Djokovic Rips Lance Armstrong; Venus, Keys Flop at Australian Open
by Staff | January 18th, 2013, 8:57 am
  • 127 Comments

The seeds started to meet on Friday at the Australian Open, where the men’s top seeds advanced in business-like fashion, and the lower seeds started packing for the long flights home.

In Top 10 play, No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 4 David Ferrer, and No. 5 Tomas Berdych all advanced in straight sets, while No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic barely survived an encounter with French No. 32 seed Julien “United Colors of” Benneteau, needing to take the final two sets to win 6-3 in the third.

The world No. 1 Djokovic said it was not easy against the net-rushing, chipping-and-charging game of No. 31 seed Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, but in his post-match interview the Serb was more passionate about ripping former cycling champ Lance Armstrong.

“I think it’s a disgrace for the sport to have an athlete like this,” said Djokovic of Armstrong’s appearance on the Oprah Show. “He cheated the sport. He cheated many people around the world with his career, with his life story. I think they should take all his titles away because it’s not fair towards any sportsman, any athlete. It’s just not the way to be successful. So I think he should suffer for his lies all these years.”

Made to suffer Friday were No. 28 Marcos Baghdatis, beaten 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 by Ferrer, and No. 26 Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer, subdued 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 by Berdych.

South African Kevin Anderson was the only unseeded player to advance in the eight men’s matches Friday, into round 4 after dispatching of No. 22 seed Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2.

Other seeds into the fourth round were No. 15 Stan Wawrinka defeating No. 20 Sam Querrey 7-6(6), 7-5, 6-4, making a Week 1 exit for the American men; No. 10 Nicolas Almagro past No. 24 “Not From” Jerzy Janowicz 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 6-1; and No. 16 Kei Nishikori dismissing unseeded Russian Evgeny Donskoy 7-6(3), 6-2, 6-3.

Wawrinka will next face Djokovic, and Querrey will next head back to the U.S. to prepare to likely represent the U.S. in Davis Cup play against Brazil in Jacksonville, Fla.

“He played really well,” Querrey said of Wawrinka. “These courts are quick and he has a nasty slice. But I feel good where my game is at and have had a good start to the year.”

On the women’s side it was also a tough day for Americans as teen Madison Keys choked away an opportunity to take No. 5 seed Angie Kerber to a third set, losing 6-2, 7-5, and the blockbuster meeting between former No. 1s Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova was anything but, with the Russian blowing out the elder Williams sister 6-1, 6-3.

Keys looked to have three set points on Kerber’s serve in the second set when a shot spot challenge by Kerber showed the ball barely clipping the line. So instead of 0-40 and three set points, the point was replayed and Keys’ mental defenses fell, not winning another point in the game en route to losing three straight games and the match.

The No. 2-seeded Sharapova looked nearly as dominant as she did in recording two double bagels in the first two rounds, easily bouncing Venus Williams from the event.

“Since the draw came out, I was really looking forward to that match-up,” said Sharapova, who ran out to a 4-0 lead in the first set, and 3-0 in the second set. “I was a really determined player out there because I knew the tennis that she’s capable of producing and playing. Despite what she’s ranked or seeded, it doesn’t matter when you go out on the court. She’s been there. She’s experienced enough to know no matter if you’re playing the third round, the quarters, or the final, you have to be ready. I certainly was.”

In other Top 10 play, No. 4 Aggie Radwanska eased past Brit Heather Watson 6-3, 6-1, and No. 6 Li Na defeated No. 27 Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-1.

“After he start teaching me, I’m always asked about him in press conferences. So, Carlos — you stay here and answer some questions,” Na said about her new coach, Carlos Rodriguez, who guided Justine Henin to fame. “He’s not only a teacher about tennis. It’s not only about technique. He’s also about making my mind more stronger on the court. I feel more relaxed working with him. He never gives me pressure.”

Radwanska tried to explain her 12-match winning streak to the press after defeating Watson.

“Of course, I was practicing hard in the off-season, a lot of fitness, but just feeling good on court,” Radwanska said. “I’m very confident from the beginning and just happy that I can play really my best tennis from the beginning of the year.”

Other seeded winners were No. 13 Ana Ivanovic victorious in the all-Serb match-up against No. 22 Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 6-3; No. 18 Julia “Gorgeous” Goerges outlasting China’s Zheng Jie 6-3, 1-6, 7-5; and No. 19 Ekaterina Makarova upsetting No. 11 Marion Bartoli 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-4.

Ivanovic improved to 8-3 career against Jankovic, and will next face Radwanska.

“She’s definitely matured a lot as a player,” Ivanovic said of Radwanska, who has yet to lose a match in 2013 in her third event. “She was always a very tough competitor. She has style of game that she doesn’t give you much and you really have to work for your points. Being patient is going to be a key…It’s going to be a balance of being aggressive enough and then still patient enough.”

In the only all-unseeded meeting of the day, Belgian Kirsten Flipkens defeated Russian Valeria Savinykh 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

Matches to look out for Saturday in Oz include (1) Victoria Azarenka vs. surging American Jamie Hampton, (3) Serena Williams vs. Japanese sacrifice Ayumi Morita, (3) Andy Murray vs. former junior phenom Ricardas Berankis, (1) Roger Federer vs. Aussie Bernard Tomic “The Tank Engine,” (6) Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, an all-French meeting in (14) Gilles Simon vs. Gael “Force” Monfils, (29) Sloane Stephens vs. Brit comer Laura Robson, and (13) Milos “Big Baby” Raonic vs. (17) Philipp Kohlschreiber.

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Neither Roger Federer nor Bernard Tomic have lost their serve through two rounds…Maria Sharapova has lost just four games in three matches. Sharapova’s game streak was halted at 28 by Venus Williams… No. 5 seed Angelique Kerber celebrated her 25th birthday by beating up on American 17-year-old Madison Keys to reach her first career Australian Open
fourth round…There are no American men left in the fourth round at the Australian Open (again). Bring back Andy Roddick, that’s 37 straight Slams without an American man winner since Andy won the 2003 US Open…All three of Janko Tipsarevic’s wins have gone over three hours…Former ATP Top 20 doubles star Andrew Florent is reportedly battling cancer. According to a story in the Melbourne Herald, the prognosis for the 42-year-old is “dire”…Bernard Tomic gets another go at Roger Federer, can he back up all the talk?…Janko Tipsarevic hasn’t lost a match this year…Kevin Anderson is the first South African to reach a Grand Slam R16 since Wayne Ferreira at the 2003 Australian Open…So why didn’t the tournament play a men’s singles early in the day on Friday?…Sloane Stephens and Laura Robson are the last two teens left in the singles tournament. The last teen to reach the final 16 at the Australian Open was Caroline Wozniacki in 2010…Is Milos Raonic even playing this event? Haven’t heard a peep…David Ferrer will be the top-ranked Spaniard after the tournament…Serena Williams has won 18 straight matches, and 37 of her last 38…Andy Murray has won his last 9 Grand Slam matches…Roger Federer is looking to become the first man to win 250 Grand Slam matches. He already holds the record for the most Grand Slam match wins in history, ahead of Jimmy Connors (233) and Andre Agassi (224).

 


Also Check Out:
Yannick Noah Doesn’t Back Down On Spanish Doping Comments, Avoids Air Disaster
Roger Federer Wants More Drug Testing In Tennis
Gael Monfils Says They’ll Be No Party For His 28th Birthday, He Also Doesn’t Want To Play On Ashe
American Grass Sweep of Pre-Wimbledon Titles for Keys, Vandeweghe
All Americans Out in 1st Round at Gold Coast

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127 Comments for Djokovic Rips Lance Armstrong; Venus, Keys Flop at Australian Open

csebig Says:

Of course Djoko :-). To run five and a half hours at a tennis court is normal :-).


Scineram Says:

Indeed, since the actual play time was one hour.


skeezer Says:

^lol!

——–

“Roger Federer is looking to become the first man to win 250 Grand Slam matches”

Another record going to attain this year? Amazin!


Wog boy Says:

What was the question that Nole answered? He was asked something, wasn’t he?


grendel Says:

Hallo,
I’m not really here, just popping my head out of my winter burrow, because I can’t resist commenting on a player, Sharapova, about whom I have been less than kind in the past.

I have rarely seen such thrillingly aggressive tennis, among men or women, as I did for the first set and a half of Sharapova’s match against Venus. A small lapse from Sharapova when Venus was 0-40 and 0-3, and who knows a second set bagel was in the offing – but it wasn’t to be. Oddly, I think this may have been good for the Russian. Venus Williams, one of the great all time competitors, was back in the match, and how often have we seen her turn these sort of situations around. A lion, a gazelle, but a fox, too, who can spot an opportunity even as her world is crashing about her.

Venus was in good nick today, as indeed she has been for some time now. How good it is to see her back. And it is Venus’ good form which renders Sharapova’s display all the more startling. Yes, the stats point to a high ue count – never believe it. Most of those errors, mostly forehand, were forced. Even those that were not in a sense were – given the intense pressure, exerted by a great champion at the height of her powers, to keep under control a stroke which even in her glory days had a tendency to be brittle.
So we had a match. Amazingly, we saw Venus scampering from one side of the court to the other, as if she was investigating what it must be like to play herself, getting to impossible balls, and sometimes being rewarded. Venus’ defence was impeccable and yet in the end forlorn. No defence, however good, can do more than delay the end against high quality aggression. And the quality of Sharapova’s aggression was of the very highest.

Venus’ serve did not collapse as it can do, but it was no more than adequate on the day. Sharapova’s serve is also of variable quality – but how good it was today, especially the second. That has significance for later in the tournament. And then her movement was breathtaking; Nadal or Djokovic like she would reach a ball on the stretch to exhibit what you’d think would be very fine defence, only to hit an unplayable winner. In short, she would look stranded, but in the end it was Venus who on more than one occasion was left gazing on like a distant spectator. I hope Laura Robson was watching. Unpromising beginnings can, it seems, evolve into top class athleticism.

There was a strange incident as Maria was serving for the match for the second time. She won the point to gain 40-love, only to be obliged to replay this point (which she duly lost) having maladroitly called for hawkeye. Venus was making some kind of comeback, and the error might have proved calamitous. But again, Sharapova showed her composure – which in this case meant staying absolutely aggressive, with no pussyfooting around in the approach to that ever receding tape.
Sharapova’s celebrations were Djokovic like and very intense. She’d earned the right. I was delighted by Venus’ expression as she approached the net for the handshake. She was sporting a wry smile which seemed to me to carry a wealth of meaning. That’s life sort of thing, you can’t win ‘em all – that, of course. But also, a kind of almost fond appreciation of the apprentice’s success. It was as if she were saying: well, kid, you’ve done it at last, and now you know what it’s like to be the best.

Certainly, if Sharapova can maintain this form, she has an excellent chance for the title. I think this form would be too good for the ever consistent Azarenka, and that only Serena at her absolute best could contain it – and even then…

Whilst on the subject of Sharapova, and on a completely different tack – what about those grey underpants, eh? Very forbidding – like a spiky portcullis guarding the fortress. Thus far (you may look, if you must) but no further…I wonder if her new bedmate, Dimitrov, is behind this state of affairs. I couldn’t help but be amused by his refusal to comment and then proceeding to comment in such a way that he might just as well have put his hands up and conceded that it was a good cop, guv. He has yet to learn the arts of evasion as so skilfully practised by our four top lads. Thus he agrees that we all like gossip (and suspect the person who says he doesn’t, by the way) but meanwhile it should be forbidden. Quite what Dimitrov had in mind had me scratching my head. Legislation, perhaps? But could the Australian Government be persuaded to stand shoulder to shoulder with the US Government, and what about the French? An appeal to the United Nations possibly? Or maybe a darker route, covert discussions with Al Quaida……

Time to return to my burrow, bye bye.


Wog boy Says:

skeezer,
Thanks,
Now it makes sense, I don’t like when somebody kicks the person who is already on the ground and Armstrong is on the ground. Whether it is Nole or somebody else. There is plenty of them who were glorifying Armstrong and now will be the first to throw the stone. Nole can stay away from that.


Ben Pronin Says:

“But I think it’s not acceptable that they have physically so much races in short period of the time. I think basically every single day, day and a half, they have to go through 200 miles. Uphill, downhill in Giro D’Italia, Tour de France, that’s inhuman effort. As you can see, Lance Armstrong, many other big champions, had to use something to succeed.”

This is from Djokovic’s interview. Same thing my doctor recently told me, the races aren’t made for regular people to be able to complete. But they won’t shorten the races because then they’ll make less money.

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2013-01-18/201301181358494124258.html


skeezer Says:

i just saw clips from the Armstrong interview.

http://www.oprah.com/own_tv/onc/lance-armstrong-one.html

The media said he was robotic, not forthright, but Oprah asks him right up front about did he take various EPO’s and he said yes multiple times. What more do they need? I thought so far he has been forthright when questions asked.

For those interested part do will be on the same link tonight.

Not defending what this guy but c’mon, he did confess to it all. And he for sure deserves it, like he says, and he messed up big time.


skeezer Says:

^Part 2


skeezer Says:

@grendel

Thanks for showing up and as usual a good read.
“spiky portcullis guarding the fortress”
So articulate ;)


Wog boy Says:

Ben,

Thanks, pretty mature and honest answers.


Wog boy Says:

@grendel,

Now I feel bad I missed Maria/Venus match;)


Ben Pronin Says:

Honestly, Djokovic is either dumb or playing dumb. Anti-doping regulations in tennis, particularly by the ITF, are a joke and continue to be a joke. He really doesn’t think major changes need to be made? No blood passport or anything? Just because the players have to fill something out about their whereabouts they won’t be able to cheat?

And he mentions that there were only a few cases in the last few years… What exactly is that indicative of?

Can we all please finally accept that no positive test results DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING?! Not a single thing. Lance doped for how long? A decade. How many times did he test positive? 0. So when people want to defend someone specific, or the sport, by saying “show me the test results,” it’s a worthless counter. Testing sucks, it’s not strict enough in any sport, and even if it was, it’s not as advanced as the doping techniques. Especially after the Armstrong case (which has always been obvious) I have no reason to believe tennis is squeaky clean. I have all the more reason to believe Christophe Rochus. And even the wild and wacky Yannick Noah.


Wog boy Says:

Isn’t that job for officials and not for the players. What did you expect him to say ” I am not happy with antidoping test or programs and I want them to hit us harder, ” what the other players would think about him. He is the player, it is not his job to think a about antidoping tests, there are people who are paid to do so.


Ben Pronin Says:

Murray and Federer came out and said it just a few months ago. If the players don’t press for it themselves, who else is going to care? Who’s more upset about Lance’s doping, his fans, or the rare clean competitor he may have faced? Does Djokovic, or any other presumably clean player, want to lose to a doped up player? Or even face one, for that matter? No. So he wants to make sure that doesn’t happen, especially as one of the top and most influential players, it is very much in his own best interest to say the system sucks and it should get even better. If the players can push for more prize money, they can just as easily push for more stringent testing. Priorities, right?


Ben Pronin Says:

What other players would think of him? Well the clean players would say “hell yeah, Novak!” and the doping players would say “oh no, Novak, testing is stringent already wah wah wah…” Not really his problem in the grand scheme of things, though.


nadalista Says:

^^^amen,Wog boy! Most sensible post I’ve seen on these boards in a long time.


skeezer Says:

Ben,

The problem with this whole doping thing is the very top players or competitors in there respective sport have proven they can manipulate and scheme the sport. Not saying they are but the fact remains they CAN. How do you fix that? (Bonds,Armstrong, etc)


skeezer Says:

Your saying its the job of the officials. Really? Its all about the money…follow the money…anyone can Possibly get paid off. Officiating can become just as corrupt. Keep reading the Armstrong story as it unfolds.


Wog boy Says:

I read it, it wasn’ really big push just their opinion that they wouldn’t mind if they are tested more often, anybody can say that. You cannot compare money asking since they are all for it and antidoping testing since they are not all for that, somebody is happy with present situation and somebody is not. That means to push players against each other. That why we have officials who can, if they want, to introduce any kind of antidoping testeting. Players cannot stop them, so let them fo the job they are paid for.


Ben Pronin Says:

I can’t comment on Bonds’ personality, but it’s pretty clear Armstrong is a typical alpha male who’s generally pretty selfish. Simply put, he’s not the greatest guy around, and I don’t have a huge issue with that because at the end of the day, there are millions of people like him.

Somewhat fortunately, I can’t see Federer, or Djokovic, or even Nadal being so manipulative. Doesn’t mean they’re not, but Lance always gave off that arrogant, conceited vibe, these guys don’t.

Here’s the fact, Lance Armstrong could go down as one of the most influential athletes of all time if he uses all of his knowledge to help every anti-doping agency seriously step up their games and crack down on systems and individuals. Bonnie D Ford put it best, “He is a walking, talking Rosetta Stone who could almost single-handedly light the match that finally leads to much-needed reform of the international federation that runs cycling and dismantles the questionable cabal that oversees it in this country.”

Damn straight. He can take all of this negative and turn it into the biggest positive. Weed out all of the other Armstrongs out there and put a stop to it. Lance admitted he didn’t start the culture but didn’t stop it, either. Now he has a chance to stop it. I doubt he will, doesn’t seem like the type, but that would be the single greatest thing he could do.


Wog boy Says:

I read it, meaning Andy’s and Roger’s opinion and not Armstrong case.


Humble Rafa Says:

“Roger Federer is looking to become the first man to win 250 Grand Slam matches”

Another record going to attain this year? Amazin!

After the Arrogant One wins 250 grandslam matches, he will go for his 251st win, another record.


jane Says:

“Venus was in good nick today, as indeed she has been for some time now. How good it is to see her back. And it is Venus’ good form which renders Sharapova’s display all the more startling. ”

I agree about Venus’ form of late. I didn’t see the match but I enjoyed your summary!


alison Says:

Venus played well shame that she couldnt push the match to a 3rd set,i think its one of those days when you have to take your hat off and just say hey too good,im in agreement with Grendel in that if she keeps playing the way she is,that she might actually win the title,this is the best ive seen Maria play in a long time,although Vika and Serena are both playing fantastic,also Maria has played a former GS champion,so it could be argued shes had it harder,while the other two woman have not,be interesting to see how they fare,when they both get to the later rounds.


courbon Says:

Novak was honest-gave straight answer.His opinion.Novak is not diplomatic person I guess…but I do not see a problem with his answer.


Brando Says:

WOW, I am very surprised at Nole’s comment’s.

However, VERY PLEASENTLY so.

His answer re the Armstrong/ Doping was very mature, forthright, direct, free from the PC BS and just plain old: RAW HONESTY!

He’s completely spot on in IMO re Armstrong!

BOTTOM LINE:

Armstrong is a cheat! He conned not only the governing body of his sport, his peers, followers of cycling but also the GENERAL PUBLIC who pay no attention to cycling (such as myself) but yet were aware of Armstrong and his exploits since they were heralded in such high esteem!

He basically conned EVERYONE into believing he was a man who truly had achieved something monumental, historic and quite honestly heroic when considering his illness.

And yet ALL ALONG he was nothing other than a CHEAT, who was more than happy to bask in the spotlight and enjoy all glory that came with what people had believed he achieved honestly!

Nole’s right: What Armstrong did was a DISGRACE!


Brando Says:

@Courbon:

‘Novak was honest-gave straight answer.His opinion.Novak is not diplomatic person I guess…’

That’s what i really like and admire about nole’s personality (and Andy Murray’s too) from afar:

Nole seems to be very honest, direct, matter of fact and free from the PC crap!

He’ll give you an honest answer as opposed to the correct one or ‘controversy free’ one!

I like that ALOT about him!

Kudos to nole for not being afraid to speak his mind and answering a hot topic question honestly!


Colin Says:

The argument that goes “The fact there is no proof X happens, doesn’t mean it does not happen” falls foul of the most basic rule of debate or argument. That rule is: if someone makes an accusation, the onus of proof is on them to prove it, not on anyone else to disprove it.
In any case, it is usually impossible to prove a negative. I take it nobody thinks Federer uses drugs, but it would take a lot of effort and wasted time to PROVE scientifically that he doesn’t. So we carry on assuming he’s innocent.

In the case of Armstrong, much has been made of the fact that much of the evidence against him came from men who had themselves cheated. But if you oppose this, you have to oppose the police using informers, which we all know they do.


courbon Says:

@Brando-You said that better than me…


Ben Pronin Says:

Novak has been extremely PC for years now. Armstrong didn’t cheat, it was a level playing field.


courbon Says:

@Ben;You are right about Novak being PC in the past.Most sportsman sound all alike and that goes on my nerves.Or all popstars…so PC ,that is too much.Like nobody has angry bone in their body (like us, normal people-like you getting pissed of on the tennis blog!)!So I like his answer this time!I guess, maybe harsh but his is 25, full of testosterone…


Rahul Says:

@Courbon:

‘Novak was honest-gave straight answer.His opinion.Novak is not diplomatic person I guess…’

I dont agree. Ever since the US Open booing incident with Roddick, I felt Novak became more guarded. Im glad he was outspoken in this case, and hope in the future he gives more open pressers like Roger ;).


the DA Says:

The cheating argument is purely semantics. The guy lied, threatened team mates and journalists, turned people’s lives upside down and sued for libel – winning damages. He was clearly delusional in the interview and I wasn’t buying the repentant act.

Enough about him. Back to tennis. CNN did an amusing Q & A with Ferrer, Berdy, Andy and Tipsy. Berdy’s answer to who has the best FH is classic and speaks volumes about him (skeezer, you’ll especially love it).

http://youtu.be/LYksNwKIQek


Ben Pronin Says:

“The guy lied, threatened team mates and journalists, turned people’s lives upside down and sued for libel – winning damages.”

By far the biggest crime he committed. Would this be such a big deal if he was a nice guy who doped? No. And I agree that he doesn’t seem very sorry. In fact, he’s sorry he got caught. He said he wouldn’t have been sitting there with Oprah if he hadn’t came back in 2009 and that was very clearly his biggest regret. The guy is a jerk, and a bully, no denying. But you can’t deny that this revelation should do a lot of good for anti-doping. Maybe instead of focusing on his dumb apologies and whether he’s penalized or not, we should focus our energies on preventing this from happening again.


Humble Rafa Says:

Armstrong didn’t cheat, it was a level playing field.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

It leveled the playing field, sure. But he did cheat. Let’s not lose sight of that fact.


Ben Pronin Says:

cheat –
Verb
Act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, esp. in a game or examination: “she cheats at cards”.
Noun
A person who behaves dishonestly in order to gain an advantage.

Where’s the advantage if everyone does it?


the DA Says:

@ Ben – BTW, that article you referred to by Bonnie D Ford is one of the best I’ve read about Armstrong.


Ben Pronin Says:

I have a few problems with it but overall, yeah, it’s the best one I’ve seen so far.

On a tennis related note, a lot of players have yet to lose serve through 2, 3 rounds now. The courts must be playing significantly quicker. Maybe the tournaments took notice after Federer said varying court speeds could lead to more interesting results?


jane Says:

Thanks DA – loved that rapid fire clip. :)


the DA Says:

@ jane – It was fun. I think skeezer will like the middle but Brando will like the answers most, particularly at the end.


courbon Says:

@Rahul-I know.If you look at my post above yours, I admit that Novak was also quite guarded in the past…


skeezer Says:

Thanks DA, and you’re right. Birdsh!t holds true to form..lol. And yes enjoyed the props to Fed;)

liked all the answers from them on actors, all my favs also!


Brando Says:

@the DA:

Thanks for that. Your right: I did love most of it particularly the end! :-)

I love how Muzza consistently gives props to rafa. Rafa also has returned the compliment himself: always supporting him as a player and backing him to get that GS.

Love the acting bit also: Tipsy choosing DONNIE BRASCO (comfortably Johnny Depp’s best non-quirky role performance and a masterclass in subtle acting by Al) and loving AL PACINO =

Gaining a new fan in myself! :-)


alison Says:

Brando exactly you said pretty much what i was thinking, i loved the DAs link and what the players and Murray said about Rafa,and Rafa was always saying how much Murray deserved a GS,i loved it when both of my favs each won a GS last year,and if this year is a repeat of that one and be just as happy,go Andy,go Rafa.


alison Says:

If or when Andy faces Roger in the semis of this AO,then i think that there will be a difference,im not saying Andy will deffinetly beat Roger as nobody knows that yet,but this time Roger will be facing a different more confident Andy whos actually a GS champion now,and capable of beating the worlds best over 5 sets too,not the same Andy who was the top guys whipping boy anymore,JMO.


Wog boy Says:

jane,

I have the match last night and I am quite happy with Nole’s performance. It was the match he needed, match you don’t usually have a chance to play these days. It was obvious that Radek had a plan and knew the way Nole usually play first ball after his oposition serve so his was running stright after serving towards tha part of the net (court) without guessing expecting that ball will come that way, and it worked but not to degree to beat Nole. pretty high quality match, one of commentator said best so far at AO what is dabatable IMO. Nole did overcooked few FH, but not to many, mat4 is just too picky;)


Wog boy Says:

“I have WATCHED the mach” should say.


jane Says:

^ Wog boy, totally agree with you assessment of the Steps match; it was a good match, i.e., entertaining, and it was a good test or switch-up from the other matches he’d played.


Alok Says:

I’ll disagree with those who stated Venus was in good form. I guess I saw a different match from some others here.

Venus could hardly run to get the balls, that’s what happens when someone contracts an immune disorder. One day they can do something, the next day they lie prostrated on their beds for several hours and many days after. The woman was a shadow of herself. How can an yone say she was in good form??

The ESPN commentators were outspoken about Sharapova’s display after winning points. At one time, both Chris Fowler and Pam Shriver said, ‘why does Maria have to win every point, she’s wining and has 5 games in the set, about to close out the match”. No one on that team liked her over the top celebration after winning points after Venus’ many FH errors.

The comms said it was a mismatch. Sharapova at the top of her form and Venus struggling just to maintain some kind of form.

Venus made tons of FH errors, which she is prone to do, butit’s the weak part of her game. She couldn’t win a FH shot for her life. Meanwhile sharapovas was screaming her lungs out and ripping everything. I hope serena will give her a good walloping when they meet for her efforts in trying to humiliate Venus. The shrieker wanted every point.


RZ Says:

More doping control/testing would be a good thing, especially as that one Italian doctor is linked to tennis, and as now everyone looks at all sports suspiciously thanks to LA. But they need a smart program, and one that won’t make headlines for silliness, like Richard Gasquet’s suspension for trace amount of cocaine, a non-performance enhancing drug.


Alok Says:

Also, when Venus shook hands with the shrieker, it was very cold, and her faace was masklike, not smiling, as though she felt Sharapova was better. I think she felt humiliated, as it’s obvious the shrieker wanted to bagel her. And, her demeanor was not one acknowledging the other was better.

And when Venus walked off thecourt she looked like she was about to cry.

Sharapova is classless. Decent playhers never want to humiliate a great champion, who’s earned more than they. They show respect, except the shrieker has none. she could have wan the match minus the ugly clebration after each point, and the histrionics of the over the top fist pumping. classless down to her bleached dark roots.


Wog boy Says:

RZ,

Don’t you think drugs are just that, drugs. There is no good or bad drugs. Of course he is going to be banned if he uses cocaine. What kind of message is that to young people, if we say .. ” OK, it is not PED so it is not bad” and that kissing story sucks but OK, Gasquet got away with that.


Alok Says:

There are people who believe tennis is dirty at the top, but are holding their tongues and waiting for the other ball to drop.

The easiest way to take suspicion away from a player is for him to pretend that doping is not good for the sport and denounce it as cheating, b lah, blah, blah.

A lot of people feel that those players who are able to play back to back matches for several hours are doing so with substances that are overlooked. We’ll see what will happen if the hammer were to drop.


lazlo Says:

I believe at the very least, the top 5 are doping. I wish it weren’t so but I think this is a reality. I also believe the ATP would protect them if they were to get caught.


lazlo Says:

ALOK,
I don’t know about this Venus thing. Yes, she’s weak, sick, miserable and I feel sorry for her. The great Roger Federer once told a sickly Novak Djokovic, “If you’re sick then don’t play.”


Wog boy Says:

Hampton is pushing Azarenka hard, I haven’t seen this girl before, she plays good tennis.


Humble Rafa Says:

There are people who believe tennis is dirty at the top, but are holding their tongues and waiting for the other ball to drop.

The Egg Lover sits in an oxygen chamber. That help him for sure. It is legally allowed doping.


chofer33 Says:

For all the talk of the young female players: Watson, Robson, Keys, bla, bla, I am most impressed of Hampton. Very impressed. I know she’s not “young” like the others. So call her a “newcomer”.
She’s channeling Amelie Mauresmo in ways I had not seen it coming!! And that’s a good thing for all the boring ball bashers out there (except Radwanska, to be fair)Power AND variety = strategy.


Alok Says:

@lazlo, I know about if you’re sick don’t play, but in Venus’case, she’s had 2-3 very bad years until she finally found out she had the immune disorder and began treatment. I’ll make an exception for her or any sick person, e.g., soderling if he were to return, and give them kudos for trying. However, to a spectator, it’s obvious that Venus was struggling in her match previous to sharapova, but she had a very low ranked competitior, so it appeared that Venus was in form. The real test is when she faces a top player, then her poor state of health comes to the fore.

I give her kudos for trying, but I do disagree with some who feel she’s in form. How could she be, ranked at 24, and not played for 2 full seasons prior to the AO?


Alok Says:

@lazlo, I agree with you that ATP would protect some players. They clamp down on some low-ranked players, but they’ll never expose a top player, because those top players rake in the dough. it’s that simple and no rocket science involved.

It’s a shame really that the greed of money allows wrongs to be swept under the rug.


Alok Says:

I should add, tennis higher-ups don’t want for tennis to be smeared because the sport is still growing and world-wide acceptance is needed to make it even more strong. Hence, why would ATP, ITF want for there to be other than perfect players.

The right type of testing should be blood tests, not urine. EPO and some other enhancing drugs exit the human body via sweat, after a few hours, thus, how would they be able to find it in a urine test, especially if the player takes a bathroom break in the middle of the match.

What I find to be ridiculous is that ATP only tests players when they lose. I’m sorry, but I don’t see the correlation between the two. Why aren’t the players tested when they win a greuelling 5 hour match? To me it would make more sense, that doing the opposite, only when they lose, and are at home on vacation, etc.

No player would need to take an enhancer when he’s home sleeping or out of competition. Blood testing is seriously needed and on a more frequent basis, but only my opinion.


Alok Says:

@HR, WADA and ITF, have said they don’t like the use of CVAC, but are dragging their feet because they’ve put it on the back burner. Anything, be it a device or a substance that gives one athlete more of an advantage over the others should be disallowed. However, WADA is supposedly still waiting for more evidence before coming to a conclusion. In the meantime,…… well you know ……..


lazlo Says:

From what I have read the CVAC is used by NFL players, Christina McHale and Michael Phelps, among others. In fact, there was a show around the Olympics on 60 minutes that said Phelps was using the CVAC 365 days a year before the event. I think you can see the segment online. Trust me, if the US is OK with McHale and Phelps using the egg, they will continue to keep it on the back burner. Besides, Phelps will have to give up all his medals. No way the US is going to press it.


Wog boy Says:

I guess anyone can use CVAC, if that is what you need to win multiply GS and become #1. It is not so expensive and how do we know if somebody is using it or not. You can put it in spare room, what about Michael Phelps and others, does that mean he didn’t deserve his gold medals? It is there for everybody to use it. O yes, sorry I forgot, Novak is not Michael Phelps:(


Alok Says:

The CVAC is nothing country related. Novak did state he was using it and when others questioned his rise in performance in 2011 then it raised concerns.

From what I’ve read, CVAC does give an athlete an advantage in performance, and if that is so, then the authorities who oversee drug testing and use, should do something about it. It takes away from alevel playing field, IMO, and it was stated by one organization that it provides an unfair advantage to the users. That’s their problem, and they need to do something about it if it is giving some players an unfair advantage. I suppose they’ll drag their feet in the hope that it will just go away.

As I understand it, WADA is not an American oranization it is ‘World anti-doping Association’, so it’s got nothing to do about favoring one cuntry’s athletes over another country. All’s fair.This is the same organization that uncovered the stuff happening in Spain, etc.


lazlo Says:

WB
Correct.Novak is not Michael. There is definitely a double standard for sure.Even if they declare the egg “illegal” it won’t be retroactive. The US would never allow it.

Alok

What if they blood tested the top 10 and most of them were doping? That would destroy the sport.I also think quite a few women players are doping too.

Pam Shriver with her comment about Maria needing every single point was sort of odd. When Serena plays and bagels anyone, they all say, she’s such a champion, she fights you for every point.
Yeah, I am really sorry for Venus. I know someone with autoimmune disease. Maybe she should concentrate on doubles for now.


the DA Says:

hmm…Delpo loses the 1st set 6-3 to Chardy?? Juan Martin don’t lose the plot(ro).


Wog boy Says:

Alok,

You didn’t answer my question. How do you know the others are not using it, it is not so expensive. Just because they are not so naive (not to use the other word) to say they are using it? I have to correct you, Novak was top player for quite few years, precisely 4 years prior to 2011 and it was matter of time when and not if he is going to become the best. When you are competing in the era two of the best (Roger&Rafa) it takes some time to get there. Four years as #3 tells enough to any objective tennis fan and there is pleanty of them on TX, though not all of them.


Alok Says:

@lazlo, if the US allowed armstrong to be taken down, even though he did a lot of good things with his winnings, then the US should not be afraid of taking down Phelps. The same yardstick should be applied to all athletes across the board.

To be fair to Armstrong, a lot of the european athletes are doping, so he did it to keep up with them. WADA should do more house-cleaning IMO. However, it makes better meadia ratings and other stuff for a US athlete to be taken down than for a European from a small hamlet to be ridiculed. This is the reason why so many are hankering to have Armstrong degraded to the zenith. I dislike it that the US is under such a microscope as opposed to many other european countries. Not nice at all.

On Sharapova, in the past she’s said some mean things about the Willimas sisters, even talking as though they are beneth her. It’s a cold war that’s on-going between the williams and the shrieker. Anyway, I’m overjoyed whenever serena has the opportunity to pulverize the shriker because she deserves it and needs to be taken down a few rungs from the ladder she’s climbing. The US has made the shrieker what she is, and she’s been nothing but ungratful. Too bad ..

On Venus playing doubles, Shriver and the other ESPN group said that they’ve suggested to Venus about playing doubles, but she’s stubborn and only wants to play singles and doubles as an extra. MY GF was in tears watching Venus and felt she deserved some more respect than she got from the shrieker.

I know that Serena likes to get as many points as she can, but in Venus’ case, I think some leniency from the opposition who is 6-1 and 5-1 up, does not need to behave in the manner the shrieker behaved, nor did she need every point. In this case the ESPN comms were right.


the DA Says:

Delpo down a break in the 2nd. He looks no contento right now.


Alok Says:

@Wog Boy, the truth is no one has come out and said that they are using it from the ATP tour other than Novak, so I don’t know. However, it’s a case of they can’t go after one athlete and leave the others untouched, they should go after ALL of them. I suppose it won’t be beneficial to ATP to have many of their top players out.

Just look how much of a void Rafa’s absence has caused with his injuries. Do you really think ATP would want to have many of their players off the tour for a drug problem? I don’t think so. As it is it’s on the back burner and the flame is now just a small spark, which will eventually die.

Hope this is a good enough answer. geez I wrote too much today, time to stop. I miss Dave’s posts as he’s got a lot of ino on so many topics. I wish I had time to google. LOL.


Wog boy Says:

the DA,

His body language is not good, but I am sure he will get through. It might just be one of those days.


the DA Says:

@ wog boy – yes, his shoulders are slumping a little too often. He’s shanking a lot of shots. To come back from 2 sets down is going to be rough for him. Upset alert.


the DA Says:

Ugh, just as I typed that Delpo loses the 2nd set.


jane Says:

^ I don’t know if he’ll get through; he’s down 2 sets now.


the DA Says:

^ it’s going to be tough. just saw that Chardy has 32 winners to del Potro’s 14. We know from some past matches that Chardy can blow hot but Delpo just doesn’t seem to be there.


Wog boy Says:

It is going to be tough, very tough but I believe Delpo will make it. Well he has got a brake to start third set with, that is better.


the DA Says:

Break gone, back on serve. I’m going to have to flip channels, Andy is just about to start his match.


Wog boy Says:

Well he is just not himself, not taking anything from Chardy but Delpo is just not himself, I have to admit it doesn’t look good, but still … wake up Delpo !


jane Says:

^ Delpo gets like that sometimes; could it be the heat? When he played Nole in Cincy last year he was not on.


the DA Says:

^ he definitely has heat issues. This reminds me of Tsonga’s weird performance last year against Kei. Meanwhile Andy is up a break!


jane Says:

Yep I saw that; it’s good that Andy’s practice with this guy so he has a feel for his game, not that it would matter too much.

Is it hotter today or about like yesterday?


Alok Says:

C’mon JMDP do something. Don’t give up. Poor guy he can’t handle the heat, same as kvitova. I feel for them.


the DA Says:

It only says 21c but it seems hotter on court.


Wog boy Says:

It is not hot, not at all , perfect coditions about 21-22 or 70 degrees.


Alok Says:

Yesterday, Friday at AO, was 30 degress lower than on Thursday, and it was windy. Fed and Murray plus other players had to play by far on the hottest day. Each day the ESPN crew shows the temperature. If the guys feel the heat so much, what about the women?So far the bottom half of the draw players have had to face the hotter days.


jane Says:

Ha, good point.

It’s Delpo’s form, for sure, but Chardy’s also been playing well and taking advantage.

Meanwhile, Andy’s almost done the first set!

I won’t be surprised if Seppi upsets Cillic; that could definitely go 5 sets.


Alok Says:

@Wog Boy, i answered your question. I hope it’s satisfactory.


jane Says:

Andy’s not serving quite as well today thus far.


the DA Says:

Andy takes the 1st set. Meanwhile, crunch time for Delpo.


jane Says:

Well, Delpo with some hope.


the DA Says:

Hooray, delpo takes the 3rd set. According to the commentators he hasn’t ever come back from 2 sets down. Hopefully, this will change today.


Wog boy Says:

Alok,

I read it, you said what I said. Novak is the one who said he was using it since it was not and is not against the rules and that doesn’t mean the others are not using it, since it is very available and very affordable.

Delpo is back in the match, he can play only better from now on and Chardy cannot maintain that level or we are going to have another Rosol here, just cannot be.


jane Says:

The DA they are doing a touching special on Muzz on ESPN2 right now. It’s quite lovely.


the DA Says:

^ Are they? Wish I could see it :(


jane Says:

Maybe it’ll be on their website or show up on you tube? They showed bits of both slam final speeches where he teared up, various highlights, the sparkling summer and his return to Dunblane. Now they’ve switched over to showing his match away from Delpo’s so I don’t need a stream. Woot.


the DA Says:

He’s gone a bit off in this set (more UFEs) but he’s gritting his teeth and trying to regain some form.


jane Says:

Delpo with a break, now serving for the 4th.


jane Says:

Seppi’s serving for the 4th, so Cilic will be in yet another 5th set battle.


the DA Says:

Somehow Muzzah scrapes through the 2nd set. Berankis is playing well but he’s getting a little help. Andy needs to step on the accelerator now and just head to the practice courts and forget about today.


jane Says:

Well, Delpo’s on the ropes – Chardy at 15-love serving for the match! Who knew!!!???

Muzz is through.


jane Says:

Match point


the DA Says:

Delpo is out. Shocker! Muzz was just broken back. These two today (shakes head)


jane Says:

What the hell, i thought Andy was through!

I knew Cilic would get upset; I said it in set 2.


the DA Says:

Oh my, Cilic also out to Seppi.


jane Says:

Gilbert: “Advantage Andy Murray now in that section!”

Well congrats to Chardy (he’s pretty cute, come on!) and Seppi (who’s also pretty cute). :)

Better luck next time Delpo and Cilic.


jane Says:

Andy’s happy that one is over, ha ha!


the DA Says:

^ Yes he was relieved it was over. I like the way he bounced back the frustration question to Courier. Now get out to those practice courts!


jane Says:

^ ESPN didn’t show the Courier interview, grrr, but he’s talking with Cahill right now.


skeezer Says:

Well the draw has opened up nicely for Muzza. No excuses not to go far now.

Delpo? WTF? Chardy did play out of his mind, congrats to him. Looked like a Rosol at times.


Margot Says:

@ the DA
Coming late to the party but liked clip v. much :) Still think Andy has too much respect for Rafa though.
Lol “lost the De(l)plotro ;)
Phew Andy through in 3. Hope he’s got THE sub par play match done and dusted. Too much sun perhaps?
Come on Andy!


the DA Says:

margot, his timing was really off. He said it was even off in practice so he better sort that out. Just popped over to see the Monfils/Simon match – they’re killing each other1 After enduring a 71-shot rally I’ve decided to abandon it and catch up on some sleep.


alison Says:

Im begining to think Delpo will go down as a one slam wonder,sure hes capable of hanging in there with the very best,and when hes on his game hes brilliant like performances against Djokovic at the Olympics and Federer at the WTFs,but then goes and loses to Chardy(no disrespect)but thats a player you would expect him to beat handily,and when he levelled the match at 2 sets each,you would expect a GS champion to show that mentality and close out the match,many were predicting big things from him when he returned to the tour from wrist surgery,but so far ive not seen alot to sugests thats likely to happen any time soon,and it will soon be three and a half years since he won the USO,things get harder every year not easier,as theres more up and coming players to deal with,after his 1st two matches where he looked fantastic this is a very dissapointing loss,and just to say congrats to Chardy who played fantastic tennis,and managed to close out the match in the 5th set even after Delpo came back,good luck to him in the next round.


Giles Says:

@ Margot. “Still think Andy has too much respect for Rafa though”. And what may I ask is wrong with that? Andy has always respected Rafa and Rafa has always respected Andy!! #Problem???


alison Says:

I dont quite know what to think about the Monflis/Simon match,strange atmosphere,alot of long rallies,both look exhausted out there,one ralley lasted 71 strokes,2 sets all,anybodys game now.


Margot Says:

@ Giles
Problem is my man’s awful H2H with Rafa. Doesn’t have such an imbalance against others in top 10.


Margot Says:

PS of course I mean on court. Off court mutual respect they both have for each other is really good to see.


Giles Says:

^^ And long may it continue!! If Andy reaches the final I’m pretty sure Rafa as well as myself will be rooting for Andy!! #SlamNo.2


alison Says:

Giles/Margot Rafa and Andy are my two favorite players,and if they both win a GS this year just like last year i will be delighted,when the two face of im always happy with the outcome now either way,and like Rafa im cheering on Andy to bag slam no 2,lets go Andy.


Margot Says:

Cheers Giles/alison :) Andy’s gotta play better than he did today for that to happen, that’s for sure.


Daniel Says:

Simon survived e marathon, will have nothing left to challenge Murray.


alison Says:

Margot there is certainly room for improvement,his timing of the ball was way off,but he still got through unscathed,without dropping a set,so im sur he will be better next round,he has a good record against Simon,who no doubt will be exhausted after that marathon slug fest today.


alison Says:

^sure not sur.^


Michael Says:

What is happening on the Centre Court ? Wawrinka is leading by a set and a break in the second set. It should be a major upset if it happens. But Novak is always a fighter, he is sure to bounce back. Even if Wawrinka is two sets up, he can’t be sure if the opponent is Novak.


TennisJef Says:

Nole does not need to dope. He uses CVAC. It better than doping and legal. Murray trains in Miami. The CVAC web site shows a CVAC there. Maria lives in Bradenton. Guess what… a CVAC is in Bradenton.

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ATP - Nov 24 WTA - Nov 24
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Kei Nishikori5 Ana Ivanovic
6 Andy Murray6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
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9 Marin Cilic9 Angelique Kerber
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