Davydenko Does it Again, Beats Nadal for Doha Title
by Sean Randall | January 9th, 2010, 3:04 pm

Helluva match. Helluva way to open the 2010 tennis season! ADHEREL

Nikolay Davydenko has really come to play some ball this year, at least so far. Just a few hours ago Davydenko completed another improbable double – beating Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the same event – this time in Doha. Denko stormed back from a 0-6 fist set destruction and two matchpoints to outlast Nadal in the end 7-6(8), 6-4 in a terrific first title match of the new decade.

This was the Russian’s second straight win after his year-end victory in London where he also beat Federer and Nadal. Remarkable!

Davydenko has now won five of nine career meetings with Rafa including three straight and four of five. The guy just matches up really well with Rafa. It’s no surprise. His backhands, court positioning and angles really offset a of what Nadal offers.

Hell, the guy shook off a bagel still got Nadal. A great feat! How many can say they’ve done that?

In the bigger picture, we know Dayvdenko’s playing well, but well enough to reach a major final or even walk away with a Slam title? I’m still not convinced mentally he has that in him. He’s shown flashes in the past at the majors of semifinals but was never able to get over that hump. Maybe these recent wins will give him that added boost. Remember, he’s always been an “under the radar”, the underappreciated guy. Now he’s slowly stepping out of that role and maybe into a new one as favorite. Let’s see how he handles it.

For Nadal, no real cause for panic, yet. Winning isn’t easy when you haven’t won. Justine Henin had her foot on Kim Clijsters’ throat today, but couldn’t finish the job. Nadal had his on Denko’s, same result. Both players are great champions, but both haven’t won titles in so long – Nadal’s last in Rome, Henin a few year ago – that when you haven’t held up a trophy in a while it can be tough crossing that finish line. I think a little of that figured into what happened to both of them today, and of course the opponent as well.

Then again, I also have to ask when the last time Rafa had a real big match win in a tournament? This would have been it, but really since his win over Novak Djokovic in that epic Madrid match, he’s been thin on the quality wins. And that’s a little worrisome with the Australian Open just ahead where I’m sure he’ll run into another top player.

But Nadal should be encouraged by the week assuming his body/knees were fine afterward, and for him that’s the key. And he did feed Davydenko a bagel in that first set!

Overall, with the Clijsters-Henin and Davydenko-Nadal finals, what a spectacular way to begin the year – let’s hope the rest of the year can measure up! And we still have a potential good one later today with Andy Roddick and Radek Stepanek in Brisbane. I’ll pick Red, White and Blue in that one.

You Might Like:
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Davydenko Dumps Ailing Rafa, Meets Federer for Doha Title; Roddick, Soderling Nearing Brisbane Collision
Wozniacki Beats Schiavone, Secures WTA No. 1; Isner v. Monfils in France Friday
Henin, Sharapova Face Serbian Challenge at French Open

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97 Comments for Davydenko Does it Again, Beats Nadal for Doha Title

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Has Nadal beaten ANY top 8 players since May??

ThyGodisTennis Says:

Yeah, the field is open for men and women at Oz and it is going to be fun and addictive to watch.

Get the comment threads ready.

rafa Says:

Finally after a long long time Sean’s jinxing din’t work and he made his first correct prediction about a match result. Congrats.

Ben Pronin Says:

The good news for Nadal is that it’s his first non-straight-set loss since RG. This was a real tussle, unlike the blow outs Nadal suffered the last half of 09.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Davy reaches 2 slam finals this year, losses one then wins the second.

margot Says:

Ben: hope you’re right! What a brilliant end to his career that would be!

Ben Pronin Says:

Who said anything about the end of his career?

huh Says:

“rafa Says:
Finally after a long long time Sean’s jinxing din’t work and he made his first correct prediction about a match result. Congrats.”

Hahaha, congrats to Sean indeed! Sean impresses me more often than not due to his distinct style of presenting post-match articles, it’s his trademark stuff, really like his posts thou he sometimes turns me off with over-emphasising about different things. But still, tennis-x for me is incomplete without Sean.

huh Says:

Helluva match. Helluva way to open the 2010 tennis season!

Apt description perhaps by Sean Randall, the inimitable one, not that I need it! ;)
But good way to startthe article. I can’t complain. :)

Andrew Miller Says:

Here’s hoping Davydenko overcomes the Nalbandian/MarceloRios curse (great in best of three sets, but no apetite for best of 5 sets). I’m pulling for Davydenko (after Roddick of course, who I’d like to see win another big grand slam title in the singles – I root for Baghdatis and James Blake (as well as Maria Kirilenko) also but, let’s be honest, miracles aint happenning that often these days.

So Davydenko man….make it happen.

huh Says:

May be facing relatively ordinary opponents before the final did not help Rafa’s cause. May be he coulda been more match-grooved had he got Fed’s draw instead. Mind you all, facing some good players like Gulbis might have made him gain some tough wins which consequently might have really given him the practice before facing a great rival in the final. I still remember dd saying that Fed win Cincy 09 coz he faced some tough players in prelim rounds, and it sounds only logical as it’s anybody’s guess that if you go to the final beating good players instead of soft opponents, it’d not only give you confidence, but also pretty much the clue as to what shock he can expect coming from the other side, and that might actually be helpful to him in weathering the storm in the final, if there happens to face one from any tough guy.

huh Says:

“Ben Pronin Says:
The good news for Nadal is that it’s his first non-straight-set loss since RG. This was a real tussle, unlike the blow outs Nadal suffered the last half of 09.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Davy reaches 2 slam finals this year, losses one then wins the second.

January 9th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

margot Says:
Ben: hope you’re right! What a brilliant end to his career that would be!

January 9th, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Ben Pronin Says:
Who said anything about the end of his career?

January 9th, 2010 at 3:31 pm”

You people’d kill me with so much fun, hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!

Gordo Says:

Well, the field is somewhat open at the AO, but if Federer’s serve decides to accompany him to some of these tournaments we will be singing a different tune this year.

If his first serve had materialized against Davydenko instead of being spotted 4 blocks away at a koala petting farm we would have been treated to a Rafa-Roger final (remember those?).

If Roger had served at Wimbledon last year like he did in his semi-final match against Davydenko a guy named Andy Roddick would have been the champ at Wimby on ’09.

But he didn’t bring his service game, and because of it Davydenko, who seems to be playing his best (and certainly his most fittest) tennis ever won that match, and subsequently the tournament. Good for him and deserved props to him.

But I see Federer has said so long to Kooyong. Makes me think he is not going to be too concerned about the Australian Open. That might be bad news for everyone else.

Andrew Miller Says:

Is it fair to say that since mid-2005, Daveydenko is Russia’s best player?

sonic Says:


“I’m probably playing better than ever, for the moment. There was one moment in 2008 maybe where I played like I did today in the first set. So that’s a very positive thing for me. I don’t know if I will win in Australia, but I think I’m in a very, very good way.”

This is what i though to myself, Nadal is playing his best ever. He was never a hardcourt powerhouse to begin with, but as a great champion he took advantage off an easy draw in Australia to win it. There are quite a few of them that he can’t really beat or can beat him at the AO, but who says he’ll have to play the likes of Potro, Denko, Djokovic, Murray, or the second tier of Soderling and the likes. As long as he gets Fed to take out most of them he can always beat Roger. Or can get cream in qf by Del Potro if he is unlucky.

The good news is Nadal seem to be back to his best atm.

Just wondering Says:

If my math is correct, today’s loss by Nadal guarantee that Fed will remain atop the ATP ranking after the Australian Open, which means he’ll surpass Jimbo in the all-time #1 ranking (268 weeks), and soon after Lendl (270). Pistol Pete (286 weeks) must start to feel the heat for his all-time record!

Kimmi Says:

nadal: “I’m probably playing better than ever, for the moment. There was one moment in 2008 maybe where I played like I did today in the first set. So that’s a very positive thing for me. I don’t know if I will win in Australia, but I think I’m in a very, very good way.”


Davydenko was not moving well, a lot of unforced errors and no first serves. Nadal might think he played like 2008 in the 1st set but lets be honest, I think davydenko bad play is what made Rafa look good in that set. If your opponent is giving you zero pressure of course you can play your best tennis,

But I agree with Nadal that he is playing better that late part of last year. A lot of contenders at the AO..he is one of them..like what sonic said above depending on the luck of the draw he could avoid most of them.

ines Says:

I don´t think Rafa is at his best, in the first set Davy didn´t play, and then Rafa would have won
I think he is playing better but not at his best.
If all depends on the luck of the draw, in Doha he has a piece of cake draw, that´s why he was in the final.Since May he hasn´t beaten any top ten,
I have my doubts about the AO.

been there Says:

oh where, oh where, oh WHERE are Fed & Rafa gonna hide in Australia?

Sharp arrows shooting from all corners. yikes! To the left is the great Del Potro :)….to the right is the the all mega-confident Davydenko. I reckon Fed would still prefer to get Davy over Del.P. If both Del.P & Fed are ‘on’, nothing & I mean nothing Fed can do against those power-bombs disguised in the name of forehands! As for Rafa, I can’t tell who of these two he’d prefer to face – the definition of between a rock & a hard place.

Then as has been said before, all the other players going for it..go Sod! go Cilic! C’mon Monfils…make me happy please!…am allowed to dream.lol These can take them down by quarters. scary.

I’d even go so far as saying as at least Fed would even prefer to face a Murray or Djokovic before facing these a Del.P, Davy or Sod….yes, despite H2H and what not. As for Rafa, I’m highly confused. I don’t know what to make of him at all.

Exciting times. Long live Tennis! C’mon Australia!

Ben Pronin Says:

“If both Del.P & Fed are ‘on’, nothing & I mean nothing Fed can do against those power-bombs disguised in the name of forehands!”

Are you saying Del Potro’s best is better than Federer’s best? Simply impossible.

been there Says:

Ben, I’m simply saying that there’s NOTHING Fed can do about Del.P’s forehand…I think I’ve made that very clear in my post by the very highly exaggerated ‘power-bombs disguised in the name of forehands’ lol. This was clearly shown in the WTF where despite playing very well, Fed was left running for the hills by those powerful Del.P forehands.

Of course, no one matches Fed’s best play, not even Rafa, in terms of raw technique and variety of play. But it’s more than just playing the ‘best’…there’s also the little matter of match-ups, as has been shown by by Rafa’s superb H2H against. And also the other little matter of having a superb killer shot, i.e. Del.P’s forehand, which has simply left Rafa & Fed utterly dismayed.

So that’s all am saying. Sure, Del.P will never match Fed or even Rafa’s ‘best’ in terms of variety of shots, etc…but his one shot alone is enough to do the damage, even when Fed and Rafa are playing their best.

been there Says:

correction@ 8:18 pm, 2nd para: ‘…as has been shown by by Rafa’s superb H2H against…’

‘…as has been shown by by Rafa’s superb H2H against Fed…’

Kimo Says:

Tennis Vagabond Said:

“Has Nadal beaten ANY top 8 players since May??”

Yes, Tsonga, although I can’t remember in which tournament.

Way to go Davy!!!! I think we can safely say the guy has Rafa’s number. I know, I know, he faced match points and I would have said something entriely different had he lost. But he didn’t, and at the end of the day that’s the only thing that matters.

But I think this tournament as a whole was good preparation for Rafa. Clearly he’s playing better than the end last year, but obviously not as good as he did at this time last year.

And how come no one is talking about Clijsters beating Justine?! Clijsters ALSO saved two match points against her old nemesis. Who knew the cure to choking would be retiring two years, while your nemesis does the same, then beat her in her first tournament back? LOL :D

sar Says:

Does anyone know what time e.s.t the Brisbane and Chennai matches begin?

Kimo Says:

Andrew Miller Said:

“Is it fair to say that since mid-2005, Daveydenko is Russia’s best player?”

Not only would it be fair, it is a fact. No Russian play has ranked higher, and he’s never fallen out of the top ten.

Now if you meant in BOTH women’s and men’s tennis, it gets a little tougher to judge. There are several Russian female players with Slams to their names, and the Russian women’s tennis revolution is pretty much still going on. But as Jon Wertheim said, no female player can beat a male player who is in the top 200. It’s just a whole new ball game with guys and the physicality of their game.

Kimo Says:

One more thing:

I think it’s shameful, just plain shameful and dispicable and rude and appalling, that Davy isn’t getting any love from any sports apparel company.

After what the guy has accomplished, especially after winning the YEC, the least they can do is give a guy a pair of shirts, shorts amd sneakers and oh, a racquet!!!!

sar Says:

It’s shameful just like Kuznetsova not having endorsements.

Gordo, Fed is out of Kooyong? Who will take the spot?

Daniel Says:

been there,

you have to remember that Fed or Rafa are not going to face DelPo before semis. Next Monday DelPo will be the new world n°4, as Murray’s 250 points from Doha 09 will drop from his total: 7030-250=6780 points, while DelPo will have 6785 points (his Auckland points will only be deducted on January 18th) making him seed n°4 for AO 2010.

The seedings will be:

The worst quarters and semis scenarios for Fed would be Davy them DelPo and for Nadal would be Davy or Soderling them DelPo (although Djoko in the semis for Nadal is not a good match either).

This means that for Nadal to defend his title a combination of events will have to take place (again, just analysing draws and past performances, I know the matches had to played in the first place). No Davy in his quarter nor DelPo in semis, and somebody having to take Djoko out to clear his path.

Funny, the more intriguing character (draw wise) heading this year AO is Davy, and which quarters he will be?! Than DelPo and in which side he will be Fed or Nadal.

One year ago it was all about Murray, now he will be one of the most under the radar player, which can be very good for him, the same as what happens to Nadal last year. All of a sudden he was winning back to back 5 setters.

cha cha Says:

Murray let Robredo!! beat him last night. I wouldn’t expect much.

Ben Pronin Says:

Been there, that’s not exactly what I mean. I mean if Federer is playing to the best of his abilities, Del Potro’s forehand would not be enough to stop him. Of course there are match ups, but when it’s Roger Federer, his best is above any match ups.

jane Says:

Sean I love the ambiguity: “I’ll pick Red, White and Blue in that one.”! No jinxing either. : ]

jane Says:

Kimmi says, ” but lets be honest, I think davydenko bad play is what made Rafa look good in that set.”

I see what you mean Kimmi; there is no doubt that Davy began the match quite slowly. I would just add that Rafa was playing aggressively nevertheless. It was like Rafa had raised his level and was uber prepared for a tough Davydenko / opponent, but a weak Davy showed up and got pummeled in the first set. Rafa was hitting the ball deep and stepping into the court, and he was serving well, consistently. As the match wore on, however, Davy raised up to his great form of the week, and Rafa was incrementally falling further back in the court while his first serves were failing him at times.

All in all I don’t think Rafa was at his best but I do think it was clear he looked better and more aggressive than at the end of last year. The channel I was watching showed the percentage of Rafa on or inside the baseline versus behind it in the matches versus Davydenko in Shanghai and today. In the match last fall Rafa was on or inside the baseline only 10% of the time, whereas today he was on or inside it 25%. That shows he was being consciously more aggressive in his court positioning which is what he will need to at the AO.

tennis served fresh Says:

I don’t think this is an indication of what they rest of the year will be like. Perhaps Rafa and Fed were a little off their game during this tournament (since it’s not a major or anything)? I’m confident Denko will continue to test all the top players but I don’t think he’ll continue to upset them.

Nancy Says:

Rafa looks really sharp – he has wisely changed his game so he is playing mainly within the baseline , taking shots earlier, volleying more and ending the rallies more quickly. These are things he needs to do to survive. I will go with him for the Australian Open.
Murray talks a good game but he is not great under pressure.
Davydenko is a definite threat – I think this will be his best year ever.But I don’t have a lot of faith in him at the Majors.
Federer is gone, as far as I am concerned . He was very lucky last year but I don’t think that luck will carry through another year of tough competitors.
Djokovic is very inconsistent and doesn’t do well under pressure of big matches.
Del Potro is still the “slug” as far as I am concerned – just can’t get moving a lot of the time. I have always liked him but he just doesn’t have it yet.
Roddick is a favorite too if he would stop throwing his racket around. He is going to hurt someone someday and that will be it for him.

Andrew Miller Says:

Kimo do you think Davydenko will make a slam final? Or are we looking at a Nalbandian player that rarely threatens for a major (Nalbandian did ONCE but in his best years, he didnt get back to a slam final).

steve Says:

Congrats to Davydenko for taking out both Federer and Nadal in the same tournament for the second time. He’s having a career renaissance right now.

It’s not easy to play aggressively. You have to think more about your shots, you have to take more risks, and that increases the chance of errors.

It’s a trade-off: playing defensively means you won’t make mistakes, but you become dependent on your opponents’ mistakes to give you victory, and if they hit enough winners you’re done. If you play more offensively, you can take the initiative against your opponent, but you will make more mistakes.

So for a player like Nadal who naturally relies on consistency and impenetrable defense to try to switch to a more offensive mode will result in more errors. This, I think, is one of the reasons he is not “feeling calm” like he used to. He’s trying to do something unnatural for him.

steve Says:

Davydenko has made a few Slam semis, I think, at FO and USO. But I don’t know if he can win a major, where everyone is so much more focused on the prize.

In the semis Davydenko will have to face a top player like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Roddick or Del Potro. Those guys have proven themselves in the best of five matches, and he’ll have a much tougher time with them there.

But it’s still possible, I suppose.

Janadev Says:

Nadal lost his concentration in some key points or Davy guessed correctly on the shots from Rafa. Instead of hitting to open court, Nadal put the ball just straight to Davy and made him to break Nadal for 3-3 in the decider.. few more points like that really took the match away from Nadal.. Hope he will take a look into it..

jane Says:

Roddick looks sharp against the Worm; Steps is holding so far, but Andy is playing well and pushing him. It’s a great match so far. Some fun rallies all over the court, from the front to the back. Steps playing his usual relentless onslaught of volleying; Roddick booming serves and forehands.

Four all first set. Woot!

Orville Says:

Roddick who cares about Andy Roddick? Roddick is old news. I don’t see Roddick beating Nadal and Federer twice in a row in two events like Davydenko. Davydenko is finally living up to his potential this guy is so dangerous. I like Davydenko because people have underestimated this man for so long. Davydenko has always had the game but he finally is starting to gain the self belief and the confidence. He could of given up after losing the first set 6-0 to Nadal and the two match points but he didn’t. Give Davydenko his due this man has beaten Federer twice in a row and Nadal three times in a row. He is on a roll. I am very impressed.

jane Says:

Orville, lest we forget, Roddick has been in 4 slam finals and has won one. He pushed Fed, at Wimbledon, to the brink. Whether you think he’s “old news” or not, some people do still care about him and enjoy watching him play.

And, yeah, Davydenko has rocked lately! That’s great.

But there was no specific thread on which to post about the final at Brisbane so I posted my comment here. Sean made a “call” on the match so it’s not entirely misplaced.

tennisfansince76 Says:

federer had bad tactics against delpo at the USO. he constantly sliced his backhand crosscourt. there was one point he sliced down the line and yanked delpo. it worked really well. I yelled at the TV for him to do that more. he got really predictable in his patterns against delpo at the USO. also i have felt his tactics against Nadal have been wrong. he likes to hit his short forehands into nadal’s forehand leaving open court for nadals flat backhand. also nadal devours fed’s slice backhand w/ his forehand. I just want Roger to play Nadal and play w/ good tactics. slice down the line to his backhand and hammer at his forehand w/ inside out forehands. be patient. when you pull rafa wide to the fh he often hits short cross court high bouncers. be patient reset the point and return to hammering away at that bolo fh. just once i want to see this.

Ben Pronin Says:

The problem is that constantly hitting deep inside out forehands isn’t the safest play. And hitting slices down the line isn’t easy, either. But that’s not what I saw against Delpo. Federer can slice anywhere and it’ll trouble him, problem was that he was hitting too many topspin backhands crosscourt.

jane Says:

Looks like Andy’s on track for the title. Steps stayed with him until the tiebreak, but since then the worm has gone underground … or something. Stepanek’s serve has failed him. Meanwhile, Roddick’s is strong and consistent.

Sean you got one – looks like red white and blue will win it. ; )

tennisfansince76 Says:

fed has a nice down the line slice. he lost to delpo because
1. delpos forehand could kill an elephant
2. he served terribly.
3. he missed his chances to go up 2-0 in sets
4. also i thought he pulled back abit. early in the match he was hitting some rippers and missing quite a few and it seemed to me that he safened up after that.
5. delpo’s section of the draw opened up and the rain helped him. other than a set to cilic he was not tested. what if he had played a tought 5 sets against murray in the qfs then say a tough 4 sets against nadal in the sfs? then he would not have won.

rafa Says:

You guys are ridiculous.Davydenko himself said that when Rafa was conentrating in the first set there was simply nothing he can do.

“After losing the first set 6-0, I thought I had no chance of winning,” said the Russian. “In the beginning, he was on top and I had to fight for every point. However, as the match wore on, Rafa lost his concentration and made too many mistakes”

And you are picking Davydenko to beat Nadal over best of 5 sets? He barely won today after needing all sorts of luck in a best of 3 sets match.

LOL Funny People.

Doha courts never really suited Rafa, last year he lost 4-6,4-6 to Monfils in the QF here. Looks like he is playing far far better than last year.

Australian Open is in the bag, only thing remains to be seen is how many sets he will lose on his way to the title.

steve Says:

It looks like the Worm has turned. Now Roddick’s got to buckle down if he wants to finish this.

Ben Pronin Says:

Rafa, how is Nadal supposed to win a slam when he’s choking at small events like Doha?

steve Says:

Once Stepanek gets into a tiebreak, it seems he just doesn’t know what to do. Roddick seems to thrive in tiebreaks, his serve must give him great confidence.

steve Says:

A mini-reprise of the second set. Roddick way ahead, then gets pulled back.

steve Says:

Roddick prevails by sheer force of nerve.

jane Says:

Step wormed his way back indeed. Not only into the second set, but from 1-6 down in the second set tiebreak he brought the score back even. In the end, it still wasn’t enough to beat Roddick, but it was perilously close!! At 31, Radek has nothing of which to be ashamed.

Good match – congrats to Roddick for another title!

steve Says:

Roddick played great tennis to pull ahead, then poor tennis to lose the lead, then dogged tennis to outlast Stepanek.

Congrats to Roddick. It’s a good prep for AO, though I’m sure Larry Stefanki will have some words for him afterwards.

madmax Says:


I laughed this morning – thank you.

Nancy says:

“Federer is gone, as far as I am concerned . He was very lucky last year but I don’t think that luck will carry through another year of tough competitors”.

Why cant you wish everyone the best, for what is going to be an amazing AO based on the form of all the top 5 (especially) and top ten (generally?), instead of making ridiculous comments like that?

Davydenko is now unbeaten in 9 matches. He is incredible. He has outplayed both federer and rafa. Fed two in a row, rafa three in a row. So I guess Fed and Rafa are done because they both lost a 250 tournament? I dont think so Nancy.

Federer never plays his best at the smaller tournaments now. But brings his best to the court in the slams.

Come on Federer! (I’d read this morning that he isnt going to play Kooyong – he obviously feels that he is ready and prepared, so perhaps will spend the week with his coach looking at all the players to see whether he introduce something different to his game in order to get through ALL of them). Why not?

Federer’s best is better than any other player on the tour. And that’s a fact.

margot Says:

Ben: how old is Davydenko? He’s in the Autumn of his career surely? True it’s a spectacular fireworky one but… Also his game is so high energy you’ve got to wonder how it will hold up over five sets in the Australian heat. I just love his play, he’s always been highly dangerous and now mentally its come together.
daniel: agree, Murray has slipped under spotlight and it will certainly suit him. He puts enough pressure on himself without externals.
What exciting tennis times we live in!

huh Says:

“Orville Says:
Roddick who cares about Andy Roddick? Roddick is old news”

Only you seemingly don’t care about Roddick, the rest of the world does, I assure. And hey, don’t compare Davy to Roddick for heaven’s sake, coz to compare a 4-time slam finalist (to be stopped only by none other than Roger Federer all the time there) and USO Champion Roddick to a guy Davy who’s not even for once reached any slam final is utterly pathetic. May be you think that beating Fed-Rafa back to back to win a 250 and 1500 event is more important than winning a slam, but nobody’s buying it to be really honest. Even Federer himself pretty much cares and respect Roddick, what to speak of others!

So dude, come up with something better next time!


Thank God, Fed skips Kooyong! Why’s not Rafa requesting for Kooyong? ;)


Thou, I’m sad about GB losing, but I’m mighty happy for Robredo and would like to congratulate him on his win over Muzza. Few gave him much chance against Muzza, I included, but he proved others wrong, that’s what I liked. Showing your true worth and proving the doubters wrong’s not an easy task for anybody, but those who can do it are surely men of substance. Hats off to Robredo for doin the same! And it also proved how ‘easy’ Fed’s opponents like Robredo really were and how ordinary the field was back then while Fed was dominating it crazy durin his peak years! On the other hand, it also showed how much ‘strong’ the field has actually got since Fed’s relative decline with ‘strong’ guys of the recent time like Muzza and Nole performing miraculous deeds time and again, like one Muzza did vs Robredo in the just finished Hopman Cup final, and thus how much more credit must go to Rafa for being able to dominate such a ‘strong’ field in comparison to the ‘weak’ field over which Fed held sway during his most dominant time! ;)


I’m in no way defending Rafa here, he’s more than capable of doing that himself through his racquet, but I personally don’t think either DP/Muzza/Soderling would be able to beat Rafa at the AUS Open, thou I’d be very happy for them if they’re able to do so. Either of DP/Muzza/Sod beating Rafa at OZ would mean two consecutive loss of Rafa at the hands of one of these guys in slams, I don’t think beating Rafa back to back in a GS is possible for these three at this point of time(particularly for Soderling at any point of time), if not for anything else, then at least having regards to the fact that slams are best-of-5 match things, completely different ball game in comparison to best-of-3 stuff. Fed and Rafa are still the king of best-of-5 format IMO. That said, I’m not saying it’s impossible for Rafa to lose to any of these guys back to back in slams, nothing’s impossible in this world, but it’s also incredibly difficult for them to repeat their exploits vs Rafa Nadal on GS stage consecutively. Muzza beat RAF IN 08 US, DP in US 09 and Sod in FO 09, but have never met Rafa in any slam since then, should thay again come face to face with Nadal it’d be tough as hell for them to beat Rafa in consecutive slam meetings. Nadal won’t like to concede an inch vs them in slams, he would never want to lose to them twice in a row at slams, and that makes me think the odds are in Nadal’s favor in the probability of any of them falling in front of Nadal for the battle at AO 09. For any guy to beat Rafa in best of 3 format back to back is pretty much a geniune possibilty, but for guys like DP/Muzza/Sod to do the same thing to him in a best-of-5 thing is so much more difficult IMO that I won’t bet in favor of victory of any of them here against Rafa. That means, it’s left for guys like Nole, Fed, Roddick and may be Davy or some other one to finish Rafa off in slam battle at the AO 10, only they’d be motivated to inflict a loss on Rafa as Nole or Rod have perhaps never beaten Rafa in a GS and Fed also hasn’t done it since a long long time. This means they might have much more chance of beating Rafa in their next slam meet than DP/Muzza/Sod.


“Kimo Says:
One more thing:

I think it’s shameful, just plain shameful and dispicable and rude and appalling, that Davy isn’t getting any love from any sports apparel company.

After what the guy has accomplished, especially after winning the YEC, the least they can do is give a guy a pair of shirts, shorts amd sneakers and oh, a racquet!!!!”

Very much agree, I mean totally. I feel sad for Davy. :(
He surely deserves much more respect than he is given, he’s earned it. But this is a biased world running after glamour and pomp and simplicity has lost appreciation, thou I can’t say it has lost its values in the minds of the right thinkin ones. God bless Davy!


“5. delpo’s section of the draw opened up and the rain helped him. other than a set to cilic he was not tested. what if he had played a tought 5 sets against murray in the qfs then say a tough 4 sets against nadal in the sfs? then he would not have won.”

Oh, just shut up tennisfan76! No need of you going the distance to discredit DP’s grand USO victory, you are just ridiculous, argh!!!


been there:

Hi! I like your enthusiasm about DP FH, but it’s not something that’s enough to beat Fed at his best. But if both Fed and DP are at their A game, Fed’d win!


rafa, it’s nice that u are a Rafa fan, but no, AUS Open is still not in Rafa’s bag. May be it will be, but that’s altogether a different matter, we’ll see!


Finally, congrats to Roddick for the title and to Stepanek for an impressive tournament, he lost ok, but he tried, that’s all that he needed to do, no complaints thus from any side against Rod or Step!

been there Says:

Daniel@ 9pm,

I don’t know where you derived that I said that Fed or Rafa is gonna meet Del.P before quarters? I know that Del.P will be seeded 4th. If you re-read my post@ 7:36pm, I mentioned other players like Sod, Cilic, Davy & Murray who can take them out by (or at for that matter) the quarters. I was talking about all players who can trouble them, not just Del.P (but the debate was moved to Del.P)….so thanks for the clarification anyway.

Ben & Madmax, I stand by what I have said about Del.P with regards to him playing Fed & Rafa. When he’s on with that forehand (which unfortunately for Fed & Rafa fans, it’s seems to be always there when he meets them for FO ’09), nothing much they can do it. It’s my opinion from what I’ve seen from when Del.P became ‘Del.P’, i.e. from FO ’09. He simply blows them off the court. If he plays like that, only fitness, imo, will let him down…as it did in FO. But fitness is part of the game, so too bad for him. It’s up to him to fix it.

Also Ben, you are the one who brought up this Fed’s ‘best’ vs Del.P’s ‘best. That was not the intention of my post…you derived & concluded what you wanted from it.

@ 9:24 pm:
Ben Pronin Says:

“Of course there are match ups, but when it’s Roger Federer, his best is above any match ups.”

Are you for real this this statement? There’s a certain player called Rafael Nadal who causes a major match-up headache to Fed even when Fed has been playing at his very very best. No, Fed’s best is not immune to match-ups. :) Rafa has shown me this to be true all the way from from 2004 when Federer lost only a handful of matches the entire yr. It would take something really special to convince me that Fed hasn’t been playing at his very best any time he met Nadal all the way from ’04. In fact, the major reason why Fed has a losing H2H to Rafa is the match-up problem, not because he wasn’t playing at his best. Yes, a couple of times he was off (as it bound to happen to all players), but generally, it’s the match-up.

I think another match-up problem for Fed is Gilles Simon. But both of those games came in ’08 when Fed was clearly suffering with injuries & ailmets. So I guess I can’t coment too much about that.

The thing with Del.Potro is that it is not a match-up problem at all. Ordinarily, Fed matches up very well with such type of power-players..eats them for breakfast, lunch & dinner. However, Del.P’s forehand has the extra zing…& his height gives him an added advantage. It’s more the speed of the forehand than the actual power, imo, that causes the damage. But for Rafa-Del.P, yeah, I think it’s a match-up thing.

All in all, I think some people are really hung up on this Fed’s ‘best’. Fed’s ‘best’ is long long gone. With the exception of a few rare matches here & there (e.g. Fed vs Sod USO ’09) matches, I haven’t seen this “Fed’s best” in over two years now…yet he continues to win slams. One in ’08 & two in ’09…and continues to reach finals, a whole seven straight finals from ’08, when he’s clearly not been playing his ‘best’. He’s ‘best’ was something special. He’s no longer at his ‘best’ yet he’s till better than the rest of the field for most of the time, hence he’s No1.

I don’t see the point of continually bringing up the issue of Fed’s ‘best’ (the Fed of ’04-’07) when this is not the case now. It is now 2010 :) Del.Potro was not playing (I mean not a candidate for titles) in those years when Fed was at his ‘best’. We saw the emergence of Del.P in the summer of ’08, & his best (& still improving)of Del.P in 2009…not before that. So no need to talk of Fed’s distant past ‘best’. Instead, let us talk of what we have consistently seen recently…i.e. the Fed of ’08 & ’09…unless I’ve missed something in the past two years that could show me that Federer is gonna re-gain his super abilities of ’04-’07.

Also, the fact that Fed loses a match, say to Del.P does not mean that Fed isn’t playing at his ‘best’. Sometimes, despite the obvious difference in talent the other player still wins thanks his lone dangerous shot.

been there Says:

sorry madmax. At 6:34am, 2nd para when I said: “Ben & Madmax….”, it should have been “Ben & Huh”..I got mixed up a bit with the names after reading & replying to the last few posts without counter-checking the names. Please accept my apologies madmax. :)

huh, just to be clear, that was in response to your 5:29am post:

” Hi! I like your enthusiasm about DP FH, but it’s not something that’s enough to beat Fed at his best. But if both Fed and DP are at their A game, Fed’d win!”

& my simple point is that save for a few matches here & there, Fed’s ‘best’ (of ’04’-’07) is now long gone. I totally agree with your above statement. However, for as long as he’s still playing, imo, we should be considering his more recent years. After he’s retired, I too will reminisce over his best being untouchable…but not now.

huh Says:

“Ben Pronin Says:

“Of course there are match ups, but when it’s Roger Federer, his best is above any match ups.””

I totally agree with above. I might further add that IMO Fed at his best was above any match-up including the one with Rafa(except on clay thou it’s very unjustified to exclude the clay aspect in this scheme of things as if I argue against Rafa’s clay record, I’d also have to discount grass and HC stuff of Fed in this scheme as they’re Fed’s fave surface, I know it, my bad, but I still don’t care). Whoever disagrees, disagrees, I won’t change that as this is my conviction and the reason for this I’ve also discussed many times here and elsewhere and won’t repeat at all.

huh Says:

been there:

However here I’ve nothing against you believing in what you do, I don’t want to change your conviction either. You’re good at your place and I’m good at mine. And you’re however very nice in your response. I respect that. Now I’m moving on.

huh Says:

I don’t care about Giles Simon.

huh Says:

And I’ve time and again opined that this match-up thing is the most over-rated thing ever in tennis. No match-up, catch-up, fetch-up, ketchup is going to save anyone from being manhandled by an A Rafa at clay. DP, as much as I like him, I think he still doesn’t have any chance this year against Rafa on clay at all, Rafa is far far better on clay than others than those great others are than the rest on their respective fave surfaces. Match-up’s of/has never been of any help to anyone against a great player unless one himself’s a great player enough to rise to the occasion. Period.

Cindy_Brady Says:

Davydenko is the favorite to win the AO title this year.

Who is playing better? He beat both Federer and Nadal in back to back tournaments under different circumstances. He proved he can win while coming out the gate fast or make a come back from a slow start.

He also won the master series event in Shanghai China.

No one is more confident or more dangerous at this time. I feel a break through is coming for him at the AO 2010.

been there Says:


I gave my opinions, to the question that Ben put at 7.52pm about “Fed’s best” (which to me was consistently between ’04-’07) vs “Del.P’s best” (which so far is only in the 2nd hald of ’09..he’s still very young).

At no point did I make a claim that Del.P’s best would beat Fed’s best…i.e, imo, Fed of ’04-’07. At least I can’t see where I’ve made that claim on this thread, or ever. In fact, I’ve said it myself that Fed’s best is untouchable, with the exception of a Rafa match-up which, again just imo, is bad for him, whether he’s at his best or not.

I wasn’t trying to change your views, or anybody’s for that matter. I was simply stating my views – that’s the purpose of a blog, yes?. We all watch the same matches but derive & conclude different things from it.

“I don’t care about Giles Simon.”
I didn’t say you did or ask you to. :). For me, I do care because he’s one of the few players who’s got a +veH2H vs Fed & it fitted in the context of what I was explaining w.r.t. match-up problems like Rafa. It wasn’t directed at you. You may not care about Simon, but me & a few others may, so am allowed to talk about him on a tennis-blog.

So yeah, same to you..I have nothing against you believing what you want to believe. I too am a fan of Federer. So you see, even Fed-fans can still see it differently, despite supporting the same player. Nothing wrong with that, & nothing to do with ‘changing views’…just opinions. :)

huh Says:

been there:

Again thanks for your nice response! :)

been there Says:

huh: “Match-up’s of/has never been of any help to anyone against a great player unless one himself’s a great player enough to rise to the occasion. Period.”

We’re in agreement on this one :). And that’s why the Fed-Rafa matches are ever so epic. Especially the slams, they mostly go to four, or five sets, with a few points here & there being the deciding factor.

And also just to add that a bad match-up also doesn’t necessarily mean that the poorly matched player is always gonna lose. Hence why Fed has managed some wins against Rafa, both at slams & three setters. It’s not all down to ‘match-up’. There’s so much more…surface, concentration, serves, F/H, B/H clicking, weather! altitude! lol. etc, etc…& this applies to all players, especially when they’re at semis & finals. Of course, we the fans will focus of how Fed & Rafa match up against each other & other players & analyse & counter-analyse their games ‘coz they’re the two most top-dogs.

Cindy_Brady Says:

been there,

huh is a tyrant/bully on these blogs. Pay no attention to his or her ramblings. He can’t stand for anyone to have a different opinion or perspective on things. I find most of his posts to be filled with hot air.

Del Potro can beat Rafa on clay. He has the strokes and mentality to do it. It took Federer 5 sets to beat him last year and Del Potro is getting better. Flat hard consistent strokes put Nadal on his heels like Soderling did last year. And Del Potro is better than Soderling by a mile.

madmax Says:

Hi Cindy –

I have NEVER found Huh to be a tyrant or a bully -ever – Do you know what the word means? Please be nice. Huh is a federer fan, and loves conversation about him – why not?

Been there,

Great to see you back –

But I think people are getting a little wobbly about federer, unnecessarily in my view.

I wish Roger federer all the very best for the season and I feel he is ready for the AO and will bring his magic and passion for all to see – even if you dont think so. I do.

been there Says:

madmax, yes, huh is by no means a ‘tyrant’ or ‘bully’. Not at all.

But what do you mean by “people are getting a little wobbly about federer”…what does ‘wobbly’ mean w.r.t. the discussion?

margot Says:

cindy-brady: huh is a second language speaker and, my goodness me, could any of us go onto a Chinese website and blog about tennis? I don’t think so. If his language is sometimes OTT, well that’s understandable isn’t it?

been there Says:

“I wish Roger federer all the very best for the season and I feel he is ready for the AO and will bring his magic and passion for all to see – even if you dont think so. I do.”

You see, this is where the problem lies – deriving and concluding something completely different from what I’ve said. Where have I said that Federerer CANNOT or WILL NOT bring his magic or passion? (I for one think he’s got as much passion as any of the youngsters for the sport & have never claimed otherwise, whether he wins or loses. Only he, his wife, family & close team can know his real passion).

In fact, my post at 6.24 am says despite not being at his ‘best’, (imo, as in ’04-07′) he has still managed to reach 7 straight GS finals & won 3 of them and is STILL no!. :))

Here is what I said:
“He’s no longer at his ‘best’ yet he’s still better than the rest of the field for most of the time, hence he’s No1.”

….So I do not understand how you’ve interprated that to mean that I think that he cannot bring his magic or passion in Australia. Really – I shouldn’t have to repeat it on the same thread. :)..unless I’m mis-communicating big-time. Please, don’t twist my words. :)

All I was saying at 7:36pm was that both Fed & Rafa have many people to trouble them in Australia…that doesn’t mean the two of them can’t win. In fact, for me, they’re still the favourites, but the competition now (I should add imo) is much different from two years ago…or even just from Jan ’09.

margot Says:

PS I caught huh making a linguistic joke, now that’s style!

Ben Pronin Says:

Been there, yes I’m for real. Nadal is out of this world.

However, I don’t think we saw Federer play lights out tennis for any kind of extended period of time last year. It’s sad to say but it’s likely Fed’s ultimate days are long behind him.

been there Says:


imo, ‘huh’ is not a bully or tyrant. We all have different views & opinions & argue/debate. And as margot says, some of us don’t speak English as a first language. And for those who do, nothing wrong with going OTT…it’s what’s keeps the blogs fun – all the different poster ‘personalities’ & different views…especially how we arrive at different conclusions for similar matches. I for one have learnt quite alot from the various debates by other posters regarding other players who I may not follow so keenly.

I find discussion with huh very enjoyable – even if we see things differently on this topic. It’s really not nice to call people names, even when you disagree with them. You could have stated your opinion regarding him/her without having to use such a strong as a ‘tyrant’.

Huh dear, I hope you’re not put off by this.

been there Says:

Ben, well, Nadal is part of the tour :), whether he’s in this world or out of it. So he should be considered in any talk of a match-up problem for Fed…seeing that he’s the only one who has consistently posed it. haha

Ben Pronin Says:

Been there, in all seriousness. Nadal has been a bad match up for Federer for a long time and they’ve had great matches where both played amazing and Nadal one. However, a lot of those results had more to do with Federer choking than with Nadal being a bad match up. A truly bad match up would leave Federer with an 0-20 record. But Federer can beat Nadal. Yet so much of there matches are mental and I think it’s no secret to say Nadal is mentally more clutch than Federer. Fed’s blown set points and match points and huge gaping leads against Nadal. That wasn’t because the match up finally clicked in, it’s because Fed got tight. Fed’s got a lot of options against anyone including Nadal. The problem is, once you let Nadal back in a match or off the hook, well, sucks to be you.

Cindy_Brady Says:

Ben Pronin,

Everyone is reading too much into this one loss by Federer from a very very hot Daveydenko. Big Fn deal. Fed lost last year in the semis in this same tourney. It didn’t stop him from reaching all 4 grand slam finals and winning two of them. Add to that another couple master’s series wins and a return trip to #1 in the world rankings.

Federer is at a place in his career where only the big titles matter. He will put fourth all his energy into winning those alla Sampras. These other 250 pt events are more of a tune up/warm up for the grand slams.

Ben Pronin Says:

Really, Cindy? That’s where Fed’s at? Because he says he wants to win everything, including small events. But you’re definitely right since you can read minds.

But I totally agree. Davydenko is playing great and deserves a lot of credit. It doesn’t mean anything for Federer over the long haul. I’ve been saying it’s totally ridiculous to assume Fed’s done because of this one loss.

been there Says:


I hear what you are saying & am in complete agreement. In fact, we are sort of now repeating each other. See my post at 10.21am…it’s not all down to ‘match-up, but imo, the match-up problem can’t be ignored. Fed generally matches up poorly to defensive type of players, whether he wins or loses. It’s a ‘struggle’..win some, lose others. That’s why I gave the example of Giles Simon…& perhaps I could add Murray to the mix. It doesn’t mean he’s gonna lose all the time…he might even win all of them from now on, who knows.

jane Says:

been there, what you said about Fed’s “best” makes a lot of sense. We really don’t see the 04-07 level of play much anymore; even in 07 he dropped level-wise somewhat. You could see a few more shanks; he lost those surprising matches to Canas on hard court. It wasn’t drastic or anything, but I’d say post-AO in 07 there might’ve been a slight shift to Fed’s high-flying days of 04-06. But as you say, he’s still number 1! So even not at his absolute best, he has still been able to stay at the top. It’ll be interesting to see how long it lasts.

Cindy_Brady, re: your 9:42 prediction about Davy. Keep in mind that you could almost turn back the calendar one year to 2009 and change Davy’s name to Murray’s in your post. I’d be careful about over-hyping Davy’s chances. I agree with you that he’s a contender, but slams are different animals, as we know. Not sure yet if Davy can replicate his feats as a slam!

Also, I would have to see Delpo and Rafa play on clay before I make the declaration that Delpo can beat him. They played once on clay in seven meetings, but it was in 2007. Rafa straight-setted him. Delpo has beaten Rafa 3 times, all of them on hard court, all of them last year. IMO, the Miami win is the best gage as it was before Rafa’s injury, and it was very tight. So I will wait to see how it goes when they play next before saying too much. Other than Fed, I’d say Djok has the next best shot of beating Nadal on clay, based on matches I’ve actually seen between them on the surface in 2008 and 2009. Djok has been able to dominate in some sets. So if he’s even fitter this year and can sustain that pressure, he may be able to get a 3 setter at a MS off Rafa on clay. I’d make no proclamations about RG other than Rafa being the top fave, Fed being second, and maybe Djoko, JMDP, and Monfils following somewhere thereafter. Maybe even Murray; he got to the quarters there last year after all.

But again, we’ll just have to wait and see. It’s fun to make predictions/declarations, yet no one knows what will happen between now and then.

jane Says:

Congrats to Cilic for defending his title. He’s another dark horse at the slams this year. He will be one, imo, who can play on all surfaces. He, too, went surprisingly far on the clay last year, keeping 2 of the 3 sets against Murray in the R16 tight. And even though it was his worst result as a slam in 2009, I am most excited to see how he fares at Wimbledon in 2010. He reached R16 at the AO and FO last year; R32 at SW19; and Qs at the USO. He should better at least a couple of those results in 2010.

steve Says:

Playing defensive players is a bit like getting stuck in quicksand. If you just flail wildly trying to get out, you’re only going to get more stuck.

Similarly, when an attacking player, like Federer, meets these consistent defensive players, the instinct is to redline it and go for riskier and riskier shots in order to overpower their opponents. But that just results in more errors, making things worse.

That’s why Federer has trouble with players like Nadal, Murray, and Simon. He gets frustrated, abandons his game plan, and starts to overhit in an attempt to blast through his opponent. So he ends up beating himself.

When he sticks to his game plan and stays patient, going for winners at the right times, he wins.

jane Says:

steve: “So he ends up beating himself.” Last I heard, it takes two to tango. ; )

What you’re describing is a strategy by the opposition that results in “forced” errors, shanks, fatigue, all of which are valid and which could be called being *outplayed* and *beaten*. It’s not all down to Fed. It has a lot to do with whom he’s playing too. Come on. Give some credit to Murray, Nadal and Simon – these are fantastic players who EARNED their victories over Fed.

Fed didn’t beat himself; he was beaten.

jane Says:

Let me point out again that Fed has a fantastic record against power-hitters; he eats them, as “been there” so aptly noted above, for breakie, lunch and dinner. Part of this is due to the fact that Fed can also play excellent defense!! And so he actually forces players like Soderling or Roddick to panic, go for it and make errors by keeping the ball in play when against another opponent their forehand might’ve been a winner. Hence, in a way, or at least some of the time, he does to them what Murray and/or Rafa do to him.

In my opinion, all of the top five ranked ATP players have honed the skill of switching almost imperceptibly *between defence and offense*!!! They aren’t simply ONE OR THE OTHER; they are BOTH!

Some of them will lapse more naturally into D, while some are more naturally inclined to O. However, they all can play both styles rather effectively, and this may be one of the things that sets them apart. Hence, too, the dramatic nature of matches between the top five players.

Andrew Miller Says:

Roddick can win as long as he doesnt practice against Federer before they play in the AO. (See 2007, Australian Open).

Andrew Miller Says:

I just saw Davydenko-Federer highlights: Davydenko is ready to win a big won. He had no celebration after winning, nothing to show his happiness, just a dedication to the job. That’s what’s needed to win a slam – it looks like Davydenko is ready to do it.

steve Says:

When Federer loses, it’s usually because he’s either injured, or because he has a mental lapse. His best tennis is far and away better than anyone else’s best.

True, it’s harder for him to produce his best tennis, mostly because he’s won so much and it’s getting harder to motivate himself. Age is not so much the problem as maintaining the concentration needed to win against quality opponents.

But ultimately it’s his to win or lose. They said the same of Sampras, too: no matter what the opposition did, when he was on they could do nothing. And that’s not taking anything away from the caliber of his opponents: Agassi, Becker, Chang, Courier, Ivanesevic, Lendl, Rafter, etc.

Clearly Federer has to play his best tennis to beat Nadal and Murray. But when he does so, he wins.

It’s a question of playing tactically instead of trying to flail away hoping to get lucky.

Skorocel Says:

steve: Agree. Nadal was certainly lucky to beat Fed those 13 times. Same for Murray and Djoker. LOL :-) Poor Roger! He must be sick of all those injuries and mental lapses :-)

steve Says:

Jane: As you say, it’s impossible to be a top player without great defense. Otherwise you are vulnerable to being attacked and hit off the court.

But it’s not pure defense that is key to Federer’s beating Roddick and Soderling, though his defense is remarkable (though not, of course, as good as Nadal’s). It’s his offensive skill, his ability to set up winners and take time away from his opponents with a huge variety of shots.

Soderling said it after losing to Federer at the French Open:

“They’re both great players, of course, but they have different game styles. You know I think Roger’s game doesn’t suit my game at all. He doesn’t allow me to be aggressive. He always had me on the run today.

With Rafa, it’s different. It’s easier to be aggressive, you know. In all my matches against Rafa I think I dictated the game, I dictated the play.”

“I tried to stay aggressive. You know, I think that’s you what have to do against Roger. He plays so well when he can take the initiative.

But it didn’t work today, as you said. He played too well and he didn’t let me to be aggressive at all. So I have to change something for next time we play.

Q. How does he prevent your aggression?

ROBIN SODERLING: He’s even more aggressive. I have to say he plays even faster. Simple as that.”

So there you have it.

Andrew Miller Says:

Davydenko can WIN the Australian Open! This has never been possible – now it is. He is coming to PLAY. Sean Randall is right. Davydenko has made a believer of me. Much of it simply has to do with other players games…being less sharp. Nadal: not as sharp; Federer: not as fast, not as sharp; Roddick: playing very well, not well enough; Murray: others have learned about him!

The guys of the moment? Davydenko and Del Potro. I think now it’s going to be one of them hoisting the Australian Open crown. If not, I will come back to tennis-x and apologize in the comments. They are my picks, pure and simple.

Andrew Miller Says:

Roddick might factor in at the Australian Open (I want him to win it, or Blake – which isnt happenning). At this point, I believe it’s either Davydenko or Del Potro.

madmax Says:


Federer will bring his A game to the slams and will be ready to take on ANY OPPONENT.

Cindy_Brady Says:

Andrew Miller,

I completely agree with you. If Del Potro and Daveydenko are on opposite sides of the draw, it will probably be those two in the final. I see flaws and problems in all the other contender’s games except those two.

Oh and Roddick will not win the AO. No doubt he will run into a John Isner type of player and get sent packing around the round of 16 or QFs. He’s just not mentally strong enough to win a grand slam these days. Something always derails him.

madmax Says:

been there,

your post:

January 10th, 2010 at 11:35 am
A complete misunderstanding on your part my friend. Absolutely. This is the thing with blogging. you see black and white on a screen and imply tone.

I love Roger Federer. I dont think he is “over” as some posters have pointed out. It’s ridiculous to think so, been there (am not saying that you have “explicitly” said those words, but I think you said something to that effect? Am I wrong? Do you say something about limitations? that’s it for him? (I may have misread, and if I have – massive, huge hugs and apologies to you – i love ya man – even if we do disagree from time to time).

Federer needs to work on his game. He will do that. This week, he is doing “heavy practise” at Melbourne practise courts, away from prying eyes.

Let’s hope that federer learns from his mistakes, hits the ball back from the “dragon machine” at 220 MILES PER HOUR (yes, i know. i know).

When Federer’s first serve is on – he wins his matches. This is what he needs to improve on PLUS, 100%, I have complete faith and trust in his game. Go Federer!

been there Says:

“I love Roger Federer. I dont think he is “over” as some posters have pointed out. It’s ridiculous to think so, been there (am not saying that you have “explicitly” said those words, but I think you said something to that effect? Am I wrong?”

Yes, you are completely wrong. To even insinuate that me, of all people, a big Fed-fan, would think or even say that ‘Fed is over’ is a complete joke…& I find those who say so, whether be it w.r.t Fed or Rafa pretty insulting. So such an accusation is utterly ridiculous.

Please re-read all my posts from 7:36pm and again, I ask, please show me where I have said that ‘Fed is over’ (explicitly or otherwise). Even with me specifically quoting a statement from this thread where I say that despite not being the same consistently superb Fed of ’04-’07, he’s still better than the rest of the field, still reaching slam finals & winning some and still No1, you still insist that I have said otherwise. And I’ve repeated over & over on this thread that Fed is still very good, just not consistently the Fed of ’04-’07. Am truly quite baffled by how you are interpreting it. lol.

“Limitations”? Of course – all players have limitations. lol. Yes, even Fed. But I still don’t see how saying that Fed has competition from players he previously crushed is the same as saying “Fed is over” (& please note that I said both Fed & Rafa, not Fed alone…so how this all turned out to be all about Fed, I don’t know.)

“That’s it for him?” – I have not said those words, explicitly or otherwise. That is completely you. Look, you have decided to derive & conclude what you want from something I didn’t say or even think (& have never even thought…not even at his worst in ’08 when every other person could beat him).

We are all free to interpret things the way we wants to, but what I dislike is disagreeing just for the sake of it, especially when what we’re disagreeing about has not been mentioned AT ALL by me. Never, on this thread or any other thread since I began blogging on this website…not even in my mind for a split second :)

Skorocel Says:

madmax said: „Federer’s best is better than any other player on the tour. And that’s a fact.“

Then, why he lost that Rome 2006 final (where I think he played perhaps his best match on clay, and certainly his best match on clay against Nadal)? Or that Wimby 2008 final? He didn’t lost a set in his previous 6 matches, yet Nadal, already in the first 2 sets, managed to do something which no one could do even once… What do you think about that, sweetie?

Skorocel Says:

madmax said: “When Federer’s first serve is on – he wins his matches.”

Not quite. In the FO 2007 final, he served under (or around) 50 % in the first 2 sets. Oddly enough, he lost one and won one. In the 3rd and 4th, however, he served above (or around) 70 %, yet he had absolutely no business to win even one of these sets…

Cindy_Brady Says:

Skorocel = Federer hater

Case closed!

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