Early Road Easy For Federer, Nadal’s Draw Tougher at Wimbledon
by Sean Randall | June 18th, 2010
  • 296 Comments

The Wimbledon men’s draw has been released and six-time champion Roger Federer has to be pleased with his section, at least through the early going. 2008 winner Rafael Nadal figures to have a much tougher task, while Andy Murray has the easiest of the Top 4 seeds.

Federer opens (again) with Alejandro Falla with his third round seed in the form of Tommy Robredo. In the fourth round Federer could meet either Jurgen Melzer or Feliciano Lopez and in the quarterfinals his likely opposition would come from Tomas Berdych, Stan Wawrinka or Nikolay Davydenko. All in all, Federer has to like what he sees from his quarter.

The toughest section I think is the Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick quarter. Not only are those two former Slam champs in there but so too are Lleyton Hewitt, Marin Cilic, Ivan Ljubucic, Gael Monfils and even Mardy Fish. Djokovic begins with the dangerous and diminutive Olivier Rochus. Then could face Taylor Dent, then a breather in the third round before running into Hewitt in round four.

Roddick will also be tested. After Rajeev Ram in the first round, the 2009 finalist may get Michael Llodra in the second then the pesky Phil Kohlscrhrieber in the third followed by Cilic, Ljubicic or Fish in the 16s.

The third quarter is all Murray’s. The Scot will be the heavy favorite in group with high seeds Fernando Verdasco, Jo Tsonga, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Sam Querrey. Murray could meet Simon in the third round, Querrey in the fourth before Verdasco or Tsonga in the quarters. Tsonga could be the biggest obstacle for Andy.

While Nadal’s section isn’t necessary loaded with top contenders, it is home to players who have fared well against the Spaniard. Nadal begins his journey against Kei Nishikori, then against sometimes crutch James Blake followed by Ernests Gulbis. In the fourth round Mikail Youhzny or John Isner could await with Robin Soderling lurking in the quarterfinals. Not an easy road at all for Nadal with guys like Blake, Gulbis, Youhzny and Soderling in his way.

So the draw looks good for Federer and Murray while Roddick and especially Nadal are in for a serious battle. And Federer v. Roddick would be a semifinal this year.

Fourth round by seeds: 1 Federer v. 16 Melzer, 12 Berdych v. 7 Davydenko, 3 Djokovic v. 15 Hewitt, 11 Cilic v. 5 Roddick, 8 Verdasco v. 10 Tsonga, 14 Ferrero v. 4 Murray, 6 Soderling v. 9 Ferrer, 13 Youhzny v. 2 Nadal.

Quarterfinals: Federer v. Davydenko, Djokovic v. Hewitt, Cilic v. Roddick, Verdasco v. Murray, Soderling v. Nadal.

Semifinals: Federer v. Djokovic, Murray v. Nadal.

Some quick initial thoughts. First Federer look very strong out to the semifinals. The only players in his section who can beat the Swiss on the grass are Berdych (quarterfinals) and maybe Lopez (16s). I think Murray should also breeze at least until the fourth round where he could end up with Querrey and then Tsonga or Verdasco, but like Federer he’ll be the heavy favorite in just about every match.

I think the Djokovic/Roddick section is really tough to call with Cilic and Hewitt also in there. Any of the four could get through. Right now I’m almost think about Hewitt as the guy.

And the draw really did Nadal no favors with potential matches against Gulbis then Youzhny/Isner with Soderling possibly in the quarterfinals. I like Soderling’s draw, and I think he might just be the class pick in that section.

I’ll have a some predictions later this weekend.


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296 Comments for Early Road Easy For Federer, Nadal’s Draw Tougher at Wimbledon

DH Says:

Has Gulbis done well on grass before? He certainly has the serve for it but does he have the athleticism and the speed required for the other shots?


Kimo Says:

Sean, while I agree that on first glance Murray’s draw looks easy, but Ferrero can play on grass and Querry, while his record in slams is poorer than it should be, has just won Queens.

And how often does Andy Roddick fall into Djoko’s quarter and Federer’s half? It’s the story of his life, I guess.

Rafa got what is more or less Federer’s draw at Roland Garros. I’m sticking with my prediction during Queens. Rafa is out before the semis, probably even before the quarters considering he might face Youz, who stretched him to five sets at Wimbledon before, in the fourth round.

As for my Fed, looks like smooth sailing all the way to the semis. Berdych? I’m sorry, but he’s no match for Fed on grass. Fed will just move him from side to side, and Tomas’s big frame will hurt his chances.


Kimo Says:

DH, to answer your question: Yes, he does. I remember playing Rafa on Center Court in 2008. He took the first set, but his inexperience caught up with him.

Now if he can take a set off of 2008 Rafa, he can certainly do better against 2010 Rafa.


NELTA Says:

I think you’re right Sean about the 4 quarters. Murray’s quarter is the easiest, Djoker’s is stacked and the FeDal quarters are somewhere in between.

The 1st thing I was looking for in the draw was to see which side Roddick is on. It’s good for Nadal that Roddick is on the other half because he is one of the few guys that could take him out if he is in form. Roddick would prefer to be on Nadal’s side for obvious reasons. Would you prefer a potential semifinal matchup with someone that you are 4-5 against or 2-19? It’s just one of those matchup issues.

Llodra is playing some good grass court tennis so he could spoil Roddick’s Wimbledon early as you mentioned Sean. Llodra is in the semis of Eastbourne.

Wawrinka probably has the toughest 1st round of any of the seeds vs Istomin who has won 5 grass court matches so far this year and played Nadal tight at Queens. He’s in the semis of Eastbourne being played right now.

Who knows about Gulbis’ physical and mental state. He has only won 4 grass court matches in his career so I’m not expecting him to be a threat.

Isner is scary because of his serve, but he only has 1 grass court win in his entire career. I’d rather play him than a healthy Dr Ivo who has 38 wins and 2 titles on grass. I’m sure everyone breathed a sigh of relief when he pulled out.


Polo Says:

I have a sickening feeling that Federer will surprise us all once more at Wimbledon with another spectacularly unexpected performance.


Skeezerweezer Says:

NELTA,

Good take on Roddick/Nadal with stats and sometimes its “all about the match up”. I agree Rafa would rather take his draw as it stands than have Roddick in his half. I can’t believe the way Roddick has played ( outside of Clay and 1 match on grass ) since last Wimby on, that he won’t be a serious threat to anybody. We’ll see…


Voicemale1 Says:

Federer will not win Wimbledon this year.


grendel Says:

This draw seems to me deceptive. Looks very good for Federer? In one sense, yes. Berdych is very dangerous now that he finally believes he can beat the top guys. He should not be underestimated. But apart from him, it seems relatively plain sailing to the semis.

But there, it looks tougher for him than for Nadal. Above all, Roddick firing on all cylinders was the danger to Nadal, and he has avoided that. Also Hewitt has the both the mental toughness and the grass court skills to beat Nadal.

I can’t see anyone else beating Nadal over 5, although he’ll have plenty of toughish battles – ideal preparation, you could say.

Meanwhile, from Fed’s perspective, if he doesn’t win, he has failed. He is more likely to win if Nadal is not in the final. The draw, imho, has ensured the likelihood of Nadal being in the final despite superficial appearances.

Of course, what I am saying is a tribute to Nadal. Although Federer can certainly be beaten by other players, I don’t think he fears anyone except Nadal.It is very curious. If Hewitt or Roddick get to the final to play Nadal, they will certainly believe they can win, and with reason. But will Federer so believe? Ah, can’t answer that question with any conviction at all.


Polo Says:

Blake (LOL!), Gulbis, Youhzny, Isner and Soderling…these are all easy prey for Nadal. Nobody can match Nadal in terms of mental toughness and tenacity. And he has proven over the years how good he is on grass. None of those guys mentioned have any grass credentials to match Nadal.


Eskay Says:

Roger’s q.f streak will go on. Nobody to stop him. Rafa will tread on landmines. He has to cross Gullbis and Isner in the initial rounds. Andy Murray too is sure for last eight. This could be his year of reckoning. Djoker is always uncertain these days, irrespective whoever are there in his draw.


blank Says:

Polo,
Here’s hoping for the same!

Voicemale1,
Why you think he will not win Wimbledon? I am now worried since you were spot on at the FO.


blank Says:

Polo, I just reread your post. You mean unexpected like at the FO? or now that the expectations have been lowered (in general), you expect him to perform unexpectedly spectacularly?


Polo Says:

Much as I like Federer (worship, as some would say), I do believe that he will not win any of the two remaining majors this year. This is his 2008 all over again. All the signs are there.


Eskay Says:

Interesting early matches would be Andy Roddick – Gebashvili, Soderling – Ginepri, Nadal – Gulbis, Nadal – Isner (if Nadal crosses Gulbis).


blank Says:

Polo,
Mind says that may be true…but heart hopes it isn’t.


Polo Says:

Blank, watching Federer lose this year to so many people not named Nadal has made me a very pessimistic guy.


Ben Pronin Says:

People are expecting too much from Gulbis.


tennislover Says:

What have Nishikori and Blake done lately? By the time Nadal moves into the third round, he will be confident enough to take on Gulbis. In a best of five format, I will give Gulbis a slight chance against Nadal only if Nadal is rusty and has a real bad day. Gulbis could pose a more serious problem to someone like Federer given his vulnerability these days. I think Nadal will be pretty happy with the draw. He’d probably have had more trouble with someone like a Fish or Querrey. He doesn’t have to play Hewitt or Roddick either. These are two guys who can beat Nadal on grass even when he is playing well. A sharp Nadal will take care of Isner or Youzhny easily if he does meet one of them in the 4th round. I agree Soderling can be very dangerous on a given day but I am not sure he will make his qf appointment with Nadal. There is nobody else in that section to trouble him in his current form.

I don’t know what kind of mental frame Murray is in at the moment although his statements sound encouraging. If Murray plays close to what he is capable of, he should easily reach the sf. Now a Nadal-Murray sf would be a cracker although I will still pick Nadal given the pressure Murray will be under by the time that sf arrives. I am not sure how effectively Murray can respond given the likely circumstances. It will be a big test again for him.

Roddick has a tricky second round in Llodra. Kohls in the third can be tricky too. Cilic/Fish/Ljubicic in the 4th will be another challenge but he should get through if he is serving alright and he does have one of the most reliable serves in the game. I wonder if his lack of match play will be an issue early on.

Djokovic should meet Hewitt in the 4th round and that is tough. I think most top players would have wanted to avoid Hewitt. I will easily take Hewitt in that unless Djokovic’s service has been fixed which is unlikely. Rochus and Dent can get tricky too if he isn’t careful. To me, the Roddick-Hewitt qf, a repeat of last year’s qf, appears too close to call and I just hope they don’t cancel each other out w.r.t. the sf match.

Federer can’t be very pleased to get Falla again in his path. He lost at the FO and Halle when he had him on his side of the draw. That is a bad sign and he will be hoping the trend doesn’t continue:)

An inspired Tipsy or Clement could trouble him but both Melzer and especially Lopez will fancy their chances against a sub-par Federer if he plays either of them. Daydenko has a great chance to improve his grass record if Anderson doesn’t serve bombs consistently. He couldn’t have asked for a better draw for the first three rounds. He will most probably play Berdych in the 4th round and that is where his campaign will stop. I will take Berdych from that section and that is not good news for Federer who would like to avoid a streaky player like Berdych in the qf. I won’t put it past Berdych to do a Soderling at Wimby. Of course, Federer is, on paper, the favorite to reach the sf to play the winner of the Hewitt-Roddick match.

All said and done, none of the top four seeds, except probably Djokovic(for his 4th round vs Hewitt), can really complain too much about their draw. It is a shame that Haas, Karlovic, Stepanek, Nalbandian, Gasquet and even Delpo and Gonzalez are missing. This has made the task of the top players that much easier. Of course, draws have a way of opening up and all this could actually play out very differently.


Moki Says:

So sure, Fed will win the tournament, no doubt, the draw is good for him bad for Nadal.


andrea Says:

i agree about gulbis…just because he beat federer in a close 3 setter he’s been talked about as a real threat in every tournament thereafter.

this guy has been swirling around on the tour underperforming for years…i’m not expecting a sudden turnaround of epic proportions.


ron Says:

Is this the “rose-colored-glasses” website again?

from Sports Illustrated web site

Tough Wimbledon draw for Federer


NELTA Says:

Tennislover,

I was hoping Hewitt would be in Nadal’s quarter. That would be a fun match to watch. 4 of their last 5 meetings have all been on clay and Hewitt is running out of time. It would have been nice to end the grass season with a win over Fed at Halle then Nadal at Wimby. It’s a long shot that Hewitt would meet Nadal in the final, but if that happened Hewitt wouldn’t have enough gas left in the tank to grind out a win against Nadal.

A Murray/Nadal semi would be an excellent rematch of their AO confrontation assuming Murray gets his act together. Murray’s defensive cat and mouse game worked well against Fed in their early matchups, but the problem with that is you don’t control your own destiny. The match is always on Fed’s racket to take and he did at the slams. Nadal’s intense back court play forces Murray to be more aggressive on his ground strokes. He also threw in some serve and volley as well as sneaking into net. You can’t play too much cat and mouse with Nadal or he will have you on string.


Huh Says:

Tough draw for Fed as usual, damn! He has again drawn the two best grass courters (apart from Rafa) in Hewitt and Roddick. Roddick is again unlucky as usual to draw Fed in his draw. Seems like a British conspiracy to save Murray, is it? ;)


Cindy_Brady Says:

Nice rig job Wimbledon. Let’s make sure Federer and Nadal play in the final. They both are your cash cows.

Could they have made the draws any easier for either? I don’t think so.

Well, the sponsors will be happy anyways.

Sorry Andy R and Andy M, they don’t want you. You should pack your bags now.

Shameful draws


Eric Says:

I think, for sure, Federer has a better chance of making it to the SF than Nadal. The problem is that, if things go w/ seeding, Federer will have a very tough SF and Nadal’s will be a cakewalk.

I disagree with the theory that facing difficult opponents in every round is good preparation. But facing a few difficult opponents in the middle of the draw is actually probably great. Nadal has one easy round to start off, and probably two (unless Blake conjures up one of his good matches), then he faces increasingly challenging opponents through the QFs. On the other hand, sure, none of the players Nadal will face are individually that likely to defeat him, but it’s entirely possible that ONE of the three fairly difficult matches (Gulbis – Isner/Youzhny – Soderling) he has will go poorly for him. Unfortunately for Federer, Nadal will probably make it through that gauntlet, after which he will have an easy and restful match against Murray, while Federer will have a tough match against Roddick, Hewitt, or Djokovic.

In other words, Federer’s draw is definitely easier overall, but I think Nadal’s leaves him better prepared for the final, if he can get there.


Dan Martin Says:

Rajeev Ram won in Newport last year so he has some grass court success, but Roddick should win that one.


Eric Says:

Cindy Brady, give me a break. How the hell are they supposed to arrange the draws to give Roddick and Murray a better chance to get to the final? Hire a hitman to take out Federer and Rafa for them after fourth round?


Skeezerweezer Says:

LOL Eric! :)


Thomas Says:

Murrays draw is tough. Right now,i think that Tsonga and Querrey would both beat him,as they can just blow him off the court with ease,and murray has trouble with big hitters even at peak form. Federer’s 1/4 is easy. Gulbis and SOderling will be out to challenge nadal,with sod having a lsightly better chance imo. Djokovic is going to get owned by hewitt in round 4,and i think roddick will progress out of that quarter.


Twocents Says:

This lovely Fella fellow is bad luck to Fed, on clay and on grass.

I’m sticking to my old pre_FO pick:
Andy R. or Andy M. for WO2010.

So glad that Brits are giving poor Murray a break before he steps on court, finally.

BTW, how the hell USA was disallowed the 86th min goal?!!!


Eric Says:

Twocents, the goal was offsides. They didn’t show enough replays for me to form my own opinion, but I doubt the ref would make such a call if he weren’t sure of it. And at least he was actually enforcing the rules relatively fairly, unlike the ref in the France-Mexico match yesterday, who might as well have been Mexico’s 12th player… Anyway it was still an amazing comeback effort from the US to tie, they should be proud.


Twocents Says:

I’m with you there, Polo, that Fed is not getting the remaining slams this year. But no sick feeling. Intriguring to see how Fed will react…

My fellow Fed fans, I’m sorry I read Switzerland’s soccer victory over Spain the other way around: defense beats offense.


Jurasick Says:

I’m picking Gulbis to knock Nadal out early. He’s got the one thing that bothers Nadal more than anything else….sheer power. If Gulbis is on, and I’m predicting he will be, he will overpower Nadal. Federer’s going to fall to Roddick this year and I’m pick Roddick to finally win Wimbledon this year.


Twocents Says:

The ref was ok, I guess, Eric. Much better than the German/Serb oen too. But I saw Bob the coach was questioning.

Yeah, I’m very proud of our team.


guy Says:

nadal has flashy players in his way, but i can’t see them taking more than a set here and there at best until he gets to soderling.

berdych i think is a real threat to fed in qf, although heavy underdog of course. at least the probably hewitt or roddick semi with fed is looking a bit more interesting this year.

murray should make semis, but hard to know, because hasn’t been in great form, but technically should beat everyone and have good chances against nadal[if there].

it’d be funny to see davydenko make a run this year.


jane Says:

On the road … but quickly checked the draw this morning. I’m hoping Twocents is right and that either Andy M or Andy R wins Wimbledon this year (would love for Djoko to do well too of course, but not sure what to expect there??). Anyhow, draws can and often do open up, so who knows? It’s wait and see for me, round by round. Cheers all.


Cindy_Brady Says:

I’m routing for Soda to win since no one likes him. He would be the least popular Wimbledon winner ever. Fabulous!

Oh and such naive people here. Just naive.


madmax Says:

Polo Says:

Much as I like Federer (worship, as some would say), I do believe that he will not win any of the two remaining majors this year. This is his 2008 all over again. All the signs are there.

June 18th, 2010 at 11:02 am

Don’t agree with you polo, this is pure subjectivism on your part – mixed with a whole load of negativity. I don’t understand why you want to think this way?

Do you honestly believe that Federer hasn’t been working his butt off during his “resting week”, prior to wimbledon? This is the one tournament he lives and breathes for.

This is the one where he comes into his own, where he suddenly awakens any of those dormant muscles into rabid action – the fed will prove you wrong! Go Fed!

Cindy-Brady,

you do intrigue me. Only because I wonder if you feel that we are all so naive here, why do you think that what you say is more inspiring and for the populus?

And by the way, I do like Robin. I think he has really grown on me, particularly these last 2 years, there is a gentle side to him, almost humble. Of course, his game is not bad either.

I think some of the players dislike of him was because he didn’t mix so much with the others on tour and was more of a shy guy and the media portrayed him to be an outcast – unfairly – the rumours that he and rafa didn’t get on, are long gone and rafa made mention of that in his interview prior to the FO final.

Robin is a serious contender against anyone. Okay, so he can lumber about a bit on court with his huge frame, but I don’t think anyone would underestimate his ability to take out any of top 5 players.


madmax Says:

Twocents Says:
This lovely Fella fellow is bad luck to Fed, on clay and on grass.

Twocents, I might be missing someting here – but Fed has met Falla three times and beaten him three times, once on grass in 2004 and twice at the FO, 2006 and 2010.


Twocents Says:

Wave to Jane, welcome to the tribe of roadrunners :-)).

I’d never write off Djok for any slam. It’s just both Andy’s need this W more than Djok.

If Murray beats Fed in the final, rename Centre court to Old Vick’s;

If Roddick beats Fed, rename CC to Long Horn.


Twocents Says:

2010 is kinda like 2008 all over again for Fed, with differences being:
1) He got sick after AO instead of before AO;
2) He’s two years older;
3) He had Mirka all by himself in 08, while now he’s dragging that twin cuties along 7/24;
4) He’s pocketed FO and passed the magic 14.


margot Says:

Two Cents: probably being “thick” but why “Old Vic’s”? Surely “Murray Field.” Alas alas, Andy much more likely to defeat Rafa not Roger.
BTW Queenie can’t stand tennis, it’s the gee gees for her.
jane: big, big wave hope u have luverlee holiday.


Aaronjohnson Says:

ummmm hello people? Guillermo Coria has just been added to Fed’s section, and we can’t count him out. I am hoping for a Coria v. Blaz Kavcic final. I am going with Kavcic in 4 tough sets. The guy has a great serve and has shown great results on the future’s tour as of late.


Twocents Says:

grendel,

Very intrigued by your post on the previous blog. While I was always a bit of fatalism, a trip to Tibert last year converted me from 60/40 karma believer into 90/10 one.

Equilibrium and ever on going change are the keys to a harmonic universe. When Lendl beat JMac at FO and USO, he the upcomer felt all entitled and well deserved. Fast forward to 1989, he lost FO to Chang and USO to Becker, even though he was still a better player on clay than Chang and on hard court than Becker. Chang and Becker the new comers just sensed, like you said, the opennings and seized it. The winner’s the one who rides the tide right.

Fed’s still the best player on tour, overall. But, he’s been against the tide of new and old rivals for such a long time. However humble and innocent he is to his opponents, they’re just too ready to go for the kill at the first sign of cracking, especially the ones that lost to him xx times in a row. The entitled vs the gulity. Unfortunately, Fed’s >90% days are becoming less and less. Roddick at this WO should just like Le Sod at this past FO, if Fed gets to meet him.


NELTA Says:

Ferrer/Keifer could be a battle. Keifer is way past his prime, but knows how to play on the grass. He beat Youzhny in Halle.


Twocents Says:

Come on, margot. Murray should get something in London England, not Scotland, something Shakespaeren, if he pulls off that poetic justice. LOL!


Polo Says:

Madmax, yes my comment was very subjective and coupled with my negativity about Federer’s Wimbledon chances. You can’t blame me because Federer has not done much since the Australian Open. As I said earlier, Fed’s poor play has made me quite pessimistic about his chances. Whatever I feel has no bearing on how Roger will do at Wimbledon. That is just how I feel. I still hope he will win, though.


skeezerweezer Says:

“BTW, how the hell USA was disallowed the 86th min goal?!!!”

…………News Flash; further investigation in Ref…… found out to be blind in one eye and half blind in the other…………Now back to our scheduled programming……..


margot Says:

Two cents: I understand if you toss a coin 5 times you are more likely to get heads than if you toss it 20. Reckon Hewitt proved this and Andy should keep going.
Still don’t get your reference though.


NELTA Says:

So who has the most karma coming their way at Wimbledon? Maybe Andy should hire Richard Gere as his spiritual advisor.


Thangs Says:

I am rooting for Nadal and Henin….Vamoz Rafa! Allez Juju!


Kimo Says:

I love how people can be so sure about how any player will fare BEFORE the tournament begins, even giving reasons why that player WILL NOT do well.

Let the players play, and then try explaining why it happened.


Polo Says:

Kimo, did anybody say that he/she is 100% sure on how anybody is going to fare before a tournamentn has begun? From what I have read in these blogs, a majority of them are speculations. Nobody said for sure who will win and who will not. And everybody seems to have a basis for whatever opinion they hold. Haven’t you expressed your own opinion here before? That is the fun in this blog. Otherwise, nobody should say anything until after a tournament. And then again, if it is already over, what good would it do?


Nick Says:

Nadal absolutely has the toughest draw. I expect Federer to make it to the finals. I hope Nadal can too, but will he have enough left in his tank after playing all his tough matches? Like most fans I would love a Federer/Nadal final but after seeing the draw, I am just not convinced we will get our wish.


dangerouspaul Says:

roddick can beat federer and murray can beat nadal ..both are very tough possible semis for the 1,2 seeds

gulbis played nadal in 2nd round 2008, he lost in 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4H7CzU5xPe8

was a good match


Kimmi Says:

Tipsarevic enjoying playing top guys and beat them. i remeber that match (fed vs tipsy) at the AO.

Tipsy is in the final on some grass tourney this week…so he must be playing well again.

he could get federer in the second round. One match at a time. federer draw might not be THAT easy.


sheila Says:

please, please, please federer all the way!!!!


Von Says:

Wertheim’s Wimbledon Men’s seed report:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jon_wertheim/06/18/wimbledon.men/index.html

——————
I agree the Roddick/Djokovic quarter is the toughest, but the tough opponents are all on Roddick’s side of the draw, which makes that quarter top heavy, rendering Roddick’s path to the QF an insurmountable task, in the competition he has to face, coupled with hiks present ungrooved form of not enolugh match play for 2 months, OY. Roddick’s got, Cilic, Fish, Kohlschreiber, his recent FO terminator, Gabashvilli, Ljubicic, Llodra, and India’s pride, Ram.

Now counter Djokovic’s side, and all he’s got in the way of solid competition is Monfils, that is if he’s healthy, Hewitt, who has hip problems, and is probably feeling it after his run at Halle, Dent, who has back issues and a host dirt ballers, in Montanes, Schwank and Chela, plus qualifiers.

To reiterate, as I see it, the tough competition, realistically speaking, is on Roddick’s side and the Joker has the opportunity of sailing through to the QFs, that is, if he can keep himself from ‘a slippin’ and a slidin’ away’ on the grassy knoll(makes me think of Paul Simon’s song, “slip slide and away”)and walla, he’s in the QFs.


grendel Says:

Third round. But Tipsy has to get past Clement first, generally an awkward hurdle.

Ronald Atkin writes (on the Wimbledon website) that “Roger Federer can only have been encouraged by a draw which has offered him an apparently undemanding route, mainly against clay court specialists”.

I wonder if this traditional wisdom is correct in this case, considering Federer’s form. Federer generally spins a comforting tale, but his body language on court tells a rather different tale. For whatever reason(s), he appears to be lacking in confidence, and it’s a little hard to believe that can just be turned around by a spot of determined positive thinking, or even long bouts of hard training.

He does have some potentially difficult matches (Tipsy, Lopez, Warwinka), and I hope they are difficult. If he loses, so be it. But if he comes through on each occasion after a stern battle, that is bound to do vastly more for his confidence than any amount of suave rationalisations.

A couple of years ago, he simply sailed through the field, looking sublime. We forgot to look at the field. Then he came up against Safin in the semis. The ageing Russian warrior was never going to beat him, but boy, did he show him up. For long stretches, Safin outplayed Federer, and in the end beat himself without any notable contribution from Federer. This unconvincing performance left me feeling pretty sombre about Federer’s chances against Nadal.

So I am hoping, the tougher the matches, the better. It might just wake the old fella up.


Polo Says:

Who do you think is the most unheralded player in the draw who could spring a big surprise by upsetting either Federer or Nadal? Or is that probable? I hope it would not happen, though. I still think the best majors finals is one which has both Federer and Nadal.


Von Says:

Dan: I posted a link written by your buddy, Jon Wertheim. He has some very interesting thoughts, so enjoy.

______________
TwoCents: Should Roddick win, how about if they rename the Centre Court to *Stumps* and have a good, ol shin-dig, Texas style barbeque to go along with the new name.

_______________
blank: I’d like to remind you that you promised to get on the Roddick double-*Decker* bus. Can I still count on you??


Kimmi Says:

Everybody was wondering were Hewitt is going to be on the draw and he lands on Djoko side. IMO Hewitt on grass third round is a difficult draw of all the top guys in the third round..he has results on grass to prove it. I am sure Roddick would rather play djoko than Hewitt in the qtr. Hewitt is been playing very well of late.


Von Says:

I’d say after Tipsy’s run this week, he’ll be too winded to take on Fed next week. Tipsy is not one who’s incredibly fit and does seem to wilt after going very deep in a previous tourney to bounce back the following week and play competitively. But, who knows, he might prove me wrong.


Von Says:

Hewitt was complaining of some pain in Halle but he said he pushed through the pain.

It’s not easy for him to bounce back as quickly as other players due to two negatives going against him, viz: (1) his hip problem and the pain, and (2) he’s up there in terms of age. Thus, all things considered, I don’t think Hewitt should be a problem for Djokovic, but the little guy has got a huge heart and might just psych himself up for the big moment. I love his tenacity. Anyway, as I stated before, if Hewitt does meet Djokovic, he’d be the one and only stiff competition/good grass-courter the Joker will face en route to the QFs.


Skeezerweezer Says:

NELTA

“So who has the most karma coming their way….”

lol you crack me up , and also let’s bring in Astrology :)

just teasin ya


Kimmi Says:

Is gulbis playing at wimbledon or not? I read somewhere that he might pull out?


Skeezerweezer Says:

@polo

Can I pick two? I followed Querry and Isner in there college days, where they played doubs together. Big serves, good volleys, it’s a stretch but I pick them to make something happen?


Kimmi Says:

sorry, hewitt will be a rnd16 opponent to djoko not third round.


NELTA Says:

What about a potential Fed/Melzer Rd 16 matchup? They’ve never played each other. It’s amazing that Melzer is playing the tennis of his life at 29. He should have been doing this for the past 5 years. He has a decent lefty serve and hard, flat ground strokes. He is 29, but when you’re in your late 20s it’s just as much about mileage as age. Melzer only has 438 tour matches so he still has a fair amount of tread left on the tires. Contrast that with Nadal who is 5 years younger and has 537 matches. Fed has more than double Melzer’s total and he is only 1 year younger.

To tell you the truth I think he would prefer playing Fed over Roddick, not that he has a better chance of beating Fed, but he has absolutely been owned by Roddick. Playing against Fed on center court is about as good as it gets.


NELTA Says:

Melzer is 0-10 vs Roddick and that includes 3 clay court matches too. LOL


Von Says:

skeezer: Querrey never went to college.


Kimmi Says:

Djoko matches with O-Rochus have always been close and he gets him in the first round..should be a tough one for djoko me think. he needs all his reserves to get out of this one as i am sure rochus last win in miami gave him some confidence. Tricky first round for djoko.


Kimmi Says:

NELTA – i am surprised melzer has never played federer. thanks for those stats.


Kimmi Says:

“Third round. But Tipsy has to get past Clement first, generally an awkward hurdle.”

thanks grendel. Yap, tipsy is third round not second round for fed. Third round in longer road to reach. Lets see how the draw pans out.


Polo Says:

This is how I rank the players at Wimbledon which is based on who I want to win and nothing else:
1. Federer- I simply want him to win everything
2. Roddick- If Federer could not have it, it should go to the one who I think deserves to have at least one Wimbledon in his resume.
3. Murray- He needs to develop some confidence to give Nadal competition in the coming years. It would also be good for England.
4. Gasquet- I love watching him play. If he wins, that means he would have been playing great and that would be seven delightful matches that I would be priviledged to watch.
5. Berdych- he is becoming a personal favorite. He also needs further confidence boost. Also to provide competition to Nadal in the future.
6. Soderling- After losing in 2 majors finals, he needs to have one. I like him also for getting rid of Nadal last year at the French.
7. Isner- because he is an American and looks like a nice guy.
8. After those guys, I really don’t care who wins.


blank Says:

Von,

You can count on me! Just hope that Roddick is more focused on the tennis as opposed to the double ‘decker’ bus ;-)

Federer’s play of late hasn’t inspired confidence at all. Like Polo said, if there is any player out there that deserves this Wimbledon, it is Roddick. And I sincerely hope he gets it. He needs to bring is 2009 form back this year.


kimberly Says:

Watching tennis channels fedal 2008 replay. Love to see it again in 2010. The tournament loses intigue when one or the other loses.


Jurasick Says:

Great site for head-to-head research is http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=M762&oId=F324 (Melzer vs. Federer here). Particularly useful when picking your winners for the “racquet bracket”.


NELTA Says:

It would be a tall order for Roddick to win Wimbledon this year. He would potentially have to beat 3 former Wimbledon champions all under the age of 30(Qrt vs Hewitt – Semi vs Federer – Final vs Nadal). I wonder if a slam winner has ever beaten 3 former champions of that slam to take the title. Can anyone think of a slam where it happened? I figure Sampras might have come close with guys like Agassi, Becker, Edberg floating around in the draw at Wimbledon.

I looked at the 1990 US Open because I knew Sampras wasn’t a high seed so I figured he had to go through a lot of top players. Sampras beat Lendl, McEnroe then Agassi in the final, but the only problem is Agassi hadn’t won the US open at that point so close, but no cigar.


blank Says:

NELTA,

Agassi beat three GS winners – Stich, Muster and Chang on his way to 1994 US Open title.


blank Says:

Sorry…Muster won FO only in 1995, a year later.


blank Says:

I think I found one. Surprise… It’s Roger Federer!

Federer on his way to 2004 AO title beat Safin (2000 USO Champ), Ferrero (2003 FO Champ) and Hewitt (2001 USO 2002 Wim Champ).


skeezerweezer Says:

@jurasick

Thanks for the awesome link! That really helps :)


skeezerweezer Says:

It is really cool before Wimby that so many posters are acknowledging Agassi’s game and place in Tennis history. Although Sampras had the better record, Fed is the GOAT holder ( debatable for Rafa fans ) and Rafa is the hot commodity with a future predicted by some to equal or surpass Fed, we all can thank Andre for being where were at.

After the magic of the 70′s , early 80′s ( known as the “Tennis Boom” )Connors, Borg, Mac, carried the day with Lendl among others holding the columns for support. It was a great hey day for tennis. After they left, a void was there and Agassi came along with long hair, a flair for fashion and a game like no one there before him. Whereas Sampras had the pure tennis game to dominate everyone, with that serve, Agassi brought style and sass to the game, taking the ball on the rise, a great return game and ball striking that was perfect. HE made tennis popular again.

My fav highlight of him? Not winning Fo for his career slam, but his Wimby win. Why?

The first guy since Borg to win from the baseline on the old slick surface of Wimby. What a feat! against the biggest server in the game at that time, Goran! Unbelievable!

Now? Grass is made for baseliners compared to the past. Back then? Still a serve and volley surface. It validates his accomplishment now with much more meaning and respect….baseliner grinds and wins on a very fast surface…

Agassi will not have the records that the all time greats had, but IMO he held the torch for Tennis keeping tennis popular, not Sampras. Sampras made the records, God bless him, but Agassi made the game watchable, exciting, with drama, when he was on, there was no one more exciting to watch, and the crowds loved it.

Thanks everyone up here for giving him a moment.

And for those who took the time to read this, thanks for letting me indulge :)

Out


dari Says:

XNelta I thought you were asking if someone defeated three form champions of that specific title for that specific title ie beat 3 former us open champs to win us open?
“I wonder if a slam winner has ever beaten 3 former champions of that slam to take the title.” I’d like to see the champ who did that


blank Says:

dari, thanks for pointing that out. Late in the night, I am half asleep but don’t want to sleep. Thought NELTA’s challenge question may keep me busy for a while. But I just didn’t read it properly. Now this is too much work to research so late in the night. I think I’ll go to sleep :-)

Skeeze,

Nice post!

Goodnight/Good morning everyone, depending on whereever you are!


skeezerweezer Says:

Polo post,

Bro Polo, couldn’t agree more. A perfect in line fav pick, especially the last line,

“8. After those guys, I really don’t care who wins.”

LMAO

@Blank

If you’re still up, TY :)


dari Says:

Skeezer I am guilty of forgetting some of Andre’s contributions at times. Though I quickly remember when I see his back_hand. And if I could hit one forehand stroke as clean as his… besides that I do not enjoy his personality,but hey, sports aren’t personality contests!
I always valued Pete in contrast to Andre and preferred that you didn’t hear much from Pete and you paid attention to his game ONLY. What else could you look at?!
In these rivalries i’ll always say Pete and i’ll always say rog, but imo rafa is a much more likable foe!
I’m too young to go much further back wit the rivalries, but one I also enjoyed was nous corretja. Not as monumental as sampras/agassi, but my young tennis mind really enjoyed watching those two!


dari Says:

That should say MOYA/ CORRETJA!


bstevens Says:

It’s surprising how many people don’t think Federer won’t win this year’s tourney. This is Wimbledon people! The grand daddy of all grand slams, a tournament which all players have respect for, especially Federer. Federer over Querrey in the final.


bstevens Says:

my intial post should read *don’t think Federer will win … Double negative by accident


Twocents Says:

Ok, Von. Let’s turn CC into a smoke house if Roddick wins. I’ll bring along some beer kegs from Fredericksburg.
margot, me just think if Murray wins back the big W for your empire after 150,000 years, beating his biggest imposter for the sweetest revenge, CC should honor his achievement with something bigger than Scotland. It would be a triumph of Shakespearen scale, thus an old London Theatre.

Well, still very very mad at the Mali refree! What a robbery!


Twocents Says:

bstevens,

Cuz it’s boring to predict Fed to win, especially at Wimbledon. And much more fun to predict him to lose.


Eric Says:

Twocents, about the US – Slovenia call, there are lots of ways to look at it. “Bad refereeing is part of the game” is a crappy way to think about it, incidentally, but consider this variant: what made this particular controversial call feel so bad is that a goal had actually been scored. But what if the players had actually stopped play when the ref called the foul? No goal. Now think of all the other times when a ref call or lack of a call cost a team a set piece or goal. All those hypothetical goals are just as bad as a real goal, but they’re less apparent because play stops before they happen instead of after.

What I’m saying is that with perfect refereeing, who’s to say that Slovenia wouldn’t have gotten a few more goals of their own? No one will know. In the end, the US didn’t deserve to win after having been just as comprehensively outplayed in the first half as they outplayed Slovenia in the second. A tie was the just outcome of that match.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Dari,

Kudos and respect to you for honoring and knowing how we got here, your opinions are well respected :)


margot Says:

blank: good morning!
skeezer@11.71: read, enjoyed, agreed! Eighties brilliant, nineties boring till Agassi, with all his flamboyance, came along.
two cents: Ahh, for me “Old Vic” MUST be name of a pub! Could not think what you meant. If that’s where you’re going new name must be “Globe.”
von:one match at a time and only people called Andy allowed at the final!


Huh Says:

What I just don’t understand is that how in hell can we call Nadal’s draw tougher than Fed’s when it’s so obvious that in Fed’s side, there are Hewitt,Roddick(by far the two best grass courters apart from Nadal) and also Djokovic. If Fed reaches, the 3rd/4th rd, he has to probably beat Hewitt, Roddick, Djokovic and finally probably Nadal in order to win WIM!!! Tougher draw than this at WIM??!! NO FREAKING WAY!!!

I don’t think Fed’s gonna even reach the final, let alone win it! Not that I’d be terribly upset over Fed not winning it. However, Nadal is again lucky to escape Hewitt & Roddick. All those in Rafa’s half who can provide a smidgen of a challenge to him are Sod or Murray. Nadal would be in the final, can’t see it not happening.

Whatever, but I’m gonna root in this manner

1.Rod
2.Muzza
3.Hewitt
4.Soderling
5.Fed(Sorry, the Fed fan in me can’t go much below than this)
6.Nole/Tsonga


Huh Says:

Oh Mrs.Von:

Just one look and I have gotta agree that the Rod-Nole-Hewitt quarter is by far the toughest one.

Now that Fed and Roddick had been handed such tough draw, the only thing coming to my mind is

Darn F#@* the WIM committee!!!


dave Says:

We will know who will win Wimbledon if someone could make up a schedule for Wimbledon that is as interactive as this World Cup schedule:
http://www.marca.com/deporte/futbol/mundial/sudafrica-2010/calendario-english.html


Eric Says:

Huh, have you even looked at the draw? Or maybe you don’t understand how it works.

Roddick, Hewitt, and Djokovic (and Cilic and Fish on the off chance either of them have a great week) are all in Federer’s half, yes, but they are in the other quarter, which means he will only face ONE of them – in the semifinal – not all of them in a row.

His QF opponent is Berdych or Davydenko or (maybe) Wawrinka – all very good players, but what else do you want in a QF? And Federer has a cakewalk to the QF. If he can’t make it past Falla, Tipsy/Clement/Robredo, and Melzer/Lopez, something is very wrong.

Nadal on the other hand actually faces several tough guys in succession in rounds 3-QF, and then has an easy semi (against Murray, if things go as expected), whereas Federer will have a death battle in his.


zola Says:

Wow! what a draw for Rafa. I was crossing my fingers for Gulbis and Soderling to end up in Fed’s half. Apparently I have uncrossed them at some point!

just looking at the draw seems like Fed and Murray can go on vacation till semis!

Federer has a very easy draw. They can give him the trophy right away! Who in his half can make trougle for him? perhaps Berdych or Hewitt. Berduch has choked twice so he is out of the picture. Hewitt will fight, but Federer will use another gear. I think his road to the final is wide open.

Djoko, Hewitt, Fish, Cilic, Kohli and Roddick are all crammed into ine quarter.very unfair. Djoko meets Rochus

Murray’s quarter has no dangerous player in it. Perhaps a gift from Wimbledon to Andy Murray. A guaranteed SF for Murray!

Rafa has Nishikori, then can meet Blake, Gulbis, Isner and Soderling. Nishikiri is a very good player on grass. Meeting him in the first round is not easy!

This is the most lopsided draw I have ever seen! someone forgot to mix the chips during the draw!
It is tough for Rafa , Djoko and Roddick, but puts a lot of pressure on Federer and Murray. with such easy draws, not being able to win the championship will be a major failure.

well, good luck to all! let the games begin!


zola Says:

Roddick, Hewitt and Djoko are all in the same quarter ( I know it is unbelievable, but it is true. )Federer meets only one of them!

http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/draws/ms/r1s2.html


zola Says:

Skeezer,
Thanks for your post on Agassi. he was not my fave ( I loved Sampras’s game!)but has a big role in making tennis popular. with his personality, his game and his rivalry with Sampras.

I started appreciating Agassi version 2.0! after he came back to tennis. he was serious and he worked hard and played great.


margot Says:

eric re your comment about Andy, did you actually watch the Australian Open?


tennisfansince76 Says:

Nelta I am w/ you. I wanted to see Nadal/Hewitt in the early rounds. I think Hewitt would have a chance on grass against Nadal. and in any event it would be fun to see what would actually happen.


NELTA Says:

I think I found my 1st example of a major winner beating 3 former champions of that specific slam to win the title.

Gustavo Kuerten won the 1997 FO.

He beat:

Muster(FO 1995) in the 3rd round
Kafelnikov(FO 1996) in the Qrts
Bruguera(FO 1993,1994) in the final.

In the 2000 FO Kuerten beat:

Chang(FO 1989)
Kafelnikov(FO 1996)
Ferrero, but up to this point he hadn’t won the FO so close, but no cigar.


Thomas Says:

why are people saying murrays draw is easy? At peak form,maybe. But the current version,no way. Querrery is a guy that can just serve him off the court.(like fish did in queens) Also,Tsonga and Verdasco can both beat him. Verdasco has beaten him at a major before,and Tsonga is exactly the type of player that normally beats Andy at grand slams(even at peak form),as he can blow murray off the court with ease. So im thoroughly confused.


Eskay Says:

In the absence of Mohammed Ali, Frazier had become undisputed champion. Mohammed Ali came back and fought the fight of undefeated champions. In absence of Nadal, Roger has got the championship. It would be thrilling to have these two in the finals. But, it appears that while Roger has a greater chance of reaching the finals, Rafa has a difficult path. How will he win, how many sets will he require if he wins are the questions that will determine what shape he is in, if he were to reach the finals. Even though he wore the knee bands in 2008, he looked fresher of the two in the fifth set. But lot of water has flown down the Thames since then and question marks can prop up at any time in Rafa’s matches. This is not to say that these two alone will reach the finals, infact there could be a new name altogether. But, thrill would be more if the two undefeated champions clash in the finals like Ali and Frazier.


sam Says:

Eskay Says:
In the absence of Mohammed Ali, Frazier had become undisputed champion. Mohammed Ali came back and fought the fight of undefeated champions.

Who won that match?


Eskay Says:

@ Sam:
Thanks for the question. It could be answered in two ways – the reigning champion won & the younger champion won. But that gives no clue as to who would win if Rafa – Roger were to clash in finals.


grendel Says:

The World Cup is providing some amusing tittle tattle w.r.t. the tennis. From today’s Independent (London):

“There may be no outward signs of the world’s greatest sporting event at Wimbledon,[unlike at next weekend's Glastonbury Festival, Wimbledon have declined to show the football on big screens, the club's chairman pointing out that those who want to watch the World Cup can always go to South Africa - grendel] but that will not be the case down in the locker room – it is the main topic of conversation among the players…

“Spaniard Rafael Nadal, the world No 1, has said that he will be steering clear of Federer, the Swiss top seed, after Nadal’s homeland – one of the favourites to win the world cup – suffered a shock defeat to Switzerland this week. Nadal said: “I haven’t seen Roger yet. I don’t want to see him.”

“Four years ago several players even requested early start times for their matches so that they would be free to watch their countries compete in the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany. Argentina’s david Nalbandian, the No 4 seed, asked for an early start for his game against Fernando Verdasco. He lost [saw that match, on an outside court, 5 set thriller, Nalbandian looking more and more detached as the match went on and on, now I know why - grendel]and then saw his country beaten by Germany in a penalty shoot-out….

“Four years ago Murray famously suggested he would be supporting “anyone but England” – but later had to issue a statement stressing it had been a joke after it provoked an angry over-reaction south of the border [if Murray is like any normal Scot, do not believe the retraction. Joke, my right eyebrow! - grendel]

This time Murray, 23, maintains England’s progress can help his cause. With the English focusing on South Africa it will relieve some of the pressure on Britain’s best hope of a home triumph since Fred Perry in 1936. He has also diplomatically pointed out that “England have got a good chance of winning the World Cup” [I prefer pre-spin Murray - grendel]. He did, however, say it before last night’s anaemic performance against Algeria…..

[For Murray to ponder over - grendel]..”And as players trudged off the pitch Wayne Rooney risked the ire of the supporters, many of whom had spent thousands of pounds to watch England at the World Cup, when with jeers ringing in his ears he said:”Nice to see your home fans booing you”.

And in a diary item in the same paper, subtitled:”Federer does the trick” – “Worth pointing out, incidentally, that when the Swiss lost 2-1 to Luxembourg way back in September 2008, Roger Federer visited his compatriots to give them a little pep talk. Losing’s for wimps, he must have said, having cried when losing to Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon two months earlier. The Swiss haven’t lost since.”


Kimmi Says:

Grender wrote: **“Spaniard Rafael Nadal, the world No 1, has said that he will be steering clear of Federer, the Swiss top seed, after Nadal’s homeland – one of the favourites to win the world cup – suffered a shock defeat to Switzerland this week. Nadal said: “I haven’t seen Roger yet. I don’t want to see him.”***

LOL! hahaha i am sure we will see a lot of questions on this in their post match interview. big upset that was.


Kimmi Says:

“grendel” ofcourse. sorry!


dari Says:

no way rafa said I don’t wanna see him!


Daniel Says:

Every year Fed won Australia he won Wimbledon and US Open: 04′, 06′ and 07′. And ever since 2003 Fed always won either Wimby or US Open, or both, at least one of the last two Slams I think he will win, most likelly Wimby.


Daniel Says:

After Madrid he played himself into form. HE got Rafa on a mission on clay, Soderling again on a mission on very hard conditions (we can for the first time say Fed was unlucky tdue to conditons, this not happens always) and Hewitt played a perfect match. In Slams his subconscious delivers that extra thing, no way he would have lost to Hewitt in Wimbledon final like he did in Halle, something just sparks in him.

But what excites me the most is that last 3 Wimby finals were 5 set classics all with Fed on it. Can’t wait for another one!


Skeezerweezer Says:

He’s just playin ;), nice to see some humor between them :).

Thanks for diggin that up Grendel.


Eric Says:

Margot,
haha, sure, but Nadal was hardly playing at his peak then, and this is grass (where Wimbledon results, at least, indicate that Nadal is just as much the second best after Federer, as Federer is after Nadal on clay). Obviously “easy” is relative, and compared to Fed’s semi, Murray will be easy for Nadal. Especially since his form has been as bad as Federer’s since Australia. Could he surprise us and beat Nadal? Of course! But all in all, I doubt it will as close as Federer’s match (whether it ends up being against Roddick, Hewitt, or even Djokovic).


Twocents Says:

madmax@1:48pm,

Regarding the lovely Fella, Fed beat him at RG and Halle, but went on losing both events. So he’s bad luck for Roger in 2010.

grendel,

I remembered Mirka told reporters that the Swiss coach texted her back in 2008 when she and Fed were in their Dubai home, asking if Fed could come to see the soccer gang. Fed texted back yes right away, and off they were on the direct flight to Zurich the next day or so. That’s some soccer fan, isn’t it?


Huh Says:

Eric:

Thanx for correcting me. Thank God, Fed’s not gonna meet Hewitt, Roddick and Djokovic in a row. But Fed still has to face Robredo(a former no.3) and Lopez who just beat an in-form Rafa at Queens. Berdych is also capable of givin Fed a run for his money.
————————————————–

But injustice crosses all limits for Roddick. Hell!

2nd rd-Llodra(tough opponent as Llod plays very well on grass)

3rd rd-Phil Kolschreiber(very dangerous player!)

4th rd-Cilic! (WTF!)( Can’t imagine having a more dangerous opponent in the 4th rd)
If luckily, Rod avoids Cilic, then he still has to face Ljubicic, who is indeed an utterly threatening 4th rd opponent.
Let’s say even if both Ljubi and Cilic lose before taking on Rod, then Fish still is a dangerous to very dangerous opponent on grass.
Damn Rod’s 4th rd opponents.
So as much as I like Cilic or even Ljubi, I wish they lose before 4th rd so that Rod’s task’d be a litle manageable, if by no means easy.

Then in 5th rd., Rod most probably faces at least one of the two grand slam champions in Hewitt/Nole. I’m dead sure everyone starting from Fed to Rafa to Muzza must be happy about avoiding a QF clash with Djokovic or particularly Hewitt(given his grass court pedigree) :(

6th rd-Probably Fed’d be waiting, no need to say any further about Roddick’s difficulty.

But even if by grace of God(let it be so!)
Rod reaches final, then he has to beat another GREAT player.

Damned is Roddick’s luck here. Last year super difficult. This year too super difficult.
Damn the WIM commitee!
Too bad for poor Roddick. :(

I AM DEAD CONVINCED NOW THAT ROD, NOLE AND HEWITT HAVE THE TOUGHEST DRAWS AT WIM. Muzza’s draw is also very tough. Rafa and Fed have relatively easy draw.

Those who think Rafa has tough draw, well it’s just their opinion but I don’t think anyone except Sod or to a smaller extent Muzza would pose any challenge to Nadal. The Blakes. Youzhneys and Gulbis etc are gonna be eaten alive by Nadal. I am 100% sure that Rafa’ll reach final and eventually win WIM.
Judging by various factors like toughness of draws, form, history, probability, motivation and other factors I would bet my money on Rafa to win WIM, I’m that much confident.

Heart says Rod/Muzza/Hewitt, mind says Rafa’ll win WIM.


Twocents Says:

Eric,

There were quite some of Wouldhabe goals killed by poor refreeing so far in this World Cup, but there’s only one goal that was killed by the ref AFTER it actually happened. Thus, my outrage.

Huh,

How could you not know the definition of a tough draw: the draw Rafa Nadal got. And definition of a easy draw: the draw RF got?

I love you list.


Huh Says:

I agree that Ferrero as a former GS champ, Tsonga, Querrey etc are very tough opponents waiting for Muzza. So Muzza’s draw IMO is far from easy.


Huh Says:

Hi Mr.Twocents:

Let’s along with Mrs.Von pray for Rod to win this WIM, although it’s very unlikely looking at the tough draw that he’s been handed out.


Huh Says:

I am so angry at Klose being shown the red card, I’m still fuming!!! :/


Twocents Says:

margot,

Now you really make an old man feel old. Old Vic Theatre is my wife’s favorite spot in London: her idol Lawrence Olivier used to perform Shakespeare there before the war.


Huh Says:

Some might think why I’m saying Rafa can’t be stopped by anyone? It’s coz Rafa looks to me to be in the form of his life and Fed looks as if he’s having the worst form of his life since his winning his 1st slam. Moreover Rod and Hewitt too would burn out likely before the semis as they have such tough guys to face before quarters itself. Add to that Rafa’s grass court pedigree. I think it’s Rafa’s tournament to lose.


Yahya Shah Says:

My prediction is that we’ll get to see another Roger-Rafa Final. Both of them have their rankings at stake. Rafa Needs to gain lead over Roger while he would be eying World No. 1 again. Both of them will put everything they have, and with Rafa and Roger, that’s more than enough to take them to the final, and being a Nadal fan, i surely hope he wins this Championship!


Huh Says:

“And how often does Andy Roddick fall into Djoko’s quarter and Federer’s half? It’s the story of his life, I guess.”

SO TRUE KIMO!


guy Says:

the problem with deciding who has tough draws is it depends not just on names and h2hs but also current form and the xfactor not knowing who’ll actually play well at the slam.
that’s a hell of a lot of variables. sometimes it’s more clear cut, this year it’s hard to say who has the tougher draw out of fed and rafa.

eg a year ago fed’s draw looks cupcake but now berdych is a different player, hewitt just beat fed and is healthy etc, roddick had the game to beat fed last year…

a year ago nishikori could have been a tough first round for nadal, but on come back trail. murray seemed a tough semi last year but who knows what to make of murray right now, or tsonga.
but perhaps having soderling in the QF for nadal just makes his a tad tougher on paper.


Twocents Says:

That Spanish ref is worse than the Mali ref for sure, Huh.


Huh Says:

“guy Says:

the problem with deciding who has tough draws is it depends not just on names and h2hs but also current form and the xfactor not knowing who’ll actually play well at the slam.
that’s a hell of a lot of variables. sometimes it’s more clear cut, this year it’s hard to say who has the tougher draw out of fed and rafa.

eg a year ago fed’s draw looks cupcake but now berdych is a different player, hewitt just beat fed and is healthy etc, roddick had the game to beat fed last year…

a year ago nishikori could have been a tough first round for nadal, but on come back trail. murray seemed a tough semi last year but who knows what to make of murray right now, or tsonga.
but perhaps having soderling in the QF for nadal just makes his a tad tougher on paper.”

GOOD POST, I AGREE WITH WHAT HAS BEEN SAID IN IT.


Huh Says:

Mr.Twocents:

I agree that referee was wrong and stupid.


Huh Says:

The only thing where I did slightly disagree with most of others re: Fed’s WIM draw last year was that while many thinked otherwise, I felt in last year’s WIM, the toughest draw had been given to Fed and Rod.


grendel Says:

Oddly enough, the same edition of The Independent from which I recently quoted has an interview with Nadal which I’ve only just spotted.There are some good things in it worth quoting, and first of all the bit about not wanting to see Federer is put in context (the guy who wrote the original article, from which I drew extensively,was selective in his quotation – which was funny, I agree Kimmi, but not quite fair I found out).

“Nadal is not unduly concerned by Spain’s opening defeat against Switzerland (“We had control of the match all of the time and we will make the next round”)…Has he discussed the match with Federer? “I haven’t seen Roger yet,” Nadal says with a smile. “I don’t want to see him”.

“….on court 5, one man is dressed in immaculate all-white, from his socks to his back-to-front baseball cap.
“Other clues give away his identity. There is an intensity to his training match against Britain’s Jamie Baker – a running forehand dumped into the net is greeted with the same look of frustration that you would imagine if he were playing in the final on Centre Court….
“The fact that the most flamboyant and charismatic player in tennis has dressed so soberly tells you much about both the man and the respect he has for what he calls “the nicest club in the world”.

“I love everything about it,” Nadal said. “The grass gives something special to the tournament. When you walk around, it’s different to other places. My goal was always to play well here on grass. I did that in 2006, playing in the final for the first time. That was a big surprise to me. To do it another time next year made me think:’I can really play well here’. When I won in 2008, it was one of the most emotional moments of my career, if not THE most emotional…For me, it was a dream to win here – more than a dream. Spanish players in the past saw Wimbledon as something that was impossible to win, a different sport. But I always had my dream of doing well on this surface. I love it. I loved this place – just being here and seeing everything – from the first time I came here to play juniors.”

“Another big part of Wimbledon’s appeal for many of the players is that its location means that they stay in rented local accomodation. Nadal is sharing a house close with his uncle and coach, Toni, and his physical trainer, Rafael Maymo.
“It’s good,” Nadal said, “You stop for practice, you walk home, I walk back to practice. It’s different from normal weeks when you are in a hotel. It feels more like you are at home. I walk to the courts every day”.
“Who does the cooking?”
“I cook every day. We haven’t had a chance yet to do some shopping, but we’re going to the supermarket tomorrow.”………

“Does Uncle Toni ever do the cooking?” “Never”. “Does he do the washing up?” “Sometimes,” Nadal laughs……..

Between losing at Queens Club last Friday and arriving at Wimbledon on Wednesday, he spent four days [with his family in the Majorcan town of Manacor]. “I had a very good time,” he said. “I played golf on two days, I went to a party on saturday night with some friends, I stayed with my family, I went to the beach…I go back to Majorca and I have a completely normal life. I’m at home and I have all my family there, my friends. When I got to practise in the morning there are normally some tourists or some local people watching, but for the rest of the day, life is completely normal. There’s nobody taking pictures, no tourists, nothing….
“For me the perfect summer holiday is being at home with my family and seeing all my friends. When I finish this tournament I’ll go there. This last weekend was a bit of a holiday for me, but I was practising on Monday and Tuesday for two hours and afterwards I did some physical work. I have to try my best to win this tournament. Then I can rest a little bit after that.”

“Home is also where Nadal keeps his trophies. Picking up his wallet, Blackberry, mobile phone and – to this interviewer’s consternation – the recorder taping our conversation, he explained the lay-out of the family apartment, which is in a large building shared with other relatives.
“On one floor there is my room, my sister’s room and my parents’ room, and there is another room with a sofa and a big TV. I also have my 5 Roland Garros trophies in there. The Wimbledon trophy is in the middle. I also have 5 Romes, my six Monte Carlos and my five Barcelonas. I have my Wimbledon trophy on top of my TV.”

“Does he clean the trophies?” “My Wimbledon trophy is in perfect condition. The Roland Garros trophies, after a year, two years, they go dark and you have to polish them. The Wimbledon one, it’s perfect.”

…..”The only match Nadal watched in full on television during Wimbledon(2009) was the final. “It wasn’t an easy moment for me, with the knees, with a little bit the problems at home too”, he said.

Talking about the Australian Open this year, Nadal said (referring to his retirement through injury) “I don’t know if I would have won against Andy in that match, because he was playing amazingly. I was happy because I was playing one of the best players in the world. My feeling was that he was playing very well, but I had some good chances. I was a break up in both sets”.

“Nadal believes Murray’s subsequent defeat to Federer in the final may have contributed to the Scot’s indifferent performances in the following months, which have been in strict contrast to Nadal’s all-conquering form through the recent clay-court season.”

“Sometimes it’s not easy to accept losing the final of a Grand Slam,” he said. “Even I thought Andy was going to win in Australia. But Roger played very well. Mentally, that could have been difficult, but Andy has amazing talent and he’s a great competitor, He’s an amazing player, so he can win here”.

“As for Federer, Nadal rejected any suggestion that he and the Swiss should be regarded as joint defending champions at Wimbledon given that the Spaniard beat him in his last match here. “Roger is the defending champion. I didn’t play last year. Roger’s always the defending champion. He’s won six times already. That’s really unbelievable. And seven finals in a row. Amazing.”

“Nadal has never viewed the 2008 final again from start to finish, but he has watched the highlights several times. Seeing his performance gives him encouragement that he can scale those heights again.”
“It was amazing,” he said. “There were a lot of very good points, a lot of very good rallies, amazing shots from both of us. When you see that you think:’I can do it another time. I can play at this level on grass’. But to play at this level you need to win a lot of matches before and you need to arrive at that moment with big confidence, but I need to adapt better to this surface. I need to play and win matches”.

……..As Nadal leaves to walk alone up the hill towards his rented house – it is hard to imagine many other sportsmen of his stature making the same journey – you can easily picture him making the return journey in a fortnight’s time to face Federer in the final.”

For what it’s worth, I personally think this was an excellent interview, in which Nadal was both candid and likeable, I shouldn’t have bothered copying all this out, otherwise – and I speak as one who has never liked Nadal much. The only slightly false note, I thought, was the perfunctory – and self-serving – praise of Federer. Self-serving, because when he beats him in a couple of weeks time, the fact that he will have beaten a legend can only increase his own legendary status. But generally, he comes across, to me, as a genuine chap.


Huh Says:

Sorry Grendel, but Fed doesn’t fear Nadal even though most think so. If Fed really feared Rafa, he’d never beat him in that 2009 Mad final, he’d lose before the match started. Even when Rafa enjoyed 6-1 h2h vs Fed, Fed continued to beat him everywhere outside clay. He even beat him at clay on 2007 and 2009. But there’s no way Fed’s gonna beat Rafa if his game on that day’s not clicking for the required amount of time. Be it in AO 09/WIM 08/FO 08/anywhere else, Fed tried to beat Rafa as much as he can, but Rafa was simply better on those days, so won those matches. Fed did not lose those matches out of fear but Rafa rather won them due to better play and form. Nothing jaw-dropping about it. If you think Fed fears Rafa, then I’m afraid you are VERY wrong.


NELTA Says:

Guy,

You’re on a roll. 2 posts in a row you are making sense. Keep up the good work.


Huh Says:

Interesting interview from Nadal, thanks Grendel!


madmax Says:

Twocents Says:
madmax@1:48pm,

Regarding the lovely Fella, Fed beat him at RG and Halle, but went on losing both events. So he’s bad luck for Roger in 2010.

twocents,

that’s just silly!


Twocents Says:

I’m with you, Huh. If Fed fears Nadal, he coulda have ducked so many their meetings on clay. On the other hand, Fed did developed some Nadal Complexity throughout the years.

grendel,

How could you buy that crap from Nadal: he retired 3 games from defeat in a slam final and half a year later still claim he could have won to the face of his opponent’s homeland reporter? To me, that retirement is his lowest point, lower than the no-show defending Wimbledon champion (when he could play two ex’s) and no-show year end no.1 at YEC.


Huh Says:

“Jurasick Says:

Federer’s going to fall to Roddick this year and I’m pick Roddick to finally win Wimbledon this year.”

This’d be fantastic! :)


Huh Says:

Mr.Twocents:

You’re quite right. It’s funny to see Nadal still dreaming of winning the AO 10 semi vs Muzza, haha!


Twocents Says:

My bad, it’s AO QF, not final. But still, Roddick and Djok in the same tournament were injured/ill but allowed their opponents a full win and never mentioned again they coulda woulda…


madmax Says:

I think a lot of people have been making the mistake of comparing Federer to his younger self rather than to the current field of players. He is 6 years on now from having won his first slam at 22 and he is still winning them! We forget so easily.

That he is not as precise as he was a few years ago should not be equated with being finished, especially at Wimbledon, his favourite tournament.

Plus, I think the issue is one of consistency and NOT that he can’t be precise, because he can be.

Remember that Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras — competed successfully into their 30s and still won major titles before they retired.

Federer may not dominate his sport like he used to but I see no reason why he can’t win a few more majors before he leaves the sport (hopefully not for a very long time) – I am looking at the big 20! putting his record total out of anybody’s reach.

I have read a lot of reports this afternoon on Federer’s progress since AO and a few have said that although he is seeded no.1, he isn’t “the favourite”. True, there are many more players ready to believe in their chances more than ever before. Do you really think that Federer is going so fold so easily?

I was really impressed with Istomin who played nadal in the quarters at Queens – where did he come from? Big man, big serve and moved really well around the court, I think roddick plays him in the first round.

I am probably in a minority, but I don’t care. I hope that Federer reads the bad press and it makes him become the incredible hulk, ripping shots across the court rather than ripping shirts and getting that hunger and channelling the anger of what some negative press reporters have been saying. I really do.

2.days.to.go.


Twocents Says:

madmax,

We’re comparing Fed to his peers now, and unfortunately the momentum does not seem to favor Fed for this WO.

But this in no way means that I think he’s done with winning majors all together. When will his next one come? I don’t know. But it will more likely come than not.


rogerafa Says:

Here is another article having quotes from an unusually candid Rafa. It is slightly old and I am sorry if it has been posted here before. I think the telling part is the bit about becoming the best of all time. Such ambition and the willingness and ability to put in the hard work to achieve it. Many say Roger is a one-off but Rafa is a one-off in so many ways. His focus, determination and single-minded pursuit of excellence are mind-boggling. A mental giantin tennis if there was one .


rogerafa Says:

Oops, I forgot to paste the link. Sorry. Here it is.

http://www.thedailynewsonline.com/articles/2010/06/08/sports/6821236.txt


rogerafa Says:

The last line should read “A mental giant in tennis if there was one”.


dave Says:

Twocents Says: “grendel, How could you buy that crap from Nadal: he retired 3 games from defeat in a slam final and half a year later still claim he could have won to the face of his opponent’s homeland reporter? To me, that retirement is his lowest point, lower than the no-show defending Wimbledon champion (when he could play two ex’s) and no-show year end no.1 at YEC.”

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

Two cents, are you talking about the defending AO champion Nadal wimping out (I won’t add “cowardly”) and retiring at 3-6, 6-7(2), 0-3 — just 3 games from defeat — to Andy Murray in the quarterfinals of the 2010 AO? The same Nadal, who had the gall to boast 5 months later that he had a chance to win the match (“I had some good chances. I was a break up in both sets”) could not have remained on court for 3 more games to give his opponent the satisfaction of a full victory.

I know Federer has the class to never retire during any match throughout his 12 year career (maybe Andy Murray and James Blake as well). See this clip of Federer losing to Nalbandian in the 2005 Year End ATP championships in Shanghai. Federer was still recovering from torn ankle ligaments suffered a month earlier that forced him to skip the preceding indoor tournaments (Fed is playing with a black ankle brace). Fed was down 0-4 in the fifth set and lost the previous two sets of this 4.5 hour match. He could have retired at 0-4, but did not. He still fought bravely until he succumbed in the tie-breaker
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmvej7_PfkY

If Nadal was in Federer’s shoes, would he have retired at 0-4? No. Why? Because Nadal would not even be playing the tournament in the first place. Nadal would not have shown up for the tournament as he would have claimed he is not 100% fit to play.

In 2009, this no-show defending Wimbledon champion Nadal withdrew from wimbledon just three days before it began. Nadal said: “When I start a tournament like Wimbledon, it is to try to win and my feeling right now is I’m not ready to play to win.” Nadal announced his withdrawal about 2.5 hours after losing to Stanislas Wawrinka in an exhibition match on grass at Hurlingham Club in London. Nadal said: “Today was the last test. I didn’t feel terrible but not close to my best…I’m just not 100 percent. I’m better than I was a couple of weeks ago, but I just don’t feel ready.” Nadal called it “one of the toughest decisions of my career,” but he also added: “There’s no option. I don’t feel ready to compete 100 percent for two weeks.”

Yeah Nadal, there is an option. Be a man like Federer, who has never failed to defend a major title he won. Show up as defending champion and lose like a man. Part of being a true champion is to face your loses, not hide from them… so your fans can fantasize that you are unbeatable..


grendel Says:

Twocents

Don’t forget Nadal was responding to questioning. He’s surely entitled to put his side of things. I watched that match, and badly wanted Murray to win. From my perspective, though Murray was on top, it wasn’t obvious that he was going to win. Of course, one is partly influenced by a not entirely rational feeling that Nadal will always come back, no matter how down. I even had this feeling in the US Open, when del Potro took Nadal apart. I couldn’t quite believe it, somehow, even though it was taking place in front of my eyes. Surely, I thought, right up to match point, reality is shortly going to intervene….

But I think if Nadal believed he could have come back against Murray, then surely he’s got to say so, hasn’t? Should he lie to be politically correct? I have accused him of that before, you know, which is why I am inclined to defend him now. I assume, too, the injury was genuine – Nadal faking something like that is inconceivable.

Possibly Nadal should have given more credit to Murray, though it seemed to me he was reasonably generous. But I am always minded of a comment Linford Christie – one of Britain’s only really great sprinters – made: champions will always find a way to excuse their losses. That is an extremely candid remark, some might think cynical, but Linford wasn’t that at all – he was someone obsessed with winning, and didn’t mind conceding this might entail some less than pretty character traits. Don’t you think all champions have something of that in them, some more than others, no doubt?


Huh Says:

Thanks for the great Nadal interview rogerafa! :P

I liked it when Nadal said he wants to improve until he becomes the greatest ever tennis player. That’s a big statement, although understandable as he has such a great record against the so-called GOAT Federer. I wanted to hear Nadalmadmitting this much, i.e. he wants to become the GOAT. It’s his right to strive to be better than everyone, if he really can. Nadal is determined, that can only be good for tennis. Bring it on!

BTW, here’s what Nadal said:

“”There are still a lot of things missing. I must continue to improve. To really be satisfied, I have to become the best tennis player of all time. That’d be really great,” Nadal said Sunday evening, a few hours after completely dominating Robin Soderling to win the French Open final 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.”

Now that’s like the Federer-beater! :D


Huh Says:

“Twocents Says:

But still, Roddick and Djok in the same tournament were injured/ill but allowed their opponents a full win and never mentioned again they coulda woulda…”


Huh Says:

““Twocents Says:

But still, Roddick and Djok in the same tournament were injured/ill but allowed their opponents a full win and never mentioned again they coulda woulda…””

EXACTLY MR.TWOCENTS, EXACTLLY!!!
I’m tired of this already. He better know that he coulda done better instead of whining about beating Muzza when in reality everyone saw how complete was the domination of Murray over Nadal in that particular match. BTW, how could he have won the match as he was supposedly injured/strained/stressed/stretched? I bet the next time Nadal loses, there’d be a readymade excuse either directly from him or from his team or most famously from his fans and it would not be anything regarding the loss of form of Rafa or something else that’s more realistic but it’d be the same old ‘injury/tear/stuff’. For instance, if he’s somehow upset in WIM(despite being the fave), then you can be sure of him stating again within a couple of minutes/hours/days/weeks that he’s again some injury which mighta existed since the day he lost his match to that ‘someone else’ in that ‘x’ or ‘y’ slam. As Nadal again stated he mighta/coulda, I hope Muzza reaches semi and beats Nadal so that there’d be the next woulda/shoulda/coulda coming up. But then whenever the next loss of Rafa would come, God save others from the subsequent declaration of injury!


Dave2010 Says:

Federer will not win Wimbledon this year.


Fot Says:

I wish people would stop saying “it’s a lock for roger…just give him the trophy now”. Heck, I wish is were that easy! I wish Roger would win 7 matches in 21 sets and hold the trophy! But we know with pro tennis – anything can happen so I am (and I’m sure Roger is), taking ONE MATCH at a time. Let’s concentrate on Round 1 first. No further. I just hope Roger get’s by Round 1. That’s what I’m concentrating on right now.


Fot Says:

Nadal’s route gets a little easier:

Gulbis Out of Wimbledon
June 19, 2010 ·

Current world No. 29 Ernests Gulbis has withdrawn from Wimbledon with a right thigh muscle tear.

Sustaining the injury against Julien Benneteau during the first-round of the French Open, Gulbis and his camp decided to forgo the third Grand Slam of the season and fully recover for the upcoming hard-court swing.

Gublis’ stellar year had included wins over Roger Federer in Rome, and taking a set off of Rafael Nadal later in the event in the semifinals.

The 21-year-old Latvian was slated to meet 2008 champ Nadal in the third-round at the All England Club.
tennisconnected.com/home/2010/06/19/gulbis-out-of-wimbledon/


Huh Says:

However, the only defence in favour of Rafa is that Nadal has also taken some bad losses from Nalby, Youzhny in Chennai and some other very bad losses too and not bowed out of the matches though he was being clubbered. And Rafa also was quite graceful when he lost to Tsonga in AO 08, that was a bad bad loss. Nadal also played with severe and obvious pain against Gonzo(or was that Ferrer) in US 07 and didn’t back out. So Nadal’s good deeds far outweigh his bad deeds.Thus I’d cut Nadal slack. And I absolutely without doubt say that Nadal was having all genuine physical ailment coz of which he pulled out of WIM. Nadal may be this or that, but I can’t call Nadal a liar. His sufferings in 2009 were genuine. Nadal was definitely not faking injury when he decided to pull out of WIM. Him saying he pulled out coz he wasn’t 100% ready to win WIM 09 mighta resulted due to him not being an English guy. He’s a Spanish, so there’s that communication gap. What he mighta intended to say then must have been that as he was at a very low level of fitness and consequently his form was bound to be affected, he was pulling out of WIM. We the non-FLE people often end up speaking which we don’t intend to (WHEN SPEAKING IN ENGLISH, THAT IS). So let’s cut Nadal perfect slack for his WIM 09 withdrawal which was due to most genuine reasons and even for AO 10 vs Muzza even though it might appear suspicious. At least there must be much truth in it, if not whole.


Huh Says:

FoT:

Looking at Nadal’s form and luck, I think those people must instead talk about giving the trophy to Nadal already.


guy Says:

the nadal vs murray comments,

nadal never said he would win, he said he was still in with a shot without injury, which is true. it’s a 5 set match, there are plenty of comebacks from 2sets down. and murray isn’t exactly the toughest player mentally, and nadal gets the physical edge too.
so there is nothing absurd about this.

nadal just had a whole season screwed by knee issues and had a pretty big scare in that match, more pain, so retired out of caution. don’t think he’d do it for fun…and i seem to remember a match against murray in netherlands where nadal was ‘playing on one leg’ as murray put it, and played the match out, getting bagelled, because wanted to give murray the proper victory.

i saw the match, and nadal couldn’t run, he was just going for clean winners on every shot, it was actually pretty interesting to watch, but the whole time i thought, what good is this doing anybody?

point is, there’s some evidence for nadal’s reluctance to retire. after all the injury problems though, he’s clearly trying to put the body first now, basically has to.


Anna Says:

Twocents – Rafa retired from the AO quarters because he tore a tendon. It’s well documented. For an athlete to play with a torn “anything” is playing with fire and possibly jeopardizing their career. Rafa seems to have learned some hard lessons from 09 and is no longer willing to take chances. I say, “it’s about time”. And yes, there’s no doubt in my mind, Rafa being the champion that he is, that he totally felt he had chances in that match against Murray. Djokovich is a slam winner, yet he just lost in the fo to Meltzer after Meltzer was down 2 sets and a break. Rafa’s mantra is keep trying your best and look for your chances. Anyone who counts him out before the match is over may be seriously disappointed. I’ll bet Murray would tell you he hadn’t counted him out.


Huh Says:

Dave:

I would not ask Nadal to learn from Fed about not how to accept/talk about defeat as I think that the excuse which Fed gave about losing the WIM 08 to Nadal ‘over a bit of light’ was a historic(and LAME) excuse. I could see it despite being a staunch Fed fan that Nadal was simply outplaying Fed for most part of the match. Fed must have instead talked about how lucky he was when the match went past the 3rd set, as to me it clearly occured that had Nadal not choked at the end of the 3rd set, he woulda beaten Fed in straight sets. Although Fed’s more graceful in accepting defeat than Nadal/Nole/Muzza, the one guy who accepts his defeat in the most graceful manner is Andy Roddick.


Huh Says:

And yeas, one very important thing I forgot to mention for sometime now’s that Roddick must not have been given a seeding lower than No.4, for which I again need to reiterate:

**** THE WIM COMMITTEE!


Fot Says:

Huh,it’s all about the ‘formula’. Roddick’s formula’s points were that he would be seeded 4 so what could the ‘Wimbledon Committee” do otherwise? If they make a choice to put Roddick, say, #4 but the ‘formula’ says otherwise, then why even have a formula that your own committee isn’t following? I honesly don’t think the committee could have done anything differently. Maybe if Roddick hadn’t lost early in Queens? I don’t know.


contador Says:

Kimmi-

as a devoted gulbis-watcher, i am concerned. ( not that i actually think EG has a shot at winning wimbles this year even if he is 100% )

just wondering where he is and if he is actually injured. i like watching him play tennis and hope he’s better.

but….ernie was on the list of players at Boodles but i’ve been checking the order of play every day and he hasn’t been on it. ?? : ( ??

anyone have any gulbis news?

monfils won the booldes exho, yay la monf! i don’t have much faith in la monf on big stages maintaining mental focus tho.

it’s okay. rather EG does pull out if his hamstring was actually *sprung.*

he has a great game for grass and showed it, not last year ( he was really outta shape and coachless) but in 2008.

************************************************************
as for the draws: i agree with “guy” of all things : )…@ his/her 6/19, 12:42 post regarding draws and picks.

there are quite a few names in federer’s draw i consider dangerous this year because: 1) they have done well recently on grass and other surfaces 2) they have played roger too close for comfort 3) federer himself is a question mark.

i don’t think rafa’s draw looks difficult at all, considering the way he is playing and that he is right up there with the best on grass.

and i also sadly agree with voicemale1.

it would be a surprise if federer makes it to the final and wins, considering the lack of first serves going in, his problem on breakpoints, his shanking forehands, his movement not what it used to be, his mind randomly elswhere, sometimes appearing like an observer whilst playing in a match ( loss to gulbis )… but it’s silly. roger federer may pull a surprise like at AO. who knows.

ALL that said, am among the posters here who do not think federer is done and see him winning another slam, maybe 2.

not this season. he doesn’t appear to be mourning the loss of #1 like he was in 08′. nadal deserves the top spot for his clay court performance and comeback.

i see rafa winning this wimbledon. i can’t see rafa winning US Open or the masters cup.

my crystal ball is nothing more than a lava lamp hahaha…

: )

and i’m just now watching ESPN classic and taping the 09′ mens final. watching the whole thing sober too. last year, i couldn’t tolerate it:

cheering for fed then roddick, then fed, then roddick and on…..

my wish is now for roddick to win!

and i can’t see how anyone thinks nadal’s draw is difficult, considering his form and mindset.

does a nadal fan can see rafa as vulnerable? because he recently lost to f-lo? pah.

fed lost to hewitt on grass. i know hewitt is a champ on grass but…..fed “should” have won that match. from what i watched, i can’t think of any federer draw as “cupcake” or “easy.”

i do agree djoko and murray have difficult draws and i wish both of them the best. would be miraculously wonderful if either won wimbledon, especially for murray!

imo, their draws are as difficult equally as federer’s draw is by the way of how the three have played.

final: roddick v nadal

if roddick plays the way i am watching him right now, the way he played in the 09 semi v murray and final v fed, my man roddick has a great shot. we’ll see.


Fot Says:

I just posted the article saying gulbis withdrew from Wimbledon.


contador Says:

i’ll look through the thread again. thanks Fot.

glad he withdrew. all the better for summer hard court season, hopefully.


madmax Says:

It’s really weird FOT, I just knew gulbis was going to withdraw – a sixth sense – even before he was injured.

FOT, I haven’t read that anyone has said it is a lock for Roger. What I have read is that people don’t have much faith in his game anymore. Count me out on that one.

You are right. His fans need to concentrate on one match at a time. It’s a fact that his first match will be his focus right now, against Falla and we all know what these early rounds do to us as fed fans! But I would like to believe, and I do, that he will disregard all the negative press (after having read them/heard them), and just prove to all of them that his great tennis will be played at wimbledon in 2.days.time.


dave Says:

Huh: “Nadal may be this or that, but I can’t call Nadal a liar. His sufferings in 2009 were genuine. Nadal was definitely not faking injury when he decided to pull out of WIM…So let’s cut Nadal perfect slack for his WIM 09 withdrawal which was due to most genuine reasons and even for AO 10 vs Muzza even though it might appear suspicious. At least there must be much truth in it, if not whole.”

You are simply spouting your unvalidated opinion that Nadal’s sufferings were genuine. You do not know whether or not Nadals is telling the truth, or faked or exaggerated his knee injuries as his excuse for withdrawing from Wimbledon.

First, even during his matches at the 2009 French Open, Nadal was running fine and showed no signs of knee injury during his first three matches. Did Nadal take any injury breaks or wear a knee brace in his first 4 matches? I don’t think so. It appears that Soderling simply shell-shocked Rafa on a bad day. I’ve actually seen in an actual match Nadal lose badly — he had the same look in his eyes.

Second, a few top British orthopedic surgeons who treat athletes correctly diagnosed the exact type of injury that Nadal had even before Nadal’s camp revealed it. These experts suggested that Nadal needed 2 to 4 weeks to recover. Nadal had 3.5 weeks from the time he lost to Soderling to his first match at Wimbledon. It would have probably have been the second week of Wimbledon when Nadal would have had to play his best tennis. Yet Nadal was already able to play exhibition matches against a top 20 player (Wawrinka) and a former wimbledon champion (Hewitt has won more grass court matches than even Federer). He was not playing patsies. Thus Nadal still had about 10 days after his exhibition losses to get his game and stamina in shape.

Third, there are contradictory reports about whether Nadal was truly bothered by his knees at all during his pre-Wimbledon exhibition matches against Hewitt and Wawrinka. Some reporters observed that Nadal was not troubled by his knees. Other reporters claimed he was troubled by his knees, but gave no valid evidence to back it up (they just presumed or parroted comments from the Nadal camp).

Here is one report of the first exhibition: “BOTH NADAL AND HEWITT SHOWED THEY MEANT BUSINESS FROM THE START OF THE 80-MINUTE MATCH, THE FIRST GAME GOING TO DEUCE FIVE TIMES. Hewitt grabbed the upper hand in the fifth game, breaking ahead as Nadal’s serve began to falter and drives failed to find their mark. The Australian backed up in the next game, firing off four aces in less than a minute. Hewitt… maintained his momentum in the second set as Nadal failed to convert some early break points. Hewitt wrapped up the match, breaking Nadal in the final game when the Spaniard sent a backhand flying over the baseline. The match was the first Nadal had played on grass this season after pulling out of the tournament at Queen’s last week so he could have treatment on his troublesome knees. WHILE THE SPANIARD DID NOT SEEM TOO TROUBLED BY HIS KNEES, HE DID APPEAR A BIT SLOWER THAN USUAL ON THE GRASS.”
http://tinyurl.com/2dpqz8o

Fourth, speculation that the major factor impacting Nadal at the time was not the injury but his parents separation.

Fifth, Nadal is not above controversy about his character. Read “Nasty Nadal accused in cheat storm” (see link). This report was taken so seriously that a BBC reporter interviewed Nadal about the story at Chennai 2008, but Nadal deflected answering the question. There was a video clip of the BBC interview, but I’m to lazy to search for it
http://tinyurl.com/26t7sgs


dave Says:

Huh: “Nadal may be this or that, but I can’t call Nadal a liar. His sufferings in 2009 were genuine. Nadal was definitely not faking injury when he decided to pull out of WIM…So let’s cut Nadal perfect slack for his WIM 09 withdrawal which was due to most genuine reasons and even for AO 10 vs Muzza even though it might appear suspicious. At least there must be much truth in it, if not whole.”

You are simply spouting your unvalidated opinion that Nadal’s sufferings were genuine. You do not know whether or not Nadals is telling the truth, or faked or exaggerated his knee injuries as his excuse for withdrawing from Wimbledon.

First, even during his matches at the 2009 French Open, Nadal was running fine and showed no signs of knee injury during his first three matches. Did Nadal take any injury breaks or wear a knee brace in his first 4 matches? I don’t think so. It appears that Soderling simply shell-shocked Rafa on a bad day. I’ve actually seen in an actual match Nadal lose badly — he had the same look in his eyes.

Second, a few top British orthopedic surgeons who treat athletes correctly diagnosed the exact type of injury that Nadal had even before Nadal’s camp revealed it. These experts suggested that Nadal needed 2 to 4 weeks to recover. Nadal had 3.5 weeks from the time he lost to Soderling to his first match at Wimbledon. It would have probably have been the second week of Wimbledon when Nadal would have had to play his best tennis. Yet Nadal was already able to play exhibition matches against a top 20 player (Wawrinka) and a former wimbledon champion (Hewitt has won more grass court matches than even Federer). He was not playing patsies. Thus Nadal still had about 10 days after his exhibition losses to get his game and stamina in shape.

Third, there are contradictory reports about whether Nadal was truly bothered by his knees at all during his pre-Wimbledon exhibition matches against Hewitt and Wawrinka. Some reporters observed that Nadal was not troubled by his knees. Other reporters claimed he was troubled by his knees, but gave no valid evidence to back it up (they just presumed or parroted comments from the Nadal camp).

Here is one report of the first exhibition: “BOTH NADAL AND HEWITT SHOWED THEY MEANT BUSINESS FROM THE START OF THE 80-MINUTE MATCH, THE FIRST GAME GOING TO DEUCE FIVE TIMES. Hewitt grabbed the upper hand in the fifth game, breaking ahead as Nadal’s serve began to falter and drives failed to find their mark. The Australian backed up in the next game, firing off four aces in less than a minute. Hewitt… maintained his momentum in the second set as Nadal failed to convert some early break points. Hewitt wrapped up the match, breaking Nadal in the final game when the Spaniard sent a backhand flying over the baseline. The match was the first Nadal had played on grass this season after pulling out of the tournament at Queen’s last week so he could have treatment on his troublesome knees. WHILE THE SPANIARD DID NOT SEEM TOO TROUBLED BY HIS KNEES, HE DID APPEAR A BIT SLOWER THAN USUAL ON THE GRASS.”
http://tinyurl.com/2dpqz8o

to be continued…


dave Says:

continued…

Fourth, speculation that the major factor impacting Nadal at the time was not the injury but his parents separation.

Fifth, Nadal is not above controversy about his character. Read “Nasty Nadal accused in cheat storm” (see link). This report was taken so seriously that a BBC reporter interviewed Nadal about the story at Chennai 2008, but Nadal deflected answering the question. There was a video clip of the BBC interview, but I’m to lazy to search for it
http://tinyurl.com/26t7sgs


contador Says:

okay, found it and read it.

makes me sad.

take your time ERNIE! get better and FIT!

ditto to delPotro


rogerafa Says:

I was extremely surprised by Rafa’s withdrawal from the 2009 Wimbledon. The very fact that he came all the way from Spain to play two matches suggested that whatever issue he had was not all that bad. I watched some parts of both matches and he did not appear in any obvious trouble. He was moving quite well. The curious thing was that he announced his withdrawal only after the draw came out. Last year’s draw was undoubtedly very tough for Rafa. I think he had initially planned to take it match by match and play his way into finding some form, rhythm and confidence as the event progressed. Seeing Hewitt in the second round probably ruined any such plan. With Roddick and Murray likely to follow later, he and his uncle probably decided that it was too big a challenge as Rafa had not had any match play since the french open. I am not for a moment suggesting that he chickened out. It was more likely a very pragmatic and professional decision keeping all aspects in mind. They also probably did not want Rafa’s aura to diminish further after what happened at the French open. That aura has been very carefully created by the Nadal team especially the injury and fatigue explanations or insinuations just about every time Nadal loses even if he was running like a rabbit. He is either more injured or less injured. He is never injury-free. Creating and maintaining an aura has a lot of benefits and I can perfectly understand these shenanigans.

The injury in the Murray match appeared genuine though. It happened during the match. I think he slipped and twisted something as far as I can recall. I can also understand his concern because the season had just begun and he could’t take too many chances. Going through the motions for some more games wouldn’t have served much purpose. It wasn’t a final where one feels obliged to continue because there are so many people watching it all over the world. Murray had the match firmly under control and thoroughly deserved that victory.


Eric Says:

dave, come on. Why then do you think he withdrew?


Purcell Says:

Dave at 2:51
Courage mon brave (spelling?)
You said it, I thought it. Thanks.


mem Says:

Huh, Mr. Einstein of tennis, do tell, i recall not long ago when gulbis and soderling were in federer’s half of the draw at roland garros, word was the draw was unfair and too tough! in fact, at that time gulbis and soderling were the talk of the town; the next big tennis stars; the players to watch for; the fearless beasts of the men’s circuit; the next #1 and so on and so on. everybody wanted a seat on the gulbis and soderling trains; it was amusing because the fact is words are cheap, but staying on top requires week in and week out consistency; it requires delivering on the big stage in big moments; not by one or two or three good matches;

what’s so funny is that the reverse has happened and the same guys are now in nadal’s quarter, and the same fans are whining; all of sudden, gulbis and soderling are not that big of a threat. therefore, nadal’s draw is easier! oh my, i can’t keep up with you tennis experts. if i were to write a comedy script, i would definitely cast you and some of your buddies as characters; it would be a smash, no doubt!

roddick and hewitt are suppose to be make roger’s draw tough! how many times have roddick and hewitt beaten roger at wimbledon or anywhere else consistently? i’m not one of those people who can foretell the future; therefore, i have to based things on past results, although you never know how things will change.

am i interpreting this correctly, now some of you would like to have seen roddick in nadal’s half because he beat nadal in miami on hardcourts recently and because he has a better grasscourt game, so, therefore, he has a better chance of taking nadal out for roger. my, my, my, my! maybe i’m confused but i thought nadal beat roddick in straights on grass, 2008 queens; well, nothing is written in stone, in the famous words of rafa nadal, “we will see what happens.”

is this what you guys call tennis knowledge? a lot of you said after federer won 2009 roland garros that players can only play who is on the other side of net; they are not responsible for how the draw unfolds or for who doesn’t make it to the next round. has that changed too?

hold on, i have the solution, why don’t we just put all the seeded players in nadal’s half of draw and all unseeded and qualifiers in roger’s half, would that be a better draw? better yet, why don’t we let roger choose who he wants in his side of the draw! too funny! i’ve had my laugh for today!


Huh Says:

Dave:

Not that I have problem in you or anyone else criticising Nadal, but all thst I’d still firmly stick to is that Nadal deserves the benefit of doubt BIG TIME. If you don’t understand why, I rest my case.


rogerafa Says:

“It appears that Soderling simply shell-shocked Rafa on a bad day.”

I wouldn’t even say that Nadal had a bad day. He was still running around the court like a rabbit right till the end. I remember one of his incredible gets in the 4th set tie-break. Soderling was just too good. He simply controlled the match and did not allow Rafa to do much. When Soderling executes like that for the entire duration of a match, there is very little any player can do. A very intelligent Rafa fan on this site acknowledged as much after that loss. I was sad to recently see him do a u-turn making the same “hobbling” Nadal excuse for that loss just because Nadal swept the clay season this year.

It was a disaster for Rafa just like a loss at wimbledon is disaster for Roger. He was truly shell-shocked and that probably dented his confidence so much that it derailed his Wimbledon campaign as well.


Huh Says:

Hi mem!

Keep laughing and keep enjoying, good for you. And oh, did I say Rod, Nole, Hewitt and even Muzza have tougher draws than Rafa and even my very own Fed boy? Of course I did and I stick to it coz it’s fact! Of course, if you ask me who has a tougher draw: aFed or Rafa, I’d say both have nearly equally tough path to semi, and I’m sure most of your fellow Nadal fans woulda done the same thing if the draws were reversed. Now that one woulda been laughable as well, no? ;)

BTW you can just honour me as ‘The Huh’ of tennis-X. ;)


dave Says:

Huh: “Dave: I would not ask Nadal to learn from Fed about not how to accept/talk about defeat as I think that the excuse which Fed gave about losing the WIM 08 to Nadal ‘over a bit of light’ was a historic(and LAME) excuse. I could see it despite being a staunch Fed fan that Nadal was simply outplaying Fed for most part of the match. Fed must have instead talked about how lucky he was when the match went past the 3rd set, as to me it clearly occured that had Nadal not choked at the end of the 3rd set, he woulda beaten Fed in straight sets. Although Fed’s more graceful in accepting defeat than Nadal/Nole/Muzza, the one guy who accepts his defeat in the most graceful manner is Andy Roddick.”
Huh, could you please carefully read what I wrote? Your point is irrelevant cuz I did not ask Nadal to learn from Fed how to talk about defeat or give excuses. Although, given your own admission that Fed is more graceful than Nadal in accepting defeat, it is obvious that Nadal could learn a thing or two from Fed. Just compare the post-match interviews given by Nadal and Federer after their losses to Soderling at French Open 2009 and 2010 respectively, for example.

What I asked Nadal to learn from Federer is, when he is defending champion, to show up to defend his major titles and fight till the bitter end of his matches even if he loses. At least he loses like a man, instead of hiding from his potential losses like a wimp. That’s not the character of a champion.

Next, you made a sensational comment about Federer’s benign comments about the darkness as being “historic (and lame) excuse. What you failed to tell us was that Federer was responding to reporters questions about the darkness. In fact there are reporters — including from top British news companies — who were there and had made a bigger issue of the darkness than Federer did. I know a person who sat in the stands who said it was too dark to play tennis, so whoever hit a lucky shot would win this crapshoot.

that I’ve read British news reports agree that

“Darkness hurts Federer in Wimbledon final

WIMBLEDON TROPHY HEARTBREAK WHICH ENDED IN DARKNESS DIDN’T DRAW A COMPLAINT FROM ROGER FEDERER as he lost in five sets to Rafael Nadal.

THE THRILLER TWICE INTERRUPTED BY RAIN WAS STRETCHED TO THE LIMIT OF BELIEVABILITY as Federer save three match points in two different sets before FINALLY FALLING VICTIM TO A LOOSE SHOT MADE ALMOST IN THE DARK AFTER AN AFTERNOON OF TWO RAIN INTERRUPTIONS AND A LATE MATCH START.

“(I) kept on playing, I didn’t argue”, said the sombre Swiss after his first grass-court loss since 2002. “I guess I would have said something if I would have broken back to go, what was it, 8-all (in the fifth set). I mean, it wasn’t possible to play anymore, so…”

WITH TELEVISION MAKING LIGHT ON THE SCREEN LOOK BRIGHTER THAN IN REAL LIFE, Federer said he knew that coming back to finish the high-voltage contest – one of the best ever in the history of the event – would have been a tough call.

“It would have been brutal for fans, for media, for us, for everybody to come back tomorrow”.

“But what are you gonna do? It’s rough on me now, obviously to lose the biggest tournament in the world over maybe a bit of light”.

“But it’s not the first time anyway against Rafa. I lost to him in Paris, so it’s not a whole lot of fun, but it’s the way it is. I CAN ONLY CONGRATULATE RAFA FOR A GREAT EFFORT”
http://tinyurl.com/24dvoqg

As for Nadal outplaying Federer for most of the match, etc, etc., that’s tennis. If you want, I can tell you that even the great Rod Laver had many Grand Slam matches where he was down two sets to love or one in both years that he won the Calendar Year Grand Slam (1962 and 1969).

It is incredible that Roger Federer rarely goes down 2 sets to ) or 1 relative to almost all the other great players. I think only Ken Rosewall has a better record of avoiding 5 setters than Federer.


Huh Says:

Huh Says:
Hi mem!

Keep laughing and keep enjoying, good for you. And oh, did I say Rod, Nole, Hewitt and even Muzza have tougher draws than Rafa and even my very own Fed boy? Of course I did and I stick to it coz it’s fact! Of course, if you ask me who has a tougher draw: Fed or Rafa, I’d say both have nearly equally tough path to semi. I’m sure most of your fellow Nadal fans woulda lamented the bad luck of Rafa if the draws came out reversed. Now that one woulda been laughable as well, no? ;)

BTW you can just honour me as ‘The Huh’ of tennis-X. ;)


rogerafa Says:

“i can’t see rafa winning US Open or the masters cup.”

I think Rafa has the best chance of doing both these things this year especially the us open. Del Ptro is out for the year. Murray and Djokovic are down in the dumps and Federer is very inconsistent these days. Davydenko has just come out from an injury and Roddick appears slightly shaky. I am sure the Nadal camp is mindful of all this and are quietly confident of completing the mission this year. With an improving Rafa and weakened opposition, this might just be the ideal scenario for him to take advantage of and sneak in.


Huh Says:

Dave:

That was a lame excuse from Fed, I repeat. Don’t care one bit if you accept it or not.


mem Says:

Huh, remember i told you first, you are hilarious! in fact, i think you missed your calling!


dave Says:

Eric Says: “dave, come on. Why then do you think he withdrew?”

No one knows except Nadal and his camp. But this is not the first time he’s withdrawn from a tournament or retired during a match, so we have a right to speculate. My own speculation is that Nadal feared losing and harming his image of invincibility. This deprives hisn opponets of a proper victory over him. Most of the old school champions would have stayed out there to fight to the bitter end, even if they have to hobble around. Federer has played a number of matches where he was injured, but remained on court to the end.

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

Purcell Says: “Dave at 2:51. Courage mon brave (spelling?) You said it, I thought it. Thanks.”

Thanks mon.

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

Huh Says: “Dave, Not that I have problem in you or anyone else criticising Nadal, but all thst I’d still firmly stick to is that Nadal deserves the benefit of doubt BIG TIME. If you don’t understand why, I rest my case.”

What I don’t understand is why you feel you are the final arbiter in whether or not Nadal deserves the benefit of the doubt BIG TIME. If you don’t understand why you think your opinion is better than others, I rest my case :)


Huh Says:

Dave:

What woulda happened had Fed won the WIM 08 final under windy conditions and Nadal on being asked about the wind woulda blamed his inabilty to adjust to it and what if Rafa woulda attributed the loss to ‘a bit of wind’? I’m sure people like you’d have been all out to criticise Rafa and accused him of giving lame excuses.


Huh Says:

Dave:

Of course Rafa’s not a great champ, that’s why he’s beaten Fed in 1 slam semi & 5 slam finals, hehehehe! ;)


rogerafa Says:

dave,
Enjoyed reading your posts. I agree with most of what you have said. I’d like to add that even Rafa said he couldn’t see the ball towards the end. It was extremely unfortunate that these players had to play in such darkness. It was unfair to both players that it eventually became a crapshoot of sorts.


Huh Says:

Sorry mem,

Blame it on late night and (fast) typing problem. It’s really late here, 4.30 night to be exact. :)


Huh Says:

Light was same for both, fellas.


dave Says:

Huh, even the BBC did not give Nadal the benefit of the doubt when it questioned Nadal about his perceived “cheating.” Obviously the BBC felt there was enough truth in the story that they decided to question Nadal about it.

Instead of just giving my opinion, I like to provide evidence.

So here, listen to the BBC interview. Click on Part 2 of the second YouTube clip.
http://tinyurl.com/lcfkgh

Now ask yourself this question: Why have Nadal’s peers (other ATP tennis players) not even nominated him for the ATP Sportsmanship award? Federer won that same award a record 6 times I think. It indicates the genuine respect that players have for Federer’s sportsmanship. Obviously other players do not hold Nadal in the sme regard.


mem Says:

dave, dave, dave! let it go, it’s history! it is what it is! spectulate all you want, it won’t change the results; it’s only raising your blood pressure level. andy won remember! would you like for andy and rafa to play the match over, so that rafa will complete the match just for you! nadal was right, he had his chances and didn’t make good; andy won and he gave him credit! whether you approve or not, nadal retired with injury, he’s not the first one to retire and this may come as a shock, but he won’t be the last. you are going to worry yourself sick about things you can’t change!


dave Says:

rogerafa Says: “dave, Enjoyed reading your posts. I agree with most of what you have said. I’d like to add that even Rafa said he couldn’t see the ball towards the end. It was extremely unfortunate that these players had to play in such darkness. It was unfair to both players that it eventually became a crapshoot of sorts.”

I totally agree. It affected both guys, though some observers said that at the very end the darkness affected Fed’s side of the court more than Rafa’s side. That’s possible depending on where the sun set. and who has better night vision.

Perhaps in better conditions who knows, Nadal might have won the fifth set convincing or in straight sets. Or a light might have gone on inside Federer’s head and he rolls over Nadal.

That’s tennis, it happens in real time under variable conditions. If this and if that has no bearing.


rogerafa Says:

“That was a lame excuse from Fed, I repeat. Don’t care one bit if you accept it or not.”

You are perfectly entitled to think that he was making an excuse but please tell me one thing. How do you play tennis if you can not see the ball properly? Playing in the wind is part of the game but you don’t play in a hurricane. Playing in the evening is acceptable but you can not play when you,as also your opponent, can not see the ball properly. The player who plays safer and has more margin for error has the better probability of winning the crapshoot. It was not some routine 6-2/3/4 type of set. It was very close and the break came very late. Rafa could well have come back the next day and finished Roger off. That is simply not the point. It was just so unfair to BOTH the players.


tennisfansince76 Says:

ogerafa Says:
“i can’t see rafa winning US Open or the masters cup.”

I think Rafa has the best chance of doing both these things this year especially the us open. Del Ptro is out for the year. Murray and Djokovic are down in the dumps and Federer is very inconsistent these days. Davydenko has just come out from an injury and Roddick appears slightly shaky.

this is called counting your chickens before they hatch! but to your points.

1) delpo is out – this is true and good for Rafa
2) Murray and Djoko in the dumps. doesn’t mean they can’t bounce back later in the summer
3) Daydenko back from injury. true. but that just means he should be rested, fit and playing well by the end of the summer
4) Roddick shaky? who says. he just blasted Nadal off the court at Miami. he didn’t do much on Clay but so what. who expected him to. no reason he can’t play well for W ansd the end of summer events
5) Federer inconsistent. true. but again no rreason he can’t firm up and have a summer run.

still would love to the Fed vs. Nadal at the USO. the one major where Fed has done well and nadal has never made the final.


dave Says:

Huh Says: “Dave: Of course Rafa’s not a great champ, that’s why he’s beaten Fed in 1 slam semi & 5 slam finals, hehehehe! ;)”

Winning titles/matches and behaving like a champion are two seperate issues. Here, this article expalins the difference between the two concepts.
http://tinyurl.com/27lxdva


Huh Says:

Dave:

No doubt Fed deserves to be held in higher regards in comparison to Rafa, even IMO! But that doesn’t change the fact that when Fed was sobbing after defeat in the AO 09, Nadal was the thorough gentleman to console him and throw his arms around him, it spoke volumes about Nadal’s humane side. Nadal’s not as bad a person as some would think. You can’t believ how much I criticised Rafa last year when he lost to Sod and claimed having some injury. I went on trying to refute Rafa’s claims left, right and centre. I was among the first to question Nadal’s credibilty. All this continued from my side until Nadal pulled out. That made me feel ashamed of myself and I had to believe that Nadal indeed was facing problems. It’s impractical, illogical and impossible to think of Nadal pulling out of WIM 09 as a defending champ without any reason. And why exactly would Nadal not pull out of WIM if he’s injured? His body is far more important for him to risk further injury/tear by playing just to satisfy the whims and fancies of some tennis fans. That’s why he pulled out and rightfully so.

If you don’t believe Rafa, there’s no need for me to believe BBC either.


dave Says:

Huh Says: “Dave: What woulda happened had Fed won the WIM 08 final under windy conditions and Nadal on being asked about the wind woulda blamed his inabilty to adjust to it and what if Rafa woulda attributed the loss to ‘a bit of wind’? I’m sure people like you’d have been all out to criticise Rafa and accused him of giving lame excuses.”

Can we stick to reality and what actually happened?

Here you are trying to support your point by conjuring up 4 hypothetical scenarios:

1. What if Federer hypothetically won Wimbledon 2008?
2. What if it was hypothetically windy that day?
3. What if Nadal excused his hypocthetical loss to the hypothetical wind?
4. What if dave and people hypothetically like dave hypothetically criticized Nadal for hypothetically making excuses about his hypothetical losing Wimdleon in the hypothetical wind?

There are too many hypotheticals louding the issue.


rogerafa Says:

“It affected both guys, though some observers said that at the very end the darkness affected Fed’s side of the court more than Rafa’s side. That’s possible depending on where the sun set. and who has better night vision.”

I also read about that. It was indeed extremely dark and Roger has had trouble in the past in such situations although this was an extreme case. They should probably have stopped it much earlier. You can not predict how long the match will go on unless you are expecting darkness to become a factor in deciding the match one way or the other. What if it were 10-10 or 15-15. Would they still continue? The larger point is that suspension-of-play decisions/rules should be more player-friendly. I had a similar discussion on this very site when the Fognini-Monfils match at this year’s FO was suspended. Surely, they can have less contentious ways of dealing with such situations instead of facing a potentially embarrassing situation.


dave Says:

Huh Says: “Dave: That was a lame excuse from Fed, I repeat. Don’t care one bit if you accept it or not.”

You are entitled to your opinion. I don’t care one bit if you accept my opinion or not, as long as the majority of readers do :)


Anna Says:

Dave – It’s pretty clear after reading your posts that you’ve picked up all the negative propaganda surrounding Rafa in the last year or two to feed your own bias. If you were watching tennis in 09 you’d know that Rafa won 5-7 tournaments leading up to Madrid (AO,IW,MC,Barca,Rome). He had played and won more matches during that period of time than probably anybody EVER!! Rafa & Nole were their only competition during clay season and by the time they completed their semi-final in Madrid, they could both barely stand up. It took Nole two months (US h/c) before he started winning again. Why? EXHAUSTION!!! Exhaustion was a huge issue for Rafa as well. While Rafa’s parents divorce was I’m sure painful and distracting, Nadal himself has said that his knees began to pain him in Miami. While clay was easier on the knees, it was still an issue and by the time he got to the FO it was no longer something he could set aside. So, we have exhaustion, parents divorce, and tendenitis all culminating to make for a disasterous FO. All of that said, Rafa made it clear that on that day Robin played better.

You’d have to be a complete idiot to believe that a doctor in Britain could diagnose Nadal just by watching him play. No one other than Nadal’s doctors know his diagnosis and the extent of his injury, so everything else was just speculation, and that my friend is what you’ve based all your judgements on. Speculation and the British Tabloids. Whoo hoo, your informed.


rogerafa Says:

“this is called counting your chickens before they hatch!”

We are entitled to count them still,aren’t we :)The points you have raised are absolutely valid. In fact you forgot to add that Rafa himself might get injured or fatigued or the likes of Soderling, Cilic, Gulbis etc. who could trouble him. However, I guess I am entitled to speculate that, as things stand at the moment, Rafa really fancies his chances at the US open this year. The lesser the likely minefields,the better the probability of not getting ambushed and just somehow sneak in.


Huh Says:

Dave:

Well, most of the people and articles and papers and tennis websites etc. the whole world over, actually call Nadal a graceful champion. Some like it, some don’t. I personally think Fed’s more graceful than Nadal, but still I’d call Nadal a graceful loser. Nadal has never been childish when he has lost a match. Even after the painful loss in WIM 07, Nadal controlled his emotions, he cried in secret, not on stage. And you sure must have seen how intelligently, kindly and gracefully Nadal managed the situation during A0 09 presentation ceremony. He saved the day for Fed and Fed fans, to be honest. And despite the parents’ divorce and loss at his beloved FO, Nadal did not gave any impression as if he was too bothered about it. The way he put his loss to Sod at FO is perspective made my admiration for Nadal increase. How can one not admire Nadal’s patience in the face of adversity? Nadal was taking one after another after another devastaing losses at slams, WTF and masters events, but he endured it, did not complain, appeared a little said, but also cheerful. Nadal experienced a sea of disturbances in 2009, personally and professionally, but kept his cool, stayed calm. He waited for his turn to come, and he was sure it’d come, that’s why his magnificent display in the clay season in 2010. To weather the storm has been the hallmark of Nadal. He has been scoffed at for stating his ambitions, his doom predicted time and again, his game has been criticised, his spirit has questioned, his credibilty has come under scrutiny, but he has remained unaffected and dedicated to his work. He has never appeared too angry or shaken after great losses either. If this doesn’t make Nadal a champion, I dunno what else does.


Huh Says:

Wow, you guys are really trying to convince yourself that Fed lost WIM to Nadal ‘over a bit of light’, no?

Dave:

Of course, it’s pretty much the trend that people of a particular kind flock together in Tennis-X. And guess what, they agree re: everything! They don’t care one bit even if truth stares them in the eye. Can only feel sorry for them. :)


Huh Says:

Light affected Fed more than Rafa, right? Talk of hypothesis. ;)


dave Says:

Huh Says: Dave: “No doubt Fed deserves to be held in higher regards in comparison to Rafa, even IMO! But that doesn’t change the fact that when Fed was sobbing after defeat in the AO 09, Nadal was the thorough gentleman to console him and throw his arms around him, it spoke volumes about Nadal’s humane side. Nadal’s not as bad a person as some would think. You can’t believ how much I criticised Rafa last year when he lost to Sod and claimed having some injury. I went on trying to refute Rafa’s claims left, right and centre. I was among the first to question Nadal’s credibilty. All this continued from my side until Nadal pulled out. That made me feel ashamed of myself and I had to believe that Nadal indeed was facing problems. It’s impractical, illogical and impossible to think of Nadal pulling out of WIM 09 as a defending champ without any reason. And why exactly would Nadal not pull out of WIM if he’s injured? His body is far more important for him to risk further injury/tear by playing just to satisfy the whims and fancies of some tennis fans. That’s why he pulled out and rightfully so. If you don’t believe Rafa, there’s no need for me to believe BBC either.”

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

Federer and Nadal are friends to some extent, so it is understandable. Federer has given rides to Nadal in his private jet to the next tournament. So both of them have done nice things for each other. I remember 12-slam winner Roy Emerson praising Federer for being unique in always remaining on court after winning to keep his losing opponent company, instead of running up the stands to hug his entourage.

In any case, that act by Nadal does not have any bearing on his reasons for withdrawing from Wimbledon.

You say Nadal’s “body is far more important for him to risk further injury/tear by playing” yet in the past — when Nadal did appear to have knee problems that hampered his running — Uncle Tony and Nadal’s camp have frequently told nrews reporters that Nadal keeps playing with his injuries and needs to take a break.

The question I ask is how did Nadal manage to run faster on the day he lost to Soderling (where his injury was supposedly more acute) than he did on the days he lost to Hewitt and Wawrinka after three weeks of rest and recuperation? Was it really dues to injury or due to not having enough practice on grass?

OK, try this: take a hammer and hit your knee ligaments hard so you scream in pain. Now try running all over a tennis court chasing down Soderling’s balls. Next rest for three weeks and try running again. Were you able to run faster the first time or second time? (Only joking, don’t try it).


Huh Says:

Anna spelled it out correctly for the particular flock, haha! ;)


Anna Says:

Rogerrafa – Nothing’s wrong with speculation as long as you don’t pretend it’s fact.

Huh – Spectacular post!


Huh Says:

Dave:

You know what happens when Nadal’s knee is fully fit during clay season? You needn’t look beyond his clay season in 2010.


Huh Says:

“Anna Says:

Rogerrafa – Nothing’s wrong with speculation as long as you don’t pretend it’s fact.”

Exactly Anna, exactly! Some people here act as if what they pretend is the fact. But when another post differs from them, they cry fowl and allege such other one of ‘spouting unvalidated opinion’. God bring peace! ;)


Anna Says:

Dave – I think alot of tennis players deal with pain day in and day out and are use to masking it until it becomes unbearable. Mega doses of ibuprofen (or some other antiinflamatory), direct shots of cortisone, and simple mental fortitude (like the yogis) can keep these guys playing for longer periods of time than they should.

When Rafa showed up in London for W09, he not only had not had practice on grass, he hadn’t had practice on ANY court in a month. Only he knew what he needed to compete, and although I’m sure it was a painful decision, he chose to drop out. It takes more than one duck to win a slam, and Rafa obviously didn’t have all of his ducks in a row.

So Dave, what is your point? Are you saying that in spite of rehabbing his knees and having not been on a court for nearly a month that he should have played Wimbledon anyway? And for who’s benefit?


dave Says:

Anna:
It’s Saturday evening and I’ve exceeded my quota of responding to people who have to smear others as complete idiots in order to try to give credibility to their dubious analysis. So this is my last post today.

I had a good laugh reading your comment: “If you were watching tennis in 09 you’d know that Rafa won 5-7 tournaments leading up to Madrid (AO,IW,MC,Barca,Rome). He had played and won more matches during that period of time than probably anybody EVER!!”

First, that is 41-4 (5 titles) 5 tournaments over 3.5 months in 2009 before the French Open started. Players like Federer, Lendl, Laver and others have played and won more matches during a 3.5 month period.

Take Federer’s 2006 season, for example, where he won 92 matches and lost only 5. In 2006, Federer was 38-3 (4 titles) before French Open, including 4 Masters finals which were best of five sets in those days. The Rome final was played over 5 hours against Nadal, even though Federer played long matches in his semifinals and quarterfinals.

In 2005, Federer went 40-2 (6 titles) before the French Open. What’s incredible is that typically Federer plays and wins more after the French Open than Nadal! Two years in a row, no whinning or excuses.

next, you have to be a monumental idiot to discount the medical experts who treat such injuries. Most experts suggested that even with severe quadriceps tendinitis, Nadal could have competed at wimbledon with anti-inflammatories and physiotherapy. And that it takes about 2 to 4 weeks of rest to recover.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/jun/18/rafael-nadal-wimbledon

Yes, Nadal’s doctors would know the true extent of his injury, but that does not mean they are going to tell you the truth. Unless the doctor is truly independent, a doctor in nadal’s camp is paid to support the player’s public relations.


dave Says:

Scratch the 5 tournamnets in the third paragraph of my last post, Nadal played 9 tourny and won 5 before FO 2009.


contador Says:

rogerafa-

you may have a point. i think i am counting on murray and nole turning themselves around on hc this summer. i would be very surprised if rafa is in form by masters cup. hasn’t happened, but doesn’t mean rafa winning a masters cup is out of the question.
********

hi mem.

for the record i am a bandwagon hopper. there are plenty in the draw i claim as favorites. : )

my latest bandwagon is dolgopolov’s. not picking him to win or go very deep at wimbledon, simply love the speed with which he plays, mesmerized with his ability to use a two handed or one handed backhand, most of all, his easy, spring-like serve and of course his brilliant hair management. he doesn’t grunt and he get’s on with it. almost anyone like dolgo unintimidated by top seeds, i cheer them on… even while he lost to llordra this morning.

congrats to llordra, he was too hot to beat in eastbourne!

all of the bandwagon hopping doesn’t mean i’m not a fan of roger federer first and foremost.

and whom i pick in the brackets has nothing to do with my personal favorite list.

nadal was a safe one to go with on clay and the way he is playing (forget about the loss to f-lo), nadal is the pick. nadal is not personal favorite. i’ve never been on his bandwagon.

cheers


dave Says:

And same paragraph, I meant to say 4.5 month period (from Jan 1 to mid May, 2009 before FO starts), not 3.5 month.


Purcell Says:

HuH at 6:14:
I admire your balanced views.
Surely from the sentence beginning………”To weather the storm……” you could equally use Federer’s name. Just a thought.


grendel Says:

Although Tennisfansince76 makes telling points in his reply to rogerafa, I go along with rogerafa and that this year is Nadal’s big opportunity to win the US. I said this before, though not as well as rogerafa. For me, the two main points are this:(1) Nadal and his team seem to have finally come to grips with the difficult problem of scheduling. The likelihood, so far as one can tell, is that Nadal will be fit and raring to go when New York comes round.(2) One cannot overestimate the importance of del Potro’s absence. Whereas players like Soderling and Davydenko are certainly dangerous to Nadal on the hard, del Potro is more than dangerous, he is favourite to beat Nadal.

By next year, not only will del Potro be back (hopefully) but there will be plenty of other real dangers to Nadal. For example, Gulbis may finally have matured, and he has the potential to be a much better hard court player than Nadal. So look to Nadal to go all out this autumn to capture New York. Instead of 4 slam Fed, 3 slam Nadal. Grrrr. Let’s hope Murray and Roddick get their acts together. Brad Gilbert, who is gushing over Nadal these days, doubtless with justification, always maintained (when he was Murray’s coach) that Murray’s best surface would prove to be grass.

Talking of Gulbis, like Madmax, I kind of felt he was unlikely to turn up. Nothing too psychic going on here, though. He has been injured, after all.


mem Says:

dave get some sleep darling, you have shown us the light, nadal is a cheater! and to think i’ve been living in darkness all this time. i actually thought nadal worked hard at his craft and fights hard on court to win. come to find out, he’s a cheater. words can’t express how disappointed i am to know that his success is based on cheating. shame on nadal for deceiving us like this and getting all these people riled up. thank you for opening our eyes to the truth. now, get some rest! try to enjoy the tournament, but don’t quit your day job!


Gordo Says:

Folks – for Heaven’s sakes, give it a rest!!!!

Are we really debating who is the better OFF-COURT champion between Roger and Rafa?

Can we not agree that the 2 best players in tennis are indeed class acts off the court and leave it at that? Once in a while each of them says the odd statement which occasionally may be read out of context. And yes, once in a while each may say something inappropriate. But overall these guys are as great ambassadors for the sport of tennis as any who have played the game.

Remember, we could be fans of golf and dealing with someone named Tiger.

:)


rogerafa Says:

“Rogerrafa – Nothing’s wrong with speculation as long as you don’t pretend it’s fact.”

I am stumped here. Cite some examples please. Please enlighten me. I am not claiming that I know exactly what Rafa thinks.I don’t think I went too far. Were my points that unreasonable? I can understand the self-righteous, patronizing and know-it-all attitude from immature kids on this blog but I expect better from you. Are you sure you follow your own sermons? Practice what you preach before coming out with terse lines like that. That is for those kids who don’t read properly and make or avoid arguments when it suits them. You have made some points which, in all probability, had very little to do with his loss to Soderling last year just going by the way that match went. I just took it as YOUR speculative opinion and did not accuse you of pretending that it was a “fact”.

Calling someone a complete idiot is not exactly the most civilized way of making your point when that person is, in spite of great and unjustified provocation from others of “your flock”, trying to make reasonably plausible arguments. The other person then ultimately has no choice but to quit or pay you back in the same coin. It should be avoided as far as possible and I don’t think Dave deserved this type of hostility. He is making some arguments before reaching a conclusion, contentious or otherwise, and not jumping to a conclusion and declaring that what he says is the only truth and nothing but the truth.


grendel Says:

Contador – only seen Dolgopolov once, and I agree, he looks a likely lad. Not afraid to announce his ambition, either, which evidently is to be #1. There don’t seem to be many new names at all, do there, only him and that Dimitrov, who’s a nice player. where are they all lurking?


mem Says:

contador, i know, you were never on the nadal bandwagon. nothing wrong with that, i’m sure there are plenty fans who are. from what i notice, you change bandwagons like i change clothes! i don’t take you serious!


contador Says:

ditto, i don’t take you serious either …..lol….we know each other too well, i imagine.

you are ever so clever and brilliant. and always right, might i add.


contador Says:

grendel-

i first noticed dolgo during the russian swing last fall- i think he played both moscow and st. petersburg. and yes, i’d have to go look it up but he isn’t afraid to “announce his ambition.”

i have seen him 4 times. he’s a tough one to catch. only when he’s played the bigger names does he get coverage. rafa v dolgo i thought was a better match than llordra today. dolgo never appeared all composure playing nadal and i thought he did well.

llordra is a different story. poor dolgo could not do anything with llorda’s big serve and great volleying. dolgo appeared down by the first games of the 2nd set.

he has a way to go. dolgo has a cool about him quite opposite of the colorful gulbis. both have promise. i’m always looking but haven’t seen dimitrov making the move up the rankings yet.

there is a young serbian player to watch- krajinovic, (sp) filip. he’s very young still but did well at the serbian open.


contador Says:

s/b dolgo never appeared to lose composure playing rafa.

and to add: he appeared confused and the quietly gave up against llordra.

plenty to ponder there. ; )


Kimmi Says:

contador – I heard a rumour in the last two or three days after he pulled out of boodles, that he might not play wimbledon, sad to read its now official, gulbis is out of wimbledon.

I am sad for gulbis as he was starting to make himself known, winning some big matches. I learn about gulbis in the last few months than any other player…and was looking forward to see him play at wimbledon. :)

I too wish him all the best in his recovery.


mem Says:

contador, thanks for the compliment! i feel honored coming from you!


contador Says:

me too Kimmi-

i like to think gulbis is down-playing when acts like he doesn’t care in his interviews. in his position, i might do the same thing in pressors. there could be a lot of undiesirable media and pressure on him if he admitted to taking his tennis seriously.

my fear is that he will drop out and regret it. he is capable of bringing so much to the tour, imo.

contador and Kimmi wishing gulbis a speedy recovery!

see you by the US Open, Ernie! c’mon!


contador Says:

ahhhh the sarcasm- genius mem


contador Says:

http://straightsets.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/19/roddicks-pre-wimbledon-thoughts/

the above is for roddick fans, if you have not read this.

i love what he answers to being asked if he has put last years’ final out of his mind.


contador Says:

i’ll just post it:

On whether he wanted to put the 2009 Wimbledon behind him: “I mean, I’ve been asked this question about 86,000 times since last year. But ‘put behind you,’ I don’t know exactly what that means. I’m always going to remember it. You don’t Jedi mind trick yourself into making it go away.”

andy roddick- best of luck to you!


Kimmi Says:

talking about jumping into bandwagons. I do to contador. I have not been on dolgo bandwagon yet, never seen him play. missed his match against nadal and llodra today…but great results in eastborne for the kid.

In the past I have been on Gulbis bandwagon (still is). Bellicci, de bakker and ofcourse hotsauce. Its all fun and great to see new talents coming up.

In verdasco case, I thought he has always had something special but his head was a problem..well, still is but has made major improvements since that davis cup win in 2008.

Since that murray big win in AO09, his first top10 win, he did not have any other top10 wins till this year, where he beat roddick, soderling, djokovic, Cilic. ofcourse i am still waiting for a day where he will beat Nadal, most of his interviews shows he does not believe he can do it which is sad..his compatriot F-lo eventually did it. still can’t believe it..lets hope f-lo win will give hotsauce some needed belief.

Anyways, looking forward to wimbledon. really, i don’t know what will happen there but I agree with you Nadal is on a roll right now. my two biggest followers are Muzza and fed of course..should be a cracker.


zola Says:

wow! some hot discussions are going on!

Anyway, this is a very nice article about Andy Roddick by Kamakshi Tandon:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/wimbledon10/columns/story?columnist=kamakshi_tandon&id=5297116

****
Two weeks ago, having arrived in England after a third-round exit at the French Open, Roddick appeared on the well-known British late-night talk show “Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.”

During the interview, Ross told his guest, “I know we’ve got Andy Murray, but I’d like to see you win Wimbledon this year, I really would, because I think you so deserved it last year.

******

for me, I really badly want Rafa to win his second Wimbledon, but if it is not Rafa, I hope it is Roddick. I totally agree with Tandon that the guy has deserved it more than once.


Anna Says:

Dave – My statement was PROBABLY more than anybody ever. Probably meaning in the ballpark. I wasn’t really looking for all those statistics, but 41-4 in 3.5 months for Nadal, is more than 38-3 in 4.5 months for Fed. The point I was trying to make is that exhaustion must have been a factor and you proved it with your stats. Thanks.

Rogerafa – Your post sounds more like a sermon than anything I’ve read so far. I do try to stay away from name calling because it’s demeaning, and that’s why I said “ANYONE who actually thinks a doctor from a country away can diagnose a patient and make any kind of relevant statement regarding their recovery is a complete idiot”. You can choose to think I’m the self-riteous one for making that statement, but if you believe it’s possible then being a complete idiot isn’t your worst problem.


contador Says:

Kimmi -

nothing at all wrong seeing bandwagons when looking at a draw, hehehe. me too, when bellucci and TDB are in the draw, i like it! as much as i love RF, it’s no longer tunnel vision that i had.

i’d like roddick to win but if andy murray won i’d certainly celebrate for him and the entire UK! i changed my mind on muzza when i saw him in tears at the AO trophy ceremony. bit i think he needs to beat federer in a slam to cure his mental block. roddick wants the chance. he was sooooo close.

hot sauce?i agree, the remedy imo for him is beating nadal in a slam, preferably a quarter or semi where the pressure is not as great as a final. i have my doubts that beating nadal in a 250 would cure his nadal fear. it’s too bad. fernando played the best tennis of his life in that AO semi, won more points, more winners and still lost. really devastating.

tx for that link, zola.


dari Says:

Pat rafter v. Pete Sampras 2000 Wimbledon is on tennis channel. Pat rafters pic was in my seventh grade locker! I wish roger’s backhand had the sting of Sampras’s now!


skeezerweezer Says:

@Dave,

Been reading your posts. Though I may agree or disagree with you is not the point. The point is you back up your posts with facts, stats and research that is surprisingly deep. Although some have brought great comments back at ya who are great posters here also, your argument is a tough fight unless some hair brain starts resorts to name calling or 12 yr old comments. You know who they are. Watch out for those, and ignore.

Great posts and keep the great posts coming.

Out


skeezerweezer Says:

Zola,

I agree with you. Except would like Fed to win ( of course ). But if Rafa/Fed are not there I am all in with Roddick too. He has actually had a great year since last Wimby, where he barely lost. Had a good AO run, won a HC Masters in Miami, beating your fav on the way. My issue with Roddick? Keep the trophy wife out of the stands, tooooo much distraction! lol….j/k


skeezerweezer Says:

@Anna

“Nothing’s wrong with speculation as long as you don’t pretend it’s fact.”

Shammmmonn! Put this one in the tennis-x archives!

“Classic”


contador Says:

yeah but, yeah but…..

when speculation becomes fact, it can be rewarding : )

dari-

was watching classic tennis today too. you caught the moment before the ceremony when rafter changes his shirt, no doubt. nadal-like crowd pleaser.

but the goat of sexy showed up to beat sampras, winning the 2000 us open, right?


skeezerweezer Says:

Fed and Rafa in Love?

WTF! Network has found puzzling findings that should shock the pro fed and pro rafa fans. Reports have come in from these fans hurling afer watching the video. Caution: not to be viewed by the faint at heart!

Could it be true?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgCz0BRraas&feature=related


skeezerweezer Says:

@Contador,

“when speculation becomes fact, it can be rewarding : )”…..

Well, I quit speculating once Skeezer did not win the FO like I predicted :). Apparently, I’m not good at it, I was a little off on my “speculation”, lol


Anna Says:

Who would have guessed my “terse” statement would become a tennisx classic. Wow, do I get a trophy for this or something?

Contador, Absolutely right. When speculation becomes fact it’s because you’ve pulled the right info together don’t you think? I can’t be the only one who thinks Tabloid fodder is garbage. Nor do I believe anyone here would try mailing in your symptoms to an unknown dr. a country away for a diagnosis.

Anyway, there’s an interview on Rafa Nadal.com that answers alot of the questions brought up here. Of course, if you think Rafa is a liar don’t bother.


Anna Says:

Skeeze – I had no idea it took so little to tickle you. As you like to say, “keep it comin”.


Twocents Says:

grendel,

I’m not faulting Nadal to say what he said. It’s not his fault that he has a super PR team. Too good, in fact, to be fair to other players on tour. I’m faulting you to buy what he said. I’m fully with you that champions are good to find execuses for their losses. But it does not mean that they need not to find the balance btw boosting their own confidence and giving their opponents credits.

Huh,

On “dark light” comments from Fed, like Nadal, he was replying a question from press. In fact, he refrained from replying the first two times it was asked, but let loose at their third bait. It again confirmed grendel’s point that champions find execuses to dismiss their losses. I’m fully with you that Fed got outplayed by Nadal in W08 final. It’s still amuses me to this date it’s called all time epic :-)). On the other hand, I don’t buy a bit that “dark lights” were the same for both players. It’s not. Fed’s offensive game, having razing thin margin, is much more vulnerable than Nadal’s high margin defensive game.
Of course, that’s not Nadal’s fault. But it’s an explaination why Fed felt lighting a big factor for his loss. Looks like Fed learnt his lesson: he mentioned the humid condition after RG loss but quickly added that conditions were the same for both players…

Did I think Nadal’s decision to withdraw from WO09 smart? Absolutely. Just like I thought it was very smart for him to pull out TMC08 to get more ready for AO09, his first ever HC slam win. But do I give “benefits of doubts” to a tennis player not to TRY to defend Wimbledon title and attend tour finale? Nope!

I’m with you that Roddick is the true gracious in defeat. And I would add that he’s also the most tough mentally, along with Leyton. It’s easy to be mentally tough when you’re always winning, or when you’re an up comer having nothing to lose. All these years losses, injuries, and ridicules, AFTER you were at the top, did we ever hear them wining? Never. They just dust themselves off and keep trying!

Dave,

I was at TMC05 final and TMC08 Fed matches. Too good to be true!


Von Says:

TwoCents: “I’m with you that Roddick is the true gracious in defeat. And I would add that he’s also the most tough mentally, along with Leyton. It’s easy to be mentally tough when you’re always winning, or when you’re an up comer having nothing to lose. All these years losses, injuries, and ridicules, AFTER you were at the top, did we ever hear them wining? Never. They just dust themselves off and keep trying!”

There ya go — that’s my/our puddles all the way. After all, the guy’s heart is as big as the great state of Texas!!!!!!


Von Says:

margot: Yes, one of the ands in the finals and no other will do. I’m thinking andy r and you’re thinking Andy M. let’s hope we meet at some point in between.

I’m still miffed with the Wimbles committee and their seeding> I wish they’d get their formula running correctly instead of taking little detours along the way.

________________
blank: I thought I would remiknd you of your promis because I saw you writing yoou’d like your fave to win. I’ll forgive you if you jumped back over though, because I want my fave to win also.

_______________
huh: Take it a little easy, hon. Don’t get too fired up, OK?


Von Says:

margot: my post should read, “Yes, one of the Andys ….

Sorry, but I’ll never earn my living typing. LOL.


Huh Says:

“I’m with you that Roddick is the true gracious in defeat. And I would add that he’s also the most tough mentally, along with Leyton. It’s easy to be mentally tough when you’re always winning, or when you’re an up comer having nothing to lose. All these years losses, injuries, and ridicules, AFTER you were at the top, did we ever hear them wining? Never. They just dust themselves off and keep trying!”

Wow, Mr.Twocents, great observation, very true! :)
Can’t agree more. Roddick and Hewitt are indeed given much less credit for their mental toughness than they deserve.


Huh Says:

Hi Mrs.Von! :P


Huh Says:

“There ya go — that’s my/our puddles all the way. After all, the guy’s heart is as big as the great state of Texas!!!!!!”

Hey Mrs.Von, great stylish and ornamental(if that’s what you call it in english) description of Rod. Indeed, one has to give Rod HUGE PROPS for being a courageous and gracious, not to mention intelligent man.


zola Says:

Skeezer,
lol to the link. too funny!

Have you seen this one on Fed-Sharapova? ( can it be? ….)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74e9yEy2oqI

I think there should be a buildup for a GS win. Some MS championships, GS finals maybe. And Roddick has all these. That’s why i think after Rafa and Fed, he deserves or is capable of winning Wimbledon. He has been in the final too many times.
I like Andy Murray and hope he can win a major very soon, but I don’t think it will be this one, even with the very easy draw.

Contador,
Glad you like the link. I thought that interview was very nice.
About Verdasco, the closest he came to beat Rafa was the AO semis in 2009. But his best was not good enough against Rafa and that can create a serious mental block. I think Rome 2006 had a similar effect on Fed to sme extent.


Huh Says:

Purcell:

Of course Purcell, agree with you that Fed has perfect ability to weather storms and tame hurricanes/tornadoes and he’s done that! The greatest quality of Fed(which is so common to the GREATEST OF CHAMPIONS) is that even when the whole world has discounted/dismissed him, Fed has not for a moment let his belief go, let his confidence shake or let doubts creep into his mind. STUFF OF LEGENDS!!!


Huh Says:

Hey Skeeze:

Fantastic Roger-Rafa video man, thanx!!!!!!!!!! :D


Huh Says:

Conty and Kimmi:

Enjoy your beautiful ride by being nice to most players and cheering for all, even though ‘first and formost’ for Fed! Like to take me along with you so that even I can have more pleasure?! :D


Huh Says:

Even though I like most to travel in Fed-Express, I also enjoy quality time in DelPo mail, Rod Mail, Hewitt mail, Murray mail and Nole mail. The humble, albeit nice and comfortable boats of Sod/Cilic/Tsonga also are also fun for a cruise from time to time!! :) :D


madmax Says:

I read this from the Telegraph this morning, an exclusive interview with Pete Samprass and his thoughts on Roger and his campaign to win Wimbledon – it’s a great read and also has some stats towards the end of the interview.

Morning everyone!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/rogerfederer/7840429/Wimbledon-2010-Pete-Sampras-tips-Roger-Federer-to-win-10-Wimbledon-titles.html


madmax Says:

Dave,dave Says:

Huh: “Dave: I would not ask Nadal to learn from Fed about not how to accept/talk about defeat as I think that the excuse which Fed gave about losing the WIM 08 to Nadal ‘over a bit of light’ was a historic(and LAME) excuse. I could see it despite being a staunch Fed fan that Nadal was simply outplaying Fed for most part of the match…”

dave, morning.

11 million people watched that wimbledon final in 2008 – and I think you need to look at the video interview straight after the match when fed was asked questions about the light/darkness.

He “shrugged his shoulders”.

UK broadcasters were saying (I dont know whether you are from UK?) that the match should have been stopped and it was too dark, but it was the problem of televising the match and having a “people’s monday” not forecast, so they needed to finish off the match. The only light on the court was from the cameras – what we saw as viewers – appeared lighter – because of the flashes/lens. It was dark.

Both men were “simply out of this world” and that was the headline in the Independent – It was a battle of the champions, so for you to describe this epic match as “nadal simply outplaying federer for most of the match is just not indicative of this wonderful match”.

Let me quote you some of the things that were said about this match:

Sheer and utter class, style to please an angel, technical magnificence, quality as well as drama, sen-frickin’sational. Young Gods on the way to the Pantheon. Federer was simply brilliant, the pair are not far apart, and it goes on.

So let’s talk about the big points.

The match points against Fed. The mini-breaks you need to steal to keep in the fight.

Twice towards the end of the fourth set, Federer was two points from defeat, including at 0-30 on his own serve with Nadal 2-1 up in sets and 5-4. But he got back into it. He got to the breaker, where Nadal led 5-2, against just two points from victory. And later he had two match points, at 7-6 and 8-7. The passing shots in that period from Federer were extraordinary.

Earlier in the third set break Federer showed his mettle and his quality by going 4-2 up on a mini-break, where he ran around the ball and just hit the bejesus out of it. He hit a forehand winner to the corner, and then another ace to seal that set.

This was a close match. To say otherwise demeans it.

As for the light/darkness issue – take a look at the FO a month ago, when earlier on in the evening, two matches were “postponed” until the following day – Murray had a fit when he was playing against Fish,argued with the umpire to continue – did Murray have a point? Yes he did, but it was the umpire’s decision in the end. I believe that match finished at 8pm – correct me if I am wrong – Wimbledon went on until 9.16 pm.The other FO match I was referring to was being played on the Suzanne Lenglen court and I forget the two players Fognini I think and his opponent – name escapes me – Fognini match stopped at 8.57 pm Murray’s stopped half an hour earlier.

Federer had a point about the darkness but took nothing away from Rafa. You need to look at the interview again, and this point needs to be made clearer.

Cheers dave.


guy Says:

to dave and all other morons claiming nadal faked his injury to avoid wimbledon, explain the motive.
to lose his no.l? to miss one of his favourite tournaments? to sit home and play playstation?
you have no argument.

dave you claim nadal had time to recover before wimbledon based on speculation from some other doctors in the uk. people that have nothing to do with nadal and are simply guessing how he feels.

even if they were correct, do you understand that recovery means not playing and that there is an extensive period of rehab that takes place after healing? in other words you can’t just wake up in ’3.5′ weeks, healed, and play professional tennis.

then you claim he could at least recover by the second week, so should have played. how stupid are you? do you understand that recovery means NOT PLAYING.
do you think somebody can recover while playing a tournament? wow.

why did nadal play the exos? to see if there was any way he could play, that’s why. because when you’re about to lose your title and no.1 by missing wimbledon, you generally try your best to make an appearance.
it doesn’t prove he was healthy. it’s called testing the waters. if you think playing exos is the same as 5set grand slam tennis over two weeks, you really have no idea.


Eskay Says:

With Gulbis out, Rafa has a clearer path to quarters. John Isner may be the first serious challenge. Federer’s first hiccup could be Berdych. Andy M will get a serious challenge from Tsonga, if he is fit. One of these three is likely to lift the title.


Kimmi Says:

Philipp Petzschner GER (33) is taking gulbis spot. I wonder where he was drawn previously..


zola Says:

Eskay,
I think Nishikori will be the first serious challenge. He is a very good player and very aggreassive. For a first match, it can be really difficult for Rafa. Of course Isner is a great threat as well. He has the serve and the movement. But I agree that with Gulbis sitting outh, Rafa’s work is not a bit easier.
Best wishes to Gulbis for a speedy recovery and comeback. Hopefully in the US Open he will land in Fed’s half!

Murray talks about the pressure of winning Wimbledon. I agree. It has been too much pressure on him and honstly the Queen watching his matches may not make it easier for him!

http://blog.taragana.com/sports/2010/06/20/murray-says-he-fears-becoming-wimbledon-champ-113370/


NELTA Says:

Kimmi Says:
Philipp Petzschner GER (33) is taking gulbis spot. I wonder where he was drawn previously..

June 20th, 2010 at 9:41 am
————————————————-
Petzscher was previously an unseeded player in Djoko’s quarter facing Carol Beck in the 1st round, possibly Monfils in the 2nd then Hewitt in the 3rd. Now he could face Nadal in the 3rd round. Santiago Ventura took Petzschner’s old spot.


Eskay Says:

Zola,
Thanks for faith in Nishikori. Infact a few years back when he burst on the scene, he showed the promise of becoming a great player. But injuries have taken their toll. He does not have a different game to cause an upset. But Isner has big serve, which can cause trouble to anybody, especially in a tie break. With Isner and Karlovic, the possibilities of tie breaks are more.Isner has other game also, unlike Karlovic who has now become a bit slow for volley after his big serve. Isner is young and hungry for success, though the same can not be said of Blake now. I feel that Isner and Querrey are going to make a quite few heads turn in 1-2 years.


Huh Says:

Maxi:

If you really think that Fed was playing close to his best in WIM 08 Final, then I guess, we must agree to disagree. It’s another thing that despite playing below his best and Nadal playing ‘the match of his life’, Fed still could make that match one of the matches of all time. If anything, this rather indicates how great really Fed is, who could keep things so close (despite playing below-par by his standards) against a 5 yrs younger and in-form rival of the caliber of Nadal ! If you think in a cool mind, you’d realise that it’s rather a compliment from me to Fed and NOT a potshot at him. :)


Kimmi Says:

NELTA – thats great for monfils and hewitt coz Petzschner is no easy on grass. he has a beutiful slice that i saw when playing federer in Halle.

but for Nadal, he will definetly be easier than gulbis.


Huh Says:

That WIM 08 final is however admittedly a memorable match for me from one angle, i.e. that was probably the best ever gutsy display from Fed in the face of adversity. Fed may have lost that match to Rafa, but he confronted Rafa like only an injured tiger would! Win or lose, I’m glad Fed went down fighting like a Spartan to arguably another Spartan-like fighter in Rafael Nadal that day.


Huh Says:

BTW, only if Fed had not mentioned losing the WIM final ‘over a bit of light’ on being prompted by the clever media, then I’m sure he’d have sounded even more graceful.


Anna Says:

Guy,
Good post, but on this sight your sentiments are not popular. Hope you know the duck and cover routine.

Zola,
John I. is definitely a threat to anyone, but less so at a slam because he seems to tire pretty readily. I saw him and Rafa play at IW this year and John seemed to fold with Rafa’s first break. I’m thinking Rafa will probably meet Youzney in the round of 16.


Huh Says:

Of course, I must mention here that Fed is entitled to give his opinion and he did just that in WIM 08. Most of the people didn’t complain(but some also did), even I didn’t at that time as it’s understandable how painful it must be for a great champion like Fed to face such a tough defeat on his fave turf. He needed to convince himself that he wasn’t outplayed in toto by Rafa, coz if he’d have accepted Rafa as a better player that day or on the day he lost AO 09 to him, it’d have been tough for Roger to compete again as defeatist tendency’d have overtaken his winning attitude. Hence I perfectly cut him slack then and I wouldn’t further criticise Fed from now onwards re: that. Let the matter end here with that fantastic quote which Grendel gave:

champs always will find excuses on loss.


DN Says:

I think that Fed will most likely advance to the finals without much of a challenge. He will arrive at the semis with the advantage, because the other 3 guys (Djokovik, Hewitt, Andy R) will have less on their tank due to their positions in the draw. Of course, this is assuming that everyone will play their best:)
I don’t think this will help Fed in the finals though, not a good prep for me.


NELTA Says:

At the beginning of the FO one of the commentators was mentioning a talk he had with either Toni Nadal or someone else in the Nadal camp(can’t remember). One of the 1st things they were looking for in the draw was to see where Isner was. That tells you the Nadal camp respects how dangerous Isner can be even if we are talking about clay where Isner’s chances of beating Nadal are very slim.

It’s just not a pleasant experience playing someone with that type of serve especially since the rest of his game is better than Karlovic. It will be interesting to see if he can solve the grass puzzle. His only win on grass was against Kevin Anderson. He has losses to Gulbis, Norman, Stepanek, Levine and Mahut. That’s a 1-5 overall grass record. He’s never won a match at Wimbledon.

There’s no doubt Isner’s serve is going to be tough, but what will determine his success this year on grass will be his return of serve and movement. I looked back at the stats for those 6 matches and realized he only broke serve once against Kevin Anderson. He was shut out in all the other matches, no breaks. In quite a few of them he didn’t even have a single break point.

Isner won’t a have a chance of winning 3 matches and then facing Nadal if he isn’t able to make some inroads on his opponent’s serve games.


Janadev Says:

Gents,

It looks like unless we stop the discussion on this thread, tennis-x is not ready to post their next blog with Wimblodon picks and predictions ;-)


grendel Says:

Twocents

I am reluctant to get into an argument, because I think my position is probably pretty close to yours. Re Roddick, on another site, I said he was, after Nadal the mentally toughest on tour. A poster responded by asking how I knew. I admitted I had no knowledge as such, I used my eyes. Hewitt, too, is a bonny fighter. Really, though, I distrust these kind of all embracing superlatives, and regret that I am sometimes guilty of them. They are a constant temptation, for some reason. I remember as a kid I used to puzzle over whether Beethoven was greater than Mozart, until a musician’s contemptuous dismissal of such a childish quandary put me in my place.

The fact is toughness, like any other attribute, can manifest itself in all sorts of ways, and sometimes is to be seen in players that would not normally come to mind – and vica versa. I’ve seen Nadal, and Roddick and Federer wilt. Also, as you imply, it is difficult to disentangle a player’s mental strengths from the situations he finds himself in. Perhaps less loaded than “mental toughness” is the ability to maintain focus for long periods. Some people can do this more readily than others, and it is arguable that those who are easily distracted but make a determined effort to conquer their distractions are the real tough ones. Their battles are with themselves.

That Nadal is stage-managed is quite obvious. I thought that business about the “recorder” was slightly sinister, or absurd anyway. But I had two or three aims in reproducing the interview. Partly I wished to try to come to terms with my own instinctive dislike of him, simply because it is uncomfortable. So I was looking for some human qualities, and thought I found them. I also wanted to convey to this site how much Nadal values Wimbledon, more than any other tourney; it is, after all, often said of Federer that he is a different man at Wimbledon, his first and most important love so to speak. Well, the same seems to be true of Nadal, and so far as I can see, his desire to win Wimbledon will be as strong as, if not stronger than, Federer’s or Roddick’s.

The Murray bit – I didn’t actually pay it much attention. I’m not quite sure what you mean by I “buy” Nadal’s version. That he thinks he would have been in with a shot of winning is surely true. Perhaps it would have been more gentlemanly not to have said this, and it is certainly out of keeping with the “modesty” which he carefully cultivates. But I prefer it when Nadal is unthinkingly honest like that. The man is a ferocious competitor; that he is a nice man off court I have come to believe. But where tennis is concerned, he has a killer instinct, and his ambition is, at the very least, as boundless as Federer’s, and a great deal more single-minded in my opinion. He will allow nothing to get in the way of fulfilling these goals. You need to peer beneath the camouflage if you want the truth, but at the same time one has to admit that as a natural phenomenon, Nadal is extraordinary.


Eskay Says:

@Nelta,
Its a revelation for me that Rafa’s camp was concerned about Isner’s draw at F.O. His chances of causing an upset are more in a three match format. IMO serving an ace to Rafa or Roddick is easier than serving to Roger. But Isner is not a good mover, as are not most of the towering players. Rafa and Roger create angles, though in different ways, which would be difficult to counter unless you move as well as top players do. Mentally too, Isner is not yet there in the league of top ten players. He can cause a serious challenge, but upset is not expected.


Huh Says:

“I also wanted to convey to this site how much Nadal values Wimbledon, more than any other tourney; it is, after all, often said of Federer that he is a different man at Wimbledon, his first and most important love so to speak. Well, the same seems to be true of Nadal, and so far as I can see, his desire to win Wimbledon will be as strong as, if not stronger than, Federer’s or Roddick’s.”

Grendel, you’re spot on! Can’t agree more about Nadal’s love for WIM. Nadal too LOVES WIM!


Kimmi Says:

we did not hear from Isner breakthru until last year US open series. Since then he has continued to shine. obviously his best surface is HC. won his first title this year in new zealand.

1-5 grass record. wow! i expect him to do better this year though it will be tough to get to the fourth round. too many obstacles in that group.. as someone mentioned above, it looks like youznhy might come good. thanks for the stats NELTA


Huh Says:

FINE POST GRENDEL, FINE POST!


Eskay Says:

Isner will find it difficult to reach the position to face Rafa. Infact, T.D. Bakker is a tenacious player and getting past him can be rather difficult. But mere baseliners can not trouble Rafa much. Only hard hitters can do that and if such hard hitters are canon servers too, Rafa would be in trouble. There are none upto q.f stage. Sod on his day can cause upset in q.f., if it is bad day for Rafa at the same time.


madmax Says:

Huh Says:
Maxi:

If you really think that Fed was playing close to his best in WIM 08 Final, then I guess, we must agree to disagree. It’s another thing that despite playing below his best and Nadal playing ‘the match of his life’, Fed still could make that match one of the matches of all time.

huh,

only just seen your post – i think its semantics huh.

I didnt actually say he (fed) was playing “close to his best”. I didnt say that Huh.

I think your point was that rafa outplayed roger. I disagreed with that in terms of the whole match. It was very close. That was my point. I personally didn’t think that rafa outplayed roger. I thought the match was very close and the big points showed the mighty fed’s grit and determination. That was my point. Your point (having read your earlier post when you said rafa outplayed roger), didn’t do the whole match justice (in my view). Of course we will disagree over this – and that’s fine. :) always will be.

I provided a bit more indepth analysis on it, nothing more than that Huh. I am trying to get into the analysis side of it more, looking at the shots/statistics that was all.

Cheers huh and will sign on later.


NELTA Says:

@Eskay,

Agreed. Just to expand on what I was saying I think what the Nadal camp meant is that they would prefer that Nadal play clay court type players like a Montanes or Ferrero especially in the early rounds of the FO rather than Isner or even a guy like Ljubicic who could keep the match closer with big serving.

Interesting dynamics on the whole serve/return of serve between Fed/Rafa/Roddick. Fed’s strength is diffusing pace on the return and he has great range in defending those down the center bombs Roddick hits from both the deuce and ad court which are more often aces against Rafa. However, 2009 Wimby was the most difficult time I have seen Fed have with Roddick’s serve.

Fed’s weakness on return is generating pace off the backhand. If you have an average to weak 2nd serve you just have to get it to Fed’s backhand and you won’t get hurt on the return. Once in a while Fed will do a big run around and smack a forehand. Roddick handles Rafa’s 2nd serve a little better. He punches that compact 2-handed backhand back up the middle. It’s nothing special, but it’s a little better than what Fed does IMO.

Roddick’s reaction time isn’t great on the return of serve so Fed’s high level of accuracy on the serve is a problem for him. It’s one of the reasons Fed almost always hits more aces than Roddick when they play each other.

Rafa’s serve is more about high percentage rather than going for the lines like Fed so this helps Roddick who has a slower reaction time. He is able to get a shot at returning more of Rafa’s serves then Fed’s who goes for the ace every time on the 1st serve.

Rafa’s return has improved the last few years and he seems to be getting more returns in play especially against Fed. He likes to play deep which gives him time to get his racket on a lot of Fed 1st serves. Playing deep also gives you a chance to notice if your opponent is rushing the net. Ever notice how Rafa hits looping returns then when his opponent does a serve and volley somehow the return ends up short at the server’s feet? It wasn’t an accident.


madmax Says:

This is what Federer said about Murray today in a press conference (reported by sportinglife).

Also roddick comments at the very end of the report.

Defending champion Roger Federer believes Andy Murray’s Grand Slam pedigree will ensure he is a major challenger for the Wimbledon title despite a poor run of form.

The world number four has failed to get past the quarter-finals in any tournament since losing to Federer in his second major final at the Australian Open in January.

The Swiss star and world number three Novak Djokovic find themselves in a similar boat, and Federer feels the British fans have plenty of cause for optimism.

“I think, regardless of what happened between here and the Australian Open, Andy is one of the big favourites for this tournament,” he said.

“It’s been for me, for Djokovic and for Murray to some degree a bit of a disappointing last few months. But I think Murray also played incredible tennis at the Australian Open.

“So here we are again at grand slam play. You have to maybe ignore a little bit what happened in between and remember the last time you played a best-of-five-sets match. This is when he was very tough.

“I think that’s why maybe it favours the big guys. Andy’s obviously one of them.”

Federer was at his imperious best in Melbourne but, hampered by illness immediately after the Australian Open, his form also dropped off and he has failed to win a title since.

His incredible run of consecutive grand slam semi-finals ended at 23 with defeat by Robin Soderling at the French Open but final appearances in Madrid and Halle have hinted at a return to something like his best.

The 28-year-old admitted his slump came as something of a surprise, saying: “(The year) started great with playing so well in Australia. I really played some of the best tennis of my life. I’ve been disappointed I wasn’t able to carry on.

“I know my game, my body and everything so well that I really expected to take off and just go on a tear after that. Maybe the lung infection did throw me back a bit, not having played so much through March and April.

“It hurt. It was disappointing. But I think I found my game again in Madrid. I played well there and in Paris. In Halle I think the performances were good. That’s why I’m confident for Wimbledon.”

Federer goes into his first round match against Alejandro Falla on Monday as the top seed but only as world number two, with Rafael Nadal having overtaken his great rival after regaining his French Open crown.

With the Spaniard having missed Wimbledon last year through injury, he is guaranteed to hold onto top spot irrespective of results at the All England Club. Federer, though, insists it is not a major blow.

“It doesn’t change a whole lot,” he added. “It’s about winning Wimbledon again. Mentally I didn’t go crazy after my loss at the French. It was all digested very quickly.”

Much has been made of the apparent generational shift in tennis, with Federer, the Williams sisters and Francesca Schiavone all winning grand slam titles in their late 20s and fewer teenagers making their mark.

The man Federer beat in the Wimbledon final last year, Andy Roddick, begins his bid to go one better against Rajeev Ram on Monday, and he believes it is all about the individual players.

The 27-year-old said: “It’s cyclical. Three years from now it could be different. I remember two, three years ago when obviously Rafa (Nadal) was still being Rafa, Murray was establishing himself and Djokovic was establishing himself, all the talk was of the young guys coming through. Now it’s pushing back.

“The bottom line is, regardless of what year you were born in, if you can play, you have a place in the game. That’s the way I view it.”


contador Says:

hi Huh!

sure, i get on all the band wagons, rollercosters, whatever you call it! and if you don’t, i will try to do my best to coax or bribe you onto a rollercoaster or two! for me, it’s natural to watch for something special in every player. no betrayal of sentiment intended : )

now if mirka started jumping up and down cheering for delpo, roddick or gulbis? that would be odd. ; )

i mention the above 3 because in each case i cheered for them to take a set off fed and make a match of it! oops. two of the 3 ended up winning!

*sigh*…but i have yet to watch anyone who comes close to approaching what federer does with his tennis racquet with such grace and style.

zola-

thanks for sending best wishes to gulbis : )
****************
don’t be down long ernie! the draw is not as exciting without you!!
*******************
anna-

i think i know you from that other tennis talking site. if you are who i think you are, nice to read you here. i know you are a rafa fan and federer is not a favorite but you are fair and sensible, not to mention knowledgeable. very nice to see you : )

i’m studying the draw and i have somewhat improved, i think: did well in the rome bracket challenge; not so hot in the madrid one. in each case, in fact all clay court season, the ultimate winner was kinda a “no brainer,” but along the way there gulbis and some others threw out surprises. verdasco disappointed again in madrid.

recently on grass, aside from hewitt, federer, llordra, stakhovsky, querrey, fish, and tipsy all looked great. ( speaking of quick reaction time: dogopolov had it against rafa’s serve on clay and i wish he was in federer’s quarter; that would be fun. fed has not met him. ) dolgo was lost however against llordra’s serve. it’s was a decent beginning though.

monf did well at exo boodles but…he is too inconsistent to consider a threat on a wimbledon stage, imo.

not counting out murray, roddick, nole and cilic- i hope they all show up with their best games.

i can’t see isner challenging rafa too much in a 5 setter but his game is a problem for lots of guys in two or three sets.

oh no, wimbledon 2008 is being shown on ESPN classic.

i prefer wimbledon 2006 and 2007. hmm, wonder why.


contador Says:

i can’t decide who in murray’s quarter will come through to meet him.

likely will be verdasco or tsonga but GGL also did surprisingly well on grass….as did sergiy

liking murray’s chances to get to the semi

murray in the semi v nadal…

i said last year: if murray got to the semi, he would win wimbles. right.

c’mon andy.

good chance federer make the semi-final. could be an upset along the way? federer c’mon!

djoko and roddick definitely have the worst draw, imo. maybe cilic will not have the form he had on grass last year. roddick likely makes it to quarter to meet djoko or hewitt, i can’t decide which. then it’s tough to decide if roddick makes it past djoko or hewitt.

toughest quarter to pick, i think.

waiting to read more from the objective “experts” on tennis x.


grendel Says:

great post by NELTA, very informative. If I cld enter a quibble or two. Steve Tignor said last year that Roddick’s mien against Fed (in the final)was totally different from usual. Calm, composed, concentrated, the man was imbued with an air of purpose and determination not to be distracted by anything. This was true, only trouble is, that was not the first time – Roddick had been like this with Fed at least twice before, probably because he had finally come to believe he could win. But this co-incides – imo – with Federer no longer being able to read the Roddick serve. This change did not start in last year’s final, I don’t think.

Concerning which, I have a suggestion, which I am just throwing out since I have absolutely no idea if it’s correct. Eurosport did a long interview with Safin in a documentary on him just prior to his triumphant return to tennis following a long lay off (he proceeded to reach the final of the AO). Safin mentioned, among other endearing things, like nobody likes to work (wink),that he felt a certain frustration because his eye was just not quite up to scratch. I imagine it’s the sort of slowing down too slight to be spotted by an optician, but possibly critical at the highest level in tennis. There are those on this site who have pooh-poohed the idea of Federer slowing down due to age – olympic sprinters are sited and so on. This misses the point that the chief slowing down is likely to be mental – the ability to maintain focus for extended periods will certainly have diminished. But I wonder, following Safin, if Federe’s eye has just deteriorated ever so slightly. Just a thought.

One other point. Whereas NELTA’s point about Fed’s return of serve on bh being relatively harmless and not designed for offensive purpose is well taken,, that isn’t always so. There was one game in the final set at Wimbie in 2008 when Fed had Nadal at love thirty on his serve (I’m not referring to the break point game). One of the returns of serve was a powerful bh which did for Nadal. But at 0-30, Fed went back to passive returning and completely surrendered the iniative. And I don’t recall that particular serve of Nadal’s as being particularly short, and due for treatment. I may be wrong, but it suggests that Fed may have the ability to hit harder on his bh return but chooses, on the whole, not to. I wonder.

I greatly enjoyed NELTA’s point about Nadal’s looping return landing at the serve and volleyer’s feet. If Nadal really does have a handle on Fed’s serve, Federer must be regretting his is not one of the faster ones. Noone ever got a handle on Sampras’ serve.


Huh Says:

Well, I went to WIM website and saw the photo of Roddick there and I almost cried coz I really kinda saw some pain in the eyes of the guy(Rod) wanting WIM so much, but fate’s been denying it to him and Roger’s the agent of fate who’s prevented him from winning a single WIM, even though he (Rod) thoroughly deserves one. I swear my unconditional support to Rod should he face Fed in the quarters. And I again swear I want none other than Roddick to win this year’s WIM. All my hopes are for Roddick, I am praying for him to win the WIM, realise his dream, make me relieved for once and for all time.

God bless Roddick, may he please win the WIM!


madmax Says:

Nelta,

I am enjoying reading your posts as you give me lots of things to think about, but from a different perspective to mine.

Federer’s serve is one of the best in the game. It’s not all about speed off his serve all of the time. It’s about placement. And his placement is pretty perfect. Therefore, his sight seems pretty good to me. Also, I think you have to consider other points to take into account.

You say potentially, “eyesight”, “could” have been a factor. Quite possibly. But also you could argue the fading light, a momentary lapse, a tiredness creeping in? who knows?

I think this age argument with federer is not warranted, (that’s personally how I feel). Though not a professional athlete, my eyesight 10 years on from what it was has remained exactly the same. 20/20 vision. Age does not mean you suddenly “lose it”. In fact, you can get better with age in lots of ways, especially in sport. It’s down to motivation in my view.

Federer’s hand/eye co-ordination is exquisite. His problems regarding consistency I would say are more to do with mental walkabouts at key moments, not about his eyesight/game or tactics. Along with Murray, he has to be the best strategist on court.

He has said in his press conference today “I know I can beat anybody on any given day”. He believes this wholeheartedly, and this is what I like about Federer – that he has the confidence in his own ability to go out and play his game.

I dont think there is any one favourite right now. I think there are 4 or 5 players who have been up for discussion as “the” favourite. But Federer has made his intentions clear. I wish him all the best.

He has had and is still having a glorious career.I hope this continues for the rest of the tournament. I just think his philosophy right now is to focus on his first match tomorrow against Falla and that is his only priority right now.


tennislover Says:

Great post indeed by NELTA!

“….But this co-incides – imo – with Federer no longer being able to read the Roddick serve. This change did not start in last year’s final, I don’t think…”

I agree with you that Federer was not able to read the Roddick serve that day. Stefanki has worked on the Roddick serve emphasizing more on placement and a bit more variety with some compromise on power. Roddick is thus able to serve an even higher percentage of first serves and still has the option of the big serve when he needs it. I suspect it also had something to do with taking care of Roddick’s shoulder. He had that shoulder issue in 2008. Why go full throttle all the time when you can do with much less and conserve your energy.

I am not sure if I can put a finger on when Federer started having trouble reading Roddick’s serve although it is definitely of recent origin i.e. 2008 onwards but then again, Federer’s return game has deteriorated considerably during the same period notwithstanding some extremely sharp performances on some occasions. This inconsistency has hurt Federer badly in many big matches against a variety of players and not just Roddick. I think his eyes are alright. The fact that he can still produce the occasional sharpness on returns suggests it is more a question of focus.

I totally agree with you that his “ability to maintain focus for extended periods will certainly have diminished.” This is something I feel very strongly about. He was, of course apart from Nadal, the only player capable of maintaining focus for almost the whole length of a best of five match. This is an extremely crucial aspect for success at slams. Del Potro has shown this trait imo but it is early days. The slight dip in focus has led to Federer giving chances to his opponents to elongate the matches if not always win. His matches have more momentum shifts and ups and downs than before. That killing instinct has diminished just a wee bit but that probably makes all the difference in cut-throat competition. He used to be a great frontrunner. I am not sure that is the case now. I also think that the lack of focus is a factor in his relative inability to make tactical adjustments during a match. Not that it was ever a very strong point for him.

I wonder if his generally brilliant performance in Australia was an aberration in a reasonably long-term trend of decline. I suppose only time will tell if it gave false hopes to his fans. Federer himself felt that he had recovered his movement quite a lot, the loss(quarter/half step)of which has been cited as one of the main factors behind his decline.

I also agree that he can hit his bh returns hard and, for some reason,doesn’t do it although I think he is not aggressive enough even on the fh side. It seems inexplicable to me when he goes for the block returns on second serves even on very crucial points. On the whole, his return game, especially the drive returns, must improve if he has to remain a major force because his serve itself tends to go off the boil more frequently than he would like it to. He is just not able to put as much pressure on his opponent’s serve as he used to do. This makes a big difference because the Federer of yore gave very little breathing space to his opponents. Agassi said as much while comparing him with Sampras…..

I have always thought that his inability to serve a very fast serve really lets him down against the better returners especially on big points. I guess he can’t possibly have everything. He’d be virtually invincible then.


Keith Says:

“I thought that business about the “recorder” was slightly sinister, or absurd anyway.”

Why would you think so? There’s a simplest of explanations: getting ready to leave, Nadal picked up everything from the table, including, by mistake, the recorder BELONGING TO THE INTERVIEWER.

“Picking up his wallet, Blackberry, mobile phone and – to this interviewer’s consternation – the recorder taping our conversation,…”


NELTA Says:

Nice posts guys. I agree with ‘tennislover’ that 2008 was probably the time when Andy got some hope. He beat Fed in Miami for the 1st time since 2003! He also played him very tight on clay in Madrid which is just as telling. Fed’s problem returning Roddick’s serve at Wimby 2009 just stood out for me, but the seed may have already been planted.

Whether it’s something physical like you suggested Grendel, it’s hard to tell. When does the ability of the eye to track a 135mph serve and transmit the coordinates to the brain so you can react start to slow? There’s very little margin for error in such a high speed event. My guess is this is not the reason otherwise baseball players wouldn’t be able to hit anymore in their 30s. I think the messages being sent from the eye and brain are fine, but there will come a point where your brain will tell the legs to react to a serve and the legs won’t respond as quickly.

Fed did get his racket on a lot of Roddick serves in that 2009 Wimby. Roddick only had 27 aces in 38 service games. That’s 1 ace every 1.40 service games. In their 2007 USO match that Fed one in straight sets Roddick had 14 aces in only 16 service games which is a ratio closer to almost an ace every game(and that’s on hard court, not grass). When Roddick played Nadal in Miami this year he averaged slightly more than 1 ace per service game.

It could be Roddick is using more variety on serve so he has fewer aces, but is keeping Fed off balance a little. If you vary the speed and spin of the 1st serve it will be more difficult to return consistently. Fed blocked a lot of returns just long or wide in that match. He just couldn’t find the range.


NELTA Says:

Madmax,

I think you are responding to Grendel’s post, not mine. He brought up the issues you are responding to.


grendel Says:

Keith, on reflection, I think you are probably right. Thanks for the correction.


Anna Says:

Contador, I would like to be that fair minded and knowledgeable person from that “other” tennis site but I’m not. I do read that site as well as others from time to time and their is alot of Rafa love there, but for whatever reason I do my commenting here. In spite of being a Nadal fan I like the diversity on this sight, and honestly I was a Fed fan long before I knew about Rafa and sites like tennisx. Roddick is an old sentimental favorite (all american – the good, the bad, the ugly)and for no reason I’m aware of I find myself rooting like crazy for Cilic, but there’s not alot of discussion about Marin. Anyway, I do enjoy
your posts, your humor and your ability to keep it light.


Von Says:

“Roddick is an old sentimental favorite (all american – the good, the bad, the ugly…”

How about if we leave out the “ugly” part. Roddick is anything but *ugly*. Bad, well, he’s a hot-head, but there are many bad ones on the tour, (it would be boring if they were all saints) except that Roddick is an American, and does not mince his words, nor does he speak/mumble under his breath, but out aloud. Added to that, the focus is always on the Americans. Anyway, good to know you like Hugo Montenegro’s music and maybe the movie as well.


NELTA Says:

Grendel,

I agree with what you are saying on Fed’s backhand. It’s not that he can’t be more aggressive. It’s just that normally he isn’t. Fed has an edge against most players from the back of the court so it doesn’t make sense for him to go for a relatively low percentage backhand return. He doesn’t have that edge against Nadal so it is worth it to be more aggressive against Nadal’s 2nd serve.

Fed does not have a natural power backhand like Gasquet, Almagro or Wawrinka so if the 2nd serve gets up on him he can’t muscle the return effectively. It’s actually very difficult for anyone to hit a high one handed backhand with power. You have to step in and take it on the rise before it gets up to shoulder level. You can forget about doing that against Roddick. He will just hit his 2nd serve into the body if you creep in too close on the return.

Nadal’s 2nd serve spins away from the backhand and as you are preparing for the return you don’t know exactly where the contact point will be. With a 2-handed backhand that isn’t a problem because you can make minor adjustments in the stroke even after you have committed to the shot.(think Nalby and Davy) 2 hands on the racket gives you that flexibility. With a one handed backhand you can’t do that. Once you start a power swing if the ball ends up being a little further away then you expected you usually end up with a shank. With one hand on the racket you can’t effectively alter a topspin swing once it is in forward motion.


Twocents Says:

I’m sorry I have to let it out here:

There was a comprehensive graph on the Wall Street Journal about USA vs Slovania match. While Slov had a good 1st half and USA a good 2nd half, USA had overall 13 shots and 49min ball possession, compared to Slov’s 8 shots and 43min possession. So USA did have a slight edge, on top of the turn around of momentum in 2nd half.

Our boys deserved that winning goal!


Twocents Says:

grendel,

Quality post, as usual. It’s tough to compare apple to orange, i.e., player A’s situation to player B’s. Each to their own. Let’s judge not, that we be not judged.

Just for fun, about your conclusion that “his desire to win Wimbledon will be as strong as, if not stronger than, Federer’s or Roddick’s”, that’s perceivable. But in the end, it’s not what one wants, but what one does. I’m pretty sure that neither Fed nor Roddick would have withdrawn Wimbledon09, if they were in Nadal’s shoe. You need to carry these two off CC on a stretcher.


Anna Says:

Von,
“Ugly” doesn’t refer to Andy’s looks. He’s a handsome guy. It’ refers to a way American’s are sometimes perceived by outside cultures. The Ugly American was required reading in college lit classes for quite awhile. The ugly American is pushy, loud and overly agressive and maybe I’m a little bit sensitive, but I sometimes see Andy pushing that envelope. My truth is that every society has some “ugly” more or less and the good in Andy certainly outweighs (by far) any other qualities, and if I needed somebody to watch my back Andy R. would be the one.

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