Federer, Djokovic Romp; Nadal and Friends Tuesday at US Open
by Sean Randall | September 7th, 2010, 1:10 am
  • 318 Comments

Roger Federer cruised into his 26th straight Grand Slam quarterfinal after a 6-3, 7-6(3), 6-3 win over Jurgen Melzer Monday night in the US Open fourth round.

There was no “tweener”, but Federer played well enough to post his fourth consecutive straight-set win in Flushing and lift his current win streak to eight.

And the win earns the 5-time US Open champ another date with Robin Soderling likely on Wednesday night. The Swede, who dispatched Albert Montanes, beat Federer in the French Open quarterfinals and a year ago pushed Federer in a tight four setter in New York.

Might Soderling be the lone foil to a potential Federer-Rafael Nadal final Sunday? Probably, but more on that in the days ahead.

Other winners today were Novak Djokovic who sunk Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-4, 6-1. I credit Djokovic who was nearly ushered out of the tournament a week ago for really finding his form. The Serb has been absolutely on fire since the Troicki match.

“It’s very encouraging fact at this stage of the tournament that I’m raising my game and feeling more comfortable on the court,” said Djokovic. “I played a great match today. Conditions were tough as well with a strong wind. I was using my serve in important moments extremely well and opening the court and kind of not giving him enough chances to come to the net and be aggressive.”

Djokovic has twice been to the semifinals in New York and the finals back in 2007. The only player to beat him during that stretch could be the man he faces on Saturday, Federer.

In the all-French battle, my man Gael Monfils is starting to heat up and realize his potential. Monfils was impressive in a 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 win over Richard Gasquet. Still, I’d like to see the guy be more offensive, but at least this is progress.

“I think I have to reach it to use my ability to be more offensive, because for sure will help me,” Monfils said after reaching his first US Open quarterfinal. “And I can do it, but is tougher and also is really different for me. I have another vision maybe on the court when I’m a bit, let’s say, scared. For me it’s more easy to run and move on my baseline and step back. To step in sometime is tough. I know I can cover it, but I need to improve on that. But slowly I think I try a couple points, couple games, to move forward. I hope I will arrive very soon.”

As for the women, I have to admit it was quite an impressive performance from Caroline Wozniacki who thumped Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4. The Woz really does play exceptional defense and when she has to she really cracks that backhand.

Maria served a bunch of double faults but she made up for it by really crushing her groundstrokes and still it wasn’t enough against the Great Dane. It looks like Wozniacki and Clijsters in the Saturday night finale.

Tomorrow, the men’s matches figure to be fairly routine. If Nadal’s buddies decide not to roll over for their Spanish king then I think Feliciano Lopez could give Nadal some problems. But Rafa should win. I think Fernando Verdasco stays hot and beats the pesky David Ferrer.

In the other quarter I like Mikhail Youhzny to take out Tommy Robredo and in the best match of the day I think if he’s healthy, Stan Wawrinka upends Sam Querrey. Wawrinka apparently tweaked his leg during his win Sunday over Andy Murray so the Swiss’s health is a question mark. For Sam, until he wins a big match on a big stage (like Stan just did) I’ll maintain my doubts.

All in all, with Murray out the puzzle pieces are starting to fit together to resemble a Federer-Nadal Sunday final.

TUESDAY US OPEN SCHEDULE

Arthur Ashe Stadium
Not Before 1:00 PM
Stanislas Wawrinka(SUI)[25] vs. Sam Querrey(USA)[20]
Francesca Schiavone(ITA)[6] vs. Venus Williams(USA)[3]

7:00 PM
Samantha Stosur(AUS)[5] vs. Kim Clijsters(BEL)[2]
Rafael Nadal(ESP)[1] vs. Feliciano Lopez(ESP)[23]

Louis Armstrong Stadium 11:00 AM
Mikhail Youzhny(RUS)[12] vs. Tommy Robredo(ESP)

4:00 PM
David Ferrer(ESP)[10] vs. Fernando Verdasco(ESP)[8]


Also Check Out:
Serena Williams: If Djokovic Completes “Novak Slam”, He Can Join My Club And We’ll Be Best Friends
Here’s Novak Djokovic Dancing The Night Away In Dubai [Video]
Watch Novak Djokovic Dance To Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” [Video]
Andy Roddick Engaged to Sports Illustrated Model
2008 US Open TV Schedule

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318 Comments for Federer, Djokovic Romp; Nadal and Friends Tuesday at US Open

Skeezerweezer Says:

If Nadal’s buddies…..lol

Nole did indeed look good and congrats to him and his fans :)

Go Fed!


ertorque Says:

Sod will be a tough nut to crack for Fed in my opinion. The last 4 players Fed play enroute to the quarters do not have the service sting like Sod has. This aspect will make the match really tight (ie if Fed serves as well as he did so far).
Go Fed go!


gabsvamos Says:

Nadal’s buddies indeed…funny that you don’t ever talk about Fed’s buddies rolling over for him. I believe that all the Spanish players, no matter how much they respect Rafa, want to be in the top ten and to do this they have to try and beat the world number 1. Lopez certainly didn’t roll over for his buddy during Queens this year either…

One other thing that I have noticed Sean is that when Nadal played on Sunday you didn’t post the story until Monday morning yet as soon as Fed finished playing last night, immediately the story came. Do I detect a lack of impartiality here?


JCK Says:

gabsvamos,

Sean never really wrote about Nadal’s win on Sunday. He only mentioned it in passing.


bobby Says:

Until Federer and Nadal reaches final,there is no point in talking about their facing each other.Yes,3rd round results of Nadal`s half was posted only one day later,while today`s results are already there.May be some selective absent mindedness.As for spanish rolling over for Nadal,he lost to Ferrer in 2004 Stuttgart,2007 US open in fourth round and Masters cup 2007,Lopez defeated Nadal in Basel 2003 and Queens this year,Moya defeated him in Umag 2003 and Chennai open final in 2008,Ferrero defeated him in maybe Cincinnati in 2006,again in 2008 Rome masters .Verdasco almost defeated him in Australian open semi in 2009. I think that some objectivity should be there in reporting rather than speculating.If Nadal`s countrymen as well as others are not able to beat Nadal as frequently as they wish even after trying their level best,does not mean that his countrymen are rolling over for him.Maybe it means that Nadal is much better than them.


bobby Says:

What spanish sportsmen have at present is integrity,honesty and respect for each other.Yes they are friends with each other and supports each other.But when they play each other,they compete to their level best.Off court they are friends and they dont bad mouth each other.I dont think that they have to bad mouth each other to prove that they are competing each other sincerely.It may not be a good example for youngsters to follow.Healthy competition is to be respected and admired.Yes,in the present world of trash,it may look too odd to be true.


montecarlo Says:

I hope Tennis-x stops publishing this awful pic of federer with every news. This is one of his worst pic ever.


DMB Says:

There is no talk of Fed’s buddies cuz he has none. It was a simple comment about Spain being solidary with their own which is a natural and commendable thing. Yet they will still give him competition. (as others have pointed out) Fed only has Wawrinka, so the most you can speak of is ‘buddy’

Boohoo, Rafa doesn’t get enough attention on the site. please……


Eskay Says:

Rightly said that one should not talk about the finals, there being a lot of ground to cover. Black Gale is ominous this year. Joker is in full blast since he went past his buddy. Soda is no easy walkover. Buddies could be more dangerous than foes in the top half. There is too much at stake than think of roll over.


birdy Says:

I think I was feeling the same as what bobby was referring to: Verdasco mentioning that if you lose its better to lose to “one of us” is I think a sign of healthy inner rivalry. The spanish armada is easier to take when they display those values. And the 09 AO semi was testament to what free hitting can be in pratice. There you had no second thoughts of who you were battling, just going for the W. Big time. Vamos!

More of the same. Bring – it – on .. YEEhaaw!


madmax Says:

gabsvamos Says:
Nadal’s buddies indeed…funny that you don’t ever talk about Fed’s buddies rolling over for him. I believe that all the Spanish players, no matter how much they respect Rafa, want to be in the top ten and to do this they have to try and beat the world number 1. Lopez certainly didn’t roll over for his buddy during Queens this year either…

One other thing that I have noticed Sean is that when Nadal played on Sunday you didn’t post the story until Monday morning yet as soon as Fed finished playing last night, immediately the story came. Do I detect a lack of impartiality here?

September 7th, 2010 at 2:33 am

ha! in case you hadn’t noticed gabby, there are two other swiss players (not one as someone else said), there is warwinka and chudinelli – two mates as opposed to the spanish buddies, of which i believe there are 6, ferrer, robredo, verdasco, rafa, lopez, and…? and they ALL roll over for rafa. you know that to be true. They lose any semblance of thought before they walk on the court, PLUS the lopez win – check out the comments from the rafa fans coming up with excuses way back then, ‘oh rafa was tired’ excuse ALWAYS comes up – it’s NEVER that Lopez played some great shots, or actually improved his game, it’s that rafa played badly, that’s why lopez won –

If you want rafa fangirl/boy love then go to TT, there’s plenty of favouritism and all the bias you could possibly dream of.


birdy Says:

* practice

**..ok, enough coffee for today


madmax Says:

gannu! huh!

well done federer!

Next is soderling. Be ready and prepared!

C’mon Fed!


mat4 Says:

Just read Bodo’s blog about Mardy and Djoko, and what he wrote is basically, how would you say in English? bullshit.

First, about “fat Mardy”: when we start counting the matches he played in the last weeks, we can see it is too much. His match against Djoko was programmed for noon because Mardy had to play doubles in the evening. So he was tired, and didn’t serve the way he needed to beat Novak. Yes, he is not taking the risks he used to, but it was comprehensive. On the other side, he had somebody against whom you cannot rush to the net, somebody you can’t press from the backhand because his balls rebounds too high, and the opportunity from the FH side were rare. I like this “slim” Mardy. He showed us what he can at Cincy, and I expect him to have good results in the following months.

On the other side, whatever Novak – or PB – says, his main problem is the serve. His new racket is more powerfull than the old one, and he has to play three feet from the baseline just to hit the court. Djoko cannot take the ball as early as he once did, and he can’t hit flat any more. On the other side, his balls have much more spin, and it seems that his slice is clearly better. But Djoko is not making free points on his serve, and that’s what makes him so nervous in critical encounters: he has to earn every single point. I remember Mathieu saying that Novak was serving (RG 2008) his second serve at 120 mph (190 km/h). Now, his first serve is most of the time under that speed. Nole is not satisfied with his game, and his experiment with TM showed it. He wants to be where he was in 2008: making two points per game with his serve – that’s what will bring his confidence back.


Kimo Says:

bobby,

By rolling over we don’t mean the Spanish players “tank” their matches for Rafa’s sake, we mean that they are much lesser tennis players, mentally and physically, than he is, and therefore not a major threat to his run to the final.

All those losses to Spanish players you mentioned were either too far back when Rafa was just a clay-courter or happened under peculiar circumstances like his losses to F-Lo this year (fatigue), Ferrer in 2007 (Ferrer’s best year and best slam showing ever) and Ferrero in Rome 2008 (bleeding blisters).

The only match where you can say that a Spanish player truly pushed a healthy Rafa all the way was the 2009 AO semi against Verdasco. Does Verdasco have a game that can trouble Rafa? Sure, but he has never beaten him with it. Can he execute it consistently? History shows us that their semi in Australia was an anomaly, not the the norm. Since that match, Rafa has won their last three matches comfortably, including a 6-0, 6-1 humiliation at the Monte-Carlo final this year.

Give it a rest folks. No Spanish player will challenge Rafa simply because they’re nowhere near as good as he is.


nadline Says:

‘Rolling over’ means not trying hard enough and I can honestly say in all the Rafa/spaniard contests I have ever watched, none of them seemed not to be doing their best. Anyone would try their best against even a member of their family, let alone their friend. I also think that amongst the spanish players, they must all aim to have a Rafa win on their racquets, and they must talk about it. They would all love to be the hero in Spain and to succeed as a player, so why would they hand it all to Rafa on a plate.

Did anyone notice the fighting spirit of Verdasco’s box during the OZ SF, they were actually baying for Rafa’s blood.

So let’s not diminish Rafa’s achievements by accusing players of letting him beat them, when nothing could be farther from the truth.


Polo Says:

Kimo, I agree with every word you said. No Spanish player is anywhere near Rafa’s caliber. And for that matter, no player of any nationality either. Federer has now moved a step behind Rafa especially in majors. I am a Federer fan forever but I have come to accept that. If I were a betting man, my money would be on Rafa at any time on any surface. I would lose some for sure but boy, would I be rich in the end.


van orten Says:

federer did hit a tweener yesterday…near the end of the match…melzer’s lop sailed out and federer performed it just for fun


grendel Says:

Kimo, you put it very well, extremely well in fact, though when you say:”By rolling over we don’t mean the Spanish players “tank” their matches for Rafa’s sake” that’s a little charitable for a few posters. But in the main, you’re spot on imo.

However, I’d like to think that Verdasco’s heroic Australian battle with Nadal is not, in fact, an anomaly. The memory of how close he came is bound to be engraved in his memory and in the semi-final, where the world is at issue, you can’t dismiss the possibility that Verdasco reproduces that fighting form – and goes one further. Unlikely, but not out of the question. b.t.w., I understand Verdasco has gone back to his old racket, and this coincides with his return to form. If, as some Nole fans believe, their man’s game, especially his serve, has never been the same since his change of racket, why can he not go back to the old one? Surely it’s never too late?

The quotation Sean brings from Monfils’ presser is absolutely fascinating. Like, I am sure, most people who love Monfils, I get utterly baffled and frustrated by his refusal to use his power, which seems to me to be very nearly unique. Sometimes, you see him actually drawing back from smacking a ball which is crying out to be to be smacked. Monfils describes the labour pains involved in attempting a transition from one style of play to another. He captures the spirit of this tortuous proceedure with almost poetic insight.


guy Says:

fed’s ‘buddies’…well i seem to remember a friend of fed called ivan lub rolling over very much. he was up so many times in matches…and over the years there has been a general rolling over attitude with federer much more than with nadal. take the french open where BEFORE the semifinal match with fed, del potro was saying he’d like to see fed win the french. are you kidding me? his coach should’ve been slapping him for that.

ferrer beat nadal in shanghai and the usopen, how is that rolling over exactly?

the truth is nadal is just a vastly superior player to the other spanish guys, as his results show, that’s why he beats them a lot.

however the verdasco match he was very lucky to get out of because verdasco was going for broke and didn’t back down for 5 hrs. there was no choking in that match.

but i can guarantee verdasco would have rolled over to fed in that final if he’d made it. just like baghdatis, and djoker, gonzo, soderling and friends who play awesome in a tournament only to completely crumble in the final match. it’s not that they get beaten, and not that federer couldn’t have won if they’d played great, but simply that there was a drastic drop in level from all these guys when they faced fed.


guy Says:

i don’t know if anyone saw kuznetsova try a tweener the other day. well, i think she missed the ball completely.


Gannu Says:

Yes madmax.. Federer all the way… will be supporting him till the last point… he has got a killer draw Soderling followed by Djokoic… and look at what Nadal gets… All their fellow spanish buddies who are losers moment they enter the court.. How can we defeat our undisputed spanish armada and king.. thats the pathetic confidence that they have…

I wish under the tutelage of Peter Lungdren (feddy’s first GS win coach) stan pulls of some miracle.. kills rafa and we see an all swiss final.. would love to see that… one thing is for sure.. I would hate to see that a$$ picker biting a trophy on Sun… oh God… just do something and make feddy bear get this 17th grandslam,,

Huh madmamx, Skeex .. all fed fans.. our real test starts tomm with Soda’s match.. soda sounds very arrogant i feel…


Kimo Says:

I seriously don’t know why my fellow Fedfans are so worried. If Roger advances to the final and Rafa is there, Roger is the HUGE favorite. Rafa has never played best-of-five matches on consecutive days, and we’ve seen before what happens to Rafa when he doesn’t get a day of rest.


David Says:

Kimo

I agree that – all-things equal on this surface – Roger would be the favorite over Nadal in a final, but for fatigue to come into play Rafa would have to have a long, difficult semifinal. We don’t know that that would be the case. Rafa could win in straight sets and Fed could have to struggle over a long five setter. It’s too early to say who will benefit from there being no day off.


montecarlo Says:

@ kimo

Yes we all know what Rafa does when he doesn’t get enough rest after a 5 hour match.

AO 2009 final is fresh in memory


Skeezerweezer Says:

Guy

Lube is no swiss

RE: I don’t know why she missed it either. She has more air down there than Fed, it should easier for her….no?

Kimo & Gannu…

Fed is having a good run so far, you are right, he beats Sod, look out. The matchup of the tourney so far.

Go Fed!


Gannu Says:

Thats a good point David…Infact Kimo fedex clearly said that he was a bit tired in 2009 US open final againt Del Po becaus Del Po blasted Nadal whereas Roger had a tough close 3 setter againt Djoko which was infact the second match after Delpo thrashed rafa.. so it all is a matter of scheduling and how the match progreses… I have so much negative emotions and pessimism around me is that roger will now get all possible worst things.. wrost QF opponent, worst SF opponet and Worst sechduling on Sturday, long match on Sat only to be damn tired on Sun and That a$$picker will get all his living buddies pleading to absolve them from the sin of taking two games from rafa every set!!!!

rafa seems to be one damn lukcy guy.. i just cnat imagine how the draw opened out for him, murray, nalby , berdcyh all disappeared…and then what is left – the spanish buddies..

Somehow i hope roegr does something to get this US open.. i will be shattered to see him lose./. thats for sure!!!

So madmx, huh. skeex, kimo – ready for a stressful period ahead? ;-)


grendel Says:

Kimo says:”we’ve seen before what happens to Rafa when he doesn’t get a day of rest.” For instance, in Chennai he had a ferocious battle with Moya, and just disintegrated the following day against Youzhny.

But again, I am constantly surprised by peoples’ unwillingness to canvass the possibility that the Nadal camp are actually aware of those deficiencies in their man which need addressing.

Over and over again, we have seen Nadal and his team relentlessly probing his weaknesses with the view to ameliorating them. The latest appears to be the serve – it is truly impressive, and even a bit alarming, how Nadal seems to have been able to ratchet up the pace. Has anyone else affected such a change at his age? Genuine question, I don’t know. Sonic, b.t.w., made a funny comment that Fed always makes a mess of Nadal’s serve anyway,so his speeding it up shouldn’t make any difference so far at least as Federer is concerned. Well, that’s a thought, certainly!

But this super Saturday business – it is obvious that the Nadal team will have prepared Nadal with a view to coping with the rigours entailed. Whether they have succeeded or not, only time will tell – but where Nadal is concerned, time and again the naysayers have ended up with the proverbial egg scattered over their maps.

Also, with Federer’s most recent record against Nadal, it seems a bit optimistic to call him a huge favourite. None of us have the least idea what’s going on inside his head vis-a-vis Rafa, and probably he himself won’t properly know until they meet again. That should be an interesting encounter.


dari Says:

WAY to go with the win, roger! Looking forward to the soderling match, it will be tough, but I am sure he can get through him here in nyc. I think it will be terrific preparation and confidence boosting to get thru sod as well. Let’s go, Roger! Keep showing them while you’re the greatest, and why rules don’t apply to you!


Ela Says:

Gannu, you are crazy in the head! You FEDfu.k!


David Says:

Gannu

I remember the last time people were talking about Spanish players throwing matches at a Slam was 09 AO. It didn’t quite work out that way.

Let’s respect the players. These guys all want to win. The fact almost no one beats Roger at a Slam and it’s very difficult to beat Rafa is no reason to suspect they’re not giving their 100% to pull off the upset.


David Says:

Grendel

Why do you say “alarming”? It sounds like you don’t want Nadal to improve his serve :)

I hope Rafa can start serving like Roddick because that would lengthen his career considerably and we’d be able to enjoy his great and inspiring play for that much longer.

Surely that’s impossible though, even for Nadal.


Gannu Says:

Ela.. mind your language.. i can understand such derogatory language and expletives can come only from an insane rafa fan…u wud never see me using any expletives every while commenting on any one…


montecarlo Says:

@Gannu
Because you have your other usernames AKA Superman, DC etc etc.. for specifically that purpose?


fern Says:

Kimo Says:

I seriously don’t know why my fellow Fedfans are so worried. If Roger advances to the final and Rafa is there, Roger is the HUGE favorite. Rafa has never played best-of-five matches on consecutive days, and we’ve seen before what happens to Rafa when he doesn’t get a day of rest.

September 7th, 2010 at 9:53 am

In your dreams!!


grendel Says:

David

“Why do you say “alarming”? It sounds like you don’t want Nadal to improve his serve :)”

Well, I must admit David, I’m not exactly objective on this one!
No, but by “alarming” I meant it seemed almost spooky – so far as I know, people on the whole don’t change their serves much (except chronic cases like poor Dementieva). They may tweak it, learn how to change pace, disguise direction and all the rest of it – but to upgrade the speed by about 10 m.ph. or so – anyone else done anything like that in the middle of their career?


super man Says:

i don’t think the spanish amigos roll over. they just plain and simple suck against real champions. if you think ferrer, lopez and verdasco’s record against nadal is bad, go check their record against fedders – they have won nada. 0-21.


Sean Randall Says:

Gabsvamos, what time did play finish Sunday night? 1:30am? I prefer to wait until ALL singles matches are completed before posting.

I posted my story last night b/c a) the night matches ended quickly, and b) the weekend/Labor Day holiday was over so back to work today, and I wouldn’t have as much time this morning to write.


David Says:

super man

Too bad we’re not pro tennis players in this era, so we could be the ones losing 9 times out of 10 to Nadal and 10 times out of 10 to Federer and then have people tell us how bad we suck.


super man Says:

dave, if you want to lick their shoes, it’s your prerogative. if i buy a product and it sucks, i say it sucks.


skeezerweezer Says:

No worries Sean, it’s called Rafa “fan itis”


skeezerweezer Says:

Well that is a new one, FedF^k, guess Fedtard got old. Desperate to wanna take down Fed. It won’t happen. His major records are untouchable and stands as of today, regardless of what name calling goes on.

1 of 4 million Fed Facebook fans and counting……..


margot Says:

Some interesting stats for 2010, unfortunately don’t seem to be on line: from Guardian 07/09:
Aces: N 191 44th F 394 11th D 191 44th M 378 13th
1st serves in: N 68% 8th, F 62% 28th, D 64% 18th
and Andy a totally shocking 55% 73rd!
1st serves won: N 74% 22nd, F77% 6th, D 70% 44th,
M 77% 6th.
Points won v 1st serve: N 32% 11th, F 34% 3rd, D 34% 3rd, M 33% 7th
Won’t go through it all but:
2nd serves won: N 59% 1st and Rafa is best on whole tour, F 56% 6th, D 50% 48th, M 52% 21st
Nadal is also top for points won v 2nd serve:
N 57% 1st, F 51% 21st, D 55% 3rd, M 55% 3rd
Break points won: N 47% 2nd, F 39% 49th, D 45% 9th, M 41% 35th
To paraphrase Clinton, it’s the serve stupid.


skeezerweezer Says:

Rafa doesn’t even get to play a player in the top 7 until the Finals….Isn’t this his first round playing a seed (23)?


madmax Says:

I AM IT,

still waiting for your stats! Come on!

Sean,

have you noticed when fed is winning, the rafafangirls come on and start beating you around the head, they can’t stand it. There’s nothing wrong with your posts – far more balanced than some.

Gannu, be calm. Ela is a goof ball. You know it, and so does everyone else. some very strange names crawling their way over here.

Don’t get down to her level, we all know who she is. It doesn’t take much.

Come on Fed! Really looking forward to the soderling match tomorrow. So gannu, just relax.


David Says:

super man

Sounds like the tired old “Fed has no competition” argument people are always bringing up. I honestly believe that if McEnroe and Connors had been in Fed’s era and played him 30 times their record very well may be 0-30. And I don’t think they sucked.


Sazzy Falak Says:

Rafa doesn’t even get to play a player in the top 7 until the Finals….Isn’t this his first round playing a seed (23)? – Skeezerweezer.

So ur point is…?


montecarlo Says:

Nadal opponents-

1R- Rank 93
2R- Rank 39
3R- Rank 42
4R- Rank 23 (and seeded)

Federer opponents-

1R- Rank 96
2R- Rank 104
3R- Rank 109
4R- Rank 13 (and seeded)

Also you can’t play a seed before 3R anyway. :D


Anna Says:

Skeeze – What’s Rafa fan-itis? Is that the same as Fed fan-itis? From the postings I’m pretty sure it is.


tennislover Says:

Fed fans seem to be getting way ahead of themselves. For him, the real challenge starts now and he has been found wanting in the last two slams after the 4th round. He will have to REALLY step it up against a dangerous and confident opponent like Soderling. Djokovic is looking seriously good and has not wasted much energy so far. He will be an extremely tough opponent in the semi final. If Federer can overcome these two challenges, he will most likely be facing a Nadal who seems to be really focused on winning this open. More importantly, he now appears to be well-equipped to win even on a fast hard court

It is quite surprising to see people question Nadal’s ability to recover for the final in case he plays the second semi or even a long first semi. In fact, it is Federer who is likely to have a much tougher match against Djoko. Federer is older than Nadal and I doubt if he will be able to recover sufficiently for the final after a tough semi. He had a close three-setter against Djoko in the second semi last year and he was not able to handle a long five-setter in the final. It happened, more recently, in Toronto. I wonder what will happen if he plays a long semi against Djoko. I think Nadal is more likely to be much better off physically for the final simply because Nadal is much younger. Old bodies don’t recover as quickly. I think the turnaround time is likely to be more of an issue for Federer.

Having said that, I think we are showing a bit of disrespect to the other players left in the draw by already talking about a “Fedal” final. While Nadal’s path has eased considerably after Murray’s exit and he should reach the final, Federer has a much tougher route and the “Fedal” may not materialize. Personally, I won’t mind a Monfils-Verdasco final as unlikely as it appears at the moment.


Skeezerweezer Says:

I said a “SEED”, not ATP rank. Just pointing out the facts, and yes Fed already played against #13, his first, Rafa is on deck with #23. Take it how you want it. Post stands.


Skeezerweezer Says:

@Anna

LOL ! Good one! yes it is the same :).


super man Says:

dave,

show me 10 people who think mcenroe/connors would go 0-30, against fed and i will show you 11 ignorant inane idiots ( don’t bother about the math, the 11th is you ;) just joking.

i really want to sing praises of those 3 buffoons, but i just don’t care. you have a lot of women drooling for these guys and iam sure some of these women might have offered them their, well services, so i am sure the amigos don’t care for my opinion on their careers.


montecarlo Says:

Also people tend to forget that you can’t really trust Nadal on these Hard courts. Ferrer took him out here once, he can do it again. Even Lopez is leading 1-0 against him on indoor hard court which is very similar to this surface. So Fedal is far far away right now.


margot Says:

for jane, with a bit of poetic license: Bouncer Beats Bobredo.
Good tie break between Querry and Warwrinka. Querry playing well but unfortunately Beefy took it.


andrea Says:

melzer was a good test for fed. he hit hard and fast. the points were just whizzing by last night.

last years fed/sod match was very odd. fed was mopping the floor with him for 1.5 sets and then sod finally came alive and almost forced a 5th set. dangerous territory for sure. sod now has the win over fed which makes a difference mentally.

the vera match was such a rout. thought sharapova would also put up more fight…that serve of hers is still so dicey.

tommy robredo is one of those players that you see in a draw and never consider a threat. he doesn’t makes it past a certain point at the majors.


Reaniel Says:

Watching Sam vs Stan match at the moment. It’s actually pretty exciting, as opposed to what people original said it might be (Ace flying all over the place with only little shot making).

I’m a bit torn at the moment, though I should root for Sam, but I can’t help but wishing Stan could win this one… Sigh…


Lilith Says:

Gannu: Why is calling Nadal ‘A$$ picker OK?
In light of your use of this terminology, why is not hypocritical to get high and mighty about others using questionable language, just because of the tennis player they happen to support?
Worst of all – to all of you who jump to the defense of Gannu (who uses the previous offensive and incidentally, inaccurate terminology) – have you not enough self awareness to recognize your own hypocrisy in doing so?


Nina Says:

A war is ensuing at Pete Bodo’s blog over his post on Nole vs Fish match. I agree it was rubbish writing but people are really giving it to him, I kind of pity the guy.

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2010/09/tk-2.html


Reaniel Says:

lol… I’ve lost any respect for Mr. Bodo a long time ago. It’s one thing to say controversial things (e.g. Mats Wilander), but something entirely different when a person says things that just doesn’t make any sense on nearly a monthly basis.


David Says:

super man

Call me whatever name you want to call me. I just can’t see a player with no serve (Connors) or a player without a big serve and no way to win points from the baseline against Roger (McEnroe) having much of a chance in any match Fed cared about. Maybe if they caught Federer at some tournament he didn’t care about – sort of like when Canas beat him twice in spring 07 – they could sneak out a win.


stu Says:

Bodo seems to like it, Nina. He got thrashed very recently for trash-talking about Djoker here:
http://espn.go.com/sports/tennis/blog/_/name/bodo_peter/id/5007106
and he’s doing it again!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Lilith?


Skeezerweezer Says:

How many “alias” posters do we must have on this blog anyways ? Geez….it’s all so gutless sometimes :(


margot Says:

And Sunshine Sam makes it one all! Come on! Beat the Beefcake!


margot Says:

Skeeze: what I don’t get is people who swoop in, make a horrid remark and are never seen again! ?:(


Skeezerweezer Says:

Margot

Exactly :)

Gutless :(

Sunshine Sam, good one !


Nina Says:

I usually post at menstennisforums.com, that’s why I don’t come here so often. But I like it here. ;)


LOL Says:

margot, would you like to see more horrid remarks? you got it.


Lilith Says:

..swooping in again because of the unanswered question..
Why is it OK to call Nadal A$$ picker?
And now that I have had my welcome…thank you Skeezerweezer and Margot,..perhaps either of you can also explain what is offensive about finding such terminology as A$$ picker distasteful?


Lilith Says:

It seems that standards shift depending upon the player supports. You may feel this site is your exclusive club, but the truth of the matter is, swooper or not, I am right about this.
Margot and Skeeweezer, rather than shifting the focus on the messenger, explain why using, or supporting those who use distasteful terminology is OK.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Nina,

Appreciate it :) You’re not an alias….


Skeezerweezer Says:

Hey aliases, pick on me not Margot, I am the idiot


Lilith Says:

The question is still deflected. Fine: ‘swooper’ ‘alias’ whatever you have made that point… congratulations.
My question still stands: Why is it OK to use offensive terminology on this site OK sometimes and not OK other times?
Calling Nadal A$$picker is offensive. Being OK with those who use such terminology is supporting such practices is, in a way worse.
Incidentally, like the act or not, he is tugging fabric, not picking a part of his anatomy. So at least if you are going to be offensive, be accurate.


Chris Tennis Says:

sammy losing it..


Chris Tennis Says:

waw is hurt but sammy can’t take advantage of it.


margot Says:

Lilith and LOL: all we ask is u stay and play!


super man Says:

a$$ picker! that is funny.

lilith : how about you save your questions for your fellow rafa fans. there are a few specimens – one called fed is afraid and the other ron. you set those other guys straight and iam sure things will settle down.


skeezerweezer Says:

I am not going to defend another poster’s name calling, neither can I stop anyone from calling names like Fedf*k and Fedtard, etc.

It seems like anyone and everyone and no one is or can be a hypocrite and one time or never, no?

That is up to them and I can’t stop them, neither can I stop anyone from posting aliases, but I can type as well as you. Get over it. I guess you can read it or not.

How about talking some tennis now :), there is a good match on…..


jane Says:

margot, have swept in to check on scores and say hello but I’m back to the grind so no time a.t.m. for tennis. Anyhow, liked your poetic license ;) and “Go Sam!!” Happy for the Bouncer; no one has really talked about a potential match up between him and Rafa. Okay, am swooping out.


stu Says:

“How about talking some tennis now :), there is a good match on…..”

Exactly, I have been wondering why nobody is discussing the match. Two tiebreaks, followed by a 7-5 set, 3-all in the fourth? Not exciting enough for tennis-x? Even if one of the players is the last American standing?!

And SamQ breaks for a chance to level it to 2 sets all!


super man Says:

stu :

i really think they should just let fedal play the final and get this over with ;)


margot Says:

stu: I’ve been watching and posting but skeeze and I got distracted.


margot Says:

super man: perhaps now u know Rog prefers Batman u will throw a hissy fit and switch your allegiance ;)
btw thanked u 4 the huggle on murray thread..


super man Says:

anytime now i expect sam/wawa to realize the futility of all their efforts and ring up the remaining guys and petition the usta to schedule fedal as the night match on ashe, today ;)


paula Says:

I’m sort of impressed with Sam’s play. I thought Stan would have won this easily. He is sort of injured maybe. They both seem so nervous..poor guys.


David Says:

Rafa’s never made a U.S. Open final, but now we’re supposed to just put him there and not make him play the next 3 matches.

Whatever.


stu Says:

“realize the futility of all their efforts”

i’ve been thinking the same thing. not in terms of a fedal final coz im not on your page yet wannabe-batman, but the winner of this match is not going to have much of a chance against rafa coz 1) it’s rafa 2) they will be exhausted


stu Says:

i forgot there’s youzhny to play before rafa! i guess its gonna be a youzh-rafa semi then, and rafa will sail thru!


Eric Says:

David, Rafa may never have made a US Open final before, but the only person with more than a 10% chance of beating him before the final was Murray. So yeah, pencil in Rafa for the final – there’s no real chance Lopez or Verdasco will take him out. (And his semifinal opponent is barely even worth talking about.)


fed is afraid Says:

super man
i’m harmless for goodness sake


super man Says:

margot : i was really bummed to read that :( i am going to not use my rf cap for a week, in protest ;)

as for murray, don’t you worry. he will break the 75year jinx at sw19 in 2011. yes he can :)


margot Says:

stu: Youzny just beat Robredo. Rafa can’t be playing him tonight, can he??


dari Says:

This is a fine match in its own right, and the winner has their first major quarterfinal and a real shot at the semi if they can get past youzhny. I’m American, but can’t quite figure out who to cheer! I’ve always liked stan as #2 swiss, and he really excited me at the nurray match even though I was more of a fan of Andy. Ahhhh, a bp for querrey!nice shot stan. ok I’m cheering for stan!


stu Says:

not tonight, margot. i meant in the semis…after he beats the winner of this match between sam and wawa


margot Says:

super man : I could say something about Roger’s poor taste in comic book heroes but…I prefer a quiet life…


dari Says:

I like stan’s celebration yell!


margot Says:

stu: yep, that’s a bit of a forgone..


stu Says:

i think stan has better quality but is starting to get _really_ tired. samQ is fresher, stronger and is serving like a robot.


dari Says:

I am ok with roger preferring Batman, roger himself is quite the Bruce wayne, my problem is more with the fact that he eats his meat well done! that’s poor taste. though he has talked about how he wasn’t much of a meat eater growing up, and people who don’t like meat like to over cook it!
anyway, it was big move for stan to hold there. hope match stays high quality even though he’s hurting. let’s go stan!


super man Says:

fia, your moniker is offensive! that is ok with me but then people should shut the hell up when rafa is called A$$ picker.

it is two way street, no?


Skeezerweezer Says:

They both don’t look to fresh now…still …epic


super man Says:

haha margot. i can promise you no noise from my computer, if you want to speak your mind.


margot Says:

skeezer: is it safe to come out??


dari Says:

That was a pretty good point for not being fresh.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Sure Margot, it’s all good :). Give u mucho kudos for hangin around after your fav is out. True tennis fan you are :),


stu Says:

querrey is still at 90% first serve points won. PHEW!


super man Says:

thank god uso has a 5th set tie-break. THAT match flashed in front of my eyes and i froze for a minute.


margot Says:

skeeze: first and foremost I am, just as well in the circumstances ;)


dari Says:

Can’t believe the way these guys are holding right now against bp’s. Let’s hit it boys.


stu Says:

haha. you and i are thinking alike today, super man!


fed is afraid Says:

rafa is an ass picker, that’s the truth.
he’s always fooling with something down
in that region.


stu Says:

they both know they’ll be bowing out meekly on thur. right now they’re playing for pride, points and prestige.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Stu

And $, :)


paula Says:

I think if Stan were healthy and playing his best, he could beat anyone. Doesn’t he have some wins over top five players? Thing is- he hasn’t been the most consistent player.

Sam is impressive tonight. I’ll be happy for either one of them.


andres Says:

C’mon Stan, it will be unfair to do all the dirty work by putting Murray down and don’t get to the semis at least.


stu Says:

such an actor this stan shuffling at the baseline before time hahaa


stu Says:

okay skeezer – pride, points, prestige and pennies.


dari Says:

Let’s go stan, let’s back up that Murray win!


stu Says:

in that order


stu Says:

fantastic passing shot by stan to bring up MP


stu Says:

good effort by Querrey. GO Stan!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Thanks for the great show Sam & Stan, great match


fed is afraid Says:

the last american shuffles off


Eric Says:

Finally…. Wawrinka could have won in 3 and should have won in 4. At least he pulled it out in the end with some amazing play there!


super man Says:

if, next 2 matches go full distance. there will be a lot of whining.


andres Says:

yes!!!!!!!!!
its a shame but its unlikely that he will be fit for the quarters with Youhzny


andrea Says:

it must be a new stat as well – the first time 2 swiss men players are in the quarters of a major?

congrats to both sam and stan..what a marathon!


dari Says:

Yayyyy, Stan! Swiss magic. Kept movin even with that injury! Still, great effort, Sam. VERY proud of stan, rog better be makin a phone call tonight!
Whoa, that voice is odd, stan!


dari Says:

Yayyyy, Stan! Swiss magic. Kept movin even with that injury! Still, great effort, Sam. VERY proud of stan, rog better be makin a phone call tonight!
Whoa, that voice is odd, stan!


margot Says:

Shame sunshine Sam never mind cos you’ll
watch Warwinks be rifled by Rafa.
Night yo all. Sweet dreams.


Lilith Says:

Now that the match is over….
Skeeweezer -
Fair enough: However the difference is that Gannu (as well as Madmax and Super man and other individuals with anti-Nadal anger issues) have a plethora of enablers in this site.
Fed is Afraid and such do not get the credence (not that they should) that the afore-mentioned do..and it yes it really is all that apparent…
I suspect, as someone new to all this, that people whine about biases all the time. Quite frankly I do not have the stomach for the ugliness and, as I stressed before, the selective acceptance of it so I doubt I will be ‘swooping’ (thank you Margot) here again.
I checked out a site called tennistalk. They seem to have their vitriolic posters as well, yet their slant seems to be pro-Nadal, while here it is clearly pro-Federer.
Where does one go if one is pro-neither – or more accurately pro-both?


Kimberly Says:

congrats to stan on gutting out the great win..said for americans, hopefully venus can hold it up and at least leave us one american.


andres Says:

so that was the last american, i really thought at least one would reach the quarters


super man Says:

lilith :

thanks for leaving. nothing personal. tennis trash is the right site for mentally balanced people like you. good riddance.

p.s please have mercy on us and spare us your psychobabble.

yours lovingly,
clarke kent


gypsy Says:

Hi Gannu, I have to agree with you as a Fed fan. If he loses and Rafa wins the USO I will be totally devastated. The way Rafa is playing with his new incredible serve he seems unbeatable. I hope and pray Roger keeps his focus, his serve. his back hand, his forehand to his highest level and wins the USO.


fed is afraid Says:

will venus be tugging on her ill fitting clothes again tonite??


skeezerweezer Says:

fia,

LOL!

Lilith,

If you read all the posts here you’ll find a lot of other posters Favs; Novak, Roddick, Murray, etc, it’s not all about Fed, or Rafa. It just so happens he(Fed) does have a following here. There is a lot of trash talking here which is fun sometimes and sometimes it gets offensive, and I think everyone has been slighted at one time or another. Especially me, cause I am so sensitive :(

Anyways, you can call me Skeez, Skeeze, Skeezer, Skeezerweezer, or an idiot, or just tell me to shut up, but please don’t type “Skeeweezer”. It’s an insult to my already scummy reputation. But that doesn’t matter.

Fed is GOAT does :)

out


Kimberly Says:

what is everyones pick on ferrer verdasco-im going with ferrer

venus schiavone—not sure, want venus, she’s up a break at the momoent but so inconsistent.


contador Says:

ah hahaha fed is afraid. her “other” opponent is that dress!

i have to laugh at the commentators who were just talking about venus movement improving and how she’s becoming more “comfortable” out there and i think, what? her dress is obviously too tight, constantly sneaks up on her and she has to adjust dress more than a certain well loved spaniard adjusts his… whatever it is has sneaking up on him… : 0

shout out to bracketeers – Kimberly still guarding the top spot!


contador Says:

hey kimberly!

i picked ferrer in my fish bracket. a lot of good that does a martian now. fish is dead in the water : (

and muzza lost. seriously not good. poor murray.

have a lot of tennis catching up…on my dvr


contador Says:

venus dress loses


dari Says:

If I must mention Venus outfit, its the improper material for movement unless its gonna be much longer!
The first black kinda frills dress was just fine and was a stiffer material that did not ride up.
Wozniacki needs to more accurately bill her outfit as shirt and shorts. Have you or someone else with similar body try to move in the outfit before it gets the final ok, ladies.
Nice match so far, though, all fashion talk aside. Today’s ticket holders have a pretty good show!


dari Says:

I will rooy for ferrer in the Spanish men’s match.


dari Says:

While I am at it, who has a good take on what a windier night might mean for the robin/roger match tomorrow night?!!


jane Says:

Aw, just checked scores. I’m sad for (Sunshine)Sam, but congrats to Stan. Nice at least that Wawrinka could keep up his momentum after the Murray upset.

contador, HI! Haven’t seen you for a couple.

margot, keep those headlines coming.


Kimberly Says:

ferrer and venus take first sets.

Go Vee!


Kimberly Says:

i honestly don’t understand venus, sometimes i think her silly outfits etc mean more to her than the win. Why wear that?


i am it Says:

Yeah, J., I am happy for Stan’s win. That was one grueling match. He had a lot more difficulty closing out than the last one. Sam had a few chances. He showed he could play with big boys. Not a bad performance.

I am rooting for Ferrer, predicted here the other day for him to win, sorry Kimmi. Took the first set and break back. He seems to be on track.


contador Says:

Kimberly- i guess that means you aren’t ordering the pink dress? lol.. gotta hand it to her, she finds a way to win despite the dress.

jane- yeah it was only 3 days and 2 nights but glad to be back to watch tennis atm – junkie that i am.

no coverage at all of ferrer verdasco on epsn2. i have a stream on ferrer verdaso. very hard to tell who will win the 2nd set


Gannu Says:

Lilth

Answering your question – calling Nadal an a$$ picker.. what wrong with that?/ Doesnt he do that every time? So by merely stating a fact how am i being a hypocrite? If you are No 1 in the world you also need to hold that position with dignitty and class and nadal lacks it.. admit it… there is no one like fed who carried the no1 with such poise and demeanour..Whereas some of the posters here called me fedFu*k …. Thats unacceptable

Well all these nadal fans creep out of their hole moment they see that Nadal has a cakewalk into the finals…I for one would love seeing nadal getting thrashed at the hands of federer… i atleast want that to happen to silence the nadalites once and for ever…

Hope God listens to our prayers….

Go Fed…


kimberly Says:

Actually I am a die hard fan and I see him as vulnerable. I’m nervous about lopez match as lopez beat him in queens. Don’t even think I can bare to watch, although it looks like it will start around 930. Kim has been keeping matches under an hour.


Ike Says:

seems like Spanish Civil War between David & Fernando!


Ike Says:

kimberly

don’t worry Rafa will take care of business in 3 sets!


kimberly Says:

Hot sauce looking saucy!


Ike Says:

kimberly

Rafa did mention about Lopez beating him at Queens, i have feeling he will embarrass his good friend Lopez at the Ashe stadium.


Ike Says:

if i have to root for one player for his heart/efforts, definitely it wud be Ferrer!


Ike Says:

it’s dog fight!


Ike Says:

finally the terrier get the set, this dawg has big fight in it!


David Says:

Eric

I see Rafa’s potential quarter and semis opponents are the guys who knocked him out of the tournament in 06 and 07.

I expect him to beat those guys this time around, if he plays them, but I don’t expect it to be easy.


sar Says:

Anyone know the weather for tomorrow in NYC?


contador Says:

watching a dvr recording of the wawa querry match. brad gilbert called lopez win at queens a “mulligan” for those who don’t golf, that’s a “gift” ….gilbert followed the possible gaff up with …not an intentional loss but that rafa’s mind was on a bigger prize.

i agree with BG about that!

nothing to fear from the fetching feli.

i will be surprised if this verdasco ferrer match goes to 4 sets

of course, am afraid. afraid of federer losing to mr dimples!

wawa won with plaster of paris on his thigh….sheeesh what’s under that wrapping? monster effort by stan!


kimberly Says:

At least venus gave us an american in the semi. Can she take it further. Absolutely. Clijsters is great but venus on her A game can beat anyone. Question is will she. Doubtful but we can hope.


contador Says:

oh no verdasco up a break in the 3rd.

vamos terrier!


dari Says:

Sar, be already checked the weather for tomorrow night. windy and warm. eats it mean for soda/fed is my question. really I don’t wanna analyse it, its gonna be a tough match, but feds gonna make some magic.


kimberly Says:

What’s it like during the day? Our concern is novak in the heat.


contador Says:

make that verdasco up 2 breaks easy in the 3rd.

what was nando doing the 1st 2 sets? or maybe ferrer is tired of running. he does sound like he’s sucking air.


kimberly Says:

Contador—i will not be ordering venus’s dress. I can imagine the look on everyone at my clubs face if I showed up in it with flesh colored bikers. Btw, kaiser wore the black rafa outfit tonight and it looks awesome.


contador Says:

LOL i wondered if you were reading my posts , kimberly.

i had a new years eve party dress in black in that material.

but i wouldn’t wear it with tennis sneakers and step on a tennis court in idaho in it. it’s a good way to get a trip to the luney bin!

6-3 verdasco just like that!. oh the beast. can he do this for 2more sets?


fed is afraid Says:

kim’s a mom?
who knew?


dari Says:

Only in the 80s but still windy by golly, but less windy than night. I think novak is looking his breathing problems in the face right now cause he is playingbetter. Let’s also hope that between these two who have great speed and defense, that novak becomes more of the aggressor. One-track fed mind at times, sorry! Ha!


dari Says:

Short period of rain earlier in the day also mentioned.


kimberly Says:

Fed is afraid—for a minute I thought you meant me. I am a mom. Then I caught on you met clijsters.

I might wear venus’s dress to a cocktail party as I live in south beach it would fit in. But even here I can’t imagine walking out on a tennis court in it. I mean, there are kids (including mine) that play there. Besides, I would not win wearing it, I need all the help I can get!

So what do we think. Hot sauce turns up the heat and takes it in five or will scrappy david take it.


dari Says:

My heart says ferret, but I wouldn’t mind another verdasco/rafa wild match, this time hot sauce coming thru!


Ike Says:

dari

re. Ferrer (the Terrier) vs. Verdasco (the Bulldog), i think Verdasco won’t have much left in the fifth set, (assuming Ferrer will lose 4th set), i expect Ferrer to scrap out a win here.


Ike Says:

Kimberly

since u mentioned about South Beach, i m a die hard Celtics fan, it will be interesting battle between Heat & Celtics this season.


Ike Says:

gotta love Stosur’s biceps, they are awesome, they look bigger than Nole’s :)


Ike Says:

contador

Ferrer will be the last one to be tired of running on a tennis court, he will outrun Verdasco!


dari Says:

Ike- haha re biceps
And you’re right, it would be very hard for someone like verdasco to outlast ferrer


kimberly Says:

Ike–obviously a lot of buzz about the heat here. Should be an exciting season.

Miami needs it. The dophins certainly aren’t bringing home the titles.

Good luck to both teams. Everyone hates us.


kimberly Says:

What’s up in the spanish civil war. Espn 2 showing stosur


Ike Says:

Kimberly

it’s always gonna be painful re. Dolphins not been able to win Superbowl with Marino, even though i m patriot fan, i feel bad for Dan, (who doesn’t?)

For some reason i have feeling this trio (James, Wade, Bosh) might not work. Anyways, when it comes to NBA final i WILL root for Heat (vs. Lakers), (even if the Heat beat us Celtics in the Eastern conference). We in New England will NEVER root for Lakers (BEAT LA!).


Ike Says:

kimberly

Verdasco has set point


Skeezerweezer Says:

Hot sauce ! Where’s Kimmi?


Ike Says:

seems like in ladies’ match no one wants to serve right now.


Ike Says:

this is rare, Ferrer looking more tired than his opponent, i hope physically he is fine.


contador Says:

ike-

i think hot sauce will win. betcha a pink venus tennis dress

something snapped in nando’s mind in the third set and he found that happy place where he fianlly beat rafa – “vamos! i give this 1 more try, no shame in losing to #1 again – adios terrier.”

or maybe he thought, “perhaps tonight lopez wins…a set” : )


contador Says:

joking about the dress ike!!!


David Says:

12 breaks in 26 games in the Clijsters-Stosur match. And they both have good serves.


David Says:

Er, make that 13 breaks in 27 games


contador Says:

ferrer has his teeth into this match and he’s not giving it away…

ah no, hot sauce has a break point!

deuce


Ike Says:

contador

yeah, it’s bit weird that Verdasco has never been able to beat Rafa. first he gotta beat Ferrer though, he a BP


kimberly Says:

Noticed more breaks than normal in venus match and venus is a big server. Could it be the wind?


Ike Says:

Verdasco gets a break! not sure how long these dawgs gonna fight!


contador Says:

i feel terrible for ferrer…


kimberly Says:

Will anyone even stay in the crowd to watch rafa?


David Says:

There were a lot of breaks in the Stosur-Dementieva as well. I think tonight this is a case of Clijsters playing a sloppy match. I don’t think it should be this close on a fast court. Clay is another story.


contador Says:

LOL! who let the dawgs out!


Ike Says:

kimberly

no it’s not the wind…you guessed it, it’s the dress :)


David Says:

Another break. Arguably it’s a disadvantage in this match to be serving.


Ike Says:

will the iron man / wall break down? come on David, let’s go fight!


Ike Says:

David

i think finally these ladies will hold their serves and it will go into TB


kimberly Says:

I hope whoever wins loses to venus so I was pulling for stosur thinking she would be an easier mark. But my money is on clijsters.


kimberly Says:

The wta will have three different grand slam champs in 2010. Will the atp?


tennisfansince76 Says:

hot sauce or Ferrer which one? I don’t care but the winner better bring the wood against Rafa.!


contador Says:

they are killing each other!

fernando looks stronger…and has a massive serve when it’s on.

ferrer plays his heart out and i hate seeing him lose.


tenisbebe Says:

Am torn in his Sam/Kimmie match. Would love to see Sam win a major however don’t think the USO is the place. Too bad this wind is causing so many errors.


BT Says:

And Clijsters takes it! I don’t think Stosur held serve that entire set!


Ike Says:

here we go, TB!


Ike Says:

tennisfansince76

agree (re. these guys’ record against Rafa)


Ike Says:

sad to see Samantha lose :(


dari Says:

Verdasco better mentally and physicaly than i thought to come back! Monster monster return from ferrer!


Ike Says:

tenisbebe

hope Samantha will win Aussie Open next year


Ike Says:

shot / return of the match by Ferrer!


dari Says:

Happy for kimmie!


Ike Says:

oh well Verdasco returned the favor though, still Ferrer has mini break


blank Says:

Contador,

Exactly what I was thinking. Everyone in Nadal’s half is beating the crap out of each other, Nadal is going to get dead meat in both QF and SF. Boy, wouldn’t he love it! But seriously, I hope these guys have enough in the tank. But it’s hard to see how they could.


tenisbebe Says:

Congrats to Kimmie! This Ferrer/Verdasco match is lights out good.


Ike Says:

dari

i m saying Ferrer


aleish17 Says:

Woke up and surprised to see ferrer and verdasco is still battling it out in the fifth set tie break.

Having said that, go Ferrer!


Kimmi Says:

VAMOS hot sauce!


contador Says:

nadal will get road kill, blank


Ike Says:

oh no Verdasco has two MPs


blank Says:

Unbelievable!


contador Says:

hahhahaa loved the drama!! nando on FIRE


Ike Says:

what a shot from Nando! Great win! Congrats Verdasco, now please show some heart against Rafa!


aleish17 Says:

Oh my! oh my!

Congrats Verdasco!

Congrats Ferrer!


tenisbebe Says:

Ike – Yes I hope Sam can win the Aussie in 2011 although the French is again possibly her best shot.

Wow what a match!! Hot Sauce did it! Woo hoo!


contador Says:

he hurt or pulled something celebrating!


Kimmi Says:

what a match point. great fight back nando. wow!

will be tired legs in his next match…but who cares!!


Gannu Says:

Good atleast i have some hope that verdasco will put up a fight against Rafa.. I have no hopes against the limping wawrinka/Youzhny match.. They are surely going to lose against rafa/verdasco..


tennisfansince76 Says:

ferrer up 2 mini breaks and then he fell apart. kind of sad for him. a great fighter but he let his nerves get the better of him in the winning position.


blank Says:

Contador,

At least I have no doubt it’s going to be one heck of a final. Nadal Vs Fed/Djoko/Soda.

If not for this 4+ hr marathon, I wouldn’t be writing Verdasco off so confidently.


dari Says:

WOW NEVER loved verdasco, but that was a hell of an effort and one phenomenal match point!
Well done to both guys!


blank Says:

Rafa is late for his own match because he was watching the other match!


David Says:

Thanks for taking him 5 Ferrer. Hopefully Rafa will wear Hot Sauce down in the first couple of sets. As long as it’s no worse than a set apiece, it will be extremely difficult for Verdasco to stay with Rafa down the stretch.


blank Says:

I am going out on a limb to say this is going to be straight sets. Over by 12:30.


David Says:

I like how you think, blank. I just hope the Lopez of 07 doesn’t show up tonight.


aleish17 Says:

What a heck of a showdown from the two Spaniards.
They sure looked very fatigue and tired after more than 4 hours of battle against each other.


Ike Says:

blank
“Rafa is late for his own match because he was watching the other match!”

good one


i am it Says:

Congrats to Hot Sauce and Kimmi.
Ferrer just choked after leading 4-1 in the last tiebreak.
Man, I got this one wrong.

And I watched the worst Women’s tennis ever.If tonight’s Clijsters wins next round, forget the final, I would be shocked. That’s how bad it was. 15 times they broke each other, and the level of they played at was indescribably pathetic. I wasted my time so I had to vent this out.


Daniel Says:

Wow, what was that?!

Verdasco come back 3 times in a same match. From 2 set down, then 4-2 in the fifth set and then 4-1 in tiebreask after losing 2 points on serve. Just amazing, he was swinging freely after he was 0-2 in sets, no pressure.

I hope he can play like this against Nadal. If he is going to lose anyway since he doesn`t believe in himself, at least go out blasting.


tennisfansince76 Says:

well david if that turns out to be the case then that would speak poorly to verdaco’s commotment. at this level unless you have an injury you should be in shape to play as much tennis as is required. verdsco gets a whole day off he should be ready to go and if not he needs to start a new conditioning regimen.


David Says:

Well, I think injury could be one of the consequences of this match tonight. I’m not wishing that on him, but I won’t be surprised at all if he’s calling the trainer after a couple of sets against Nadal, assuming Rafa wins tonight of course.


contador Says:

unless wawa has an artificial bionic thigh – cutting edge swiss tech under that plaster wrap dressing..

i agree Gannu

but a verdasco rafa semi smacks of AO 09!!! i cant go there.

the viking or djoko please help me. i am afraid, fed is not afraid.

federer is not afraid. i imagine he would welcome his opportunity to face rafa. oh spare me!! time to eat pizza and think it over…. lopez has zero chance.


Polo Says:

The Nadal-Lopez match should be over just a little bit after midnight. What an anti-climax for men’s tennis today. The girls are as expected, blah.


aleish17 Says:

Lopez is broken early.


Ike Says:

contador, David, Kimberly and all fellow American tennis fans / bloggers:

it really hurts to see no American in the QF of USO, it’s shame! Should we get used to this? I think next year Sam will make QF, but not sure about anyone else :(

People think oh tennis in US is kind of cyclical (re. success of Americans in tennis), but unfortunately I think finally are done and dusted :(

We haven’t won a GS since 2003, and truly speaking i don’t see that happening in recent future. I don’t think that kid Harrison is GS material, i saw him play this season, and wasn’t impresses, i hope i am wrong.

Not sure what those academies in Florida doing, where are the next good tennis players?


aleish17 Says:

First ace for Nadal.


Ike Says:

3 games in 7 minutes, what’s Lopez doing? he is mis-hitting every other shot, (and looking at his racquet like a club player)


aleish17 Says:

Wow! Was that three aces in a row for Nadal???


David Says:

I tell you. No matter what happens this tournament, I’m just loving watching Rafa serve like this. I’d been pleading at my TV set for years for Rafa to improve his serve, and I always heard the same thing from people: it’s not possible because he’s a natural righty, blah, blah, blah.

Well, it clearly was possible and he seems to have done it. Now, I hope I’ll be watching him compete on the highest level until he’s 30 with this newfound weapon.


Ike Says:

aleish17

what’s ur guess, how long will this match last? i m guessing less than 90 minutes.


stu Says:

Bahah I went to take a shower before they started warming up and returned to see rafa 3-0 up already


Ike Says:

David

i agree with u re. Rafa’s serve improvements.
(i still think he lost that 07 Wimbledon final because of poor serving, not sure about his %, faults, but i m sure he had 1 ace in 5 sets compared with 21 of his opponent)


Ike Says:

Rafa is merciless, i will be surprised to c Lopez win 6 games total in this match!


Ike Says:

it took Lopez 8 minutes to win a game!


aleish17 Says:

what’s up with Nadal?

Double break point Lopez.


contador Says:

oh yeah johnny mac just reminded me what happened while i was wondering….how did fetching feli get this far? stakhovsky retired.

the other thing that is puzzling is: why didn’t rafa use that new power serve to beat murray in toronto or baghdatis in cincy?

impossible to grow a serve like that in less than 2 weeks.

i bet kaiser looks good in rafa’s outfit, kimberly.

c’mon donate lopez a set. it’s too anti-climatic for a tennis junkie after that dawg fight ferrer verdasco


Daniel Says:

It looks like divine intervention for Nadal at this US Open. I am getting anoyed that his serve ìsn`t broken. Lopez had 0-40 and 2 consecutive second serveson his forehand and he couldn`t put the ball back into play. This is just ridiculous, he saved what, 30 consecutive break points this tourney?!


aleish17 Says:

Luv 40 and yet Lopez wasn’t able to convert it.


Ike Says:

what was that, Rafa rifled that FH!


dari Says:

What the heck is wrong with deliciano? Pathetic


Ike Says:

Daniel

u gotta admire Rafa’s mental strength


Ike Says:

dari

that’s what happens to most of the players against Rafa, especially in GS.


Skeezerweezer Says:

This is a laughable match up. F-lo’s queens was a fluke , obviously, Rafa won 10 straight sets against F-lo prior to queens. Target practice.


David Says:

This no more laughable than Federer-Melzer last night.


contador Says:

yes yes rafa has an abundance of mental strength but he doesn’t exactly need to expend any portioin of it in this match.

it’s more like he’s playing …..a cuddle bunny. no disrespect intended just trying to think of a reasonable analogy.


dari Says:

Contador, excuse me for butting in, but is this kaiser somebody I don’t know about?
Dani el, I surely thought feli would break, maybe nothibgvwould come of it, but it would be delightful for this unexpected spaniard to do it.
Anyway, let’s not give rafa so much divine credit just yet!
He is without a doubt starting to loss me off, though! I refuse to put energy into him when there are other players I enjoy that are much more deserving of my energy. Two swiss, a Serb, and maybe an OTHER spaniard!


dari Says:

Loss me off is supposed to be PISS me off!


Daniel Says:

Ike, but the problem that is mental strnegth woth some major choking from his opponents. He just hit 2 second serves in the midle of the court and Lopez send both return way long. Everything is placing itself in his favor.

The only way I see him losing this tourney, believe when I say it, is if he gets nervous in the final, which he will play Fed or Djoko. I know it sounds pathetic considering Nadal, but maybe the ocasion can get to him. He is only 24 for Crist sake and he he will be playing for a golden Slam, 9th Slam and position himself to win AO 11 and complete a Nadal Slam (4 ina row), something not even Fed could do it. This victory this soon can change the tennis world upside down.

Nadal playing this year US Open final will be bigger than Fed win in RG09!


Polo Says:

Like him or not, Rafa is hard to ignore.


aleish17 Says:

Hi Ike!

Im not good in predictions. ;)


Skeezerweezer Says:

Uh…..sure


dari Says:

Rafa sh*t-bagged us the last two weeks, he knew how to serve and he knew how to play on hard courts in Canada and cincy, he just wanted to fool us. I knew that bugger was up to something. Damn you, nadal. That’s for you tennis fan76


David Says:

Daniel

This is setting up like major revenge time for Federer in the final. I’d love to see Rafa pull this off, but this tournament is just Roger’s territory

Imo, the lower bounce of this court favors Federer too much vis-a-vis Rafa.


Daniel Says:

contador,
I was asking myself the same question concerning Nadal serve? It was part of his team plan to not show it before US Open. Even when he was against the wall he couln’t use the “new” serve. 10 daus after his Baggy match and now he is winning at leat 2 free points per service game and hold serve for what 53 games?


Ike Says:

Daniel

so far Rafa hasn’t choked in the GS finals, so i m guessing that streak will continue…


dari Says:

Uncle toni a little bit too aggressive with his denial about rafa working too hard on his serve in that outside interview. Fishy ;)


contador Says:

dari – c’mon and get in the atp bracket challenge for shanghai. it’s easy and it wont take too much time away from a jealous bf. : )

kaiser is kimberly’s husband. she has mentioned it here, so i think i can answer you. kaiser is in the brackets, that;s how i know who he is. but he doesn’t post on tennisx. kimberly has him wearing rafa’s clothes but not the pink ones.

oh no they showed a replay of verdasco injuring himself in his dramatic fall to the ground celebration.


Daniel Says:

Yeah David but Nadal more than anyone know how to lift the ball up, even here. He will not play like Davy against Fed with all bals passing 2 in above the net.

I still think Fed is favor in New York, but if he and Djoko play a long 4-5 set in the semis this can improve Nadal’s chance. But as sonmeone point out, Nadal never played back to back 5 sets. Will see, but he is sure looking devasting from the get go, I thoung he would never win in Wimby190 afetr his firts matches and we all saw what he did after losing 0-5 to Soda in the quarters.


tenisbebe Says:

Personally I don’t think the lower bounce of the ball at the USO is as much the problem (how low are the bounces at Wimby?) as much as the speed of the surface. I believe Cincy is the fastest of the US HC surfaces followed by USO, Miami and then IW.


Ike Says:

dari, daniel, contador,

i don’t think Rafa was “hiding/preserving” his serve for USO. i think it’s combination of many other factors that he is serving better. But, it’s possible he might have been.


David Says:

I think we can see in this match. Normally Rafa punishes slice like no one else, but he can’t do it as well on this court and Lopez is able to stay in the rallies without a topspin backhand.

I think it will give Fed a lot of comfort to know he can use the slice and not get punished for it. Rafa’s also likely to make more errors than usual trying to attack Roger’s slice.


David Says:

Ike

I’m not liking your prediction about Lopez winning six games or less. It’s looks like he’s settled in pretty well.

Might even take a set, or at least force a tiebreak.


Ike Says:

David

yeah, u r right, Feli already has 5 games and looks sure that he is settling down.

Btw, i came up with that magic number 6 games by remembering how many games Rafa won against Del Po last year in the semi (6-2, 6-2, 6-2), that was probably one of the most embarrassing performance by Rafa in GS in recent years


jane Says:

Hi to Polo and tenisbebe, nice to see you both around.

Polo I made a comment about you the other day when Wawrinka upset Murray; wasn’t it you with the theory about the Corretja Curse? Well…there he was in the stands again!

tenisbebe, hope you’re doing well and that you weren’t too overheated at Cincy. Are you rooting for Rafa’s Golden Slam?


David Says:

Feli is really shanking a lot of balls. He’s obviously not a great baseliner, but he’s making it too easy for Rafa.


dari Says:

Im just tired of what is becoming disingenuous modesty from the rafa group, is all.

Ohhh, contador, I do now remember a kaiser, it just threw me off to hear sonething about rafas clothes during the match, i thought it was a nickname for feli or something and a reference to rafa totally kicking his a$$ in the first set. This kids got my brain all messed up.

I’m down for the shanghai bracket, i was even down for uso, but put it off too long and was traveling the night before and missed deadline. Lord knows my braxket would be craps by now.  Lemme get the date for shanghai!


Polo Says:

Hi Jane. Yes, that Alex Corretja curse worked again. Too bad for Murray. I think Corretja started working with Andy in 2008. Since then, he has not improved. I believe his game became even more defensive. What can you expect from Corretja? He is a clay courter who plays defensive tennis. He never won a major in spite of reaching a number 2 ranking. His bad karma is rubbing off on Andy. He should have kept MacClagan (spelling?)and ditched Corretja. Andy was doing well with Maclagan (told you I cannot spell his name) until Corretja came along and killed any semblance of aggression in his game. Murray will never win a major as long as Corretja continues to get involved with him.


David Says:

Rafa’s got 7 aces in 2 sets. I think he got double figures in aces in a match with Agassi (just about the easiest player to ace, along with Roddick) but it can’t have happened very often.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane – Thankfully I was in the player exercise room during the ungodly heat and humidity where there was AC. The men’s tourney was not nearly as ghastly as the womens. As for the USO winner, would have been very happy if Nalbandian would have come thru the draw – want him to win a slam. Also glad to see Gasquet make a run to the 4th round. However would love to see Rafa win the USO, si si. You have to be happy with Novaks play after that dicey 1st round and his less than stellar summer HC season.


Ike Says:

Polo

i think u have a (very good) point re.Murray’s coaching situation.
But, again coach can do just so much, it’s finally up to that player…
it will be interesting to c who will be Murray’s coach for (say) next 2-3 years and what will be Murray’s results in GS in that period.


Skeezerweezer Says:

F-Lo match…F-lo also has 30 + UE’s after 2….sorry no dis repect…Yawn…saw it coming in the first time he got broke…Rafa the beast….g’night everyone


jane Says:

Polo, yes and I had thought that Murray only ever hired Corretja to help his clay game. Murray did play some nice attacking tennis in Toronto I have to say.

tenisbebe, speaking of Toronto, after a ghastly first set I thought Djoko played pretty well versus Fed in the semis there; and at Cincy I thought he looked good versus Nalbandian. But his play has been up and down: one match great, one not good at all. He still made semis in TO and quarters in Cincy, which isn’t horrid I guess. What I like about his play here is that, as you say, after a dicey first match, he’s picked it up a level and played focused and pretty clean tennis since. Nice for a change! And not too many doubles either. But Monfils will be tough and then the Fed after that the toughest to beat at the USO. So if he makes the semis, I guess that’s good. Be nice to see him in another slam final though.


David Says:

A Rafa-Djoko final would be great. Certainly Djoko has had his share of convincing wins over Rafa on fast courts, but Nadal has seemingly picked it up with his serve and aggressive play so far this tournament, so I’d have to like his chances if that improbable final were to come to pass.


contador Says:

oh, gee. i fell asleep while watching the my dvr of federer melzer WHILE streaming nadal lopez buddy match

David @ 11:43 pm

you know, at least there was a 2nd set tie breaker in the federer melzer match. but must agree. the rest of that match looked like a practice session.

but the federer soderling coming up will make up for federer’s easy matches. i feel it in my federer tennis loving bones.

i’m okay with federer losing to practically anyone ( not berdych ) if it’s not in a GS. but i don’t like to watch federer lose to even a favorite of mine like mr dimples in a semi. possibly gulbis would be okay cos i want gulbis to tame his wild ways and get serious about training, watching tennis, becoming a temporary “tennis freak” and do something with his brain, physical gifts and star quality.

ahhh, pardon my gulbis speech. i miss delpo too and will be glad to see him return.

ike- i do not know what to say about US tennis, that’s why i didn;t answer. it wasnt a rhetorical question, i don’t think, was it? i just dunno.

so i will confess looking at rankings beyond the top 100 to see who and from what countries is moving up. i think it was the bulgarian dimitrov who jumped 61 points recently – he’s 18 or 19 yrs old, went to france to learn tennis. he’s winning in the challengers recently – the one people say is a mini federer.

doesn’t help USA tennis tho.

rafa just interviewed on court by pam shriver… side stepping an answer to a direct question about the serve….always polite rafa. i don’t believe he grew that serve in 10 days. it’s clever not shady clever but clever in a strategic way.

that was a dull match-up to end the night. but verdasco ferrer made my night!

yep tennis ppl, g’night.


aleish17 Says:

I almost forgot to say Congrats to my fav for today’s win.

Congrats Rafa! On to the QF match!

Vamos Rafa!


Dane Says:

I think Roger have a plan to beat Rafa after knowing his rival’s new weapon.


grendel Says:

“Murray did play some nice attacking tennis in Toronto I have to say.”

jane, Petchey (former coach of Murray)interviwed ‘nother former Murray coach Gilbert, asking him what he thought Murray should do. Gilbert advised that Murray should watch the video of the Toronto match, where he played the best tennis he (Gilbert) had seen him play.

On the other hand, Annabelle Croft (former British #1, you know, and World#537) recommended Murray to watch a video of his just completed Wawrinka match – on the grounds that Murray perhaps doesn’t realise just how disconsolate, hangdog and generally at odds with himself he can come across.

Perhaps combine the two? As it happens, I’m just reading Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde again – good stuff!


grendel Says:

Coach Patrick Mouratoglou (a Federer fan) had this to say about Fed:”As far as Federer goes, I have to say that I’ve been worried lately. His wins over Paul-Henri Mathieu and Jurgen Melzer left me with a bitter taste and I’ve noticed some signs of pain in his back again.

I say this because I’ve felt he has been lacking in some initiative and being very static with his footwork – he’s not pushing down enough on his legs and seems to be lacking some frequency there. And this is totally different behaviour compared with what he had been showing in Toronto and Cincinnati.”

I’ve no idea what “lacking some frequency there” means, but generally I’m surprised by the comment. Fed’s footwork has seemed to me same as usual, i.e.outstanding, but I guess a coach has a rarefied perspective. Even so, other commentators I respect have remarked on how well he is moving.

Most people, including me, were of the opinion that Federer has never retired injured from a match. Wrong. He retired from the Belgian International Junior Championships at the age of 16. As God’s my uncle. Also, at the age of 7, he……


guy Says:

looks like this coach is just worried about federer’s chances in the tournament and looking for excuses in case fed loses in the next three matches.

federer is clearly in very good form. easy wins over math and melzer, these guys aren’t chumps.

yeah i wouldn’t say anyone has better footwork than federer, although i think nadal and davydenko match him in the area.


guy Says:

his luck with injury is unheard of. genetic freak


tennislover Says:

“his luck with injury is unheard of. genetic freak”

He has had his fair share of injuries and he has always had a dodgy back. He missed a lot of tennis after the 2005 USO because of injury and played the 2005 TMC virtually on one leg. He hasn’t been as lucky with viral ailments and that probably suggests a slightly “weaker” immune system. The important thing is that he has always listened to his body and has, generally, never overstretched it by playing too much or through injuries. His smart scheduling and sufficient rest and rehab have ensured a relatively trouble-free career but I expect a lot more issues to crop up as he gets older.


Gordo Says:

Looking at the unique scheduling of the U.S. Open, with the semi-final winners having to play the final the following day, what happens Saturday may go a long way in determining who gets to wear the crown on Sunday.

If either semifinal goes 5 sets and is as grueling as the Wawrinka/Querrey or Verdasco/Ferrer matches then there could be a tired finalist who may be at a disadvantage.

At this time you have to like Nadal’s chances to make the final – he has outstanding winning records against Verdasco, Youzhny and Wawrinka, even though the last time Verdasco met Nadal on a hard court he pushed Rafa to the limit. I’m just not sure Verdasco can muster up enough to take Nadal out.

The most interesting quarter final match may be Youzhny vs Wawrinka – they have split their 4 previous matches, with Youzhny winning both hard court tussles (Wawrinka’s wins were on clay) but Wawrinka, who has often folded like a cheap tent, seems to have matured mentally. He looks like he now believes in himself and if he can get past the Russian without killing himself the way he did in his last 2 matches he may have something left in the tank in the semifinal. That 14-12 tiebreaker he lost to Nadal in Toronto this year was the best tiebreaker of the year, imo.

Let’s hope so, because for one of Monfils/Djokovic/Federer/Soderling to have a chance against Rafa they at least need to be on equal footing, fitness and fatigue wise. So far it looks like it may be a romp to the final for Rafa. And if it is, a tired opponent will not fare well.


guy Says:

federer has never had major surgery like many of his generation: safin, haas, hewitt, nalbandian. given the amount of tennis he’s played, both years and matches per year, that’s extremely lucky.

he played the TMC on one leg? the year he lost to nalbandian right? i watched every minute of that match, a great match too. and federer was moving fine. nalbandian just played amazing. that was also the year fed beat gaudio 6060. federer might be a great player, but i’m afraid you can’t double bagel a top ten guy playing on ‘one leg’.


grendel Says:

At midnight last night, I drove down to the bus station to pick up my son Tom, who’d gone down to London for the day to try and secure a bedsitter/flat to rent for Uni. I remember those days of looking for somewhere to live, which went on for many years – and I daresay that side of things isn’t over yet. I’ve always found that looking for a place to park the coconut is just about one of the most hateful occupations devised by a sadistic God to toy with his puppet creations, on a par with trawling through the papers and crawling through the city looking for work. More often than not, just to put the loathsome tasks off, one would end up in the pub and some floor to crash on.

Anyway, glory be, Tom was successful in his pursuit though less than elated having spent 8 hours on a couple of coaches. Trains are expensive. When we got back, Ferrer had just won the first set. Tom’s been a fan of Verdasco since the days when he was barely in the top 30, convinced he’d come good eventually. So he decided to watch, and I decided to push off to bed. He regaled me with a story of the match, last 4 sets anyway, in excited fashion the next morning.

The second set was evidently closely contested, they battled on to the tie break with Verdasco having two set points. He should have won it, in Tom’s estimation, but Ferrer was playing undeniably well. On Ferrer’s own set point, Verdasco’s approach shot clipped the net and slowed down, providing an easy winner for Ferrer. The commentator Chris Bradnam said exactly the same thing happened in the first set (at set point, Tom thinks).

In the 3rd set basically because Verdasco should have won the previous one, he trailed around the court with that sullen childish disappointment etched all over his face, looking as if he could give Murray a shot at the negativity stakes. Then, fairly early on having had a couple of double faults to go 0-30, he started hitting freely as if he couldn’t give a damn what happened. Winners sprayed all over the place with Verdasco still looking as if he didn’t care much one way or the other. This devilmaycare attitude went on for about 4 games, but then it started to look as if it had dawned on Verdasco that he had a chance to win. His demeanour became much more focused. A break or two were exchanged, Tom can’t quite remember the details, and Verdasco took the set.

This focus carried on into the 4th set. Ferrer, too, was playing really well and although the unforced error count was quite big, in Tom’s view the quality of tennis was very high and always exciting. Verdasco continued hitting great ground strokes and at 5-3, despite Ferrer saving about 4 break points (8 deuces), Verdasco secured the double break to take them into the 5th.

It continued to be toe-to toe stuff, but at 2 all, momentum seemed to be swinging Verdasco’s way. But at 30 love, Verdasco hit a couple of sloppy shots and Ferrer took advantage to hit two great aggressive forehands to break. In the next game, at 15-30 Ferrer doublefaulted. 15-40. It was natural to think Verdasco would break back to regain the iniative, but Ferrer hit two great serves to take them to deuce, and hung on to hold. 4-2 to Ferrer. It looked like that was it for Verdasco, he’d had his opportunities and blown them. Still, he held serve, and Ferrer serving at 4-3 was 30-40 when Verdasco hit one of those scorching forehand winners to get back the break. After that, Tom had the feeling Verdasco might go through on 6-4, but in fact both held serve to take them into a tiebreak.

Ferrer raced into a 4-1 lead. This included 2 mini-breaks – one of them had been a huge 2nd serve, more like a 1st (that’s Verdasco for you; he likes to do 1sts as 2nds and 2nds as 1sts) which screamed into the corner. But Ferrer had read it incredibly well and somehow got across in time to whack a crosscourt winner. At 4-1, there was a long rally, the most important point in the tiebreak in Tom’s estimation. Verdasco hit a bh crosscourt winner which clipped the tramlines. One of the mini-breaks had been retrieved and they crossed at 4-2 rather than 5-1.

After that, Verdasco played really strongly, helped by a couple of weak balls into the net by Ferrer. At match point, it looked like Ferrer’s drop volley had set him up at the very least for an easy put away. But Verdasco came storming up, a long run, and whilst it had been dubious that he’d even manage to reach the ball, he actually hit a tremendous shot, spinning around the post to the corner, leaving a forlorn Ferrer stranded.

Tom mentioned one brilliant exchange, but he can’t quite remember whereabouts in the match it occurred. As Verdasco ran up to the net, Ferrer hit a great backhand pass. Verdasco jumped, a lunge at full stretch to execute a drop volley, lots of spin and landing dead so Ferrer had no chance.

Finally, Tom had to bring up Ferrer’s on court antics. He’s the funniest player on tour, I think, when he gets into his rants, although Tommy Haas runs him a close second. We both treasure Ferrer’s match with Santoro at the AO several years ago. In the first set, Santoro was toying with Ferrer till the Spaniard was reduced to muttering and ranting and gazing fruitlessly at the heavens until Chris Bradnam was moved to exclaim: “He’s a wreck!” (For the record, Ferrer won that match). Well, it was apparently much the same in this match. At one stage, Ferrer was getting incredibly wound up. After a long run to get a ball, he missed, and by this time he was right in front of the crowd. He held his head in despair, shaking and shouting.

All in all, so far as Tom was concerned, this match was a true epic and easily the match of the tournament. After he had finished his account, he added thoughtfully: “For his reward, Verdasco gets a fresh Nadal in the semi”.


Gordo Says:

At the end of the day and as time pushes tournamants into distant memory, each Grand Slam is really remembered for one thing only – who wins it.

It doesn’t matter who struggled in early rounds, whose serve was off, who had the tougher draw; all that matters is who hoists that trophy.

The direction the world of tennis opinion goes – and the corresponding blogging and fan activity that accompanies it – is going to be dramatic should either Federer or Nadal win the U.S. Open on Sunday.

If Federer wins he will have won 2 out of 4 Slams in a year for the second time after many had written him off, he will have 17 Grand Slams and have established several additional records and you have to think the GOAT talk will rev up yet again. Fed is a very proud athlete, and should he win Sunday do not discount him giving Rafa a run for #1 sometime in 2011.

However -

If Nadal wins he will have secured his 9th title quicker than anyone, like Fed he will have a career slam and also like Fed (who did the following 4 times in his career) he will be one of a handful who will be the defending champion of 3 grand slams. And that would have to make him the prohibitive favorite to pull off a consectutive slam – something Fed has been unable to do – next year by winning the Australian Open.

Should Nadal win Sunday many will write and believe that it is just a matter of time before many of Fed’s records fall to the Spainiard, and that the Federer era is in its waning days.

Should Federer win Sunday a lot of his detractors will be forced to shut up as we watch and see just how far this guy can go.

Either way, we are witnessing 2 of the greatest the game has ever seen. Great for us that they are playing at the same time.

Should they both be in Sunday’s final it will be one of the most watched matches in the history of the game. Both men have 2 more wins to achieve before this will happen, but I think it is a strong possibility.


Kimberly Says:

Gordo-i agree we are lucky to witness two such great players, on and off the court.


David Says:

Gordo writes: “Looking at the unique scheduling of the U.S. Open, with the semi-final winners having to play the final the following day, what happens Saturday may go a long way in determining who gets to wear the crown on Sunday.”

You’re spot-on of course, but I’d recommend you use another adjective besides “unique.”

I’d recommend one of the following: half-baked, half-witted, idiotic, ill-advised, imbecilic, inane, gutless

Let’s just hope (as we have to every year) that it doesn’t affect the outcome of the tournament.


David Says:

Gordo

By the way, I agree totally about how momentous that potential final will be. That’s why I hope both players are fully fit and as fresh as possible going in.

It would be the biggest match at the U.S. Open on the men’s side since 1995, imo.


jane Says:

grendel “As it happens, I’m just reading Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde again – good stuff!” – not sure if you meant this indirectly, but perhaps Murray should read Stevenson along with watching those videos. Yeah, that’s a favourite of mine; I’ve taught it a number of times.

Thanks to you, via Tom, for that great recap of the Verd/Ferrer match; of course I missed it as first day back was yesterday. grrr. Will likely miss Djoko/Monfils too, though should be home for Soda/Fed.

Gordo, yes, very true about scheduling. I guess last year with Fed and Delpo was a bit of an anomaly as I don’t remember the last time we had a 5 set final at the USO prior to that. Seems like a lot of 3-4 set finals there. And since ALL the slam finals thus far in 2010 have been slam finals I’d love to see a longer one here.

“as time pushes tournamants into distant memory, each Grand Slam is really remembered for one thing only – who wins it.”

Perhaps. Although I have to say that matches -those contested epically like apparently last nights Verd/Ferrer was- stay with me. I don’t forget those ones that are won/lost by a smidgen, a shot, a moment. Those are the most exciting, sometimes more so than who hoists the trophy, and how that championship match played out. So while -largely speaking- history remembers the victor, many individuals, who love tennis, remember the battles fought along the way.

p.s. you forgot to add “golden slam” in Nadal is the winner, which is quite unique in men’s tennis.


grendel Says:

Gordo says:”At the end of the day and as time pushes tournamants into distant memory, each Grand Slam is really remembered for one thing only – who wins it.

It doesn’t matter who struggled in early rounds, whose serve was off, who had the tougher draw; all that matters is who hoists that trophy.”

That’s true in one sense, profoundly untrue in another. I wrote a very similar post to you, Gordo, on what is at stake for Federer and Nadal. So in one sense I’m with you.

But there’s another, more human sense, in which certain matches will always linger in the memory quite regardless as to what effect they have had on aspiring goats. Some matches are complete in themselves, deserve to be remembered as a tribute to the human spirit and imagination. And they are. We all have treasure hordes of such matches in our hearts, and in the long run, I believe that to be even more important than how many slams so and so has – gripping though that particular story is too.


jane Says:

my post @ 11:14 should say “have been [3 set] slam finals”


Gordo Says:

Thanks for the comments, folks.

I did not mean to be so black and white in my “they only remember the winner” description.

I too can reel off great matches that occurred prior to the final match. Nadal’s 5 set win over Verdasco at the Australian Open 2 years ago is a memory that has me hopeful for tomorrow’s quarterfinal match.

But in the grand scheme of things, and for 99% of people who read about tennis in the papers or see it on TV, it IS who wins the finals of Grand Slams that gets the most juice. That’s all I was trying to say.

Look at Toni Nadal, who himself is not willing to call Rafa the best clay player ever until he at least matches Borg’s French Open achievements.

But to the true tennis affecianado there will be matches – 1st round through semis, of lots of tourneys, not just Grand Slams – that illustrate why we love this sport. For the masses however, winning the slams is everything. That is how Fed and Nadal are being judged.

Have fun viewing today!


madmax Says:

tennislover,

I think Nadal is more likely to be much better off physically for the final simply because Nadal is much younger. Old bodies don’t recover as quickly. I think the turnaround time is likely to be more of an issue for Federe”.

Whose body would you say is in the best condition? A 60 year old woman with no ailments, who goes running every day, eats a healthy dietM, doesn’t drink or smoke. OR a 24 year old who eats, drinks, does little exercise and is generally ‘unhealthy?’.

My point is.

Who actually does have the older body?

Who plays the game which is least stressful?

Who is better able to recover from a gruelling match?

Your argument doesn’t hold.

Federer has the most time and body efficient game in the sport of tennis. Fact. That is why he will be able to recover and will be able to win.


Nina Says:

Today is a very bad day to play tennis. USO needs a roof very urgently.

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