tsonga. He had entered a bad habit of losing against them.


jane Says:

Yep congrats to Rafa; Nestor/Zims lost their break. Bummer.


sar Says:

LET’S GO HERE


sar Says:

Iam it:
What do you say for tomorrow?


jane Says:

4-1 in the tiebreak!


Karthick Says:

Vamos Rafa!!!! Rafa proved what he is capable of when he needs to deliver!!!


sar Says:

he he good work


jane Says:

Woot – so are they into the finals now sar?


sar Says:

Going to the gym, signing off now. Bye all


sar Says:

NO semis, one more to go.


margot Says:

jane: Hooray for Djko! However, he did an Andy Murray walkabout in the second, for the sake of his fans, this must stop!
Voicemale1: so accurate in your assessment of Tsonga v. Rafa. Tsonga gave us some magic but unfortunately not at the right moments. Looks like Rafa is playing into his form. His serve was very, very effective against right handed Tsonga.
BTW girls, have you noticed Monfils’ biceps? They are a..maz..ing!


huh Says:

If Nole meets Rafa here, forget about Nole winning!


Vulcan Says:

If Nadal were to win Paris his chances of regaining the Number 1 ranking..assuming an equal win/loss probability for himself and Federer at YEC…are approximately 38%.


jane Says:

margot “for the sake of his fans, this must stop!” LOL – exactly and well said, as usual.


jane Says:

huh – what do you mean “if”? Nole will meet Rafa here, tomorrow. I didn’t see his match today, but it sounds like Djoko played poorly while Rafa upped his level, so yeah, you could be right. This may be the end of the line for Djoko in Paris. But I hope he can win nevertheless!


been there Says:

Congrats to Rafa…finally a top10 in many months. As expected (at least by me @ 11:16pm & a few others), he was the favourite. A bit sad for Tsonga, but not overly ‘coz he’s his worst enemy…loses concentration easily…am not even sure why. I think he gets caught up in the atmosphere.

Looking forward: Djoko vs Nadal…I still pick Nadal as fav to win, or at best, I split it 50-50….no one should be fooled by his first two round performances…those are now in the long distant past….hehe. It will be up to Djokovic to play aggressively throughout. Having said that, Djokovic should have all the motivation to win just to further wipe out those early season loses.


i am it Says:

not very good news for Fed fans: after Rafa’s win, Fed’s road to securing year-end No. 1 becomes a little more challenging.

let’s do the math again,
(1)
Fed—-10,150
Rafa—9205

granted Fed does not win any and Rafa wins 2 RR and Semi at the YEC, he adds 800. his total will be 10,005 (plus DC’s 40 pts.). he will be short.

(2)
if rafa wins tomorrow, he adds 240.
Fed—–10,150
Rafa—-9445

Granted Fed wins only 1 RR, and Rafa wins 2 RR and semi,
Fed——-10,150 + 200 = 10, 350
Rafa——9445 + 800 = 10, 245 (add Dc’s 40 points, he’ll be still short)

(3)
if rafa wins the Paris title,
Fed———10,150
Rafa——–9,845

at YEC, let’s say rafa wins 2 RR, but Fed wins 1 RR,

Fed——–10,150 + 200 = 10,350
Rafa——-9,845 + 400 = 10,245 (ad DC’s 40, not enough)

In the worst case scenario (or best for Rafa), if Fed wins only 1 RR, rafa will have to win Paris title and win 3 RRs, , to pass Fed.
Fed——10,350
Rafa—–9,845 + 600 = 10,445

Say Fed wins 2 RRs, Rafa will have to win Paris title plus 2 RRs and 1 semi at YEC,

Fed—–10,150 + 400 = 10,550
Rafa—-9,845 + 800 = 10,645

say Fed wins 2 RR and reaches semi, which i believe he will,
Fed——-10,150 + 800 = 10,950

Rafa will have to win Paris title and win 3 RRs and reach YEC final, or win 2 RRs and win YEC title.
it is doable for Rafa but quite difficult.


jane Says:

In addition to that being quite difficult, it may be tough for Rafa to defend his AO title, and then he has the IW to defend shortly thereafter. However, we all know he can pick up lots of points at RG and Wimbledon. So Fed should hold onto number 1 to end this year and I would suspect he will do so for a while at the beginning of next year. But I would not be shocked to see Murray or Djoko or even JMDP make a push for the top early next year; none of them have as much to defend so they can add points. And if one of them wins the AO we could have our first different number 1 in a LONG while. Next year should be interesting, in part because of all of this closing up of the gaps at the end of the season.

I think I want Monfils to beat Cilic, so he can do something special on home turf.


i am it Says:

Sar,
i have faith in Dj, despite he did not play that well today and Rafa seemed to have found that feel for the ball.
it all comes down to serve. if both serve equally, i give Dj an edge.
regardless, i feel safer with rafa than with Tsonga.
my stance: if Dj cannot defeat rafa on hard, indoor or outdoor, his claim for No. 1 or 2 will remain questionable.
Go Dj !


i am it Says:

j., all the songs you have been singing about Cilic all this time were false, then?:)

let me say this publicly, it may not sound quite pleasing to fed fans, though, if Fed secures his year-end No. 1 and loses the rank later in mid 2010, i am mentally prepared to accept that more easily than his losing year-end No. 1 this year. i am NOT ready to see rafa reclaiming No. 1 this year. he does not deserve it with 1 Slam. that will be really painful to accept.


jane Says:

i am it – no, no, I like Cilic. But since I like Monfils also, I just think on this occasion it would be nice to see Gael (and his biceps margot lol) win. He’s the only Frenchie left, so I’d like to see a home boy come through.

I don’t think you have to worry about Fed losing number 1 i am it. Based on your calculations, it sounds like the chances are slim. So keep the faith.

Speaking of faith, I am happy to hear you still have it in Novak. I do hope he can win this whole thing now, as he still doesn’t have an MS title this year, and it would take some of the pressure off for defending the YEC. No offense to Rafa fans – I know he has a lot at stake too and I like him a lot. : ) He definitely deserved his win over Tsonga.


rafa Says:

@ i am it

I think Nadal can add 230 points from Davic Cup. Currently he got 80 and if he wins both his live rubbers he will gain 150 more.

He has played only 3 500 events so these daviscup points will be included as his 4th 500 event.


i am it Says:

rafa,
sorry, no, his Monte Carlo occupies that 4th spot in the 500-series, so my math is correct.
if you are not convinced, read the rules for DC here under the FAQ: “What are the ranking rules for players who compete in Davis Cup?”

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


i am it Says:

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


rafa Says:

@i am it

hmmm..So does that mean even though Nadal has played only 17 events he can’t include daviscup in his best 18 events?

Ridiculous rules.


Vulcan Says:

IAI, you lost me on the DC points…here you say that he can gain only gain 40, here you say 220:

Keep in mind, he has DC points and has already decided to play the DC final, from which he is almost certain to gain some points (220).
http://www.daviscup.com/news/newsarticle.asp?articleid=16341

And on the Davis Cup website it says 75 points for each rubber…please clarify.


rafa Says:

If he wins both singles his total daviscup points will become 230 and automatically replace his 180 points from Beijing. So 50 is the right number instead of 40.


sar Says:

if Dj cannot defeat rafa on hard, indoor or outdoor, his claim for No. 1 or 2 will remain questionable.

I think he will be motivated.


i am it Says:

Vulcun,
in my discussion with Daniel, i corrected my earlier error. it comes to be only 40 if you follow that discussion.
let me try to recapture quickly, if you noticed or not, in that link you provided, it says 70 points for each win in the Finals if you have not played the preceding round, which rafa has not.

yes, it is 220, but Monte Carlo spot will have to evacuate, which has 180 points. see the rules above how Monte Carlo and DC points work in the 500-series category.
so, 220-180 = 40.


i am it Says:

Correction: i meant to say Rafa’s Beijing 180 points.
==========================================
further,
a player’s 18 (+YEC) will count 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.


jane Says:

Cilic is returning quite well; he attacks the ball so quickly and is so aggressive. He is improving. Monfils, as the announcers have mentioned, tends to be a little too passive. It’s looking like Cilic will win and face Steps/JMDP, unless Monfils can get inspired here.


Vulcan Says:

IAI, OK, thanks for clarifying…Im guessing that’ll put Rafa’s chances down at 25-30% then even if he wins Paris. About Nadal deserving the year end number #1…I have no problem with it as long as he were to dominate at the YEC (which he would need to do in order to capture the ranking). The YEC is after all considered to be a 5th slam in some regards.


i am it Says:

Vulcun and rafa,
if you want to see how we arrived at this conclusion, after a few trials and errors, see this thread, particularly my discussion with Daniel.
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-11-08/2609.php#comments


nacho Says:

wow! you guys are so bad…all your picks wrong jejeje

saludos! from chile


jane Says:

Well it seems Monfils has decided to up his level in the second set, although he’ll have to keep the errors in check to maintain this lead.


andrea Says:

#1 ranking up for grabs at london. how’s that for great year-ending drama???


i am it Says:

Cilic just got hasty there and missed an easy FH at the net when the entire court was open on the other side and wasted his chance to break. again missed another easy FH wide.

let’s go Cilic !


Duro Says:

i am it, guilty as charged!


i am it Says:

Duro, i looked for you this morning, wanted to share the joy that our guy won a difficult match.

i hope you will be here tomorrow to cheer for Dj.


jane Says:

Cilic is showing maturity; in the face of Monfils’ shots and the crowds cheers, he is still holding his own, staying calm. There is no doubt he will be a future champ. Monfils is an incredible athlete – wow the one jump shot was like a slam dunk. Only he loses his focus too much. This is an enjoyable match.


i am it Says:

j., you vs. me, you will always win, so Monfils is gonna win.


i am it Says:

there you go, j., i surrender. Monfils breaks right on time. 3-2.


jane Says:

i am it – NO – you make me feel sad when you put it like that; it’s not you vs. me! It’s Cilic vs. Monfils. I am cheering for Monfils on this occasion for specific reason, but I like both these guys. As usual you’re the smarter fan in that Cilic will likely be more of a champion in the future than Monfils, who must do something quick in his career if he’s to really make something of his potential. For Cilic, it’s just a matter of time, and I’ll be smiling when he breaks through. Seems like such a nice kid.


i am it Says:

OK, j., i retract that statement. i was only kidding. It is Monfils vs. Cilic.
Monfils is more patient, defends so well, and he’s got the serve. now the break consolidated, he is on the way to victory. i don’t think Cilic can break back.
as for the future, Cilic has the potential but he needs that extra mile (consistency) to have a shot at the top 10.


jane Says:

Thanks i am it. So is Delpo/Steps after this? Isn’t getting very late there? I feel sorry for the winner of that match.


Twocents Says:

I’m not making excuse for Djok — ok I am in fact. But I see Nadal gets better of Djok tomorrow. Djok’s been playing too much lately. Plus, Djok’s done enough to defend Fed’s rank last year :-)). Fed only has himself to blame if he loses it.

2005: Fed lost AO & YEC;
2008: Fed lost AO & YEC;
2009: Fed lost AO & ???


i am it Says:

congrats to Monfils, you, and been there.

yes, j., it is already 10:05 pm. delPo-Step will start at 10:30-10:45 pm and will end 1:00 am. and delPo went to bed last night not earlier than 2:30 am. he is totally burned out. if he can win a set or is able to last 2 sets without retiring, that will be something.


jane Says:

LOL Twocents. I hope Djoko can pull through, but I do have the same feeling myself; Djok won in Bejing and got to the semis at Shanghai, losing only just to Davy. Djoko won in Basel and got the semis at Paris … can he change up that result this time? It will be hard against a motivated and “feeling the ball well” Rafa.

—-

Sometimes Monfils is such a dummy, trying to reach balls he’ll never get to and sliding all over the court, risking injury. Sheesh. Just let those go Gael.


jane Says:

Congrats to Monfils, and yes, been there, a fan. Oh I guess Sean – you’d be happy about “your man” too, yes?

i am it, so you don’t give any chance to JMDP? I missed his match with Gonza, but judging by comments and scoreline, it did look like a grind.


Ezorra Says:

Congrats Sean, your man won…


sar Says:

Yes Jane, Djok did the Asia swing but people said he would be too tired in Basel too. I think he eeks this one out.

NESTY WIN TOMORROW PLEASE


i am it Says:

j., i give my man 20% chance. as far endurance is concerned, delPo is behind Murray, who had to go through that same late late night match and play the same opponent. plus, delPo is not as match grooved as Murray was, and delPo had some stomach strain last night. and he trails Step 0-1 (they played this year in Memphis, 7-6(7), 6-4).


Twocents Says:

Jane,I hope Djok can pull thru too. But the odds do not seems favor him. If he does not, well, more rest for WTF.

Sean, Let’s hope La Monf match Tsonga’s last year run here at Bercy. It’s been a good tournament for the French players and home crowd. One can’t help but feel for Bennateau’s tears.


i am it Says:

i’d like to believe in rafa, who said this of Dj, “Probably he’s the player who’s playing better in this part of the season. He’s doing really good end of the season. It’s going to be a challenge for me and a good test. I know he’s the favourite on this kind of surface, but I’m here to keep improving and we will see what happens tomorrow.”


i am it Says:

s/b believe in rafa, who said this of Dj = believe in what rafa said of Dj


been there Says:

wohooo…Monfils at his very best. Allez! Quite a delightful match to watch…poor Cilic…Monfils was getting all the balls back whatever direction they went. Crazy French crowd absolutely delirious…I wish I was there. Rhythmic clapping, a bit of drums…perfect entertainment. Good play from both players.

Monfils next step more consistent good results:

1) We love his athletic cheetah speed & panther like movement (apparently he’s the fastest guy on tour -says commentators & a few players, e.g. Blake)…but for the love of tennis, as jane says, stop chasing after balls which cannot be retrieved! Roger Rashid is trying to make him quit this bad behaviour but I guess he is so used to it & though he’s improved a lot, he still forgets from time to time…especially when the going is good & he wants to show off a little. Too many injuries already as it is.

2) Keep calm & don’t get too euphoric when he hits amazing shots…that’s my job as a spectator…his is to acknowledge the applause, then get right back to business….I guess Tsonga could also use this advise.


i am it Says:

my man dePo starts really bad, gets broken in the opener. i hope he does not get bageled. that’s all i expect from him today.


been there Says:

iam it @ 4:25pm, do not believe in that type of talk from Rafa. See my post at 11:04 pm, way way up.

Yes, hard court is his worst surface, but he’s got a SLAM & a masters on hardcourts. so he’s still good enough on his worst surface to win titles…just like Fed is still good on his worst surface clay.

Rafa is as much favourite as Djoko going into the match. In fact, only Dkoko’s chances should be down-played given he’s played so much already, so will be tired. lol. What is up with a player downplaying chances? I don’t get it. I hope Djoko doesn’t believe in such talk & must come out all guns blazing, otherwise, it’ll be the end of the road.


jane Says:

i am it, yes I hope JMDP can find it in him to avoid a bagel.


i am it Says:

been there, actually my 4:25 post was a response to your post. i believe in numbers and Dj leads Rafa in h2h on hard, 5-3. and i do seriously think that Dj is a better hard court player.
so, i believe Dj has a shot, favorite or no favorite.


Ezorra Says:

what da hell…


i am it Says:

i knew the retirement was coming. i hate when players retire, no matter what.
Congrats to Step. good that he will be fresh tomorrow to play Monfils.


jane Says:

Sorry i am it, but I guess you’re not shocked. JMDP played only 4 games, barely, and the crowd weren’t happy. Too bad to see him go off like that. Steps certainly benefits though. He shouldn’t be too affected by his “late” match, and will be ready to go against Monfils.


been there Says:

True i am it, Djok is the better player on hard-courts, but imo, not by all that much…& this court isn’t as fast as the ones in the USO series (& Djok says Basel is faster)…so should almost equalise the game for Rafa. I guess both have a shot….I just don’t like it when Rafa starts to downplay his chances…I’m getting a bit tired of it now…it’s now starting to sound rather false, whether he’s truly the underdog or not.


sar Says:

I think Steps wins tomorrow due to this retirement.


i am it Says:

j., not at all. it was very much expected.

as for the schedule tomorrow,

8:00 am Dj vs. Rafa

10:00 am Monfils vs. Step

==============================================

and Sean, congrats to you, for getting the top half prediction 100% right.


Kimmi Says:

Are we going to get the worm dance in the final?

I hope Nadal should stop downplaying his chances, trying to get psychological advantage over his opponents..not so good. Congrats for the Tsonga win today though, I never doubted him in this match.


sar Says:

If Djok wins tomorrow who would be less difficult for him, Steps or Monfils.


i am it Says:

that is eastern time (ET), USA.


been there Says:

I break for 1 minute to write a comment only to turn my head to see a retirement. Sad, sad *shakes head*.

With the exception of hugging the USO trophy for too long, where did JMDP sustain all the injuries post USO – i am it, are you aware of more details? Really, I’ve hoped in each tournament & been disappointed at each turn. :( I really hope that he’ll be fit for YEC ‘coz 1) I want a full competitive house 2) His game is simply amazing…those whipping forehands. :(

Ok, that’s it. off to the clubs! hehe.


i am it Says:

Sar,
i would rather play Monfils, if I were Dj, but it should not matter. if Dj wins tomorrow, i believe he will win the title.


jane Says:

sar, Djoko is 3-0 vs Monfils, but they’ve had tight matches on hardcourts, and he is 5-1 vs. Steps, but they’ve had tight encounters as well. I think he’s better off with Steps as that would neutralize the crowd somewhat. Hard to say though. Anyhow it may be unlucky and/or unrealistic to look that far ahead since Rafa is next.


Voicemale1 Says:

Nadal will beat Djokovic tomorrow. The court is slow which helps him more, and one thing that’s returned is his movement. His movement helped him escape against Almagro and Robredo when his shots weren’t doing the trick. But he served MUCH better today, and was a lot more aggressive. And he’ll be the underdog going in, which always helps him.

As for Del Potro, the “mojo” he had after winning the US Open is now pretty much gone. He’ll have to re-establish he’s mentally ready to take anybody out. His results are pretty awful post US Open, and a bad turn in London will render him in the Start Over postion of proving he can beat these top guys day in and day out.


sar Says:

Been there, I read someplace that Delp’s coach said he partied a bit much.


Kimmi Says:

Voicemale1: Its 50-50, no one is going as an underdog in this match. A full fit Nadal wont be easy for Djoko. I think it will be an exciting match..Nadal is hungry to get the first title since his return from injury and Djoko would want to win his 1st masters 1000 for this year. i can’t pick the winner right now.


jane Says:

A slower hardcourt does favor Rafa in some senses as he has more time to get to the ball, unlike at Cincy. Also, I still say Djoko must be a bit tired after coming off a win in Basel – look at all the other finalists from last weekend – Fed, Murray, Verdasco – they are all long gone. A slower hard court and a less fresh Djoko suggest to me that this next match is not 50/50 but that the edge goes to Rafa, even though Rafa portrays himself as the underdog.

Plus, if you look beyond these two, Monfils beat Cilic, which suggests to me that the court is slower. Cilic would likely beat Monfils on a faster surface. But not on clay, for example.

Anyhow, that’s how I see it. I’ll still cheer on and hope for a Djoko win, but I think the edge is with Rafa.


Kimmi Says:

” I still say Djoko must be a bit tired after coming off a win in Basel – look at all the other finalists from last weekend – Fed, Murray, Verdasco…”

jane, federer loss in paris is not because he was tired ? No, he is won or being in finals in back to back tourneys before. He was outplayed by JB because he did not bring his best game…


Duro Says:

Why are you wondering so much what’s gonna happen tomorrow in the Nole-Rafa match, people? Ask me. Sar, are you there? I want to ask you something.


jane Says:

Kimmi – perhaps that is the case for Fed, especially because he had played in nothing since the USO. Same with Murray. However, it’s not easy to win back to back tournaments for any player, especially when the players have to play every single day, which is different than winning a slam when they get rest in-between matches, even if they can occasionally go 5 sets.

In any case, my opinion stands – the edge goes to Rafa tomorrow even though I want Djoko to win. It not just physical fatigue; it’s mental too. A player can experience a mental letdown after a big win.

Duro – if you know something I don’t – please, do tell!


Kimmi Says:

Is it first time for Monfils to reach the semi of Masters 1000 ?


jane Says:

Yes, I think so Kimmi; I think the announcer’s said it’s Gael’s first MS semi. Good win for him today.


Duro Says:

Nole thinks he’s not gonna make it: “I’ve been playing more than 90 matches this year and now two weeks in a row,” he said.

“Suddenly my metabolism is getting a little bit tired. It’s all normal.

“I just hope that I can recover for the upcoming challenge.”

But I think…………….. the same :-((((

Radek Stepanek, the new Paris masters champion!

Congratulations, Radek!


Kimmi Says:

“Why are you wondering so much what’s gonna happen tomorrow in the Nole-Rafa match, people?”

Duro, because it fun to predict, like a game..who will win, who will lose. I like this match because none of the players are my fave…I will support the guy who looks like he is loosing..but I will sure enjoy every point by point.


Twocents Says:

Glad to see Djok take a page from “The Rafa Book of Down Playing Your Chances Going Into a Match/Tournament”. LOL.

Djok better take Paris cuz he’ll be the cursed defending champion at WTF — nobody defends in 2009.


jane Says:

Thanks Duro, you are thinking like me, less optimistically. Wow, he has played so much this year hey? Very consistent results overall – quarter finals and beyond in all but two! If he goes out tomorrow to Rafa, so be it. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to crown Radek though. Rafa is 4-0 vs. Steps and 5-1 over Monfils! If Rafa beats Novak he will win the event, though if he meets Monfils, i’d give Gael a slight chance to pull off the upset, mainly because it’s a three setter. In 5, no way. I think Rafa is going to make a push for number 1.


i am it Says:

Duro says, “But I think…………….. the same :-((((
Radek Stepanek, the new Paris masters champion!
Congratulations, Radek!”

What is this? Surrender? Trust me that’s not gonna happen. WE WILL WIN. Just keep faith. we don’t play no mind games. we will jump on that court tomorrow and beat the hell out of that squash player. we play tennis. he plays squash.:-)))


Duro Says:

Ha ha ha!!! Suckers!


Duro Says:

Jane, I thought you know me, ha ha ha! Alleeeez allez allez alleeeez, No-leeee, No-leeee…


jane Says:

LOL Duro – you’re quite the trickster; I’ll remember. I wondered where your tremendous optimism had gone. Between you and i am it, I am trying to keep my hopes alive. It’s the contrast between heart and mind: what I want to happen vs. what I think will happen. Anyhow, go Nole! I’ll bet Fed is cheering on Djoko for tomorrow. He wants his number 1 no doubt.


Duro Says:

Well, Rafa was cheering for him in Basel, now Fed is cheering for him in Paris. What to say… Nole make the wishes come through!


Voicemale1 Says:

I think the dirty little secret is that, away from public view, Nadal & Djokovic are like McEnroe & Connors. They hate each others guts :)


Duro Says:

Ooops, Nole makes the wishes come through, not make.
Good night, all. A meeting tomorrow.


Skorocel Says:

Voicemale1: I wouldn’t count JMDP off yet. He’ll have some 10 days of rest (same as Fed) for London, which I think is fair enough amount of time for him to get ready. Plus, it will be his last showing in 2009 (unlike for Nadal, who still has a DC final in front of him), so he’ll definitely give everything. And even if not, he’s still done something in 2009 which, so far, no one (including Murray, Djoker, or any other No. 1 contenders) has ever managed – that is, to beat Fed and Nadal en route to a grandslam title.


Voicemale1 Says:

Skorocel:

I understand the point of what Del Potro has done. My only thought was that a “mojo” of that kind, where you accomplish at the US Open what he did, has a certain shelf life before you have to start making other players force you to prove it again, without them assuming it again.

Djokovic sticks in my mind here. After the 07 US Open he should have won but didn’t, and the AO 08 he did win, he followed up with IW in 08 and he was on his rocket ship to the moon. But he never went beyond #3, after reams of copy predicting his ascent to #1 by the end of 08. And you’d be hard pressed to find guys on the tour who think of him today like they did then. He had the walk back then that caused a wriness in guys who took the court with him. He’s some one to contend with, but it’s not quite that way any more with him.

You’re right JMDP still has the window open to back up his US Open (although he’s dome nothing but either lose early or quit matches since that win). But the clock is ticking for sure.


sar Says:

http://bradgilbert.tennisweek.com/November 13, 2009
Bercy Bercy
It’s the semis in Paris, my favorite time of year. I missed being there; it’s one of my all-time favorite venues as a player and as a coach. My son Zach got his first hair cut there in the players lounge when he was 11 months old. If you ever get a chance to go to an indoor event, this is the one. Tomorrow’s line up has Nadal playing the Djoker and Gael Force Monfils against the dark horse Radek Stepanek.

I’ll get to Stepanek in a minute, but Nadal has had to work incredibly hard to earn his place this week. In two consecutive matches: his countrymen Almagro and T-Rob each served for the match against him. Setting the stage for him to play his best match of the week in beating the talented Frenchmen Jo- Willy Tsonga, ending Tsonga’s chances to make the year end championship.

Okay for Stepanek, the guy is having a career year at age 31 this month. I love stories like this where a guy has battled through a lot of injuries to play his best tennis of his career.

He has also led his country in Davis Cup to the finals to play Spain next month.

He’s got a very sneaky eclectic game. Moves tremendously for his age and is fit as a fiddle. I also think he has some of the best volleys in the game.

Djokovic is playing better than anybody this week. I think he’ll handle a tired Nadal in two tight sets and I’m going with the veteran Steps over the French hope Monfils in a three-set thriller. I like Djoker winning the tournament, as he seems to be playing as good as I’ve seen him indoors.


Giner Says:

What a disappointment. I was hoping to see a DP vs Djokovic final.


jane Says:

I would’ve liked that too Giner; so far, JMDP has never beaten Djoko, but JMDP has improved since they played in Rome this year.

sar- Thanks for that. I sure hope Gilbert is right this time; I remember he was one of the few who said Nadal would win Wimbledon in 2008. But then again, he’s been wrong lots too. : )


sar Says:

I think Djokovic is motivated to win this. If he can take the first set he wins.


sar Says:

Jane I’m kind of more nervous for Nestor.

BTW we got our Indian Wells tickets.


sar Says:

Signing off now. See you after the Djok match.


i am it Says:

j. and Sar, ladies, let me improve on what Gilbert said: “Djokovic is playing better than anybody this week. I think he’ll handle a tired Nadal in two tight sets and I’m going with the veteran Steps over the French hope Monfils in a three-set thriller. I like Djoker winning the tournament, as he seems to be playing as good as I’ve seen him indoors.”

Final: Dj. vs. Monfils
Winner: Dj.

you guys better be here tomorrow morning, and, j., be ready to lose to me once.


jane Says:

i am it, I will do my best, but it’s SO EARLY! : )


jane Says:

sar, you lucky girl; one year I am going to make it to IW, but I am thinking maybe LA next year as both Djoko and JMDP have committed and it’s in the summer. I will keep my fingers crossed for Nestor and Zims: you do it too. We’ll send positive vibes their way and Djoko’s. They may not do any good, but what the heck?


Giner Says:

been there Says:

“Rafa simply loves to play the underdog, & the players know this as well. I remember a USO pre-interview, you know how interviewers tell a player so & so said this & that….so one of the interviewers asks Fed something like ‘Nadal said that you are the favourite to win…..’ (+ a couple of other players…but only mentions himself after them)…then Fed replied something like ‘Seems like he is never the favourite…’ at which point the whole room burst out laughing ‘coz it is now a well known fact that for whatever reason, Nadal would like people to believe that he’s not favourite for any match,…not even at FO! lol. ”

Can you seriously fault him in this instance for picking the 5 time defending champ as favourite for the USO? The last other person to win it was Andy Roddick in 2003. Fed had also won the last 2 slams, and EVERYONE says that the USO is Nadal’s worst surface. So Fed has no business in even asking the question.

Yes, Nadal does try to make himself the underdog whenever he can (he never explicitly calls himself the favourite), but in the case of the US Open, if you argue against picking Federer, then you are a tool, plain and simple.

i am it: “my stance: if Dj cannot defeat rafa on hard, indoor or outdoor, his claim for No. 1 or 2 will remain questionable.
Go Dj !”

This is weird.. in previous years Bercy was played on Carpet, and was the only tournament in the calendar played on that surface. I wonder why they changed it? I think it’s a good thing to have more surfaces to play on.

Twocents Says:

“I’m not making excuse for Djok — ok I am in fact. But I see Nadal gets better of Djok tomorrow. Djok’s been playing too much lately. Plus, Djok’s done enough to defend Fed’s rank last year :-)). Fed only has himself to blame if he loses it.

2005: Fed lost AO & YEC;
2008: Fed lost AO & YEC;
2009: Fed lost AO & ???”

2008: Djok won AO, IW, Rome, and no title again until YEC;
2009: Rafa won AO, IW, Rome, and no title again until ???

“Djok better take Paris cuz he’ll be the cursed defending champion at WTF — nobody defends in 2009.”

I didn’t notice that until now. The only player to have defended a big title is Rafa at Monte Carlo.

Voicemale1 Says:

“I think the dirty little secret is that, away from public view, Nadal & Djokovic are like McEnroe & Connors. They hate each others guts :)”

I don’t think that’s true. I think they like each other. They were about to play doubles together at Cincy until Rafa pulled out at the last moment.


jane Says:

Giner says:

“2008: Djok won AO, IW, Rome, and no title again until YEC;
2009: Rafa won AO, IW, Rome, and no title again until ???”

Interesting – I hadn’t noticed this pattern; it’d be kind of spooky if the pattern repeats. LOL.

“I don’t think that’s true. I think they like each other. They were about to play doubles together at Cincy until Rafa pulled out at the last moment.”

I have also seen video of Djoko/Rafa playing golf together for fun at the IW tournament. All this stuff about players hating each other is questionable. None of us really know.The 2009 MS finals ceremonies, at Rome and at Monte Carlo, would suggest that Djok and Nadal were congenial, and even friendly. Of course it’s a ceremony, but if they hated each other they could just ignore one another, not chat or smile or good around. I don’t think they are best friends by any means and probably have different values and/or ways of having fun, but that doesn’t mean they hate each other. Maybe. But who really knows?


margot Says:

jane: agree with you re outcome if Djko is “tired” but hey! fingers and toes crossed. Relly looking forward whatever. And Monfils is going to be good value too.


been there Says:

Giner at 12:03 am, perhaps you want to follow the conversation from the beginning instead of quoting statements out of context & starting on the name-calling.

“Can you seriously fault him in this instance for picking the 5 time defending champ as favourite for the USO?”

Who faulted him? Of course Fed is always fav to win any slam except FO…and from 2008, so is Nadal. They are both good enough to win on their worst surfaces…Fed on clay & Rafa on hard court.

“So Fed has no business in even asking the question. ”

Where did Fed ask the question?? If you read the whole post, you’d see that as usual, reporters asked a question, & Fed said that He, Rafa & other players like Murray & JMDP had a shot. I really don’t know what you’re getting all ruffled over.

“if you argue against picking Federer, then you are a tool, plain and simple.”

Again I ask, WHO exactly has argued against picking Federer? I certainly haven’t & neither has anyone on this thread. Even Fed picked himself as one of the favourites to win!! Perhaps you want to read the whole post properly, & follow the conversation in the posts prior to that before getting yourself in knots. So maybe you are tool…plain & simple. eh? :)


margot Says:

sar: Gr8! It’s so exciting when the tickets actually arrive! It looks such a nice intimate venue too, where you can get up close and personal to the players….must go there myself one of these days…..


madmax Says:

Everyone,

all the best for the novak v rafa game! gonna be a corker!

Some of you earlier said that the USO was the last match fed had played before basel. That’s actually incorrect. Fed played for the swiss davis cup and won – he played extremely well – and for those of you that want a laugh – he also sang at an ‘after dinner’ speech along with stanislas warwinka, google ‘fed singing in switzerland’ and you’ll see what I mean!

Duro,

are you hiding? love to you!


madmax Says:

meant to say, he had 5 weeks off after USO, then played for switzerland, in Davis Cup, won that, then had a few weeks off before playing basel – am sure he will be back to defend his no. 1 ranking! Go fed go!

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