Off Season, What Off Season? Early 2010 Player Schedules
by Sean Randall | December 6th, 2009, 11:11 pm
  • 159 Comments

I see some of you are already inquiring about the 2010 player schedules, which got me curious regarding who’s playing where and when ahead of the Australian Open. So I did some digging.

For Rafael Nadal, who is busy polishing another Davis Cup trophy after helping Spain successfully defend it’s title this weekend, the off season will be over in just a blink. Nadal, along with Roger Federer and Nikolay Davydenko are expected to partake in the money-grab Abu Dhabi three-round knockout event which begins on December 31, i.e. 24 days from now. Nothing quite welcomes the New Year better than some extra dough!

The official start to the 2010 ATP season begins on January 3 with three events in Brisbane, Doha and Chennai plus Hopman Cup (non ATP). The following week is Sydney, Auckland and a non-circuit exo at Kooyang.

So looking ahead to 2010, here are some early schedules for the top players (subject to change of course!):

Dec 31
Abu Dhabi: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Nikolay Davydenko, Robin Soderling, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

January 3
Brisbane: Andy Roddick, Gael Monfils, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters
Doha
: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Nikolay Davydenko, JW Tsonga
Chennai: Marin Cilic, Robin Soderling
Hopman Cup: Andy Murray, Lleyton Hewitt

January 11
Sydney: Gael Monfils, Lleyton Hewitt, Serena Williams
Auckland: David Nalbandian
Kooyong Exo: Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro, Robin Soderling, Fernando Verdasco, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

By Player:
Federer: Abu Dhabi, Doha
Nadal: Abu Dhabi, Doha
Djokovic: Kooyong
Murray: Hopman Cup
DelPo: Kooyong
Roddick: Brisbane

A few things that strike me. First, looks like Nadal is right back on the court. After just finishing 2009, he gets about three weeks of downtime (that’s it!!) before heading to Abu Dhabi. I know he missed a chunk of season and he didn’t have a terribly grueling close to the year, but…so much for rest.

Federer is following Nadal’s schedule, but the Swiss has enjoyed an extra week off with no Davis Cup commitments. Federer could still end up in Kooyang.

Roddick may come into 2010 as the most rested (remember his last match was mid-October) and most ready. Roddick though is only signed on for Brisbane as of now (possible Kooyong WC?), meaning the American will have just one event in three months ahead of Melbourne.

And interestingly Djokovic, DelPo and Murray are just playing exo’s for moment. Novak and DelPo in Kooyang, Murray will be at the Hopman Cup. Perhaps the trio are conserving for a late-year push for No. 1?

Of note, if Murray does not defend his Doha title, I think he’ll slide to No. 5 behind DelPo in the rankings. That becomes important for the Australian Open seedings which would then be: 1. Federer, 2. Nadal, 3. Novak, 4. DelPo and 5. Murray. And as a No. 5 seed you would run into a Top 4 seed in the QFs at the Australian Open.

Meanwhile, Tsonga and Soderling are maxing out by playing three events prior to the Australian Open.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I’m intrigued by a possible Henin-Clijsters clash in Brisbane. What a start the season that would be for the WTA.


Also Check Out:
Roddick, Blake Just Say No to Davis Cup in 2010
Caroline Wozniacki: The ATP Has Roger, Rafa And Novak, But We Have Fans Too!
2014 Fall Preview: With No. 1 At Stake, Where Will Federer, Nadal, Djokovic Be These Last Few Months
Federer Falls, Abu Dhabi Tennis Day Two
What Off Season?

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159 Comments for Off Season, What Off Season? Early 2010 Player Schedules

Hypnos Says:

Well, you must have at least a month of play before a major to be sharp, and these guys have two and some odd weeks.

I think most of the complaints are about the spacings between the majors+YEC (starting dates):

AO
[4 months]
French
[1 month]
Wimbledon
[~2 months]
US Open
[3 months]
YEC

Granted the AO/French stretch has five Masters 1000 events (two back-to-back), but the US Open/YEC stretch has only two.

The problem is that there are so many constituencies to please:

* European clay and Asian indoor market who have staked spots on the calendar

* Grand slams who do as they please, and like where they are on the calendar

* Top players who focus on Masters 1000, and would prefer Paris and YEC to be not so late in the year

* Lower-ranked players (and Davydenko) who need all the points and prize money they can get

I don’t see a solution until all the tournaments are under one umbrella and the players have a union. We should also chip in so the devil can by a coat.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Maybe Davydenko will start following a major-centric schedule? Hopefully he thinks he can win one now.

Sean, the number 5 seed running into one of the top 4 seeds in the QFs isn’t something unique to the AO. But that’s interesting and weird. Why would Murray do that? Doesn’t he know the consequences? Maybe he wants to be the one to snap Fed’s slam semi streak :P Or better, if he were to take out one of the top 4 seeds in the QFs, he’d gain a lot of points while they’d lose points. Djoker and Del Po both reached the QFs so they wouldn’t gain or lose. But Nadal and Federer have winner and runner up points to defend. Either one would suffer a major setback points-wise if they were to lose in the QFs. I doubt that’s what Murray’s thinking at all, but it’s interesting. If Del Po stays at 5 and lands in Fed’s quarter, good bye slam semi streak.


tenisbebe Says:

Well I have to say I wish that Justine and Kim were not playing in the same tournament until AO. Same with Rafa and Fed. And I am puzzled as to why so many players (Djokovic, Del Potro, Soderling, Verdasco & Tsonga) are playing the Kooyong Exo, some almost exclusively. Sean, is the prize money for this exo? There are no points awarded, yes?


jane Says:

Sean this has already been confirmed in the press: ” if Murray does not defend his Doha title, I think he’ll slide to No. 5 behind DelPo in the rankings.”

Plus Kimmi and I discussed it here:
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-11-29/2726.php#comment-112327

I think it’s good that Djoko, Murray and Delpo are cutting down on their schedules pre-AO. When Djok won the title in 2008, he played nothing beforehand; it was his first event. Last year, both he, but especially Murray, played too much leading into the AO. This year, they just need to get acclimatized to the weather there and get it some decent match play; both should be able to do that with what they have planned. Roddick’s choice to play Brisbane makes sense since he needs to pick up points and get in some competitive matches since he lost both at the end of this season. I would have though Nadal would maybe cut down to one pre-AO event, but mind you, this preparation worked well for him last year, as it did Fed.


Sean Randall Says:

Hypnos, true. Too many cooks in the kitchen. Until they reduce the # of events the calendar will continue to be a problem.

DD, my point is you’d much rather be a 1-4 seed than a #5. As a #5 you are seeded to meet a 1-4. But as a 1-4 you could end up playing a #8 (or 5-8) in the QF. That’s a huge difference.

tenisbebe, Kooyong has not points but plenty of prize money. I’m sure all of the bigger names are getting at least six figures for playing.

Thanks Jane. My “eyeball math” is correct for once.


jane Says:

Hi tenisbebe – long time no see. Kooyong is played on the same surface as the AO I think, AND the players are guaranteed either 3 or 4 matches, so it seems like a good tournament to cut their teeth on, so to speak.


jane Says:

Sean, others, here’s a link about Murray missing out on top four seeding for the AO, due to unforeseen circumstances:

http://www.racingpost.com/news/sport/murrays-slam-hopes-hit-by-hopman-decision/659452/tennis/


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Wow. I’d like Del Potro to overtake Murray for sure, not quite like this though, too anticlimactic for my taste. What I’m looking forward to is Djokovic ascending to the number 2 spot ahead of Nadal. If Nadal doesn’t defend his AO, then he’s gonna lose a huge chunk of points. Djokovic would still need really good results but he’s got a great shot at hitting number 2 early. And he’d have it for a few weeks since not much goes on between the AO and IW. And the few tournaments that do take place, both Nadal and Djokovic tend to play in but rarely win.


tenisbebe Says:

Hi Jane!! I have been busy with some family /personal things for awhile & frankly have watched little tennis since the USO, some of the Paris matches, a couple YTC matches and one DC. Congrats to you on Novak’s great wins in the fall – you must have been very happy, especially with his performance in Paris.

As for Kooyong, I guess I am just perplexed that with as tight as the top 6 rankings should be in 2010 that those players wouldn’t go for points (instead of just $$$).


tenisbebe Says:

devastatingdjokovic – I would like to see Rafa in the number 1 spot again very soon.

Hypnos – Thank you for your post at 12:58 am. The need to shorten the schedule has been kicked about for years but then it just seems to get longer. Of course I am aware that there are far too many non-GS tournaments but I’ve never taken the time to break the problem down into it’s many components. If, and it’s a big if, the ITF were given power over all scheduling, it might have a chance but unless the players revolt, I can’t see the LTA, USTA, etc giving up there fiefdoms. The selfishness & shortsightedness of it all is enough to make you sick.


Ezorra Says:

tenisbebe says;
“I would like to see Rafa in the number 1 spot again very soon.”

Me too!!!


sensationalsafin Says:

I’m not a Nadal fan so I don’t share your view.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I’ve always found Nadal to be one of the most admirable and classy men on tour, but this schedule makes him look very foolish, coming on the heels of his now annual whining over the length of the season, especially given the injury problems he’s having.

How many years in a row now have fans claimed, “Next year, Team Nadal” will be smarter with his schedule. I’d like to know who it is that insists Rafa play in Abu Dhabi. It is the height of irresponsibility to make these decisions for oneself and then blame the tour for the long season.

ON THE FLIP SIDE- Congrats to Rafa for a great Davis Cup win! I truly hope this is indicative of a return to form for the great champion! More Fedal in 2010!


JoshDragon Says:

I heard that Andy Murray, was going to miss Doha because he agreed to play in a doubles tournament, during the same week as Doha.


margot Says:

Well, I’m glad Andy has reduced his schedule and his travelling, I think it’ll benefit his tennis and hopefully give his body a bit longer to heal. The doubles with Robson was announced way back in August/Sepember I think and it’s obvious it’ll help acclimatisation in Australia. Those temperatures last January were unreal.


margot Says:

PS Hi there tennisbebe!


andrea Says:

its crazy how short the down time (and i use that term loosely) is in professional tennis!!! we all know it, but when you think that most of the players are back in action the first week of jan…

2010 feels like the year where there will be lots of back and forth in the top 5 spots; with spots changing on a tournament by tournament (or even match by match basis). even being a fed fan, it’s unlikely to see him in all four finals this year which means he has lots of points to lose….he could make up points in the smaller tourneys where he fared poorly last year.

i like the AO as it always feel very unpredictable and lots of 5 setters for some reason.


zwademan Says:

Actually, I don’t think Murray will drop to 5th in the rankings for the AO, because DelPo isn’t defending his Aukland title, isn’t that right?


jane Says:

zwademan,

That’s right. HOWEVER, because of when Murray’s points fall off, he will drop to number 5. Delpo’s points don’t drop off for another week, which is the week AFTER the seedings for the AO will be instituted.

tenisbebe,

Well, it’s nice to see you back! I am sure Kooyong offers decent money; I know Fed/Roddick were regulars there for a number of years, as was, I think, Agassi. I read somewhere that Fed may still take a WC into Kooyong. But I assume these guys like Djoko and Delpo are playing because it’s a good warm up event with guaranteed matches, not to mention the same surface and weather as the at AO, and so forth.

I was happy with Djoko’s performance this fall; what was good was to see him play extremely well in some matches, but even more to see him fight out the wins when he wasn’t playing his best. I thought he showed a good effort and renewed desire. We’ll see what 2010 brings for these guys – the top 5-10 could shift more this year, as andrea pointed out.


Kimmi Says:

“I thought he (djoko) showed a good effort and renewed desire.”

I agree, especially that match with Monfils (final of bercy) was incredible. He could not find his semi game…the game that dismantle nadal to pieces (imo I thought that was his best game of the season) but he kept fighting till the end. Madrid match in may showed good effort too.


Nina Says:

I agree, Novak’s best match was against Nadal in Paris, it was really impressive the way he played there. I hope to see more of that Djokovic in the near future and of course get nº2 and nº 1 eventually. :)


Kimmi Says:

Justine Henin beats Flavia Pannetta for Women Tennis Exo trophy.

http://www.globalpost.com/webblog/sports/video-justine-henin-beats-pennetta-women%E2%80%99s-tennis-exo-trophy

Great effort by justine, pannetta is ranked number 12 too. Hope she brings her best game next season.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Maybe Fed’s decline is due to his revamped forehand… and his ever improving serve is also a result of revamping…


madmax Says:

DD, fed has supposed to be “in decline” for 18 months now and look what he has achieved. No need to repeat, but am supporting the so-called “decline” all the way. (I think you were being humorous in your post by the way?)…

Like you say, when his serve is on, its awesome. Cannot wait to see how his game has improved for next year. These days without tennis are just boring for me.


madmax Says:

CONTADOR,

Your hiding somewhere?

Have read some of the posts on TT and cannot believe what is happening over there. Oh My God – at least Sean Randall doesnt intervene every 5 minutes if you disagree with him. certain people has a very high opinion of themselves dont they? Arent they supposed to remain “mildly impartial”. JULES was brilliant in her reply to “Tanks Federer” as was Niloofar, but he/she spoilt it by later apologising. Thank goodness there are a few guys over there who support the fed, but you are right. It has become a drooling site for rafa. It bit boring really.

Margot,

I know you havent been on in a while, but there is a job going on TT, for a tennis writer. I said to Jane that with hers and your tennis experience, you might want to give it a go? Deadline is 21st December.


margot Says:

madmax: that’s such a sweet thought! I wonder, however, how it would fit in with a day job? Would they pay a salary or per match or is it, heaven forbid!voluntary? And my day job also takes a lot of emotional energy! Can manage short, pithy(!) I hope, blogs, but longer?
Anyway, virtual hugs to you.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

What is TT?

Madmax, I’m not looking at Fed’s results I’m looking at his overall play. Even on some of his best days this year, I never felt like he was at full capacity. He played some of his best tennis in the final 2 rounds of Cincy but was lucky to have gotten through in straight sets both times. I’ve always felt like if Federer is playing well and hitting the ball cleanly then he’s unbeatable, can’t lose a set yet alone a point. But he still loses while playing well, something he never used to do. You can blame it on a particular stroke not working or whatever but cmon, his opponent doesn’t play perfectly either. As far as I’m concerned, Fed’s game started declining in 07, the same year his forehand was revamped. His serve has been gradually changing over the years and I think it may be to accommodate his back problems. I don’t know the whole story but I don’t see why he changed his forehand.


madmax Says:

Okay DD,

I hear what you are saying.

The interviews i have read from fed (cos we are like that! *crossing fore and index finger*!), he says his back is fine – earlier on this year, the reason why he took so much time off was to recuperate from the strain on his back – now he has employed a full time psysio to travel with him, which I think is a great move.

And no matter what anyone says, fed does have a coach and does have a team, (I wanna say Panini cos they are tasty, but his trainer, I call him PP, and of course there is svereni, swiss DC captain who travels with fed EVERYWHERE, so I really think that he does listen to them.

Plus,

DD, I havent seen that much of a difference in his forehand – honestly – his forehand is one of the best in the game – if not THE best – but I think his opponents have just got better, plus they are taller and meaner (!) – fed is still pretty tall at 6ft 1″, but then I think maybe these guys have just had enough of being “second best”, have worked out a lot of fed’s shots, but I will tell you something, I think his first serve has improved massively – if he is able to bring his first serve to EVERY game, then really, his opponent does not know where to run. He has three different serves, I think the kick serve is the best – it’s like WOW.

Seriously. Has me getting the goosebumps big time. DD, I could talk about fed all day – but I think you are the genius analyst here and I learn an awful lot from you.

I just happen to disagree about the forehand – I think it is more mental than anything – I dont know why I feel that – but I do.

Also, DD, “TT” is tennistalk (it’s another tennis forum which both contador and myself and also duro partake from time to time), but it is become a rafa fan girl site – every single post BAR ONE right now is about rafa and there is one about roger which is pure sarcasm and underhand – it makes me mad right now, so am staying away from there – not a fair forum at all, which is a pity because it didnt always seem that way.

SO, there is a tennis writer position going and I think DD, you would also make a fine applicant. Go for it.

Margot, you would be paid for it, if you go read the blog, there are some details there, in fact I’ll do it for you cos you have to register, and I am already registered, so I’ll be back in a sec.


madmax Says:

DD and Margot,

Here is the excerpt, if you do get the job, am sure the both of you will bring more panache to a forum that is currently deteriorating in terms of discussion in my view. All the best.

Are you a writer with a passion for tennis? Tennistalk might be the place for you.

We are looking for a talented writer to work part-time providing match previews and match reports throughout the ATP tennis season starting in 2010.

Interested candidates will begin the application process by writing an approximately 500-word essay on their all-time favorite tennis match.

E-mail your name and essay to info[AT]tennistalk.com for consideration. Although there are no specific requirements, please include any relevant experience in your e-mail.

The deadline for submissions is December 21, 2009.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

That’s something I really don’t understand but at the same time kinda do. Why is it a mental thing? How can the most dominant player of all time and 15 time slam champion be nervous against a journeyman from France, or a slamless Russian, or a slamless and now 1 slam young guy? Since the year is over and Fed is number 1, I can accept the losses, I just don’t understand exactly what’s behind it. I’ve also noticed that since 2007 Federer doesn’t use all of his creativity. He’s actually the reason I don’t understand what “one-dimensional” means. I’ve seen a lot of matches where Federer employs the same tactics over and over again. He’s also becoming more and more stubborn (probably a consequence of having 15 slams) and he doesn’t always play the smartest way. I have his match against Davydenko in London and it seemed like everything Federer did, Davydenko one-upped him. It was a beautiful match with both playing quality tennis. The problem was that Federer could’ve done a lot more to throw off Davydenko’s rhythm. Same as at the USO. This is Roger Federer, the guy’s got every shot in the book and then some, he doesn’t have to worry about running out of options. But he doesn’t use them all. He doesn’t take the big risks. Hell, this might be a consequence of all those losses to Nadal. Maybe all those missed break chances haunt him. Or maybe it is age, can’t take those big risks because he’s more prone to missing. I really don’t know, but I’d sure as hell love to find out.

Besides the praise he gives his wife and close friends, the only genuinely positive thing Agassi talks about in his book happens to be Roger Federer. He says how, after playing him in the 04 USO, he knew Federer would go down as one of the greatest. Agassi’s game was built to pick a part his opponent’s weaknesses, and yet the man claims Federer had virtually none. This isn’t fully true, as we see, but for the few things Federer doesn’t do well, he compensates and makes up for it. Federer isn’t quick to his right side so he developed that squash shot, does anyone hit one better? Hasn’t it gotten him out of more than enough jams? I think so. Out of curiosity, I watched a bit of that 04 QF and Agassi employed a very familiar strategy, stood in the middle of the baseline and hammered forehands at Federer’s backhand. But Federer was just so creative with his slicing and everything, in a 20 shot rally, Federer hit 10 different slices, all with different pace, spin, and depth. In one of their best matches, 2003 TMC RR, Fed won 6-7 6-3 7-6. He blew a 5-3 lead in the third set and faced 2 match points in the tb. On one of the points, he ran around a backhand and hit a scorching forehand up the line. How often do we see Federer take those kind of risks on any big point nowadays? Maybe the age things is more mental, so much experience makes him play safer. Besides having played that way himself, how many times has he destroyed players who took those kind of chances? Who were on hot streaks, hitting every line, only to lose to Federer in the end? Everyone said he’d start swinging freely now that he’s won the FO and broken the slam record. The one match I think that was really evident in was the Murray RR match. After losing the first set, he just kept smacking away and ended up crushing Murray. But, imo, he hasn’t been swinging freely since 06. He handles pressure better than almost anyone out there, ever, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get to him. Defending so many titles and finals from 06, it’s very likely Federer began tightening up in 07 and on. But since he’s still Roger Federer, tightening up means winning 6 slams in 3 years instead of 8. How many times has Federer breezed into the final of the FO? And the one year he has a golden opportunity to win it, it turns into his toughest slam. It’s great that it was, makes him and everyone else appreciate it that much more, but even the great TMF isn’t immune to pressure.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Madmax, can you give me a link to the application?


madmax Says:

DD and Margot,

Here is the excerpt. Good luck to the both of you. I am certain you will both bring a certain panache to Tennistalk should you win, as the forum has disintegrated into a forum about rafa. Being objective has got to be a must for any would be writer – great to have the passion, but when underhand comments are made by its chief writers, you know that something has gone badly wrong.

Are you a writer with a passion for tennis? Tennistalk might be the place for you.

We are looking for a talented writer to work part-time providing match previews and match reports throughout the ATP tennis season starting in 2010.

Interested candidates will begin the application process by writing an approximately 500-word essay on their all-time favorite tennis match.

E-mail your name and essay to info[AT]tennistalk.com for consideration. Although there are no specific requirements, please include any relevant experience in your e-mail.

The deadline for submissions is December 21, 2009.


madmax Says:

DD, the email is included above and all you have to do is google tennistalk,

it is actually a pretty good site in terms of instant information, live scores (when they are working, big problems in the summer), and some really nice posters, but it is becoming more of a federer bashing site and i dont like it for this reason. (and that’s by the chief writers – which has got to be a big ‘no. no’. They should be setting an example and they are not.

I loved your above post by the way.

Regarding the mental thing with fed. Again, am not so sure it is about age- perhaps the risk taking has lessened somewhat because he feels he doesnt want to lose to lesser players – I dont know. You would think that he would be playing more freely. What the hell. This is the roger federer, the best player EVVEEERRRR. He can just go out there and play – but you know – when he loses a match, all i read about is “the federer decline”. But he should not care about what scum sucking press wanna say. It just makes me want to scream. Really loudly. He cannot win everything. We have been spoilt as federer fans for so long, times have changed, but he is still up there DD, still No. 1 and since 2003, Lleyton Hewitt is the only other top 50 player who is around along with Roddick – what does that say about Fed. Awesome. Just awesome DD. Love him. And Hewitt is still great to watch, and roddick is awesome too.

Federer is in a class of his own and am sure he will work on a few new shots for 2010 that will blow us all away.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

I think that it’s not so much age is in he’s old because he’s 28. What I feel is that Federer is old in tennis. Again, this has nothing to do with the number 28. He’s old in the sense that he’s accomplished SO much and done SO much in tennis. He’s experienced just about everything you could possibly experience in tennis. He’s had his ups, downs, breakthroughs, great runs, poor runs, brilliant matches, crappy matches, heartbreak, dream fulfillment, epic wins, epic losses, blow out wins, blow out losses, he’s beaten all of his rivals, he’s lost to all of his rivals, he’s won all the slams, he’s lost all the slams, he’s come back from deep holes, he’s blown huge leads, he’s won playing terrible, he’s lost playing great, he’s won playing great, he’s lost playing terrible, he’s won at least 20 consecutive matches 5 or 6 times, he’s lost consecutive matches plenty of times, he’s lost in first rounds of slams, he’s gone 27-1 a year in slams, he’s been number 1 5 times, 2 twice, and a million other rankings before that. Maybe he misses more now than he used to because he played SO much and missed SO little that, statistically speaking, he had to start missing eventually. He’s not old in life, he’s not even old for an athlete, he’s probably in the best shape of his life or damn close to it, and he’s still got an amazing game, but tennis has aged his spirit for sure. Honestly, in tennis, you age with the slams. Berdych and Gasquet and even Baghy are like 24 or something yet, to me, I still feel like they’re the young guys even though Nadal, Djoker, Murray, etc are much younger. But I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like Djokovic and Nadal might as well be 26 and Federer could be 36, if not older. Each slam is like a year, so Federer is like 43 tennis years old. That’s pretty old. Federer 43, Nadal 29, Djokovic 23, Del Potro 21. Doesn’t it feel like those are their actual ages? If not all the time, then at least once in a while?

I remember several years ago when Agassi played his unofficial final French Open, 2005. He went out to Jarkko Nieminen 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(6), 1-6, 0-6. But what stands out to me about this match was what the commentators were saying before it started; Agassi has the edge because he’s been out there and he knows what it takes to win this slam and several others, but at the same time, he knows just how hard it is and the toll it takes on the mind and body and in that sense he’s at a disadvantage. That’s how I feel about Federer. They say ignorance is bliss and you can totally see how that works when looking at, say, Del Potro win his first slam. Or even when Djokovic won his first slam. There’s a reason most players take a while to win their 2nd. It took Safin a record 5 years. Roddick still hasn’t done it. Djokovic is on the cusp but who knows, and Del Potro has yet to be tested. There’s also a reason why most people agree that if Murray wins one slam, he’ll win several more. I fully agree with that and it’s because we all know Murray has the game to win a slam, but he just hasn’t figured out how, once he does, he’ll be able to do it again and again. The way Federer did it. Hell, look at how long it took Nadal to win a nonclay slam and as soon as he wins one, he wins a second only 2 slams later. Even at 6 slams, Nadal can tell you how tough it is and how much it really takes from your mind and body. Federer has a whopping 15 with 6 other finals. 6 finals? Nadal has 6 slams total. Federer has 6 additional finals. Agassi also said, in his book, how he hated losing in the final more than anything else because you spend all the time and effort to make it to the final day of the tournament but no one remembers the loser. So those 6 slam finals ALSO take their toll. Why does Federer care so little about the smaller events? Because no person in the world has the emotional capacity to care about every single match and tournament throughout an entire career. The fact that Federer did it for 3 years so brilliantly is just another amazing thing about him.


madmax Says:

DD,

YOU DEFINITELY HAVE TO APPLY FOR THE TENNIS WRITER AT TENNISTALK – IT WOULD BE AN ABSOLUTE TRAVESTY IF YOU DIDNT!

I loved your post! and yes. I think that is the answer, its all in the mind. The mind can be your best friend and your worst enemy.

Can you honestly imagine how much it takes from the soul to play day in day out at a grand slam – my god, the guy is incredible, he just blows me away with everything that he has brought to tennis and when you describe his “ups” and “downs”, I cannot foot fault you there DD.


madmax Says:

DD,

also, when I think of the word ‘athlete’. I think of Usain Bolt and his incredible 100m run this summer and his incredible 200m run this summer, and I think of Michael Johnson and what he accomplished, but when I think of ‘real athlete’, I think of the times that roger has played 4 mebbe 5 hours of incredible tennis at a grand slam and my jaw drops. These are the REAL ATHLETES.


madmax Says:

the running around the court, on clay, grass, hard court, the shots, oh – the shots – the innumerable body movements, muscle rips and tears, the joints, hips, knees, elbows, shoulders, back – and I am so glad to watch him play. PURE CLASS.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Madmax, I have read a few articles and comments on TT and I don’t like it. Federer tanked his match against Del Potro to spite Murray? If he did, well, I’m not against pulling an Agassi (except for the drugs thing, any kind of drugs) but cmon! Here’s an interesting yet annoying comment from a MiniArbre:

“In any case, it was a VERY sketchy game. VERY sketchy. At one point the camera zoomed in of Federer’s face after he hit that approach shot and was passed…I remember him biting his bottom lip, like a child who knows they are up to know good. He even had this child-like look of guilt in his eyes. I think he knew what he was up to. He was being mischievous (and a meanie.) He doesn’t like Murray and so he didn’t want Murray to come on the field trip with the rest of the class. So he hid Murray’s signed permission slip and Murray had to stay behind.

Now one could argue that he wanted to win and beat the guy who beat him at the US Open final. Plus, he would’ve possibly had another crack at Murray to catch-up in the H2H. *shrugs* Who knows? All I know is that it was an extremely weak service game coming from Federer. At a very inopportune time. Whether he did it consciously or subconsciously is for us to speculate. ”

I really doubt this guy saw “guilt” in Fed’s eyes or the whole bottom lip thing was because he knew he was up to no good. But honestly, I agree that this sounds sketchy. HOWEVER, Fed’s been screwing up in the final sets of his matches for the last 2 years, his was nothing new, hell, nothing out of the ordinary. Again, I must repeat, this is Roger Federer. He’s an arrogant one who has full belief in his game. I don’t think he hates Murray as much as people say, I think he is more like me and other fans who are sick of the media hyping up Murray so much. Also, even if he does dislike Murray, Fed’s ego would never let him tank a match like that. Especially considering he whooped Murray the last 2 times they played, you’d think he’d be licking his chops to play him again. And I don’t think that’s what Federer was even thinking about. I think he was a lot more focused on beating only the second guy to ever beat him in a slam final. A guy who actually has a slam and is a legit contendor to Fed’s throne, unlike Murray. Why would Federer dig so deep in the second set? Just to make the semis? Or to actually beat Del Po? I’m not gonna put it past anyone, including Federer, to tank a match. I just think it’s unlikely Federer would tank this particular match with his ego. And he finished on top of his group anyway, so he would’ve played Davydenko no matter what. And Soderling probably would’ve blasted right through Murray.


jane Says:

Here’s the ATP’s list for the 5 best matches of 2010.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2009/12/Best-Matches-Of-The-Year.aspx

The Dent match was great, but I would’ve probably added the Haas vs. Cilic match at Wimbledon, and personally, while the Fed vs. Davy WTFs was a “good” match, I wouldn’t've picked it as great.


jane Says:

I sure wish the first two on the list would’ve gone the other way, no offense to the winners, of course. But those were two heartbreaking losses for me to watch. : (

Next time Roddick & Djoko – next time!!


devastatingdjokovic Says:

It’s nice to see a Fed-Roddick match as the best match.

I REALLY wish Djoker had won that Madrid match. But yeah, next time. At least he hasn’t lost to Nadal since.

What about the Ouanno (spelling?) – Safin match at the FO? I wanted to tear my heart out and run it through a shredder about 40 times but it was still a pretty good match. The Murray-Wawrinka match at Wimbledon was really good, too. So was the Roddick-Hewitt and even Roddick-Murray match. What about the Fed-DelPo at the FO? USO was good, but I’d put FO slightly above it.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Before I forget, Gasquet-Gonzo at the AO, anyone? That was a terrific match!

I’m gonna go through all the slams this year and see what else is top 5 or top 10 worthy.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Hewitt’s 5 set triumph over Karlovic in the first round of the FO. Not the greatest quality but pretty epic win.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Isner-Roddick??


jane Says:

Totally DD!! Totally. I forgot about Ouanno/Safin – another heartbreaker for me. What was it? 8-10 in the fifth? Sheesh. I miss Safin again.

I guess I wouldn’t pick Isner-Roddick, as Roddick just wasn’t moving or playing his best that match, unlike in the Wimbledon final vs. Fed.

And yes, the Gasquet vs/ Gonzo was a terrific match. Gonzo was in a few scorchers this season; his 3 set match vs. Monaco in Barcelona I think it was, was a treat to watch – quiet little match, but a thriller nonetheless.


Kimmi Says:

FO produces some good matches imo

Federer – Haas
Fededer – Delpo
Nadal – soldering
Soderling – Gonzalez

I thought all these were nail biting matches, till the end one cannot tell who will come out the winner.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Those are good picks for the top three for sure. #4 I didn;t see, and #5 doesn’t belong in the discussion. I also really liked Roddick/Murray SF at Wimbledon, Haas/Djokovic at Wimbledon, and del Potro/Fed at French.


jane Says:

Delpo/Fed matches this year have all been pretty great, minus the rout at the AO. But the FO, USO and WTF matches were all good ones.


huh Says:

Oh , the folks are all here!


Kimmi Says:

On best of three matches, apart from Djoko vs Nadal in madrid which both players looked like they were done ? This match had a lot of long rallies, it make you feel like if it carried on to 5 sets they would both be dead :)

Best of five matches imo are the real deal. This is where you can get very good matches.. These matches brings lots of drama, excitement, matches go back and forth, up and down.. till the end were you kind of feel the winner is the real winner.


madmax Says:

DD,

yes. I see what you mean about the miniarbre comment. it is a ridiculous comment to make in my view. This is what I mean about TT, it has seriously gone down in terms of having intelligent discussion. Really. Which is why they need people like you, jane and margot, huh, contador, and other connaisseurs of the game to show ‘em a thing or two! (And I am serious by the way).

Kimmi,

the best of five matches are the real deal – i have to agree – where both players can play near on 5 hours, arms aching, legs aching and its the sheer will to win which comes out at the end.


madmax Says:

ZOEY/CONTADOR,

before i hit the sack, I just wanted to say how much I respect you for standing up for the fed on TT. Have just read your comments on the grading system over there? I mean, is Ricky Dimon for real? Rafa loses his first three rounds and he gets a grade D? Ricky D has seriously lost it. I mean it just gets worse. and he picks on fed saying that he didnt play well? I mean, was he watching the right tourny? It gets worse zoey, it gets worse.

why should you apologise? Why do people apologise to so called biased bloggers who are supposed to be a lot more professional than they currently are.

Your comment was a blast.

DD,

Please go for the job as “new” tennis writer on TT. Miniarbre’s comments are just getting tooooo cheesy and tooo sychophantic. I posted some of what you said over there in response to mini’s, and i will be interested to see whether ricky dimon has anything of interest to say – your comment was brilliant by the way.

catch you all tomorrow. take care and cheers.xxxx


Long Live the King Says:

DD:

“If Del Po stays at 5 and lands in Fed’s quarter, good bye slam semi streak.”

If that match is scheduled for a typical oz day session – good bye delpo till clay court season with some general injury .


devastatingdjokovic Says:

LLTK, that doesn’t even make sense.

But now that you bring it up, I’m expecting Del Potro to really work on his fitness during the off season. Besides improving his technical flaws, I’d say his fitness is the most important thing he needs to improve. As much as I think Pat Cash’s statement about a healthy Del Po never losing to Fed again is ludicrous, I think it bears some truth. And it’s all about age. Federer’s best is the best there is, no question. But he doesn’t play his best as often as he used to. On an average day, Del Potro is more consistent than Federer (don’t jump on me with results because I’m talking about simply PLAYING tennis on a GIVEN day). He’s especially more consistent when the 2 play. There’s plenty Federer can do against Del Potro but he employs a rather stubborn strategy. It’s Fed-Nadal all over again. At the same time, Federer is the greatest hard court player of all time, and even with his struggles over the last 2 years, he’s still gonna win matches here and there. This year’s Cincy is a great example of Federer’s prowess. He beat Djokovic and Murray, 2 players who’ve really upped it on the hard courts. Then there’s the clay. Federer is a veteran and veteran’s have an edge on clay. I’m kinda ranting here with no purpose or point. I’m gonna go to sleep.


Long Live the King Says:

DD:

“It’s Fed-Nadal all over again”

not so. the slower courts give fed’s super defense a better chance than the super-fast USopen courts, fed wins his aus-open match against delpo in not more than 4 sets.

also only players who can stop roger at aus r rafa and murray, a loss to any other player will count as an upset like USopen 09 final


blah Says:

and djokovic, who actually beat him in 08 semis…

oh wait, mono, right.


jane Says:

Biggest upsets of 2009:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2009/12/Biggest-Upsets-Of-The-Year.aspx

I still don’t get why JMDP beating Fed at the USO is such a big “upset” since JMDP is ranked 5 in the world (6th then) – and he was super close at the FO. When I watched that match I thought it was about 60-40 to Fed. I know Fed had won the USO 5 times, which is crazy, but it’s not like he has been playing as invincible as he used to. There were close calls for him going out earlier at all the slams – Wimbledon least likely, but the final was surely close. At the AO, Berdych had the momentum until his usual brain cramps kicked in, Haas at the FO totally unraveled after Fed saved that crucial point with a risky winner to take the third set, and Soderling almost took the match to 5 at the USO while playing some fabulous tennis. So anyhow, this is just personal opinion, but I’d take that one off the list.


Long Live the King Says:

DD:

i agree with the theory about age being a reason y fed doesn’t do risk tennis like he used to.

In 04, 05 & 06, he kept finding a higher gear to leave his peers miles behind. took others a couple of yrs to catch him. and honestly speaking only 1 guy has overtaken him and he edged him by again. he is now learning to win matches when “the higher gears” desert him and/or they are not enough against hungrier younger opponents. I guess I’m kinda ranting here with no purpose or point. I’m gonna go to sleep ;)


Long Live the King Says:

Jane:

look at roger’s GS finals record. out of french, its even more scary. it took a phenomenal player like rafa in the form of his life, with all the advantage of that lopsided h2h to beat roger in 5 sets. delpo had neither rafa’s pedigree nor h2h. so for him 2 beat a 15 slam, 15 ms, 4TMC champ is no way a 50-50 proposition. just see how roger showed the previous 2yrs contenders as pretenders.

credit to delpo but it was an upset.


blah Says:

It’s probably considered an upset because Fed whipped DelPo on hardcourt earlier in the year (AO-3-0-0), and maybe people thought the same was going to happen. Plus he has never been beaten in a slam final by anyone other than Nadal. And he somehow managed to survive against Roddick. I know going into the match I gave Delpo about a 20% chance with the run Fed was on starting from (madrid? hamburg?) DelPo also skipped over winning a master series to win his first slam. I thought that once Fed won the 3rd set, Delpo had no shot, and was very pleasantly surprised when DelPo won the fourth set despite being a break down earlier in that set, before the fifth set happened.

Also, Fed used to excel against most big/flat hitters, and I thought delpo’s movement is a weakness, especially against someone who has that much options in his game and who can move him around. Idk, it was an upset for me, but obviously not even close to the degree of the Sod-Nadal shocker, but it’s more of an upset than the other three listed on there, imo. Murray-Verdasco in AO should be on the list. Murray was everyone’s pick to win AO and he lost to a Verdasco which the world hasn’t seen before. The other three are meh. I don’t think three set “upsets” are as shocking anyway.

the upset i remember from 08 is djoker going out against safin in wimby, (and pehaps simon-federer in tor, but that’s more because of the fact that I root for simon) and from 09 will definitely be nadal going out against sod in fo. Perhaps only the memorable upsets matter.


blah Says:

roddick- isner should probably be on that list too. i mean i know roddick does not match up well with big servers, but it was a five set format at uso, with roddick coming off an incredible performance at wimbledon, and everyone being amazed at his new game, and isner who has a serve… and that’s about it. How disappointing.

oh yeah, and nalby going out against lu in 2nd rd in ao when it looked like he was actually going to start trying in the beginning of the season instead of waiting till post uso. wtf was that.


huh Says:

Right observation by Jane re. Fed-DP upset argument.


huh Says:

The OZ 09 match between DP-Fed I remember as I was extremely interested in DP even then, and I can say DP was not at all fighting in that match and that has nothing to do with as some would jump up to say Fed didn’t allow him to do even that much. The DP of that match was an imposter, literally, in comparison to the DP of even late 08, let alone DP of FO-09 & US-09. And it was actually a pity to see DP(from his fans’ point of view at least) giving the match at the FO away to Fed by double-faults at the break points, otherwise DP would have been the FO champ of 2009. And I mean it and believe it.


huh Says:

blah:
Of course Fed would excel against the flat-hitters, or whatever way the aggressive ones are described, but DP, Safin and Nole are not just flat hitters/aggressive guys. They are champion players, and when they have to win, they will win , be it against Fed or other GOATs, you just name them.


jane Says:

blah, I’d agree about Roddick-Isner. That loss surprised me. Didn’t see it coming.

As for Fed/Delpo, you make good points. I guess I was watching from a different perspective: Delpo is a very determined player; his best surface is hardcourt; and he’d ploughed his way through the draw, which wasn’t an easy one. He’d won Washington over Roddick and he was in the final at Canada and kept it very close against Murray. Plus, when I saw the way he played Fed at the FO, my gut feeling was that the next time these two meet, Delpo will win. I kind of felt that way after Djoko’s USO final in 07 vs. Fed; that the next time they meet Djoko has a good shot at the win, because he really could’ve been up two sets to love if he hadn’t've been so nervous. Delpo handles his nerves and the big stage better. I was not shocked at all by that win. As I said, in my gut it was a 60/40 proposition in Fed/Delpo. But that’s just me.

Kohls over Djok was surprising to a degree like Cilic over Murray but neither of them freaked me out that much, since Kohls occasionally does that (e.g. taking out Roddick at AO 08) and Cilic is a great hardcourt player. But, I was surprised that both lost in straight sets, and especially with how Cilic beat Murray in the last 2 sets.

I mean isn’t Davydeko’s win over Fed at the WTF MORE of a surprise? I know Davy can play well, but that surprised me more than Delpo winning the USO, even if it was best of 3.


huh Says:

OHHHhhhh My GoD! What a BRRRRILLLLIANT post by DD on Dec8, 9.50 a.m.! DD really is a sensational blogger, I thorouhgly agree with Madmax. Kudos DD, KUDOS!


jane Says:

I also see what you mean about Murray vs. Verdasco blah; I did, at the time, find that one more shocking, since Verdasco had never really played like that before. In hindsight it doesn’t seem as shocking because Verdasco had a consistently great year, his best. But back in January it was surprising to me, and to many, because Murray finished 2008 on such a strong note, reaching the USO finals, beating Fed at the YEC, and began this year by beating BOTH Fed and Nadal in AO warm up events.

So yeah, you’re right. That win by Verdasco was more of an upset, in some ways, than Cilic’s win over Murray at the USO, although that was surprising too. Again, mainly because it was straight sets, with Murray going rather quietly in the last two sets.


jane Says:

I will second huh’s compliments; DD, you do write some top-rate posts and I enjoy reading them, just as much as I enjoy and laugh at your grouchy posts, like when Fed loses and you write “Federer sucks” or when you write “I hate tennis” LOL. Clearly you’re very invested in the sport, and that’s cool. If you do apply for the writing job at TT, I will make a point of reading your blogs, but please don’t stop posting here, because we’d miss ya!


madmax Says:

Dont know what’s happened here, but for some reason just wrote a long blog and zap, kapoosh! Gone!


madmax Says:

I’m going to try again.

DD and everyone else, Jane, Huh, I love you, I love you! Yes I do!

Federer – well, you know this guy is someone who steps it up a level at the slams. Fine, USO is the final of the slams during any year, so think of it this way. Federer reaches AO final this year, plays a 5 setter, reaches FO final and wins, but en route, plays 2 5 setters against Haas and Delpo, THEN plays wimby and has an EPIC match, 5 setter plus (could we class a 7 setter? yeah, why not), THEN gets to the USO final and plays another 5 setter which he should have closed in 3 against Delpo at 5:4 third set. He didnt. Whatever.

So You gotta remember that 2010, new year, beginning of the year, fresh fed, new fed, new shots fed (which we will see some of these new shots in the one exo match and the abhu dhabi match prior to the AO.

SO, I am going to have to disagree with some of you. Fed is a different animal when he comes to the slams. I think next year is going to be a beauty.

And, DD,

you should get the job as TOP Tennis writer at TT, and WHEN you do, can I put in my first request that you write some beautiful articles about federer please? plus you still continue to write her – Am echoing Jane’s sentiments.


jane Says:

madmax – you’re sweet! I love your utter dedication to Fed. So do you think he will do even better in slams next year, i.e. win more than two of them? It will be interesting to see. There is little doubt that this year was an incredibly successful season for him.

Cheers! : )


devastatingdjokovic Says:

I’m really flattered by all your comments, but I still don’t see where it says they’re hiring or whatever.

Writing about Federer is getting ridiculous. There’s so much written about him and so much more to write. My first article would have to be about the overall state of the game.


Andrew Miller Says:

Shocking as it may be, I put my money on the underdogs in 2010: Roddick, Davydenko, Verdasco, and a comeback year for Nadal. If Federer has his standard motivation, he might get number 16 and possibly # 17. Del Potro should be in the mix also, as should Soderling who has nothing to lose. I dont expect much from Tsonga (injured often) or Murray (underperforms at key moments) or even Djokovic (great player until the semifinals). I put my money on players that are still improving. At this point, those guys are Roddick, Davydenko and Verdasco; an inspired Nadal, Del Potro and Federer would be the favorites, with Roddick, Daveydenko and Verdasco the challengers. Dont even think for a second that Davydenko doesnt want some slam glory. He’s probably got some big ideas, and with his brother as coach it could be a Mary Pierce situation: one final burst to a big title before it’s too late.


Andrew Miller Says:

I forgot about Baggy. He had a good 2nd half to the season. He could play back into the mix like Verdasco.


madmax Says:

DD,
stop whinging man! (*air hug to DD),

Email directly to the address i gave you above (twice now!) – NO ONE asks maxi to repeat something three times! (soderling styley!) –

if you have any concerns DD, then state them – there is no way that anyone would expect you to report on matches for free!!!! c’moon man! Use ya god given intelligence! You’ll be paid – ask how much they are charging and just bloody well go for it – we’ll all support you! – (you know you want to!).

And DD,

that is where you are wrong – ALL THEY WRITE ABOUT ON TT IS RAFA, you will hardly find a federer article over there – trust me – I should know.

All the best.
xxx


madmax Says:

Jane,

I think federer will do extremely well. I think he will be refreshed and ready to go for AO, to put behind him the AO of last year, he should be playing more freely and swinging that godgiven racquet of his. Now is the time to reap, reap, and reap some more.

He will be in great shape. I believe in his team and moreso in him.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

So my essay was slightly above 500 words (1200+). But before I submit it I wanna see what you guys think.

http://pastebin.com/m20a17d41


jane Says:

DD: It’s a great essay; do you think they’ll mind if it’s over double the length?

A couple of “english teacher” notes: there is a typo at the beginning of paragraph 4, where “and” should be “an”. I would also say that your first line should read, “it was 2005″ not “it’s 2005″ just to keep verb tenses consistent.

I loved that match! You capture the drama AND the tennis of it very well. You also do some good foreshadowing at the end, in terms of its meaning to each player’s career. Safin was a brilliant “flash” – like a comet or a shooting star. Fed is a stalwart star, up there each night shining away. Both are amazing in their own right – one ephemeral; one meant to last.

Cheers! And best of luck DD, but you must not leave us entirely for greener pastures! : )


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Thanks Jane. I would’ve never noticed those errors.

I don’t know if they’ll mind if it’s double the length. I have absolutely no idea. But how am I supposed to write something shorter? Should I just pick a 2 set match? That’s the only way I could write something shorter :P


jane Says:

Here’s another simile DD: Safin is like that one exciting lightning storm in the summer, one that just blows you away as you sit watching it, in awe. Federer is like a sunny day in July; the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the sky is clear – another great day for which to be thankful. Fed fans have had a lot of sunny clear and beautiful days; Safin’s fans have enjoyed those sudden storms that came around from time to time, to wake us up to nature’s power.

lol

: D


jane Says:

DD: Maybe when you submit it just make a note that this is your favorite match of all time so you couldn’t leave anything out? I suppose you could edit a bit in the intro or conclusion. Maybe leave out the point about Houston, and Fed/Safin’s match history. But on the other hand, I found that stuff interesting because I didn’t know about it. It also shows your “tennis geekness” – and I mean that in the sweetest way.


Luke Johnson Says:

DD – If you are serious about getting more involved in writing tennis blogs (i.e., write for tennis-x) shoot me email and we can begin a conversation. You can use the “email” link in the bottom right corner of this page.

If anyone else is ever interested in writing here you can do the same. While we haven’t advertised or sought out writers, we are always looking for passionate tennis fans who can positively contribute to this site.

Luke


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Haha I could’ve been a lot worse… or better, however you look at it. I was thinking about adding more stats but I didn’t feel like looking it all up. I figure it’d be good to show them that I know a thing or 2 or thousand about tennis. Cutting stuff out would still leave me well over 500 words so I might as well just go all out.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Ohhh no way, I didn’t know I can apply here. I’d much rather blog here. Tennistalk is just… I’ll just stick with unfamiliar.


huh Says:

madmax, you are much more lovely than I would ever be! YOU ARE THE SWEETEST! :)


huh Says:

Mrs. Jane also is too good! :)


huh Says:

DD, your essay was INCREDIBLE, probably better than I coulda ever expected from even the most passionate, wise and involved of the writers on tennis, not to mention objective and unbiased, SO COMPLETELY SATISFYING! I can’t say any article has impressed me more than the one you have wrote describin SAFIN-FED thing! WHAT A GEM! Right among my all-time fave ones, it’d remain. YOU’RE JUST STUNNING! :) HUGE KUDOS DD! LOVED IT MAN, LOVED IT!


huh Says:

Safin even would be proud to read that article of yours, I am not kidding! I mean how can anyone describe your piece as anything short of BEAUTIFUL??!!


huh Says:

DD, Safin even would be proud to read that article of yours, I am not kidding! I mean how can anyone describe your piece as anything short of BEAUTIFUL??!!


huh Says:

Sorry for my poor english, but I intend to say that DD’s article is BEAUTIFUL and nothing else or less would suffice.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Thanks huh, and Jane. I wouldn’t say it was unbiased. I don’t know. I guess it was evened out since I love both of them.

I doubt Safin would care about my article. Sigh Safin. Speaking of the former number 1, he’s running for VP of the Russian Olympic Committee.


madmax Says:

darling DD!

Just got back home and even before I have made a coffee, I have read your article – before I comment on it in whole, would like to point out a few typos (you can pay me for the proof reading some other time *wink*).

(It may be that someone has already done this, if so, apologies) – I havent read all the blogs but will do later.

1. Line 1 – you’ve missed “an” in “an early break”.

2. first page, 8th Line down – you’ve missed “number 1″, you just put “1″.

3. Line 8, you refer to “symbolized”. I think this is the American spelling? If you are American then “z” is okay, but as I am british, we say “symbolise”. Semantics.

3. first page, 7th line down – you refer to federer changing his shirt (singular), but then say “blue ones” (signifying plural blue shirts). Presumably he changed his blue shirt ONCE?

4. You missed out the word “one” as in “one of the greatest players” – this was on the 19th Line.

DD,

You need to a maximum of 500 words (with a few over being allowed I am sure).

Also, I think this has generated some interest from Tennis.x which is great news. You now have to put your business head on and ask them if they are prepared to pay YOU for any articles that YOU write. YOU dont come cheap and then cut a deal. Okay?(*blowing a kiss*).

Finally,

Loved the article.

Now for coffee and a bit to eat but will chat later.


madmax Says:

DD,

I see Jane already pointed out “an” to you, so you have two women now on your case!

Huh! Where have you been? Where are you from?


jane Says:

DD – “Speaking of the former number 1, he’s running for VP of the Russian Olympic Committee.”

Oh that is great to hear! I am so happy to hear that he is staying involved in athletics and maybe we’ll see his brilliant smile from time to time.

I think you should write Luke, and if you think it’s a good deal, STAY HERE! : )

madmax – whoa! You should take up an editing job. Good eye.

Huh – you get my vote as one of the most enthusiastic posters at Tennis X; whenever you pop up hear you have great and often passionate things to say about players/posters/matches, etc.


madmax Says:

Jane,

I have just had a blast of pure caffeine – canot beat coffee when you need to keep going, right?

Great to see you here –
(*tapping fingers on table*) – pooh! Why cant tennis be played every single day of the year?- in fact – we should all be allowed “TENNIS DAYS” OFF, forget the monarchy, and bank holidays, bring on the tennis days and why cant you guys live just around the corner from me? You could come round and I could cook dinner – this cyberspace is magical and incredible – but sometimes you just want your tennis buddies to be right there, know what I mean?

DD,

If you do get the job – remember that tennis.x is a far better forum. Simple


devastatingdjokovic Says:

The max is 500? So should I just cut out half?

I definitely need to email Luke… I’m not really sure what I should say to him, though.


Long Live the King Says:

dd :

nice article. all the best. if that site is as anti-fed as mad-max claims, i am not sure a pro-fed article like this will get you good points :(

from seeing ur posts the past few yrs, u r more suited to tennis-x than other PC sites :)

jane:

thnx for the fed love :) u seem to have finally woken up on the rite side of bed ;) keep the love coming :) oh yea gr8 similies :) u shuld get into tennis writing too :)


Long Live the King Says:

madmax :

u r sweet with a capital S. hope to have dinner with u, while we watch Rog play :)


madmax Says:

anytime Longlive, anytime (*blowing BIG kiss!*).

DD,

firstly,

Longlive is right. And Contador (when she reappears!), will also vouch for the TT site being pro rafa and anti fed – the problem is simple. Both the key writers for TT are pro rafa and therefore it is their right to write what they want, but it is kind of boring now. They have dug up the AO fed crying again (oh my, oh my). If you dont believe me, go check it out _ seriously boring forum, yawn, yawn. DD, you would bring some sparkle into the likes of the wanna be writers over there.

In terms of you DD, you must do what YOU feel is best. You can glide very easily between the two forums, and I think would be quickly respected by the posters over there, then you would get the usual scum sucking piranas who would want to bring you down, but you are made of fine manly stuff -am sure of it – and with your wealth of tennis knowledge, leaving me with my mouth the shape of an ‘O’ and AGOG!, (like Bruno in the boy in the striped pyjamas – Jane have you read this book? John Boyne – it’s fab),DD, you would blow ‘em all away – it’s what the forum needs – a breath of fresh air –

I still think its a toss up between DD, Jane and Margot – that doesnt mean you leave tennis.x at all, it just means you get paid for something you love and are great at doing, then once you have written your article DD, you shimmey back over here and blind us all with dazzle again – it’s a win, win.

Re: the 500 words.

I would go up to 600 (examining bodies always allow an “extra 100 words” with no penalising – and kind of whittle away at it – final piece – am happy to proof read – in terms of SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar), along with Jane, am sure – you have until 21st December. I just want some of the posters over there who have nothing better to do than scream criticism at everyone, to loll back like a well fed tigress, and admire the might of the DD!!!!


madmax Says:

MESSAGE TO LUKE JOHNSON:

Do serious bloggers get paid for writing tennis articles on this forum? would be interested to know?


tenisbebe Says:

DD says: “But now that you bring it up, I’m expecting Del Potro to really work on his fitness during the off season. Besides improving his technical flaws, I’d say his fitness is the most important thing he needs to improve.”

Yes, this has been discussed & dissected for well over a year now amongst tennis fans – delpo’s fitness issues. But I for one find this “working on it in the off-season” statements by the men players questionable as it is only 3 weeks long!


Long Live the King Says:

maddie, thnx for the kiss, right back at ya ;)

just for the heck of it, i want to submit an essay citing the madrid final as the greatest match played, ever. :D

u think that wuld be a good x-mas present for the anti-fed morons out there? hehe lol


tenisbebe Says:

DD – have you submitted your essay to TT yet? I believe they really want it kept to 500 words as one of the points of the exercise is to see if a writer is capable of condensing their thoughts/arguments, etc. & that is the ideal article length (in their opinion). Good luck to you!


jane Says:

Ha Ha Long Live – yes, very cheery today I guess. ; )

But you should know that although Fed has never been my favorite player to cheer for (as if he needs me anyhow!), it’s not like I am blind to his sublime, exceptional talent for shot-making and seemingly flawless and effortless movement around the court. It’s there for the entire world to see! Not to mention all those records and trophies. His accomplishments speak VOLUMES beyond what I could say. I guess I tend to cheer for the underdogs and the guys who break out now and then. Typically I never cheer for the team or players winning all the time; it would suit my angst ridden style. LOL!!!

I look forward to seeing what Fed does next year, and for his sake, I’d be truly happy for him to win the gold medal in singles at 2012 Olympics. But then he has to retire immediately…

Just kiddin madmax!! LOL.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Hahahahahahaha LLtK.

Tenisbebe, it’s an unfortunate truth. It makes me a little sad, even.


jane Says:

ATP picked these players at the “players of the year” and although I can see why most made the list, I am surprised — and yes, biased — to see these guys left off:

1. Verdasco: hello? The guy had a break through year and did well at both hardcourt slams, not to mention reaching the WTFs.

2. Roddick: hello!!!! Andy reached his BEST Slam results since 2003 this year other than the USO where he suffered a surprising defeat. He may not have racked up the titles but he was a contender/finalist for a lot of them; he’d've been on my list, even though he ended the year on a low note.

and for me of course

3. Djokovic: hello? Sure, he may not have excelled at Grand slams, and he began the year on a low-ish note, but he lit up the clay season and the indoor hardcourt season, both when others were struggling. He also won more matches than any other player all year. For me – yes I am biased, I know! – he’d've been on the list.

Ferrero and Haas surprised me a little; I wouldn’t've expected to see them there, but not so much Steps. He did have a great season and was often really fun to watch. Other “veteran” players, like Hewitt, also had pretty great season, Hewitt picking up a title (or two) and making it all the way to the quarters at Wimbledon all while fighting back from hip surgery.

Fed, Murray, Delpo – these are obvious choices.

Nadal is left off for obvious reasons, having missed Wimbledon, and having lost early at RG.

But again – his fight back after injured was nothing short of great. He got to the semis at the USO, the finals at Shanghai, the quarters (or was it semis!) at Paris. Not too shabby. And of course the early part of the season he was stellar, and fantastic on clay, as always. He probably would be on my list — heck he missed a big chunk of the season and still was within striking range to taking back number 1. AND HE won Davis Cup. YES -I include Rafa on my list.

Okay – rant done. : )


jane Says:

Oops forgot to include the link. ha ha. Here it is – ATP’s list:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2009/12/Players-Of-The-Year.aspx


Long Live the King Says:

jane :

thnx for more fed love :) gold medal in singles at 2012 Olympics, tht wuld be madmax-level sweet ;)

retirement? fed’s love for tennis and his ability to plan his schedule r so unique. haven’t seen any sportsman in the same league on those 2 fronts :)
I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in main-draw wimbledon, the yr a-rod predicted the twins to be in the wimby final :D


tenisbebe Says:

Jane – re: ATP top players of 2009. OK – why was Murray on the list? Because he got to number 2 for a brief time? I realize that he won 2 Masters (Miami & Toronto) but n my mind he was the disappointment of the year, having been picked to win both the AO and USO, getting no further than the round 16 in either. His run at Wimby was exciting I must say, with the Queen saying she would attend the final if he made it. He just has to win that one day for the Brits. Roddick, Djoko, (for the reasons you stated), Fed (for obvious reasons), Hewitt, the Worm, Davydenko, Delpo and of course, Rafa. Why in the world did they not include Rafa? I mean he did win the AO, which very few pundits expected. Lordy, we do have high expectations for the lad.

Am hoping the Chardy and Simon can step up in ’10 – am a big fan of Simon’s & most of the other Frenchmen.


Long Live the King Says:

jane :

surprised to not c djok n rafa there. dd shuld maybe pity the atp n join them as they desperately need some1 insightful.

wat abt the forgotten ND, DAVYDENKO. does he have to become Pope to get some atp-love?

we can only hope, the list is in 2parts. else it reflects bad on atp.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

What was the criteria for determining players of the year? Surely a slam is enough to be on the list (Nadal).


Kimmi Says:

Just got back from a long day and what do I see….WOOOWOW !! DD, the essay is brilliant, brought back great memories. That was a great match though i was sad for day fed lost. I like that Luke Johnson gave you the go ahead to apply here too. Do it man, you will bring a fresh mind to the tennis-x. I do have to agree with others, you are writing wonderful and informative posts, always enjoying reading them.

Looking at the ATP player of the year list, I am trying to figure out why ATP made these selections. I have also been following their 2009 other reviews this week and I have to say some of their selections have been strange.
Anyhow, this is what I think

1. Federer – for obvious reasons
2. Delpo – Biggest breakthrough of the year- No one expected him to win a grandslam
3. Murray – could be because he won most titles this season and break fed /Rafa 1/2 monopoly, I think ATP find that a big deal maybe (but generally not impressed with his performance throughout the year especially after losing his ranking at the end of the year)
4. Soderling – same as del potro and beating Nadal was the biggest upset of the decade.
5. Haas, JCF – Late career comebacks and huge ranking jumps.
6. Stepanek – Could be same as 4, great comeback – winning tournaments after so many years without one (Is he over 30 too, I think he gets points for that)?

I am leaning slightly into agreeing with jane about Djoko though I would not call his year extraordinary (because I think he had better years than this), for the reasons of most matches won in 2009, also winning back to back titles for the first time in his career.

For nadal standards, this year is a disappointment in a way, even though he is won AO (somebody else would love to have his year but not Nadal). The tournaments that he has shined before was a disappointment (RG and Wimbledon), he missed two big months due to injury to come back with the worst performance (the manner in which he lost matches) since last 4 or 5 years of his career. IMO Nadal was not extraordinary.

I also agree with jane about Roddick and verdasco. They should have extended that list to 10 maybe. Wimbledon performance was a exceptional for Roddick after so many years of not so good GS performance and verdasco as you have mentioned above, great year for him topping it with a WTF performance. I would throw in Davydenko too..great performance in WTF – biggest title of his career.


Kimmi Says:

Typo, s/b stepanek – same as 5 NOT 4.


jane Says:

Kimmi — you said it right — “They should have extended that list to 10 maybe.”


madmax Says:

Jane,

dont worry about me! you can support (and do!), whoever you want – I am not one of those posters who doesnt respect others comments – i love reading your posts and your analysis – you are really cool. the fact that I am a psycho fed fan doesnt mean that i cannot appreciate others playing – This is the best tennis era ever, so many fantastic players – i am loving it!

Longlive!

You should write an article too – you say the madrid final? or the madrid semi final with djoko and nadal? (that was so close, djoko should have won it, but choked at the last minute (with so many match points), tho’ equally you could say, rafa just would not give in! he was gunning for the win in the SF, but then had the mighty, magical federer who was out for the kill that day, beautiful day, beautiful final – oh yes – !!!!!!

tennisbebe,

murray was supposed to win not just the AO and the USO, but also the FO, wimby, all the masters series this year, in fact, every goddamn tournament there is in tennis.

He is the “THE” No. 1, dont ya know – and I am NOT kidding. He is the king supreme whenever you have skysports on TV, its always murray on first in any of the picture shots, roger, rafa, novak come way down on the list – we get this every year –

It reminded me of when “they”, the “media” put murray before Novak in terms of winning AO this year (let alone rafa No.1 and roger No.2), Novak came out and said – hey – I’m the no.3 and I have a slam, dont forget that!, he was rightly “hissed” off – it’s just murray hype all the way for any tournament. What bugs me is that shouldnt the No.1 be in the FIRST match on any court? I dont know whether this is the case, but I thought it was tennis etiquette? well, it doesnt happen over in UK. Murray was the FIRST one to play on centre court with the new roof, he was put FIRST to play before roger at Barclays ATP (whenever murray plays and its brit TV reporting, the schedules accommodate to fit around murray – personally – I think it is disrespectful, i really do.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Regarding “players of the year”:

-Federer should get the nod for obvious reasons.
-Del Potro should get the nod for an incredible breakthrough year.
-Ferrero, Hewitt, and Haas should not be on that list. They didn’t put Nadal on because he missed a huge chunk of the year despite winning a slam. These 3 made QFs and a semi amongst each other at 1 big event. They made 0 noise everywhere else. Since when is performing well on grass the end all be all?
-Murray belongs there for an overall great year and being the first Brit to win 6 titles in a year and reaching the number 3 then 2 ranking. He also improved his best results at 2 of the slams and won 2 MS.
-Djokovic should be on the list for winning the most matches. That itself is enough to make someone a “player of the year”. In addition, Djokovic won 5 titles, made 4 MS finals plus 1 win, and had decent results at the slams (only failed to reach the QF once).
-Stepanek deserves to be there for his DC heroics and having solid results throughout the year.
-Verasco had a great year for himself but he didn’t do all that much.
-Davydenko was like “player of the second half of the year”. He missed several months which would explain why he isn’t up there.
-Roddick should be up there for his Wimbledon final if nothing else. That was a final that really helped tennis stay in mainstream media for several weeks, something that hasn’t happened in a long long long time.
-Soderling played great against Federer at the USO, and great during his FO run. He also had good-great results since his breakthrough tournament.

In other…old news, did anyone see the Safin-Del Potro match? I was watching some highlights today and they played a helluva match. Probably Safin’s best match of the year. Also the best I’ve seen him return serve in 3 god forsaken years. Nice to see Del Potro give it his all in between all his ailments and injuries.


jane Says:

Here R.Dimon has grades the top 50 players, many of which I agree with, but some of which I do not. I believe he’s done the entire top 100 in the ATP rankings, but I haven’t seen the second half. I didn’t know Blake had dropped so far down!

http://www.tennistalk.com/en/blog/Ricky_Dimon/20091211/2009_ATP_Tour_gades,_from_1_to_100_(part_2)


devastatingdjokovic Says:

“James Blake: F – Injuries + brainless ball-bashing + splitting from long-time coach + loss after loss = F”

The hilarious yet unfortunate truth.

Each player seemed to be graded on their own standards which makes it a little confusing when you see both Ferrero and Federer got A+’s. Judging by the same standards, just about everyone would get F’s compared to Federer. But one thing I’m tired of hearing is “Ferrero did well on his least favorite surface and blah blah blah.” Ferrero has shown in the last 3 or so years that he enjoys playing on grass and performs well there. I understand he’s spanish and a former FO champ, but he’s always been good on hardcourts reaching the finals of the USO and semis of AO (I don’t know what else) so his results on grass aren’t shocking. Nadal has 4 FO’s and he WON Wimbledon. Does anyone wanna tell me it’s “shocking” Nadal did well on his “least favorite surface”.

Speaking of Ferrero, in my previous post I said he shouldn’t be one of the players of the year and I’m sticking to it. However, I’ve always enjoyed watching him play. Hits so well and so clean off both sides.


jane Says:

Agree very much re: Ferrero DD – on pretty much all counts, I am with ya.


tenisbebe Says:

DD – completely disagree that Blake’s firing of his longtime coach is a negative. imo he DEFINITELY needed to split with Brian Barker & get a new perspective in these twilight years. So so glad they split & perhaps James will rethink his go-for-broke approach.


tenisbebe Says:

madmax (love that name!) – re: Murray-AO. Yes, I remember Novak’s reaction when the press told him Murray was the favorite (for the AO) – he was gracious but very surprised.

“What bugs me is that shouldnt the No.1 be in the FIRST match on any court? I dont know whether this is the case, but I thought it was tennis etiquette?”

Tennis etiquette? No it has to do with a variety of factors which include seeding, TV coverage & alternating matches on each side of the draw. For example (using a 1 wk tournament), on Weds (1st day the top 4 played due to byes) in Cincy this year, the schedule looked like this on Center Ct:
11am – Djokovic(4)/Ljubicic followed by Fed(1)/Acasuso followed by Murray(3)/Almagro followed by Nadal(2)/Seppi (this match finished past 7:30pm) & Roddick (5) was scheduled for the night match. People can jump up and down & scream & yell that Roddick as #5 shouldn’t have gotten the night match but it was played in the US & that’s the TD’s perogative having looked at European time differences (ie: 1pm EST = 7pm CET)


Kimmi Says:

“People can jump up and down & scream & yell that Roddick as #5 shouldn’t have gotten the night match but it was played in the US & that’s the TD’s perogative having looked at European time differences (ie: 1pm EST = 7pm CET)”

Exactly tenisbebe, or it could just be because Roddick is American playing at home, a lot of US fans wants to watch him..he gets prime time TV. Same reason could also apply to Murray scheduled first or last match playing in the UK.

madmax – regarding murray playing first with the roof at wimby, I think it was just a coincidence. At wimbledon 1st match on centre court is traditionally the defending champion. Not Murray or anybody else was able to break that tradition. This year it was federer the ’08 runner-up because nadal pulled out.

We saw how great the weather was almost the whole tourney. Murray was scheduled to play the last match of the day almost everytime he played and this could be due to the reasons tenisbebe mentioned above. The day he got the roof was because his match was late to start, I can’t remember if there was rain but I think the previous matches on centre court took longer to finish hence the reasons Murray got the roof. I don’t think this was planned that Murray will be the first to use it…Thats what I think, I could be wrong though.


Kimmi Says:

Australian Open – Safina an injury doubt for Australia

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/11122009/58/australian-open-safina-injury-doubt-australia.html

Now I really believe her poor performance since US open must be due to this injury. If she cannot play in Jan 3rd, that will be two months since she pulled out of YEC. Must be a serious injury. Wishing her all the best.


tenisbebe Says:

Kimmi says “Exactly tenisbebe, or it could just be because Roddick is American playing at home, a lot of US fans wants to watch him..he gets prime time TV. Same reason could also apply to Murray scheduled first or last match playing in the UK.”

Yes, Kimmi, you’ve nailed it. Lordy, lordy I go thru this explanation about 7 times a year. Look, if you are a Tournament Director & you are dealing with EDT, the most logical thing is to schedule the top (European) players (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray) so that that can be seen live in Europe which MEANS you schedule them for the day matches (which in the beginning of the tournament is quite crowded). In contrast, it makes sense to schedule the North American players (Roddick, Blake, Fish, Dansevic, etc) for the NIGHT sessions so that they are also seen during Prime Time. This is not disrespectful but LOGICAL.


margot Says:

kimmi: u r right re Andy and roof. In fact he was expecting to play in the open and having to play with the roof on completely threw him and he nearly lost the match, if you remember. He is a delicate flower, isn’t he…….??
dd: in spite of you being v. tough on Andy your comments are always v. fair and I appreciate that. Andy had injuries, illnesses etc etc and still had a pretty good year, doing better in two of the slams than previously. Bring on 2010!!


madmax Says:

tennisbebe and kimmi – yes – i see what you are saying about TV schedules – but honestly, murray is treated like a king over here (yes, i suppose he should be in a way – but it smacks of desperation to me )- a bit more respect should be given to the world no.1, world no.2 and world no.3, all of whom have won at least ONE slam – i could go on about this forever –

Jane,

thanks for the link on bodo’s comments. I have copied this excerpt – and have to say that I think bodo is becoming senile –

‘As crazy as the WTF seemed, keep in mind that there was no real reason for Federer to plead fatigue; he hardly played after the U.S. Open. Nadal, who benefitted from a far smaller workload in ’09, did not play like a well-rested contender hungry to take the fifth-most prestigious prize in men’s tennis’.

Of course, I respect all of you massively, but bodo forgets that surely having reached all 4 grand slams and apart from one (FO), the rest were all 5 setters, does he not think that the “fatigue” federer was suffering was due to him being the ONLY man to reach all four finals this year, that it gonna catch up with the fed? I mean, right now bodo needs to take a breath.

Fatigue affects people in so many ways, i could get all psychological here and so I will touch on a theory.

How tough must it be and have been for roger – mentally – to hold on to the No.1 spot and keep reaching those finals of the grand slams over the last 4 plus years ? I mean? Hellloooooo? Is there anybody there? tough! tough! tough!

Bodo needs a break, he’s getting fatigued right now.

Federer wisely chooses his tournaments.

I think rafa will come back stronger, I think that novak has a point to prove, I am still “out” on delpo right now, davy, not sure, fed – hell – motivated like never before – i have every confidence in federer, he may not win everything anymore, but i am telling you that the slams is where his mindset is – that’s where his focus is. 2010, am just going to continue to support the fed and what will be, will be.

He has said he wants to play for as long as Jimmy connors, who I think from my research continued playing until he was 40? is that right? oh my god!

Go fed go!


madmax Says:

Margot,

I know you love Andy, and I remember you saying you saw him at Barclays ATP this year, I know therefore that asking you a question on Murray, you would be objective with all of your experience, but do you think that the media EVERY YEAR just hypes up murray more and more? and do you really feel this is fair in view of the other players ahead of him? Would be really interested in your viewpoint here.


margot Says:

madmax: agree re media and murray and I don’t think it does him any favours either. I think expectation was too much for Henman at Wimbledon too. He was a fine volleyer and grass really suited his game. To be honest, I pay little attention to the media, they set people up, only to destroy them. Look at what is happening to Tiger Woods. Yes, he’s been a bad boy, but that’s his business and his poor long suffering wife’s, isn’t it? Far, far worse when politicians show their contempt for morality because they actually try and tell the rest of us how to behave.
I still think you should leave the country for a short holiday in Switzerland when Wimbles is on! Or are you in the ballot for tickets?


madmax Says:

Margot,

can you believe that I have received the application form this morning – seriously – just completed it – and am about to post it – haha! margot! feel like am walking on air – the very thought that i could get to wimby in 6 months time – whoooo hooooo, and see my beloved fed – and do you know what ? if i dont get lucky, I will pay £200 for a ticket to see him in the final! (ya see, ya gott think positive!). I just can hardly sleep for thinking about it, and after all of DD’s comments that he has seen fed play, and describing his game, it just makes me more determined to try and get to see him as many times as possible – I am counting the pennies to see if I can fly out to Abhu dhabi on 31 Dec, but it clashes with new year crowd at airport and possible UK strikes, I would be gutted if that happened – so will see -

I have just seen the news on Tiger Woods Margot, and I know private life is private life – but am sorry – the guy is a jerk – 13 ‘alleged’ mistresses? Jeezzzzzz how did he have the time? the energy? and how could he? those 2 little babies – they keep showing the footage of him handing little baby no. 2 to beautiful wife and baby stretching out for dad – ugh! horrible. But like you say, its their business and it has nothing to do with anyone except them – but you gotta feel for the wife here – she should get on outta there –

Yes, i see what you mean about going to switzerland, but then roger will be over here – and what would be the point?

Have you been to wimby before? I hear the strawberries and cream are delicious!


madmax Says:

I just love tennis. I feel half alive without it on TV – i know, i know, looking at the sky recordings of lots of matches for this year – and I gotta say when fed was on match point at FO, and held back a muffled sob, I was in tears at that point – did anyone else see that? or did you miss it? so poignant – Margot – I love him. why is that? He is a married man! but you know what I mean.


tenisbebe Says:

madmax – you are truly “mad”!!


tenisbebe Says:

Athlete of the Decade – Tiger Woods ?

tee hee


Kimmi Says:

tenisbebe, good one. Woods have done remarkable in this decade too but with all the controversy surrounding him at the moment, it certainly put Federer at the top.


tenisbebe Says:

Kimmi – I agree that Tiger is just too hot right now as much I feel that his current personal problems should not effect how he’s judged as a sportsman. However, most of the talk that I have seen has Lance Armstrong at #1 for the decade with 6 back-to-back Tour de France’s. We’ll see on the 16th.


blah Says:

this decade- it’s definitely Federer.


margot Says:

Folks! The sportsman of the decade has gotta be Ben Ainslie, if you’ve never heard of him, go look him up and salute him!


Kimmi Says:

Tenisbebe – lance Amstrong has done remakable in Tour de France, I am not a big follower of cycling but I hear it is one of most (or the most?) gruelling race/s in the world, but I am curious to know if cycling have other majors in a year apart from Tour de france? Would it be correct to say winning tour de france 6 consecutive times is similar to winning say wimnbledon six times in a row? My question is, why only one event for Lance to be considered athlete of the decade?


jane Says:

tenisbebe, this article concurs that Tiger shouldn’t be discounted because of his personal issues:

http://newsandsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/524607.html?nav=5064


jane Says:

I don’t even know half these people as I am not a sports junkie (love tennis like hockey) but here are some apparent contenders:

http://sportsfly.wordpress.com/2008/12/23/top-athletes-of-the-decade-2000s/


Kimmi Says:

jane, Thanks for the contenders list. Federer seem to be not in the top 10 but rather at the bottom where they have him as “Honorable mention”, do you understand what this mean ?


jane Says:

Kimmi, I think it means that those people who are responsible for that website are oblivious to how great of a sport tennis is!! ; ) LOL

I just thought it was interesting to see the vast variety of sports’ contenders for this “so-called” tribute/ nomination of best athlete of the decade — I mean who could pick ONE!?? It’s beyond me. It’s like picking best song, or best band, or best academic, or best movie of the decade. In my opinion it’s all but impossible! Why not just recognize the athletes in each sport who contributed a lot / even the most!

Anyhow, it’s not a real award is it? It’s a poll, somewhat ad hoc, to promote sport in general maybe?


madmax Says:

athlete of the year has to be federer – it just has to be – how many sports are out there that can truly call the sport, a “sport”, where an athlete potentially is moving every goddamn o be federer – muscle of his body for at least 5 hours? c’moon! no way can golf be compared to tennis – golf is a game. Not a sport.Tennis is for ‘real men’ yes, i know that usain bolt is a real man, but to run for 9.58 seconds flat cannot be compared to a 5 hour stint – it has to be federer – the man is a GOLIATH. But it’ll be an American hearthrob from NFL who’ll win – that’s the way it works right?

Margot,

Ben Ainslie – was he the olympic medalist for sailing?


jane Says:

madmax, the term being thrown around is “athlete of the DECADE” not of the year, and while Fed is definitely that in terms of tennis, with Nadal at second, there are athletes in most sports who could be called contenders for “athlete of the decade”. That’s why it’s too tough to call.

I think it would make more sense to pick “tennis player of the decade” or “hockey player of the decade” or “soccer player of the decade” etc. It’s too hard to try and compare ALL SPORTS in my opinion, since they are have so many different variables.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

If we’re gonna call golf a sport then it’s gotta be Tiger. He’s been dominating the entire decade. Federer has been dominating for a better half of the decade. 2000-2003, Federer was just another player. He didn’t become The Federer until 2004. Imo, that’s the only argument that can be made against Federer. The ONLY one. Fed’s obviously not gonna be picked so I’m rooting for Phelps. I know how tough tennis is but swimming is even tougher. I used to do both and I remember I’d go from swim practice to tennis and it’d feel like I was going from a marathon sprint to a short jog. Tennis is tougher than about 90% of sports out there, but nothing compares to swimming. The way Federer has been so dominant on all surfaces (even clay if you exclude Nadal), Phelps is like that in swimming, which is even more incredible. Most swimmers specialize in a given stroke due to personal physique and also because the strokes are so different that it’s too difficult to become amazing at all of them. Phelps goes against everything we’ve come to expect from even the greatest of swimmers. Phelps won all 8 of his events at the Olympics last year. That’d be like Federer beating Nadal on clay one day, Djokovic on hard the next, Murray on grass the next, Davydenko indoors the next, and so on. There’s also so much less margin for error. Messing up on a flip turn is like dropping a set, you can still win but it’s not gonna be easy.

My honorable mentions are Tom Brady and Usain Bolt.


Kimmi Says:

Aaaarg! jane, I see what you mean. Really! That website doesn’t know tennis… Federer is not even in their top 10 list, they just had to “mention” his name in this page because he is way down their list.

Let’s hope “The Associated Press” members have brains because I think Federer deserves to be at least in the top 5.

While I agree with you that it’s tough to call for just one athlete, I still see it possible…they have to look at individual records from 2000-2009, who has dominated his sports for a longer period of time and at what level. Example if Tiger Woods has dominated for 8 yrs winning so many GS and finish as no.1 while federer dominated for 6 winning this number of GS, also finish as a world champ, then Tiger gets it.

People like Usain Bolt who is incredible; have started to make some noise since two years ago, not enough time imo. Michael Schumacher for example he retired in 2006 and won his last world championship in 2004. Although he also won in 2000-2003 in this decade.. he also won in 1994 and 1995..not this decade .

Anyways, it will be interesting to see who they pick, and what factors they use to make their choice. The results come out 16th December, right?


margot Says:

Lordy, lordy, never have I seen a more limited and biased list! (re: sportsfly)
madmax: Ben Ainslie, silver 2000, gold 2004, gold 2008, going for gold 2012. He is the most remarkable yachtsman, but quiet, unassuming, non-publicity seeking so only will sailing enthusiasts outside UK, have heard of him.
Of course Fed gets tennis player of year. His achievements continue to astound!


madmax Says:

Jane,

Yes, I see your point. It’s an impossible task, right?

Margot,

Yes. I watched Ainslie this year in Beijing – I didnt have time to read the link you kindly posted, but yes. There is a definite argument there. I honestly hadnt realised he had won so many medals – go Ben Ainslie!

DD,

have you sent your article yet? have you made all your amendments – deftly pointed out with love and affection by both Jane and I? (*wink*).

Now, I have to disagree with you about the swimming. Whilst I understand your natural L’amour with the Phelps, how long is he in the pool for? 60 seconds? 2 minutes? 1 minute 58 seconds? My point is, that tennis HAS to be THE toughest sport out there – gotta be – I cannot think of another sport out there which matches it in terms of time and ware and tare on the torso et al?!

By all means, point one out to me – footy. 90 minutes (with a 15 minute break inbetween). Rugby, 90 minutes with a 15 minute break inbetween, running, 100m (9+ seconds), 200m (19+ seconds),400m (50 secs?), etc.

PLUS, we have our favourite tennis players playing DAY IN, DAY OUT. Football, from week to week, rugby, 2 weeks to 2 weeks (or thereabouts), but tennis – we are talking about 320 days per year!

No DD, it has to be tennis. Gliding, bashing,hopping,twisting, whacking, loving it! leg splitting (novak!), he even brings gymnastics into the sport of tennis! – so, C’moon DD! let’s have some clarity here! (big hug),

TENNIS is where it is at!!!!!


devastatingdjokovic Says:

I don’t agree. It’s true that the actual events take far less time in swimming. But how did Phelps or any other swimmer become fast enough that they race for less than minutes at a time? Practice. Practice, practice, practice, practice, practice. Swim practice is the most grueling thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve never trained for the Olympics. Don’t forget the yardage that’s covered in a race. Then multiply that by 100000000 for each practice and there you go. When I compare tennis to swimming I feel like tennis is the easiest thing in the world. What should you work on to be a good tennis player? Overall endurance: make sure your legs and arms can go on forever without cramping. Consistency: know proper technique and practice until you hit ground strokes in your sleep. Good footwork: get a coach who knows good drills and you’re set.


madmax Says:

DD,

I respect your opinion my friend, BUT never in a million years could Mr. Phelps be compared to Mr. Federer in his chosen discipline, PLUS those ‘mermaid’ suits, “assist” (legetimately), the swimmer when in the pool.

I am not a strong swimmer, far from it, but I will agree that there would need to be a reflection of the focus from any competitor.

Practice, Practice, Practice, we agree on that one, for sure. But swimming is over in a flash, tennis can go on for hours – that’s the big difference and that is what maketh the man!

DD,

have you sent your article yet?


devastatingdjokovic Says:

No I haven’t gotten around to it.

The suits help swimmers the way racquets and strings help tennis players.

I can’t say I’ve played many grueling matches in my day but it was so rare for me to be too tired to keep playing. I can’t remember ever reaching a point during practice or in a match where I wanted to stop playing because I was too tired. Playing tennis itself is the easy part. It’s the training that the pros do to stay fit that makes it hard. Why do players like Djokovic and Nadal complain about the schedule then go and play a bunch of tournaments. Because playing matches really isn’t as bad as working out. The reason these guys want more off time is to have more time to work out, recover, then work out some more, and then recover again, and keep this cycle going for as long as possible before they have to start showing off their strength and endurance in matches.

In swimming, sure, the events themselves are over in a flash. If you put in a lot of effort into 3 events over the course of 2 hours, you’re not gonna feel it only slightly more than playing a full 3 sets over the same time. But then you go to practice and kill yourself with drills to the point where getting dressed takes 10 times longer than usual because everything aches too much. The actual sports themselves don’t even compares. Tennis doesn’t use half as many muscles in your body as swimming does.


Daniel Says:

DD, I must agree with you. I use to swim as a kid and one time I almost fainted coming out of the pool. Tennis can linger the pain more, but the effort to swim is like you are using almost all the muscles of your body, you are going against a fluid, you have to start the engine.

I also agree with you regarding Phelps, I am dying to see if he will became the first 3 time Swimming Olympic Gold Medalist come 2012. Untill this day there is NO dead or alive swim sportsman who have acomplished that.

A japanese guy can do that either in breaststroke, I think 100 m if I am not wrong.


madmax Says:

DD,

you know how much I love you and respect you, but we are going to have to agree to disagree.

I am also going to kick your butt for NOT sending your article in – hell – you have NOTHING to lose, do it for the helluva it and remember deadline is 21st December, make those amendments too!

C’moon DD!


djogonzo Says:

I hate Nadal and like TT… but im a noob so…. I will predict a 3-way rivalry Federer vs. Djokovic vs. del Potro for another year or 2 then take out Federer, maybe put in Cilic or Murray, though he’s gotta change something or Davydenko if he truly is immune to age. BTW, Davydenko missed the AO last year. 0 points to defend.Does he have a shot at #4-5? I worked out that Davydenko could be as high as 4 with a win+early Murray exit. I also worked it out. Djokovic passes Nadal even in the unlikely event that Nadal makes SFs and Djoker loses in RO16.DavyD doesn’t really need it as he really has no points to defend at all early on…


Nancy Says:

Rafa looked good today and with a bit more match play I think he is back in contention. He has modified his game. I love his attitude and determination and modesty. Federer was so lucky last year from Madrid (when Nadal was first injured) right through the French and Wimbledon, etc. In my eye, he has never been the Greatest of all time – just the luckiest.
I do not see Soderling as a serious threat.
Doha is a great practice site for these guys and Rafa would be crazy not to play that tournament.
I pick Rafa to come out on top in 2010.

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