Roddick, Murray Survive; Federer, Nadal a Win Away in Cincinnati
by Sean Randall | August 20th, 2010, 10:17 am
  • 414 Comments

It’s another strong lineup at the Cincinnati Tennis Masters Friday. The quarterfinal schedule consists of Andy Murray v. Mardy Fish, Novak Djokovic v. Andy Roddick, Roger Federer v. Nikolay Davydenko and Rafael Nadal v. Marcos Baghdatis.

Among the eight players only Mardy Fish and Nikolay Davydenko have yet to reach a Grand Slam final, and all but Fish have been or are currently in the ATP Top 10.

Yesterday had it share of drama. First, Murray was pushed to the very edge by Ernests Gulbis in an uneven affair. The Latvian had his chances against Murray who was at times playing a baffling brand of tennis. The Scot prevailed in the end in a third set breaker to run his current win streak to seven, but in the press he gave fans pause of his continued success this week.

“Today I was struggling,” Murray said. “I felt a bit dehydrated on the court, which isn’t really acceptable. You should make sure you’ve already drunk enough before you go on… I played seven matches in nine days, every one of them between 12:00 and 3:00, which is obviously when it’s at its warmest. I think everybody would be feeling like that in my position.

“I had an ice bath yesterday evening. I’ll probably have another one this evening. Massage, stretching, and then try and drink and eat as much as possible.”

Meanwhile, Nadal also had his struggles. The World No. 1 saved a match point in the second set in a tight 6-7, 7-6(6), 6-2 win over the spirited Julien Benneteau.

“I think he played great; he played very good tennis,” said Nadal. “Especially in the beginning I wasn’t playing bad; I was playing not perfect, but well. He was playing really well, very aggressive, very good shots from his backhand, even if he arrive in not very good position. His serve works very well. [It] was a very difficult match.”

In the evening, Roddick was too good again for Robin Soderling beating the Swede in a thriller 7-5 in the third set tiebreak and earning one of his best wins since Miami. Roddick, who’s still battling mono, had his serve in gear firing 26 aces and showed some extra (not a lot) aggression on his groundstrokes.

Also yesterday, Djokovic earned a excellent win over the suddenly cold again David Nalbandian. Baghdatis collected his first career win over Tomas Berdych and Davydenko got passed Ferrer in three sets.

Defending champ Federer didn’t even have to take the court as his opponent and friend Phil Kohlschreiber withdrew prior to their match because of a shoulder injury.

Some thoughts on today…

From his language Murray seems to be fighting himself and his body and today in the heat again he’ll have to fight the Fish. Mardy’s on a hot streak having won 20 of his last 23 matches and he’s already beaten Murray twice this season – in Miami and at Queen’s (their H2H is tied 3-3). Despite that, Murray should match up well with Mardy and it’s up to the Scot here. If he feels tapped out and already content with his summer perfomance, which it sounds like he does, then Fish gets the slim edge in this one.

Thereafter, Roddick and Djokovic meet for a seventh time. Roddick leads 4-2 having won three straight since that memorable US Open match in 2008. In this contest Novak gets the edge in just about every technical category – forehand, backhand, movement, volleys, etc. – except serve. But Roddick wins on grit, toughness and heart.

For me, this match comes down to fitness and the serve. With the match time at 2pm, the heat could very well be a factor especially for Novak who’s had his struggles in the warmer temperatures. But Roddick is also a question mark. With mono still in his system, how well is the American going to recover after the late finish Thursday night?

That said, even despite his circumstances Roddick should handle the heat better. And if Roddick is fit enough and serving like he did yesterday I give him the edge over Novak. My guess is Roddick will employ the same strategy of serving big and hoping for the errors from the opponent, and if he can get enough balls back into play forcing Novak into long rallies those errors just may come.

Said Roddick, “I came here with not a whole a lot of expectation. This probably exceeds what my confidence level was coming in, so I’m gonna leave this tournament, regardless of what happens, a lot more confident than I came. That’s the first time I’ve been able to say that for a little bit.”

That does sound like Roddick’s happy with where he’s at right now, while Novak hints of wanting more.

“I have been very successful in United States hard courts,” Djokovic said after his win over Nalbandian. “I won both Indian Wells, Miami, and won Montreal. This is where I haven’t won, so to complete that, I will try to win the title this year. But it’s still a long way. I was really happy with today’s performance. I think it was better than yesterday. David is a great player; plays very fast. And considering the conditions, which are very fast here as well, it was not easy to stay in the point with him.”

While the Nadal, Roddick, Djokovic and Murray have been through the ringer this week with tough matches, Federer’s been on a impromptu vacation. The Swiss has played just seven games en route to the quarterfinals today where he goes up against Davydenko in the all-29 tussle. It’s a rematch of their incredible Australian Open showdown from January which Federer somehow won (or Davydenko choked) to improve his mark to 13-2 over the Russian. Unfortunately for the Nikolay, I think these courts are far too quick for him to do real damage. And while Federer’s fresh, I don’t think Nikolay’s back to that form we saw from him at the start of the year.

Under the lights, it’s an interesting battle between Baghdatis and Nadal. Marcos has slowly climbed his way back into the Top 20 behind some really improved play and I think we’ll see him back in the Top 10 again by this time next year – only Roddick (32) has more hardcourt wins this year than Marcos (26).

Nadal has looked shaky this week. The faster courts are giving him problems but to his credit he’s survived in a place he’s never won at. And today he holds a decisive 6-0 record against Baghdatis.

“To beat Berdych he must be playing really well,” said Nadal, “I have to play aggressive, I have to serve well, and return better than today. And that’s it. Just wait that he doesn’t have his inspiration there, and just try to play my best tennis.”

For me, the Cypriot’s problems against Nadal is his movement. To beat Rafa you have to move well and that’s a weakness for Marcos. But I think tonight he’s in the running for that first win over the Spaniard, however I still give Nadal the very, very narrow edge.

Now, if all goes to plan that means tomorrow we would see a Federer v. Nadal nighttime collision (which means it won’t happen).

Overall though, looking at the schedule the four matches could go either way. I give Federer the best chance of winning otherwise every match is really, really close. So if nothing else it should be an unpredictable day of tennis from Cincinnati.

As for television, ESPN2 will have live coverage in the afternoon starting at noon although I believe they are on tape delay in the evening for Nadal’s match.

CINCINNATI FRIDAY SCHEDULE

STADIUM start 10:00 am
[4] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR) vs [8] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M
Matkowski (POL)
Not Before 12:00 PM
[WC] M Fish (USA) vs [4] A Murray (GBR)
Not Before 2:00 PM
[9] A Roddick (USA) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)
[3] R Federer (SUI) vs [6] N Davydenko (RUS)
Not Before 7:00 PM
[1] R Nadal (ESP) vs M Baghdatis (CYP)
[6] J Knowle (AUT) / A Ram (ISR) vs [2] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA)

GRANDSTAND start 2:00 pm
F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs [5] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT)
W Moodie (RSA) / D Norman (BEL) vs M Fish (USA) / M Knowles (BAH)


Also Check Out:
Rafael Nadal Rolls On in Cincinnati While Federer, Djokovic Struggle
Jankovic Remembers Former No. 1 Days, Beating Safina for Cincinnati Title
Soderling v. Roddick, Djokovic v. Nalbandian in Cincinnati Today; Federer, Nadal Also
Roddick Bounced; Remaining Favs Federer, Murray, Nadal in Cincinnati Action Today
Roddick Says He’s Had a ‘Mild’ Case of Mono the Last Two Months

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414 Comments for Roddick, Murray Survive; Federer, Nadal a Win Away in Cincinnati

dari Says:

I think, by golly, we might see this fed nadal match tomirriw night. If you insist on saying we won’t, then baggy’s gotta take nadal, cause I don’t want fed losing!


Dave B Says:

Boy! Did Gulbis blow it or not? He’s got to get his head together along with a good haircut.


jane Says:

Sean, thanks for the breakdown; your assessment of things is very reasonable.

Dave B, liked Gulbis’ (to quote skeezerweezer) wild thing look!

Good luck to all the players – hope these turn out to be excellent matches.


Duro Says:

Jane!!! You again with your: “Good luck ALL THE PLAYERS” How can we have the winners if they all have a good luck? Some of them have to have a bit less luck than the others…

About Gulbis’s hair… Not wild at all. Looks like a doll to me. Luckily he let that beard grow a bit…

Dave, it’s Gulbis’s style. He did blow it because he attacked and played aggressively and made so mane UEs, but that’s him. He would have lost it even worse if tried to play the game which is not his own one. Murray smartly (what else does he do?) waited for him to blow this tie break which he successfully did, so this was it.

Anyhow, I like his style. This is a tennis the guys should play. There’s one poster on TT named attackingtennisrules. I completely agree with his credo.


jane Says:

Let me re-phrase that for you Duro – GOOD LUCK to my faves!!!!


skeezerweezer Says:

attackingtennisrules?

Ah.. bring back the old days of serve and volley, if you want pure attacking tennis :). I wouldn’t mind….

One thing that Fed, and then when Rafa came in after, that was a thing never implemented in the game was “defense”. I don’t know if an all out attacking game ( G vs A yesterday, eg; )can hold up anymore. It may come, but we have yet to see it with consistency over a extended period of time in todays game.

A “Sod” is a classic example, “Nalby” or “Davy”. These guys grip and rip and when they are on they will beat anyone. But a Fed, Rafa, Murray, AR, etc, can play defense as well as attacking tennis. Sometimes this can misconstrued as “passive” or “pushing the ball” or “just keeping it in play”. When it is used in combination within a point ( defense and attacking offense ), it is a thing of beauty to behold :)


andres Says:

If Gulbis ever wants to reach the top ten he has to be smarter. Yesterday Murray was phisycally spent, still Gulbis insist on playing high risk tennis making a lot of UE giving Murray the chance to come back.

For today i think Fish will do the job, and will meet Djokovic in the semis.

I don’t think Bagdatis has enough confidence to take over Nadal so we will have the first Federer Nadal match that isn’t a final since 2006 Masters i think. In that case the winner will feel very strange, wondering where is my trophy and my check after the match is over


jane Says:

One thing I’ve noticed with the announcers throughout this week and last week is their continual laments over players not coming into net to finish off points, and instead getting embroiled in long rallies so the point ends in an error. However, coming in is sometimes easier said than done!


jane Says:

andres “the first Federer Nadal match that isn’t a final since 2006 Masters i think. In that case the winner will feel very strange, wondering where is my trophy and my check after the match is over”

Ha Ha! So funny and true. But wow! Didn’t even realize it’d been that long – 4 years – since these two have met pre-finals. But of course they’ve been 1 and 2 for so long it makes sense.


jane Says:

I hope Murray can win; on the other hand, i don’t want him too tired out for the USO. Go Andy M!


guy Says:

what was the exchange between fish and murray?


guy Says:

fish has no calves. quite amazing


Duro Says:

Now, that’s the spirit, Jane! How else?

Skeez, I actually don’t like S&V that much. Attacking tennis but not as much S&V. One of the players I couldn’t stand (talking about game style) was Stefan Edberg. Way too much of S&V and solely that.


jane Says:

Good job Andy M!! One more set!

guy, I think the fact that Mardy doesn’t usually wear socks makes his calves – small, med, large, whatever size – more noticeable.


jane Says:

Sorry, I mean he wears socks, but short ones compared to what a lot of the players seem to wear.


Daniel Says:

What a tight first set. Fish net game was excelent.


guy Says:

duro, yeah i think SV era was more boring than modern era. people act like there was more variety back then but it’s nonsense. it was a very predictable style of play. these days the rallies can have everything, more variety then there has ever been, faster too and shots that didn’t exist before.
there’s still plenty of net play today, just not a lot of chip and charge or serve volley, but transition play is part of all the top guys’ games.


Daniel Says:

Wow, this forehand landed in Murray’s court. Is he having some physical problems?!


Daniel Says:

Well, seems the heat and playing all matches during daytime are affecting his play, will he considerer retire or just focos
on thied ser?!


Daniel Says:

Seems we won’t get a Djoko x Murray match, don’t even remember the last time they play.


kimberly Says:

Did murray take yet another second set walk about?

Can he recover yet again. Or is he going down.

If he loses it may be best for him so he can peak at uso. Then again rafa won all 3 masters and it didn’t seem to take away from him at rg. But then again people felt his early loss @ queens helped for wimby.

So who knows.


dari Says:

Out and about not watching Murray fish, but is this a cat nap second set for Murray, or is it the dehydration, etc. he has been talking about, or fish just that good?!


jane Says:

“on thied ser?!” Daniel, are you typing while lying on your back again? ; ) I know – it’s been so long since Andy M and Nole have played. I would love to see the two of them play.

Either way, Hoping Andy M can come back again in the third set!!


jane Says:

“on thied ser?!” Daniel, are you typing while lying on your back again? ; ) I know – it’s been so long since Andy M and Nole have played. I would love to see the two of them play.

Either way, Hoping Andy M can come back again in the third set!!


Duro Says:

Guy, thanks. I can’t describe how boring I considered that game style. Too quick, too predictable, too one-dimensional. I couldn’t ever respect Stefan Edberg because of that. I even wondered if he had a forehand at all! They were like ballerinas. Not very masculine type of play.


Duro Says:

What a torture here… I feel sick even watching.


Daniel Says:

Agiu, that ball Fish hit out when 4-2 Murray could cost hom the match, the line judge didn’t call right. fish match point now, ir should be 5-2 Murray. Hatw this misses


Daniel Says:

No, Jane, iPhone


stu Says:

Is Fish in Muzz’s head like Roddick is in Nole’s?


jane Says:

stu, maybe so? Either way, it was a good fight for Andy M. Now he can rest for the USO. Good job Andy M!! : )

Congrats to the slippery Fish. He really is having a stellar summer.


jane Says:

Daniel, I have one of those too and it’s tough to get the right letters! I use the predictive text a lot just in case. But it doesn’t get all the words of course…


Daniel Says:

To me you should challenge a previous ball even after the rally. Murray had doubts but didn’t stop play. American judges favores Fish who won a match on a bad call. Noway Murray would have lost leading 5-2! If they are using technology use in all cases or better don’t show the replay to us. I am pissed off and i am not even a big Murrau fan.


funches Says:

Come on, Daniel.

It was a bad call, but it had nothing to do with American officials. Fish had a terrible calls go against him earlier in the match that he had to challenge, forcing them to replay the point and give Murray a first serve when Fish almost certainly would have won the point without the out call.

I picked Murray to win the tournament, but Fish clearly deserved to win. He was the better player in all three sets.


mem Says:

Daniel,

remember similar circumstances happen in the nadal/murray semis last week. murray’s double fault that would have given nadal the break was not called. had that not happened, it’s a good chance the match would have gone nadal’s way, but those things happen.

i understand how you feel because i was ticked off big time that the umpire did not overrule and that clearly cost nadal an opportunity, but,
it’s the nature of tennis buddy! players and fans alike have to be prepared to suck it all up!


Ike Says:

@ Kimberly
u were rite re. Murray vs. Fish
But, not sure about ur prediction re. Roddick vs. Djokovic


Ike Says:

btw, just came back from work and powered on my computer and was “shocked” to c the results of Murray vs. Fish, especially the second set.


Ike Says:

@ Kimberly, Jane,
i saw Fish play at Newport last month, (and i do remember him at Newport two years ago), it is huge difference, (not just his weight, but overall game)


Ike Says:

i hope one day tennis will be refereed / umpired by robots / technology. Almost zero human interventions, (except if / when player start throwing punches at each other)


stu Says:

Missed an EASY backhand to gift him the break. Sucks.


grendel Says:

I think Murray badly wanted to win this match. Generally when ruminating about his prospective opponent, Murray is very respectful. There was an edge to his tone, however, when speaking about Fish. I think he is very conscious of the hierarchy entailed in the ranking system. When he was working his way up the ranks, he always used to say about a given player he was about to meet, so-and-so is ranked x number of places above me, so he is obviously a better/much better player than me.

I believe it really niggles him Fish had got him in his two most recent matches, and after the perfunctory shake of hands following this match, he stalked off pretty crossly. But whilst there is no doubt Fish deserved to win, Murray played into his hands. On the rare occasions he chose to be aggressive, he tended to win the point. Why, then, this cat and mouse nonsense? Which didn’t phase Fish in the slightest?

Surely it has to be because, out of a slightly immature pride, Murray doesn’t want to acknowledge that Fish is a dangerous competitor to him. So he slides back into the default passive playing style. A foolish misjudgement, particularly in this heat – for it’s all very well making Fish run around, but he had to do a lot of unnecessary running around himself.

Does Fish shave his legs? I’ve always wondered that. It gives him a slightly feminine look, when combined with the dramatic loss of weight. I wouldn’t have thought he’d be too pleased about that, but perhaps it’s just me.


Ike Says:

@ grendel
great analysis (re. Murray)


stu Says:

How’re you doing, Duro? :)


jane Says:

Fans are frantically fanning themselves.

stu, this not a great start from Nole, and Rod is not even serving his best with only 44% firsts in. Djok really blew it on bp there.


Sean Randall Says:

ESPN2 was just talking about Novak achieving the “Retirement Slam” at the US Open.

Lackluster performance from the Serb thus far.


Ike Says:

if Novak doesn’t want to play he should retire (at least from this match), he shouldn’t torture the audience / his fans.
Hope he will turn around things in second set.


skeezerweezer Says:

“…given nadal the break was not called. had that not happened, it’s a good chance the match would have gone nadal’s way…”

So I guess Murray was lucky to win and if he got broken it’s a good chance he would have lost????


stu Says:

jane, he’s not playing too badly tho (compared to some of his recent matches). roddick has been known to play better too. just a blah match.

i hope Nole picks it up in the second set like the Toronto match against Fed. and this time i hope he finds a way to win.


johhny Says:

“ESPN2 was just talking about Novak achieving the “Retirement Slam” at the US Open.”

they talk about it every GS, master series tournament, so it is nothing new!


jane Says:

Ike, it was only 1 break of serve in the first set; it’s not like Nole is getting bageled! He’s serving fairly consistently but is just missing from the baseline today.


David Says:

Novak has lost 8 sets in a row to the “new” Roddick including the set where he retired in Melbourne. Not really looking good for him at all. Roddick’s better movement since dropping the weight has made a big difference and I think made him a clearly better player than Novak, except on clay.


Sean Randall Says:

Novak looks absolutely lifeless here.


Ike Says:

@ jane
it’s not exactly about the numbers, but the attitude. I know it’s very difficult to play in the afternoon, (i played at 4 pm ~90 deg.F, months ago, and almost passed out in just few minutes, typically i play after 6 pm, nice and cool :)
Look at the way Murray improved his fitness, Djokovic needs to do the same, again its easier said than done!


Ike Says:

i think it’s over for Novak now. We will c him at USO!


stu Says:

i dont know why Nole rolls over these days against Roddick. it’s like he doesn’t even care…


David Says:

In my opinion the top 5 heading into the U.S. Open is:

1. Federer
2. Roddick
3. Murray
4. Fish
5. Soderling/Berdych

I don’t see much chance for Rafa or Djoko


Sean Randall Says:

Djokovic needs some energy. He’s got the wings on his back and on his hat, he just needs a Red Bull.

Gilbert said it is now much cooler than the earlier match.


stu Says:

David, I’d put Muzz above both Fed and Roddick.


jane Says:

It’s 32 degrees according to commentators on streaming. I like the red bull idea! Maybe Nole should have a jug of it. Anyhow I love Novak, win or lose today.


David Says:

Stu, the reason I have Murray at 3 is that his first serve just isn’t reliable enough. He might get 65% in one day and then the next 45% in. That latter figure would put him in serious trouble against my top 2 guys, considering how well they hold serve. I do like seeing Murray play more aggressively from the baseline so I’m somewhat encouraged about his chances. But I don’t see how we can pick against Fed. He wasn’t doing all that great at the end of last season and yet was able to put it together to win AO.


jane Says:

Rod’s been standing closer to the baseline in this match than he did against Soda. It’s looking like a routine straight set win and an all American semifinal.


Daniel Craig Says:

Wow, Fish is just a beast…


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, he is. But Novak’s make no impression at all in this match. Andy’s sailing along so far. Novak looks disinterested…As of now.


David Says:

jane, Rod’s match with Soda should’ve been a routine straight set win as well. But he donated a service game after going up a set and a break and only coverted 2/12 break point chances. IMO, Roddick clearly has the match-up advantage against Djoko, Soda and Berd. They can’t break his serve and they’re very generous with unforced errors on their service games.


Kimberly Says:

15-30 on roddicks serve, small window for nole here. He looks sick though. Now 30 all. Window may be closing.


Kimberly Says:

will roddick go back to top ten with a semi here? Or does he need a final or win?


stu Says:

is Nole going to break here, or will Andy serve for the match?


Kimberly Says:

roodick serving for the match but 15-30. can nole get back in this?


stu Says:

oh stop with that defeatist attitude, Nole


stu Says:

Did anyone notice that Novak has quietly served 5 aces in this match?


jane Says:

Seems weird David – Nole is #1 in returning first serves and in return games won, #3 in returning 2nd serves. He’s an excellent returner, usually, and Rod hasn’t even served his best today. So not sure – maybe Andy’s using placement etc.

Fans frantically fanning, fans frantically fanning … say that 5 times fast! : )


andrea Says:

ESPN2 was just talking about Novak achieving the “Retirement Slam” at the US Open.

that just made my day.

:)


stu Says:

worked SO hard for a break, then gave it back on a platter

horrible play, no excuses


David Says:

This defensive game Roddick’s playing will probably work 9 times out of 10 against Djoko, Soda and Berd and 1 time out of 100 against Fed. I hope he knows that and really comes out blasting the next time he plays Roger. It’s his ONLY chance. Those loopy forehands will get him killed as always.


Kimberly Says:

second chance for roddick to serve out the match!


David Says:

jane, I do think today is more a case of Djoko’s UEs and being affected by the sun and heat. But I think Roddick would have to be playing poorly to get broken more than twice in a match on this surface against anyone, even Fed. So his opponent just has to hold serve. Period.


Kimberly Says:

omg looks like novak could break back, crazy, wait now 30 all.


stu Says:

Okay, are the top 2 gonna make the semis?


i am it Says:

Sad day for Djoko fans, if there are any life-long loyal ones left. Djoko reached No. 2 in his career, he appears to have fulfilled his “destiny,” and he lost a quarterfinal of a Masters, 6-4, 7-5 (?) today, to a worthy opponent. A respectable defeat. Perhaps, this is how far Djoko really wanted to go, preserve for the USO to reach another quarter. He seems to be perfectly happy with his current form and ranking. Not many athletes have that talent to be content with what they have achieved. Kudos to Djoko. He can take solace that he is still young and can improve, can get younger and better than 2008.
Congratulations to Roddick for the win !!!
Come Monday, he will climb back into top 10, and thanks to his victory now that USTA won’t have to respond to that question of not having an American in the top 10. And this, too, seems to be USTA’s goal, and now they will be relieved.


jane Says:

Thanks for your thoughts David. : ) Agreed. Too many UEs.

stu – better luck next time i guess. : /


David Says:

i am it

The question now is can Fish break into the top 10? I think it’s certainly a possibility. With the right draw (meaning avoiding Fed’s section) I think he’s got a great shot at making the semis.


David Says:

Sorry, I meant semis of the Open, which would probably get him very close to the top 10. And then the indoor season starts.


Kimmi Says:

wow! roddick won. Congrats roddick. kimberly, you rock!

Too bad for roddick fans..does roddick have djoko number now?


andres Says:

Djokovic is such a bummer, he’s running the risk of becoming a ‘one slam wonder’. That’s a shame considering how gifted he is but it’s evident that something is lacking mentally.


Ike Says:

@ David
i think Fish will definitely break into top 10 (before he retires), he seems motivated enough.And certainly he has the game.


Daniel Says:

The difference with Nadal x Murray match last week is that the bad call happemes in the first set, today it was 4-2 in a thied set tiebreak, huge diference.
Funches, I mention the lime judges because they usually tend to favor hometown players on this events, specially in France.
But agree with you and mem, we have ti live with it. But I hope Roddick beat Fish to prevail justice. In my eyes, even with an excelent match (how eerybidy should play in a quick court as this), he won on wrong call.


Ike Says:

@ andres
agree with u re. Novak is (not) ‘one slam wonder’ / his talent.
I think Novak needs a new coach! Get some fiery / drill sergeant type coach, (Gilbert?)


Ike Says:

@ Daniel
French are French, we are Americans, we play fair!


Ike Says:

@ Daniel
i m guessing u r Brit…


Daniel Says:

Looking at Fed resume this year, 1 tutor and 3 runner up. This is very unusal to his standards. I hope he wins this tourney or lose early, because losing amother final will not make Him any good!


Kimmi Says:

Oooops, i meant too bad for djoko fans


Sean Randall Says:

I think Novak will win another Slam. He’s just too good a player not to.

But uninspired performances like today do make you wonder.


Daniel Says:

No Ike Brazilian and nor even a huge Murray fan, but this things can’t happen in sports anymore, not with todays technology. Just my opinion.


Daniel Says:

Damm it, this phone auto words are killing me today! :)


Kimmi Says:

Djoko also played horrible against federer in toronto. luckly, federer cannot hold his serve most of the time nowadays.

If federer could have hold serve like roddick, it would have been easy straight sets i am afraid.


Kimmi Says:

But then federer has the same issues as novak too.


andres Says:

David,Ike

I don’t see Fish as a top ten player. He is the kind of player that only performs consistently well when he is playing in America, besides he doesn’t have clay court game giving a huge advantage. Only Roddick can give away that part of the season and remain in the Top 10, well at least he used to.


Lefty Says:

With Nole, I feel that most of his problems are upstairs.

I noticed there was no customary bear hugging of his opponent at the end of the match – good sign.


grendel Says:

I thought Roddick was very sharp. And some of his volleying – particularly, I think, at 4-3 in the 2nd – was first rate. That’s been a long learning curve for Roddick, and he is now a good, safe volleyer, without a doubt. Best volley of the day, though, came from Fish right towards the end of his match – picked a difficult ball really low for a great winner.

But what can you say about Djokovic? As Sean mentionned more than once, he looked very lacklustre. Perhaps the heat was too difficult for him? But there were two Djoko’s out there, weren’t there. Occasionally you saw a world class player, coolly in control of a classy rally before pulling off the type of winner not available to most players. But that Djokovic was rarely to be seen. When Roddick broke back, apart possibly from the final shot in the game, he made no contribution, it was pure fecklesness from Djokovic. He has a good line in self-directed sarcastic smiles, and he needed the full repertoire today – and we got it.

Djokovic is becoming almost more mysterious than Nalbandian. And let’s face it, it all started with that change of racket. Cause, or mere co-incidence? No idea myself, but you can’t help wondering.


Kimberly Says:

sean-doees this tournament take American Men out of “the trunk”


Daniel Says:

I don’t lime this shade, remind me of Australia first two sets.


David Says:

Andres, but Fish had never committed himself fully to tennis until this year. Considering that there are nothing but hard-court events between now and next April, I’m liking his chances to get there. I don’t know how long he could stay considering his age, but I think he will achieve his career-best ranking over the next few months.


Ike Says:

@ andres
re. Fish: we will see!


Daniel Says:

Fed is serving great but 5 forehands errors that I count


Ike Says:

@ Daniel
hope u read my earlier comment:
“i hope one day tennis will be refereed / umpired by robots / technology. Almost zero human interventions, (except if / when player start throwing punches at each other)”


Ike Says:

@ Daniel
btw how is the weather in Brazil right now?


Von Says:

Andy Roddick you rock!!!!

Thank you for making me a proud fan today. It’s been rough for Roddick fans on this site and with the media, but you’ve always held your head up high in the face of adversity. As the southerners would say “You done good.”

He looked awful, but he got the job done in straights. He played with mucho heart and nothing much in the tank. Last night he told Fowler he’ll stop at Texaco for a fill up. LOOL. He’s always good for a laugh.

I love the answer Andy gave to Gilbert with respect to how he’s feeling with respect to his health. He said if you choose to play then you lose all excuses.

__________________
Daniel: The umpire last evening was not American and it showed. The linesmen were inept also, but they were Americans and made bad calls against Roddick. So what do you make of that?

The French are notorious for stealing. I remember Bercy in ’08, Roddick played vs. Tsonga, what the linesmen didn’t do in their calls, hasn’t been thought of as yet — they were downright stealing for Tsonga. The Hawkeye people allegedly lost the tape for the replay and to make matters worse, in the next game Lahyani didn’t over-rule an out call for Roddick where he painted the lines = Tsonga won. When players lose it against umpires, most times they’re justified as the umpires are terrible and don’t do their jobs as they should.
________________
Kimmi: “Too bad for roddick fans..does roddick have djoko number now?”

Too bad for us how?? Do you mean Djokovic fans??


Ike Says:

@ grendel
i doubt it’s Novak’s racquet, i think he needs some more motivation / fitness training / coach


mem Says:

skeezer,

that’s my perception! i’ll allow you to interpret it any way you like. thanks!


Daniel Says:

Yes, Von agree regarding French linesjudges that’s why I mention them.
@Ike in my city which is 500 km abobe Rio in the coast, it is cold for our standards, 68F.


Von Says:

There wasn’t a bear hug yesterday with Nalbandian either. I suppose the macho men don’t like the hugs. LOOL.
____________
Grendel: Yesterday was hotter than today, yet Djokovic beat Nalbandian. Today, he definitely was the fresher of the two. I wonder if he had played that match vs. Soderling, last night, how he would have fared today.

I’m glad that Roddick just put his head down and didn’t pay attention to the histrionics. He got caught with that at the USO 2 years ago, and when he got wise to what was happening, he tried to put his game together, but it was too late. There’s nothing like being once bitten.

BTW, The racquet change happenend close to 2 years.


David Says:

I just don’t see enough of any decline in Roger’s game to see a reason not to pick him to win the USO. That doesn’t mean he’ll definitely win of course, but how can he not be the favorite?


Von Says:

Daniel: It sounds like you’re approaching winter in Brazil, or is it winter already over there. Anyway, it’s much better than the Texas heat, isn’t it? enjoy!!


Daniel Says:

Wow, they are punishing the ball today.


David Says:

I don’t know if any of you remember the 1993 USO final. Sampras hit a 125 or so mph ace on the first point and the crowd was ooohing and ahhing and the announcers were saying how Pete was trying to intimidate Pioline right from the start. Nowadays, that’d be nothing. Davy just hit a 129 mph ace up the T a few points ago.


jane Says:

They are Daniel! Davy seems to have found some form and Fed’s backhand is on song. Fed’s got the better serve, though.


Daniel Says:

Von, this is our winter! :)
that’s why last week I was in Bariloche for some skying and missed all the Tennis.


andres Says:

Daniel,
I agree with you about Federer’s chances. In the past you know he was going to win no matter what, so you just sit and watch it happen. Nowadays i think the competition is thougher so its more even but he surely has a shot. It’s a shame Del Potro isn’t around to defend the title


Daniel Says:

Did i just invent another sport? skiing, I give up on the typos today.


Daniel Says:

Danger for Fed, 2 awfull mistakes in a row.


David Says:

Real wasted opportunity by Davy. Not that I would have expected him to hold serve even if he had broken :-)


Daniel Says:

Wow, perfect game for Fed, great defense, some errors by Davy, a net aproach to intimidate and this last point. I guess not having much time on court didn’t harm him.


jane Says:

You have to like Fed’s chances of defending his title here, I would think?


andres Says:

Another horrible choke by Davy. Lost his serve to love. First set for Federer.


andres Says:

Jane,

‘You have to like Fed’s chances of defending his title here, I would think?’

Its a given only if Nadal loses tonight.


mem Says:

Daniel,

i disagree with your reasoning! in both cases, the bad call may have possibly influence the outcome. we will never know for certain! they both lost a match that may have gone the other way! so, as far as i’m concerned there is no huge difference. again, that’s tennis!


David Says:

jane, is there any non-clay event where you wouldn’t like his chances if he’s playing well?


Mindy Says:

mem,

Don’t be too hard on good old Skeezer! It’s just the usual hypocrisy from a diehard Fed fan. If it happened to Fed, then you would have heard him shouting from the rooftops all over the place!

However, I do have to agree that getting a bad call like Murray did in the tiebreak today, where every single point can be the difference between winning and losing, is a much bigger deal.

Rafa was okay with it. He even made a joke about it in his press conference, saying that the chair umpire missed it because he was watching another match! You just have to love how he handles it.

Just to be clear, THIS Rafa fan isn’t taking anything away from Murray’s well-deserved win over Rafa in the Toronto semifinals!


David Says:

A lot of tennis writers are about to made to look foolish once again by Federer. I couldn’t believe all the stories I read about him needing to change his equipment, about how Soderling and Berdych had passed him by taking advantage of the new string technology. Bunch of ridiculous stuff by so-called “experts.” Nothing has changed really. Fed’s the favorite off of clay just like he has been for the last 6 years.


dari Says:

i think even if nadal wins tonight, fed could still keep his title. nadal has not played his best this week or last and i am even giving baghdatis a fair chance tonight!
all that said, we know rafa would turn on the monster if he got to the semi with fed. i would just hope for roger to turn on his monster, too!


dari Says:

is there a coach who specializes in converting break chances? fed got that one (davy gave it), good job, but 2 of 6 ain’t super.


David Says:

dari

Rafa just has no serve on this surface. At Wimbledon he manages to use the slice to get some free points, but he just gets nothing on hard courts. I agree that Bags has an excellent chance and that Rafa’d definitely lose to Fed if he can get to the semis. I don’t see him as a threat at the USO either.


David Says:

Nobody has a chance against Fed in this form on this surface. It’s just as simple as that.


Daniel Says:

Wow, perfect game for Davy, insane flat balls that only hom can do. His problem is that no one can play that way for too long.


dari Says:

David, you’re positivity is striking! it is true that nadal’s spin and serve do die a bit on these courts, but even as a huge fed fan, and with a lot of… hurt/hate in my heart for nadal wins over fed, i can’t really ever say rafa’d “definately lose” I hope this “realism” doesn’t come back to me in the future!


steve Says:

When Federer and Davydenko play there are usually multiple service breaks in each set. The first set was anomalous in that regard. The second isn’t.


skeezerweezer Says:

mem & Mindy,

Do you always respond in 2′s? lol!

mem,

I truly do respect you opinion, just sayin mine.

Mindy,

“Just to be clear, THIS Rafa fan isn’t taking anything away from Murray’s well-deserved win over Rafa in the Toronto semifinals!”

:)

Good luck to your fav tonight….


jane Says:

Hey David, I think Rafa, on grass, is up there with Fed. And while I think Fed’s form has been brilliant at times this season, he’s also had his ups and downs – even in Toronto last week. But I do think he seems to play his best on hard courts now and he still has the mindset and will of a champion. Finally, speaking personally, I’d never ever write off Rafa’s chances at the USO. He’s a seeker – it seems to me that Rafa simply loves to improve and face challenges. It may not come for him this year, but I will not be surprised when or if it does.


super man Says:

great win for andy. (the american one that is) djokovic fans have been baying for his blood since nole disgraced himself in new york 2summers ago. will nole and his fans be redeeming themselves in uso, where it all started ? time will tell.

nadal’s best chance to win cincinnati? am sure he is rooting for roger to win this match. lol….

edberg was a ballerina? hello? what about the wuss who cant beat a guy 5yrs older than him and has mono? djokovic is the biggest drama-queen/ ballerina the game has ever seen!

even the most beastly sport – boxing celebrates muhammad ali for his ” move like a butterfly, sting like a bee” efforts. it sure is lost on people who would rather see skulls breaking and people getting their brains smashed to pulp..

it is easy to make a sport look like a war/battle. it takes a genius to make it look like a ballet or an orchestra or another art form. ofcourse people like fed can do both…..


Mindy Says:

Skeezer,

Yes, as matter of fact we are a tag team! Hey, Rafa fans have to stick together.

I return the kind words and wish Fed well as he plays Davy!

:)


David Says:

jane, I’d love to see Rafa win the USO, but I just don’t see how that’s possible when he can’t get more than a handful of easy points on his serve in an entire match! It’s inspiring to watch him gut out matches when he has to win one baseline rally after another on his own serve to stay alive. But realistically, that’s just no way to win the USO. I just don’t see him as a top 5 hard court player now and I don’t think he’ll ever be unless he can take his serve up another notch. I know he’s trying but there’s still just not enough improvement in that area.


Twocents Says:

Go Niklay, no Fedal.


skeezerweezer Says:

@ super man re: 6:32pm post

“Classic”


alek Says:

novak, novak….what a waste……………


andres Says:

Federer just wasted 2 match points, hope he will not regret it later


steve Says:

That’s the cleanest match Federer’s played in a while. Davydenko played very well, but Federer was just too strong.


Daniel Says:

Well , it is about time for Fed and Nadal play on Cincy and US Open, which are the fastest courts on the planet.


contador Says:

daniel-

bariloche? is it better than las lenas?

woooot!

federer! oh no Twocents, the dreaded fedal. but it’s only a masters thank god. no a GS.

kolya played like the super cyborg his is. good to see him back in form. federer hung in there nicely. rather see him get those BP’s though. give’em’ ell fed


xmikw Says:

Has Federer done enough to retain the number 2 ranking and seeding at the us open or does he have to reach the final ?


xmike Says:

Does Federer have to win or reach the final to be ranked and seeded 2 at the us open or has he done enough just by winning today ?


andres Says:

Overall a good Fed performance, still he needs to take more break points opportunities and improve his % of second serve points won.


dari Says:

xmike, great question that i can’t answer! it seems though that since nole was finalist last year, his losing in quarters may have helped it. im sure someone will let us know soon…


contador Says:

anyone know about fed and the seeding for us open question?

i dont want to make up the answer again.


andrea Says:

seems like a routine performance by fed. now, lets see how marco does against nadal. be kinda cool to have fed and nadal play though…it’s been a while.


Von Says:

contador: I don’t know if this will help you. I heard the commentators state that Fed has to get to the finals at Cincy for him to be seeded No. 2, at the USO. I think he’ll do it, as he’s one who likes to rise to a challenge. It gets that adrenaline going.


Kimberly Says:

Rafa will need a little help from the draw to win USO but I think he can do it. If he gets to the final I believe he would win, no matte who he played. It would take a very mentally tought player to beat Rafa in a GS final. And if he gets there he will take his game up a notch.

Listen, he is totally beatable by ANYONE on HC. But once he goes deep in tournaments he kicks it in.

I watched his match v. tsonga in Miami live and if he plays like that he can beat anyone. Then he went on walk about and lost to Roddick.

But he won the Olympics, Indian Wells, AO so its not like the guy can’t play on HC.


skeezerweezer Says:

@ steve,

I saw it the same way…ditto.

BP’s I could pick at, but what else is new?

@twocents

Well, I know you are a Fed fan, and if he is going to play matches like he just did it is highly likely he is gonna meet up with Rafa sometime. Let’s hope he can upset the Ladies love….


jane Says:

I think Fed’s ranking / seeding at USO as #2 is now secure as Djoko was defending finals points and has lost in quarterfinals, so he will lose points. Fed shouldn’t lose too much, even if he loses in the next round or in the final, to lose his number 2.


i am it Says:

So far I find Fed-Davy match to be the best of the Cincy, obviously because Fed played really well. I have to admit that in the 1st set both were striking the ball clean, yielding excellent long rallies, and a lot of varieties, peppered with aggressive tactics. Fed showed his usual versatility of the movement and knew exactly when to pull a trigger and when to back off. Until Fed was a set and a break up, he looked unhurried, stoic, and strategic. As the 2nd set started and he was 3-0, it appeared that he would wrap up the match quickly, but suddenly he looked too casual, missing some easy shots from both wings, losing next 3 games, giving Davy a life, and almost reminded for a moment that the “Fed 3.0″ might return, but not today.

From 4 all onward, Fed steadily retrieved his focus, thanks to the serve, and earned 2 MP in the 10th game. Davy’s incredible backhand angle from a difficult position was spectacular and it saved the 2nd MP. Next, Fed gifted Davy one with backhand sloppy error. Davy continued with his aggressive play and forced 2 backhand errors from Fed to level the 2nd set at 5-5. Amazing stuff from the Russian as well, who was giving everything to snatch a break and seemed to be hoping that he still had chances if he could win the 2nd. A couple of weak serve and return from Davy, Fed did not shy away from taking advantage of Davy’s weak serve and agitated, weak returns, to earn 3 MPs in the 12th game. Fed missed the 1st. In the next point, Davy was forced to miss a backhand, and Fed ran away with an impressive win.

For Fed’s rhythmic game, Davy is an ideal opponent for a good match practice. Everything is coming together for Fed at the right time, at the dawn of the USO. Watching him play today has left me the impression that he is here for more than a couple of years. He exudes plenty of reasons to still love and enjoy tennis.

Congrats for the straight-set win. Keep it going, champ !


Von Says:

I thought Roddick played very aggressively in his match vs. Nadal at Miami. He changed up his MO and began taking charge using his serve and FH, which is what he used to do,previously, but seemed to have forgotten, for a span of a few years, that it’s what he needed to do to win again. There wan’t any walkabout from Nadal in that match — Nadal never has mental walkabout. Roddick is NOT Tsonga, and he played like a former No.1 in that match vs. Nadal.


steve Says:

A keen and exhaustive analysis, i am it.


Colleen Says:

Assuming my calculations are correct Fed does need to get to the finals to retain #2. His current lead over novak is negligible.


mem Says:

skeezer,

there are two people that i know for sure you are obsessed with and that’s rafa nadal and me! in both cases, i can understand why! i’m flattered and i’m nadal is too.

mindy,

not meant to take anything away andy, he won the match and deserves all the credit, i’m just making a point; expressing another way of looking at that situation. my perception is different and that’s it!


grendel Says:

Seems to me Federer answered those critics who say he is little without the serve. That first set was a masterful display of tennis from the back of the court by both men. Looks like Davy’s almost back. I was very impressed with Fed’s return of serve. it was pretty good all the way thru, but he did one scintillating low back hand sliced return which sped off the court and I think set up match point. Two points later he did it again, not quite as good – but even so, surely the match – but Davydenko hit a screamer back leaving Fed dead.

Oddly enough, with all this talk of Fed innovating, his attempts at s and v failed, so did the chip an’ charging, and his volleying generally was poor – whilst Davydenko’s (the little he did) was faultless. That’s a pity, no doubt, but it’s such a relief to see those Fed groundies working well on both sides.

That problem of concentration showed again today – Federer’s standard undoubtedly dropped in the middle of the second set, and he held back on his fh in a way which allowed Davy back in. Nevertheless,perhaps this concentration thing is a work in progress, because the lapse was by no means as bad as it was against Berdych and Djokovic. It’s only fair to add that Davydenko’s standard dropped, and perhaps this was due to the fact he’s only just coming back into form.

Petchey was asked if Federer would like Nadal to come through, and he answered an emphatic yes, which is interesting. He said both of them like to use each other as a marker for where they are at.

Von: Djokovic is a real mystery to me. How can anyone play both so well and so badly in the same game, never mind match, and keep doing it? I was half joking about the racket – there is just no obvious explanation that I have heard. As for Roddick, seems to me he is now a leading contender for the Open, assuming health and so on.


David Says:

Kimberly

I disagree that Rafa went on “walkabout” against Roddick in that Miami match. Rafa was doing fine and was in total control and then Andy finally played the way he needs to play and seized control of that match by going for his forehand. Hopefully Roddick knows after that match that the only way he can beat Fed and Rafa in a big match is to play that way. Just throw caution to the wind and go for that forehand. He can’t beat those guys with just his serve and consistency.


contador Says:

i am it, exactly. ( glad to read your posts again, btw )

that’s what i saw too. you happen to describe it better than i could. of all the matches i have watched from cincy, that fed-davy one was the best.

Jane – Von thanks

i think he has secured the second seed: got to the final in toronto and last year both of them ( nole and fed) lost in the quarters.

although fed has more points to lose in cincy. i think by getting to the semi, he has scraped by.

someone will correct me, if i am wrong.


skeezerweezer Says:

That was the cleanest match I have seen in awhile from the Fedex….. :). It wasn’t that Davy played bad by any means…

M & M’s,

You pretty much covered the point I was tryin to bring out, no mean intentions, I do the same with Fed I am sure and forget he has an opponent that deserves credit also….

I am hoping for a Rafa win tonight, so Fed can give him a lesson on the HC :)ha! I know, I know, I had to get that in…..:)


NELTA Says:

Here’s the rankings breakdown.

Djoko: 7085 minus last years final(600) plus this year’s quarterfinal(180) = 6665

If Fed loses in the semis then 7215 minus last year’s winner(1000) plus this year’s semi(360) = 6575. He would then be ranked 3rd again.

If Fed gets to the finals then 7215 – 1000 + 600 = 6815 so he would retain #2.


dari Says:

thanks nelta!


grendel Says:

I enjoyed your analysis, i am it. Pity your man delPo is not match fit. They say he may still be playing? Do you have any info? And if he is, d’you think it’s wise? Is a grand slam the best type of tourney to make a return in after nearly a year off?


andres Says:

Murray must be praying for Federer to lose in the semis , so there be a chance that Nadal and Fed will play in the semis at the USO. I don’t think Murray can pull back to back victories over them in a Grand Slam.


xmike Says:

thanks Nelta for the explanation !


contador Says:

oh man that is close. ah well.

thanks NELTA


skeezerweezer Says:

@grendal

Hey there G. I agree the S & V may not work, although I am not convinced he is changing his all around game to do that. IMO he looks like he is trying whatevers to be more aggressive when need be, including a chip and charge or S & V on occasion. As a result he is starting to play more aggressive by it, meaning because of the thought of coming in it is making him play more aggressive form the back court, looking for opportunities to pounce. Funny, this is like the old Fed. Fed at his worst sits too far behind the baseline hitting short groundies to the opposition. At his best his serve is well placed, his movement is fantastic ( look for when he willing jumps around his BH to hit a FH ), and his transition game is spot on…


Von Says:

LOL, contador, wishful thinking. Fed’s got to make it to the finals. Anything less, it’ll be a *no go*. Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll do it. There’s nothing more challenging than a target in mind — then it’s bulleye!


steve Says:

@grendel: the critics aren’t entirely wrong. After all, take away Federer’s serve, forehand, backhand, slices, volleys, drop shots, and lobs, and he’s got nothing :)

I’m not too bothered by the failure of his S&V and chip and charge attempts. He’s experimenting with those tactics and needs the practice. And he did manage one beautiful chip-and-charge to get to 0-30 on Davydenko’s serve at the end of the first set, which was key to winning that set.


David Says:

Sheesh, is Rafa playing Baghdatis or Karlovic?


steve Says:

I agree with Von and David. That was a case of Roddick adjusting his game plan midmatch and getting more aggressive, going for his chances when he had them instead of just keeping the ball in play.


i am it Says:

Thanks Conty and Grendel. I was particularly impressed with Fed in the 1st set and toward the end of the 2nd because his opponent was not playing like he has just returned from the injury and was lacking in any aspects. It was heavy hitting from both. It almost felt like tennis is back with Fed’s return to the envious self that we’ve been spoiled over by for so long.

No, I am not quite sure when DelPo will return or if it is going to be the US. If the return is like the way he played at ’09 Tokyo and Shanghai events, he better wait for some more time. If he thinks his game is ready for, at least, reaching the R16 at the USO, he should go for it. It will look nicer, if he comes back swinging like Nalbandian did at the DC. I would like to see him making some noise when he enters his 1st event. As he has to start from some place sooner or later, and I would consider more his readiness to produce good tennis than the size of the event. My excitement for tennis has been dwindled by his absence, and I cannot wait anymore. I want to see him hold that racket again and produce those thumping and whizzing sounds to add rock-band spirit to the tennis music. I hope he comes back and comes back strong. I wish I knew more. I think Daniel, who lives in Argentina, can enlighten us, please.

By the way, Nelta’s math is correct. I double-checked it. Fed will have to win the semi to secure the No. 2 seeding at the USO. Thanks.


David Says:

Rafa was playing well at the beginning, but now his backhand’s fallen apart and, of course, he can never buy a serve when he needs one. May have to wait for clay-court season again for another title.


skeezerweezer Says:

Baggy “Bags” the first…..


skeezerweezer Says:

Did I hear 10 aces from Baggy? Geez


David Says:

I can’t see Rafa scrambling out of this one. Bags is a notch above Benneteau.


David Says:

This is going to be a major blow to Rafa’s confidence going into the Open. You could tell he was trying to convince himself that the reason he’s never reached the USO final is because of physical problems going in. But this hard-court season he’s fresh, yet he’s just simply not good enough on this surface to beat the best players.


Ike Says:

Rafa leads the tour in BPs saved! Great sign of true champion!


tfouto Says:

incredible Baghadatis! Nadal is really under pressure.


dari Says:

Its really odd to see rafa struggling, but baggy is better than the players nadal has been scraping it out against. We still have a long way to go


Fot Says:

Well Von – your man won his match and my man won his match. (We were 2-for-2 today)! lol!

Roger played fine. Nothing really spectacular but nothing really ‘bad’ either. I think he played good, especially having only had 7 games in this tournament todate! And he had problems with Davydenko lately so to get through this match in straight sets was great. Especially with all the other upsets happening today.

I do hope Roger can win tomorrow against whomever he plays because I want him to be seeded #2 going in to the US Open.

I see Nadal lost the first set in his match tonight – but we know he can come back, even down a break in the 2nd. However, Baggy has been playing pretty well lately so he has a chance too.


i am it Says:

David, I would hesitate to speculate if Rafa would “have to wait for clay-court season again for another title.” But I get your drift that he is not playing much better than Djoko did today. Baghy won 15 of the last 20 points (plus a couple more in the deuce exchange) and broke Rafa in opening game of the 2nd set. Crazy. Rafa looks lifeless for the moment, but he is known to resurrect at any time, can come back after facing match points (cannot help thinking of the match with Nalby at IW ’09). Yes, Baghy is employing the right tactics to win this match, but I will wait until Baghy strikes the last ball.


Ike Says:

@ dari
i m not sure if it is odd to see Rafa struggling on Hard courts its pretty typical of him


Ike Says:

if Rafa somehow manages to win this match he WILL beat Fed!


David Says:

I think just about every player who can take Rafa’s topspin on the backhand side and drive it deep and flat has just got the edge on Rafa. I’ll just take it as a given that that player will also serve better than Rafa, because who doesn’t?

Before I was thinking that Rafa’s not a top 5 hard-court player, but now I’m wondering if he’s even a top 10 hard-court player.

Seriously, I don’t know how anyone could watch this match tonight and think he has a prayer of winning the USO.


Ike Says:

@ Fot
it doesn’t matter if Fed is seeded 2 or 3, most likely he will reach semi-final, where i hope he will have to face someone other than Djokovic / Roddick


kimberly Says:

So disappointing. Guess no fedal semi.


Ike Says:

@ David
remember it may be bit slower but still Aussie Open courts are hard courts, and Rafa beat Fed to win the grand slam!


Ike Says:

@ Kimberly
there will be Fed-Rafa semi tomorrow, I guarantee it!


Ike Says:

Rafa is missing FHs just like i was missing this evening :(


Ike Says:

great serve Rafa!


Ike Says:

i don’t know why i root for Rafa. mostly i guess bec’z of his fighting nature and he is the only one who has mental edge over Fed and can beat Fed on any surface!


skeezerweezer Says:

Never count Rafa out till its over. Monster hold from Lionheart….


Ike Says:

great serves from Rafa!


zinaldo Says:

Baghdatis needs to be aware of the serve to his forehand as nadal is now well aware that his money serve to the backhand isn’t working today so everytime in an important point go and stand there and make him have to serve to the backhand.


David Says:

Ike, that’s true and if he could get to another hard-court final against Fed he might have a chance because Roger obviously has trouble on the backhand side against all that spin. But the Tour just feels like a minefield for Rafa. Almost everyone has a 2-hander and doesn’t seem bothered by Rafa’s heavy topspin. They just take that ball and drive it in the corner.

By the way, nice hold by Rafa to get to 2-1. Finally a few serves!! Maybe he’s going to start finding the rhythm and get a few easy service holds.


Ike Says:

@ skeezerweezer
i totally agree with u, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE HEART OF A CHAMPION!


David Says:

Unbelievable, three straight unreturned serves. Is that a record for Rafa?


Ike Says:

@ David
i still think Rafa CAN & WILL win USO, not just ones but at least twice! I think his heart and determination can overcome lack of technique / talent to play on hard courts.


Ike Says:

@ David
don’t make fun of Rafa’s great serves :(
if u r righty try serving / hitting the balls lefty and c how hard it is.


zinaldo Says:

Nadal will always beat roger if he is good enough to run the balls and play his one dimensional but very effective game against roger of going to his backhand.

The fact that mentally whenever roger sees nadal is s… in his pants or loses his mind makes him the most likely winner at least until roger goes and sees a shrink for it.


David Says:

Ike, it just seems so out of reach at this point. What I want is for Rafa to get the FO record. Even if he never wins any of the other Slams again, that would be phenomenal to win two more FOs.


i am it Says:

It did not take much time for Rafa to turn it around and win 2 games in a row, did it? Now he is firmly in the match, with a bold message that he wants to play Federer tomorrow, regardless of his chances to beat the Swiss. Fed-Rafa semifinal, only the 2nd semifinal encounter in a regular event since ’05 RG? That’s yummy.


zinaldo Says:

I would love to see rafa have a draw like this first round gulbis,second monfils,third round tsonga,fourth round soderling,quarters fit and in form davydenko,semi an no murray and del potro.


David Says:

Ike, maybe he should try serving right handed and then do everything else lefty. Luke Jensen served with both hands. If he could hit serves in the mid-130s right-handed I’d say he’d be crazy not to do that, but I doubt he has that kind of strength in his right arm.


zinaldo Says:

Eh guys do you know if del potro is going to be fit enough to play this year us open.


David Says:

Zinaldo

You obviously don’t like Rafa, but seriously don’t sweat it. Any and every draw will be difficult for Rafa. He’s struggling against Benneteau and Baghdatis for crying out loud.


skeezerweezer Says:

Prediction;

If it goes 3, Rafa. Baggy has to take this set if he is going to beat Rafa. The Lion is slowly starting to sink his teeth into the match…..


kimberly Says:

Is delpo playong?

I heard serena williams is not. Might as well cancel the wta portion of the uso.


David Says:

Zinaldo

Both times Roger played Rafa in a big event on fast hard courts he won in straight sets (2006 and 2007 Masters Cup). The second time was like 6-4, 6-0. There’s really little reason to think that Rafa could beat Fed either here or at USO.


zinaldo Says:

It’s not that i don’t like him but i hate the way he plays he could be playing aggressive tennis but refuses to do so and pretty much only wins because his opponents end up missing a lot more than he does but i give it to him he has to find a way to be successful.

Also his so called fair play can be questioned when you see and hear,be happy whenever his opponents make a mistake and his feigning of injuries is also another thing that does my head in about him.


zinaldo Says:

To me as long as roger federer is scared of rafa and has a one handed backhand then rafa would have every chances of beating him.

Nadal like someone said has the mental edge over him and to me that is very important now.


skeezerweezer Says:

Where are the Rafa fans?


aleish17 Says:

still crossing my fingers for Rafa tonight. can’t believe the first set. but Rafa’s never really that good in hard courts as he is on clay. And I hate to admit that.


zinaldo Says:

And that was roger prime then,this roger wouldn’t stand a chance if you go by the way he has been playing,his forehand is error prone and his backhand has become just a trading shot.


David Says:

Zinaldo

I really don’t think Rafa could play another way. He was taught clay-court groundstrokes by his uncle and is talented enough that he can use them effectively on every surface.

If he tried to play like Agassi, for example, he’d just make too many unforced errors. And with no serve to bail him out, he’d probably be lucky to be in the top 20.

The guy who could play more aggressively and doesn’t is Roddick. He showed against Nadal in Miami that he still possesses a huge forehand, but he just will not go for it. I really hope the next time he plays Fed he starts going for broke on that shot because he’s crazy if he thinks he can beat Fed playing his percentage, defensive baseline game.


kimberly Says:

Skeezerweezer-The rafa fans like myself are too depressed to do heavy posting. But I don’t want to be a fair weather fan.

So go rafa!


aleish17 Says:

Cmon Rafa, pleeaaaaasssee take this 2nd set!!!


David Says:

Zinaldo

Roger wouldn’t stand a chance against Rafa on a fast hard court? Sorry, but that doesn’t make any sense. Roger would be the big favorite in such a match. Nadal’s only chance would be a repeat choke performance like the 09 AO final.


David Says:

The way Roger played today against Davy is plenty good enough to beat Rafa on hard court. That is, if Rafa can even get that far.


aleish17 Says:

count me in skeeze! still alive here though i think im going to have a nervous breakdown if anyhting goes the other way for mah fave.


David Says:

I’m a big Rafa fan, but a realistic Rafa fan too :-(


zinaldo Says:

The man has one tactic only go to peoples’ backhand and if that isn’t working then he is in trouble but he has that left arm and mental strength to make up for his lack of real skills like a roger or even murray.

I think nadal is going to struggle big time soon as people stop being scared or wary of him a bit the same way they have of roger now because he isn’t a prime roger who could come on the court and just hit winners past you from all over the place.

Del potro,djokovic,cilic if regains his form,murray,gulbis,berdych are going to be nightmare for him on hard court and del potro could become an even bigger nightmare for him on clay because of his size,game but most importantly him not being fearful on nadal as you can see him getting more and more confident whenever they have played of course it was on hard but the man respect nadal but doesn’t respect him too much a bit like rafa with roger.


aleish17 Says:

Cmon Rafa!!!


Ike Says:

David
here we go, Nadal at his very best, and now it’s dog fight (if Baggy can fight)


skeezerweezer Says:

Told ya….the Lion has awoke. Baggy has got to turn into Dragon or else….


kimberly Says:

So sad.

At least wanted rafa to make it to the semi.


Ike Says:

zinaldo
just curious how many grand-slams do u think Rafa will win?
my guess is at least one more than Fed1


Ike Says:

Kimberly
didn’t i guarantee Rafa will make the semis and beat Fed!


aleish17 Says:

Yeeessss! Yohoooooo! Deciding third set. Vamos Rafa!


Ike Says:

skeezerweezer

Amen!


Ike Says:

aleish17

i don’t know much Spanish but i do know few words, Vamos Rafa!


zinaldo Says:

Exactly and if there is anyone who can make roger choke it is rafa as we have seen in the past that even a prime roger could squander multiple match points even on his money shot the forehand(rome 2006) if i am correct,prime roger could also fail to beat a 5 hour match tired rafa so there you have it.

Rafa only chance of winning the us open would be for him to meet roger in the final as he would like someone said have the mental edge and that to me is what would always make him favourite as he doesn’t really have to play well against roger,just get a lot of balls back and hammer the backhand.


Ike Says:

aleish17

r u spanish?


David Says:

Zinaldo

Seriously, your analysis is way too harsh. No one thinks Rafa is as talented as Fed and Murray, but you’re talking about the 2 most talented players in the game. Roger’s almost certainly the most talented to ever play the game.

I think Rafa has a lot more variety than people give him credit for. He’s a competent net player. He’s got great defense, great offense if the opponent doesn’t take the initiative. I mean, compare Rafa with Berdych or Soderling. You don’t seriously think Rafa is as one-dimensional as they are. They literally have one tactic. If their flat blasting doesn’t work, then they lamely go down 6-2, 6-2.


Ike Says:

zinaldo

just wondering, do u like or hate Rafa?


zinaldo Says:

It depends on if del potro is able to recover his form of before the injury like i said he the game to nullify nadal tactic and the mental strength to take it to rafa on clay as long as he can improve even further his fitness and quickness around the court.

but if that is never the case then i think he would win 3 to 4 more french and maybe 2 to 3 more wimbledon and maybe 1 more ao open so that is 13.


skeezerweezer Says:

@Ike at 9:21 post

Re; Spanish….lol “Classic!”


Ike Says:

David

it’s pity that world always likes “talented” people / player and not that much the “hardworking” people / player.
They like to see the (evil) magic of Fed, they don’t want to c the fighting spirit of Rafa.


David Says:

Zinaldo

That AO match was a choke, but consider the context. Roger was trying to tie the all-time Slam record against his nemesis. I think Roger’s much more relaxed now. He’s practically the undisputed goat so he can swing away more freely now and just enjoy the tennis.


Ike Says:

skeezerweezer

i guess u know spanish words


aleish17 Says:

Ike,

No I’m not. Im Asian.


Ike Says:

David
u really think Fed is the GOAT?


Von Says:

Whoa, seems as if Baggy is running on fumes now. He’s missing quite a lot and could be very tired. I think Nadal will most probably prevail. By the look of things, he appears to be the one with the most energy to reach the finish line.

Fed must be sitting in his room with his feet up and hoping that the two of them will knock themselves out in a super dog fight. LOL.
_________________
FOT: Yes, things are looking up. However, I’ve gotta say that Roddick is very tired, so I’m hoping he gets the second SF slot tomorrow, which would help him to recover some more. Dare we hope our guys will prevail tomorrow? Only time will tell ….

_________________
Zinaldo: You are spot on with respect to Roddick’s FH. That FH used to be a super weapon, and he used to crack it with conviction. Nowadays, he seems reluctant to use it, and I wonder if it has got anything to do with his shoulder injury. He did have to change his service motion to an abreviated version, and he does not bring the heat as he previously did. Also, a couple of years ago he injured his shoulder in that match vs. Wawrinka, and since that time, I’ve seen subtle changes in the serve and the FH.


David Says:

I agree, Ike.

I think for the average player, it’s a lot easier to relate to what Rafa’s doing. We can all get in the best shape of our lives, fight like crazy on every point, never give up, scrap and play lots of defense etc. How do you try to play like Federer though? It’s absurd to even think about it.


Ike Says:

David
Fed’s win-loss record against Rafa,Murray & Nole is 22-26 i.e. 45.83%


zinaldo Says:

Yes he isn’t per say one dimensional but they at least come on the court to beat you with their winners rafa comes to not make any mistakes that is why most times his opponents are not making their customary 30 unforced errors then the matches are always closer than they should be.

Nadal is stubborn like roger in the fact that when things aren’t going his way he would resort to even more defensive tennis whereas roger would also try to be overly aggressive,that is why he loses badly whenever he does especially on hard courts.

I don’t hate rafa but he is the least i would like to see win a slam as his game is just about not making mistakes and waiting for your opponents to make some,what happens when they don’t,he loses even when he could have turned those matches in his favour with a bit more aggressive play.


Ike Says:

David
“How do you try to play like Federer though? It’s absurd to even think about it.” that is exactly why i root against him.
I am American, we do like winners but we root for underdogs / the “average” Joes.
I m guessing u r Brit.


David Says:

Ike

Yes, he’s the greatest player I’ve ever seen and he has the greatest record of all time. So for me that adds up to GOATness. We all know he’s matched up poorly against Nadal, but tennis is about winning titles against the whole field, not beating one other player.


guy Says:

the stupid talk of rafa having no talent again. the guy leads the masters shields and won french and wimby back to back twice…compare that to the ‘amazing talent’ of murray,gasquet,nalbandian etc. there is no comparison in the results.
anyone who thinks you can have nadal’s results without huge natural talent is a moron. grit isn’t enough.
add to that he plays with his non dominant arm. a no.1 who plays with his nondominant arm, think about that.


kimberly Says:

I respect what roger federer has done but need I remind people he has lost this year to: ernest gulbis, albert montanes, bahgdatis, berdych (twice really almost three times) soderling and lleyton hewitt. One match against davy (who has been horrendous all year) and all is forgotten. He’s not who he was.

However I’m not thrilled with rafas form.

However, vamos!!!!


Ike Says:

guy
agree with u re. Rafa (except ur choice of words / profanity :)


zinaldo Says:

Federer would never be relaxed against rafa,it is just not possible,rafa has been able to unsettle him since he was 16 years and it isn’t now at 29 years that it is going to change.

In fact roger since even more easily unsettled as he loses break points advantages on the regular basis.


Ike Says:

David

A GOAT hat to meet three conditions and u know what they r, don’t u?


zinaldo Says:

Yes how many of those master shields have come on the clay,please rafa is spansih tennis player who is winning on clay,not very surprising so until he wins on fast hard court then we could talk properly of him being a really great player.

Rafa himself has said that if he wasn’t left handed he wouldn’t have won that many or has many slams as he has.


skeezerweezer Says:

@Ike

True. But Fed has Records that are currently the GOAT ( GS titles, Finals and Semis ), and the guys you mentioned continually back that up with there IMO’s. Stats on h2h is interesting in matchups, but not a tell all or end all of someones stellar career.


David Says:

Zinaldo

Berdych and Sod come on the court to beat the other guy with their winners, in part, because they’re too big and slow to play any other way. If they had Rafa’s speed and athleticism, they might choose to play in a very different way. I don’t fault them because they play the only way they can in order to be competitive. But by the same token, Rafa HAS to play what I would call a very high-percentage game. That’s because he doesn’t have a good enough serve to have the luxury of going for too many flashy shots and making too many unforced errors.

But again, his game is high-percentage, not defensive. Any point that the opponent doesn’t play aggressively, Rafa runs them ragged and eventually finishes the point off with a winner. A good example of that is the beginning of Rafa’s match in Miami against Roddick, before Andy started going for broke with his forehand. So Rafa’s style is a far cry from how Wilander won the 1988 French Open for example.


Ike Says:

tennis trivia

Pete Sampras vs Richard Krajicek head to head is(4–6)


zinaldo Says:

One thing nadal has over roger is that he is humble and hard working on the court and outside of it,now roger doesn’t seem to be putting in the effort he used to when he was younger and that can be seen on the court with the numbers of shanks we seem have become accustomed to with him now.


Ike Says:

David

u r not tennis coach, r u?
ur analysis is right on the money


Ike Says:

zinaldo

Rafa is working man’s hero


David Says:

Zinaldo,

You’re a tough man to please, I have to tell you. So who besides Roger is a “really great player” if Rafa isn’t?

And it’s really harsh to say that Rafa’s a Spanish clay court player so OF COURSE he has 13 clay Masters Series titles and five French Opens!!! I mean, if it weren’t for Rafa, it would just be David Ferrer doing that, right? :-)


Ike Says:

whereas Fed is the “elite” the privileged class!


zinaldo Says:

Is it true that when rafa was young and playing both tennis and football,he used to always get beat at tennis as he was playing with his right hand and wanted to pick up football so his uncle decided to make him play with his left hand and he then went on to become who is today.

Just hear say.


Ike Says:

David

Fed is great player but he can’t be GOAT!


guy Says:

baghdatis and monfils, more ‘amazing talents’ who have done pretty much nothing.
the secret to having ‘amazing talent’ outside of federer is to make some flashy shots now and then between losing to everybody. that seems to do it.
although if you’re nadal or davydenko and you make flashy shots, it’s not talent, it’s just about determination and being bald respectively. hopefully nadal won’t go bald soon or he’ll have absolutely no talent.


Ike Says:

skeezerweezer

u seem like a swiss


David Says:

Ike

I wouldn’t call myself any sort of technical expert. I play at a pretty decent level and played in college. I’ve been a fan for a long time so have seen all sorts of players and styles over the years and respect all of them. But I have a special respect for players like Rafa who can do so incredibly well without a big serve. I don’t know how he does it, especially his clutch play in tiebreakers and whatnot.


kimberly Says:

Total anxiety


zinaldo Says:

I am just saying that what he is doing is amazing but not unexpected as he is winning on the court he has been trained to succeed on all his life but of course it doesn’t mean that he was bound to be successful on it.

But he had more chances of being good on it than anywhere else.


Ike Says:

guy

plz. don’t make fun of hair loss / baldness, in the last year i have lost lot of hair :(
trust me it’s not funny, it’s the most depressing thing that could happen to anyone.
if u lose a girlfriend u can get a new one, it’s not that ezy to get hair back :(


David Says:

Uggh, how did Rafa miss that return at 0-30?


skeezerweezer Says:

@Ike,

You can make up qualifications and justifications and matchups to make it justifiable to you but there is only one condition and one requirement IMO that I would listen to. That is his peers, both past and present, I trust and respect there judgment over anything else. Fed as of now, in this era, GOAT.


Ike Says:

David

“But I have a special respect for players like Rafa who can do so incredibly well without a big serve. I don’t know how he does it, especially his clutch play in tiebreakers and whatnot.”

right on the money, my friend.


David Says:

And then a wild forehand? Crap.


David Says:

If this were three out of five, Bags wouldn’t have a chance and might need an ambulance by the end of it :-). But it’s only 2 out of 3.


Ike Says:

skeezerweezer

it will be interesting to c all this in say 2014-2016 (of course if the world doesn’t end in 2010 :)


kimberly Says:

Oh no!


Ike Says:

Robbie Koenig:
“That’s the beauty of the hawk-eye system, justice prevails!”
Great statement my friend.


skeezerweezer Says:

@Ike,

No doubt! :)

Baggy hangin tough here… I thought Rafa was gonna run away with it, great match!


jane Says:

This a bit of a classic match – fun to watch, hard to pick between them.


Ike Says:

David

don’t forget the fight between Baggy and Andre few years ago at USO


Ike Says:

jane

welcome back


guy Says:

rafa backs the lefthanded thing because toni was behind it. he would have won many more slams righthanded clearly. why? because serve is the most important shot and that’s the shot that was jeopadized when toni made nadal play with the wrong arm. the lefty advantage is negligible, and certainly less important than serve and forehand. if nadal had a better forehand and serve, which is the logical conclusion when you put the racket in his dominant arm, he would obviously be a better player.
the idea that nadal only beat fed because of hte lefty/backhand pummelling is overblown. and even if it isn’t, you don’t need to be lefty to do it. hewitt did it for many years.


skeezerweezer Says:

I meant in the 3rd for Rafa…


Ike Says:

jane

u gotta pick Rafa, he is the proven champion!


zinaldo Says:

Federer is the best of this era but is backhand has to be one of the worst in history of the tennis game and to me players like the connors,borg,mcenroe would have been a nightmare for him to play against.

They had the mental strength to really go crazy.


David Says:

Yeah, Agassi had a cortizone shot before the match, the effects of which wore out during the match (!) yet Bags lost because his whole body cramped up.


kimberly Says:

Please rafa!


jane Says:

OMG – outrageous!


Ike Says:

Baggy is playing spirited (as if he is fighting Turkish / Iranian people :)


guy Says:

ike,

i’m not making fun of balding, it just annoys me that people have a go at davydenko about it.


kimberly Says:

I want my fedal semi–worried


skeezerweezer Says:

Wow. That is all I have to say. Rafa? WTF?


David Says:

Ike,

This is why you can’t look at h2h. It’s not Fed’s fault if Rafa can’t get far enough to play him on his best surface.


Ike Says:

can Rafa break Baggy, i doubt it.


guy Says:

even if nadal got through this match, it would be fed’s best chance to beat him in a while.


zinaldo Says:

hewitt used to get to roger because then he was mentally stronger but also fitter and that made federer panic on crucial points.

Roger in his prime never used to struggle against big hitters but he has always found it hard against players that can spin the ball to his backhand or make him generate his pace from time to time like nalbandian and henman before that.


jane Says:

Rafa with a most untimely double!! This reminds me of Baggys win over Fed at IW, and he lost the next round. I wonder if the same will happen again.


skeezerweezer Says:

“zinaldo Says:

Federer is the best of this era but is backhand has to be one of the worst in history of the tennis game ”

WTF? Go youtube “Federer backhand”. He just has big problems with Rafa’s FH to his BH, well documented, otherwise…..


Ike Says:

David

for a GOAT there shouldn’t be a favorite surface :)


Andrew Miller Says:

I can hear Baghdatis thinking, “I might win this match!”


kimberly Says:

So depressed.


Ike Says:

skeezerweezer

u r Swiss!


i am it Says:

Strange Rafa double-faults to get broken, and Baghy is serving for the match. Does the Cypriot has what it takes down the world No. 1? Can he not choke?


Ike Says:

Baggy getting tight


kimberly Says:

Can rafa recover? I doubt it?


David Says:

Come on, Bags, miss one more first serve.


skeezerweezer Says:

Baggy! Wow, proved me wrong, great match dude you played awesome. Too bad though I wanted a Rafa/Fed semi…but all kudos to Baggy!


jane Says:

Congrats to Baggy for another big win. Your smile is a jewel…

That’s okay, Rafa; you can’t win ‘em all!! Go rest up for USO.


Ike Says:

Rafa is making progress on Hard Court, he will win USO this year!


David Says:

Bags was due for a win. Rafa had won three times in the third and final set before today.


jane Says:

kimberly, cheer up girl – Rafa will be back!!


guy Says:

hewitt used to break down federer’s backhand. and hewitt’s backhand is as flat as it comes.


Ike Says:

Baggy has beaten Fed the last (and the only) time, i hope he will do it again tomorrow.


kimberly Says:

I’m super sad. I think this is feds tourney now. I mean who else would win it. Mardy Fish?


Ike Says:

good night!


David Says:

I’m predicting a Fed-Fish final. Mardy’s got the serve to stay right with Rod, and then I think his groundies are better and he’s moving much better now.


kimberly Says:

Three of the top four out today.


Andrew Miller Says:

I thought before the tournament that Rafa would lose early-ish and save his energy for the US Open.


steve Says:

Congratulations to Baghdatis. Superb play; tremendous mental effort to not go away in the third after losing the second.

I guess beating Federer gave him the belief that he can really beat the best.


David Says:

Kimblerly,

The best part is just watching Rafa compete, win or lose. That’s how I look at it anyway. Except on clay. There he HAS to win. Nothing else is acceptable.


i am it Says:

3 Match points for Baghy? Rafa eliminates one. Baghy shanks another into the net, and that beautiful smile from him. 2nd serve. Baghy does it in style, achieves the difficult task of beating Rafa in the 3rd set.
Congrats to the Cypriot !!!

3 top seeded players are defeated on a single day: No. 1 Rafa, No. 2 Djoko, and No. 4 Murray. This makes Djoko’s loss look not that bad.
Fed is the last man standing, will likely be shining more than he was at the Rogers’ cup. The title and No. 2 seeding seem to be now secured for Fed. Will be missing the Fed-Rafa semi, though.


Andrew Miller Says:

(And I still think Rafa’s not too sad about having more time for US Open. It’s uncle Tony’s strategy! While google remembers who won Cincinatti, not many others do…)


Andrew Miller Says:

Problem with Baghdatis: he loves playing guys like Nadal and Federer. But he doesnt like playing guys like Kendrick. That’s the difference: Nadal and Federer dont care who they’re playing.


aleish17 Says:

Im officially having a nervous breakdown right now. So sad for Rafa’s QF exit. I can only hope he preps himself well for USO. I badly need to see him lift the USO trophy =(

Kudos to Baghdatis who really pushed Rafa.

Vamos Rafa! Win or lose, you are still the champ, at least for me and for other Rafa fans out there. We’ll be anticipating you in the USO.


zinaldo Says:

Federer is thanking his lucky stars tonight as to me rafa is the last player he would want to play right now because if you look at it,rafa is out of form and roger is not playing so well and his backhand is getting worse by the day.

Do you really think roger would want to put it to the test of nadal spinning left handed forehand right now but most importantly how would people have reacted to rafa beating roger on this fast hard court,i think the goat discussion would have swung back in favour of rafa had he played him and beaten him in cincinatti.


David Says:

Andrew

I wish things were looking that rosy for Rafa. Unfortunately, this is a jolt to his confidence. He fought hard and couldn’t beat Baghdatis. He very nearly lost to Benneteau.

Things are looking bleak heading into the Open, to say the least.


jane Says:

Just want to give a little shout out to “i am it”; nice to see you hear and read your thoughtful posts. Cheers to you!


Fot Says:

Well today was really nice for me. Just about everyone I needed to lose – lost and the ones I needed to win – won. I wanted all those close to Roger in the standings to lose and I wanted Roger to win. Now if Roger can pay back Baggy tomorrow night and win that match, that would be great.

Von – I saw your message earlier but I read somewhere that the night match would be Roger vs TBA (Nadal or Baggy). Personally I would have perferred Roger to play the day match because if he could get by that match, he would have longer to get ready for the final. The night match back-fired on him in Toronto where I think he was a little ‘gassed’ for the Murray final so if Baggy gives Roger a very tight/long SF, it might backfire on him in the final (but I’m getting ahead of myself right now).

SF – Go Roger! In the other – gee, both Fish and Roddick are playing pretty good but seems like mentally Roddick might have the edge over Fish.


jane Says:

hear s/b here @10:15


David Says:

Zinaldo,

Fed’s backhand looked fine to me. He’s always shanked it from time to time and had bad days, even in his prime.

All I know is the pundits are going to have to eat crow again, because all their theories about the new equipment and Fed needing to make big changes are turning out to be nothing but hot air.

Fed is going to go into the Open as clear favorite, and it will take a big surprise for him not to be holding up Grand Slam trophy No. 17.


jane Says:

You are right Fot – Fed/Baggy is 7:00 pm – and Rod/Fish around 2:00 pm. Weather suggests potential scattered showers which may throw the schedule a little.

Didn’t know Fed has already 3 Cincy titles and is going for his 4th!


Jack Says:

I thought this information was supposed to be up to date but it appears to be one day lagging as when I left the house this morning baghdatis and nadal were in the third set and no results here yet


zinaldo Says:

Federer backhand can be fine but he has been prone to really stupid errors lately and that was against players who hit the ball flat and hard whereas nadal hits with more spin that anyone on the court circuit really.

But from what i have seen in the past with them especially on clay is that roger is like he gets either bored or tired of hitting his backhand and almost like a little petulant kid who isn’t having his way or not happy about something would just lash out and then the mistakes come.

Nadal is the best equipped maybe at making roger do these sort of things as he has the game,the endurance,the mental strength and the know how to frustrate roger.

So he must be very happy,i would have expected rafa to beat as he is relentless and that to me is what roger hates the most against rafa as he doesn’t give up like most against roger.


kimberly Says:

So sad for rafa. But I believe he will bring his best the uso. He is my favorite and I love to see him compete. Hope this doesn’t break his spirit. I don’t think it will. He’s had early round exits here before.

I am realistic and I know uso will be tough for him. But he can do it. If it were 3 for 5 rafa would have very likely won this match.


aleish17 Says:

@ Kimberly

Im sad too but let’s think of the brighter side about this loss. He’ll have several days of rest. And let’s not worry about the mental thing. Others said that he (Rafa) will be downhearted if he loses in Cincy. But I doubt that. Rafa has overcome many obstacles before. I just hope he’ll be better come USO. His mindset is just unbelievable. This (Cincy) tourny is not just for him. We can’t have em all, right? Give some for some. =)

Cheer up!
Im smiling now. I guess the “nervous breakdown” thing isn’t gonna happen. ;)


andrea Says:

too bad for nadal. that match looked intense. wish i could have seen it. if fed makes the final and/or wins it and then wins the USO Open i’m pretty sure he has the lock on the USO series bonus, that he won back in ’96 i think.


kimberly Says:

just want to see rafa hold that trophy!!!!!


David Says:

I just want Rafa to do well enough at the Open that he doesn’t jeopardize the year-end No. 1. If Fed closes the gap enough, he might make a run at the No. 1 by playing Shanghai.


Mindy Says:

mem,

It’s all good! We say what we think and stand up for Rafa and that’s a good thing! We are not afraid to be honest, even though we may not win many friends. Someone needs to speak up for Rafa here!

Kimberly and Aleish17,

No nervous breakdowns allowed! Rafa will be fine. He needs to work with Uncle Toni and get himself ready for the USO. Just think – now nobody will pick him to win and he can go there under the radar – just the way he likes it. Even though he was clearly struggling, especially with that backhand, he fought like a champion right to the end.

Keep the faith! :)


i am it Says:

Hi Jane,
Let me correct that correction of yours, add music to it, and plagiarize into mine:

Nice to see you unseen
nicer to read your thoughts
and pleasantest to hear your voice
Cheers to everything you do !

An instance of my poetic sensibility:-) ;-)


aleish17 Says:

@ kimberly

I want to see him hold another trophy too. But sadly, we won’t see him holding one in this tourny. We can only hope he starts strong and finish stronger in the USO.

Rafa is upset right now. No doubt about that coz he hates losing. But I don’t doubt his capacity to regroup himself and focus on the win in USO. Im not very confident about his chances in USO this year, but Rafa really has a strong heart and mind. And you can’t underestimate that even on hard courts. He may not be invincible on HC as he is on clay but he still have what it takes to win on a HC slam. So I’ll always be rooting for Rafa, with a very loud “Vamos!” cheer. =)


Andrew Miller Says:

As far as I can tell Nadal is not much on Cincinatti. In fact, Nadal hasnt won any U.S. tournaments outside of Indian Wells, right?


Skeezerweezer Says:

@aleish17

You are a true tennis fan :). Nice to know there is a Rafa fan who can congratulate the opponent for the win. True Tennis X material. Rafa will be fine. He is on the right track, and most important his knees and health are fine for the HC season.

Hope your fav continues to step up the ladder to a USO climax! :)


aleish17 Says:

Mindy,

Thanks Mindy. Always is a pleasure to meet some of the Rafa fans here in this site. =)

Rafa all the way to the USO! C’mooon!!!


Twocents Says:

Don’t read too much into Djok, Murray, and Nadal’s losses before USO.

Very glad for Roddick, Fish, & Baggy, though. Well done jobs.

Nikolay still rusty.

Lose-lose for Fed: while it might have been ugly losing to Nadal on HC, it’d be nightmare losing to Baggy. Even if he makes it to final, a hard-fought win would deplete him, but losing b2b final sure looks silly. Of the top 4: Fed needs rest most aged at 29.

I hope my fellow Texan Roddick takes Cincy.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Under the Radar? he holds the #1 ranking in the whole tennis world! I don’t think so, and Rafa should handle it, he deserves the #1 ranking and I am sure treasures it. Isn’t that what you ( M&M )always wanted? geez…..

@twocents

Back in Cali after a week in your heat. Cooled down yet? The BBQ there was awesome and the 2 step was fun…wish I knew how to do it.


contador Says:

Twocents,

i completely get what you are saying about the remaining situation in cincinnati for federer.

but the good news? i bet he doesn’t see it how we do.


David Says:

Murray’s loss is meaningless because he already got the Toronto title and was obviously just completely spent.

Different story with Nadal and Djokovic, they’re going in with zero momentum. I don’t even know if either one can be considered a top 5 favorite for the USO.

As always, it’s Fed’s to lose, with Murray, Roddick and maybe Fish in the equation.


aleish17 Says:

Thanks Skeeze!

We’ll have to wait and see what he (Rafa) brings in the table for the USO.


mem Says:

skeezer,

i’m a rafafan and i don’t hide in the bushes after nadal has been defeated, i can accept when my favorite player suffers a defeat. can you say the same about you?

i’ll be happy to represent for the rafafans! i’m proud to be a nadal fan. he is the epitome of the very essence of greatness. first of all, congratulations to baghdatis on his first win over nadal.

secondly, nadal played better than i expected tonight, especially based on his performance yesterday. so, no real disappointment for me. of course i want him to win every match, but that’s not possible. considering all things, i’m quite happy with his matchplay these two weeks. i’m sure he will evaluate some things next week.

anybody who has been following tennis for for the last (at least) six or seven years knows that the level of competition that rafa has to contantly face as the #1 player is much tougher, much stronger, much better, and more consistent than when roger was dominating. it’s not an excuse, it’s just a fact!

thirdly, it’s a pity that commentators like doug adler, robby koeling, gilbert, mcenroe, the whole company have to constantly write the playbook on how to take down nadal for players in the locker room. it’s a shame that in order for players to have a chance against nadal every expert in the world of tennis has to write the plan. what does that tell you? do you ever hear commentators discussing any other player indepth the way they discuss rafa? it’s gotten to a point where i have to mute the tv sometimes, because it is so sickening. tonight, all doug and robby discussed was how players should do this and that against nadal to beat him and how baghdatis was playing exactly the way players should play him. it is so contrary to what this sport should be about. shouldnt players and their coaches decide how to play a particular opponent. in my opinion, commentators shouldn’t be allowed to discuss how to beat any player. but i know that will never happen. has any of you ever heard them discuss the gameplan against roger. NO, and you never will.

lastly, if you think for one minute that the real reason why most of these fans and commentators are so happy and excited that baggyis back on track and playing well is because they just want the best for him, think again! they are full of praise for any player who remove nadal out of roger’s way. my guess is that’s the main reason for their excitement! i know it and you know it too!

i’m not gullible by any means; it is so obvious the way commentators discuss nadal during every match and wish for any player to beat him, they don’t really care who the player is, just as long as someone get nadal out of the way. you know nadal is great when everybody has to give other players advise on how to beat him and hope and pray for that the player can execute the plan to the end, primarily so that roger won’t have to face him. this is what tennis has come to! it’s the sad truth! this is not to take anything away from baghdatis, he did his job well; hats off to him.

so, skeezer the weezer, i’m sorry to disappoint you, but this is not the big shocker you would like for it to be, maybe for you, but not for me.

good luck to baghdatis tomorrow!


kimberly Says:

Nadal and djoko are certainly top five contenders. I wouldn’t say they have zero momentum.

Djoko was a semifinalist @ wimby.blasted arch enemy offthe court in davis cup. Found his game but struggling with illness and heat.

Rafa won two grand slams and three masters, made three semis and one quarters. No player has a record that can nearly match that. Period.


Kimmi Says:

Bagdatis..You have beaten another worls # 1. a difficult feat. Welldone and congrats.


David Says:

Kimberly

Believe me, I really want to believe in Rafa’s chances, but facts are facts. He just hasn’t done anything of note in a long time on hard court. We probably have to go back to 2009 Indian Wells for a really good result. Sure, he can make the quarters and even semis of MS events as long as he doesn’t have to play anyone. But he was beaten handily by Murray. Then he struggles mightily with Benneteau and then goes out to Baghdatis. I’m afraid he closer to the field, to guys who have zero chance of winning the tournament, than he is to the contenders.


David Says:

As for Djokovic, he can’t beat Fed. He can’t beat Roddick. He can’t beat Murray.

If he can somehow find a path through the USO draw that doesn’t involve either of those 3 players, then maybe he has a chance.


grendel Says:

David, referring to Nadal, says:”Seriously, I don’t know how anyone could watch this match tonight and think he has a prayer of winning the USO.” And in a later post he writes:”He’s struggling against Benneteau and Baghdatis for crying out loud”.

Here’s where I think David is wrong, and that Nadal is on track to be one of the big favourites for New York, although a lot will depend on the draw.

First of all, Benneteau is notoriously tricky on his day, and can certainly take a set off anyone. Baghdatis is class, and he hasn’t moved forward as one would have thought following his AO final appearance. But I saw his match against Berdych, and he was tremendous. After the first few games, there was only one player in it. And Berdych, remember, the new Berdych that is, is one of the players supposedly a threat to Nadal on hard. Well, Nadal very nearly beat Baggy, and if Baghdatis can serve tomorrow as he did against Berdych and Nadal, he’s in with a good chance against Federer.

Having broken Nadal in the first game of 2nd set and rather tamely surrendered his serve, Bhagdatis nevertheless quickly earned another break point. Nadal proceeded to serve 3 aces. It isn’t true that Nadal has a hopeless serve (and nor is it axiomatic, b.t.w., (as guy believes) that if he served righthanded it would automatically be more powerful, there is no such simple equation. Nadal’s wide swinging serve is extremely effective, and whilst he will never, probably, be a great ace server and so will be denied the freebies of Roddick, Federer and even Murray, it’s nevertheless a curiously difficult serve to dominate. I don’t know why, not having the knowledge, I would guess there is a helluva lot of spin on it – but anyway, all you’ve got to do is use your eyes, Nadal’s serve is at worst a good defensive serve, and quite adequate to get him starting the rally in a decent position often enough. Often enough – that’s the key.

At 4-5, 15-40 down, Bhagdatis did a nice “drop slice shot” (it wasn’t quite a drop, it seemed to me), but it was rearguard action, he couldn’t bring out the big serve when it counted, and the set was Nadal’s. There cannot be much doubt that Nadal’s mind won that set. So what’s new? Doesn’t matter, even when Nadal is struggling he poses a terrible threat simply because of who he is.

By the 5th game in the 3rd set, Nadal had raised his level and was threatening to become rampant. But again, very strange errors let Baghdatis off the hook. When Nadal does a ue, at least at a critical juncture, his face distorts into a grimace of self-disgust – contrast Djokovic, who will tend to emit a sarcastic smile. The one is urging himself to do better, the other is succombing to a resigned feeling that the gods are clearly against him, and who is he to question their capricious will?

Still, Nadal is human. At 3 all, 40-30, Nadal had that funny hurt/mystified look he occasionally sports. Because Bhagdatis, after a crunching winner for the first point, had weakly dumped the ball into the net three times. He looked tired, and even so immediately proceeded to outplay Nadal to agin his second point of the game. That is when Nadal looked vulnerable in the way suggested – but Bhagdatis failed to take advantage.

In the next game, Baggy was love 30 down and Nadal gifted him with two huge errors off second serves – so annoyed was the Spaniard that he actually hit himself on the hand with his racket. Baggy proceeded to win the game with 2 aces – both called out – courtesy of hawkeye.

Two magnificent points then earned Baghdatis a break point – one a wonderful pass, the second another very good pass which Nadal somehow got back but Baghdatis, keeping his cool, dispatched down the line. And then Nadal doublefaulted.

Having delivered himself a severe lecture in the break, Nadal ran onto court, pretending, perhaps, to a confidence he didn’t feel. But who’s to know that? After getting to 40 – love, Baggy choked a bit, but managed to pull through.

But it was anybody’s match, really, and Nadal showed enough glimpses of form to suggest that when it matters, he will be playing as he wants to. His level will unquestionably rise dramatically, and furthermore the surface in New York is not as fast as Cincinnati. So whilst Nadal will perhaps not be favourite, that’s just as he would like it. He will certainly be a formidable contender. There’s one sense in which I would disagree with Fot. If Fed was #3, and he met Nadal in the semis, i’d give him a good chance of beating him. If, however, he is #2 and meets Nadal in the final, Nadal wins.


jane Says:

i am it – that was very poetic indeed! Thanks for a little poetry; and a lotta tennis.


David Says:

Grendel

I hope you’re right about the surface not being as fast. I understood that USO, along with Cincy, is as fast as it gets these days in men’s tennis.

I think the big key to Rafa’s chances is his serve. I thought at Wimbledon and even in the French final as well, he was able to elicit a fair amount of free points with his serve. But so far in the hard-court season, he’s not getting much of anything easy. And that combined with the fact that players can hang with him much better from the baseline than they do on either clay or grass (and there are so many players with strong 2-handed backhands lurking around every corner, guys like Benneteau who can punish Rafa if he hits too loopy) it’s easy to see why his results on hard haven’t been that stellar for about a year an a half.


Skeezerweezer Says:

mem,

Whoa. Didn’t address you but, ok, I’ll play.

My history congratulating opponents who win against Fed is well known. I proudly stand by it.

The rest of your post? A tiny congrats to Baggy and a whole lot of sour grapes…..

Good luck with your fav at USO


mem Says:

David,

“O ye of little faith.” you don’t need to believe in nadal chances, nadal has already proven that for him to win, he doesn’t need any of us to believe in him, the main thing is that he believes in himself. of course, i never doubt him because i understasnd the mindset of a winner like nadal. trust me, nadal he be just fine!


mem Says:

skeezer,

oh my mistake, i thought you asked for the rafa fans! just wanted you to know we are alive, well and eagerly anticipating the next time rafa plays.

is that what you call the truth, “sour grapes.” i can’t argue with a fan who knows it all!


David Says:

mem

I know Rafa will always fight to the end like the winner he is. That’s not the issue. The question is whether he has the level of a USO champion and I just don’t see it.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Watching the delay on ESPN2, Baggy found the heart of a Lion. And I thought he would wilt in the 3rd.

And Rafa looks like, ok, you’re good, but it’s ok. USO is my sights.

USO hopefully will rock. Who is confident going in? Murray, Fish, Roddick, Baggy, Rafa & Fed. Why not? Bring it!

Mem, can you please send me tickets to the USO? I know you have seats, don’t lie.


Twocents Says:

Skeezer,

I left D earlier this week. They say it’s still sona there. Glad you survived and liked our BBQ.

contador,

Now that I’m a bit wake up, I laugh at my own petty worries for Fed earlier. Like you said, he’s Roger.

Go Fed. Go Roddick.


mem Says:

David,

i can understand why you doubt and you have legitimate reasons. maybe, i’m just crazy, so, just call me a crazy believer because my answer is, “YES HE CAN WIN THE USOPEN’. We will see what happens!


mem Says:

skeezer,

you took the words right out of my mouth. i was about to ask you the same thing because i know you wouldnt miss nadal getting an old fashioned USOpen beatdown for all the money in the world!

hey, you are spot on, you know i can’t miss a nadal match!


Skeezerweezer Says:

lol, BTW the way IF you offer me FO tickets you know I won’t go, don’t waste your time….


Mindy Says:

aleish17,

I was happy to provide some encouragement. I never like seeing Rafa lose, however, he fought and did the best he could. I actually think he played some of his best tennis in that third set. Baggy really played some brilliant tennis, great serving, kept his nerves and hit some outstanding shots to get that final break. I knew this would be a tough match. Baggy has been playing very well. He is a quality player who is quite dangerous when he catches fire.

Rafa has been struggling at Cincy. This hardcourt has always been tough for him, even when he is in great form. Rafa just hasn’t had enough time to get his rhythm and timing back from that layoff he needed to take care of his knees. He is rough around the edges and Cincy isn’t the best place to sort it out.

Rafa didn’t quit, he didn’t give up, he managed to win the second set and we saw a high quality third set. He will not be happy about this and it will only serve to motivate him to work harder to be ready for the USO. You have to love a guy who just keeps on fighting, even when nothing seems to be working.

grendel,

For what it’s worth regarding your post @ 11:42 pm, I think that was a good analysis of how the match played out.


mem Says:

zinaldo,

i’m going out of my way and be very blunt with you. you are so full of it until you are just plain stupid! where did you buy your tennis knowledge? let me guess, from the Dollar General store.

did you call nadal one-dimenional? please explain to me how the hex a one-dimenional player is head and shoulders above all these others players (in terms of h2h and achievements) who are about the same age (in terms of h2h and who you guys claim has much more variety than nadal; eg the likes of murray, djokovic, etc. he is second only to roger in achievements and has beaten arguably “the greatest player ever” more times than he has beaten him, regardless of the surface. even if you argue that nadal beat federer more on clay than anywhere else, i’ll buy that, but then how do you explain roger losing to nadal on hard and grass. that shouldn’t have happened at all. so, enlighten me on how a player has achieve this kind of success at age 24 with a one-dimensional game. please school me!


steve Says:

The career slam is a rare feat, that has so far in the Open Era has only been attained by players in the latter part of their careers. Laver did it at 31. Agassi did it at 29, after he had dropped out of the top 100 and battled a meth addiction. Federer did it at 27, after facing four years of heartbreak losing to the same man each time, and after being written off by the press.

And there are people who think it’s Nadal’s God-given right to have that crowning honor at the tender age of 24? Slow down. What the hell will he have left to play for then?

I think some Nadal fans like mem and Mindy occasionally suffer from the “it’s there I want it” mentality that small children often have. Like a ten-year-old wanting to drive a sportscar.

Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean you can have it. Some things only come with time, and some things you can’t have at all. And if you can’t have it, you just have to accept that and move on. That’s just life.

Many great champions did not win all four majors. Sampras, McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Connors, Lendl, Wilander could not do it. McEnroe, Edberg, and Lendl were a match away from it. Are they wusses, mentally weak, inferior players, because they couldn’t do it? Nonsense.

It had something to do with their games, that their games didn’t work well enough on all surfaces. Not their heart, fighting spirit, or mind.

It’s certainly not because of lack of heart or mental strength that Nadal’s not won the career slam. It won’t make him any less of a great champion if he never wins it.

Perhaps he’ll win it someday and we’ll all congratulate him. But if he never does, it’s no knock on him or his qualities.


funches Says:

It’s amazing how many people predict Rafa to win every hard court event. He’s always a contender, but he’s now on a streak of 13 consecutive hard court tournaments without a victory. In no way, shape or form should he ever be the favorite entering one of these events.

That’s not a slam on Rafa. It’s just the facts.


super man Says:

wow! great to read into a rafa worshipers mind. how deluded…..

the whole world is against rafa? have you heard commentators during a roger match? i guess you were busy drinking the rafa koolaid.

why dont you accept the fact that rafa is not good on hardcourts. djokovic beat him in 5 out of his last 6 hardcourt matches, murray 3 out of 4. delpotro and davydenko beat him the last 3times.

rafa may win hardcourt slams, but he is not the dominant champion that roger was or to an extent even sampras/agassi were.

and don’t get me started on rafa’s competition. look at who murray or djokovic lost to? 2guys from the fed era. he is sneaking out hc titles while fed’s game is in decline and while djokovic et al find their best form. till then he will use their inexperience and nervousness to steal hardcourt wins over them.

unbelievable, a guy with 1hardcourt in 1hardcourt slam final is the tennis guru and a guy with 9slams in 11finals + 4masters cup is supposed to have weak competition. where do they teach you this logic? in rafa land?


super man Says:

mem,

head to heads? federer and rafa play about 15 common tournaments a year, of which 3 are on clay (=20%). yet in their 21 matches, 12 have been on clay (=58%). similarly with djokovic. they are both 7-14 against nadal.

now look at davydenko or blake who are 5-4 and 3-4 against nadal. they played nadal 3 and 0 times on clay. get it?


madmax Says:

Ike Says:
Kimberly
didn’t i guarantee Rafa will make the semis and beat Fed!

August 20th, 2010 at 9:19 pm

I thought Baggy beat Rafa today Ike?, it was certainly a tough match and baggy held on to his belief that he could beat World No. 1.

Zinaldo, I think Steve and David answered your thoughts on Fed’s ‘poor play’.

Make no mistake, both Federer and Nadal always look forward to a final with each other, because they bring out the BEST in each other.

zinaldo Says:
And that was roger prime then,this roger wouldn’t stand a chance if you go by the way he has been playing,his forehand is error prone and his backhand has become just a trading shot.

August 20th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

zinaldo,

I dont know why you want to put Roger down at every available opportunity? Roger has played the best masters tournament he has played in a long time at Toronto. He did not play poorly at all. In cincinnati, he had a rare thing happen to him. I have been trying to find out how many times in his career he has had a walkover – in fact Petchey said ‘this was extremely rare where roger was concerned.’ In all the years he has been playing, this is practically unheard of. So he has had an extra day to prepare.

It happens. And I’m sure he made the most of it!

He may not have been playing as consistently as he used to in terms of tournament play, but I wouldn’t go as far as you by saying ‘he wouldn’t stand a chance’. That’s the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever heard.

‘Two cents:
Lose-lose for Fed: while it might have been ugly losing to Nadal on HC, it’d be nightmare losing to Baggy. Even if he makes it to final, a hard-fought win would deplete him, but losing b2b final sure looks silly. Of the top 4: Fed needs rest most aged at 29′.

Agreed that Fed needs rest, but MOST rest? He does this by planning a clever schedule throughout the year, by putting in the trust with his own physio and by playing clever.

When you look at the age of the player, remember also that there are many other factors – might be 24, but how old would you say Rafa’s knees are?

Might be 29, but how old would you say roger’s body is?

It’s also in the mind. Roger is one of the fittest guys on tour, I think this is easily forgotten, because you just see a number now. He is in great condition ‘for his age!’

Sadly, we’ll have to wait for another fedal final.


Andrew Miller Says:

This hardcourt season it’s tough to see who’s playing really well. Seems like this year’s US Open should be a good one! There are at least 10 players playing good ball on the ATP side.


mem Says:

superman,

you are missing the point! i didn’t say nadal had a favorable h2h against every player. my point is, if nadal has a one-dimensional game, someone please explain to me how he is beating all of these talented players with all of their varied skills; why is he so successful with his one-dimensional game. you can explain if you like. i welcome your input!

steve,

keep your pants on and don’t wet on yourself, if my thoughts are putting fear into you, don’t worry, i can’t foretell the future like you; but one thing is for certain and that is anything is possible.

just for the record, i can think whatever i want to think about nadal, just as you are free to think whatever you want about whomever you want to think it about. get it!

point out to me where i said nadal was entitled to a usopen title. i said, “i believe he can win the usopen.” and I DO! is that the same thing as saying he is entitled? do those kind of comments scare you? nadal is entitled to whatever he works for, just as any other player. people like you make me sick! everytime someone says something positive about nadal you start getting all insecure and neurotic. i didn’t hear you talking that crap when you were wishing day and night, night and day for roger to win the french. was he entitled to a french open? you are such a hypocrite!

i don’t give a rip about how rare a career slam is or who has or has not achieved it; rare is not the same as impossible! that’s why nadal is ahead of so many players; his mindset is different. if he had been thinking like you and told himself that he was just a claycourter and couldn’t win wimbledon, he never would have won, not to mention in australia. that’s one of the many reasons why i’m a fan of his because he doesn’t listen to people like you who believe every mountain is an impossibility to climb. that kind of belief is detriment to the psyche! that kind of belief is for losers; it is for people who are are afraid to take risks. achievements are not a given; they come through faith, belief, hard work and taking chances. none of us know whether nadal will ever win the usopen, but that won’t stop him from trying. what’s wrong with that? is the usopen title reserve for certain players?

i tell you what, i’ll handle my thoughts and you can handle yours. is that ok?


steve Says:

@mem: LOLs, I make a comment and get a Ph.D. dissertation in return.

First of all I never said Nadal wouldn’t complete the career slam. What I actually said, which you chose to twist into an insult, was that his legacy would not be diminished one bit IF he did not win.

“was he entitled to a french open? you are such a hypocrite”

No, he earned every bit of it. And I’m not a hypocrite, because if he’d won it at 23 or 24, it really would have been too easy for him. He needed to be sorely tested first. And he passed the test.

Unlike Nadal it WOULD have been held against him if he hadn’t won all four majors. It WOULD have diminished his legacy. This was something they didn’t even ask of Sampras, which they asked of Federer from the get-go.

That’s the burden of expectations that comes from having so much talent. And talent is a burden, make no mistake. For some it can be a curse, destroying their lives.

Anyhow, my point was that expecting a twenty-four year old to win all four majors is really quite cheeky.

I understand why people think this: he’s a prodigy. You think because he’s won so much at such a young age he should win it all, including a great crown which others have only attained at a more mature time of their career. But that’s not necessarily the way life works. Things are more meaningful if you have to wait for them.

“is the usopen title reserve for certain players?”

It’s reserved for players who can beat seven guys in best of five matches in that tournament.

Maybe Nadal can do it. I have no idea. If he can, congratulations. If not, it’s no big deal. 99.99999999999999999% of the tennis players who ever lived would kill to have the success he’s already had.

“keep your pants on and don’t wet on yourself”

Hey mem, since you’re so keen on making deals with me, how about this: try to keep the kindergarten insults to yourself, mmmmkay? And I’ll try not to offend your delicate sensibilities. That OK with you?


madmax Says:

It’s really nice and quite sobering to read a positive article on federer (in whole) for a change, after reading so much negative stuff about him for the best part of 6 months now.

Here’s the link:

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/tennis/patrick-mouratoglou/article/238/

Steve, your comment wasn’t having a negative spin on rafa at all – not in my view anyway.

Rafa is a great champion. I am massively disappointed/shocked that he did not come through to the SF’s to meet with Fed – they always play their best against each other – but rafa does not play his best tennis on hard court – he plays great tennis, but not his best tennis. His best tennis is on clay.

That will change as he carries on to improve his game on hard court, because he wants to win at all costs.

Regarding Roger’s game on hard/clay/grass, in my view there is no one who can make that transition so easily, consistently and effortlessly as federer. The multi slams he has won at AO, Wimby and USO prove that. And even though fed has won 1 FO, he has still consistently reached 4 finals, making his clay court game pretty damn fabulous.

He is brilliant. Some people forget this so easily because it suits them. Who else out there has dominated at the slams when they have had to make the transition? No one, except Federer. Not even Rafa – Fed doesn’t moan about it,doesn’t retire, doesn’t complain about the heat, he just gets on with it, and thankfully, he has ignored the rife criticism about his game over the last few months, when the press have been so fickle and so damning about him.

Hopefully his game will improve more today, less UE’s and I hope he is able to close out the match early tongiht against baggy, who is on fire right now and full of confidence.

Another great two days of tennis to come. This has already been a great week so far.


Von Says:

Two Cents; It’s nice to see you rooting for your homeboy Roddick. We are a minority here, but we’ve also got Blank and FOT who are backing us.It seems Roddick win upset the Joker’s fans. Only one offered his congrats, and was fair in his assessment of the match. A big thank you to to I am it, that was very magnanimous of you!

I think in normal circumstances, Andy should beat Fish, but the *Mono* placed a whole different twist to the situation. I don’t feel as confident that Andy will pull out the *W*. Additionally, he had to play an extra match, as he didn’t have a bye, then a brutal match against Soderling, and subsequently had to play with very little recovery time yesterday vs. Djokovic. I only hope that he ate a lot of pasta and protein, and got some much needed down time and rest. Hopefully, he’ll be rested and rearing to go today.

Here’s hoping tomorrow he’ll bring the wood coupled with the heat on his serves, and win. He desperately needs this win to be back into the top 10. Here’s hoping!!!

__________
Blank and Fot, we’re scratching each other’s backs. I’m rooting for Fed and you in turn will root for A-Rod. Had Roddick’s and Fed’s seeding at the USO not been dependent on these matches, then I would have said may the best man win, in their respective matches. But now our wishes are more focused on them winning due to their placement/seeding at the USO, which hinges on their upcoming SF matches. May the force be with them.


dari Says:

I really just thought rafa would be a new hardcourts guy, translate everything from a major streak of dominating tennis this summer and somehow just get these hardcourts matches. I fell asleep during last set, so I guess not! Don’t know why I’m surprised, I suppose I was just getting ready for a fedal match with rog getting it done! Rafa’s comments about baghdatis were really nice though. Good luck tonight, Roger!


grendel Says:

“He desperately needs this win to be back into the top 10. ” Von, my understanding is that by beating Djokovic, Roddick is now back in the top ten.
Not sure about Federer – does he have to beat Baggy to get #2 seeding in New York? But as I suggested earlier, that’s not necessarily his best option – he’s much more likely to beat Nadal in the semis than the final. However, that’s a very partial way of looking at it, I know.


Kimmi Says:

Grendel-

NELTA was good to give us a breakdown of federer and djoko points at cincy.

here below is his post from above

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

Here’s the rankings breakdown.

Djoko: 7085 minus last years final(600) plus this year’s quarterfinal(180) = 6665

If Fed loses in the semis then 7215 minus last year’s winner(1000) plus this year’s semi(360) = 6575. He would then be ranked 3rd again.

If Fed gets to the finals then 7215 – 1000 + 600 = 6815 so he would retain #2.


Gordo Says:

All of those thinking Rafa is an odds-on favorite to win the US Open may be dipping into the optimistic pills a wee bit too much.

Nadal is such a brilliant clay court player and he has done so admirably on grass that his overall record obscures his less than stellar hard court record.

Since Jan 2007 Nadal has played 41 ATP tournaments on hard courts, winning 5 of them (Indian Wells 2007, Toronto 2008, Beijing Olympics 2008, Australian Open 2009, Indian Wells 2009).

Number of these 41 tournaments where he has won 5 or more consecutive matches – 9 (the 5 above, plus Australian Open 2008, Miami 2008, US Open 2008, US Open 2009).

Number of these 41 tournaments where he has lost to Djokovic – 7 (Montreal and Miami 2007, Indian Wells and Cincy 2008, Cincy, Paris and Barclays 2009)

Number of these 41 tournaments where he has lost to Davydenko – 5 (Miami and Paris 2008, Shanghai and Barclays 2009, Doha 2010).

Number of these 41 tournaments where he could have met Roger Federer – 35

Number of these 35 tournaments where he DID meet Roger Federer – 2 (each winning 1).

There is a reason #1 and #2 are on opposite sides of the draw. It whets our appetite for them to meet again in a hard court final, but it does not seem likely in the near future.


Kimmi Says:

“I think in normal circumstances, Andy should beat Fish, but the *Mono* placed a whole different twist to the situation’

Von – I don’t think Roddick mono is an issue in cincy. He has grind out very difficult wins. the wins against soda and djoko proves he is ready and back.

Fish has been playing very well recently. beating some very quality players. this will be a tough match for both. who ever wins deserves all the credit.

So is federer baggy match. can baggy be another player to beat nadal and federer in the same tournament? the list is growing, soon it wont be a special feat anymore.


aleish17 Says:

Somehow I have this feeling that Nadal will eventually get tired of always losing on hard courts. He said in his interview that he is happy with the way he is playing. But, he also repeatedly mentioned that he needs to work harder on his serve and his backhand so he will have chances on winning the USO. You can sense that he really wants a USO title. I just hope he’ll get it this year. If not, I am certain he will try again next year.


Von Says:

grendel: Fed needs to get to the finals to be seeded No. 2. That’s what the commentators said.

_____________
Kimmi: have you taken a good look at Roddick’s face. He looks very gaunt and his color is very pale.

Unfortunately, mono is an illness where one needs to be resting a lot, not playing a high otane sport like tennis. Yesterday, Roddick was dragging after his late night match with Soderling. He had very little recovery time. Andy didn’t hit many aces, and that alone is a sign that he’s not up to par.

If you can back track to when Fed mono, you’ll remember there were days when he looked OK, and days when he looked totally wiped out, and that went on for quite some time. Just because Roddick ground out those matches, and is still standing on his feet, does not make him 100% and in good health. That’s what’s called heart. Anyway, here’s hoping for the best …


Skeezerweezer Says:

I wake up this morning to readin some good stuff! Thanks :)


blank Says:

Von,

I will root for Roddick but I care more how well he does in the GS. I really wanted him to win Wimbledon this year…I hope he can pull an Ivanisevic and win it soon, but I’d be glad if he wins just another GS, any one…of course French is out of the question.

Btw, I only watched a bit of Rod-Soda match and didn’t know if Double Decker was in the crowd. Is she? If so, I will make extra special attempts to watch the entire match live ;-)


Skeezerweezer Says:

Gordo,

Nice post with facts …thanks for the research…:)

Steve,

:)


Von Says:

Blank: I’m with you. I want him to win a GS, and if it’s not Wimbles, any one will do. Just another one. Come on Andy!!
___________

“Btw, I only watched a bit of Rod-Soda match and didn’t know if Double Decker was in the crowd. Is she? If so, I will make extra special attempts to watch the entire match live ;-)”

I didn’t see her either. BTW, the goat woman does not like us talking about Decker, she gets jealous. She says I’m a pervert. It’s funny how the double decker came about. We were referring to rooting for Andy at Wimbles and the riding on the bus, the double deceker bus. And, Brooke’s name being Decker, it fit perfectly. LOOL. Jealousy is like an amoeba, it eats away at its victim. OY.


contador Says:

before toronto and cincy, i was on the bandwagon of nadal winning this year. now i’m thinking this year or some year.

like roger and his FO bids, if he keeps putting himself in the right place, perseverance and a little luck will prevail. imo

not the best analogy, however. winning and the right place was for roger, the final of FO without rafa there. luck required.

the right place for rafa is getting to the final at us open. once rafa gets to the final, i believe he and his competitive grit wins. luck required getting to that final though. imo


blank Says:

Von,

Well, if we stop talking about the decker, she is going to find something else to rag you about. You know exactly what her intentions are and that’s not going to change. Acknowledging stupidity is what feeds more stupidity. So let’s just ignore that nonsense and talk about anything we like :-)

And btw, you have been doing a darn good job of ignoring her of late.


blank Says:

Gordo’s excellent reasoning is why I want Federer to be seeded 2nd at the USO.


contador Says:

blank=

you want a rafa – roger final at us open? the fedal?


blank Says:

Contador,

A Fedal final would be truly amazing! To me, the two meeting at the USO final would beat everything.


Von Says:

Blank: You are so smart. Yes, if I stop talking about Decker, she’ll find something else to complain about. I’m going to keep on talking about the beautiful babe, as she sure lights up andy’s box.

I’ll keep on ignoring her. It’s the attention she craves, and I’m stubborn, I’m not going to give it to her. Now she can dance on one foot and hurl more nastiness, I’m just going to ignore her, period.


contador Says:

thanks blank

just checking. making sure i am the wussie minority….lol..

i have to be honest. i would prefer the semi fedal to a final one.

btw- any tennis x’ers registering for the US Open bracket challenge?


blank Says:

Contador,

Where is the USO bracket challenge?


contador Says:

go to the US Open website!

i have not registered yet, but will.


blank Says:

Awesome!! Thanks Contador. I just went there and registered!

“The Bracket will be available to make your picks on
August 26th at 1:00 PM EST”


contador Says:

that’s great blank!

i’ll go try again. when i tried to log in i got a “page not found” but maybe my cookies were on block mode.

gotta give them a cookie : )


tennislover Says:

“Federer is thanking his lucky stars tonight as to me rafa is the last player he would want to play right now because if you look at it,rafa is out of form and roger is not playing so well and his backhand is getting worse by the day.

Do you really think roger would want to put it to the test of nadal spinning left handed forehand right now but most importantly how would people have reacted to rafa beating roger on this fast hard court,i think the goat discussion would have swung back in favour of rafa had he played him and beaten him in cincinatti.”

First of all, Nadal has not done enough to be in the ‘goat’ discussion. Not yet. He may become a contender and eventually, even the ‘goat’ if there can be something called a goat. A loss to Nadal on Federer’s preferred surface will hurt Federer’s legacy but not by the extent you would have us believe. Personal rivalries matter but only up to a point. In the wider picture, history judges you on a number of different parameters and only H2H superiority over Federer will not make Nadal the ‘goat’.

Your point about Federer thanking his lucky stars for not meeting Nadal on a fast hard court is highly debatable. When Federer has never shied away from playing Nadal repeatedly on Nadal’s preferred surface/s, what makes you think he was wishing for a Baggy victory. Playing Nadal, who has not looked that good in the two masters events so far, on a fast hard court affords Federer the best chance of winning against Nadal and reducing that H2H deficit somewhat. This is, in fact, a missed opportunity for Federer.

I understand, however, that Nadal will probably be the favorite to win in a best-of-five format even at the USO especially if they meet in the final. However, that is primarily due to the fact that Federer is much older and somewhat declining now. Federer would have easily been the favorite to win in his prime if these two had met at the USO or any other event played on a very fast surface. He twice beat Nadal pretty handily in the TMC.

Having said that, I do think that Nadal’s performances in Cincinati and Toronto are more or less irrelevant and they are not pointers to how he will fare at the USO. Nadal has reached two semi finals there and is an entirely different beast in a best-of-five format. I think he really is focused on winning the USO this year and won’t be bothered much. I think he probably even prefers this situation where the expectations and pressure have reduced somewhat and the spotlight has shifted to some other players.

It is amusing to see how quickly people are ready to write Nadal’s chances off just because of one or two losses despite the fact that Nadal has surprised us time and again. Nadal is an absolute champion and champions find a way to win as he has shown at the AO and Wimbledon. He has just won two slams despite not always playing his best tennis. That fact alone, imho, makes him one of the favorites for the USO.

I am actually very confident that Nadal will do very well at the USO. In the absence of a fit-and-fighting Del Potro, Murray appears to be the only real threat at the moment provided he has not drained himself mentally. Federer and Djokovic have been way too inconsistent although they can not be ruled out on this surface. Roddick can really hurt Nadal on this surface but mono can be off and on. Soderling and Berdych will have to play fabulously to knock out Nadal and I don’t see that happening in this format. Even an inspired Nalbabndian or Davydenko will find it difficult against Nadal in a best-of-five format. Nadal can occasionally be vulnerable in the best-of-three but I can’t imagine many people beating him in the longer version even on a fast hard court. The guy just knows how to find a way to win a match.


blank Says:

Von,

Thumbs up! :-)


madmax Says:

tennislover. read fed’s interview, plus read petchey’s comments. Fed WANTS to play rafa – who wouldn’t want to watch this match, let alone play it?! EVERYONE!


Fot Says:

Von – I got your back. GO RODDICK.

GO ROGER (tonight).


mem Says:

steve,

my mistake, why did i expect you to interpret any more than one sentence when your comprehension skills are so limited. i apologize!

like i said, you are such a phony! when it comes to nadal there are always different standards, but that’s not strange or shocking, just boringly repetitive. maybe you are just trying to impress the fedfans with your comments or maybe you play both sides or maybe you are just really naive and uninformed. whatever the case, i think we understand each other.

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