Federer Wins, Roddick Sloughs Through Mono at US Open; Tennis-X Notes
by Staff | August 31st, 2010, 12:42 am
  • 241 Comments

Roger Federer is the No. 2 seed at this year’s US Open, yet the Swiss is seeking to reach a seventh consecutive final in Flushing  Meadows, on Monday kicking off his campaign with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over Argentina’s Brian Dabul in the last match of the night.


Federer joined the five Top 10-seeded players, who all went undefeated on day one, including No. 5 seed Robin Soderling who survived a five-setter against the highly untouted Andreas Haider-Maurer; No. 6 Nikolay Davydenko who steamrolled American Mike Russell 6-4, 6-1, 6-3; and the mono-recovering No. 9 seed Andy Roddick who subdued Frenchman Stephane Robert 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

“I feel 80 percent better than I did five, six weeks ago, that’s for sure,” said Roddick, who ran out of gas in his last event at Cincinnati against Mardy Fish in the semifinals. “To be honest, once you decide to play, I think you throw all the excuses and everything else out the window. If I decide to play, then it’s up to me to give 100 percent of what I have. So it’s not something I really want to discuss too much from this point forward. It’s something that’s there. It’s not perfect, but it’s fine. You know, it’s going the right way.”

Former No. 1 and No. 32 seed Lleyton Hewitt was an upset victim, losing 6-1 in the fifth to Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, as was No. 27 Fernando Gonzalez who retired against Ivan Dodig after splitting the first two sets.

“I still believe I can improve as a player,” Hewitt said.

Also among the lower seeds, No. 13 Jurgen Melzer survived Dmitry Tursunov 6-2 in the fifth, No. 17 Gael Monfils outlasted American Robert Kendrick 6-4 in the fifth, and No. 21 Albert Montanes made Michal Przysiezny wilt 6-0 in the fifth.

“I think I’m tough to play in five sets,” Monfils unveiled. “But today was not a good day for me. I mean, it was like I was fighting against myself, so tried to be like more aggressive, tried to play my game. I think today I was pretty flat.”

American Taylor Dent was a winner among the all-unseeded against Alejandro Falla in straight sets. Other unseeded victors of note were Frenchman Richard Gasquet over Simon Greul in straights, Russian Igor Andreev defeating Horacio Zeballos in four, and qualifier Ricardas Berankis defeating Ryan Sweeting in four.

Dent will next face Soderling.

“He’s a great player,” Dent told reporters. “He’s solid. There’s not really a lot of holes in his game right now. There used to be the errant ball two or three times in the back fence. That doesn’t happen anymore.”

Highlights on the Tuesday schedule at the US Open are Viktor Troicki vs. (3) Novak Djokovic in an all-Serb meeting, (1) Rafael Nadal vs. Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili, (16) Marcos Baghdatis vs. French veteran Arnaud Clement, Kristof Vliegen vs. the plunging James Blake, France’s Jeremy Chardy vs. (24) Ernests Gulbis, and (28) Radek “The Worm” Stepanek vs. Julien “United Colors of” Benneteau.
  
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
adidas set up Melanie Oudin with “Courage” on her shoes (last year she had “Believe”) — maybe she should have “Challenger Tour 2011″…Brad Gilbert says big-moment choker Victoria Azarenka is going to win the 2010 US Open? Uhhh, nope…18-year-old American Ryan Harrison made it through the US Open qualifying draw, and the Bradenton, Fla., resident is the youngest non-wildcard in the main draw…CBS commentator Mary Carillo, still not a big fan of the WTA’s on-court coaching where the [almost always] male coach comes on court to save the woman player who can’t problem-solve for herself: “I can’t stand it. It makes us look weak compared to men’s tennis.”…ESPN commentator John McEnroe joking about men’s players getting too skinny and not having the reserves for long matchs: “That’s where beer comes in — one or two of those a night.”…Nice TIME magazine story lead: “As the U.S. Open gets under way Monday in New York City, the state of U.S. tennis couldn’t be much worse.”…Romania has more women ranked in the Top 100 than the U.S…Hopefully John McEnroe’s highly-touted tennis academy will last longer than his Davis Cup coaching gig…Why does ESPN need tennis neophyte Hannah Storm dumbing-down their otherwise high-level Slam coverage?…Ouch, TIME magazine referred to John McEnroe as the former “David Cup captain.” Turn off the auto-spellchecker…5-foot-5 Olivier Rochus vs. 5-foot-6 Melanie Oudin, wouldn’t that be a fun match?…Why does Elena Vesnina scream “Hi-Ya!” when she hits the ball? Did she go to Bollettieri karate school?…According to tennis journalist Liza Horan, Chris Evert and Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig, who is No. 3 in the ITF rankings, have signed with Lagardere management…Kim Clijsters said she saw Serena Williams’ foot cut and “it’s not something that she’s making up or that it’s a small cut or anything.”


Also Check Out:
Roddick Says He’s Had a ‘Mild’ Case of Mono the Last Two Months
Roddick Finally Turns Away Federer in Miami
Roddick, Fish Out Of Madrid, And Possibly Remainder Of Clay Season
No Joke, a Fish Swallows Federer Whole in Indian Wells Desert
Federer Tests Roddick, Mono Thursday in Miami

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241 Comments for Federer Wins, Roddick Sloughs Through Mono at US Open; Tennis-X Notes

jane Says:

“Also among the lower seeds, No. 13 Jurgen Melzer survived Dmitry Tursunov 6-2 in the third, No. 17 Gael Monfils outlasted American Robert Kendrick 6-4 in the third, and No. 21 Albert Montanes made Michal Przysiezny wilt 6-0 in the third.”

You mean the “fifth” man, the “fifth”.


Hypnos Says:

“been” -> “beer” in McEnroe’s remark about skinny players?


Rick Says:

Why Federer got to played on the first day again as seeded 2????? So he is going to get another day rest like he did last year? I meant when the semi is on. Sheesh! Can’t believe how corrupted the ATP tour is. Hewitt could be problem for Federer. Tony Roche definitely knows Roger’s game as his former coach.


steve Says:

“It makes us look weak compared to men’s tennis”

Frankly, it is pretty weak compared to men’s tennis. Except for the Williams sisters, who are still not accepted by the American tennis establishment despite being among the most successful women’s players, well, ever. And Henin, who is injured right now and who’ll need quite a while to train herself into championship form.

Serena bows out of the US Open and all people can think to talk about is to question the seriousness of her injury. Does it make any sense that a player like Serena, for whom the majors are pretty much the reason she plays tennis, would skip out on a chance to add another US Open to her collection? Oh, but “she must be scared of controversy because of what happened last year.” Bollocks, I say. Bollocks.

Women’s tennis has gone through three headcase #1s: Ivanovic (most likely a one-slam wonder), Jankovic (drama queen par excellence and probably will never win a major), Safina (would anyone really be that enthralled by her tennis if she weren’t Marat’s little sister?)

Kuznetsova is awesome to watch but she’s too inconsistent, sadly, the true successor to Marat Safin on the women’s side. Stosur, talented but seems to lack that something that makes for compelling viewing. Dementieva, probably the nicest player on either tour, with a wonderful game, but never brings it in the big matches.

The fact that Wozniacki and Azarenka are hyped so much simply serves to highlight how thin the field is. Sure they’ve got good results for their age, but dominant champs? Doubt it.

Then there are the Cirsteas and Lisickis and Cibulkovas and Peers, the second tier of anonymous young players scrabbling to make it. They’re pretty much interchangeable and only the posters on Tennis Forum can tell them apart. Unless you obsessively watch minor WTA tournaments on semi-legal Internet streams, you have no idea who these girls are. Sometimes they will cause some upsets at a major, but that’s it. You’d hardly notice them otherwise.

And that’s the state of women’s tennis today.


steve Says:

“Hewitt could be problem for Federer”

Yes, he’s a very serious threat after having been upset in the first round. I’m sure Federer’s so careful that he prepares to play opponents that have already been knocked out of the tournament, LOLs.


pro rafa Says:

the problem with Hewitt is that he has won so few matches inside 4 sets against top players
indeed i don’t remember the last time he won in 4 sets against any opponent!!! it’s all been 5 setters n by the time he gets to the third round, he is totally spent
he needs to do something abt that n yes if he was fit and fresh, he will be a big problem to Rog cuz he is so underestimated!!


Colin Says:

“Sloughs through mono”? What the devil does that mean? I thought this was an English-language forum


NELTA Says:

Fed’s serve had a lot of pop and great placement last night. He will be tough to beat if he continues to serve like that. His play on break points sucks however. He had 0-40 on Dabul’s serve 3 different times and each of those games went to deuce. He only broke serve in 1 of those 3 games.


grendel Says:

“His play on break points sucks however” (NELTA). Several people mentionned this on the other thread, Kimmi, for instance, and said he [Federer]needs to address this weakness.

No doubt that is true, but you can’t help wondering – just how do you address it? It’s not as if there is a technical fault which can be analysed and remedied. Presumably the problem is mental. How do you deal with that? It’s even possible that if too much emphasis is laid upon it – as with, say, Dementieva’s jittery serve – you simply ensure an increase in anxiety, which then becomes self-perpetuating.

Maybe he just has to live with it and hope for the best. I wonder if he’s still haunted by that choking in the Rome final with Nadal, when he had two break points, I think. He’s often accused of being too passive, but he attempted aggression then.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Love A rods statement on “excuses”. lol. Go A rod!.


dari Says:

Great first day! The soderling match was quite dramatic, and the same for monfils, I was even getting into phm vs Hewitt match!
As for fed and the break point conversions, what do you do? Just practice all the tricks that the server brings out when he’s down bp. Which is pretty much any scenario, but certainly starts with the return. You see some of fed’s WORST play when he is bp up. So bizarre. Anyway, good luck to you roger, I know you can do IT!


andrea Says:

here on the west coast the TV coverage of the USO is from 10 in the morning until 8 or 9 at night (depending how long the night matches go for). it’s a tennis watchers dream!

clijsters thankfully righted the ship.

i saw caroline’s dad come out a couple of tournaments back and basically yell at her while she sat in her chair in between sets and it was awful to watch. she looked like she was 4 years old all over again getting in shit.

the on court coaching has to go!


madmax Says:

kimberley, I have checked the scores on the challenge tour for tennis.x fans. (great fun as you said).

I have 18 points for mens and 21 for the women’s, read the smack talk, but cannot transfer my user name over to your pool along with jane, contador, and skeezer. how do i do that?


Gordo Says:

I love this site. Here is Federer, almost sleepwalking through 3 sets, dropping a total of 7 games and what are we talking about? His bad break record.

Well folks I have news for you – he broke Dabul 5 times, and that was more than what he needed for a straight sets win.

If you watched the match, you would have seen that when he was up 0-40 the 3 times he went for low percentage shots on 6 of those break chances and he missed them. So what? He won in straight sets. The man was having a practice match. It just happened to be in the first round at night at the US Open.

I swear if Federer hoists the championship trophy over his head a week Sunday someone in here will be critical of his attire, or haul out the “Yeah, but how many more can he win, huh?” dissertation.

It makes me wonder what exactly it is about Roger Federer that some of you so dislike?

Right from Staff’s opening sentence – “Roger Federer is the No. 2 seed at this year’s US Open, yet the Swiss is seeking to reach a seventh consecutive final in Flushing…”

As if the nerve of this guy. Yet??? I have news for you. The 2nd seed is EXPECTED to make the final, so let’s not be surprised if he gets there.

And then there is Rick, who can’t believe how corrupt the ATP Tour is, by having Federer play on the opening night.

Well Rick, tradition at the US Open dictates that the previous years champion plays on Day 1. Unfortunately DelPo is injured, so they start off with the runner up. How is that corrupt?

Mind you, this is coming from a guy who in the same post states that a player who lost last night and now is out of the tourney could be a problem for Federer. Maybe if he is staying in New York in the room next to Fed and he is playing Men at Work or Olivia Newton John loudly so Fed can’t get enough sleep, but he can’t trouble him on the court. Not this tournament.


dari Says:

Gordo- huge fed fan here. Man is amazing love him to death. However I think with the talk about the bp conversions, we just wanna see fed clean up a little on it now, even against someone he defeats eAsily. So that it is possibly less of a problem later. That’s my take at least. Goooooo Roger!


super man Says:

lol steve @ 6:18. good funny response.

regarding fed’s bp conversion. i think that issue is more deep rooted. even as early as 2003 usopen, fed has had this problem. to the haters disappointment it wasn’t against the mental giant rafa, to whom they want to attribute all and any of fedz problems.

that match was against blake. an absolute ripper of a match. a straight set match, with fed turning on the magic switch and blake matching it with his electric game. the match reached a crescendo in the 2nd set where federer converted 0 out of 20 break points. it was insanely exciting tennis to watch however.

my spin on this is that this is a big issue for most artistic players across all sports. take for example brazil/argentina in soccer, they light up stadiums across the world with their natural free flowing game. when it comes to shots on goals and their conversion, they are more inferior to the more clinical european sides (except france and portugal). point being that it is mighty tough to combine the joy of playing that magical or artistic game with the competitive attitude to win, which is the only goal of modern sport. make no mistake – fed or southamerican soccer teams are well aware of the magic they produce.

you can see it in tennis too. look at the french players and the flair they play with. it matters not they cannot generate wins. their magic on court is something to behold.


super man Says:

gordo :

good post, but this is not true

” tradition at the US Open dictates that the previous years champion plays on Day 1.”

in 2008, fed played on tuesday. rafa on day 1.

that is not to say rick is stupid even by rafa fan standards.


grendel Says:

Superman, I saw that match against Blake, it was indeed a cracker. Federer I think bagelled Blake, Blake came back and was seriously threatening. I don’t buy the artistic interpretation. Brazil is generally a high scoring team – Italy, the most drearily clinical of teams is low scoring – get a goal in front, put up the shutters sort of thing. Federer is generally a steely cool customer. Whatever the problem is re bp’s, it ain’t artistic flair.

Gordo, I didn’t see the Fed night match, and was just going on what people said. You can’t, surely, attach too much importance to breezing through against the #968 or whatever he is. On the other hand, I’d guess the repeated failure on bp’s is a concern – for Fed fans anyway, if not for Fed (hard to say with him – I think he mentionned he was dissatisfied with his return of second serve).


Fot Says:

The schedule is what it is. No corruption. Who is to say that either man will even be around the 2nd week! (God, I hope Roger will…) but still – people are complaining over a 1-day earlier start! Big deal! Rafa is suppose to be the fittest player on tour so if he can’t handle a TUESDAY start date, then he’s in serious shape.

Now about the matches.

(1) I thought Roger was extremely aggressive. Some of the shots went in – some didn’t. But I prefer seeing this aggressive side of him vs him being pushed around by big hitting. I just hope he keeps it up.

(2) I was surprised that Soderling had to go 5, but then again – he hasn’t done much since the French. Who knew – maybe CLAY IS his best surface! lol!

(3) I was surprised by Hewitt’s loss. But maybe getting to the 5th set was draining for him and he had nothing left for the 5th.

(4) Roddick looked good, but just like Roger in his match last night – you really can’t judge too much on how they are playing based on their opponents. I’ll just wait to see how they progress in the tournament. But they both did what they needed to do – win quick and in a hurry!

(5) I’m watching Baggy right now and he just lost the first set to old man Clement (6-3). IF Baggy does lose, maybe it will send a signal to his brain that he doesn’t have to play ALL the US Open series tournaments before the US Open. He still might come back, but his tank is really low right now.


skeezerweezer Says:

Gordo…nice insight :)

Thanks for that clarification SM, got to be on your toes with all the complainers like the rick crowd……oh wait..the draw is rigged! It’s a conspiracy…..again! Lol….

NELTA,

Agreed on Fed’s serve. Movement looks good also, but it is just one match. Like to see him do that in the upper tier players then it will get exciting :). Here’s hoping he does!


madmax Says:

grendel, dabul was ranked 96, PLUS some of fed’s chances at bp conversions were skuppered because debal served, really, really, well. I dont think he served any aces, but when fed returned, he hit the ball too hard and it went flying off the court – so credit to debal needs to be given (gordo! :)

All in all, I think Fed played really well. Like dari said, he did what he had to do to get through, 5/19 bp conversions IS something that he is looking to improve on and made the point that it was ‘annacone’s fault’, as BP’s was never sampras’s strong point either. Was funny when he said that.

Next it’s beck. Don’t know a lot about him, except that fed has a h2h of 4:0, but at FO, beck took the first set off fed. I think he is classed as ‘a solid german player’.


Fot Says:

Uhm, Gulbis just lost the first set to Chardy (6-2)


jane Says:

Fot says “maybe it will send a signal to his brain that he doesn’t have to play ALL the US Open series tournaments before the US Open”

LOL, and he didn’t even win the series; Murray did. Yes, I guess Baggy is running on low a.t.m. Kind of reminds me of Verdasco pre-French Open. Same problem. And since then it’s really been a bust for him. Last night before he came on the court, Cahill asked him why/how he thinks he’s ready for the challenge ahead and one of the things he said (not verbatim) is that he “hasn’t played much” and has “a lot of reserves.” Schedule management is key isn’t it?

I guess it’s different for players like Baggy and Verdasco though, as they want to raise their rankings, which may help with their draws at slams (i.e., they won’t play the highest ranked competition too early), but then they end up being gassed. Tough to manage all that!


jane Says:

madmax: “5/19 bp conversions IS something that he is looking to improve on”

Yes, but 5 is all he needed; in fact, as Sampras showed, all one needs is ONE break per set, and then to hold serve. And the match is done. So if Fed had 3/19 last night, he still could’ve (and probably would’ve as Dabul was outmatched) won the match. So it’s not that pressing of an issue. More important was that he played aggressively on his own service games and won the points that mattered.


jane Says:

To clarify, in my 12:12 post when I said “Last night before he came on the court,” I meant Federer.


Fot Says:

Jane, your boy play today. I don’t think he’ll have any problems as lately at the US Open he seem to always make it to at least the SF stages in grand slams.

Looks like Baggy has a handle on set 2, leading 5-2; Gulbis is 3-3 after losing the first set; and Jankovis is down 0-3 after winning the first set. She’s very inconsistent too.


super man Says:

grendel :

i did not expect you to get it grendel. remember fed is no slouch either. he bageled nadal on clay and bageled the most mentally tough player in the game twice in a uso final.

he is as close as any tennis player can get to brazil in soccer.


jane Says:

Hi Fot, yes, Djoko is on after Jankovic. I hope he does alright here; he has loads to defend between now and the end of the year. Fingers crossed!

Looks like Baggy – and possibly Gulbis – may be waking up while JJ is having a bit of a lull (or hungry for a bagel?). Crowd is firmly behind Gulbis, trying to encourage him to rally; people like a renegade I guess – that, or a long match. : )


Fot Says:

Baggy is back on track, but Gulbis still hasn’t won a set yet.


Gannu Says:

Hey Fed fans

couldnt watch a second of fedex match!!! Feels miserable… was so busy with work entire day.. just been travelling… just chked fed’s tweener and very happy to see him do that ;-) I hope he played well… Thanks For for ur comments.. very helpful;-) Go Roger for your 17th!!!

here is the tweener link…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZnC6jcRQRg&feature=related


jane Says:

Chardy is simply outplaying Gulbis, who is littering errors all over. Not looking good for Ernie (or my bracket … : / )


Gannu Says:

And madmax.. i am sure one day we will watch a fedex match together and that would be a complete nervous wreckage in the stadium ;-) And if its against rafa i may even suffer a nervous breakdown if rog is losing lol ;-)


guy Says:

kimiko date krumm’s comeback is the best thing to happen to women’s tennis for a long time. all the strokes look wrong, but she takes it to the top players at 40yrs. great to watch


guy Says:

on the other hand, it’s sad this is actually a highlight of the wta tour


jane Says:

Looks like Gulbis is going down in flames – straight sets!


jane Says:

Yep Mr. C takes out Ernie round 1, and now JJ may be going out first round, same as in Toronto. What’s up with her? Haven’t been watching but is she injured or just playing passively or …?


jane Says:

JJ scrapes back from the brink! 48 UEs. That was winning ugly but she’s through. That teen she played has potential.

Baggy and “old man Clement” (to quote Fot) are going to a 5th set.


Fot Says:

Jane, the only thing that should worry Djokovic fans is that the people say it’s really “hot and humid” out there. Oh boy…


stu Says:

Hoping for a great start at the USO for Nole! I hope he comes out thinking
“I want to WIN the Open”
and not
“I will try my best even though the odds are stacked against me and if it is God’s will I will get far!”


jane Says:

Fot just checked weather network which says 34 degrees and 39% humidity, “feels like 40″ – so it may have an impact on Nole. Hope he can get through.


Fot Says:

OK…translation Jane? I’m from the states. 34 degrees is what? 90? close to 100? lol!


MMT Says:

Lots of discussion on Federer’s inefficiency on break points. Grendel mentioned it must be mental, but I disagree.

Last night he had a technical problem with the first volley, and I think this comes from a problem he has with his positioning on the second volley – which is largely reactionary or something of a guess. Because he knows that if it gets to his second volley he’s less comfortable, he made a lot of errors trying to kill the point on the first volley. The more errors he makes at net, the less aggressively he’ll approach the net. This causes him to be more cautious on the return, since he’s not looking to get to net directly or even indirectly, off the return, he figures he may as well just get it in.

I don’t think he has the technical superiority to his contemporaries from the baseline to be able to afford waiting for his opponent to cede control of the point on break point – his best bet is to take control immediately off a strong return. But if his volleys aren’t up to it, he won’t approach, and if he’s not approaching, he’ll be passive on the return, and big hitters will immediately take advantage of his soft/safe returns.


margot Says:

jane: not doing very well with my picks, two retirements and poor old Hewitt, whom I thought would get to at least second round. Did pick the gorgeous Mr C though, on purly aesthetic grounds! Am VERY glad no-one at tennisx can see my challenge or they’d all be laughing and pointing….;)
grendel: as soon as u said “greatest competitor etc” I thought hmm, yes, certainly at the mo., but “ever”?? For example what about Connors, could not stand him, but boy did he want to win and carried this attitude into the locker room, if Johnny Mac is to be believed.
Liked joke about “real monster.” But have to insist r a very benign one who uses reasoned argument rather than tearing talons.
BTW that big tw-t GR, and that’s not an ‘i’missing, thinks that the extra day’s rest did for Andy at AO becos it “broke his rhythm.” That’s why it’s good Andy is not playing till Wednesday! Aahh, jane take him back! Please! Am sure Djko will be fine tonight too :)


jane Says:

Fot, Pam Shriver, commenting on Baggy’s match, said it’s 110 degrees on the court, that’d be farenheit. ; ) She thinks Clement looks to be handling it better.Hmmm. At least these two, who’ve been gutting it out for hours, will get a 5th set tiebreak assuming they get to 6 all.


jane Says:

Hi margot, “take [whom] back”? : ) Murray? Nah, he’ll do well here! grendel was always an ambivalent monster anyhow; it was his mother who really liked to tear it up…


jane Says:

Ack match point for Clement!


margot Says:

jane: NOT darling Andy! He of the pronounced jaw of course, with that stupid comment about Andy -Greg Rusedski!


jane Says:

That’s it! Baggy is out, along with Ernie. Fot you’re right; I think he played too much coming into the USO.


jane Says:

margot- no way! You got him, you can keep him, teeth and all. : D b.t.w., my bracket is sucking today.


margot Says:

jane: ;) we’ll see…rumours y’know..my bracket suddenly looks better, all picks so far through.
Dkjo looking good too :)


jane Says:

I picked all the wrong ones today; Schuettler, Baggy, Ernie, Ginepri, and so forth. Not doing to well on the ole challenge today!


jane Says:

They’ve just announced that “the heat rule is in effect” today. It’s a new rule I guess? Carillo is talking about it.


madmax Says:

MMT,

Remember though that Federer used to serve and volley a lot in 2001, it was one of his bread and butter shots – it is only recently that he has started to bring it back to his game – it’s going to take some practise, hence the unforced errors, but all in all, I think that federer is heading in the right direction.

It is not as if him serving and volleying is something new. It isn’t.


RFFan Says:

MMT,
You are right that Fed has some technical problems, but the things you analyze can apply to all service return points, not just BP’s.
Yet he was regularly able to return well enough to get to 0-40 on the opponent’s serve, but couldn’t play at the same level on the BP’s.
That’s mental IMO and has been sth Fed has struggled with for many years.


Ty Says:

Holy crap. Baghdatis???? What the hell is wrong with this guy? He had one of the best summers out of all of the players. Today’s results (bahggy going down, Fish losing) I’m thinking Nalbandian is also going to have a rough one in his opening match.

Gulbis lost again today as well. I am ready to write him off. I’m sure he’s crushed at my disapproval, what with his money, good looks, and athletic ability.

Fish, you better not lose today or you will NEVER have a chance.


Ty Says:

Fish really has a dream draw… he needs to pull through.


Fot Says:

The other player who I think will have a hard time in this tournament: Caroline. She also played a TON of tennis before the Open. I guess the good thing about her is that women’s tennis is still best-of-3.


grendel Says:

Just caught the backend of poor Baggy – he looked totally gone; definitely attending New Haven was a bad decision; alternatively, he needs to get fitter.
margot: yes, I found Connors incredibly irritating, but dauntingly competitive though he was, I wouldn’t put him in Nadal’s class. You mention he carried on being like that in the locker room – that’s just it. Nadal saves his competitive spirit for where it matters, so he is much more focused than Connors was – who actually was quite easily distracted. I remember once at Wimbledon his opponent did three lets in a row, and Connors called out,”if you can do that again, I’ll give you the point”. The opponent immediately did it again. Connors had the grace to grin…Also, things like: Nadal’s serve was rubbish and over the years he’s worked on it so it’s quite a respectable weapon now, at least on grass and clay. But Connors’ serve was even worse, and so far as I can tell, he never made any effort to improve it.

MMT – I’m not sure I quite follow you. Surely your point about volleying is conjecture – how d’you know he wasn’t just making a mess of the first volley? He often does – you can’t call him a consistently good volleyer a la Rafter etc.

Also:”if he’s not approaching, he’ll be passive on the return, and big hitters will immediately take advantage of his soft/safe returns.” The latter point is true, but surely the first isn’t . You do see Federer, sometimes,go for very hard returns without approaching the net – he’s usually done enough to win the point. Also, Federer is a proud and stubborn man – I think he’d be very reluctant to admit he is fallible on the volley. I’ve seen him being badly punished for a poor drop shot, and almost instantly repeating the shot – as if to say, I was only kidding with the last one. And after the Fish match, he was asked what would he like to change about the match – and he mentioned the “stupid easy volleys” he missed. I’m not convinced he got that one right. I mean, there was a reason for why he missed them and why Fish did some wonderful volleys one in particular towards the end of his match with Murray.

All that said, I am reluctant to argue with someone as knowledgeable as you. Maybe you are right, it’s just I find your explanation on this occasion a little puzzling.


Ty Says:

This guy looks like he has nothing to hurt Fish with, what is the deal?


jane Says:

Well, Fish has a break now; providing he can take this fourth set I give him the edge in a 5th.


stu Says:

Someone needs to tell Nole that Baggy lost and Fish might be losing too…


Kimberly Says:

apparently the commentatator said to djokovic are you aware that this is one of the hottest days in the history of the USO and nole goes “thank you for telling me that”. He went walkabout for set two but i’m sure it will cool down and he will pull it together.


stu Says:

so much for Troicki being Djokovic’s “pigeon”


Huh Says:

ALLEZ FEDERER!!!

GO MURRAY!


Huh Says:

Hi Gannu! :)

Thank u so much for the tweener link! :)

Can’t say how much I missed tennus last month. Entirely missed all the matches except of course the Cincinnati final ;)


stu Says:

seriously, is Novak Djokovic losing the FIRST round of the USO? could this guy shock us any more?


i am it Says:

It is sad to see Djoko lose in the 1st Rd.
I feel for you guys: Jane, Duro, Sar.
Maybe, he should focus more on his game than on extracurricular activities. Hopefully he realizes tennis is a serious business.


stu Says:

what extracurricular activities?


Kimo Says:

stu Says:

“seriously, is Novak Djokovic losing the FIRST round of the USO? could this guy shock us any more?”

I certainly wouldn’t be shocked. Djokovic right now is like any WTA player who’s ranked in the top 10 and not named Williams. Sure, he can win a tournament or two, but he’s no longer a force to be reckoned with, especially in slams.

I think he’s staring the possibility of being a one-slam wonder straight in the face, and that has nothing to do with whether he wins or loses today.


stu Says:

Kimo, winning the Open and losing in R1 to someone you have played and beaten convincingly so many times before are two entirely different propositions. I didn’t expect him to win the whole thing, but I would never have thought that he would lose the first round…


Huh Says:

Very sad for Nole. :(

So sorry dear Mrs. Jane, Duro, sar and other Nole fans. Nole losing has certainy taken some exctement out of USO for me. I was rooting for him after Muzza and Fed.


stu Says:

Huh, he hasn’t lost yet


Huh Says:

Oops, I mean I was rooing for Nole after 1.Muzza, 2.Roddick and 3.Fed. Anyway, too bad for USO this Nole’s loss is. :(

Would miss Nole.


jane Says:

Sigh, Nole, ole ole ole … : /


Kimo Says:

What the hell happened to him? He wasn’t this soft in 2007. I mean, does he win matches when the temperature is over 30 degrees Celsius anymore?

Like Roddick said back in 2008, there’s always something going on with him.

Looks to me like he lost his motivation to be a great tennis player. He’s just content with living the good life in Monte-Carlo and racking in millions from endorsement deals. What a waste of his talent.

Look at Arnaud Clement. The guy doesn’t have the physical gifts Novak has, and he hasn’t done much in the last eight years, is almost a decade older than Djokovic, but he fights. He loves playing, and that’s why he beat Baghdatis who was labeled by many to be a dark horse in this tournament.


stu Says:

Not that I think the temperature is a valid excuse for a pro tennis player time and time again, but he really is unlucky to be playing on the hottest day of the year…


Huh Says:

“stu Says:
Huh, he hasn’t lost yet”

Oops and thank God, he hasn’t lost. You scared me! As USO is not being shown here, I am gettin idea about its progress from reading the comments ofm you guys. When I saw your comment, I though he’s already lost, but relieved to know he’s not yet.
Go Nole!
Come on Nole, get him!


Kimo Says:

Stu said:

“Kimo, winning the Open and losing in R1 to someone you have played and beaten convincingly so many times before are two entirely different propositions.”

Well, let’s look at a top 10 WTA player, shall we? How about Jankovic? She’s been in the top 10 for years, she’s not considered a contender at slams and she almost lost her 1st round today had he opponent, who was the better player for two and a half sets, run out of gas.

To me, that’s the state Djokovic’s game is in right now.


Kimo Says:

stu says:

“stu Says:

Not that I think the temperature is a valid excuse for a pro tennis player time and time again, but he really is unlucky to be playing on the hottest day of the year…”

You’re right, it’s not an excuse, so he better suck it up and just play. Isn’t Troicki playing in the same temperature?


Huh Says:

Nole landing again in Fed’s half and Murray landing in Nadal’s half is boring.


dari Says:

Johnnie MAC insists that nole is gonna pull out of this one. I’m going to agree for positivity’s sake. naive or not, who wants to see such tragedy as that, number three who made iy to semis last couple years go out in first round?! No thank you, go nole!


jane Says:

I can’t see the match or even live scores as I don’t have flash at my office, where I am now. But it may be just as well then. It looks like Nole is going out today and I don’t think I want to see it. I don’t know what to say anymore, only that I hope he comes back stronger next year. :(

huh hi to you. Long time no see you around here.


Huh Says:

Looking at the score so far, I don’t think Nole’s coming out of the hole today.


stu Says:

After today’s effort, I really cannot argue about the state of his game relative to the WTA players. Until today, there were occasional glimpses of real talent.


Huh Says:

Hopefully Nole digs himself out of the hole today. Go Nole!


stu Says:

a double fault to give troicki a chance to break for the second time in set 4. im feeling sick to the stomach.


Huh Says:

At least Nole’s not as useless as the WTA ones although he might be a bit unlucky. Nole actually played well vs Fed in Toronto and so I am pinning my hope on him still.


dari Says:

Right before jmac said it, I exclaimed to myself “why is nole breathing through his mouth?!” Thru the nose can help you a bit!


Huh Says:

stu:

try to calm down. I feel for you today. I also want Nole to win. It’d be such a shame if an ordinary player like Troicki goes through.


stu Says:

don’t get excited yet guys, even tho he’s leveled it in the 4th


stu Says:

thanks Huh, but I don’t think Viktor is an “ordinary player”. and i’m sure he would cherish the win more if Novak seemed into it….


Huh Says:

good job nole, keep going!


contador Says:

nole is not going to lose!

ernie lost this morning and i can’t take any more!


stu Says:

he needs to break. nole has not had a very good TB record this year…


stu Says:

okay. i like trocki but i hope his spirit is broken.


Ty Says:

Djokovic is going to win the US open this year.


stu Says:

Pahahahahaha


contador Says:

troiki does look wiped out, the expression on his face and his shots aren’t as crisp nor hit with authority as nole’s. nole may be breathing hard but he’s still able to blast his shots and change direction….troiki isn’t keeping up.

troiki has been serving bombs and getting the easy points but the momentum changed.

okay did i speak too soon? oh no, not down a break in the 5th already… break back! fight

verdasco is losing to fognini again….maybe. lost that 1st set miserably, 6-1 fabio


grendel Says:

Djokovic is a warrior. Sometimes, he gets a bit close to the edge. But he usually pulls back in time. After all, he was on the verge of going two breaks down – that surely would have been curtains – but held, broke and broke again. I’d besurprised if he doesn’t win this one.


stu Says:

Nole needs to break back TWICE to win…A 5th set TB will be unnerving for both, possibly more for Nole


Skeezerweezer Says:

Nole fans,

Not over yet ::)


Skeezerweezer Says:

This is why 3 out of 5 is the best way of determining the match winner for the Pro Tennis Player,,,IMO


Huh Says:

“Skeezerweezer Says:
This is why 3 out of 5 is the best way of determining the match winner for the Pro Tennis Player,,,IMO”

Hi Skeeze and can’t agree more. :)


Huh Says:

Come on Nole!


stu Says:

If Novak goes thru here I hope he starts to “win pretty” some time in the near future…


margot Says:

Oh dear, Djko is giving his fans such a hard time, feels like watching an Andy Murray match ;)
Huh: how nice to see you, was wondering where you were.


stu Says:

Troicki’s played at a very high level. His stats are amazing – serve, net approaches, returning Novak’s second serve, everything!


tenisbebe Says:

Lordy, another 1st round 5 setter with Djoko. Jane, have you bitten all your nails off? I am so pissed that Baggy and Ernie lost. Honestly I could shake Baggy for playing New Haven. Did he get an appearance fee or something?? Sheesh what a bonehead decision.

Nalby better not let me down or I will be slitting my wrists….


Kimo Says:

Djokovic won’t last long in this tournament playing like he has today.


margot Says:

tenisbebe: hi there to you too!
grendel: agree re Rafa who channels all that aggression onto the court and seems like a really nice bloke off, whereas Connors…..


Skeezerweezer Says:

Welcome back huh :)

Ben,

2/3 is a shootout :)


contador Says:

completely agree skeezer – imo too.

yesssss amazing groundstrokes from nole!!

haha nole will not lose at all : D


stu Says:

these guys have such a good relationship..Troicki told him not to challenge a serve that was called out because he knew it was good, and Nole went up 4-1.


contador Says:

tenisbebe ! it’s the truth. i have lunch and see ernie lost, marcos lost and if nalby loses….i’ll do something i might regret!! not sure what yet…

ah no. dolgopolove losing too…. bad day of tennis . well, what did i expect… ferrer is tough.


tenisbebe Says:

Margot – how ya doing girl?

Contador – Not a good day for me at the Open. C’mon Nalby!! When does he play? I have to run out and play a match, check with you all’s later.


stu Says:

Troicki played a little better for most of today, props to him.

Positives to take away from Nole’s game: the heart is there, the groundstrokes are (almost) there. i hope the serve improves with match practice.


jane Says:

He did it! OMG – when he won the 4th set, I actually called the computer guys here to help me install flash so I could see if he’d come through. This reminds me of first round Wimbledon; he played a 5 setter there too. Anyhow, he lives to fight on. Good job Nole.


jane Says:

tenisbebe! Hello – nice to “see” you here!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Welcoming the shade on the court;

Nole says..

“…like sleeping with my girlfriend..”

LOL


NELTA Says:

In the on court interview after the match Gilbert asked him how he felt about the shade coming over the court in the 5th set. Djoko replied it was like “sleeping with my girlfriend kind of feeling”.


NELTA Says:

Djoko is 6-0 in 5 set matches when he is down 2-1 according to ESPN


jane Says:

Lol, bet he got a laugh for that; the streaming I had on didn’t show the on court interview.


Huh Says:

Mrs. Margot:

Thanks for you super sweet words as usual. :P :) :D
Was busy in studies and stuff. :)
Hectic schedule last month working as an intern. And today my exam started. First paper was intellectual property law. Paper went good too. :D


Von Says:

tenisbebe: Nice to see you around!

Well, I hope Baghdatis learns from his mistakes. Last week, I mentioned that he should have skipped New Haven considering how winded he was in his match at Cincy when he lost. Like you, I’m kerfuffled as to why he’d go on to play New Haven after that Cincy match. What’s wrong with these young guys? sheesh.
________________
contador, sorry your guy lost. I had him going through to R16. With his serve, he should be doing better at the USO. Maybe, next year he’ll make up for this early round loss.

I see Fish pulled through, but he had to go to 5 sets also. It appears that a lot of first round matches have gone to 5 sets.


Huh Says:

“NELTA Says:
Djoko is 6-0 in 5 set matches when he is down 2-1 according to ESPN”

Hmmm… impressive! :D

Congrats Mrs.Jane, Duro, Sar, Stu and other Nole fans. :D


Von Says:

Huh: Good to see you back, also!. I actually thought of you last night during Fed’s match and was wondering if you were watching. so will be be able to watch the other matches and stick around for the balance of the USO?


jane Says:

Thanks huh – good to hear your studies are proceeding excellently.


grendel Says:

Djokovic was hitting the ball so sweetly as the 5th set progressed that Mark Petchey was moved to comment:”I think some players at the backend of this fortnight are going to be very disappointed in Troicki – he’s played Djokovic into form!”

I agree with stu: Troicki was really something. A very fast serve when he wants, tremendously sharp volleying off both wings, and at times he was matching Djokovic from the back. As a matter of fact, Troicki was a revelation to me. Looks to me that this apparent void of youngsters may be filled by him. What a player. meanwhile, I disagree with Kimmo – I should have thought Djokovic would take heart from his display today, even if it wasn’t – er – too bright.

jane, do you realise if Djoko wins the next, which he will, and Polanski wins the next, which I suppose is slightly dubious, you will have a conflict of interest, huh? Painful – or luxurious?


sar Says:

Shriver says this is the hottest day in US Open history. Cahill says a huge win here in this heat will give him confidence. Cliff says Novak showed guts and stamina. I’m in shock they said it actually.
BRAVO NOLE!! You win to fight on another day.


Huh Says:

Hi Dear Mrs.Von! :P :) :D

Glad you did not forget me during yesterday’s Fed match.:)

However did not see it as today was exam. Saw his tweener shot clip though, thanks to Fed fan Gannu who has given the link here.


grendel Says:

Groth, hitting the ball like a rocket, 3-0 up against Sharapova. Can she keep it up, though?


Huh Says:

Mrs. Von:

Signing off for now, would come back tommorrow. :)

Best of luck for our guy Rod. Hope his mono soon heals, I’m very concerned about him these days coz of the doom and gloom predictions being made about him especially since he’s suffered from mono. Hope he does very well. I would like either Muzza or him or Fed to win this tournament. Godspeed to my three guys. Bye until tommorrow.


skeezerweezer Says:

Nole has a lot of time to recoup, so he should be ready for round 2. Gutsy performance today, he hung in there till the shade hit, and after sleeping with his girlfriend he turned it around :)


jane Says:

grendel, will sacrifice Polanski for Nole. : ) Polanski is good, and it would definitely be nice to see him continue to break through, but I don’t usually go by patriotism in my cheering.


Von Says:

Take care, Huh. See you tomorrow.

I’m hoping for good things for our Andy also, but he’s got some tough players to face on his side of the draw, Tipsy and Monfils, which is not easy normally, especially, when a player is playing under the weather.

With respect to the gloom and doom predictions, I don’t pay attention to those, as they are not God and can’t foresee the future. I’m OK with the predictions, but I don’t like the ridiculing, which I find to be unnecessary.

Catch ya later!


Kimberly Says:

hotsauce looking good after a terrible first set.


i am it Says:

Nole showed a lot heart to win that lost match.
Bravo !
If he survived THE hottest day, he cannot be bothered in lesser ones. Hoping he goes he goes as deep as he can.


stu Says:

Interesting stats about the top 3 in the WSJ:

http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2010/08/31/the-trio-that-owns-mens-tennis/

Reason to cut Nole slack on the “born in the wrong era” comments?


grendel Says:

Extraordinarily scrappy match between Verdasco and Fognini. Unforced error after unforced error. The camera just panned through the crowd, and everyone looking completely dazed, numbed almost by the sheer nothingness on display. Applauding has faded so you can just hear a few desultory claps, and when very occasionally you get a sharp exchange, people are so startled that they blink as if they’ve just been disturbed from an agreeable nap. Just for the record, Verdasco is 2 sets and a break up.

Managed to catch a couple of games by Nalbandian – they were high class. The man’s playing good at the moment. Set up. Oh, and Blake’s just won – really pleased about that. Good old Blake.


Von Says:

Great win for jJmes Blake. There’s still some life in them ol bones left. I’m happy for the old man. LOL


Kimmi Says:

what a day!

Djoko survived another day.

bagdatis is gone..no way!

Gulbis is also out…what is happening to ernie!

C’mon hot sauce, he was almost winning. nalbandian 1-1 against a south african qualifier.

Sharapova has a control of this match now. Groth is doing a good job of beating herself right now.


Kimmi Says:

if Groth could learn to serve and be patient..she could be very hard to beat.


Kimmi Says:

C’mon hot sauce. do it!


jane Says:

Kimmi, Hotsauce did it. ;)


Kimmi Says:

great win for verdasco. good luck in the second round.


Kimmi Says:

Yes, jane. finally! fognini beat him at wimbledon this year..i think he was having some bad memories in that third set. happy he was able to come thru.

Sharapova steadied the ship..she could win this year now serena not here.

now cheering for nalbandian..c’mon


jane Says:

stu, thanks for the link @ 7:07; that was interesting!

Hey Kimmi, yes am rooting for Nalby too. It seems weird that Murray hasn’t played yet, like something is missing.


contador Says:

ernie will be fine. he’s honestly not at all good in the heat. brad gilbert says, “he got carted of the court with heat stroke ) referring ernie at legg mason. BG bigging up the story? maybe . but i streamed the match and erno had to quit, he was dizzy and asked for ice towels i recall.

he has to get tough, if he will. these are harsh conditions but that’s the breaks. chardy was ready, gulbis was not.

i am disappointed though. very.

it will help if nalbandian would please win.

thanks for a kind word, von. life of a gulbis fan.

good news- nole and fish made it.

have to find a stream now for the nalbandian match.

Kimmi i wish i could have watched the fognini – verdasco match congrats to hot sauce!


Kimmi Says:

thanks contador. the hot sauce is not the hot sauce of clay season. but he is fighting.

Yeah for gulbis. it was survival of the fittest today…you are right, need to toughen up.

Rik de voest is giving nalbandian a run here. nalby has to try to win this set..or it will get into a dog firght.


Kimmi Says:

voest with 2 break point..oh no!


grendel Says:

To conclude the bizarre saga of Verdasco and Fognini, Verdasco, despite being two breaks up in the 4th set, contrived somehow to lose it. Time and again, he sadly shook his head as if uncomprehending of just what was going on. Meanwhile, Fognini, after winning a point, and even sometimes after not winning a point, would swagger back to position to serve or receive as the case might be. Sometimes Verdasco would get it together and string 2 or 3 excellent shots together to win a point, and Fognini would then roar with anguish as if the loss of the point was due to some inexplicable lapse on his part whereas in fact it had nothing to do with him, one way or the other. A good case in point was when Verdasco broke in the 5th (and characteristically very nearly surrendered his advantage in the following game), Fognini stormed back to his seat, hurling imprecations to the ether and his racket to the ground – and yet Verdasco had simply played as Verdasco sometimes can, that was all.

When Verdasco finally won, he too let out a roar, dropped to the ground and beat it with his fist as if it were his sworn enemy, suddenly leapt up and started prancing around with far more vigour than he had shown in the entire match, waving his arms and so on as if he had just won the Open. In fact for a moment, it was tempting to wonder – but no. Apparently, he is another who is suffering from a new racket.

Well, after that performance, endearing though it was in some ways, I don’t think Nadal is exactly shaking. Gulbis, of course, is gone. And the third of the vaunted trio who are supposed to be causing Nadal such terrible anxiety, Nalbandian, appears to be engaged in a life and death struggle with some South African geezer. Life, draws, and so on, you just never can tell, can you.


Kimmi Says:

nadal in black and hot yellow..not bad!

Nalbandian escaped! :)


Kimmi Says:

lol grendel. a nice read. I did not know verdasco has also changed a racquet…that could explain some of his perfomance recently.

It is good he was able to close out that “strange” match. And the celebration is all worth it. he is suffering from the lack of confidence a.t.m…he needed that win. sometimes matches like that can bring the fire back.


Kimmi Says:

nalbandian need to serve to take this to the tie break


Kimmi Says:

bad miss from nalby, hope it does not cost him


jane Says:

grendel, you’re making me wish I’d've caught more of the Verdasco and Fognini affair; it sounds hilarious in your write up.

I like Rafa’s black.


Kimmi Says:

match point. c’mon nalby


Kimmi Says:

aaarrg nalby missed easy second serve 6-6


jane Says:

Come on Nalby; take your chances – no errors!! Crowd cheering Daveeeed! : )


Kimmi Says:

now voest set point..i have a bad feeling


jane Says:

Arrrrgh -now Nalby will have to win in 5. Hope he can!


Kimmi Says:

bad feeling, after he lost that match point..i knew it. yap. lost the set.

he can lose this..c’mon nalby fight


Kimmi Says:

gabashvilli already 8 winners..hmmm

This is the guy that hit 69 or something winners against roddick at RG


Kimmi Says:

nalbandian in trouble


Kimmi Says:

Nalbandian probably thinking about that match point. just broken


jane Says:

Nalby – get the break back – come on!!


kimberly Says:

Ugggh! Stuck watching bob the builder!


Kimmi Says:

nalbandian really annoyed. he is trying everything. this qualifier is playing well.


Kimmi Says:

very dangerous match for nalbandian. can he come out alive?

fight nalby. the south african qualifier is serving well..difficult to break.


Kimmi Says:

break point nalbandian


Kimmi Says:

nada..big serve to save it


Kimmi Says:

another break point..here nalby


Kimmi Says:

finally breaks back..not over yet though


jane Says:

Well, at least Nalby has the break back! Come on Daveeeed.

Meanwhile looks like Rafa’s headed for a first set tiebreak with Gaba; Kimberly, “Bob the Builder”? I think that’s worse than Thomas the Tank Engine. Poor you. Lol.

Nole on Fed’s tweener:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5j4s6NFECVYZMynCiS1CYumPwNrfg


Kimmi Says:

lol from nole. he is right he was there!


Kimmi Says:

tense match..c’mon nalby, one more game


Kimmi Says:

the qualifier is defending very well. big shots from nalby all come back


Kimmi Says:

2 match point..c’moooon nalby


Kimmi Says:

YAY! nalby pull it off. Phew!!


jane Says:

Hurray for Nalby!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Rafa is the dream. He looks sssooo sexy in black.


jane Says:

This match is not going easily but Rafa seems to be picking up steam whereas Gaba is looking a bit spent after losing the first set tiebreak.


dari Says:

Just got home, where’s the hubbub about the nadal match?! 1st set tie breaker!
My motto for rafa in that outfit this year is “#1 stunna” it looks like he has some kinda superman chest plate!
I do not hope his tennis follows his looks though! I do not wish the demise of many, but if he plays as good as he looks, everyone is in trouble!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Congrats to Nalby! Hope he has stuff left in the tank for a run further


Daniel Says:

Nadal is playing too much tennis right now. Any other polayer would have lost that set the way Gabashivili was playing. Now Nadal is running away from the BH more often and dictating play.


Kimmi Says:

rafa just hit a 130 mph serve. who says he can’t serve big??


Kimmi Says:

wozniacki will start at midnight with this pace


dari Says:

The outfit mustache given rafa some juice on his serve. He is really pounding it. more than ever perhaps


dari Says:

That “mustache” is supposed to be must have!


Dan Martin Says:

I think Rafa is smart to play slow. He has the best ability to focus and concentrate on tour (the opposite of ADD I guess) and if he plays long matches that advantage tilts further to his favor. Connors was the same way. He worked the towel more than anyone.


jane Says:

I know some people don’t, but I like Johnny Mac; he’s funny and smart, and he has insightful things to say about the tennis imo. Sometimes he gets repetitive and silly, but overall, he’s good.

I agree about Rafa’s black dari; but I think most of the players I’ve seen in black – Fed, Novak, Roddick, Gulbis (i think?) and now Rafa – look good in it. Black is best! That forehand Rafa hits down the line looks daunting.

Speaking of outfits, anyone see Petrova’s dress? It’s like an optical illusion. Not of the “brief” kind, but stripes.


stu Says:

Rafa being made to work hard I see. Of course the W is never in doubt.

Nole’s interview is hilarious. The press are in splits.


kimberly Says:

Kids finally asleep….now I can watch tennis!


dari Says:

Jane you’re right about the black, roger looked best in it, maria looked best in it, and the reason why feds navy came out so great this year is cause it pretty much looks like black.
If you like jmac then you woulda liked his comments about petrovas dress!
I love jmac, his tennis and non tennis ramblings always entertain me and he knows so damn much. I like silly anyway!
He has great comments about the mental and strategic side as well!


sar Says:

Great article Stu about the troika. Jane, I like JMac the best too and Martina.


Kimmi Says:

ahaaa gabashvilli! great shots!


dari Says:

terrific point by gaba. It’s nice to see this turn into such a tight match on day 2! Looks like somebody besides rafa knows how to defend bps!


jane Says:

dari, I like silly too and yeah, J-Mac’s ramblings are hilarious sometimes; I heard him say Petrova should consult Wintour. ha!

sar, I never get to hear Martina, but others on this site have commented on her commentary; I don’t know for whom she does coverage, but have never heard her for BBC, Sky, Eurosport or ESPN.

Here we go anothe tiebreak!

stu, did you watch Novak’s interview? That’s better than reading it because you can hear the interviewers’ reactions. LOL.


Kimmi Says:

gabashville made a fatal mistake..rafa with mini break.

how many winners is this guy hitting..incredible!

he needs to get into rafa games though..aha bad miss


Kimmi Says:

there goes a racquet, close but not close enough. thats why rafa is world no.1


Daniel Says:

What Gaba has in offense game he should have a little in return. He only had 1 break point and as much as Nadal is serving great today, he should be able to put more pressure on Nadal`s serve.

The problem is that he saty too far behind the baseline. The more you stay away agaisnt Nadal serve, the more he can use spin making the life of the returner harder.

But, what impresses me the most is how hard Nadal is hitting the ball. The game he had 15-40 5-6 he was banging the ball, and this is just his first match, where he was suppose to be finding his groove. I am afraid how good he will be come week 2.


Kimmi Says:

i don’t believe this match does not have break of serve. they both don’t have dr.ivo serve..incredible, especially from gadashvilli.


kimberly Says:

Martina calls for tennis channel which we have hear in miami. Mostly womens matches.

Rafa looks really hot in black. He’s so not my type (I go for the taller robin soderling safin sort) but even I can appreciate this. I missed most of the match as my three and five year olds dominated the tv but from what I saw both players looked to be playing well. Is rafa serving harder. I thought I heard that?

Must read the novak interview. Having so much fun with this draw challenge.


contador Says:

Grendel-

that was a great read! your 8:23 post .

“…the bizzare saga of Fognini and Verdasco…”

i came home not feeling to thrilled about tennis and decided to stream that match, not one emotionally charged as the nalbandian one.

you nailed the description of them and why that match cheered me up and had me laughing. verdasco and fognini – classic


contador Says:

yeah. Darth Rafa looks great! just like federer in 2007.

black is really best for night session NYC on possibly anyone, even davydenko, i would guess, tho i have never seen him wear it.

and it is making him serve more powerfully, i do believe.

his opponent is doing well to get as many points off him as he is.


Kimmi Says:

gaba is gonna go down swinging, i tell you.

served another break point


stu Says:

I concur on the black batman/ darth outfit. Rafa is not my type either but I think it’s the intensity of his game that makes him so hot!

Jane, I did watch the interview. Nice to see Novak so relaxed after the marathon today. As for the tweener, he should know, he did have the best seat in the house last year!


dari Says:

contador, PLEASE reserve the Darth title for Roger Federer!


jane Says:

Kimberly that’s why; I never get Tennis Channel, hence have rarely if ever heard Martina.

That stripey dress / optical illusion = bad luck for Petrova. : /


dari Says:

I am laughing thinking about Darth Davydenko, though!


Kimmi Says:

they should start the girls on the other court. this match is no near finish

unless nadal breaks here

thats flat FH cross court has given gaba lots of winners


kimberly Says:

Venus’s illusion was the most controversial. People thought she wasn’t wearing underwear.


jane Says:

I think Davy has worn all black hasn’t he? At WTF? He’s more like Yoda Davydenko. I mean that in the nicest way because Davy is wise and plays accordingly. But he’s not menacing like Darth, you know?


Kimmi Says:

OK, he can break here now. c’mon rafa


Kimmi Says:

almost rafa ..almost


jane Says:

There is the final nail.


Kimmi Says:

Finally!


jane Says:

Kimmi did you say Wozniacki still has to play? Against whom?


kimberly Says:

Wozniaki is playing I think the us ncaa champ.

The ump really hooked rafa there.


Kimmi Says:

jane – Chelsey Gullickson, from the US ..could be a Wildcard. But never heard of her before


guy Says:

turned over thought it was a fed game for a second. nadal is looking more like fed every year. the outfits, the hair…soon nike will give him some twins…


guy Says:

that nadal backhand is looking pretty damn good right now…


kimberly Says:

Match point rafa


jane Says:

Ah, thanks on filling me in on the ladies’ match.

Gaba made a nice effort, but yes, Rafa is looking pretty strong. Improved serve, healthy and moving well. Hmmm…


jane Says:

Rafa is happy about his serve; if he’s happy that’s something! He seems keen. His smile is sweet; those dimples. J-Mac likes him. LOL.


dari Says:

Ok, Rafa!


kimberly Says:

Is anyone going to stay in arthur ash stadium and watch wozniaki?

Who is the night match tomorrow?


jane Says:

Night match tomorrow is Roddick vs. Tipsy (other courts, Isner and Monfils are later). Murray plays in the afternoon, “not before 1:00″, same with Berdych, and Querry (afternoon matches).


skeezerweezer Says:

guy @ 11:29 post

LOL


kimberly Says:

This wozniaki match v american wildcard is painful. I feel bad for this girl.


steve Says:

“Is anyone going to stay in arthur ash stadium and watch wozniaki?”

Some people might stay out of patriotism, to root the American girl on. Them and the Wozniacki fans, all five of them. Otherwise, it’s a late night and a weeknight. Work tomorrow, can’t stay.

Does anyone realize that Fish’s five-set match was actually over twenty minutes shorter than Nadal’s straight-sets one?

“This wozniaki match v american wildcard is painful. I feel bad for this girl.”

LOLs. How do you think Gabashvili felt about drawing Nadal?


kimberly Says:

Steve—at least gabashvalli competed. This chick has never played a professional match before. Well at least she’s avoided bagels.

Jane thanks for the info on tomorrows matches. Hopefully my draw will have a better day.

I heard mahut wants to watch isners match and root for him. I think that’s so sweet.

O went on nike and ordered my husband rafas outfit. It was really smoking. He’s a fed fan but liked it. Certainly did not want feds pale pink polo from cincy.


David Says:

Daniel

It’s funny how people see great play from Rafa when they’re “afraid” of him playing well. I assume you’re afraid he’ll reach the final and play Federer?

As a Rafa fan, I saw a lot of the same problems that plagued him in Toronto/Cincy and that in general always plague him on a U.S. Open type court, the biggest by far being the backhand. He dumped a few in the bottom of the net and hit several more way long. Several times when he tried to play hard-court tennis off the backhand – a la Agassi, taking the ball early – he missed badly in the net.

Nice clutch play at the end of the first-set tiebreaker. Some good serving, but it’s not nearly enough. Overall, there was nothing I saw that would make me think Rafa’s in the top 3 at this tournament. Clearly Fed’s the huge favorite and then Roddick and Murray have the best chance if Roger stumbles, imo.


Skeezerweezer Says:

“Does anyone realize that Fish’s five-set match was actually over twenty minutes shorter than Nadal’s straight-sets one?”

= Rafa-time


margot Says:

skeezer@9.41: teehee :)
grendel@8.23: lovely review :)
huh: brilliant news from u and hope u catch some tennis.
tenisbebe: am good but getting ready for lots of nail biting…
Did not stay up for matches but as you guys were discussing Star Wars and outfits, tennis can’t have been that gr8…! ;)


super man Says:

good on gabash for showing up nadal’s “aura” on hardcourts. if istomin steps it up in round 2, expect a mto in that match and some injury revelation from toni/rafa.

i played a lefty for the 1st time in my life and i have to say, it felt like i was playing a different sport. i had a much bigger serve and better ground strokes and yet i needed 2 tiebreaker to win the match. that slider ln ad-court is a killer


guy Says:

it’s true nadal has never had the ‘hardcourt aura’ like federer, but if this is supposed to be a criticism of nadal, don’t you see that it actually makes any good hardcourt results more impressive, not less. it means players aren’t capitulating as much against nadal as they used to against federer.

one reason nadal’s peers like djoker and murray aren’t intimidated by nadal happens to do with the age. these guys, including nadal, are much younger than federer and looked up to fed, put him on a pedestal. contributes to the aura. djoker mentioned this very thing after his loss to safin at wimbledon.


guy Says:

remember righthanders also get to swing their serve out to the lefties. works both ways.


guy Says:

@skeezer

it creeped me out a little
might look strange for the final
since at this point i think fed/nadal is likely. the berdych/soderling threat might have run its course and although the heat played part, djoker’s performance seems suspect, doubt he can beat federer this year either.


Huh Says:

I’m back for today and among other things would first of likec to say Hi to Dear Maxi.

HI MAXI! :D :)

Was missing you too all these days. Glad I’m back to echo “ALLEZ FEDERER!!!” with you! :D


madmax Says:

Yes Huh! Did you see THAT shot? AGAIN? Here’s what dabul said:

Dabul said: “Only he could have played that shot. T h e r e ‘s nothing you can do when he has one of those days. He’s perfect.”

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