Federer Locks Up No. 1 A Little Longer, Faces Cilic Friday; Djokovic, Murray Charge Ahead In Shanghai
by Staff | October 11th, 2012, 10:47 pm
  • 101 Comments

A week that began with concern turned to celebration Thursday for Roger Federer. The Swiss rallied from a set down to edge Davis Cup friend Stanislas Wawrinka 4-6, 7-6, 6-0 to reach the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals and secure No. 1 for a few more weeks, guaranteeing a 300th week on top Monday.

“Just getting to an incredible milestone, that all the hard work I’ve put in has paid off,” Federer said. “I never give up. Show up, tired, injured, doesn’t matter how I felt mentally so many times over the years. It’s gotten to this incredible number of 300. It’s a great reward for me. I feel a great sense of satisfaction because of that incredible number and because of all the effort I’ve put into it. I know how much work it has been.”

Federer now faces Croat Marin Cilic Friday in the quarterfinals, with a possible date against Andy Murray on Saturday. That is if Murray, an easy winner over Alexandr Dolgopolov, gets past Radek Stepanek on the quick Shanghai courts.

“He’s a character on the court,” Murray said of the Czech who upended John Isner. “He likes to entertain, too, and can frustrate guys. I’ll need to make sure I’m focused and patient and take care of my side of the court tomorrow.”

In the bottom half, Novak Djokovic remains a threat after dispatching Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-3. Next for Novak is 34-year-old Tommy Haas, a winner over another Serb Janko Tipsarevic.

Djokovic lost his chance at No. 1 this week with Federer winning, but he knows there’s more opportunity ahead.

“I think it’s fair to say it has been quite an evenly balanced year between the four, if you want to call it,” Djokovic said. “But it hasn’t been over. There’s still a few more big events to come. Still there are things up for grabs, like No. 1 place in the world. It’s something that gives me a lot of motivation with Roger also.”

In the first quarterfinal and maybe the best, former Grand Slam finalists Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych clash.

STADIUM start 2:00 pm
[5] J Tsonga (FRA) vs [4] T Berdych (CZE)
Not Before 3:00 PM
[3] A Murray (GBR) vs R Stepanek (CZE)
Not Before 6:00 PM
T Haas (GER) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 8:00 PM
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs [10] M Cilic (CRO)
E Butorac (USA) / P Petzschner (GER) vs M Cilic (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) – After Suitable Rest


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Roger Federer Confirms Shanghai Participation
Tsonga, Del Potro Make Shanghai Masters Cup Debut Sunday
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101 Comments for Federer Locks Up No. 1 A Little Longer, Faces Cilic Friday; Djokovic, Murray Charge Ahead In Shanghai

roy Says:

stan is so mentally tough, if only he had a great all round game, excellent serve, backhand, perfect height for tennis,ability to match it with the best players out there, he could be a real contender. oh well.


Humble Rafa Says:

“I think it’s fair to say it has been quite an evenly balanced year between the four, if you want to call it,”

Yes, I remember winning a few things early in the year. Now my wins are limited to Playstation wins.


racquet Says:

Berdy beats Tsonga in straight sets. Looking formidable.


racquet Says:

Real dog fight in this match. Stephanek turning back the clock and playing old school tennis. Andy not playing his best but finds a way to break and lead in the 2nd.


steve-o Says:

Murray just said aloud, loud enough for the entire world to hear, that he’s sick and “shanking” and “playing so bad.” He might as well just bend over and invite Stepanek to kick his ass?

If you’re sick, the last thing you do is say it during a match!


racquet Says:

After going down a break Andy responds like a champ, breaks back and storms away with the 3rd set. Stephanek really played well. Andy better practice hard and recuperate because on this form he’ll be eaten for breakfast by either of his next opponents.


alison Says:

A year ago Andy would probably have lost a match like that,now he knows how to find that extra gear,a tricky match,i doubt he will get that same luxury starting so slow against Roger most likely,still a wins a win,hopefully he will play better next round.


alison Says:

Hopefully Haas can put up a good fight against Novak,whos playing fantastic,although things seem to have been too easy for him IMO.


racquet Says:

Haas and Djokovic on court warming up. Another old vs new school type match. Hmm…their H2H is closer than I expected, 3-2 to Nole.


Colin Says:

Steve-o – “If you’re sick, the last thing you do is say it during a match”.

Why, may I ask?


Gannu Says:

Wonder how Haas is withstanding Djoker’s attack and defense…Outstanding points so far and haas is hanging in


the DA Says:

@colin

Some people will always be specifically irked about Andy’s mutterings on court. However, they give Nole a pass when he does it. At the moment Tommy Haas is muttering, including an audible obscenity, and has abused his racquet a few times – but you won’t hear a peep about it. Such is life.


racquet Says:

Yes, I’m impressed with how Haas is hanging in there. Just get the feeling that Nole always can something to outfox him. Still, it’s nice to see Tommy competing at a top level again.


racquet Says:

First set to Nole 6-3.


steve-o Says:

Colin/DA: It’s about the fact that Murray was malingering and trying to lull his opponent into complacency by faking sick. I don’t like that.

Murray’s paid millions to hit a tiny ball around. There are people in this world who have to dig ditches in freezing weather in exchange for a pittance even when they’re sick as a dog. I have no patience with a millionaire who whines about having to play when he has a cold. Especially since he gets a handsome payday even if he pulls out.

If you play, you play. I don’t think Murray was sick at all. He was just losing and blamed some kind of illness instead of himself. Then Stepanek ran out of gas and he was able to pull it.

And DA, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t put words in my mouth. You jumped to a completely unwarranted conclusion that had nothing to do with my point.

Djokovic has also been guilty of malingering in the past, BTW. Although I’ve not ever heard him saying aloud that he’s sick. Maybe he does it in Serbian, though.


steve-o Says:

Haas is playing well in patches but he can’t penetrate Djokovic’s defense with enough consistency. Nor can he do much the Djokovic serve. Still, he’s trying his damndest and making some amazing shots.

His game is very beautiful, and if he hadn’t been in that car accident he might well have gone on to be #1 and make his mark in Grand Slam play.


racquet Says:

Oh my! Tommy breaks.


steve-o Says:

And Djokovic breaks back to love.


alison Says:

I think those Nole fans who were worried about this match,were probably been polite,Haas is managing to hang in there,but its hardly what you would call a contest,Novak is invincible on this surface,the only players that could beat him would be Federer or Murray,Haas got the break of serve then threw the advantage straight back,beautiful tennis,but dissapointing as a contest IMO.


alison Says:

Hopefully Berdych will be more of a contest,dont care for the guy TBH but it would be nice to see Novak tested though.


steve-o Says:

Whom are you rooting for to win the title, alison?


the DA Says:

@steve-o

ha! First you imply he’s giving his opponent an advantage by letting Stephanek know he’s feeling unwell and now you’ve decided it was to lull him into complacency. Very muddled thinking. And btw I wasn’t even addressing you, let alone attempting to put words in your mouth.


alison Says:

Murray err why?


Gannu Says:

tommy is a toast now…poort guy got demotivated once he failed to consolidate the break


racquet Says:

Double break to Nole. It’s all but over now.


alison Says:

Steve O Murrays my second favorite player,after Nadal for my sins.


Colin Says:

Steve-o, now you are putting words in MY mouth, and in Murray’s for that matter. How was he whining about having to play? He was merely lamenting the fact he wasn’t playing well, which most players do all the time, in one way or another, but of course it’s wrong only when Andy does it.

As for those poor slobs working their butts off for peanuts, their plight doesn’t move me in the present context. Many of the fans of various sports are just such unfortunates, but it doesn’t stop them following the sports, and cheering their (overpaid) heroes.

It’s really absurd to say Murray was malingering. If you look at the thread where his match against Dolgopolov, is mentioned, you will see at least two people commented on his coughing and wheezing. Was he faking that, when he was winning the match fairly easily?


the DA Says:

@ colin

Spot on.


racquet Says:

Poor Tommy. Nice mini-comeback but Nole just too strong.


alison Says:

Congrats Nole and congrats Tommy for trying to make a match of it,although i dont think the result was ever in any doubt.


steve-o Says:

@DA: I admit I was deceived: at first I thought Murray was actually sick. Then he turned out not to be.

I should have known better, for Murray has a history of grabbing at his back and legs and moping whenever things don’t go his way. Phantom pains appear when he is down–and then mysteriously disappear when he regains the lead.

I remember a match when he lost to Federer where he punched his racket strings with his fist, drawing blood from his knuckles so that the court officials had to deal with his bloody towels. I was really disgusted by that. Fortunately, he has not done that since so I suppose he has at least learned that much.

My point remains valid: he was just playing possum, which I don’t like. Unlike most of us, Murray gets paid huge amounts of money just to show up regardless of whether he does any work. Whining on live TV about how sick he is doesn’t endear him to me.

And you were obviously referring to my comment when you addressed Colin:

Some people will always be specifically irked about Andy’s mutterings on court.

so I thought I would clarify my point. No one else but me on the thread had talked about “Andy’s mutterings” so you were clearly talking about what I had said, and as you had a mistaken impression of why I had said it, I thought I would correct you.


steve-o Says:

@colin: I heard his words. He said very distinctly “I’m sick” and shortly thereafter “I’m shanking” and “I’m playing so badly.” Therefore blaming his problems on illness.

He was totally malingering. It’s fine to be mad at your bad play, but don’t pretend you’re sick. Nothing was wrong with him, except that he was getting outplayed.

If you’re so sick, you don’t play. Simple, yes?

And you’ll hear me critique other players, too. Djokovic was notorious for retiring from matches a few years ago: he almost completed the Career Slam in retirements, except he’s never withdrawn from a match at USO.

The crap Murray gets for his antics is fully justified, IMO. I actually think he gets off very easy, considering how often he pulls it.


Wog boy Says:

ESPN has shown:

Race To London

As of october 12th, 2012

Novak 10770
Roger 9075

I really cannot work it out, if before Shanghai was 1500 points difference and they are still both playing where the he!! from those 200 extra points for Nole came from?


the DA Says:

@steve-o “Then he turned out not to be”

That’s unprovable. As colin stated, he was coughing and spluttering all through his match yesterday and during an interview afterwards. There’s no way you or I can tell how a player is feeling merely by sight.

“No one else but me on the thread”

Bet that as it may, I was thinking of couple of other posters -specifically of one who has whined about his behaviour for two days in a row.


the DA Says:

Another thing, why would anyone who was disgusted or not endeared by a player continue to watch their matches, even when they’re not against their favourite player? I’ve never understood that. Perhaps it’s the joy of kvetching.


racquet Says:

Judging by their form today tomorrow’s match between Nole and Berdy should be a cracker. Now for Cilic vs Fed.


Alok Says:

Steve-o: “My point remains valid: he was just playing possum, which I don’t like. Unlike most of us, Murray gets paid huge amounts of money just to show up regardless of whether he does any work. Whining on live TV about how sick he is doesn’t endear him to me.”

Several people, are in agreement with your comment, even the commentators during the match, Doug Adler, who said he thought that Murray had changed, and a player’s mettle is shown when he faces tough opposition, by not retreating to old habits. John McEnroe at the USO, was not happy with Murray’s behavior and mentioned his back and knee clutching antics, when things get tight. He talked about it as off-putting for the opponent, as in a distraction.

The saying “if you play then you’re fit” should be remembered.

On to other things, it’s nice to see Haas and Steps put up a fight, but Haas is 10 years older than Djokovic and Steps is about 8 years older than Murray. They both had to fight off tough opponents to get to this stage of the tournament, and it shows e.g., their diminshed energy.


the DA Says:

Ah, right on cue.


alison Says:

Virginia Wade said Murray can be a drama queen.


Alok Says:

I heard Murray say very clearly and loudly, “I’m sick, I’m tired and I’m playing so bad.” The commentators even remarked about that comment not being very professional.


Alok Says:

Too bad some don’t like comments, but remember this is a forum and blowing a gasket is not going to stop anyone from stating an opinion. I know it’s the tactics used by some who like to bully others into keeping quiet.


racquet Says:

Cilic and Fed exchange breaks. 2-2


Alok Says:

I watched the Murray and Djokovic matches not because I like to see them play, but to se how Haas and steps were doing. Also, since Fed could possibly meet one of them in the SF, should he get past Cilic, I’d like to see how he’ll match up.


Alok Says:

Fed is making me nervous. dunno how some people claim his draw was easy, because he’s faced the tougher opponents so far.


the DA Says:

“Too bad some don’t like comments, but remember this is a forum”

Comments are fine but incessant whining is grating. Ever since you’ve appeared here you’ve talked about 20% tennis and the rest has been complaining a player or poster. More talk about actual tennis would be welcome.


racquet Says:

Cilic has the game to give Fed a real challenge but he just doesn’t have it mentally. I predict a straightforward win in 2.


steve-o Says:

Federer not timing his backhand well. A mixture of Cilic hitting big and the outdoor conditions, I would guess.


alison Says:

Cilic is a good player,however Roger does everything that much better Roger in two.


racquet Says:

Fed takes the first set. He hasn’t needed to do anything extraordinary.


steve-o Says:

Federer playing ghastly tennis to open the second set. Rushing a lot of volleys.


Alok Says:

DA, I’m not going to answer your exaggerated nonsense. How mujch tenniks did you talk, other than defending Murray since you’ve appeared today.

BTW, where’s the incessant whining? Show me.I see you and another whining because of some comments from another poster.


racquet Says:

Cilic folding like an origami figure. Blows 3 BPs. Fed is certainly not on top form but doing just enough.


alison Says:

Fed can always find a way through even when not playing his best,Cilic cant stay with him mentally.


Alok Says:

Fed’s rust is still evident. He always finds a way, but it leaves me wondering how is he going to win this tournament playing this way.


steve-o Says:

Federer also has plan B and C when A doesn’t work. But he won’t beat Murray playing this way. Assuming he gets through this match, of course, which is not a foregone conclusion.


Alok Says:

Murray’s sick, so Fed has a chance to beat him, but Cilic is not making things easy for Fed. Fed used to eat up Cilic’s serve in the past, but not today.


racquet Says:

Poor Cilic.


Alok Says:

Fed’s fottwork is sloppy. That last shot from cilic, Fed didn’t even make much of an attempt to get to the ball.


skeezer Says:

Love how play is going quickly. No 35 seconds here.


Alok Says:

Fed’s between points 18 secs, Cilic 24 secs, according to comms.


skeezer Says:

^yep. Sweet ;)


Rahul Says:

Feds obviously not at his best but much better than he was in the last 2 rounds. Im optimistic that he should be ready for Murray.


Alok Says:

Beautiful BH DTL from Fed at 30-30. some vintage Fed but juist shades of.


steve-o Says:

Federer broken after having match point. I knew this was going to be a long day.


racquet Says:

Well well. Who saw that break coming? Still think Fed will pull through.


Daniel Says:

S…t. Cilic save a match point to extend the match. Hope Fed manages to break. Last Cilic service game Was a long game with several deuce. Fed needs to finish this in two to rest.


El Flaco Says:

Fed is so shaky serving out matches.


steve-o Says:

He’ll probably pull through. But he really doesn’t need another three-setter before playing Murray.


skeezer Says:

Quality win, quality opponet. Cilic was crushing the ball at times. Fans love Fed there!

So happy Fed is in ANOTHER Master series semi. The guy overall is still playing well. Agreed he is going to have to be sharper against Murray. Win or lose, he is still competing well


Kimmi Says:

too mant errors federer :(


Daniel Says:

Yeah!!! Onto Murray and Djoko or Berdy. Damm, all opponents beat him this year in big matches.


racquet Says:

Oh Cilic. Fed got a gift there.


Alok Says:

He did it! Now he needs to get stronger for his Murray match.


steve-o Says:

Phew, he breaks Cilic to end the match. Still he will have to up his game a lot if he wants to make the final. Cilic’s errors did a lot of Federer’s work for him.

He’s got no day off to rest, either. Hopefully he can get it together for tomorrow.


Kimmi Says:

lucky!!! cilic was just not stable today. needs to step it up tomorrow..


skeezer Says:

Novak is the sharper of the 4 left imo.

Great lineup for the semis!!


Kimmi Says:

tennistv predictions, federer and djokovic wins tomorrow. lets see.


Alok Says:

Doug Adler picks Fed to win tomorrow and Djokovic to beat T-Berd, making it a Djokovic and Fed final. T-Berd has been strong and djokovic has not been tested at all.


jane Says:

“Cilic folding like an origami figure” – racquet, smiled at that comment. Nice simile.

alison, I wasn’t being polite. Haas is a tough match up for Nole for whatever reason. Most of their matches have been tight. In Canada this year, they went 3 sets. I thought Nole could pull through but I felt like it would be tight after seeing how Tommy routed Tipsy.

Not surprised that Steps pushed Andy either; Radek is such a tricky player.


trufan Says:

Fed’s rust, if any, should be gone now. He has faced three very different opponents – two of them pretty experienced and tough.

He should be fresh enough – he’s played less than 5 hours on court in his 3 matches. His 3 matches put together are almost like the one he played against DelPo in the Olympics semi. But spread over three days, at night, on a fast, low, even bouncing court.

I think he beats Murray tomorrow. Then its anyone’s guess on sunday!


trufan Says:

BTW, when was the last time a player was ranked No. 1 in the world while playing his 1065th ATP tour singles match? I doubt if Lendl and Connors were still ranked No. 1 that late in their careers. They may have some “volume” records, but they were not really slam contendors that late in their careers.

Is that a record (being ranked No. 1 playing your 1065th ATP tour match, or being ranked No. 1 after having won 871 ATP singles matches)???? COuld be.


Sienna Says:

He is going for it/ So that means he will lay it all on the line. We know who we are dealing with. Federer is stubborn enough to believe he can win the race. He could do it because he did it so many times. but I feel he is laying it on the line and it is more important to win WTF or even get ready to rumble down under.

He has a few chances left for slam succes this might be his last hurray for AU Open.

Or is he turning it and is Djokovic biting the bullit to be out of sort for AU Open? Fed has amazed us so many times. Can he outlast the youngsters?


Sienna Says:

So is that the master plan run Djoker down to his last breath in taking the yearend. (foolsgold) Where Fed picks up pace at AU Open for #18???


Brando Says:

Nole looks like the man to beat here, so far.

He’s got a 9-1 record v berdych and i expect it to be 10-1, by sunday.

Of course berdych, absolutely, has the game to threaten nole and maybe even get the win- but it’s a real tall order for him i imagine.

Muzza v fed: pretty much a 50/50 affair. Push come to shove, i’ll have to give andy the edge. He’s got more matches under his belt recently, and did beat fed- comprehensively too- the last time they met here.

Could be a scrappy match also- so winner will be probably reach the final in 3, where nole would await for them.


jane Says:

Nole is 51-1 versus players outside the top 10 this year; the only loss came versus Isner, who was 11th at the time (and moved into the top 10 with that win). He’s only 4-5 in finals, but 3 of those finals losses came against Rafa on clay so no real worries there, imo. The other two losses came against Fed and Murray on hard (Cincy, USO). In terms of who’s beating Nole this year, it’s mainly been the other top 3 of the big four. That said, Berdy is a top ten player, who just beat Fed at the US Open. He does seem to be playing very well though I didn’t see his matches (going by scores and reports), and while Nole has an amazing record over him, you never know in sport. Anything can happen. Fingers crossed!


jane Says:

The year before last, Andy beat Fed handily in the Shanghai final. It seems like they’ve both had some scrappy matches here as Brando points out, so you never know. Hoping for an Andy-Nole final. But it’s hard to say; could be Fed vs Berd too. I am not surprised to see all these guys in the semis; if I were to have done a bracket, that’s the way I’d've gone.


trufan Says:

Nole will send Bird to his Aviary tomorrow. Its just a light snack for him tomorrow evening.

Fed Murray will be tight. I think both will play scrappy at times, brilliant at times, but Fed will get through.

Against Nole, tough to pick Fed as the winner right now. If Cilic could break his serve twice, Murray and Nole will feast on it if he serves like that.

If the old man loses to Nole in the final, he can kiss the year end No. 1 ranking goodbye. I don’t think he cares much now. He probably just wants another, one last Wimbledon title.


Brando Says:

I think fed still cares about the YE no.1 ranking- absolutely certain about this!

What we know about fed and his goals are:

- He likes to set short terms goals and long terms goals.

IMHO, i’m 100% finishing the year as best as he possibly can, by extension as YE No.1, is very much one of, IF not the main one, short term goal.

Long terms- who knows.

Quite simply put, despite the fact that fed has had more success in the game than anyone before him, it’s QUITE CLEAR that the guy just LOVES PLAYING TENNIS.

He isn’t hanging around so he could make more records, set a bar too high for others or whatever else- he’s still here since he just loves playing the game, and wants to carry on doing so for as long as he possibly can.

Setting short term goals is JUST a way to keep motivated, stay hungry, perform to the best as he possibly- since that way, he’ll enjoy being on the court, doing what he loves to do: PLAY TENNIS!


trufan Says:

I checked – Connors was last ranked No. 1 in mid 1983, Lendl in mid 1990. They both had played less than 1060 matches by the time they were LAST ranked No. 1.

So even in terms of sheer Longevity, Federer has this very unique and unbeatable record – Maximum matches played and still be ranked No. 1.

Firstly, very few players even play 1,000 matches in their whole career. Of those who do (or did), none of them was ranked No. 1 past their 1050th match or so (Both lendl and connors are below 1050 in this regard). Fed’s number of 1065 (and counting) is truly a measure of maintaining the highest level of play for SO LONG.

I don’t see why Fed would not play for at least another 2-3 years. As long as he is ranked in the top 4, he has a good chance of going deep and winning titles, everywhere. For him to drop out of top 4 will take a Herculean effort by 4 other players – don’t see those 4 other players right now. Nadal is 26+, Djoke and Murray are 25+, Ferrer is 30, Berdych and Tsonga are also 26+, I think. Delpo is perennially injured. After one year, all of these guys are one year older too.

When Fed is 35, Nadal will be 30, Djoke Murray will be 29. I think he will remain competitive with them, relatively speaking. Don’t see any great 20/21 year old on the horizon right now who could step in and grab 15,000 ranking points right now. All Fed needs is perhaps 6,000 ranking points to stay in the top 4. And maybe just about 3,000 ranking points to stay in the top 8.

I think he will continue to play till he drops out of the top 8. Even in the top 8, you don’t face the big guys till the QF. He could set some serious “volume” and longevity records.


trufan Says:

I am sure Fed still wants the Year end No. 1 – otherwise he wouldn’t have played Shanghai. But its unlikely to be a burning goal for him, otherwise he would have played Beijing or Tokyo.

But his chances pretty much evaporate unless he wins Shanghai. That’s why I think, if he loses Shanghai AND Djoke wins, he will just play Basel and London, and skip Paris.


El Flaco Says:

trufan Says:
BTW, when was the last time a player was ranked No. 1 in the world while playing his 1065th ATP tour singles match? I doubt if Lendl and Connors were still ranked No. 1 that late in their careers. They may have some “volume” records, but they were not really slam contendors that late in their careers.

Is that a record (being ranked No. 1 playing your 1065th ATP tour match, or being ranked No. 1 after having won 871 ATP singles matches)???? COuld be.
———————————————–

I believe Agassi was over 1000 matches when he got back to #1, but he didn’t hold it for very long so he wasn’t number #1 anymore when he played his 1065th match which was sometime in 2004/2005. He was 32 or 33 years old. It will be very difficult for Fed to get #1 or hold onto it at 32/33 yrs old.


racquet Says:

@jane – glad the simile made you smile. BTW, you (and Margot) should see who made the cover of Sports Illustrated China this week.

http://tinyurl.com/9drpv39


jamie Says:

IMO Murray is winning the SF. ;P


jamie Says:

#1 is important but winning Wimbledon 2012 in his 1045 match is Fed’s most important longevity stat. He broke Connors’ record of winning the USO 1983 in his 1035 match. The only close in this stat is Lendl who won AO 1990 in his 1005 match.

Winning a slam after 1000 matches played is rare, only Federer, Connors and Lendl have done it once. Winning two slams after 1000 matches played is unheard of.

Will Fed win another slam and become the first man in the open era to win 2 slams after 1000 matches played?


alison Says:

Jane @10.09am no offence was meant sorry.


lazslo Says:

Murray is such an infant. Was mummy in the stands? I thought Lendl would get him into big-boy pants but the cat is away playing golf.


jane Says:

^ no no alison: that must’ve come out wrong. I was just clarifying is all. :)


Margot Says:

racquet @ 3.41pm
Awesome, just awesome lol…..:)


jane Says:

racquet, nice picture! All that orange is like a radiating sun.


alison Says:

OK Jane.

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