Murray Falls in Federer Group; Nadal with Novak at ATP World Finals
by Sean Randall | November 18th, 2009, 8:47 am
  • 341 Comments

The round robin groupings for the 2009 ATP World Tour Finals in London are hot out of the oven, so let’s get right to them. In Group A: Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Juan Martin Del Potro and Fernando Verdasco. In Group B: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Nikolay Davydenko and Robin Soderling.

I would say both groups are well-balanced with a slight weighting to A which holds the last two hardcourt Slam finalists plus the home favorite.

Overall, though, this year unlike the past there really are no “gimmee” type matches. If they are on their game anyone really could beat anyone. That said, it’s wicked tough to pick a winner here.

Djokovic and Murray, however, are far and away the two hot players going in but can you trust either of them on a grand stage as this? Maybe Novak  hit his peak last weekend and maybe the pressure and expectations will get to Murray as it did at the Slams this year. Or maybe they ride the storm out and get to the finals. It’s hard to say.

About the only thing I see right now is Djokovic in the semifinals, and Soderling/Del Potro not winning this event. Novak’s the guy right now and I can’t see him losing twice in his group. DelPo just didn’t impress me much down the stretch and if he is indeed injured then he’s going to have a tough time. Beyond that, anything could happen. And Soderling, who got in when Andy Roddick withdrew yesterday, may be a little overwhelmed in his first post-season championships.

Breaking down the groups.

Group A: Federer, Murray, DelPo, Verdasco
You have to like Murray to get through and I think Federer will join him. If, however, DelPo is playing like he did at the US Open then all bets are off. The same can be said of Verdasco who if he plays to his ability in his first year-end Tennis Masters could do some real damage. My initial guess is both DelPo and Fernando will not be at their best thus paving the way for the favorites Murray and Roger. I hope they prove me wrong though and they turn the group upside-down!

“Whoever you draw is going to be tough,” said Murray, who reached the semi-finals in Shanghai last year. “Obviously I look forward to playing Roger. I’ve played Juan a few times on the tour recently and also had a close match recently with Verdasco indoors in Valencia. It’s a tough group but if I play well I think I have a good chance of qualifying.”

Group B: Nadal, Djokovic, Davydenko, Soderling
Looks like we’ll get another Nadal-Djokovic meeting and if it happens with meaning (it could be a dead rubber type of match) I think Novak will win and get through to the semifinals. The Serb is playing too well to not beat Davydenko and Soderling. Nadal’s the guy for the second berth but it’s not that easy. The Spaniard won some matches last week but really didn’t play all that great and we know Soderling, who beat him at the French, and Davydenko match up well against Rafa. But for now I’ll cop out and take Rafa.

Matches begin on Sunday at the 02 Arena so plenty to pontificate on between now and then. I’ll have full predictions (I know many of you probably make heaps of money betting the opposite!) on the weekend.

Group A
Group B
Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal
Andy Murray
Novak Djokovic
Juan Martin Del Potro
Nikolay Davydenko
Fernando Verdasco
Robin Soderling
ATP Points: 200 per RR win; 400 for SF; 500 for Final win
Undefeated Champion: 1,500 pts

Prize Money:
Alternate: $70,000
Participation Fee: $120,000
RR Win: $120,000
SF Win: $380,000
Final Win: $770,000
Undefeated Champion $1,630,000


Also Check Out:
ATP Finals Draw: Federer Gets It Easy, Djokovic Will Have To Duel Murray
Serbia v Russia Headlines Fed Cup Weekend
Djokovic Wins ATP Finals Group A, Murray Second; Federer Gets To Decide Who He’ll Play In Semifinals
Poll: Who Will Win The ATP World Tour Finals?
U.S. Women’s Tennis Makes Embarrassing Exit from Fed Cup World Group [Opinion]

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341 Comments for Murray Falls in Federer Group; Nadal with Novak at ATP World Finals

Gannu Says:

Sean
I beg of you.. Please please dont pick federer to win this,..U are an ultra jinx master and i want fedex to badly win this… so please pick anyone other than fedex to win this tourno!!!!


Bellers Says:

Do you know when the schedule is announced?


Sunshine Says:

Damn and he Jinxed Rafa…Thanks for nothing!LOL


Voicemale1 Says:

Bellers:

According to the ATP site the opening matches are set:

Group A – Federer vs. Murray and Del Potro vs. Verdasco

Group B – Nadal vs. Soderling and Djokovic vs. Davydenko


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Holy crap, Murray vs Fed right away? Sod vs Nadal? Wowzers!! This is gonna be the best YEC in a long time.


funches Says:

Rafa easily could go 0-3.

In fact, the only reason he’s not a lock to go 0-3 is his toughness. He’s playing like garbage right now and he’s lost his last match to all three of his group opponents.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets to the semis – he’s clearly better under pressure than Davydenko and as Sean pointed out, Soderling may not be ready – but a 1-2 finish is more likely.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Soderling is tougher than you guys are giving him credit for. Over the last few months, he’s shown he’s not gonna back down when the things get tough. He’s always had a lot of success against Davydenko, he’s gonna want some pay back against Djokovic, and he knows how to beat Nadal.


rose Says:

Sean better not pick Novak ..he is such a jinx lately…im rooting for nadal on this one …he is a great player and had a tough half season with all the injuries and family issues..and a lot of people is counting him out, forgetting his successful career so far ( 6 grand slams anyone)..the kid knows have to play his heart out every time he is on court,and entertain every tennis fan, nobody that love tennis can’t denied that ……lets go Rafa !!!!


scineram Says:

What makes Murray hot? He is ugly.


Bellers Says:

I must be blind,

can’t see anything on initial matches on the atp site.

Maybe the organisers will be discussing it with Sky – they’ll want Murry on in the evenings I guess.

Ive tickets for Friday evening and desperate to know who’s on!!


sar Says:

Djokovic and Murray, however, are far and away the two hot players going in but can you trust either of them on a grand stage as this?
——————————————-

Um, aren’t you forgeting that Djokovic won on a grand stage a year ago?


topspin Says:

lol, yeah sean, gives us your predictions, need to bet against them asap :)


sonic Says:

How the hell is Murray hot? He bearly beat the pitiful oppostion in Valencia and then bombed out of Madrid to the likes of Stepanek…and in quite a sad fashion.

Gaston Gaudio won at grand stage 2, but no one would deny he’s has the heart of a mouse, just like Djokovic. Sometime is’t not what you win, but how you win it.

Hell Agassi has won what, 8 or 9 slams, and he was a king of chokers, that could basicaly only win big when others choked worse than him. (Medveded definately the biggest choke i’ve seen in my life).

So no favs really, the only non choker is in wetched form, the semi chokers (Fed, Del Potro) are either injured or out of form, and the rest is pure garbage when it comes to mentality (Murray is good when he’s not in the UK, but htere he rates as a wuss on current evidence).


blah Says:

This looks like a great draw. Del P and Murray get their shot at Fed and Djoker and Soderling tries to beat Rafa again. Should be one of the more exciting tour finals in recent years.


madmax Says:

Go federer go! Do some damage!


andrea Says:

why can’t it be sunday already???

this event is going to be exciting every day.


ines Says:

The scotish said it was more important to beat Roger than to win the WTF.Hope he will be beaten by Roger in straigth sets. Really sick…


jane Says:

Great line ups – Sean don’t pick Djoko or Murray to win please?


patzin Says:

This should be very interesting. Don’t think Rafa will finish big; this isn’t his favorite surface and DC is coming up the following week. I think Djoker v Murray in final.


Kimmi Says:

You can never count Nadal out…he is the bull. Even though his record sucks against his group member he will fight it out till the last point. He will also tell you every match is different, so he will be ready for each and every match.

Voicemale: are you sure Federer vs Murray starts so soon, in previous years they have always play the top seed vs lowest seed in the group first. So I thought it will be Federer vs Verdasco or Nadal vs Soderling?


Duro Says:

Maxi dearest! Yes, Roger! Do some damage indeed and then submit to Novak! In Novak we trust! Number 1 looming around the corner… No1-vak Djokovic! Amen!

Alleeeez allez allez alleeeeez…


Duro Says:

Jane, put some war colors! We have a job to do!

Djo-ko-vic No1-vak, clap-clap clap clap-clap!


Duro Says:

Special greetings to Sar and i am it, my dear lovely friends and colleagues. Oleeee ole ole oleeeee, Noleeeee, Noleeeee…


Sean Randall Says:

Djokovic won last year, but who’d he beat? So it wasn’t quite as “grand” as it could be.

Ok, no picking Federer, Nadal nor Djokovic. Anyone else?


Twocents Says:

Murray & JMDP for A; Djok & Nadal for B.

Final: Murray bt Djok or JMDP


sheila Says:

fantasy final: federer vs nadal & fed wins. my reality predictions: murray beats federer; delpo beats verdasco; djokovic beats davydanko; nadal beats soderling.(hope i’m wrong on this and c federer come out the winner). alas, i think my least 2 fvt players will be in the final: murray vs djokovic & djokovic will take it. djokovic is definitely the most consistent out of all the players, but maybe something unbelievable will happen and fed takes it. can only hope


Kimmi Says:

Djoko & davydenko from A

Federer & Murray from B

semi: Djoko beats Fed
Davydenko beats Murray

Winner: davydenko


sar Says:

Interesting article, Jane and Duro. Looks like Todd will be in London.
http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=4666408

Kimmi what a brave prediction!


peter pan Says:

is the wtf best of 3 sets or best of 5 sets game??


sar Says:

Djokovic won last year, but who’d he beat? So it wasn’t quite as “grand” as it could be.
——————————-
Sean, the fact that the rest of them dropped like flies was hardly Novak’s fault.


jane Says:

sar, thanks for posting that article; it is interesing that Martin will be there, since he’s generally said he won’t be traveling with Novak. Oh, and no reasoning with Sean re: Novak; he thinks Djoko’s a garbage man! Or do you retract that yet Sean? : ) — just bugging you.

Duro, I would love to see a Murray /Djoko final so I don’t want Sean to pick either of them.

Kimmi, that is brave; I agree with your other point not to count Nadal out!


Kimmi Says:

jane: I made that prediction just for fun and also to give Sean some ideas. Some posters including yourself have beed urging Sean not to pick Nadal, federer, or Djokovic. @ 5.38pm Sean says: “Ok, no picking Federer, Nadal nor Djokovic. Anyone else?”

That is where my prediction comes in, twocents prediction could do to. you see ..no Fed, Nadal or Djoko…..


sar Says:

Oh, and no reasoning with Sean re: Novak; he thinks Djoko’s a garbage man!

Jane, yes I remember Novak is a garbage man.
He was a garbage man in Basel and Paris, too. I guess Fed and Monfils are garbage. I wonder if Fed was the garbage man when he won FO against Soda? Or was Murray the garbage man in Queen’s when no one showed up except Blake? LOL Sean!


Nina Says:

My prediction for the final: Fed – Novak.
And Nole wins of course. :)


puckbandit Says:

I think it’s way too close to call. Which makes this year’s group the most competitive in years.

Much will depend on Rafa’s health, (he has not been the same since the knees went early this year) and the nerves of Fed and Murray.

I expect Nole to go in pumped after his recent victory, where he hung in after losing his lead in sets 2 and 3. He didn’t crumble or get over emotional and that was huge.

Davydenko would need to go lights out to win, but I expect him to steal his fare share of matches.

I would like to see a Murray-Nole final, but I think it will be Fed-Nole. With Fed winning only if he takes the first set. If not, it will all go to Novak.


Kimmi Says:

I think the groups have turned out even due to injury and loss of form. Nadal is struggling since coming back from injury. Federer still trying to find his form since his long break from injury or was it just fatigue? Murray is coming back from wrist injury, even though he won in Valencia, he is far from his best. Delpo is in doubt to even participate in all 3 RR, he just pulled out in Paris with stomach injury…unless the injury was minor, it took weeks for Nadal to heal. Soderling is coming from Elbow injury. Verdasco is nursing a toes or foot injury and waiting for surgery. So..it looks like the only two who have shown consistency and good form throughout this part of season are davydenko to a degree and of course Djoko. It could be one of these two who takes it all.

I so hope I am wrong though….


Twocents Says:

My head tells me it’s payback and Thanksgiving time :-)).

Murray grab his first YEC and Nadal gets his revenge.

Kimmi, I think Fed has overdrafted his luck account in Paris and London.


jane Says:

Kimmi, you could also argue that Djoko and Davy might be the most worn out, particularly given how many matches Novak has played this year. And thus that guys like Fed or Murray who lost out early at Paris might be more rested. Ah but then you could say less match grooved, etc, etc. It’s tough to say.

I think what others have said – this is a pretty even draw and a highly competitive couple of groups. We’ll see how it all pans out soon enough.


jane Says:

Twocents – against whom does Nadal get revenge? Soderling? Djoko? Davy? Which one? I think it would taste sweetest against Sod perhaps, since that was the most surprising loss this year in many ways.


Kimmi Says:

“Kimmi, I think Fed has overdrafted his luck account in Paris and London”

twocents: good one. I hope that is not true..but you know what, it was just that in Paris, wasn’t it? Very spooky..I am not superstitious, so I say London YEC is for the Fed.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Who did Djokovic beat last year? He beat Simon, who took out Federer. He beat Davydenko, who beat Murray who beat Federer. Djokovic also beat current US Open champ Del Potro. Like Federer said, tennis is all about beating the guy on the other side of the net, not the guys who couldn’t make it there.

Based on current form:

Murray and Federer will come out of their group. Del Potro is still hung over and is letting minor injuries affect his mentality. Verdasco has been playing decent but he doesn’t have the belief to beat Murray or Fed. Murray will go 3-0, Fed will go 2-1, and it’s hard to say but I’m going with Del Potro 1-2 and Verdasco 0-3.

Djokovic and Soderling will come through their group. Djokovic will go 3-0, Soderling will go 2-1, Davydenko will go 1-2, and I’m calling Nadal to go 0-3. Again, just like in the other group, these last 2 are the most likely to have the reverse results.

So that leave Murray vs Soderling and Djokovic vs Federer. Djokovic will beat Murray in the final. Or, Federer will beat Murray in the final. Depends on Federer’s motivation and Djokovic’s fitness.


ines Says:

It´s difficult to predict what will happen.Don´t understimate Soderling the guy had a year of his life.I´m glad he got a chance to play in London.
I´ll predict a final ROGER-DJOKO with Roger winning of course, he´s a very different player at a GS.or YEC. Nobody can deny Roger´s fantastic talent, I can´t understand why he´s put in the
same place of the others simple tennis´workers.
Sorry I´m Roger´s fan addict.Hope Roger will come to an end the neverending criticisms.Please let me know if someday Murray wins a GS….


Twocents Says:

Jane, you got it. That bad Sod who turned ATP upside down. Just yoking.

I regreted that Roddick could not make it to O2, but glad it gave Soderling a chance. Now, it’s really Rafa’s turn to get the revenge.


Twocents Says:

ines,

Fed needs to lose some in order to win some more, and to play happily into his thirties, for our Fed fans.

Murray deserves a YEC for leaving his heart on the court in a dead rubber match in last YEC.


Kimmi Says:

“Murray deserves a YEC for leaving his heart on the court in a dead rubber match in last YEC.” LOL

Thats why I like murray…fight no matter what !


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Really? Murray? Fight no matter what? Maybe fight Federer no matter what. He didn’t fight Cilic or Stepanek. Or that guy who beat him at the Olympics. Murray has been tanking matches for a while. That’s not what I’d classify as “fight no matter what”.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Before people use the excuse that Murray was tired, Lleyton Hewitt played and won an epic semifinal against Federer en route to the 2002 YEC title. The Hewitt-Federer matched lasted 1 minute less than the Murray-Federer match (180 to 181 minutes). Plus, Hewitt already played 3 matches whereas Murray only played 2 before their respective clashes. Hewitt went on to win a 5 set final against Ferrero. Murray bowed out in the semis in straight sets to Davydenko. Murray being tired is not an excuse. Beating Federer does not equal winning the title (unless you beat him in the final) and it does not equal getting to the final (unless you win in the semi). Beating Federer is a great accomplishment, sure, especially for Benneteau. But Murray is supposed to be winning slams and becoming number 1. It’s great that he has an edge over Federer, maybe he should focus on having an edge over him in the rankings.


Kimmi Says:

DD: I disagree with you there, Murray is not the one to “tank” matches. If he loses, it is because the opponent played better. Cilic was on fire at the US open and found Murray not up to par..I think his wrist injury was acting up then..but no excuse, a win is a win. Stepanek match has a story behind it too – sleeping at 4am in the morning, remember ? Olympics..well..that was the old Murray. jet lag, not prepared, opponent playing his heart out…but not tanking either.

Do you give him credit for beating fed 6 times, Beating nadal and djokovic who used to own him..I guess not ?


Kimmi Says:

I agree with you that he needs to concentrate on winning slams though. very true.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

I didn’t say he doesn’t get credit for his wins. Murray has accomplished quite a lot and there’s no denying it. But he also HASN’T accomplished a lot, yet everyone acts like he has. It’s simply unbelievable. Lots of players have been pegged for greatness from a young age. Roddick, Safin, Federer, Nadal, Monfils, Gasquet, etc. Yet no one ever acted like “Oh man, this guy is so great, he might not have a slam but who cares? He’s still the greatest thing since sliced bread.” I’m not even a Murray hater. At the end of last year, Murray’s game was my favorite out there and I thought that if I had to pick only one player’s game to copy, it’d be his. I watched a lot of his matches at Queens where every point was decided by him. The guy is immensely talented and has a lot of potential, that he HAS NOT lived up to. As of right now, I don’t know if he ever will. Cilic wasn’t “on fire”. He played very well. Possibly one of the best matches of his career, thus far. But Murray barely put up a fight. He blew chances in the first set and then fell a part. Not exactly the mettle of a champion. Murray needs to prove himself by winning a big title when it matters. The YEC would be a good start, but beating Federer then losing later in the tournament is nothing brag about. Should Benneteau be bragging? Is he the next big thing after beating Federer? No. He had one great match over a living legend and that’s as much as he’ll ever accomplish. It’s not impressive in the long run. It’s nothing to celebrate for more than a day, because after a day he loses his next match.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Btw, Murray has gone on to win the title only 2 times after beating Federer. Federer is 3/3. Of course 2 of the times Federer beat Murray were in finals… but that says something, too. Although you could take out the first one since it was before Murray was any sort of player. But still. It really does seem like Murray expands TOO much energy in trying to beat Federer. I’m not saying he shouldn’t try to beat Federer every time. It’s just that he needs to realize it’s still only one match. You win, great, now win the next one. That’s how tennis works. This isn’t boxing.


Fot Says:

Well, the only thing I want to happen is for Roger to win the title and finish #1. That would cap a fantastic year for Roger. But even if he doesn’t do those 2 things, he has surpassed everything this year that I wanted to happen – with him getting that first French and with him breaking Pete’s record. This has been a fantastic year for me as a Federer fan so no matter what happens here at the Year End – nothing can take that away from me!

I wonder if Djokovic can actually do something here he has never done before – defend a title! I hope not!


sar Says:

Don’t know if he can defend here but he won two tournaments in a row for the first time.


Kimmi Says:

Since Murray breakthrough..was it last year Wimbledon ? Its good to see it was not a onetime thing, as we have seen he has carried on his form and has been fantastic. OK, he lost to a rejuvenated Vedarsco in AO, but the nature of the loss was very close…we all saw what verdasco did to Nadal. Continuing the season from AO, he played very well in all tournaments he entered until clay season in which he did excellent compared to previous years. Wimbledon match was very close..only one point in the 4th set tie break is what determine that match..but I thought he played well there too. Montreal, and then Cincinnati is when I think he got the wrist injury..since then his performance and results have been below par. But Murray is doing and has done very well so far. He knows the next step is winning a GS, I believe he will win it, maybe it takes him another year or two..with a good draw and good health he will get there.

To say Murray is concentrating only to beat Fed is wrong, then he should not have won all those tourneys his won without beating federer, since his breakthrough he has won 5 masters 1000, and we all know how difficult these tournaments are to win. His goal is to win a tournament when he enters, and that’s what he is playing for, beat federer or not. To beat federer is not bad either because if he happens to reach the final of a GS and federer is there, he will have a better chance due to their H2H. I believe in murray and I see a lot of talent, with more hard work and experience he will win a major soon.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Murray’s still got a lot of work to do. I’m not saying Murray only concentrates on beating Federer, I’m saying that when he is drawn against Federer he expands too much emotion and energy. I’m trying to point out that he often falters in the tournament after playing Federer. That’s not a good habit. Also, I don’t see anything that says Murray is on course to win his first slam. Let’s just look at his US Open performance compared to the other 2 young guys who made their first slam finals there in recent years. Djokovic could have easily been up 2 sets to love had the moment not gotten to him, but he showed he’s got the game to win big. He proved that the very next opportunity he got. Del Potro was 2 points from going down 2 sets to love but fought back from a 2 sets to 1 deficit to win in 5, proving himself on the spot. Murray was never in the match except for the second set, where after missing a few chances to go up, completely collapsed mentally. I’m not gonna be mad if Murray wins a slam, but I’m probably gonna avoid anything tennis related for about 3 years since that’s how long everyone is gonna be going crazy over the victory. Murray is the most over hyped player in the last 10 years.


Twocents Says:

A friend just reminded me that since TMC’s turned into WTF, there is no defending champion, then Djok is not cursed…He would be Djok the Home Boy Destroyer.

Watch out, Andy.


Kimmi Says:

DD, you are entitled to your opinion but this year US Open. Murray was suffereing from a wrist injury. So your comparison might not fit every well in this instance…can you compare his results in other GS…he never gives up like this..something was definetly wrong.

I hope you are going to eat your words when Murray wins a major !

Re: the hyping, I agree..its all coming from UK, and just spread everywhere else. Can you blame the brits..he is the best thing they ever had for over 70 yrs..


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Federer is the best thing in Switzerland since Swiss cheese. Djokovic is best thing in Serbia since the creation of the country. Del Potro is the best thing in Argentina in like 30 years. It’s not just the UK. It’s Agassi and Sampras and McEnroe and every body. Wrong shmong. Injury shminjury. Nadal played through a stomach injury and got to the semis. He wants the US Open so bad, despite have 6 majors already, that he did everything he could to get as far as he could. Murray has 0 majors yet barely put up a fight. He lacks the mental chops of a champion.


Twocents Says:

DD,

Blame most hype on British media. It’s a draw between USA and Britain when it comes to hype up their players — Britain seems crazier now cuz they’re hungarier :-)).

That’s why I feel blessed when some non-USA or Britain based players shone on the tour: Fed, Djok, Becker, Edberg, Lendl. That’s when you get tolerable and somewhat balanced media coverage.


Kimmi Says:

Well said twocents. Its not Murray fault that they are hyping him….what can he do..try to talk back and tell them to stop…give him a break.


blah Says:

note- I just saw the replay of the paris final- Good to see Djokovic get really fired up in the end. If he constantly plays with that kind of intensity against everyone in every tournament, he’s not too far away from his second slam.


margot Says:

D.D.:1) British media hypes Murray yes, but only at certain times of the year, otherwise tennis is a minority sport. Perhaps YEC will change that and inspire some more young players cos, apart from Andy, there’s nobody in spite of millions spent. This would be good asit would take the spotlight off him. Also,I cannot believe he is hyped loke this anywhere else in the world. Why would he be? But if he is, blame the ubiquitous Rupert Murdoch and Sky Sport, not Andy.
2)I agree initially he did set his sights too much on beating Roger, but if you are a young player coming up and there’s this colossus standing in your way, well that’s understandable isn’t it? This was his stated ambition at last year’s YEC but, certainly, it’s time to move on from that.
3)Andy sustained a wrist injury at Cinci which does have a bearing on his loss to Cilic. In spite of your dismissal of his ambition, I suspect nobody was more upset than he himself was over this.
4)Come on, he’s only 22, at this age Fed hadn’t won a slam either.


Daniel Says:

Wrong! Fed won Wimbledon when he was 22 (and 10 months, but still 22).

I kind of agree with DD here is that the Murray who beat Nadal in Last year US Open never showed up again. He didn’t play with that agression anymore. That’s what I miss the most.
Sure his game is great and he has all the shots, which will be enough to beat almost everyone else. But seems like when an attacking players is blasting he has no answer, same as Nadal. Sometimes their plans is just wait, cause the guy level will drop.


Daniel Says:

I wouldn’t discount Nadal just yet. Last 2 times he played he reach semis. But I can see him goign 3-0 or 0-3, he is a question mark! Weird to say this about Nadal. The certainty that he will go far in every tournament as he used to is not there anymore.


Dan Martin Says:

I think Federer will either go 2-1 or 3-0 in his group. I think JMDP and Murray will be contenders for the semis and Verdasco while talented is not as likely as the other 3 to get through due to a myriad of factors. I think this group could produce three players at 2-1 and one at 0-3 so sets won and lost will matter.

I like Nole to go 2-1 or 3-0. Rafa will go 2-1 I think, but Davydenko is the key match. Revenge will likely push him past Soderling although this surface is less favorable than red clay for Rafa. Still, I think Rafa comes through to the semis if he beats the Russian.

Novak is my pick to win the event based on momentum and on my gut saying he is arriving. Still, Murray has been tough for Novak since Cincy 2008 and if he plays Murray I think he can win, but mentally there may be a hurdle.


Kimmi Says:

So the schedule of play is out. its Murray Vs delPo 1st match sunday, followed by Federer Vs verdasco..just like I thought. Its always top seed Vs bottom seed in the group. That make monday schedule to be Nadal Vs Sod and Djoko Vs Davydenko.

ORDER OF PLAY – SUNDAY, 22 NOVEMBER, 2009

CENTRE COURT – start 12:30 pm
[1] D Nestor (CAN / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs [8] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL)
Not Before 2:15 pm
[4] A Murray (GBR) vs [5] J del Potro (ARG)
At 7:00 pm
[3] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) vs [5] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK)
Not Before 8:45 pm
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs [7] F Verdasco (ESP)


devastatingdjokovic Says:

I think JMDP is still a little spent, but who knows?

It does seem like the same type of player matches up poorly with Nadal and Murray. However, Murray has a better record against these players. But still, at least Nadal knows how to slap a serve and smack a forehand winner, something Murray seems to avoid for some stupid reason.


jane Says:

margot says “I agree initially he did set his sights too much on beating Roger, but if you are a young player coming up and there’s this colossus standing in your way, well that’s understandable isn’t it? ”

I can see how it’s understandable because in a way Djoko did the same. When he was young he said naive things, before he’d even broken through, like “Fed’s going down” blah blah blah. But you know what? I think it just showed his ambition. And he did take Fed down in Canada in 07, played him close at the 07 USO final and then beat him on the way to the AO in 2008. Like margot, I simply think guys like Djok and Murray, even JMDP and Roddick, want to prove themselves against those at the very top, and especially Fed. You can’t really fault them for doing that initially. I can see Djok’s moved on from that now; he sees Fed as the best & number 1 and approaches those matches as learning experiences and challenges now, seems like.

Daniel says “he is a question mark! Weird to say this about Nadal.”

I totally agree with you; I have no idea what to expect from Rafa at this event. I mean, he could come out a man with a mission and try to win it all and get back number 1. Or he could be more focused on Davis Cup. It’s tough to say just where he’s at.

I also agree that the Murray of USO 2008 was quite aggressive. Not just in his semi with Nadal either – relook at his match with JMDP there; he handled Delpo’s power with aplomb and his amazing defense, but he also matched his aggressive, even bettered it! So there were definitely times this year when I found he could’ve been more aggressive as he has all the shots in his arsenal. I’ve seen him be more aggressive. I know he can do it.


Bjorn Borg Says:

Roger was 21 years old when he won his first major. Born on 8 August, 1981, he won his 1st Wimbledon on 7 July, 2003, to be exact, at 21 years and 333 days.
Before Roger hit 23 years old, he had won 3 Grand Slams.
Murray has won 4 Masters, not five, by the age of 22 years and 190 days.


Bjorn Borg Says:

With the easiest draw, home court, and everything else on his side, this WTF is Murray’s to prove he is the man in mission. He wins, he will raise his prospect of winning his first major in 2010. He loses, doubters will have more to doubt about him. With 17-5 H2H against the opponents in his group, anything less than the final should be a concern for Murray. That is how a lot of the media will respond to the home boy.
In reality, no one can predict this WTF. It all comes down to which Federer, which Nadal, which Djokovic, which Murray, which Del Potro, and which Davydenko will show up. You cannot forget Verdasco and Soderling as much will depend on these two as well.
Every one can be a winner and every one can be a loser. Nadal knows he can gain most; so do Federer and others.
Normally, each player approaches a round robin match as an opportunity to earn 200 points. No other tournament provides this opportunity from the get-go. A player cannot be too concerned beyond one round until he wins one. If he does, he might get over-agitated and jittery, which can cost him the match. In this event, if you are sub-par on a given day, you cannot slug it through. You may get second chance in the round robin, but you will have to play your best in next two rounds.
The question is not who played best or worst last week, the question is who can play his best in 4 or 5 matches against Top 8 players next week, which requires best mental and physical fitness on top of and along with your shot range, on those 5 days.
A cautious player cannot be looking too far into the potential 1500 points plus prize money, which happens to be more than a Wimbledon titlist pockets.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Murray’s draw isn’t Federer’s from RG. Federer had winning was like 30-1 against the quarterfinalists at RG and they were all players who were scared of him (except Del Po). Here, you have Federer, Verdasco, and Del Potro. He might be 17-5 in matches but he’s 0-16 in slams. Federer and Del Potro aren’t scared of him. Verdasco might be or he might draw from his victory on the grand stage in Australia.


been there Says:

Interesting conversation between DD & Kimmi re: Murray. I have to agree with DD that one sometimes, Murray still does come across as putting beating Federer almost equal to winning a tournament. I’ll give an example of this year wimbledon. In almost all his interviews, straight from rnd1, he talked of ‘meeting Federer in the final…& I have a great H2H against him’. Now, such talk is not only disrespectful to other players, because, what if Federer never made it to the finals?…but it also shows that for whatever reason, +ve or -ve, one of Murray’s main goals in tennis is to beat Federer. He could have as well have mentioned Djokovic, or other players who usually perform fairly well on grass, e.g. Roddick or better still, don’t mention any names, just a simple ‘I intend to reach the finals.’ But perhaps having Federer constantly in his mind is his form of motivation seeing that they can only meet in semis or finals. So to meet him would mean that he’s done well already.

I also understand about him wanting to beat the greatest one….but surely, not only is he a top5 player, but he already has a winning record against Federer. In fact, from now on, Federer is the one who should jump up & down whenever he beats Murray! LOL. So it is indeed time to move on from this mentality…it’s nothing to do with him being up & coming & ‘young’.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

My point exactly. Sorta. I didn’t even think about that Wimbledon thing but yeah. Since you mention that, maybe that’s why Murray lost that match in the first place. A couple of years ago I read Brad Gilbert’s Winning Ugly. In it, he talked about how he taught Agassi to have a specific game plan against every foe. He said how in 1994?, Agassi drew Boris Becker in the semifinals of Wimbledon. I don’t remember the final score but I know that Agassi was up 6-2 4-2 before he started to lose. Agassi said how he came out and executed perfectly but then, during a changeover, he start thinking about the final with Sampras and he ended up letting the match slip away. After the match, Becker even came up to Agassi and told him that he had never seen such perfect tennis like the way Agassi played for the first set and a half. Murray never played perfect in his encounter with Roddick, but he still played well enough to lose 2 tiebreakers in a 4 setter. It’s very possibly and very likely that Murray was thinking too much about the final against Federer than about the match he was actually playing.

“I also understand about him wanting to beat the greatest one….but surely, not only is he a top5 player, but he already has a winning record against Federer. In fact, from now on, Federer is the one who should jump up & down whenever he beats Murray! LOL. So it is indeed time to move on from this mentality…it’s nothing to do with him being up & coming & ‘young’.”

1000% agree. I’m sick and tired of hearing Murray say “blah blah blah playing probably the greatest of all time… blah blah blah beating the greatest of all time… blah blah blah roger is the greatest of all time… honor… tennis…i’m scottish… blah.” You fuggin pwn the guy, Murray, stop trying to play yourself up and play your way up.


been there Says:

Thank you Bjorn Borg (erm, autograph please?) for that notice of what age Federer was when he won his first slam. He was indeed 21 yrs old.

So it really baffles me when all I’ve heard about Murray from last yr is ‘Federer had not won a slam by his age’. This is either down to not knowing the facts or simply being in denial. And the bad thing is that I’ve also heard Murray mention it himself occasionally. Now, this type of talk should be left for fans & pundits, but a player should take his chances at whatever opportunity at whatever age, be it at 16, 18, 20, or 25 yrs….’coz anything can happen to destroy or slow down a sports career. So I can only put such comparison to Fed’s age as a form of defensive mechanism due to the pressure Murray is facing, especially from British media & public, ‘coz otherwise why not compare to Nadal (hello, 6 by 23!), Djoko & now Del.P?

Anyhow, Murray should not bother himself with comparing ages to anyone. This is unnecessary stress. I’ll blame the media who ask him many unnecessary & sometimes irritating questions. Having said that, sports like tennis favour the young, so all he needs to do is win it asap.


been there Says:

My prediction of YEC finals: Murray vs Djokovic….Murray wins because he’s simply the best ‘best-of-three’ player this year.

Going forward to slams, Murray’s game, imo, doesn’t translate well in ‘best-of-five’ ’cause top and/or aggressive players have more time to adjust & reduce their unforced error count, hence giving Murray less opportunity. Murray must stop being too scared of unforced errors…he must start playing continuous controlled aggression (see Cilic & Djoko, but not not Gonzalez!). It’s no use having an UE total count of 10 in a slam match if it’s not winning you the title. Simply returning the ball & occasional scintillating aggressive cross-court shots (the one thing I love about his game) isn’t gonna cut it.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

It’s not just injury but other players might become too good. For example, up until 2007, everyone said that it was a matter of “when” regarding Federer breaking the slam record. After barely winning one slam in 08, it became “if” for a lot of people. Especially after the AO, it became “is it possible”. What if Federer and Nadal suddenly regain their composure and hit second peaks? What if Djokovic and Del Potro sort out their physical and mental ailments and become the new Federer and Nadal and sweep everything? What if Roddick stops playing so conservatively and decides to pick up a few fast court slams? Hell, what if Davydenko decides he wants to be a slam champion and goes on a little tear of his own. Murray seems to be waiting for his chances, but he needs to grab life by the balls and make his own chances. Look at the way Del Potro and Djokovic won their first slams. They were just ferocious in their wins and didn’t let anything stop them, including this one guy who has a history of spoiling breakthrough slams. I think his name is Roman Federererer or something of the sort. Murray needs to step his game up.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

I don’t think it’s fair to say Murray is gonna win just because he’s the “best best-of-3-sets player.” It’s gonna come down to the day, and I think Djokovic is gonna be very motivated to beat Murray. Djokovic has been on a little mission to reestablish himself and he’s done well thus far by beating Federer and Murray. But everyone still puts Murray on equal or greater footing than Djokovic so the best way for Djokovic to really reaffirm his number 3 status would be to beat Murray. Plus he’s got a better personality so let’s go Djokovic!!!


Bjorn Borg Says:

There are a few indicators, if they are any help.

>>Federer has the mission to finish number 1 and equal Sampras and Lendl’s five titles. He says he has figured out how to play Murray. Del Potro and Murray’s presence in his group can only motivate him to prepare better. It depends on whether his serve and forehand return to him in time.
>>Nadal has the prospect, albeit remote, of regaining number 1. However, he has never cared much about the Masters Cup and did not sound he does this year either. He admits his game is not ideally suited for Indoor. He is yet to find his best form. Nobody knows where his game level is and what he has in mind. He is a total suspense.
>>Djokovic has an excellent chance to close the gap with Nadal. He been on a hot streak for about two months. With wins over Federer and Nadal, his confidence has grown. He says he is physically fit and free of distractions, and he will try to ride on this momentum next week and prove further his physically endurance.
>> Like I said, in paper Murray has the perfect H2H against the opponents in his group and should sail through semifinal. But he played just OK in last two events, Valencia and Paris, and did not face any of these players except Verdasco. He says he has been preparing for London for sometime, one of the reasons given to escape Asia swing and avoid further injuries. Physically and game wise, he is not in a far better situation than Nadal’s except that Murray cares about London and is more motivated, focused, and determined to go all the way. He has reasons to prove and will be more reliant on motivation than anything else.
>> Del Potro has been a complete unknown factor since the US Open. We don’t know the moment he will suddenly rise from his slumber. He can be zero or he can be 100%. He too has to prove that the honeymoon of winning first major is over. If he is fit and everything clicks, we all know what he can do. He must realize that it is about time to show some muscles, once again, among the big guys.
>>Both Davydenko and Soderling are good Indoor players and will throw everything to be in the semifinal.
>> Verdasco has been written off by almost all. This is an opportunity to bring the Verdasco of Australian Open and show that he can actually beat these big guys. On his best day, he can take one or two down.


margot Says:

All this endless criticsm of Andy is hypothetical, only time will tell. My only worry is that he gets too many injuries, he’s got a groin one at mo., and these may get in the way of his ambitions.
It seems to me all the guys at the YEC have something to prove even Soderling must feel he has to show he deserves to be there on merit not default.
madmax: have you got an evening ticket, will you see Federer? Really hope you will.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Saying he’ll win slams and be number one in the world I’d all hypothetical too. Nasal has had injuries his entire career and he still got 6 slams and number 1. Del Potro is even more prone to injury but he’s already won a slam. Don’t make excuses.


sar Says:

Who was the oldest player winning their first slam?


Bjorn Borg Says:

Andres Gomez won first and only at 30. Goran Ivanisevic at 29.


Cindy_Brady Says:

I don’t think Andy Roddick is all that injured. He just knows he is outclassed by this elite field. His serve is no longer the weapon it once was and he is aging fast. He will be out of the top 10 by mid 2010. Maybe sooner. Good riddens!


madmax Says:

MARGOT!

My ticket is for the afternoon only! I am gutted Margot! I thought that the first player on would be the world no. 1 – in other words ROGER FEDERER! Je t’adore le federer! And what do I get! The bloody scottish No. 1! Margot , if you were here, I would gladly give you my ticket as I know you are a big fan of nestor and murray! So – i will think of you – on sunday! but am feeling really sad by this as I simply have to meet roger federer. If not on sunday, then it will be at wimbleon, whatever it takes, I will pay £300 for a centre court ticket to see him.

PLUS, USOPEN in the summer. I cannot keep putting it off any longer – Margot, I will try and get you an autograph of nestor if I can.

DURO!

Where have you been! Duro – WHY is ZARE and JEAN so cruel about federer on TT? It makes no sense.

I love the guys on this forum, they are all so classy.

DD, federer to win! c’mon federer! We love you!

I just hope i see him when i go down the corridor to find my seat – i will be wearing a red baseball hat – I just know he is gonna crush ‘em! I have been reading about his mindset, where he is, what he wants to achieve. GAME ON ROGER!


Kimmi Says:

DD: You have made some good points, and I agree with you on this “Murray needs to be aggressive”.
he has come second best in few matches this year due to this reason. I also hope he continues to play as good as he did in 08 US hardcourts and the beginning of this year.

“But everyone still puts Murray on equal or greater footing than Djokovic so the best way for Djokovic to really reaffirm his number 3 status would be to beat Murray. Plus he’s got a better personality so let’s go Djokovic!!!”

OK, we have establish that you don’t like Murray. Hoping for Djoko to beat Murray to reaffirm his No. 3 position…erm…is OK because we all have favorites. I too hope they meet in the semi or the final..and my question is ..if Murray beats Djoko again what would that make Murray ?


Kimmi Says:

The evening matches are scheduled to start at about 9pm local time, which is equivalent to 5pm eastern time..Yeeepeee ! I am so happy with this schedule, I will be able to watch second matches live during the week..great news.

I am surprised they start doubles matches at 7pm, though its always been single matches 1st.. It will be a good way to promote doubles I think


devastatingdjokovic Says:

I don’t dislike Murray. I like Murray. I just think he gets too much credit where credit is not due. I just happen to love Djokovic. The only personality I like more than Djokovic’s is Safin’s. I like Djokovic better than just about everyone. That doesn’t mean I dislike everyone.

It depends on how Murray beats Djokovic. If they’re both playing really well and Murray edges out a victory, then that’s really telling and I’m probably gonna be depressed since I’ll have to rethink my whole outlook on tennis. If he beats a tired Djokovic then I’ll still be depressed but I can always just hope for something better the next time around.

I don’t see how there is anything even remotely wrong for wanting Djokovic to beat Murray to confirm he’s the real number 3… for now.


Kimmi Says:

“I don’t see how there is anything even remotely wrong for wanting Djokovic to beat Murray to confirm he’s the real number 3… for now.”

I agree, nothing wrong to want Djoko to beat Murray, thats is what makes you a fan. But I am trying to see if your assesment of Murray above is biased….If not, then I would say you have been fair, but finishing up your statement by wishing Djoko to beat Murray to confirm he is above him.. put a little question mark from me.


sar Says:

Andres Gomez won first and only at 30. Goran Ivanisevic at 29.

I guess there’s hope for everyone but they are the exception rather than rule.


O-Kerr Says:

“But everyone still puts Murray on equal or greater footing than Djokovic so the best way for Djokovic to really reaffirm his number 3 status would be to beat Murray.”
That seems to be the case in UK, as one Telegraph headlines “Rafael Nadal: Andy Murray is on equal-footing with Novak Djokovic.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/rafaelnadal/6589232/Rafael-Nadal-Andy-Murray-is-on-equal-footing-with-Novak-Djokovic.html
Nadal seems to be confused who the real number 3 is, “Any player who is No 3 [Murray] in the world will have a lot of chances to win a grand slam. He’s only 22, and so he will improve.”
As they repeatedly hear in the media Murray being British number 1, some in UK believe that Murray is the number 1 player in the world.
For smarter Brits, that’s the hope.


sar Says:

I just saw on another forum the court is slow with a low bounce.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Murray’s personality is the modern day version of McEnroe’s. Only without the talent and slam victories. He is one of the whiniest players on the tour. Can’t stand his attitude or game. Over rated is an understatement with this guy.

Go Fed!


Kimmi Says:

“Murray has won 4 Masters, not five, by the age of 22 years and 190 days”

Well, five sounds better but I will take four. Cinci, Madrid, Miami and Montreal, very true. Thanks.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Cindy Brady, you suck.

Kimmi, I think it’s pretty obvious I’m biased when it comes to Djokovic. But if you take him out of my posts, I’m just cynical but fair towards Murray. I don’t blame him for his hype, I blame him for focusing on the wrong things (beating Fed over winning titles).


Cindy_Brady Says:

sar,

If that is true about the ball bounce, it doesn’t bode well for Nadal’s game. His high fore hand top spin shots will be less effective. Federer’s heavy back hand slice will become more of a weapon. The court conditions look to favor Fed.

We will see.


Kimmi Says:

Cindy Brady, sar says the court is also “slow”, that could favor nadal. Nadal loves slow hardcourts, AO, Toronto etc

Anyways, all these are speculations, until they start play on sunday..we will find out.


jane Says:

Just reading some of the press: a lot of pundits are picking Murray to win this.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Where are you reading? I’ve read like 3 things. It’s so boring when there isn’t any tennis being played.


O-Kerr Says:

As it used to be the surface in previous Masters Cups like Shanghai and Houston, the O2 surface is Greenset Grand Prix, a synthetic resin hard court surface designed to obtain a perfect bounce of the ball. ITF certified Greenset also constructed the surface for Basel, Rotterdam, Malaysia, Bangkok, previous Madrid and a few others but with a slightly different set of materials.
Nadal’s hometown Majorca also has one arena built in the O2 mold.

http://www.greenset.net/en/surface-grand-prix.html

http://www.greenset.net/en/tournament.html


jane Says:

DD, here are a few links – Murray’s the common denominator in all of them.

Sky picks Fed or Murray
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12111_5705741,00.html

Bleacher report picks Murray
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/293842-preview-for-barclays-atp-world-tour-finals

Bodo picks Murray or Djoko


madmax Says:

You see the thing is about living in the UK people is that it’s here we go again…the murray ferris wheel, round and round we go, same old, same old, hype – utterly ridiculous, the guy is even on FIRST rather than the WORLD NUMBER ONE – so disrespectful. Everyone has there place, novak should be spoken about with more respect as well, BEFORE murray – the tennis world has gone mad! crazy nuts!

Federer – just whip the butt off all of the players, please. Get your game together, act together, serve together and play the tennis of your life! We support you Fed!

Bodo hates fed anyway, so he is bound to pick any other player on the tour.

Yes, lets enjoy the games –

Even though I will be there on sunday, i will be recording the match from sky – so if any of you guys out there dont live in UK, and have problems with getting the channel, I can record fed matches (of course!), for you, and probably send them to you before christmas, if you let me have your email address – though, I would think that eventually they will put them on DVD anyway, but for you diehards, am happy to do that.

There is no reason why federer should not finish the year as no. 1, he has achieved so much already, but after having read his recent articles in the sunday times and independent, it is clear to me that he has the animal instinct to go for the kill. He just has to bring THE FED onto court for the week, and not have any of his ‘moments’ shall we say. I trust in the fed!


Duro Says:

Maxi! I had to take some time off. Just to stay “healthy” from this posting disease. It’s pretty obvious that we are all here more or less addicts and that we lead a kind of parallel life, having or not having one of our own, or letting someone else to expiate because of our neglect-ion of family or professional obligations.

I don’t know about Zare and Jean. They are maybe afraid of Fed…

“I love the guys on this forum, they are all so classy.”

Well, Maxi, if you were a bit longer here you would have seen that it’s not completely the truth. Posters as posters… This site has its history too…


margot Says:

Madmax: oh bummer! I wonder if you would be able to get a return for the evening show? It’s a massive stadium so you might be lucky. I’m going at the end of the week and it would be horribly ironic if I got to see Fed! However, have got to say…would not mind a bit and it would be less traumatic than watching Andy!
dd: I agree with a lot of what you say, but just think you are being too harsh. BTW I NEVER make excuses. I just think players mature at different rates. In three year’s time, if Andy is still slamless, I will don my hairsuit, promise.
Big appreciative article on JMDP in press today, folks, it’s not ALL about Andy!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Murray disintegrated against Cilic at the U.S Open when he was heavily favored. Cilic hit him off the court. Murray looked like a deer in head lights.

Do not trust Murray or his game. It is a finesse game designed to wear down opponents and hope they miss. If a power player is on, Murray’s off pace directed shots are bludgeoned back to him putting him in defensive mode. No plan B. It is not a champion’s style game. Champions are brave and go for shots. Murray will always disappoint his fans with inconsistency and unfulfilled expectations.

Also, Only a matter of time before Murray’s frail looking body forces him out of competitive tennis for good.


Colin Says:

Good old Cindy, still at it! Murray is a whiner, is he? Well, there’s an old saying: “It takes one to know one”.
As for his having a frail looking body, have you been on another planet for the last year or so?


sensationalsafin Says:

“Also, Only a matter of time before Murray’s frail looking body forces him out of competitive tennis for good.”

…Sigh.

I agree with madmax that we’re back to the same old hype that I’ve been bitching about all week. It just seems to me that people pick Murray just because he’s Murray, which doesn’t make sense. You can pick Federer and your reason doesn’t have to go beyond “He’s Roger Federer” and you can even pick Nadal the same way. But Murray has yet to really prove himself so picking him just because he’s Andy Murray is ridiculous. I can understand those who say Djokovic is tired and Nadal is playing bad and Federer’s head is elsewhere, but these predictions just throw those in there without actually believing it. Everyone just seems to assume Murray is the favorite and there’s no way he can lose. Even if Federer had reached won Paris and Nadal had lost 5-7 in the third to Djokovic and Djokovic played the least number of matches of all the top players this year, everyone would still be picking Murray. Let’s not forget he was the unreasonable favorite at the Australian, Wimbledon, AND US Open.

Madmax your devotion amazes me. As much as I’d like to see Federer break every significant record out there, I just don’t care that much. 1) As long as he secures his number 1 ranking, all will be right in the world. 2) If he beats Murray, too, then that’d be a nice little bonus. 3) Other people need to win titles, too. Federer has an incredible legacy, why can’t other people add to theirs? Imagine if Nadal was never around, Federer would’ve crushed so many more hearts. All these players go out trying to fulfill their dreams and Federer has always gotten in the way of everyone except Nadal (he’s let Djokovic and Del Potro slip by only once so far). As happy as I was that Federer won Wimbledon, I still remember the look of anguish on Roddick’s face. 15 times Federer has held up the winner’s trophy. 15 slams alone!! Safin has 15 overall titles in his career, but Federer has 15 slams!! For so long, the entire tennis world was rooting for Federer to win the French and break Sampras’s record. He’s done it. It was incredible. It was emotional. I think my post match celebration was more intense than Federer’s was after he won the French. But now it’s about time other players had a chance to cement their names in the record book. It’s not that I want Federer to lose, I just want other players to win. I find it strange and rather amazing that someone could still invest themselves in Federer first. Kudos to you but cmon, let other players bask in the glory.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Oh no!!! This computer was still set to sensationalsafin!!! I just can’t escape it!!


Voicemale1 Says:

Some interesting pre-London comments:

Andy Murray, in London, on Rafael Nadal: “If Nadal plays well, he’s very good, but people who saw his matches in Paris say he was struggling a bit and he said he wasn’t that happy with the way he is playing, either. So in some ways it would have been nicer to be in his box [round robin group] if he wasn’t playing well, but by the time it starts I am sure he will have had enough practice, and these courts will suit him quite well.”

..and this one…

Roger Federer, speaking to the Independent, on Andy Murray: “when I play too well or too offensively I can take time away from him now. And I’m too physical, whereas in the beginning I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t get around backhands like I can now. Now I can mix up my game too well for him to get under my skin.
“I know what I can do and I know what he can do. When we both play well it’s a close match, but I always feel it’s the attacker who holds the key to success, so it’s up to me whether I win or lose, not up to him. That’s why I don’t mind the match-up, to be honest.”


ace Says:

Some thoughts on why Federer can’t be overlooked at the SEC. Paris probably meant a lot less to Federer than other guys still fighting for rankings points and a place at the SEC; and but before that came the finals at the US Open and Basel. Murray’s as yet unproven on the big stage; Nadal isn’t in peak form; del Potro has gone missing since winning the US Open; Soderling and Verdasco might cause an upset or two in the round robin stages but its hard to see them going the distance in this field; Davydenko is the smoky at best. That leaves Djokovic as be the in-form player on the tour and defending champion. He’s earned the right to favouritism, but writing Federer off is a dangerous business. He’s also got a near impeccable record at the SEC: four losses in 32 matches and two of those were inflicted at Shanghai in 2008 on the only occasion he has has failed to progress past the round robin stage. He’s also been a finalist of five occasions, winning four of them (if past records count for anything).


devastatingdjokovic Says:

I don’t think anyone is overlooking Federer.

The funny thing about Federer’s comments about Murray is that he’s ALWAYS said that. This isn’t something he just recently started saying due to his win in Cincy. He’s always said that the attacker determines the outcome and he’s the attacker. Only now he’s talking about his physicality… I didn’t know Federer was unable to run around his backhand up until Madrid 2009… When he plays TOO offensively, that’s an indication that Murray is getting under his skin and he starts missing and loses. If he plays too well, then obviously he’ll win. Murray will always get under Federer’s skin. Murray pwns Federer.


margot Says:

dd: as a matter of fact I agree with you again. All this hype makes me very uncomfortable and doesn’t do Andy any favours either. All I can say is that the gutter press in UK just loves to blag someone up so they can knock them down again! It’s a favourite game and they’re probably cross with Andy for being outspokenly Scottish. I don’t know why people aren’t picking Djko for this. Surely he’s earned the right to be favourite?


jane Says:

I honestly have no idea who’ll win the WTF. Couldn’t pick it. Nadal’s a question mark, Novak may be tired, Murray’s going to go for it but may have a small injury, Fed will want to reassert himself after the Benneteau loss, Delpo has been a bust lately but he might come around, Davy’s always dangerous when he’s focused, and both Verdasco and Soderling are unpredictable and may be looking to prove themselves. Who knows?? All I can say is that the winner will probably be from the top 4 because they, perhaps, have the most at stake.

madmax I am very surprised to hear you say that Bodo hates Federer!! I have read his blog quite often this year and it has often focused on Fed in a very positive, even fawning, manner.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Yeah I don’t know where madmax got that Bodo hating Federer thing. Bodo loves Federer.

No one knows who will win, it’s all predictions and speculations. But at least give valid reasoning behind it. It can easily be someone in the bottom 4. Del Potro could wake up, although I doubt it. Davydenko has done well at the YEC on several occasions and he’s been playing well as of late. Verdasco is probably the least likely to win the event. And Soderling is a great indoor player, only fears Federer, if that, and he’s got Davydenko’s number.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Murray is weak physically comparatively to his rivals. I’d love to see if he could last 5 sets against Federer or Nadal in a grand slam final. Oh, we will never know, he doesn’t reach those.

Until he wins a grand slam singles title, he is nothing more than over blown hype by British wind bags tooting his horn to the world.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

He’s beaten Murray in 4 sets in a slam semifinal.


madmax Says:

Hello lovely people!

Firstly,

Sensationalsafin! I love you man. Just love you. (seriously).

My adoration is something that i have had since following federer from 2003 – 6 years now – and I could fawn and gush over him for hours, but I wont because i will bore you. I guess all I can say in my defence (do I reeaaally need to do this????) – is that I love his game, his manner (slight blip at USO, which is why it was so overblown as sooo unusual) – what a role model and still only 28 years old – He reminds me of beckham in a way in terms of football – highly regarded – okay, so he got the red card at the world cup in 1996, but he is known and respected world wide – as is federer –

and I still love beckham, even though we have rooney, rinaldho, ronaldhino, i cannot support other football players, whilst beckham is still playing – respect others of course – but like federer – he is very much in the now, he is here, he plays fantastic tennis, works on his game, despite what people say, has the second best (in my view), backhand in the business, next to stanislas warwinka – yet everyone criticises the fed for his backhand. He game is complete to me – And am sorry Ssafin, but fed’s drop shot is TO DIE FOR buddy! TO DIE FOR. And when fed’s game is ON – MAN ALIVE! he is ON! (cheerleader max jumping in the air with a backflip whoo hoooo sensationalsafin!) – The fed is the best to me – always will be – and if he wants to stick around for the next 10 years – then madmax will be here to cheer him on! So am sorry for my devotion – but just imagine, SS, if you were in real trouble, I would be loyal to you, would NOT let you down!

Margot/Jane – Pete Bodo wrote a damning article about federer which I read about 4 months ago – yes – I was shocked – he completely wrote federer off – occasionally I read his ‘mailbag’ of comments and I couldnt believe what I was reading – that’s why I have no time for the man – he can say whatever he wants about federer now because he has done so well this year – but honestly, I find when the going gets tough, Bodo is not prepared to put his head over the parapet -he ducks and he cowers – did not enjoy reading what he said AT ALL. Of course, when things go well for fed, he is all over him like a rash – but true devotion and loyalty is you stay with your favourite player, through thick and thin, support them and cheer them on – bodo didnt do that – dropped him like a massive boulder from a 100ft bridge – to me? bye bye bodo!

Duro!

You understand this devotion and loyalty – i know that you do – I am so sorry to hear that you have been ill – very glad that you have recovered duro – sending you masses of love and TLC.

Go federer go!!!!


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Madmax, I agree with everything you said. Federer is incredible. There’s no question. I would never root against him for the sake of rooting against him. At the end of 04 he only had 4 slams. But I already declared his GAME the greatest of all time. It’s perfect. I don’t agree that Wawrinka’s backhand is better than Federer’s, though. Federer, at his best, is the best in every department. That’s what makes him so amazing. It’s not that I have a problem with Federer, it’s just that I want to see other guys succeed.

Btw, has anyone mastered a drop shot as quickly and perfectly as Federer? Greatest drop shot of all time? Why not?


ertorque Says:

madmax: totally agree that federer is a complete player within the context of a single-backhanded player. The other 8 players plays the double-handed backhand and I think this stroke has more control over the lone ranger fed backhand. See how these guys can hit their backhands so early and to both flanks with great effects. That aspect of the game I have to say favour the double handed guys more than the single handed ones.


jane Says:

madmax, it’s not Bodo who writes the mailbag for SI, that’s Wertheim.


been there Says:

Speaking of drop-shots, seems to me like everyone was trying it out in Paris masters from all sorts of questionable positions…so long as they did a drop-shot.:D….heavens, even my man Monfils managed to drop in a couple. It’s the one shot that is sure to draw uus & aahs, & ‘oh, that’s so clever of him’ from commentators. Long live the drop-shot!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Federer always had the drop shot in his arsenal. He just didn’t use it until recently. Thought it was a desperation (bail out) type of shot. He didn’t view it in offensive terms of legitimacy. His success at the FO sure opened his eyes. He finally realized it creates a double threat in a rally. A perfect accompaniment to powerful deep ground strokes.


jane Says:

Djoko has often used it with the lob combo; I like it – makes the opponent scramble to the front then to the back. Creates dramatic points, as been there mentioned. Of course, it’s like the dumbest shot ever when it doesn’t work, lol!


sar Says:

Tignor picked Novak. I’m shocked.

Madmax-Did Fed’s family really invite Novak’s family to their house?


jane Says:

sar, Tignor is a pretty balanced commentator I find; he’s written great stuff about all of the top guys – Fed, Nadal, Murray,Djok, JMDP. He seems to like Djok. Did you read his summation of the Paris final? If not, here’s the link: he has some nice things to say about Monfils here too.

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2009/11/deep-breaths.html


jane Says:

Here’s the article sar mentioned too – Tignor’s break down of WTF?

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2009/11/wtf-is-happening.html


Duro Says:

Here’s the best Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zZb5j9uwXo picture quality ever.


sar Says:

Thanks Duro, he was really “on” that day.

Yes most people are picking Murray as the favorite. Simon Reed even wrote that Murray was the best tennis player in the world.If I’m Djok I hope I keep flying under the radar.


sar Says:

Did Novak just sign with Sergio Tacchini? Wow, if he did, unexpected nice choice.


madmax Says:

Madmax-Did Fed’s family really invite Novak’s family to their house?

SAR! 100%! as reported at swissinfo! I wrote a long post to you on another thread – go to swissinfo – roger’s dad made the invite (a gala drinks/reception) where both players and families attended prior to tournament – and as far as i am aware (from what media reported), the ‘truce’ was made – and for me Sar, soooo pleased – go read my thread – its under the djokovic/monfils thread – i did see your previous request, and will always try to answer if someone addresses me particularly –
Posted November 20th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

jane Says:
madmax, it’s not Bodo who writes the mailbag for SI, that’s Wertheim.

JANE!

You are right! Its John Weinheim isnt it?! apologies to you and Margot! it was wertheim who wrote something damning about fed! what a jerk!Bodo has been around for a lot longer – about 35-40 years (so I read), so yes. I stand corrected. Thank you Jane and Margot!

Posted November 20th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

ertorque Says:
madmax: totally agree that federer is a complete player within the context of a single-backhanded player.

Yes, ERTORQUE! It’s a shot which has me going crazy nuts when i see it! I just love THAT shot! THE Hollywood shot at wimby this year, the HOTDOG shot at the semi final USO this year! The dropshot at the FO this year – fed has evolved and IS still evolving.

Cindy_Brady Says:
Federer always had the drop shot in his arsenal.
Yes Cindy he has, but if you follow federer’s progress it is NOT a shot that Federer has (in his early days) felt comfortable with, as he always thought – (his words..) ‘It was a ‘joke’ shot’, a ‘messing around’ shot – it is only really in the last 12 months that he has really relied and used this shot a lot more and has become a more ‘strategically’ used shot against other players – he likes to use it a lot more than he has ever done before.

DEVASTATING D –

Absolutely. Totally understand where you are coming from. I celebrate your post, and completely respect what you are saying, but for me, fed is out there to win – and as long as he is around, I will always root for him – he is an incredible player – who, by many, is still the hunted. I know that he has lost that ‘aura’, but the guy still has the ‘X’ factor for me and the ‘IT’ factor. Federer is sublime and I look forward to him beating the opposition on sunday and beyond!

Go federer!


devastatingdjokovic Says:

It’s more than the X factor. I don’t agree that Federer has lost his aura. Well, let me clarify. Federer has lost THE FEDERER aura that he had from 04-06. In 07, his aura began to fade a little, last year it seemed to run out of fuel but this year it’s back up. However, it’s not the same THE FEDERER aura. THE FEDERER era has been achieved by a select few, Federer in 04-06 and McEnroe in 84 come to mind. Right now, Federer has, what I’d call, the Sampras aura. He’s number 1 in the world with a comfortable yet not insurmountable lead. He’s loss count is in the double digits (I think) but he’s still got a really good winning percentage. He’s dominated the slams winning 2 (reaching the other 2 finals is something Sampras, unfortunately, never did). And he’s done well at most of the Masters (winning 2) while suffering only 2 upsets to players outside the top 5 (that’s also better than Sampras usually did). Honestly, I have no idea why people are writing him off or asking about him retiring and all that stuff. Do people want him to pull a Henin? I’m more than a little confused. I like Federer at number 1 and it’d be weird to see his name drop lower (those 46 weeks he was number 2 were like living in the twilight zone). But I still wanna root for other players now. He’s done enough. He’s still gonna do more even if I didn’t want him to. But I’d love him to add to his legacy, rather, I wouldn’t mind, it’d be awesome, but I’m putting other players’ legacies above his. Before the French and Wimbledon this year, no matter how much I’d have liked to see Djokovic or Roddick or Del Potro win those slams, I wanted Federer to win them more than anything. Not anymore.


sar Says:

Mad max:
I saw your post and thanks. I am glad they had a “truce.” It’s about time this stuff is put away. They have been looking friendlier in the last months. Still looking on swissinfo for the link.


jane Says:

This article implies Rafa is more focused on winning the Davis cup, again, than on the WTF.

http://www.morethanthegames.co.uk/summer-sports/207297-rafael-nadal-insists-davis-cup-final-priority

Fed says this is one of the most competitive WTF in a while (so funny to keep typing WTF, lol)

http://www.morethanthegames.co.uk/summer-sports/207304-roger-federer-predicts-closest-tour-finals-ever


jane Says:

This article implies Rafa is more focused on winning the Davis cup, again, than on the WTF.

http://www.morethanthegames.co.uk/summer-sports/207297-rafael-nadal-insists-davis-cup-final-priority

Fed says this is one of the most competitive WTF in a while (so funny to keep typing WTF, lol)

http://www.morethanthegames.co.uk/summer-sports/207304-roger-federer-predicts-closest-tour-finals-ever


jane Says:

Oops must’ve double clicked, sorry for double post. ~ : /


Duro Says:

Good bye, lovely Novak’s blue tennis shoes…


Kimmi Says:

Margot: I DO AGREEEEEEEEEE ! I wish they stop picking Murray. Why not Djoko for god’s sake..he has won three of the last four tournaments he entered. he is the man right now and looking good.

DD, I agree with you too. They should stop this “Djoko is tired” business. He said he was tired before nadal match in Paris and look what he did to nadal…he has the whole week to rest, and there will be a day of rest after every RR match. he will be OK, and should be gunning to win his 4th title of five tournaments he entered. will be quite a feat.


jane Says:

LOL, Kimmi, even Murray wonders if Djoko is tired! I read an article today in which Murray was wondering about Novak’s fitness given he’ll have played like 100 matches this season or something; that’s a lot of matches! To me, it was quite clear he was pushing himself in the Paris final. He’ll still try hard to win in London though; I have no doubt. But he must be at least somewhat tired, if only mentally.


David Says:

I’m not sure how important this is to Federer. If it’s really important to him, it’d be crazy to bet against him. But I’m not quite sure. I think he’s even more focused on only the Slams than at any point in his career. I think he’s in a competition with Tiger to see who can get more Slams/Majors and both of them will probably end up with over 20.


sportsfan Says:

Guys…….Federer is going to win this tournament so you better just get ready for it…….he is probably going to win up to 18-19 slams as well…..


sportsfan Says:

David…..this tournament is very important to Federer and you will soon see that…..


sportsfan Says:

My heart wants Nadal to win, but when Federer really wants something there is no stopping him…..


scineram Says:

Read some of Tennisworld posts from spring, after the Cahill fiasco! Bodo is a huge bandwagoner.


Kimmi Says:

jane and other Djoko fans. Dunno if you have already seen this but a detailed article about Djokovic in ATP site.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/DEUCE-Tennis/DEUCE-Finals-2009/Novak-Djokovic.aspx


jane Says:

Thanks for posting that Kimmi; cute story about Djoko’s emotions, picking flowers for his mom in the forest! We forget how young these guys still are sometimes, still growing into themselves, these 20-22 years olds.


Kimmi Says:

Jane, here is another about DelPo;

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/DEUCE-Tennis/DEUCE-Finals-2009/Juan-Martin-del-Potro.aspx

Some quotes that I liked.

“Juan Martin has the game and will try to be the No. 1 in the near future. He has beaten all the top guys except Novak Djokovic and is still young,” says Davin. “However, we know it’s an extremely difficult task. You can take a look at Nadal’s case: a few years ago, he was winning Grand Slams and still had Fed
erer ahead of him.”

Djoko..watch out!

And another quote

***Del Potro thinks he still needs to gain experience to challenge the likes of Roger and Rafa. “To be like them, I would have to win the US Open at least ten times a year,” he jokes. “They don’t have four or five good weeks per season; they are reaching the latter stages of every tournament they enter. And they don’t lose in the first round of the tournament after a Grand Slam win, as happened to me [at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships] in Tokyo.”***

**Since the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in March, to the US Open triumph, the Argentine had only lost to two players outside the Top 10, Ivan Ljubicic at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters and Lleyton Hewitt at Wimbledon. He explains his Asian letdown (opening round losses in Tokyo and the Shanghai ATP Masters 1000) was caused by a post-US Open slight burnout, in addition to a minor tooth surgery that annoyed him.****

So these injuries and early loses are all the results of a burn out…how will he fair up in O2 ? Big question.


jane Says:

Thanks Kimmi; I think JMDP, Djoko and Murray are all ambitious young lads, which is great for the game’s future!! There are all exciting players in different ways. We’re lucky.


jane Says:

oops there s/b they’re


Kimmi Says:

Yes, I agree jane. If they continue this kind form…Next year is looking to be very competitive.

LOL..Is just funny to read delpo talking about the burnout after the US Open. Too many thing happening at the same time for him, he got overwhelmed. I thought it’s because of injuries but he knows better. Now, due to his lack fitness, he is becoming susceptible to more injuries. We will see how he fairs up in London. He could be thinking about next season already.


Long Live the King Says:

Here’s the thing and there is no other way of saying this – Federer will win the masters cup. LOL!

I refuse to call, a super tournament like the yr ending finals, WTF! Thanks ATP for making us tennis fans look dumber in front of golf fans! Hope someone is getting fired for this wonderful creative name :)

Long Live the Masters cup ;)


sar Says:

Thanks Kimmi, insightful article. I especially like hearing from Todd Martin.


Janadev Says:

It is sad to see almost all tennis pundits are writing off Nadal. Though realistically it is possible that Rafa can go easily 0-3 in his round robin, the possibility of him going 3-0 is not too far. This is the wide open group though.

I would like to go Nadal taking the whole thing and reclaiming the #1 rank, it depends also on which Roger will turn in O2.

It will be a fitting finale to the year to have a Semi/Final match between Roger/Rafa to decide the #1 rank, the likes of having too far from reality.

Enjoy a good week of tennis and hope the best man will be the champ of champions..


Kimo Says:

I just wanna start by saying this promises to be the best YEC in almost a decade.

I think given Rafa’s draw and how he’s playing, it’s hard to see him going through to the semis. Roger’s group is obviously tougher. He could have given himself a lot more room to breathe had he reached at least the quarters in Paris, but anyway, if he’s focused he can beat all three in straights (although the crowd might get under his skin in the Murray match), and if he’s not focused he can lose to all three in straights. Had this been 2006 I would have said that Fed would easily beat all three, but obviously he’s having consistency problems now that he’s getting older.

I think that Fed’s best performance this year came against Murray in Cincinnati, so Fed can obviously beat Murray handily if he’s on his game. If he’s not, it’s a challenge.


margot Says:

jane, kimmi: can that extraordinarily handsome young man in the photo, possibly be our Andy…?
Long live: I can’t call it that either, why didn’t they just call it YET – year end tournament!


madmax Says:

Kimo,

I dont think it is anything to do with federer’s age. His heart age must be 18! He is one of the fittest out there, if he wasn’t he would not have remained at the top of ATP for so long. I dont think anyone realises just how fit federer is, go check out on bleacher his training schedule and his training team (that he rarely talks about, if at all), we all know he doesnt have a full time coach, and that doesnt seem to have bothered him much, he has still won more than half of his slams without a full time coach!

BUT people forget that his ‘part time’ coach (who really is his full time coach is severin Luthi swiss cap coach), always there when federer plays, but in terms of his training – it is gruelling – he still hits the gym, he still practises everyday, he would have to, otherwise his joints/muscles would seize up. This is a top athlete, who still can pull out the shots when he needs to. PLUS, remember, he doesnt have to run all over the court all the time – he is a strategic player – it takes him a while to work out his opponent’s game plan – but he has to be the best there is in working this out – he doesnt have to grind a game from left to right on the court, he can use the drop shot more, and the overhead, to give him more time to get to the net, getting into long baseline rallies, is not necessary or conducive to him winning – may be earlier – yes – the 47 shot rally he had with Lleyton Hewitt at the AO, wonderful – but there is no need to play this way anymore – he has a cleverer way of playing – why spend more energy when you need to?

I have belief in federer – he just got to make sure he brings that self-belief to the tournaments, he has beaten all the top 5 this year and there is no reason why he cannot do it again.


Maso Says:

Just a question, does anyone know if the final of the WTF will be played in best of 3 or best of 5 sets? I remember being surprised last year when it turned out to be a best of 3 match, between Djokovic and Davydenko. Though if you look at the history of the tournament’s finals, you’ll find a few best of 3 finals scattered here and there, but not detecting a pattern of any kind. It’d be pretty disappointing to have a best of 3 Federer/Nadal final…


Long Live the King Says:

Margot :

How about Champion Of Champions? Hmmm…. on 2nd thoughts, I will second YET :)

At the risk of jinxing murray, I think Federer or him will pull this one out.


Long Live the King Says:

Madmax:

If I remember right it was a 45 shot rally and it was Indian wells final.

Maso :

I think since last yr, they changed it to best of 3. I think they should have all matches best of 5. After all, it is the best of the best.


madmax Says:

Long Live the King,

I’ll check on that – we gonna quibble over 2 rallies?!!!!!!!!


madmax Says:

Long Live!

Yes. It was a 45 shot rally. Thanks for that. The tourny was sponsored then by Mercedez Benz? so if you say it was the Indian Wells, then I’ll believe you, though I couldnt confirm that one.
Cheers!

And yes. Roger should win this! I will be supporting him all the way!


madmax Says:

It’s going to be a great tournament all round – good luck to all players and fans, Federer is practising with rafa today at 2pm at 02 practise courts! If rafa becomes No. 1 at end of year – I still will be happy with Federer’s achievements for 2009, but of course I want him to win this tournament and to hold on to No. 1. We shall see, go roger go!


Long Live the King Says:

If it’s Federer, yes :)


Long Live the King Says:

I am confident it is the Indianwells 05 final. Roger won that quite easily.


Long Live the King Says:

“And yes. Roger should win this! I will be supporting him all the way! ”

Amen to that. I think Roger is going to go at the least 2-1 in his group. I would say 3-0, if I had to really pick.

Murray should go 2-1

In the other one it’s a toss up between, Novak and Nadal to go 3-0 and 2-1.

I dont think it’s going to be as “surprising” as people are thinking. It is big boys time and u can safely count on Davydenko, soderling and verdasco to fold up when it really comes to closing the deal. JMDP, has been too flat to trust him.

Surprises will be fun, but am not too confident they will happen.


O-Kerr Says:

Federer on WTF & Nadal, “But first I want to make a good start (on Sunday) against Verdasco. The competition is really stiff so it won’t be an easy task for me or Rafa if we want to get the number one spot. It’s fun that it’s on the line here in London though.

“This is different to a Grand Slam but it’s not below a Grand Slam. It’s a very interesting format. Everybody here deserves to be here because they did some exceptional things throughout the year. I think this year it’s wide open.”

Federer played down talk of a Nadal decline, despite the fact he has not won a title since the Rome.

“He had an incredible first five months of the year, he dominated the first part of the year,” said Federer.

“He still has a chance to finish very strongly here and finish number one in the world. That doesn’t seem like such a bad scenario to me.”


Gordo Says:

Agassi picked Murray to emerge as the eventual #1 in the world.

But then again, Agassi also picked “slim” as his assistant.

:lol


Voicemale1 Says:

Madmax:

Any video of Federer & Nadal practicing on Court 2?


Voicemale1 Says:

Gordo:

LOL..agree. Agassi doing anything these days gets the wry smile of the rolled eyes.

Sampras had a different view that Agassi. Sampras said in an interview during his Exo last month in Macau that, at the Majors, he still like Federer, predicting Roger will add another three or four of those to his tally before he’s finished. Interestingly, Sampras also predicted Nadal would be in the Top 2 or 3 for as long as he wanted to be there, saying that his issues with injuries will crop up now and then but overall he expects to see Nadal around on the last weekend of almost every tournament he plays.Sampras had no mention of Murray or Djokovic.

It’s understandable Agassi feels some kind of kindred spiritedness to Murray. Both have terrific Backhands. Both coached by Gilbert. But how many players on the ATP tour today can you say that their Forehand is their least effective shot like you can about Murray? Just tough for me to see a guy like Murray ever being a Dominant guy like Federer, or even Dominant on a surface like Nadal is on clay. Getting through 7 Best of 5 Set matches regularly for someone like Murray, who sort of wafts the ball around the court and lacks that Single Punishing Shot, looks like a tall order. He might get two or three Majors before he’s through – but something like 6 or more? Ehh..don’t see it.


jane Says:

Both Murray and Djoko changed their clothing sponsors; Murray has signed with Adidas and Novak with Tacchini, which I know little about except that Sampras and Johnny Mac have worn it.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Madmax, I’ve been trying to figure out what’s wrong with Federer for a while and I’m 95% sure it’s age. He’s as fit as ever, a tank without a doubt. But 28 is far from too old to be fit. However, his consistency level has dropped down due to age. Not in terms of getting deep but in matches themselves.


Kimmi Says:

I thought this is funny interview with federer. made me laugh so much..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG0ATZT-YWc


Kimmi Says:

I wonder why Novak did not stay with Adidas. I know his contract was ending, but why not renew it..Nike have two lead player in Nadal and Federer, why not adidas ? I don’t understand this clothing deal thing, anyone ?


jane Says:

Kimmi, probably the same reason that Murray left Fred Perry – something new?


jane Says:

I read an article in which it said that Murray and Djoko were practicing the other day. I also read a couple that said Murray will not and would not change his approach to matches – i.e. that getting a big win, say, over Fed, is sometimes more important than winning the event. Here’s one article that quotes him:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5i23lNSaErDlBeLgEdWZkFkprXq0g

So count on Murray working hard to eliminate Fed, if it comes down to it.


jane Says:

Here’s the other article on Murray, which mentioned him and Djoko practicing.

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/murray-i-can-beat-federer-twice-in–a-week-1824831.html


Duro Says:

Jane, hi. Did you notice my post from yesterday saying: “Good bye Novak’s lovely blue tennis shoes”?

It’s my only concern re changing his clothing company. Different suit won’t make you better or worse player, but shoes…

Any info on that?


funches Says:

I agree with this assessment.

Djokovic has a much better chance of passing Nadal for No. 2 this week than Nadal has of overtaking Federer for No. 1.

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-22652-Pro-Tennis-Examiner~y2009m11d21-Djokovic-poised-to-overtake-Nadal


jane Says:

Duro – yes, I loved those blue shoes. I don’t know about Novak’s shoes but you have a valid point; they certainly could affect his performance. I don’t know any updates?


David Says:

Devastating Djokovic

I’d put 90% of Federer’s losses in recent months down to “single minded focus on the Slams”

Obviously he did lose to JMDP in one of the big upsets probably ever, but barring that he’d have won 3 of 4 Slams this year, which used to be a big deal until Federer did it 3 times in 4 years.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins 3 out of 4 in 2010 too. This guy is just the perfect tennis player. That’s all there is to it. We just need to enjoy it while it lasts.


Duro Says:

Well, I’m very concerned that it might be almost impossible to leave Adidas and to keep their “Genius” shoes. Besides, ST has his own line of tennis shoes, so it’s hard to believe they will let him wear anyone’s else but theirs… That would be really a step back, no matter what will anyone say.

I recall of an episode with Goran Ivanišević and his ST shoes. Not nice at all…


Duro Says:

David, I respect your Fed too, but, you should count a bit more carefully…


devastatingdjokovic Says:

How fantastic is this? If Del Potro wins he’ll be number 4. If Murray wins he’ll be number 3. If Djokovic wins he’ll be number 2. And if Nadal (or Federer) wins he’ll be number 1. Of course there are other technicalities like the ones who hold the position have to do poorly but still, how often does this happen?


David Says:

Duro,

Did I miscount somewhere?


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Federer is not going to win 3 slams in 2010. And those losses weren’t just because he was focused primarily on slams. Like I said, he’s still consistent enough to go deep everywhere (including tournaments outside of slams) but even at the slams, his game wasn’t as consistent as it once was. If you refuse to believe people age then post somewhere else. Blind Federer fans need to get a grip on reality.

Duro, they’re gonna make shoes that fit Djokovic’s feet, don’t worry. I really doubt shoes are gonna hinder his performance the way a racquet would. Once he breaks them in he’ll be fine.


Duro Says:

David, if you have said that he won 3 out or 4 this year, then yes. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins 3 out of 4 in 2010 too.” Comparing to 2009?


Gordo Says:

Kimmi – thanks for the CNN link with Fed giggling. Too funny. Even if his tennis is slipping a bit he seems to be enjoying life.


David Says:

devastating

Sure, players age and that’s why it’s possible that he’ll win 3 Slams next year instead of probable.

He’ll probably win 2 Slams, but it’s obvious that right now he’s not that interested in gutting out matches at non-Slams. That’s why he lost that match against Tsonga or lost to Benneteau. Nobody can seriously think he would’ve lost those matches if they took place at Slams.


Duro Says:

devastatingdjokovic, I’m not sharing your opinion, unfortunately. I would very much like you to be right, but… I can recall some bloody (literally) consequences from inadequate tennis shoes. It’s hard to compare Nike or Adidas to anyone else. Above mentioned Ivanišević used to curse his ST shoes all the time calling them “s… of a shoes…” Not to mention their modest look, mildly said.


David Says:

Duro

I was just saying he could do it again, like he did in 2004, 2006 and 2007. Unlikely, yeah, but I won’t be shocked if it happens.


jane Says:

David, which two slams? I don’t know if I’d confidently say that. I know Fed is great but there are so many now who are hungry to win. JMDP, Djok and Murray are ALL determined to reach the top, and they know they have to win slams to do it. All of them have beat Fed too. I think Fed’s best chance at another slam next year is Wimbledon. But I think the hard court slams will be more difficult for him to win going forward. And clay? Well Rafa should be back next year and he’s Fed’s nemisis on clay. Then there are Djok and JMDP who both play well on clay, and others, like Monfils. I would say comfortably that Fed should win 1 slam in 2010, but beyond that I wouldn’t be too sure…


jane Says:

Duro, I think DD is correct. As for Ivanišević , I’d say “that was then, this is now.” Surely ST should be able to fashion an ideal shoe for Djokovic. They will work on it based on what he has been wearing and they will design accordingly. I know the racquet change was a bad idea, since that was his weapon, but I do think the shoes should be okay. I hope so, anyhow.


David Says:

Jane, I just think barring injury he’s got to be the favorite at AO, Wimby and USO again next year. Rafa is the only player on Tour that has beaten Federer more than once at a Slam so that’s probably his biggest threat. But how is Nadal going to get back to a fast court final? You can’t count him out entirely, but he just seems lost at the moment against all the big flat hitters on tour with strong 2-handers. As for Murray and Djokovic, they’re certainly dangerous as are JMDP and Roddick, but can they really beat Federer at a Slam next year? Roger’s got, what, a 5-1 record against those players since that loss to Djokovic at AO.


Duro Says:

Jane, I already looked at the stars: Fed winning AO, Novak winning Paris, Murray winning Wimby and Novak USO again! Djokovic Novak, number 1 in the world in the end of 2010! Amen!


Gordo Says:

What a weird quote and attitude from Murray –

“Unfortunately it didn’t go well for me the next day (losing in the semis), but I’ve won six and lost three against Federer and I can take that with me for my career. It’s not always just about winning tournaments. It’s sometimes nice to beat the big players in epic matches. Unfortunately that takes a little bit out of you sometimes.”

Yes Andy, for the guys who do not aspire to be #1 it’s nice to beat the big players in epic matches. But for you it should be about winning these tournaments, because you have shown signs that you can reach #1 yourself.

You have to keep your eyes on the prize, not an “I don’t care if I lose the tourney as long as I beat Federer” attitude. Right now it is 6-3 in your favour (with Fed having won the last one remember) but if you look past Delpo by the time Fed gets done here it could be 6-4, or even 6-5, IF you get through the round robin matches.

You have your eye on beating Federer. He has his eye on reclaiming #1 at year end and winning this tournament for the 5th time.

Why don’t you concentrate on winning your first? Because when you are in your rocking chair it will be the number of Grand Slams and year ends everyone remembers.

You think most people know that Sergi Bruguera won the head to head match up with Pete Sampras? As opposed to Sampras’ count of 14 Slams, 5 Master Cup Championships and being ranked #1 at year end six times?

Bizarre!!!


Duro Says:

Well, Jane, you both are neglecting know-how, materials, technologies, experience… If they were not the best (Nike and Adidas), they would not have been considered as such and if so, there must be a reason for it, don’t you think? Otherwise, everyone could manufacture the same quality of shoes, or should I say best. But, this is impossible and this is exactly what separates them from others. Sweating, blisters, soar feet, slippage… These things can occur very likely.


jane Says:

David, I guess you’re going by past records, which is, in one way, all we have to go on. And certainly Fed has proven his mettle beyond all others in the slams. And yet, I think the other players have shifted in their views. I think they are really hungry. They want to win. Thus, I don’t know if those past records mean much. It’s just a hunch, or speculation, but I think Fed will win only one slam in 2010. He did win Wimbledon this year, but Roddick came SO close to taking it. He also won the French, but even without Rafa to be seen, Fed came close to losing to Haas and JMDP. I think next year the scale tips.

But, as I say, your guess is as good as mine!? And Fed and Nadal have certainly proven their consistency consistently. ; )


Duro Says:

Kidding about the stars, of course.


jane Says:

Duro – I have faith. ST have outfitted Mcenroe and Sampras. They do know tennis and have a history with it. I trust Novak made the right choice. (she says while crossing fingers and toes! lol)


Duro Says:

Another thing, 10 years contract! Oh boy…! Till the end of his career! I am absolutely more than angry, disappointed, unsatisfied…

Those times with McEnroe and Sampras are well gone a long ago…


Kimmi Says:

I want to see Djokovic win more five setters in a grand slam against federer or even Nadal then I will believe there is a big improvement in his fitness. So far he is done very well at the end of this season but imo slams are what will separate him from others.


Kimmi Says:

Duro, if Novak win some grand slams or reach number 1..Nike or adidas will buy him off again..ST probably wont be able to compete with Adidas or Nike offers..all are looking at where money is.

if I am Novak I will only concentrate on Good tennis and everything else will follow.


fadingis Says:

i don´t know if anyone here has read abought davidenko latly but i ve read some stuf and it seams like he´s taking safin´s place cursing the doping sistem(i agree with him) and rafa nadal saying lots of crap, has any one read anything similar?


fadingis Says:

anti doping sistem


Duro Says:

Jane, you have faith!? Since when, ha ha ha! Did I miss something?


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Duro, I’m sure that Djokovic is concerned about it and ST will go out of their way to make a shoe that fits Djokovic’s feet. I’m pissed because I think Adidas has the coolest designs and Djokovic has always looked really good. I’d be mad if he switch to Nike even. Adidas all the way!!!

Anyways. I agree that Federer is gonna struggle with hard court slams. I’m sure he’ll get maybe another AO and/or USO, but it’ll be tough considering Murray, Djokovic, Del Potro, and even Roddick prefer hard courts more than all the other surfaces. I will always see Federer as the favorite on grass no matter who he’s playing. Federer was made for grass and grass for Federer. As for the French, no matter what happens from now until then, I’m sure that people are going to say Federer is not the favorite. But until he loses, I have to disagree. We talk about how this year has been the year of no defending big titles and how Djokovic has never defended a title, but Roger Federer is the master of title defense. He’s got so many consecutive wins at so many tournaments it’s unreal. 5 in a row at the USO, W, Dubai. 3 at IW and Basel. 2 at TMC (twice), Miami, AO, Hamburg. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a record for number of times successfully defending titles. Roger Federer is the defending champion at RG and until he loses there, he is the favorite.

As for next year. I think the AO is really up in the air. Honestly I feel like Djokovic is gonna win it. At the French, it’s hard to say. We’ve yet to see how Nadal fares now that he has lost there and what it means in the long run. I can’t see Djokovic winning 2 slams in a row just yet, but then again he did make 2 straight finals. I’ll go with Federer at Wimbledon. And at the US Open, again hard to say. I expect Del Potro to go through a bit of a sophmore slump next year but hopefully he won’t lose before the semis. I think, by next year, Djokovic will finally get a win over Federer at the USO. But it’s still hard to say who’s gonna win it. I’d say Nadal has a good chance because he’s gonna be determined. It’s difficult making predictions so early but I feel like Djokovic has the best chance to win more than one slam next year. Well, I’d give Federer a slightly better chance at winning multiple slams since he’s done it, oh, a measly 4 times already. Del Potro could surprise me and win a slam or 2 but so far he hasn’t shown the stability to have a lot of success over and over. Roddick winning another slam? No. Nadal winning some slams? We’ll see. He’s clearly still hurting mentally but once it hits the clay, we’ll see. Murray winning a slam? Impossible. Davydenko? Doesn’t care to. Soderling and Verdasco? Not champion material.


Duro Says:

Kimmi, Nike and Adidas have plenty reasons to have him right now! He already won a slam, number 3 in the world for about 2 years, with biggest prospects for becoming number 1 very soon, popular, one of a kind personality, attractive, young, clever and he is only 22! Is there a bigger potential somewhere? Very unfortunate situation for Adidas to skip him because they spent all their money on Murray. Bad, bad, business decision.


GOAT Girl Says:

devastatingdjokovic: Were you also sensationalsafin?


jane Says:

Kimmi says: “I want to see Djokovic I want to see Djokovic win more five setters in a grand slam against federer or even Nadal ”

LOL, you’re so skeptical about Novak; Murray and JMDP, too, need to “win more five setters in a grand slam against federer or even Nadal” to prove themselves and their fitness, yes? It’s not only Djoko.

I think, no I have faith, all three of them will do so.

Duro – did you catch that? I do have faith in the future of tennis, even if Fed and Nadal aren’t sweeping up all the trophies. And I think ST will make the right shoe. I do, I really do!


Kimmi Says:

Duro, I asked a question because I don’t understand why adidas could not take 2 lead players like Federer and Nadal with Nike. My only guess is Novak contract expired and adidas propose to renew it with less money and novak says no ?

From the beginning of the year till now Novak has struggled while Murray did not do too bad but Novak now is the man of the moment, maybe adidas are eating their words right now, thinking why did we let Novak go ? ha ha


jane Says:

Just thinking aloud here – how many times has Djoko, JMDP, Murray faced either Fed or Nadal at a slam?

Djok:
Fed – 07,08, 09 – USO
Fed – 08 – AO (won)
Nadal – 07 – Wimbledon

* only in 2007 was fitness an issue in the match outcome, cause Djoko had infected foot blisters (from his Adidas shoes DURO!!) and had to retire, even though he won a set of Nadal!

Murray:
Nadal – 08 – USO (won)
Fed – 08 USO

* potentially Murray’s fitness was an issue in the 08 USO final, as he’d played an arduous match vs. Rafa over 2 days.

JMDP:
Fed – 09 – AO
Fed – 09 – FO
Fed – 09 – USO (won)

* potentially JMDP’s fitness and/or nerves was an issue vs. Fed at the FO – he got him to 5 sets, but then seemed spent to me.

I don’t think fitness played much role in these losses; mainly, the guys were outmatches and/or nervous.


GOAT Girl Says:

Was Tacchini the company Hingis sued stating that their shoes ruined her career?


jane Says:

p.s., I may’ve missed some slam meetings, as I did that off the top of my head – didn’t look at ATP site.


Duro Says:

Devastatingdjokovic, agree with you in almost everything but Murray. He’s gonna do it next year.

I’m sure ST will make the shoes that fit Djokovic’s feet, but it’s only a shape. There will be some issues with sweating, slippage, blisters…

Maybe you missed it, But JJ’s feet were sweating so much this summer that she could barely play because of some lower quality company shoes. She was complaining all the time and taking them off in the middle of the game at least once. No excuses for her, of course, but quality is quality, not only design. Novak will miss his Genius shoes for sure, But Adidas will miss Novak even more, I have no doubts about it.


David Says:

I just don’t see why we would assume Federer is going to struggle at hard court Slams. He’s made, what, 12 straight hard-court Slam semis, 10 of the last 12 hard-court Slam finals. Let’s wait until he doesn’t make a Slam semi before speculating about how he’s supposedly going to struggle.


jane Says:

Novak also faced Nadal at the FO in 07 and 08 semis, and in 08 was the only player to push Nadal (relatively speaking!) on clay to a tiebreaker.

Novak has lost more to them because he’s put himself in the position so many times in slams to play them.


jane Says:

I mean on clay at Roland Garros in 2008. I believe Djok had the closest match with Rafa there. Rafa was INSANELY good at RG in 2008. Just ask Fed about the final!


GOAT Girl Says:

David:

Predicting Fed’s demise is a major sport in and of itself. I liken the pundits to those on Wall Street who predict a crash, but they can never pinpoint when it will happen. As we all know, every so often there is a crash on Wall St., so the “pundits” are right…occasionally.

The same holds true with predictions of Fed’s demise. Some day, they’ll be right and will gloat, “I told you so.” What they’ll conveniently forget is that they made the same silly prediction for years without being right.


Long Live the King Says:

DD:

You would have said blind Federer worship, if someone would have said that he was going to win 2 of the remaining 3 slams this yr, losing the 3rd in the 5th set, after the australian open.

Yet that is what has happened. Fed atleast has as much chance as Nadal and definitely more than Djokovic or Murray or JMDP of winning multiple slams next year. Whatever happens at London this coming week, there is no denying Federer is the Player of the year 2009.

No one has reached 4qf in this yr’s GS. Fed reached 4 finals. With that kind of consistency, he is the most likeliest of all to win multiple slams. You can keep making projections for Djokovic and Murray, but even if they do achieve it next yr (multiple slams i.e) it is only going to be a bigger surprise than Fed pulling off. I would even add Nadal on Fed’s side of discussion, but I can see how ppl might want to argue that.

To add, Roger improved on his 2008 – and did better in 2009. Now is he aging from 2008 to 2009 or did time go back this 1yr? Best of 3 is a different beast from best of 5. Roger is still doing alright in best of 5s. He has not started loosing to the canas’ and volandri’s as yet. Until that happens, he is a safer bet than anyone who loses to verdasco, haas or kohlschreiber or gonzalez or roddick or cilic, to win multiple slams in a year.


Kimmi Says:

jane, its not that I am skeptical, I see Novak has done very well lately but everybody is talking as if Novak will take over from now on (at least thats how I see it). It will be good for Novak to win those five setters in a GS for me to really see the difference.

We all know Murray has been struggling especially in GS and getting a lot of negativity because of that.. all is waiting to be seen on how delPo will fair up next year (i was impressed with him on coming from behind and win the US Open)..we have see how after winning the US Open he cannot put it together.

I think its a good bet to say Novak will start well next year and maybe even have him as a fave for the AO but for me I want to see him grind out five setters and win them and maybe go on to win next and next match coz that was his major problem in previous yrs.


David Says:

Long Live the King

Hard to argue with that. Well said.


Duro Says:

Kimmi, spot on!

Jane, not from his Adidas shoes! The shoes were not guilty. No shoes can save you if you play couple of five setters in a row! Nadal uses Nike but he had blisters and lost comfortably to Ferrero Rome 2008.

GOAT Girl, exactly! It doesn’t matter if it was ST, the point is it well CAN happen, all right. This is very, very important issue. That’s why I’m so concerned about Novak’s choice and very mad about it.

Anyway, that thing is closed now. If Adidas signed with Murray 5 year contract for 5 million each year and offered Novak less, he just had to do it. If you don’t respect yourself, no one else will! Dignity and pride matter too. He has achieved more and he deserves at least the same contract value! Not to mention his current ranking, personality, fan base, prospective, age, everything!

Adi Dasler, you suck big time!


Long Live the King Says:

Jane,

What does Novak pushing Rafa to a tie-breaker in RG 08 prove?

And why do we have to ask Roger anything about that damned 08 RG final?

How are these two points concerned in anyway to the point you are trying to make – which, correct me, is Novak’s ability to win 5 setters against Rafa or Roger?


jane Says:

“but everybody is talking as if Novak will take over from now on ” Kimmi, I don’t think this is true. Some, like for example Agassi, say Murray will take over. Others think JMDP’s power will be the next big thing. Some, since Novak has been winning lately say him.

But it’s all specualtion.

It’s much like speculating Fed will retire. I don’t think that will happen at least until after the 2012 Olympics.

But I don’t think speculation is wrong. After all, even though Fed’s so-called “demise” is barely noticeable in some ways – just look at his results this year! – it is nonetheless noticeable in others. He has slowed down somewhat since 2007, especially on hard courts. He never does that well at IW or Miami, and when was the last time he won in Canada? 06? I just think that the young guys might be a step quicker and that on hard courts that’s where it’ll affect Fed most. On clay, he can grind out some great wins; on grass he has the best footwork, Nadal second, and so can keep up there. But that’s why I am saying what I am about Fed next year. Not to suggest he won’t be a contender, isn’t a favorite, will disappear, etc. But next year, his match up nemesis Rafa will be back at both RG and at Wimbledon, and at the hard court majors, he won’t rout JMDP like he did at last year’s AO. And Murray will be around in the latter stages I suspect, so it’s certainly going to be different in my opinion.


jane Says:

Long Live,

My point was to Kimmi, who is skeptical about Djoko’s fitness in 5 setters. I was merely trying to show that his fitness is fine, if he could even stretch Rafa into a longer match and almost push it to five when it seemed Rafa was all but unstoppable!! And he was. I merely brought in Fed’s final to suggest, it wasn’t an issue of fitness; it was because Rafa was just utterly in another realm on RG clay in 08. That’s all.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Woah, I never said Federer was gonna lose before the semis… at ANY slam. I just mean he’s gonna struggle winning the whole thing. As in, the semi and final. Scratch that. Considering he’s made 7 straight slam finals, then I think he’s gonna struggle winning hard court slam finals. At the same time, should he make the final and bring his A game for at least 3 half sets, then he should win.

Jane, those results just strengthen my reasons at being pissed off that Djokovic is so overlooked. The guy is the most legitimate successor to the Fedal Era. He’s the only other player to have dominated in some sort of way. He dominated the first part of 2008. He was the second most dominant play during the clay season of 09. And he dominated the indoor season of 09. Murray and Del Potro have both had really good results for several weeks but they’ve never been called the best in the world at a given time. People didn’t just randomly get the idea that Djokovic would be number 1 back in 2008. He gave people a reason to think that. It’s unfortunate he didn’t live up to his own high standards. And it’s not even like Djokovic is some random player who has a shadow of a personality. He’s not Davydenko who’s been a top 5 player for years but isn’t really a presence. Even Del Potro doesn’t have the most appealing personality as someone who should be at the top of the sport (although I really don’t care because I like his modesty and he’s an awesome player). But Djokovic, he’s just filled with personality. If anything, he’s got the biggest personality on tour. Why people refuse to give him credit is beyond me.

I’m pretty sure the shoes won’t be an issue. And if they are, it will be resolved. I remember reading how Sampras had some weird feet and he needed a custom shoe made for him and it took a little while before he got the right fit. I don’t think Djokovic has weird feet. And even though shoes are important, I think he’ll be fine. Chances are, he had shoes already sent to him to test them out before he signed the contract. But I don’t know.


Long Live the King Says:

To be more clear,

You could have made your point by saying Rafa at RG against Novak is a huge mismatch (yet to win a set) and stopped with that.

I hope you know why you had to bring Roger into that point?


jane Says:

sorry I meant push it to 4 not 5 @ 5:29.

And I know people will disagree with my comments on Fed re: hard court slams, especially given his stellar slam results this year. But it’s just a hunch, and may be completely bunk.

Still, he did lose both hard court slam finals, and second, he didn’t face Rafa at either of the slams he did win. Those are notable facts that can’t simply be overlooked.


Duro Says:

Kimmi, spot on your post 4:59, not the last one.

Long live…., Jullien Beneteau! Maybe not at slam but very alarming fact! First round too! Long live, long live, till when? He’s gonna let his number 1 to someone else next year… It was more than enough. Learn to accept lows of nature. The signs are everywhere.


Long Live the King Says:

” if he could even stretch Rafa into a longer match and almost push it to five when it seemed Rafa was all but unstoppable!! ”

5th set? where? at RG? when? not in 07 or 08. How could he almost push it to 5, when there was no 4th?


David Says:

Jane, the way I look at Federer’s competition as far as hard court Slams is the following:

Nadal: He did win last year’s AO, but could his draw have been any better? We know he loves to play the 1-handed players and lucked out in getting both Haas and Gonzo. Also Simon, who lacks the big power to bother him. I suspect he won’t get back to the AO if he has to play Djoko, Murray, JMDP, Cilic, Soderling. He might even lose to someone like Berdych.

Murray: I just can’t believe he’s going to win a Slam until he starts stepping up his attacking game. That Cilic match should’ve been a wake-up call for him, but we’ll see.

JMDP: He’s probably a year away from really challenging for the top spot. He’s getting there but he’s maybe sort of where Murray was this year, albeit with a Slam under his belt.

Which leaves, Djoko, who really is Fed’s toughest competition off of clay, I believe. But I think the match-up will continue to favor Roger for another couple of years. He’s got the slightly better serve and much greater variety of shot and just was built to play these flat hitting players that bother Rafa so much.


jane Says:

Long live @ 5:33 – because Roger’s loss was shocking and illustrated just what a “beast” Rafa was on clay in 2008. Fitness was a non-issue. No player – Not even Fed! – could get a set off him. That was my point. And yet, Djoko stretched Rafa to a tiebreak and was fit to go 4 if he had to. But Rafa was too tough.


Long Live the King Says:

I have no issue with ur stance on hard court slams, Jane but I think the mention of Roger in the clay matches of Novak or Nadal seems uncalled for except to may be irk Federer fans (or may be just Kimmi).


jane Says:

See my 5:39 post Long live – I meant almost pushed to 4 sets, typed wrong. Corrected.


jane Says:

Sorry – not meant to irk. You’ll notice it was a last second “add on” to that original post. Merely to illustrate /emphasize my point. And if anything, it backs up the notion that Fed’s loss is nothing to be ashamed of because there was, put simply, NO STOPPING Rafa at RG in 2008, much like there was NO STOPPING Fed at Wimbledon in 2006 or the AO in 2007. It was just not possible and had nothing whatsoever to do with fitness.


O-Kerr Says:

Tacchini sponsored pros like Robredo and Karlovic do not wear Tacchini shoes. Novak will likely do the same and stick with Adidas shoes.
Don’t worry he won’t be saying, No Grand Slam because of racquet in 2009 and no title in 2010 because of some stupid Tacchini shoes.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

That’s not true, Long Live the King. After the AO, I was worried about Federer, but I still thought he’d break the slam record. I was surprised at how fast it happened, and so was Federer, but I never counted him out. Losing in the 5th set of a grand slam final doesn’t mean the guy’s gonna just spiral completely out of the game.

And if you don’t believe me, I had Federer winning RG and even Madrid in my ATP bracket challenge. And at Wimbledon, of course. Hell, I had him winning the US Open, too. I got my final pick wrong but I got the finalists right. I hate that stupid bracket challenge, btw. Anyways, no matter how unlikely it happened, I never lost faith in Federer winning the FO. Hell, I think he still has another 1 or maybe even 2 in him. It’s Roger Federer, not Andre Agassi or John McEnroe. But it’s not like his wins this year were easier. He was down 2 sets to love against Berdych in AO. He played 2 4 setters and 2 5 setters at the FO. He barely won the Wimbledon final. He was even pushed by Andreev at the 08 USO. I’m not saying Federer is gonna suddenly start losing all the time, but his winning is gonna get harder and harder. His improvement from 08 to 09 can be credited to his incredible level of fitness that he achieved in Rome. How he got there is really quite intriguing, I’d love to know what his routines are. But whatever they are, it works well for him. At the same time, it doesn’t make him immune to upsets. You can say it wasn’t worth fighting for the win against Benneteau (although his number 1 ranking could have been secured if he got deeper in Paris) but he was up 5-1 against Tsonga. There was no need to fight, he just needed to close it out.

And speculating Federer’s retirement is just beyond dumb. He’s number 1 in the freaking world. Number 1!!! Why the hell is the media so bent on Federer’s retirement? It doesn’t make any fuggin sense whatsoever.


jane Says:

Thanks for your input at 5:37 David. I can see your view, but I don’t think draws are really worth mentioning, because then you open a whole can of worms. Because, as I’ve learnt, you never know what’s going to happen with a draw.

I still see both Murray and JMDP as being a threat if Fed runs into them in the Qs or semis of the AO. I mean, forget about Nadal. Djoko, I can see what you mean about the match up, but it really depends too on timing, and as others have pointed out here, Fed is a tad slower, which can affect the timing of his shots. So if someone like Novak or JMDP can take away timing, or if someone like Murray can make Fed hit shot after shot after shot, they have a chance at taking away his variety advantage, because he won’t be able to employ it as much as he’d like, or he’ll shank a bit more.

Who knows though? He’s still the favorite until proven otherwise.

And that’s certainly where you and Long live and others are right. We just don’t know until we get there.

Cheers.


Duro Says:

O-Kerr, hope you’re right about shoes, but there’s still a question mark. A big one!

When did Novak say no Grand Slam because of the racquet in 2009? Maybe we, fans, but not he.


sar Says:

Duro what were the terms of the contract with ST?


David Says:

Long Live the King

I wanted to ask you if your name is a dig at Djokovic’s mom.

Remember this:

http://www.theage.com.au/news/tennis/mums-word-is-that-djokovic-will-hit-top-spot/2008/01/28/1201369039581.html


jane Says:

P.S. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in “luck of the draw” because some draws are better than others; it just means that it’s not worth commenting on the draw Rafa had at the AO, because it is what it was and it opened up because guys like Murray went out. But certainly Verdasco was hotter than hot too. So… it’s kind of circular.


Long Live the King Says:

Duro,

How is losing to Benneteau more alarming than losing to Volandri, which happened like 2and a half yrs back. He lost to players he never lost, outside of slams. Blake, gonzalez, fish, even a-rod, who he absolutely never lost to.

Yet at slams, No one other than Nadal has beaten him more than once in 6yrs now. Novak has not been in a slam final since winning one in 2008. May be you should 1st realise what a HIGH or a LOW is? before you make your predictions? Even if Novak won this yr-end championship, so what? he did that last yr and look how this yr turned out? There is a difference between a SLAM and a non slam!

People have their own coping mechanisms, but facts are the same for every one.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Very very very very very interesting analysis by Wilander. Very interesting. Thanks for the link, sar. Very interesting. I think he’s right about Del Potro. I think he’s going a little far in saying that Murray could drop down to 20 if he doesn’t do well. I think he’s right about Federer and Nadal and Djokovic and Davydenko. The Soderling thing is kind of wishful thinking but it’s not exactly based on nothing, either. Wow. Why the hell does Murray slice his backhand?


Duro Says:

Sar, that’s the problem! Nobody knows! All that is public is that it’s a 10 years contract! The question about shoes is a mystery still. I think I read somewhere that the terms are not agreed completely yet (I don’t know how can it be possible).


devastatingdjokovic Says:

The Volandri, Blake, Karlovic, Canas, Fish, Gonzo, and even Simon losses piss me off so much. It’s one thing to lose to Roddick, who’s been busting his ass to beat you in like 20 matches, but those guys? Fish, Blake, and Gonzo hit the ball hard and miss every other shot. Karlovic doesn’t know what ground strokes are. Wtf has Volandri done before or since? Canas was coming off a fuggin 2 year suspension (at least Fed’s gotten his revenge). And Simon isn’t a top player. Benneteau is also in this category. Players who just have no business beating anyone ranked more thank 2 or 3 places above them. Blake was once good, but not during the time he finally beat Fed. Fish sucks. Gonzo was once good but he still sucks. All these losses did was hurt Federer’s year and make me depressed. Jeez. Thinking about it now makes me angry. Fuggin a.


David Says:

Jane, I guess what I’m saying about Rafa’s draw at this year’s AO is not that it opened up so much in terms of quality of opposition, but in terms of the style of player that favors his game.

In other words, Gonzo and Haas are excellent players, but they just match up poorly against Rafa because he can play their backhands and they can’t hurt him the way the legions of big flat hitters with 2-handers can.

And since there are so few strong players these days with one-handers, I think that was a one-time chance for Rafa to take advantage and take it the distance at a hard-court Slams.

Notice also that the one two handed player he played with big power almost took him out.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

David, couldn’t the same be applied to Federer and his “easy” draws. I mean, I’m not saying you’re wrong. But like, whenever Federer gets a draw and people complain it’s easy because it has players against whom he has winning records. Is it the tournament’s fault that Federer has incredible records against 95% of the tour?


jane Says:

I get what you mean David; and one might very well say the same about Fed at the AO or even Wimbledon, though he’s the top fave there anyhow. Don’t you find that Fed, generally speaking, does well against power hitters and big servers, because he can bring in his variety against them, even in tiebreaks, but on the other hand he can have a tough time versus guys who play more defensively (Murray, Simon, possibly Rafa) or who can change directions on the ball and take time away from him (Nalby, maybe Djok sometimes)? So you could say that facing Berdych, JMDP, Roddick favored Fed at the AO, until he ran into Rafa in the final.


David Says:

Regarding Wilander’s comments:

How is Djokovic “definitely” the favorite? Based on what? That match in Basel? If Federer wants this thing, as I hope he does, there’s no way you can put Djoko ahead of Federer. I guess Mats forgets that the 2 times those two played before that Roger won in straight sets, including one match at a Slam.


jane Says:

sar, yes, thanks for Wilander’s predictions. He always gets something controversial in there, like his comment about Murray dropping down to 20th!! But his points about JMDP and Verdasco were really interesting.


Long Live the King Says:

DD :

Your point is well made that Roger is not going to keep pulling out the hard ones. In a similar manner he is not going to let matches slip away like he did in the Wimbledon 2008 final( should have won the 2nd set), AO 2009 final (should have won the 3rd) and the USO 2009 (should have won the 2nd).

So, my point is if Roger keeps making the 4finals like you agreed, he will have a better shot at winning multiple slams than any other player. I dont think its blind Federer worship when you say this.

David :

Yes that’s where the ID came from :) What ever Djokovic’s mom was trying to convey, she ended up giving the idea of Roger as King – which to my knowledge no tennis player has been referred to as. Definitely not male tennis player. There happens to be this woman who started as a tennis player but is more of an activist for women’s rights now. She was not so bad at the game either.


Duro Says:

Long live, if you don’t open your mind for anything or anyone but Fed, there is no point to discuss anything with you. The utter affection to Fed makes you blind. If you don’t see certain things nobody can help you not to learn it hard way.

Novak was 19 and a half then. Good bye.


David Says:

But that what’s made Fed so great. He’s so versatile that there’s been exactly one player over the past 5 years that presents him with a match-up problem. So it’s almost impossible for him to have a tough draw. As for Simon and Murray, until they beat Roger at a Slam I don’t think we can truly say the present any particular problems for him. It’s just Rafa with that extreme topspin to Roger’s backhand. No one else can do that with the insane defense to back it up.


jane Says:

David, I actually would love to see Djoko defend his title but I do agree with you that it’s tough to call him the hands down favorite. Personally I think it’s tough to call ANYONE a certain favorite at this year’s WTF? That said, I think Wilander’s rationale was that it’s best of 3 vs. best of 5 or something.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Jane, I don’t understand why you’re posing that as a question. It’s well known that Federer is more troubled by defensive players than offensive players. Hewitt, Nalbandian, Djokovic, Nadal, Simon, Murray all have good records against Federer because they play good defense. Del Potro and Djokovic are more offensive minded than defensive minded, though, which is why I think Federer has had more success against them. Although if you play perfect offense, you can beat Federer, too. Stepanek has troubled Fed and beat him as recently as last year. Henman used to own Federer. And Roddick has been troubling Federer with his offense as of late.

David, no you’re just being dumb. How is Djokovic definitely the favorite? Probably because he’s won 3 of the last 4 events he’s entered, all of which are indoor like London will be. And it seems like you forgot that Djokovic is 3-2 against Federer this year. So based on their history this year, Djokovic should win in 3 sets if they play each other. And all the guys “want” this event, so shouldn’t they all be cofavorites? Federer has yet to play any form of good tennis since the USO (DC doesn’t count since he played virtual nobodies). Djokovic has been playing great tennis for a little while now. That’s why he is the favorite. Ahead of Federer and everyone else. Shocking, I know. Logic is crazy thing sometimes.


jane Says:

“Jane, I don’t understand why you’re posing that as a question.” Partly to be polite, in that some people think differently, so I am just confirming that it’s a consensus before I assume. That’s all. But you’re right. Relentless attacking can work too, particularly going after the forehand in these cases, which Djoko did at the AO win and at Basel. Fed’s forehand is less consistently magical than it was in the past, more likely to be miss-timed/shanked.


Long Live the King Says:

To add to the point I made that Roger should have won those 3 finals – Roger mentioned in interviews that he lost the SW 08 final in the 2nd set and not the 5th and the AO in the 3rd and not the 5th. Though I have not heard a similar take on the USopen loss, I am quite positive he would view it thus.

Roger’s mental strength, unlike nadal, hewitt, nalbandian or even Safin( really? safin & mental strength? i cant believe i am writing this, but as i know he has an awesome 5th set record atleast he had, donno if he screwed it up in the last few yrs!) lies in the fact that he doesnt let sets go to a 5th set. So it is relatively new territory for him, though I am sure he is getting used to it now. My hunch is that he will take care of these bizarre last set f-ups (both 3 and 5 sets) in 2010.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

David, it’s a little more than Nadal’s topspin forehand to Federer’s backhand that makes it a difficult matchup for Federer.

Long Live, don’t you think that’s a problem that Federer lets these chances slip? I mean it’s one thing to do it outside of slams, but it’s slowly but surely been creeping into the slams, too. You can’t say he’s not going to let matches slip away ever again, but he seems to be doing it more and more. That’s basically the root of my concern and why I think Federer is gonna continue to struggle more and more from here on out. Don’t forget Federer almost let Del Potro back into the match during their FO encounter in the fifth set. He was up a break before having to break again in order to seal the victory. And who can forget his slip against Soderling during the USO? Playing perfect tennis for 3 sets and going up 4-1 in the TB before having to barely pull it out in 4 sets.


gordon Says:

Djokovic in this moment is the best player. He proved it since he demolish last month No1 and 2. Murray has a big chance of winnig but mostly because he is playing at home. Let him play in Belgrade at front of 23000 people and check his chances.. That will be a fun to watch.
Going back to London they all will have a chance to make their statements who is the ultimate best.


David Says:

Devastating

Nice insult out of the blue. I seem to also remember that Federer was playing like crap right before the 2008 USO. Yet miraculously when it mattered (meaning a Slam tournament, hopefully he really does regard this London thing as Slam caliber) he took Novak out in 4 sets and crushed Murray (his supposed nemesis) in straight sets.

Federer has been there/done that at these rinky-dink events, so it’s just about the big tournaments. That’s why he’s lost a lot at smaller events in the middle of his streak of 22 freaking Grand Slams semifinals.

That’s why I say it all depends how badly he wants it. For someone with 15 Slams, it’s possible he doesn’t care all that much about the Barclays Tour finals.


Long Live the King Says:

Duro,

You should be the last one to preach about utter affection. I can even put up with your not reasoned posts, but please stop your sermons on utter affection and blind worship. I am quite positive you are utterly unqualified to talk about how one should not show utter affection!


Long Live the King Says:

“Novak was 19 and a half then. Good bye. ”

so what? Nadal is just a yr older than that, so how is Novak going to leap-frog both Roger and Rafa as the candidates MOST likely to win multiple slams?

Oh yes! because he won Paris indoors! that is DEFINITELY not utter affection Duro. Very logical argument.


Kimmi Says:

“That’s why he (Djoko) is the favorite. Ahead of Federer and everyone else. Shocking, I know. Logic is crazy thing sometimes.”

This is what I have been trying to say..Djoko is a favorite in WTF, he is won 3 of 4 tournies he enter. Can he win it, we don’t know but he is definetly the favorite.


Long Live the King Says:

obviously I am talking about multiple slams in 2010 in my last post.


David Says:

devastating

I’d say it’s the ridiculous heavy top, the ability to defend Fed’s forehand and Roger’s inability to drive through the backhand and hurt Nadal off that side the way Djokovic, JMDP and all the big hitting two handed players can. Also Rafa is a slice killer. You’re almost better off never hitting a slice to Nadal. He just murders that shot and is able to jump all over all of Fed’s b/h slice returns.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Long Live, if Federer is looking for some new motivation then that wouldn’t be a bad place to start. Fixing those final set mishaps is almost a must. But it’s not true that Federer is new to 5 setters. He used to say that he didn’t like 5 setters because he knew he wasn’t always fit enough. Since 05, he’s stopped fearing them and he’s ok with 5 setters in regards to fitness but it seems like he’s usually stretched to 5 because his opponent is just so relentless. Federer has a poor 5 set record. I think it’s barely above the 0.5 mark.

Safin, btw, is no less of a fighter than Nadal. If he’s able to, he’s gonna battle it out to the death. He is mentally susceptible, though, but he’s still a fighter.

As much as it sucked that Federer blew that second set, you gotta give Nadal a lot of credit for winning 4 straight games against Federer on grass. Truly amazing.


David Says:

Kimmi

When one player has 15 Slams and the other has 1, that should carry a bit more weight in deciding the favorite than what’s happened over the last 6 weeks. I think that makes much more logical sense.


sar Says:

Wilander is sort of nutty at times. About a year ago he said Tsonga was the best player on the planet. I like Tsonga but come on. I don’t see that Novak is the favorite, most are saying Murray is the shoe-in because of location.


Kimmi Says:

David, it is about the form player. WTF is not a best of five, it is best of three and Federer form is a question mark at the moment. Nadal, Murray and everybody else are not near Novak form. Novak has beaten everyone so far, should carry that form next week. Can he win it, thats a question we will have to answer next sunday but he is the favorite.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Can I clarify something? 1) This is the year end championships where the top 8 players in the world all get a chance to play each other (essentially). Considering the h2h’s of all these guys just this year, you can’t just say “this guy is the clear cut favorite”. However, based on form, which is how you usually determine a favorite for a given event, Djokovic is the favorite. He has been playing the best tennis out of everyone without question. Does this mean he’s definitely gonna win? Obviously not. But you can’t just say Federer’s the favorite because he has 15 slams. Clearly it doesn’t matter how many slams you have when playing a particular match since anyone can lose on any given day. Otherwise, the joke of a player that is Julien Benneteau had no business in even getting a point off of 15 time grand slam champion on world number 1 Roger Federer.

I don’t understand why everything is now a rinky dinky event if it’s not a slam. Why was Federer winning EVERYTHING in sight for a couple years, then? Why did he care about all those rinky dinky events if they didn’t matter? Slams are more important but if you’re going to enter a tournament, you’re goal is more often than not to win the whole thing. Especially for Roger Federer, who loves winning and thinks he’s supposed to win every match he plays (in a lot of ways that’s pretty much true).

In 2008, Federer was playing like crap but he got a huge boost from winning the Olympic doubles. Then he got a couple of matches under his belt and slugged it out against Andreev, which probably helped him a lot in terms of being sharp in subsequent matches. He played a shell shocked Djokovic who wasn’t all there mentally after what had happened with Djokovic. I’m not gonna make any excuses for Murray because he’s got no chance at winning slams anyway.


sar Says:

I think Fed is going to be very motivated to beat Murray in London because of Murray’s recent comments, I have a better H2H, I will beat him twice in one week, lalala. What do you think?


Duro Says:

Long live, don’t mix love, fandom, support, cheering with blind affection! I have never said anything but praise for Fed’s achievement! I respect him and I consider him as the greatest tennis player of all time! Every poster that knows me here will confirm you that I put your Fed in front of Nole as the only player on earth! I said many times that only Fed and Novak are the real artist in this game, that only Fed and Novak have the talent that I characterized as pure, noble, genuine, classy, sophisticated and in additional to that aristocratic (it was for your Fed exclusively)!

But, the problem is with you personally and many other Fed fans that when even a slightest doubt or a critique is orientated towards your idol you jump like burnt! For example, our distinguished friend Jane has only “en passan” mentioned your idol tonight and you were jumping all over her because of it. And you stole our topic for tonight! It was Novak’s new clothing and eventually shoes deal and all of a sudden it became Federer!


David Says:

These are odds on Betfair.

Roger Federer
3.6
Novak Djokovic
3.9
Andy Murray
5
Rafael Nadal
10
Juan Martin Del Potro
15.5
Nikolay Davydenko
17
Robin Soderling
30
Fernando Verdasco
50


Long Live the King Says:

DD:

The last set collapses are mental adjustments than physical (which I partly explained saying, Roger has start getting used to winning grittily) and I am sure Roger will right the ship. It is worrisome, but I think we have seen Roger be in more worrying situats like pre-US open 08 or pre-madrid 09.

My bottomline is that Roger is the most likely bet in 2010 to win multiple slams and saying such thing has enough rationale backing it up and not just blind worship. Definitely more rationale than any of Djokovic, Murray or JMDP’s cases might have. Rafa is just another alpha-male like Roger. I wouldn’t club him with murray or djokovic even though they r the same age.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

“When one player has 15 Slams and the other has 1, that should carry a bit more weight in deciding the favorite than what’s happened over the last 6 weeks. I think that makes much more logical sense.”

Perfect example of blind Federer worship.

Jane, if you’re reading these comments, can you believe I’ve suddenly become an anti Federer poster? I’m in a little bit of disbelief.


jane Says:

I think there is a difference between “form player” and “favorite” to win a title, and I think THAT is where people get screwed up.

For example, Murray was clearly the form player heading into the AO this year; he’d beaten Fed once or twice and Rafa right? But he didn’t win the AO. Same with Djoko here; he is the form player; he’s beaten both Fed and Rafa in the last couple of weeks. BUT, in my opinion that doesn’t make him the favorite, even though I would love to see him defend a title.

I think many other things have to go into consideration of favorite besides form: those include health, location, past successes, draws, and so on. Not only form.

That’s why I actually think it’s tough to pick a favorite for this year’s WTF! But if I had to, I’d probably say either Fed or Murray. I have rationale for that. But it could just as likely be Novak or JMDP or Rafa winning. I don’t know.


David Says:

devastating

I don’t think it’s that he doesn’t care about the other tournaments, but there’s just not that sense of urgency. That was plainly obvious in that Tsonga match. He didn’t even look that bothered about blowing a 5-1 lead. Also, I didn’t mean to say the YEC is rinky-dink. Basel is, but not this tournament. I think he wants to win it and that’s why he’s the favorite. Betfair agrees with me.


David Says:

“When one player has 15 Slams and the other has 1, that should carry a bit more weight in deciding the favorite than what’s happened over the last 6 weeks. I think that makes much more logical sense.”

Actually, that’s the opposite of blind. It seems some people are blind as to how Fed can turn it on when he really wants a victory. It’s no coincidence that Fed won almost nothing in 2008 yet very nearly won both Wimby and USO


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Long Live, I agree. And to me it’s as simple as Federer and Nadal have both won multiple slams in a year so they know what it takes and know they can do it. Djokovic has never made 2 slam finals in one year, but he’s done quite well otherwise. I’m making predictions based on form, not experience. But I will not argue that experience is an extremely important factor. If anything, look how hard it was for Nadal to win a second slam in 1 year. And look how he fared the very next year. It’s not easy, but Federer has made it look like the norm.

I never said his final set blips were physical, and that’s the thing. If it was a fitness issue then he’d just have to get more fit. But it’s harder to solve a mental problem like the one Federer is facing.

But again, I think, based on form and maybe even determination, Djokovic seems to be in good shape to win multiple slams in 2010. Not the most likely but still possible.

I hope Federer wipes the floor with Murray, although not twice because I want to see a Federer-Djokovic final, or someone-Djokovic. Actually I’d like to see a Djokovic-Murray final but if Federer beats Murray in the RR then he’ll probably be the top guy in the group so Murray will end up facing Djoker in the semis. Whatever, as long as Federer beats Murray and Djokovic beats everyone I’ll be happy.


jane Says:

“Jane, if you’re reading these comments, can you believe I’ve suddenly become an anti Federer poster? I’m in a little bit of disbelief.”

LOL DD!! Too true. Although I don’t think you’re anti-Fed because you still love him. You’re just “realistic-Fed” or “devil’s advocate Fed” poster. LOL again.


Kimmi Says:

Duro says:”I said many times that only Fed and Novak are the real artist in this game, that only Fed and Novak have the talent that I characterized as pure, noble, genuine, classy, sophisticated and in additional to that aristocratic (it was for your Fed exclusively)!”

Sorry, even though novak has beaten nadal few times they have played recently, I still cannot put Novak above Nadal. Novak needs to prove some more to be Federer league and above Nadal.


jane Says:

” Basel is, but not this tournament. ” Totally disagree – I do NOT think Basel is “rinky-dink” to Federer, and I think he TOTALLY wanted to win it. Wow. I can’t believe that a Fed fan just said that. It’s his home event. Players like Rafa, Fed, Djoko go *out of their way* and play when they potentially shouldn’t be sometimes JUST to win their home events.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

I don’t think Federer didn’t win anything in 2008 because he didn’t want to. Didn’t he have mono or some back problem or something? Or was it his wrist that was bothering him? No no it was definitely the blisters on his feet… leg cramps?

“those include health, location, past successes, draws, and so on. Not only form.”

Ok here’s what I think,

Health: Favors Davydenko and Federer. Murray, Nadal, Soderling, Verdasco, and Del Potro are all dealing with or coming off of some injury. And Djokovic should be healthy but might be fatigued.

Location: Federer and Murray.

Past successes: Just at this venue? Federer, Djokovic, and Davydenko. Davydenko has had some good results at the YEC over the Years. Fed’s won it 4 times. And Djokovic is the defending champ.

Draw: Let’s do 1 per group so Murray and Djokovic. Murray has a great record over his group and Djokovic has good results over everyone in his group except the 3rd set tb loss to Davy recently.

Verdict: It really is a tough call.


O-Kerr Says:

If “caring” alone was sufficient to win a major, Federer would have won USO and AO this year. He got lucky at RG and SW19, barely won both, in the misfortune of Rafa. If Del Potro had a little more experience, he would have won RG. When was the last time Federer won a major on hard court? Was it not 2008 Sept? One title on hard court in the entire 2009 is no strong sign for Federer to win both majors on hard court in 2010. If he could not do it at 27, how would he do it 28 or 29? He will be 29 by the time next USO begins. I don’t see him winning more than 1. It is reasonable to assume that he will lose his number 1 by end of French Open, which Rafa won’t let him defend at all cost. The only chance he will get in is Wimbledon. That, too, looks uncertain, considering how Roddick pushed him to the brink of defeat.
Regardless of these unpromising omens, he may find a way of winning at least 1 major and he will be content with that. Beyond that is wishful thinking, which may or may not come true.
Federer did say he cares about WTF and put it in par with Slam: “This is different to a Grand Slam but it’s not below a Grand Slam.” Let’s see if his caring can ensure him the WTF title.


jane Says:

“Verdict: It really is a tough call.” Precisely!!


Long Live the King Says:

Right Duro! You get to decide the topic of the day! I am sorry I didn’t get the memo that we had to talk about Novak’s shoes today. Who stopped you from talking about what you want? Its only when you make posts, to others, that you should be reading to yourself in private that others take objection!

I have said good things about Novak too, right in this very blog, that he would go 3-0 or 2-1 in his group. Thanks for the good things about Roger but that doesn’t mean you are going to convince me I am a blind worshipper for making my point that Roger has better chances than Novak to finish as multiple Slammer in 2010. All the more so when I am posting why I think such is the case. If you want to refute my points, please do so like DD is doing, to which I have no objection at all.

Look at your posts and DD’s and hope you will see the difference. If you don’t, take a break and repeat the process tomorrow. There is a HUGE difference in the way DD is making his points and you are.


Kimmi Says:

Jane: the form player is the fave. Did you see how the bookies put Novak above federer when they play in Rome ? Why..because novak was the form player then. I bet they will have Novak above Nadal when they play each other again. So form player makes a fave..maybe with fed is different because it was a only one win but still..


Duro Says:

Kimmi, I strictly said TALENT!

Of course, he has to prove a lot more! And he is on the right track. I have no doubts.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

I agree with Jane about Basel. Pretty ridiculous to say Federer doesn’t care about it.

And I’d call myself realistic, too, Jane, but I don’t think these Federer fans would agree :P

Kimmi, Duro is just talking about sheer talent. I don’t fully agree, but still. I’d put Safin above everyone but is his career above everyone’s? LMAO. No. Nalbandian is a superb talent, too, but he still sucks. Anyways, I’m not gonna input my opinion about Djokovic and Federer being equally talented but I’m just saying.


jane Says:

“the form player is the fave.” I totally disagree Kimmi. See my post at 6:47 pm for why; imo, it’s more complicated than simply “form”, i.e. who played best in last few tourneys. It’s down to myriad factors: health, draw, form, location, experience, match ups, court surface, etc, etc. Heck, even flippin weather is sometimes a factor as some players deal with conditions better than others (e.g., Murray had tough time in IW final due to wind) although that’s nullified at indoor events.

The bookies? They’re just trying to make money, lol. They had Murray as the top fave for the AO title as well. I don’t go by them. I don’t bet either, mind you.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Has anyone noticed how Federer throws a huge wrench into making predictions. Even Wilander doesn’t know what to say. We don’t know if THE Roger Federer will show up or Roger Federer of today (the one that easily shanks forehands). Stupid Federer.

I’m still gonna say Djokovic is the favorite. He’s not a shoe in but you gotta think that he’s starting to forget how to lose and that’s gonna help him a lot against the rest of the top 8.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Btw, to whoever said Djokovic was lucky in winning the AO because he faced a mono-Fed and happy-to-be-there Tsonga. No fuggin way!! I have both those matches and I happened to rewatch a bit of the final last night. Federer, mono or not, played probably as well as one could in a straight set loss but Djokovic was simply too good. And Tsonga happy to be there? What? The guy was ready to box for the title. Again, Djokovic was too good. The moral of this story is that Djokovic is just too good. Like Wilander said, he should be beating everybody.


Duro Says:

Long live, I knew you would say so! Don’t be predictable. My point was that you disrespected our discussion and picked on Jane for just mentioning your Fed in the middle of that Novak’s new contract discussion! I didn’t call you a blind worshiper for making your point that Roger had better chances than Novak to finish as multiple Slammer in 2010! I did it because you were “protecting” Federer when nobody was attacking him, including Jane! It is so typical for many of Fed’s fan. God forbid that The Perfect get a critique or two, or that someone thinks that he’s not gonna last forever or win everything than can be won in the next 19 years! Well, sorry for you guys, but if you don’t see it, we do. He is aging and changing and not good as he used to be and some other young guns are coming and will take his throne inevitably! Next year!


jane Says:

p.s. No disrespect Kimmi; I just remain skeptical of form being the determining factor. I agree that it is one of the factors, just not the only one, or even the most important one. That’s all.


Kimmi Says:

OK jane, your are correct on the fact that I should not use the bookies example as they sometimes go with the popular player but I am still going to say Novak is the fave in WTF.


been there Says:

jane at 5:34pm says:

“Still, he did lose both hard court slam finals, and second, he didn’t face Rafa at either of the slams he did win. Those are notable facts that can’t simply be overlooked.” re: Fed

jane at 5:47pm says:

“…. but I don’t think draws are really worth mentioning, because then you open a whole can of worms. Because, as I’ve learnt, you never know what’s going to happen with a draw.” re: Nadal

Wow, what a contradiction when it comes to Fed & the rest. So, let me get this straight, a Federer slam win can only be legitimate if he beats Nadal? I can’t believe we’re back to this. So by your two statements, when it comes to Fed, the draw & whom he faces in a final matters…but when it comes to Nadal (& the rest), it doesn’t.

So was Soderling (& any1 else) meant to give Nadal a free pass at Roland Garros so that Fed could get a ‘legitimate’ win, as per some tennis fans standard? Forget about Soderling playing the match of his life @ that 4th round, and backing it up at qtrs & semis just to get to the final. I suppose Fed should have withdrawn from the FO finals because Nadal (who happenned to be in the opposite draw) had been ousted the previous week. Scratch that, he should have withdrawn as soon as Nadal lost, after all, no need to continue playing if he’s not gonna face Rafa sgould he get to the finals.

Was Federer meant to drag an injured Nadal out of Spain during Wimbledon so that he could get a legitimate Wimbledon win? Oh, forget about Roddick playing a tough 4 set semis just to get to the finals. And it doesn’t matter that both Roddick & Fed gave everything to give a super-thrilling final with a super 16-14 5th set scoreline, with Fed being the winner. Nope..all that doesn’t matter because Nadal was injured, so Fed (who by the way, still had to play to get to the finals) couldn’t face him.

I really don’t understand this type of logic. As has been said many times over, a player can only beat whoever is on the opposite side of the net. I understand disliking a particular player, but surely the same tennis rules should apply. It was not Federer’s fault that Nadal was not in either FO or Wimby finals. He’s won 15 great slams in either beating Rafa or whoever played well enough to avail themselves in a final. Fed was also present at USO finals, Rafa was not…yet Fed still lost! So, it is not only Rafa who can beat Fed.

I’m really tired of reading this ‘Rafa was not present at FO & WImby 2009′ ‘coz it is highly disrespectful to other players in Rafa’s draw who work hard to reach the finals. Should Murray win a slam without facing either Fed or Nadal, I really wonder if the same thing will be said. And should Nadal win future slams without facing JMDP (who seems to be getting the better of him in this yr), should the same question mark be applied?

It is up to other players, including Nadal, on the opposite side of the draw to get themselves to slam finals. Federer can only do his bit, which he did four times this year. Any player, be it Fed, Murray, Djoko, Rafa, JMDP can only beat whoever is on the opposite side of the net, and the win is just as legitimate. No rule says that a win can only be legitimate if you beat your greatest rival. If Roddick wins Wimby 2010 without facing Fed, it will still be a legitimate win.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Wasn’t Murray the bookies fave for Wimbledon and the USO? Man they stupid.

Jane, I think it’s just that WTF is a special tourny. Often times form really is the only thing that matters. Well, on hard courts at least. When you’ve got 23 slams amongst 8 players, there are quite a few factors.


Kimmi Says:

jane, I have 2 questions for you.

1. if federer has won the tournaments Novak won goint to WTF would you still say Fed is NOT a favorite to win WTF ?
2. Are you refusing to call Novak a fave because you are his biggest fan and subconsiously protecting him from the unknowns ?

just wondering…


devastatingdjokovic Says:

“Was Federer meant to drag an injured Nadal out of Spain during Wimbledon so that he could get a legitimate Wimbledon win?”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You should be a stand up comic. I can’t stop laughing.

I totally agree though. Tennis isn’t boxing. You can’t pick your opponents. And while it would’ve been more epic if Federer had beaten Nadal to win the FO, I don’t think Federer needs to beat Nadal on grass to prove himself. 1) Federer did beat Nadal the only time they played on clay this year, I don’t care who was tired and who was pregnant. 2) Nadal was playing the best tennis of his life and still needed 9-7 to beat Federer who was playing his worst tennis since 2004. If the 2 never met on grass again, I would have no doubt that Federer is above and beyond everyone, including Nadal, on grass.


Long Live the King Says:

DD:

I think we are on the same line now regarding the 2010 multiple slammers :)

Regarding the YET (nod to Margot), I made my predictions for the RR above. I think Roger will go 3-0 and murray 2-1. In the other it’s a toss-up between Novak and Rafa for similar scorelines. I am not going to count Rafa out. There is no way he is not getting to the semis in this. He would really love to do everything to give Roger a scare for the no.1. And he has all revenge matches lined up. He will be revved up, I am sure. I think Rafa and Murray will be the most motivated of the lot. They have lost the most since wimbledon. roger, novak, JMDP, heck even davydenko have had a good post-wimbledon season. Murray’s stock has been down since cincinnati and Rafa’s since RG.

I think it will be a Murray-Fed final with Fed pulling it out, but I agree it’s best of 3 and once it becomes knock out, Fed, rafa, novak and murray have established themselves as quite consistent (in best of 3. strangely JMDP is an unknown quantity consistency wise in best of 3. he won a GS without masters, so davydenko could be a more dangerous player than JMDP, I feel).

Cant wait for the tournament to start :)


Kimmi Says:

“Wasn’t Murray the bookies fave for Wimbledon and the USO? Man they stupid.”

DD, federer was the fave in both wimbledon and US Open and Murray was the second fave but I believe in the AO murray and Fed were joint fave.


jane Says:

been there,

You’re cherry-picking there, taking a long conversation out of context. I am merely saying that (a) Fed’s nemesis is Nadal, match-up wise, so (b) IF they meet in RG or Wimbledon next year, it COULD be a factor. I didn’t say it’s the only reason he won this year, or that he was lucky Nadal wasn’t there, or ANY of the other stuff you vented in your post. (I sense this is an issue you have a big beef with).

My point was that I could see Fed winning 1 slam next year but not necessarily more than that. And one factor in why I feel that way is that Rafa might be back in it, i.e. healthy, next season, and Rafa is a tough match up for Fed at the slams – that’s it!

I didn’t disagree with David that Nadal had a good “match up” draw at the AO, I merely said we could leave draws out of the discussion, as then you can turn around and say the same about Fed’s draw at the AO, as he faced guys he’d generally match up well against.

Draws, though, are different than match ups aren’t they? If we assume both Nadal and Fed get through their draws, and if Nadal and Fed are still 1 and 2, they cannot meet before the finals. In that case, so far at the slams, Nadal and Fed are like 5-2 or something in Rafa’s favor at slams. That’s what I meant.


Long Live the King Says:

Duro:

What are you doing then? If as you say, I am protecting Roger, what are you doing? Its not even Djokovic, you want to protect Jane because she is a fellow-Djokovic Fan?

Anyways, you can continue branding Federer fans as fanatics and Djokovic’s fans as loyalists or any other word of your choice. Sensible people will still see it for what it is :)


Long Live the King Says:

DD:

” I don’t care who was tired and who was pregnant.”

LMAO! You can do a tour along with been there!


jane Says:

” So, let me get this straight, a Federer slam win can only be legitimate if he beats Nadal? ”

NEVER – in one of my posts did I say this or even imply it. I don’t like being accused of something I didn’t say and I didn’t say Fed’s slam wins this year were not “legitimate” at all!!!

I merely meant Rafa is like kryptonite for Fed and IF they meet next year it MAY be a factor in why we can’t assume Fed will be a multiple slam winner next year. Because so far in slams when Rafa and Fed meet, Rafa has been the favorite.

BUT — Rafa has to get there and so does Fed. And that’s really up in the air now because at hard court slams other guys could win. Maybe especially on hard against Rafa. But on clay, Rafa/Fed are the faves and on grass Rafa/Fed are the faves. And I think if they meet in both of them, Rafa will win one, which means to win multiple slams Fed has to win one of the hard court slams.


jane Says:

Kimmi,

Fed is the favorite to me, regardless of how well he plays going in, partle because he has won the thing, what, FOUR times? Therefore, he had a HISTORY of winning it. Djoko won ONCE and he didn’t face the top guys to do it. Actually, this year I think Djoko is playing better than last year even, but I think the competition is better this year. Maybe I am off, but I think the location may favor Fed/Murray. Fed because of his great success in Wimbledon, and Murray because it’s “home” and he’ll have loads of crowd support. In Shanghai it was more neutral, and Djok actually has quite a few fans there. He might in London too, I don’t know.

My not picking Djok as a fave protecting him!? LOL. I can’t do much at my end but watch, sweep and cross my fingers. I would say he is one of the top 3 favorites, how’s that? Does that seem reasonable? Maybe top two, but I am unsure until I see how the surface plays (faster/slower indoor hard. Someone said it’s playing slower)


Long Live the King Says:

My rationale for not having Djokovic as favorite for YET(yr end tournament) is that he has had a long season and I am not ready to buy Djokovic’s fitness stocks yet. Federer, Murray, Nadal are much fresher, though they have their own issues (like lack of tournament play for Fed, injury returns for Murray and Nadal).

Ofcourse, fortunately for Djokovic, this is a best of 3 and even the final is best of 3. (I feel all matches should be best of 5, but if that’s ridiculous atleast the final should be best of 5) so maybe he will prove his improved fitness. I personally feel he will win his group 3-0 n turn up mentally/physically exhausted against Federer or murray. Though if it is Roger, he will have that extra chip that generally exists in Fed-Djokovic matches.

Let’s hope no more retirements or withdrawals! Imagine Roddick in the field, it would have been crazy good! Hope the French open Sod, Aus open Verdasco and US open JMDP show up. (not holding my breath!)


devastatingdjokovic Says:

The final should be best of 5. Making it best of 3 was incredibly dumb.


Kimmi Says:

fair enough jane, I just wanted to here your take. Its good enough for me. And agree in some of your points that Fed has won four times though I am little reluctant.. as winning “four time”, last time was 2007, a lot can happen since then. As for Murray, he has not proved anything yet on big stage..Yes, there is first time for everything.

regarding protecting Novak was silly of me to ask that but I have sensed sometimes you seem to lower Novak expectations before a big match but maybe I was wrong.

Anyways, enough of this. Tomorrow, murray/delPo and Federer/verdasco..Go fed go murray

Nestor and Zim are playing first match too..I think I will watch the doubles too.


Kimmi Says:

here s/b hear


Long Live the King Says:

Jane:

“Because so far in slams when Rafa and Fed meet, Rafa has been the favorite.”

I dont think that’s true Jane. Out of all their 7 GS meetings, Rafa was clear favourite only once – 2008RG. In each of the other meetings Roger was either on equal footing or step ahead (so much so that rafa could always sell his “I am underdog theory”

2005 RG – nadal’s rookie blah blah, roger no.1 blah blah

2006RG – very close Rome final, will Fed finally deliver the career/roger slam blah blah

2006W – 3time defending champion? need we say more?

2007RG- fed defeats nadal in hamburg, fed finally capture Roger slam, career slam blah blah

2007W – scheduling screwed nadal, 4time defending champ blah blah

2008RG -Rafa hands down

2008W – 5time wimbledon champ…. 2-0 grass, blah blah

2009AO – rafa screwed by scheduling blah blah… 1st hard court slam final, roger leading 3-2 on hardcourts…. blah blah

I can only see one where Rafa was clear favorite. Strangely, fed wants to be favorite in every match they play and is looking for reasons to be optimistic, nadal wants to be underdog, even in 2008 RG nadal had Federer as favorite, when I am sure even Mirka and roger’s parents had nadal as favorite. Very interesting dynamic.


jane Says:

“I am not ready to buy Djokovic’s fitness stocks yet” Long Live –

This is a funny comment and in some ways I agree and in others I don’t. I agree, because like you I think he’s had a long season and he looked utterly gassed at the Paris final. But I disagree because I think it’s quite clear that his fitness is improved and I see him gutting out wins more. So I believe his fitness coach has helped and that’s why I can still see him making a push to win this thing. I think maybe more mentally he must be getting tired.

Kimmi – “you seem to lower Novak expectations before a big match” – maybe I do this. I could be trying to “protect” myself in this way, by not expecting to much. BUT, I think I usually have pretty rational reasons for things. In other words, I may be of “two minds”: part of me thinks, yes, Novak is hot, he can win. But then the other part me thinks, but he’s never defended, or this or that. You know Fred Flinstone? How he sometimes has the little devil and the little angel on his shoulders both spouting off at him. Well, it’s kind of like that for me. I am never that sure about much. It kind of sucks. haha. : D


Kimmi Says:

Long live: “Strangely, fed wants to be favorite in every match they play and is looking for reasons to be optimistic, nadal wants to be underdog, even in 2008 RG nadal had Federer as favorite, when I am sure even Mirka and roger’s parents had nadal as favorite. Very interesting dynamic”

ha ha, very true LOL


jane Says:

Long Live – yeah that came out wrong. Rafa wasn’t the favorite, but he was the winner more often. That’s what I meant to write and I wrote it wrong. Thanks for clarifying.


Duro Says:

Long live, since it’s 2:30 am here, lets live it there. OK? I’m too tired now. Maybe some other time.

Davastatingdjokovic, I would like to ask you something. Ready?


sar Says:

What is the time diff. betw. London and NY?


been there Says:

jane says:

“You’re cherry-picking there, taking a long conversation out of context…..”

Nope. I have read all posts & aware of the context, so no cherry-picking.

‘… ANY of the other stuff you vented in your post. (I sense this is an issue you have a big beef with). …”

No beef, and certainly no venting…so you sensed wrong. Simply laughingly replying to a strange statement that I’ve read over & over again, i.e. ‘Rafa was not present in Wimby & FO ’09′. And as I’ve said, it applies to any player, be it Fed, Rafa, Murray, Djoko, and any of the other 1000 professional tennis players. They can only beat whoever is on the opposite side of the net.

“Draws, though, are different than match ups aren’t they?..”

This is getting ever more interesting. Well, match-ups is what makes draws ‘easy’ or ‘hard’. The likes of Soderling & JMDP appearing of Rafa’s side makes it a ‘hard’ draw, while the same on Fed’s side will be considered ‘easier’ draw. Similarly, Gilles Simon appearing on Fed’s side makes it a hard draw, but cup-cake for Rafa….’coz a good match-up for one is a nightmare for another. So imo, the two statements that I apparently ‘chery-picked’ at 7:21 pm are still contradictory and double standards.

“NEVER – in one of my posts did I say this or even imply it”

The implication was clearly there, i.e. that Rafa was not present at both FO & wimbledon ’09 finals that Fed won, hence makes it so ‘notable’, as per the post at 5:34 pm.

Anyhow, you’ve clarified yourself and we can agree that:
1) Rafa is a tough nightmare match-up for Fed just like others 2)It doesn’t matter who Fed or anyone else beats to lift a trophy – they can only beat whoever is present…they just have to get it done.


Kimmi Says:

sar..5 hrs

ATP sites has the schedule in local time and eastern time.


been there Says:

@ 8:43 Rafa is a tough nightmare match-up for Fed just like others: s/b ‘Rafa is a tough nightmare match-up for Fed’


devastatingdjokovic Says:

What Duro?


Duro Says:

How come you don’t give Murray any chance of winning a Grand Slam title?


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Because he doesn’t know how to play tennis.


David Says:

I could see Basel having some significance for Federer maybe if he had never won it. Considering he’s won it, what, 2 or 3 times (of course who would know, or care, it’s Basel after all?!) I seriously doubt Fed lost any sleep or tears over losing to Djoko there.


Duro Says:

Ooooops! Now you stepped on a mine!


Duro Says:

devastatingdjokovic, lucky you that Murray has only few supporters here… You would be crucified if it was about some other guys instead.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Sigh. People who are that sensitive shouldn’t be tennis fans. Or at least shouldn’t go on tennis forums.


Duro Says:

That sensitive? If you’re a fan of a tennis player and someone tells you that your favorite doesn’t know how to play tennis, can you possibly be more offended tennis-wise?

And one more thing. Murray has 6:3 H2H against Fed, he he he…

You offended a whole lot of people here, devastating!

The logic is crystal clear!

Have a good night. :-)


jane Says:

been there, “Notable” and “illegitimate” are two different things, imo, and one does not imply the other, but yes, we can agree on those two things you pointed out.

Fed’s 2009 FO and Wimbledon wins were not easy: he faced a hot Haas both places, and was on the ropes against two top guys, JMDP and Roddick, at both. But he won. He fully deserves those trophies.

Next year, it might be tough for him to defend both of those titles, IF he meets Rafa in the finals. THAT was my point.

Match ups and draws are not mutually exclusive, true. But one can argue back and forth on whose draw is easier or more suited match-up wise, and that’s why I was saying it’s best to ignore it. Besides which, you never know who’s going to come through.

BUT we do know 100% that Rafa gives Fed headaches, and if it’s Rafa and Fed in the final/semi-final, we know it’ll be a tight one 99% of the time.

I hope we get to see them play, if not at the WTF, then at one of the slams next year.


Kimmi Says:

I am soo hoping for Murray vs Djoko semi…pls pls pls make it happen. We have not seen these two play for a long time.


David Says:

Jane, I brought up the issue of Rafa’s draw in this year’s AO not to discredit his victory. Obviously, you play whoever is in front of you and it wasn’t his fault he got some friendly matchups.

I brought it up in the context of Fed’s chances at hard court Slams next season and his chances of winning multiple Slams next season. The fact is that Nadal has been the only player to prove himself as a real nemesis for Fed because of the matchup problem he presents. But the flip side of that is that there is a large and seemingly growing list of players that are nightmares for Rafa to play (JMDP, Djoko, Cilic, Soderling, etc.). That will make it even harder for Rafa to win Slams off of clay, or even make the semis and finals, and probably clear the road for Roger to stay on top and probably win 2 Slams again next year. In my opinion of course.


jane Says:

Yes David, I did get your point. And Rafa clearly deserved his AO title, just as Fed deserved his slam titles. It’s hard to disagree with you that Rafa seems more vulnerable on hard courts this year, at least the latter half, though that has often been the case in the past too. And maybe going forward his ranking may drop, in which case he could face Fed before the finals. That said, I mentioned before that I wonder if Fed might be challenged by more players besides Rafa, due to speed and timing issues. We’ll just have to wait and see whether that actually materializes.


Kimmi Says:

Juan Martin del Potro, on his chances in London: “The favourites are still the same – Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray. I need to get more experience. I have to learn much to be like them.”


sar Says:

JMDP sounds really nice.


Kimmi Says:

sar, Yes he sounds nice but he is a grand slam champion for god sake, he should start to raise his expections (murray has not won GS yet). The other guys are not looking at him the same way anymore. Well, its too early to say but I hope he does not develop an underdog mindset like Rafa.


madmax Says:

Wow, people! Things are really hotting up between the posters!

I’d like to say a few things. Firstly, DURO, Benneteau beat fed in the SECOND ROUND not the FIRST ROUND of Paris, as you said. (splitting hairs but nevertheless, fact).

I get really tired when people say ‘fed was lucky to get RG, just because rafa wasnt in the final’. Ummm..Hello? Rafa did play RG, and LOST in 4th round to No. 23 player at that time, Soderling. Fed had some tough matches at RG, and there was no way he was ‘lucky’. No such thing. You MAKE your own luck. When he had to, fed dug deep and relied on his mental strength and reserve to fight back when his back was against the wall a couple of times, coupled with his brilliant game, to make the final. He deserved to be there. Just because rafa doesn’t reach the final of a Slam, doesnt mean that Fed got lucky.

He still has to beat the opponent on the other side of the net! Why dont people see this?! Why is it that people have to degrade his achievements just because rafa didnt make the final? I dont get it. Its just rubbish.

And if anyone thinks that Delpo played a brilliant match against fed at the USO, then I have to disagree. To my mind, Fed gave the USO away in the final set, rather than Delpo winning it hands down. Fed should have wrapped it up in three. He knows it! I know it! Fed fans know it! Now, I like delpo, I really do – He is hugely talented. But be fair.

The same happened with Rafa at the AO, it all went wrong in the fifth set, but I have watched that match over and over and you can see in January, that fed’s serve was down to something like 45% in the final set, you could see his stance had changed when serving – his back affected his serve – that was it – that is NOT to take anything away from rafa at all – it is all swings and roundabouts –

And there is NO ONE, I mean NO ONE, that could ever match Fed in terms of REACHING SEMI FINALS of SLAMS – at least – 22 consecutive semi finals slams appearances! I mean, THAT’s amazing. So it just makes me mad when people talk about age! All players are slowing down – and at 28, Fed is still a young pup! – It is almost as if to say that at 28 fed is done! Utter, utter, rubbish.

Remember this is the person who THIS YEAR, has still beaten rafa, novak, juan martin, murray, (the younger pups!)who are all at least 5 years younger – so stop with the age thing. And have we all forgotten, that federer is still no. 1, and has been forever – yes – I know one day that will change – I am not blind to this – but everything thing has its time – why is it that some people want Fed’s time to be ‘up’, ‘over’. It’s so crass to discount this man.

Credit the man with more intelligence. He knows better than anyone what he has to do, can he pull it off? absolutely he can! Will he do it today? That’s up to roger federer and no one else.

We should all feel so blessed that we are in the best era of tennis – ever – so many talented players, competing –

Age has nothing to do with it. Where there is a will, there is a way – Federer comes through when his back is against the wall – all of the top 5 have that killer instinct, most of all I think Fed and Nadal – awesome in tie breaker situations. I’ve lost my stats on fed’s tiebreakers, but for this year he has been fantastic.

Roger has every chance to win this tournament, but I agree that Novak is certainly the man of the moment based on current form.

Roger, though is the one still to beat. Everyone wants to beat roger, to put on their CV, ‘I beat Roger Federer’ – but no one will ever be as great – that’s why he is so special.


madmax Says:

Also, lest we forget, that for the LAST FOUR YEARS, fed reached the RG final – that is incredible in itself. Oh, yeah, I guess fed was lucky! C’moon!

I dont think that anyone will argue that rafa is just incredible on clay, he feet were made for clay! but most of rafa’s wins against roger have been on clay – roger still holds h2h 5:4 on grass and hard against rafa.


madmax Says:

To ANY federer fan who has not seen the link that Kimmi posted above:

Kimmi Says:
I thought this is funny interview with federer. made me laugh so much..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG0ATZT-YWc

Posted November 21st, 2009 at 12:06 pm

it’s hilarious –

Kimmi,

Thanks – its really cheered up my sunday morning! Fed is just the best!


margot Says:

Doro: dd has said that (Andy can’t play tennis) b4 and clarified his position, which I will paraphrase, 4give me dd if wrong, basically he thinks Murray has too much talent and doesn’t know how to use it to win the slams. Also believes Andy is a bit of a “head” case and needs to reach some sort of peace within himself, b4 he’ll win slams, if he ever does. Is this right dd.
Now, I love Andy’s game and have followed it since he won USOpen junior, incidentally beating JMDP, I seem to remember. However, I am not blind to his obvious “stubborness” I suppose and have seen evidence of this in more matches than I care to remember. I personally think he needs a new coach, its all got too cosy, but I also think Andy is probably very, very difficult to coach. Whatever people think though, I believe he’ll get there. Do wish Agassi would SHUT Up BTW!!
PS Love your man, really do.


Maso Says:

Best of 3 final… pfft… what a bore! I understand that all the round robin matches and semis are best of 3, I mean, it’s the end of season, the guys have been playing all year and they’re exhausted. But the final? It’s the end of year tournament! Best of 5 final is the only way to go. Woe is me. =P


sar Says:

It’s sometimes nice to beat the big players in epic matches. Unfortunately that takes a little bit out of you sometimes.”

Gordo, I was wondering which epic match he was referring to?

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