Federer Fantastic; Djokovic, Nadal, Murray Today in Cincinnati
by Sean Randall | August 17th, 2011, 9:54 am

It was a much-anticipated match but it hardly lived up to the hype. In their US Open rematch Roger Federer played one of the best matches of his season easily dispatching Juan Martin Del Potr 6-3, 7-5 in the second round last night at the Cincinnati Tennis Masters.

As Tennis Channel commentator Justin Gimelstob pointed out, Federer did “zilch”. But Del Potro appeared to have no belief and no urgency. After such a strong, promising first half to the season the Argentine has effectively been a bust this summer after his third straight early exit.

Still, credit to Federer who served impeccably, moved gracefully and attacked Del Potro with ease.

“I expected a tough match with Juan Martin for obvious reasons, and it went better than I thought,” said Federer who improves to 7-2 against Del Potro. “I thought I played a wonderful first set and a very good second set, too. That was obviously enough tonight. I don’t think I really allowed Juan Martin to be able to play the game he usually plays.”

Del Potro surprisingly played so well at the start of the year, but this summer – now that we are expecting him to do well – he has had straight set losses to Ernests Gulbis, Marin Cilic and now Federer. And for me, I just don’t think he’ll factor anymore at the US Open. Something seems off.

“I feel well tonight, but Roger played like No. 1 in the world,” said del Potro. “He was very confident with his serve, and it’s very important against top players like him. Also I feel [it was] like when we played in the semi-finals in the French Open; he played unbelievable and he beat me in fifth set. I think he played like that match.”

“I will try to train hard to be 100 per cent for the Open,” he said. “I love this tournament. I want to be there. I want to just play the US Open this year, and then I will have time to take a rest, to think about this season, and to fix all my physical problems.”

Physical problems, Delpo?

Federer now plays fellow 30+ James Blake tomorrow in rematch of their 2007 Cincinnati final.

Other winners yesterday were JW Tsonga, who showed no arm issues in thumping Marin Cilic, Gilles Simon, Nicolas Almagro and Radek Stepanek who outlasted John Isner in a third set tiebreaker.

The Wednesday schedule is massive with Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. This evening Djokovic will get his first look at pesky American teen Ryan Harrison. Nadal will try to avoid a third straight defeat against Julien Benneteau, a man who held matchpoints against Rafa at Cincinnati a year ago, and Murray has the tricky David Nalbandian in maybe the best match of the day.

Mardy Fish and Nikolay Davydeko kick things off on Center Court in just over an hour.

For the women, world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki faces American Christina McHale and Serena Williams plays Sam Stosur in a good one.

Tennis Channel will against have live TV coverage throughout.


CENTER COURT start 11:00 am
[7] M Fish (USA) vs N Davydenko (RUS) – ATP
[Q] J Benneteau (FRA) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 2:30 PM
S Williams (USA) vs [10] S Stosur (AUS) – WTA
Not Before 7:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [WC] R Harrison (USA) – ATP
Not Before 8:30 PM
[3] V Azarenka (BLR) vs S Peer (ISR) – WTA

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
[1] C Wozniacki (DEN) vs [WC] C Mchale (USA) – WTA
D Nalbandian (ARG) vs [4] A Murray (GBR) – ATP
[5] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [WC] G Dimitrov (BUL) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
[9] A Petkovic (GER) vs [LL] S Arvidsson (SWE) – WTA
S Lipsky (USA) / B Soares (BRA) vs [7] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) – ATP

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Juan Martin Del Potro: “I Think I’m Playing Fantastic Tennis”
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87 Comments for Federer Fantastic; Djokovic, Nadal, Murray Today in Cincinnati

Mike Says:

Told you james had another good turn

Tennis Vagabond Says:

I didn’t see the match the same way. Del Potro played well, especially in the second set, but Fed played exceptionally yesterday. I didn’t see the Cilic or Gulbis matches, but Gulbis on a hot streak can be a danger even to the top tens. Del Potro should be beating those guys, but you have to expect some bumps in the road. Last night was not a bump, it was bad luck to draw one of, if not the, greatest player of all time playing near his best tennis. Del Potro will win some rounds at the USO. Whether he can challenge for the title I doubt, but I would not be surprised to see a big scalp taken for his collection.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Besides, at this point the competition is slim- if you want to talk about anyone outside of 3 names, we have to bring in folks with major doubts against them- Murray, Del Potro and Tsonga. There just is no one that seems a real Grand Slam threat right now other than 2, or generously, 3 top guys.

Humble Rafa Says:

I feel for Del Potro. We have a lot in common even though I don’t look like an Elf. Injuries happen, so you can explain your losses better to ignorant people.

grendel Says:

I wouldn’t be too quick to write off Delpo. True, he won’t win the US Open. But he seems to be one of those players who needs an immensely long run before he finds that rhythm which makes him so deadly. Therefor, it takes him a lot longer than anyone else to recover properly from a bad injury. Wind up time – it’s a slow proceedure, so: better not be interrupted.

Federer looked great, and delightful at the net as several have commented. His problem is that in Djokovic and Nadal, he faces two utterly relentless competitors. If he drops his guard for a minute, they’re on to him. But Federer is exactly the sort of player who will drop his guard from time to time. Not easy days to win a slam.

Tony Says:

Justin did not say Fed did Zilch.
He was comparing what each player was doing right and wrong. The Zilch was in Fed”s wrong column.

Ivan Says:

I thought Fed played well last night. Last time he played that well was the French semi against Djokovic.

I do hope he gets some luck in the draw at the USO. I would like to see him in Nadal’s half for a change. A fresh federer will beat Nadal at the fast USO courts. The finals at the USO always becomes a luck of the draw based on who had a tough semi less than 24 hours ago. What a pity.

That said, I think Tsonga is my 3rd pick for the USO (Djoke and Fed the first two – hard to say in which order, since it depends who has the tough semi, unless they play each other, in which case the other guy has the lucky break!). Tsonga has enough big match experience, enough game, and is free of injuries, finally.

Humble Rafa, any comments? You are just hilarious!!

Ben Pronin Says:

Luck in the US Open draw? Does anyone read the news? The US Open draws are fixed.

mat4 Says:

@Ben: look at this http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/6850893/espn-analysis- finds-top-seeds-tennis-us-open-had-easier-draw-statistically-likely

Ben Pronin Says:

I know, that’s what I’m referring to. There’s something rotten in the state of tennis.

mat4 Says:

Last year, I wrote here some analysis showing that the draw in the semi was fixed too (I repeated that post a month or two later) and just a few read it carefully.

I am not glad to see I was right, but what can I do :-)

The odds for the draw in the semi were, last time I looked at it, about 1 : 32000. Whatever ESPN write, the draw at the FO is the “most” fixed.

Brando Says:

I don’t think the draws are fixed but IF they are it’s virtually guaranteed that federer will be in djokovic’s half of the draw. No slam or ATP tournament would scupper the chance of the games biggest box office match: federer v nadal.

Ben Pronin Says:

The thing with the semis is that, in every single other sport the 1 seed plays the 4 seed and the 2 seed plays the 3 seed. In tennis, it’s “random”. They probably made it “random” so that they can fix it while pretending it happened by chance.

mat4 Says:


No, it is not the point. The organisers want the most valuable players in the final. For years, they were Roger and Rafa, then Andy and only then Djoko. So, the draw was managed in that way to have Roger against Rafa or Andy in the final. 16 times in a row. There is only one exception, in 2009, at Roland Garros, when the most valuable final was Rafa against Nole (they played the finals of Monte Carlo, Rome, and an epic semi in Madrid in a row), so Nole landed on Roger’s side.

Basically, the match up was the determining factor: nobody wanted Andy against Roger, or Nole against Rafa on hard.

Last week, I pointed to Duro that the draw was fixed in Monte Carlo and Rome in a way that Nole, who is very popular there, never lands on Rafa’s side (on clay), and in Madrid they want Rafa to beat both Roger and Nole, so the no 3 is always on his side.

mat4 Says:


Sorry, I didn’t understand your post at first. Basically, we say the same thing.

Ben Pronin Says:

mat4, it’s just scary that this makes so much sense. The corruption in tennis would appear to have no boundaries, it keeps going and going.

I love tennis and everything but this raises some serious questions and doubts. We hear Federer say it’s good for tennis that Djokovic is playing so well and having a great year because he’s attracting new attention to the sport. But is it possible that some of this was planned? Federer-Nadal was getting old so they needed a new attraction. Is it possible that, with no single great champion after Sampras’s departure, the idea of a GOAT was fabricated by the organizations? Then when people were getting tired of Federer, Nadal was brought along, and so on?

Maybe that’s going too far and cynical but seriously, at this point, how can we be sure of anything?

Brando Says:

@mat4: I apologise if I offend you with this, but that is nonsense I believe. If the draws are fixed, they would be based on box office appeal, i.e. What would generate the highest number in terms of tv audience, tickets sold, media interest through various airwaves etc hence if a big name like federer or nadal was given a favourable draw it would be logical to do so due to their market appeal. BUT this I doubt. If you look at previous draws at the slams there is a consistent pattern that emerges especially at the FO and USO. For example at the USO seed 2 always I’d drawn to play seed 3 in the semi finals. Now if djokovic is drawn to face federer in the semi finals- seed 1v seed 3- then that would be alarming since federer andndjokovic always seem to be in the same side of the draw even after their ranking changes!

Brando Says:

@mat4: just saw your 1.05 post, hence ignore my 1.12 post. Apologies, I think we mean the same thing here but rather got lost in translation. :-)

mat4 Says:


Again, is it simply a coincidence that Fognini retired in the 1/4 and then Nole lost against Roger, just one match before the record?

But I don’t believe that matchs are fixed. Someone could “sing”. But the draw? It is so easy to fix. And you can always say that it is the fault of the software.

There is also the match scheduling. I was suspicious about Roddick regularly playing Djoko in the quarters, but when I saw that they regularly played under the greatest heat, and that Djoko was scheduled last the day before, I was quite certain about the “little help” some players get.

Ben Pronin Says:

Honestly, I know I’ll get a lot of flack for this, but I still can’t over the way Nadal played the Rome final. The last time he played like that was probably 2005. Maybe he tanked the match in case they met at the French and he had a new game plan. Or maybe the powers above told him they wanted Djokovic to keep his streak going.

Fognini never should’ve won his 4th round match so I don’t think that him pulling out was a big thing. In fact I think it screwed things up. They probably wanted to Djokovic to match the record and THEN lose to Federer.

Brando Says:

@ben: LMAO your posts kill me! Please put down the pipe before you blog. One minute rafa’s career is over because of a random 1st round loss, next minute djokovic’s success is not due to hard work, talent or a gluten free diet but ATPs dark, sinister marketing men!

Brando Says:

@ ben: rafa only played the match against djokovic in that manner, I feel, since he completely ran out of ideas against him hence the desperate moonball tactics! He played awful that tourny almost losingnin the 1st round and then only getting to the final since the draw opened up for him. Moreso, if the match was fixed would any competitor let alone rafael nadal step on court knowing fully well the outcome is already set in stone?

Ben Pronin Says:

If you could find me a quote where I say Nadal’s career is over, that’d be great.

Gluten-free diet, really? That’s on your list of Things That Make Djokovic Great?

I’m not saying that’s how it is, but how do we know it’s not? Sometimes when life feels like a movie there might be an actual script involved.

Ben Pronin Says:

“Moreso, if the match was fixed would any competitor let alone rafael nadal step on court knowing fully well the outcome is already set in stone?”

Considering how much they get paid, why is this even a question?

madmax Says:


I think it’s outrageous to say that tennis is fixed. You are bang out of order here. It’s no better than when you accused Davydenko of tanking his matches.

It’s pure scaremongering.

How do you account for actual tennis players, physically being there, pulling names out of a hat/glass bowl?

Are you saying that they are corrupt? Because if you’re not, you might as well be.

Brando Says:

@ben: Why should there be a script if life feels like a movie? I rather feel lives like a box of chocolate you just never know your going to get next- EXCEPT death, increase in tax and ben’s conspiracy theories.

Ben Pronin Says:

I hate conspiracy theories.

Brando Says:

LOL ,” I hate conspiracy theories”, at least that’s something we both agree on.

Ben Pronin Says:

When did I accuse Davydenko of tanking matches? I’ve accused plenty of other players.

“How do you account for actual tennis players, physically being there, pulling names out of a hat/glass bowl?”

I’m not sure what you’re asking.

Listen, I’m not saying this is how it is, I’m saying that learning that the US Open draw is fixed certainly brings up these questions. It’s not like I want tennis to be fixed. It’s not like I want to find out all this time I’ve been analyzing how these guys play and how Federer can beat Nadal or Murray can beat anyone has all been a waste of time since it’s all a gimmick and everything’s done on purpose.

grendel Says:

” So, the draw was managed in that way to have Roger against Rafa or Andy in the final. 16 times in a row”

Not true. When Federer was #2 (for instance at Doha and AO 2011), he was automatically in opposite half to Nadal.So that doesn’t count. As #3, he was in same half as Nadal at Cincinnati 2010, Miami 2011, Madrid and Rome 2011. At Monte Carlo, although #3, he was seeded 2 since Djokovic not playing, so automatically in opposite half to Nadal.

All comments as to who wants who where are – to say the least – subjective.

Colin Says:

I think the conspiracy theorists are ignoring the mathematics. Probability, like a lot of science and maths, is often counter-intuitive. Example: how many people do you need to assemble in a hall for there to be a more than even chance of two of them sharing the same birthday? The answer is: only 23.
The number of names going in the draw for a tennis tournament is not enormous – not hundreds or thousands. So you’ll get coincidences that suggest deliberate fixing.
Meanwhile, back at the tennis, the Murray-Nalbandian match is a mess so far. Both have a first serve percentage in the 30s, and Nalbandian has already served 4 double faults. I just hope Murray can muddle through and get the chance to play himself into some sort of form.

Ben Pronin Says:

Colin are you saying the US Open draw wasn’t fixed? The research OTL did provided actual numbers and statistics that particularly point out the anomalies of the US Open draw compared to the other 3 slams. I might still believe the other tournaments do some tinkering, too, but for right now we have the numbers to show that the US Open draw has been tampered with. Even if it’s just the first round, that’s 1 round too many.

Brando Says:

Murray is starting to look like the jackpot draw out of top 4. He desperately needs a cincy tourny. If you look at his preparation for AUS this year he had Played in no tourneys prior to it, FO: best clay season ever, WIMBY: won queens, so base on that pattern he needs the matches prior USO in ordEr to perform well at the slam.

Lou Says:

So many people had thought that delpo will win! I had always said that we should not downplay federer. The champion that he is, he will be back.
And if you dont believe me, federer fans can read this beautiful article on him!
Will Roger Federer Bounce Back And The Myth of Age 30? http://bit.ly/mUlKHO

I think he still has few more GS left in him!

grendel Says:

Murray takes first set in what appears to be the battle of who has the worst second serve. Or the best return (another way of looking at it).

All this talk of Murray’s fragile psyche looks kind of irrelevant at the moment. If he can’t do something – consistently – about this second serve, he won’t win a slam. Simple as that.

Brando Says:

@ Grendel: couldn’t put it any better, re Murray second serve. On a different note, rafa won in straight sets in a tricky 1st match- he lost a set and played a tiebreak against benneteau last year at cincy. Good stats also for the match

grendel Says:

Murray started to look really good – even if it was against a subpar Nalbandian (who showed some delightful flashes – I wonder if he’ll ever do anything else).

madmax Says:


Have you listened to the video on the other thread, to hear what Brian Earle (?) said? He is very clear in his condemnation of the conspiracy theory.

I hate these rumours about tennis being corrupt. I don’t believe it but it will never go away.

Last year Ben, the betting scandal with Davydenko, you said a few things about him, I suggest you visit what you said. I’m too tired to do that for you tonight.

grendel, am so pleased you posted some facts to refute what ben said.

Random rules.

margot Says:

first set- oooffff…..second set- that’s more like it :)

Ben Pronin Says:

Madmax, I don’t remember what I said about Davydenko and I don’t know how to look back at what I said, either.

Tennis is corrupt whether you like it or not. The only question is how high of a level of corruption has it achieved. From the looks of it, pretty damn high. High enough to have completely staged the careers of several top players? I doubt it. But high enough to ask players to tank matches? I don’t see why not.

mat4 Says:


I was writing about the GS. If you check and read carefully what I wrote, you will see I am quite accurate. The only time when a Fedal final was not protected was RG 2009, because of the fiasco Roger had the preceding year, and the 2009 clay season when Rafa and Nole played almost all the finals, and played the best clay tennis.

It is not the same in the atp1000. Please, read what I wrote about Monte Carlo (where Franulovic, a friend of Niki Pilic was tournament director), Rome and Madrid.

mat4 Says:


You will also notice that on clay, Nole lands almost every time in Rafa’s half, 2009 excepted. And also, this year, Roger landed in Nole’s half. Maybe there will be some changes after those ESPN allegations and the new Nole’s status, but I could bet that Roger wont land in Rafa’s half at the USO.

grendel Says:

wel done, Dimitrov. Serving for the set at 5-3 against a rusty Ferrer, he capitulated – but made amends. One amazing shot from behind the base line, a kind of sliced fh drop which just crept over the net. Even Ferrer didn’t bother to run. I wish Dimitrov was a bit more forceful when he gains the iniative through a good first serve – kind of loses the advantage he has gained.

grendel Says:

” The only time when a Fedal final was not protected was RG 2009, because of the fiasco Roger had the preceding year, and the 2009 clay season when Rafa and Nole played almost all the finals, and played the best clay tennis.”

I don’t know what you mean by protected. How do you protect it? What I do know is that all of what I have quoted is subjective in the extreme, it is simply opinion stuff. To base a conspiracy on that is not convincing.

meanwhile, I thought the idea was that Federer somehow always ends up in the opposite half to Nadal. (“So, the draw was managed in that way to have Roger against Rafa or Andy in the final. 16 times in a row”). But this doesn’t mean much, since most of the time, Federer and Nadal have been #1 and #2. The last 3 slams (I don’t include the AO since there too Nadal and Fed #1 and #2) Nadal has been in opposite half to Fed when he could have been in same half. So what? Just a bit odd, that’s all.

grendel Says:

What is happening to Tsonga?

mat4 Says:


It is not “so what”. It changed completely the careers of Djokovic and Murray. The only slam where Djokovic landed with Rafa, against whom he has a positive h2h on hard, is Roland Garros. Imagine a bit what would have happen if Murray landed all the time in Roger’s half on hard, and Djoko in RAfa’s. Murray has a positive h2h against Federer. In the last 4 years, we would have almost certainly had a few finals without Fedal, Murray would probably be a slam winner, Djokovic would probably have a few slams more.

Yes, Roger was protected by not playing Murray, and Rafa by avoiding Nole. Roger is a bad match up for Djoko, and on hard, Djoko was a bad match up for Rafa. So it was safer.

Roger is still the player who brings money in a tournament. We could read in the press about the fall of TV audience for the AO final, and about the satisfaction of the FO organisers.

Brando Says:

FISH ALERT: 6-0 6-2 win over davydenko! Wow, if rafa can face him that would be a really good test for him.

Kimmi Says:

Tsonga is OUT!!! wow Bogo!

dmitrov about to beat ferrer…can he do it? margot did u pick grigor, great pick!

I am falling and burning right now.

grendel Says:

mat4 – you misunderstand my “so what?”. I agree with you that it certainly matters who lands where in the draw.

My “so what” was directed to the statistical significance of Federer and Nadal being in opposite halves 3 slams on the trot (the AO not counting, given the seedings). The statistical significance is not quite nil but – considering the alternative (cheating) – virtually nil. Sorry, but that’s just how it is.

grendel Says:

Kimmi, dunno if you saw the Dimitrov match. He nearly pulled it off, but in the end, experience told. I hope Dimitrov learnt a lot from this match. His back hand seems rather weak. It’s actually rather like Federer’s, isn’t it, but it incorporates (at the moment) the weaknesses rather than the strengths. Also, he just doen’t hit the ball hard enough, so he has to work more extensively than he would like to gain his points. His serve – loose and pretty, but not yet one which will frighten the horses.

In short – Dimitrov seems to me to be an exciting talent who might go nowhere. Or….

mat4 Says:


It is not about Fed and Rafa on the opposite side of the draw in the last two majors, but about Fed avoiding Murray on hard and Djokovic on clay, and Rafa avoiding Djoko on hard for the last 15 majors. Statistically, this is very relevant.

Kimberly Says:

For awhile Kaiser was number 3 on the leaderboard but now he’s starting to crash and burn. He took a picture of the screen with his phone so he can always remember his 15 mins of glory

grendel Says:

mat4 – well, it seems to me you’ve changed the goal posts. Still, I’ve looked at the hardcourt finals – too time consuming to do the clay as well (but obviously Fed did NOT avoid Djokovic on clay this year), and these are the results:

AO 2007 thru to 2011 it is exactly as you say.
US 2009 and 2010 – as you say. 2008 same but different (Murray was seeded 2, so couldn’t meet Fed till final).In 2006 and 2007, opposite to what you say.

If you take the US figures on their own, nothing special. On the other hand, the AO figures are definitely striking. Not nearly enough to confirm cheating, however. Runs just happen sometimes. maybe there should be more transparency in the way the draws are conducted? I don’t know too much about that.

Incidentally, I think you make way too much about Murray. Yes, his h2h is good against Fed on hard – in 3 setters. All we have to go on is 2 finals, in neither of which did Murray win a set. That is not conclusive, but it sure counts.

Kimmi Says:

harrison can be a dangerous player, because he moves well. early break for harrison. hope this is a good match..

Kimmi Says:

great game for harrison to break back..

Kimmi Says:

grendel – re:dimitrov, i watches only the last game..the game he got broken. yap, the power is lacking. it is a long road for him..we just have to wait and see.

back to djoko/harrison match..many long larries

Kimmi Says:

if only harrison can hold his serve, then it could be a good match.

Kimmi Says:

o dear, harrison cant hold serve…or maybe djoko does not let him

Kimmi Says:

big cheer..harrison eventually hold serve @ 2-6 0-3

Kimmi Says:

magnificent djokovic!!

Kimmi Says:

is tipsa going to beat simon? wat is wrong with simon,he shoulda beat tipsa.

Kimmi Says:

OK, looks like simon heard me. good!

Heyy17 Says:

I’m shocked that you would say Federer did “zilch”. Whoever made that comment clearly didn’t watch the match. Delpo played well, but Federer played absolutely incredibly. His foreheads were hit in the most dangerous parts of the court with amazing force. His serves were with him throughout the entire match. This was vintage Federer. Delpo’s serve may have not been great but his ground strokes were very good. Federer didn’t allow him to play the game he would have wanted to. If “Zilch” suddenly means “incredible foreheads, beautifully hit drop shots and un-returnable serves”, then yes, I guess Federer did zilch.

Skeezerweezer Says:


JG is well known on this blog as not the best analysis of the game, so you’re right he should take his “zilch” and put it where the sun doesn’t shine. Fed played a great match, especially dictating with the serve and his own sublime FH.

autoFilter Says:

As stated elsewhere in this thread, “Zilch” was written in the column containing things Federer was doing wrong.

M Says:

*waves @ grendel*

Bogomolov happened to Tsonga. He said in his interview he went to JW’s backhand b/c his forehand is killer. Boy apparently used his head.

Second, thank you for talking some sense to the hysterical conspiracy theorists — you’d think they’d never heard of “ranking”. And if they want corruption, they should perhaps shuffle on over to American football. The height of irony is that these ranty types so often end up working in sales sponsorship, or broadcasting.

And Sean – Roger did “zilch”? What match were you watching? I’m convinced it wasn’t what the rest of us were looking at.


Michael Says:

Federer should keep up this level and maintain consistency if he is to reckoned in competition with the likes of Djokovic, Nadal and Murray. The problem today with Federer is that he is not consistent and the results have been topsy-turvey. He needs to realize that the aura that he built upon himself has exploded and now even lesser ranked players smell a chance when faced with Federer. That will surely give jitters to the Federer camp. Nontheless, a Champion like Federer will always rise to the occasion and prove the dooms day critics wrong and I hope he does this at the much heralded major known as US Open.

Dory Says:

Federer FTW. Hope he will be able to defend his title. If not him, then hope Nole wins.

Tsonga lost to Bogomolov!! After that great run last week.

margot Says:

Michael the words “consistency” and “Murray” in same sentence is surely an oxymoron?
Yes, kimmi my crazy pick nearly came off :)

steve-o Says:

If “zilch” means: serving like God almighty, using acutely-angled backhands to draw Del Potro off the court, using soft shots and loopy no-pace balls to set up for flat forehand winners, occasionally using the low dink to make Del Potro come into no-man’s land and bend down to get to the ball, testing Del Potro’s passing shots by hitting hard down the middle and coming to net, and volleying flawlessly, then yeah, Federer did zilch.

Otherwise Gimbelstob is full of shit.

Whether you think the match didn’t live up to the hype depends on what you mean by “hype”. If you mean a three-set battle, then no, it did not.

But it was highly competitive; at every moment you could sense Del Potro on the verge of breaking through, especially in the second set. That he did not was due to Federer’s superb play.

There was a lot of tactical brilliance from Federer. Del Potro also played very strongly and aggressively, particularly on his serve. It was a prime example of how Federer can use his variation and imagination to neutralize the advantages of a physically stronger opponent.

In that sense it delivered all one could ask for.

serbian hammer Says:

Djokovic is going to dominate for a long time,better deal with it,and stop talking nonsense about how matches are fixed,you all just cant accept that he is better than Nadal and Federer now.
When Federer and Nadal was dominant nobody was talking about fixing matches,you are patetic mat4.

Juiz Says:

Statistics don’t lie

ding dong Says:

Why is there an element of aggression always involved in these Serbian guys. Maybe due to inferiority.

alison hodge Says:

rep serbian hammer,yes djokovic is having a fantastic year,and he might go on tn win the uso and the wtf,and so on and so forth,and have the best year any players had ever granted,however to say he will dominate for a long time is a little premature to say the least,dont get me wrong im not saying he wont,next year will be a good indication as will have a lot of points to defend,theres a chance of suffering from burnout its the law of averages,enjoy it while it lasts as nothing is forever,and its the same for anybody,roger,rafa,and sorry you may not like this even nole.

Humble Rafa Says:

What is happenning to my favorite player, Nikolay Davydenko. He lost 0 and 2 to Fish. WOW.

Humble Rafa Says:

Michael the words “consistency” and “Murray” in same sentence is surely an oxymoron?

If you remove the “oxy”, you will be fine. Just kidding.

margot Says:

Humble Rafa: HO, humph only I, as a fully paid up die- hard, everlasting- hopeful- fool, am permitted to make such comments about Andy….
PS How’s your finger?

skeezerweezer Says:


Loved your humor w/HR. Sometimes the humor is funnier when someone like you pulls a little comedy out of the bag for good measure ;)

And I would agree you totally paid up, with accrued interest, your cheers for Andy ;) and should be able to say whatever the H3ll you want about the forever hopeful outcome of the man :)

grendel Says:


About a year ago, Eurosport was involved in a sort of campaign designed to show that anything the American A.Bog (Bogmolov)could do, the British A.Bog (Bogdanovic)could do better (and here, “better” means “worse). Well, those days seem to be over. Bogmolov now seems on the way to becoming a serious player. Bogdanovic, by the way, is a talented player – he should have beaten Roddick at Queens a few years ago – but he has the misfortune to be British, never a good idea if you want to make tennis your career. And note that Bogdanovic isn’t even a British native. He comes from Serbia originally – now that’s a good tennis heritage, but it doesn’t survive translation into British.

steve-o – nice post. A minor caveat, I don’t think Delpo is quite there yet.

madmax Says:

I think Tony captured the word ‘zilch’ first and then went on to say this. Read people read.:)

Roger did brilliantly. We all know that.

Tony Says:

Justin did not say Fed did Zilch.

He was comparing what each player was doing right and wrong. The Zilch was in Fed”s wrong column.

August 17th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Ben, listening to rumours is dangerous.

You used to be so good at dealing with the facts. grendel is far more objective and needs to consider being a writer here on TX.

Ben Pronin Says:

Why do people pretend Tennis-X is some sort of objective site? Who here has ever written anything objective? It’s a blog, it’s supposed to be opinionated.

Madmax, what rumors are you referring to? The US Open draw statistics aren’t rumors, they’re facts. You want to think tennis is some sort of incorruptible entity. It’s not. It’s shady and murky and corrupt up the wazoo. What’s that saying, rumors always have a hint of truth to them or something? Yeah, well, that.

grendel Says:

madmax – you are kind to me and I appreciate that, but I have plenty of prejudices, believe me. All the staff members of TennisX are tennis players – that is excellent. Ben Pronin, Dan Martin, Sean Randall imbue their posts with the kind of tennis knowledge which can only come from being a player at a decent club level. Of course, the rest of us can disagree with them, forcefully on occasion – that’s another matter.

alison hodge Says:

i think jmdp is a good player but some what overated imho,also i think winning the uso in 2oo9 was a bit of a fluke,ok he beat rafa and roger to win the uso that year,but rafa had only just returned from injury missing much of the year with tendinitis and also played with an abdominal tear,and when he beat roger in the final,roger was on top for most of the match and his level dropped,roger gave the match away,ok it takes a while for some players to regain there form after an injury,but so far i cant recall delpo beating one of the top 3 players since returning from injury,and also loosing to the lesser players that you would expect him to beat,i hope he prooves me wrong,but at the moment i dont see him as anything other than a one slam wonder.

skeezerweezer Says:

Anyone paying attention to the Rafa match?

Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal is playing poorly but he’ll win because Verdasco is a really dumb player and will choke regardless.

Michael Says:

The Nadal-Verdasco match was quite thrilling. Not that both played well, only because both played abysmally poor by their standards. Verdasco it seems will never win against Nadal henceforth. If ever there was a chance, it was yesterday, but be just blew it by virtue of his numerous unforced errors and shabby play. Nadal was lucky in the match overall and if you take the points table into consideration, Verdasco has scored about 8 points more than Nadal. But yet that was not enough. Everytime he served for the set, Verdasco fumbled badly and it seems that even if Nadal gifts it away, Verdasco will not take it. Nevertheless Nadal is now in the quarterfinals but he will have a hard time against Fish with this kind of form.

madmax Says:


just because someone has played or plays tennis at club level, doesn’t mean that they know everything or even enough to know what is going on at the very top. Of course, that seems disrespectful, but my point is, so what? I had a teacher once who had a great set of credentials but could not communicate to his students. What does that tell me?

I have always enjoyed reading Ben’s posts in particular, he knows that. But, Ben sometimes can get ansty when people disagree with him. I happen to disagree with him.

I do not think that tennis murky. That’s Ben’s opinion not mine. I won’t change it either to become Ben’s best friend. It doesn’t bother me.

You are a lot better at writing than you think. Plus you are funny.

Ben, I know you disagree with me, and that’s great, but don’t try to tell me tennis is murky. You have no proof, only a set of statistics.

Do you know, the other day, my brother had 8 pound coins. He threw them all onto the table (he did this three times). The first time, 5 of the coins landed on their side. (I couldn’t believe it – I thought it was a trick). He did it again. The second time only 1 of them landed on their side, he did it a third time, 2 of them landed on their side.

What are the chances of any of them landing in the position they had?

It’s all random.

RANDOM Ben. Random.

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