Murray Survives Wrist, Nalbandian Scare; Federer, Djokovic Breeze in Paris
by Sean Randall | November 10th, 2010, 7:22 pm
  • 166 Comments

Andy Murray’s season hung in the balance early in the third set when the Scot pulled up lame with a wrist injury. Fortunately for Murray and his faithful which includes the London promoters, the injury appeared to be minor for now allowing the World No. 3 to prevail over David Nalbandian 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the second round of the Paris Tennis Masters today.

“My wrist feels okay just now,” Murray told the press. “I have had a few problems with it in the past and I felt quite a sharp pain. I got the trainer on to look at it but it feels fine just now. I’ll just have to wait and see if it’s still fine tomorrow.”

Following the injury time-out at 2-2, Murray ended up winning four of the last five games of the match.

“I struggled at the start,” he said. “He didn’t miss a ball for a set and a half. He was taking the ball very early, and I haven’t played on a quicker court since I’ve been on the tour, I don’t think.I was struggling to control the ball, and then I changed the tension on my racquets by four or five pounds, and I felt a lot more comfortable at the end of the second set. I started serve and volleying a lot which worked very well, and I didn’t lose many points up at the net. He played a bad game at 5‑4, and I managed to capitalize on that.”

Murray now has a late-night date Thursday with the struggling Marin Cilic.

Also on Wednesday, Roger Federer eased over Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4. Federer had lost a year ago in Paris to Julien Benneteau, but the talented Gasquet was unable to trouble the Swiss.

“It is always dangerous playing against Richard here,” said Fed who lost just four points on his service. “I don’t think there was much between us except maybe a couple of games where I played really well.”

Federer meets Czech Radek Stepanek tomorrow in the third round.

Andy Roddick was first on and he didn’t disappoint his early-morning fans by ripping Jarkko Nieminen 6-1, 6-4. Roddick will have be up early again Thursday as he takes on Ernests Gulbis at 10:30am local time. I think Roddick should get through that match as well.

Other winners were Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling, who posted an excellent victory over Gilles Simon.

In the final week of the tour’s regular season, of 11 matches played today we saw only three go three sets. And just two tiebreakers were played which is a little surprising considering the slick court surface. I have a hunch that some guys after dropping the first set were eager to get a start on their off season! I can’t blame ‘em but it’s something to watch for when players lose the first set.

Also tomorrow, Fernando Verdasco, who needs to reach the final to have any hope of qualifying for London, meets crowd-fav Gael Monfils. Djokovic will be tested by Frenchman Michael Llodra, a winner today over John Isner, and Tomas Berdcyh battles Nikolay Davydenko in another good one.

Matches are live on the Tennis Channel in the U.S. all week!

THURSDAY PARIS SCHEDULE

CENTRAL COURT start 10:30 am
[8] A Roddick (USA) vs E Gulbis (LAT)
[12] G Monfils (FRA) vs [6] F Verdasco (ESP)
M Llodra (FRA) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)
S Wawrinka (SUI) vs [4] R Soderling (SWE) – Possible Court Change

Not Before 7:30 PM
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs R Stepanek (CZE)
[3] A Murray (GBR) vs [13] M Cilic (CRO)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
[6] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR) vs J Erlich (ISR) / M Kohlmann (GER)

Not Before 1:30 PM
[11] J Melzer (AUT) vs [7] D Ferrer (ESP)

Not Before 3:00 PM
[5] T Berdych (CZE) vs [10] N Davydenko (RUS) – Possible Court Change


Also Check Out:
Novak Djokovic: My Wrist Is Fine, Hopefully It Can Stay That Way
Venus Survives 3-set Scare in Opener at WTA Rome
Nalbandian, Tsonga Fight for Shanghai in Final Match of ATP Regular Season in Paris
Nadal Survives Nalbandian Scare; Roddick, Henin Roll Sunday in Miami
Nalbandian Stuffs Nadal Like a Turkey, Wins Paris Tennis Masters

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166 Comments for Murray Survives Wrist, Nalbandian Scare; Federer, Djokovic Breeze in Paris

Kimmi Says:

very early start in paris. 10:30am. roddick gets early start twice.

Monfils vs verdasco sounds like a good match on paper. the problem with verdasco right now, he cannot play somebody who moves well and bring a lot of balls back. after 3 or 4 shots verdasco forehand makes error. I could see him beating himself in this match. love both players, ;et the best man win..

gulbis had two retirements so far..he hasnt actually won a match…tough to see him beating roddick.

soda vs wawa hard to call if both bring their game.

bring it on.


Hypnos Says:

Observation:

This court surface is as fast as any court on tour, and seems to be the same speed as it was back in the day. Yet, the usual suspects are advancing.

What does this mean, if anything, about the state of the game and the evolution of court surfaces? Maybe the prevailing style of play (baseline attack) is the most adaptable — at least given the current racket and string technology.


Von Says:

Hypnos, yes the court is faster, but it’s also a bit sticky. I heard one of the commentators state that the players who like to slide oln HC should be careful. He also stated that Fed asked for the court to be sped up as it suits his game more, and, considering he’s not done well in Bercy and not p;aid it much homage, I suppose they felt that the needed to listen. I’m happy, as Roddick’s serves are looking very sweet speeding through the court. Yahoo.

Your point on the new racquet and string technology plays a very significant role in the way these players are able to hit so many mind-boggling angled shots.


Von Says:

correction @ 10:00 pm “I suppose they felt that the needed to listen.” sholuld read: I supp;ose they felt that they should listen to him as a sign of respect. The commercial years ago comes to mind about the brokers Paine webber, et al., when they talk everyone listens, and they showedd a bunch of people talking while eating lunch, but all stopped, straining their ears to hear what the Smith, Barney group were saying at their lunch table. LOL.


guy Says:

hypnos makes good points.

serve and volley, chip and charge as the foundation of play is dead and not because of the surface. players hit the ball harder, more accurately and with more spin so rushing net doesn’t work like it used to. the oldschool volley players would get destroyed by today’s players no matter the surface.
and everybody lumps every player as a ‘baseliner’ as if that’s all they do. the top players have transition games. they play all the shots and spend enough time at net. anyone who thinks today’s game lacks variety needs a reality check. they watch some nice highlights of vintage tennis and think the whole matches were like that. actually they were often boring, serve dominant affairs with very short points.


skeezerweezer Says:

Hypnos,

I have always been a big fan of VARIED court surfaces, the more and diverse the merrier. Imo makes a more complete player, that can adapt. It has been the tradition, and I hope it doesn’t get lost for the sake of fans wanting to see “long rallies”. We have already suffered with Wimby, looking more and more like “Green Clay”. When is the last time you saw the ball bouncing above the knee to your waist? The older era the ball would rarely bounce above your knees. Just sayin….

In all fairness the players are physically stronger, hit the ball bigger, harder and technology has advanced, etc., so one could argue that the surfaces HAVE to slow down, as the day may will come when the players will hit through the surface.

It is nice to see the “shotmaking” and “dart throwing” that the fast indoor requires to succeed, but everyone likes there coffee black, or with sugar, or cream, go figure.


jane Says:

On the highlights from today (available at the ATP site), Nieminen hits a quite righteous tweener in a very exciting rally and ultimately wins the point. Worth a look!


jojostruys Says:

“We have already suffered with Wimby, looking more and more like “Green Clay”.

I think you have exaggerated this one a bit skeezerweezer. If you compare the number of aces produced by the players during Wimby, you’ll find that Wimby is by far a faster court than any clay courts.


Ben Pronin Says:

Old school tennis wasn’t “serve dominant affairs” per say. It was just a lot of serving and volleying which was just hit or miss or get passed. The players didn’t have big serves that really determined the matches. Surely players are getting more free points off their serves than they ever have.

It’s not just that the top players have variety, but there’s also different types of baseline players. More offensive minded guys like Djokovic, Soderling, Verdasco; the natural counter punchers like Nalbandian, Murray, Ferrer. And there’s obviously a difference in Djokovic’s offense and, say, Fernando Gonzalez’s offense. And so on.


skeezerweezer Says:

jojostruys,

Maybe. Aces. But look what your comparing it to? Prior Wimbys or just other surfaces?

Besides, I meant Green day not Green clay.


skeezerweezer Says:

guy,

Agree with you mostly. But the transition game imo today overall still sucks. Most players have been spending too much time whackin the crap out the ball from the baseline, then, oh yeah, I need to come in to finish the point. IMO most tour players don’t know how to transition to the net, it is a totally different “dance” than the baseline footwork. Split stepping is long gone, essential when coming in, and poor decision making and executing attacking shots where and when. You give to much credit to the holy baseliner. Thank the teachers for teachin the easy stuff, just hit it as hard as you can from the baseline, we will learn the other stuff later….and now….a lot of players look like fools when coming to the net…and because why?

Now before you jump on me I am not tryin to ditz the great players that we have today, they are bigger stronger faster, etc., just suggesting I don’t buy the OVERALL skill level is the best ever ( well maybe Fed, lol )….this erea is for sure the best baseline game ever…no doubt


mat4 Says:

Djoko continues to improve his serve. His average first serve at the USO was 184 km/h, his fastest 201 km/h. Yesterday, he hit 207 kmh, 204, 203, 201… His first serve was almost always over 190 kmh. Good sign for the next season.


Roby Says:

If wimbledon was green clay as one of the poster said,then how come Andy Roddick reached three finals-2004,2005and 2009 on that so called clay wimbledon.Everyone knows that his game is predominantly based on serve which is rewarded on fast Wimbledon surface.Okay,if we accept the theory that wimbledon is equivalent to clay,then Roddick should have reached at least one semi in french open or won 2-3 masters on clay surface. From this we can differentiate what is actual clay what is not.Another thing is that,if we go through the data about slams,we can see that Wimbledon records the highest no of aces among the slams in this year also.US open comes second in this category.How is it possible if wimbledon=clay?. Federer served his record no of 50 aces in 2009 wimbledon final.I dont think that Federer can match those stats on clay.During Isner-Mahut match in Wimbledon this year they served 215 aces in one match on so called slow surface. I agree that Wimbledon surface has become little more higher bouncing,but that change was taken by authorities due to the dwindling popularity of tennis because of incessant serve fests which made tennis looked like darts during 1990`s.There was only serve and nothing else.No forehand,backhands,passing shots,lobs ect.Yes i agree that variety is needed.But then people must ask the authorities to ban modern rackets which allows players to hit harder and faster,before talking about surface.Let them bring back wooden rackets.


dimwitted recluse Says:

I’m totally lost on this string technology business. So a spectatot’s input. Murray remarked that his tightening of the tension seemed to work against Nalbandian, but he suspected (smiling) it was more a psychological factor. Talking later with Petch, he said (w.r.t.to the composition of the racket) that basically it boiled down to more power at the expense of control or vica versa. Either way, you can’t help thinking it’s fairly marginal.

w.r.t. to serve and volley, even today old style practioners like Llodra and Stepanek can cause a lot of trouble. No one is saying that you can re-invent Edberg or Rafter – though the idea that THEY would get taken to the cleaners by today’s top players is bad science fiction – but the payer who can incorporate s and v intelligently into his game, providing it is a very very good game in the first place, is going to have a tremendous weapon at his disposal. This is why Murray is or could be (gremlins permitting) such a truly great allround player. He could do something quite special at Wimbledon if he retains the courage of his c. Brad Gilbert always maintained that Wimbledon was potentially Murray’s best surface, and his best chance of getting a slam.


dimwitted recluse Says:

Verdasco breaks back when Monfils is serving for the set. Camera pans to Roger Rasheed. He is shaking his head, moving his mouth, twisting his body expressing various shades of disbelief. Even when in trouble, Monfils did barely more than roll his serve in.


Kimmi Says:

full of errors in this match. the one who manage to hold it together in important points got it.

surprisingly it is verdasco


dimwitted recluse Says:

After that truly ludicrous serving for the set game, Monfils resumed with his excellent serve, even engineering a mini-break in the tiebreak. Too late. And then he gifts Verdasco with not only an incredibly poorly executed drop shot – but an unecessary one; he had been in complete command of the rally. Mystery man.

Anyone’s match, though.


Kimmi Says:

monfils shot selections in that tie break…oh dear


dimwitted recluse Says:

I’ve watched the wrong match. Come back Roddick and Gulbis, pretend you didn’t play and do it again. This match is just SILLY.


Kimmi Says:

very silly dimwitted recl, no one seem to be serious in this match..


Hypnos Says:

Thanks for the interesting responses. My thoughts:

1) A lab study (can’t find it now) showed that the new poly strings don’t give you any more spin, but the “dead” feel and low power encourage faster swing speeds, which in turn generates more spin. This is abetted by the new racket technology which gives a “rickety” feel — it feels better the harder you hit the ball, giving the impression of control. Hence the evolution from someone like Edberg to someone like Nadal.

2) I agree with Skeezerweezer that today’s players can’t hit approach shots and half-volleys with any stick. They only hit such shots because the opponent hit a short ball, but then they become sitting ducks. And because they don’t develop this game, net coverage and reflexes on tour have grown worse. Even Federer’s skills in this department seem to have regressed from 2001, though Nadal’s have improved considerably.

3) These big swings take time. So on a fast surface like at Paris, the US Open or the Wimbledon tune-ups I still think a good athlete who takes the ball early will have success. Nadal showed these abilities this past year, standing closer to the net and going for more. If someone could hit a proper half-volley, I wonder what success they might have … perhaps Mardy Fish comes closest these days.


dimwitted recluse Says:

Happening to glance in from my exertions in the kitchen – preparing an excellent fish pie, just a question of whether my son can remember to put the bloody thing in the oven when I am off “making the mon for the hon” – yes, I noticed a tie break going on. And two extra special super duper Monfils only’s which gain him the set and the adoration of the crowd. Look, there’s many a way to skin a rabbit (so they tell me).

Hypnos – re half volley: when the player is pushed into doing it, yes he’s normally “sitting duck”, though people like Nadal can generally put a turn on the ball to create an angle. However, I remember some absolute beauties from Federer, half-volleys from the back, often against a bemused Roddick. He doesn’t seem to do that much now, if at all, which is one reason the question of his decline has come up I’d think.


dimwitted recluse Says:

Hypnos – talk about the mini zeitgeist! This very game, Monfils had to deal with a half-volley from the back of the court (he dealt with it, I am bound to say, with extreme suspicion as if he felt the ball might jump up and bite him and in any case had no business behaving in such an unmannerly way) and then a couple of ball later, he was obliged to deal with a half-volley from a short ball. The long and the short of it is,he didn’t do terribly well, but Verdasco did worse, Monfils won the point and it is now 4-4 in the 3rd.


dimwitted recluse Says:

Magnificent angled serve from Monfils, but a return from Verdasco which would challenge the gods and is too much for Monfils – match point. Another angled winner serve? Hawkeye says no, Monfils goes for a monster second serve, on the line on the out, and his courage is rewarded. Deuce. Monfils error, match point once more to V. Great serve – deuce. Then, lovely angled second serve, drifting all the way to Belgium induces a pardonable Verdasco error – game point M. Non descript rally, the two guys as tight as a couple of virgins outside a brothel, and then a lame error from Verdasco – game to Monfils, The battle resumes. Hey, this is fun. The good and the ugly.


Kimmi Says:

monfils wins..just when i came back home and turn on the computer. apparently he saved 2 match points..what a comeback. great win!

verdasco will not qualify for london but can still go as an altenate. kimberly, i think his booked hotel room could be in use afterall.


John Messersmith Says:

And it’s over. Berdych, Ferrer, and Roddick have qualified.


dimwitted recluse Says:

Monfils wins, hitting his heart (him and Baggy seem most inclined to do this), but I don’t know so much. The fact is, Monfils always showed more resolution when behind than when in front. On his match point, he played a relatively cautious first serve, and gave Verdasco every chance. The Spaniard just didn’t take it. These terrific tennis players, the Monfilses and Verdascos, remind us of ourselves. Their fallibility is so raw. That’s a spectacle in itself.


Kimberly Says:

Congrats to Monfils for saving two match points and winning. This is the secnd time recently he has saved match points to move on.

So I think the finals contenders should be wrapped up. Here is a summary of what they did to earn it
Nadal-3 Grand Slams, 3 Masters, 1 500
Federer-1 Grand Slam, 1 Masters, 3 Masters Finals, 1 500 and 1 250.
Djokovic-1 Grand Slam Final, 3 500′s.
Murray-1 Grand Slam Final, 2 masters
Soderling-1 Grand slam final, 1 500
Berdych-1 Grand Slam Final, 1 Masters Final
Ferrer-1 Masters Final, 1 500, 1 250 consistent throughout
Roddick-1 masters, 1 masters final


Skeezerweezer Says:

Hypnos,

Nice read. Couple more things.

-Strings. Although Luxilon has changed the spin game, did you know Fed still uses a blend with good ol Gut in it?

=I agree with you that Fed’s transition and net game aren’t as good as when he was a Padawan, and Rafa’s game in that area has improved a lot. Me thinks Fed will (have to or else) improve his attacking game if he is to lengthen his career. It seems like he is tinkering with it nowadays. We’ll see. Players like Agassi/Connors did just that as they got older..

-One last shpt at the players, If you hit a 140 serve, you in most cases are going to get a floater return, if any at all. Get up there and put that sitter away, instead of waiting for it to float back to the basline…please??


dimwitted recluse Says:

Petchey:….it was all over the place…
Monfils..yes, it was a good story…

Leafy quoted Borg who said “tennis matches are about a thousand sprints”. Leafy went on to remark Monfils must have run 3 or 4 miles today, sprinting the lot, so if he’s to have a chance tomorrow, he’ll need to draw from the worshipful crowd.

Djokovic has just walked in for his match with Llodra, impersonating Tipsarevic. He fooled me for a moment.


guy Says:

players today can chip and charge as well as the 80s/90s players and they approach way better on the forehand. it just doesn’t seem so because counterpunching is far superior.

watch the way hewitt was dealing with sampras at the end. the sampras era approaches just didn’t cut it anymore and they certainly wouldn’t now.
rafter had a rubbish forehand which he openly admitted to and hit plenty of ‘junk’ shots as part of his game, again stuff that wouldn’t cut it now.
people need to actually watch the old matches again after seeing the modern game. volleying is so much harder than it was in the old days. people weren’t hitting 100mph forehands.
it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be incorporated, and some players couldn’t work on it more, but you can’t base your game on this anymore regardless of surface.
and you can’t say modern players can’t volley or play net like the old ‘masters’ until you timetravel the edbergs/beckers/sampras etc and have them face the passing shots of nadal/djoker/murray and the rest of the top 50.


Kimberly Says:

guy, very true. nice post.


Kimmi Says:

ferrer out

soda losing his first game after being 40-0..not a good starts. this match already looks like wawrinka to lose


Skeezerweezer Says:

guy.

Again, I cannot disagree with some of your write. But I still stand by that the transition game of today is lacking skills that would be successful if utilized in the game plan. If a player knew what he was doing, and executed it properly, not only would he handle 100 mph FH’s but wouldn’t be hitting his approach shot /volley into a persons strength, a 100 mph FH. Also, an argument can be made that they don’t practice enough how to handle the the new game, you just point out that they hit harder.


dimwitted recluse Says:

i certainly disagree with guy. Llodra, a good player but not remotely a great, has just forced a tiebreak against one of the great all court players of this or any other era. And it’s s and v wot’s done it.
Sampras, Rafter, Edberg, McEnroe and others were as great as any players who ever lived – of course, they dealt with what was there. You can only do what the conditions permit. Fly back Nadal, fed, Djokovic to Mac and Borg – try that thought experiment.

Llodra is not going to win this match. You think Sampras wouldn’t? McEnroe wouldn’t? Edberg wouldn’t? Ivanesevic wouldn’t? Come on.

Nadal is great at transition. He occasionally does s and v, and is ordinary at it. Murray is exceptional at it, and if he can incorporate it permanantly into his game as one of his OPTIONS, he’s going to win some slams.

Mr.garrulous has to go now…


dimwitted recluse Says:

Oh, *turns round for another blast* before pushing off into the wicked wide world. of course Hewitt/Sampras proves nothing – any more than Djokovic beating up on Hewitt now tells you a conclusive story. People age and lose their potency. Does this really need saying?


jane Says:

Wawrinka has a winning record over Soda, just 2-1 but still. Nole had 2 sets points and blew them.Now Llodra with set point. Arrrgh. Knew this one would be tough!!


dari Says:

Llllllllodraaaaaaa! What a fun first set to watch. These guys were really getting around the court. And the last few points by Llodra just incredible. I don’t mind Llodr taking this match from Djoko here in Paris, but as far as a preview for Davis Cup, I am certainly rooting for Serbija.


Kimmi Says:

how did llodra get that set..ok, you can never tell with these matches. can llodra keep it up though? that is a big question..


skeezerweezer Says:

d.r.,

You on fire this morning, lol! :)

Wow….Llorda..


dari Says:

Ahhhj! No way novak just dbl faulted for llodra to get the break! Llodra has to do this in two, if he is gonna. novak is too young and too strong and I can’t imagine llodra can play like this for three sets.


Kimmi Says:

oh noooo djokovic down a break and break point. not good!


dari Says:

Btw, Soderling recovered from being so far down that set. Dont know if I should be happy for sod or pissed at stab for blowing it!


jane Says:

And he just had love-40 and couldn’t break back. Ugh. Llodra is deserving though. Just sad, sad for Nole.


Gannu Says:

Llorda is playing the match of his life… well done.. truly deserves to win this match.. Djokovic is not playing badly..itsllorda who is serving out of his mind!!


Kimmi Says:

two breaks down. djoko is going out! unless….


Kimmi Says:

soda recovered dari..unbelivable. did not see that coming..

i think a french person is due to win this tournament this year..


jane Says:

Bye Nole. : ( Good match Llodra, excellent old school stuff!

Go Murray!

Soda sure came back. He was just down 1 break in set one but now he’s up a set and a break.


Kimmi Says:

llodra is not chiking so far..wow!


Kimmi Says:

i mean “choking”


Kimmi Says:

it never over till the fat lady sings!

is the fat lady about to sing?

she did it…what a way to finish. great perfomance from llodra. congartulations.

too bad for djoko..jane and others. could not defend his title.


jane Says:

Kimmi “i think a french person is due to win this tournament this year..” But whom? Simon and Gasquet are out, so who could win? Monfils? Unlikely, he meets Roddick next. Llodra? I don’t think he can keep up this level all the way, but who knows. Anyhow is possible.

Wow, I just knew Nole would lose today, said it yesterday. Sometimes you just have a hunch, gut-feeling, whatever. But I am still surprised when it actually happens.


Kimmi Says:

amazing jane. you were truly worried yesterday. you definetly know your nole than i do.

tough loss for djoko and serbia, especially now davis cup coming up. i bet they will have llodra playing the singles now!


jane Says:

Kimmi, Not sure if they’d put Llodra in singles. This Paris court is very fast; I doubt the one in Serbia is as fast as this one, which will make a difference in terms of Llodra’s style. I still see them using Monfils, for sure, maybe Simon? Gasquet? Llodra will probably play on the doubles team. But you never know. You could be right.

Yes, this is a tough loss for Nole, but he’s been on a run since the USO, never losing before the semis, so I guess this is the letdown. I would’ve rather seen it happen last week in Basel than here, but it is what it is. Now he can rest up and go practice for O2 and DC.


margot Says:

Blimey jane, did not see that one coming :( v. sorry. Maybe shows Djko has just played too much tennis and also how difficult it is to do well two tournaments running at this end of the year.
dr:@ 10.39 egg on face I fear ;)
BTW R they all growing “lucky beards”? Wawrinka’s is horrid! Deserves to lose ;)
skeeze: there’s a commentator, dunno who, he stabs out about 5 words in an aggressive staccato monotone and then there’s a massive pause..at the end of a sentence? Never! In the middle, quite possibly. Between two adjectives, quite likely. Makes him both irritating and virtually incomprehensible. Is this Gimmelstob by any chance?
Meanwhile another one goes “ooh how marvellous” shades of Dan Maskell there.


jane Says:

Thanks for commiserations margot. :/ Keeping fingers crossed for Murray to win it all now.


margot Says:

jane: depends on wrist. I remember how he lost to Cilic at USOpen because of his wrist injury so am a tad anxious. Won’t see match going to “Hurt Locker.” But am sure Andy reads this forum b4 matches, so..Good Luck Andy and if u get one twinge from that wrist- RETIRE, do you hear?


jane Says:

margot, haven’t you seen “Hurt Locker”?

Yes, am a tad nervous about that wrist too; take care Andy M. Read margot’s advice.:)


margot Says:

No, missed it, film society tonight.
PS my challenger now looks like a car crash :)
von: looks as if I’m gonna see Andy R in London ;)


jane Says:

Enjoy it margot; it’s as tense, maybe tenser, than Nole and Murray matches. ;)


margot Says:

No jane, now you’re just being silly ;)


jane Says:

Berdych is playing well again, climbing out of his slump. His forehand is lethal today versus Davy. But for the moment Davy is still hanging in there.


Huh Says:

Hopin for a Fed win in Paris.


Huh Says:

I’ve seen Hurt Locker, didn’t like it that m uch thou to, to be honest. It was ok however.


Huh Says:

Berdych n Davy are two good players, but won’t buy a ticket to see their match.


skeezerweezer Says:

Roby,

If your still here I just saw your post. I agree with the last half of your post.

RE; “Green Clay” was over emphasized on my part, trying to make the claim that the court plays slower. It is obvious it is not Clay……

As far as the Servers go, look at the reverse, how would todays Big servers do on the pre change Wimby? Me thinks you would need to play with beach balls…..


skeezerweezer Says:

Wow, thought Birdy was going to shut Davy down,,,,,now Davy up a break in the third..


jane Says:

Quite the seachange in Berd vs. Davy match.


skeezerweezer Says:

Margot,

lol on 11:33 post.

Re; bracket challenge,, me too. crashed and burned. It’s all Nole’s fault, ha. Was it you or Jane called it said that either Fed or Nole wasn’t gonna make the finals. Why I don’t listen to you girls I’ll never know…..But that Llorda guy played out his mind, no?


jane Says:

skeezer “But that Llorda guy played out his mind, no?”

Here’s what Nole said:

“I have to congratulate him, because he really played, I think, a perfect match,” said Novak after the match. “I don’t think I’ve played bad. Actually, I think I even returned well in the first set. But any time I needed a point when it was important, couple of games in the first set, deuce or 30 All, he came up with a huge serve. I mean, just close to the line, or he came up with an incredible first volley or something like that. All credit to him, he deserved to win.”


skeezerweezer Says:

jane,

Novak continues to impress with maturing. Class act all the way in the interview, no excuses here. He thought he played great, and the other guy was better today. Thanks for sharing that. Go Nole!!!


jane Says:

Fed’s just had that nice early lead in his matches, that’s helped him sail through. This match is passing similarly to his match with Gasquet. Fed has an excellent shot at this title, depending on Murray, and maybe Roddick too, who is also playing very well. Davy is working his way into some fine form as well.


steve-o Says:

Davydenko beat Del Potro last year at the YEC finals, remember? These big power hitters are vulnerable to Davydenko because he is so speedy and hits so flat. They don’t have the mobility to handle him.

This surface really suits his game, too.

Good win for Federer. Stepanek’s shirt was truly ugly, which made this win extra-important. Such a travesty of a shirt could not be allowed to prevail.

Go Cilic!


skeezerweezer Says:

Congrats Fed!

Fed could use some upgrade in the fashion dept., don’t mean to be picky but those colors are…well………old.


jane Says:

Murray’s 4-1 over Cilic so he’s got an edge. Plus, Cilic has had a letdown of a year, but this fast court might be to his liking. I think much depends on Murray’s serve as well as how clean Cilic’s game is today, as he is prone to making untimely errors.

LOL, on Step’s sexy shirt steve-o.


dimwitted recluse Says:

margot

my face is incredibly acclimatised to the feel of eggs squelching all over it. But not on this occasion. Llodra was playing out of his socks, and (just to be egotistic) he was also helping to prove a point of mine. So I actually wanted him to continue and win – this was naturally unlikely, so I said so. I was wrong. Yipee!

Let us now return to the question of serve and volley. I knew there was something dodgy about guy’s argument, something very simple, but I couldn’t pin it down. Now I can. It IS simple, too. This business of returning, supposedly so much more devestating today than in days of yore (how do we know that, given difference in racket technology etc?). But from the receiver’s point of view, the pass doesn’t come into play until the 4th shot in the rally (since you can hardly call a return a pass). By that time, the damage is often done, and even if the server hasn’t won the point he may well have gained position to the extent that it is hardly possible, even for a Nadal, to execute a telling pass.

I think we saw that today. Llodra dominated by serve and volley of a high order against one of the very best players of all time. But Llodra himself is by no means one of the best players of all time. His type of game was, however, greatly helped by the surface.

There is a hidden agenda here, and that is that Nadal could win on fast grass. Maybe he could. But that is not remotely proved. Even the great Lendl realised he had to learn s and v to have a chance of winning Wimbledon.He DID learn s and v, that’s how good and determined he was – but his mind let him down at the last moment. Nadal’s mind of course would not let him down. But I submit that for him to have had a chance on FAST grass, with fast balls, he’d have had to learn s and v. If Lendl could do it, why not Nadal? But he would have had to, that’s the point.


steve-o Says:

First break of the match goes to Cilic.


dimwitted recluse Says:

“This business of returning” in 3rd line 2nd para – of course, I meant “this business of passing” – have to correct, otherwise argument doesn’t make sense.


jane Says:

Cilic with the early break; Murray with a warning for knocking ball in frustration too near ball kid. One break is not too worry, but Cilic is looking better than I’ve seen him play in a while, though only 5 games into, so early goings. Three bad misses brings it to love-40; Andy M breaks right back?


Kimmi Says:

wow! cilic come back from 0-40.


steve-o Says:

Cilic holds. That may be the key game of the set.


jane Says:

Cilic holds. Murray, waiting to return, rocks back and forth just like a pendulum at the bottom of clock. Feel with Murray that even when he loses first set, has an especially good shot of coming back. Same with Davydenko, and sometimes Ferrer, certainly Nadal. With Nole, the first set is often crucial, though he had a bunch of scrappy wins early in the year and during DC matches. Fed, too, sails through with the early lead. Interesting how some kind of work their way in, whereas others like to seize and run.


Kimmi Says:

murray is in trouble in this set..double fault does not help..


jane Says:

Nice serve and volley from Murray there; is this a renaissance of the tactic!!??


Kimmi Says:

what is this thing i hear the commentators talking about umpires and commentators have also to qualify for WTF? ha-ha this is amuzing.

apparently for the commentators only goodall and koenig made it thru last year…


dimwitted recluse Says:

margot – you leave my Dan Maskell alone. You know, he’s often seen as the caricature of the upper class Englishman. Actually, he was working class in origin, and a professional in the days of amateurs. He was a great coach, and a great commentator. No less a person than the abrasive Jimmy Connors paid tribute to him. He knew how to keep his gob shut when gobs were required to be kept shut, and when to put his oar in when oar putting in would be useful. And he never put on silly voices (the unctuous lowered tone, e.g.), and if he raised his voice, it was in genuine excitement, not manufactured excitement. He was as innocent as a day in Spring, and somehow – like David Attenborough, say – was a great comic figure. They are the best.

Worrying moment when Fed seemed to turn on his ankle. That kind of thing can come back to hit you the next day. He hit one really good serve of Step’s, directed to the corner, with a sort of slight flick of the wrist, and the ball traversed the entire court, parallel to the tramlines, going quite high and landing just in at the other end. Nice fluke, I grinned to myself with satisfaction. And then he did it again, in the same game. “Ah,” I remarked to myself (there being nobody else, you see, to whom I might impart my pearls of wisdom)”not a fluke, after all”.

When all is said and done, the things Mr.Federer can do with his backhand – that weak shot – seem to be innumerable. I doubt if any technical manual would have a name for a quarter of them.


dari Says:

Skeezer, fed is shaping up quite a nice fall season in those “old” colors. I say keep it up. Fell asleep during his match, which is quite a good thing, Congrats to fed!
Onto murray/cilic, I like the way civic is looking today and wish i could see it more often!


Kimmi Says:

murray should be aggressive on these break point..one more c’mon


Kimmi Says:

murray breaks..error from cilic..

skeezer – i like the pupple on fed…i say keep it till the end of this year…but wouldnt mind if he change to something else..the guy always look good. :)


NELTA Says:

Berdych should have taken that match. He was playing well and Davy wasn’t at his best. He was 2 points from winning 3 different times. He was up 5-4 in the breaker and had an easy forehand passing shot that he totally choked on. Then at 5-5 he hit a solid return up the middle on Davy’s 2nd serve, but for some reason decided to rush the net. Davy hit a weak forehand down the line that Berdych couldn’t reach because he was running towards the net. He was totally deflated after losing the 2nd set.

Davy is speedy, but there are many speedy players on tour like Monfils or Simon for example. It’s how he uses that speed offensively(not defensively) that makes him successful against some of the bigger and slower guys on tour. He is constantly changing the direction of the ball. His opponent will hit cross court and instead of moving sideways or diagonally backwards Davy moves diagonally forwards to cut off the angle and hit the ball early down the line. The bigger/slower players can’t get their feet under them when Davy is constantly changing the direction of the ball. He does it equally well with the forehand and backhand so there is no relief when his game is on.


jane Says:

Murray’s running shots!! Wow.


skeezerweezer Says:

Purple? Geez I need a new TV. Looked like a faded out grey shirt, LOL. Oh well, I regress if you ladies like it I’m behind ya…..although canary yellow shirt with a purple feathered scarf wrapped around the neck was kinda what I was thinkin….


skeezerweezer Says:

T.B.


Eric Says:

I’m glad to see Cilic looks to be pulling this set out after all… he shoulda, woulda, coulda won 6-4 or 6-3…


jane Says:

Great post NELTA. ” but for some reason [Berd] decided to rush the net.” This reminded me of “old Berdych”, the one who made many unwise decisions at crucial moments in matches and thus never went as deep as you knew he could. This very moment in the match seemed like the turning point to me. Then, as you say, Berdych went away in the final set and Davy seized the day.

Cilic is vindicating his choke trying to serve it out in this tiebreak so far. But Murray can come steaming back. Maybe not in the tiebreak but certainly next set. We’ve seen him do it before. Focus Murray!


Eric Says:

Well, perhaps I spoke too soon. SIGH.


Eric Says:

After racing to a 4-0 lead, Cilic proceeds to drop the next 5 points in a row. Whoops…


jane Says:

Murray gets both mini breaks back! 4 all! (Well, Cilic’s errors – as mentioned earlier, he is prone to them at the worst of times. This time breaker for Cilic really is the embodiment of “the best of times, the worst of times.)

But. He is flexing his hand/wrist. Worrying, that.


jane Says:

Meaning Murray is flexing his wrist. Also meant “tiebreaker” above, not time breaker. doh!


skeezerweezer Says:

at 5-5 in the TB, did Cilic serve an ace, line judge signaled good, but umpire overuled? Only to find it did clearly hit he line? Did I see that right? As a result he had to serve it again?


Eric Says:

Yes, you saw that right. Shittiest call in recent memory? Yes.


Eric Says:

Completely unbelievable TB…what on earth.


skeezerweezer Says:

Wow, props to Murray.. hung in there…and Cilic…….cough cough…er….21 UE’s…


jane Says:

I thought a let was called skeeze? Murray gets the set, largely due to Cilic playing poorly when it mattered. I wonder if that’s a confidence thing? Mind you, now that they show the stats it’s clear they were evenly matched, but for the unforced/forced errors: 10 Murray, 21 Cilic.


Kimmi Says:

another forehand error cost cilic the set. murray did not need to do much, just being consistent was enough.

second set! go murray


Eric Says:

jane, it wasn’t a let, otherwise what would there have been to challenge?

anyway, boo… still, props to Murray for managing to steal the set back


skeezerweezer Says:

Eric,

Thanks for that, I had the volume turned down,,,,wanted to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. That umpire needs to go back to tennis umpiring school, geeez
Still, the way Cilic was playing after 4-0, I don’t know if that was going to help.

Murray hung tough…..did whatever it took. Next set…..


Eric Says:

Perhaps the umpire incorrectly thought it was out and hence a fault in addition to just being a let… I guess that makes sense. still quite a spot of crappy luck for Cilic. if it was a let, I see what the players who complain about the sensitivity of the device mean.


skeezerweezer Says:

Little concerned for Murrays wrist. Hope he doesn’t push it….it’s the end of the year and all, wrist is very tricky stuff..


Eric Says:

just ask Del Potro…


Fot Says:

I’m happy that Roger won his match. I’m a little tired of seeing Stepanek every tournament though! lol!

Congrats to all the winners today and their fans. Congrats to those last few players to qualify for Year-End.

Here’s a nice little interview with Roger. (someone put the English words underneath so you can understand when he speaks in Swiss-German and French). Interesting that they asked him to alternate answering the questions between the various languages.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8E4QdBhilgs


jane Says:

I must’ve missed that one Eric, thanks for clarifying. I am watching and cleaning simultaneously.

Yes, a little worried. Murray better not over-extend that wrist. On the other hand, with that first set, I feel like Murray has this match in the bag.


Eric Says:

“On the other hand, with that first set, I feel like Murray has this match in the bag.”

Exactly, Cilic is highly inconsistent…I doubt he can win two sets in a row. Had he not fallen apart at the end there, it would have been looking good for him, but now I bet your man will come through in straights…


jane Says:

Fot, I like the intro to that video, with all the guys in their simple narrow black mod-looking suits, and their tennis racquets! Also, don’t you think Fed looks a lot like his father? To me he does, he’s more handsome but much younger too.

Eric, Cilic is showing some will here, so don’t want to count my chickens. But I like Murray’s steadiness overall (er, since those two warnings, I mean :/). Marin has a beautiful forehand when it connects.


Eric Says:

YES. Maybe without the disadvantage of serving first after each changeover, Cilic can actually keep this lead for once, eh?


Kimmi Says:

Cilic is going for it and he is been rewarded..murray needs to be aggressive here..c’mon murray, dont bring him back!


Fot Says:

Yes Jane, Roger does look like a ‘younger’ version of his father.

Well, well.. Cilic is up 5-2 in the 2nd. Of course he was serving for the first set too. The announcer that came on after the first set said something like “I’m here to call action for this last set”. So I guess he doesn’t have faith in Cilic either! lol!

I want to ask – where did these guys dig up that picture of Murray on this blog? Looks like he was 15 years old in that picture! Surely they have an updated version – you think?


jane Says:

Murray’s not moving as well this second set, but his serve has been good all match!


skeezerweezer Says:

Cilic is toying with us with his play. 18 -4 winners so far in the 2nd. Geez go figure,….


Eric Says:

Fot, they use old pictures for all the players. I guess they think it’s cute… but Roger’s photo is often him @ perhaps 20 years old.


Eric Says:

Murray does now look strangely lifeless. I guess it’s doubly unfortunate (for Cilic, heh) that AM snagged the first set from under his paws…


jane Says:

I like the old photos in which Fed is wearing beads and has long hair = Swiss hippy tennis player. :) The cow one is classic too. Also like the one in which Nole is flying a plane.


Kimmi Says:

perfect set for cilic..

21 winners, only 6 errors..WOW! if he carries on like this he could win this.

c’mon murray!


jane Says:

Wow, Cilic has stormed back to level it. Thought he might be deflated after losing the first. Murray will need to up his level next set and he just seemed sluggish to me in the second one. Unless it’s his wrist and he’s subconsciously letting that take his focus off the match. Take care Murray.


Eric Says:

Exactly… Have you seen this? It’s a video from the 2001 Hopman Cup. (Ignore the title…) Fed strums his tennis racquet like a guitar and he and Hingis are apparently having so little trouble with the American opponents that they spend as much time joking around as focusing…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yclfTHS5aE


skeezerweezer Says:

Have fun guys…gotta go play some tennis myself…hope its a “cracker”


Fot Says:

Eric, I have that entire match (in my Federer collection). lol!


jane Says:

Oh it’s funny Eric. That was before I got mad at Fed for beating up on all my then-faves in the years to come! lol. He looks so easy-going. Before the pressures of fame, success, all that there. I guess he would’ve been single then too??


Kimmi Says:

cilic is going off the boil again..

time to pounce here muzz


jane Says:

Double fault, two errors, one wild wide forehand, another long – gives Murray love-40. This be the match?


Kimmi Says:

there goes the racket. cilic is mad, i cant blame him.

murray now need to concentrate and take this home


jane Says:

And a second double fault to top things off! Murray with the break. I haven’t seen a player be quite this up-and-down in a match in a while. It’s not even in one set, it’s from one moment to the next. Luckily Murray is keeping his head down and going about his business.


Fot Says:

This match is over. Cilic has ‘gone away’ in the 3rd so Murray will probably come through.


Eric Says:

What happened on the first point of this game? My stream was being sketchy, but it looked like Murray returned a Cilic’s shot on the line into the net, and the shot was called out, which Cilic challenged to show that it just caught hte line…but then nothing happened? Just a bit confused…


Eric Says:

Somewhere in the world, Murray’s fairy godmother has to be running low on her bag of magic dust…


Kimmi Says:

game set match muzz. good luck on the next match.


jane Says:

My streaming froze too, just when they showed the ball on the line.

margot!! Murray’s still in it because he was the steady guy today. And he salvaged my bracket. :) I’ll be curious if he says anything about his wrist in the presser. Hope all is good.


Eric Says:

From Wikipedia: In the 2002 Australian Open Men’s Doubles semi-final against Julien Boutter and Arnaud Clément, a small bird (identified as a house martin) flew into the court chasing a moth. It flew into the path of a hard hit volley by Llodra. After an impromptu funeral ceremony led by Boutter, the match continued, with Llodra and Santoro eventually winning 6-3 3-6 12-10.[5] Llodra remarked afterwards, “I didn’t do it deliberately. But at least I saved the moth.”


Hypnos Says:

Skeezerweezer:

I would say that Fed (who uses gut on the mains, and Luxilon on the crosses) and Serena Williams (who uses full gut) are the exceptions that prove the rule. At their peaks they were so far ahead of the game that they could afford to use gut for the feel and comfort.

At least, Fed could until Nadal came along …

I can’t say that Luxilon has been bad for the game from a popularity standpoint, esp. in the Internet age. Now you get spectacular shot making from Top 50 players, not just Top 5 players, and unreal shotmaking from the Top 5. But as a tennis geek I wouldn’t mind seeing more variety, more Lllodra and Santoro type players.


Hypnos Says:

Skeezerweezer:

I would say that Fed (who uses gut on the mains, and Luxilon on the crosses) and Serena Williams (who uses full gut) are the exceptions that prove the rule. At their peaks they were so far ahead of the game that they could afford to use gut for the feel and comfort.

At least, Fed could until Nadal came along …

I can’t say that Luxilon has been bad for the game from a popularity standpoint, esp. in the Internet age. Now you get spectacular shot making from Top 50 players, not just Top 5 players, and unreal shotmaking from the Top 5. But as a tennis geek I wouldn’t mind seeing more variety — more Lllodra and Santoro type players, and more fast grass/carpet.


Hypnos Says:

wow, the first post went through — my apologies for the double-post.


Kimmi Says:

dimwitted recluse – “Worrying moment when Fed seemed to turn on his ankle. That kind of thing can come back to hit you the next day”

yap, worrying moment indeed. just listen to his post match interview, he said he got it checked and everything seem to be ok. he is waiting to see how he feels when he gets up tomorrow. lets hope all is good :)


dimwitted recluse Says:

Thanks for info, Kimmi. Melzer tomorrow – he seems to believe in himself more, not surprising after such a successful season. He remarked, for instance, that he believes he is dangerous for any player. Oh, he is. The way he slides the ball away from his opponent, he’s a difficult and (I would think) unusual customer. Does he believe he can beat his mate Federer, though? I see Federer has the 6.30 slot again (English time). There’s something slightly distasteful in him playing at the same time each day. I suppose it’s box office requirements, but even so.

NELTA, I enjoyed your take on Berdych/Davy. I caught a little of it. Berdych was looking good, I thought, after a dismal late season. And I actually thought Davydenko was looking good, too. At any rate, after O2 last year, everyone thought Davy would play a prominent role in AO. Perhaps now he’s got a long rest, or will do – in his interview, speaking his usual Davydenko version of English, one word was repeated again and again, “holiday”. So far as I could tell, he seemed to be saying that at this time of year, you think only of holidays, and so as he makes his way forward cross-court to frustrate his opponent, he is dreaming of beaches in Bali or something. That’s what it sounded like, and perhaps this is a good recipe for relaxation. At any rate, he should be well rested for AO 2011, so with any luck, he really will figure there prominently this time.


Nina Says:

Seems a bit late, but in re: to Guy – I agree wholeheartedly with your post about the S&V era.
Specially with this comment: “Anyone who thinks today’s game lacks variety needs a reality check. they watch some nice highlights of vintage tennis and think the whole matches were like that. actually they were often boring, serve dominant affairs with very short points.”
I stopped watching tennis when Sampras was reigning in, I thought it was boring, too fast, no good rallies, etc. I started watching again with Federer, djoko, etc. For me there is no comparison between those eras. In my opinion tennis has never been better or more exciting than now and the Tops show a great variety of shots and skills.
Going back to Bercy… kinda expected loss by Nole but it still hurts. I have the tendency to get into the darkest of moods when he loses. It’s hard to be a fan after all.


Kimmi Says:

dimwitted recluse – the davydenko para above is classic..ha-ha

i love to read davy interviews!


Kimmi Says:

dimwitted recluse – melzer will sure be tricky opponent. the more he plays federer the more he learns how to play him better.

i remember their first match at wimbledon, this match was waaay one sided. the USO was much better though. melzer likes to go for broke, somehow he made few errors at important moment in this match.

when he played nadal in shanghai. melzer serve was working that day. he went for broke and most of them went in. he played one of his best matches of his career that day.

paris is a little faster, he might not have time to set up for those forehands..who knows! i think it will be an interesting match.


Colin Says:

Oh boy, that was wearing on the nerves! If Cilic could iron out the inconsistency, particularly in his forehand, he’d be a formidable player. Murray, as he said himself, found a way to win. Here’s what he should do: get a hypnotist to implant in his mind that every time he serves,he’s break point down. Then he’d send down lots of aces.
Dimwitted Recluse – a belated thankyou for praising Dan Maskell who was for British fans, the voice of tennis for so many years. As you say, he was far from upper class. I believe his father kept a pub, only a few streets away from my flat. I don’t know when he acquired his “posh” accent, but if he hadn’t he wouldn’t have worked for the BBC. They avoided regional or working class voices in his day. Do you remember he carried a torch for Virginia Wade – Ginny as he called her?
To return to Murray, he hasn’t shown his best form so far in Paris, but then he didn’t in that other tournament until the final when he got his best win over Federer. So I’m hopeful, wrist permitting, that he can win here


sar Says:

Why didn’t Novak just blow off Basel? I’m so mad at him.


skeezerweezer Says:

Nina,

No prob about your preference to watch, makes sense. I am biased but the greatest tennis I have ever seen is this era also, with Fed’s magic. One needs only to you tube him and come up with the best array of shots EVER.

Re: Nole, take heart he is still early in his career, his best days are ahead, if he takes this last half of the year and builds on it he’ll get his Slams……really appreciating the way his game is maturing…


skeezerweezer Says:

Hypnos,

Re: Lexilon. True, it’s all good. It’s allowed, so use it or lose it, cause if it is an advantage….why not? And the spin is down right nasty good.

In the bigger picture, me thinks we would all be bored watching guys hit with wooden racquets again.

BUT…..wouldn’t it be hilarious to see the top 5 or so play in a tournament with wooden racquets just once? Talk about skill level dropping DRAMATICALLY. Now I would pay to see that. The “whiff” would make a comeback. LMAO


skeezerweezer Says:

Anyone have any thoughts on tomorrow’s matches?

Sod vs Roddick
Davy vs the hot Llorda

First up


Eric Says:

Sod vs. Roddick is a complete tossup…. apparently Roddick won both of their matches this year, Soderling’s 2 wins are from 2008. But they were all close affairs: 5 out of 10 total sets were decided by tiebreakers (including 2 of 3 in their most recent meeting), and only 1 of those 10 sets was won by a margin of 2 or more service breaks. So really…who knows. The only match of either I saw was Soderling’s vvery convincing beatdown of Simon, so I would lean towards him, but Roddick looks to be in fine form too. Pity I will be in seminar during all of the interesting matches tomorrow…

As for Llodra vs. Davydenko, I don’t see Davy having any confidence problems or anything so I don’t see why one would pick Llodra. Davydenko doesn’t exactly have a massive serve so I guess if Llodra’s return game is really cracking that could get Davy into trouble.

And of course I would expect Andy and Roger to sail through, although Monfils could easily get through if Andy plays mediocre tennis like he did today. Which I imagine he won’t, as he always seems to up his form at the right moment in these hardcourt masters events.


Eric Says:

Forgot to say, “BUT…..wouldn’t it be hilarious to see the top 5 or so play in a tournament with wooden racquets just once? Talk about skill level dropping DRAMATICALLY. Now I would pay to see that. The “whiff” would make a comeback. LMAO”

YES. That would be awesome.


Hypnos Says:

skeezerweezer,

I think the Top 5 guys would adapt, end up playing like Roscoe Tanner. Federer might play like Laver.


steve-o Says:

Roddick is not the greatest returner. Whenever he plays these power baseliners he always has to take care to return aggressively. For instance I think he is 0-5 against Del Potro, who not only serves big but backs up his serve extremely well.

Soderling is obviously not in Del Potro’s league but he still can cause Roddick a lot of trouble.

The surface is so fast though that I think Roddick will have the edge.

@sar: I’m guessing he wanted to defend his title at Basel and beat Federer in his hometown again, but the man from Basel was determined to reclaim the crown.

I think Djokovic played about the same amount of tennis during the hardcourt season this year as last year, he’s not much more tired. He just ran into a red-hot Llodra.

If the surface really is faster than in previous years, then it would have been harder for Djokovic to make passing shots and get any rhythm from the baseline. Llodra plays very fast and attacks constantly, which can disrupt a baseliner’s game.


margot Says:

jane: ooh, didn’t like your comment about Andy’s wrist :( didn’t he read my advice? Am pleased though, he seems to be winning while not playing his best. That’s truly a Rafa characteristic and one to give heart. Yes, he does usually start slowly, except when playing Fed, can’t let him get ahead.
steve-o : 5-1 :)
dr: re Andy and Wimbles, I think Andy would need to win a slam elsewhere b4 the big W., pressure there for a first is too gr8.
re dear old Dan, then you’d love “too marvellous” though I’ve no idea who he is.
skeeze, anyone: please read me at 11.33 11/10/10 and tell me who this creep is! Someone must know!
colin: many words are almost straight down from Anglo Saxon eg “lippe, haer,” etc and it was the blooming French who changed most of the spellings!
Oh and “faeder, moder”….come to think of it isn’t that a Bob Newart song ;)
huh: agree with u re “Hurt” ok for an hour and very over-hyped but a tad better than “Avatar” ;)


dimwitted recluse Says:

Nina – you and guy certainly have a valid point in saying today’s tennis has more variety. It’s just that something important has been almost lost on the way – s and v. Nothing surprising there; if conditions are drastically changed the results may be largely beneficial, but the chances are, something will be lost along the way. we saw yestreday how effective that can be on certain surfaces. It is legitimate, therefor, to ask whether if grass was as it used to be: would Nadal have won his two Wimbies? The answer is certainly “no” imo, not without learning how to play s and v. Though you never know – Santana, for instance. Of course Federer, too, has benefited from the slow down at Wimbledon – although he always had more options than Nadal.

margot – the reasons to love Dan Maskell had nothing to do with his proclivity for the word “marvellous”. You could either see that as an affectation or an eccentricity or even (in the light of Colin’s comments) as a doffing of his cap to supposed BBC requirements. Doff it often enough, and it is liable to become second nature. He was just a great commentator who understood that people switched on to watch tennis, not to listen to him. Of course, do this for long enough, and you become a sort of legend, and then….

margo – the spelling of words is not relevant (in the sense you’re talking about), that’s to mistake the shadow for the reality and to become embroiled in the quaint. Language has its own peculiar way of reflecting society. English right now is evolving in all kinds of ways which nobody can really predict. One of the reason Pound’s translation of The Seafarer is so wonderful is that he almost captures what it is like to be living in those times. To do that with the resources of modern English is quite something.

Skeeze – I, too, have often fantasised, for instance what would Fed against Laver have been like, using wooden rackets of course. Although, come to think of it – why not both? Give Fed 3 months to acclimatise to wooden – play. Give Laver 3 months to acclimatise to today’s rackets – play. Laver was actually asked how he thought this would play out. He deflected the question, and why not.


margot Says:

dr: the spelling of words is totally relevant eg “margo” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


dimwitted recluse Says:

margot – yes, that’s a good point of course. Sorry about name. But note I said spelling not relevant in the sense you were talking about. And that I maintain absolutely. Otherwise, we really are just indulging in quaintness.


margot Says:

dr: I don’t quite understand the point your making and your statement is rather presumptuous about my intent. English is my bag, as they say. All I AM trying to say is that the roots of our language are there plain to see, beneath the meddlings of our conquerers. Of course Anglos and Saxons were also conquerors who meddled. This is what makes our language so fascinating.
PS Do not care if Maskell was son of Peckham pig swiller, still found him a boring old duffer.


dimwitted recluse Says:

margot – re Maskell, you keep realigning the goalposts, I’m not sufficiently interested to continue that particular dance.

well exactly, conquerors everywhere. So how about Celtic – there is a presumed affinity with the ancient Britons, and no doubt a qualified linguist will be able to find roots to our language there. Should, then, non Welsh people learn Celtic? Should we re-install Latin in the classrooms, and what about ancient Greek?

of course those who choose can learn Anglo-Saxon or anything else. It’s relevance to our language today, however, is contested, and precisely by people who have “English [as their] bag”. There’s no need to be dogmatic about it – just note it.

My own feeling is that getting to grips with middle English (Chaucer etc) is incomparably more important, valuable and plain enjoyable than messing around with a dead language. That is the preserve of a few, and none the worse for that – but it is, and will remain, a few.

Chaucerian English really does lie at the heart of our language – and it is still very difficult to learn,for many people. They don’t teach it in my son’s school, and more the pity imo. So there is also the question of what is practicable – on a largeish scale, I mean. There will always be those delightful scholars who are possessed of pretty esoteric knowledge. Perhaps you are one of them?


margot Says:

dr: ooh golly u r patronising sometimes! The end.


Nina Says:

@skeezerweezer … Thanks for your comforting words, I wished I was so positive about Nole!
When he lost the USO final, which I was absolutely convinced he would win (because it was due for him, because in my opinion he has a superior hardcourt games than Rafa’s) I felt devastated for two weeks. I know, I should get a life, lol. But I was left with this sensation that he was wasting too many chances and I know he’s very young and all, but I really expected more from him. Always expect more from him. I guess fans can be unforgiving sometimes. I’d really hate to see Novak turned into one slam wonder. Because he has too much talent for that.


dimwitted recluse Says:

margot, don’t be silly. I was just trying to think how to get out of this absurd argument without causing too much offence. It all started because you were “incensed” by my slagging off Beowulf. Well, if I’d known it was so important to you I certainly wouldn’t have done so. Each to his own.


Von Says:

Margot: This is directed to only you. I think if we were to get down to the nitty gritty of English as a language and it’s origins, albeit a borrowed one nonetheless, we’d all be able to breathe a lot easier, knowing, that in essence, it’s a langage made up of French, latin, and Greek, with it’s roots and derivatives emanating from those languages hence = a borrowed language.


dimwitted recluse Says:

margot, if you’re still listening, I’d like to point something out. When you peremptorily dismissed poor old Dan (” Do not care if Maskell was son of Peckham pig swiller, still found him a boring old duffer”) I SHOULD have come back with something like “so put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!” That’s what you might have done (or better), I get the impression that you’re pretty quick thinking and that your wit is spontaneous. I’m not like that, which is why I daresay I come across, sometimes, as a bit pompous, longwinded or laborious. You can be aware of a trait in yourself and yet not really be able to do much about it.

It occurs to me that my sympathy – and your lack of – for the big lumbering boys of tennis is no coincidence.

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