Murray, Djokovic Advance In Rain-Soaked Olympics; Packed Monday Schedule Includes Federer, Serena, Venus
by Staff | July 30th, 2012, 6:04 am
  • 75 Comments

Thanks to an eight figure roof, play went on at the Olympics tennis despite all the rain in the area. Among the few fortunate to have a pass to play under the Center Court roof were Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska who was stunned by German Julia Goerges.

Murray, facing his second straight Swiss opponent on Center, had no trouble this time with Stanislas Wawrinka. The two hooked up a few years ago under the enclousure and Murray escaped in five. Wawrinka beat him again the 2010 US Open, but this time Murray cruised to a 6-3, 6-3 win.

“I practiced with Stan a few times last week and played really well against him,” said Murray. “That gave me a bit of extra confidence going into the match today. I’m really up for the tournament. I wanted to play well. I want to be involved in this event for as long as possible. I’m going to give it my best shot.”

No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic survived a lengthy rain delay and a poor opening set to oust Fabio Fognini 6-7(7), 6-2 6-2 on Court 1. The two were knotted at 7-7 in the first set breaker when the rains hit. But after dropping the next two points when play resumed the Serb took control of the match.

In other first-round action, Frenchman Tsonga took out Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4. Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the No. 15 seed, beat Bernard Tomic of Australia 7-6(4), 7-6(4).

Julia Goerges pulled the upset of the tournament thus far shocking Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanksa 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-4 in 2 hours 16 minutes.

“It was great, it was my first time representing Germany at the Olympics Games and it’s my first time also on Centre Court at Wimbledon,” said Goerges. “I’m pretty satisfied with the way I played. I’m relaxed here when I’m with the other athletes in the village. I played pretty aggressive and served well. I know if I play well it’s dangerous for anyone and it was today, a lucky day.”

Maria Sharapova was also a winner on Sunday.

With all the rain, the Monday schedule is massive with the remaining first round matches plus second rounders from Roger Federer and Serena Williams.

Centre Court
starting at 12:00
WS 1 (1) AZARENKA Victoria (BLR) vs BEGU Irina-Camelia (ROU)
MS 2 (1) FEDERER Roger (SUI) vs BENNETEAU Julien (FRA)
MS 2 SEPPI Andreas (ITA) vs (8) del POTRO Juan Martin (ARG)
WS 2 WICKMAYER Yanina (BEL) vs (8) WOZNIACKI Caroline (DEN)

Court No. 1
starting at 12:00
MS 1 GOFFIN David (BEL) vs (9) MONACO Juan (ARG)
WS 2 (4) WILLIAMS Serena (USA) vs RADWANSKA Urszula (POL)
MS 2 (10) ISNER John (USA) vs (ITF) JAZIRI Malek (TUN)
WS 2 SUAREZ NAVARRO Carla (ESP) vs CLIJSTERS Kim (BEL)

Court No. 2
starting at 11:30
MS 1 RODDICK Andy (USA) vs KLIZAN Martin (SVK)
WS 1 (9) ERRANI Sara (ITA) vs WILLIAMS Venus (USA)
MS 2 (ALT) PETZSCHNER Philipp (GER) vs (7) TIPSAREVIC Janko (SRB)
WD 1 CIRSTEA / HALEP (ROU) vs WILLIAMS / WILLIAMS (USA)
MD 1 (ITF) NISHIKORI / SOEDA (JPN) vs (6) FEDERER / WAWRINKA (SUI)


Also Check Out:
With An Eye On Olympics, Serena, Venus Enter Fed Cup, Pass On Super Bowl
Exhausted Murray Out Of Rain-Soaked Toronto, Remaining Players Face Challenging Weekend
Serena Williams: I Don’t Have Any More Room In My House For Tennis Trophies
Mauresmo, Davydenko Beat Rain Tuesday at French Open
2010 Australian Open TV Schedule

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75 Comments for Murray, Djokovic Advance In Rain-Soaked Olympics; Packed Monday Schedule Includes Federer, Serena, Venus

Kimmi Says:

goodluck roger!


metan Says:

@kimmi,

Roger needs to raise his game otherwise ben will grill him. Good luck for both player!


Michael Says:

This should be another tough one for Roger. But I expect him to sail through in tough three (if Roger plays below par) or two easy sets (if Bennateau plays poorly, which is a possibility).


Kimmi Says:

I know metah. benneteau is much more difficult than falla, so federer needs to be very sharp from get go.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

metan,

your comment makes me feel like Bennet is tougher than Nadal for Roger. That’s not the case in reality. I don’t see anything in Bennet which would trouble Roger much.

He just started badly in his match at Wimbledon, because it was his first match under roof. I know he lost in Paris, but I thought that was more of an aberration.

Anyone can play tough on a given day, just like Rosol proved, but for Bennet to beat Roger, it needs to be a bad match from Roger. That’s my take. Let’s see.


gannu Says:

good to c feddy bear off to an early lead …3-0…hope he finishes this off in 2 easy sets…no heart attacks like wimbledon ;=)


gannu Says:

seems all fed fans are sleeping…where are u guys?? skeez, madmax, huh, daniel, kimmi etc??? where are u all?


gannu Says:

roger wins comfortably 6-2, 6-2..guess JB was injured and was limping a bit..neways will take that easy win ;-)


El Flaco Says:

Solid win for Fed. Next up Istomin or Muller. Istomin is a better matchup. Muller has a nasty lefty serve and it would be difficult to break him.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Looks like Roddick is through. Very intriguing match between Him and Novak. Hope the match lives up to its expectations. I assume it’s going to be scheduled in CC.


The Great Davy Says:

You all forget the true champion it’s The Great Davy!! I am come back!


madmax Says:

I never underestimate Istomin. He took rafa to 5 sets I believe, not so long ago. He is an excellent player, coached by his mother I believe. Muller is a strange one. I read that he and Fed started out at the same time, the rest is history really. Certainly he is not someone to be underestimated. He is a great player. I watched him at wimbledon last year. He took rafa to a tie break in the first set (I think) and then folded away.

gannu, I’m here. Just watching more of the olympics than posting. You know how it is. Loving the swimming and the incredibly powerful shoulders of all the female and male swimmers. Their technique and physiques are incredible.

I was rooting for Adlington yesterday, and she did really well to get the bronze medal, as she only just made the final in 8th place. So very pleased for her.

Of course, Roger did well again today. He came out with an excellent game plan against Julian. This time, I felt, he started aggressively and so really was not in any danger.

But I am glad he is being cautious at the start as these opening rounds can always present surprises, as we all know.


metan Says:

Nirmal Kumar,

I am glad your back, yes you are absolutely right about the game, I drew my opinion based on ben performance @ wimby n I also admit I did not watch his other matches so I can figure out exactly his games.

Roger won, I just checked the score, congrats to Roger n all his fans.


skeezer Says:

metan,

Thanks!

_____________

gannu,

Had a late night and missed the Fedster :(. Glad he got through. :)


Daniel Says:

gannu,

Working, should have left some vacation days for this olympics:)
Glad went trough with ease.
I am eager to see who will be Tri-time Champion in Swimming first, Phelps or Kitajima? Something that was never done before.


Dave Says:

Federer tends to be predictable. Two days ago I said “although Benneteau is a friend who stretched him to a five setter partly because of Roger’s sloppy play in the first two sets, Roger wants to win his next match in two straight forward sets”… because “Fed knows he can’t afford to keep playing three setters in singles since he is also playing doubles, as it will hurt his chances at the Canadian Open in 11 days’ time.” Roger has a doubles match today. Whether or not Benneteau was injured, Federer was always going to impose his game and try to win quickly, to avoid his mistakes in their Wimbledon match. Anyway, Bill Gates and the Olympians were watching, so he had to play well :) [Regardless of his loss, Benneteau showed the quality of the Federer generation: First, he displayed grit and sportsmanship by not resorting to a timeout trainer and by not retiring two games from the end. And he showed his fine hands and quality play, even at age 30: Benneteau would have troubled other top players on this surface, which apparently is playing faster and lower than at Wimbledon.]
http://tinyurl.com/d4hgczy

Federer has earned 70 ranking points for winning this second round match. Look to Roger to try to be all-business and win efficiently moving forward, unless Djokovic loses (thus guaranteeing the top ranking remains unchanged for another week so it gives Roger the option to tank the Olympics, leave early and take a short break before Canada — we’ll find out then how much Federer really wants an Olympic gold… or not). One of in-form Federer’s attributes is the ability to be self-correcting: within two days, despite yesterday’s rain, Federer already finetuned his serve — it’s an improvement from his Falla match.

Denis Istomin — Federer’s next opponent — is dialled in and is comfortable on the grass: this Olympics is Istomin’s fifth grass tournament in seven weeks (currently 8-4 on grass). Istomin did beat David Ferrer in straight sets at Indian Wells, before losing in a deciding set to Juan Martin del Potro. Like madmax said, this is a competent player when he gets going, and is not to be underestimated.

*****

Djokovic did not “survived a lengthy rain delay”. Imagine if there was no rain delay and Fogini had won the first set tiebreak with his momentum intact and confidence growing — the delay might have been what saved him from a tougher match or a potential loss, even though he flubbed the end of the tiebreak when they returned. While the lengthy rain delay threw off the momentum of Fognini, Djokovic clearly benefitted from the coaching of his personal coaches as well as the Serbian national team coaches — and Novak made some adjustments to his mental approach, tactics and play. Against the clay courter Fognini who had won only a handful of games on grass — and whom Federer easily beat 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 (and left discombobulated) in only 74 minutes just 3+ weeks ago — the experienced Djokovic was always going to benefit from any changes in conditions that took his opponent out of his rhythm.

*****

So madmax, what did you think about Ye Shiwen’s swim?


NELTA Says:

Dave, my prediction is if Federer wins the gold medal(BIG IF) then he will withdraw from the Rogers Cup.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

metan, nice chatting with you again. Yeah, I did not expect a tough match today. looks like a good win for Roger.


Sienna Says:

Dave youre asking madmax, but I feel free to answer
I guess dr Fuentas took a long holiday to China after him dealing with the spanish atletes.

Probably the money has run dry from the spanish government so he turns to China economy which is in better sshape .


the mind reels Says:

Nice to see Federer/Wawrinka back in action on the doubles court.


Dave Says:

NELTA: Yeah, it’s a possibility that Federer — if he wins the gold medal — might withdraw from the Canadian Open, especially if he has picked up an injury and/or Djokovic loses early in the Olympics. Though I think Federer might still play 1 to 3 rounds of the Roger’s Cup — if uninjured, if he is not too tired from Olympics and the Canadian draw is not loaded early with tough opponents. He won only one match at last year’s Rogers Cup (while Djokovic won the title), so he can gain ranking points over Djokovic as well as some match practice for Cincinnati.

It’s likely Federer will focus on Cincinnati. In the unlikely situation he feels good and wins the Rogers Cup (probably because the other top players are hung over from playing on grass and Rafa isn’t able to capitalize in Canada), then I doubt he will play more than one or two rounds in Cincinnati or withdraw entirely. Whichever decision he chooses, he doesn’t want to injure, burnout or overextend himself just before the US Open.

******

Sienna: IOC doping boss Arne Ljungqvist — who probably already has preliminary expedited results of the Chinese Olympic swimmer Ye Shiwen’s drug tests — did not express any concerns. “I am pretty experienced in this matter, as you know, and have been at the Games since a long time and within anti doping for 40 years,” said Ljungqvist. “Should I have my suspicions I keep them for myself, first of all, and take any action, if so, in order to find out whether something is wrong or not. “You ask me specifically about this particular swimming. I say no, I have not personally any reason other than to applaud what has happened, until I have further facts, if so.”
http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-sport/ioc-doping-boss-backs-swimmer-ye-20120730-2386p.html

One of Le Shiwen’s rivals supported her, sort of: ‘Beijing triple Olympic gold medallist and former 400m IM world record holder Stephanie Rice said Ye’s time in the final 100m freestyle leg on Saturday was “insane”. But Rice stayed well away from doping speculation. “Oh I have no idea, I wouldn’t want to get into that at all,” she said. “Fifty-eight [seconds] is an insanely fast swim but I know she’s a good freestyler. I was next to her at worlds in the 200m IM last year and she came home over the top of me in that freestyle leg and I’m not exactly a bad freestyler. She’s a gun.” ‘

Poor girl, she’s only 16 years old so these allegations must be disconcerting. There are 1.4 billion Chinese, so the possibility of a genuine phenom exists. No doubt, the IOC’s anti doping commission will be intensely testing and investigating her very closely — the IOC has asked cleaners, security guards to report any information on evidence of a team’s doping, so there are probably other things being done to investigate these athletes that we do not know about.


Sienna Says:

Well we now have to wait if Ranomi can take the gold against her. I expect her to be the dutch most other fearced competator on 100 free.


SG1 Says:

16 years old and swimming like a 23 year old. It’s hard not to be suspicious. It really doesn’t make a lot of sense. Unless she’s some kind of swimming savant. When I heard a 16 year old girl won a swimming event at the Olympics, I have to admit that the first thing that popped into my mind was ‘roids or doping or some kind of cheating. You just don’t mature to your full strength as a swimmer until you’re in your early 20′s. All this being said, she’s innocent until proven guilty. Let’s hope she’s clean.


MMT Says:

Dave: I have to say that’s an incredible amount of speculation surrounding Federer and the level of effort he’s putting in now, and will for the rest of the summer. I don’t see what is the point of some of your scenarios from Federer’s perspective. I don’t think any player goes into a match putting in additional effort to win in straight sets – of course anyone will take if they can get it, but nobody puts in extra effort to win in straight sets. These guys are trying to win every point, let alone sets and matches. I think he would want to win in straight sets regardless of whether he’s in the doubles, and not to save himself for the Canadian Masters. And I’m quite certain that he does not tank tennis matches, and certainly wouldn’t do just because he’s secured the #1 ranking for a few more weeks. Anyway, his best bet to stay #1 is to win everything.

And Madmax, while I agree that Istomin should not be underestimated, he has in fact only won 1 set in three matches against Nadal (the middle set 2 years ago at Queens). He has a very good first serve, covers a lot of court but doesn’t have a lot of fire power off the ground for a guy his size and tends over defend. Should be interesting.


Kimmi Says:

great win for rog, no pressure following this match. just relaxed and enjoy the fed master class :)


Wog boy Says:

When somebody wins eight gold medals and smashes God knows how many records that is OK, nothing suspicious and then one sixtheen years old Chinese girl wins gold and she is a cheat? Silly me, of course there is nothing suspicious, his name is Michael Phelps and not some Chin Chun Chan!
I heard this morning driving to work that fifteen years old German girl won gold, poor girl…. I am waiting for your objective posts.
I remember when Shane Warne (cricket) was cought, it was his mother that gave him sliming pills, no drugs :) then Aussie swimmer and of course it wasn’t drugs just his coach gave him Panadol :) etc etc and of course we have those cheats from China and Eastern Europe how dare they do that:)


skeezer Says:

Congrats to Fed and Stan today! Onwards ;)


Kimberly Says:

When something seems impossible it usually is, the fact that she swam the last 50meters faster then Lochte, I think it’s suspicous, and china has a history,


Wog boy Says:

Eberybody has a history. Some are just better in masking it, if you look in you own backyard you will see it!


Ben Pronin Says:

Everyone is doping, who cares?

I’m sorry but a matured and experienced MALE swimmer in his peak physical years dominating the olympics isn’t that big of a deal. We’re all tennis fans here, right? We’ve seen utter dominance from 3 different players in less than 10 years now. A 16 year old GIRL swimming as fast as a matured MALE swimmer? Are you kidding me?

Honestly, I think someone got the splits wrong. It’s an easy mess up. Sometimes there’s a glitch and the split seconds are off by that much. No big deal.


sar Says:

People were making a big deal about Nole using the egg for US Open two years ago and now we find out on 60 minutes that Phelps is using this thing every day!

http://espn.go.com/olympics/swimming/story/_/id/7556022/michael-phelps-using-hyperbaric-chamber-aid-recovery


skeezer Says:

sar

Re; egg. Not people.

mem.

Remember?


Wog boy Says:

It is not a big deal?…..then why we had to wait 35 – 40 years for something like that to happen (Mark Spitz). It should happen more often if it is not big deal and if that is not a big deal why is a big deal for 16 year old girl to win a gold, believe me it is less of big deal (happens more often) then winning 8 golds in one games. I do have a little knowledge about swimming because my doughter was competitive swimmer. She started as five year old, manly because of helth reasons, knowing the way Chinese are doing the things I am sure Chinese girl was drilled from the same ages every day, I couldn’t do that to my doughter, that is a difference. I let her quit when she told she is not happy any more in the pool, Chinese parents don’t do that. I am not saying that is wrong, just that we are not the same so hats down to them !


tennismonger Says:

round 2 vs Nole on grass + a dash of karma = winnable match for Roddick if he can keep calm


Kimberly Says:

I always overestimate or underestimate roddick. Was nervous when he played nadal at the USO and it was a total rout then thought he hadno chance when he played federer and won in Miami (although fed came put flatamd roddick sprt pf stunned everyone on the third) So I will say its unlikely at this point in his career if he can pull the upset but I will be rooting for him.


Kimmi Says:

yes, that was a great win for fed/stan. they started slow but picked it up later. the final game was very close, glad they were able to close it out.


Wog boy Says:

Very nice article in Sydney Morning Herald by Phil Lutton, just google:

“Don’t Be Too Quick to Question Chinese Success”

Explain nicely few things about Ye Shiwen and particulary that split and why she was faster then Lochte’s 50m but not faster than other four male swimmers. Locthe wasn’t fast at all because he secured win by that time, but take your time and read it, please. It is nice read, particulary for the people that are quick to make their judgment.


Sienna Says:

Maybe judgement has to do with her being chinese and a close trainingapartner of her wasrecently cought with doping.
The Chinese are not well known for their fight against doping
Especially when it comes down to swimming.

Not so long ago the ladyswimmers broke every record possible only to be swom with one of the worldgreatest dope scheme in the world.

If I see a chinese swimmer and she is doing well I am a bit quick to jumpthe gun .

They certainlyhave not got agreat clean history.


Wog boy Says:

Closer to you in Europe: Irish girl Michelle Smith in 90s or another Irish based in USA, Andrew Bree in 2008. There is more…….. but good thing with this Olympic Games is that they are going to keep the samples for next ten years, until now it was three months after the games, to my knowledge. So in ten years time they can test with knew tehnology.
Can you imagine if are able to test today with this tehnology samples from Sydney, Athens or Beijing games. Some of our sport heroes would be disgraced, that for sure.


Margot Says:

Interesting, commentator at the swimming last night was saying that in one of Phelps’ races, the one where he won by 1/100 of a second, a Russian swimmer actually beat him but tapped the board so lightly it didn’t register, whereas Phelps thumped the board and it registered.
So Russian should’ve got the gold.
Company that makes the equipment has released this info. Don’t know a) how they knew and b)why its taken so long to get into the public arena.


Margot Says:

Hi Wog boy, glad you’re back :)


Wog boy Says:

Hi Margot,

Olympic games are too big of an event to miss, so I am back.

Btw, that wasn’t Russian swimmer, it was American born Serbian swimmer Zoran Cavic, I didn’t want to raise that question beeing Serbian, but even my doughter’s coach and few others were sure that Cavic beat Phelps, it was analized and shown on the TV, papers and most were of the opinion that Cavic beat Phelps but somehow he didn’t so Phelps got his eight gold.
I have got to go, thanks for the welcome note:)


Dave Says:

MMT: Your principle applies both ways: I don’t see what is the point of your speculations on my speculations. You don’t think…? You think…? You’re quite certain…? Certainly wouldn’t…? All just speculations on your part. I’ve watched Federer long enough to see the tendency toward more urgency and focus in his play when it’s a tough draw, his schedule is packed or when he needs to make a statement. As well, just because you want to look at my scenarios from Federer’s perspective, doesn’t mean I have to do the same. Relax, they’re just scenarios — if they turn out to be true, I’m going to say I told you so.

*****

Video clip: Denis Istomin vs Richard Gasquet – 2012 Sydney quarterfinal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPNaVrZ-LDo&feature=fvst


Wog boy Says:

Correction,

Swimmer is Milorad Cavic and not Zoran Cavic, I don’t know where did I get that name Zoran from:)


Dave Says:

China’s anti-doping chief hits back at ‘biased’ critics of Ye Shiwen’s Olympic triumph
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jul/31/china-ye-shiwen-critics-olympics


Dave Says:

Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen passes drugs test, the International Olympic Commission defends her and tells critics to “get real”. Michael Phelps coach said she is beautiful technically and that when Phelps showed massive improvement it was down to physical changes as he grew older.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/news/9441110/IOC-tells-Ye-Shiwen-critics-to-get-real-as-swimmer-passes-drugs-test.html


MMT Says:

Dave: I think you miss my point. There is no reason for Federer to tank the Olympics in exchange for retaining #1 a few weeks longer – he can have his cake and eat it too, thus there’s no point in choosing one over the other if Djokovic loses here. And even if there were a reason to choose one, why would he choose the Canadian Masters over Olympic gold, when he has one and not the other.

As for playing harder to win in straight sets specifically to save himself for the doubles and the Canadian Masters, that doesn’t make sense either. Ask any tennis player if they would prefer to win in straight sets or have a long match, they will always choose straight sets. Therefore they would always put forth the effort to win in straight sets, regardless of what matches or tournaments come down the road.

Finally, this whole question of tanking – other than some unexpected results and speculation, what makes you suggest that Federer has ever tanked a tennis match?


Ben Pronin Says:

MMT, please. Dave has insight into Federer’s mind that no one else in the world has. How dare you question his analysis since he’s also the only person in the world to have followed Federer’s career closely? If Dave says Federer is probably going to tank the Olympics, then you best believe Federer is probably going to tank the Olympics!


Daniel Says:

I don’t agree with all Dave’s post but MMT, to me RG 2012 was tanking, and seceral other thought the same, Nirmal i remendr said somthing similar. Is more like lack of effort. He wasn’t in that match with the same hunger as Wimby for example.


Dave Says:

MMT: If we accept that Mary Carillo has more tennis intelligence and experience than Ben Pronin believes he has, then I think you may be able to understand what I’m going to say.

Federer can’t always have his cake and eat it too, no player can so hard choices have to be made given finite physical resources. Even at Federer’s physical peak, there there were indications that he tanked matches or at least was unable to summon the required energy and will to compete in a very few matches. It’s rare but appears to have happened especially when Federer had played or will play a lot of tennis. In this stretch, Federer is scheduled to play five out of next six weeks till the end of the US Open. That’s a ridicuolous amount of tennis for a 31-year old body, and he surely realizes his body will likely break down if he tries to win everything.

At 2006 Cincinnati, CBS commentator Mary Carillo suggested Federer didn’t mind losing to Andy Murray 7-5, 6-4 in the second round of the 2006 Cincinnati Masters. Carillo said she figured Federer wanted to get extra rest ahead of the U.S. Open, which starts Monday. “He wasn’t trying to beat Andy Murray that day,” Carillo said during a conference call with reporters. “He went there because he had to, and he played as though he went there because he had to.”

Although Federer denied Carillo’s claim, a few astute bloggers agreed with Carillo: ” “Fed clearly didn’t look like the Fed that we have known, and I wonder just how much the Swiss wanted to partake in Cincy,” wrote Tennis-X blogger Sean Randall, pointing out that Federer knew well his ranking points situation. “Fed said winning Toronto and Cincy back-to-back was next to impossible. Well Rog, Andy Roddick did it a few years ago if I remember correctly, so it’s not impossible. You just got to want it. But from Fed’s viewpoint, he won Toronto so he basically defended his points from his 2005 Cincy win — anything from this Cincy would have been gravy as they say.”

According to the renown Tennis-X site: “Federer gave a poor effort in his opener against Paradorn Srichaphan in Cincinnati, but the Thai choked when it came time to close out the match. So the Swiss then put in an equally error-strewn effort in the next round against Murray, losing in straight sets…Sometimes players need to take a break.”
http://www.tennis-x.com/story/2006-08-25/c.php

And it makes sense if you understand the context: In 2006, there were no first round byes for top players in Masters events (like this Olympics, you have to win 6 matches to win the title). So Federer played all 6 rounds of Toronto in 6 straight days, but had played three-setters in his last four matches to win the title. If you actually watched Federer live, as I did the quarterfinals and semifinals, you could see he was determined and put in the effort to win those matches. Having left Toronto with the title but depleted, Federer’s next match was two days later on Tuesday at Cincinnati where he would have to win another 6 matches in another 6 straight days, with essentially one day’s break in between.

Although Carillo’s comments angered a lot of Federer fans at the time, it made sense to me. I recalled in 2004, Federer lost the first round of 2004 Cincinnati to Dominik Hrbaty, his buddy and practice partner, whom Fed-at-his-peak should have beaten (Hrbaty lost his next match to a No. 38 Bjorkman, lost the first round of his previous tournament Canada to a No. 61 player and lost the second round of his next tournament Olympics to No. 28 player). But the context makes sense: immediately after Wimbledon Federer won Gstaad (so he played three straight weeks) and then two weeks later won Toronto. At Toronto, a Thursday rainout meant, Federer had to play two matches (R16 and quarterfinals) on Friday. Because of his points situation, Federer didn’t need 2004 Cincinnati.

Although your belief that players “prefer to win in straight sets… they would always put forth the effort to win in straight sets” is a nice beliefe, the fact remains that probably no player is more capable of making it happen than Federer (of course, no human can make it happen every time). And yet if you carefully analyze his matches, there is often less sense of urgency in many tournmanets but in certain tournaments there is more urgency, focus and determination to win more quickly. For example, it’s unlikely to be a coincidence that Federer trounced Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 in only 82 minutes at a 2011 US Open midnight match.

Why Federer would choose the Canadia Masters? Because it never was that high a prirority for him, despite his usual positive statements about how much the Olympics (the event) means to him. If he wins the Olympics, he has only two days to rest, rest recover and train on hardcourts before his first match on hardcourts that he needs to prepare for winning the US Open. Contrary to common belief, the Olympic gold medal is not that prestigious in tennis histpry. Even though Federer does not have an Olympic singles gold, it’s not on Federer’s bucket list. As the Tennis Now website pointed out “(Federer) isn’t as concerned about the results as some of us stat-hoarding, GOAT-comparing tennis enthusiasts… Q. ” In the bigger picture, in your bucket list, is the Olympic gold one of the things you have left to do? You won one, but what other bucket list things do you have?” Roger Federer: “None really. People think I have to gobble up everything to make my résumé as great-looking as possible. It’s not the case. I just play a full schedule from January to November, try to play as well as I can, and enjoy myself really…” After winning the 2011 World Tour Finals, the press asked Federer: “After a spectacular end of the season, regarding 2012, is a gold medal in singles your biggest dream for next year?” Federer answered: “Be unfair to the other tournaments to pick London Olympic Games as my number one priority because I have priorities first before that.”

*****

According to Ben Pronin’s past insight and analysis, Roger Federer is not really No. 1 right now and he did not not win another grand slam… he should be on the way down the rankings waiting to be shipped to a geriatric facility.


Ben Pronin Says:

You know you’re reaching when you have to reference Mary Carillo. And putting words in my mouth, too? Smh.


Dave Says:

Ben Pronin: You know you’re not fooling anyone pretending Sean Randall and senior site writer Richard Vach didn’t also suggest similar things as Mary Carillo and I did. In any case, let’s use our brains for a moment and ask who would intelligent people believe: Mary Carillo… or ben pronin? SMH.

Paraphrasing you wasn’t easy.


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m not pretending anyone. No disrespect to Sean or Richard (and whatever regarding Carillo), but just because they think he tanked doesn’t mean he did. Especially since we’ve seen Federer struggle against Murray before, that match wasn’t exactly a one off. And I’m more inclined to believe Federer, who was quite angry at the suggestion, than any experts or commentators on their speculation.

Just because he’s fatigued, or can’t muster the focus or intensity he needs at all times doesn’t mean he’s tanking. Sometimes you’re just not feeling it as well as you can or playing as well as you can through no fault of your own. Smh.


Polo Says:

Mary Carillo is a loudmouth who just wants to make controversial statements. She is so full of herself and thinks that not only does she know everything but that she even knows how and what people feels. She does that for TV and she has the ability to sway the gullible people. That said, I would not believe Carillo especially when she pretends she can read people’s minds. Nobody can do that. If I have to choose who to believe about how Federer feels, I will believe Federer, not Carillo or anybody else.


MMT Says:

“Even at Federer’s physical peak, there there were indications that he tanked matches or at least was unable to summon the required energy and will to compete in a very few matches.”

What’s the difference, and how can you tell? By the way, you didn’t address the question of how/why logically he wouldn’t just try to win the gold, rather than tank the Olympics if Djokovic loses. Still doesn’t make any sense.


Dave Says:

These dubious views that Mary Carillo’s comments on this issue must be wrong are naive, irrational and at odds with reality. It wasn’t a view comming from left field: not only did Mary Carillo, Sean Randall and Richard Vach suggest that Federer tanked, several other analysts suggested he tanked as well.

Federer himself was once fined for tanking a match and he admitted “the fine was justified” (see link) — so Roger’s record here is not pristine.
http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=3086353

The ATP has a process for determining whether a player tanks a match (code violation for “lack of best effort”). Other players such as Safin, Davydenko, Nastase and others have been fined for tanking matches. Don’t waste our time trying to argue that it is subjective call because such calls are a normal part of human activity: managers in workplaces, teachers in schools, parents of kids all make such judgments whether someone under their authority fails to put in their best efforts..

If umpires can make such calls, well so can analysts. Indeed, as intellligent an analyst as Jon Wertheim suggested that Federer tanked the third set of his 2008 French Open final against Nadal (he clearly described it as a tanking: “once (Federer) gave himself no chance to win, he figured he’d do the next best thing and get the hell offstage as soon as possible. Operating at an auctioneer’s pace, he made only half-hearted efforts to retrieve balls… it was a strictly cover your eyes affair.”). I posted about this just a few days ago, and quoted Wertheim’s text from his book “Strokes of Genius” (go read chapter 1).

Of course Federer is going to call such suggestions absurd. Any top player would be naive to admit he tanked a match because he has in future would be scrutinized.

It’s poor analysis to simplistically excuse Federer’s loss to Murray (“we’ve seen Federer struggle against Murray before, that match wasn’t exactly a one off”). This was during the period when Roger Federer was at the peak of his powers: he lost only 1 of 61 matches between 2006 Halle to 2007 Dubai. This one match he lost was in straight sets to 19-year old No. 21 Andy Murray, lol. Federer had beaten Murray in straight sets in their previous match (their first match). In their next match, 2008 Dubai, a much better No. 11 Murray struggled to beat Federer in three sets (this was Federer’s first match after resting to recover from a bout of mononucleosis and a dangerously enlarged spleen so he played Dubai only a few day’s practice). Indeed 5 of Murray’s 8 wins over Federer came during this period when Federer was slumping between 2008 Australian Open and 2009 Rome.

I don’t have to waste my time further justifying this issue to Pronin, Polo or MMT — since you’re obviously under-qualified on these matters and your personal opinions mean squat. I’ve provided the precedents and rational arguments. You should learn to deal with it.


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t want to make assumptions, but I have to at least venture a guess that Polo, MMT, and various others on this site must be blown away by how ridiculous Dave sounds… Or is it just me?

Just because Federer appears to have tanked doesn’t mean he did. And really? You’re going to reference Federer’s dumb actions when he was just 17 years old to claim validity on what he’s doing at 30 years old? Smh.

Let’s recall what Agassi admitted in his book. In 1996, he purposely tanked his semifinal at the Australian Open against Chang because he didn’t want to face Becker in the final. Then he was upset in the second round of the French by some unknown. According to the media (ie the journalists, and experts, and commentators, etc) he was outplayed by a resurgent Chang but tanked his match at the French. And Agassi even stated that it was annoying how everyone always got things mixed up when the reality is that it was the other way around. He was beaten at the French simply because he was beaten, but, again, he purposely tanked in Australia. So obviously all the pseudo-experts can be wrong.

Oh yeah? Their next match in Dubai? Murray struggled so much, right? Because Murray, who is still criticized for having a not-so-great serve, didn’t face a single break point over 3 sets in that match. Sure Federer won a tie-breaker, but he was no where close to winning that match. It was rather routine, even if it was 3 sets. Slumping, shmumping. I’m not going to say that Murray should always beat Federer, but he’s gotten some good wins over him and deserves credit for them. And what was it that Murray said after Federer made the same claim about Murray only beating him when he was injured? Oh yeah, that several of the times that Federer beat Murray, Murray was also dealing with his own problems. It’s a two way street, this sport is.

Federer didn’t exactly deny tanking the 08 final, either. He admitted that once he was down 0-4 in the third set he basically gave up. Sometimes it’s just not your day, that doesn’t equal tanking. Tanking is when you go into a match ready to throw it, the way Agassi did in 96. I’m not saying Federer has never done that, but there’s no way of telling.

Dave, you have some selective memory going on. So Federer laid in error-strewn performances against Schrichapan and Murray in Cincy, right? Do you remember how he played in Toronto? Nearly every match was a 3 setter. He struggled against Tursonov, Malisse, and almost lost to Gasquet in the final. I’ll admit I forget the rest of his opponents but I know he was playing a lot of long and sloppy matches. By the time he faced Murray, he was simply due for that loss. This was during his prime years where he was virtually unbeatable even when he was playing bad, but even Federer couldn’t delay the inevitable any longer. He was having a crappy stretch.

Irrational, naive, and at odds with reality. Under-qualified and meaningless personal opinions. Smh. Using big words makes you feel good, doesn’t it Dave? I’ve provided some rational arguments with precedents. Assuming someone is tanking a match and pretending you have the ability to read his mind, that’s irrational and quite frankly stupid. MAYBE Federer did tank against Murray, but considering how many matches Federer HASN’T tanked, I’d say it’s more likely he didn’t. Precedent, right? And it’s not up to any of us to decide, we can only speculate.

And I believe MMT is still waiting for an explanation as to why Federer would tank the Olympics considering he’s been going on and on about how much they mean to him for the past 12 years. Where’s the rationale?


sar Says:

Wog Boy
Doping is going on everywhere. We had the Marion Jones track star doping thing here where she even went to jail and now we have Lance Armstrong. I think there was a Canadian track guy too a few years back.


racquet Says:

“others on this site must be blown away by how ridiculous Dave sounds”

Yep. But you must admit, it’s often comedy gold. He’s clearly more interested in provocation than having any meaningful discussions. Just don’t rise to the bait.


Wog boy Says:

sar,

That is exactly what I am saying.


Dave Says:

Ben Pronin: Spare us your hypocrisy. If you don’t understand what you are arguing about, you should not argue for the sake of arguing. You just appear absurd, ridiculous and moronic.

In your idiocy, you have proven your case has no basis: A scenario is simply a projected sequence of events or possibilities. I gave my scenarios of what Federer is likely to do and why (see my posts and NELTA’s post at July 30th, 2012 at 12:35 pm, 12:46 pm and 2:45 pm). These are just scenarios — I don’t have to prove every nut and bolt in my plausible scenarios, and ultimately the scenario either happens or failes to happen. If you disagree with the nuts and bolts of my scenarios, you can take it or leave it (I don’t give a rats -ss). The the burden of proof is ON YOU to prove that my nuts and bolts are invalid and that your version of the truth is valid. You have failed to do so. Instead, what you have admitted is that you have no way to prove that I am wrong and prove you are right (e.g., Pronin: “Just because Federer appears to have tanked doesn’t mean he did… I’m not saying Federer has never done that, but there’s no way of telling… it’s not up to any of us to decide, we can only speculate”). I hope you are not in a job that requires intelligence.

In your idiocy, you have also proven that you don’t understand what you’re yapping about. You incompetently define “Tanking is when you go into a match ready to throw it, the way Agassi did in 96.” Lol. First, in tennis, it is not necessary for tanking to be prearranged or pre-planned, as the player could decide during the match to tank the match (e.g., a player is down 3-6, 6-7, 0-3 in a grand slam, sees no hope of winning, then pretends to be injured and retires). Second, tanking means you took actions or omissions to throw the match — not that you are “ready” to throw the match. Bottom line, tanking or throwing a match means deliberately losing the match or avoiding winning the match (by choosing to take actions to lose the match and/or choosing not to give the best efforts required to win the match).

Stop twisting the facts to misrepresent what Federer said: “Federer didn’t exactly deny tanking the 08 final, either. He admitted that once he was down 0-4 in the third set he basically gave up.” Contrary to your false claim, Federer never once admitted that he gave up. What Federer actually said was that his serve was not working against Nadal and that he was not going to win the match withouty an effective serve: “I think this is what cost me the match, because when I can win my serve, then I always have an opportunity on his serve. But when he keeps on breaking you like this, it’s very difficult when I was two sets down, 4-Love. I mean, I realized there was nothing I could do… all along the match you realize that there is nothing you can do. You’re not going to win.”

In your idiocy, you quoted Agassi. The only relevant things from Agassi are that Andre admitted that tanking does exist (so you are supporting my argument, lol) and Andre said “It’s (tanking) almost harder than winning. You have to lose in such a way that the crowd can’t tell.” Otherwise you’re wasting our time — Agassi is not Federer, and you do not appear to know what actually happened outside of Agassi’s book. You indiscriminately believed Agassi’s claim that he tanked the match because of Becker — but you don’t seem to know Michael Chang’s version of what happened. While Chang agrees that Agassi tanked the match, he disagreed that it was because of Becker: Chang said that he played “very well” in the swirling winds so that “after the first set Andre realized it was going to be too much of an uphill battle so maybe it wasn’t really worth it for him to put forward the effort.” Considering Agassi lost the match 1-6, 4-6, 6-7, it seems to fit what Chang said about it looking like an uphill battle after the first set (in fact the scores suggest that Agassi tried harder as the match developed).

You lack the ability to comprehend what you read: “Dave, you have some selective memory going on. So Federer laid in error-strewn performances against Schrichapan and Murray in Cincy, right?” Duh, it’s the Tennis-X senior writer Richard Vach who wrote that, not me (though I agree with his views). Remember, I quoted: ‘According to the renown Tennis-X site: “Federer gave a poor effort in his opener against Paradorn Srichaphan in Cincinnati, but the Thai choked when it came time to close out the match. So the Swiss then put in an equally error-strewn effort in the next round against Murray, losing in straight sets…Sometimes players need to take a break.” ‘

Your speculations upon speculations that Federer was “having a crappy stretch” and “By the time he faced Murray, he was simply due for that loss” at 2006 Toronto and Cincinnati is hilarious. Were you actually there or did you just check the scores and try to make up stuff? Don’t try to impress us with “Do you remember how he played in Toronto?…I know he was playing a lot of long and sloppy matches.” I actually know because I actually paid for good tickets to sit close to the front watching Federer live against Malisse and also the next night against Gonzalez, and I watched the rest of it on TV. At the start of the tournament Peter Burwash (the renown USTA master professional and TV analyst) noted in his TV commentary that Federer looked sharper at the start in Canada than he had ever been in previous years. The problem for Federer was that he had a very easy draw (playing opponents ranked 36, 33, 27, 41, 16, 51) — even if he had a “crappy stretch”, such opponents should not have troubled him that much or often. After two quick matches, Federer lost his sense of urgency, Federer got sloppy and had mental walkabouts at times especially after winning the first set. The worst match was against his generational buddy Malisse, who although played well, felt more like an extended exhibition match with lots of brilliant shotmaking — nothing wrong with his game — mixed with mental errors at the wrong time (see link). In any case, despite the last four matches being three setters, it amounted to a total of 730 points in 471 minutes. At 2006 Rome a few months earlier, Federer played 811 points 621 minutes in his last three matches two three setters and one five setter) and announced after losing the five set final to Rafa that he still felt fresh.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3yy2_E4IsI

Regarding Murray, use any common sense you have to try to understand: how the hell did 19-year old Murray beat, in straight sets, a healthy Federer at his peak in 2006 Cincinnati — given what happened later at 2008 Dubai? I said that “at 2008 Dubai, a much better No. 11 Murray struggled to beat Federer in three sets” [it was 7-6, 3-6, 4-6] and your brilliant rebuttal was that Murray “didn’t face a single break point over 3 sets”, lol. Doesn’t common sense tell you that an indicator that Murray struggled is that he needed a three setter lasting two hours to beat a compromised Federer (who was playing his first match without much practice in four weeks because he had to recover from his mononucleosis illness — he was unable to implement his usual training in full and he was physically compromised for several months thereafter). As well, 5 of Murray’s 8 career wins over Federer came during this period when Federer was slumping between 2008 Australian Open and 2009 Rome” when Federer’s game was compromised by energy-sapping mononucleosis and/or recurring back injuries.

It does not matter that Federer was 17 years old when he was fined for tanking. He was already a professional. In any case, you are a hypocrite who condemns me for “pretending you have the ability to read his mind” yet who pretends to read Federer’s mind to know what he did were just “Federer’s dumb actions when he was just 17 years” and that it would have no “validity on what he’s doing at 30 years old?” SMH.

Let me make it simple for you: your incompetent personal opinions mean diddly squat, you have failed to prove the validity of your incompetent personal opinions, and you indiscriminately used irrelevant expert comments to try to corroborate your incompetent personal opinions. On the other hand, I corroborated my views by providing specific expert comments regarding specific instances Federer was believed to be tanking.

******

racquet: “He’s clearly more interested in provocation than having any meaningful discussions. Just don’t rise to the bait.”
You must be looking in the mirror when you said this because that accurately describes what you do on the. I’ve yet to see any cogent post from you that’s relevant to the blog topic.


Polo Says:

@Dave: “… not only did Mary Carillo, Sean Randall and Richard Vach suggest that Federer tanked, several other analysts suggested he tanked as well.“

This brings to mind a quote from Berrtrand Russell: “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a wide-spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible”…

In an argument, when somebody starts resorting to name calling e.g. idiocy, hypocrisy, etc., that is a sign that the person is running out of rational argument and is losing, otherwise, he will continue to bring up valid points.


Polo Says:

It is time to leave mind reading and channeling other peoples’ thoughts and go back to tennis, the concrete aspect of tennis where the winner wins, the loser loses which no amount of psychological mumbo-jumbo can alter. I am looking forward to the matches today. Serena will most likely win her first Olympic singles gold.


Ben Pronin Says:

The only thing I agree with is that sometimes a player will choose to tank a match during instead of before. But based on your claims, Federer will be planning his prior.

So now Chang is a better source to what Agassi did during the match than Agassi himself? Wow.

Federer played sloppy tennis during that stretch and it’s a fact. If I had looked up scores I would’ve seen who else Federer had played in that event but I already said I forgot.

I’m sorry, what justice system are you referencing? You made the ridiculous claim, the burden of proof is on you. You have no one convinced of your claims over here. Just because you want to ignore it doesn’t mean I haven’t provided adequate evidence to show your “nuts and bolts” are wrong.

Federer still felt fresh after Rome 2006? That’s why he pulled out of Hamburg right after, right?

Federer said he gave up in 08, it’s that simple.

Common sense? How did a super talented 19 year old with tons of potential that even Federer saw in him upset the reigning champion? Yeah, common sense tells us that’s impossible since that’s never happened in the history of sport. Smh.

In the grand scheme of things, neither of our opinions mean much for anyone, but I’m not making ridiculous claim. Maybe my interpretations are a little wacky sometimes, but at least they’re interpretations, not baseless claims.


MMT Says:

Dave:

“Look to Roger to try to be all-business and win efficiently moving forward, unless Djokovic loses (thus guaranteeing the top ranking remains unchanged for another week so it gives Roger the option to tank the Olympics, leave early and take a short break before Canada — we’ll find out then how much Federer really wants an Olympic gold… or not).”

It just occurred to me what you’re trying to say. If Federer is anything but ruthlessly efficient and effective (because if he’s highly motivated and healthy, he is always ruthlessly efficient and effective) it means he doesn’t really want to win Olympic gold in singles.

This makes two false assumptions – (1) he cannot possibly by highly motiviated AND be less than perfectly efficient/effective and (2) that his efficiency and effectiveness are unaffected by his opponents.

Neither one is the case. That sounds a bit like suggesting he is omnipotent on a tennis court – the only explanation for him not winning with ease against any opponent at any time (or at least any of the opponents left in the draw) is that he is tanking.

Great as Federer is, he is not omnipotent – it is entirely possible that he can be highly motivated, and uninjured, and still have trouble winning a tennis match, even on grass, and even against all his potential opponents in this tournament.


Polo Says:

MMT: This may well be a form of reaction formation on Dave’s part, a defense mechanism, to enable him to cope with the possibility of Roger not winning the Olympic gold. If he wins, because he is really good and efficient. If he loses, its because Roger does not think it is important and he is not keen on winning it. The mind has different defense mechanisms used to handle adversities.


MMT Says:

Polo: I don’t know Dave well enough to know if he is so involved in Federer’s results as need a defense mechanism to cope with a potential loss – seems like a stretch.

But it is safe to say that Dave wouldn’t be the first person to view all of Federer’s results through the prism of a presumption of his omnipotence – in fact he gave us 3 examples of Mary Carillo, Sean Randall and Richard Vach.

It’s a bit like assuming that there can’t be any technical reason why Federer loses so often to Nadal – after all he’s technically omnipotent, so if he loses to someone, ANYONE, that often, it has to be a mental block, because it couldn’t POSSIBLY be technical. But I digress…

BTW Dave: “Federer himself was once fined for tanking a match and he admitted “the fine was justified” (see link) — so Roger’s record here is not pristine.
http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=3086353

This is not entirely accurate: he wasn’t fined for tanking, but for lack of effort, and there is a difference.

Tanking is deciding before a competition (or some portion thereof) that you are intentionally going to lose. Lack of effort can be just that – lack of effort – you can have a lack of effort without tanking.

A lack of effort (from time to time) is part of sports – you get tired, you get injured, you lose motivation, and you have a lack of effort. Tanking is an affront to the sport, because the baseline assumption that everyone is trying to win is what separates sports from the arts and gives it the element of real drama unfolding.

I think your argument would be less extreme and easier to contemplate if you removed the word tanking, because that a very specific and damning meaning.


Dave Says:

Polo: “This brings to mind a quote from Berrtrand Russell.” You should not quote Bertrand Russell who, when asked whether he would be prepared to die for his beliefs, replied “Of course not. After all, I may be wrong.” And don’t waste our time parroting Russell’s beliefs if you are unable to prove its validity. This brings to mind a quote from The Dave: “The fact that an opinion has been deeply held by Bertrand Russell is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a deeply belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

In an argument, it is hypocrisy and bias for a person to accuse one party of name calling but fail to apply the same standards to other parties (e.g., Pronin: “how ridiculous Dave sounds”) as well as to himself (e.g., Polo: “Mary Carillo is a loudmouth who just wants to make controversial statements. She is so full of herself.”)

More evidence of hypocrisy:
- Polo asserts no one can read minds: “That said, I would not believe Carillo especially when she pretends she can read people’s minds. Nobody can do that… It is time to leave mind reading and channeling other peoples’ thoughts”
- But Polo doesn’t apply his own standards to himself. What’s more, Polo goes beyond mere mind reading when he states: “MMT: This may well be a form of reaction formation on Dave’s part, a defense mechanism, to enable him to cope with the possibility of Roger not winning the Olympic gold. If he wins, because he is really good and efficient. If he loses, its because Roger does not think it is important and he is not keen on winning it. The mind has different defense mechanisms used to handle adversities.”
Lol.


Dave Says:

Ben Pronin: “So now Chang is a better source to what Agassi did during the match than Agassi himself? Wow.” The only ‘Wow’ is that you swallowed the words of the former drug addict Agassi over the good christianly Michael Chang. I deliberately quoted Michael Chang because of the contrast of their characters – to highlight your gullibility and to set you up to show how poor your analysis on these issues are. You failed to look for the obvious: that Chang was fully capable of beating Agassi at the 1996 AO and that Agassi was likely covering up for his humiliating loss to Chang during his long slide down the rankings.
- Agassi had begun his slow decline from No. 1 in October 1995… to No. 2 at end 1995… to No. 9 by August 1995…. to No. 141 in November 1997 (in 1996 Agassi failed to reach the final of any grand slam). On the other hand, Chang was hot and going up in the rankings: he reached his highest ranking of No. 2 by 1996 US Open, and reached the finals of both hardcourt grand slams (AO, USO) that year. Chang had reached the finals of the year end championships just weeks before that Australian Open.
- Chang was capable of beating Agassi in hardcourt majors in 1996. That year, Chang had a winning 3-2 H2H against Agassi all on hard courts: Chang beat Agassi in straight sets at Australian Open (6-1, 6-4, 7-6), Indian Wells (6-7, 6-2, 6-1), US Open (6-3, 6-2, 6-2) and lost only on the faster hardcourts of San Jose and Cincinnati. Note that Chang’s beatdown of Agassi at the US Open was even more emphatic – did Agassi also tank the USO match to avoid Pete Sampras who winked at Brooke Shields, lol?
- Their Australian Open score 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 did not indicate that Agassi was tanking but instead that he was trying harder and harder to win the match, lol.

Ben Pronin: “based on your claims, Federer will be planning his (tanking) prior.” Not necessarily. He could have made the decision to tank after winning Canada… or while he was flying to Cincinnati…. or when he arrived in Cincinnati… or while he was playing his first round match… or while he was feeling the aches and pains while trying to sleep that night… or when he woke up the next day feeling aches and pains… or while he was playing Andy Murray.

Ben Pronin: “Prove your claim: “Federer said he gave up in 08, it’s that simple.” What exactly did he say that leads you to that conclusion? Give us actual evidence and links, not your dubious words. If Federer admitted he gave up, why didn’t any credible news source report that Federer admitted giving up? It would have been sensational news to report.

Pronin: “Federer played sloppy tennis during that stretch and it’s a fact.” Who is more believable on Federer – you or The Dave? You and your dubious claims and arguments…. or Dave who actually was in the stadium watching Federer play live during that stretch (as well as who watched Federer live since 2004 on many occasions and who started watching Federer since he beat Sampras in 2001) — and the Dave who brilliantly analyzed and predicted Federer’s return to No. 1? Federer’s level was very high even that week in 2006 Toronto. But with all the top seeds losing early he appeared at times to lose his sense of urgency, his focus and concentration in matches he should have won in straight sets. He played sloppy tennis during mental lapses but otherwise his level was very high (as anyone can see from the clip of his match against Malisse in Toronto). Yet when I saw his matches against Srichapan and Murray at Cincinnati – this was a different Federer who appeared to put in less effort, even though Roger was the defending champion (the previous year Roger took an injury break after Wimbledon, skipped Canada, then immediately won Cincinnati on the fast hardcourt he likes).

Pronin: “a super talented 19 year old with tons of potential…” Federer was already playing a level of tennis in 2006 Toronto that should have been sufficient to beat whatever No. 21 Murray threw at him in Cincinnati. It was not just against Murray – Federer’s level against Srichapan as well was also lower than in Toronto. Even the Tennis X writer noticed this.

Pronin: “You made the ridiculous claim, the burden of proof is on you. You have no one convinced of your claims over here.” It is delusional to believe that you, Polo and MMT make up everybody, lol. And yes, if you want to challenge my scenarios and arguments then the burden of proof is on you. Otherwise your challenge is baseless, duh. I am not the only insightful observer who reached those conclusions – so did Mary Carillo, Richard Vach, Sean Randall and several others.

You have yet to show us even one tennis expert who can substantiate or support your incompetent views. In the grand scheme of things, you haven’t proved squat or challenged my views successfully.


Dave Says:

MMT: You’re not as bad as Ben Pronin and Polo, but this is what is wrong with your logic: you make bad assumptions based upon bad assumptions. You make a bad assumption, and then you make two further bad assumptions tied to your first bad assumption (which was probably caused because you failed to look for the easiest and simplest meaning of what I said). MMT: “It just occurred to me what you’re trying to say. If Federer is anything but ruthlessly efficient and effective (because if he’s highly motivated and healthy, he is always ruthlessly efficient and effective) it means he doesn’t really want to win Olympic gold in singles. This makes two false assumptions – (1) he cannot possibly by highly motiviated AND be less than perfectly efficient/effective and (2) that his efficiency and effectiveness are unaffected by his opponents.”

First, I clearly stated “Roger TO TRY” instead of “Roger will be“ – do you understand the difference? Second, I wrote “Look to Roger to try to be all-business and win efficiently moving forward” because it is common sense: Federer has finite physical resources that he cannot waste in a packed schedule: (a) singles and doubles in this Olympic tourney and (b) five weeks of important tournaments (in terms of ranking points) in the next six weeks. If Federer is stuck in too many three setters not only will he be exhausted and risk injury, he risks setting himself for failure right at the start of this six week stretch that will affect his latter tournaments. This is what happened to him during the clay season, when his injury at Madrid impacted his success even in the French Open.

Based on your bad assumptions, you go on to make an idiotic assumption: “That sounds a bit like suggesting he is omnipotent on a tennis court… Great as Federer is, he is not omnipotent “. It’s stupid to say any human player is omnipotent since no player in tennis history has been able to win every match. Since I never ever claimed Federer was omnipotent, I don’t have to explain why you made an idiotic assumption. In any case, most people know I base my arguments on probabilities and context: if Federer has been winning at 90% rate since US Open, then he has a 90% chance of winning, with adjustments based on context (form, opponent, surface, occasion, etc.). The same logic applies to expectations of Federer performing in a certain manner (e.g., winning in straight sets): go find out Federer’s record since US Open on winning in straight sets and winning against opponents outside the top 3 ranked players. No player is guaranteed of a win, but the probabilities can show how likely he is to win. To disregard Federer’s track record is just poor analysis and bad thinking on your part.

The phenomenon of tanking had been proven by Agassi’s own admission. Your definition of tanking is wrong and your remaining arguments about training are a waste of my time to address.

You, Ben Pronin and Polo have not thought through your arguments. You’re arguing for the sake of arguing, sometimes idiotically. And you’re wasting my time when you do so.


MMT Says:

Dave, I think your whole point was that Federer will try to be all business unless Djokovic loses, in which case if he doesn’t really want Olympic Gold, he’ll tank.

My point is that if Djokovic loses, there is no reason for him to tank because what gets in exchange is less of a lead in the rankings and a shot at a tournament he’s already won twice, whereas if he gives it his best and wins he gets more of a lead and Olympic gold, which he doesn’t already have.

As to the question of tanking, yes it is possible for him to tank, and while I think it’s unlikely, that’s speculation on either side of the argument. The question of why he would do it, it seems to me, you’ve given a reason that doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

And I’d like to note that I haven’t insulted or denigrated you in anyway during this discourse, and I think it would be better if you would do the same.


Sienna Says:

Well it is safe to say that Fed will not tank the final.


Dave Says:

MMT: Like Ben Pronin and Polo, you’re continuing to make assumptions, think poorly and waste time. I’ll answer later. I’ve other things to do and post first.


MMT Says:

I’ll tell you what Dave, I’ll save you the trouble, because you’ve spent a lot of time on this and I still don’t have the first clue what you’re saying and I don’t think any more explanation is going to clear it up for me.

Top story: Venus Beats Azarenka, Could Face Serena Saturday In Stanford; Berdych Bounced In D.C.
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