Roddick Says Nada to Passive Play, Unleashes Hell on Nadal in Shock Miami Win
by Sean Randall | April 2nd, 2010, 5:25 pm
  • 154 Comments

I use to watch a lot of boxing back when it was among the premier sports in the U.S. Today’s battle match between Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal featured some of that heavyweight boxing tactical spirit.

The tactic I speak of is when a fighter holds his best shot until the very end to catch his opposition off guard and unbalanced, and in many ways that’s exactly what Roddick did to Nadal today shocking the Spaniard 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the Miami Sony Ericsson Open final.

For the first hour of the match Nadal was in complete control. I didn’t think he wasn’t playing at his top gear as errors were still creeping into his game and he just had no read on Andy’s first serve. But during the early part of the match when a rally started it looked like a televised practice session with Nadal hammering winners and moving his lamb-like practice partner around the court with ease.

Off the ground it was a total mismatch.

While Roddick was getting absolutely nowhere with his forehand/backhand attack (if you could even call it an “attack”) against Rafa, he was bombing serves like the Roddick of yesteryear. But a poor early service game gave Rafa the quick break and eventually the first set. And the way things were progressing early in the second, you got the sense that Roddick was due for another service letdown. Except it never came. Instead, Roddick released the forehand.

As if almost by some diabolical, high risk design, with Rafa feeling safe, secure and comfortable and serving 3-4 in the second set, Roddick went into his warchest and started dropping forehand bomb after forehand bomb on Rafa.

A beleaguered and baffled Rafa had no time to adjust or react to Roddick’s newfound strength. And in a blink he was broken at love and moments later the set went to Roddick.

Amazingly, we were level.

Nadal got back up early in the third and had break chances but that would be as close as he’d get again in the match. Roddick continued to pound his serve, pound his forehand harder and harder and keep the points short. The 2003 version of Roddick was back.

A visibly rattled Rafa dropped serve not once but twice and the when the smoke cleared Roddick coasted to an improbable victory.

I think it was a year ago on this very day – Good Friday – that Roger Federer had that infamous meltdown against Novak Djokovic. Strange that a year to the day it’s Nadal’s turn. So much for Good Friday if you are tennis legend in the waiting. Nadal was seen virtually beating himself up on a changeover, and then he “tanked” a forehand that still may not have landed.

But credit Roddick. As I commented it was almost as if he was playing possum and waiting until the very latest minute to break out the heavy artillery.

I wonder that because he’s a smart guy and he knows that he could not out rally Nadal. That strategy wasn’t going to work. He knows it. We all know it. Yet he used it exclusively for the early part of the match. Perhaps he felt once Nadal got that early break in the first there was no need to show the flatter forehand since the set was already Rafa’s?

Since Roddick was serving so well he could pull out the big forehand at anytime on Rafa’s serve. However, do it too early and Rafa has time to adjust. Strike too late and maybe Rafa sneaks another service break in and the match is over. So possibly Roddick waited and waited and waited until that very 3-4 game to finally show his real hand, his true plan.

Whether that was the pre-game strategy or not, or he just went on pure impulse, I don’t know but it worked. He literally hit Rafa in the gut, knocked him down and won himself a big match.

I can’t recall seeing anything like that.

“Anytime we got neutral he was pushing me around,” Roddick said. “I knew I had to be more aggressive. My heavy forehand doesn’t work against him, so I had to hit it flatter, which is higher risk.”

Said Nadal, “I started the match playing pretty well in the beginning. Later in the second set Andy was serving well; I didn’t have a lot of chances on the return. He started to play more aggressive in the game where he broke me. It was a change, and it was surprise for me.”

“Two semi-finals in a row, first two Masters 1000 of the season for me is positive,” Nadal added. “Positive American hard court season, first part. So, yeah, happy for that.”

Happy for that? He’s just happy the clay season is here and I’m betting he’s pissed. I’m going to say right now he’s not going to lose on clay this year. There, I said it. Federer gave notice that he was practicing the dirt the day after he lost to Berdych. Well, I have a feeling Nadal may be on the clay later today to get over the pain of that American truck that just ran over him.

For Roddick, to the disbelievers (and I became one during that match – I thought he still had it in him but after an hour or so he had me fooled that the power forehand was officially gone) he proved again that he still has the power game off the ground to match the power serve. And that’s scary when you complement the power with a reliable passive clay-like game which Roddick now fronts. All he needs to do now is choose the right tactic for the right occasion. Just like he did today.

One more semifinal to finish. Tonight, Robin Soderling and Tomas Berdych will fight for the right to play Roddick on Easter Sunday. It’s clear that anything can happen in tennis these days, but I still think Soderling’s the guy.


Also Check Out:
Roger Federer Shows Up at the Super Bowl
Roddick Surprises Murray, Meets Federer in Sunday Wimbledon Final
Andy Murray: The Courts At Indian Wells Are Very Slow, They’re Also Very Slow Here In Miami
Nadal Tops the One-Eyed Joker, Roddick Bounced; Murray Under Ferrer Pressure
Red-Hot Roddick Faces Destiny’s Child Berdcyh for Miami Title

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154 Comments for Roddick Says Nada to Passive Play, Unleashes Hell on Nadal in Shock Miami Win

FloridaTao Says:

Roddick played well. I fully expected Nadal to win in straight sets, and it looked for a while like he would.
However, Roddick began to show a forehand that is closer to 2010 in power, rather than the year 2003 when he won the U.S. open.
If he is to have even a chance to beat the top guys more often, he needs to keep up the kind of forehand he showed today. Well done.


NELTA Says:

The game in the 2nd set when Roddick broke Nadal was incredible. He hit 4 great forehands. 3 were outright winners and the 4th drew an error. It was the 1st time he flattened out the forehand all match. The momentum clearly turned in that game.

Even so Nadal had a chance to go up a break in the 1st game of the 3rd set, but couldn’t get the 1st serve return in play. After Andy ended up holding in that 1st game things went down hill for Nadal.


Kimo Says:

WOW. Just WOW. Looking back on all the lost years of Andy’s career, which pretty much means 2004-2008, I only wish Stefanki had been his coach for all those years.


tennisfansince76 Says:

i don’t know about Roddick saving that flat forehand until half way thru the second set after having lost the first set as a pre determined strategy. every player has a defauly mode they like to be in. Andy has always been a scrapper. even back in 2003 on return games especially he did alot of keeping the ball in play hoping the other guy got nervous or sloppy. as for Nadal his default mode is to stand away from the baseline and hit loopy balls. he forces himself to play agressive but alot of times under pressure he willl go back to clay court mode.


steve Says:

Congrats to Roddick! I knew he had it in him. I hope he can take this title to make up for IW.


Ben Pronin Says:

“Ben Pronin Says:
I don’t know if tiebreakers really help Roddick anymore. He needs to “roll the dice” and make things happen, for a change. Just go for it. He’s serving first and he’s holding well, so far. He needs to go for broke on a few shots. Go Gonzo.

April 2nd, 2010 at 2:04 pm”

About his tactics against Nadal, Roddick said: “I took a lot of risk there in the last two sets. I said it on the court and I’ve it said a couple times: ‘The best thing I can think of is I rolled the dice a lot and came up Yahtzee a couple times.’ That’s what I have to do.”

———————-
It’s official, me and Roddick share a psychic bond.


Dory Says:

Yeah it’s as if they suddenly switched playing styles. Nadal stopped being aggressive and Roddick started taking his chances given how every single time he could hold his own serve. Rafa forgot to be aggressive in the later half of the 2nd set and 3rd one.


contador Says:

great read sean randall

just got home so i have not officially watched the match but , wow do i look forward to it!

i was so certain rafa would win i almost didn’t even check livescore.

oh no. sean is predicting in reference to rafa:

” I am going to say right now he’s (rafa) is not going to lose on clay this yea. There I said it.” Sean Randall

sounds right. tough to be rafa on clay where he’s at his best and has the most confidence.

sorry again to rafa fans, sincerely. rafa could have used this win or the indian wells title to propel him into clay season.

whoopie. it’s Rockies Baseball on FSN, not tennis.
see if i can get a stream. hoping for another boxing match between soda and berdie.


contador Says:

anybody watching this semifinal?

birdie is better in the longer rallies, i think.


NELTA Says:

In my region FSN is not showing the matches live which is freakin retarded


jane Says:

“‘The best thing I can think of is I rolled the dice a lot and came up Yahtzee a couple times.’”

I love Yahtzee! Great quote from Andy. : p


jane Says:

Just tuned in conty. I think we have to assume Berdy will win now that Sean has picked Soda on not just one but two consecutive threads! : )


contador Says:

none live on FSN where i am either NELTA.

the Rockies baseball, the JAZZ play.

i have a stream, and it’s wobbly, but at least i can watch. fromsport.com

berd is up a break in the first set. tomas has the better return game, moving better, even serving better.


jane Says:

5-2 Berdy – he is playing with serious intent here. “Oh what a night!”


jane Says:

Can’t you two go to atdhe.net? Soda is not popping tonight conty. He’s is flat.


contador Says:

yeah Jane….it’s true.

soda is going down this first set, at any rate.

i don’t know if his knee is a factor, but the way it’s taped does appear, the patella is bothering him ( soda) , i imagine.


Von Says:

NELTA there will be a re-broadcast on FSN at 2:00 am EST. they are showing live i n my area but they also have a scheduled re-broadcast at 2:00 am.


Kimmi Says:

T-Berdy..OMG..Fire all the way.

Could it be that federer win is giving him the new found maturity..well well, I say Go for it T-berdy!


contador Says:

atdhe.net is my first choice but it wasn’t offering miami atp when i last checked.

i’ll check again.

C’mon SODA! let’s have a match already, get in gear!


Von Says:

Also, check HDTV on FSN and the regular FSN channel, along with Sun Sport.


jane Says:

Berdy’s face reminds me (just a little, as he is way cuter imo, and obviously has different colouring) of Lendl’s in that they both have those sharp angular cheekbones. He’s beginning to make a few more errors now, so he may let Soda back in it.


contador Says:

soda is pooping out. shanks the forehand wide, long..

c’mon, Robin!

i thought i’d be cheering for t-bird and might as well be.


jane Says:

Does anyone know Roddick’s points? Will he pass Davy or JMDP now with 2 finals and/or a possible win in Miami?


contador Says:

i dunno, Jane.

t-bird looks the Boss of this match. moving soda around, testing that weak knee


jane Says:

Huge serves and he shows some dimples and a fist.


contador Says:

great hold of serve from sodapop, there.


NELTA Says:

NOt a big fan of live stream, but I just checked out the link you posted Contador. I have it live right now. Picture isn’t great and there is french commentary I can hear almost like an echo after Robbie Koenig and the other guy speak. Weird.


Kimmi Says:

Soda is hanging on a very thin thread here…

He needs to wake up or else…


contador Says:

i know, i like mr. dimples *sigh*

and i hope he can get something going but i wonder how either of these guys would fare against Andy Roddick?


skeezerweezer Says:

Nice read Sean. Well written. Can’t comment any more on AR that others haven’t. Great win.

Now Rafa….remember Andy and others have figured out that the flat ball hard hurts Rafa….cuts his time dramatically to wind up that big buggy whip FH..as one of the examples…there are others….so IMO I am not going to predict a win for Rafa at FO. I know clay slows the flat ball down…somewhat..

As I posted in the other topic….as IMO there are more guys figuring out his one dimensional, and a great dimension it is….game.

The another dynamic Rafa has going against him is mental. Given, he has had his injuries, but he hasn’t won ANY ANY ANY singles title in a year ( coming in May, which happens to be FO ).

Now that all said and to confuse the crowd, “TO”
Rafa’s favor, who’s dominating? Not Fed, not Murray, not Nole, DP injured? Roddick plays his best on hard and grass, not clay…. soooo who is left?

It’s still Rafa for the takin , but I’m just sying he is not coming into FO with the undeniable pick….


jane Says:

NELTA, I noticed the overlapping French and do you know what’s weird? I put in my headphones and if I wear only the right ear then I don’t hear the French, LOL. I mean I know we’re bilingual in Canada but that is a bit much.


contador Says:

thet’s terrible NELTA. I have koenig commentating

did you try channelsurfing? i think the streaming on these questionable sites probably has different programming…depending on where you are. i am in the rockies…atdhe is not streaming tennis


jane Says:

Kissing shots. LOL.


Kimmi Says:

jane, here is the link for ranking points. You have to add 240 ( 360 has already been added)points for Roddick for reaching the final.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A65499763

I don’t think he will have enough points even if he wins the tournament to pass davydenko. But he could pass Soderling depending on how soda does tonight.


jane Says:

Soda’s serve is starting to fire better it seems but his FH is still too wild.


contador Says:

uh boy,

c’mon sodapop!

break point for bird


contador Says:

soda escapes to deuce


jane Says:

Thanks Kimmi – I never go to that site but it seems to have good, clear updates on the points. Will have to remember that.


contador Says:

uh no….bird hits a forehand winner down the line and he now has another break point

soda!


NELTA Says:

LOL Jane. You’re right. It’s only coming out of one speaker.


NELTA Says:

Soderling is living dangerously right now.


Andrew Miller Says:

Highlights if anyone interested from Roddick-Nadal

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJnYfz6tSuo


Kimmi Says:

Yes, jane. There is somebody who does this every major tourny..Masters 1000 and GS. Its fun to follow. I always do that. he also has his personal website where he does the same thing. Maybe you can bookmark this website.

http://www.pointsspy.co.uk/


contador Says:

i thought i’s be more neutral watching this match,

Jane, Kimmi-

c’mon robin!

i have nothing against the fed killer but i’m partial to soderling.
yet he appears slightly less agile and lacking in the longer ralliies.


skeezerweezer Says:

Andrew,,

THANK YOU!

Berdy must being feeling like he can beat anyone after playing Fed……Let’s go Soda….make it a match :)


Kimmi Says:

contador, I think T-berdy has found something in his game…

That win over Federer..hmmmm!


jane Says:

conty, I feel pretty neutral myself. I like Soda’s power, but tonight anyhow Berdych has better defense and is just moving way better.

Kimmi, thanks again – I’ve bookmarked it on my website.


jane Says:

Soda’s forehand is wicked when he can line it up, open up and FIRE.


contador Says:

i truly thought rafa would win today. did not think andy had much of a chance….i completely underestimated andy, for shame!

soda is fighting to hang in there but berdych is all over soda’s second serve and controlling the points.

soda contributes with the UE.

ah shucks…soda going down. sean picked him. what’s new.


Kimmi Says:

T-berdy!!

I cant help just admire the guy. This is his breakthru people!!


skeezerweezer Says:

Not good ladies for the Soda Pop so far. Gotta go out to dinner. ##$&% for tennis tv not having DVR like controls and chargin the fees that they do. I can’t pause it? Or replay? Plus you can’t watch the whole precious match like Nadal vs Roddick. Sucks!’

Anyways…catch u later tonight…hope your fav wins!

Out!


contador Says:

Kimmi-

i know…..berdych is at his best. soda helping him


Kimmi Says:

Conty..LOL don’t pick Nadal to win the whole thing again.

Remember, you picked him for IW too…I think you should start picking Roddick or T-berdy Ha


jane Says:

It’s looking like Berdych is going to be the Ljubicic of last weekend in that he’ll be a surprise finalist. I doubt he can do what Ljub did last weekend as I don’t think he’s as mentally stable, but who knows? Freaky.


contador Says:

bye skeezerweezer, always a pleasure.

Kimmi what do you think about a roddick v bird final?


skeezerweezer Says:

I am picking Contador, Kimmi, Von, Jane to be in the womens semis at FO….

Ok…now I really have to go LOL

oh wait….NELTA could sneak through


Kimmi Says:

OMG..is it going to be 6-2 6-2 oh noo..not looking GOOD!


jane Says:

Yay skeeze! Have a fun dinner.


Kimmi Says:

Skeeezer..hahahaha! I think the champion will be Kimmi, no?


contador Says:

Kimmi-

i didn’t think anyone noticed. i picked rafa to win both tournaments. he was getting better and better and i DUE!

or i thought a dark horse, a blond one would win…isn’t t-bird sorta blond?


jane Says:

WHAT A POINT FROM T-BERD!


NELTA Says:

INCREDIBLE SHOT BY BERDYCH!!!! Now match point!


contador Says:

no. i picked nole to win IW, rafa to win Miami, that’s right.

i’m right up there with sean randall at jinxing.

berdych is going down to roddick though.

but YAY for tomas!!

he’s a cutie, tomas. but sad for soda


jane Says:

Okay bye Soda. But you got to like that performance from Berdy. He was clinical even though Soda was making errors. Just shows that Tomas can and probably should be top ten.


NELTA Says:

Wow. That was a real beat down. Neither Fed or Rafa has been able to handle Soda with such ease. Berdych is really in the zone.


jane Says:

Yep Berdy is so cute – that smile. Nice.


contador Says:

berdych made soda look bad.

berdych was marvellous…..the best man won.

the best man on sunday will be ANDY!!

and can outsmart t-bird, maybe.


Kimmi Says:

And it is 6-2 6-2 WOOOW

Contador, I don’t know about the final. Both players have big wins against federer and Nadal. Let the best one win.

Or I will just have to wait for Sean’s pick then I will just go the opposite.

T-berdy needs to be in the top 10…definetly

OK, tennistv commentators..Goodall and Koenig cannot predict this one..too tough to call they said! hmmmm!


jane Says:

Andy is due for a Masters Series win, and I don’t think he’ll let two finals go begging. BUT I am not predicting anything. : ) Berdych has found something, is it more belief, better fitness/movement, and hence better defense? I am not sure, but he is putting it all together and it looks deloverly. We’ll see if he can bring it on Sunday and make it competitive. Meanwhile I am hoping Kimmi wins the ladies.


jane Says:

I mean Kim. LOL.


contador Says:

Kimmi-

sean picked, soda to win tonight.

i think sean will pick roddick. he doesn’t mean to jinx anyone. that’s impossible, anyhow.

but it happenzzzz

i pick roddick too. he was so solid against nadal. finally got to watch the match, thanks to my dvr.

gotta go to a birthday party and of course i’m late. couldn’t miss the semi-final.

thanks everybody..

GO RODDICK!


Kimmi Says:

“Meanwhile I am hoping Kimmi wins the ladies”

hahaha jane, i can win too..see the post above from skeezer ha!

Seriously though, I am also hoping for Clijsters win. Apparently if she wins tomorrow she will be in the top10 come monday already! Go Kim!!


Fot Says:

Didn’t you guys KNOW that Berdych was going to win this match? Remember – you know who predicted a win by Soderling and that was the curse Soderling needed to lose! lol!

So…all you Roddick fans better hope ‘the curse picker’ doesn’t pick your guy for the championship; and you Berdych fans better hope he picks Roddick! lol! I guess I can just sit back and watch the final with no favorite.


contador Says:

yeah, berdych does have a that somethin, somethin’

Kimmi and Jane…

but roddick’s gonna win this. the crowd will go wild.

Berdych would need to bring a lot of chill to center court on sunday and stay in a zone all his own. sorry that rhymed.

byr ya’ll

hope to be where i can stream the final on sunday. NO TENNIS IS even programmed on my cable version of FSN….unbelievable but true


contador Says:

menat bye….

goooo kim!


Kimmi Says:

Enjoy Contador..tomorrow!


andrea Says:

gotta go for the under dog on sunday, so i hope berdych takes it. 5 years since his last title? he’s due. and his serves are bombers like andy’s.


bstevens Says:

Re: Berdych: its interesting how well professional tennis players can play when they have confidence … and how poor they can play without it.


DMB Says:

Jee, go roddick, go roddick. Even though i am a federer fan, Roddick’s won me over in the wimbledon final last year. Big ups to him, hope he wins


Glen Evan Says:

Sean, wishful thinking doesn’t count for much. The only way your prediction that Nadal is “not going to lose on clay this year” proves correct will be if he skips the claycourt season.


Huh Says:

There is nothing SHOCKING about Roddick beating Nadal because Roddick is still Roddick and it was not clay. ;)


Huh Says:

“The tactic I speak of is when a fighter holds his best shot until the very end to catch his opposition off guard and unbalanced, and in many ways that’s exactly what Roddick did to Nadal today shocking the Spaniard 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the Miami Sony Ericsson Open final.”

Now I clearly like this much of Sean Randall’s article. :D


Huh Says:

Come on Roddick, kick butt!


Von Says:

Huh: How are you? Forgive the lateness of my post. I saw your comments on another thread saying hello to many of us, but, I got side-tracked and did not respond. I’m happy to hear that your studies are going fine and all is well with you. also, glad to see you posting again.

How about our guy AR? I’m thinking he’s one happy camper tonight, wouldn’t you say?. Tomorrow he’ll be playing in the “Hit for Chile” exho, so be sure to watch.


Ezorra Says:

Now Sean… you..you…….you…..you’ve really made me scared now! ROTFLMAO!!!


contador Says:

by now everybody has seen highlight vids already…but this one shows rafa in a rare moment thrashing his thigh with a towel at approx 5:24 in this video. as sean points out it was exactly a year ago that fed had an awkward moment, busting a racquet.

http://www.gototennisblog.com/2010/04/02/sony-ericsson-open-wow-desperate-andy-roddick-upsets-rafael-nadal/

hi Huh, always good to see you. i dunno, i was shocked roddick won and you are quite right; it’s really not so shocking in retrospect.

i can’t wait for the final!


Von Says:

contador: That headline is kinda silly by saying ‘*Desperate* Andy Roddick’. Why would they feel Roddick was/is desperate?


Von Says:

BTW, kudos to Rafa, who, as far as I can tell, played within the time frame in-between points.


Tom Gainey Says:

Well that was the best I’ve seen Andy play since the Wimbledon final. I guess he brings out his best when he plays Roger/Rafa.


skeezerweezer Says:

Von.

I won’t tell you I said so BUT, after AO and we all talking injuries and the new year from what I saw how Roddick took the offseason and prepared for the new season and AO, he looked IMO and played different. He was one of my picks to have a breakout year. Well, he is off to a good start regardless of the outcome tomorrow he has gotten to 2 Master 1000′s finals with all the top players entered except DP. A really good start. I loved his comments in the Contador link she posted:

“I have been playing well over the last month. So going into the match, we said, Well, let’s go with what you’ve been doing. Let’s not come out and be desperate right away. So I waited a little bit to be desperate.” (Smiling.)

and

“My comfort zone of moving the ball around and maybe chip ping it around a little bit doesn’t work against Rafa. I had to try to come up with something that at least took him out of his comfort zone a little bit, and it paid off.”

To me that means is is not so stubborn to come out and play “smash mouth” tennis all the time! Kudos to Andy………


Tom Gainey Says:

I will also be looking forward to the final Sunday against Berdych. I hope he bring that forehand again.


Tom Gainey Says:

I just posted the video highlights for those that haven’t seen them plus a Roddick interview:

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2010-04-02/3842.php


blah Says:

Hope Roddick finishes it and beats Berdych in the final. Where has that aggressiveness been hiding for the past months? Like one of the commentators said, it looked like both Roddick and Nadal knew Roddick was going to win in the early part of the third set.


skeezerweezer Says:

Thanks Tom!


blah Says:

I wonder if Roddick will get more defensive against Berdych, which is actually not that bad of a strategy against Berdych depending form that day. He might just end up making tons of UEs. But if Berdych is in form, hope Roddick turns the offense on again like he did today. It was marvelous to watch.


sar Says:

Tom Gainey:
Poor Rafa at 5:26. I have not seen him do this kind of thing before.


Michael Says:

You got to give to this guy named Roddick for his perseverance. Tennis has never been kind to him and he has lost numero close matches I can keep count of. Just his Wimbledon final loss to Federer last year would have shattered any player confidence. Ask Murray how difficult it is to lose and Roddick lost a match he should have won at the Wimbledon unlike Murray. Yet this man kept going on and again recently in the Indian wells he was once again consumed by a lesser known Ljubucic. He did not lose heart even after that and now he has made a stretch of consecutive finals at the Masters which is a fantastic achivement. I only hope that from hereon he goes on to win this tournament. As regards Nadal, he need not lose heart by this loss and he showed to the World once again as to how good a player he is when he is on song. It was just that Roddick was a much better player today prepared to take his chances in the second and third sets which outdid Nadal. It is always nice to see the contemporaries of Federer like Roddick and Davydenko dominating the sport today.


Michael Says:

I am just wondering as to how Roddick has such a lop sided H2H against Federer which reads 19-2. He is not such a bad player. 12-7 would have been apt.


Michael Says:

Sean, for god sake do not pick Roddick to win this title.


sar Says:

To the delight of traditionalists, Roddick played serve and volley 10 times. Rumors are he’ll use a wood racket in the final Sunday against 16th-seeded Tomas Berdych, who advanced by beating Robin Soderling 6-2, 6-2.

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=5050939


skeezerweezer Says:

RE: The Rafa Saga serving timeline,,,,,,,,

IMO Seriously, Rafa needs the 45+ seconds he uses to prepare for serving or he jeopardizes losing? Really? If not, tell me why does he do it? Why does he feel is it needed to abuse or BREAK the rules to win?

If he feels it is needed, then and therefore, he should petition the ATP for longer periods in between serves…..all the tour players will vote and I am sure he will get the votes….there …I said it. If I didn’t someone else would have….eeeek! :)

I’m sorry, it’s a rule and I don’t understand why he abuses it. Don’t want to blame him, so if he needs it, he as the power, can he just get the tour to change the rule??…..ok …den …and wake me up when he is starting to serve……ouch!

Let’s look at it another way:

It is not a stroke that he is changing. It is creating a routine that doesn’t take so much time to strike the first ball of the point. You were previous #1 and #2, and regarded as one of the best current players in the world with 6 Gs titles at 23. You will probably regain that stature soon. So Dude, is it that hard to adjust that?

Just sayin….

Disclaimer: I Love Rafa…he will win on Clay


contador Says:

Von,

the headline was taken from roddick himself – it’s classic roddick::

“I have been playing well over the last month. So going into the match, we said, Well, let’s go with what you’ve been doing. Let’s not come out and be desperate right away. So I waited a little bit to be desperate.” (Smiling.)

he is the best ever in post match interviews. GOAT of tennis interviews= andy roddick! he get’s better and better.

i wish i could find a clip of the words he had with the ump at one point. still looking.

i have it on my dvr from the FSN recording but halfway through the decider set my local version of FSN cut to Rockies Baseball,

drat it all, that FSN.


Gordo Says:

Andy Roddick has pretty well assured the tennis world that Roger Federer is going to pass the Pete Sampras record of total weeks as the #1 ranked player in the world.

The magic date Federer fans have marked on their calendars is June 15, which means all tournaments up to and including Roland Garros.

By losing to Roddick on Friday Nadal is a very long shot to overtake Federer before that date, as the following scenario explains, updated from a couple of days ago when I first posted it -

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 -

Rafa makes the semis in Miami and so has 6,980 points. Now, 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 the final last year ). He would then go into the French Open with 7,380 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 9,200 points should he win this (which would see him winning clay 5 tournaments in a row – very unlikely for today’s Rafa, 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 9,200.

Without Federer striking a single ball let’s subtract every point he is defending and he is reduced to 7,315 points, which is a difference of 1,885 from Nadal’s possible total.

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

Monte Carlo – lose in the semis – 360 points
Rome – lose in the semis – 360 points
Madrid – decide to skip it (!) – 0 points
Roland Garros – lose in the finals – 1200 points

he would leave Roland Garros with 9235, 35 points ahead of Nadal, and this is 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.

If Roddick and Fed get to a 5th set at Wimbledon this year perhaps Fed will show A_Rod some compassion and let him have one.

Ha – yeah, that could happen.


Colin Says:

Watch that word “literally”, Sean! Roddick “literally” hit Nadal in the gut? Even Serena hasn’t gone that far. Yet.
So, we have another tournament where neither of the two greats, Nadal and Federer, even gets to the final. And still some people can’t come to terms with the fact that they are both in decline. A slower decline for Roger, but still a decline. They are human, not X-Men or something.


margot Says:

Good morning von! How r u feeling girl? My goodness if your Andy continues to play like this, you’ll have to get lots of champers in! What I liked best about Andy was that half way through that second set he obviously thought “Bummer, gotta do something different here, ” and by golly he did and it didn’t half work. Whereas Rafa, under pressure, went back to that old defensive baseline game which is what Andy Murray also does, alas, alas. Back to the drawing board for both of them. I also see Roddick has beaten Bird already this year.
Yes, Easter is a long holiday here but, more alases coming up, the weather is always awful, no matter when it falls.
Ah! Our resident astrogoger predicts success for Rafa on clay…? well that’s it then, sorry Rafa….


margot Says:

oops read astrologer, now he’s jinxed me….


Dari Says:

Both womens and mens finals are on CBS! sat 1200 and sun 1300 EST!


NELTA Says:

Michael Says:
I am just wondering as to how Roddick has such a lop sided H2H against Federer which reads 19-2. He is not such a bad player. 12-7 would have been apt.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Tennis is a game of matchups so that’s why you see things like that. Nadal has a 13-7 record against Fed, but is only 4-5 vs Davydenko…is Davydenko a better player than Nadal? Fed is an astounding 13-2 vs Davydenko. The bottom line is that H2H doesn’t tell you if one player is better than another although it usually correlates. You have to look at the entire body of work. That’s why there is a points system that only measures how far you get in a tournament, not who you beat or how many times you’ve beaten him in a year.

Historically Federer has done an amazing job of returning Roddick’s serve which is his biggest weapon. Andy would pile up aces on opponents, but Fed would somehow read these serves and get the ball back into play. Over time a mental advantage developed for Fed against Roddick that made the H2H even more lopsided in my opinion.


NELTA Says:

sar Says:
Tom Gainey:
Poor Rafa at 5:26. I have not seen him do this kind of thing before.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

They showed that clip on the taped FSN broadcast which was 4-6PM EST. The incident happened at the 3-2 change over in the 3rd set. I have never seen Rafa act like that before.


Kimmi Says:

“I have never seen Rafa act like that before.”

Yes, me too. This match took Rafa by surprise.

The way the match was going from the 1st set to middle second it was all very comfortable for rafa..Nadal was moving Roddick around and then unleashing his FH after..most people even himself thought he is got that match in the bag.

Then suddenly things change..nadal could not have the control anymore. he got mad, frustrated and under a lot of pressure..who would blame him.
If Roddick was playing the same way from the beginning..it probably would not have hurt as much imo.


scineram Says:

You jinxed Nadal, adn you jinxed Söderling. Well done.


Von Says:

Hi margot:

How am I feeling? Very elated for puddles/AR.

I agree with you that if he continues to adhere to his new MO, he could do very well in all the tournaments he enters henceforth, but it’s human nature to regress when pulled out of their comfort zone, and I’ve seen Andy do that many times in the past. He’ll have to make a concerted effort to remember what got him the ‘W’ in his match vs. Rafa and to adopt that style of play permanently.

Don’t despair with respect to Andy M. He’ll snap out of whatever is causing him to play so erratically. Youth has its advantages. I’ve been through many ups and downs with Roddick, and after Wimby, it was a huge roller-coaster, but he seems to be slowly emerging from that ordeal. Thank God.

Rafa’s stance which regressed to 10-15 feet behind the baseline in sets 2/3 stance is testimony as to how quickly all their good and well-thought out strategies just go up in smoke when the pressure hits them. We are a very fickle species you know.

Yes, Roddick has beaten Tomas this year, but Tomas is not that Tomas anymore. Tomas is now a more confident Tomas — the guy who beat Federer. That said, Roddick needs to be going into their match with Plans A and B.

I’m glad to hear you’ll have a long weekend, as I’m sure your body could use it for watching more Tennis matches. I’m so sorry about the cold weather though,:”Oh, I remember it well, it was in June ….” ….. famous line by Maurice Chevalier. Do you remember him? My Dad had a library of the old codger’s songs.

Take care Margot, and nice chatting with you. BTW, had it not been for a huge mess-up, I could have been in miami today and tomorrow at Crandon Park. I’m so angry with myself for lookikng at 2009 calendar, sheesh and LOL.


Von Says:

contador: Thanks for the clarification on the headline. It was Andy’s fault after all. LOL.

_____________________
Michael: On the topic of Fed/Roddick’s H2H, I look at it in a more positive way. Andy was the player, next to Federer of course, who always got deeper than most of the other players, into the tourneys during the years ’04-09. Had that not happenend, Fed and Roddick would never meet in the SFs and finals, as often as they did, because Roddick would have been knocked out in the earlier rounds. I give Roddick an A+ for heart, and never flinching, taking MTOs, feigning illness and/or giving Fed a walkover. Ergo, kudos to Roddick.

And, I agree, the sport of tennis has indeed been cruel to roddick, or should I say fate/destiny?
_____________________
NELTA: I don’t know whether you saw my post on the FSN network, but they did re-broadcast the Soderling match at 2:00 am. I was hoping it would have been Roddick’s match as I forgot to record it. Talk about being daft, well that was me, big time. I’m thankful to all who posted the YouTube links which will serve as a reference point for me in the future.

I’m hoping the final will have a day that’s hot and full of sunshine so that Roddick’s serve can move through the court as well as as it did yesterday.


Von Says:

Would anyone know if the “Champions for Chile” exho match will be broadcasted on TV?


Von Says:

Skeezer: I read your post on the other thread and you are correct, you did called it correctly on Andy R. Thanks.


NELTA Says:

Von,

Thank you. I did see your post. I decided to watch part of the Soda match on my computer from the link that Contador posted. I don’t have DVR to record matches.


Skeezerweezer Says:

NELTA.

One of the GOAT of posts :)

April 3rd, 2010 at 8:36 am


Huh Says:

Hi again Mrs.Von! :)
Right now most important thing is that I seriously want Roddick to beat Berdy today. Good luck to our Rod.
Come on Roddick, please do it!

Hi conty:
Glad for your response as always. :)


Huh Says:

H Gordo! :)


blank Says:

Von! That was a terrific match…too bad I missed it coz I had to step out during that time. I told you Roddick is no Tsonga and he will make a match of it…Indeed he did! I caught the highlights and it’s unbelievable how smart he played and flummoxed Nadal. I there was ever a time I’ve seen Nadal clueless, that was it!

Now let’s hope Roddick puts the finishing touches and takes home the trophy. Berdych is playing well, by Rod’s experience, astuteness and the FH will carry him through!!

Enjoy the match Von!


blank Says:

I gotta go out again to grab some Easter weekend specials. It’s going to be a race to get back home in 2 hrs.


Von Says:

blank:

Did you see my post to you in which I thanked your for giving me support when you stated not to worry as Roddick is more experienced than Tsnga? Well, you were bang on.

The finals will be played tomorrow. No need to hurry back home today. Take your time. I don’t know at what time the ladies play.

This evening there will the exo match ‘Champions for Chile’ and Roddick will be playing along with Kuerten, Courier and Gonzalez. If you watch enjoy!

Today, they will be pplaying the Champions hit for chile


blank Says:

Thank you Von! Just saw ur post on the other thread. Mwah and Big Hug to u too! :-)

Thanks for making my day! It was a holiday yesterday…so for some reason I kept thinking today is Sunday. Just checked here before I was leaving…fortunately you told me now! I don’t have to rush :-)

Will make it back before the champions for Chile match. Catch u later. Have a good day!


NELTA Says:

Thanks Skeez.


Huh Says:

I loved that Rod FH thunderbolt in the second set against Rafa yesterday. The more he shows that rodiculous FH, the better for me. :D


Huh Says:

Best of luck to Rod aginst Berdy.


Gordo Says:

Sean wrote -

He’s (Nadal’s) just happy the clay season is here and I’m betting he’s pissed. I’m going to say right now he’s not going to lose on clay this year. There, I said it.

Yes you did, and I am wondering why. There has been a 2-year long ongoing joke on this site of whenever Sean predicts someone to win a match we all go “Oh no, there’s the jinx for sure!” And sure enough if Randall’s prediction falls flat we go “Oh boy! Sean’s wrong again!”

We now have fans of a particular player posting comments like “Oh please, Sean – don’t pick (enter their guy here) to win; I don’t want him to lose.”

(I had to stop tying several times to dry the tears of laughter from my eyes. Oh the humour)

Really, why do we have comedy sites when we have the ongoing hijinx of Sean Randall constantly picking the wrong guy? Some have suggested he does it deliberately to be known as the internet tennis blogging buffoon.

The truth is, most of the times Sean is right with his predictions, and for some reason we all focus on them when he predicts an upset and it doesn’t happen, or when he predicts the favorite to win and an upset occurs.

Sean is not deliberately trying to come up with picking winners that he knows are going to lose!

At least that is what I thought before I read the line I copied at the top of this comment.

How can ANYONE think that Nadal is going to sweep the clay season – Monte Carlo, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, Roland Garros – this year?

Rafa has reached a total of one final (which he lost) in 11 months (Doha 2010) and Sean is picking him to SWEEP the CLAY SEASON UNDEFEATED?

Sean, you seem to be showing your cards a little on this one. It is one thing to predict Soderling over Berdych and be wrong. But anyone who calls for Nadal to not lose again before Wimbledon is either trying to be imcorrect with their predictions or else knows that Nadal’s knees have acted up and that he is forced to sit out the next 2 months because only if he doesn’t play will he not lose.

It would be one thing if Nadal had shown signs of returning to his invincible self, but his serve percentage, % of break points saved, % of return games won and ratio of aces to double faults and most of the other stats are all much worse this year than they were after Miami over the past 4 years.

Yes, he has shown signs that the knees are better – thank goodness.

But undefeated through the clay season? Someone is dreaming here.


Huh Says:

However I must say that I like Sod a lot more than Bderdy and I am not happy about his lopsided loss in the semi. Hope that Rod beats Berdy.


jane Says:

Here’s a very good article on Roddick and the match yesterday – from ESPN:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=5052730


contador Says:

by now, i have had time to really sit back and watch what happened and how andy did made it through the nadal test yesterday.

but, my FSN coverage abruptly ended right after andy broke. there was a commercial and without warning the FSN recording switched to baseball, which always has me cursing and confused.

so i have pieced together what happened next. seems what happened next, was rafa had a mini meltdown on changeover. not a big enough one to break his first racquet ever but i have never seen him thrash himself with a towel. that was different.

i think the combination of roddick suddenly changing tactics and pulling the forehand trigger, plus rafa still just a shade less confident than he should be, made the match turn out way it did.

last year, rafa at his best would not have been phased and instead of netting that forehand, and looking shaken, he would have held and gone on to win.

the nadal before hard court miami 09, that is.

last miami rafa’s knees or whatever it was, his parents divorce he went out in the quarters. (just mentioning because nadal did get a surprise flogging by delPo last maimi, right? and many nadal fans said it was because he was out of sorts for various reasons at the time.)

but rafa went on to clean up all of clay season, except madrid. one could question his decision to enter the FO, since his knees were ailing, and the main reason he lost to federer in madrid. hence, the reason he lost to soda FO.

not being glib nor downplaying rafa’s knee problems. i believe he was not at 100% by clay season, but he’s so much better than the rest of them, he doesn’t have to be at 100% to win on clay.

he finally admitted after his FO loss, that his knees were bothering him so much he couldn’t concentrate. that’s bad.

the good news: movement is looking better than ever now. and it’s been nice to see his knees without tape. i never like to see that strapping below the knee cap. amazing he won so much that way, really.

i even took the time to review just HOW great rafa is on clay. seems he owns monte carlo and barcelona for 5 years straight, pretty much owns rome too. nole snuck a win in. federer got him in madrid after a tough semi with nole.

none of the above is new news to anyone but me. this will be the first time i even try to watch, rather stream, anything during clay court season, aside from watching FO of course.

on paper at least, providing rafa puts the hard court IW and miami losses out of his mind, the best any of his opponents can hope is for runner-up. we’ll see.

i may not prefer to have rafa beating roger EVER, but i don’t like the idea of rafa being down and out in his confidence. *must* have rafa in the mix. particularly a rafa in the nice yellow T-shirt and toned down yellow patterned shorts. nike finally nailed a great look for rafa. i can give a *vamos* to clay court season for rafa and his fans.

i have such a long list of favorites it gets more confusing all the time. i’ll leave chardy alone, margot and stu. and not a word about gulbis, he is getting the snub. don’t even want to look at his draw. ( yeah, right.) : )

first things first.

GO ANDY! WIN the TROPHY

i wish the bird was playing someone else in the final. a part of me really wants to cheer for him. i’m very impressed and hope tomas has the confidence now to go along with his obvious all-court game and talent.

at least give us a great final, okay. no beatdowns.


margot Says:

Come on Andy R.! Von needs Champers!
PS When is this match starting, it’s nearly my bedtime…


contador Says:

jane,
i had just read and listen to that ESPN link before i posted about the roddick match. it was such a great match for andy that i really wanted to see the entire 3rd set.

it will probably be up on youtube soon enough.

and poor soda, i knew that strapped knee would be his downfall. okay that’s my excuse. berydych out-played dimples fair and square.

i’ll be cheering for andy, margot. uh, most of me.

loved gordo’s sensible, intelligent post. thank-you, Gordo.


skeezerweezer Says:

Funny and Ironic:

Wasn’t it last year at Miami Fed had a mini melt down bustin his racket? And now Rafa mini melt down on the change over in the same Tourney? Stars are somehow not aligned in Miami for these two ..lol


federerbetterer Says:

federer having lunch with tiger’s wife?

http://www.hollywoodlife.com/2010/04/03/elin-nordegren-tiger-woods-roger-federer-marriage-divorce-lunch/

Elin had lunch with Roger & his wife April 3 in Miami — and I’ve got a feeling Tiger was the main topic of conversation.

Who better for Elin Nordegren to talk out her Tiger Woods issues with than close friends of the family? That’s just what she did as she sat down for a cozy lunch with Tiger’s longtime friend, tennis pro Roger Federer, and his wife Mirka Vavrinec. Back in January, while many of Tiger’s mistresses were still coming out of the woodwork, Roger confessed that he’d been in touch with Tiger over the phone. “Tiger needs calm,” Roger said at the time. “And soon he’ll become the wonderful golfer that we know again.”

So it’s clear Roger’s heart goes out to Elin and Tiger, and that he really does see the good in his longtime friend. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he tried to convince Elin to take Tiger back. As a married man with two kids of his own, I’m sure he just wants to see everything go back to normal.

Regardless of the conversation, it must have been nice for Elin just to have lunch with her good friends at a fancy hotel. Photographers at the Sony Ericsson Open, which is near the hotel where Elin and her friends lunched, say they even saw little 18-month-old Charlie Woods swinging around a Nike tennis racquet, which was reportedly a gift from Roger. Could Elin have a little athlete-in-training on her hands?


Andrew Miller Says:

Mr. Randall – watching the video it seemed like Roddick started flattenning the forehand in the 3-2 game in the 2nd set?

Then the big boost in the 3-3 game where Roddick won a big point to go up 40-15 on his serve. Those two games seemed to give him confidence in the 4-3 game: three games of building momentum.

Is that inaaccurate to say Roddick started building momentum at 3-2 – taking more chances during Rafa’s service, holding a little easier, then repeating his tactics from the 3-2 game in the 4-3 game? I could have sworn the strategy change took place earlier in the set and then manifested successfully in the 4-3 game to wrench the set away from the Rafa and go up 5-3.


jane Says:

federerbetterer: Interesting piece of gossip, but I hope that Fed was NOT trying to convince Elin to get back together with Tiger during their lunch (a) because I think Tiger is creeeeeeepy and (b) because as the poll after the article opts, I think that’s a decision she needs to make on her own.


Kimmi Says:

interesting gossip indeed. but why do they have to speculate what they said to each other during lunch is beyond me.

Good to know federer is still in miami, not in Europe as some thought after he post that picture practising on clay.

Does he play monte carlo?


David Says:

Sean

You can’t be serious about Rafa going undefeated on clay this year! Hopefully for Nadal’s sake he paces himself and gives himself the best chance to win the French. And hopefully Rafa and Fed will meet yet again in the FO final, only this time I just have a feeling Fed will win in classic, making amends for that Wimbledon and AO loss and getting himself halfway to that coveted CYGS.


Sean Randall Says:

Gordo, thanks for the words. I just go with my gut. And having seen how upset Rafa looked at the loss to Roddick he HAS to be furious with his play, and I think he’s going to come out 100% focused and like a man possessed.

Just look at the changeover video, I’ve never seen his so frustrated. And from that I think he’s going to work extra hard to regain his King of Clay status.

I also don’t think Rafa’s going to play a full clay schedule. That’s what I heard at least.

So yes, I am serious. When you at from a distance I can see Rafa losing just based on his past results.

By when you “zoom in” and think match-by-match, on clay who’s going to beat him? Federer (maybe)? Djokovic (maybe)? Roddick (no)? Tsonga (no)? Soderling (maybe)?

He’ll be the favorite in every match. And I think Federer/Djokovic should perform better than they did at IW/Miami but there just aren’t that many threats to Nadal on clay like there is on hardcourts.

Andrew, I saw a clear chance of plan at the 4-3 game. There was no hint of what was to come before then. At least none that I saw.


krishnan.t.s. Says:

i didn’t think that roddick could win the the match after watching the first set…kudos to roddick… i think that more than roddick unleashing that forehand, it was the fact that more often than not, nadal’s forehand did not click in the second and third set(i was watching the highlights)…. till then he was playing a good game except 4 the occasional errors…. he fired down 5 aces or something…. shows that his first serve is improving…. but still he is the only one among the top 5 to make it to semis in two consecutive tourney’s this year (returning 4m injury or not)…. clay season is about to begin n the king of clay will be out to get back what is truly his… fed playing bad at this moment n i hope that it continues
Vamos Rafa vamos


krishnan.t.s. Says:

david….
i dont have a feeling that fedrer will win FO…. he could push nadal to 4 sets but not more than that….his style of tennis dosent suit clay the way nadal’s dosent suit hardcourt… nad will get back his FO title this year or both fed nad nad will lose…. that’s the feeling i’ve got


David Says:

Krishnan

I don’t think Roger matches up well with Nadal, on any surface really. Not that he shouldn’t win if he plays his best, but it’s tough because of how Rafa can exploit his backhand side. But I think Rafa’s confidence is just not there and that there are plenty of players who could take him out in a given match. Soderling showed the way and I think anyone who has a really strong two-hander that they can drive to the corners consistently can pull it off if they’re hot that day. Certainly Djokovic is a prime candidate if he can find his game.

As far as Fed’s style not suiting the clay, he’s been the 2nd best clay court player for the past 5 years, so if his game doesn’t suit the clay then that means that Rafa is the only player in the world with a game suited to clay and I don’t think that’s the case. There are a lot of guys who are comfortable and play very well on that surface. They just don’t have those classic Spanish loopy topspin games.


David Says:

Krishnan

I have to disagree. I think that match turning around the way it did was all about Roddick. The mystery is why he doesn’t try to hit his forehand like that more often. Not only will that loopy, ultra-defensive style not work against Rafa. It won’t reliably work against any of the top players and will not, imo, take him to that 2nd Slam title he so badly wants. If he wants that second slam, and I know he does, he’s going to have to play ballsy tennis like he did Friday.


Red-Hot Roddick Faces Destiny’s Child Berdcyh for Miami Title Says:

[...] Roddick Says Nada to Passive Play, Unleashes Hell on Nadal in Shock Miami Win [...]


Huh Says:

If Roger faces Rafa at FO this year, my money’d be on Rafa as much as I’d love Roger to win. So far as winning the FO 10 is concerned, we have to wait to know, but you have to say that Rafa is the firm favourite, he’s always been at FO.


Huh Says:

I like Sean’s gut though.


Huh Says:

I agree with krishnan about Fed’s FO prospects in 2010.


Huh Says:

Rafa has so much talent by the way that he’d have won those four FOs with or without the much vaunted loopy FH. Rafa is much more dangerous on clay than Fed’s on any surface. What even if he had not developed his loop or spin, he might have developed something else, who knows! His talent woulda found expression one way or the other coz they are, as some’d say, destiny’s child.


David Says:

Huh

What Rafa has besides his serve is obviously great mental toughness and incredible athleticism and court coverage. But there seem to be some chinks in his mental armor right now. He’s losing matches that he has excellent chances to win, with the other guy winning the big points (Davydenko, Ljubicic, Roddick this year) and there are still question marks surrounding his movement and whether there is lingering doubt in his mind as to how far he can push his body without getting injured again.

I’m a Rafa fan, but these are real issues and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we see a repeat of last year’s FO. Rafa going out surprisingly to somebody and Roger taking it home. Or Roger beating Rafa in the final in a classic.


David Says:

Sorry, I meant to say “besides his great forehand” Need to edit before sending.


Kimmi Says:

Krishan: your post @ 5:02 am was good and fair until you said this

“..fed playing bad at this moment n i hope that it continues
Vamos Rafa vamos”

lol


Ben Pronin Says:

It really is a strange year when predicting the FO champ isn’t as easy as “Nadal”. He has to be the favorite even with his current form. Even crappy hard court play can translate to great clay play from Nadal. But his form hasn’t been crappy, it’s been pretty good if not almost great. The question is if his main rivals will be able to pull it out against him and he’s still the favorite for the FO.


krishnan.t.s. Says:

David… for all that can be,i still stick with my theory that fedrer’s game is not suited to clay…. it’s the same…. stats wise fedrer maybe the second best but if i were to take a look at the stats then I’d have to say that nadal is the second best at grass court tourneys like Wimbledon… but both of us know that that is not the case… between nadal and fedrer I’d have to agree that fedrer is the one who is classy and graceful on the circuit but nadal is proving to be a thorn in fedrer’s path…. that will continue to be so because fedrer is not so much used to challenges than nadal is…. true he’s come back from 2 sets down to win a match on numerous occasions but even in those matches he has steamrolled his opponents with his game…. something that has not worked against nadal…

n btw Kimmi, i said nothing wrong…. not many things r going Rafa’s way this year n every Rafa fan i bet will be hopin that fedrer continues to play bad…. am waiting for soderling vs nadal at FO if it happens… interesting match as nadal does not not have any problems with his knees…. personally against soderling i think he should stop hitting those looping forehand…. it becomes easy for sody to hit that big forehand on nad n i don’ think that nad will go chasing them…. he should bring sody to the net n then hit that forehand winner…. never try to match sody on the baseline nad…. but I’m counting on u to beat fedrer in the semis or finals as the case may be… Vamos Rafa Vamos


Polo Says:

This year in tennis has been different from the previous years. Before, it was almost a given that in any tournament where Federer and Nadal are entered, it was almost always the two of them you watched clashing in the finals. Djokovic and Murray did sneak by rarely. But that has not been the same this year which makes it more interesting. Other players are training harder (Roddick is prime example)and are gaining confidence (Roddick again, maybe Berdych)at the same time that the aura of invincibility of Federer and Nadal(brought about by age in former and injuries in the latter) has started to ebb.

The coming clay season promises to be interesting particularly with Nadal’s game. It will be very telling! I can’t wait.

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Rankings
ATP - Dec 15 WTA - Dec 15
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Kei Nishikori5 Ana Ivanovic
6 Andy Murray6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Milos Raonic8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Angelique Kerber
10 David Ferrer10 Dominika Cibulkova
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