Berdych Botches Choke Job, Beats Federer in Miami; Roddick, Nadal Also Sweet 16 Winners
by Sean Randall | March 31st, 2010, 1:25 am
  • 190 Comments

Watching the Roger Federer-Tomas Berdych match tonight in the fourth round at the Sony Ericsson Open Miami, you almost got the feeling that Federer was following the Master Plan to a T. That is the “Berdych Choke Plan”:

Let Tomas win the first set and make it look real bad by double faulting on set point. Check.

Recover and win a closely contested second set, preferably in a tiebreak. Check.

Play like crap to open the third set. Check.

Give Tomas a break, the lead, adding to his false hope. Check.

Get break back and make Tomas doubt his ability to close out the match. Check.

Push it to a breaker. Check.

Let Tomas go up a mini-break giving him the false hope chance to serve it out at 5-4. Check.

Finish Tomas off at 6-5 after he chokes both points on his serve. Che…Uh oh… And the plan went pear shape.

Full credit to Berdych who choked but then in the end didn’t choke. In fact it was Federer who couldn’t capitalize/finalize on a 6-5 third set breaker lead. And after eight tries Berdych finally got another well-deserved win over Federer following a hair-raising 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-6(6) effort over the World No. 1.

As I wrote, Berdych was up a break in the third and cruising. Federer was spraying more balls than a can of tinactin in a rugby locker room. He was missing forehands, backhands, slices and he was struggling with his footwork. He looked so bad he almost seemed to do it with purpose, with a plan. The plan to make this loss as painful and as heart-wrenching as ever for the Bird Man.

At 4-3 Berdych serving, as if on cue Federer broke back and then had 0-30 on Berdych’s ensuing service game. Two points from losing the match at 4-5 Berdych somehow held it together, played a couple decent games and into a final set breaker we went.

If my memory’s correct they traded mini-breaks early before Berdych finally went up 5-4 with two big deliveries to come. Berdych dropped the first for 5-5. Then he completely shortarmed (ie, gagged) a forehand up-the-line. His subsequent challenge prove incorrect, match point Federer. Berdych, though, remained hunched over at the net almost as if he was rehearsing for yet another excruciating defeat and handshake.

But then he smiled, let the air out, made some funny faces and suddenly the pressure seemed off. Berdych was going to lose. He knew it. I knew it. I think everyone knew it. Except he didn’t lose. The Big Man went on the attack crushing a couple forehands and when Federer ‘s own forehand sailed long the match was over. Berdych had done it.

“The last match before this one we played in Australia I was two sets up… he came strongly back and won that match, and he deserved it and played well,” said Berdych after the 2-hour, 51-minute thrill ride. “This one was another chance. I was trying to just go for it same as the match in Melbourne, and finally it happened. I think it was the our 10th match against each other; second victory for me.

“It’s a great feeling to beat the No. 1 player in the world, the best player so far. But still, it was not a final. There is another match waiting next day, another really tough opponent. I need to take all the positive things, all the confidence from this match take it into the next match. “

Incredible finish. Incredible drama. Unlike any non-Slam match we’ve seen in a long time here in the U.S. That’s some top quality March Madness. The two ended with the identical number of points: 119. And the right man was the winner on the night. Great effort from Tomas to hang in there and finish the job.

“Look, it’s no secret I’ve struggled the last, what is it, five matches I’ve played here in the States,” said Federer who hit 61 errors and was just 2-for-10 on break chances. “It’s disappointing, I think, my performance overall, if I’ve got to analyze right now after the match.

“But I fought as much as I could under the circumstances with my game having issues at the moment. Definitely lack timing. I don’t know where that comes from because I played so nicely in Australia. So it’s disappointing to not be able to back it up.”

Added a perturbed-sounding Federer, “[This loss] only fuels my desire to go back to the practice courts and come back even stronger. I don’t like to lose these type of the matches. I’m looking forward to the clay court season now. It helps to kind of move on to a different surface. Definitely need to practice harder, and that’s what I’ll do.”

There were other matches on a busy second week Tuesday in Miami. Next for Berdych on Thursday is Fernando Verdasco who saw off the Goran Ivanisevic-led Marin Cilic 6-4, 7-6(3).

Andy Roddick overcame a shaky start to beat Ben Becker 7-6, 6-3 and tomorrow he gets Nicolas Almagro, a winner in a third set breaker over Tomasz Bellucci.

It was anything but easy for Rafael Nadal in his tough win over David Ferrer 7-6, 6-4. Tomorrow he’ll take on the streaky Frenchman JW Tsonga. Tsonga dispatched another former Spanish No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero in routine fashion.

And in the other Thursday quarter it will be Robin Soderling v. Mikhail Youzhny. Soderling needed three sets to turn away Fernando Gonzalez while Youzhny was the beneficiary of a Mardy Fish retirement (back).

In women’s quarterfinal play tomorrow, Justine Henin meets Caroline Wozniacki and in the evening its Kim Clijsters and Sam Stosur. Already in one semifinal are Venus Williams and Marion Bartoli.


Also Check Out:
Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Murray Funky, Federer Not
Sharapova v Errani: Let’s Play ‘Will She Choke?’ at French Open
Spaniards Nadal, Ferrer Reach Tennis Masters Semis; Federer v. Roddick Today
Flaky Federer Wins, Sets Up Berdych Showdown Tuesday in Miami; Nadal, Roddick Return
Sweet 16 for Federer, or Can Murray Derail Him at the US Open?

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190 Comments for Berdych Botches Choke Job, Beats Federer in Miami; Roddick, Nadal Also Sweet 16 Winners

madmax Says:

Sean,

am sad this morning. couldnt stay up late to watch the match – sounds as if it was close and once again, federer couldnt close it out – sports psychologist?


Sean Randall Says:

madmax, the tennis wasn’t great but the drama sure was. I’m too wired to sleep after that.


Michael Says:

It was clumsy display by Federer to say the least. His Forehand acted as a major spoiler and he just kept spraying easy hits. It seemed that even when Berdych wanted to gift the match by his bad display, Federer will not just take it. As Federer rightly said he need to go to the practice courts to sort out things. He just cannot hope to win another grand slam with such level of play.


linda Says:

I haven’t seen the match yet, but Federer has not been playing wel at Miami. Victory in tennis is more often than not down to winning the points at the right time, that is what keeps us at the edge of our seat.

Well done to Berdych.


Michael Says:

Sean,

Once again your prediction failed. Now who will you tip to win this one ??


rafa Says:

Sean,
Please Don’t pick Nadal to win now.


Sean Randall Says:

Well from the little I saw Rafa didn’t look especially great today either.

Right now Soderling may be the guy the beat(?).


jane Says:

Sean, hilarious start to the article: check, check, check, ch…e uh-oh. LOL!! Had a quick look at the site before sleep and got a kick out of your title so I read it all. You’ve given a clear summation and good quotes from both Berdych and Fed.

The show goes on.

madmax, commiserations – said all that on the other thread. Look on the bright side. He’s still #1.


Mindy Says:

rafa,

Don’t worry! Sean won’t be picking Rafa for anything. Didn’t you see his comment? So Rafa didn’t look especially great today. Give me a break! At least he’s still in the tournament. Let’s see Nole, Murray or even Fed play Nalby, Ferrer and Tsonga back-to-back and see how they do! What an absolute joke!

In case you didn’t know it, tennis is sometimes won by the intangibles. It’s not always the one who is playing the best pure tennis. However, I like these two wins by Rafa. I would much rather have him playing less than his best and coming out with a gritty, savvy, tough win than playing stellar, brilliant tennis for a set and a half the way he did in the semifinals against Ljuby, but then falling apart and losing.

Maybe you should have seen that last game in the second set in which Rafa played some of his most aggressive, brilliant tennis to break Ferrer for the win. Rafa wanted to close out the match and he did just that. By the way, Ferrer played some pretty damn good tennis in that match. Rafa did quite well to beat him in straight sets.


madmax Says:

Morning Jane.

I’m fine really. I read all the comments from you guys this morning (got up at 6 am), and was scrolling through hoping to see – yessssssssss from kimmi, fed did it! Ugh.

I do wonder about these moments he has at match point? that’s what? the fourth one now? Tsonga, del po, baggy, berdych – Jane :(

But I know that Federer will pull it together eventually. It is almost as if at “that” moment, he just lets a negative creep in. I dont get it. I cannot work it out. I hope he does.


Kimo Says:

I think Roger was affected a great deal by his long hiatus after winning the AO. You see, artistic players like Roger, whose game depends on timing and precision, need to practice a lot in order to get their engines humming. He didn’t hit a tennis ball for over a mmonth and that’s why he was never really showed up for IW & KB.

Let’s not forget that he’s a father now and has things other than tennis on his mind. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t like tennis anymore, it means that there are other things going on in his life now besides tennis, unlike pre-2007 Fed, who breathed, ate, and drank tennis.


madmax Says:

Kimo,

morning. yes. I see what you say, however, fed has made it very clear, that whilst he has his family who give him another dimension to his life, that tennis is his job/his life and he expects to show up every day – this should be no different. He said in a recent interview, he doesnt want the kids there with him whilst he is “at the office”. He has a job to do.

I hope he blows all the cobwebs away now before his next tournament and hits the practise courts in a big, big way.


PietjeP Says:

Well; what a nice statistic, to lose in back to back tournaments, while having a matchpoint in both matches you lose…

Too bad; a good deep run in Miami would have almost secured the nr 1 spot, until after Wimbledon.


krishnan.t.s. Says:

finally… fed lost….but that could hurt nadal…i guess he’d have wanted fed in the finals if he manages to get to it


Polo Says:

I was rather ambivalent while watching the Federer-Berdych match. Although I am a big Federer fan, towards the end of the match, I hoped for Berdych to win. That match is more important to Berdych than to Federer because it will have a lasting impact on his career and he is still very young. Lose and that will haunt and affect him in his future matches. Win and his confidence will get the boost that has been lacking in his career. I hope this win will permanently toughen the mental aspect of his game.

About Federer, he will recover. And if he does not, he has already achieved so much and accept that you cannot be at the top forever. Age and younger players are bound to overtake him. This has started to happen.


contador Says:

dear sean randall,

i think on you check off list you meant:

CZECH, right?

in the end it was Czech-mate, Mr. Federer.

i woke up sad, madmax, fed fans. Roger losing to Bagdahtis in IW was okay, like fine, sure. Roger just got back from having a lung infection, he’s rusty, wahtever. kudos marcos….

but this? and i only saw the bloody ending. NOT!

i got home during the last tie break and turned off the laptop, poured myself a night cap, waited, then czeched the score.

that’s how you do it people. but i still woke up disappointed.

i can’t celebrate really for tomas, i hear what you are saying POLO.

and i believe it’s true, what Federer says post-match. this will motivate him to get out to the practice courts.

well, the will to win and motivation are great. he needs to physically back, step up his game to keep up with the youngsters and old guys on the come-back trail , like ljubie.

c’mon Roger! your fans believe in you! let’s get on a role for clay season, okay?


Federer-Berdych Miami Highlights [VIDEO] Says:

[...] Recent News… Berdych Botches Choke Job, Beats Federer in Miami; Roddick, Nadal Also Sweet 16 Winners [...]


Johanna Says:

It’s been awhile since I’ve read this site – and last night as I was watching Federer/Berdych – I was thinking “gosh, Tomas is playing really well…. oh, wait, he has yet to choke.” And immediately thought of Sean Randall. And the announcers cited the same – but put nicely as “needing self belief.” And yes, that call that caused his bright, zany smile – I thought – this is it, his choking moment. But no – so well done for Berdych. Federer’s first serve was also off and he had his chances. 119 points each!! Tennis is tough.


ThyGodisTennis Says:

Fed needs to slow down on when he preps for his serve. He had a chance to serve it out rushed matched point. His clutch is stuck.


contador Says:

read the article again, very objectively this time-

Sean-

great job. the title, the humor, everything. well done.

problem is. Federer lost in the most miserable fashion. okay, i forgive him.

and-

now on to wish the great Tomas Berdych the very best of luck and a continued run all the way to win the trophy in miami, seriously, buddy.

alright. C’mon Tomas, don’t stop now, man. you can do it!

Your choking days are over,pal. Regroup! Get your pretty blond head together quick and remain the top man here. DO YOUR FANS PROUD, for gods sake! ( i saw a blond dark horse winning this one )

Show tobasco who is BOSS really is the Hot Sauce! remember….that would be YOU, dude,

then take down that fancy saluting russian Youzney or that weakened knee-strapped, ready to fizzle, flat Soda Pop.

Then, go for rafa’s and/or roddick’s jugular…..spare your own! no mre choking. okay? that’s your assignment, Bidrie.

You are getting a rare pep talk from the contador here, so listen up, my man,

NOW, DO IT! BERDYCH GOOOOO TOMAS! : )


Ben Pronin Says:

I feel like this is being blown out of proportion. Berdych was expected to choke. Instead he fixed himself and won. He fully deserved to win considering he was playing arguably the best tennis I’ve ever seen him play. So Federer is off, so what? He’ll get his groove back at some point. At least he didn’t smash any rackets and drop 5 straight games to lose.


contador Says:

oops=

meant “Birdie” that’s you assigment!

not Bidrie….lol…

GO TOMAS!


Ben Pronin Says:

Oh and I like how Berdych said this isn’t the final. That’s the spirit. I’m actually rooting for him to win the whole thing now. He is one talented son of a b****.

Something positive to take from this from Federer is that he’s healthy.


NELTA Says:

Fed definitely has his work cut out for him. Despite all the hoopla last year his results were pretty good in the early hard court masters(2 semifinal losses to top 4 players). Even then he struggled, losing early in Monte Carlo. He had a decent result in Rome, but never beat anyone I would consider a worthy clay court opponent. It wasn’t until Madrid where he finally got his game going by beating Soderling, Blake, Roddick, Delpo and Nadal while only dropping a single set.

Fed can bounce back, but I’m not encouraged by what I’m seeing. There are a lot of tenacious, lower ranked South American and Spanish clay courters who won’t get psyched out facing Fed in the 2nd or 3rd round of the next few masters events.

Everything slows down a little on clay so hopefully putting a little more air/spin under the ball can help Fed get his confidence back on the forehand. That’s what I see as the main problem. He used to clean up anything that landed short, but he doesn’t have the confidence to do it consistently right now. It seems like 1/3 of the time he will go for it and hit a winner, another 1/3 will be a shank/bad miss and the other 3rd will be too safe a shot.


contador Says:

Yay! Ben Pronin on the Berdych bandwagon too.

that’s the spirit!

sorry tobasco, youzney, mr. dimples…


contador Says:

Sure NELTA, fed will be back-

we’ll see how he sorts his problems out on clay.


sheila Says:

was so disappointed in the federers loss to berdych. wins ao, loses to baggy in 3rd rd @ iw,
loses to berdych in rd of 16 in miami. lets c how he does in slams. if he starts losing early @ those events then i’ll really start worrying


Voicemale1 Says:

I think one point that needs consideration is the slow court surfaces at both Indian Wells & Miami. The slow hard courts offer two things to trouble Federer: 1) it gives his opponents an extra second or two to reach a lot of his shots and keep a rally going; and 2) the ever evolving equipment is maximized by bounce off of the court – so the ball gets a little higher on his Forehand side that is optimal for him, forcing to hit it defensively more than he wants to.

Federer hasn’t won – in fact hasn’t even been to the Final – of either Indian Wells or Miami in 4 years now. More and more guys are understanding getting fit is essential to play their best (just look at Ljubicic, who said as much). The fit guys can run down a lot more of the Federer shots on a slower hard court. And many can return those shots with interest because of the court surface. This is NOT the way Federer wants to play tennis – extended rallies point after point. Since he’s a Shotmaker & not a Grinder this kind of extended play forces him to go for Winners under much less than ideal circumstances, so his errors pile up as a result. And time ticks by. Last night’s match was almost 3 hours; against Baghdatis at IW, 3 hours again. And these are 3 hour matches before the Quarters! Add to that the courts give guys who can hit heavy a chance to get the ball a little higher than Federer’s ideal strike zone on the Forehand as well as the Backhand, and they can do a lot of neutralizing to Federer’s game. Basically some of these matches at both venues can turn into Lung Busters of long rallies, and that’s not The Federer Game.

Federer has much better success on the faster hard courts, such as Cincinnati and the US Open – and especially Indoor Carpet. The ball moves through the court much faster, so it’s much easier to rob your opponent of time. And the ball stays much lower, so it’s more often flying right into into Federer’s Wheelhouse Forehand, which he can hit at will. But I think more than anything, the slower hard courts at both events he’s played have a significant contribution to his early losses.


Ben Pronin Says:

Really, people? We’re writing off Federer already? Really?

I don’t think so. Federer will be fine. It’s not like he lost to Rochus or Fish. He lost to two talented players who are capable of playing great tennis and have been itching for a win for a long time. Plus Federer is simlpy playing bad. He’s inconsistent. The clay should help sort that out. But when his strokes were clicking, he was winning.


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer is going to lose early in Cincy. He has a pattern going where he wins one year, loses early the next. It’s been like that for like 6 years. Miami is supposed to be fairly quick, though. Besides, Federer lost plenty during the indoor season last year. And Del Potro did to him at both the USO and the WTF what Berdych did last night. He kept pushing him back and off balance with pace. Still not a big enough deal to write him off.

While it sucks that Federer has played so poorly at these two events, back in the day he won both in the same year twice in a row. One of the most difficult and rarest of feats in tennis. He’s done enough.


Voicemale1 Says:

Ben Pronin Says:

Miami is supposed to be fairly quick, though.

——————————————-

When Indian Wells built their new stadium 10 years ago they used the same group that did the complex in Miami. I think Buccholtz is the one who recommended them to Pasarell. So their court surfaces are much more similar to each other than they are to the slicker faster surfaces up north. There’s a lot of sand in IW & Miami courts, mostly because each complex is located in a place where sand is plentiful (Palm Springs and Miami Beach). The sand slows the court down.


jane Says:

Ben, I know you said your thought Berdych played amazingly, the best you’ve ever seen him play; however, you know he had over 40 UEs if I recall correctly, and his serve wasn’t clicking either. He was just in the high 50% for first serves in all match. Personally, I’d say that this was not the best tennis I’ve seen from Berdych. But, it was the best I have seen from him in terms of persistence and focus.

Like you and conty, I’d love to see him maintain that, build on it, and get to the finals versus Rafa or Roddick! I like Soda, Youz and Verdasco too but it’s just nice to see someone build on an upset.


Ben Pronin Says:

It’s not the upset, it’s that fact that Berdych is one of the biggest under-achievers in the game and I want to see him make some noise. He does have a Masters title (weird, right) but that was against a depleted field way back when. Also, the errors could be nerves and the fact that he was going for broke. Maybe it wasn’t his best, but I have never seen him play that kind of defense. He was running all over the court like a rabbit. Who does he think he is, Nadal? Did anyone else notice how huge his legs are, btw?

Anyways, maybe you’re right Voicemale. But I think the air in Miami makes the ball fly through more. Although, considering my above compliment to Berdych’s defense, he was getting to a crap load of balls that I would’ve expected to go past him.


Polo Says:

Federer has quickly transformed from being the Grim Reaper to simply being grim. A sad day for Federer fans but I am sure happy days will be here again.


Voicemale1 Says:

Ben:

Beg to differ. If anything, the ball flies through the air faster at Indian Wells than Miami. Indian Wells is not only in the dry air of the desert, it’s also a much higher altitude. Miami would be a slower ball mostly because of the humidity. The air is much heavier in Miami than Indian Wells – there’s no question about that.


Ben Pronin Says:

Well, I’ll concede.


blank Says:

Now it’ll be interesting to see if Fed asks for a wildcard to play Monte Carlo.

Last year it was a very similar situation. Monte Carlo wasn’t on his schedule (he had stated it didn’t fit into his FO preparations), but following two disappointing losses at IW and Miami, he decided to play Monte Carlo (didn’t do to well there either).

I hope he takes some time to settle into the right mindset before jumping into another Masters tourney.


blank Says:

I think Fed is just losing confidence in his abilities while playing 3 setters. Since last year, he was always been coming back in matches from the holes he dug himself into…5 setters, he has the luxury of time in order to do that. 3 sets, that where it pains and doesn’t work all the time.


grace Says:

I sense Roger is struggling with confidence. He hasn´t lost when he´s had MPS. since 2006.I don´t think Tomas played so good, really Roger could have win but he played so bad , two matches against himself and against Tomas.


Dari Says:

Roger needs to go back to square… not square one because he has so much already, but maybe square two or three and really hit the practice courts and maybe the fitness really hard. He’s making amateur mistakes and lacking focus! You know what gets me? Fed has multiple break or match points in these last two matches. Doesn’t win them. His opponents get one or two chances and they always seem to make it happen! so after we’ve seen fed struggle on one match or break point after another, the other guy has one chance, takes it and bam its over!
Still love ya, fed, but you’ve got to do a little adjusting! We want to see that win at all costs performance!
Berdych did very well to hang on, he finally got that big upset. I may be looking into what he has to offer now…
Practice up, Roger!


Ben Pronin Says:

Maybe Federer hasn’t been practicing hard enough. He said he “needs to practice harder”. Odd for the world number 1 to say something like that. Either way, seriously guys, there is nothing to worry about. This time last year he had 1 slam and was falling a part in final sets. This year he holds 3 slams and is barely losing in final set tie-breakers. Everything is fine. He’ll practice, fine-tune his game, and be ready for the French and Wimbledon.


Dari Says:

Yes no need to panic, but dammit! The match is on tennis channel again right now!


blank Says:

Ben – It appears like there is not much reason (yet) to worry about Fed in the grand slams. It’s the smaller events (or all events other than GS) where he has been so consistently inconsistent for a long time now. Doubt if it’s gonna change.


NELTA Says:

Ben Pronin says: “Did anyone else notice how huge his legs are, btw?”

Yeah, his legs have always been like that. He’s probably the 3rd or 4th heaviest player on tour behind Isner and Karlovic. Ljubicic is about the same weight.

He is a big hockey fan, but I don’t know if he played it at all growing up. He definitely has the legs of a hockey player.


Dory Says:

Fed is too relaxed while playing. It’s almost as if the alarm bells don’t ring in his head on double fault, lousy misses or break points. He’s started making overuse of his sliced backhand and with already having achieved so much, it’s obvious that he doesn’t feel the same kind of ambition to win. It’s just another tournament for him. When he really really enjoys playing, like in the Slams, he wins. This is simply unacceptable for his fans like me. He isn’t as motivated to his 17th Masters title (and tie it with Agassi) as he was to win his 16th Grand Slam. I am finding his commitment to smaller-than-slam tournaments really questionable now (it started since 2008). RF, you need to have more consistency. No IW or MI title for 4 years in a row now. Very very disappointng performance so far from RF. Most surpringly, Nole, Murray, Davy, JMDP and Nadal aren’t stepping him either. Kind of astonishing how they all slump or get injured at the same time. Hopefully, Nadal won’t disappoint now in Miami although he doesn’t look at his former best right now. I am picking Soderling to win.


Dory Says:

Forgot to add Cilic to the list of disappointers. I guess they are all human again. :P


Ben Pronin Says:

Relaxed shmelaxed. He still hits great shots. He’ll break Agassi’s record at some point. He only needs 2 tournaments. He won 2 last year, why not 2 more this year.


Dory Says:

Forgot to add: RF’s standard has fallen to worrying levels now. I fear in one of his slams now, he might end his record of 23 consecutive semis by losing early to some outside-of-top-10 player. Just like he isn’t as motivated in smaller tournaments, it seems he doesn’t really care about defeating outside-of-top-10 players too. Always keeps losing especially to them in 1000s. And hardly plays any 500s now.


Skorocel Says:

„Let’s see Nole, Murray or even Fed play Nalby, Ferrer and Tsonga back-to-back and see how they do!“

Good point, Mindy. Playing these 3 guys is never easy, yet Nadal has already sawed off two of them in Miami.


Daniel Craig Says:

haha now rafa will clean up and take this one. then, he’ll win two of the three clay masters and break agassi’s record first. federer will remain at 16 for the foreseeable future


madmax Says:

Dory, chillax dude. And I know how you feel, I still feel the after effects of reading all my fellow tennis junkies post this morning. in fact, i feel downright down! Yes, Ben I do! I feel like I want to throw a sofa out of the window or something, lost my appetite at work today – but slowly, things will balance out. We have come to expect so much from this man (why fed! why did you do this to us!? :) ), BUT, I dont think for one moment that he will let this bother him so much that his tennis suffers for the slams. No. Absolutely No. If I think more logically, both him and Berdyche had the same number of winners, (okay, so fed had more UE’s),he’s really got to sort that side of things out, convert the break points and really, stop getting into the longer rallies, but from what everyone has said (and I’ll see the match for real at 6pm), Fed didnt play badly, just inconsistently.

I wonder whether a sports psyche could help out here in this crucial moments? And I really dont think that fitness is an issue at all with Federer. He is as fit as (if not fitter), than any of the players out there. He has just hired a new fitness trainer to join paglio and a new physio full time. Federer is in the best shape of his life.

Plus, I cannot see this “half a step slower” nonsense. I really cannot. He is moving around like a 20 year old. I just think it is a mental lapse, which he needs to take care of sooner rather than later.

If we think about it, remember when everyone was crucifying the federer BH? well, lets go back to AO and to IW and remember how WELL the BH was – it was brilliant, alive, on target, “smashing!”, so fed needs to apply the same strategy at these crucial points, it needs to be high energy at this point, not allowing any negative thoughts to creep in at this point. I wonder whether this has started to happen? but I do believe it is something that can be easily sorted, with the right help.


madmax Says:

daniel craig. I dont think so.


madmax Says:

I’ll never understand why someone, who calls himself a tennis fan, gloats at a player’s loss? It happens to the best of them.


Hartmut Hesse Says:

What’s Wrong With Roger?!?

So Federer lost to Thomas Berdych 4:6, 7:6, 6:7 in the round of 16 in Miami last night. A shock for most of his fans and the tennis fans in Miami, who were looking forward to a possible final Federer – Nadal. And ‘Fed’ lost to Marcos Baghdatis in the third round of last weeks Indian Wells tournament already (in straight sets). How can that happen?!?
Is Federer struggling again with his form … and his forehand … and his overhead … and his backhand?
No, He isn’t!
He lost 6:8 in the third set of the tiebreak, had one matchpoint and had 10 break chances during the whole match, compared to only 4 for Berdych and he won as many points in total as the Zcech No. 1, as well. So, it was a really close match that he lost. Unlike the early exits of Djokovic and Murray, Federer was very close to winning, but just came up short a tiny little bit in the end.
On top of that Djokovic and Murray have been the two finalists of last years event, and they will lose a lot of points due to their early departures. Federer reached only the semi-final last year and has only 360 points to defend. The only player left in the draw, who can be dangerous for his No. 1 ranking spot, is Nadal and he is more than 4000 points behind Federer. So, no worries for ‘Fed’ in that department.
And this is one of the two things Roger is really concerned about. He wants to break Pete Sampras’ record of total weeks at No. 1 and total year-end finishes as No. 1.
If you have some money to spend, go ahead and place a bet on him reaching these goals this year. The only problem is that you won’t get much money back, if you are right…
His other big goal for this year and main focus is winning a Grand Slam. And in order to do that he needs to have enough energy a, motivation and focus during the last 3 Grand Slam events of this year. So, he cannot go 100% all year long. A big mistake Nadal has made over the past years. Of course both players have very different attitudes and work ethics. And they have to have (at least Nadal), because god did not give both the same amount of talent. Nadal always has to work hard to win his matches. But Federer can win with less effort most of the times, and that is the reason why he is not injured so often. And it is also the reason why he suffers some surprise early exits in some tournaments that are not so important for him. But it does not happen when he really care, as his Grand Slam record clearly show. Federer always tries to save as much energy as possible and win his matches with ease, because he is always aiming for the title. And that means a lot of matches in a row. And if he is not aiming for the title, but for the big titles (grand Slams) he is trying to save even more energy.
So, there is nothing to worry about for the Federer fans. He thinks French Open already and I think he will have a great chance this year to get the Grand Slam.
And then the Federer fans have reason to worry, because if he can accomplish that, he will also break the other records for the No. 1 ranking, and then he has nothing to play for anymore besides exercise and fun. And I don’t know if he will have enough motivation to travel around the globe to exercise… His wife might ask him to play with his daughters on the court next to the house instead…

Hartmut Hesse
Hesse Tennis Training
Professional Training and Coaching for Top Juniors and Professionals


tenisbebe Says:

Just finished watching the Fed/Bird match w/o knowing the outcome. Congrats to Berdych – felt he deserved to win. Sloppy at times, brilliant at others but it was exciting.

Can’t help but think that Delpo has to be sitting at home rubbing his hands in glee. The 2 MS he’s out with injury & none of the top guys have been able to capitalize (yet for Rafa). Murray, Djoko, Fed all out early in IW & Miami, Rafa can’t defend his 1,000 pts in IW from ’09 & although Andy got to the final at IW for the first time, he doesn’t prevail. He couldn’t have dreamed up a better scenario – dammit!


Ben Pronin Says:

Madmax, I can relate to how you feel, but not today. I’m just not that upset about this loss. Or the Baghy one. Two young talented players who have yet to realize their potential. What better way to start than by beating Federer? Federer is going to win plenty in the years to come, but the same can’t be said for everyone else.


margot Says:

Why oh why oh why…can’t Fed play like that against Murray????


Ben Pronin Says:

He did, margot. Remember, roughly a year ago, in IW. Federer played like utter crap to lose in a third set. But before Federer plays like anything against Murray, they both have to make it that far. Neither has made it to their slated semifinal spots in either event.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/371306-roger-federereverything-is-going-according-to-plan

My favorite line: “In this attempt, Nadal will be running more miles before the French Open than David Nalbandian has run in his entire life.”


Polo Says:

Ben Pronin, thanks for that article. It was fun to read because it was loaded with irony and optimism. It should give Federer fans some reason to wait for his next match. When will that be? Until then, my enthusiasm for spectator tennis has waned. Women’s tennis don’t help at all.


Believer Says:

For Fedrerer DTL Back Hand (it was awful last night) is the key. Both top spin and flat BHs for depth and penetration. If that clicks he will win 95% of his matches (including against Nadal). Top players are now consistently finding his back hand side more often and if his down the line is not working he is in danger of losing close matches. I also think Nadal can get to Federer’s back hand consistently and draw errors even if Federerer’s DTL BH is working. But if its not working he is toast.

Having said that Federer always comes prepared with this stuff during grand slam matches. I am guessing he emphasizes practicing his DTL BH before grand slam tournaments. Since this is not one, Federer will have time to tune his DTL BH during the clay court strech and get his confidence back.

I did not actually get into acatually doing s staistical analysis. But if any one does that they will probably have similar numbers.


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t fully agree with the 95% including Nadal. In their 06 matches, in particular, Federer’s down the line backhand was huge. Monstrous. He still lost more than he won (although they were all close).


Stefani Germanotta Says:

What do people think of Federer’s chances on clay? He’s probably the second best dirtballer out there at the moment. The slower surface should take away the power of a lot of the guys targeting his backhand.

My guess is that overall, the slower stuff helps him. Will be very interesting to see how Rafa holds up over the next 2 months


andrea Says:

i couldn’t believe how many balls roger was trying to paint the lines with and chronically missed. and at the end he wasn’t even challenging. it’s like he knew his game was off and i guess his commentary post match proves it.

it did almost seem like fate working in rogers favor when berdych’s ball was called out and match point was on rogers serve. but in the 2 consecutive points he lost in the breaker at the end, he was playing so conservatively in the rallies and got outgunned.

his BH slice was finding the net way too many times as well.

credit again to berdych for holding down the fort this time.


Fot Says:

It’s funny reading all these comments after Roger loses at match. I swear, I think Roger’s losses generates more comments than other players put together! lol!

Hey, we know Roger is getting older so he won’t win ‘everything’ anymore. That’s just a fact. But I wouldn’t put the guy in the grave just now – as some of you are implying!

Just think – this time last year – in this exact same tournament – Roger broke his racket and folks were burying him! They were crying for him to just quit tennis because he wouldn’t win anything else! The ‘young guns’ were ruling tennis now so old man Roger may as well just retire now. Remember all those stories?

Well we know what happened the rest of the year. So ‘chillax’ as another member always uses! lol! We know Roger prepared for (physically and mentally) for the slams more than he does for thes other tournaments. Until Roger starts losing in the 1st or 2nd round of a slam – then I don’t think he’s in trouble.

He has a great attitude. He said he has to go work ‘harder’ to get the glitches out of his game. Some other players want to get away from tennis and get their mind together because it’s not fun for them anymore. That’s why Roger has been around a long time. The guys really does LOVE tennis!

Sure, Berdych seemed like he wanted the match more last night – heck, Roger tried to give it to him in straight sets but he didn’t take advantage of it! lol!

So Federer fans…relax…it’s not the end of the world because he lost. It takes a hugh effort for the other players to even beat Roger! It’s not like Roger lost 6-1 6-0 to someone! They had to work for it! Roger will be ok.

I have no idea who to pick in this tournament now. No one has looked invinsible. Soderling has looked good but even he looked a little shaky in that 2nd set against Gonzo. Rafa – well, he hasn’t looked sharp but he’s still in the tournament; People were expecting Cilic to do damage and he went out; Roddick – I can’t gage yet because he really hasn’t played anyone yet. So I think it’s wide open. We may get a surprise winner like we did in IW last week.


sar Says:

Benneteau, Baghdatis and Berdych. The evil B’s.


Fot Says:

Sar…hadn’t thought of it that way before ! lol! Let’s hope he stays away from the other ‘Bs’ in the next draw! lol!


sar Says:

Jane, and here I thought Nole was already in Monte Carlo, practising for clay!

http://www.greattennisphotos.net/2010/03/nole-parties-in-miami.html


jane Says:

sar, lol. Erm, I don’t think Jelena will be too happy if/when she sees these photos.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane, Sar are you watching Andy/Nico?


tenisbebe Says:

Fot – I couldn’t agree more with your comments at 3:34pm. Everytime Fed loses, the hand-wringing begins: He needs a coach, a sports psychologist, to make a sacrafice to the backhand gods…the list goes on and on. As many have pointed out, in the past 4 years, Fed has not dominated at either IW or Miami so why all the fretting? I do believe the man won 3 out the past 4 GS’s. My God, have a little faith Fed fans. After all, he drops little in pts with these 2 losses.

Let’s also not forget that he has not one but 2 8 month old babies traveling with him. Babies do tend to wake up in the middle of the night, waking up one or both parents. Life tends to be about the children when there are that age, no matter how much money you have.


Kimmi Says:

Roddick has been cruising so far..6-3 6-3 is as good as it can get. saving a lot of energy before he meets tougher opponents…exactly what the Dr. ordered!.

Did not see henin v Wozniacki match. Looks like it was a close one…I am glad Justine came thru. she was able to serve out for the match on her first try too which has been a big problem for her, she is gaining confidence….Next will probably be Clijsters, both my fav….very hard to pick.


tenisbebe Says:

Justine was making alot of UE’s in the first set. She broke Woz to go up 6-5 & then promptly dumped her own serve to send it to a TB, which she then lost. I couldn’t believe it, the JH of old would have rarely let that opportunity slip away. She looked unsure of herself & CW was teeing off on her 2nd serve. JH’s confidence has been growing since she got her serve sorted out. Truly at the end of the 1st set I thought Caroline would win in 2 the way JH was playing. But she got it together in the end.


Kimmi Says:

tenisbebe, thanks for the summary! I was following the score and saw the match was back and forth in that first set..

Justine is still looking for consistency

The way she lost to Dulko in IW was unexpected. she made a lot of UE..She keeps saying she needs more matches to gain the confidence..I agree

her game has soo much variety, it can break down easily…

I am glad she won coz Wozniacki is not easy..she is a great counter puncher, to play her you need high level of concentration, she gets every ball back..


Gordo Says:

Well, time for some math. As some of you know, the magic date for Fed to still be #1 is June 15. If he is #1 then he will claim another of the biggest records in tennis – most ever weeks at #1, passing Pete Sampras.

With now only 9 weeks to go I felt this was Federer’s chance to improve on last year’s semi-final berth; otherwise some of the other boys, notably the Djoker, would be in hailing distance of Fed and could disrupt his #1 celebration party in June.

So in Miami Fed doesn’t make the quarters and winds up dropping 270 points and will now have 10,765.

If the Djoker wins the tourney he will be within 1600 points. Overtaking Fed in the next 2 months is a possibility.

So what happens? Djokovic and Murray fall in the first round they play. To quote the Italians, Uglisimo!!!

Fed will have 10,765 points on Monday.
Djokovic is losing 590 and will have 7,630.
Murray is losing 990 and will have 5,845.
And Rafa? All he can do is gain, as he is the only dude in the top 4 to reach the same round as last year, and he is still active. Cutting right to the bottom line, here are the numbers for Nadal on Monday if he 1) makes the Semis 2) makes the finals | wins the tourney – 1) 6,980 2) 7,220 3) 7620

Bottom line for Fed – his increase over the #2 player actually increases from 2,815 to 3,135 points, but although far behind him in the rear view mirror he can now see a fast charging Nadal as well as the Djoker.

There are 3 tournaments to get through until June 15 – Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid. Here are the totals each of the 4 top guys is defending -

Federer – 1,450
Djokocic – 1,560
Nadal – 2,600
Murray – 550

All Nadal and Fed fans should be rooting for Nadal to win Miami. Then he will be only 10 points behind Djokovic and if he goes further than him in Monte Carlo then he reclaims the #2 spot which should ensure Federer and Nadal cannot meet each other at the French Open except in the Final.

Just the way it should be.


Fot Says:

Gordo, thanks for the match update.


Mindy Says:

Skorocel,

Thanks for the acknowledgment! You have done that before. Be careful, though. I am persona non grata at this tennis site. I lurk and read a good deal of the time. But I rarely post, except when I feel strongly and have something to say.

If you want to stay in good with the people here, just don’t compliment me too often. If they like you, then you will be forgiven.

Anyway, I am truly pleased that you appreciated the point I was trying to make about Rafa.

I have stayed away from any speculation or discussion about Fed’s loss to Berdych. It’s all pretty much been covered in the discussion here. But one mistake I will NOT make is to write Fed off. No way!


blank Says:

Federer posted this a few mins ago on Facebook -

“I am back on the clay!”

Good to see him move past the disappointments so quickly onto the next important thing! :-)


Dari Says:

Wow, Gordo, at first it looked like I wasn’t gonna be into your mathematical post, but it ended up being very helpful and had a happy ending! Thanks!


jane Says:

Gordo, plus Novak has the Serbian open to defend and Nadal has Barcelona – not sure when they are or if you added them, but I think it’s pretty safe to say Fed will retain the number 1.

Doesn’t the FO figure in before June 15th?

For example, if Rafa wins Miami, defend all his clay points, wins Madrid and wins the FO (tall order) AND if Fed falters at defending his clay point somewhere, espcially by losing early at the FO or something (semis Rome, win Madrid and win FO) then could that affect /alter the number #1?


Kimmi Says:

jane, you are right. Gordo did not add barcelona nad serbia.

Nadal 500
Djoko 250


Kimmi Says:

Stosur was letting clijsters bully her around the court till she woke up in the middle of the second set..she is playing much better!

Stosur serve has so much KICK..very rare in women tennis.


Gordo Says:

I didn’t add in the Djokovic family hit or Barcelona as they are not 1000 series tournaments.

And yes, to stay number 1 on June 15 Roger has to stay in that spot through the French Open, where he is defending a whopping 2,000 points.

As I posted earlier, the best thing for him is if Nadal is seeded number 2.


sar Says:

Bryans knocked out today too.


Kimmi Says:

sar..6-2 6-2..that is a bad loss. I saw those guys who beat them play in YEC last year..they must have been on fire or maybe Bryans were too bad today!


Gordo Says:

Jane -

This is the stuff of speculation, but one must never underestimate that when you win a tournament one year you cannot get additional points the next year. Except for Roland Garros this hurts Rafa much more than it does Fed.

Just for fun, let’s examine the dream scenario for Rafa fans and see what Fed has to do to stay at number 1 -

If Rafa wins Miami he will have 7,620 points, then let’s say he wins Monte Carlo ( same as last year ), wins Rome ( same as last year ), wins Barcelona ( same as last year ) and wins Madrid ( lost in final last year ). He would then go into the French Open with 8,020 points.

Rafa is defending 180 points from Roland Garros last year, so here is where he could gain big and end the clay court season with 9,820 points ahould he win this (which would see him winning 6 tournaments in a row – very unlikely, but we are having fun here).

Now, Mr. Federer -

Going into the clay season he has 10,765 points.

What did he do in these 4 clay tournaments?

Monte Carlo – Round of 16 – 90 points
Rome – Semis – 360 points
Barcelona – Did not play
Madrid – Champion – 1000 points
and of course he won the French Open – 2000 points

So in our scenario we have Nadal winning all and winding up with 9,820.

Without Federer striking a single ball lets subtract every point he is defending and he is reduced to 7,315 points, which is a difference of 2,505.

What realistically equals this amount? If he were to do the following -

Monte Carlo – lose in the semis – 360 points
Rome – lose in the semis – 360 points
Madrid – lose in the finals – 600 points
Roland Garros – lose in the finals – 1200 points

he would leave Roland Garros with 9835, 15 points ahead of Nadal, IF NADAL WERE TO WIN EVERYTHING.

Who has a better chance of achieving the above, Fed or Rafa, even given that Rafa is the greatest clay player in the history of the game?

Remember, every time Nadal falls shot of a title over the next 10 weeks the points that Federer needs are reduced accordingly.

I hope this has made sense.

G.


sar Says:

Yeah, Kimmi. Last night one of the Bryans tweeted that they were going out to Baja Fresh for huge burritos!!! LOL

Also last night Kim Clijters tweeted they were at Nobu eating black cod!

Judging by results–Guess black cod is better on the system.


sar Says:

In that Murray interview I found what he says about Nenad Zimonjic hilarious.


blank Says:

Gordo – That’s very interesting analysis. Hope he can hang onto that ranking till after FO. Right now Monte Carlo isn’t on Fed’s map…but like last year, he may enter the fray at the last minute. I think he need to play and get some point there to build up a buffer.


Kimmi Says:

Nadal v Tsonga on the court.

sar..I read that interview a while back, I think it came out before IW and you are right about Zimonj…he is scared of him hahah!


blank Says:

Correction, my above post should read…”needs to play” and “get some points”


Kimmi Says:

Tsonga is striking the ball well, so is nadal…early days yet


tenisbebe Says:

Well, this is starting out to be much better quality-wise than last nights match. We are in for a long match I think…


tenisbebe Says:

Wow! Good stuff so far, and it’s only the 2nd game.


Polo Says:

Where are you guys watching? Can’t find the match in Tennis Channel or FSN though FSN is supposed to have it, it is showing basketball instead.


Polo Says:

Well, got it on ATDHE.


NELTA Says:

What? The match isn’t on TC or FSN. I was really looking forward to watching. I’ll have to rely on the scoreboard and board updates for how they are playing.


Kimmi Says:

Tsonga is really on fire..striking the ball very well today..even his backhand is working…

Nadal serve has improved a lot here


NELTA Says:

Based on the stats it looks like Rafa is spinning in a lot of 1st serves to prevent Tsonga from attacking the 2nd serve.


Kimmi Says:

Tsonga..he gets chances to break he does not break. Nadal gets one change he gets it.

Now he is complaining Nadal takes too long to serve…


Skorocel Says:

What is Tsonga complaining about?


MarkoPolo Says:

Can somebody post link to watchthe Nadal match TC is not showing it! Thank you in advance!


blank Says:

Tsonga is complaining about the time Nadal takes to get ready to receive serve!


Kimmi Says:

Skorocel..complaining Nadal take tooo loooong to serve..


Kimmi Says:

blank it was to receive serve..I thought it was to serve…maybe I was wrong


blank Says:

Kimmi, It was right after Tsonga lost his service game. Apparently Nadal was waiting too long for the crowd to settle in before receiving serve.

On his serve, what’s there (new) to complain…isn’t taking longer than normal the usual thing for him!? :-)


blank Says:

For Tsonga, winning or losing against the top guys is just between the two ears, inside his head.


Kimmi Says:

But Nadal should follow the servers pace, regardless of what the crowd is doing…

Tsonga is really breaking apart here..)-40 oh dear!


Skorocel Says:

Thanks for the explanation, Kimmi!


blank Says:

I agree. It’s one thing to delay getting ready to serve, but it’s totally inappropriate to make the server wait for you.

Hope the Tsonga meltdown doesn’t continue onto set 2.


Skorocel Says:

Seems like Nadal’s ugly chase-down-everything-make-the-opponent-miss game is close to its best today. The guy is running like a rabbit with 1000 needles in his .ss, and in addition is serving very well…


tenisbebe Says:

Polo – the match is on FSN in the eastern and central time zone for sure. Try these links ifyou can’t get it on the telly:
http://www.atdhe.net
http://www.channelsurfing.net
http://www.fromsports.net

and good luck. To me, Rafa isn’t taking an exorbitant amount of time. The crowd is rowdy.


Kimmi Says:

WWOW..Nadal is playing very well today! he is attcking Tsonga bakhand excellent, Tsonga cannot hurt him with that BH…

6 BP went begging for Tsonga


tenisbebe Says:

Kimmi Says: “But Nadal should follow the servers pace, regardless of what the crowd is doing…” I am watching and listening to the match and in this instance I disagree. They were absolutely screaming – and finally had to be told to shush.

Skorocel Says: “Seems like Nadal’s ugly chase-down-everything-make-the-opponent-miss game is close to its best today. The guy is running like a rabbit with 1000 needles in his .ss, and in addition is serving very well…” Are you actually watching this match???? Rafa & Tsonga are hitting alot of winners. This is not a clay court-type match.


Kimmi Says:

Tsonga just giving the break to the nest..ouch!

tenisbebe..if Tsonga is serving nadal should follow his pace..thats what tsonga was complaining about.


tenisbebe Says:

Kimmi – I friggin know what he was complaining about as I am watching the match! The umpire did not tell the crowd to shush and they were very rowdy so Nadal held up his hand – shit happens.


Kimmi Says:

Nadal has a tendency to make everybody wait for him..if Tsonga is ready he should be ready..I am watching the same match too!


tenisbebe Says:

Tsonga started out great and looked like he might roll but I give credit to Rafa for attacking & playing smart tennis, particularly his short game.


tenisbebe Says:

Kimmi – whatever. Technically you are right, that’s the rule. But people also need to use their common sense & the umpire needs to take control. On the other hand you want the crowd to enjoy so…on we go.


Kimmi Says:

nadal played his best match of this tournamnet today I think. he knew Tsonga is dangerous and got prepared..but Tsonga also help out a little..he made UE on some of those break points when nadal broke him.


blank Says:

I think Tsonga complained more because he was frustrated at losing his service game. Getting angry is not helping him in this situation.

Now the only option he has is to go for it and get it right. Getting into long rallies wouldn’t help much.


Kimmi Says:

ha, Tsonga celebrating as if he got the berak back…so poor in BP, almost like federer yesterday!


tenisbebe Says:

Tsonga’s talking to himself and then held. Loving Rafa’s willingness to come to the net in this match, seems to be paying off. Oh bad drop shot from Nadal…


blank Says:

Tsonga breakpoint conversion – 0/7!

Nadal – 3/4.


Kimmi Says:

make that 0/8


blank Says:

Federer wasted 8 yesterday if I remember right. Converted 2 I think.


blank Says:

Tsonga certainly wasn’t amused there LOL


tenisbebe Says:

The broken string thing? Hmmmm


blank Says:

For Tsonga, long rallies win rate is the same as his breakpoint conversion rate. He lacks patience and variety.


Kimmi Says:

WWOW! nadal must be really confident to go for lines like that..


Voicemale1 Says:

LOL..That Match Point was ridiculous. Nadal’s winning this tournament. Period.


tenisbebe Says:

Definitely the best Rafa’s played on HC in a long time, maybe ever. Great serving, movement, net play, mixing it up, court position, everything. He hugged the baseline and played aggressively. He came in with a plan and executed to perfection.


Kimmi Says:

Great perfomance from Nadal..he is definetly BACK! 6-3 6-2

Goodall says his best perfomance this year…

He is the guy to beat they say…Okie dokie!


Von Says:

WOW, that was some performance Nadal put forth tonight. He’s going to kill rRddick by pounding his BH unmercifully.


blank Says:

Von, Let’s hope Roddick doesn’t lose a service game and does to Nadal what Lub did to him in the tie breakers last week.


Kimmi Says:

If Roddick serves well, it wont be that easy…But I agree that Roddick has a tough match coming..


contador Says:

hi everybody-

i only caught the very end of the match.

well, that was not surprising. the usual from a 100% nadal.

more interesting how ljubicic played nadal. tsonga lost it.

now what can andy roddick do? has to not get frustrated when nadal takes an eternity serving and getting set to receive for one thing.

go andy! even though it’s hard to imagine rafa not winning the tournament. *sigh*


Von Says:

blank: Nadal is now playing his best tennis. I don’t know if Roddick can match him, but there’s hope if Andy holds onto his serve. My famous last words …. only time will tell …. Go Roddick!!!!


tenisbebe Says:

Von – I think you’re right. Rafa will attack Andy’s BH relentlessly. How has Rafa done with reading Andy’s serve in past matches? Neither player is known for their great return but just wondering if you know.


Polo Says:

Thanks tenisbebe. Saw the match on ATDHE but it was not exciting at all, except for the beautiful blond lady cheering for Nadal.

I am looking forward to the Nadal-Roddick match. Hopefully it will be more exciting than this one.


Von Says:

blank: Footnote to my post. Roddick is a lot more patient a player than Tsonga is, and will keep the ball in play if he can, unlike Tsonga who likes to go for an all out winner. OUCH, I’m concerned for my puddle duck.


stu Says:

very, very impressed rafa! :D


tenisbebe Says:

Polo – Do you mean the blond with the cleavage? Ha ha, yes a boring match compared to that.


Von Says:

tenisbebe: Roddick beat Nadal at Dubai, but that’s a very fast court as compared to Miami, which becomes slower with the humidity, making th balls heavier and will definitely favour Nadal. OUCH

_______________
Polo: You liked that bleached blonde?? She was very animated. LOL.


Polo Says:

Von,

I think Roddick is also a smarter and more experienced player than Tsonga. Hopefully his serve will be working at its fullest potential.


Kimmi Says:

If Roddick takes it REALLY close, anything can happen..nadal will not be given too much rhythm like today…that is my theory!

So, I have hopes for Roddick…big serve is the biggest weapon.


Voicemale1 Says:

The problem Roddick has in his Nadal matches is that Nadal does everything better than him except the First Serve. Nadal’s Forehand is better, his Backhand is better, and his movement is better. That puts a lot of pressure on the Roddick First Serve to be spot-on before the match ever starts. Any time Roddick has to hit a second ball (and it’s ALWAYS a Kicker 2nd), Nadal will be ready to pounce on it. Roddick will have to serve at 80% or more to beat Nadal. I suppose he could, but I’d see that as his only real shot. Or Nadal will have to make a rash of errors, which, again, is also possible. But if Nadal plays the way he did tonight, Roddick will have a huge mountain to climb.


Polo Says:

The blond lady was the best thing in that match. I will look for her tomorrow. I hope Roddick’s wife will show up. That will be some competition.


blank Says:

Hang in there Von. You are right, Roddick is no Tsonga, way better than him: 1) will not waste opportunities 2) will fight till the very end.


Von Says:

Well, VM1, I’m hoping for Roddick’s serve to be zinging, and nadal to have an off-day.
_________________
Polo: I agree Roddick is a smarter player than Tsonga, plus he’s got Daddy Larry in his corner. I love Stefanki and am sorry Roddick did not hook up with him sooner. C’mon sweetie, you can do it!!


Kimmi Says:

every match is different, every opponent makes a different match..big serve Roddick not the same as Tsonga_getting _frustrated_by_nadal_taking_too_long_to_receive_serve.

Tsonga was playing very well in the beginning of this match then something happens he just lost it..Though nadal was very good too!


blank Says:

This match was one-sided because Tsonga converted 0 of 8 break opportunities. We know Federer did a similar thing last night and lost. Anybody who wastes so many opportunities will likely always end up losing.


Von Says:

blank: A big hug to you for cheering me up. As you can tell, my nervous stomach is already kicking into action. LOL.
________________________
Polo: Ahhsoo, you like blondes, even bleached ones, et al? LOL.


Fot Says:

Someone said Nadal was back. I wouldn’t say that until Nadal wins a title. In some earlier tournaments Nadal looked great during some rounds but then he would go on to lose the tournament. At the AO, up until he met Murray, he looked great..so let’s just see how he plays the rest of the tournament. Anything can happen. Roddick will have to serve extremely well but again, anything can happen.

The court in Miami seems really slow. Maybe they are trying to get the players use to the ‘clay’ by slowing down IW and Miami so the players won’t have a big difference when they get on the clay? lol!

Anyway… Roger posted on facebook that he is already practicing on the clay! Good for him! Seems like he has gotten over his loss better than some of his fans! lol!


Kimmi Says:

It will also be good for Nadal to win a tournament after what he has been thru since his injury…if he wins here though..everybody else be scared during clay season!!!


Voicemale1 Says:

FOT:

The court in Miami is and always has been a Slow Hard Court.


Von Says:

Fot, on FSN, they showed a clip of Fed practising at Cliff Drysdale’s tennis courts in Key Biscayne, FL. It looked like green clay though. Anyway, green, red, brown, it’s still clay.

And, yes, the courts are much slower at Miami, because of the gritty coating. That, coupled with the humidity, is not good for a fast server like Roddick.


tenisbebe Says:

As usual Voicemail1, you’ve nailed it as to how Nadal/Roddick games compare. The most damaging will be the movement; although Andy’s moving better since the weight-loss, he’s never been fluid or speedy and Nadal will take advantage. Andy must serve lights out to make it to the final.


Kimmi Says:

Fot, it was me who said Nadal is back. I was listening to Goodall and Koenig..they said this was the best match he has played the whole of this year.

They also said, it is Nadal tornament to lose..so unless they jinx him..Nadal perfomance today was magnificent!


Von Says:

tenisbebe: Roddick will have to assume the role of a baseball pitcher and change up his serve. How about some Texas leaguers in the mix??


tenisbebe Says:

Von says “OUCH, I’m concerned for my puddle duck.”

Von, I am am starting to worry about you..LOL


Polo Says:

Nigntie-night to all. I enjoyed reading the posts. Sleep well Von and hope you wake up to a beautiful day full of fulfilled dreams.


Von Says:

tenisbebe: Why are you becoming worried about me??
________________
Polo: Goodnight, and thanks for the good wishes/dreams, etc.


Von Says:

Kimmi: “They also said, it is Nadal tornament to lose..so unless they jinx him..Nadal perfomance today was magnificent!”

Only one person has the jinxing powers that work. LOL.


tenisbebe Says:

Voicemale1 Says: “FOT: The court in Miami is and always has been a Slow Hard Court.” Yes and because of this (slow because of the sand in the surface & the humidity), it’s always puzzled me that Rafa has not been able to win here.

Von – Because you are referring to Andy as your “puddle duck”.


contador Says:

i am cheering for the underdogs.

GO “puddle duck” as von calls him. and i agree with those who imagine roddick will at least make it a little more interesting a match.

i wouldn’t bank on it, but andy has a better shot than tsonga. as much talent as tsonga has….he’s not at all mentally tough.

roddick has the mental toughness going for him – he’s got stefanki, brooklyn, and lots of fans, i hope cheering him on in miami. agree, his service game needs to be flawless and he can’t get annoyed with all the time rafa takes. but…..

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

i like tomorrow’s matches. berdych and verdasco. GO BERDY!
no choking…

youzy v soda pop. GO SODA! no yoking…

sorry, had to say it.

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

i’m wondering what delPotro is thinking about now : )


rafa Says:

Only Sean can jinx Nadal (he can jinx anyone). I hope for Nadal’s sake Sean doesn’t pick him to win. :)

BTW two of my 4 picks (to make semis) before the start of the tournament are through. I am confident about the third (Soderking). Verdasco seems to be the only weak link now but I hope he can do it. :P


Sean Randall Says:

Haha. “rafa”, sorry but Nadal looked much better tonight than he did against Ferrer. And a reminder, I did pick him to beat Roddick in the SF.

From what I’ve seen I’m sticking with that pick. Should be a great match Friday!


Von Says:

Rafa: You’re bang on! I wrote it here in my post, but didn’t mention the name. LOL.

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2010-03-31/3778.php#comment-130874


Ezorra Says:

“And a reminder, I did pick him to beat Roddick in the SF.”

And now Nadal will surely loss the game! Thanks Sean…


Michael Says:

It was a clinical performance by Nadal against Tsonga and the result shows his performance. It was not that Tsonga played badly, Nadal won since he played much better than Tsonga did. It is that simple. Infact Tsonga was at his best earlier in the match but he got little frustrated due to Nadal’s stiff resistance. He had lot of break points but he couldn’t convert any since Nadal came up with big serves or fantastic shots when he needed most and that upset the rhythem of Tsonga especially at the start of the second set. Finally he fell part not able to take any more and Nadal deservingly won the match. Next up for Nadal is Roddick and that will be a tricky match where anything can happen provided Roddick serves well. It is in that ‘If’ the fate of that match hangs. But honestly I feel the most likely player who can stop Nadal in such superb form is Soderling. Hope he gets there to challenge Nadal and what a match that will turn out to be ??


Michael Says:

Roddick Vs Nadal will be a very interesting match especially if Roddick’s serve clicks for the better. Hope it does. Can anybody tell me what is their H2H record ?? Not that H2H matters as each match is different but that counts for psychologically.


Von Says:

H2H Nadal/Roddick = 5/2.

______________________
Ezorra: So we are opposite ends now. May the best man win.


rafa Says:

Nadal’s task is even harder now. He not only needs to beat Roddick but somehow work his away against Sean’s Voodoo. :)


Michael Says:

Thank you Von. It is favouring Nadal but each match is different and let us hope that Roddick puts up a good fight to make the match interesting. I would put that match 55:45 in Nadal’s favour considering the way he is playing at the moment.


Michael Says:

Rafa, As you say that will be tougher than the test of Roddick.


funches Says:

Good title. Good commentary.


Von Says:

Michael: You’re welcome.

I’m not concerned about Roddick’s effort, as he always gives 100 percent and then some. It’s Nadal’s pounding of Roddick’s BH that’s the worrisome part. Today, I saw Roddick using his BH with more conviction vs. Almagro, which tells me he’s thinking about Nadal’s MO. LOL.
_____________
Rafa: Yes, Sean’s voodoo is more nuclear/lethal than Gonzo’s FH. LOL.


Von Says:

Rafa: BTW, if Roddick loses, can I attribute the loss to your jinxing powers? Anyway, newsflash, Roddick WILL win regardless of the jinxing, et al.


Ezorra Says:

It’s ok Von. Frankly speaking, I think for the first time I don’t really care about the result. I just hope Nadal stays healthy. As you said, may the best man wins. Don’t worry because you have Sean at your side. He picks Nadal to win tomorrow! LOL…

That said I hope Nadal will win FO this year.


Von Says:

Ezorra: “Don’t worry because you have Sean at your side.”

LOOOL, is all I can say. You’re too funny. I’m happy that Sean did not pick Roddick.


Michael Says:

I hope lady luck smiles on poor Roddick this time around in his match against Nadal. Roddick has been the most unlucky player on the tour losing pretty close matches. His loss to Federer at Wimbledon is a case in point where he should have won leading 6-2 in the tie break and having won the first set and then he lost that second set tie break which proved very costly in the end. This is just not a one-off case and in many other tournaments he lost pretty close matches which he should have won and the law of averages even didn’t favour him for good surprisingly. Hope this one turns out different and we see an upset.


Michael Says:

Von, You are 100% right. You can blame Roddick for anything but giving his best on Court. He is just 100% committed and has tremendous determination. Any other player in his position would have wilted by now considering the nature of losses he encountered on tour. But this man has stood like a phoenix, a very rare commodity one might say. I just admire his never say die quality.


noaman Says:

sheila don’t hopeless federe will come back in slam and show its best talent andxperience.


Polo Says:

Von,

If all Roddick fans will think and accept that Sean’s predictions always jinxes (grammar police, please check if that is correct use of jinx) his predicted winner, maybe that jinx can be broken. Let us all do that before the Nadal-Roddick match begins to reverse the Sean prediction curse.


Von Says:

Hey Polo: Sean predicts that Nadal will win. So that means, we don’t want him to reverse the jinx as yet, that is, prior to the Nadal/Roddick match. Let the jinxing spell remain in tact, which would make Roddick the winner. BTW, jinxes is the plural form of jinx. I give you an A+. (LOL, at grammar police; that I can handle, but thanks for not referring to me as a popinjay.)

I hope you’ll get to see the voluptuous blonde again during Nadal/Roddick’s match. If you do, savour each moment. LOOOL


Von Says:

Michael: Thanks for embellishing upon Roddick’s qualities. It’s greatly appreciated by this fan! I think the tennis media does not give him enough recognition for his efforts on the court, and never say die attitude. Despite his many injuries and letdowns, which would have crushed most players, he’s managed to remain consistently in the top 10, and won at least one title per year. He’s also a very good-hearted person off the court, and that’s where my admiration for him is heightened. I only wish that he’ll eventually realize the desires of his heart, and that is, to win Wimbledon. Or, failing that, win a second GS, to get the one-slam wonder off his back.


jane Says:

Gordo – just saw your post to me from 8:51 yesterday. Thanks for playing with the numbers; it’s always interesting to see even the extreme scenarios. : )


Andrew Miller Says:

Ben Pronin had posted a link on Federer from BleacherReport which I thought was a little harsh on Federer but had some good musings.

Maybe it’s true, maybe he’s getting mentally tired. He definitely does not have “as much” time to practice – though tennis is his job, he has his hands “more full” with the family. Not even “experience” on the tennis court is a subsistute for momentum and a grooved set of groundstrokes.

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