Nadal Upset; Djokovic, Murray Cruise; Federer v. Soderling Friday in Shanghai
by Sean Randall | October 14th, 2010, 9:25 pm
  • 172 Comments

In a Shanghai surprise, Jurgen Melzer stunned Rafael Nadal 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 at the third round of the Tennis Masters in China on Thursday.

The Austrian Melzer had never taken a set from Rafa in three prior attempts, most recently at the French Open. But after playing three straight weeks in Asia on the hardcourts, Nadal grew increasingly vulnerable and Melzer finished him off.

“I think the key was to put a lot of pressure on him,” said Melzer. “You cannot let him play his game. You’ll always be second. That play with his forehand, he’s just too good.

“So I tried to take the ball early. I was serving really well, especially on big moments. I executed my game plan, which was putting a lot of pressure, especially on his forehand.”

Nadal, seemed to say his schedule and season played a role in his defeat.

“I felt slow on court,” said Nadal. “I had more mistakes than usual. I played shorter than usual. [I was] a little bit more tired than usual, just physically and mentally. [I] just [want to] congratulate him. It’s true, he played very aggressive, but [it] wasn’t very difficult [to] play that aggressive against me today.”

After some strong serving performances the last few months, Nadal finished with just one ace and won only 61% of his first serves. The World No. 1 still has events in Paris and at London remaining on his schedule.

While Nadal fell, his followers had little trouble. No. 2 ranked Novak Djokovic blew out an exhausted Richard Gasquet 6-1, 6-1. Roger Federer was broken in the second set but still won easily 6-3, 6-4 and Andy Murray scored an impressive 6-3, 6-4 win over qualifier Jeremy Chardy.

Robin Soderling, a winner over David Ferrer, JW Tsonga, Juan Monaco and Guillermo Garcia who beat Tomas Berdych to collect his third big scalp during this Asian swing after wins over Nadal and Andy Roddick.

So Friday’s quarterfinal shapes up as Murray v. Tsonga, Monaco v. Melzer, Djokovic v. Garcia-Lopez and then Federer v. Soderling.

In the first match, Murray leads Tsonga 3-1 losing to the Frenchman only at the 2008 Australian Open first round (I remember, I picked Murray to win the Australian Open that year!). This time I like Murray again simply because Tsonga has been off the tour for so long that he can’t be back at 100%. Though JW, who is trying to qualify for London, probably needs this match more than Murray who has already secured his berth.

“He’s obviously a very tough player,” Murray said when asked about Tsonga. “Big serve, big forehand, you know, very aggressive game. He’s kind of similar to Chardy in many ways, but probably just kind of a better all-around player. He’s a very good athlete. He’s one of the top players, that’s for sure. He’s just come back from quite a long injury, you know, which is always tough. But, you know, I’m sure he’ll be very motivated for the last few tournaments of the year.”

Melzer and Monaco is a toss up. Monaco has a 4-1 edge but all wins are on clay. I think Melzer should get through given the confidence he should have after beating Rafa. And the lefty still has some added motivation of making the final eight in London.

Djokovic has never lost to G-Lo in three previous matches, but the Spaniards won some sets off of Novak and he’s won 10 of his last 11 matches overall. But Novak was my pick to win at the start the tournament so I’m sticking with him here. Djokovic has also won his last 15 sets. And incredibly, if I’m reading the schedule correctly, Djokovic could play up to three matches tomorrow – 1 singles, 2 doubles!

“The fact is that I’m feeling good on the court,” Djokovic said. “I’m hitting the ball and playing better and better every day. So I’m just hoping that it’s going to stay that way in the upcoming rounds.”

And in the main event, Federer takes a dominating 13-1 head-to-head advantage into his match against Soderling. The Swede has fallen in recent weeks at this quarterfinal stage and I think he’ll go down again to Federer tomorrow in a tight match, maybe even three sets. Federer’s looked pretty good thus far in Shanghai and while Soderling should be able to test him I don’t think the Swede has been in-form this second half of the tennis season.

“I’m looking forward to a tough match,” Federer said. “It’s going to be very different to the US Open. It’s going to be very different to the French Open. We’ve had the last couple matches in really tough conditions. It was raining during the French. It was super windy during the US Open. We’re looking forward to something a little bit normal.”

FRIDAY SHANGHAI SCHEDULE

STADIUM start 2:00 pm
[4] A Murray (GBR) vs [12] J Tsonga (FRA)
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)

Not Before 6:00 PM
[13] J Melzer (AUT) vs J Monaco (ARG)

Not Before 8:00 PM
[5] R Soderling (SWE) vs [3] R Federer (SUI)

GRANDSTAND start 1:00 pm
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [7] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK)

Not Before 3:30 PM
[5] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR) vs [4] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT)

Not Before 4:00 PM
N Djokovic (SRB) / J Erlich (ISR) vs [2] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) – After Suitable Rest

Not Before 7:00 PM
[3] J Melzer (AUT) / L Paes (IND) or T Bellucci (BRA) / J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) – After Suitable Rest
[6] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) vs N Djokovic (SRB) / J Erlich (ISR) or [2] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) – To Be Arranged


Also Check Out:
No Federer, No Murray Leaves Shanghai Masters Field Wide Open
Venus Williams Sings Karaoke on 311 Cruise Ship [Video]
Nadal Collects 60th Win, Verdasco Upset in Bangkok; Soderling, Berdych Cruise in KL
Roger Federer Confirms Shanghai Participation
Federer, Roddick, Murray March on in Paris; London Finals Field Set

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172 Comments for Nadal Upset; Djokovic, Murray Cruise; Federer v. Soderling Friday in Shanghai

Fot Says:

Even though Roger has a good record against Soderling, I always get tight when they have to play each other. Soderling is a great “indoor” player, with no wind in site, etc. If they close the roof, this fits right into his hands, so I hope Roger comes out strong again and handles Sodering and take the match.

On Nadal’s defeat. OK, so he was tired mentally and physically – but who in his camp is responsible for his schedule? Why play 3 straight weeks worth of hard court tennis, which can’t be that great on your knees, and knowing that you’ve already played a great deal this year anyway? *scratches head*….

Seems like If I had been Nadal, I would have made sure I would peak during the Master’s event rather than those 2 smaller tournaments he played up to this one. Just saying… But hey, he’s already won enough this year so I’m not mad that he’s out of this tournament. I just hope Roger can take advantage! lol!


Andrew Miller Says:

Did Melzer’s play seem like Roddick’s in Miami? I’d argue that Nadal definitely does not feel the pressure to perform “quite as well” – after all, he’s miles ahead of everyone at #1. That said, sounds like Melzer contributed to his win in a significant way.


wheeler Says:

Melzer still repeatedly played some rather poor drop shots and lost many points on those.


topspin Says:

I hope those appearance fees where worth it Nadal!!

He’s the #1 in the world, why play a 250 tourney and also 3 weeks in a row!?! bad mistake.


Skeezerweezer Says:

It’s obvious that Rafa’s schedule was debatable, but why the excuses? Is it Melzners fault? Typical of Rafa camp and the extremist fanhood. Take it like a man and give the guy full credit. I’ll take arrogant cocky pock over whining excuses anyday.

Hopefully now the talk will be if the guys that are in the still in the tourney, they deserve it.


Huh Says:

Sean Randall:

Don’t include Fed amongst Nadal’s followers for God’s sake!


Stefani Germanotta Says:

Does Roger’s tweener always go to the deuce side? I don’t think I’ve seen it go to the ad court. If so, his opponents should be ready for where it will go!


Huh Says:

Hopefully Fed/Muzza will win the title. Go guys, you rock!

Hi Skeeze! :)

Rafa remaining in the tournament or losing here shouldn’t affect the deservedness of the eventual winner, especially now that Rafa participated here. Rafa wasn’t at his best, but that doesn’t mean the result’ll change. I think Melzer would himself prefer winning against a tired Rafa anyday to losing against an in-form Rafa! ;)
So the debate ends here.


steve-o Says:

Another Soderling match, hope Federer can produce the goods this time. Their matches are always close.

Go Tsonga!


steve-o Says:

“It’s true, he played very aggressive, but [it] wasn’t very difficult [to] play that aggressive against me today.”

Way to denigrate the opponent’s effort, man. Classy.


steve-o Says:

Murray serving extremely well, which means he’s free to swing away on the return. Tsonga not doing so hot; presumably still a way to go before he recovers his form.


guy Says:

i think you’ll find nadal give melzer the right amount of credit.
journos ask for game analysis, and what went wrong, you can either lie and say you’re feeling fantastic and played amazing. or just say what is clear to see, the other guy played well, but you weren’t at your best.
that’s the truth and anybody who watched the match could see it, including melzer.
sorry steve-o, nothing denigrating about nadal’s comments, try again.
go back to the cheating, at least that’s funnier to read


steve-o Says:

@guy: It’s one thing to say you didn’t play your best, or that you made mistakes you ordinarily wouldn’t have.

It’s quite another to say that it was easy for the opponent to beat you, as Nadal did.

If you play a great match, poured your heart into it, then hear your opponent claim that it wasn’t very difficult to beat him, that’s not terribly sporting.


Justin Says:

Can Tennis-X please fire Ben Pronin (if he has a contract anyway). I’m totally disgusted by his posts in the thread about ‘TMZ/Roger Federer’.

I’m a generally tennis lover but I do think Federer deserves much more respect. Not that Federer will care about a certain Ben Pronin, but sir Pronin definitely doesn’t deserve to be a blogger.


Eric Says:

What Nadal said was clearly true, but (along with his on-court demeanor) shows what was already clear to everyone, which is that Nadal is gracious in victory but petty and unsporting in defeat.

Anyway, I watched the match and it’s true that Nadal wasn’t playing that well (for him), but Melzer was very solid. So it’s absurd not to give him the credit…


grendel Says:

I missed the Murray match – was he as good as the scoreline suggests? Anyone see?
I caught some of Djokovic. Still looking good. Someone pointed out that if he wins this tournament, he will be the first in history to have won two tournaments in one week. Extra motivation? Does anyone do the sarcastic smile quite as tellingly as Djokovic? He did a clean ace, and as he prepares to move across, that dreaded word zooms through his consciousness:”LET!” And then, Djokovic smiled. That smile says, as nothing else could, this is exactly the sort of thing that happens to me and only to me. I’m a tired man, I’ve been playing non-stop tennis for about a zillion hours, I do my best, I put in an excellent serve, and some prat who can probably barely recognize a tennis racket screams out “let!” Leaving aside the fact that it almost certainly wasn’t a “let”, I heard nothing, and he’s just a doddery old man with a hearing aid, and the technology is notoriously unreliable anyway, even if it was a “let”, so what? Use a bit of imagination, man! That was a frigging ace, whether it brushed with a few molecules on the white band or whether it didn’t, who could possibly care, what conceivable difference does it make? The man was aced. That’s all there is to it. And now, just to humour you apparently, I’ve got to go through this whole damn business all over again. And what if I get a double fault? Is that just? Will you be satisfied then?
All this, Djokovic managed to incorporate in that one smile.
Considering that Data Krumm has beaten Stosur to reach the semi, and earlier beat Nakamura 6-2, 6-0, Laura Robson’s effort against her in the first round (3-6,3-6) is looking quite resepectable. I wonder if she’s getting ready to emerge.


grendel Says:

steve-o and Eric

if Nadal was a little unsporting, so be it. Who isn’t, frankly, from time to time? But there is another possibility. When I heard Nadal make that comment, I was taken aback, and my first response is that he was irritably referring to his own (relatively) poor play, in a self-critical fashion, rather than trying to make an excuse. This is maladroit, of course, and I daresay he regrets it with hindsight – but we can’t all be paragons of objectivity in the immediate aftermath of a defeat. A lot of us have made this kind of point about Federer – who is frequently accused of being a sore loser – and I don’t see it being any different with Nadal. These guys are all competitive beasts – and they’re human.


Kimberly Says:

What is Rafa supposed to say? I played great, served great, ran down every ball, whipped my groundstrokes and lost. He’s a better player than me, his game was unbeatable. Come on, that’s simply not the facts.

Nadal played pretty poorly and lacked enthusiasm and movement. Is he supposed to lie?

When Murray lost to Kohllshreiber in Montecarlo he said “I couldn’t find the court” in his presser. Is he supposed to say otherwise. I don’t recall him being criticized.

When Fed lost to Gulbis and Montanes he certainly didn’t say, I played great because that would not have been factual.

Please, show the King due respect.


margot Says:

grendel: Tsonga was off, one of the guys suggested he lose some weight…Ha! I’d like to suggest he says that 2 Tsonga’s face ;) But Andy’s serves were humming and as we know, when that happens, the magic works. Commentators couldn’t believe the improvement from yesterday. Humph, r they suggesting Andy snorted some rocket fuel…
Still like Djko for this one though. How confident is he at the mo? And confidence is almost all.
2 much made of post match interviews, some poor guy’s lost and we expect diplomacy!! Come on. We need more Andy Roddicks to deal with idiotic questions.


vrael Says:

melzer looks tired..spraying balls everywhere…now if he says that he was tired nd got beat coz he wasnt 100% will it be arrogance too??? NOPE…thts the truth…and FEDERER fans of all the ppl in the world shouldnt criticise rafa’s words..federer has said WORSE!!!


margot Says:

Ah, the giant killer slain. As von has pointed out, how often this happens :(


Thomas Says:

melzer out. Federer-Soderling coming up! Hope its a good match..


margot Says:

Fed giving master class on how 2 beat Sod.


Thomas Says:

margot-yep. you just constantly change the pace and direction of your shots,and then you expose soderlings bad movement.


margot Says:

hi Thomas, Fed making Sod look like an elephant, only not quite so attractive…;) Am sitting here rapt watching Fed’s movement, just joyful and nowadays, there’s a certain piquancy, cos it doesn’t happen every time.


margot Says:

Oh Robin, give up, go home and grow weed…


grendel Says:

There were two tremendous backhands down the line from Federer. Only two shots, but they were difficult and tremendously aggressive – I wonder if they set the alarm bells ringing in Soderling’s mind. There’s been quite a few unnecessary errors which might stem from a certain nervousness. Also, again Fed has shown a willingness to attack the serve, which he doesn’t always do. Assum,ing he can keep this up – and I don’t assume personally – it bodes well for a classic encounter with Djokovic.


Gordo Says:

One shouldn’t look ahead, especially when Fed has been known to go on walkabouts, but so far in this tournament he has looked pretty good.

An in-form Fed vs an in-form Nole would be a treat and a half.


grendel Says:

Those bhs, I meant they were early in the set – so they kind of set the scene.


Vulcan Says:

It seems that by reading certain posters on this blog one could glean the following:

1. If you understate things you are sheepishly trying to avoid attention and responsibility and deceptively trying to manipulate people into ignoring your abilities so that you can garner success.

2. If you do your best to provide as accurate an accounting of what happened as possible you are an arrogant prick that “denigrates” his opponents.

The pettiness lies with the people who seek to split hairs in their quest to find fault.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Reminds me of a line from Mr Nastase: You know when you lose like that it is like you are naked in front of the whole world.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

When Fed is returning as well as this, the big boys like Berdych and Soderling are really playing from behind, they never have the chance to set up for the big shot. Once Federer starts dictating play, Soderling just looks silly.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

How can Borg and Wilander seriously see this guy as a future number one?? The guy has zero stomach for a fight from behind.


Naderer Says:

Will it be a bagel…?


dari Says:

Just got to the fed/sod match. Not complaining, but what is WRONG with soderling today?
Good for rog, though!


Gordo Says:

Yikes – looks like Fed of old – Sod finally gets up 0-30 only to have Fed erase that with back to back aces.

A breadstick and a bagel? Or 2 breadsticks? I think that is all that is left to determine.


Gordo Says:

Djokovic knocked off Gasquet in under and hour. I think Fed wants to fo the same to the Swede.


Naderer Says:

Well done sodapop….
Finish him up Roger


novak fan Says:

i wish the rafa fans would shut up and let the others enjoy the tennis. what is this obsession with forcing people to accept he is some kind of a saint.

go back to tennis trash you guys. all you guys do is talk trash.


skeezerweezer Says:

Fed played some amazing tennis again, a beatdown of Sod…looking good! Go Fed!


Gordo Says:

Yikes! This reminds me of 1st round 2006 matches Federer used to play.

6-1, 6-1 in under 55 minutes.

Can’t wait for tomorrow’s semi against the Djoker. Should be an excellent match!


dari Says:

looks like fed took great advantage of sod’s problems today!
Way to go Roger, now bring it to novak! Get him back for uso semi’s!


Gordo Says:

If, before this tournament had started, someone asked me what is more likely -

Nadal losing to Melzer or

Fed allowing Sod only 2 games

… it would have been a toss up, no?


Mg Mg Says:

Rafa was travelling in a coach seat.

http://www.facebook.com/Nadal


skeezerweezer Says:

Congrats to Murray & Nole, looking good also!

novak fan,

They are not all that way, but yeah the mud is thick and the fog is dense.


jane Says:

blink, blink- Holy Moly – Fed won 6-1, 6-1! Eeeek Nole is in for a whooping! Fed is sharp!

Congrats to all the winners: Murray took care of Tsonga handily too. (I think conty has this one nailed – a Fed vs. Murray final, with Fed winning). Nole beat G-Lo and equalled his results from last year. And Monaco, who’d've thunk it? He got his revenge on Melzer for their last match.


margot Says:

Fed sure had the Midas touch this afternoon. Hmm, may have 2 revise my opinion that Djko will take the title…hmm. Will predict the winner come out of that match though, unless of course Fed and Djko spend hours beating each other up.
Doug Adler, a far braver punter than me, predicts Andy and Djko.
BTW grendel, Fed is having Mandarin lessons in Shanghai. I rather think he is a gifted linguist…;)


steve-o Says:

Damn, I wish I’d had a chance to see this match! The time difference is just too much for me to stay up and watch…


grendel Says:

Soderling flat today, so I doubt you can draw too many conclusions. But I have liked Fed’s return of serve, and also he was hitting some of those second serves hard – that’s important for tomorrow.

jane, you expressed a degree of scepticism on other thread, pointing to recent success by oldies Melzer and Luby. But: I didn’t see Luby v.Murray, but everyone says that Murray’s form has been off until this tourney. Nadal was clearly off against Melzer (who himself was a shadow of the player who beat Nadal, which tells you something about the consistency of the great players, and why they are great).
I’m still not entirely sure it’s a level playing field, because Djokovic must be in danger of suffering burn out, as Kimberley suggested, with all his recent efforts. Still, should be a cracker tomorrow, and let’s hope Murray does the business also (thanx for info, margot) – cause then we’ve got a great final whoever wins out of D and F.


skeezerweezer Says:

Steve-o

Yeah it was like someone said earlier, Fed of 2006. He has played very well from the get go in this Tourney. This is a great run so far and regardless how he finishes his form looks a lot better. My hopes are that time off, some hard work with his new coach is going to pay off. We’ll see…:)

Nole is in fine form also so the next match should be a “cracker”


Vulcan Says:

Mg Mg,

Thanks for that post!


jane Says:

grendel, your guy is a tad different than Ljuby and Melzer : ) ; don’t count Fed out till he hangs up his racquet. If I’ve learned something watching tennis for about 25-30 years, it’s that both Fed and Nadal are grand slam men and both come back from adversity rather well, and some!

But I do hope Nole can make a good match of it, and like you hope Murray is in the final either way.

Agree with your take on Nadal’s words. Tennis players are individual athletes highly critical of their own games, or lack thereof on any given day. Probably not meant as a slight, and obviously mired in misery for the loss, not yet finding objectivity which may or may not come later. To err is human, and as huh said on the other thread, I prefer humans to machines. Though I’ve gotten quite cozy with this machine we’re talking through. : )

margot, hoping Murray cruises into the final. Fingers crossed. Monaco beat him once last year, but it was clay.

steve-o, I know – I missed all of last night’s fun. : (


jane Says:

I’ve done that flight – specifically from Canada to Hong Kong – in coach, and it is very long and very cramped. I suspect Rafa will be jostling for space with those biceps. : ) Or he may just pass out from tiredness.


Huh Says:

I somewhere read that Fed’s sis is pregnant with twins too. Crazy family!! ;)

BTW:

Congratulations Fed! :) Take Novak down tomoro! And I know Sod’s capable of dong better than this. I woulda been so much happier if Fed provided these breadsticks to Berdy instead of Sod though. :D

——————————————

Tomoro’s result:

Law of averages catches up with Nole and he loses to Fed. ;)


Huh Says:

typo mistake: ‘dong’ sud b read as ‘doing’ in my 10.54 post.


Huh Says:

Murray Federer final with Fed winning it would be ideal.

Sorry Mrs.Margot, but I want Muzza to win a slam first right now(in AO 11) rather than Shanghai masters. :)


dari Says:

Huh- she had the babies, i think in the last week or few days! one boy one girl!


grendel Says:

“You know when you lose like that it is like you are naked in front of the whole world.” Tennis Vagabond: did Nastase really say that? No denying the truth of it. But nature has a way of restoring the balance pretty quickly. Remember when Federer double-bagelled the hapless Gaudio in the Master’s Cup or whatever it’s callled? Not long after, Nalbandian avenged his countryman…
Kimberley, you do your man down, imo. It’s a while now, but when Gulbis beat Federer he was pretty awesome, despite wobbling a bit at the death. And later in the tourney, he damn nearly beat Nadal – again, fair and square, and on clay, too. There’s no doubting Gulbis’ talent, but he is a rich kid’s son, a very rich kid’s son: almost impossible to overcome such a difficult background.


jane Says:

Djoko/Erlich lost their doubles match against Nestor and Zimonjic, not surprisingly, but they gave the number 2 doubles team a hard fought battle: 7-6(4), 4-6, 10-5.


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer needs to win the title to get back to number 2, right?

Pretty awesome that Murray, Djokovic, and Federer are hitting top form just in time for the YEC. Hopefully it’ll continue.

Tomorrow’s match between Fed and Djoko should be great.


i am it Says:

Margot tells Robin to quit the match “and grow weed”: You win the Funniest Person of the morning.

Vulcan says, “The pettiness lies with the people who seek to split hairs in their quest to find fault.” You win the Wisest Man of the Day.

Kimberly begs, “Please, show the King due respect.” Kim wins the Apotheosis of the Year (could it be autolatry simultaneously?)

Jane wins the “JAMfest Cheer and Dance” on this, “blink, blink- Holy Moly – Fed won 6-1, 6-1! Eeeek Nole is in for a whooping! Fed is sharp! Congrats to all the winners.”

Recall that Fed (and Sean), upon his arrival in Shanghai, boldly predicted, a rarity, Djoko and Murray to do well, implying they will be in the final. For his prediction to come true, he will have to lose to Djoko, right? In reality, he will vindicate himself (and Ben) either way.

Melzer played singles and doubles yesterday. He was completely out of gas and could only play like the Rafa of the day before. He was the evidence what a doubles match could do to a player.
Sod was lifeless or rendered into a corpse by Fed’s wrath. In Vagabond’s Nasty quote, “You know when you lose like that it is like you are naked in front of the whole world.”
Monaco’s win comes as a gift for Murray, who is now guaranteed to reach the final, though he was not the favorite when he complained about his fitness at the beginning.
G-Lo was no competition for Djoko. The Serb seems to be swinging freely but his level cannot be assessed fully until he overcomes Fed (and Murray).
We are lucky we have Fed vs. Djoko semi and the winner vs. Murray final. All three are playing great and worthy of winning the title. Let’s see who can bring the best when it matters most.


Vulcan Says:

Wow, I didn’t (couldn’t) see the match but it’s great to see how people can still get amped up for Federer matches. There is no shortage of passion on this site and I think that is great for tennis. Federer apparently can still dish out whippings and hopefully this confirms that he will be a force for a long time to come.

Grendel, I remember that TMC final in Shanghai where Nalbandian defeated Federer in 5 quite well as I traveled there specifically to see Federer win! The crowd was going nuts and we were all chanting Federer when Nalby made his comeback. I think if you played a match on Mars the martians would be cheering for Federer..the guy is just that likeable.


Fedend Says:

Whatever Rafa said is TRUE and consistent.
He mentioned that he was mentally and physically exhausted even before his loss.

But Federer proclaimed to the world that he was feeling great mentally and physically just before the Wimby QF match. But as soon as he lost he made a statement that he was having leg and back issues for more than a week. Was Federer TRUE and consistent ?


Naresh Says:

Fed played gr8 today but Soderling also did seem a bit off colour, so as Grendel said I don’t think we can read too much into Fed’s form.. remember he did get broken by Seppi.Djoko on the other hand I don’t think has been broken this tournament and thats the key for 2mrw’s match.Fed’s serve was in gr8 form b4 and at the USO, but he was getting broken from time to time and at the USO semi’s,Fed was serving at 60% plus, but Djoko got most of them back,which put a lot of pressure on Fed and eventually cost him the match! It’s gonna be another cracker though.. can’t wait!


steve-o Says:

@kimberly: People are focusing on a straw man here.

I don’t object to saying he didn’t play his best and gave his opponent a lot of mistakes; that was obviously the case.

The part I object to is the suggestion that it was easy to beat him, that anybody could have done it. For that does put down the opponent’s effort. It’s one thing to give analysis from your own end, your own form (or lack thereof), the errors you made, what you could’ve done different, etc.

But how could he possibly speak for how easy or difficult it was for the opponent? I’m sure Melzer has a very different idea of how difficult it was to win the match. Boil down that comment, he’s saying “I’d like to congratulate my opponent for doing something that wasn’t very hard,” which seems rather backhanded to me.

Sure, he’s not the only player to do this.

For example, when Murray lost at last year’s WTF, he said “anyone would have looked good against me today.” I thought that was really kind of chintzy, but your mileage may vary.


the_mind_reels Says:

@ Fedend: find me a player who is going to tell the world BEFORE a match that he/she is having serious leg and back issues. There’s any number of reasons why players don’t do this. It’s less of an issue to reveal this afterwards (and it often happens, I’m sure in some small part to make an excuse, but mostly just to come clean).

Don’t put so much stock into who is saying what before and after matches. And certainly don’t try to discern who is being truthful and not. Seems like a tough game to play.


Fedend Says:

You want me to find a player who mentions abt his injury before a match ??
Its quite simple…just read Rafa’s post match interview after winning his first match on wednesday.


contador Says:

i woke up and saw half of tsonga – murray. and while i thought murray played well, tsonga was not moving or serving the way he did against querrey. ( i didn’t see any of tsonga mayer )

nole is looking like the shanghai champion imo. i thought he’d be running out of steam a little by now. he’s not.

my story stands. i meant to have a federer murray final with murray winning – like toronto. now i think it will be tough for either to beat nole.

i wasn’t able to see federer soderling but the score surprises me. poor soda. something is wrong with mr. dimples : (

not that i cheer for soda over federer but i hope for a competitive match.

the good news for muzza: fed v nole will be a knock down, drag out, fight.


i am it Says:

Trivia:
Murray: Slower hard court like Shanghai suits my game.

Djokovic: I have to be at my top level to win against Federer.

Federer: Tomorrow is going to be different, more difficult, a bit more tactical,” said Federer. “We’ve always had good matches against each other, especially on the hard courts. They’ve always been very even (verbatim).

All three are happy that they won in quick straight setters so they will have full mileage for tomorrow.

On YEC, WTF / Masters Cup, surface (was it Vulcan’s question?), first 4 were held on carpet; ’74 Melbourne YEC was on grass; then next 14 was back on carpet; next 8 were on hard, including ’03 and ’04 Masters Cup Houston; ’05 Shanghai was on carpet, the one Fed lost to Nalby; since ATP/ITF eliminated carpet altogether and since 2006, the surface has been Hard, whether played outdoor (Shanghai w/ retractable roof for the center) or indoor (O2 London). Keep in mind “Indoor Hard” and “Hard” are two different designations that refer to the surface, not to the roof. Whoever wins the bid for the next venue will negotiate about the surface, depending on their existing facility or ability to build a new arena overnight (like makeshift courts at the O2). It all comes down to money, and the fairness is evaluated from economic standpoint. The rest is just talk.


grendel Says:

You travelled to Shanghai specifically to watch tennis – that’s very adventurous of you, Vulcan! And you were rewarded, because that was some match, wasn’t it? As I recall, Federer was getting a beating in the final set, then he came back, and even looked as if he might take it – but there were one or two further twists. The atmosphere must have been terrific. Nalbandian had actually been a sub replacement, hadn’t he. Wasn’t he fishing or something when he got the call?

One of the things I’m going to look out for tomorrow are the returns. Djokovic has been out of this world, but I thought Federer was also impressive – and he seemed to be going more for his second serve, perhaps in anticipation of what he can expect from Djoko. Naresh said Djoko’s serve was at 80%, but I forget in which match. If he can reproduce that, well.

Curious that this will be a repeat of the US. There, Federer played stunningly well against against a somewhat handicapped Soderling (wind). Same again today (Soderling flat for some reason). Federer will obviously be mindful of how he went away against Djokovic in New York – can’t see that happening again, especially in best of 3. What often seems to happen in their matches is that first one dominates – really dominates – and then the other simply turns the whole thing completely around. The final act is then up for grabs. Talk about competitive matches – contador, I predict you’ll get that to your heart’s content tomorrow!


jane Says:

“All three are happy that they won in quick straight setters ” True i am it, although Djok played a doubles match afterwards. I guess that counts for his practice. On one hand I kind of wish he’d foregone the doubles altogether in Shanghai (so he can rest) but on the other hand it’s good for his game and also good prep for DC finals.

grendel that 80% first serves was first set versus Gasquet. He was a lot lower first round versus Ljub, and today his overall 1st serve % was a solid 71%.

Speaking of return games – Fed’s today against Soda was astoundingly good – he won 63% first serve points and 62% second serve points, whereas Nole won 53% and 48% respectively, also not too shabby.

I am just hoping Nole can keep the match competitive, so we all see a good one – but he’s been dominated in 6-1 sets by Fed, for e.g., at Cincy final last year and Canada semi this year. In each case Nole rallied but it was too late, although in Canada it was a tight 3rd act. Hope we get a good one tomorrow. : )


skeezerweezer Says:

I am it,

Quality stuff as usual :)

Contador,

You didn’t get you happ b*tt up this morning and watch tennis? What’s up with you girl? ( J/K )

Nole is looking good, is this who you picked in your bracket?


skeezerweezer Says:

Ok I need a new keyboard,,,, “happ = happy”


Huh Says:

Mostly, whatever Fed says, he says honestly, though some haters continue to think otherwise. I think it’s a great time to be a Fed-hating Rafa fan for some, who just love to denigrate Fed’s personality and game, while glorifying Rafa beyond comprehension. Whatever, but these fellas can’t harm Fed’s image one bit.


Vulcan Says:

IAI,

Yes I originally brought up the question of why the surfaces aren’t rotated at YEC…thanks for your detailed historical information on the topic.(I didn’t know YEC dated back that far or was ever played on Grass). As far as how fair things are to the different players around the world, perhaps a comparison could also be made to Davis Cup – where the surface chosen is a huge factor and the ability to choose the surface and host a tie is carefully rotated to ensure fairness. It was originally suggested that the reason for YEC being played on hard or carpet is due to it being the closest thing the tour has to an “Indoor Slam”. While I can see this from a sequencing standpoint the format is just too different from YEC for the tournament to be compared to a slam. I also see no reason as to why a couple of clay court or a grass warmup couldn’t be inserted into the schedule to correspond with YEC during years when it is played on those surfaces. Your last statement simply does not compute…maybe you could explain it to me like I’m a two year old…how can fairness be evaluated from an economic standpoint?
The only way fairness can be evaluated in this case is from a mathematical standpoint in terms of the distribution of surfaces during the year matching up with the way the surfaces are rotated at YEC. Unless of course you are saying that it is fair to give the guy with the most money the advantage.


Ben Pronin Says:

Jane, yeah but Djokovic won a 6-1 and 6-2 set against Fed at the Open.


i am it Says:

Skeeze, thanks. You have the artistry to make this place better ever.

Jane, the doubles count. It may not wear you out but it deprives you of your rest time. Instead of the bed or couch, you are on the court when you are playing. Well, Djoko knows his priorities and goals, so no comment on his choice of playing doubles, and it would not look PR savvy if he attributes his under-performance to the doubles he played by choice.
Hoping for an electrifying semi !!!


skeezerweezer Says:

Huh,

Ditto!


sheila Says:

whatever nadal said insofar as his loss 2 meltzer so what. what bugs me is if federer had said he wasnt playing his best or he was tired, everyone would be all over him as far as being arrogant. just recently i read on tennis bleacher about federer coming full circle and hes arrogant & hasn’t learned 2b humble when losing. uno, all the tennis players say things that are off kilter 2 those non fans. federer, imo, constantly gets criticized 4 being arrogant or making excuses about his loss. i don’t agree, nor do i agree nadal was making excuses. every word is scrutinized, especially by the non fans of that particular player. nadals a grt player, federer is a grt player, djokovic is a grt player, murray is a grt player & the others are grt players too. some r just more consistent than others, but i’ve never read any player being more criticized then federer imo. the guy cant say anything right to the non fans. personally, i just want to watch a good tennis match.


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic is scheduled to play Basel? And I criticized Nadal for playing 3 straight tournaments, Djokovic is going to play 4 staight! Jeez.


skeezerweezer Says:

sheila,

nice post :) and well received!


skeezerweezer Says:

Vulcan,

Your idea is an interesting one, as long as it rotates fairly between surfaces.

Some other considerations;

Doesn’t weather also play into court surface selection (YEC)? If so there is no way you can rotate grass on to that scenario?

Considering a “fairness” scenario, we don’t play in that Tournament. Why not just have the Top ranked ATP players vote on the surface for that, majority rules. They are the ones who have to play on it, no?

Don’t forget Sponsors ( the guys with the big bucks ) have a say in this kinda stuff, which can skew a fairness idea.


contador Says:

: ) , grendel.

their matches can be very strange. why is that? i remember watching miami 09. just when i was sitting back thinking federer had everything under control, he went completely sideways.

anything can happen really. my challenge will be staying awake for it.


Huh Says:

The sour grapes Fed haters can do nothing except criticize him especially since he’s so many unique and enviable records, which I don’t wanna say one by one, as everyone who’s followed tennis keenly knows it(Hell, who doesn’t know Fed?!), and has to accept it, whether they like it or not! :D


Huh Says:

Great post by sheila, like it! :)


Fedend Says:

Huh,

One day Federer says he is perfectly fine and the very next day (after his loss) he says that he was having leg and back issues during the past one week.

Do u think he was honest here ?
Can u pls care to explain ?


margot Says:

I am it: :) please send lovely prize asap…
jane: fingers crossed. 3 of the 4 have apparently had such easy matches it’s difficult to predict but I still think Djko is the man.
grendel: was it Fleming who said movement is key to being a top player? To that I’d add return of serve, all the top 4 are so good. It always puzzles me that guys who serve so well, and de bakker is a good example, cannot return to save their lives.
Huh: What’s wrong with Andy just winning and winning everything for a change :) BTW I really liked what I saw of Zhang Ze. What do you think of him?


Vulcan Says:

Skeezerweezer,

I don’t think the weather really factors in because indoor clay if I remember correctly is not a problem (I recall Davis Cup ties on indoor clay). Even if indoor grass is not doable…according to the current ratios for the 66 events for this year the breakdown is 57/33/10 (hard,clay,grass), so the grass YEC would only occur once every 10 years…im guessing they could just schedule that one at Wimbledon with the covered roof or have it somewhere warm. Certainly all of this complicates things but then again…variety is the spice of life!


contador Says:

skeezer, if you will, click on this link and you will see my winner contador’s brief moment on top of the tennisxfans group!

and get your “happy butt” back in the game for paris, please!


Nina Says:

Fed-Djoko matches are always pretty even, but I think Novak has slightly the edge here. He has his confidence back and is firing on all cylinders. He has crushed all his opponents so far without losing his serve and very few games. I think this tells a lot about his current form.
Roger on the other hand looks eager for revenge, energised and determined to get back to n#2 but I suspect there are a lot more things in play for both rivals: pride, prestige, confidence, dominance, etc. It will be a thriller this match, I’m sure. I hope for Novak to win again. :)


jane Says:

True i am it – not savvy, and it won’t happen. Though the press might ask about it. They always raise tough (often silly) questions for the players to field, some of which are better at doing so than others.

sheila – true! Great players all of them. Consistency is really the name of the game in terms of rankings, but we all know a number 45 ranked player can beat a number 3 ranked player on his day right? That’s why it’s difficult to assume a win is a given, even when the higher ranked players are in seeming good form, because someone else might be “feeling it” too and pull out that surprise win/upset. Rankings are about talent for sure, but they are about day-in-day-out consistency and work, just as much, if not more (?).


i am it Says:

Vulcan,
“how can fairness be evaluated from an economic standpoint?”
I was not endorsing the notion of fairness from a stand point. I was merely stating the fact.

Bidders and other immediate stake holders (excluding players?) do not seem to consider equity of surface (or rotation of surface) as their primary goal to achieve, nor does ATP-ITF, the duo that jointly administer the YEC today. That would be suicidal for business as it would contradict with their financial goals, again not my view.

As for my taste, I would not have eliminated the carpet at all, for history and distinction. Plus, carpet, IMHO, would be a more neutral turf.
Then, my personal history prefers carpet as WCT Finals (contract pros’ parallel event to YEC, which ran from 1971-1989) were played on Indoor Carpet in Dallas, and I live nearby and still hear a lot of stories about the Dallas events from the elders.

Trivia: YEC did not have ranking points until 1990, though a player had to be in the top 8 Race Points to qualify. For a number of years (1990-99?), the undefeated YEC champion would earn the same points as the Grand Slam.


contador Says:

brav-o sheila!


grendel Says:

Sheila, I do like your style. I agree with you in the main. For one thing, having to comment straight after a perhaps painful defeat is not something most of us have to cope with, and can therefore understand. And then there’s always the context thing – people see a group of words written down, and they think they can deduce all sorts of character traits, when they might hesitate to do that about someone they actually know. And so on. It is tricky, though. There is no doubt that strong impressions of some players, particularly if they have distinctive characters, can come through in an interview, and it’s natural to want to comment on this. Should one only do so if the comment is favourable? That’s a possibility, I suppose.

Ben, Basle isn’t till Nov 1st, and so far as I can see, Djokovic isn’t playing till then.

contador, yes, Federer and Djokovic have had some really weirdly lopsided matches. Somehow, I’m seeing tomorrow’s as being tight.

margot – re movement, yes, it was Fleming. Petchey asked him if ever in his experience he’d seen such a group of good movers as the current top 4. He hesitated, suggested: Borg, Connors, McEnroe and Gerulaitis (with Vilas as well). Then he admitted Connors and McEnroe maybe not quite up to our current 4, but insisted Borg and Gerulaitis were a match for anyone, lightening fast. About return: yes, Roddick isn’t so hot either, is he, although he’s definitely improved of late. And then the giants. These things aren’t written in stone. Maybe de Bakker will be a great returner in 5 years time.


Kimberly Says:

i am it says:

Kimberly begs, “Please, show the King due respect.” Kim wins the Apotheosis of the Year (could it be autolatry simultaneously?)

I will concede when I am beaten. Although I have advanced degrees I had to google the meaning of this. “I am it” was the better, savier, poster today with a wider vocabulary. Is this what Rafa should have said????


Mindy Says:

Kimberly,

It’s a losing battle against the likes of steve-o. This guy will never let up. I was wrong. They will even go after Rafa when he loses and find something to pick on, even distorting and twisting his own words in his press conference about the loss.

It’s what they do! Sorry souls who just cannot let the hate go. You won’t win any arguments against them. Gee, for someone who is supposedly trying to “ingratiate” myself on this site, I have a funny way of doing it!

Skeezer,

Why don’t you lay off the snarky comments about how Rafa lost! Isn’t it enough that he lost? Watch it, your bias is showing. I am over your excessive references to the “Rafa camp and extremist fanhood”! We have nothing on you Fed fans in that regard! Quit trying to stir the pot!


van orten Says:

@Naresh

fed’s first serve was at 51% in the semis at the us open


mat4 Says:

For Fed-Djoko: there is a troubling stat in their encounters since Djoko’s first victory: in their last 12 matches, they are winning one match of two, usually to matches in a row. Same for GS matches. Should check the surface too, to see what it gives. Probably means nothing, but it is interesting.


i am it Says:

Kimberly,
It was all for fun, and thought you would take it as such.
I do not care at all what Rafa or some other player should say or should have said.
Some tips : I try to refrain from commenting on a player, except during or right after the match when (1) he’s playing really great (2) or, really bad (3)or, it is related to history, statistics, generally accepted “facts.” I comment on general traits, skills, and style, again without naming a player. However, I generally criticize my favs if their performance is below my expectation. Those are my rules of engagement.
(P.S. You can catch me if I fail miserably and routinely, say 25% of the time)


Skeezerweezer Says:

Mindy,

Lol …snarky?

So what did you think of Feds win?


Von Says:

WOW, did Melzer disappoint, and did Soderling get a beatdown.

Tomorrow, should be a fire-cracker. I wonder if it will be a repeat of the USO or Cincy, which one?


Naresh Says:

@ Van Orten, your right it was 53% actually.. I guess I didn’t specify it, but what I meant was that,even when he did serve 60% plus he was getting hammered, like in the 4th set where he served at 68% but still lost the set 2-6.You can never really tell with Fed though. He’s got so much variety on his 2nd serve too.. but with the form Djoko’s in, Fed’s gonna have to be on top of his service game to win this one.


Kimberly Says:

I am it-Frankly I am impressed with your vocabulary. I’m not torn about it.

Mindy–I simply have to ignore some of the stuff said on this site and many others about Rafa or I wouldn’t sleep at night. Overall, I think the quality of posts and/or their knowledge of tennis is better here then anywhere else.

My Observations:
Generally I see 5 favs on this site, Rafa, Roger, Nole, Murray and Roddick. Rafa and Roger having the largest fan base. I would say on this site there is 60-% Fed fans, 25% Rafa fans, 10% Djoko, 2% murray, 2% roddick, 1% someone else.

The difference I see, and I could be wrong, is the Roger fans actively root against Rafa…most will root for anyone else in the world against Rafa. Most of the Rafa fans are not the same way that I see. Perhaps we like the duopoly. Perhaps we don’t feel threatened by Roger because of the h2h? I’m not trying to start a fight just noting my observations. I kind of root against murray. Maybe if someone like Delpo was threatening Rafa truly I would always root against him no matter who he played. I don’t love delpo and perhaps subconsciously this is because of the USO Semifinal 09!


Mindy Says:

Skeezer,

I think Fed looks to be in excellent form! Congratulations and here’s to a great semifinal with him and Nole! :)


Mindy Says:

Kimberly,

I like reading your thoughts! Yes, one has to try and ignore the few who only come here to spew out venom or get a rise out of people. It’s true that they exist on every tennis forum.

I do agree about the quality of the posts overall and the level of intelligence here. That is why I am trying to join the conversation. I want to be able to have a lively exchange of ideas about the tennis.

I am in complete agreement regarding your point about Fed fans actively rooting against Rafa. That is absolutely true. With Fed fans it’s about what they believe Rafa has wrongly taken from Fed. It’s about Rafa possibly threatening some of Fed’s records. I don’t see Rafa fans actively rooting against Fed in every match.

I don’t hate any player. I have issues with some and may not like their game or their behavior on court. I remember your comments about Delpo and wanted to come on and support you. However, I wasn’t sure that it would help you on this site. I am not a fan of his game, however, his talent is undeniable. I do think there was a lot of hype about him after he beat Fed in last year’s USO. While it was a great achievement, it hardly merited all the predictions of him being the next number one player and winning at least a few slams this year. That all became moot when he had to withdraw with a serious wrist injury.

I have wished him well in his recovery. It will be a tough road back. I see that some are counting on him to stop Rafa. That kind of attitude just baffles me. It’s normal to see a great champion no longer dominate the game as he gets older. Then a new champion arises. It’s the way of things. Why some people have to act like the world has come to an end, I just don’t know.


grendel Says:

Kimberley – I am curious to know how you derived your figures. I mean, one could go back over the last, say 30 or 40 threads, and literally count. How’s that for a futile activity? I’d be surprised if the result showed fandom to be so heavily weighted towards Federer. It certainly was once. But you lot are catching up fast!

When you say Fed fans are more inclined to root against Rafa than Rafa fans against Fed I think – by and large – you are right. Why should this be? Is there some genetic peculiarity in the Federer fan which disposes him or her to behave in this manner as opposed to the more benignly inclined Nadal fan? Could, for example, a geneticist, presented with the cadavers of a Federer fan and of a Nadal fan discover, by some judicious dissection, who was the Nadal fan and who the Federer fan, without being given any hint in advance?

This I beg leave to doubt – although you wouldn’t think so, to read some of the comments. No, I think the solution is simple: Nadal is a THREAT to Federer (or, to be more specific, Federer fans). He could take away all those lovely records. I predict that as Nadal gets closer and closer to Federer, the dichotomy which you have noted, Kimberley, will become less apparent.


jane Says:

” Could, for example, a geneticist, presented with the cadavers of a Federer fan and of a Nadal fan discover, by some judicious dissection, who was the Nadal fan and who the Federer fan, without being given any hint in advance?”

Ha! Good one.:) There just may be genes involved in Jackson and Johnson natural selection. Where and how they will mutate, nobody knows.


Kimberly Says:

grendel–I didn’t use any such scientific measure. I began posting in this site softly during wimby 2010 and more actively around toronto but was reading since Indian Wells on pretty closely and this was simply my general feel from having stayed pretty closely in tune with the comments on this site since about March. I do think the Rafa fan base has expanded. In fact, I remember reading comments during the French Open and was stunned at how few Rafa fans were posting during the Rafa Event of the Year.


grendel Says:

Naresh

It seems to me serving statistics are of limited value (which doesn’t mean they are useless of course), since they cannot say anything directly about the quality of the serving, or even the accuracy. In theory, you could have 100% first serves in, and the serving could be quite dreadful, including being inaccurate in the sense of being short, in the player’s hit zone, etc. Stats can tell you nothing about this. You could infer it, it is true, by other stats – such as the fact that despite the high percentage of serves in, there is a low percentage of serves won.

But all this is fairly crude. What I would like to know – and stats cannot help you here – is why did Djokovic do so well (in the 4th set say) despite Fed serving at 68%?

Many people have commented on how awesome was Djokovic’s returning, but was it just that? Or did Fed’s serve, despite some apparent accuracy, lack bite on the day? Or was it a mixture of these? Or would one have to also factor in post serve and return play and note that Federer was poor in that. And what weight would you give to these and other possible factors? Any thoughts?


contador Says:

i love delpo : )


skeezerweezer Says:

Contador,

Just checked you out. Your looking pretty good! Bold pick there on Wawa though :). But it doesn’t matter now does it?

I was too late getting in Shanghai, got to tied up with work….try again in Paris, bon appetite!


kimberly Says:

Contador—you r kicking butt on draw challenge!


contador Says:

but i don’t like the way delpo empties his nose into a towel then tosses it at the towel people.

Kimberly, here’s the deal with me…

as far as rafa goes, i will become his full-fledged fan when he makes one long awaited improvement to his game…er, if he can’t stop it he could at least cut down the frequency on his famous “habit” shall we say.

and i certainly don’t buy the “he can’t help it” excuse. he can help it. if he can get a rocket serve and win us open, he can stop doing that thing. but it works for him. so why change it? his fans completely ignore it, which happens to baffle me.

with all due respect, could he please make that one last change to his game? thanks.

i am sorry to say this, but there it is. the hard cold fact that keeps me from adoring rafa. i’m sure you endure worse from kaiser.


skeezerweezer Says:

Contador,

eeewwww. Delpo and the nose thing…..

Re: rafa

If I post ANYTHING closely related to add to that I will get hammered, and its my Birthday, so I will let the other “tennis fans” comment on that one….:)


contador Says:

okay.

this is a tense moment Kimberly.

all depends on djokovic or federer, really. i’ll still get points for murray, assuming murray beats monaco. but 3 of us in the group picked federer and 3 picked djokovic, right?

oh the drama!

see you in paris, skeezer


contador Says:

NO!
you are kidding, skeezer!

happy bday to YOU and me too!!


contador Says:

damn libra”s. that’s what it is with us!

cheers!


skeezerweezer Says:

Contador,

Your BDay today? HAPPY HAPPY BDAY! Cool who woulda thunk it?


contador Says:

i know. october 15!!

high cyber 5′s! and let’s dance!

c’mon federer, puhleeeese…


i am it Says:

Contador,
Thanks for the support.
As I am the only certified Del Potro fan on this site, I must recognize as a partner in defending him.
So, people, be careful what you say about my fav unless you have stomach for my critique of your fav. You cannot dislike my guy because he beats your guy, please:-)


kimberly Says:

Contador—happy birthday!!!

I am still laughing at your post. And believe me I have heard worse from kaiser and the rest of the tennis club who r predominately fed fans.

Allright I have no response or explanation for rafas, uh habit. The first time we ever saw rafa kaiser and I watched him live in miami beat fed and kaiser thought fed should decline to shake his hand because of the habit. I was still a massive safinite at that time and thought maybe his outfit was unconfortable. I have no explanation and choose to ignore it and focus on the rest of his game which I love.

Have an awesome birthday contador and skeezer, hopefully fed will give you guys a great present! But more importantly hope you both have a great day/night!


skeezerweezer Says:

Thanks Kimberly, that was sweet :)


skeezerweezer Says:

i am it,

I will have to remember that, as I do not want to get on the wrong side of your Jedi mind tricks ;-)


Kimmi Says:

aah federer beat soda pop. big sigh of relief. Now to djoko!!

big suspense! hope i can watch the match relaxed and enjoy the tennis. No way! that can never happen. Go federer.


Kimmi Says:

what!! skeezer and contador bdays..how is that possible?#$%@

pls send some good vibes to the fed. he needs his revenge puhleeeese…


blank Says:

Happy b’day to you both contador and skeezer!


contador Says:

thanks for the bday wishes Kimberly!

i had today off and going out / being pulled away to celebrate. but i am mostly trying to plot out how i will be awake to stream djoko v federer and technically it won’t be on my birthday, thank god.

i feel like nole is going to win after watching him lately.

i am it: there are not many of us and you betcha, i defend delpo! ( the towel thing is seasonal. i think )


Eric Says:

Regarding the surface for the YEC: there’s nothing “unfair” about playing only on hard courts. Hard courts are the tennis default: half of the slams are on hard courts, and well over half of the 250, 500, and 1000 level tournaments. Most players everywhere in the world, except perhaps Spain, grow up playing on hard courts. What would be “unfair” would be to pointlessly rotate through the surfaces, unfairly privileging players who have chosen to specialize on clay or grass, instead of sticking with the sport’s main surface. Just my opinion.

As for Rafa’s comments, they were petty and unsportsmanlike, period. Yes, Federer and other players have also said nasty things, for which they too were criticized at the time. As every child knows, two wrongs don’t make a right. I don’t think anyone is suggesting Rafa was lying or that this is the worst thing a tennis player has said or that Rafa no longer deserves our respect.


contador Says:

thanks blank and kimmi- i would never have brought it up but it’s now i know it’s skeezer’s bday, it’s too cool!

stakes are high tonight or tomorrow! talking about shanghai semi’s…i’m feeling it!

will i loose my cake and ice cream ? yikes! where’s the puke icon when i need it?


Nina Says:

@Kimmi: easy, do as I do. Watch the match after knowing the scoreline. I know it kills the excitement but it’s the only way I can watch those thrillers when Nole is in it.
I kind of miss that old feeling when I could watch and enjoy a match without rooting for any player. I was never a fan of Federer or Nadal so I could always enjoy their rivalry without caring for the scoreline. Nole spoiled all that for me. I don’t even know how I became his fan, but it happened.

During his recent USO semis against Roger and final against Rafa I was having a nervous breakdown, it was really bad for my health. I think I even took Nole’s defeat much worse than he actually did, like it was something personal. Strange what being a fan can do to you.


Kimmi Says:

exactly my feeling Nina. I am actually doing much better nowadays..i guess i am getting used to federer losing. But for some reason I am more nervous tomorrow…must be because djoko is a very tough opponent for fed.

Unfortunately I have to watch it live on tennistv. if i miss live then wont be able to watch it. I dont even know if my TV is showing this match.

I will have one eye covered just incase things dont go so well..

contador – i want the puke icon too…


jane Says:

Conty and Skeeeze!! Now it all makes sense, you two funny posters, who keep the balance – the scales right? Born on the 15th of October; well! Here’s your horoscope and happy happy day you two!!!!!

“Your home routine will be interrupted today. Surprise company might drop by. Expected company could be a no-show. Small appliances might break down. Maybe you’re just out of coffee? Stay light on your feet because family members are unpredictable. (“Why is a stranger unpacking stuff in my bedroom?”)”

http://www.georgianicols.com/daily/


Vulcan Says:

What would be “unfair” would be to pointlessly rotate through the surfaces, unfairly privileging players who have chosen to specialize on clay or grass,

So players who have chosen to specialize on hard courts are not unfairly privileged by the fact that YEC is held on hard courts every year?


Von Says:

Vulcan: “So players who have chosen to specialize on hard courts are not unfairly privileged by the fact that YEC is held on hard courts every year?”

As I see it, except for a few players, mostly the Spaniards, the players are not specializing on anything these days, they are just trying to remodel their games in order to adapt to the various surfaces. I doubt it would be fair to say the HC players are favored, when in fact, several of the hard court tourneys, the surface is now slowed down, favoring those who are not HC specialists per se. I think, we can safely say that it’s a lot fairer now, than it was in the past.

As a result of the foregoing, I feel that HC would be the preferred choice for the players at the YEC, since the present bunch seems to be kind of on par with each other, and it’s less expensive to maintain hardcourts.


i am it Says:

Contador and Skeez,
Even if I cannot verify it is indeed your Big fat B’Day, Happy drinks, guys. I’ll drink one for you or roll a fat one for me.
Whether you guys are beer-bonging with your friends or bar-hopping or getting blazed, dazed, and confused, it’s your night. Go wild, unrestrained!!!
Long live you 2 jokesters, along with the other Joker tonight.


grendel Says:

contador

it’s a very strange thing, what provokes disgust in different people. The story you tell of delPo – and it vaguely rings a bell – I find quite nauseating. But then I’ve always had a problem with noses. Really I couldn’t say why. Sometimes, as one’s walking down the pavement, you get some fellow – interestingly, it’s always a fellow, I’ve only just realised that this second – walking towards you who suddenly puts his flattened fingers to one nostril and blows mightily out of the other, and the gunge goes flying out onto the pavement, most of it anyway. He proceeds on his way just as if nothing has happened. I meanwhile am consumed with an urge to kill him. In retrospect, this seems an exaggerated reaction, and I hope I never succomb to it, but I really can’t deny it. Of course, you also get the ones who pick their noses with long, probing fingers and, furtively glancing around (as if this nod of acknowledgement to the outside world somehow shields their disgusting actions from notice) they then pop the proceeds into their mouths and proceed to chew.

Nadal’s habit, however, has never bothered me. My suspicion is that people allow their imaginations to run away with them. If you observe attentively, you can’t help but be aware that Nadal does not actually go for the full excavation, as it were, on the contrary, he more or less confines his picking to the material of his shorts. Possibly occasionally he ventures a little further, but by and large, his is a delicate operation.

Yes, it’s a strange business altogether, disgust. They say it has evolutionary origins, but this doesn’t account for the wide discrepancy not only in the objects of disgust but the vehemence with which it is expressed. Jimmy Connors, now – I’m damn sure he did that blowing the nose trick, in full view too, and quite oblivious to all the cameras panning in on him.

Nina, I used to do that. In particular, I couldn’t bear to watch Federer/Nadal matches live. Now, somehow, I don’t mind any more. I think it’s probably because the expectations have been drastically dimmed. Of course, Federer still sometimes presents severe problems, and that’s because he can start off so well, and so all that optimism which one had carefully stored away beneath about sixteen layers of consciousness now starts, irresistibly, and terrifyingly, to surface. And so against every scintilla of judgement and good sense, flickers of hope begin to stir and to spread their wicked and insiduous message. And from being a calm, passive spectator, who is watching with quiet appreciation the excellent tennis on display, noting with cool stoicism the manifest superiority of Federer’s opponent, one gradually transmogrifies into a red faced, pop eyed individual who gives every appearance of having been released prematurely from the local loony bin. Because, of course, these days, Federer tends to promise only to deceive.

However, these trying situations, I find, are becoming distinctly rare. I am afraid you, Nina, are in for some bad times simply because Djokovic is coming into his prime. Anything is possible. And that’s just the trouble.


Vulcan Says:

grendel Says:

And you were rewarded, because that was some match, wasn’t it?

Yes, it was and full of twists and turns if I recall. Federer looked to have things under control but Nalbandian would not let go…that was back during the days when Federer had his foot problems and I think he took a medical timeout during the match…pretty rare for him – and cause for alarm. There was actually a rumor floating around at the time that Federer had Plantar Fasciitis, a serious foot condition that could of potentially curtailed his career…I hope Nadal is as lucky with his Knee problems. Shanghai is an incredible city, the Maglev ride out from the airport into the city at 300+ MPH was a special treat.


Eric Says:

Vulcan,
As I mentioned, hard courts are the “default” surface for tennis. There are three surfaces, and if all three were ‘equal’ then 33% of tournaments would be grass, 33% on clay, and 33% on hard court. Yet 65-70% of pro-level tournaments are on hard courts. Playing on clay is not the norm (in the areas I have lived, at least, access to clay courts implies membership in expensive racquet or country clubs, although obviously anyone qualifiying for the YEC has had more than enough opportunities on clay :) ) and grass is positively exotic for most players, with only 0-2 tournaments/yr.

So, yes, playing on hard courts, the sport’s main and default surface, is the most fair and equitable option.


i am it Says:

Vulcan,
I kinda answered your question regarding fairness of the surface distribution (YEC) above. Here is the direct link to it, if you are still interested:
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2010-10-14/5503.php#comment-171876


Vulcan Says:

IAI,

Thanks for pointing out your post. What are you basing your assessment of the ATPs/ITFs position that rotating the surfaces would be a “suicidal” business move? This assessment would seem to depend in large part on the conclusion that fans prefer to watch hard court tennis over clay court or grass tennis…again is there any data to support this?

Incidentally, out of curiosity I googled this topic and discovered a poll on Mens Tennis Forums…out of 183 respondents 52% said they would prefer if the surface was rotated…41% said it should remain on a single surface.


Skeezerweezer Says:

My vote is it stays the same


steve-o Says:

@Mindy: As on many occasions, you make no actual attempt to address what I am saying, only to ascribe it to some underlying core of Nadal hatred, which you then conclude automatically invalidates whatever I might have to say.

Vehemently replying “I love Rafa” isn’t a response to anything I say. It only confirms that you’re a fervent Nadal fan, and pretty much anyone with half a brain can figure that out from reading just one of your posts.

So let me ask you a purely hypothetical question, having absolutely nothing to do with your favorite Spaniard: if you beat a very good player, by playing better than you ever had, you were really fired-up and poured all your heart and effort into it, and then heard him say “It wasn’t hard to beat me today, anyone could have done it,” how would you feel?


Skeezerweezer Says:

Thanks I am it & blank!

And yes it is our Bday, by amazing chance on the same day :)


Kimberly Says:

Steve o—I think meltzer did and would acknowledge rafa was playing subpar. However, rafa still attempted to win, he didn’t check out. His b game can beat a lot of people. So credit to meltzer. Rafa said meltzer played well. Just said it wasn’t so tough to play well against him.

Part of these guys x factor is the fear in other players. They say what they say to maintain their aura. Fed says he can dominate anyone. He says that to send a message to the non top five players that he’s still fed. Rafa loses to meltzer, he doesn’t want the other less than top ten players getting any ideas.


Kimberly Says:

Steve o—I think meltzer did and would acknowledge rafa was playing subpar. However, rafa still attempted to win, he didn’t check out. His b game can beat a lot of people. So credit to meltzer. Rafa said meltzer played well. Just said it wasn’t so tough to play well against him.

Part of these guys x factor is the fear in other players. They say what they say to maintain their aura. Fed says he can dominate anyone. He says that to send a message to the non top five players that he’s still fed. Rafa loses to meltzer, he doesn’t want the other less than top ten players getting any ideas.


Skeezerweezer Says:

A big thanks to Kimmi & Jane,

Jane your post was a great present, thanks for the words

Virtual xoxo to the ladies…..


Kimberly Says:

And not to sound like an online stalker or voyeur but I did watch tennis-x for several months before I began posting. I wasn’t sure I had anything to say add. I still don’t but enjoy it too much to stop!


Mindy Says:

Kimberly,

Thanks for answering our friend. You have done a great job in reasonably trying to explain why Rafa said what he did. Whether or not you managed to get through, is anybody’s guess. By the way, where did I say – I love Rafa – in my last post? Or is that just a given? So what!

If I only knew that the butt picking was all that kept contador from liking Rafa! We really need to contact Rafa and let him know how annoying this habit is to some people. Maybe then he would stop. Honestly, I could understand it if he was not wearing anything, but he is picking at his shorts! I have always assumed it was some kind of nervous habit.

Skeezer,

Since it’s your birthday, there will be no recriminations about Rafa for today! If I had only known! Happy Birthday!

Also, a wonderful happy birthday to Contador!

Kimberly – you missed your calling. You should have been a goodwill ambassador! I will gladly cede the job of replying to steve-o’s charming comments about Rafa, to you! Thanks!


Kimberly Says:

Mindy, rafa is well aware that the shorts pick might not appeal to some people but he sticks to his habits the make him comfortable. Like how he listens to music on his iPod and wouldn’t meet the queen because it interfered with his pre matchnritual. I’m sure he figures, nine grand slams, I will pick my shorts.

I, adjust my scrunchie before every serve. It’s my ritual. Could I stop? Sure. But it would be less comfortable. A lot of players have rituals although that is an odd one.


Vulcan Says:

Whether or not you managed to get through, is anybody’s guess.

Doubtful… this is the same fair minded individual that went to great lengths to criticize Nadal for “deflecting attention” by not being outspoken and self-congratulatory enough. Now in the same breath he’s arguing that Nadal is essentially too self-congratulatory.(by conveniently introducing distortions in what Nadal originally said I might add). Rest assured that if you were staring at a Knecker cube with this guy he would always argue that the cube can only be seen one way and that the other view simply doesn’t exist. Like everything else, Nadal’s statements are subject to interpretation and intentions are everything…Nadal’s track record, sportsmanship and popularity in the locker room speak for themselves.


steve-o Says:

There are a million ways you can keep the fear factor without slagging your opponent: “When I’m at my best I can handle anyone,” is a Federer standby. That concerns you and your game, not the quality of the opponent’s effort. For even if you aren’t at your best, the opponent might have had to work very hard to capitalize on that. It’s certainly not easy to beat even an off-form Federer.

Why do you have to say it “wasn’t difficult”? Or, as Murray said, that “anyone would look good”? Comments like that sound like they’re saying any club player could have beaten them on the day; and that’s certainly not fair.

Like I said, I think it’s a little backhanded to congratulate Melzer, and then say that what Melzer did wasn’t very hard.

But we will all have our views.


Kimberly Says:

Actually Andy roddick is pretty fair about assessing his performances and his opponents performances about wins and losses. He’s brutally honest. He said tipsy and him both played like crap in wiimbledon when tipsy won but they both played well at USO.

But I don’t think thiemo de baker exactly attributed his second round win in wimbledon over John Isner to his great return of serve. Obviously their are matches when your opponent walks on less than one hundred percent and you just have to win them.


Mindy Says:

Kimberly,

Sorry, but I am supposed to be prostrate with agony and angst regarding Rafa’s defeat! Oh my goodness! I haven’t said – I love Rafa! – yet on this blog! Shocking!

No matter what Rafa says or how he says it, there will be the usual griping. As Vulcan said so well, it used to be about how Rafa was too humble and how phony that was, now it’s about Rafa not giving his opponent enough credit.

Same old, same old.


Kimberly Says:

I love rafa just in case anyone wondered!


Kimberly Says:

Mindy——Guilty nadal fan i admit, And bitter and miserable about rafa’s defeat, I wholeheartedly admit I am. Exactly that. I am forcing myself the stay interested this tournament with difficulty since rafa is gone. At least I have stopped snapping at people today as opposed to yesterday. I’m trying to psych myself up for the Novak fed match but can’t seem to care.

I am a total nadalite with a bad temper but I don’t think I hate anyone and respect different opinions and come here to have fun. Rafa’s not perfect and then shorts tug is weird and most of his interviews are pretty boring, I understand and respect other opinions and usually don’t get flustered. However the night of the verdasco quarter final was rough.


Vulcan Says:

Eric, Von

Guess I’ll try for another language analogy to see if I can clarify things:

Say you have 8 students who attend an international school for foreign language studies. The three languages taught are English, Spanish, and Chinese in that order of emphasis. The amount of time spent on each language during the semester and the exams administered are proportioned 45% English, 35% Spanish, and 10% Chinese. These percentages match the nationalities of the students in the class. The question is do you think it would be fair to have a Final Exam that is proportioned to test the students at the percentages listed above or do you think it is fair (or even makes sense) to have a test that simply tests the students on one language only? If the test was 100% on English for example would it not favor those students for whom their native tongue was English? What about a Chinese student that seeks to move to Spain and invests more effort to learn Spanish? Or if the test was in Spanish how fair would it be to and English student that excels at Chinese?


Mindy Says:

Kimberly,

I was being a bit sarcastic, just my way of getting back at some of the comments. Better to make a sardonic joke out of some of it.

I know you were feeling bad and that’s why I tried to cheer you up. I am never happy when Rafa loses, but I had a feeling that this was coming. Someone said something about Rafa on another tennis forum, that resonated with me. They said that Rafa’s season ended after he won the USO. That’s true, isn’t it! If only he could have skipped the Asian swing and relaxed maybe until at least Paris.

Maybe we should limit our – I love Rafa – comments! I do love him, butt shorts picking and all! I honestly didn’t even pay much attention to it until I started coming on these forums. Then I realized what a big deal it was to some people. I think you are pretty even-tempered for a Nadalite! You have a way of smoothing ruffled feathers here. It’s a good quality to have. Sometimes it helps me when someone can explain something in a way that helps me see a different point of view. You are able to do that.

I am not psyched up for any of the matches, but I will watch just to see the tennis. Just remember that Rafa is getting some badly needed time off now.

What happened the night of the Verdasco quarterfinal?

I will be happy to enjoy the match between Nole and Fed. It’s much easier when you don’t have an emotional stake in who wins.


Vulcan Says:

Ladies Ladies, cooooomeon :)…let us not forget that he captured the Tokyo title just the week before. Personally if I had to pick between him winning a 500 event on a faster surface and a 1000 event on a slower one I think I’ll go with the faster one (it’s more of a feather in his cap). Winning tournaments back to back is no small feat which is why you don’t see it very often.


steve-o Says:

@Mindy:

“I am supposed to be prostrate with agony and angst regarding Rafa’s defeat!”

If you are, I don’t begrudge you one bit. Everyone’s sad when their favorite player loses, it’s only natural. But I’m sure your favorite will be back for Paris and the YEC.

@Kimberly: I appreciate your openness about your love of Nadal. A big part of the fun is cheering enthusiastically for your favorites, after all.


Eric Says:

Haha Vulcan, that is a good analogy, but misses the point that while an exam can cover multiple languages, a tournament is only on one surface. :) Perhaps they should have the round robin on HC, the semis on clay, and the final on grass…


Eric Says:

Anyway, you don’t need to try explaining a different way. I understand perfectly well your point. But I think the surface which is most fair to everyone in any given year is hard court; you are being seduced by the apparent fairness of giving each surface a hearing in the YEC, without considering that having it on clay would be unfair to the players who don’t specialize on clay in way that hard courts are unfair to no one since everyone plays on hc a lot. That said, there is nothing inherently fair or unfair in a tournament being on a particular surface – like wind and sun, it’s a fact of the sport. But hard courts are a more neutral surface than clay or grass, on which a few players are much more dominant.


margot Says:

Skeeze and conty: why darlings, Happy, Happy Day 2 u both
i am it:loved your “Rules of Engagement” cool ;) Now, I know u like Delpot and u probably know I don’t, but not bcos he beats my fave… bcos he doesn’t.. ;)
sheila: wonder if u r Brit? Cos in UK constant vicious criticism, Andy M gets, is horrible. There’s even an English, “Anyone but Andy” anti fan club.
grendel: 2 your nose evacuation, I’d add gobbing…turns me into a homicidal maniac.
Not sure about return of serve improvement. I think, being able to do it, is quite special and requires a kind of tennis sixth sense. Andy seems to have an extra bit of antennae/intuition , he just seems to “know” where serve is going. I also remember THAT Rafa/Roger Wimbledon final and thinking “Uh oh” Rafa is starting to “read” Roger’s serve, he’s in trouble now. And sure enough he was.


grendel Says:

gobbing is bad – very bad.
Nose evacuation worse.


Naresh Says:

@ Grendel,sorry for the late reply.. was 3 in the morning where I am ! About the serving stats, if these guys were non top 20 players then ya the high 1st serve % would not mean much, but we’re talking about the best of best here.. if these guys hit 1st serve’s then they mean it.. Fed wouldn’t hit a meek 1st serve.. he’s got such a good 2nd serve that he can rely on. Tiredness is also not a factor with these guys, wimby 09 final is a case in point. What I deduced from the USO semi match is that Djoko zoned in on his return of serve as the match went on putting more and more pressure on Fed. The guys who’ve been able to put pressure on Fed’s serve have had success these last 2 yrs..


Naresh Says:

@ Grendel, what I meant was that it was 3am when I last posted.. and so the late reply!


margot Says:

grendel @6.42 Congratulations, excellent prose….


grendel Says:

thanx, Naresh. Sometimes I have the feeling that Fed’s serve in particular lacks bite, but that may be an illusion, and I’m not giving enough credit to the returner.

margot – now, now. I can’t always manage terseness. It’s a hereditary indisposition, you know. But I do my best to battle it….


Mindy Says:

steve-o,

I just happened to come on here and see your latest response. That was very gracious coming from you.

It is much appreciated! Thank you.


Mindy Says:

Vulcan,

I didn’t want to forget to thank you for reminding Rafa fans that he did win Tokyo! Well done for our guy in the fall hardcourt season.

Here is hoping that Rafa will be back rested and fresh for Paris and London.

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