Murray Beats Federer for Canadian Open Title; Tennis-X Notes
by Staff | August 15th, 2010, 9:28 pm
  • 191 Comments

Andy Murray ended a nine-month title drought on Sunday at the ATP Masters Canadian Open in Toronto, defeating frequent foil and former No. 1 Roger Federer amidst numerous rain delays 7-5, 7-5.


Murray quickly moves from struggling Slam-wannabee to a favorite in the run-up to the US Open.

“It’s the first time I beat Roger and Rafa in the same tournament, which is probably the most pleasing thing, and then didn’t drop a set against either of them,” Murray said. “So it’s good for the confidence for the next few weeks.”

Federer, coming off a late-night three-set win over Novak Djokovic looked a bit sluggish in his footwork and struggled to get out in front of Murray.

“If you have a bad start like I did today or if he starts off well, you’re always running behind the score,” Federer said. “It was particularly hard being down 3-love with a double break, running behind the score, and still losing the first set, and not coming through there obviously was a bit of a blow, and then the rain delays completely shut it down for me to get any kind of rhythm…I thought he played well. He was aggressive. He was taking the ball early. He wasn’t giving me much, and he clutch served at the very end when he had to, and he deserved the victory.”

The 23-year-old Murray is the first player to defend a Canadian Open title since Andre Agassi in 1994-95. Murray, who has frequently comes under criticism for playing too passively in big matches, says he just let it flow.

“I’m just playing a bit freer,” Murray said. “I was going for my shots more today. You know, just felt pretty calm on the court all week, and if you can put sort of the emotions and how you’re feeling into I guess the way you’re playing rather than sort of showing it after every point, sort of saving up and putting into the points and the rallies, I felt like it worked well. It was one of the best weeks I’ve had, it was just kind of expressing myself with the way I was playing. I played pretty free flowing tennis and didn’t get too nervous.”

Federer added that although the Brit has struggled for titles of late, he remains among the upper echelon of players vying for a Slam title.

“He’s beaten me six, seven times now,” said Federer, who lost to Murray for the first time in a final. “He’s beaten Rafa in the past on hardcourts. It was just another great showing from him on a big stage.”

Murray improved his career record against Federer to 7-5.

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS

THAT’S A LOT TO SWALLOW – Nigerian pro tennis player Dairo Toyin was arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at a Lagos airport for smuggling drugs this month. The 30-year-old Nigerian Davis Cup player was apprehended while attempting to board a British Airways flight to London with the final destination New York, according to allafrica.com. Dairo told the press, “I am ashamed of myself. It was not intentional. My problem began in 2005 when my sponsor died. There was no one to help, things became difficult. In the process, I was introduced into drug trafficking. I have been smuggling drugs to take care of my bills each time I attended international tournaments. This time around, I was caught. I swallowed 100 wraps and when they weighed it, the weight was 1.445kg. It also tested positive for heroin.” On another note, there is now an opening on the Nigerian Davis Cup team.

AMERICAN RANKING WATCH – We enter Week #2 of no American men in the Top 10 for the first time ever, and Melanie Oudin barely hanging on to her Top 50 ranking. Only Serena and Venus Williams are the only other U.S. women in the Top 50.

MISCELLANEOUS
What was worse in the Toronto semifinals, Roger Federer’s pink shirt, or Novak Djokovic’s heinous yellow and black outfit, with black socks and some kind of eagle drawing on the back of the shirt? Did that shirt come off the Walmart discount rack? And how bad did Djokovic’s support team look all decked out in the same shirt? Euro puke-tastic…Hey Olympus, come up with a new commercial, that smarmy robot woman walking around with all the “amazing” things going on gets old after the first 125 viewings…Is American Coco Vandeweghe, who can only get into WTA main draws through qualifying or wildcards, such a star now that she can regularly turn her back on ballkids then toss the towel on the court surface for them to pick up rather than handing it to them (or at least throwing it in their general direction)?…Roger Federer says he’ll wear pink again, unfortunately, this week again at Cincinnati: “Yeah, that’s the plan, and then we’re moving on to a different color again for the Open. I think I have a day and night session outfit for the Open. I know I won’t be playing in pink for a while after this. Not that I don’t want to, but it’s all already in the plan till about end of next year already.”…As Tennis-X predicted, Andy Roddick was diagnosed with mono, reportedly ‘mild mono’ which is ‘almost gone’…Kim Clijsters also saved match points earlier this year in the Brisbane final…Roger Federer is now an average Top 3 player, no?…Maria Sharapova had beaten Kim Clijsters in their three previous meetings before the Cincy final, not dropping a set in any of them…The Bryan brothers added to their record title haul in Montreal, beating the French pair Benneteau-Llodra in the final…Taylor Dent and Alejandro Falla were among players making it through the qualifying in Cincy…Props to the Tennis Channel for their feature during the Cincy doubles final broadcast on the on- and off-court lesbian relationship between American Lisa Raymond and Aussie Rennae Stubbs, great profile of what they’ve had to put up with on and off the WTA Tour…Thomas Enqvist won his sixth ATP Champions Tour title in seven events after defeating former French Open Champion Thomas Muster 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Vale Do Lobo Grand Champions.


Also Check Out:
New World No. 2 Murray Beats Del Potro for Montreal Title
Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Murray Funky, Federer Not
Kim Clijsters Beats Caroline Wozniacki In Come-Back Exo
Spaniards Nadal, Ferrer Reach Tennis Masters Semis; Federer v. Roddick Today
Australian Open Men’s Draw: Djokovic Gets Murray, Federer Falls With Nadal In SFs

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191 Comments for Murray Beats Federer for Canadian Open Title; Tennis-X Notes

jane Says:

Wonderful win for Murray!

Not sure where to post on Cincy, but Baggy just beat Cilic.


puckbandit Says:

You’d have more credibility trashing the players outfits if hat the correct city and Provence for the tournament. They men played Toronto, not Montreal.


puckbandit Says:

You’d have more credibility trashing the players outfits if you had the correct city and Provence for the tournament. They men played in Toronto, not Montreal.


Jurasick Says:

Hey, that camera ad is for the Olympus Pen, not Canon! Get yer facts right!


Kimmi Says:

grrrr I had baggy before and second guess to cilic. bummer! congrats baggy.

Congrats muzza again and again.

and fed..muzza was just too good today. the most consistent and aggressive. i hope he carries on his best form for the USO. GO MUZZA!


contador Says:

hey Kimmi=

before i went to dinner, i was going to change a bunch of picks, like roddick and put nalbandian back where i had him in the first place but i got home too late.

one of the picks i was going to change was baghdatis to cilic…

1 point saved.

great win for muzza. he really did play well and deserved to win toronto. he beat the heavy weights.


jane Says:

Apparently, according to the ATP, only 5 players have beat Fed and Rafa at the same event; I know these:

1. Murray (today)
2. Nalby (08 Madrid … and Paris?)
3. Nole (07 Canada)
4. Delpo (USO 09)
5. ?

Who is 5?


jane Says:

Is it Davydenko? If so, where? WTF?


Kimmi Says:

conty – good for you. the dinner saved you. I keep telling myself not to change anything and go with my first instict but…

lets hope I catch up with you tomorrow…


blank Says:

Hi Contador,

Poor Cilic. He started the year so promisingly…don’t know what happened now. Hope he takes good 2 weeks rest and does well at the USO.


Kimmi Says:

jane – davydenko WTF 2009 and Doha 2010


puckbandit Says:

Where is the bracket challenge?


blank Says:

jane,

For a second there, I thought you were swearing out of frustration of not being able to tell who :-O

I don’t like the fact they named the championship WTF. I would prefer any other name…even YEC was better. This leads to so much confusion, at least for me ;-)


contador Says:

Kimmi /blank

i wouldn’t say dinner saved me quite…

i had just enough time between the end of murray match and before going out to switch nalbandian for nole….and i regret it.

i think of how well nalbandian played and i really think his trouble was fatigue. he’s going to be tough in cincy.

he’s also one of my favorites….arrrrg it was too late

roddick- you guys will laugh but i left him losing to debakker lol
i was fretting about the mono.

cilic is going through a very bad patch. yes, we want him strong for US Open!


blank Says:

puckbandit,

It’s here:
http://challenge.atpworldtour.com/

But since Cincy has already started, you need to wait until Oct 9 when Shanghai Masters is set to begin.


blank Says:

Contador,

With so little match practice and the mild mono, I doubt he’ll get past Soda in the next round if he beats de bakker in the first place.


contador Says:

puckbandit, its the on the atp website- “draw challenge”

unfortunately it closed at 7 pm . but shanghai is coming up!


Kimmi Says:

roddick is a tough one to call, lets see how he does. de bakker is a big server with aggressive ground stroke. Lets hope roddick can handle that.


puckbandit Says:

Thanks guys. I signed up and will join the fun next time.


contador Says:

yeah. maybe. mono hits each person differently. he said “mild, mild” and included one too many “probably” and a “maybe.” who knows if he’s playing it down or up.

i had decided to do the right thing : ) and give him the win over thiemo. too late.


contador Says:

so, if you signed up, you can spy on us to make sure we aren’t bigging ourselves up….lol


Kimmi Says:

puckbandit – nice to hear you can join us. its good fun, head scrutcher and can be very frustrating.

i am looking forward to your input. you could be the one with a great touch.


contador Says:

i’d say you did very well kimmi

and we have blank, who rocks and kimberly got on the leaderboard!


puckbandit Says:

Are all of you signed up under you same poster names that you use here? (I did)


contador Says:

yeah i am


contador Says:

i want nalbandian to please play well and get seeded for US Open.

his rank has shot up but i am not sure.


blank Says:

contador,

I dropped from 40 to 602 because Federer lost :(

puckbandit,

My user name is Blank00


blank Says:

contador,

I think Nalby needs to reach SF or better if he is to be seeded for the USO.


contador Says:

i just figured that out.

he had that huge jump of 72 points!

he’d have to knock out nole. ( which i had him doing this morning!)


jane Says:

Kimmi, thanks – thought it might’ve been Davy. Blank, lol, no not swearing, but I agree – what an unfortunate name for the Year End Championships!! YEC(k) is better than WTF. LOL.

Bracket ladies, what think you about Istomin? Could he take out Blake to meet Fed? I think he’s a good up and comer?


jane Says:

Oh I can sign up to spy and not gamble!? Maybe I’ll join!!


contador Says:

istomin ? jane

yeah i think he almost could. but it is tough to know what form blake will bring.

i was wondering about a few of the Q’s but they were not inserted into the bracket yet.

order of play tomorrow

http://www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2010/422/op.pdf

stakhovsky played well last week didn’t he?

i can’t remember….all i recall think was that the ukarainians did well….go dolgo!

good nite and good luck to our picks!

thanks for a great weekend of tennis everybody


skeezerweezer Says:

So I don’t see anyone on the leader board of the ATP challenge? Whats up Tennis X? Get er done :)


kimberly Says:

Ahhhh cilic! I should have picked baggy. I didn’t out of spite because he disappointed me twice!!!

I’m the psycho who picked roddick to the semis. I figure this will be my wild draw.

I’m kimberli25.

Can we form a group and keep track of each others picks somehow.


kimberly Says:

Ahhhh. Blake is playing istomin? I would have picked istomin!!!


jane Says:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/436565-cincinnati-masters-1000-draw-preview-and-analysis

This guy picks Nadal vs. Fed, and Soderling vs. Fish for the semis. Fish may be a surprising pick, but then again, he may not. Murray might be at least a little tired after this week’s efforts and Fish has a 3-3 H2H with Murray. So I guess if Mardy is on form it’s possible? Gulbis is in there too, but Murray has never had trouble with him.


kimberly Says:

Jane-i almost picked fish but didn’t have the guts. Roddick was wild enouigh.


jane Says:

Kimberly, I think Roddick could turn out to be a smart pick: he has won there twice; he’s got to be well rested; and he’ll have plenty of crowd support. The question marks are whether he’s over his mono, and the fact that he may be rusty. Also, because of his new ranking he’ll face Soderling in the third round rather than later on, which makes that a potentially rough match if he is rusty. That guy at Bleacher Report thinks Soda may have something to prove – all the way to the Championship (!) – then again, Roddick might too. So who knows? Guess it’s all a crap shoot to a degree. : )


kimberly Says:

Yes but its fun. Actually the early parts of the tourneys r my favorite. I’m off to sleep. Good night to jane and all others!


Ben Pronin Says:

I just realized Federer is 1-3 in finals this year. I still say he’s going to win more majors but how long are people going to deny this guy is declining?


madmax Says:

1-3 in finals Ben, still isn’t that bad – rafa aside, how many others have been able to achieve that in the top 4? ummmmh. Murray. AO, Legg Mason and Toronto I believe?

11 months ago, Rafa was in decline, despite Rafa having lost every single match he played, against top 10 opponents.

Madrid Lost to Fed 4-6, 4-6, Final.
Montreal (hard) Lost to Delpo 6-7, 1-6 QF.
Cincinnati : Lost to Novak 1-6, 4-6 SF
US Open Lost to Delpo 2-6,2-6,2-6.SF
Shanghai lost to Davy 6-7, 3-6 SF
Paris Lost to Novak 2-6,3-6
ATP WTF Lost to soderling in the group stages 4-6,4-6, Davy,1-6,6-7,Novak, 6-7,3-6.
Doha lost to davy again 6-0, 6-7,4-6.

10 matches in a row. Lost.

Now rafa has come through it which is great news for tennis. It is the best men’s tennis era ever right now.

Novak and murray, more than ever before, have made their moves on Fed, and it’s been a long time coming.

Murray has been on a 9 month ‘decline’ and now he has won Toronto (deservedly so), he is going to be the favourite for the rest of the hard court season. He deserves it.

All great things have to come to an end. There is no shame in that, nor is there no shame in fed being a bit slower, or having a few more problems these days.

Who is denying that Fed is in decline? He has not won as many tournaments. That’s obvious. But equally be careful what you wish for Ben, Fed has been in decline since 2008.

If he wins another slam in the next 3 years, it’s still a brilliant achievement after all he has achieved so far.

And, to think that Federer has maintained such a high level of tennis at the top for 7 years, and is only now being pushed to the limit, or the others (with the exception of rafa), are having to play their best tennis, to beat federer, when he is one step slower, just shows the true, incredible athlete that he is.

I’m bored with this conversation.

Kimberley,

thanks for the link you mentioned earlier to punkbandit about the challenge. I think I might have a go to before Shanghai. Sounds like fun! (I’ll probably be completely pants at it, but all in the name of sport!).


margot Says:

Hi guys ‘nd gals still smiling- :) :) :)
von: thanks for your good wishes, such a victory has been a long time coming, and all the better for it. Unfortunately the match ended at 10.50 our time, so champers had to wait ..for now..:)
jane, kimmi: we’re going avisiting (not amotoring :) ) so am not sure how much of Cincy I’ll be able/allowed to watch but..if Andy gets to the semis I’ll mug a lap top or something!
Won’t mind how he does really, will be happyish for him to lose and get his head back in order, must be buzzing at the mo., as long as No4 is protected, obviously.
Good luck those of you doing the challenges and to ALL your faves but esp Andy and Novak.
:) :) :) :) etc etc
PS Is Sean’s jinx, broken puckbandit??


DMB Says:

‘euro-puke-tastic’? Lovely word, as if America is well known for it’s sense of style…..Felt a bit offended there, actually. Not a good thing on my favourite tennis website


madmax Says:

Ben, this is what Murray said about Fed’s game. I think when you use the word ‘decline’, it sort of denotes some kind of age-related disease.

Your brain is a thinking organ that learns and grows by interacting with the world through perception and action. Mental stimulation improves brain function and actually protects against cognitive decline, as does physical exercise.

The human brain is able to continually adapt and rewire itself. Even in old age, it can grow new neurons. Severe mental decline is usually caused by disease, whereas most age-related losses in memory or motor skills simply result from inactivity and a lack of mental exercise and stimulation.

In other words, use it or lose it.

ANDY MURRAY: I don’t think like in his game, I don’t think I don’t think he’s got worse. I think the game’s got better, the depth, I mean, has got better. And his consistency for four or five years was unbelievable and probably never be matched with what he was doing in the Slams, and getting to semis and finals of pretty much every tournament he played in.

And I think that, you know, as you get older, it’s a lot harder to keep that up, you know, as young guys coming through and a lot of big, big hitters like Soderling and Berdych that can make it very, very difficult.

So it’s going to be he’s still playing great tennis at the Grand Slams, that’s for sure. And I think that’s what his goal is, to play his best tennis there. But I think it’s difficult to be as consistent as what he was for four or five years. To keep that up for seven, eight years is very, very tough.


grendel Says:

“great win for muzza. he really did play well and deserved to win toronto. he beat the heavy weights.”

Contador, Murray is one of the heavyweights!


grendel Says:

At the end of his oncourt interview, Federer said “It’s been a good week and I’m happy with my game”. His demeanour thru the short interview was wry, and accompanied by that slight smile which tells you he was speaking the truth. No sour grapes here. I think he feels he’s on track, and in my mind, he has a much better chance for the US Open than I would have believed possible following Wimbledon. Murray/Nadal still slight favourites though.


Art Says:

There is no doubt that Fed is on the decline…to what degree will continue to be hotly debatable…

That said, it’ll still be very interesting to map is Fed’s progress in the couple years given the incredible level of competition, changes in technology, new techniques and the increasing physical stature of younger players…

Just think what a drag it would be if Fed decided to suddenly call it quits at the end of this year…

Yes, Nadal is still great to watch…his style and technique is uncomparable…plus he’s a simply a great sportsman….

But other than that, most of new players are almost carbon copies of each other…tall players, big serves, two-handed backhands and power-hitters from the back court…

Got to given Andy Murray some credit for his smooth play at the least…

Imagine if we just had to watch the likes of Djoker playing the likes of Cillic, Gulbis, Soderling or Del Poltro for Grand Slam finals…how exciting would that be…this would be any tennis sponsors’s worse nightmare…though it is bound to happen…

The bottom line…with all due respect to Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro, the tennis world really needs some fresh blood to excite the tennis world…it’s really amazing that the world has not really produced anyone outside of Federer or Nadal over the pass decade…it’s pretty obvious that the USA is no longer capable of producing another Johnny Mac, Pete Sampras or Andre Agassi…now that’s really amazing…


Dave B Says:

Every time they showed Djokovic’s box I thought of the Flight of the Bumble Bees. Truly bad taste!!


madmax Says:

Art, interesting post buddy.

The up and coming talent – go watch dolgopolov play – he is in the early stages of brilliance.


funches Says:

Ben,

No one with any credibility is saying Fed is not in decline. The debate is whether he will win more slams, and I think he’ll win at least four more.

He’s still the U.S. Open favorite in my mind. There’s no way Murray can beat him there. Even with Murray playing extremely well and Federer playing with a lack of focus, he had a shot to win both sets yesterday. For Murray to win the U.S. Open, which is definitely possible, he’ll need Fed to lose to Soderling or Berdych or Djokovic.

When he’s on, Federer still has more game than any other tennis player. It’s that simple.


Stefani Germanotta Says:

Fed is happy with the result this week. After Paris and Wimby, things were not looking good. Now, he’s gotten some confidence back after beating Berdych and Nole. Murray played great all week — no doubt — but Fed still played him pretty close. Maybe Murray will peak too early?

Look for Fed to take it easy in Cincy, with a goal of the SF. If he gets to the final, great, but I think he’s going to try to pace himself from here through New York.


contador Says:

oaky grendel. that was supposed to be a compliment to murray’s fine win over specifically fed and nadal- “heavyweights” is the wrong word: murray is one and djoko, soderling, delpo, ahem, birdman….

not meaning anything against murray at all. : )

madmax-

read through the thread of the matches yesterday for fun. thanks for your offer! you are sweet… xx


skeezerweezer Says:

@ Madmax,

Thanks for posting that transcript by AM. I turn up the internal listening device when a player talks about another player with sincerity, this carries a lot of weight into what is going on, from a player who is in the playing field. Nice stuff :)


contador Says:

DMB

“euro-puke-tastic” was a dumb thing to write and made me cringe and i am american. ughh, not at all a good thing on tennis-x

kimmi-

switching back and forth is not good! i had picked dolgo and switched to ferer, thinking i wasn’t being realistic. but i thought i switched back….forgot to click “save” is what i think on that one.

go dolgo!


skeezerweezer Says:

“But other than that, most of new players are almost carbon copies of each other…tall players, big serves, two-handed backhands and power-hitters from the back court…”

This is true, no dis respect to those that are tall and two handers. So many Fed haters want to see him crash and burn, but don’t realize his contribution to the game while playing a psuedo style that has contents of tennis history’s best.

Who else plays a one handed back hand in the top 10?

“0″….


Twocents Says:

Dave B,

You read my mind on “Bumble Bee” :-))! We got too many of those down here. Not sure about bad taste part, though. Yellow tends to cheer me up.

margot,

Thanks for your education on Murray’s dad/mom roles. Sorry for the mistake. Very glad he proved he’s in no hurry to get a coach.

grendel,

Fully agree with you on that Fed’s pretty happy about the past week. Good fight, Fed.

And don’t forget the other winner in Toronto: Paul Annacone — getting credit for both finalists. LOL!


contador Says:

hey skeezerweezer

watch out for our own kimberli25 was on the leaderboard last week!

atm i am sharing top spot with i dunno how many ppl but that is because only one match is done… : o

out! to work i go


Will Navarro Says:

Apparently this isn’t the first time Dairo Toyin was involved in some trouble…

http://www.sunnewsonline.com/webpages/features/sportsonthehour/2006/feb/20/sportsbreak-20-02-2006-001.htm

He *broke* his coach’s arm. How can this guy still be allowed to play professional tennis?


ertorque Says:

exactly skeezer! I predict that Fed will be the last single-backhander GS champion that tennis will ever see. Tennis in the very near future will be dominated by tall(at least 6 2″) and double backhanders.
When single backhanders are embroiled in a groundstroke battle with powerful double backhanders, points they loses more often than not stems from a ‘weak’ or parrying type of return off their single backhands landing short allowing their opponents to dictate the point from thereon.


Ben Pronin Says:

I can’t agree with that at all. Even though the one hander has been on the decline since the late 80s, early 90s, somehow, the 2 guys who both broke the previous slam record had one-handers and their biggest rivals tended to have two-handers. I feel like there will always be a great player with a one-handed backhand, as rare as it may become.


madmax Says:

Recently, (in May) – the link for the full interview is at the end – Fed gave an interview about mental strength. I know that we have all discussed Fed’s mental strength at critical moments, but I thought it would be good to remind us fans of what he did say, PLUS what he had ‘allegedly’ said about Murray and the psychological warfare crap he was accused of earlier on in the year. I don’t think this has been posted here before?

Q.
Where do you get the mental strength to win those all-important points in the decisive moments of a tennis match?

RF:
You just have to keep things as simple as possible in your head. You say to yourself, I’m going to give 100 percent for every point, and just try to play well at that moment. At very important times, you then try to consciously use your strengths to exploit the weaknesses of your opponent. Of course, this isn’t always that easy to do in practice, especially as your opponent is trying to do the same, but you have to have a clear goal for yourself in your mind’s eye and make every effort not to let your opponent control your play. Of course, in tennis you constantly have to adapt your game. At the end of the day, it is a reaction sport. There is only one shot that you have complete control over, and that is the serve. All other shots require you to react, but there should ideally be a plan behind the reaction.

Q.
Aside from the speed aspect, on a mental level, tennis seems to have a lot in common with chess. But in chess, the player plans a number of moves in advance. How does this work in tennis?

RF.
In tennis, you can plan perhaps one-and-a-half shots in advance. I serve the ball to a particular point, a point where I know the ball will generally be returned in a particular way, and then I have a number of options. If you plan too far in advance, you inevitably start to get surprised, and that’s a bad thing.
Q.
How closely do you observe your opponent on the court during the match?

RF
Hardly at all. Now and then people say to me after a game: Did you see what the other guy did? I’m not aware of that sort of thing at all. I immediately turn away after each point. I’m just not interested in what my opponent is doing or how he might be feeling. I prefer to concentrate on myself. Of course, if I see that my opponent is injured during a match, I’ll check it out once or twice. But something like that shouldn’t change your game, because if it then turns out to be nothing at all, you will be surprised again.
Q.
What if the opponent shows signs of weakness? Do you specifically exploit that?
RF.
Of course.
Q.
What about the gentlemen’s agreement that in tennis you never serve straight at the other player?
RF.
I used to do that quite often. I was practically forced to because the player was often very close to the net. I had virtually no other choice then and the gentlemen’s agreement gets forgotten. Of course, I would never smash the ball at someone standing two meters in front of me, but serving at the body is a common practice. You’re not going to hit the opponent at those distances.
Q.
In his book “Winning Ugly,” former tennis pro and coach Brad Gilbert describes what is essentially psychological warfare on the tennis court. Is that the way you see it too?
RF.
I always have to smile to myself a little when I see what people read into some of the things I’ve said. For example, in an interview after my win in Australia, John McEnroe said that I had used all my experience of psychological warfare by stating before the final that Murray was under a lot more pressure than me because I had already won everything. I then apparently also exploited Murray’s injured foot to the maximum. Of course, that’s absolute nonsense, especially as the supposed foot injury turned out to be no problem at all. I don’t see that sort of thing as psychological warfare, I just say what I think. The fact that Murray, with no Grand Slam wins, would need the win in a final more than me and therefore be under more pressure is just the way it is.
Q.
So there aren’t any little comments in passing during a match either?
RF.
Before my time, there apparently were occasional comments along the lines of “Ah, are you getting nervous now?” and such things. But in the over 800 matches I’ve played in my career, it’s never happened to me once. Sure you get the odd little gesture: for example, when I lose a point and my opponent celebrates ostentatiously in order to provoke me or varies the intensity of play by taking more time with his service. Or an opponent might gripe all the time or give me a look of disbelief when I win a point, as if to say “You’re so lucky.” But that’s just part of the game. What’s more, given the comprehensive camera coverage on the big courts these days, any less-than-civilized comments or other antics just wouldn’t be possible any more.

http://www.goroger.net/interview/2010/creditsuisseemag100519.html


ertorque Says:

I did ask myself the same question (why Pete and Roger) could do it then. My answer is that they do not have many tall (at least 6′ 2) AND plays powerful doublehander. In my opinion, there is significant difference in what one can do (power generation and reach) between a 5 11 and a 6 2).
One I can think of is Marat but even then his power is not as great as today’s great (JMDP, Birdman, Gulbis and Soderling are some of whom I am refering to)


Ben Pronin Says:

JMDP, Birdman, Gulbis and Soderling have a total of 1 slam amongst them and a total of 3 other finals. And only 1 Masters final.

It’s funny how everyone jumps on the big guy bandwagon (I’m guilty of this myself in many ways) but they’re still not winning much. Nadal and Federer are the only guys to win a slam this year and that could very easily continue at the USO. If Murray or Djokovic win, then it’ll still prove that you don’t have to hit the ball super hard and flat every time because these two have counter punching instincts that the big guys more or less lack.


blank Says:

In the single handed backhand discussion, let’s not forget Graf and Henin…who have played in the era of double handed backhand and enjoyed more success than their contemporaries.

But saying “women’s tennis” today is like uttering a bad word that disgusts most people.


Ben Pronin Says:

“But saying “women’s tennis” today is like uttering a bad word that disgusts most people.”

Funniest thing I’ve ever heard.


blank Says:

Ben,

Glad you found it funny :-) Trust me, I feel so lucky men’s Rogers Cup was in Toronto, my hometown, this year. I literally camped out there for 3 days and it was so much fun. The atmosphere in the Federer-Berdych match was unlike any other I’ve experienced in a tennis match! I would have hated it if Women were playing here this year. Next year, I’ll plan well in advance and go to Montreal during this time.

Anyways, the ladies – sans Sharapova, Williams’es, Ivanovic, Henin etc are now in Montreal. And I head there are storms over there now. Seriously, even the gods don’t want them to play anymore.


skeezerweezer Says:

blank,

absolutely, let’s not forget the women.

BP,

It’s true their Slam record so far is not happening but;

How many in the current top ten are over 6’2′ with 2 handers that bludgeon the ball. IMO this style of game with the height will cause problems for Rafa’s game eventually, mainly because of the ability to handle his FH. A two hander also has the advantage of hitting a BH down the line with accuracy and power, especially the taller guys. This opens open the court and creates a whole lotta opportunities. It’s all ready proven to bother Fed with his style of play also. Granted few slams YET, but there is a reason these guys are in the top 10. Perhaps all they need is to not hit the ball so flat ALL the time. Murray is a good example of this. We may be seeing the “power game” coming back as we saw in the time of Agassi, Courier, Chang, etc, which didn’t look like power as you look back now but it was at that time. Grip it and rip it? No?

I would be the first to cheer on a one hander, but who is new and upcoming that has it ?


blank Says:

“I heard*” and not ‘I head’


Ben Pronin Says:

Of course they’re in the top 10. Murray and Djokovic have been a part of the “Big 4″ for a number of years now and they also only have 1 slam amongst each other. Nadal and Federer are still winning everything and that has yet to actually change. There has been an era shift, and it’s not from finesse players to hard hitters, it’s from Federer to Nadal. Nadal could be the trend killer/setter and dominate the way no other player with a 2-handed backhand has. But he’s not 6’5 with super flat shots.


ertorque Says:

Well said Skeezer! That is my point too but I am not able to express it so well since English is not my first language.
Single backhanders are phasing out slowly AND surely just like serve/volley of the 70s era?

**I would be the first to cheer on a one hander, but who is new and upcoming that has it ?**

I like this guy Andrey Golubev from Russia playing for Kazakhistan. Recently he won the Hamburg Open.


Sean Randall Says:

Euro puke-tastic? I agree, a bad wardrobe weekend in tennis.


mat4 Says:

This tournament has been good for the four best player:

- Roger is trying to change his game, and he has make a step forward. It is clear that he can no longer win from the back of the court, but his versatility could be a great advantage. He is more aggressive on the return, and takes more risks. I have always seen RF like a counter-puncher, but he is clearly trying to change that. He is slower, unfortunately.

- Murray is here. He plays well, and believes in his strength.

- Rafa continues. His style of play isn’t well suited against AM or ND, but he manages to win against others. He is a bit tired, it’s clear.

- Nole is trying to get back on the tracks, and, excepted the serve, he’s basically there: his FH was exceptional (and it was usually one of his main weakness; sometimes I think that problems AM and ND have with the FH is because of their brand of racket: they hardly can hit flat strokes); he needs more confidence right now. He lost his match against RF on this point.


grendel Says:

“When single backhanders are embroiled in a groundstroke battle with powerful double backhanders, points they loses more often than not stems from a ‘weak’ or parrying type of return off their single backhands landing short allowing their opponents to dictate the point from thereon.” (ertorque)

This describes aptly what I feel as the strange “nothing” shots on the bh which Federer sometimes regales us with – all the more puzzling since he has so much variety on the bh – why, then does he do them? Obstinacy? And b.t.w., great one handed backhanders like Almagro, Gasquet, Haas never seem to do this. Federer is a puzzle: he ascends to the heights like no one can, and he can descend to the depths like just about no one can, too.

Ben: I was startled to see the poster Art lump Djokovic in with the big guys. But when you think about it, in some ways he is quite similar to them. When he was giving Federer a hard time the other day with his relentless clean hitting, he seemed very much out of the del Potro camp. Certainly much more similar to the big lads than to Murray with whom you bracket him. Maybe you could regard him as a transitional type player?


andrea Says:

not that this is a fashion blog, but i actually didn’t mind novak’s shirt…the fact that his whole team was wearing the same shirt was a bit weird, but not a lot of people can carry off canary yellow.

when fed busted out the darth federer look at the USO a few years back, i wasn’t sold on the black socks then, but have since gotten used to them.

and yay! to clijsters for coming through. she’s one of my faves on the women’s side.


kimberly Says:

Omg kimmi, contador, jane, blank—i think this is my worst draw challenge so far….and my wild picks haven’t even played!!!!!


jane Says:

I didn’t mind the canary yellow OR the pale pink. Not sure about the wings on the back of Nole’s shirt though.

grendel, doesn’t Nole mix up the pace more? He was using the slice a fair bit versus both Chardy and Fed. And, imo, he certainly has better defensive abilities that some of the others named (which he shares with Murray, Fed and Rafa), AND his returns are exceptional, and I am not sure the others mentioned are quite as good in this department. He shares the power and depth, the attacking style from the baseline, but he counters that with exceptional returning, defense and some pace switching.


jane Says:

Kimberly, I decided to print out a draw and fill it in, just to see how I’d do. So far, not too badly: wrong on Cilic and Dent, but right on Mathieu, Troicki and Wawa.


blank Says:

Kimberly,

First round 1 pointers don’t count for much. If you picks are right for most of the later stages, you’ll rock.

Mathieu and Lopez have disappointed me so far. But hope Nadal makes up for everything by winning the title.


tennislover Says:

“There’s no way Murray can beat him there. Even with Murray playing extremely well and Federer playing with a lack of focus, he had a shot to win both sets yesterday.”

Now, that is very unfair to Murray. It is not Murray’s job to ensure that Federer comes into a match against him in the best possible shape or does not lack focus or rhythm due to several stoppages or any other reason. Federer was able to deal with all kinds of conditions in the past and if he can not deal with them now, that is just too bad. Sure, he only had about 15 hours between his semi final and final and played long matches in the previous two rounds. It is not easy for an old body to recover from these back-to-back affairs. However,Murray took care of his business in the semi final very quickly and reaped the rewards. Federer used to do the same in the past.

Whether Murray can beat Federer at the open is not dependent on Federer’s focus alone. I think Murray has a greater probability of beating a focused Federer at the open compared to the three players you mentioned provided Murray himself can remain focused for the entire match. Of course it will help if he remains aggressive and serves well. Lack of aggression and poor and inconsistent serving have let Murray down time and again. When he is serving well, he is extremely tough to beat.
Murray played brilliantly at the AO and it took an amazing performance from Federer to beat him and even then I thought it was a pretty close match despite the straight sets scoreline. Even Federer will find it difficult to reproduce such stuff as frequently as he used to do in his prime.
Similarly, it took a high class performance from Nadal to knock Murray out at Wimbledon.

I really think it is the form on that particular day that will determine the outcome provided they do meet at the open in the first place. Personally, I will give the slight edge to Murray. He seems to be entering his prime while Federer has long been out of his. Nadal still remains the slight favorite for the title though.

I do agree, however, that focus- or the lack of it- has been Federer’s biggest problem in recent years. Federer used to be- obviously apart from Nadal- the only player who could remain focused for most of an entire match/tournament and was the only one who could remain focused for an entire season. These days, one gets the feeling that he loses his focus far too frequently not only during a match or a set but even within a game or a point/rally!! I say this because he appears to, all of a sudden, get either stuck with his movement after moving very well during a rally or some of his shot selection, which used to be generally impeccable in his glory days, will suddenly make you question the logic behind it. It is almost as if he forgets certain basics all of a sudden.

I am sure there are a variety of factors at play and one should not oversimplify a complex issue like the decline of a great champion. One should not over-analyze it either.

I guess there is a small period of time- a player’s prime- where everything comes together to give them the slight edge over the rest of the field. This slight edge is all that matters in a game like tennis. Once you lose that tiny edge, you become a more “normal” player. This is especially true for a player like Federer. Federer’s game is so complex and he operates on such tiny margins that it is difficult to keep it fine-tuned all the time. For instance, his losses to the big-hitters don’t surprise me much. In fact, it was quite difficult to digest his long winning streaks against the power hitters. I personally find it quite astonishing that his unprecedented domination of the tour lasted as long as it did and his game did not break down more frequently considering how easily it could have potentially been derailed. SOME Swiss precision it was!!


blank Says:

jane,

Fed and Nadal. They are proven champions.

Djoko and Murray – They are super-talented. But their main struggle is what goes on between the ears. They, especially Djoko, has been losing that battle so far. Hope he turns that around soon. But it will only get harder and harder as the new crop emerges ever more stronger.


mat4 Says:

Jane:

Murray and Djoko are still improving. Don’t worry: the new crops won’t emerge so soon. (And the gap between the first four, when they are at their best, and the others, is huge.)

I am quite certain that one of them will take the USO and the other the AO. I honestly see two finals AM-ND.

Usually we see players statically, but they are really changing: have you noticed the changes in AM’s and Novak’s FH? The crisis they got through made them work real hard. AM is ready. Novak needs just one big win. Hopefully it will come at Cincy.


jane Says:

blank @ 2:04 – Don’t I know it!! : / Between the ears indeed.

mat4, love your optimism!! I wish it would rub off on me. I am hoping for a couple slams for each of them. I don’t want a lot or expect them to necessarily scale the heights of Rafa and Roger, especially, but a couple, or a few, slams each would be wonderful. If either one of them goes even further, then its a cherry on top.

tennislover, nice of you to give those props to Murray; your post seems very wise and fair.


Fot Says:

First, congrats to all the Murray fans. 2nd, I’m ok with Roger’s play. He was down 2 breaks in the first and still came back to tie it at 5-5. If he had been a little more consistent yesterday, maybe the results would have been different. But still, a final is great and he picked up enough points to move back into #2. I just hope this week in Cincy he can stay ahead of Novak to be seeded #2 in the US Open.

Now earlier, someone posted that “Rafa is tired”? He just came back from about 6 weeks layoff, right? He can’t be too tired. I just think Murray played a great match against him – like Murray did against Roger.

On to Cincy!!!!! Let’s go Roger – let’s go!!!!!


mat4 Says:

Tennislover:

I don’t think that focus is Rog main problem. There was an exceptional rally between him and Novak in their match, with cross court FH played at an unbelievable angle, that Roger won. RF commented, a few months ago, that such kind of shot was impossible a few years ago.

With the improvements in the racket technology, he has lost one of his main advantage: his unbelievable FH. Saturday, Novak was hitting harder and had a clear advantage at this point.

Rog’s problem is that is a little bit slower, and with the advances in racket manufacturing, his opponents hit harder. The rest is just consequences.


Kimberly Says:

i was wrong on cilic, dent (but forced b/c qualies weren’t filled in), and matieu

Right on wawa and troicki.

Go DOLGO

GO Roddick


Twocents Says:

Big fan of JMDP, Berdy, at al, but I still put Djok and Murray the heads of young wolf pack, cuz it’s kind of deja vu. We had many of this superman with super racquets talkings over men’s tour since mid-80′s. There were Goran Invanesvic, Tod Martin,et al. Jmac porposed a separate men’s tour for under-6’1″ back in the early 90s. LOL!
But guess what? 20+ years later, it’s still the 6’1-2″ guys like Lendl, Pete, Fed, Nadal that occupied the pinacle.


Fot Says:

If Roger keeps winning and – you guessed it – Falla keeps winning – they will have to play each other for the 1,000th time this year! lol!


Kimberly Says:

allright, i created a group on the atp draw challenge called tennisxfans of which i am currently the only member—all other draw challengers please join!!! It will be friendly competition and commisseration!!!!

contador, blank, kimmi and all others


mat4 Says:

There is just one more thing I would like to say: have you noticed that in his last interviews (in english and french, also), RF is calling Djokovic: “Novak”, or “Nole”. Seems that they finally settled their relationship. A year ago, it was “Djokovic”, or “this guy”. Murray is still “Murray” most of the time, but I think it will change too.

It speaks about their status, I dare to believe.

PS: sorry for my bad english.


grendel Says:

very interesting post, tennislover. I have always felt that Federer operated on the margins. Not being a tennis player, I don’t have the knowledge to either explain or justify this. But I have watched a great deal of tennis over many years, and anyone who does this develops a sort of instinctive expertise. That is, they can see things which an inexperienced viewer would not be able to see, and that no doubt is why the more you watch the more you can enjoy, even if you are still at sea when technical explanations come into play (only someone who has been coached can properly understand those – you can’t understand the function of a change of grip, for instance, if you have not experienced it yourself – watching someone demonstrating it in a studio doesn’t help here).

Anyway, as I watched more and more of Federer, I had this instinctive feeling that he operated on very tight margins, more so than any player I had seen since McEnroe (who is different in just about every other aspect). And I began to realise that this was one of the things which made Federer so thrilling to watch. Unlike someone like Sampras,who often seemed quite unbeatable (and in this sense Nadal, not Federer, is his true successor), Federer always seemed to me vulnerable, even in his great days. Even when he was beating up on a good player, you felt that it could all go terribly wrong; it probably wouldn’t mind – but it might. And it was this element of uncertainty, this faint echo of a high wire balancing act without a net, which imparted the sense of thrill – one wasn’t just admiring beauty, as if the tennis court was a kind of art gallery, that’s for sure.

So now, inevitably, as time takes its toll (technology too, if you like, acting as leveller -this isn’t an either/or thing)those margins are not so easy to keep on the right side of. The timing always had to be impeccable; now that it’s gradually drifting astray, we can all see the strange results – and that must be about a slight lack of focus. I did wonder about reaction times fractionally slowing, but that seems to be contradicted by those periods where all seems well and much as before.

So it seems to me that those people who say Federer can still win if he retains his passion for tennis have got it right. Not for records, mind. That would just produce useless straining. But for tennis (which will include records); because with passion comes the possibility of focus.


mat4 Says:

Grendel, I enjoyed your post. I would like to add just that it seemed to me that the will is here: there are still moments when RF is waiting for a counterpunch, but he’s already making efforts to change his game: more aggressive on the return, going for more shots, constructing points and finishing them at the net. Against Djoko, one of the few kings of passing shots, he managed to win all his net points but one.

Of course, there are a lot of habits to change, and it is not easy. But I think that he is on the right way.


Twocents Says:

“with passion comes the possibility of focus.”

But with aging comes the inevitable mental lapses. So Fed, along with us fans, is in this unchartered water: Can his passion trumph the natrual’s order?

There’s a reason auto insurance companies charge higher premium to senior drivers. It’s not that senior drivers don’t have better driving skills. It’s cuz they can NOT concentrate for long. It’s physical.


Nina Says:

@Mat4… lol, i have noticed that too. It’s probably the camaraderie after so many years playing each other at the top. People don’t seem to realize that Djokovic has been at the top for as long as Fedal. But their relationship is much better now thanks to Novak’s efforts. He changed the swagger and attitude of his beginnings for a more likeable persona, praising Nadal and Roger here and there. I personally would prefer to see old Nole back, he seemed more confident and a winner. But today is like he doesn’t believe in himself so much. It’s sad really.


blank Says:

Great post Grendel.

Your 2nd paragraph sums up excellently what I have been feeling as well…only that you put it in a way that’s better that what I could ever manage even when explaining to myself. Yes, that’s why most people love Federer. And, that’s why I liked Agassi more than Sampras.


mat4 Says:

@Nina: One big win, and the Nole of last autumn (fall) will be back. I noticed also, in his match against Chardy, that although he was serving at an average speed of 185 km/h, he could serve at more than 200 again.

Just confidence. It will certainly come back. On a french site I had to remind that such great players (it was when RF had his first big crisis) don’t forget to play. Rafa didn’t forget to play last year, when he was losing in a row. Murray and Djokovic didn’t forget to play too. They will soon be back.


skeezerweezer Says:

@ two cents 4:15pm post,

I may add that it is called “Brain Farts” or “A Senior moment”


jane Says:

So far on my imaginary draw challenge with myself that I printed out (LOL), I have 3 wrong and 5 right. And if Melzer and Dolgo win, which it’s looking like a.t.m., I’ll have 7 right to 3 wrong. Woot!

Mind you, as blank I think said, it’s the later rounds that matter more re: being on leader board etc.


Nina Says:

@mat4… I agree with you 100%. I actually believe more in Nole than he does, lol. Really, I’m sure he’s on the right track, he’s already showing a strong improvement in the quality of his game since Wimbledon. I was actually more worried about his shot making than his serve, but everything has a connection in the end. Against Chardy and Fed I saw again those super clean shots down the line and precise angles, he was pushing Roger off the baseline and winning most points from there with some amazing shots. That’s the most clear signal to me that he’s getting back his old form. I’m not worried anymore. I really think both Nole and Murray still have to peak in their games. And the rest of the pack behind them is miles far below.


Twocents Says:

Have mercy, skeezer, on our old guns :-)).


jane Says:

Nina and mat4, you are making me smile. Thanks! Hope you’re both right.

———————

Ferrer is working hard to turn it around on Dolgo!! Come on Dolgo, you need a big win here. Dolgo is definitely one to watch. Very interesting player. The hairstyle alone … !


contador Says:

jane-

having lunch and streaming a bit of the dolgo match. wow, dolgo is fun to watch. he goes for all his shots. ist set he managed to pull out with style though not consistent. 2nd set he’s gone away. but i wouldn’t count him out in the decider.

maybe he needs a breather in the heat. he’s not happy with the ice pack situation: doesn’t like ice cubes stuck to the towel. in general not happy atm.

tigger has lost his bounce. hope he gets it back. : )

i switch names around on the bracket to see how it looks- a bad habit. i got stuck with ferrer in dolgo’s spot ( forgot to “save” after putting dolgo back ) : ) oh well… go dolgo! i don’t care about the point.

melzer won= we have 6 points.

have to see what the damage is later. back to work…


Jake Willens Says:

Murray is the best in the world on the hard stuff when he plays aggressively. Fed is still far far from back.


madmax Says:

Twocents: your post 4.13. I have to disagree with you.

did you see my previous posts about “mental lapses”. I’ve put it here again as was on a different thread and you may not have seen it – apologies to others for the repeat –

Your brain is a ‘thinking’ organ that learns and grows by interacting with the world through perception and action.

Mental stimulation improves brain function and actually protects against cognitive decline, as does physical exercise. (Thinking Fed here!).

The human brain is able to continually adapt and rewire itself.

top using the age card with Fed. Even in ‘old’ age, the brain can grow new neurons. Severe mental decline is usually caused by disease, whereas most age-related losses in memory or motor skills simply result from inactivity and a lack of mental exercise and stimulation.

In other words, use it or lose it.

All fed has to do is USE IT!

I believe with the addition of Annacone to his team, he has already made improvements.


madmax Says:

Twocents, this was interesting from wertheim yesterday:

Speaking of coaching changes: Federer ought to be pleased with his week. Thanks in part to a rough schedule, he failed to win the title in Toronto.

But under the auspices of new coach Paul Annacone, Federer appeared refreshed and inspired. First, he expressed his desire to win 20 major singles titles; which may have been an off-hand remark but ought to please the legion of his fans concerned about his motivation level lately.

Then he summoned some of his best tennis in months. His run to the final included a grudge match win Tomas Berdych — snapping a two-match losing streak to the Czech — and a three-set classic against Novak Djokovic. Overall, he ought to leave Canada encouraged by the state of his game.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jon_wertheim/08/16/best.three/#ixzz0woCUDRwl

Dolgopolov is doing well today Margot! So far, so good.


Kimberly Says:

oh no Dolgo!!!! Come on!!!!


Twocents Says:

madmax,

You’re absolutely right about using the brain. At age of 70+ (??),Joe Kennedy (JFK’s father) was still cutting helluv deals sitting by swimming pool and making phone calls, after a bad stroke. Trouble is, unlike doing business, playing tennis needs much more than brain. One big factor is the links among brain and body parts and the systematic correlations. When you’re young, your body follows your brain like they are the same thing — but your brain does not know better. When you age, your body grows its own mind even though your brain knows much better :-)).

Back to my driver analogy: senior drivers drive everyday, but they are bad drivers.

As for JLW, not sure I agree with his notion of PA’s effectiveness. Fed does not need anyone else to motivate him. He’s always fresh and hungery after long breaks,unless injuries/illness, and this is fast court where he always brought his attacking tennis.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy with Fed’s Toronto journey. But I don’t read into too much of his wins over Tomas and Novak — very close matches. His loss to Murray wasn’t that bad at all. All biz as usual for Fed before USO, imho.


skeezerweezer Says:

@Madmax

Fed did look better this tourney, no doubt.

Interesting topic. You’re right…

Use it or lose it;

I participated in a study on the brain/muscle connection, with regards to “Reflex”. This studies results were that I have continual typing errors in psoting ( J/K )

The study was trying to prove ( which it did ) was this;

Your Reflexes deteriorate very slowly with in the aging process, in fact, it declines minimally until you’re in your 50′s. This of course would explain how older Airline pilots are in their prime in later years, as an example ( As long as they don’t drink and drive ).

What does this have to do with tennis?

A lot.

If you see a serve coming at you at 125 + your ability to tell your muscles ( very important, PROVIDED they are in top shape ) to respond accordingly are for the most part there when you were younger, the decline of this is small as you age, not like other things that are going on in you. It is a reflex. Now running fast is different. What was laid out is “seeing the ball, making a quick action like ” shoulder turn ” or ” Volley “. Other things that actually increase with age in the test was “anticipation”. This theory was argued though as “experience” had a lot to do with this.

Bottom line; You have the ability to react nearly as fast but not move as fast ( obviously ). I think I will grab another beer……


Fot Says:

grendel said: “Unlike someone like Sampras,who often seemed quite unbeatable (and in this sense Nadal, not Federer, is his true successor), Federer always seemed to me vulnerable, even in his great days.”

I personally disagree with this. I have over 300 DVDs of Roger from 2001-present. During his really dominate years (04, 05, 06, 07) – Roger did seem unbeatable. During that 3 year span that he averaged only 4 losses – he was very dominant. One year he reached the FINALS of something like 17 of his 19 tournaments (don’t quote me directly – but I know it was something like that). Even Sampras during his domination wasn’t that dominate! And the ONLY time I feel like Nadal is that dominant is when he (Nadal) is on clay. I still sense vulnability in Nadal on hard court and even on grass he struggles. But I don’t understand when people say Roger was not dominant? *scratches head*. I think sometimes we forget what a player did in the past when we look at where he is in the present.

Just my take.


grendel Says:

I wonder if anyone else experiences a strange illusion when watching Dolgopov serve. Perhaps because his action is so quick, his serve looks pretty quick, appearing to explode from his racket – in fact, it rarely seems to go above 120 mph. There may be some other explanation.

He’s definitely a fun player to watch. When he’s got more control, he should be formidable.


grendel Says:

Fot – I wasn’t questioning Federer’s record, which was, as you say, amazingly dominant. It’s just that there was something about his play which made me feel he was vulnerable – like an exquisite work of art which could easily shatter in certain circumstances. A lot of his matches, in those dominant days, were actually a good deal closer than we tend to remember. His great will carried him through. That might sound like a contradiction, but it wasn’t his will that was vulnerable, it was the nature of his game, which seemed to be very delicately poised. That’s why (in my view) he was so extraordinary.

And that’s just my take, Fot. I guess these things are pretty subjective.


jane Says:

Agree with Fot’s post @ 7:06. Make more sense to me. Fed did seem unbeatable, even to the other players not just viewers who were either “oooohhhing and aaaahhhhing,” or else twiddling their thumbs, or else breaking things or similar. Meanwhile, I too sense a certain vulnerability in Nadal everywhere but clay.


Fot Says:

Good discussion Jane and grendel! Great. It’s all about opinions. I just know that back in the day when Roger was at his height – I basically KNEW he was going to win just about every match. Whereas with Pete, I didn’t get that sense except when he was at Wimbledon. With Nadal – when he was at the French. I didn’t get that sense with Roger at the French, but everywhere else – I just KNEW he was going to win. I didn’t sense a vulnerability with him NO WHERE except the French. Like the announcers said – when Roger walked out on the court, the score was already 3-0 in his favor because the other players all thought he was unbeatable. Man I miss those days! lol!

But even with Nadal being the clear #1 today, I still get a sense of his vulnerability on every surface except clay and especially during all the tournaments after Wimbledon. Nadal seems vulnerable during the hard court season and really vulnerable during the indoor hard court season even though he is clearly #1 right now.

But this has been a great discussion.


jane Says:

However, I would concur that both Nadal and Fed have amazing wills that help with their wins. I would also reiterate that some pundits, Sean Randall, for e.g., say Fed’s play is timing dependent (not exactly sure what that means – but something to explain all the shanks now, as related to Fed being a step or even half a step slower). Perhaps this timing business relates to the precariousness grendel sensed. But i still say Fed was TOTAL dominant. And seemed that way.


jane Says:

kimberly, kimmi, contry – too bad re: Dolgo. contador, your “not being able to change it” scenario worked out!


Von Says:

Since I brought up this topic on the brain being an organ, I might as well clarify my thoughts on the matter of Federer’s mental lapses, as was mentioned by skeezer.

With respect to cognitive decline, which has engendered the ‘use or lose it’ slogan for senior adults, that is true. However, I’m not talking at all about cognitive decline, only lapses in concentration, which are two entirely different topics and/or situations.

Yes the brain replicates its neurotransmitters as it’s part of the human body, which regenerates itself continuously; it’s a living organism. Without becoming too technical, yes cells and/or neurons do replicate. If they didn’t, we’d all grow old pretty fast and be subjected to accelerated aging. With each new regeneration however, a small part of the cell dies off, i.e.,they replicate with a small differential. Cells have what’s called telomeres, and each time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter. Eventually, when they get too short, the cell no longer can divide and becomes inactive and dies. Eventually one day we look in the mirror and realize we’re growing old-’er’, as it creeps up on us, like a thief in the night, and robs us of our youthful spark. This is the aging process, and cognitive decline is a part of that aging process.

I was not talking about brain degeneration, and the ‘use or lose it stuff’, which is pretty much common knowledge nowadays, as it’s touted by the psychological field, big time. I’m talking about mental lapses, and attention span, which can happen at any age, and is totally different from cognitive decline.

In Fed’s case, and I’m just speaking from observation here, it seems that his mind begins to wander, — in layman’s term, a ‘mental walkabout’, and when that happens, he begins to use the wrong shot selection, becomes agitated, FH starts shanking, and the UEs begin to multiply.

This problem could be caused by a number of things which are known only to Fed, or it could be that he’s unaware of what’s happening when the mental walkabout occurs. Eventually though, he does become aware of the situation/problem, and tries to rectify it by upping his level of play. On some occasions, he’s successful in so doing and pulls out the win, but at other times, it’s too late = he loses.

If I might add, mental lapses can occur due to physical fatigue, which manifests itself mentally — i.e, the brain/body connection, and/or other negative stimuli which produces saturation and/or overload. If I might add, mental lapses are not due to aging, (even though they do occur more as we age), but attention span and short-term memory. Teenagers have mental lapses, much more than mature adults because in their case, their minds are undisciplined and they like to indulge in day-dreaming.

Based on my observation, there are other players who suffer from mental lapses also, e.g., Murray, Roddick, and a few other players. In Murray’s case, his mental lapses always seems to occur after he’s won the first set. To me, it appears as though he sends his mind on a holiday, as compensation for a job well done in the first set. Same goes for Roddick sometimes.


Kimmi Says:

bracket challenge gang.

only 18% picked dolgo over ferrer. must be the tennis-x gang..lol. next time dolgo. i believe on you.

Robredo had a match point against berrer..really, losing after having a match point mast suck. messing up my challenge too.
.
Kimberly – I will check out your group and join


Kimberly Says:

Go Becker!!! I picked the qualifier because I figure Bellucci isn’t a great HC player and a qualie would have had a few rounds to warm up.

Looks like they are in a tight one!!!!!


Kimmi Says:

bellucci, c’mon man. I pick you to beat benjamin berker. tie break and becker with mini break..oh no!!! :(


Kimberly Says:

still love Dolgo!!!! Even if he let me down :-(

all draw challengers tennisxfans group i created for us!


Kimmi Says:

Good job bellucci


contador Says:

thanks Kimberly!

just joined too.

becker broke back in the 2nd set. : ( on serve again 3-3


contador Says:

i thought the same of tomaz – better on clay.

i dunno why i picked bellucci. oh ya, the qualie had not been filled in. i would have picked dent too. woulda coulda definitely picked istomin.


Kimmi Says:

kimberly – just read your msg that you picked becker..hahaha.

we have to go the opposite this time….


Kimmi Says:

bellucci has done well on some HC too..though clay is his best surface. conty.

he could win here


jane Says:

Am cheering on Bellucci; picked him on imaginary solitary draw “challenge”.

kimberly, Roddick seems fine. 9 aces so far and ahead in second set tiebreak. Don’t think your pick is so “wild” : )


grendel Says:

“But i still say Fed was TOTAL dominant. And seemed that way.” One interesting fact, jane. When Federer was dominant, you strongly disliked him. I went through a period of strongly disliking Nadal, and whilst I have modified this, and even quite like him as an individual, I still can’t watch him “objectively”. And I’ve noticed that when you feel like that about a player, you tend to give them exaggerated powers in your mind.

However, it’s not always like that. I recall clashing slightly with Tejuz, a strong Federer fan who used to post here a lot. He’d watched the AO live one year, and in particular had seen Federer beat Djokovic in straight sets. I’m afraid I forget the year. I had watched that match on tenterhooks, because although the score line was unequivocally in favour of Fed, I constantly had this feeling that Djokovic was about to turn the tables. Or rather, that it was a possibility that he might. Tejuz denied this, and said that it was an easy, straightforward victory for Federer.

I have no doubt that Tejuz genuinely believed this. And I also am aware that I am the “nervous type” who tends to anticipate the worst, sometimes stupidly so. Perhaps there was a bit of that there. But it wasn’t just that. I sensed there was something in the young Djokovic which could overwhelm Federer if his remarkably finessed type of game was to lose its edge. I still think that match was closer than people said at the time.

And in fact, you can point to certain matches where this “vulnerability” is evident. For example, the final of the US Open when Federer TWICE bagelled Hewitt is often cited as an instance of Federer’s overwhelming superiority. And yet sandwiched between the two bagels was a set ending in a tie break. That was incredibly competitive and could easily have gone the other way, and who knows what would have happened then. Federer might still have regained his touch. Or he might not.

But at the end of the day, what seemeth to thee seemeth not to me. That’s how it goes and, as The Rev Sydney Smith remarked when observing a violent altercation between two women, going hammer and tongs over the wall dividing their back yards:”Those two women will never agree, they are disputing from different premises.”


contador Says:

i watched the entire gulbis-bellucci match in toronto on youtube.

they just pummeled the ball at each other. i know there is a lot of debate about ball bashing but i enjoyed it.

speaking of smacking the ball, dolgo ripped one. literaly. had to do the point over. ferrer stopped and showed the ball to the ump.

1 set all roddick and sergei


Kimmi Says:

hmmmm..roddick on a dog fight now. c’moooon roddick.


jane Says:

grendel, the view contains the viewer; on that we can agree.

You’re right, of course, but my dislike, as I’ve come to realize, was clouded largely by the fact that he was beating my favorite players. He still is! Though less regularly, and I like him now, can appreciate his game and he seems a nice harmless guy with a world of talent, and charming wife, two sweet babes. Nothing against the guy now. Weird.

But, even back then, in all my disgruntledness, I still watched Fed, and I watched him play matches wherein I didn’t care about his opponent (not a fave or even a remote one), and to me he still seemed totally unbeatable. He could come up with this magic when he needed to, and he did have a sort of aura then that he was unbeatable too.

Maybe you something under the aura that I didn’t? The guy I see now?

Anyhow, cheers.

————————-

GULP -how did Stakovsky steal that set? Didn’t see it comin!


kimberly Says:

Go roddick eesh!!! Its all over for me if you crash and burn!!!

I would have taken istomin, dent and becker. I did pick the qualie over ginepri and he got someone I don’t know.


Kimmi Says:

roddick breaks! from a 40-0 game on stakovsky serve..great.

bellucci finish him pls


Kimmi Says:

bellucci match point


jane Says:

Good for Bellucci and Roddick’s up a break too.


Kimmi Says:

sorry kimberly, bellucci won. i have gone up one point.


Von Says:

Oy, Roddick looks very drawn and tired, his colour is bad. I’ve never seen him look like this. He needs to be resting instead of playing, as it will only delay his healing..


Kimberly Says:

go andy!!!!! Von don’t say that, although I want Andy to go to the semi-finals I do hope he is not injuring himself.

You hate to think of Andy Roddick as a hard luck story, he is a blessed individual, but you feel like his career is a disappointment to him. I think if he could win one more grand slam (i know wimbledon is what he wants) he would feel complete.

American tennis is not in a good place on either the mens or womens side. Venus and Serena are the best thing the USA has.

I noticed that all the top 4 are playing wed? With those matches I think most likely Djoko will get a day match. Definitely Rafa or Roger will get the night spot, unless they give it to an American.


Kimmi Says:

roddick on the roll in this set. finish him andy


jane Says:

Roddick is cruising … looks like a bagel for dinner for Sergiy? Or maybe a breadstick.


Kimberly Says:

ljubicik/nalby and isner have two night spots tomorrow.

Congrats to Bellucci and all the smarter people who picked him!!!!! (kimmi, contador etc)


jane Says:

kimberly – Roddick has come SO CLOSE to second, third, fourth slam titles (5 finals gone begging?), each time denied by Fed, that it must haunt him on some level and he must want to get past that hurdle one more time, at Wimbledon ideally. All things considered, yes, he has it pretty good.

He’s moving really well but does look pale.


Kimmi Says:

sergiy does not want a bagel…he is celebrating a point like he is won a grand slam.


contador Says:

kimberly.

thanks though i’d like to credit myself i can’t. i would have picked becker. usually i do take a chance on a qualifier if the main draw isn’t filled in.( rome and madrid ) this time i didn’t.

roddick appears to be perfectly fine. go roddick!


jane Says:

Sergiy looks younger than 24 to me.


jane Says:

Roddick looks like he has more energy than Sergiy!


contador Says:

good for sergiy. just say no to bagels.


Kimmi Says:

sergiy eventually got his bread stick..good fight


jane Says:

“just say no to bagels.” – LOL!!!! Good one contador.


Kimmi Says:

congrats roddick. next is de bekker.


jane Says:

I have 8 right so far. For Berrer, Ferrer, Dent and Baggy I picked the opponents.


Kimberly Says:

Roddick wins!!! Yeah!!!! Roddick has typically not been one of my favs but he is turing into one in his later years. I think I started liking him after his hilarious presser in the 2007 AO after his brutal semi-final loss to federer.


Von Says:

Kimberly: I want Andy to play also, but I don’t want him to do so at the expense of his health.

With mono, an athlete could repture his spleen, and that’s bad news. His colour is off, and his cheekbones are sticking out. He appears to have lost some more weight also.

I’m glad he won for your bracket. Yes, American tennis is in the doldrums, at the present time, but I’m hopeful.

BTW, don’t forget that we have the Bryans. They live in Florida also, and so do I. My son goes to school close to you.


Kimmi Says:

jane – you should have played. you would be leading the group with contador..no i think conty is 9. she is flying. i am 7.

you see jane..you are good


contador Says:

uh boy. i picked de bekker over roddick. that’s what i get for fretting about his mono.

not doubting his test results and i am glad he’s healthy!


jane Says:

Kimmi, thanks for the encouragement; maybe I’ll try for Shanghai but I just wanted to try a little “test run” for fun. Slams don’t count then? Just 1000 events or what? I guess I’ll have to go read up.


Kimberly Says:

i see soderling as the big place roddick can crash and burn. But who knows, de Bakker had talent. Unless the tournament organziers don’t use their head and give him a night match against Novak. In a day match I think we would have a replay of AO 2009.

Lets all cheer on our bou Ernie Gublis tomorrow. I’ve never been to Cincy so don’t know about the night life. Hopefully he won’t show up with a hangover!!!!! Amazing top 5 talent. Not much motivation.


Kimmi Says:

jane – only 1000 events..unfortunately. coz i want more.


Kimmi Says:

OK, final match today. ginepri vs somdev. i guess a lot have picked ginepri here..


Kimberly Says:

the tennischannel.com has a raquetbracket for GS but I like the atp site better. Also I saw on TV the usopen.org website will have a draw challenge, don’t know about that one, never did it.


contador Says:

to be sure i cheer erno, kimberly. though it doesn’t help. he won’t listen, the party animal. and i forgot how he complained in LA about the heat in his post match interview! LA? it was perfect there!

and the cramps in toronto. sheesh. i keep picking him anyway.

go gulbis!


Kimmi Says:

somdev had broken ginepri


Kimberly Says:

off to bed…will save my late nights for later in tourney!!!!


Kimmi Says:

good nite kimberly


contador Says:

kimmi, i think kimberly has the presence of mind to gamble on the mystery Q devvarrman and blank did too.


Kimmi Says:

hmmm, well he is up a break right now. ginepri is coming back though. he was down 2 break now only one break remains.


Kimmi Says:

and it is back on serve now. somdev is going thru some “not so good moment”


contador Says:

c’mon ginepri

my livestream was terrible for the roddick match so i’ll take von and jane’s assessments of how he looked.

better roddick spare himself than to put his body at risk. take it easy andy.


Kimmi Says:

mmmm, time to go to bed. somdev could win this. he took the first set.


goat galz Says:

Oh Von, don’t get your granny-sized knickers in a twist. Roddick doesn’t have mono, it’s called old age and excuses.

ta ta dolls


Twocents Says:

Is this a smart or scientific tennis site or what?

So glad Roddick won.

grendel,

Many friends told me they have this soft spot for Fed exactly becuz of the “vulnerability” you mentioned. The guys were beating the hell out of everyone in sight, yet his peers voted him best sportsman year after year. Could it be even his peers feel this false “vulnerability”? It can’t be false if his tears after a win and a loss were real, can it be?

It may be: 1) his game — skill based instead of power-based; 2) his metrosexual physical build and demeanor — quite a long shot from the mascular vilain type sports icons adored by us Americans; 3) his contradicting mix of Teutonic calm and African passion; 4) his own anxiety and pride of possessing this unique talent…I don’t know what I’m talkign about.

skeezer,

Do you know we have a beer town just north of San Antonio?


Art Says:

Some interesting comments on Fed that I’m frankly stuggling with…nonetheless, I have no hard conclusions but just some random thoughts on Fed’s future…

I think there are arguabley three factors that will ultimately accelerate Fed’s decline or inability to win as much as he use to:

1. Age/speed – Fed has clearly lost a step, whether it is full step, 1/2 step or 1/4 step, it doesn’t matter…it has hurt his ability to not only attack but importantly retrieve. When I look I back at Fed at his best, his ability to defend is what really set him apart from the rest. This in turn allowed him to win so easily for so many years. When you can defend like him, why take risk in terms of higher risk offense.

2. Technology/strings – I am no expert on raquet and string technology. But clearly, the combination is allowing some above average players (who are not the most swift/agile players) to succeed in today’s tennis world. I mean the type of power and control some of these players can generate off the back hand is ridiculous. This type of stuff happen 3/4 years back, nevertheless 6/7 years ago.

3. Motivation – Clearly Fed’s motivation is in decline and can you blame him. It’s all about just adding icing to the cake right now. This is why I believe he grand slam and non-grand slam performances have widened in the last couple years. I think it was good tactical move for him to set a loose target of 20 or 4 more grand slams to aim for. He needs to keep looking forward in order to sharpen and improve aspects of his game. Otherwise, the rest of the field, whether you view them as competitive or not, will surpass him soon. As an aside, it is Nadal’s ability to continually improving his game (e.g. serve, slice, net) that has impressed me the most in the past couple years despite his gimpy knees.

I’m admittedly a big Fed fan but I think these three factors seemed to have quickly converged and will make winning grand slam titles in the future a pretty tall order, though not impossible. After all, it took much lesser factors to take down great champions of the past (e.g. Johnny Mac, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg).


madmax Says:

Hello Art,

I like your username, it takes me to a cultural place!

Interesting post above , but I absolutely do NOT agree with your no.3.

“Motivation – Clearly Fed’s motivation is in decline and can you blame him?”.

There are so many of them out there, but you must go and read some of Fed’s interviews about motivation – and I’m talking 2010! if I have time this morning, I’ll post some here – but Fed has got to more motivated than he has in a long time. Do you honestly think he needs to come back to the tour after each season has finished? He doesn’t need to. He WANTS to. That’s motivation! He isn’t happy wiht 16 slams. He WANTS more! That’s motivation. C’mon Art! As a federer fan, I have never seen fed MORE motivated.

Here’s an example Art of what he said this year:

Q. You’ve got the Grand Slam record, family, and heaps of money. What motivates you now?

ROGER FEDERER: Love for the game, like it’s always been. There’s always ways to motivate and challenge you. Never really been in it for the money anyway. It’s always been my dream to play on the biggest stages around the world, especially Wimbledon.

I’ve lived through many more things than I ever thought I would, so I feel very fortunate. I’m looking forward to many more years hopefully on tour”.

As long as he keeps injury free and healthy he could still be playing and win for several years, because of his fluent and graceful movement on the tennis courts.

Here’s something else he said about his motivation:

“Q. What motivates you most?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, for me, it’s, yeah, the matches, you know, the battle with your opponent on centre court, the fans, you know, the excitement. That is it for me. If I come through with a win, that’s great, you know. But I just try to give myself the best possible chance. I always like the form of the knock-out system in tennis. Bad day, you’re out. Good day, you can be in. But there’s never guarantee.
So for me, this is what drives me most is the battle with the other players”.

What he said about his motivation to continue in the game Art, he seems to repeat one thing over and over again. “My love for the game”. I think this is a real driving force behind him continuing to stay in tennis – we are so lucky!

(this was from last year – the link)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVkUs_ZIQH0

and of course, another thing that he says motivates him to stay in the game, is that his wife wants him to as well as one day he wants his children to watch him play. What can be more motivation than that?

Cheers.


grendel Says:

Two Cents

I know exactly what you mean. You can have a strong gut feeling about something but, dig around as you may, you can’t seem to come up with a satisfactory explanation – to the point even when you wonder if your “intuition” is just mistaken. VERY frustrating!

Art

How right you are about Fed’s defense. And it is noticeable that Murray and Nadal are equally strong on defence and Djokovic is no slouch. The others in the top ten, apart from Davtdenko, are light years behind in defence. That tells a story.

“When you can defend like him, why take risk in terms of higher risk offense.” Two points: 1)equally, you are setting yourself up for relatively safe offense and 2)when the defensive ability atrophies – which it clearly has done a little with Fed, for whatever reason – this blunts the offensive capacity, since the opportunities for safe offence become rarer.

On “motivation”, I think the jury is still out.

“it took much lesser factors to take down great champions of the past (e.g. Johnny Mac, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg”. I’ve always thought McEnroe’s decline was similar to Fed’s. He was on top of the world, not just winning, but demolishing opponents, and then he suddenly apparently lost an edge, out of nowhere. That’s back to margins – genius players only need to lose a tiny bit and they rejoin the ranks of the normal.


Kent Says:

Can anyone explain how Djoko can still be number three in the world, right after Federer in the rankings? I´d put Murray, Soderling and Berdych above him.


NELTA Says:

Kent,

More than half of Djoko’s 7k points were accumulated between Cincy and the Paris Indoors last year. The rankings are calculated over a 12 month rolling period. If you just look at what he has done this year then you are right that he would be lower. His ranking will drop if he does not defend all those points.


Colin Says:

Sigh! Come on, Kent, do you really, truly not understand yet? The rankings are not a judgement of quality or an opinion. They simply place a player according to the number of points accumulated under the system. It’s arithmetic, nothing more.


goat galz Says:

Jane: Let’s be real. Murray beat Fed and Nadal in Toronto but he didn’t do it in Fed’s prime. He’s in slow decline and Nadal is less than stellar on HC. Andy couldn’t accomplish this in 2007-2008. Let’s see what happens in a grand slam against Fed. Three straight again?


skeezerweezer Says:

We have talked a lot about Fed’s decline. It’s funny the same posters are predicting more GS from him. Who else would you talk about this or think they are capable? All I now is Fed was in a quality draw, and got to a final competing for a title. Sounds like “old times?” Don’t count the old guy out just yet. Bring on the HC season :)
A truly remarkable talent.


skeezerweezer Says:

Takin off Fed’s Facebook:

“In cincy and all going well. I play my first match on Wednesday night. Thanks for all the support.”

By the way, he has over 4,000,000 friends/fans on Facebook. WTF? That is a little more than I have…..


jane Says:

goat galz, I am not sure what you’re asking me to be “real” about; is it that Murray can/cannot win a slam? Well, I think he can, but of course we have to wait and see. Maybe this Murray – i.e., if he plays aggressively like he did in Toronto – could win a slam final against Fed. 3rd time’s a charm? Moreover, he may not have to beat Fed to win a slam, and there’s nothing wrong with that either. Hoping for the best for him.

————————————
Kent, the other thing to note re; Djoko is that while Berdych, Soderling, and Murray seem to be playing at a higher level than Nole, his results haven’t been that much worse than theirs –

Sodering in 2010, no titles (3 finals); slams: R128, F, QF

Berdych in 2010, no titles (2 finals); slams: R64, SF, F

Murray in 2010, 1 Masters title (2 finals); slams: F, R16, SF

Djoko in 2010 1 500 title (no other finals) Slams: QF, QF, SF

It’s true that Djoko’s results have been worse overall, but as NELTA pointed out, he’s got a lot to defend this fall, and that will make all the difference. He could drop down in the rankings if he doesn’t raise his level, defend his results, and win a couple titles. Meanwhile, Berdych,Soda and Murray can all gain points in this latter part of the year.


jane Says:

Further Kent, there used to be something called the ATP Race, which tabulates only the points for this year so far (used as the measuring stick to determine which 8 players go to the Year End Championships); Djoko is below the people you name in the race thus far; here are the points as of now for 2010:

01 Rafael Nadal (ESP) 8705
02 Roger Federer (SUI) 4395
03 Andy Murray (GBR) 3775
04 Robin Soderling (SWE) 3555
05 Tomas Berdych (CZE) 3480
06 Novak Djokovic (SRB) 3395
07 Andy Roddick (USA) 2855
08 David Ferrer (ESP) 2820

(source: menstennisforums.com)

In this, you can see that the points earned in 2010 are really close, other than Rafa, who is in the stratosphere. The spread between Fed, at number 2, and Djok at number 6, is 1000 points, or one MS title. The stretch between Berdych and Nole is only 85 points. But a lot will depend on what happens from now until year’s end.


skeezerweezer Says:

@ Jane

After Murrays performance in AO and Toronto there is no reason to think Andy can’t/won’t win a major. He has proven he can through Rafa and Fed and has game to do it. I would still expect some bumps in the road for him in the future but he is still very young and has the world in front of him.

BTW, I loved his on court demeanor in the finals ( only match I got to see ). I have to say it wasn’t fun for me to watch him whining and complaining on the court in the past, it all looked so negative, although I know he was fighting within. IN the final he looked very focused overall and did not lay out that body language. As a result, Fed battled back as he can in both sets and Andy remained calm and composed. Again, great job Andy!


jane Says:

Skeeze – yes, in his interview, Andy M said that he consciously tried to keep all of his emotions inside, and channel those into his game instead, express himself that way. It worked well!!

————————————————

Kent, one final post on the rankings to emphasize how likely it is that Nole’s spot may drop further; here’s what each of the players you’ve mentioned has to defend before year’s end (this includes the YEC points):

Berdych: 585 points
Soderling: 1490 points
Murray: 1530 points
Djoko: 4080 points!!!!

And defending points is not easy. Nole could drop down to 6 om the rankings even, depending on how Roddick is playing/feeling, because Roddick doesn’t have a lot to defend either. This should be a wake up call for him.


Twocents Says:

If Fed wins, we fans gloat; when he loses, we quote sane and insane evidences from heaven and earth and more that he should lose…

We Fed fans are some lucky bunch, aren’t we? just like our man.

grendel, more amusement than frustration. Maybe cuz I lost faith in my own language potency long ago. Fed the vulnerable stubborn demon.

skeezer, words@10:47am.


grendel Says:

jane, Murray looks like he believes now. So of course does Nadal. Djokovic doesn’t – yet. Fed – you know the way teenagers these days move their hands vertically in opposing directions at practically anything you say – well, it’s like that with him. The rest are spoilers, some highly dangerous ones who may well knock one or two of the top 4 out – but won’t win themselves.


skeezerweezer Says:

grendal,

as usual, “classic”

“….way teenagers these days move their hands vertically in opposing directions….”

LMAO


jane Says:

Whatever Fed believes grendel (love your description of teens, lol), I admire his strength and optimism.


Art Says:

Madmax

Your quotes from Fed are noteworthy…maybe it’s just the skeptic in me…when I hear champions talk about motivation, I naturally think there is something wrong with the motivation factor…which in most cases it is about work ethic…granted Fed has never been weak in this area…in fact he has excelled, particularly in the physical area… maybe it’s more Fed learning how to regain his mental and strategic edges that he used to enjoy by wide margin over his competitors…but I’m fully willing to admit that I could be wrong here, which is highlighted by Fed taking on Annacone as a coach…

Grendel

As far as John McEnroe goes…I might overstepped my limits here as far as my memory goes…however, it seems to me he never did anything to blunt or adapt to the quick change in the game that took place when Boris Becker arrived and along with the parade of young americans…I honestly think technology and power probably overwhelmed the beauty of his game back then…as point of reference now…it’s interesting to see that he continues to thrive so well on the seniors tour by beating rivals that are much younger by simply great shotmaking…


madmax Says:

Hi Art!

“Your quotes from Fed are noteworthy…maybe it’s just the skeptic in me..”

Well ,all I can do is state FACT on Fed’s motivation. This is what he said and so if he says it, why should it be disbelieved? I would rather believe what he says than not.

It all adds up to me. When you have read as many of his “motivation” quotes as I have, one thing is repeated more and more often – and in pretty much every interview he has given. (As far back as when he was 19 years old – (youtube fest over the last 2 days!), and that is “His LOVE for the game”.

There can be no better motivation than that.

Yep. you are skeptical – but’s that’s okay :)


Art Says:

Madmax

Trust me when I say “I hope I’m wrong” in all 3 of my counts…

I view the upcoming US Open as perhaps one of the most critical moments in Fed’s career…after falling short in wimbledon and the French…after all Fed has reached the final 6 times in row…


Sparksteam Says:

My son ball-boyed for Coco Vandeweghe at the Mercury and he said she was the nicest because she always said, “Thanks!” whenever he gave her a ball or towel. That’s good enough for me for her to become one of my favorite players. I wonder what the match situation was when you made your observations about her behavior? I wonder if you ever felt the pressures of a professional tennis match? Don’t be so quick to judge and publish.

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