ATP World Tour Finals Preview Part II: The Players
by Ben Pronin | November 17th, 2010
  • 147 Comments

Part I was a good enough intro, so I’ll just jump right into it:

Rafael Nadal: Ignoring everything he’s done this year (hard to do, I know), the reason I believe that Nadal will, in fact, win his first year end title is because he said he wants to a few months ago. After winning the French Open, Nadal said he was looking towards the US Open. He completely skipped over his beloved Wimbledon, that he won anyway, to focus on the one major he hadn’t won. What happened next? He won the US Open. After the US Open he said he was setting his sights on the WTF. So judging by his history, bum shoulder or not, he’s going to come out gun’s blazing.

Roger Federer:For a 16-time slam champ, the guy isn’t playing half bad. He hasn’t lost before the semifinals since Wimbledon, and has failed to reach the finals only twice, both times squandering match points. It’s not far-fetched to think he’ll continue his good play and choke every couple of matches, but at the same time, it’s Federer. He’s been gaining momentum for a reason, he wants to reclaim the number one ranking. And even though people don’t seem to value the WTF the way they should, it’s the fifth biggest tournament in tennis and Federer is burning to reclaim his throne. He’s won it four times before and narrowly lost to Davydenko in the semis last year. Except some magic from the Swiss.

Novak Djokovic:The guy finally put himself back in the mix by reaching the US Open final and has been playing solid tennis since. Solid, but not spectacular. I think it’s fair to say the guy thinks about Davis Cup 95% of the time, on and off the court. He still managed to defend his Beijing title and his only losses before Paris came to Federer. Winning this title would send a huge message to his rivals, the tennis world, and particularly France. Surely the French would be shaking in their boots if they have to face not only Djokovic in Serbia, but the guy who just won a tournament that features only the top eight players in the world.

Robin Soderling: The French-Open-Upset-Specialist just won his first Masters title in Paris on a very similar surface. He made the semifinals last year losing to Del Potro in a third set tiebreaker and he’s fully capable of going one further this year. Like Djokovic, this would be a great opportunity for Soderling to make a big statement to his rivals, the tennis world, and France. Wait, no, he already made his statements to France…

Andy Murray:Murray barely missed the semifinals last year and he’s going to want to right the ship this time around. This tournament could actually be the best thing to happen to Murray, should he win. Winning Wimbledon is still a tall task due to Nadal and Murray’s inclination to get tight in slams. But the WTF is definitely a tournament Murray is fully capable of winning due to the best-of-3 set format and maybe a big win in London will make the Brits relax a little towards Murray. Maybe.

Tomas Berdych: I have always loved Berdych’s game. I still remember when he won Paris, back in 2005 (this guy is ancient), and like the rest of the tennis world, I was hoping it would be the start of great things. But it wasn’t. He finally got his act together by reaching the French Open semifinal and Wimbledon final. But his season has almost been bookended by two matches two Federer. In Miami, he saved match points to win, and went on to have a great summer. Then he blew a 5-2 lead in the third in Montreal and hasn’t been the same since. Although he doesn’t have the greatest record against his group, he does have wins over all of them and he is formidable on his day. He knows he has nothing to lose and if he ever wanted to fulfill even half of his potential, winning this title wouldn’t be a bad start. Maybe if he gets to the semis and beats Federer again he’ll start another run of great success.

David Ferrer:It seems like since his loss at the US Open, Ferrer has been working especially hard to redeem himself, and he’s done a great job. Really, who thought this guy even had a shot at qualifying before the US Open? But he’s in and he’s playing some mean ball. He has a good record against everyone in his group except Federer, but Federer has been giving out overdue wins lately so don’t be surprised to see Ferrer get a W. He’s also probably the least favorite from anyone’s perspective, including his own, and he’s done well at the year end championships before. This is his last tournament, too, so he can go all out with the luxury of a few weeks of rest before playing competitive tennis again.

Andy Roddick:He almost didn’t make it, but thank the tennis Gods he did. A-Rod is playing decent tennis having recovered from an almost comical succession of injuries that have plagued him since the clay season. Hopefully his injury woes are over and he can put up a good display in London. He missed out last year due to injury and his last two losses at Wimbledon have been absolute heart breakers. Like Murray, this could be a great tournament for Roddick to re-establish himself and boost his confidence. I don’t think there’s a single fan out there who would mind seeing Roddick win a much-deserved big title. (I know he won Miami, but this would be even bigger and he might even have to beat Federer to do it).

So there you go, my speculative reasons for why each guy should be gunning for the big win. I still believe Nadal will win but should the unexpected happen, at least we know how (sorta).

Rough Predictions: Nadal 2-1, Djokovic 2-1, Roddick 2-1, Berdych 0-3. Federer 1-2, Murray 3-0, Soderling 2-1, Ferrer 1-2. Nadal def. Soderling, Djokovic def. Murray. Nadal def. Djokovic.


Also Check Out:
ATP World Tour Finals Preview Part I: A Brief History
Radwanska Needs to Get in Sharapova’s Face: Sony Miami Women’s Final Preview
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: “If I Have To Break My Two Ankles To Win, I Will Do It”
Roger Federer Shows Up at the Super Bowl
Roger Federer Breaks Down His Group At London ATP World Tour Finals

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147 Comments for ATP World Tour Finals Preview Part II: The Players

dave Says:

Sure Nadal wants to win the WTF, after losing all three round robin matches in straight sets on the fast surface last year. This year he got a kind draw in his group with the out of form Berdych and questionable Roddick. No Murray or Soderling to worry about.

Fact is Nadal has been beatable after Wimbledon. Nadal was down match points to a player ranked No. 54 at Tokyo but he did not choke this time (unlike Doha in January against the tougher opponent Davydenko). As well, Nadal was not the best player from January to mid-April (he had failed to win a single tournament for almost one year). Nadal was exceptionally good for only 3.5 months of the entire season, from mid-April (Monte Carlo) to early July (Wimbledon).

So outside of the US Open, Nadal has not dominated since Wimbledon. Yes, Nadal did win the US Open, but strolled into the final (players like Murray and Berdych lost early), then faced Djokovic who was drained from his match with Federer.

Since Wimbledon, Federer has had the best record of all players (30-4 match win-loss, 3 titles, superior ranking points) versus Nadal (20-4, 2 titles, about 1,000 less ranking points).

If Nadal fails to win the World Tour Finals in London, his best season (2010) would be inferior to Federer’s 2004, 2006 and 2007 seasons in terms of grand slams, WTF, tournament titles, win-loss match record, number of matches played, etc.


dave Says:

Forgot to add:

Semifinas:
- Djokovic (winner group A) vs Murray/Soderling

- Federer (winner group B) vs Nadal

Final:
Federer vs Djokovic


jane Says:

Thanks Ben. I think the way you describe Berdych’s season is quite accurate; it’s almost at though that win over Fed in Miami propelled him to better things at the FO & Wimby and then the win at Wimby really stamped the belief into him, but since the loss in Toronto he’s fallen into a slump. I’m pretty sure he was injured at Toronto and/or Cincy, wasn’t he? I recall him having tape maybe on his thigh? So it could be that his slump was partly due to that. Anyhow, for a couple of rounds in Paris, he looked good but once Davy won that tiebreak it was almost like Berydch mentally unraveled. Still I would not count him out here. He could easily surprise.

d.r. makes good points on the other thread about how Nole’s mind might be elsewhere with the DC on the back of his mind. But it’s true he’s played solidly until maybe Paris. Perhaps in that second set he could’ve capitalized on some of his break chances; then again, maybe not, due to Llodra’s outstanding form. Murray wasn’t at his best at Paris. But he was scraping through his matches; I think they all went the distance. I hope he plays consistently stronger at O2, and I think he will because it’s home. With Soda, he could fly in on momentum or he could have a letdown after winning his first Masters. Roddick needs to keep that serve firing; as Kimmi mentioned he was broken a couple times in his losses at Basel and Paris so that will be key for him to go deep. If Ferrer is tenacious enough he can win against almost anyone, but he tends to get too negative sometimes and maybe loses focus a little. Fed’s grooved and playing well (serving exceptionally well), and by contrast Rafa’s had a long rest; it’s tough to know who benefits more in these situations – from more play (but potentially tired) or less play (but potentially rusty).

We’ll find out soon. : )


jojostryus Says:

So Dave, another comparison eh?

BORING!!!


Thomas Says:

My Round robin predictions :

Group A
Nadal over Roddick in 3
Djokovic over Berdych in 2
Djokovic over Nadal in 3
Roddick over Berdych in 2
Djokovic over Roddick in 3
Nadal over Berdych in 2

Group B
Federer over Ferrer in 2
Soderlig over Murray in 3
Federer over Soderling in 2
Murray over Ferrer in 3
Murray over Federer in 3
Soderling over Ferrer in 3


guy Says:

tennis is at a very epic moment right now

the 4way rivalry is a great on going drama

and nadal’s story is so compelling because it’s been so difficult for him to overcome federer and peers to achieve the milestones.


Huh Says:

Don’t care who wins WTF if it’s someone else than Fed or Rod. That’s another thing.

Nonetheless, A SPECTACULAR ARTICLE!


Eskay Says:

Rafa’s determination and Roger’s pride will carry them through to S.Fs. Murray’s tenacity will pull him through. Of Djokovic, Roddick and Berdych, joker is likely to prevail over aces. If Rafa draws Murray in S.F, he loses, but wins against Roger. Murray will do well before home crowd, having disappointed them(!) at Wimby. If final is between Rafa and Murray, Rafa might prevail. If between Roger and Murray, Roger might prevail. Otherwise, Murray is the champion.


Rick Says:

Easy draw for Federer. Although, he would not wins it for sure. All the veterans like him are on his group. You know Ferrer and Soderling, except Murray. And all the young lions are on Nadal’s group. And it is so rediculous to had Federer to played on the first day of US Open this year. He is being seeded two.


Rick Says:

Although, Federer has 16 slams. He only deserved like 13 slams. With Nadal not playing in the 2006 Australian Open, hurt in 2009 French Open and pulled out completely at Wimbledon last year! Federer has mono since 2008 Aussie Open! lol Murray would be the winner in Federer’s group!


Nina Says:

I really have no idea or expectations about the winner! ANYONE can do it. ANYONE.


dimwitted recluse Says:

” Federer has been giving out overdue wins lately so don’t be surprised to see Ferrer get a W”

These overdue wins, too, are from players who have taken Federer to the very brink – except perhaps Blake. Well, Ferrer had his chances against Federer in Hamburg 2 or 3 years ago – so he knows he can do it. And that’s half the battle.


Farley Says:

Yes Nadal will lose.


jane Says:

d.r., Ferrer also had a good chance to beat Roger at Cincy in either 2008 or 2009; he had him on the ropes if I recall, on a hardcourt.


Lulu Iberica Says:

I’m a total Nadal fan, but I’m not as optimistic about his chances as Ben seems to be. Not having seen him play in over a month, and with this shoulder business (which could be anything from a career-threatening injury, to a strategic maneuver, for all we know) I just can’t judge his chances. For the rest of the field: Berdy’s not going to do anything, Ferrer could make a run, but it would be a real shocker for him to win it. Djoker’s too focused on DC, so unless others really flame out, I don’t see him taking it. I like Murray, and obviously, he’s capable of winning, but unless he’s been secretly seeing a sports psych lately, I don’t think he can do it in London, unless he faces an opponent in the semis or final who’s mentally weaker than he is. Roddick could get to semis, but unless he’s on fire and Rog goes out early, he’s not winning it. Speaking of Rog, he could definitely go all the way. I think he’s really focused on YEC and has been building up to it, but he might still be mentally exhausted by the time he gets to the finals, lose focus, and once again, lose with multiple match points. I hate to say it, but think Sod has a great chance here. He’s on a high, has nothing to lose, and he’s in great form. I don’t think he’ll be intimidated here (no swirling winds like USO!)


skeezerweezer Says:

Eskay,

Your post was awesome:). Not bad from a Rafa fan. Having a completely objective post once in awhile shows credibility. More importantly, your post made sense! Thanks.


skeezerweezer Says:

Lulu,

Nice post also. After reading up here and seeing the form of the players of late I too am picking Sod or Murray. Being a Fed fan like to see him win, but……can he stay focused?

Re: Rafa, my only concern for Rafa is

Is he healthy?
Is he match tough ready since he has been out a bit?

I think you’ll find out everything in that first match he plays.


dimwitted recluse Says:

“the 4way rivalry is a great on going drama”

Not 5 way? Or not yet?


skeezerweezer Says:

Kimberly was asking earlier who the alternates were. Anybody know this? Are there?


jane Says:

skeezer, I am guessing but I think they’d be Verdasco and Youz, but Youz had a back injury so I am not sure if he’d be available.


Lulu Iberica Says:

On a note about Sod, yes, I am one of those Rafa fans who does not like him! Not just because he knocked my guy out at RG, though. It’s mainly because during RG 2009, I was IN PARIS with TICKETS to the quarterfinals! Sitting in our little rented apartment in Les Marais, I did not believe my husband when he opened the newspaper and told me that the King had been toppled from his throne! I stood there with my mouth open and my eyes filled with tears. A few days later I got to see Soderling put the smackdown on Davy, and the French crowd cheered Soda like a god! (I don’t know if Uncle Tony was right about French bias against Spaniards, but the RG spectators were certainly happy to see Rafa defeated.) Also, I don’t love Soda’s all-power game, and he looks mean and seems lacking in personality, although seeing him hug his gf after Paris softened me up a bit.

In response to Dave: I don’t need stats to tell me what I already know intuitively — Rafa is not, and will probably never be, as dominating a No.1 as Roger was. On clay, yes, but all-surface, no. That is why I believe that no matter how many Majors Rafa wins, even if he wins the next 3 in a row, and no matter the H2H, 20 years from now, Roger will still be considered the GOAT by many. If Raf wins a calendar GS, maybe that would change, but chances of that are slim. I don’t need Raf to break Rogi’s records to prove his greatness or to be my personal GOAT, though. I love him for his fight, determination, constant improvement, crazy spinning forehands that manage to magically land just inside the lines, his lack of hubris, charming smile, and the exhilaration I feel when watching him play. Watching vintage Fed, I sit back and think, “Wow, look at that shot! That’s amazing!” Watching Rafa, I’m on the edge of my seat, clenching my fists, cheering him on, fist pumping with him when he wins a hard-fought point. I’m a like a Bostonian watching the Sox beating the Yankees. In short, Rafa makes me a sports FAN, which was something I never was before in my life! Vamos!


Vulcan Says:

Lulu,

Very keen post.
I won’t go out on a limb as making detailed WTF predictions is about as challenging as a GOAT debate.

All I can say with any certainty is that Nadal will likely not be demolished as he was last year provided the shoulder is OK – I suspect that what he meant when he said he was targeting WTF was that he simply wanted to right the ship – winning would be icing on the cake. If he is steamrolled the way he was last year it could result in another blip in his hard court performance next year. Also a no brainer is that, Federer, as is always the case virtually everywhere he plays, will put up a good showing.
And finally Berdych is the real wildcard – not Ferrer who is likely to be predictably outgunned in this field.


Vulcan Says:

Regarding Soderling,

Suffice it to say that I think he read “Winning Ugly” one too many times.


dari Says:

Lulu, i like a lot about your posts, but you seem to have caught the same modesty that rafa himself has! Its quite sensible this time, because of the shoulder and lack of play.
Its just a big question mark for him, which could be answered in the form of his sweeping the field, or really being injured/ not match-ready from the get go and having a devastating show like last year. Anything within that spectrum is of course also possible.
No predictions for me this year, I am just gonna sit back and enjoy this ride and hope that my guy does not lose any matches with match points (that gives it away, huh?!) and brings his absolute best in game and focus.
buen suerte!


a bit of logic Says:

You else miss Del Potro like crazy? This guy was the force who make all the difference in the top players, Del Potro can beat any of the big four, and he has Nadals number , we need him back!


montecarlo Says:

@above
The number that Del Potro has doesn’t exist anymore. Nadal recently changed his Mobile Number and nobody knows the new number. :D


i am it Says:

Skeeze, Kimberly, Jane,
Jane, you got it right. Verdasco is one ATP designated alternate. Since the alternate II Youz is sidelined with injury, the first offer goes to the one next in race points. In other words, if one alternate declines or is unavailable, due to bona fide reasons, whoever is next in race points will be asked to take the spot; in the present case, Melzer. If Verdasco, Youz, and Melzer fail to accept the alternate offer, Monfils and Cilic will be in, etc.
The alternate is obligated to participate in all events, including pre-tournament media blitz, or else his 5% WTF prize money will go to the tournament.
Pertinent to all 8 players, plus alternates: “A player who is otherwise qualified but does not play in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals may receive 80% of bonus by appearing at the finals event to do promotional activities, as determined by the ATP… The bonus pool distribution payment to players will be made on 15 January 2011.”
The No. 1 player can receive up to 2 million in bonus; the No. 2 the 1/2 mil., and so on.


Huh Says:

@ Lulu:

Amazing posts, loved them!

I say Rafa is likely to win this thou I want Fed to win.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Jane, IAI,

Thanks!


Skeezerweezer Says:

IAI,

2 mil? Shaaammmmoon!


Skeezerweezer Says:

DR,

I like a 2 way myself, but some like a 3 way, and then some go further and want a 4 way. 5 way is just not doable I think.

However, Sod has just won indoors, is known for his indoor play, will he be the “Davy” of WTF? Surely its a 5 way….


i am it Says:

For Djoko fans,
Djokovic said once, before USO, that all he wants is reach the semi, i.e. he gets zero ranking point increase from last year. Djoko knows, unlike other events, he doesn’t get any point for reaching the semi at WTF (if it is based on 2 RRs instead of 3 RRs)? You gotta win the semi to earn 400 pts, not merely reach there.

Basel was a total waste of time, considering Serbia wins DC and his DC points replace Basel points. Even if Djoko wins only one DC Rubber, Basel becomes non-countable. Agree that he may be totally preoccupied with DC; he seems to be evaluating the prospect of winning a DC finals on emotional ground (national pride, etc.). For sure, he has his priorities straight.

Yet, I don’t know how much WTF will distract, or equally help Djoko focus, on DC. Say he will play 2 DC Rubbers. It’s a team sport, with shared responsibility. The team manager, 4 players, other supporting casts are there to contribute to the common goal. He will be playing at home in front of his partisan crowd. He does not have to worry about organizing the event or his own prep. He is in London for say 3 matches. Maybe (or maybe not) he will play at the top of his game and carry the WTF momentum to DC.

[Unlike until mid '70s, when DC was considered above or in par with AO and RG but below Wimby and USO, presently the WTF, imo, weighs three times more than DC. Here I am going with the ATP's ranking points distribution (500 pts for DC and 1500 for WTF)and accept the hierarchy of the events accordingly. So, I'd like to see him win the WTF. I'd not be worried about DC win, which seems to be almost certain.]

Hope he does not fold at WTF under the prospect of lifting the DC trophy.


leo vixen Says:

Murray will choke again especially in front of the “home” crowd because he will feel too much pressure. I am a big Rafa fan, but even I have my doubts about this shoulder injury; I think it is a ploy to get some mental and physical rest and throw everyone else off. No one thought Rafa would win the USO because he played very poorly in Toronto and Ohio, and everyone picked Roger, then Murray, then Nadal, in that order. He surprised everyone and maybe he will again. I agree that Berdych has mentally checked out (what was up with loss to Davy in Paris? He just disappeared off the court). Again, Federer was proven right when he said, “I have known these guys for many years and they don’t just change overnight”. Meaning Soderling and Berdych just don’t become mental giants and champions because they’ve made it to a few finals. Soderling may have confidence now but it may be difficult to continue that energy especially if it is true that he has been ill this week. If not Nadal, I hope Ferrer wins because he works very, very hard and not too many people are giving him much credit. It would be nice to see him pull a Davy like last year and let everyone eat crow. As always, sport is unpredictable and this Round Robin stuff is for the birds!


Dory Says:

Who would have predicted Davydenko to win last year? But still, here are my predictions:

RF defeats Soderling
RF defeats Ferrer
Murray defeats RF
Murray defeats Ferrer
Soderling defeats Murray
Ferrer defeats Soderling

Nadal defeats Djokovic
Nadal defeats Berdych
Nadal defeats Roddick
Djokovic defeats Roddick
Djokovic defeats Berdych
Berdych defeat Roddick

RF 2-1
Murray 2-1
Soderling 1-2
Ferrer 1-2

Nadal 3-0
Djokovic 2-1
Berdych 1-2
Roddick 0-3

Now who comes out on top between RF and Murray w.r.t sets won % is tough to predict. I wish to see a RF vs Djokovic or Nadal vs Djokovic final. I wish Nadal would lose (sorry no offense) but he’s had enough this year. RF or Djokovic should win so I hope RF and Djokovic win all 3 of their matches.


Fot Says:

Rick Says:
Although, Federer has 16 slams. He only deserved like 13 slams.
—————————-

Rick every player DESERVES every grand slam he or she wins. Just because someone else didn’t play the event or that you didn’t have to play a certain person plays no part in you winning a grand slam. Tennis is set up where you have to beat the other player on the other side of the net. So If Roger has 16 grand slams – he deserves every one of them.


Mindy Says:

Lulu,

Your post at 10.53 am was fabulous! I find myself so frustrated with people like Dave, who have this incessant need to demean whatever Rafa does by comparing it with Fed. I have never understood that kind of thinking at all.

Like you said so well, Rafa stands on his own. His achievements are what they are and cannot be taken away from him. No matter what he does accomplish in his career, for Fed fans he will always remain in his shadow. I don’t measure Rafa’s wins by seeing how they match up to Fed’s record. I am more than happy about what he has managed to accomplish at only 24 years of age. He has proven himself on all surfaces, in all the slams and whatever happens from here on out, is just more icing on the cake.

I love him for the reasons that you so eloquently stated. His tennis brought back the excitement I felt when watching Borg. I haven’t had many favorites in all they years that I have been watching tennis. Rafa has given me so many thrills, such a great ride. I love his dedication, work ethic, pride, tenacity and fighting spirit. He is, and always will be, a great champion.


i am it Says:

Dory,
I am in love with this line: “RF or Djokovic should win so I hope RF and Djokovic win all 3 of their matches.”

Is that really you?


sheila Says:

rooting 4 federer all the way, but i think nadal will win this. he has a winning record against every player there. his 2010 season has been outstanding. roger losing 2 monfils w/5 matchpoints makes me uneasy. his focus seems 2b less consistent in big moments, but imo, federer has nothing to prove. his record stands 4 itself. nadals records stands as well. theyve both won multiple gs & are 2 of the greatest players of all time. that said, roger pleez pull this out & have a gr8 2011.


Vulcan Says:

“he has a winning record against every player there”

Overall he does, but on hardcourts he has a winning record against only Ferrer (and that was due to Ferrer retiring in one of their matches). I doubt you would cite his clay court victories as having a major bearing on what happens at O2.


queen Says:

I hope Fed loses all 3 rounds and decides to retitre LOL enough of him, enough


Nina Says:

I am it

If that’s true, I wonder why did he play Basel? He could have skipped it and focus on Paris entirely where he had 1000 points to defend. Not very smart.

I don’t think Novak will be so much focused on winning DC that he will play below par and fail in London. He knows how important that title is and he has ranking points and prestige to think about. I hope that he gives it all. I partly think losing so soon in Paris was a strategic tank, maybe subconsciously, to keep his strength for the WTF.

Sincerely I don’t give a rat’s ass about DC. I hope Serbia wins for Nole’s sake, but as a fan I want him to be on top of his game in London. Otherwise I’d be really disappointed in him.


skeezerweezer Says:

Go Fed!


dari Says:

just what i was waiting for to make it WTF officially! men in suits!

http://www.barclaysatpworldtourfinals.com/Multimedia/Photo-Landing.aspx

Gooooo ROger!


Nina Says:

Exclusive short interviews with the WTF 8 players here:

http://www.livemint.com/2010/11/17200402/Flashback-2010-before-the-gran.html?h=C

My favorite:

Andy Murray

One opponent you’d rather not face at the WTF?

Djokovic, because I’ve known him for a long time and we are good friends. :)


rickyscrotler Says:

love the videos of the players
one opponent id rather not face?
roddick
so many people writing him off i think he has something to prove big time-if his serve is on fire he could be dangerous


steve-o Says:

I don’t know, I think Murray would beat Djokovic on hard courts these days. I don’t think they’ve met for over a year (Miami final last year, was it)?


contador Says:

enjoyed the links from, nina and dari.

but why is ferrer in grey? did he not get the memo? my eye went straight to the shorter guy not wearing black, lol…very clever. he’s gonna win a match, too. my big prediction.

i like nole’s goal for 2011. hope he can accomplish that, in all sincerity. have thought him to be the real heir to the throne for 2 years.

mr. dimples has his mischievous look on and also is stunning stunning in a suit, imo.


contador Says:

double stunning, no. meant stunning. dont know why i stuttered that.


Nina Says:

LOL Contador

Pardon my ignorance, who’s Mr. Dimples?


contador Says:

my other nickname for robin soderling aka soda pop, soda, mr dimples… : )

he has the most elegant GF, too, imo.


contador Says:

not that jelena, is it? novak’s GF isn’t gorgeous too, of course.

also roddick’s, nadal’s, murray’s …..and a bit more controversial roger’s wife, mirka.

did i leave somone out? oh yeah, lucie safarova?

birdman appears the most tired, right off the top, imo.


Von Says:

“Nadal defeats Roddick
Djokovic defeats Roddick
Djokovic defeats Berdych
Berdych defeat Roddick”

LOL, no kidding, everyone in the group beats Roddick??? Well, I don’t think that’s going to happen.


Kimmi Says:

enjoyed the link nina and dari

I wonder why they did not ask federer, nadal, djoko and roddick who they would rather not play with in WTF…i would have liked to know that..oh well!

Roddick would probably say federer.
Djoko maybe roddick?
rafa maybe murray?
federer maybe rafa?

yap! feels like they would say something like this?


jane Says:

Nina and dari: thanks for posting those links.


guy Says:

there’s a good reason a lot of people don’t back soderling or consider him on par with the top 4.
he’s filling that position held by davydenko and delpotro. injuries to those two have taken them out of the top ten. but they’re both better players than soderling. davydenko was top5 for 4-5 years, potro won usopen and made tour finals, so they’ve proven themselves much more than soderling. and if they hadn’t gotten injured soderling wouldn’t be top5 this year.
if soderling comes out and takes down the top guys next week, than i think that changes things, but making a slam final and having a pretty good year isn’t really enough to give you the status of guys who’ve consistently been at the top. afterall who’s putting berdych in that club, and he’s made a gs final and semi this year.


dimwitted recluse Says:

Kimmi, I very much doubt Federer would say Rafa is the one he’d rather not meet. In that link of Nina’s, for his most heartbreaking loss, Federer instanced Leyton Hewitt beating him at Halle. Now, come on. Yes, it must have been more than a little irritating, particularly given he had been well on top. So in this sense, his choice provided a neat symmetry with his pick of the Davydenko match at the last AO – when he had been well behind – as his best match win. Even so, it’s not credible. The Halle match simply wasn’t sufficiently important.

Actually, I doubt if any of the players would have been too keen to answer your question, Kimmi. There’s pride involved, but also you don’t really want to encourage those you fear.

I liked the suits, dari. Federer looking suave as usual. Didn’t you think Berdych looked a little lost?


sar Says:

Ben, great article. I think Nole is dreaming of a DC more than anything. Dory and I am it, I like your posts too.

I read someplace that tickets sold out for DC in 90 minutes. Should be crazy in Belgrade.


Kimmi Says:

yap, you are right dimwitted recluse, it is a pride thing re: federer. the halle match loss to hewitt was a strange pick. i agree with u that this match was not as important compared to other loses he had this year.

i think the GS loses must have hurt more. i wonder which one is the biggest, all three loses (soda, berdych and djoko) were equaly important. Djoko match at the USO sounds about right..he had of couple match points after all.

Sounds about right for roddick to mention wimbledon loss as his most dissapointing. he was never broken until the fifth set. the match was his for the taking, just dont know what happened..yap! very tough loss it was.

I would rank USO to tipsy equally important though he didnt look like he could win in this match. playing at home, trying to salvage his GS perfomance, night match, center court…

Interesting murray picked djoko as someone he would not want to play with. i think he was bluffing!! he says he wouldnt want to play him because they are good friends..ha-ha. ok, if he says so! :) in few of his interviews that i happen to watch, he normally picks nadal as the toughest.


jane Says:

Kimmi, I didn’t interpret it as Murray meaning Nole is tough for him to beat (not necessarily anyhow); I took it that he means he doesn’t want to have to play his “friend.” These two go way back to the juniors; their birthdays are 1 week apart; they hit together in practice when they are at tournaments sometimes, etc. So it’s probably more about that “pal” thing than anything else.


dari Says:

there is lots of face to save in these interviews at the end of the year top-eight tournament! you can’t give anything away at this point, so some of those answers are a bit wonky.
it says these were answered via email, would have loved to see the pauses and facial expressions had they been live, roger would have been thinking in his head quite some time for that one.
rafa’s certainly is easy and honest, nobody wants to retire in a major.
kimmi, murray is a BIG rafa fan. everything i have ever heard murray say about nadal makes it sound like an honor and a challenge to play him. its not something he shies away from.
gonna do a TON of studying in the next few days so that I can enjoy the tennis on sunday!


Kimmi Says:

jane – aha, almost like when the french guys play together. tough to play a friend they always say.

dari – i agree about muzza being a big rafa fan. i like him when he plays rafa ( and roger) though. he comes alive.


dari Says:

now that i am thinking about it, who DO you think murray would say?
for whatever mental problems keep him from a major title, fear or lack of belief doesn’t seem to be one of them. he’s got a winning record with roger, a really close 3-4 with novak, ferrers three wins over him come on clay, and andy won their lone hardcourt some years ago, 2-2 with soderling, i’m not talking about berdych (i don’t think anyone is really afraid of him at his current level), he does well against roddick, and i’ve already spoken to his zeal in playing rafa.
the point is, i see some fear in roger certainly with rafa and i think berdy had a hold on him for a minute, but don’t sense it with murray. i notice only enthusiasm in meeting with the toughest players, and i don’t think it is feigned.
all the more strange that he hasn’t gotten it together on the grand slam front, then. but i suppose he is young and eager as he should be.
even if we were never pro athletes, we all know the feeling of becoming more terrified as you get older.


jane Says:

Kimmi, dari, interesting posts – it seems very true what you say about Murray dari; it doesn’t seem like a match up thing or “fear” or concern about playing anyone with him, although maybe he’s a bit more “awed” about Rafa than Fed. Am I wrong about this? Maybe it’s because Rafa is from his generation and yet look what he’s accomplished already! I think both Murray and Nole are a little bit in “awe” of Rafa. They both highly respect Fed too, but there’s something about Nadal perhaps because they are all so close in age. But with Murray it’s almost more about “bringing it” for all matches/players – and for the full duration of 5 setters at slams. He can beat anyone I think – especially when his serve is firing.


bibi Says:

These “short interviews” with answers via e-mail are obviously just a compilation from various real interviews and articles, and a poor compilation at that.

Check out the first “question” to Nadal:

“You were recuperating from knee surgery at the start…”

And he “answers” something generic, instead of clarifying he NEVER had any surgery at all.

If it were a real bona fide interview with all 8 top players prior to the WTF, would it not have been published on the BBC site, perhaps, and not on an anonymous site in India?


dave Says:

Lulu,
I am so happy that Nadal turned you into a fist-pumping Sports Fan! Vamos Rafa!!!

Pity Nadal fails to turn the majority of tv viewers and sports fans into tennis fans.

That’s where you do need stats to tell you what you do not know intuitively due to your bias for Nadal.

Nadal’s 2010 Wimbledon final (Berdych) and US Open final (Djokovic) are rated the worst in TV viewership in the history of tennis. This is based on the Nielsen rating, which is the percentage of TVs in USA tuned in for tennis. The gher the rating, the more televisions are tuned to the tennis program.

Wimbledon final Neilson ratings:
- 1980: Borg beat McEnroe, 7.0 Neilson rating
- 1981: McEnroe beat Borg, 7.9
- 1982: Connors beat McEnroe, 7.5
- 1999: Sampras beat Agassi, 5.0
- 2008: Nadal beat Federer, 3.5
-2009: Federer beat Roddick, 3.8
- 2010: Rafael Nadal beat Tomas Berdych, 1.6

US Open final Neilson ratings:
- 1980: John McEnroe beat Bjorn Borg, 11.0 (Nielsen’s rating)
- 1982: Jimmy Connors beat Ivan Lendl, 9.9
- 2002: Sampras beat Agassi, 6.2
- 2005: Roger Federer beat Andre Agassi, 4.8
- 2006: Federer beat Roddick, 4.1
- 2010: Nadal beat Djokovic, 1.5

See, knowing some facts does bring a dose of reality does it not?

Of course it’s foolish to write off Nadal since he is in the middle of his career. But Nadal’s future is unproven, and my opinion is that it’s very unlikely that Nadal would be as dominating as Federer’s proven record. In 1981, 25-year old Borg was at his physical peak (though mentally on the decline) and just had to win the US Open to equal Roy Emerson’s then record of 12 grand slam titles — but he failed to do it and soon disappeared into history. At the time, the tennis world expected Borg to go on to win 15 to 20 grand slams. Never happened.

Jojostryus and Mindy: Your small-minded presumptions are wrong. My comments were aimed at the author Ben’s prediction that (a) Federer would be knocked out 1-2 at the round robin stage and (b) Nadal will win the WTF because he said so. The information I provided suggests that a prediction like “Nadal WILL win WTF” is irrational in light of his form since Wimbledon.


i am it Says:

Dave,
First time reading your post. You got the stats, you got the history, and you got the argument, beyond playing I-love-player-A tune.

One little thing: I would not have embellished belief into reason:
Ben: “I still believe Nadal will win.”
You: “a prediction like “Nadal WILL win WTF” is irrational in light of his form since Wimbledon.”
Both are opinions/beliefs: Nadal will win; Nadal will not win.
And that is also an opinion, in my opinion.

Grade: 92/100 A-. That’s pretty good.


JCK Says:

Skeezer,

“I like a 2 way myself, but some like a 3 way, and then some go further and want a 4 way. 5 way is just not doable I think.”

Er…were you talking about what I think you’re talking about? :-)


JCK Says:

There are lies and then there are statistics… I should know. I’m in analytics field.

TV ratings have dropped substantially since the 80s due to competition from internet and other forms of entertainment. Plus, TV ratings had dropped even more since the golden era of Borg/McEnroe days. So it’s highly misleading to compare TV ratings from that era with TV ratings of present days.

Federer himself hasn’t been able to revive it after all these years on top. Nadal is relatively new to American audiences. He doesn’t have the same name recognition as Federer and that’s expected. Plus, you’re listing this year’s US Open TV rating where it’s on a workday afternoon with one change of TV channel to other Sunday ratings. That’s comparing apple with oranges.

And why do TV ratings have anything to do with what Lulu posted? Are you trying to point out how wrongheaded she is by becoming a Rafa fan? Or she’s in such a minority? Why do you feel the need to rebut the fact that Nadal turned her into a sports fan? It’s her personal preference. What does it have anything to do with you?


Skeezerweezer Says:

JCK,

Excuse me. You are one nasty minded poster twisting my words to mean something else, shame on you………….;-D

Er….Go Sod!


JCK Says:

I didn’t twist your words. You chose…er, interesting words yourself. Hehe…:-)


someone Says:

Oh hello Rick,

Nadal doesn’t deserve any of the grand slams or any of the titles he won. You know why? Because he always cheats i.e. breaking rules – time wasting – going beyond the limit between serves.


MMT Says:

Ben: I think the last line of the Federer article should read “Expect some magic from the Swiss” not “Except some magic from the Swiss”.

Dave, I think you may be overstating the case with the Nielsen ratings – those are US tv ratings. I think Nadal is a bigger international star than all the players listed with the exception of Borg, McEnroe and Federer – do you have any international tv ratings?

I also agree with Ben that if Nadal is determined to win a tournament at this point in his career, he will do it and so I think he’ll win the tournament. Whereas in years past he may have played through the shoulder injury on his way the year end championships, this year he did the sensible thing and took time off, to be better prepared.

At his best, nobody on tour can beat this man.


Huh Says:

Welcome Back MMT! :)


Huh Says:

Sod looks best in suit, Djoko, Murray n Rod look ok. Berdych lookin worst as usual.


contador Says:

i thought that was a typo too, MMT.

and i woke up excited for some tennis starting, however i’m dreading december without tennis. is anyone else feeling a bit anxious about having “tennis withdrawals?” i don’t think it’s just me.

there are some challenger live streams this morning but it’s not the same “dosage.” it’s sort of a desperation tennis fix. and cycling was over at the end of oct.

exactly what i think about rafa at this point too, MMT. he’d be my pick to win next week. and pretty much all fans here know i’m not saying that just to “curry favor” ( love that expression thanks to margot or DR, i think) with the nadal fans.

if anyone is missing delpo and/ or an in form kolya, one of my favorite tennis writers, aside from ben, sean, and tx staff of course, is marianne bevis and she wrote this about the 09 atp tour finals. she mentions all the favorites but i thought she described very well why i like watching davydenko, which has me thinking about exactly why it is i prefer watching some players over others…

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/520791-tennis-wtf-2009-rewind-del-potro-and-davydenko-gone-but-not-forgotten


contador Says:

LOL, huh…!

have to go looking for last year’s WTF photos cos i was thinking soda looked quite uncomfortable last year… er,maybe it was delpo.

i’m liking ferrer more and more in that grey suit. is he married or what?


Kimberly Says:

contador–i am definitely missing tennis. Shorter season, hah! I am dreading the one month without tennis and wondering how I can watch the nadal/fed charity matches.

Not only am I minorly obsessed with tennis but also thinking that maybe posting on this blogsite is kind of addictive, yes? But what do people discuss during the offseason? It seems that Tuesdays explosion on this site might have partly been due to boredom for lack of matches to watch/discuss. If that’s the case then we are in for a rough December.


fan4tennis Says:

As far as the Nielsen Ratings go, the fact that it was a delayed match on a Monday when people are working and not home to watch TV and that it was changed to a cable station instead of a regular TV channel (not e1 has cable believe it or not), has alot to do with it. I noticed in dave’s stats, that he skipped the TV ratings when fed was winning most of his titles (skipped from Sampras 1999 straight to 2008 when Nadal won). From that and your USO stats (which also have quite a few missing), it also seems like the TV ratings dropped when fed was playing too. Where are your FO and AO stats if you want to paint a true picture?

The media has alot to do with blame because of the culture of “Monday Night Football” over here and the fact that tennis itself (not just the players) is not as popular as football, baseball and basketball.

dave: “suggests that a prediction like “Nadal WILL win WTF” is irrational in light of his form since Wimbledon.” Did you not include Rafa’s form at the USO (which he won BTW)and Tokyo or just choose to ignore that he won it? Seems to be alot like your stats, some info was left out.


jane Says:

Those ratings seem to suggest a trend not necessarily directed at any one player as far as I can tell – the interest in tennis has been dropping consistently for some years now, for US audiences anyhow.


contador Says:

hey, kimberly-

im streaming a challenger atm…pretty decent tennis too. it’s stephen kubek and ricardas berankis. berankis as you know maybe is lithuanian which is close to latvia….so, guess who i’m hoping wins LOL!! baltic power….


contador Says:

i can only speak for my part in the “explosion.” and perhaps the trolling had to do with no rafa playing and federer in a semi-final losing….i dunno.

as far as what ppl discuss during the “off season” or when bored, in my limited experience on a tennis forum it is mostly rafa-roger.

i just wish i was at the challenger right now in cancun : )


contador Says:

oops. berankis choked the decider. old fox kubek serving to end it.

later kimberly. i actually do have a day job. :/


fan4tennis Says:

May I also point out, to bolster jane’s post, that the stats that dave provided (80,81,82 and 99), all included American tennis players. The increase between 2008 (which some Americans still consider one of the greatest matches yet still was lower rated) and 2009 can be attributed to the fact that an American, Roddick, was in the final.

Right now, trying to find decent tennis news or coverage is almost nil here with football in full swing here. Unless you are rich and can afford the outrageous prices for cable TV, you are kind of stuck with looking on the Internet for streams…..forget the newspaper-lol.


contador Says:

the blogs are addictive, yes. and to answer your question abt what ppl discuss…look at sean’s “draw” thread here. not touching it, though perfectly civil atm.

it was a decent match f4t. berenkis-koubek and riba and some other guy play next in …somewhere. the cancun matches start later and i won’t be able to watch, drat it all. there are a pose of argentines playing i’ve never heard of and one french guy.

yeah, i don’t have a dish. thus where i live, no tennis channel.
i thank my lucky turkey for a live stream. ; )


fan4tennis Says:

contador, you know what I’m talking about. The cable and dish companies wanting an arm and a leg for their services, and no customer service when there are problems. Then you have to choose between the 20 ESPN channels or FOX Sports channels and majority of the time, it’s not tennis.

I am travelling on a boat so I only have Internet at the moment (TG) and since the weather has sucked, been spending more time on here.


leo vixen Says:

Can’t help but wonder if Ferrer being the only one wearing a gray suit in those photos isn’t an omen. He will be the one to standout all the way to the end by beating everyone and taking the WTF title!


FedEnd Says:

LOL, now the FEDTARDS are using the TV Ratings and popularity ratings to bolster their player’s case, what does it prove ?
It just proves that FEDTARDS are running short of ideas.

I will provide you some interesting statistics.
Just go and check the online poll results related to “Who will win this year’s FO” for the last 5 years. You will find that Federer would have won all those polls by a huge margin.
What does it prove ?
It just proves that FEDTARDS are plain stupid and they outnumber the sane tennis fans by a huuuge margin.


Vulcan Says:

JCK Says:

And why do TV ratings have anything to do with what Lulu posted? Are you trying to point out how wrongheaded she is by becoming a Rafa fan? Or she’s in such a minority? Why do you feel the need to rebut the fact that Nadal turned her into a sports fan? It’s her personal preference. What does it have anything to do with you?

Thank you for calmly stating what would of drawn a slightly more ballistic response from myself…let us not forgot that it is not Federer who is arrogant but rather many of his fans.


fan4tennis Says:

Here are some of the stats missing from dave’s post and prove that TV viewership of the USO has declined during fed’s reign too:
Year %Share Winners
2000 2.8 V. Williams/Safin
2001 3.0 V. Williams/Hewitt
2002 2.5 S. Williams/Sampras
2003 1.9 Henin-Hardenne /Roddick
2004 1.8 Kuznetsova/Federer
2005 2.1 Clijsters/Federer
2006 2.0 Sharapova/Federer
2007 1.7 Henin/Federer
Source: The Nielsen Company (1977 – 2007).
Note: Effective January 1, 2006, data includes Live and Same Day DVR viewing.

I’ve provided my source. You provide yours dave.


dari Says:

i’m not into any of this ratings talk. its just the US and doesn’t mean much at all. and i didn’t need those stats from dave to tell me that wimbledon 2010 was a snooze that many fewer people can’t watch a us open, final when its on a monday and that wimbledon 2008 was amaaaaaaazing. big tennis fans know all of that and the ratings is more a measure of a casual viewing audience. i think we are all just ready for the TENNIS TO START!!!!


Tran Says:

This year’s WTF is Federer’s!


Mindy Says:

dave,

What you do is only provide the stats that you decide are important or will bolster your biased argument. That’s the essential flaw in your argument. Anyone can twist stats or pick and choose which ones they wish to use in any specific instance.

So, when you refer to jojo and myself as small-minded, why don’t you go take a look in the mirror? Then go read fan4tennis’s post with the stats you left out!

Finally, just remember that opinions and beliefs also count. What you think and what you believe as a hopelessly biased Fed fan, doesn’t necessarily mean that it holds for everyone else. That’s why we are here – to share our own unique and distinct thoughts and ideas. That’s what Lulu was doing and nothing you say can ever make her wrong.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Yes! Gather the troups…the chip on the shoulder continues…….geez

Put Rafa’s name in your posts every time you mention the Fed word and see how it comes out ( Fedends postgs would then become…well…….FUNNY ). Or do the same with Fed….EVERYONE here is coming from a biased point of few. It’s normal. Maybe everyone should start with “MY FAV IS >>>>>” and then post. Then when you read the post it won’t look as objective as your trying to type, hypocrisy is rampant everywhere, Rafa, Fed fans, whatever. Can we move on to more constructive tennis talk? This whole thing goes in a circle, no?

Of course this is dysfunctional Tennis at its best


Nina Says:

Not to be disrespectful, but really who cares about American TV ratings? Tennis is much bigger internationally. That tennis ratings have been falling in during the years has more to do with the lack of any American champion than the ability of Nadal and Federer to draw audiences.


dari Says:

Kimberly, 1006 above, ESPN will be covering the exhibition matches between nadal and federer 12/21 and 12/22! I am shocked and excited. merry christmas!


i am it Says:

The stats that Fan4tennis provides has its own merit. I just wish it had separated ATP and WTA.

One question that came to my mind: Does viewership count, rather do we as viewers count or is it only the chosen ones that count? I mean the professionals. Count toward what and whom?

Now to dari’s response, granted TV viewers do not count for anything, Shanghai, despite being a smaller size center court, looked a lot emptier on most matches than say the desert stadium of IW? What’s the percentage of Asian and African players in the top 20, top 100, or 500, in comparison to Euros/Americans? How do we fit in “international” here?
My question does not ignore the fact that the four tennis power houses USA, Australia, France, and UK no longer dominate tennis, and it’s been a while since tennis came out of the royal courtyards and country clubs’ confinement, thanks to the gangs of rebels and bad boys like Jimbo, Nasty, JMac, and their unsung progenitors and descendants.

==XX=====xx=====XX=======xxxxxx
Skeeze,
Is that you here: “EVERYONE here is coming from a biased point of few. It’s normal. Maybe everyone should start with “MY FAV IS >>>>>” and then post. Then when you read the post it won’t look as objective as your trying to type, hypocrisy is rampant everywhere, Rafa, Fed fans, whatever. Can we move on to more constructive tennis talk?”

Summary: That prejudice as the norm of this forum lives up to its name.
Deep thought: Only blindness can see. Seeing is an exercise of blindness (any remembers Plato’s cave?).
Your post @3:45 was a good food for thought, Skeeze, even for a vegan like me who tries to observe the abstinence from partaking in genocides of differing voices. The Freemasonry wants a healthy antagonism so we can avoid teleological destiny of the human species. IMO, useful ideas can spring forth from reined tussles of opposing biases, so I’d say let them keep rolling because, in the least, they do not pose any threat to the life of tennis, if we are concerned about it more than our own insecurity and its medication in hero-worshiping like I love Player A and I have decided to ignore the rest because that requires investment.
Yes, one can expect it may alleviate the situation if fans reveal their respective vantage points because it allows them to be reflective, and, as an indirect effect, others can appreciate that effort.


i am it Says:

correction:
dari s/b Nina

My bad.


Fot Says:

To all the Nadal fans worrying about his body, arm, leg, shoulder, knee, etc. This is from Nadal’s own mouth:

Nadal missed last week’s Paris Masters with shoulder tendinitis, but says his body is “perfect” ahead of his first match against Andy Roddick on Monday.


i am it Says:

To all Fed fans,
I cannot believe you guys have not mentioned Fed’s selection for People Magazine’s Top 25 Sexiest Men Alive, or did you when I was asleep? Vancouver native Ryan Reynolds won the No.1 spot. You can sneak-peek the list at the magazine’s website.


madmax Says:

what’s interesting is what Annacone has said publicly in the New York times about Fed and working with him. Up until now, he has said very little: Here’s a little of the good stuff:

“When we first started talking, and I was starting to get to know him a little more in-depth, his level of excitement and desire to keep playing and to do it in a way that’s positive, optimistic, energetic and open-minded, really kind of floored me,” said Annacone, who has spoken little publicly since joining Federer’s team.

“I felt like I was with a 23-year-old or 22-year-old again,” he added. “He loves the life. He loves the tennis matches. He loves the travel. He has all the ingredients, including and most importantly good health in mind and body, to keep going for a number of years. I think in retrospect Pete at this age was a lot more tired — a lot more tired mostly emotionally, not physically.”

Annacone began working with Sampras after Sampras’s coach Tim Gullikson became ill with the brain tumor that eventually killed him. Annacone helped Sampras make his final surge at age 31 and win the 2002 United States Open in what turned out to be his last tour event.

“At the end of Pete’s career, he rejuvenated himself for that great push at the U.S. Open, but the last couple years, for a multitude of reasons, were a bit emotionally draining for him,” Annacone said. “Roger is not anywhere near that state.”

“The question is whether this is a hint of the decline to come — and both Federer and Annacone are weary of the legions of decline spotters — or simply an anomaly. What is clear is that Federer has never been through any stretch quite like this, even as Annacone points out that it was only last year that Federer coolly held off Andy Roddick, 16-14, in the fifth set of the Wimbledon final.

“I’ve always tried to play each point as tough as I can and sometimes it just happens that way,” Federer said. “It’s not the first time I lose a big match with match point. I lost to Marat Safin at the Australian Open once with match point and it was a great match from the beginning to the end. Sometimes you get unlucky with those kind of runs, and you just want to make sure they stop.”

The last chance to apply the brakes in 2010 starts Sunday in London, where he will have ample crowd support (although less against Andy Murray) along with his now-ample coaching support.

“We don’t particularly set up and say, ‘Let’s do a brainstorming session,’ like in business school or something,” Federer said of Luethi and Annacone. “But it’s somewhat more casual. We are in track suits and lounging around and all of the sudden it happens.”

Federer said he hired Annacone to give himself access to a fresh, experienced voice.

“Look, he’s just maybe simplified a few things,” he said. “Maybe I knew a few things but just needed to hear them differently.”

Considering that Annacone was an attacking player and that Sampras and Henman were frequent net rushers, Annacone has clearly not been hired to help Federer retreat farther behind the baseline.

But Annacone sounds convinced that Federer still has the talent to succeed by multiple means, as Sampras did.

“I think one of the great ingredients of Roger is that his tool kit is so deep and so vast,” Annacone said. “I still don’t think anyone else’s tool kit kind of matches up to his.”

Only another 48 hours to go! It’s been a great season so far.

Good luck Roger!


fan4tennis Says:

I know TV stats are boring to say the least, But my responses to Dave were because of what he wrote:
“dave Says:
Lulu,
I am so happy that Nadal turned you into a fist-pumping Sports Fan! Vamos Rafa!!!

Pity Nadal fails to turn the majority of tv viewers and sports fans into tennis fans.

That’s where you do need stats to tell you what you do not know intuitively due to your bias for Nadal.”

He then used stats to prove that TV viewership went down due to Rafa and I just pulled stats from a reliable source I listed to show that even during fed’s reign, viewership has continued to go down since the 80′s. Anyone with half a brain knows that tennis is not as big a sport in America as football, baseball, golf or basketball, so the ratings would reflect that.


dimwitted recluse Says:

Skeezer

“EVERYONE here is coming from a biased point of few. It’s normal” .
What if you’re not a fan of anybody – you just like watching tennis? Is that conceivable? If you turn the telly on, and there happens to be a boxing match on, say, between two people you’ve never heard of, and you don’t know much about boxing anyway, but for some reason you can’t be bothered to switch channel and you start to watch in a desultory sort of way.

Well, the chances are, if you keep watching you’re gonna start backing one guy over the other. It’s true, you might change your mind as you get to learn more about them, but it seems it’s almost impossible to be neutral. You can’t, that is, enjoy the spectacle just as a spectacle – you also have to take sides. That is only not the case, it seems to me, if you don’t enjoy the spectacle. If I watch two people engaged in Sumo wrestling, I don’t care who wins – but that is a sign of my ignorance of the sport, not my sudden conversion to impartiality.

You can’t be some kind of human camera, because you always bring yourself to the party, and that informs your response to what is going on. This is obvious when it comes to knowledge. A good commentator will point out stuff you just aren’t aware of. But it’s true in other ways, too, largely because my taste is different from thy taste. After all, why prefer one player to another, assuming a rough parity in ability?

Prejudice in the sense of more or less deliberate lying is probably quite unusual. It’s more likely to bring about selective reporting of which the perpetrator may be quite unconscious. When it is pointed out to him, he may be very angry, rather than sheepish (caught out).

That, in the end, is what makes a site like this engaging. All kinds of different personalities are on display,they bring their own truths (not always intentionally), and (imo) it is to this we respond at a deeper level. Of course, we want entertainment and also the benefit of other peoples’ knowledge. But being exposed to the opinions,emotions, attitudes and downright madness sometimes of people coming from walks of life which are quite unknown to us, I think this is an enriching experience. Even if sometimes it can be unpleasant.


Skeezerweezer Says:

D.R,,

Sumo! Ha!

I have not found one poster after all the reads up here who doesn’t have a fav. But….

Then there are posters who have a Fav but post pretty objectively, ala Jane. Even Kimberly, of whom is my fav Rafa fan, is excellent. Perhaps her example should be food for thought for everyone. Her Husband is a Fed fan, so they have to live in the same house together, and apparently do it very well ( think of that after reading all these battles up here. Would like her one day to teach us all how it is done ). IMO her posts reflect that, knowing when to stay out of the “line of fire” and gives Rafa cheers always, without taking down or minimizing Fed. Something I aspire to when I grow up.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Wow, Dave, I wasn’t trying to attack you, so I don’t know why you feel the need to be so condescending. Yeah,I know what Nielsen ratings are; however, I don’t pick my favorite player on the basis of tv ratings or popularity. Further, I NEVER claimed Rafa was a better ambassador for the sport, or brought more popularity to tennis than Roger does — that would be ludicrous. I myself started paying attention to tennis at all thanks to the Williams sisters, started watching tennis due to Roger’s exploits, and FELL IN LOVE with tennis when I discovered Rafa. And yes, I can appreciate the need for facts and stats, but as the saying goes, there are “lies, damned lies, and statistics,” and I think the stats you give offer a great illustration of that. As others here have pointed out, media has changed much since the 1980′s — just one point is that there are more channels for people to watch now than in 1980, so it’s really not surprising that the SHARE of viewership for the USO and Wimbledon has fallen. And yes, tennis seems to be less popular than in the era of Connors, Borg, and JMac, but I certainly don’t think that has much to do with Rafa. As others mentioned, even Roger’s finals matches had much lower ratings than the 1980′s matches, and in two of the cases you cite he was playing an American! Further, tennis has become a much more international sport. Do you have stats for international viewership?

What is the point you’re trying to make? Do you believe Nadal is bad for the sport? Do you believe he is not necessarily bad for the sport, but inferior to Federer as an ambassador? Are you concerned only with tennis in the US, or world wide? This article: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/tennis/american_struggles_Pc8rDSmonGVPxy5AW4VT2I
from the NY Post, August 2010, makes a good case for lack of top American men in tennis as the reason for decline in US Open viewership.

The only reason I responded to you in the first place is that out of nowhere, you brought up all the ways in which Rafa is inferior to Roger. It seemed unrelated to the discussion at hand, and mean-spirited. I, like Rafa, acknowledge Roger’s superiority. ‘Course, I also acknowledge the 4 slams and possibility of 2 Calendar Year Grand Slams Nadal “stole” from your man, along with Rafa’s winning H2H and superior physique! ;)

For WTF: Obviously hoping for a Rafa win, but also hope Djoker, Murray, Ferrer, Andy M can do well. Hope Andy R can get one win, and I wouldn’t even mind too much if Roger won it. Soda and Berdych — meh…


Lulu Iberica Says:

Oops… Make that 5 slams Rafa denied Fed. How could I forget the best one, Australia 2009!


Nina Says:

I’ve been thinking about being neutral, but it’s impossible. However, you can support one player without hating or bashing the others. Obviously I want Novak to win everything he can and be as successful as i think he should be, but I also want Nadal to get 15 slams, Federer to be the Goat, Murray to be a little less successful than Novak, a Del Potro comeback, the underdogs to win more than once in a while…

Even players I don’t care and ignore, say for example, Stan Wawrinka, after seeing him beat Murray, my second favorite, at the USO I didn’t think “I gotta hate this guy who just beat my fave”. I thought “Wow, this guy really can hit the ball and he has a great backhand and why isn’t he a Top 10?”. The more I know them the more I appreciate each and any one of them. Well, that’s the case for me at least.

Being Spanish it may seem weird that I don’t support Nadal, but what can I say? I support an individual player, not a nationality. That’s why I like tennis. My mom is a Rafa fanatic and my dad is a Federer fanatic. I’m just a Djokovic fanatic. The best thing? We always have fun.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Just read ALL the posts. Dear Lord, what did I start? Anyway, just so people know where I’m coming from, yeah, I’m kind of a fan girl. I mean, I follow Rafa in a way that I have never followed any other sports star or celebrity. However, watching him is the hook that has gotten me into tennis — I mean, I watched Baghdatis lose to Stahkovsky at Yale. I would watch a lot more tennis, but hubby objects to getting the Tennis Channel, as I might do nothing but watch it all day! Also, my husband and I have recently started “playing” tennis — more like hitting balls, due to a severe lack of speed and hand-eye coordination! I’ve been following this blog since the USO, when I encountered a hilarious post about “Vera, the Crying Game, Zvonareva.” I’m kind of shy — even over the Internet — so I never posted. Anyway, I’ll go back to reading the insightful postings of Dim and I Am It, and post the next time something riles me up!


Kimmi Says:

Nina – great post. If everybody would think like u..the world would be a better place. :)

i think a player who is not nadal or federer and hated by many is soderling. beating rafa at RG 2009 has put a big dark spot in this guy. What can he do? the damage is already done i guess.

he is now world number 4. reached his highest ranking. winning his first master series title. reached 2 GS finals. qualify for WTF for the second time in a row. just continue to do his thing. Lets hope for more of soderling in 2011.


Kimberly Says:

Kimmi, lol, soderling is just about my least fav. Thankfullynindidnt even watch the match. I was so arrogant that it was in the bag after Rome that I went to the beach.

Skeezer. My sincere thanks for your nice comment. I must say my husband is pretty moderate too. Except he got smashed during the fed, berdych match in Miami which he went to see with his friends, saying they deserved the tickets as fed fans more than me. Then he was hungover and grumpy for two days. He deliberately went to sleep during the USO final because he said he knew rafa was going to win and he couldn’t bear to watch. So he has some moments. But overall it’s pretty peaceful here. He expects rafas game and i respect Feds.


FedEnd Says:

“beating rafa at RG 2009 has put a big dark spot in this guy. What can he do? the damage is already done i guess.”

If one beating can cause so much anger, imagine the amount of hatred and anger 14 beatings and a severe dent in the legacy can cause.

This remains the single most important reason why most of the Fed fans are FEDTARDS.


FedEnd Says:

Skeeze,

“I have not found one poster after all the reads up here who doesn’t have a fav. But….

Then there are posters who have a Fav but post pretty objectively, ala Jane. Even Kimberly, of whom is my fav Rafa fan, is excellent. Perhaps her example should be food for thought for everyone.”

Two days back you supported the idea that Rafa is a brainfart. And why so suddenly are you taking a moral highground against such stupidity.


mytennis Says:

Is this the same Dave from Windsor ,who criticized Jon Wertheim for nominating Nadal as sportsman of the year?.The question is in the latest post of Wertheim`s post.In a comment in the recent post,one Federer fan was giving an analogy of Federer and Nadal as brothers,where younger Nadal is being portrayed as silently trying to overtake more successful older brother.I will also say using the same analogy,that some times older brother seems to get irritated by younger brother`s success.Some of the comments of older brother seems to confirm it.I think that we have an insecure older brother here.But the rivalry is aggravated by older brother`s insecure friends mostly.These friends of older brother while trying to block younger brother`s progress tries everything legal or illegal to defame ,insult younger brother.Because of their hate for younger brother ,they try to bring the whole tennis family down.Or how else can one understand the action of the older brother`s friend ,who criticizes someone because that person nominated younger brother who was more successful this year.Older brother`s friends has no consideration for tennis family.Otherwise he should have been happy for tennis family that someone from the tennis family is going to get the award this year,and not someone from other sports families.How narrow and mean spirited this friends of older brother are!.


Skeezerweezer Says:

FedWins,

Ok, DUDE. Why don’t you post that post where I said Rafa is a brainfart? Your not only skating on thin ice already, your a liar!

RE your 11:34 post

Yeah “imagine”, but “imagine” didn’t happen. 14 losses did not “dent” his legacy, 16 slams later. I am sure Rafa would rather have 16 slams and a losing record against “a n y o n e”. 237 weeks #1, etc.

Resistance is futile for FedWins, a provoker, not a poster.

Somehow you started out talking about Sod in your last post but because of your constant self professed love for Fed you ended with the usual Fed praise and his fans. Thanks.

I hope we all stop responding to your posts, they are the same stuff, over and over, just to get under someones skin. It’s interesting you don’t have anything new to discuss because you have said what your mission is. You’ve already made your stance, repetitively, and I have decided that every time you post, if I am around, will post a denouncement of who you are and what you do. You don’t contribute anything but continual use of name calling, third grade stuff. Try to think before you post lies next time.


Kimberly Says:

Dari, thanks for the info, that is a great xmas present from espn!


Kimberly Says:

Skeezer,perhaps fed end is upset that you did not name him as an objective fair poster.


FedEnd Says:

Skeeze,
Do i need to remind you abt your own posts ??
Go to this link and search for brainfarts:
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2010-11-16/5716.php


FedEnd Says:

Skeeze,
“Somehow you started out talking about Sod in your last post but because of your constant self professed love for Fed you ended with the usual Fed praise and his fans. Thanks.”

You are spot on, I just love Fed and FEDTARDS. I am in luuuvvvvvv.


Mindy Says:

Skeezer,

In your thoughtful reply at 3.45 pm, you decided that we area all biased. I agree, up to a point. Then there are some who have their favorite, but hate his chief rival with a fervor that borders on pathological. There IS a difference!

Thanks for the request to talk about tennis. Let’s see how many take that suggestion to heart.


Skeezerweezer Says:

FedWins,

Just so the posters here know what a LIAR you are and self professed “reasons why I post is to PROVOKE”

Here is the cowardice lie you were referring to that says I supported somehow Rafa and brainfart

“Two cents says:

Youth generally prevails on all fronts. Tha’s a given. However, if you compare ages of FO champions with WO champions, slower courts are much more forgiving to brainfarts.

The main amusement of watching Fed now is to see how he tries to defy law of nature.”

November 16th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I responded to that post with;

“skeezerweezer Says:
brainfarts….LOL…mow THAT I can relate too”

Relating to myself on the tennis court, WTF?

I tell you what FedWins, let’s let the posters for all to see determine what those two posts meant, I don’t need to explain it, YOU DO. This is beyond idiotic, and I am done for the evening. Thanks for making my evening posts turn into drama…..I’d rather be talking about some tennis….


i am it Says:

Lulu wins the Poster of the Day award for generating so many responses and the displaying highest order of passion in your defensively winning arguments. A kind of rare sweetness.
Welcome to T-X.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Mindy,

Godfather 3

“Just when I said I was out, I get pulled back in”

I don’t mind the troll once in awhile like even rick, he comes and goes, but this guy sticks around and self professes his mission to disrupt the discussions. I backed Kimberly in this CW guy when he was throwing bombs like this at Rafa and now it still goes on, but a big thanks for you post. I guess I will try to post another time, this is not worth it right now.

out


i am it Says:

Skeeze,
Did you read my response to you, in my lost post above?
Mad?


Kimberly Says:

I guess to some degree I am joking about the soderling hate. But seriously I can’t love the guy. It’s like where were you when Kennedy was shot?

I was on the beach. Figured the match would be another blowout and frankly, figured the entire title was in the bag. Checked cbsports.com and almost had a coronary. At first a I thought the result must be reversed. But then googled nadal upset and there it was.

And then rafa never really recovered for 2009. When all started so well. Still worshipped him, but wasn’t really sure he would ever recover. Until montecarlo 2010. So soda will never be on my top ten list! I think him and rafa on the surface have hurried the hatchet but not so sure that resentment doesn’t linger in both cases.

I think rafa genuinely likes fed and enjoys playing fed. I am not so sure of the reverse.

My midnight insomniac ramblings.


Kimberly Says:

By the way, iPad autocorrects are not doing well for me here or on facebook. Many bizarre sounding ousts there too.

I meant buried the hatchet.


FedEnd Says:

Skeeze,
You have a history of taking a dig at rafa and when confronted you try to give a different meaning and back out. I know you very well.

I also remember your sour grapes comment on grass saying that it is green clay these days now and when questioned you twisted your own words, LOL, green clay became green day. Lets see who is the liar, you want to remind yourself abt your twists and turns ?
Goto to this link and search for green:
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2010-11-10/5687.php


Skeezerweezer Says:

I am it,

Yeah I did. Thanks! Guess I should have re-read it before I posted :(…oh well got carried away on a tangent of unknown proportions…..

Kimberly,

Thanks :). Would like to say to the rest of the gang WTF starts Sunday ( apparently, it can’t start soon enough ) good luck to all and have fun, I am traveling at a convention, dang! Obviously gonna be some great matchups….

Leave the Rafa fans with this…Rafa as a 12 yr old…cool

http://the-slice.com/2010/11/atp-wtf-blast-from-the-past-12-year-old-rafael-nadal/

and Go Fed!


steve-o Says:

I’m a neutral regarding Soderling. I think he gets a really bad rap from the media, but his game doesn’t really move me. Not generally a fan of “big man” tennis, except for Del Potro, who’s sort of the perfect exemplar of that game.

He ended Federer’s streak of major semis; it’s hardly my favorite moment, but it’s not something I worry about. It had to end sometime.

I do respect how he plays to win, and he’s not just happy with holding the runner-up trophy. He really thinks he can win the FO, and why not? He’s been in the final twice, and it’s taken the two best players of the era to beat him. Still, he’d need a bit of luck to make it.

Keep in mind, that AO aside, he lost only to Federer in the majors in 2009, and only to Federer/Nadal in 2010. He’s a tough guy to beat.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Lulu,

Welcome:). You stated you got interested and starting playing tennis cause of your interest in Rafa. There is no greater compliment from players in the game than to hear that. Welcome to the great game, and take this jabberwockey talk among some of us with a grain of salt, most posters here are “passionate” about there favorite sport, so sometimes it gets “emotional”, but you’ll find free education of the game, stats and insights you never can get anywhere, and a global community of posters that supports the game. Blog on.


Skeezerweezer Says:

FedWins,

Done. Yawn. Booorrrrinnng.

out


FedEnd Says:

Skeeze,
Yes you are done mate.
Its there for everyone to see and know who you are.

You wrote:
“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….”

After someone confronted you, you twisted your own words:
“I meant Green day not Green clay”

LOL, green day, its good to know that you guys are afraid to stand up and take ownership of your own words. Its not “green clay” or “green day”, its “sour grapes”, LOL.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Check your lie. Is Rafa’s name in there? And do I say anything about Rafa? Or are you implying?

“I have always been a big fan of VARIED court surfaces…….”

That is my opinion, so WTF?

Laugh is on you buddy, and don’t try again…your fun tickets are all used up. Besides, what happened to your first proven false accusation? Hiding it with another one? LOL


JCK Says:

Vulcan:

“Thank you for calmly stating what would of drawn a slightly more ballistic response from myself…let us not forgot that it is not Federer who is arrogant but rather many of his fans.”

You are welcome. :-) I think that post has more to do with the poster’s insecurity than arrogance. Someone said she became a Rafa fan and he didn’t want people got the idea that Rafa might become more popular than Fed. Viola, he digged out some TV ratings to “prove” how unpopular Rafa was in the US.

It’s childish if you ask me…


Mindy Says:

Skeezer,

Quoting the Godfather now, are we? Very nice and quite applicable.

Don’t worry, I am not taking offense to your not including me in your short list of objective Rafa fans. If the price of being on that list is to pay lipservice to people with whom I disagree, then the price is too high.

Are you assuming that I approve of everything that any Rafa fans says here? Because that is simply not the case. I made a promise to myself that I would never trash Fed or throw cheap shots at him, or any other player for that matter. I have stuck to it, despite reading some of the most vile filth I have ever seen written about Rafa.

If you are too nice to me, then I will start getting really nervous! :)

Goodnight!


AllAboutRafa Says:

Hi All,

Interesting posts here. Think I’ll join the fray. Bored with the other forums.

True Rafa fan. Not into Fed. Can’t warm to Sodaling. Like Djoko and Murray. Don’t like Roddick, and Ferrer is…well, just there.

Berdych is hot, but inconsistent, and Rafa?

Rafa is the epitome of sports, and he’s darn good looking too!


Von Says:

skeezer: “Then there are posters who have a Fav but post pretty objectively, ala Jane. Even Kimberly, of whom is my fav Rafa fan, is excellent. Perhaps her example should be food for thought for everyone. Her Husband is a Fed fan, so they have to live in the same house together, and apparently do it very well ( think of that after reading all these battles up here. Would like her one day to teach us all how it is done ).”

LOL, skeezer, I thought this was a tennis forum not a marriage counseling bureau. Since when did you get into the marriage counseling profession? I’ll make note of the foregoing and come to you whenever I need some advice. FYI, there are many of us who have spouses and/or significant others who do not share our love for the same player, and guess what, a revelation …. harmony prevails ….. I suppose because this is a tennis forum we choose not to mention same.

“IMO her posts reflect that, knowing when to stay out of the “line of fire” and gives Rafa cheers always, without taking down or minimizing Fed. Something I aspire to when I grow up.”

let’s hope your growing up happens quickly. BTW, I’m glad to know that it’s just your opnion, because there are many of us here, who are not Fed or Nadal fans, yet we give kudos to them, without reservations, despite the fact that our faves are attacked from all angles by their fans. Anyway, let’s put out an APB, calling all Pom poms and cheerleaders …..

Dale Carnegie would be proud of you. Have you ever read his book?


Rick Says:

Way to go, FedEnd! You’re really kick their ass! I am glad that, Cindy Brady is not like them!


madmax Says:

deadend,

i dont know why you want to make this into something that it isnt with skeeze, he’s explained himself (he didn’t need to, as it’s pretty clear that you have made him your target, I can only think it is because you are bored?).

I’d also appreciate it if you would stop calling federer fans by that name – (I know you wont, but one can but try?). Seems like the blabber and blah blah is coming from you, not skeeze – always has something interesting to say. Anyway fedwins, if you have some interesting stuff to say (backing it up with stats like you did, I think – ONCE? – then your posts are more interesting to read –

in the meantime, I’d like to respond to mytennis’s post – at 11.53pm above.

You refer to federer being rude to ‘the tennis family’ – have you actually read some of the things that he has said to the ‘tennis family’ over the years? Here is an example of three of them, plus mytennis, you could say the same for rafa, so i dont know why you choose to ignore those either – it’s all about trying to be unbiased, which is impossible sometimes I know –

Sorry, but it’s simply not true to say that Federer never gives credit to his opponent in defeat:
Australian Open SF 2005, l. to Safin:
“He was the better player in the end, you know, because we don’t have ties or draws in tennis. So the winner is the better man, and that’s him.”
French Open F 2008, l. to Nadal:
“Rafa played well today, made it hard for me, and, yeah, was better.”
Wimbledon F 2008, l. to Nadal:
“I mean, he’s a great competitor, you know, a great player to play against, and I think he did very well today.”
“towards the end, like we know, with the light, it was tough. But it’s not an excuse. Like I said, Rafa served well and played well and deserved to win in the end.”
US Open F 2009, l. to Del Potro:
“Juan Martin played great. I thought he hung in there and gave himself chances, and in the end was the better man.”
Nor is it true to say that Nadal is invariably generous to his opponents in defeat, either:
Miami QF 2009, l. to Del Potro:
“I think he didn’t play one of his best matches, no? That’s what I feel. I don’t know. You can ask him later maybe. But I think he played well. His level is 7 of the world, no, so he’s very good. I think he didn’t play an unbelievable match, but I didn’t play on my best level today.”
“Always is a reason because you are not playing at your level during the tournament.”
French Open 4R 2009, l. to Soderling:
“I didn’t play my best tennis. No, I didn’t attack in no one moment. I play very short, and I make him very easy to play at this level.”
“I played very short, you know. I play very short. I didn’t play great. I didn’t play with calm at no one time during all the match.
That makes him easy to play at this level during all the match, no? So was my fault, and more than well, sure, he did well. He did very well, but I didn’t yeah, I think I didn’t play my best tennis. And I didn’t play not my best tennis, no? I didn’t play my tennis, and for that reason I lose. That’s it.”
Q: So is it because he was very aggressive today? Was it having an influence?
RAFAEL NADAL: “No, not at all.”
Q. Were you surprised by the level of his game?
RAFAEL NADAL: “No, not at all. I’ve seen him playing quite a few times, and that was not a surprise. It was my game level that was a surprise to me today.”
The people who suggest that Nadal is always generous, and Federer never generous, are simply basing their opinions on what they want to be true, without regard to what is actually being said.
Federer is one of the most honest and gracious players around. He gets an absurd amount of stick for answering questions frankly rather than necessarily rolling over and praising everyone unequivocally. many of the quotes get taken out of context, or interpreted to win better headlines. The debacle over his comments about Murray trying to be the first Brit in a 150,000 years to win a Slam was typical. He wasn’t slighting Murray but the British media for putting so much pressure on their players.
There has to be a good reason why Federer constantly wins the sportsmanship award from his fellow players.

Rafa this year has been voted as the player of 2010, which is apt considering his success this year. It also makes a change as well, considering federer has won it for the last 6 years in a row, so I guess ‘the tennis family’ aren’t too upset!


Nina Says:

I think the players are just honest in their answers. Why can they say what they’re thinking? It’s their truth and I respect it.

Would you rather they said what the fans and journalists want them or expect them to say? I’d rather not.

One player may say after a defeat that the match was close, and even if it was a straight sets win (Murray dixit), in his opinion it was close because the scoreline is not always sympathetic to what really happened in a match. Maybe he had many options of breaking serve, a tiebreak, etc. I don’t see that as being arrogant.

I think both Rafa and Federer are honest in their press conferences and thoughtful on their answers. I don’t think they’re arrogant. Roger can be arrogant because he is in the position to be so, he has won so many things and has dominated the field for so long. I don’t think he’s arrogant but he has trouble praising his opponents. He has matured now. He’s giving more praise and acknowledging players than before.

Circa 07-08, when Nole came into the scene, Federer wasn’t very nice with him. It has taken his two years to praise Novak or acknowledge him. That’s my only grudge against Roger. But he’s ok now.


jane Says:

Nina, liked your 9:40 post yesterday. Your family watching tennis together must be something. (go Fed! vamos Rafa! adje Nole!) Also, someone, maybe d.r., said that when we sit down and watch a match we almost inevitably get pulled one way or the other. This is mostly true although I have watched the odd match where I was just enjoying the drama and didn’t really care who won (don’t know why but a Monaco/Gonza match comes to mind). But even when we intend to “sit back and enjoy” I agree that a lot of times we end up rooting for someone over the course of watching, especially in long matches. Like at Wimbledon a couple years ago, when Hass and Cilic had that long 5 setter, I found myself hoping that’d be a breakthrough for Cilic, even though when I started watching I didn’t have a preference.


Nina Says:

Jane

Well we hardly ever see the matches together, because it gets intense. My mom for once can’t stand when Rafa loses, she really gets too nervous and won’t watch. My father is the most objective, he loves Federer because of his beautiful game and grace, he’s always in awe at him. But he likes Djoko and Nadal too. And I can’t stand watching Nole lose against Roger, so I tend not to watch with them. LOL. But we always phone each other after a match and discuss it. And we cheer up each other when one’s favorite loses.


madmax Says:

Circa 07-08, when Nole came into the scene, Federer wasn’t very nice with him. It has taken his two years to praise Novak or acknowledge him. That’s my only grudge against Roger. But he’s ok now.

November 20th, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Nina,

go back to mytennis post at 11.53pm which will throw more light on the matter – I wanted to put a less biased version of events –

I think when you refer to fed and nole around that time, that was the time that nole was doing his infamous impressions in the locker room – and a lot of players (not just fed), were v. irritated by them – but like I said to sar a while ago, the hatchett was buried a long time ago, and novak’s family a year ago were invited to fed’s family home for dinner with his parents -which I thought was a wonderful gesture and showed the respect between both players.

It’s when information is distorted to such a degree that the truth can rarely be found, and only if, you have time to dig around a bit, which I had today.


jane Says:

Nina, my aunt is a huge Rafa fan; so when he wins things I am often happy for her. We discuss tennis matches on live chat sometimes when they are on-going. LOL. I wish Nole would get a big win over Rafa. I have nothing against Rafa but Nole’s just lost many “big” matches against him, close ones – and lots of finals too – that I think he’s “in his head”.


Nina Says:

@madmax… Thank you for the facts. I had heard about that dinner but I thought it was false. If that’s true then I congratulate Fed’s gesture, that was very nice of him.

And it’s true that these days Fed has praised both Djoko and Murray a lot, acknowledging them for the threat they represent. I think the Big 4 respect and like each other a lot. It’s very nice to see.


Nina Says:

Jane

I agree. Nole should beat Rafa in a slam and then he would have the confidence he needs to win one. I think that Madrid match and some close encounters between the two may have hurt Nole’s confidence more than we think. But I honestly believe that the tables will turn. When? I dunno, hope that soon.

I’d love to see a great rivalry going between Nole and Rafa and Nole and Muzza in the near future. Rivalry meaning they give each other a hard time, lol. That would be awesome.


Benjamin Roberts Says:

skeezerweezer:

i hope you learnt your lesson.


madmax Says:

Benjamin Roberts!

Read! and carefully!

Skeeze is a legend! (some people don’t want to stick up for others or get involved – it doesn’t bother me so much, but when it comes to skeeze especially, the right thing to do is to defend him! but this is food – as skeeze said – for the trolls!

madmax Says:
deadend,

i dont know why you want to make this into something that it isnt with skeeze, he’s explained himself (he didn’t need to, as it’s pretty clear that you have made him your target, I can only think it is because you are bored?).

November 20th, 2010 at 11:48 am

I’d also appreciate it if you would stop calling federer fans by that name – (I know you wont, but one can but try?). Seems like the blabber and blah blah is coming from you, not skeeze – always has something interesting to say. Anyway fedwins, if you have some interesting stuff to say (backing it up with stats like you did, I think – ONCE? – then your posts are more interesting to read –

nina, yes. It was printed in the swiss press, about 6 months ago. A champagne dinner, fed’s parents were there, as were novak’s parents, fed and novak – hatchett buried.

I think it is universally agreed that novak is the most gracious player on court, win or lose, and the funniest in the locker room, players lounge and during interview – but i don’t think anything will beat roddick’s interview in 2007!

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