Federer Opens Clay Campaign v. Gulbis in Rome; Djokovic, Murray Also in Action
by Sean Randall | April 26th, 2010
  • 272 Comments

Roger Federer finally opens his 2010 clay court season Tuesday at the Rome Tennis Masters. As he joked in an interview over the weekend, Federer comes into his match against Ernests Gulbis on the wind of an 11-match clay winning streak which includes his triumphant French Open title last May.

Gulbis has been playing some furious tennis of his own and he pushed Federer to three sets at the start of the year in Doha. So it should be a good, early season test for Federer. Roger usually likes the pace and Gulbis isn’t none to shy about letting it rip. I expect another tough match with Federer prevailing in the end.

Also on Tuesday, Novak Djokovic will have a battle on his hand as well against Jeremy Chardy. Djokovic, a Rome winner in 2008 and finalist last year, has three wins over the Frenchman. But after sacking Todd Martin a few weeks ago and playing some great tennis, Novak looked downright terrible in a loss to Fernando Verdasco in Monte Carlo. Let’s see which Joker shows up Tuesday.

Andy Murray is on late under the lights against Andreas Seppi. Murray has been in a free-fall losing three straight matches. But he’s won three of four against Seppi though he’s never played him on the Italian’s favorite clay surface. This one could go either way. Somehow I think Murray will finally get his win.

There are plenty of other interesting matches tomorrow including David Ferrer v. Evgeny Koralev, Thomas Bellucci v. Leonardo Mayer and Lleyton Hewitt v. Mikhail Youhzny.

Rafael Nadal will open his Rome play on Wednesday.

Today’s first round results victors were Tomas Berdych, Ivan Ljubicic, John Isner and Juan Monaco. In the surprise, Juan Carlos Ferrer was drummed by Argentine qualifier Santiago Giraldo 6-0, 6-3.

Federer also was a winner teaming with Yves Allegro in a first round doubles victory.

CENTER COURT start 1:00 PM
[WC] S Bolelli (ITA) vs [LL] S Greul (GER)
J Chardy (FRA) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs E Gulbis (LAT)

Not Before 8:30 PM
A Seppi (ITA) vs [4] A Murray (GBR)
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / A Montanes (ESP) vs M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL)

PIETRANGELI start 1:00 pm
L Hewitt (AUS) vs [9] M Youzhny (RUS)
N Almagro (ESP) vs L Kubot (POL)
T Bellucci (BRA) vs [Q] L Mayer (ARG)
[13] D Ferrer (ESP) vs E Korolev (KAZ)

COURT 5 start 1:00 pm
J Melzer (AUT) vs S Wawrinka (SUI)
V Hanescu (ROU) vs [16] J Monaco (ARG)

COURT 6 start 1:00 pm
B Becker (GER) vs F Lopez (ESP)
V Troicki (SRB) vs T de Bakker (NED)


Also Check Out:
Nadal’s Clay Campaign Shifts To Spain, Murray Wins; Wozniacki Faces Jankovic In Stuttgart
3D Federer Opens Estoril Play Wednesday; Madrid Next for Nadal
Tsonga, Del Potro In Action Tuesday At Monte Carclo; Houston Champ Isner Gets Gulbis
Novak Djokovic: I’ll Focus On The French Open In Paris, But Not Before Then
Roger Federer: “Time for the Clay Court Season!”

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272 Comments for Federer Opens Clay Campaign v. Gulbis in Rome; Djokovic, Murray Also in Action

jane Says:

Sean thank you once again for posting order of play for us!


Sean Randall Says:

Thanks for giving me the idea to do it.


jane Says:

I should add that I agree that Fed, Djoko and Murray (as well as Rafa against Kohls) all have pretty tough opening matches: Gulbis and Chardy are both young and talented, and Seppi is on home soil.

I guess Fed technically opened his clay campaign today, in doubles with Yves.


jane Says:

I can’t take credit for that Sean – maybe it was Kimmi? In any case, it was a good idea whoever came up with it, since we’re all junkies we like to know when we have to be up for the matches, lol.


Von Says:

Yes, Sean, thanks and good job posting the order of play.

I believe Sar was asking for it on another thread.

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2010-04-25/4007.php#comment-134687


Sean Randall Says:

I thought it was you. It wasn’t me!


Sean Randall Says:

If can figure out how to post videos, photos and other multimedia/twitter stuff then you guys really better watch out! Ha ha.


Von Says:

Get Tom to teach you how to do that, Sean.

And, keep away from the risque stuff.


Kimmi Says:

Roger had a tough one with Gulbis in Doha. After he won the match, he said gulbis was the better player, just few errors at the end cost him but he had the match for the taking.
If fed is rusty, he could lose this match..C’MOON!

Muzza did some good training in barca last week..lets hope he can play well with confidence.
Seppi is a good 1st round opponent to start with, does not hit the ball too big and will give him a good rhythm I think.

Jane, I did not give sean the idea but only thanked him for posting order of play. Its good to see he continues to do so.
Keep it up sean.


blank Says:

Weather forecast not looking very good for the next two days in Rome, especially Tuesday (80% chance of rain).

Anyone who’s going to win the tournament would probably need to win 5 matches in 5 days. Hope we get real close matches.


Von Says:

Wetheim’s take on Verdasco, whom he feels has the best shot to win the FO behind Nadal and Federer.

He wrote: “Especially with clay season upon us, you could certainly make the case that after Nadal and Federer, he’s the next best shot to win Roland Garros.”

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jon_wertheim/04/26/best.three/index.html


Von Says:

Blank: Verdasco and Soderling are going to have a tough time because they will most probaably be playing every day beginning Wednesday. And, if they go deep in Rome, that coupled with running into bad weather, they could easily get taken out by lesser ranked players who are good clay-courters.

it’ll be interesting to see what happens.


blank Says:

Von – I agree. Due to the fact that Verdasco is one of the fittest players on tour, if he likely goes deep in Rome and Madrid that may tire him out mentally before the FO.

If Nadal continues to play in the form he did in MC, then I’d say his actual matches are less physically exhausting than his practice sessions!

I am worried for the Fed.


Kimmi Says:

I have been watching verdasco very close for a long while now. He really become a very good match player. he is patient, work his points thru before unleashing his biggest weapon(FH) and his serve is working much better now. Who would have thought he could play well in MC and then back it up in barcelona? Its true he has so many matches on his belt than any other player in the last 2 weeks…and that is what makes him intriguing to watch in the next few weeks..

I am looking forward to see what he can do in Rome. Its no big deal if he lose early, actually I hope he does…he can then rest for Madrid and RG..he already done waaay above his expectations in MC and barca.

Very good to see!


Von Says:

Blank: Don’t be worried for Fed. He’s allowing them to knock themselves out, and then he’ll move in for the kill. I think he’s very smart strategically, and wouldn’t jeopardize his FO chances.

Fed could lose early in Rome due to lack of match play, but there’s Estoril, where I think he’s going to win, plus get the much needed match play he’s lacking. Then, he’ll polish off that win with a good run in Madrid.

Remember, all’s well that ends well! Just have faith, and per Tim McGraw, a former NY Mets player, ‘Ya gotta believe’!!


contador Says:

Oh yeah, Kimmi and Jane-

i forgot to factor looking at the weather forecast for the week when picking.

some are better in nasty windy colder conditions than others. in general i think federer’s serve has been vulnerable in wind. shadows and twilight bother him too. it was very windy i think in del ray the day EG won his firt title against ivo.

Jane-

i have watched the federer v erno match highlights on youtube over and over. Ernie sort of choked; a little too many nerves or too much adrenaline that last set….he really was close to winning. and he was moving exceptionally well, faster recovery and anticipation than his usual mode.

we’ll see. federer likely has ernie figured out after doha. i don’t know how much thought EG puts into strategy. but he’s pretty great at picking how and when to use that drop shot. And his serve better be on for easy points.


Kimmi Says:

aaaah! contador. I just hope federer wins this match..a lot of players have beaten fed recently..and the list is growing..not good!

If federer pass gulbis test, his draw is good enough to take him to rafa I think..Go Federer!


Von Says:

Contadore:

Gulbis’ drop shots are excellent — it’s almost instinctual. He’s extremely effective using them even on HC. He killed Roddick at the USO with them, even though Andy finally won the match.

Watch out tomorrow for both Fed and gulbis with the dropshots. it would be a case of *anything you can do, I can do better*. I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky …… LOLZ


contador Says:

ohhh kimmi-

he gets past erno, i do believe but i hope wild curly locks latvian come out fighting and pounding those aces.

but there is fed killer benny. you might laugh, but i am *channeling* some real hunger from the frenchman for some more of federer. federer has two real tests ahead…and if he passes the nest two? it just gets worse.

go Feddy! er, go ERNO!


contador Says:

wow.

sorry, i can’t type anymore today. had a big typing day at work, kimmi…all typed out.

catch you later and lotsa luck for your picks and mine!


Von Says:

ooops, Contadore sb contador. sorry about the mispellikng of your name contador.


blank Says:

Thanks for the reassurance Von!

I don’t know why he chose to play Estoril over MC. At MC, at least he could have garnered more points and tried to secure the No. 1 rank record. Anyways, just hoping that he doesn’t do the customary thing against Nadal at the FO. If he does, that will make him pissed as usual and he’s going to be tough to beat at Wimbledon. But, oh…wait! Did we not have a deal to support Roddick at Wim!? Well, that being the case now I really want Rog to win the FO (and then the USO)! Go Roger!!

Just hope Roddick gets over his Decker hangover before Wim. That lucky bastard!


contador Says:

okay kimmi=

one last post because your last one has me smiling! you are exactly right about that “anything you can do , i can do better energy when they played in doha!

oh it’s going to be a fun match, i think *droooool* worthy!


Kimmi Says:

“federer has two real tests ahead…and if he passes the nest two? it just gets worse.”

hahahahahah ..good one! Good night again..gotta go too!


Von Says:

blank:

I’d say Fed was not ready to go from HC to clay and it’s why he didn’t play MC.

Yes, we have a deal that you’ll support Roddick at Wimby and I’m holding you to it, even if I have to strong-arm you to keep your word. LOL

Re: the Decker hang-over, I doubt it will happen very soon. He’s smitten by the double-decker love bug. LOOL. BTW, did you see that pic i posted that was part of an article on roddick’s game? Talk about double-decking, it was all there in that pic.


Von Says:

contador: I beleive you didn’t see the name on the top of the post. I wrote the: “anything you can do, I can do better. I guess your eyes are in shock because we very rarely exchange posts. LOOL.


contador Says:

oh sorry about that Von-

was you not kimmi nailed it with that “anything you can do i can do…” comment.

that’s why the doha match was such fun watching…..they go at it.

Erno gets up for the top top guys..remember him against roddick at the US Open 2008? and nadal at wimbledon? he sort of fancies himself right up there with them. problem is: his fitness and mentality is still in question. but a big win over one of the top players would make a huge difference in his self-belief and just maybe get him to the gym more and practice courts. He knows he should be top ten but doesn’t put the thought and time in to get prepared. he’s no dummy out there, i think he has such a natural talent. he could be like safin with a little more effort. and like safin, i imagine remain inconsistent, win a big one in his career then drop down and comeback,like safin hate the comebacks….lol…i remeber marat saying he was tired of all his “comebacks” .

cheers and good night.


blank Says:

Von, our deal is still rock solid. Come June/July, I will be on your bus…let’s get a double decker bus :-).

Regarding the pics, yes I did see them. It makes me feel only one thing: ENVY!


contador Says:

yeah, but it’s not on purpose von,

usually we are on different subjects is all.

i;m out, as skeezer says.


margot Says:

jane, kimmi et al., expect we’re all nervous today, except von!
polo: is our wee boat nice and steady? Can’t take any more sea-sickness…
conty: I think your Erno has a chance, depends which Fed comes to the party.
Djko will beat the charming Chardy, hope sean hasn’t jinxed Andy, can’t bear to dwell on that one, where’s de man de Bakker BTW? Our Bakker Bandwagon is raring to go!


Polo Says:

Good AM, Margot. I am ready with my bucket. I am determined to keep our boat afloat. I’ll start paddling for Federer pretty soon.


Kimmi Says:

Wwow! Conty are you watching?

Hewitt already up a break and wawa took the first set 6-1 hahahah

is it going to be another one of those days?


Kimmi Says:

wawa is now up a set and a break…is this going to be a rout?

poor melzer..he does not know what to do at the moment!

meanwhile hewitt took the opening set..


Kimmi Says:

simon gruel up a break, ha! there goes all my picks!
now, melzer needs to do a miraculously come back and youzhny what are you doing? you are suppose to win.

Yes! F-Lo took the first set, keep it going!


contador Says:

6 am my time. i over slept! watching cruell greul at the moment.

the home favorite is getting cheered on as expected but i think bolleli needs this first set. simone is not really a mentally tough giant.

hey but a break point, still a chance here

hewitt! but youzy could come to life

stan is my man though, goooo swiss!

and we have reason to believe in feli

simon breaks back. atta boy


Kimmi Says:

wawa is on fire. 6-1 5-2 and serving for the match..hahaha definetly a rout!


Kimmi Says:

wawa close it out convincingly..woooot conty.
never believed it will be this easy!

feli about to rap it up…

need to go to work conty..its looking good for you at the moment. hewitt breaks again. Youzhny not a clay courter now i know!


contador Says:

heya kimmi-

i have a stream on hewitt and youzy, bolleli too!

youz has such a great one hand backhand. he’s a classic.

sorry about melzer kimmi. wawa rolled him.


Kimmi Says:

bollelli took the first set…is it going to be 4 outa 4 for you this morning…i should listen to your picks conty..wow!


contador Says:

yeah me too kimmi-

lots on my schedule today . shooooot!

i will catch you later. i will try to sneak livescore in a couple hours from now to watch federer take erno to school….lol

better luck to your picks-

many more matches to play.


Kimmi Says:

Yes, later

GOOOO FEDERER, MUZZA


madmax Says:

Hello fellow tennis junkies!

Just coming on to wish all of your favourites the best, but the federer fans (of course!), the VERY, VERY, BEST!

Can you feel the heat!

Novak, Ollyk is on first (here in UK), so you should be around sometime? Hope so.

Go Federer!


Dory Says:

Juan Carlos Ferrero lacks the firepower absolutely necessary in today’s men’s game which is why he’ll never go inside even top 10 (sorry JCF if you are reading)


madmax Says:

First serve for novak is 69%, he won 81% of his first serves (so ollyk! what a performance!). 20 winners to 18 UE’s. A much improved, more confident match from novak.

Congrats novak fans. (jane, ollyk, margot!). He was clicking today and rafa was watching in the crowd!!!!!!) (taking notes). (very sweet!).

Gulbis and Federer next!

Huuuuu ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

just waiting for changeover and will see you alls later.

Maxi


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Great comment on the “anything you can do”. I think that is one of Fed’s weaknesses- he really thinks he can beat anyone at any aspect of the game. I recall a series of 2 or 3 games in the famous Safin AO semi where they went dink and dropper crazy like that, and I think Fed has lost not a few matches with Nadal by trying to out grind him at the baseline. From the interview quotes I saw of Gulbis it doesn’t sound like he’s ever going to be GS material. He just hates practice and even thinking about tennis. So he’ll always be a giant killer, never a giant. I just hope he doesn’t do the killing today.
Very glad to see Djoker had a big win today. It would be a tragedy for the game if he and Murray took steps backward and we were left with only Rafa and Raja show again, waiting for DelPo to heal up… It would be great to have five legit contenders week in and week out. Though of course I still want the Rafa/Raja finals in the end. I just want the others to throw in some suspense and drama.
Glad to see folks so pumped over this tournament, it definitely is one of the more compelling non-GS events in a while.
Enjoy the match!


andrea Says:

interesting that rafa was in the crowd. it seems like neither he or roger ever watch each others matches.


Ben Pronin Says:

“I think that is one of Fed’s weaknesses- he really thinks he can beat anyone at any aspect of the game.”

That was a problem Sampras had, too. But when you’re that good, can you blame them?

Nice to see Djokovic play that well. I still didn’t like his body language. Chardy wasn’t challenging him at all but whenever Djokovic missed it was as if though he had lost a set or something. Also, the serve technique still doesn’t look great but it’s improving.


jane Says:

Yahooo Nole! Keep it up. Next Fed and Ernie, then Murray and Seppi. Woot! (madmax thanks for posting stats. : ))


Polo Says:

Amazing how Djokovic can vastly improve his game by merely dropping former coach Todd. I keep wondering what Todd did to make Djokovic lose so much confidence during the time they were together. Hope he stays on course.

Still waiting for Federer’s clay debut. Gulbis tends to play one good match per tournament then he is happy then fades away.


contador Says:

hey madmax-

need to catch up with you. some fip-flops in my life last month. i’ll send it in an email.

if almagro loses my beginners luck on the challenge draw will be over. i had JCF going deep and almagro into quarters. that’s tennis.

andrea-

actually rafa was at one of the early round hc tourny’s in either IW or miami. they showed him enjoying the match a match fed actually won…lol…and roger watches all the matches he can, so he says….women’s, doubles, especially rafa’s…hehehehee

unlike gulbis who says he never watches tennis and has other things to think about…..hope he’s joking, really.


Ben Pronin Says:

Polo, Martin basically screwed with Djokovic’s game too much. Djokovic was already going through a confidence problem before he hired Martin. What Martin should have done was help rekindle Djokovic’s spark and simply strengthen Djokovic’s already great game. Instead, he started messing with technique and adding useless strategies (like charging the net aimlessly) and it just confused the hell out of Novak. Now that Martin is gone, Djokovic can go back to what he was doing and it might even help him realize that his game was great as it was, he just needs to believe in it more.


Polo Says:

I don’t consider it a weakness to think that you can beat anyone at any aspect of the game if you really have the ability. For Federer can say that and it speaks of his confidence. But for a lesser player like maybe, (OK, no names), it could only be bravado.


contador Says:

madmax-

i hate my job. can’t watch the God of tennis v Erno!

not even livescore..

but i’ll need a lifeglight chopper if Erno wins…..hehehehee

either way, not matter who wins, by the way my pulse rate is….i will pass out. end of story


contador Says:

meant “lifeflight” chopper-

take me away!


jane Says:

Fed is starting strong, showing Erno who’s boss…


Polo Says:

Yes, Federer is starting strong. But I cannot shake off the memory of him starting strong against Baghdatis, even against Berdych, then losing.


jane Says:

Some impatient ball-bashing from Erno too. He needs to learn patience. Fed could teach him a thing or two there.


contador Says:

Jane-

my 9am client cancelled!

got the stream up now. probably won’t get to see whole match though.

gulbis is suffering from nerves, pretty certain. he pretends not to but admits he is very nervous before some matches. Means he must care, although won’t admit it.

and polo makes a good point. federer started strong against baggy…and benny too, if i recall.


Kimo Says:

My Fed is looking good on the red stuff. No surprises there :)

I’ve been watching a lot of tennis after Miami. The level of artistry that Fed displays was no where to be found. Sure, Rafa was his dominating best in Monte-Carlo, but Fed makes tennis look like art. That’s why for me he’s the most exciting player to watch.


contador Says:

c’mon ERNO! be patient. he should have responded to that shot from God with an ace.

my pulse is so high Jane, i am dizzy…lol..

it’s a fun ride, this match for a gulbis/federer fan!


jane Says:

That was a great point for Fed to get break point to go up 5-2 – but too many balls into the net from Erno. He’s playing a little better at the moment.

Hope you get to enjoy a bit of the match conty. but it hasn’t been super competitive so far. Think Ernie looks more lackadaisical than nervous. I have to walk my son to school and then start marking but I am going to watch Murray from the corner of my eye. He’ll win – I know he will!!


Polo Says:

Gasquet, when he plays well, is beautiful to watch. Unfortunately, he does not show it often enough. It is such a pity when talent like that is not coupled with a strong mind.


Ben Pronin Says:

It’s fun to watch Federer play on clay. He doesn’t have to worry about too many shots flying past him since he has more time to get to them, so this way he can mess around with spins and angles and all that.


Kimo Says:

Ben, very true. Except for when he tries to come over Rafa’s topspin cross-court forehands with his backhand. Too many shanks for my taste.


Polo Says:

My pulse remains regular. I have no palpitations. No chest pains or difficulty breathing. I think I may live another day…if Federer would allow it.


contador Says:

he better win, Jane….speaking of murray. would be really tragic for him to lose early round.

Kimo-

triple doulble ditto to your post @ 11:23 am

ahhh so much fun to get a glimpse of my two faves. now back to work again.

i want federer to win but ERNO take a set! c’mon

dangerous cheering for gulbis and wanting federer to win. last time i did that…..delPo won the US Open….yikes!


Kimo Says:

Someone has got to teach Gulbis to control his power and harness his talent. I remember him playing Rafa in Wimbledon (2007 I think). He was playing then exactly as he’s playing now. I see no improvement in his game, and for someone his age with his abilities not to make any improvement for three years, that’s just criminal.


Polo Says:

Contador says, “dangerous cheering for gulbis and wanting federer to win…”

Be careful, the last time I heard somebody said that, he split in half!


Kimo Says:

Gulby showing flashes of brilliance. Can he sustain it for at least a set? I doubt it, but it sure would be exciting to see.


Kimo Says:

Gulbis is very frustrating. On one point he hits a winner that no one can hit, on the other he makes a wild, wild, WILD error.


Polo Says:

My observation is that any player with so much talent but failed to improve after a couple of years will not progress any further. Think Gasquet, Gulbis, Baghdatis…

I wonder what Gulbis’ goal is in playing tennis?


Kimo Says:

contador said:

“dangerous cheering for gulbis and wanting federer to win. last time i did that…..delPo won the US Open….yikes!”

So it was YOU!!!!


jane Says:

“My pulse remains regular. I have no palpitations. No chest pains or difficulty breathing. ” Polo, lol. Glad to hear it and looks like you have nothng to worry about today. Gulbis is his inconsistent self today – no zoning to take out someone of Fed’s caliber.


Kimo Says:

You know who should coach Gulbis? Brad Gilbert. The kid needs to be taught how to win ugly.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Hi Kimo
I liked your comment about Federer’s game being art. I wrote a little essay on the different aesthetics of Rafa vs Fed, in terms of the Greek “opposing” aspects of art- Fed as Apollinian, Rafa as Dionysian (based mainly on Nietzsche’s Birth of Tragedy). The thesis is that together in battle they create the effect of the Greek “ultimate” art.
Check it out if you have a chance.
http://tennisvagabond.com/tennisblog.php/2009/05/24/the-apollinian-and-dionysian-in-federer-


contador Says:

LOL….

thanks for the great posts everybody.

i am stalling on the phone, holding off my next client…rescheduled…made up an excuse. nobody will die, i promise.

maybe me. as i am back watching the stream again.

yes oh ya, Kimo. it was me…LOL. i won the title for delPO…haha

my heart will break for whoever loses this match.

and i wish could understand latvian cuz i think i heard some self-cursing from Erno.

eeegads break point ernie!


contador Says:

oh benny fed-killer will be po’d if Erno gets the fed scalp.

c’mon fed!


jane Says:

Tennis Vagabond – I love it! I’ve used Nietzsche’s theory to analyze Shakespeare before but not tennis! LOL. But you’re so right! Thanks for sharing that with us.

Okay, I go walk my son to school, come back and Ernie’s up 4-1? What the what? Did he zone or did errors creep in for Fed? conty, since you’re free from your patience, tell me what happened?


Kimo Says:

Your article was a great read Vagabond :)

I completely agree.


Polo Says:

Uggh! I choked on my salad! I am having hallucinations! I have visions of Baghdatis, Berdych, Canas, etc, etc, dancing before me eyes!


jane Says:

patients that should be – although maybe you’re not feeling patience either.


contador Says:

gulbis gets his hold and the federer team appears disconcerted.

hey, i’m cheering for gulbis to get a set, not the whole match!

c’mon FEDERER!


Kimo Says:

jane, it is a combination of Gulbis zoning in and Fed zoning out (like he often does during masters series) :(


jane Says:

Yes, just watching now and Fed is hitting too many errors off that forehand side; it’s almost as though he’s become the impatient one now. He should slow down a little.


Sean Randall Says:

Match going almost according to plan. Let’s see if Gulbis falls apart in the third. I don’t think he can keep it together.


contador Says:

did i make that “patients” error…..i can’t think straight right now, Jane!

it is my “patients” i am holding of and rescheduling to watch match

and gulbis seems to have found his confidence and “patience.”


jane Says:

conty, I made that patients/patiences error, not you. lol. What a whacky match. I can’t believe Fed has gone on walkabout with all those forehands blasted outside the lines. Well, let’s hope for a tight and competitive 3rd set with BOTH guys at their best.


contador Says:

i am going to die Jane, either way. lol

ernie needs a big win like this….as i have been saying: a big win here could get him “thinking” about tennis, maybe watching some tennis and to make his gifts a priority.

on the other hand, i will go crying and moping for federer if he loses. my “patients” er, clients, will not understand if i tell them my problem today was tennis. tennis is barely considered a sport where i live.


contador Says:

hahaha, i love how gulbis at least covers his mouth when he curses, how very polite.

but ernie is thinking he should win this… oh no!

shades of delPo


Kimo Says:

Fed starting to cut down on UEs now. Game on.


Ben Pronin Says:

They’re both spraying balls all over the court. This is an ugly match.


jane Says:

conty – hang in there girlie – still plenty of points to be played and it’s tigher now. No dying allowed, for you or your patients. ; )


Dory Says:

Federer has become complacent since his Auz Open win. And forgets to turn on something when not playing in Slams. I don’t like supporting such a highly inconsistent player. Why play at all if you are going to play SO BADLY in all of the ATP world tour events?


contador Says:

Fed better not let this set go to a tie break

Kimo-

remember what fed said about going to tie breaks after the baggy match:

“…it (his game) should never go to a tie break.”

sounds right. federer has lost too many matches going to tie break recently.


stu Says:

wahhooo break point goolbie!


jane Says:

Fed’s not playing with gusto; he’s letting Ernie dictate right now. He’s playing too casually.


Kimo Says:

Ok, what the hell is going on?!


Ben Pronin Says:

The big young hitters keeping beating Federer. It all started with Del Potro. Then Baghdatis and Berdych. Now Gulbis. I’m saying Roddick is next.


contador Says:

fed is majorly pissed off at himself. did you see him flinging those water bottles?

he doesn’t want to lose….

but gulbis is going for it. he smells #1 blood


Sean Randall Says:

Yup, Fed’s been rather lax. He’s taking this “focus on the Slams” thing too far.


Skorocel Says:

If Federer is starting to throw those bottles around, you know he’s in big trouble… LOL :-)


jane Says:

Ben if indeed “Roddick is next” let it be for the Wimbledon crown; lord knows Andy deserves some serious “revenge” on Fed, and especially there!


Dory Says:

I really wonder now if players can beat RF in best of 3 why not in best of 5 at the Slams? As much a I ‘d hate it, it looks like this year’s French Open will break RF’s consecutive GS semi record.


Ben Pronin Says:

If this were a slam, we’d be going to 5.


jane Says:

Skorocel “If Federer is starting to throw those bottles around, you know he’s in big trouble”

He’d be in bigger trouble if they were Rafa’s bottles. ; ) J.K.


contador Says:

oh must you get sooo happy, Skorocel? : (

i was cheering for erno but only to take a set!!

arrrrgh


Polo Says:

I am doing cardiac massage on myself right now. I think I should just pass out and go into coma only to regain consciousness during Wimbledon.


Ben Pronin Says:

If Federer could stop shanking returns and get the ball in play, he could unleash a flurry of drop shots and beat Gulbis that way.


Polo Says:

Don’t hate me people, but when Federer plays like this, I have the perverse feeling of wanting him to lose.


jane Says:

Polo, don’t bring out the electro-shockers; it’s not over yet and it’s only one break! Keep the faith.

Ben, yes Fed should use more droppers; he’s beaten Gulbis on those when he’s used them, but I guess they’re kind of high risk too.


Skorocel Says:

contador: No, I’m not happy at all. Right now, I’d rather want to see Fed winning 4 games in a row than to see him once again going out in the very first round, believe me!


Kimo Says:

Sean, you are right. This is getting ridiculous. He’s hardly played any tennis since Australia!!!.


Dory Says:

I feel the same way Polo. Enough is enough of this Slam only nonsense. I’d like to ask RF in front of the crowd why only slams motivate him.


contador Says:

i understand, Polo.

and coupled with my hope that erno to finally gets off his arse.

i am only dizzy not quite passed out about what does appears to be federer on his way out…

to ERNO! of all things


Skorocel Says:

jane: LOL :-)


Kimo Says:

TBH, Gulbis deserves to win for his performance today.


jane Says:

Fed played a patient rally there (at 15 all), some great slices, but he needed to go for the kill shot, and NOT let Gulbis have the opportunity to do it. Poor Fed. He’s just not feeling it today. Mind you, Rome has never been a great place for him; it’s one of the few places he hasn’t titled.

Anyhow Deuce! Saves MP! Very tense here…


jane Says:

Maybe Fed’s coming back here? Some good points to stay in it.


contador Says:

Gulbis blew his fist chance!

unbelievably i was cheering for ERNO. his nerves got in the way….now he has to regroup and find his chill.

federer has a pulse


Kimo Says:

Oooooh, this match is really shaping up nicely now. If Gulbis ends up losing he’ll see that missed forehand at match point in his dreams or a loooong time.


Dan Martin Says:

I guess the key with Roger these days is not to read too much into anything. After Oz, a lot of people read too much into the ease of slam #16 and predicted a return to 2006 form – not happening. I am not going to write an obituary on his career, but this is not a promising start to things. Let’s see if Gulbis can serve out the match.


Skorocel Says:

Great hold from Roger! Now let’s see if he can win a match after saving a MP! Last time it was Rochus in Halle 2006…


Ezorra Says:

With that stupid forehand by Gulbis in the match point just now, Federer deserves to win!


Dory Says:

Even if he wins today, I’m very very disappointed. The best player is the one who performs well throughout the season, not just 4 particular tournaments because they carry all the glamor, money and ranking points.


contador Says:

Oh man, i gonna die.

Erno serving for match


jane Says:

Ernie is getting tight here, and Fed’s been playing good defense. 30-15.


contador Says:

i “fancy” federer is a Gulbis fan , just like me. lol


Polo Says:

Boo for that shot.


jane Says:

Oops bad miss by Fed; he had it!!


jane Says:

Double fault – nerves from Ernie!


jane Says:

Ernie’s choking!


stu Says:

poor Ernie is choking…


Polo Says:

Nerves for me, too.


stu Says:

i guess that means he does want it…


contador Says:

NOOOOOOOOO

choking and gagging. DF

i was set to celebrate for ernie and i think fed satisfied about the whole thing, appears


Polo Says:

Federer in three!!!


Polo Says:

Brainless!!!


Dan Martin Says:

Ace to get MP #6 then 2nd double fault on a MP – killer


jane Says:

conty you were right. Gulbis is soooo nervous. Can’t finish the match. Am beginning to feel sorry for him.


Polo Says:

Gutless!!!


Ezorra Says:

I think I should congrat Fed fans already… Congrats guys…


Skorocel Says:

If Gulbis loses this, it’d be the biggest chokejob in the 21th century! LOL Ernests :-)


Polo Says:

I knew I was right about this kid Gulbis.


Kimo Says:

Major CHOKE JOB!!! I’m a Fed fan but come on Erno u HAD IT!!!!

I’m very disappointed in Roger. Yeah, slams are more important, but I thought he had more passion for the game.


contador Says:

LMAO!!!

poor gulbis!

his nerves made him puke. can Erno possibly pull it together?


Ben Pronin Says:

All a part of Federer’s plan. Win 16 slams -> becoming a living legend ensures lots of choking from his opponents once he gets older and plays like crap.


Dan Martin Says:

I feel for Gulbis, but the beauty of tennis is you can’t run out the clock with a lead I guess…


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Wow. Epic choke on that service game.


jane Says:

Wow – mega choke job. Poor Ernie. He was so looking forward to a big win, you could see it. But he’s clearly gotta hold it together. Now it’s error city.

Polo – you’re right – Fed in three!


Ben Pronin Says:

I’ll reiterate, this is an ugly match. Everyone is still spraying errors.


Lisa Farley Says:

Is Fed going out in his first round? Now,I think not. EG has blown all his opportunities; RF won’t allow him anymore.


contador Says:

i feel horrible for ernie!

GO GULBIS!


Kimo Says:

Now Fed is choking. Does anybody wanna win this sucker of a match?!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Looks like no one wants Nadal right now! (Or Bennetau?)


Ezorra Says:

C’mon FEDERER!!! (I think this is the first time I say this!)


Polo Says:

This match is making me crazy. I want Fed to win…no, lose…win..lose..


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer is still playing like crap. It’s all up to Gulbis.


Skorocel Says:

Yay, that FH was close!


Dan Martin Says:

Fed gives it back … wow


Polo Says:

If Gulbis loses his serve again serving for the match, he will have to be institutionalized.


contador Says:

Roger chokes back

hahahhaaa…..laughing at these nervous nellies


Skorocel Says:

This is one helluva error-fest! 6-5 Gulbis!


jane Says:

I am so confused – is this about who wants to WIN more or who wants to LOSE more? Sheesh. : ) I am just kiddin, but really. Fed got the match handed back to him and imploded. Now will Ernie choke again. My head hurts.


contador Says:

ER, NO or ER, YES


contador Says:

another match point!!!


Polo Says:

Now, Gulbis has 3 matchpoints…to throw away!!!


Skorocel Says:

Federer should really regret that missed FH at 30 all… Another 3 MPs for Gulbis!


skeezerweezer Says:

Fed, disinterested, lacking a will to win, even when the poor young buck is choking, not moving well, totally deserve to lose as Gulbis deserved to win. Could this be the beginning of the end? He says he still wants to win. He has two kids, a wife, and a life. Other motivations now? Doesn’t seem tennis……


stu Says:

Ernests Gulbis has arrived!


Ezorra Says:

Sorry Fed fans… Hopefully he’ll recover and do his best for Estoril.


jane Says:

Congrats to Ernie. Where’s your nice smile?

Fed – too many holidays for you – time to buckle down!!!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Wow. This is the match we were all jazzed for? In the old country, they would take both players to the alley outside the stadium and shoot them.


Dan Martin Says:

Good win for Gulbis – Fed is in the wilderness at the moment more than he was at this time in the 08 or 09 seasons.


Kimo Says:

Shame on you Fed. Shame, shame, shame. Gulbis is a fine player, but Fed has no business losing to him.

Like Sean said, Fed has taken the focus on slams thing one step too far.


Polo Says:

I don’t mind Gulbis experiencing some yips because this is really big for him. But Federer?!!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer is lost in lala land. His life is too perfect. He’s too relaxed. Slams shmams. It’s like he doesn’t know how to win anymore.


jane Says:

Yeah, sorry to Fed fans; that’s not your guy at his best. He needs to get more match play. On the plus side he’s still in the doubles, so he can get some more play in here before Estoril.


Dan Martin Says:

Is his march toward 286 and 287 weeks at #1 in jeopardy?


Kimo Says:

Also, 500 points is a helluva lot to lose in one tournament.

Doesn’t look like Fed is as motivated as he once was.


jane Says:

conty – are you okay? Check in girl; I am worried about you.


Polo Says:

Too many early losses for Federer now in consecutive tournaments. This does not bode well. No matter what he says, this can only erode his confidence. Everybody must want to play him in the early rounds now.

Less confidence + advancing age + diminished motivation = ?


Kimo Says:

Dan, no his ranking isn’t in jeopardy much. Rafa and Djoko have too many points to defend.

Still, 500 point in one tournament is just too much.


Dory Says:

Now’s the time to retire from tennis instead of dragging on till his kids see him play this way. Or play only in Slams and don’t care about point penalty.


Voicemale1 Says:

Looks like Federer was seriously trying to lose this one and Gulbis wasn’t helping – choking severely on the earlier Match Points :). Federer is playing on clay for 3 straight weeks: here, Estoril and Madrid. He’s still in the Doubles Draw and can get another match or two under him. And I doubt he wanted no part of Nadal here while he was short on clay court matches. He’ll want him in Madrid & at The French. Fear not. It’s all part of Federer’s grand plan to lose early here.


contador Says:

federer played a great first set, right? Gulbis went for it in the second.

both played crap in the third but..it did seem federer sorta gave it to Erno….said, “okay take this, if your nerve can handle it.”

now, c’mon Erno, time to take yourself seriously!

my draw challenge is over. thank-you Ernie. happy for you.

bad day for a federer fan, like me.

omg. Ernie made it.


Ben Pronin Says:

Is this progress? He didn’t blow match points this time. He was pretty much outplayed in the last 2 sets.


Lisa Farley Says:

Fed must have come to sell tickets. Good for him, dedicated to the sport.


Polo Says:

If Federer keeps playing like this, pretty soon he’ll be playing Nadal in the first round.


contador Says:

oh don’t start talking “federer tanked.”

sheeesh.

Gulbis won. he came close in Doha. and has nearly beaten rafa, wimbles 07 and roddick USO 08.


montecarlo Says:

What a bizzare Error fest that match was. Prior to the match I thought Federer may be rusty and Gulbis will have his best chance at the start of the match before federer settles down. turned out to be exactly the opposite of this.

Not to panic for Federer fans. I am sure he will get back to winning ways at estoril and that momentum will carry forward to madrid and French open.

As far as Gulbis concerned this wasn’t his best performance but this victory will boost his confidence. If he can cut down on bit of errors and avoid choking he can atleast reach semis here.


Polo Says:

Whoever thinks that Federer “tanked” this match is in denial.


Ben Pronin Says:

I guess I was wrong to say Federer doesn’t have to worry about balls flying past him. Well they didn’t fly past him so much as into his frame. As much as it sucks that Federer lost, I can’t be too happy for Gulbis because both played an ugly match and it wasn’t very enjoyable in terms of the tennis.


Ben Pronin Says:

Here’s what’s worrisome for Federer: Baghdatis, Berdych, and Gulbis have all played much better tennis at some point in their careers compared to how they played against Federer. Before, you needed to be at your best to knock Federer out, but that doesn’t look to be the case anymore.


Duro Says:

No wonder why Rafa attended Novak’s match and took notes…

There’s a series of clay tournaments in a row that Fed will lose from now on. After these Rome points, count off Madrid points, as well as FO points… Dead race till the end. The big three might end within 500 points in the end of the year. What order? Mine.

Maxi, sorry because your idol lost. Countess, enjoy it as much as you can. Congratulations!


Kimo Says:

contador, we’re not saying Fed tanked, but after he miraculously gets the break back then he gets broken again. Looks conspicuous.

I’ll go with Voicemail’s theory, but I’d rather have him play well in Rome, withdraw from Estoril, then play Rafa in Mardid. If he doesn’t want to play Rafa early, which I think is true, he could have lost in the quarters. 2nd round is just too early.

Like Dan said, don’t read into what Fed does anymore. But I must say I want to see him play better at Masters 1000 events. Much better.


contador Says:

i actually loved the match. maybe it’s perverse and enjoy a good chokefest. and that third set was one of the bestest chokefests ever. *giggles*

i still love federer.


OllyK Says:

I’m so so so so happy for Nole! I was worried before match and I had a meeting so I couldn’t watch :(, but now, when I saw result and statistics I’m just fine.. ;)) Ajde, Nolee!
Sorry, Fed fans.. :/ Especially maxi..


sar Says:

I said the other day that I thought Fed could tank here early to avoid meeting Rafa in semis. I think Voicemale and I had it right? He was doing all kinds of nutty things out there begging Gulbis to please win.


Ben Pronin Says:

What kind of nutty things? Shanking every ball that came his way? I feel like if he wanted to tank he should’ve done it later. Maybe he didn’t think anyone else would be good enough?

I’m starting to resent Federer. Watching him play his best is like a gift from the tennis Gods but this is just pathetic. It’s not fun to watch someone shank balls and miss by miles. And to lose so early, too. He used to own the Masters, not he can’t muster more than 1 or 2 wins, if that.


ThyGodisTennis Says:

I called it!

Fed out in first round and boards blazing.

If you need match play it helps to play a match.

I hope he sticks with the doubles.


Polo Says:

Federer has now come full circle in his tennis career. He is back to playing like a nervous rookie.


jane Says:

conty – I found it entertaining too, a huge roller-coaster ride of ups and downs in the first two sets and then mega drama in the third. So I know what you mean.

Fed certainly looked to be playing to win in the first set, but then he “went off the boil” in the second and couldn’t quite right the ship in the third. When Gulbis choked and Fed had the opportunity to seize control of the match he imploded, and that was strange for him. But maybe he was feeling nerves too by that point? Or he just wasn’t fired up enough.


Duro Says:

Olly, you cost me a whole lot of nerves last couple of days… Nole was OK. I thought he was injured. I’ll “kill” you when you come back from Dubai!


MarkoPolo Says:

Happy for Ernie (he finally shows some c_ _ _ _ _ s)! Happy for Nole (seems to be on the right path to his old self; I hope the shoulder injury is just a rumor)! Sad for Federer, but I would not read much into this loss. Federer is still Federer and he will come around when needed as he always does! He still has Estoril and Madrid to get matches under his belt before RG!


contador Says:

Thank-you Duro. You are all class.


Skorocel Says:

“Even if he wins today, I’m very very disappointed. The best player is the one who performs well throughout the season, not just 4 particular tournaments because they carry all the glamor, money and ranking points.”

Dory, what would you want Federer to win? A grandslam or a MS 1000 event? Personally, I’d rather take the former, since no one except the Greg Sharko’s of this world will remember how many MS 1000s has Roger won 10 years from now… As much as I hate to say it (and I really DO!), Federer, just like Sampras, has slowly but surely switched his focus to majors during these last 2-3 years… After seeing his efforts in his last 3 tournaments (IW, Miami, and now Rome), only a fool would think otherwise… And to be honest, it’s only logical (especially now that he has kids)… Gone are the seasons with 8-10 titles! Forget about it…

But hey, as long as he’s winning slams and is the No. 1 player (just like Serena), who the hell cares? The guy still has a very decent (if maybe his last) chance to win a calendar slam, so let’s wait and see what happens in Paris. Everyone knows that, when it comes to grandslams, no one’s better than Federer. Not even Nadal. It really sucks to see him shanking so many balls in these “lesser” tournaments, it really does, but I’d rather see him completing the Melbourne + Paris + London + New York four in one year & hold on to his No 1. ranking than to see him adding 2 or 3 “additional” trophies to his cabinet…


contador Says:

exactly right, Jane. that is how i saw the match too.

thank-you for being sensible enough to not read the match like some fans here.

federer tanking, what BS. pure conjecture. insensible.

the way he was throwing those water bottles around after ernie broke him in the third set? was that “acting?”

if so, federer should consider moving to hollywood. what an act!


Lisa Farley Says:

Fed is still in adjustment mode with marriage and kids.


skeezerweezer Says:

Jane,

I didn’t see the first set so, my bad, but the last two Fed played were, uh, like shankapotomus? IMO had a disinterested demeanor….maybe someone in the stands was hitting on his Mom? :)

That aside, kudos to Gulbis, he deserved the win, he has been playing well…

Ben,

“Ditto”


Stefani Germanotti Says:

Fed is very rusty. I agree that he is focusing on Slams, but he needs to get enough competitive matches in along the way, i.e., at Masters. Losing in his first match doesn’t really help focus him on Slams.


skeezerweezer Says:

Skorocel’s post April 27th, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Agreed. Nice post. As a fan, hope you’re right :)


Duro Says:

MarcoPolo, did you mean “cohones”? Say it freely ha ha! It’s exactly what he’s shown, but only result wise, not as much play wise. The problem is, he’ll be as good as his next match will. Julien did it too, but only till the next match. That will be a real test for him. I like this guy, very talented but extremely unstable.


OllyK Says:

Durooo, I was very nervous, too, as you could see earlier..:P I have an idea: lets “kill” Ljubica together instead of you killing me.. :D


Polo Says:

By now, I am starting to get used to seeing Federer lose. That’s why I survived without needing to call 911. I felt that after he won the French last year at beat Sampras’ major records at Wimbledon, I was already completely satisfied and everything else would be icing on the cake. This is one of those matches where if he won, I would be pleased. But if he lost, like he did, I would not be devastated. I only wish he had shown more fire.

I am happy for Gulbis. So young and talented. Maybe this win will make him reassess his tennis goals and be more dedicated to the game as befits his talent. I am trying to find a young player who can take Federer’s place as my favorite. Nadal is a good candidate but I am looking for someone younger to watch mature and develop like I did following Federer’s career.


jane Says:

Skeeze, in the first set Fed was hitting less errors, but Ernie was hitting a lot of them; they kind of swapped places in the second and leveled out in the third, although by that time Ernie sensed his moment and Fed didn’t seem to fight after the break. He did seem to lack the focus he has other times.

What’s weird is that although Fed’s focus may be on the slams in the last couple of years (09-10, say), last year he was in semis in IW, Miami and Rome, losing only to Djok and Murray. This year he hasn’t been to the quarters, even, of any of these events and meanwhile he’s chasing Pete’s weeks at number 1. Luckily for him, the other top 3 haven’t been winning either and have been bleeding points as well. Nadal is beginning to hit his stride though. Not sure about Djok because he looked so good at the beginning of MC then lost badly to Tobasco, and now he looks good but who knows? Am taking it day-by-day with him. Am anxiously awaiting Murray’s match/win (please!).

Anyhow, back to Fed – is there any way his breaking Pete’s record is in danger, say, if Rafa wins Madrid and the FO?


Duro Says:

Oh Ljubica… I’ll eat her alive! She must have her ears checked! Novak was telling Miljan that his shoulder is in NO PAIN! Ljubica trubica.


MarkoPolo Says:

Olly, Duro, I’ll join you in killing Ljubica…. She killed my spirit the other day with the Nole injured news!!!!!!!!


Duro Says:

Polo, try with Filip Krajinovic. Who knows… As far as I’m concerned I found my boy…


xmike Says:

Federer should be known as the SWOAT from now one: The “Serena Williams Of Atp Tour”, as they both only seem to play well at grand slams


skeezerweezer Says:

Jane,

Thanks for the breakdown on the 1rst set :)

Hope Murray wins also :)

What happened to those two after AO? Did they go on the some “Mental Vacation” we don’t know about?


sheila Says:

i am a fed fan. what i dont get is, he wins ao only dropping 2 sets along the way to taking out murray. u think he’d have all the confidence in the world then he plays 3 master 1000 events and loses early on to players hes had huge winning records against. i watched the tail end of 3rd set against gulbis and federer looked 2b soooooooo shakey, no confidence. he may not get to tie sampras’ record @ #1 if he keeps losing points. last year @ this time, federer was not winning tournaments but he wasnt getting knocked out in early rds. fo will definitely tell a lot about where hes heading, but somehow i hope roger bounces back.


contador Says:

skeezerweezer-

being a huge gulbis fan and a federer fan. i pretty much cancelled my appointments and rescheduled my day to find a way to watch this match-up. i had a feeling it would be close and i’s get to watch two of my favorites with federer ultimately winning, like in doha.

but doha sort of stuck in my mind. ernie played him close. everyone discounts gulbis, even me. his attitude about tennis, if one is to believe his words, stinks.

but he is a natural talent. though gulbis may not watch tennis, roger federer does. i’m sure federer did not intentionally lose.

federer played some of his exquisite tennis the first set. but erno let go of his nerves and played like he had nothing to lose the second set.

roger was visibly shaken when ernie broke him in the third set and during the changeover you could see the difference in their demeanors. Gulbis was chill and federer throwing bottles left and right. Ernie came out and held. by then, both were nervous. watching them, i started to wonder if either had a grip at all, both seemed to barely hold their racquets, let alone their wits. it became the bestests chokefest ever! i was actually giggling by then, not caring who won.

this is huge for ernie and i am happy for him. we’ll see if he carries some confidence and actually cares about tennis more, as he walks away with this win.

for federer, it’s not the end at all. he’s been through this and seen it all. whether he has a tennis game to go deep in a draw is yet to be seen since the AO, which has me agreeing with those who say federer has lost his focus and drive to win lesser tournaments. however, he now is heading toward real jeopardy of losing the #1 ranking before breaking the record, isn’t he?

BTW, congrats to all nole fans. been so wrapped up in the federer/gulbis match to say: AJDE NOLE!!

good thing i switched my picks last minute and put nole in clear to the final…..though have to admit i picked rafa to win.


OllyK Says:

haha, Duro, Ljubica NOT eustachian t(r)ubica.. :D you, Marko and me – 3 on 1! Poor her. :) But, never mind, I’m glad that Nole proved her wrong.. at least, we are even happier after this win than we’d be if we thought everything is OK. :)


Gordo Says:

Well, well – I did not think I would be posting this this soon – from an earlier post -

===============

Gordo Said:

This is one in a series of outing the great predictors vs those bravado puffing idiots who don’t really have a clue. Too many times people boast and call results knowing that yesterday’s blog is soon forgotten. Well, let’s change that, shall we?

Let’s serve up the following -

===============

April 24th, 2010
Federer, Nadal Seeded to Meet in Rome Semifinals
by Sean Randall

COMMENT 180 -

grandslamman Says:

What are you Nadal fans gonna say when Roger beats Rafa in Rome this next week? Oh, and he will.

April 25th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

===============
grandslamman – a great predictor or a bravado puffing idiot? I’ll repost this after Roger beats Rafa or after Rafa beats Roger or at the very least once we know how much substance this prediction holds. Then grandslammam will be worthy of praise for his prognostic abilities or he can be laughed at for his fantasy-land bluster.

Tick… tick… tick

April 25th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

===============

Well grandslamman? How’s the crystal ball these days? Ha!


Polo Says:

Duro Says: “…try with Filip Krajinovic. Who knows… As far as I’m concerned I found my boy…”

I will keep an eye on Filip as per your suggestion. Gulbis would be good to follow. Let us see how he plays in his next match. I hope he does not do a Baghdatie, i.e, beat Federer then lose badly in the next match.

I took notice of a kid named Grigor Dimitrov last year but he has disappeared after much hype from his coach Peter Lundgren. I don’t see anybody more interesting than Gulbis right now although I am not quite sold about his attitude. Maybe this win will set it right.


Ben Pronin Says:

Gordo, I said it on the other blog, grandslamman/challengerlevel are the same person. He’s just finding different ways of making Federer out to be a God.


funches Says:

The year Kafelnikov won Roland Garros (1996), he lost in the first round of his first three warm-up tournaments. The people who think Federer is finished are either engaging in wishful thinking or have little knowledge of history.

I didn’t see the match, but I seriously doubt he was tanking today. He just played poorly. Players don’t play the same way every week. Federer was an exception for several years, but he’s no longer capable of finding his form at every tournament.

Nothing that happens before Roland Garros has any clear significance for him. If he loses to someone like Gulbis in Paris, then it will be time to wonder what’s going on in his career.


contador Says:

the god is gulbis.. : )

until the next match.

uh boy. tennis.

have only one report written for work today, such went my mind to tennis.

Kimmi, Madmax. hope you guys are not too down.


funches Says:

The Italians went 5-0 in the first round.

For their next trick, they plan to go 0-5 in the second round.


Skorocel Says:

stu: „Ernests Gulbis has arrived!“

That’s what they were saying about Berdych when he beat Fed in Athens Olympics, or Gasquet when he beat Fed in MC 2005, or Baghdatis, etc., and we know what happened… If a player blows 5 (!) MPs with an UE and another one with a double fault (be his opponent Federer or someone else), then something’s wrong, don’t you think? Unless Gulbis gets his HEAD together and starts winning matches on a regular basis, he won’t be anywhere close to Djoker, Murray, Roddick, or JMDP, not to even mention Fed & Nadal…

—————————-

„Looks like Federer was seriously trying to lose this one and Gulbis wasn’t helping – choking severely on the earlier Match Points :)“

You really nailed it with this one, Voicemale1! :-)

—————————-

„Is this progress? He didn’t blow match points this time. He was pretty much outplayed in the last 2 sets.“

LOL Ben :-)

—————————-

„As much as it sucks that Federer lost, I can’t be too happy for Gulbis because both played an ugly match and it wasn’t very enjoyable in terms of the tennis.“

Very well said, Ben! stu, are you hearing?

—————————-

„I’m starting to resent Federer.“

Ben, what would you expect from a player who’s nearing his 30s, has a wife and 2 kids, has 2 or 3 years left till all his major enorsements run out, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, who has already broken almost every single tennis record that is there to be broken? Don’t get me wrong – it really sucks to see Fed play so crappy at these non-slam events these days! But like it or not, it won’t be any better… The guy says he’s gonna play till he’s 35, but I don’t believe him a bit! 2012 (with the London Olympics in Wimbledon) will be his last year – just like 2002 was for Sampras. I just cannot imagine how he’s gonna play for another 5-7 years with this kind of „grandslam only“ approach…

—————————

contador: „i’m sure federer did not intentionally lose.“

Intentionally or not, it doesn’t matter now. What matters is that he’s still got 2 warm up tourneys and 2 additional weeks for training before the FO. Should he wins the FO, no one (except Gulbis’ father) will care about today’s match…

————————–

contador: „however, he now is heading toward real jeopardy of losing the #1 ranking before breaking the record, isn’t he?“

Unless he really screws up Madrid & FO, I don’t see that happening… What will be interesting, though, is that whether he’ll still be the No. 1 after Wimbledon (where, as you may know, Nadal didn’t play last year). If that’s the case, then I think he has a very decent chance to finish the year as the No. 1 player…

————————–

funches: „If he (Fed) loses to someone like Gulbis in Paris, then it will be time to wonder what’s going on in his career.“

Same here!


jane Says:

If Fed wins Estoril I guess he can pretty much make up the points he lost here, and then it’s just a matter of defending a few big ones after that: Madrid, FO, Wimbledon. For now, still not much pressure on him really. What will matter is how he performs after Estoril. As Skorocel says, he’d have to have another early loss at Madrid, and go out earlier than normal at the French. I suppose if someone were to oust him early at Madrid and if he loses in the semis at the French, then number crunching will come into play again.


contador Says:

Sometimes Skorocel you can be too cruel. : )

“Should he wins the FO, no one will care ( except Gulbis’ father) will care about today’s match…”

you are very funny. you do make me laugh sometimes, Skorocel.

i don’t know, i think there are other latvian fans aside from Gulbis’ family. plus, 1 non-latvian fan.

he won’t be too memorable if he doesn’t win more, meaning something bigger than a 250 in del ray.

Duro-

keeping an eye out for krajinvovic.


jane Says:

Good start for Murray.


anna Says:

Skorocel said:
“Intentionally or not, it doesn’t matter now. What matters is that he’s still got 2 warm up tourneys and 2 additional weeks for training before the FO. Should he wins the FO, no one (except Gulbis’ father) will care about today’s match…”

i don’t care about Gulbis’ father, but i care about his games and as everybody can see- this year he plays better and better each month…


steve Says:

Congrats to Gulbis. I had a hunch this might happen. I’m getting used to it by now, I only wished for a better match.

What happened to Federer this year was almost a carbon-copy of 2007: after winning the AO without the loss of a set, he lost early at IW, Miami, and Rome. There were universal expressions of concern, that Federer had lost it, etc. etc., just as there are now. A few weeks later he beat Nadal for the first time on clay, and then he ended up winning Wimbledon and USO again, and staying #1 all through the year.

He can’t win the media debate. If he wins Estoril people will say it was only a smaller tournament with lesser players; if he loses there they will say he doesn’t care about smaller tournaments.

Good thing he’s at the point where can afford not to care what people say about his game.


skeezerweezer Says:

Contador,

I happened to turn it on in the very beginning of the second so when I saw that set, and the way I saw Fed, shanking, UE’s and movement, I could see he was going to lose that match unless he got out of whatever funk he was in. I probably used a poor choice of words saying “disinterested” which could have implied “tanking”, but what I should have said was “not focused”. Fed always has said he plays to win every tourney he plays in, and I believe him. Why enter? I think it is a cop out for a paid professional to enter to “warm up” or “tank”.

Him throwing the bottles only proves that he was not happy with the way things were going, for sure showing his competitiveness.

Now, unconsciously?, I am not so sure. I have no idea what the guy is thinking but his body language is starting to show…..

Like…this guy has more variety of strokes than anyone in the history of the game, so why does he go through periods of Shanking? Fed? Maybe time to go to Oversize? lol

But am a big fan of his, so MO can be skewed…… :)

Now, to your man ( Which I like to BTW )Gulbis.
The way things should have turned out IMO, Gulbis should have beat him 6-3 or 4 in the third. Like I said earlier he has played well lately, has a lot of match play under his belt, and deserved to win. Hope it continues ;-)


montecarlo Says:

Gulbis, when asked what happened on all those match points. “I shit my pants a little bit, sorry for my language…”

LOL


guy Says:

its amazing to see all the belief in federer defending his title. i wonder if anyone watched last year’s french, how he almost lost to acasuso, was a forehand on the line away from losing to haas[on clay?], avoided the two best claycourters at the time, djoker and rafa, then played a first time finalist for the amazing victory.
truth is, he is the second best claycourter, equal with djoker [let's face it, djoker would have made the french final twice if he hadn't played nadal in semis], but there is a massive gap between federer and nadal on clay, both technically and mentally. that didn’t change because nadal had an injury.


contador Says:

hahhahahaaa

do you have a link to the interview montecarlo? probably on atp site? or where. i am back at work. would apprecaite to listen or read the full interviews- both gulbis and federer?

it’s a classic Gulbis’ comment MonteCarlo, no need to apologize. LOL!

appreciated your post skeezerweezer. thank-you.

i am concerned for federer. that body language and bottle throwing thing….ah, he’ll pull it together. i imagine, anyway.


jane Says:

True steve re: 2007 – he lost R64 in IW, R16 in Miami and then R16 in Rome. This year he went R32, R16 and R64 respectively. In 2007, however, Fed won Dubai and did play Monte Carlo between Miami and Rome, getting to the finals against Rafa. Now he’s cutting back on the schedule so the run may look even more drastic.


contador Says:

oh, the quote from ernie, includes him apologizing for his language, MC.

i’m both working and reading TT. excuse me.

i love ernie’s post match interviews.

funches-

LOL to your 2:29 pm post..

the muzza is clobbering seppi right now, i see on livescore.


jane Says:

Good first set from Murray, but he did give one break back which he shouldn’t've. Still 6-2 is nice. Now finish it in the second Andy M. No walkabouts.


skeezerweezer Says:

Jane,

“No Walkabouts”…lol .you go girl :)


montecarlo Says:

@Contador

Here is bit from federer (which I gathered from various sites)-

“My game was definitely not up to speed,” Federer said. “My serve was not working at all.”

“I hope I can come back from this. That’s usually what I do after a loss like this,” Federer said. “Sometimes it takes a loss to wake up and shake you up for your approach the next week. When you always win, sometimes you forget how hard it is. That’s why today I don’t get too worried about this loss.”

“On clay you can lose the feeling sometimes,” Federer said of his serve. “At one point I tried to go three-quarters speed but that didn’t work either, so I just kept going for it and hoping that it would come back eventually, and it didn’t unfortunately.”

“He has immense power on both sides and one of the fastest serves in the game,” Federer said. “I think he’s got a great future.”

“I started well and the conditions were kind of like the French Open final last year,” he said. “Actually, I wasn’t too happy that it was slow against a player that likes to end the points quickly.”

Federer still has the doubles to look forward to here. He and Allegro will next face sixth-seeded Simon Aspelin of Sweden and Paul Hanley of Australia.

“It will give a good chance to forget today and move forward,” Federer said.


jane Says:

funches, Bellucci blew your 0-5 prediction for the Italianos today..


montecarlo Says:

And more-

[qupte]“You can’t go 100 percent winning throughout the season,”

“I’m not worried. It’s always like that when you touch a new surface and lose. I think there could have been some good tennis at the back end of the tournament if I’d made it through.

“The French Open is at the back of my mind. Winning three, four, five matches in a row is on my mind and that’s why I’m happy to be playing in Estoril next week.” [/quote]

Sorry if these are somewhat edited replies but thats all I gathered from the internet.


contador Says:

meant reading tennisx not TT.

looks like muzz is doing well. livescore watching

and my other pick, ferrer is hangin in.

still, gulbis ruined my picks from here on past the quarters.


steve Says:

“this guy has more variety of strokes than anyone in the history of the game, so why does he go through periods of Shanking?”

Precisely because he has more variety of strokes than anyone in the history of the game.

Most players have to decide between one or two options every time they hit a shot. Federer’s probably having to choose from five to seven options. Every time he hits a shot.

It must take a lot of concentration and mental strength to do all that decision-making in real time. Hence, when that concentration slips, errors galore.

It’s the price of beauty.


Polo Says:

Skorocel said:
“…Should he (referring to Federer?) win the FO, no one (except Gulbis’ father) will care about today’s match…”

I care about this match and I am not even Gulbis’ father. For young players, a win like this over a very good player always matters. I wonder, when Federer beat Sampras in Wimbledon, did anybody think that only Federer’s father cared?

montecarlo- Thank you for that funny quote from Gulbis’ interview.


contador Says:

thanks MC.

pretty soon i will go on atp site and see if there are the vid interviews.

federer’s fine. for now. if he loses estoril early and madrid? ouch.


Skorocel Says:

guy: Djoker equal to Fed on clay? Do you mean the same Djoker who was the red hot favourite to upset Nadal in last year’s FO, yet lost to Kohls in 3 STRAIGHT SETS? As much as I’m being critical of Fed in the eyes of some of his most ardent fans here, I have no problem to admit he’s still miles ahead of Djoker on clay – just like it is Nadal above Roger. Maybe in 2009 they were equal, but overall, Federer is way better than Novak on clay.

Federer: 9 titles on clay (1x RG, 5x MS 1000, twice beating Nadal in the finals), 10 runner ups (3x RG, 5x MS 1000)

Djoker: 4 titles on clay (0x RG, 1x MS 1000), 3 runner ups (0x RG, 2x MS 1000)


Polo Says:

Djokovic can only be an equal to Federer on clay in the minds of his most diehard fans. Someday maybe, but not yet.


montecarlo Says:

And in other news just coming in from Prosperita Open Ostrava Tournament Mario Ancic lost against Minar 6-4,4-6,5-7 after being up 6-4,4-6,5-0 40-0

Massive Massive Choke job.


contador Says:

jane-

are you thinking bellucci is italian?

name sounds like it and he looks italian.

i think funches means, bolleli, starace, volandri, seppi, lorenzi will all be gone after today and tomorrow, considering who they are playing.

the only italian i see maybe making it through is volandri, of all people. benny might be bummed over not getting to play federer. and he has reason to fear Erno! LOL


Skorocel Says:

steve: „Good thing he’s at the point where can afford not to care what people say about his game.“

I guess he’s been there long before 2010…


jane Says:

conty – Isn’t Bellucci Italian. LOL, I thought he was.

margot!!!!! Both Djoko and Murray are through … in straight sets. Woot!


Dan Martin Says:

I watched Gulbis play doubles last year at the now defunct Indianapolis event. He has what I would call a live arm. His shots snap with a lot of force. He told a reporter (not me) who got a 1 on 1 interview with him that he was focusing on getting his fitness right in 2009 and knew it would mean a step back in singles in the short run. Good for him for the form he has shown in 2010 and getting a huge win.

Roger, Roger, I know fatherhood can slow a guy down, but come on man! What is his match record since Oz 3-3 in singles plus a doubles win in the Agassi-Sampras rendition of Grumpy Old Men?


margot Says:

jane, kimmi: hooray! Andy won a match! Played some nice tennis and commentators were saying he was playing more aggressively on return of serve. And Djko won too, all good, though I did predict that one. Also hate to say “I told you so” but will anyway(!) predicted Gulbis win! Perhaps I should go in for this challenger….?


jane Says:

margot – Yahoo! I know this is leaping light-years ahead given the way these two have played of late, but am hoping for a Djoko Murray semi anyhow. : )


Jimmi Carter Says:

Sorry you Tennis experts,but you have to give Gulbis a credit:

1) His first serve was excellent 70% success

2) Power he applied to his shots was amaizing

3) He played clever – intelegent tennis

Remember hes only 21 and I believe best is only ahead of him ;) Peace.


Fot Says:

I’m always a little sad when Roger loses, but honesly I was not expecting anything from this tournament from Roger. He hasn’t played enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol! I hope he gets to play more matches next week and I hope they continue in the doubles a little (although they have a hard match next up). But Roger needs match play more than practice or anything…yet he can’t get match play because he’s losing! (catch 22)! lol!

Anyway…He’s still my Roger!!!!!!


contador Says:

jane, margot-

i should have been doing this draw challenge from the start. in the big picture i barely factor in. there are some prizes to shoot for…i had no idea.

but the rome game is going well, even with federer going out. i think i picked the winner but who knows, maybe murray….congrats margot, kimmi and jane, all murray fans.

i picked him but not to get by ferrer. however JCF went out to an italian. hey ferrer may lose to potito.

yes, both of you, margot and jane-

join the next one. that would have been a risky pick margot, picking gulbis over federer but my risky pick hewitt won today.

at any rate, after today i’m 5 points off from the winners. how those 5 points at 25 above make all the right picks is no mystery. they have more luck and obviously know the players better.

3913 out of 15029. but things are bound to go downhill, i imagine.

but that’s okay. i hope erno doesn’t call it quits after today’s win and goes on winning like soda did after beating rafa.


contador Says:

i love you, jimmy carter, whoever you are. : )

thanks for giving Erno some respect and credit.


Von Says:

Commiserations to Fed fans for his early loss.
______________

blank: Take heart, Fed will win Estoril!
______________

Montecarlo: I thought Minar was banned because he tested positive for drug use several months ago? What happened, was his name cleared?
_____________
contador: Belucci is South American, and he’s cute also.

I think you should write a new moniker dictionary just for me. I’m getting a bit kerfuffled trying to figure out all the monikers you guys use for the players. LOL.
_____________
margot: You mentioned earlier that I was the only one who didn’t have to sweat it out today, gosh, am I lucky or what? At least I could eat my dinner tonight without getting ajita. And, so could you now that Murray got such a good win today. blue skies are gonna clear up, put on a happy face.


skeezerweezer Says:

‘Dan Martin says,

Roger, Roger, I know fatherhood can slow a guy down, but come on man! What is his match record since Oz 3-3 in singles plus a doubles win in the Agassi-Sampras rendition of Grumpy Old Men?’

LMAO! Way to call Rog out! lol……..


sar Says:

Fed fans, I don’t really know if he “tanked” but the GOAT wasn’t trying very hard to win this.


montecarlo Says:

@Von

Minar was banned till March 10. since his return he has already played 6 tournaments (losing in first round in 5 of them).


Huh Says:

“jane Says:
Ben if indeed “Roddick is next” let it be for the Wimbledon crown; lord knows Andy deserves some serious “revenge” on Fed, and especially there!”

Darn yes!!!


Huh Says:

“jane Says:
I am so confused – is this about who wants to WIN more or who wants to LOSE more? Sheesh. : ) I am just kiddin, but really. Fed got the match handed back to him and imploded. Now will Ernie choke again. My head hurts.”

HAHAHA!!! :) :D :D


Huh Says:

This blog contains some of the most funniest and craziest of comments, love it!

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