Wimbledon 2010 – Thoughts on Week I
by Dan Martin | June 27th, 2010, 6:52 am
  • 80 Comments

The Battle of 70-68

The biggest story of the first week has to be John Isner and Nicolas Mahut’s surreal three day struggle. The level of play did not reach the heights of the previous three men’s championship matches. However, play is the operative word that has me marveling what they did and also lauding it as a historically significant occasion. Whether it is tennis, some other sport or playing tag in one’s neighborhood, I imagine all of us played various games as children that only ended when the sun went down. Mahut and Isner did this while playing a sport at the professional level on the most hallowed grounds of tennis. Playing until the sun goes down is a shared memory deeply seeded in all of us and this match touched on that. Isner and Mahut made me proud to be a tennis fan and more importantly a tennis player.

Roger and Rafa Struggle

The top two seeds have faced tough tests in the early going at Wimbledon. Federer has looked a bit flat footed. Nadal has struggled with big serves. I think either one could win this title, but the idea of either player dominating for months on end across surfaces seems improbable.

Quick Views on Other Contenders

Robin Soderling continues to hit the ball obscenely hard. Andy Murray perhaps decided he left his best tennis on the courts of Miami, Queen’s Club and other tune-up events in 2009. Maybe his post-Aussie Open meltdown simultaneously relieved some pressure while also leaving him fresh for another deep run at Wimbledon. Novak Djokovic wearing his warm-up suit to meet the Queen of England impressed me. Due to his form in 2010 and his tough draw, Nole seems to be the least talked about high seed in the men’s field. He has an uphill climb, but wearing warm-ups to meet the Queen has to give him some positive Karma. Andy Roddick had a tough draw to reach the round of 16, but he looks like a good bet for the quarterfinal round. Roddick will likely have to play three matches at a high level to have a chance to claim this title. I think Roddick will need help from the draw to achieve the last of his career goals. Lleyton Hewitt likely won’t win four consecutive matches as an underdog. Still, the one time mongrel has grown into a semi-beloved old curmudgeon of the men’s tour.

“Where have you gone Steffi Graf? A nation of tennis fans turn their lonely eyes to you”

The French Open champion and runner-up both lost in the first round on the women’s tournament. I don’t want to come across as anti-women’s tennis in the least. I was far more interested in the 1992 Monica Seles – Steffi Graf three set war at the French Open than I was in Jim Courier dismantling Petr Korda the next day. Instead of Graf battling to overcome Martina Navratilova and take firm control of the women’s tour at Wimbledon 1988, Navratilova looking like an ageless wonder in 1990 or Graf crushing Monica Seles at Wimbledon 1992, tennis fans are now subjected to “grunt-gate” debates and a field of shaky players. Serena Williams is the best champion of the post-Graf-Seles era, but Serena does not paste the tour on a weekly basis the way those two did. Venus Williams is a thoughtful person who is a threat on grass, but when did she last threaten at the other three majors? The Belgians came back from sabbaticals, but neither seems intent on setting the standard for the tour. Until, the women’s game produces a player who does set the standard for the tour on a weekly basis while also striving to unseat Serena’s status as the favorite at every major, there is no compelling story to follow.


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80 Comments for Wimbledon 2010 – Thoughts on Week I

guy Says:

the scary thing about murray is that he can serve 130mph but also has one of the best return games on tour. that’s unheard of really. if he gets his second serve in order, technically he should be closing on no.1, esp since the clay swing is so small.

fed, for instance, doesn’t have one of the best returns, but has a great serve.
nadal in contrast has some of the best returns, but doesn’t have a great serve.
murray has both, or at least the potential for both.

the main things letting murray down have been his low 1st serve percentage and his slow and crappy second serve. but if he fixes those, i can’t see many people beating him on a fast court.


guy Says:

135+ i mean


Huh Says:

Can’t agree more that Muzza can do both serving and returning pretty scary well at times!


asif Says:

Murray has a long way to go in the mental department before he can be considered a threat to take the number one ranking.


Jurasick Says:

Murray also needs to tweak two other things. 1) He needs to become more aggressive (I know, I know, every commentator says that!). But clearly, a guy with his skills from the baseline and at the net, needs to take it to the opponent far more than Murray does. 2) He needs to sharpen up mentally. By that I mean he appears to wax and wane in his focus, as well as starts beating himself up. In his early days, Federer also had a similar problem. He suddenly gained confidence and also mental strength when he turned 23 or thereabouts. Murray could well become more mature since he is just past 23. I think we will see great things from this guy if he just gets a grip on these two things.


Huh Says:

Muzza’s first enemy is his passive play, no doubt about this.


Huh Says:

stupid rest day, this wimbledon sunday. :/


Wimbledon Champ Says:

Murray is looking good but the real deal starts tomorrow. querrey, tsonga, sod/nadal and then the final.

that said, it is nothing like what the england football team is facing. germany, argentina, spain/portugal and possibly brazil. LOL! if england does go through that line-up, we should possibly get ready for 2012.


margot Says:

Jurasick: totally agree with you over focus. Can you begin to imagine the anguish of Andy fans watching Andy giving lessons on how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Don’t agree with these comments about “passive play” there’s more than one way to skin a rabbit. Also, as mentioned previously that forehand is coming along nicely.
Wonder if other fans have experienced this one: happily you tune in to see a player you like, happily said player appeears to be winning comfortably, suddenly, before your eyes p- u- like starts to lose horribly!
And no, I’m not watching the football, yawn.


puckbandit Says:

Murray’s serving so far has been stellar. He’ll need to continue that level & if he does, could go through to final.

After yesterday’s match, I understand why Rafa’s coach, Uncle Tony, stated that he was trying to get Rafa to simulate part of Murrays motion. He obvious sees something there he likes.

Also interesting is that Murray was willing to suffer some poor serving percentages over the past 10 months to make improvements. Could be paying off.


Wimbledon Champ Says:

I agree with Huh that murray’s passive play is the main reason he is still where he is. He is too defensive minded for his own good. In any form of sport, playing to win always trumps playing to NOT LOSE. Murray has so many options, it is irritating and borderline stupid to see him try to just wait the storm.

That is the reason, djokovic, who has a more straightforward game has one slam and murray none. Djokovic is offense-minded (no, not like his parents are but in a tennis kind of way). Murray will win far more slams if he changes his attitude ( don’t know how easy it is to do so) than keep continuing with his defensive mind-set.

Interestingly, federer had the opposite problem. He was too aggressive and did not have much faith in his baseline game till the 2003 Masters cup and then…..


Huh Says:

Mrs.Margot:

Against offensive playing guys like Sod, Cilic, Fed and even DP, if these guys are their clear best, Andy cannot win unless he plays aggressive as he played in US 08 semi vs Rafa. I still remember in that match, how he most of the times finished off the points with his serve and forehand, Rafa was reduced to a spectator that day. How nice it was to see him hit a nice serve and finish off the point in a flash, where he can, by ripping the Rafa return with his FH for a winner. The problem is Murray’s often passive, when he can be aggressive. I really lament when I see him hit a serve and then start playing the counter punching kinda stuff. That has been the reason Muzza could be straight setted by Fed in this year’s AO final. If he had played as aggressive as he’s capable of, then he surely woulda been able to extend Fed to four or five sets. If Rafa can beat Fed in slams so many freaking times, why Muzza shouldn’t? Muzza’s no ordinary talent! To the best of my knowledge, it’s Muzza’s more than necessary passive play that has led to his downfall at some stage or the other. By keeping the ball in play for more than required time, he’s setting the stage free for Fed/Rafa and also the guys like Cilic, Davy and others too hit their ripping FHs. And so far as skinning the rabbit is concerned, it is the thing for MS and below tournaments. The problem is that in GS finals, one has to slay the Lions like Nadal & Federer by tearing them off using offensive tactics!


Huh Says:

Though I love the Germany and England football teams both as hell, it’s very very sad to see Germany crushing England 4-1(and the match’s probably not over yet!). :(

It’s so heartbreaking to see such a tough fight going on between two of my fave teams. Germany fighting England for a place in the next round, to me, is as difficult and unenjoyable as Fed and Rod taking on each other. Sigh. :(

SAD, SAD AND SAD. :(


Huh Says:

I am somehow hoping that England’ll be able to reduce the gap.


Huh Says:

Of course it’d always be remembered a shame, this Eng-Ger football match, coz of the denial of the obvious goal by Frank Lampard by that super moron idiot shameless referee.


Huh Says:

F### that Uruguayan referee who did not award that goal! S***!!!


Eskay Says:

Roger is almost already in Semi-finals. Jurgan and Berdych do not have in them to cause an upset, though Berdy can give some fight.
Djokovic has to get past Hewitt and Andy R. Hewitt does not have weapons to upset him, notwithstanding all the hype about his Halle win. Andy R has the service.
Muzza has a tough opponent if Tsonga reaches there, but thousands of cheerleaders will not let Tsonga win. Rafa will have to tough it out with Soderling, who has so far defeated his opponents with ease.
The equation appears to be that Rafa can defeat Roger in Finals, but Muzza can repeat his result of A.O over Rafa. Muzza can not defeat Roger, he is more capable of defeating Soderling than Rafa is, notwithstanding the result at F.O. Djoker can defeat Andy R but can not defeat Roger. Andy R can not defeat Roger. IMO Roger has the best chance of lifting the trophy if he does not face Rafa in the finals.


joe Says:

Murrays first enemy is his head. he is soft. he should have won two slams by now.


WTF Says:

“The French Open champion and runner-up both lost in the first round on the women’s tournament. I don’t want to come across as anti-women’s tennis in the least.”

It’s the surface. Stosur sucks on grass. Good on clay though. Last year she made the semi finals of the French Open and lost in the 1st round at Wimbledon.

Schiavone isn’t exactly a grass court pro herself.

Davydenko is another.


Anna Says:

Eskay – There’s alot of truth in that analysis. Guess that’s why we all run to the draw as soon as it comes out. But anything can happen on any given day. :)


Dan Martin Says:

Berdych let Roger off the hook in Australia in 2009, but I think Roger wins a rematch in a 3 of 5 set format.


sheila Says:

eskay says roger is almost in semi-finals. i dont know about that. dont underestimate meltzer as a tought “lefthanded” opponent. hes a lot more seasoned than alejandro fila & wont back down the way fila did. if roger brings his a game into 2nd week than hopefully he can get to the finals. soderling is great until he meets w/nadal, then he pussies out. my heart is for roger all the way but my rational head says nadal will take this tournament. i have lot of respect for nadal, but didnt like some of the gamesmanship going on w/petschner. hes down 2 sets & all of sudden asks for trainer. then his leg starts hurting him, but yet he managed to run after every shot and hit every shot well. also was warned twice about coaching and he even had to motion to his uncle to be quiet after being caught. unfortunatley petschner allowed all this stuff to get in his head & he lost. he was in a rythm & on a roll until nadal asked for trainer. petschner should have stayed focused & thats the difference btwn a top 10 player & lower ranked player. top 10s dont usually get rattled by these kinds of things. final thought: i am hoping for federer 2b last man standing next sunday.


Andrew Miller Says:

The WTA has had some surprises. What’s clear: the top players only like the slams. Serena is the champ anywhere but the French Open. We may not like her strategy (play seldomly, focus on Australia, The All England Club, and Flushing Meadows) and believe it deprives fans of tennis, but she puts on quite a display.

In fact, all WTA contenders have followed Serena’s lead. Let everyone else beat themselves up on a weekly basis: reserve your best for four to eight occasions and things work out. Look at Sharapova: she has been pretty well rested this year.

Diddo on Clijsters – sure she lost so badly at AO, and skipped the French Open (I believe she must still be cursing after not playing it and possibly winning it, it would have been her best shot), but she’s playing well on the turf and I’m sure, with the limited schedule, she’ll do a great job in NYC.

Henin is not playing too often. Her form doesnt really convince me of any big wins. Never know though.


Andrew Miller Says:

Maybe Fed will be holding the trophy. Based on his form, he wont be.

So many five setters this year. Nadal is not playing like 2008 on the turf.


Andrew Miller Says:

Makes me wonder whether…maybe Tsonga or Roddick can win it? Roddick looks good on the turf, so does Tsonga. WHo knows.


andrea Says:

roddick does look good. i mean, at the end of the day, his serve is what makes him a threat on this surface, like many of the other big servers. he’s picked up his other strokes over the last couple of years.

nadal does seem to be struggling this year. and the big servers are taking it to him. now with more knee trouble (? real or not…).

if he gets past matthieu in less than 5, he’s bound to come up against soderling, who is another big server. if that match happens, that could easily be another 5 setter….with nadal on the losing end.


Dory Says:

Too bad. Their scheduling is so bad. 3 men’s matches at a time so I will miss 5 out the 8 matches. I will be watching RF vs Melzer, Soderling vs Ferrer and Murray vs Querrey. Hope there’s rain tommorrow so all other matches except the ones on Center Court get stalled and I can watch more matches live.


Strider Says:

Henin looks like she’s coming into the best form of her comeback year, but not sure if it will be enough to take down Cljisters. Too bad they don’t play five sets! Then I would favor Henin. :)

Don’t see Fed holding the trophy this year; Melzer, Berdych, Roddick, all in form; it’s a tough ask for Fed in his almost 29th year and the way he’s playing. Far too defensive.


madmax Says:

For tomorrow’s match – interesting insight into Fed v Melzer from the telegraph –

Wimbledon 2010: a quickie with Jürgen Melzer

Jürgen Melzer faces Roger Federer in the fourth round of Wimbledon on Monday. Here he talks to Telegraph Sport on his ambition of breaking into the world top 10, why he won’t be on the tour at the age of 42 and Germany winning the World Cup.

By Vicki Hodges
Published: 10:50AM BST 27 Jun 2010

Ambitious: Jurgen Melzer is hoping to enter the world’s top 10 before hanging up his racket

You reached semi-finals of French Open and now into second week of Wimbledon, what’s behind your upturn in form?

Confidence has been the biggest factor. I’m a lot more mature too. I’m 29 now, I’ve learned from the mistakes I’ve made in the past.

I took a lot of confidence from beating Ferrer, who was on a good run in straight sets. And then coming back to beat Djokovic was a real boost. Confidence is such an important thing.

You’re up to a world ranking best of No 16, how does that feel?

People may say that rankings don’t matter but they do. It’s a measure of how well you are performing. I’m proud of reaching world No 16, I’m also the second best Austrian behind Thomas Muster to play the game.

Muster announced he was coming out of retirement at the age of 42, something that appeals to you?

At 42 I won’t be on the tour, I can say that. I might play a few exhibition matches but that’s it. I respect Muster wants to come back as he misses the competitive edge. He feels he can compete against some of the younger generation but that’s not for me.

So any plans for when you may retire?

If I’m still performing at a good level, injury free and enjoying my tennis then I think I’ve got another six or seven years. I’m only 29 – that’s not old just yet.

What do you hope to achieve in those remaining years?

To go far in the grand slams. I’m now six spots off the top 10. Every player wants to break into the top 10. I’ve now got a chance and I want to take it.

Greatest Wimbledon memory?

Winning boys’ championship in ’99. I’ll always have fond memories of that day. Also playing Roddick on centre court last year.

Is the balance in men’s tennis changing?

Federer and Nadal have both been taken to five sets at SW19 this year, are the chasing pack closing the gap on the main men? Well I don’t know that the balance has shifted but I think there are five or six contenders for the title.

So who will win Wimbledon….obviously if you don’t?

Roger Federer

Who is your hero?

Stefan Edberg

What is your tennis nightmare?

Being disqualified

Film, book or Nintendo?

Movie

Best and worst thing about Wimbledon?

The history of the tournament is the best. The weather has to be the worst.

Who will win the World Cup?

Germany

I do believe that Federer will have studied Melzer very closely this weekend. He has had two days off, along with Jergen, they are both probably studying each others games forever! Now let me see, I wonder whether Jergen gonna go for Roger’s backhand time and time again? A nice chipped forehand from Roger, right back atcha Jergen!

I really hope for a good match tomorrow – there is no reason why Roger Federer should not come through this match – he is no fool, and this is the second week now, so we should expect him to up the ante!


Huh Says:

For what it’s worth, it’d be a real joy for me to see a new WIM champion in 2010! :D


Huh Says:

Actually I want new champions at both WIM & USO.

Rod for WIM

&

Muzza for USO

WOULD BE IDEAL!


Huh Says:

Apart from Rod and Muzza, I also hope that Sod would someday win a slam. I’d be mighty happy for Sod if he won one!


Huh Says:

Guys:

If you seriously don’t mind, I really really wish BOTH Fed and Rafa to have 5 setter matches in their pre-quarters! I feel fun to watch such things happening these days. I honestly want all the guys to give Fed and Rafa a run for their money!


Huh Says:

I really want another 5 setter from Fed tomorrow.


grendel Says:

Dory, it’s nuts, all the good matches on together – whilst on Tuesday, what will they have? Almost nothing. I’m afraid there’s no rain forecast for tomorrow. I can hardly believe I’ve just said that, having spent years and years utterly convinced that some secret supernatural agency, for reasons which were not possible to fathom, deliberately arranged for the last week in June and first week in July to be the wettest two weeks in the English Summer.

Of course, you see the cunning of this supernatural agency, which happens to be malicious. Being supernatural, and therefor possessed of powers of foresight, it was well aware that Monday was scheduled to have a superfluity of enticing matches running concurrently. It therefore ordered its agent in charge of weather control to ensure that there would be no rain on Monday.


Wimbledon Champ Says:

I hope I am wrong but roddick will not get past the semis. He would have been toast by now, if he had to play any of hasse, petz or bozo.

murray’s chances received a major jolt with the meek capitulation of the english football team. the media has nothing but murray to talk about now. it would be quite an achievement if murray wins wimbledon under the stupid english press’ watchful eyes.


grendel Says:

Almost everything Eskay says makes sense, and yet you could just as well make the opposite claims in each case. We don’t know about Melzer. Berdych has choked against Federer, but clearly has the game to take him (and vica versa of course). Is he still likely to choke? He seems to have improved on that front, just as has Soderling.

I don’t agree Murray and Djoker and Roddick can’t beat Fed. I agree Nadal would most like to see Fed in final, with reason. He would least like to see Roddick. Murray knows he can beat Fed in 3 sets, it’s just a matter of translating that mentality to the 5 setter. Has he done so? We don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see. But that he will do at some point seems highly likely. Same goes for a resurgent Djoko if he beats Hewitt and Rod. It’s bizarre to say he can’t beat Fed, especially Fed these days.

Highly dubious that English support will aid Murray in defeating Tsonga. Although it is true the English made a lot of noise when Murray came back from 2 sets down against Gasquet, the fact is once Gasquet – hugely superior in first 3 sets – choked, he just fell away. To adopt a Zola-ism, I just knew Murray would win after poor Gasquet’s choke. The crowd had nothing to do with it. Murray will have to beat Tsonga on merit.

Yes, Murray can beat Nadal, and vica versa. Is he more likely to beat Sod than Nadal? I’ve seen Murray blasted out by the power boys just as convincingly as Nadal has been.

All in all, from my perspective, there is everything to play for, nothing is for sure. All prognostications are suspect because everything is in flux.

Roger is almost already in Semi-finals. Jurgan and Berdych do not have in them to cause an upset, though Berdy can give some fight.
Djokovic has to get past Hewitt and Andy R. Hewitt does not have weapons to upset him, notwithstanding all the hype about his Halle win. Andy R has the service.
Muzza has a tough opponent if Tsonga reaches there, but thousands of cheerleaders will not let Tsonga win. Rafa will have to tough it out with Soderling, who has so far defeated his opponents with ease.
The equation appears to be that Rafa can defeat Roger in Finals, but Muzza can repeat his result of A.O over Rafa. Muzza can not defeat Roger, he is more capable of defeating Soderling than Rafa is, notwithstanding the result at F.O. Djoker can defeat Andy R but can not defeat Roger. Andy R can not defeat Roger. IMO Roger has the best chance of lifting the trophy if he does not face Rafa in the finals.

June 27th, 2010 at 12:03 pm


grendel Says:

sorry about duplicating Eskay’s – I did that initially for ease of reference (it’s irritating scrolling up and down), and then forgot to delete it.


SG Says:

Huh Says:
Muzza’s first enemy is his passive play, no doubt about this.

———————-

Truer words were never spoken. How can a player from Great Britain play such a passive style? There’s only one word for it…ANNOYING. Here’s a guy can hit any shot. He can serve big. He can volley well. He has good defensive skills to boot.

I’m not a big fan of Paul Annacone but he may be just what the doctor ordred for Murray. A hell bent attacker pushing Murray to go forward. I’m not saying Murray has to play like Annacone but there’s an old golf adage that you sometimes you have to go a mile to get an inch.


SG Says:

Nice to see Grendel back in the blogfest. His comments are always insightful and thought provoking.


SG Says:

I haven’t seen much of Wimbledon this year. But, from the score lines I’ve seen, it doesn’t appear that there’s an overwhelming favorite going into Week 2. All the players have some warts. This may be the most open Wimbledon since 2002.

I’ll stand by my prediction that Fed will win this slam. Even if he plays Rafa in the final.
I don’t think there are a lot more slams in Fed’s future. I think he’s got two and on the outside, three left in him. I don’t see him ever winning another FO or AO. I think he has some basic goals at this point. Win eight W’s. Win 6 USO’s. He’d top Sampras in both those departments and in the process have more of these titles than anyone in history. More than anything, Fed knows how to win big matches. I think this experience will serve him well in the couple of years. I don’t know if Fed will win 8 W’s and 6 USO’s. Hard to say. I think he’s got better than puncher’s chance at it though.


Von Says:

Dan: I’ve posted a link below by Jon Wertheim which I think is somewhat appropos to the title of your article:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jon_wertheim/06/26/midterm.wimbledon/index.html


andrew miller Says:

Sheesh, Muster really is making a comeback. I wish him luck. He might get a game off a player in top 50.


Von Says:

Wimbledon Champ: “I hope I am wrong but roddick will not get past the semis. He would have been toast by now, if he had to play any of hasse, petz or bozo.”

Would either Nadal or Federer be able to get to the semis if they had to play against all of the opponents you’ve stated? I think not, then same goes for Roddick. I’ll go out on a limb and say I think Roddick would have been able to handle the task.

You’re forgetting that Roddick had to play vs. Llodra and Kohls, both of whom are good players coupled with the fact that they are good grass courters (Llodra just won Eastbourne). How about if we turn it around and ask if either Fed and/or Nadal would have been able to get to the QFs playing against those two guys?


Voicemale1 Says:

Thinking Nadal will definitely be upended here. Not necessarily by Mathieu, but it’s just hard to look past Soderling in the bottom half. Since the court is so dry (which is remarkable for Wimbledon) the ball is not only flying through the court its also staying extremely low. It’s as fast as an indoor carpet right now. Which helps the Soderling Serves and groundstrokes enormously. It’s almost impossible to break serve. Nadal’s match with Petzschner tells the whole story about the court: he dropped his serve 1 single time and yet had to play 5 Sets. Federer’s stats against Bozoljac are almost sick: he was +56 Winners-to-Errors. In fact Federer had only 13 Unforced Errors in the match (which is ridiculously good), yet he still dropped a set and was two points away from having to play a 5th again. For anyone whoever complained that Wimbledon has been “slowed down” can rest easy. It’s as fast this year as it ever was.

Agree with Grendel Murray is likely to get blasted by any of the remaining Big Hitters in the draw, almost all of whom have a bigger Forehand than he does. Watching him against Simon he was almost looping shots, heaping a lot of junk for Simon to self-destruct with. None of that will wrk with guys who can kill the ball.

It’s definitely a foolhardy exercise to look past either half of The Fedal Beast at a Major, especially one like this where they’ve both won already. But I’m getting this feeling we could see neither of them in the Final here. Crazy I know (well, not so much crazy regarding Nadal). But neither of them has looked all that spectacular yet. And there are other guys who’ve beaten them both before who are playing much better going into Week Two.


dari Says:

Dan Martin, am I being thick and can’t see the sarcasm in the whole nole/queen/sweatpants matter? If you’re being sarcastic, i’ll move on. If not, care to share your deeper thoughts on the karma? Did he even have a match that day? Not a singles one! I smile every time I think of it.
In an interview on ESPN about meeting the queen, roger federer said that he asked novak about what to do for the occasion because novak “looked like he was ready to know” how to deal with the queen. Really? Did the sweatpants make you think that?!
So very excited for the tennis tomorrow. Tv AND computer will be necessary!


skeezerweezer Says:

Voicemale1 is back.

Nice post! Yes you can call me out for saying Wimby slowed down, no prob, but you are right, it’s playing more like the old days and I love it. This is the Quintessential 5 set tourney. Like no other. You have to have ALL the shots, just not pounding ground strokes. As someone mentioned in an earlier post, “Shooting darts” and “shotmakin”. You have sometimes only one chance on grass, can you do it? Love it!


Fot Says:

Now what were all you Nadal fans worrying about! lol! Looks like he’s back to being 100% physically:

Nadal: Right knee ‘not bad’ after practice session
AP – Sunday, June 27, 2010

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WIMBLEDON, England (AP)—Rafael Nadal says his right knee feels “good, good; not bad” after a 40-minute practice session at the All England Club.

Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle and coach, says the knee “is so much better” Sunday than it was a day earlier, when the 2008 Wimbledon champion received treatment from a trainer at changeovers during his five-set comeback victory in the third round


skeezerweezer Says:

Wow a knee gets better so quick in 24 hours. Wanna know what he is takin, I want it! LOL


Dan Martin Says:

Dari,

My thought is that Nole wearing his warm-ups to meet the Queen took some chutzpah if I may use the term. I am not sure how well that translates to the tennis court, but verve and nerve could go a long way for Nole. I also think Richard Feynman was once described as “having a healthy disrespect for the respectable.” I think if Roger had done this it would not have fit his personality, but maybe Djokovic is back to his puckish 2007 self. Djokovic has lived through a civil war, why take royalty too seriously?


Ben Pronin Says:

Interesting take on the matter, Dan. Gilbert and PMac were pretty critical of Djoker’s sweat pants. I thought they looked pretty cool and I agree it took some big ones to pull that off, especially since all the other PLAYERS were dressed formally.

One can only hope he’s back to his punk attitude, but I don’t see anything else to back up that claim, he’s been pretty low key for a change. But I am very excited about his match with Hewitt. I think it could be really good if Djokovic is playing close to top form. I think we can pretty much expect Hewitt to be playing as well as he can, he seems more comfortable on the grass this than I’ve ever seen him.


skeezerweezer Says:

Speakin of the Queen, had any player this year turned down a request by the Queen?


Clay Says:

I agree about Nadal — big question mark after Mathieu. I think it might depend on how handily (not if) he beats the Frenchman. but Sod and whoever comes out of the other quarter (Murray?) might be a big question mark depending how he looks after revealing all the knee business.

Murray, however, is looking sharp as a tack. Would love to see my man Sam get the upset tomorrow, but am not counting on it.

In any case, too early yet to predict how that bottom half will pan out. Again, I think Rafa’s match will be a good indicator.


dari Says:

Thanks for elaborating, d. Martin! I hadn’t thought about that perspective.
Skeezer, I don’t know if you call r. Nadal not meeting the queen because of obligatory pre-match routines turning down request of the queen, but he was not there to meet her though invited


Seth Says:

A lot of folks seem to still be keen on Rafa as the favorite for the title, but after week 1, I don’t see it. His knees are acting up again, and guys with big-hitting games like Haase and Petzschner are clearly giving him heaps of trouble. He’s likely to meet Soderling in the quarters, and I think that’s where his Wimbledon stops. Soderling’s playing at an extremely high level and the grass will only make his big game ever bigger. I would go so far as to say, if both men win their 4th rounders, that Rafa’s gone in three to an in-form Sod.


Seth Says:

Also, I don’t get the impression that Sod’s intimidated by Rafa, his defeat in the French Open final notwithstanding. He knows he can beat pretty much anyone when his big game is firing on all cylinders, which it appears to be. At this point, he might be the favorite to take it all, in fact.


Ben Pronin Says:

I think Soderling could beat Nadal, but not in straight sets. When was the last time Nadal lost in straight sets at Wimbledon?


Seth Says:

Well, I won’t won’t say Soderling “could,” I’ll predict definitively that he will, and will do so in fairly straightforward fashion by hitting Nadal off the court. Those ailing knees aren’t going to be much help chasing down Sod’s rockets.


Seth Says:

I mean, think about it. Soderling’s basically an even bigger hitting, more confident, less easily intimidated version of the types of guys (Haase, Petzschner) that have been giving Nadal trouble this Wimbledon.


Dave from Tennis DVDs Says:

I agree with you about Steffi Graf. On another point where are all the new 16 and 17 year olds that should be snapping at the heels of Serena who, I think, is now the same age Steffi was when she retired. There has always been good young player ready to take over and giving the older generation a hard time. Where is the next number one among the teenagers playing now.


grendel Says:

Ben Pronin says: “Djoker’s sweat pants. I thought they looked pretty cool and I agree it took some big ones to pull that off,”

You mean big hands to pull the Joker’s pants off? Why would that be, I wonder? Or possibly big – well, won’t go down that route..


Dan Martin Says:

Dave, I agree. Many players on the WTA have looked like they may have the potential to be the next champion only to fall off the face of the earth so to speak. Nicole Vaidisova is just one that jumps out at me, but many players could be placed on this list. To have Stosur crash out in London after making a great run in Paris just sends the message as to how little consistency there is on the women’s tour at present.


Boomba Says:

As Nadal fan, this time so sad that I have to say and have a strong feeling Nadal will lose soon, may be Matthiue or Soderling will beat him.


grendel Says:

SG – thankyou for your kind words. The fact is, I am an observer only, I have no proper playing experience (if I could live life again, I would rectify that particular omission, along with about a million others…) – but there is room for the observer I guess. I’d like to take up your point on Andy Murray’s tendency to passiveness.

The thing is, it’s not just Murray is it, though the disease seems particularly deep in his case. Tennisfan76 recently, and memorably, referred to “Roddick unleashing his Michael Chang within”. Federer, strangely enough, can get into a sort of lull, especially on that slow sliced backhand return which worked fine with Clement but which will be eaten alive by Berdych.

Monfils is worse than Murray, I recently wrote a semi-humorous post about him, but really it was heartfelt. Why does Monfils overlook his extraordinary offensive skills, almost second to none? Remember when he nearly beat Federer at RG in the semis – that was by playing aggressively. Very aggressively, actually.

The player that strikes me as having an almost clinical ability to slide easily from passive to aggressive is Nadal. He will trade a couple of innocent looking strokes with his opponent, almost giving him a nice sense of security, but all he is doing is manouevring for position, and when he’s got it to his satisfaction, he unleashes, generally not for a winner, but to induce a weak return and set up the easy finish. But with Monfils and Murray, and sometimes Roddick, sometimes Federer, you get the feeling they are waiting for something to happen – that’s passive.


Thomas Says:

“Monfils is worse than Murray, I recently wrote a semi-humorous post about him, but really it was heartfelt. Why does Monfils overlook his extraordinary offensive skills, almost second to none?”

You are absolutely right. When we think of big forehands we think del potro,soderling etc. But I have heard that Monfils has clocked 120mph forehands.(i know he has the record) But he always seems to prefer to wait for the opponent to make a mistake-despite having being able to hit forehands that are arguably bigger than Del Potros. He is also the worst tactician on tour. Whenever he hits a big serve and a weak reply comes,instead of trying to hit the winner to finish the point of,he merely knocks the ball back into play,.


Daniel Says:

Federer Served at 42% first serve and even so wins the set 6-3.


Daniel Says:

Federer is practicing backhands return for a future Nadal match, he is not slicing any return, all are back directed into Melzer body and backhand.


Daniel Says:

I am impressed with Fed’s backhand return today, it’s killing Melzer the whole match and he is very frustrated by it. All parts of his game is on, the serve was off in the first but got better in this last 2 sets.


Daniel Says:

25 quarters in a row, at least one record is still running.
Great win, clean performance. Federer is only getting better in each round and Berdych is strugling with big serve Brands. Can’t wait for the Djoko-Hewitt match.


Eskay Says:

Jurgen played Roger for the first time and went the way most have done. It is the surprise element in the game of Roger that most find difficult to play. His service can go any way, difficult to make body weight transfer to the correct side in advance by the receiver. His shots come down the line when majority of players would hit cross court. When they come cross court they would hit the service box corner, so difficult to reach effectively. It is so difficult to pass him either in service or on ground strokes. Only those who have their own quality game can challenge Roger well, mere counter punchers will find it difficult. Players of Jurgen’s caliber have tried so many times and failed. In this wimbledon too they will fail, only those with effective weapons like big hitting, huge serves and game Roger finds difficult to cope with, stand a chance. It is not difficult to see who they are.


Huh Says:

Wow, I wanted Roger to be tested by Melzer in a 5 setter, but Fed had other ideas! Good for him!


Huh Says:

I just became free for today. So want to comment. The thing which struck me the most however, was, when I found Wim Champ stating that Rod woulda been toast by now if he faced Haase( Who?), Bozoljac(Who?) or Petz(again who?)(Why not include Falla as well?)! Obviously I strongly differ from such an opinion.

To compare Fed’s/Rod’s opponent so far, to that of Roddick is, impossible, IMHO. Guys like Llodra(He actually won Eastbourne recently, as rightly pointed out by Mrs.Von, which means he was in probably as great form as he’s ever been, coming into Wimbledon.), Kohls (Need we mention how much better Kohls really is than the Bozoljacs, Fallas, Petzschners or Haases of the ATP??!!) and Fish, whom Rod faced, are not only far better players than the guys which Fed and Rafa faced, but they’re always potentially more dangerous, higher ranked and what not! Llodra must also have been in full of confidence by winning a title recently(that too on grass!) and even before his triumph at Eastbourne, nobody doubted the fact he is a guy who importantly plays very good grass court tennis in general in comparison to many other much higher ranked guys(e.g. Verdasco and co.). Thus, IMHO, Fed and Rafa have been far more lucky than Rod in terms of the opponents that they got to come through the earlier rounds. Honestly speaking, they got much less dangerous opponents than Rod to tackle with, in the earlier rounds, even though one may argue that Fed and Rafa still faced much more resistance from their respective opponents in their rounds until now in comparison to Roddick. We can’t blame Rod for Fed/Rafa not being able to win their matches against the 150+ ranked guys, or should we! The fact is Fed and Rafa had much easier path to the fourth rounds than Rod, it’s anther thing although that they still couldn’t sail into the fourth round! Thus I am forced to think that if Falla and Petz like players can play so well to extend Fed/Rafa to 5 sets on a given day, then one can only imagine how much more guys like Kohl or Llodra could make life difficult for our top two guys, had they managed to play the matches of their lives against Fed/Rafa!!


Dan Martin Says:

Just wanted to pass along that my wife and I welcomed our second child, a son, to the family today. He was 8 lbs. 15.2 ounces and 20.5 inches with a full head of hair! My daughter is taking things as well as could be expected for a 19 month old. Mixed doubles Wimbledon champions in 2032?


ckr Says:

Dan,
Congratulations!!!Have fun with your new born.


skeezerweezer Says:

Congratulations Dan! 8 lbs. +. Whoa!

I know Margot is happy she had a Birthday today. What a day, Congrats again!

Skeeze


Kimmi Says:

congrats dan.


skeezerweezer Says:

Thomas,

I agree about Monfils. He needs off court coaching and learn the offensive game. He was raised a retriever. He has a monster physique and when he leans into it or steps in he has monster shotmaking. The potential is all there……


blank Says:

Congratulations Dan!

So did you name him John Nicolas? ;-)


Dan Martin Says:

Blank I proposed it, but my wife had already gotten a blanket made for him before the 70-68 match. She likes the name so maybe for the next one.


Mike Swanquis Says:

Good on ya Dansome Dan!

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