Cilic Crashes out of French Open; Djokovic, Federer on Monday
by Staff | May 22nd, 2011, 10:42 pm
  • 182 Comments

Sixty-seven unforced errors were too much to overcome as No. 19 seed Marin Cilic crashed out of the French Open on opening day, falling to world No. 99 Spaniard Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4.


“It’s my greatest victory this season, that’s for sure,” Ramirez Hidalgo told the media. “I would not say this is the beginning of a new career, because I’m too old for this, but it’s a kind of relief.”

No. 7 David Ferrer was the lone Top 10 seed in action, easing past Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen in straights.

“I played very well, excellent tennis,” said the 29-year-old Ferrer. “I always hope I get good performances in Paris. I think you need to take it step by step, one match after the other, because all matches are different.”

Other seeded winner were No. 14 Stan Wawrinka, No. 17 Jo-Wilfriend Tsonga, No. 30 Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez, and No. 31 Sergiy Stakhovsky.

Former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt dropped out of the draw, attempting to return from foot surgery but felled by an ankle injury.

Highlights of Monday play at Roland Garros includes (2) Novak Djokovic continuing his record-setting season vs. Thiemo De Bakker, Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez vs. (3) Roger Federer, (13) Richard Gasquet vs. Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, (25) Juan Martin Del Potro vs. “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic, Andrey Golubev vs. (23) Thomaz Bellucci, and the return of former world No. 2 Tommy Haas vs. Marsel Ilhan.


Also Check Out:
Exhausted Serena Crashes Out Of Charleston To Cepelova
Nadal Wins 35th Straight At Barcelona, Ferrer Crashes Out; Raonic v Gulbis Thursday
Marin Cilic Reinstated From Doping, Will Play Paris
Federer Crashes Out In Gstaad, Slump Deepens, Questions Mount
Three Slam Champs Exit Monday at Italian Open

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182 Comments for Cilic Crashes out of French Open; Djokovic, Federer on Monday

skeezerweezer Says:

67? That is smokin’. Maybe too much Wine and Cheese in S France, French Pastry & Coffee in Paris, along with French dining at “Gusteau’s” with some “Ratatouille” and more Wine? Marin, pack it in for London and stay off the fun stuff.

You sure you haven’t been hangin out w/ Davy, the bracket buster? Just sayin….


steve-o Says:

No one ever claimed that clay was Cilic’s best surface. Hopefully he can get it together for grass and the summer hard courts.


Kimberly Says:

Cilic, pitiful.

On another front, LET’S GO HEAT 2-1 baby!!!!!!!!


Dory Says:

The surface is not the problem. Something else sure is. 2 years back he put up so impressive performances at the US Open and Aus Open.


cherry Says:

I see that Federer is playing this Monday. I hope he wins his match! http://www.tennisround.com


Kimmi Says:

tricky match for delpo, he loses first set.


Duro Says:

40 baby, 40…


Kimmi Says:

delpo got this now. early break in the 4th. go delpo..no tie breaks anymore!


Kimmi Says:

yeah duro..he is cruising!


al Says:

Is Novak watching ? :-)


Kimmi Says:

c’mon fed..get one of those break points


dari Says:

Didn’t see JMdP glad he won!
Allez Rog


Kimmi Says:

here fed..break here


Kimmi Says:

break! c’mon hold now fed!


Kimmi Says:

few shanks from lopez. glad fed got the first set. tough first round match this is.\

Now concentrate fed. this is where lopez starts to play better..no tie breaks please.


dari Says:

Good morning, kimmi, how did JMdP look?
Berd in a fifth set!


Kimmi Says:

morning dari, delpo was good but you can never tell much when playing karlovic. glad he was able to break on each set after the first set. hate those dreaded tie breaks.

berdych was cruising and then what happened?


Kimmi Says:

3 break points..go fed!


Kimmi Says:

break! great. now hold..hold ..hold please


Duro Says:

Kimmimmissimo,

See you in the semifinalissimo!


Kimmi Says:

see you durossimmmmo. see in the semi indeed :)


Djerker Says:

Nole Awwwwww….. are you sad you’re not getting the same respect as the other two despite having less than one quarter of Nadal’s slams and a full one-eighth of Roger’s big cups?

Do you want to be icon at two slams? I guess that’s not so bad given Murray wants to be icon with no slams.

Ok, I’ll give you some secrets if you want more fans (ones whose last names don’t end in -vic)

Hands pounding chest no good.

Hands can go above chest or below waist and that’s fine – example – Roger likes to play with his hair. That’s good. Goes well with the ladies. Rafa likes to tickle his posterior. And that’s good – goes well with the ladies. Just keep them away from the chest area. Only WTA players can fiddle with the chest region and get more fans.

Second, leave dad, mom, brothers, friends of brothers, cousins Iscratchich and Ibeatvich home
… in front of the big screen TV. Tell them to invite the neighbors, get some party poppers and leave dad in charge of the grill. You don’t put out your trash in the front yard if you’re trying to sell the house.

Hold it in
Third and last, remember the time you were a kid and daddy took you to the game? In the middle, you had to go and dad took you to the stadium restroom and there were people lined up to go as well. Remember what he told you? “Hold it in”. We know you want recognition like you want to go peepee urgently. But what was true then is true now. Wait your turn, the guys in front of you are not done yet.


Kimmi Says:

lopez is probably wondering, how come federer is winning easily today? i should play like madrid…

well, lopez every match is different :)

go fed


dari Says:

Yes, you can’t tell with Ivo!
What’s up with that guy’s cut and paste comment?


Kimmi Says:

LOL djerker..good one :)

federer don’t give back the break please..


Kimmi Says:

i meant, i likes “hand above chest and below” part


Kimmi Says:

berdych was up a break in the fifth now back on serve..tough one this is..

serve it out fed..


Kimmi Says:

2 sets up fed. one more. go!


dari Says:

Yeah I q


dari Says:

Yeah I was relaxing when I saw the break up :/ c’Mon t.berd!
Love the fed box variously covered in red. It’s a great shade.


grendel Says:

There’s been some gorgeous play from Federer which reminded me, anyway, why I first liked him. Has to be said Lopez is only three quarters present (which is better than sometimes).

Lopez serving at 3-5 in the second, 30-0, and Fed does a bh drop return on Lopez first serve, which proved a winner. The commentator asks if it was deliberate. It’s a fair question, and yet somehow it seems wrong. I’m not sure of this, but my gut reaction is that Federer certainly middled the ball alright and that whilst he did not know exactly where his return was going, he was instinctively attempting to do something unusual with it – perhaps the bounce was perfect for him to apply the soft touch, and at the very least he hoped to draw Lopez in where he would be at a disadvantage, since Lopez in at the net at his choosing – lethal, whilst at Fed’s choosing, not so good.


Kimmi Says:

OK, this third set is very close…


Kimmi Says:

federer too tentative on that point..

berdych is broken..roberts serving for the match..upset looming! can he do it?


scineram Says:

TBird chokes two set lead and break in fifth against Robert. Tough draw for Novak.


Kimmi Says:

major upset T. BERDYCH out!


Kimmi Says:

this set looks like tie break..go fed


Kimmi Says:

we go to the tie break? let go rog..no 4th set please


Kimmi Says:

ah tie break..not good for fed!

c’mon fed..c’moooon!!


Kimmi Says:

mini break fed! go go go!


Kimmi Says:

another mini break..great position now. 3 more points fed


Kimmi Says:

great tie break so far..2 more points


Kimmi Says:

gave one mini break back..surely he is going to win this..c’mon fed


Kimmi Says:

double fault lopez gives fed 2 match point. on fed serve…


Kimmi Says:

he needs one only! Phew! tough match, he passed the test. good luck in the next match


dari Says:

Yay! First match at the FO complete in straights for Roger. Didnt see a ton of the match, but he looked ok from what I saw. Fe-Lo was giving away a bit, too.


Huh Says:

thanx for ur match live commentary kimmi dear :P
And congrats on our guy’s win! :)
i like it wen fed sets the record straight :D
Straight set victory for fed’s so good! congrats to skeez, daniel, ben, gannu, maxi, dave, steve n all othr fed fans! :D


Dory Says:

Thank God, Federer through in straights. And WTF Berdych may not be a clay courter but No.6 ranked player out in 1st round??? C’mon!


grendel Says:

well, the 3/4 version of Lopez was replaced by the fully integrated model in the 3rd set. He was sharp, continually pressing Federer, and generally showing us what an incredible talent he is. Can anyone drift his bh cross court quite so deceptively as Lopez?

But he was, perhaps, a victim of his Madrid prowess, because Fed was sharp as a button in the tiebreak (are buttons sharp -no, never mind, obvious what i mean).


skeezerweezer Says:

Wow that qtr with Cilic and T-bird just blew up. There are the first casualties of the draw so far. Is Youz the fav to get into the qtrs now??

Fed played a better match this time around against F-lo, pretty challenging must have been for the Fedster to play a tough 1rst rd against a quality opponet, and a Lefty at that. Go Fed!


Huh Says:

m glad to see berdych out, nole’s draw opens up a bit, thankfully; none deserves such tough players in his quarter lik nole has but with berdych’s loss, one obstacl’s out, hopefuly nole crushes evryone enroute semi except jmdp, against whom it must be a respectabl(not brutal) contest. and cheers for JMDP, keel winnin dear Delpo. if anyone can compete with the best in the greatest manner, i know its you!!! :)


Kimmi Says:

Needs to know stephane roberts

ranked 140
age – 31
nationality – French
grand slam match record 1-6 (with todays win 2-6)
highest rank in single- 61 (feb 2010)


dari Says:

I think RG is trying to take over AO as the “happy slam” they have put together a ton of media coverage- and all of it with a light and happy feel!
I like their ” chose a player” interviews where they ask players which of the other guys or gals they would want to certain activities with. you get to know the player interviewed and the ones they chose.
David ferrer’s turn:
http://www.rolandgarros.com/mobile/en_FR/news/2011-05-23/201105231306169477283.html
like the cannes answer :)


Kimmi Says:

la monf with a match point..an ace seals it. great going la monf.


Huh Says:

and of cours congrats to grendel too, one of the best n knowledgeable fed fans!
mrs. jane, duro, stu, nina n al othr nole fans, congrats to u guys too on your guy’s clinical 1st rd play, so happy to see his score! go novak! :D


grendel Says:

I managed to see some of the Djokovic match – he seemed in good nick, contained perhaps. But I notice he did an air shot, as also did Federer. That presumably says something about uneven bounce?

The balls do seem to be flying. Wilander took the view this evens things up for the non-Nadal contingent. On the other hand, according to marrisv, Nadal took a set off Murray easy in practice. As always, there seem to be as many opinions as there are people holding them on this subject. One thing does occur to me. Nadal has shown, surely conclusively, that he can adapt to fast conditions.


Kimmi Says:

ha-ha thats a good one dari..

maria kirilenko..ha ha ferrer must have a soft spot for her.

What other players were interviewed? i like to read more of those


Kimmi Says:

no luck for tommy haas


Kimmi Says:

aravane rezai was very good last year. cant seem to win a match this year..


Dory Says:

LOL Ferrer almost named the entire Spanish Armada and then some!


stu Says:

Thanks Huh!

Nole needs one more match win to tie Roger’s record for the longest winning streak of the century :)


skeezerweezer Says:

grendel,

re; ball…I also read where the new ball bounces higher…so go figure. That would be pro-rafa stuff. Guess we’ll have to see a few more matches…weather( yesterday and today there was some wind )can change things also on the Dirt..


Dory Says:

Last decent match of the day for me: Gasquet vs Stepanek


dari Says:

Kimmi- Melzer and haas, too so far.
Just go to RG website and go to the news for each day. They’re marked by a quote from the player.
Grendel- is an air shot a whiff? Swing and a miss?
Why does Rafa wear a mouth guard on court?


Kimmi Says:

skeezer – the commentaor on my TV also thinks the balls will favour rafa. aaargh, as if he needs a favour!


Kimmi Says:

thanks dari – will be checking them out. fun stuff


dari Says:

I saw the fed test, kimmi. I thought they were pretty hard q’s to answer about another player!
I’m hearing about a high bounce, but are people SEEING it? Maybe I’m looking for something dramatic and I’m just not seeing it. Jmac says its not bouncing up! Who knows.
I think Rafa will set it straight tomorrow. More likely, its prob not gonna get set straight.
Go steps!


Kimmi Says:

llodra out


Kimmi Says:

yap, pretty tough question they were. i didnt know half of them. lopez did pretty good..not in the match though :)


Kimmi Says:

watch kvitova vs arn right now. ah, if only she can reduce the errors…kvitova that is. she is doing great though..


Kimmi Says:

kvitova in control now. a game away..


jane Says:

Wow, Berdych lost. That’s much more surprising than Cilic going out. Berdych had done well at Rome, losing only to a hot Gasquet.


jamie Says:

Nole will win FO without dropping a set. I think he will also win Wimbledon. At the USO he will go with a great chance to complete the CYGS. Can’t see anybody stopping Nole from winning the first CYGS for a male player since Laver in 1969.


jamie Says:

BTW, I’ve got news for ya’ll, Federer and Nadal are finished winning slams. We have entered a new era. The Novak “GOAT” Djokovic era. Enjoy the ride. It will be a long, beautiful ride.


margot Says:

Blimey, did we all crash and burn with Mr Over-Ranked Berdych? Knew he wasn’t playing well…duh..
kimmi, why aren’t u in WTA bracket? U know loads about women’s game.


Kimmi Says:

yeah margot, why didn’t i do it?

I am watching bartoli vs tatishvili, not bad tennis..


jane Says:

Berdych did so well here last year, and made quarters at Rome. margot, I don’t think anyone thought he’d go out first round!


margot Says:

For Gasquet fans, John Lloyd, whom I can’t stand but in this case he may have a point, was saying Gasquet’s game hasn’t changed since he was 15 even though he’s had loads of coaches. Said he was “uncoachable”. Also Sam Smith, whom I like very much, said majority of his points are played 4′ behind the base line, even Rafa has moved forward from there.


jane Says:

^ Yes have noticed how far back Gasquet has been playing. I guess if it is working it is fine – esp. If the balls are flying. But someone could get him with droppers and passes.


grendel Says:

Watching Bartoli winding up to serve is like sliding into the warm embrace of a gigantic walrus. And this despite the fact she appears to have lost weight – looks rather fetching, in fact.


margot Says:

grendel: I think she’s very pretty but alas her father really gives me the creeps :(


jane Says:

gasquet is nice to watch. :)


Djerker Says:

@Jamie, bold predictions. Can’t wait to see you proved WRONG


skeezerweezer Says:

grendel

When you decide to write something funny, it’s really funny :) re; @12:52


Kimmi Says:

ah grendel, apart from a weird serve. she also has a strange dance happening at back of the court when waiting to receive. today the dance was over the top. a bit like gamesmanshi i thoughtp…i am sure tatishvili was a little bit turned off with that dance.


Djerker Says:

oh and Jamie LOLOLOLOL at Djokovic GOAT era. He has quite a WAY to go. People like you crack me up with your ignorance.


Djerker Says:

Grendel, I find Bartoli’s shadow boxing between points hilarious.


jane Says:

La Monf and Gaquet both with some bagel baking today. And Tipsy.


Eric Says:

Berdych — well, like I said, massively overinflated rating. ;) But still.. huuuuge upset, wow.


Eric Says:

Is everyone else as excited as I am for the second round match up between Wozniacki and Wozniak? :P The battle of the different ways to spell a Polish last name!


Kimmi Says:

milos in trouble down a set and a break


Eric Says:

Baghdatis is coming through in fine form against Gil… well, lots of underhit balls landing in the net, but clay was never his best surface, eh? :)


dari Says:

Yes, Eric. I am excited. Have no clue how wozniack plays, but made my ladies bracket so that she won 1st round to play caro!
Bartoli looking pretty, fed looking pretty, every photo of AI I’ve seen she looks so smiley. RG is just sparkling this year!
Seriously though, does someone have an answer for the Rafa mouth guard? Have you seen anybody else with one?


jane Says:

I think Fed said it best in his interview, re the new balls. The issue isn’t that players don’t like them or even that they favour this player or that one. The issue is that the ATP clay events apparently had all switched to the ball used at the FO, which meant players could get used to it, grooved so to speak, prior to the second slam. But now, the FO has switched the balls they are using, so the ATP ball switch turns out to be moot. Thus, the issue is the adjustment that players have to make, by the sounds of it, not the balls themselves. But like Fed said, “I think Rafa will play well on clay no matter what balls you give him”. (not verbatim but something like that) Indeed.


jane Says:

p.s. I prefer when sites put up the full transcript interview to go with the video. They hadn’t done that when I looked.


aleish17 Says:

Crap! Cilic and Berdych totally ruined my bracket. Can’t believe Berdych crashed out of the tourney so early.


dari Says:

Go muzza in the morning!


jamie Says:

Djokovic is the GOAT. He is making Nadal and Federer look like amateurs this year…


jane Says:

Aww, too bad Milos is out. I knew clay isn’t his best surface but was hoping he’d go a couple rounds. I picked him and Rebecca too far.


jamie Says:

Djokovic will go down in tennis history as the greatest player of all time. He will win 17-18 slams and become the undisputed GOAT.


blank Says:

Sometimes these folks that interview players not only ask dumb questions but also stump players by their own stupidity.

Towards the end of JMDP interview the person says “…Karlovic is one of the best servers and one of the BEST RETURNERS…”. And JMDP I guess was shocked but smiled and said “oh really…I didn’t know that”.

It’s a pity that these folks get the reporter passes, get to interview players and enjoy the FO, with hardly no knowledge of the sport.


jane Says:

Blank, I watched that, but I think the interviewer said KAVCIC is a great returner; he is Delpo’s next opponent. She was comparing him to Karlovic, of course a great server, and asking if Delpo would rather face a great server or returner. I think Delpo was flustered because he said he didn’t know Kavcic is a ‘great returner.’ Frankly, who did!? :)


blank Says:

Yeah, you are right jane. My bad. Thanks for the correction…but still stupid :)

“Kavcic is a great returner”!? She must be from Slovenia. That guy hasn’t even played 50 matches!


marrisv Says:

The intersting in the rafa -isner matchup with the new balls is going to be how rafa is going to handle isner’s second serve considered one of the best in the game with its high kick and it moves away after the bounce.


blank Says:

That’s why I would rather read interview transcripts than watch the videos. Another issue is, this watching interview video is not going to work at work tomorrow ;)


jane Says:

Blank, I know right? Who knows stats on Kavcic. ;) I agree. i like the transcripts. It is nice to see the vids for tone, body language etc, but they should post the full transcript along with the video snippet.


Djerker Says:

Jamie, you are pathetic. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Nole is on a streak right now. He is not even in the GOAT conversation. DELUSIONAL MUCH?


grendel Says:

Despite acknowledging that “Djokovic must be feeling invincible” at the moment, Becker has tipped Nadal to win. He says:”For Nadal it’s the easiest one [the French, i.e.]to win because of his game, it’s impossible for him to lose against most players,”.

“impossible” is a strong word, and put into context (for me) a remark Wilander made today when commenting on the Federer/Lopez match. He said something along the lines of “we don’t mind watching Federer when he is winning easily” (there had been some talk that for those who wanted a tense contest, the Berdych match was going to the wire and Eurosport was concurrently showing that). The reason “we don’t mind” is partly due to Federer’s beautiful game, when on anyway, but also, I think, because you can never be quite sure. Federer, with his open, attacking game, gives his opponent a chance – if he’s good enough to take it.

With Nadal, Wilander opined, it can be kind of dreary. You know Nadal’s going to win, he just relentlessly plugs away digging a hole in which to bury his opponent.He made it sound like a mediaeval practice, extended over an alarmingly long time,and carried out in some dark, secret dungeon.

Of course, tastes vary. I am sure the sense of inevitability Nadal brings to his matches is very appealing to his fans, and why not. His aura is immense, and I for one still can’t imagine Djokovic not succombing when it counts. It is interesting that Federer, when asked recently which, if any slam, he thought he might be able to add to his haul, admitted the French was the most difficult for him – because of Rafa. No mention of Djokovic.


Nina Says:

Djerker, you’re indeed a jerk.


Djerker Says:

Nina, you must be a fan of Djerkovic I take it?


jane Says:

I find is weird there is even a question of who is the favorite at the FO. Of course it is Rafa. He has won it FIVE times. Nole has never won it, and even if he is in form and has beaten Nadal on clay twice, the same went for Fed, who had beaten Fed twice on clay and had been in the finals thrice. But Fed was never able to win the FO by beating Nadal. Nadal is hands down the favorite, imo. (Even if Nole has a two handed backhand, is on a roll etc. ) For me, based on past history and present form, I would say Nole and Fed are co-second faves, then Murray, then Soda and also Ferrer. Gasquet, Delpo and la Monf as dark horses.


jane Says:

Oops Fed had beaten Nadal twice on clay…maybe he had beaten himself once or twice too. ;)


skeezerweezer Says:

^ here here


Nina Says:

@Djerker… Yes, I am a fan of Djokovic as many people do here, you will soon realise. And one thing I like about this site that other tennis forums/blogs don’t have is that fans can have a proper tennis discussion without trolling and without insulting or disrespecting players and other fans. I’d like it to stay that way. Thanks.


Djerker Says:

Nina, get off your high horse. Are you the board police?


Eric Says:

Jane, I definitely agree. Djokovic has proven that he can take it to Rafa even on clay with astounding conviction. But I am unconvinced that Rome, especially, was really a Nadal trying everything he could to win. So there is no question that Rafa is still very much the favorite. But Novak is certainly not co-second favorite with Fed; I think Roger can and should be able to make it through Nole to the final, but most people would probably give Djoko a better shot at actually winning the whole thing…

No one but those three is a credible contender. Soda and Murray can both beat anyone on their day, but they haven’t really been having their days recently. Monfils? No way. Gasquet? Doesn’t have it. Delpo… no. He’s still only at like 70%, max. Of course, if he is able to rip past Djokovic, he might get the boost of confidence he needs to go very deep, but I can’t see him winning a slam yet.


jane Says:

Fed ahead of Nole Eric? That’s fair. I would say co-faves based on present form only. History speaks for Fed, of course, having won it and having faced Rafa in three finals. But if Fed and Nole met in this year’s semis, I say 50-50 could go either way. If it was grass, hands-down Fed as fave, but on clay, not so sure. I think Nole won their last clay encounter in Rome 09, the same year Fed won Madrid and the FO. Anyhow, they both have to get there first, and players like Delpo, Ferrer and Gasquet may have something to say about it.


tennis coach Says:

Hey Jerkovich take it easy, more respect would be appreciated! As fas as Novak goes, he does not care nor he should about tennis fans like you, he has enough fans already. And by the way your post wan not funny Jerkovich!!!


Polo Says:

I would not pick Federer over Djokovic on any surface other than grass. Even on that surface, I still have reservations. This is not the Federer we were used to seeing.


Eric Says:

No, sorry, I guess I was unclear… I meant that Nole is ahead of Fed as a favorite for the tournament.

I think Roger CAN (and, in my fantasy world, should) beat Nole in the semis – but I can’t see him taking it Rafa in the finals. That would be incredible, but…

Whereas I think if Djokovic does get to the final, he’s more of a favorite to actually win the tourney.

I realize this doesn’t actually make any sense. I guess it’s because on current form, Novak is far and away the best player on tour, even on clay. He demolished Rafa in Madrid and Rome. But at the French, he’s still quite unproven. He hasn’t made a semi since 2008, whereas Roger is a three-time finalist and one-time champion. So on past form, Roger should definitely be able to handle him and get to another final – where Rafa should extend his FO h2h over Fed to 5-0. But if Djokovic IS able to get past Roger – which on current form is basically a tossup, maybe 60/40 in Nole’s favor – he has a decent shot at actually taking out Rafa in the final. If that makes sense.

What I just can’t really see is any of these three guys having the slightest bit of trouble until their quarters (for Rafa) and semis (for Roger and Novak). There are lots of fish in the sea, but there’s a reason Roger, Rafa, and Novak have won almost every slam since 2004 or 5 or whatever…


Polo Says:

In spite of Djokovic’s recent successes, Nadal remains the man to beat at the French.


dari Says:

people used to say “rafa only has one gear” i don’t think that’s true anymore. its hard to say such a tough competitor (and someone who seemed to want #1 for a bit longer) would do anything other than go 100% to win. but something was off about the rome tourney. no facts here, just hunch, i think rafa was holding back/ playing with tactics. he will UNLEASH here at RG. so, what, he scrapped another masters, but that’s a small price for his beloved RG title! like he said, real champions know how to wait for the right moments to win, not just week in and week out.
of course i hope i’m not right.
on the favorite topic: takes more than two clay masters to dethrone a king. sorry to those who want to say nole fave (including raf)


jane Says:

Article about Fed in New York Times: a few interesting comments from Anacone:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/24/sports/tennis/24iht-arena24.html


Djerker Says:

Such delicate flowers we have here. The scroll button is your friend.


jane Says:

Eric, “If that makes sense.” yes it does; it is partly to do with match ups. Rafa and Fed on clay is favorable to Rafa. Novak and Rafa on clay, at least over 3 sets recently, has been more nebulous. But Fed and Nole on clay is a toss up. I get what you mean.

Dari, exactly! I have pondered over those words of Rafa’s about “real champions knowing when is the RIGHT time to win” and knowing he has to “wait” for his time. Did he mean he was holding back? It seems counter-intitive to think Rafa, the “ultimate competitor”, would do such a thing. But it makes sense. He has THREE slams to defend. So the RIGHT time to win would be at those three slams, as they could secure his number one more than a masters win could. I have know idea if this is the right interpretation of those words, but it did cross my mind. Why else the moonballs? ;)


jane Says:

^ s/b “no idea” not “know idea” :/


Ben Pronin Says:

Man this whole “he’s the favorite, no he’s the favorite” shtick is getting old. The tournament has started! All our questions will be answered in less than 2 weeks now. Let’s just enjoy the tennis, no?


dari Says:

yeah, you’re right ben. i try to stay out of the fave business, but this one seems so obvious.
i blame rafa over the last few years for sucking us into all this fave bs!


jane Says:

^ Touche Ben. Only there is no tennis on right now. ;)


dari Says:

ivo karlovic is also not funny any more on twitter.


Polo Says:

When you follow a sport and there is a tournament, naturally your mind runs through all the contenders and decides who the favorite is. So, whining about people choosing who the favorite is unnatural.


mat4 Says:

I managed to watch part of Djoko’s and Fed’s matches today. They seem both in good shape.

I would like to make a few points clear: my first tennis hero was… Jimmy Connors. After that, I kept liking that brand of tennis: players that are aggressive, complete, not focusing only on serve but on an all round game. That’s why I liked Agassi, or Wilander (who was a very intelligent player), and, today, Djokovic, Murray or Safin. I like Roger Federer too, who is a complete player, and the only thing I dislike a bit is his tendency to rather counter than to attack. But it’s a player I watched and analyzed a lot.

But to be a fan, just like I was with Connors – it’s over. I am to old for that.

I have to agree that some of my opinion are biased. It’s normal. But I try to form them watching and rewatching matches, strokes, patterns in the game of some players.

So… It is not something I especially like or dislike: but Roger, although he has a better shot at Djokovic than at Nadal, has very slim chances to make the final. Reasons: after 22 matches played, Djokovic is reading his serve, and there won’t be many free points there. Then, Roger will not have much opportunities to play his forehand from the backhand side (he played some really beautiful forehands today), and his backhand lands short and is inconsistent on high rebounding balls. Finally, though I can’t be sure, it seems he has slow down a bit, and that also is very important if he wants to run around his backhand.

Roger has a shot at Wimbledon, a good one, and I believe that he can win it if he plays like at the AO (he would be my first favorite), but let’s be objective: he doesn’t stand a chance against this Djokovic in the semi, especially now, when Djokovic is convinced that he is the better player.

I didn’t watch Del Potro. Will try to see his match against Kavcic. Surprised by Berdych.


Kimmi Says:

i always laugh at who is the favorite discussion. Nole has won every match this year..he has to get used to be the fav. it does not matter about what fed did a year ago. he is the form player now..he is the best in the world now.

imo..nole and rafa are co-fav at the FO..i could actually gone to say nole is slightly ahead of rafa. federer is waaaay below these two.

But..good luck to fed anyways. favorite or not. go get them!


Ben Pronin Says:

“So, whining about people choosing who the favorite is unnatural.”

Haha, but everyone just keeps going in circles. How many more times does someone have to say “Djokovic is playing great but Nadal won here 5 times but Djokovic did just beat him on clay but Nadal did beat Djokovic at the French three times but Djokovic is a different player now but the 5 set format helps Nadal but Djokovic is so confident but Nadal is still the king but Djokovic has short hair but Nadal used to wear pirate pants but Djokovic likes to model on catwalks but Nadal likes to model for Armani…” and so on. If you don’t have enough reasons to make up your mind about then there’s seriously nothing we can do for you.


Eric Says:

Ben, agreed. :) But it’s worth discussing because the players bring it up, too. IMO, how can the defending (and 5-time) champion who is still world no. 1 not be considered the fav at a tournament he’s won every time but one… even against a guy who has just beaten him 4 times in a row? For me it’s like maybe… Rafa 48% chance of winning, Djokovic 35%, Roger 15%, everyone else combined 2%….


Kimmi Says:

ROFLMAO!! Good one ben :))))


jane Says:

Ben good one @ 6:37. I find the g.o.a.t. discussion, or whirlygig, quite similar to what you have just said about faves. Round and round, no resolution yet. At least there will not be a consensus. Not for either.


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben is my fav


grendel Says:

Ben says:”Haha, but everyone just keeps going in circles.” Yes, that’s true, though sometimes by worrying at the circles you can get them narrower and narrower till they converge onto a point…Speaking as someone who, I think, inadvertantly initiated this particular discussion, I had been talking about something quite different. Wilander had said how it can be fun watching Federer even when he is winning easily, whereas it’s kind of tedious (he thought) watching Nadal when he’s grinding through some hapless player. Slowly burying him was the rather graphic image he employed. And then I saw Becker’s recent comment – about how it is “impossible” for most players to beat Nadal on clay, and that gave me the clue for the discrepancy. Almost as an afterthought, I gave my own twopennyworth that I couldn’t see Djokovic overcoming Nadal.

That line of Nadal’s “real champions knowing when is the right time to win”, I quoted it on this site just after he’d said it. It was very unNadal like – and he’s now reverted to the usual I’m -not- the- favourite spiel – and my feeling at the time, and it remains my feeling, is that Nadal was for once letting his true feelings emerge. I think he was seriously pissed at what had happened, and those words were spontaneous, un-uncle toni edited,classic compensation in fact. That’s not to say they shouldn’t be taken seriously: there can surely be no doubt that Nadal will galvanize himself.

There is the revenge motive, sure, that will be sweet. But more important, there is the future of his career at stake. He has to win. Djokovic doesn’t. Getting to the final will be a tremendous success for Djokovic, I just can’t see his desire being quite as strong as Nadal’s. Maybe next year, but not now. And if both players are at their peak, it will be the mental aspect which will tell in the end.

But Djokovic is definitely in with a shout. I don’t feel anybody else is, there are no second co-favourites or anything like that. I don’t say this is right or even sensible, but for me, the men’s tournament is a twofold affair. There is the Nadal and Djokovic show – and then there is everybody else.


skeezerweezer Says:

mat4,

Interesting take on Connors. Loved Connors aggressive style of play also, but…I guess depending on what a “complete” player means to you may be different to me, but it’s all good, no harm no foul. Connors didn’t have a serve, per se, and Fed does. It wasn’t until Connors got into his later years that he started attacking the net when he could, from the backcourt ( My best times watching the guy )
I was around for Connors, Jmac, Borg ( showing my age ). Feds game imo combines all of the elements of each of the great respected players. Aggressiveness, defense ( which you’ll notice only todays players can turn great defense into offense often in 1 shot or 2. ), Serve, Volley, chip & attack, slice, transition, and still duke it out in a neutral rally point behind the baseline. I do wish Fed would play more like Sampras now, attacking more and not sitting on the baseline. Maybe he will utilize that style more at Wimby, if the court surface is kind to it ( doubt it ). Sampras serve was better, the 2nd being the best ever. The groundie speed is way up from those days, and me thinks you have to be sure er coming in. Babbling on….


dari Says:

why is rafa such a fragile beast? why does his whole career depend on this win? im not disagreeing, but why is everyone so sure of this? fed hinted at it, becker, wilander, many i can’t name…


dari Says:

for the record, im also not agreeing, either ;)


Kimmi Says:

grendel – i remember reading your comments during rome tournament that you could not see djokovic beating nadal in the final. You even said djokovic should do himself a favour by losing to murray.

Well, djokovic went on and proved everybody wrong. he beat nadal….in straights set.

imo djoko now knows how to beat rafa, he knows what and how to do it. he also knows how big his victory will be if he is able to beat rafa in the final..at the FO.

To me djokovic is ready. he wants to win FO as much as rafa wants to win it. and he wants rafa on the other side of the net.

I hope we get this showdown. imo, it might turn out to be one of the best final to happen at RG.


Ben Pronin Says:

Dari, you bring up a very worthy discussion, actually. Why IS everyone so sure that this tournament could very well be the biggest of Nadal’s career?

For most of Nadal’s career, he has been the hunter. He was always, always chasing Federer. Making Wimbledon final after Wimbledon final until finally overcoming TMF. And even though he was the undisputed number 1 in 2008, he tumbled in 09 before going on an outrageous tear in 2010. So now, basically for the first time in his career, he’s the legitimate number 1, and this is actually the first time he’s healthy enough to back up his credibility as the ultimate number 1.

But all of the sudden, Djokovic is playing the best tennis of his life and apparently it’s enough to beat Nadal regularly on any surface despite Nadal playing pretty close to his best (and still dominating everyone else). So we head to Nadal’s backyard, the way Wimbledon was Federer’s and Sampras’s and… And there’s a lot of pressure on Nadal to defend his domain. Should he relinquish it, especially to Djokovic, what are we to expect? I think it’s presumptuous to assume he’s done. Actually I think it’s plain dumb. Nadal’s never been in this position before and how he reacts is very important. First, will he be able to right the ship and continue his reign. Second, if he doesn’t, what will he do next? Spiral downwards? Come back even stronger? Or, a real interesting question, will he ever be able to overcome Djokovic again? Will he be content to play second fiddle AGAIN?

I don’t know. I’m as curious as anyone. And I think Becker, Wilander, Federer, etc, are just as curious.


grendel Says:

dari, from my point of view it’s not at all that Nadal is a “fragile beast” as you startlingly put it. It’s about auras and expectations and such like nebulous entities. It’s one thing Nadal being beaten in Rome and Madrid – and look at the hoo-ha THAT has caused. But to be beaten in the final of the French Open by the new #1, that is a devastating blow – far, far worse than the defeat by Soderling. THAT could be attributed to all kind of things. Family problems, lingering injury, complacency, the brutal effectiveness of the unheralded Soderling, sheer happenstance. None of that works here. There is no injury, there is certainly no complacency, Djokovic is the reverse of unheralded and so on.

Perceptions count hugely. Djokovic will be seen to have broken the mould, and a few others will draw inspiration and belief and courage from this. If Nadal wins RG, he will be seen as quite a big favourite for Wimbledon – he won’t if he loses. That matters. Confidence matters, hugely, and Nadal’s confidence will be very low. It’s unlikely to be restored by the coming hardcourt season.

Of course it doesn’t mean Nadal will be finished. But he will be seriously weakened. That’s my take. I am conscious that it may be all utter rubbish, of course. We’re in that kind of rarerified area. But it’s how I think, anyway.


mat4 Says:

@skeezerweezer:

I remember Connors attacking the net in 1974 already, although I have to add that his movement at the net were everything but elegant. Volleying with a twohander… atrocious. And his forehand was atrocious, too. But then I was young, and I loved his ferocity, his girlfriend, his elegant racquet (it seemed so, then)…

You can’t compare him with Fed, of course. But it’s a different century, isn’t it? And I don’t see through the eyes of a child any more (and there is no poetry any more).

I never liked big servers, though, nor serve and volley, especially after JMac, who had that incredible touch and these lazy movements. I always saw (I was wrong, I guess), Edberg like a machine: first volley in the middle, second to finish the point… I profoundly disliked Stich, Ivanisevic (not to mention Zivojinovic, does anybody remember him?), Rafter… and Wimbledon in general. There was no tennis at Wimbledon since they started making racquet of 300 gr, and serving above 200 kmph.

But there’s a match at Wimby I enjoyed in: the final (who can remember when) between (the evil) Roscoe Tanner and Bjorn Borg: it was the only time I rooted for Borg.


grendel Says:

Kimmi – you are quite right! I got it completely wrong at Rome, and I daresay I’ve got it completely wrong here. I certainly hope so. You put a very strong case.

I don’t believe Djokovic wants it quite as much as Nadal for the reasons I’ve given, but that may not matter – his tennis may just be too good.

When you say:”it might turn out to be one of the best final to happen at RG” that’s definitely true. When, in fact, was the last decent final at RG? Probably Nadal/Puerta?


grendel Says:

Sorry to butt in, but “Volleying with a twohander…atrocious” – I’ve got a picture in my mind right now of Connors doing that. He was so, what can you say, elemental. Inelegant, perhaps, but very effective!

I couldn’t help smiling because the commentator today was reminding us of Pancho Segura who apparently had a doublehanded forehand and a single handed backhand. Wilander chipped in saying he thought the thing of the future would be players combining doublehanded and singlehanded backhands. So, for example, the double bh to cope with the high kicking serve, the single bh for the running down the line bh. I sometimes wonder why Federer could not have added the doublehanded bh to his repertoire for use when needed. Do you have to learn these things when you’re in your early teens – or younger?


jane Says:

“Speaking as someone who, I think, inadvertantly initiated this particular discussion…”

Perhaps grendel: I responded to your post noting Becker was tipping Nadal to win regardless of how Nole “feels”, but I used the line “of course Rafa’s the favorite”, and the discussion, interesting albeit somewhat circular, transpired from there.

Anyhow, I have enjoyed reading all the posts since then, and thought it was a rather good discussion that you inadvertently initiated, much (likely) to Ben’s chagrin.

But I still think Rafa’s the favorite to win. Although I hope Kimmi’s right that it’s an exciting final, no matter what. The AO final this year, and I think last year’s Wimbledon and FO finals were all straight setters. At least at the USO Nole took a set, even if the outcome also seemed destined.

We’re due for a corker.


jane Says:

p.s. Don’t a number of players already combine double and single handed backhands, as in the single-handed slice?


mat4 Says:

@Grendel:

I was a Connors’ fan till the end of his carrier, always enjoying his matches. And – it is certainly just an impression – I have the impression that he finally learned playing when he got too old, at the end.

I remember him against Manuel Orantes at RG (the year he lost against Victor Pecci): what a contrast – Orantes so elegant, with a handkerchief, moving like Rudolf Nureyev, and Jimbo…

But Jimbo won, having lost the first set.

And Pancho Segura being his coach, who knows, maybe Connors believed that in fact his doublehander was in reality a forehand?


grendel Says:

jane, yes that’s true of course, since how can you do a doublehanded slice – I think Wilander had in mind a player who was equally comfortable with both stances. It’s a fairly mind-boggling thought. I still would like to know why Federer couldn’t have adopted the dhanded bh to counter Nadal (and Djokovic)? Was it really so infeasible – muscle memory and so on wouldn’t allow it? Or was there an element of sheer bloodymindedness?


dari Says:

its gotta be too late for fed to do two-hander.
for a casual player it wouldn’t be too late to work it in and practice it more on the return or balls you’re not reaching for, but i think it would be hard to employ that “new” two hands in a match. too much muscle memory built up. and couldn’t be much confidence in that shot- at big moments at least. would love to see a double-handed return by fed though. haha!
didn’t mean to startle, grendel! but how can such a competitor (beast) be so tarnished by a single tournament loss (fragile)?
wow, how sad is that if that were the last good french open final! one of fed’s w/ rafa had to be decent, right?


marrisv Says:

IMHO, I think RG win is more crucial to rafa than it is to Djokovic. But however, i feel that rafa was in a much worse shape at the end of 2009 where he was being written off and that his glory days were over.

I remember reading Fed’s interview during AO 2010 or probably in Doha 2010, when asked about Rafa’s struggles, he said that the best from Rafa was yet to come. And right on cue, Nadal delivered last year.

This time around, I think nadal is in a better state than in 2009 and he will go back to his hunter mode if, rather when he is bumped down from the number 1 slot. But we will see as this is definitely going to be an interesting year…


mat4 Says:

@Grendel:

Fed made a lot of miss hits just trying to play more aggressively with his backhand, a spin instead of a slice. It was obvious at Dubai.

I think it is very difficult to change such an important thing, without accepting to lose a year, maybe more, to see the result.

Djokovic tried to changed his serve. Vilas, in the days, also try to change his serve, but under pressure, he wasn’t able to hit it flat. We see that Rafa, today, has problems to find his USO serve under stress.


mat4 Says:

The hunter story is just this, a story, a myth. Rafa is a fighter, but I am quite certain he prefers to be number 1, winning slams and MS than losing.

And I don’t believe that 2010 was his best. 2008 was better. But tennis players are not machines, and in 2010 Fed became a father, Djoko lost his serve (after that horrible change of racquet), Murray had a big crisis after the AO, Del Potro was injured, and Rafa just took the opportunities.

He is in real danger to be confined once more to clay: Roger has improved, changed his game, and will be ready for the fast courts season (and Wimby), Djokovic rediscovered his 2008 game, with more maturity and an improved FH, Del Potro is back – and he is a guy with a lot of self belief.

If Rafa loses at RG, there will be nothing left.


grendel Says:

” We see that Rafa, today, has problems to find his USO serve under stress.” That’s very interesting, mat4, never occured to me. Wonder if he’ll find it again in this tournament. Got a sneaking suspicion he might. Goodnight.


jane Says:

“how can you do a doublehanded slice” Despicable me, clearly a fan not player. I guess Santoro is the exception. :)


marrisv Says:

@mat4 – Rafa had nothing left and was humiliated at the WTF in 2009 winning 0 sets. He suffered further when he retired badly asinst Murray at AO 2010.
I believe he is and will be in a much better state even if he loses RG now.

In 2010, Rafa won against the field that he had across the net. It doesn’t matter if others were slumping.


Kimmi Says:

marrisv – during all those time you mentioned, rafa had a reason why he was not performing at his best…injuries, coming back from injury etc. but now there is no reason if he loses.

like in madrid and rome he was perfectly fine. somebody else is just better. that why people are speculating.

for me, i don’t believe he will finish..rafa has too much heart.


Eric Says:

For what’s it’s worth, online sports betting odds are:
Nadal : +107
Djokovic: +185
Federer : +1750
Murray : +1800

So the gambling consensus is that Nadal is the favorite, and he and Nole are the only serious contenders. (OF course, giving Fed just slightly better chance of winning the French than Murray is beyond imbecilic, but still.)

//

mat4, grendel, everyone… great discussion going on here recently. Nice to have a real conversation instead of just arguing.. :)


mat4 Says:

I agree with Kimmi. What happen in 2009 didn’t take a toll on his ego, his inner belief. He was destroyed by Del Potro at the USO, by Cilic at Beijing, then by Djoko at Bercy, never looking like a top ten in those matches. But he knew

1. that he was coming from injury, and was far away of his best, and

2. that Nike will never let him play those players before the semi of tournaments again ;)


oui Says:

Nina
Djerker is just an old Roddick fan that used to post here. :))


skeezerweezer Says:

mat4

“I have the impression that he finally learned playing when he got too old, at the end.”

Feel the same. But it was a fun run watching Connors. Like Jmac, you had to take the good with the bad. It wasn’t unlike Connors to storm out after a match he lost and not give interviews, he hating losing soo much, but who likes it? He let it be known every battle was a war. He was a first Warrior in tennis.

re; changing serve.

Don’t forget Borg changed his serve ( for the better ) and it became a big force on his way to winning 5 wimbys, a feat imho will last a lot longer for any Clay court born guy than any other.

jane,

re; two handed slice. You are correct. You can’t. Although Connors and Agassi( Agassi still let go later on after starting out with 2 hands, he finished with one.) had some good attempt at it. The best two handers at it will start out with the two hander but in following through they let go to one hand. Hitting it properly, it’s a follow through that extends beyond the two hander. It is one of the advantages of a one handed BH, and Nole and Rafa could work some more at it. Nole’s grip and technique are way better for improvement. Rafa has the wrong grip for a slice, but…well, Rafa has proved everyone wrong. So what gives? He is so determined at it he takes what he has got and somehow improves it the best way he can. A tribute to the Beast.


mat4 Says:

@skeezerweezer:

I remember Borg’s serve.

But, when you change a backhand from one to two hands, you have to change your positioning too, to take the ball at a different height, and it is not only a backhand, it is several backhands: sliced, spinned, flat… there is a lot of changes involved.

It should be easier with the serve, but we can see that there too, there is a lot of problems.

Did anybody noticed that Djokovic has dramatically improved his volleying since he is on this streak?


jamie Says:

Djokovic will win RG without dropping a set.


skeezerweezer Says:

@mat4

Yeah I was talking about the slice for a two hander and it’s issues. The Slice BH was naturally made for a one hander. Eg; it’s extemely hard to go down the barrister on stairs with a 2 hander, a 1 hander it’s a dream. For sure going from one hand to a 2 hander everything changes, point of contact, more dominant left hand ( for righty ), foot work, etc..> One big advantage for a 2 hander is handling high balls, and the ability to lean into a shot….

Re; Novaks Volley. Yes! Had the privilege of seeing up close a Novak workout and he spends quality time on the Volley game. He is working on it. BTW his groundstroking during the workout was unreal, hitting rockets from both wings with ease and accuracy….you can really appreciate his ability from the ground. The only way I could see beating him is mixing it up somehow. This is why I don’t see Rafa beating him in the near future if Nole’s game stays the way it is. What is Rafa capable of doing? Sure Rafa has been well known for ADAPTING but…changing his style of game? He desperately tried MB as Nole was winning…I mean..that’s it? Anyways…we’ll see…I am sure Rafa has got Nole in his cross hairs for another shot…


mat4 Says:

I posted a link to an article where a coach analysis the reason why Djoko beats Rafa (awaiting moderation). He believes, among other things, that Rafa has to be more aggressive.

I watched a few times their last matches. I could see the following:

1. Djokovic flattening his shots more and more from match to match, going more to the net, taking more risks;

2. most of the time, Rafa isn’t in a good position when the ball is going to his forehand; he hits the ball very hard, trying to find angles, depth, whenever he is on the ball, but usually he isn’t (excepted on the backhand, of course); he can’t be more aggressive than he already is;

3. Rafa losing control in money time.


Alexander X Says:

Well just for the discussion to keep going the same way, why is this tournament turning point in RN carrier? Excellent question!

RF made very comfy and warm blanket and cover RN on position #1 couple years ago. RN used to it and slowly got too comfortable. RF will do the job and come to Rafa to smash him straight to his face in how many GS in the past few years.

Well keeper could not hold the gate under control anymore and something happened that RN at the beginning of season could not even dream of. He put the crown in safety at the end of season in London and went to slip with the hope that 2011 is going to be pretty much paste and copy of 2010.

RF took warm blanket off RN in the middle of winter and guy get naked at the beginning of season with no any (RF) protection any more. RF made it to AO semi and that was pretty much it this season and king got naked. NDJ bit him once, it was ok things happen to everyone, and it was master anyway. Then guy repeated again, it was ok too it was on the hard court again anyway and many fans were blaming the surface.
Then NDJ went one step further and bit him on the clay in his back yard this time without losing the set. Well it was the first time ever and again things happen to anyone and so on. Rome streaked again, king is naked, RF out of guard to protect him and here we are debating why is RG mucho importante to RN.

Well in last 9 matches king lost 7 versus NDJ if he loses RG what is left from the kingdom. The King already sent Bishop Murray to stop attack in Rome, just did not work. If RF does not stop the barbarian who just came one night out of nowhere and attacked kingdom, well who is going to do it? Do not count on the king any more, there is a lot of on his plate he would prefer the file minion cooked not by French but ala RF (are not we in France anyway). He knows the correct temperature and how king likes it. He would bring it to the final and the rest we already seen so many times. Well if this does not work the king is not only in trouble by running out of horses and peon, and who to put in but also mentally to see that barbarian face smiling time after time again.

Do not forget, “the king was dead” already happened and historically the first time here in France. One week is not that much time to forget last 5 months and improve the game.


El Flaco Says:

I would say that Djokovic is making very few net approaches. He was actually coming in more during his slump possibly at the direction of Todd Martin. Djoko was even doing some chip and charges which was ridiculous. It’s not his game.

His philosophy to approach the net is very similar to Nadal now. Only come in behind overwhelming force. Federer by contrast usually takes anything on his forehand that bounces near the service line and comes to net.

You can see Djoko hammering away at shots against Nadal waiting for the REALLY short one that he will finally come in behind. Sometimes it backfires and Nadal is able to float a ball back deep and Djoko has to patiently restart the rally. The plus side is he will rarely get burned by Nadal’s great passing shots like Federer has been in the past.


El Flaco Says:

Borg had an ugly two handed “wood chopper” backhand slice. He didn’t use it very often.

Dolgopolov uses the wood chopper on occasion and so does Florian Mayer.


jane Says:

de Bakker is not Nadal, let me preface this by saying, but Djokovic did come into net 19 times today and won 14 points accordingly, for about a 75% success rate. It was a straight sets victory. Similarly, Fed won in straight sets and came into net 20 times; he won 12 of those points for a 60% success rate. I am not saying this is indicative of their net capabilities, as Fed’s are stronger, but it could suggest that Nole is willing to approach the net more lately, and that it often pays off when he does. I’ve been watching that net stat in his matches and it’s usually not bad at all.


Skeezerweezer Says:

@El Flaco,

Borg’s ugly “wood chopper”. Forgot about that, but so true! He still released to a one handed follow through at the end, no?


Skeezerweezer Says:

Yeah if you can flatten out your shots to Rafa’s FH, things can happen. Rafa needs time to wind up the buggy whip. If you can’t penetrate his FH, you’re in big trouble. If he has time to hit his FH, turn out the light s baby the party is over.


margot Says:

Brilliant discussion and talking about all the “oldies” was so good. Huge Johnny Mac fan me. They repeated one of those v. Borg finals last year during Wimbledon. Magic, magic.
Just coming in at the end….as usual but I do think losing at RG would effect Rafa considerably. Even when Fed was winning everything else, Rafa was dominant on clay, his security blanket, if u like. Pull that away and I think he stumbles.


El Flaco Says:

@Skeezer

Yeah he did release the left hand at the end


grendel Says:

“The King already sent Bishop Murray to stop attack in Rome, just did not work.” Alexander X, I can’t pretend to follow you in all the details – but that was pretty funny.


Nina Says:

oui Says:
Nina
Djerker is just an old Roddick fan that used to post here. :))

Thanks Ouie, I didn’t know. :))


oui Says:

You will find this old Andy fan posting under various names. The names come and go but the most telling trait is their viscious hatred of Novak Djokovic and/or his family. This is of course due to extreme jealousy of Novak’s accomplishments over Andy R.


jamie Says:

Nadal is so over(as is Roger as well, btw.)

I predict this will be a slamless year for Fedal..


jamie Says:

Ladies and gentlemen, here is your 2011 RG winner: Novak Djokovic

http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/28/rgwinner2011djokovic.jpg

Top story: Wawrinka, Sharapova Struggle Through; Thurs. Preview at US Open
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Rankings
ATP - Aug 25 WTA - Aug 25
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Na Li
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 Milos Raonic6 Maria Sharapova
7 Tomas Berdych7 Angelique Kerber
8 Grigor Dimitrov8 Eugenie Bouchard
9 Andy Murray9 Ana Ivanovic
10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga10 Jelena Jankovic
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