Davydenko Dumps Ailing Rafa, Meets Federer for Doha Title; Roddick, Soderling Nearing Brisbane Collision
by Sean Randall | January 7th, 2011, 6:45 pm
  • 127 Comments

Rafael Nadal’s ills and ailments finally caught up to him on Friday when Nikolay Dayvdenko pounded the Spaniard 6-2, 6-3 in Doha. The win moves Davydenko into the finals where he’ll face Roger Federer who was a 6-3, 7-6 victor over JW Tsonga.

Nadal’s been complaining of a flu all week in Doha, although I have to ask at least why the heck was he still playing doubles – which he won today – with the flu?

“This week I had this problem, and every day I had troubles. Every day was difficult moments on court,” said Nadal. “Finally I lost against a better player than me today, so that’s all. [I will] keep practicing, get healthy, and try my best in the next tournament. Nothing to say today about the match, because he played much better than me, so I wasn’t ready to play at that high rhythm today.”

Illness or not, Davydenko has always been a tough opponent for Rafa. The Russian’s win gives him a 6-4 lead over Nadal in their head-to-head with four straight wins now. He’s also 6-1 against Rafa on the hardcourts. Simply said, he matches up about as well as anyone against Rafa.

Now, to defend his 2010 Doha crown, Davydenko will again have to beat Federer and Nadal in the same tournament like he did last year (Federer in the SF, Nadal in final).

“I always play semis or quarters [against Federer], but the final I play always against Nadal,” Davydenko said. “That was for me much easier to win. I don’t know why. Now it’s [a] different situation. I think it will be much tougher.”

And he’s right. This will be tougher because he’s playing Fed in a final. Federer is 14-2 against Davydenko and I think tomorrow he’ll extend that to 15-2.

“Obviously I’m very excited. It’s always nice to start off the year with a final,” said Federer. “I think Nikolay actually has a very good record in finals, and that makes him tough to play in a final. I feel well and I’ll definitely have a chance with all my experience and the level I’m playing at right now.”

True, Davydenko is a gaudy 20-5 in ATP finals, but the 14-2 record H2H is really hard to get past. And since going up that set and break against Federer in Melbourne last year – when it looked like Federer was on the way out! – Fed’s reeled off five straight sets against Nikolay. And that has to be swirling around the Russian’s head tonight.

Davydenko’s always had some issues with his nerves. Even today he served for the match at 5-0 in the second but then dropped two straight games and saved a break point in the third one before closing out the match.

That said, Fed will be in his head.

And while we are not getting a Federer-Nadal final this weekend it looks like we’ll see an Andy Roddick-Robin Soderling collision in Brisbane. Tomorrow, er tonight depending on where you are, Roddick will be the heavy favorite against another big server Kevin Anderson. Soderling has 2010 runner-up Radek Stepanek. I expect both top guys to win out.

In Chennai, the semifinals are set tomorrow with Tomas Berdych v. Stan Wawrinka and Janko Tipsarevic v. Xavier Malisse. For Berydch, a convincing title run in Chennai is just what the doctor ordered!

DOHA SATURDAY SCHEDULE

CENTER COURT start 6:00 pm
[4] N Davydenko (RUS) vs [2] R Federer (SUI)

BRISBANE SATURDAY SCHEDULE

PAT RAFTER ARENA start 12:00 noon
[4] R Lindstedt (SWE) / H Tecau (ROU) vs P Petzschner (GER) / A Peya (AUT)
[1] R Soderling (SWE) vs R Stepanek (CZE)
K Anderson (RSA) vs [2] A Roddick (USA)


Also Check Out:
Near Perfect Davydenko Foils Federer-Nadal Final in Doha
Off Season, What Off Season? Early 2010 Player Schedules
Nadal Eats A Bagel in Doha; Roddick v. Baghdatis Tonight in Brisbane
Federer, Nadal Begin New Year in Abu Dhabi; Roddick Bagless in Brisbane
Roddick Impressive; A Federer-Nadal Final Ahead in Doha?

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127 Comments for Davydenko Dumps Ailing Rafa, Meets Federer for Doha Title; Roddick, Soderling Nearing Brisbane Collision

Fot Says:

Go Roger!


Catherine Says:

“This will be tougher because he’s playing Fed in a final. Federer is 14-2 against Davydenko and I think tomorrow he’ll extend that to 15-2.”

Your words… not mine yet, Sean.

Even if Rafa was indeed as sick as he seemed to be (but then, with me, raise the Big Question: WHY THE HELL CONTINUE PLAYING THOSE DOUBLES when he should have been in bed with tons of paracetamol???), Davydenko played otherwordly tennis today.

He defeated both Rog and Raf last year, in this same tournament. I have yet to see why he shouldn’t be able to repeat that feat, with his fantastic level of playing he showed all week.
Of course, same thing goes for Federer…

This will be a thrilling top-level tennis final, that’s for sure – and whoever manages to win it, I’ll be happy for either one of ‘em.

GREAT to see the Little Bald-headed fellow back-on-track!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Not to take anything away from Davy’s thrashing, but I saw the match and Rafa was not feeling well either physically, mentally, or both. He gave it a go and had his spurts.

However, I posted before that the way Davy was playing today he would have been “very difficult” and nearly “impossible” to beat anyway.

Regardless, I would like to point out Rafa’s fine interview by minimizing his play, and any “under the weather” issues, giving full credit to the other player. Class Rafa, that is the way a post match interview should be!

“Finally I lost against a better player than me today, so that’s all….”

and

“…Nothing to say today about the match, because he played much better than me, so I wasn’t ready to play at that high rhythm today.”


Catherine Says:

@ Skeezerweezer: yep, Rafa’s post match presser was PURE CLASS, giving full credits to Davydenko.
Kudos to him for that, indeed!


Kimberly Says:

Hi all I am going to set up raquetbracket for austailian open on tourneytopia early next week. I will keep everyone posted who wants to play..

And yes, I will probably still till choose rafa as the winner unless he gets a really rough draw. Not sure what to do with roddick.

I do know however what I’m doing with verdasco and cilic!


Kimmi Says:

steve-o – i notice you have been following auckland WTA..like me. looks like greta Arn will take the title. unless yanina makes a comeback like yesterday. will have to wait and see.

just realised that greta arn is 31. where was she all this time?


Kimberly Says:

http://www.tourneytopia.com/RacquetBracketAussieOpenATP/tennisxfans/default.aspx

you can pre-register now. I will set up the WTA pool as well.


Kimmi Says:

thanks kimberly


Kimmi Says:

what a win for greta arn. she beat sharapova in the qtr final and then beats yanina, defending champ convincigly.

apparently she took sometime off from the tour..decided to come back and now wins a tournament.

maybe WTA players should take time off from the tour..looks like they play better when they come back! LOL!!


steve-o Says:

Generous interview by Nadal, giving Davydenko his due. I’m sure he will be fine for AO.

@Kimmi: yes, I saw the last few games of the Auckland final. Seems like Wickmayer just wasn’t used to someone who mixed the pace that much and defended so well, was making a lot of errors.

Apparently Arn had to take time off tennis to work, because one of her agents screwed up her finances and left her in debt. Great comeback for her.


Kimmi Says:

If soderling wins brisbane, he will be seeded 4th at the AO. Muzza will be 5th again..like last year.

davydenko seeded 22 or somewhere near there, hmmm. I think this year AO draw can cause some major upsets early on!


Kimmi Says:

Steve-o – great story for greta arn.

we now move to sydney for the girls. much tougher draw there. wozniacki, clijsters, JJ, stosur, schiavoni etc. lets see who will come out the winner.


Catherine Says:

Go Soderling, most underrated player!!!
Take that #4 ranking spot from the very much overrated Mr. Murray!


jane Says:

Soda is doing his job; next we need Roddick to do his.

I don’t see why Murray is overrated. He was in the AO final last year and Soda was in the FO final. Murray won 2 masters titles, Soda won one, his first. And didnt you pick Murray to be number 1 Catherine or am I thinking of someone else? :)


Kimmi Says:

i am rooting for roddick to beat soda for muzza sake. go roddick!


jane Says:

Yeah, that’s true Kimmi, and Roddick is defending his title too so it’d be nice to see Andy get the win.


Kimberly Says:

Go ROddick!

Is Sharapova playing Sydney? I sure hope she can clean up her act beore AO. This is prob the most wide open shot at a GS for women (although FO 10 ended up being pretty wide open)


jane Says:

Roddick is looking sharp.


steve-o Says:

Anderson has upped his game. He seems very talented.


Thomas Says:

roddick is in great form.


steve-o Says:

What a forehand Anderson’s got. He’s so lanky but generates such incredible pace, he’s outhitting Roddick.

Roddick has dropped the second set. Hope he can raise his level in the third.


Eric Says:

Wow – Roddick’s first serve seems to have abandoned him (not that his serve has been much troubling Anderson), exposing the weaknesses of his game to a really inspiring performance from Anderson. Great second set! And on to the third…. Roddick will surely come back and win, but it’s been an entertaining show so far. (Oh, and go Soderling tomorrow!)


margot Says:

Catherine@11.35: the memory of the “over rated” Mr Murray demolishing the “under rated” Mr Soderling at the WTF is still very, very fresh and still very, very pleasing…;)


Gordo Says:

I realize Rafa has been complaining of a fever all week but I still laugh and see how Rafa loses = everyone accepts he must be ill. Federer loses = he is getting old.

Methinks Rafa stuck it out and is playing doubles as well – working through the illness for 1 of 2 reasons; 1) He is a stud who hopes to sweat off and work through the fever, or 2) There is a stipulation in the clause attached to his very healthy appearance fee that unless he loses a limb he better complete these matches!

I suspect it is both.

Just saying…


Gordo Says:

Okay, I need to be a little more clear. In a comment on yesterday’s blog I wrote -

===============

Number of players who have beaten Fed and Nadal in the same tournament twice?

0

What will this number be after tomorrow?

0

When Davydenko was 3 and 4 in the world these guys did not have to worry about meeting him until the finals. Now that he is in the 20s one of Fed or Rafa might meet him in the round of 16.

The AO 2011 draw should prove to be interesting.

===============

To which a lot pointed out that Nalby did the feat in Madrid and Paris a couple of years back.

What I was meaning was no one has done the feat twice at the SAME tournament. Davy is trying to become the first, because he knocked off Fed and Rafa last year. I don’t see it happening today tho.


Daniel Says:

Gordo, i got you when you said this, but was a lasy to explain to others. This will be a tall order for anybody, Let’s see it today. But Fed is playing great. His backhand is his major asset of latelly. The old tatctic of going to his backhand 100% doesn’t work anymore, unless you are Nadal.


Kimmi Says:

mallise coming back from a set down against tipsy. playing great so far. lots of variety. it is very unfortunate he never live up to his potential. i think he could have done more in his career, get to top 10 maybe. lots of injuries has plugged him throughout his career.


Kimmi Says:

2nd break in the third set by mallise. serving for the match now!


Kimmi Says:

game set match malisse. he can now meet the winner of berdych and wawa.


Kimmi Says:

apparently wawrinka finished his previous match at 2 am in the morining, there was some rain delay that delayed his match big time. while berdych finish at a more sensible time of 7.30 pm. obviously berdych must be the fresher of the two.


Kimmi Says:

wawa with the first set in the bag 6-4


dari Says:

Way to go wawa!


Kimmi Says:

dari, wawa with the early break in the second set. a set and a break up..he just needs to concentrate now.

its too early to break at 2-1, few more games to make wawa nervous. lets hope he can keep it on.


Kimmi Says:

OMG wawa breaks again..4-1 now in the second.


Kimmi Says:

ha ha 5-1. cant see berdy coming back now


Kimmi Says:

wawa breaks to win the match 6-4 6-1. big upset ???


Kimmi Says:

aah federer/davy on courts. goooooo roger


scineram Says:

Stan winning is rarely upset.

Kolya to be first to win title defeating Fedal for third time?


Skeezerweezer Says:

@gordo

Thanks for clearing that up. No I re read your comment I was confused, your post was fine.


dari Says:

CLOSE IT , ROGER


gannu Says:

Marathon game – davy striggling to hold serve and feddy bear struggling to convert tons of BPs… That remains an issue for Fed…


Kimmi Says:

set!! go rog


Laurie Moore Says:

I love watching Andy R play but why does he constantly have to jiggle his privates after every point? It’s worse than Rafa’s habit of digging his drawers out of his a**.


Kimmi Says:

gannu. the bp when davy serving to stay in the 1st set..davy saved them fed did not squander them as davy came up with some big serving everytime…

so feddy bear is doing JUST FINE!


dari Says:

CONGRATS to stab wawrinka making it into Chennai final two years in a row. Hopefully he can take the title this time.
Meanwhile, the other swiss, federer, takes firat set on doha final.
I’m not gonna be mad about that marathon game where rog had 6 break/set points. It’s not something that he can do again though, EVER! Nikolay not too shabby on those break points down to be honest, though.
Ok, second set, nice and clean Rog!


margot Says:

Just tuned in to hear Koenic, I think, say Roger is “unplayable.” Oh gr8………:(
jane, if we are to have a year of Fed being “unplayable” I really think I will take up tiddlywink watching after all ……


margot Says:

dari: u r beginning to write in some foreign language…;)


gannu Says:

Thanks Kimmi…just watching a horrible TV stream and hence cant see all he points..good to see that our man is playing well..hope he maintains this and goes onto win atleast 3 Gslams this year ;-)


Kimmi Says:

davy is playing well..federer is playing well. hmm but fed, keep it together pls!


Skeezerweezer Says:

and the break…..


Kimmi Says:

yaaawwwww! BREAK!! federer to serve for the match. Go fed!


Kimo Says:

I loved how Rog played in this tournament. Not once did I feel he was pushed.


Kimo Says:

Roger’s fourth title in five tournaments. Over the hill? I don’t think so.


Kimmi Says:

67 titles. Congrats federer. magnificent perfomance. GOOD LUCK AT THE AO!!


El Flaco Says:

L’DOMINATOR ROGEHHHHHHHH FEDEHDEH!!!!!!!!!!


dari Says:

WAY to be, Roger!
Kimo -4/5 pretty nice, huh?
hope he can take that confidence into AO and DEFEND his title!
Go Rooooooog!


margot Says:

And Fed’ll be brimming with confidence going into AO….help…..
kimmi: I think beefy boy, aka Stan, is a fine tennis player, think I put him going into top 10 in my prediction. More complete game than Big Bird and a backhand to die for.


Skeezerweezer Says:

@El Flaco 11:35 post

“Classic”. Rack this one up in the Tennis X achives! lol


gannu Says:

Sean has ahad a brilliant strike rate so far ;-) Well done Sean… Well done… Pick feddy bear to win 3 Gslams this year ;-)….


Kimo Says:

What the hell are the organizers thinking? Just give them their trophies and send them home!!!


Dan Martin Says:

Federer has been building momentum. I still think he is #2, but after NY it looked like he was #3 or #4 even. Now, he is clearly #2. Does Fed have the most points since Wimbledon 2010? If so, he might get to week #286 if he can win one of the next 3 slams. Still, if Rafa wins Oz I think it will be the single greatest achievement of the Open Era.


Gordo Says:

I think for Federer to regain the #1 spot it is crucial he not lose any of his AO points – in other words – he must defend his title. If he does that then he has a year of being able to make up points for his (by his standards) mediocre Spring/Summer of 2010. Meanwhile Rafa has a mountain of points to defend.

This should be an interesting year.

If he should win the AO (or any Slam this year) Federer will become the only player to win at least one slam in 9 consecutive years.


Skeezerweezer Says:

What can u say? At 29, still got it and looking very good. Love how Annacone is helping him hit out more on the BH returns off the serve. Loved the improvements with the transition game also and the bite/variance on the 2nd serve. Will be a very interesting year if he keeps this up.

As Kimo pointed out “Roger’s fourth title in five tournaments. Over the hill? I don’t think so.”

It’s clear Fed has not Ended.

Congrats Fed, another one for the record books, another notch in the belt, another mark on the tree, another dart in the bulls eye, another…..ok…ok….on to AO!!


Steve Says:

@Dan Martin, that’s why I’m praying hard (to my own God) that Nadal won’t win the AO, because I think he just doesn’t deserve that ‘greatest achievement in the Open Era’ thing. Fed has had an even more impressive career, and was unlucky Nadal was unbeatable on clay, 3 times he could have won the GS. But he got the 23 GS semi-finals streak. Nadal got his one chance now for the Rafa Slam, and I’m afraid this alien will get it!


chico Says:

Just throwing a bone here.. but me thinks Doha is a perfect example of why the Rafa-Fed head-to-head is misleading. And why the GS are ‘the’ pecking ground. Basically three weeks of getting ready, staying healthy and giving it all. Had rafa came to Doha as for a Grand Slam, he’d had time to get accustomed to the local bugs, and we’d probably seen a Fedal final.

Hope Rafas playing on wont linger into a worse sickness. Talk about kudos not to let the doubles parner down, but have to say by the bodylanguage in the Davydenko match that its a toss up of being reckless. Or then he just opted for a semifinal loss instead of a final against Rog. Couldnt help but thinking.


dari Says:

CONGRATULATIONS, ROGER!
I am gonna get some rest before AO, just like rog :)
He’s probably gonna pack up the babes and get down there any time now…
BUEN SUERTE IN AUSTRALIA, ROGER!
go get em!


chico Says:

@Steve:
Consider this, Rafa wins the AO. He’d have conpleted the Rafa slam fair and square. He might have gotten the US without beating Fed(and by gettin a bit worn opponents :p), but so did Fed complete he’s career slam without beating Rafa in the French. Wimbledon has actually been the only place where Rog has beaten Rafa at a Slam. And that with some experience advantage. So by looking at the guys out of the gates fedite perspective: especially AO – mouthwatering :).
Who knows who’s still in one piece at the US open after a year like this.


dari Says:

ps, i am most proud of this tournament win because roger improved every match. he got through that first set test with the blazing schoorel, found his way through the oddities of the chiudinelli match, and stepped it up against troicki, who was not playing that well. In the final, he just outplayed davy, who did not have a horrible day, really, fed was just in superman-mode.
So improvements to fine, fine form in this tourney, and hopefully the same at the AO!
Kill it!


steve-o Says:

Congrats to Roger! Also kudos to Davydenko, making a strong comeback from injury.


dunbar Says:

I thought that first set was simply outstanding tennis, easily bringing back memories of Federer’s great days. And, as dari says, Davydenko was playing well. Having fought off those 6 set points, Davydenko was in prime position to break back. He didn’t manage it, but considering Federer’s phenomenal standard of play, you have to greatly admire him for still being, so to speak, in position.

Thoughts: although the standard dropped a bit in the 2nd – how could it not? – there was no Fed walk about, something we’ve seen a lot of in the last couple of years or so. His mind, then, is in excellent shape.
The serve is different, isn’t it – even more variety! Is this Annacone’s input or what? I am thinking primarily of the wide serve to the left court which he has used a lot recently, particularly today – and you can’t help thinking with a certain leftie in mind. As also, of course, with the slow wide kicker. The cost seems to be fewer aces – but I wonder if he has taken note of Nadal’s serve: very few aces, but a serve incredibly difficult to get on top of. I suspect Federer is drawn in that direction, and the nice thing is, he still has the ability to pull out an ace when he needs to. Altogether, an even more formidable serve than before.

Many people have commented on the bh, boy is it good now. It’s all very well saying Wawrinka or Haas have more beautiful bh’s, maybe they do. But noone (with single handed bh) has the variety at his command, not even Gasquet. Steve-o points out that Nadal’s shoulder high kicker is still a stumbling block for the Fed bh, but I have seen signs that some inroads have been made even here. I don’t think that’s wishful thinking.

Finally, Federer is still inventing shots – what about that fast corkscrew winner, eh, where Fed twists to do a “french cricket” style shot as if it were the most natural manouevre in the world.

Only worry: has Federer peaked too soon? Say he hasn’t. Then, although this is of no interest to anyone else, I feel I should eat a bit of crow and concede that perhaps Dave had it right, and Federer is now the man to beat at the AO. Only just, though, and it cannot be a surprise if any of the top 4 pull out the victory. Meanwhile, of course, everyone must be anxious to see how del Potro does in Sydney. I have a feeling this will prove a more successful return than the last, although it’s very tough to have F.Lopez as your first opponent after a long layoff.


dunbar Says:

Davydenko says:”I don’t want to say I played badly today, I played okay but Federer didn’t give me a chance to realise my game. I don’t know if he can hold at this level for the whole year.”

Well, if he can hold it till the beginning of February….


jane Says:

Congrats to Fed for Doha title. I want X-man Malisse to win in Chennai.


dunbar Says:

I should have liked Nishikori to have won, although I understood that was never on the cards. I much prefer Malisse’s style to that of Wa Wa, so yes, I too hope he wins. Suspect Wa Wa will be too strong for him, however.
Would like Soderling to beat Roddick, even though Kimmi says this means Murray will be displaced by Soderling for #4, which won’t lose me any sleep but I don’t particularly want. I still see Murray as a potential (and worthy) #1, I don’t quite see Soderling in that role.


jane Says:

It’s just that if Soda wins, Murray will be seeded fifth for the AO I assume. So that’s my main concern, as I believe Murray can get back number 4, or as you say, even higher, at a later date. Mayber it’s neither here nor there; Murray has a finals appearance to defend at the AO, where Soda has basically nothing; I think he lost in R128 last year, so he stands to really gain. Nole has QFs, as do Davy, Roddick, and Rafa, to defend. I believe Tsonga has semis and Cilic too. So Soda stands to gain and possibly Berdych too. Roddick didnt do too welk at slams last year so if his form holds, he could well move up too, ditto Davy and Delpo, who were out injured. There could be a lot of shifting in the top ten this year actually. Or not.


NELTA Says:

Big difference between being the #4 and #5 seed at the AO. If Andy is #5 and the big boys don’t get upset then Andy would have to beat 3 of the top 4 players. He could face Rafa, Fed and Djoko in the Q, S, and F not necessarily in that order.

Oh man. Delpo has to face F-Lo’s lefty serve in the 1st round of Medibank. He would have been much better off playing some other guys in the draw like Chela, Simon or Starace where he can get some good rallies going to build some rhythm.


Skeezerweezer Says:

With AO coming up there is gong to be hype and talk about the potential “Rafa Slam”….interesting article talkin with Laver

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/rafaelnadal/8248276/Rafael-Nadal-Grand-Slam-Australian-Open-is-just-the-beginning-says-Rod-Laver.html


Catherine Says:

@ dunbar, great post. Especially the point you make of Federer perhaps having peeked too early. That idea crossed my mind, too…

But I think it’s fair to say that Fed is the #1 fav for the AO title now, if he keeps up the level of play he’s been showing for some 4 consequetive months now.

I wouldn’t mind to see all those already pencilling in Rafa’s name on the AO trophy eat a bit of crow in three weeks’ time. It’s not that easy, folks, and certainly not yet a ‘done-and-dusted’.
Anyone who’s been looking at Soderling, for instance, this week? He’s been very impressive too… just to name one player.

Good to see Davydenko back-on-track! Didn’t at all play badly today, rather the contrary. No play will like to see him on his quater at the upcoming AO either.


thark Says:

holy cow i just tuned in – soda is putting a hurt on a-rod!

let’s go sodaaaaa!


Kimmi Says:

me too, just tuned in. soda suddenly a set up. what is happening with roddick serve? not a very good start..

aaagh, needs to wake up..roddick!


Eric Says:

This isn’t a tennis match – it’s just waiting to see how quickly Robin can win.


thark Says:

announcer just called soderling’s racquet a “velvet sledgehammer.”

ha – love it…


Kimmi Says:

soda is controlling this match i am afraid. as soon as the ball gets on the rally it all soderling at the moment.


jane Says:

oh, i was on the roddick thread, lol. well eric you might be right. maybe andy just began slowly. we’ll see. soda ended last year on a high winning his first masters, and he has a new coach, which can revive a player initially. he must be coming with a lot of confidence. but andy r. is not usually short on confidence either.that should not be an issue. andy has been talking about how he’s finally fit (or well) again and raring to go. so this should go the distance unless soda can win in a tiebreak in the second, or convert one of these 2 break points … ahhhh.


jane Says:

i love the way soda hits his forehand, with that wide open stance. And then THUMP!

Crucial for Roddick to hold here.


Catherine Says:

Sod is ON FIRE lately.
Exquisite serving. Back to #4 in a couple of minutes I think!!!!

Wonder when the guy finally gets rid of the stigmata of being called ‘a fluke’.

HE IS NOT!


thark Says:

far from a fluke catherine – agreed.

unfortunately the slam barrier rules our conceptions of the players – just human nature i suppose.

never fear though, 2011 is soda’s year!


Catherine Says:

Of course we don’t know what will happen in 2011-season to come, but the numerous calls of Soderling being called out being ‘a fluke’, or even worse, him having already hit his best in the past years… I think that’s a MASSIVE MISTAKE indeed.

The guy truly deserves a lot more kudos than he seems to be getting from the Media Pundits.


jane Says:

who on earth calls soda a fluke? the guy was in consecutive french open finals and has been in a number of slam quarter finals too. but it is worth noting that he hasn’t won big titles; he won his first masters title only at the end of last year. so that’s why he’s been behind andy murray and novak djokovic. he has 6 career titles to date. murray has 16; nole has 18.


dari Says:

What was roddick taking on the change over? Just got home and turned on the match, can AndyR make it happen?


Catherine Says:

Just a couple of days ago, I read *someone* of the X-blogs folks – sorry, cannot remember the name – posting that “Sod’s Best Days Are Already Behind Him.”

I thought that was ridiculous, and I said so.


jane Says:

soda is ruling his service games; he’s getting into andy’s too, but he’s not been able to convert break points; he’s had 6 chances and has converted only one. if he doesn’t win, that’ll be the stat to revisit. mind you, it has something to do with roddick playing big on the break points too.


Kimmi Says:

roddick hanging on a thread. his serve has been on attacked throughout in this second set. without serve this match would be over by now. he hasnt threaten soderling serve at all..

where is roddick big fh? without that he cannot win this…he is just rolling his shots in.

soderling is just too comfortable…wake up roddick!


Catherine Says:

OMG God, Roddick yapping… only making things worse for himself.

SHUT UP and get yourself together again, Andy!


dari Says:

My life stream is in Italian, what is going on?


jane Says:

catherine, i may’ve missed that blog. the only thing i thought is that maybe soda would falter after magnus’ retirement, but he mentioned in a recent interview that things are going well with his new coach, so that may not be an issue. I put him at year end number 5 on my guesses, i mean predictions, lol, for the end of the year. :)


thark Says:

roddick pitching an absolute 5-year-old fit at the moment (sigh).


Catherine Says:

@ jane – yeah, I can understand where that comment came from after Magnus’ retirement.

But still, Sod has been playing so well the past week, it’s a major mistake to dismiss his chances. A trainer is important, sure, but Sod himself has said that he knows where he’s standing right now, and I think he showed that, the past week.

He’s going to pass Murray this week anyhows I think – unless Roddick comes back at full force here in Brisbane – and none of the top players will be happy about that.

Sod truly belongs to the Top Pack right now.


dari Says:

Ok, so roddick almost slipped and now they are not playing. Whats all the arguing about?


thark Says:

dari roddick was just taking advil – he asked the ump if the ballboy could get him some.

and now he is having convulsions about the court being wet, despite the fact that the umpire is not making them play.


dari Says:

$&*t is gonna blow up when the AO draw comes out next weeek! Can’t wait!


Catherine Says:

It’s raining cats and dogs over there right now…

Maybe this will come to Roddick’s help.
Sod doesn’t look too impressed though.


jane Says:

it’s sprinkling … ball kids etc on the court with towels… hope there isn’t a rain delay. it doesn’t look like there will be. i wonder if this delay will shift momentum as the announcers are suggesting …


dari Says:

OMG, i know Andy better not pull that shit with Brooklyn


dari Says:

did you see how far sod ran around that backhand in the corner?!


jane Says:

Triple break point. Challenge, it’s in. Andy saves one. Wow, gotta say that Soda is looking rather formidable – except at the net. LOL. Another break point gone. And Rod saves the last one with an ace, making Soda’s break point conversion 1 out of 9. But Roddick is tough to break, OBVIOUSLY. Uh-oh, another break point, the tenth chance for Soda … drum roll. Let. drum roll #2… and Soda gets it, but on a Roddick error. Soda will serve for the title. Considering he’s lost only about 4 points on his serve all match, it’d be surprising if he didn’t serve it out. But you never know …


Kimmi Says:

thats it for roddick. i dont see him breaking soda now.

congrats to soderling in advance!


Catherine Says:

Sod breaks. I think it’s done now.

Don’t let anyone underrate this Swedish guy anymore! He’s the real deal.
More than Djoko and Murray, he’s been one of the most consistent players during 2010. The #4 ranking place is rightfully his, now.


Catherine Says:

CONGRATS ROBIN!!!!!


jane Says:

Roddick actually didn’t serve horribly; he hammered down 12 aces, with 66% first serves in. But Soda was better. 16 aces and 72% first serves in. Congrats to him on his seventh title. Soda was just more aggressive I think. He ends last year with a title and begins this year with another … look out.

Boo Hoo for the two Andys though. : (


dari Says:

well a nice end of last year and beginning of this year for robing soderling. wow. so this means andy goes down to #5? seeding at AO like last year, huh?…


Catherine Says:

I am happy to see Robin win this title, yeah – if only to piss off all those who call him ‘a fluke’.
NO he is not!!!

Sorry Andy R. – no chance in hell.

Congrats on the title Robin, and claiming the #4 seeding for the AO!!!


Kimmi Says:

well, he deserve # 4 for now. Murray did not want to play to gain points. I am sure he knew all the possible seeding for him at the AO.

good luck to soda. Roddick really did not impress me in this match. he needs to play better than this at the AO.

I wonder who murray will get in the Qtr final at the AO this year. A djoko v murray match would be great to see.


Eric Says:

That was an absurdly dominant performance from Soderling, not reflected in the scoreline. Roddick won only ten – count ‘em, ten – points on Soderling’s serve in 11 games (54 total points, so 18%) whereas Soderling crafted ten break points in ten Roddick service games, although he only won two of them, so big credit to Roddick’s tenacity there. It was the only thing that kept him from losing 6-0, 6-1, which he was very close to.


Catherine Says:

@ Eric : spot on.

My favs for the AO right now are Fed and Sod.
You may laugh at me as much as you want if I end up being completely wrong about this! LOL!


jane Says:

No doubt Soda is the real deal. However, I don’t think he was more consistent in 2010 than Djoko and Murray? In what sense? That said, I do believe he’s a considerably threat to everyone now. He’s calm and cool, and momentum will only solidify that in Robin. He believes. He’s also more mature, and he has that on his side too.


jane Says:

Andy is a very generous person; I like that about him, (Helping with the flooding – good on him as they say down under).

I love Soda’s dimples, and his hair looks better too.


Catherine Says:

@ jane: Sod managed to continuously live up to his ranking in whatever tournament he played (except the AO of course!). Djoko and Murray? nope, not that much!

yeah the fellow has obviously matured. Most obviously, on the mental side of his game. Just compare what Sod has been able to do the past year in comparison to one Berdych, just to name someone… ;-)

Great perfomance from Sod, but congrats to Roddick as well – he’s still there, that’s great as well!


Catherine Says:

And Roddick, even if he can be a complete ASS with complaining throughtout the match, you have to give it to him – he’s a great guy!!!


Catherine Says:

AWWW Sod thanking both his Jenni and his new coach!!!


jane Says:

I take your point Catherine. Djoko and Murray did for sure have some s&*tty moments /slumps last year. But in the end, they held onto their rankings for a reason.

The same reason that Soda is closing the gap on them right now. He really looks so pleased. And you know, I think fans are really beginning to like /appreciate this guy. His girlfriend has an awesome leather jacket which I’d like to rip off her back right now.


Catherine Says:

@ jane: yeah fully agree with you!
But I think Sod rightfully claimed the #4 position here, very important with the AO coming up, where he has near-to-ZILCH points to defend.

Murray has got his work set out for him there… must reach the finals once again, otherwise… ouch.

It’s always nice to see such an underrated player taking up the odds, and being able to do so. CONGRATS ROBIN!!!
and Jenni is one of the nicest WAGS out there, along with Rafa’s Xisca, Djoko’s Jelena, Murray’s Kim, and of course… Roger’s Mirka.
It just can not be a coincidence! LOL!


dari Says:

Congrats to sod, I can be happy for him even though o wanted andy to defend his title.
Ahem- excuse you, Jane, you mean FIANCEE jenni!
He still calls her girlfriend though ;)
The swedes aee very casual with the whole wedding bit
Here wo goooooo AOOOOOOO


Catherine Says:

@ dar: yeah, Northern Europeans usually don’t make any a fuss of your ‘Better Half’ being called a ‘girlfriend’, ‘fiancee’ or even ‘wife’.
No difference as long as you’re happy! :-)

WOW AOOOOOOOOO indeed!


madmax Says:

Hello Everyone!

Especially Jane, Margot and Skeezer!

Dan Martin Says:
Federer has been building momentum. I still think he is #2, but after NY it looked like he was #3 or #4 even. Now, he is clearly #2. Does Fed have the most points since Wimbledon 2010? If so, he might get to week #286 if he can win one of the next 3 slams. Still, if Rafa wins Oz I think it will be the single greatest achievement of the Open Era.

January 8th, 2011 at 11:46 am

Dan, really?

I think it is just incredible that the only man in history to reach ALL 4 MAJOR FINALS THREE TIMES IN ANY CALENDAR YEAR is Federer. Aside from this, the fact that federer reached 23 consecutive semi finals is massively under rated, it is almost as if it is something that happens all the time. Particularly when you look at the nearest statistic to this is Lendl’s 10 consecutive streaks – It’s just preposterous!

We are so lucky to have both nadal and federer playing at the same time. Have you ever known anything like this?


Skeezerweezer Says:

@Catherine

Wags? First time I heard that, lol

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