2015 French Open Odds: Rafael Nadal Falls Further Behind Novak Djokovic As Pick To Win
by Tom Gainey | April 24th, 2015, 10:11 am
  • 232 Comments

According to bookmaker Bovada, Rafael Nadal is almost a 2/1 pick now to win the French Open. The King of Clay hadn’t been an underdog in a clay match in close to a decade until facing Novak Djokovic a week ago in Monte Carlo. Now the Spaniard continues to slide in the French Open betting odds.

Djokovic, who is seeking his first French Open title, is at 11/10 favorite to win followed by Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and then Kei Nishikori.

Men’s Singles – French Open 2015 Odds
Novak Djokovic 11/10
Rafael Nadal 7/4
Stan Wawrinka 16/1
Kei Nishikori 18/1
Roger Federer 20/1
Andy Murray 22/1
Juan Martin Del Potro 22/1
Grigor Dimitrov 28/1
David Ferrer 33/1
Gael Monfils 33/1
Tomas Berdych 33/1

Two-time winner Serena Williams leads the women with 2014 finalists Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep tied for second.

Women’s Singles – French Open 2015 Odds
Serena Williams 11/4
Maria Sharapova 4/1
Simona Halep 4/1
Victoria Azarenka 7/1
Eugenie Bouchard 12/1
Garbine Muguruza 18/1
Petra Kvitova 18/1
Carla Suarez Navarro 25/1
Caroline Wozniacki 25/1
Ana Ivanovic 28/1
Agnieszka Radwanska 33/1


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232 Comments for 2015 French Open Odds: Rafael Nadal Falls Further Behind Novak Djokovic As Pick To Win

Giles Says:

Favourite does not mean winner!!


Brando Says:

IF you can handle brutal honesty you’ll agree with the following:

Saw this earlier and absolutely 100% completely agree with the bookies.

Right now there is ONLY ONE real favourite and no one else:

Novak Djokovic.

And there is ONLY ONE real contender to him-based on his history ONLY and not form of last 10 months:

Rafael Nadal.

That’s it. ONLY liars and fanciful thinkers, for me, would argue otherwise.

The rest?

I agree Wawrinka and Nishikori are the best from the rest. Wawrinka is the ONLY none Rafole player to win a clay MS in last 2 seasons. He’s also is the ONLY none Rafole Slam winner with a chance in the last 2 years.

Wawa also put up a commendable defense in AO: reaching SF, losing in 5 to Novak and even beating Kei on the way. He justifies no.3 for me as he has the power and game to threaten the best even at their best.

Nishikori justifies 4th slot since he could be a 2 time Barcelona Open winner, he should have won Madrid last year, is young, youthful and has a fantastic clay court game.

Add in the fact that he’s defeated Novak in Grand Slam play already, played a GS final and really does not care for a Fedal, Novak then he’s a very, very worthy no.4.

Federer? Full disclosure:

He’s a all time great clay courter for me. Far better than 1 RG title winner and better player than Novak on the red stuff.

But he’s also fast approaching 34, this is the slowest, most grinding Grand Slam, he lost in R16 last year, got thrashed in straights in QF in the year and previous to that he got thrashed in straight’s in the SF prior to that.

Add in the fact that he lost real early in AO, then with all due respect to the GOAT:

As soon as he faces a young, healthy top tier clay courter then he will be grinded into the ground.No disrespect to Fed, just recognition of father time and it’s undeniable effect.

Bottom Line:

IF RG started Monday I am certain Novak would win and the finalist would be someone other than Nadal……..i’d say Berdych.

Right now Berdych is my no.5 contender (maybe higher) and right now I predict (provided draws permit it):

A Djokovic v Berdych final.


Miles Says:

I agree about Djokovic being the clear favourite – I believe that Federer has a better chance than you think. Can’t believe that Nadal is second favourite at 7/4 – he’s in such poor form and has been for 10 months. When does a slump become a trend?


RZ Says:

The odds for the men are absolutely ridiculous. How on earth does DelPo have better odds of winning than Berdych when he has only played 4 matches in the last 14 months? Not to mention that Berdych has actually been having a decent year so far. Why does Wawrinka – who lost in the first round of the French last year – have better odds than Fed and Murray, who did much better at the 2014 FO? How is Dmitrov given better odds than Ferrer, Monfils, and Berdych?


chris ford1 Says:

These are throwaway odds. Bookies aren’t going to get any action until Madrid and Rome are done and the beginning picture of the start of RG, who has a shot, who is a long shot, who never has a shot – is clearer.
Among the people not mentioned much but are dangerous are Isner, Raonic on their serves (Raonic had Nole on the ropes in their Rome SF) – And then Andy Murray, the most talented of the present aspirants to the RG title besides Nole, Roger, and Rafa -but who has underperformed on clay – but if he did take Nole or Rafa down everyone would be saying “He always had the physical ability and tennis talent to win on clay, just not the mental component. “


jane Says:

exactly rz. the odds really mean nothing; those following the game over time and presently will know more and regardless, we can’t predict what’ll happen.


mat4 Says:

OK, my 2 euros…

Favourite no 1: Rafa. Although I still hope for an early loss.

no 2, with a small advantage over the others: Novak, because he can beat Rafa.

no 3: a group of player, with about the same odds — Nishikori, Berdych, Federer, Monfils, Wawrinka, Ferrer, Raonic. They all need some luck, but if Rafa loses early, or plays in Novak’s quarter and loses, they all could create a big surprise.


mat4 Says:

I believe that there is no need to explain anything whatsoever, since the situation at RG is very clear for years.

Rafa has problems, but he still can turn all around. Novak can beat him anywhere, but the pressure to win RG is on him, something seen clearly last year. Berdych, Wawrinka are exceptional players on clay, although Wawa has personal problems and is in a little slump right now. Nishikori plays also very well on clay — I don’t believe he can beat Berdych, e.g., but he can beat Novak. Federer — all is possible with him. He expects to make the semi, so I guess he will be in good form. Monfils can beat Nishi, Novak, Fed, but a power player like Berdych or DelPo is too much for him.


rogerafa Says:

The odds regarding the only two contenders for the French open seem quite fair at the moment. Rafa looks extremely vulnerable right now. His weak situation makes Novak a big favorite. The odds for some of the other players seem, well, quite odd. David, Gael and Tomas definitely deserve better odds than that. Roger, Juan Martin and Grigor should be lower down that list.


Travis Bickle Says:

I don’t bet so I don’t understand the exact meaning of the listed numbers in the article. Can someone here clarify it for me, please?

Do these odds mean that if someone bets $4,000,000 on Nadal and Nadal wins RG, that person gets $7,000,000?

If so, that would be easiest 3 million in profit to make. Nadal won 5 out of last 5 RG finals, so his potential win at RG should not be paying that much!

I bet these odds will be adjusted in a few weeks, so for betting addicts now is the best time to bet on Nadal…


Travis Bickle Says:

Is Novak Djokovic the most dominant player since Rod Laver?
by Tennis World USA Magazine

http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Is-record-breaker-Novak-Djokovic-the-most-dominant-player-since-Rod-Laver-articolo23508.html

Winning in Monte Carlo for the second time in the last three years, Novak Djokovic has set two impressive records.

In the last ATP Rankings, published on Monday April 20th, in fact, Nole leads Roger Federer by 5,460 points which is the largest ever gap between the World No.1 and the No.2 in the history of the rankings.

Moreover, since the beginning of the ATP Tour as we know it, in 1990, nobody had ever won 6 consecutive main events, meaning Grand Slams, ATP Finals and Masters 1000.

The previous record was held by Rafael Nadal, who won 5 consecutive main events in 2010: Monte Carlo, Rome, Madrid, French Open and Wimbledon.

Djokovic passed Rafa, winning the Paris-Bercy Masters 1000 and the ATP World Tour Finals at the end 2014, before clinching the Australian Open as well as the first 3 Masters 1000 tournaments, Indian Wells, Miami and Monte Carlo, this year.

These numbers suggest that Serb is currently dominating the ATP Tour as nobody else before, but how does this dominance compare with others from the recent past?

On one hand it can be argued that Nole`s main rivals, Nadal and Federer, both missed or got injured in 2 of these 6 main events.

It can also be argued that only 1 of these 6 events is a Major, and, in recent years, Roger Federer, in 2004, 2006 and 2007, Rafael Nadal, in 2010, and Djokovic himself, in 2011, all won 3 Slams in the same year establishing probably a more significant dominance.

On the other hand, however, it`s interesting to notice how Nole not only has won the last 6 main events, but has also won the last main event on each and every surface: hard, clay, indoor carpet and grass, having triumphed in the last edition of Wimbledon too.

Also in light of the fact that Nadal is struggling to find top form not only on fast courts but on clay too, as proved in Monte Carlo, Djokovic can arguably be considered, at the moment, the best player on every surface, something that nobody could claim since Rod Laver completed his second Grand Slam in 1969.

It`s true that back in `69, 3 of the 4 Slams were played on Grass, the only exception being the French Open, historically played on clay, but, during that glorious year, Laver also won the most important events on hard court, the US Pro in Boston, and on Indoor Carpet, the Wembley Pro Championships in London.

None of the great champions that ruled the game since have ever held the last main event on each of the 4 surfaces at the same time, not Borg, who only won 4 tournaments on outdoor hard court, not Sampras who only won 1 Masters 1000 on clay, not Nadal, who has won only 1 tournament on indoor hard court/carpet, and not even Roger Federer, despite being incredibly successful everywhere.

This does not mean that Djokovic should be considered superior to these other champions, on the contrary, he is still not totally comparable in terms of achievements, but it`s unquestionable that level of dominance that Nole is experiencing at the moment has almost no compares.


KatH Says:

@Brando

I see you are still at it…. I tend to do that myself but usually go by other criteria. Let’s see….


Sidney Says:

For me, Rafa is the fav at RG.

But I wouldn’t mind Novak winning it this year! He needs to take advantage of this opportunity.

You broke the duopoly. Time to claim your reward!


Yolita Says:

Great post, Travis!

I’m glad to see you here, since I no longer go to Blue’s Blog, although I sometimes go just to read your posts there…Very funny.


Humble Rafa Says:

As my good friend Davy would say, betters know best. You might as well give the trophy to the Egg Lover right now based on the bets.

Tennis Gods are crazy. No, not that god with twins. The real one.


jane Says:

loved that article, mr.taxi driver. thanks for sharing. :)


Sidney Says:

I would put Andy 3rd Roger 4th and Ferrer 5th. The rest are led by Stan.

With regards to the WTA,..


Travis Bickle Says:

Yolita @ 9:42 pm,

Thanks a lot! Glad to see you here.
I do what I can to fight Fed-fanatics at Blue’s – it’s fun to be only one against bunch of them and sometimes fight BP’s profanity with my own profanity – all in good spirit.

I especially loved reading their posts last few months in which they keep hoping that whoever plays against Novak wins, only to come up short every time. Then they accuse me (in a polite manner though) that I only show up after the final to gloat…


Travis Bickle Says:

Jane @ 9:53 pm,

You are most welcome.

BTW, are you talking to me?


Markus Says:

2 thumbs up to Jane and mr. taxi driver.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Did you notice that it seems that the majority of posters now are Novak’s fans? Long time since one could count us on the fingers of one hand… Duro, Conty left, but now things have changed tremendously.

@TB:

Read that article before. Let’s wait and see. The most important, for Novak, is to win the FO and to last a few years more. His age is not an ally, and he is a veteran right now. But I don’t see a new, hypertalented player among the younger generations, so he has a chance.

Let’s just keep our feet on the ground. Things can change fast. When I say Novak’s stats for 2013, it was clear that his level game wise was as good as in 2011. Unfortunately, 2013 was a big deception as much as 2011 was a big success. Luck has his part, circumstances, a bad day… But if he wins the FO, he could really go on a tier for the rest of the season.

So, let’s not be to optimistic. Deception, defeat, setbacks are the rule in life. Success is an exception. Let’s hope for the exception.


Margot Says:

Meanwhile Kei gives Martin a tennis lesson. Gotta say Kei looks very comfortable and confident on clay.
And looks as if Simona, looking very uncomfortable at the mo., is gonna lose to Caro.
Am amazed how well Caro is playing. Much more aggressive these days. Haven’t watched her for a while.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

Clay is a good surface for Kei. He has a great FH and an exceptional BH (something people doesn’t notice). His weaknesses, the serve and the return, are not so evident on clay. His flat shots allow him to hit through. He will be very dangerous at RG.

CW is slowly changing her mindset. Last time I watched her, she was already much more active on the court.


Margot Says:

@mat
Yes, I agree about Kei, especially on clay. Tho his quick movement must surely benefit him on grass too. I’ve heard him rather rudely described as a “hustler” but I think he’s far more talented than that.
And darling Simona goes out :( But very well played Caro. Terrific match too.
Meanwhile, the rather- good- looking Pablo, is managing to hold his own against the little brick wall.


Wog Boy Says:

@Margot & @mat4

Agree about Wozniacki, I cheered Simona but to no avail. Wozniacki played excellent, smart and aggressive match (77% first serve), Simona didn’t have an answer and at the end Wozniacki wore her down.


Giles Says:

mat4 Yes “things have changed tremendously”. You have more trolls in your fan base. Hope they multiply!


mat4 Says:

@Travis Bickle:

Found you on the Blue Moonball. That’s sure a fight you’re fighting there… I believe I would have been lost there, since it requires a lot of wit to answer some horrible posts. Bon courage! But if you stay here, no need to mention Anna W. and her xxx habits.


mat4 Says:

@Travis Bickle:

BTW, why do they all cheer against Novak there? Even Ruan, on his Fed blog, cheers for Novak when he plays against Rafa.


Margot Says:

And the actually-he’s-extremely-good-looking Pablo takes the first set against the ferocious fox-terrier.
Terrific tie break and how interesting, the handsome one played his best tennis, trailing 6 something in that tie.


jalep Says:

That was depressing. Simona losing to Wozniacki. But I watched it and credit to Wozniacki the better player.

Kei played Klizan like a boss!

Pablo is putting up a better fight than expected!


jalep Says:

@Margot. I call him handsome Pablo ;)


jalep Says:

Went to blue moon all to find Travis Buckle too. What a great blog! Haha. ..


Margot Says:

jalep: We’re agreed on that one, on charming Gael and on lovely Simona too!
Wowzer!


Margot Says:

@jalep
Why is he “taxi driver?”


jalep Says:

Moonball. Bickle. Not buckle.


jalep Says:

@Margot. Great minds…

No idea why taxi driver. I’m not hip enough to join blue moonball.


Markus Says:

re: mr taxi driver, the movie buffs should know.


jalep Says:

Yeah duh jalep. Thanks Markus.


Margot Says:

Wow! The extremely-handsome-one just went and won!
His BHDL was hitting that sweet spot alrighty!
So sorry for wee David tho. Surely, with Rafa out, his best chance of winning here? Don’t think anyone will beat Kei.
@Markus
Yes, have seen that film, but about 100 years ago! Lol. Was it de Niro?


rithvik Says:

NOVAK will win French open but he has to be vary of not only Rafa but other players like Kei nishikori and David Murray is worst player on clay cant beat top 10 players on clay


jalep Says:

Pablo, the handsome. That was surprising.
Feel bad for Ferrer too. But he didn’t seem too disappointed.

La Monf lost to GGL. Bucharest final. I didn’t see it.


jalep Says:

Semifinal. sheesh… I’ll quit now.


Margot Says:

Oh LOl. This blog is going INSANE at the moment!
We’ve got Rafa fans in a terrible huff and we’ve got thousands leaping onto the Nole band wagon.
We’ve had “Murphy” now we’ve got David Murray!!!!!
I’m laughing so much at that amalgam I can hardly type. It sure is a killer combo.
Come on Fed fans, you’re letting the side down here.


jane Says:

margot, jalep, wow – pablo honey WON!

mat4, interestingly some of the new novak fans here argue FOR a weak era, though, which makes me wonder… ;)

strange days indeed.


jalep Says:

Staying out of that thread, dear Margot.

But David Murray? hahaha. ..

I like the “Murphy” nick though.

Cheers Margot. Going for my morning coffee. Always a pleasure to read you here ;)


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Indeed, it is certainly a very weak era. To be a champion, you only have to serve hard, have an exceptionnal stamina, a consistent backhand CC and DTL, a great FH, to slide on hard courts, and to beat a few players who have won more than ten slams each. ;-) Not to mention that the game is twice faster than it was 20 years ago, that the balls fly at more than 120 kmh, nothing much in comparaison with the past.

On another hand, perhaps it really was a weak era without great clay players but one, when his main rivals were hard court and grass specialists.


Travis Bickle Says:

Mat,

Don’t tell me you like that Wintour cow?! I don’t use paper book dictionaries, but heard that under “bitch” there is her photo to help users visually relate. Do you remember that one US Open several years ago, when she was in Federer’s box and De Niro was in Novak’s box. I call that “proper alliances”!

BTW, currently on the Blue’s they are discussing the draw of the most important clay tournament this year. I.e. Istanbul… I am tempted to chime in, but will leave them enjoy discussing danger of Federer meeting the 8-seed Diego Schwartzman and similar issues…


chris ford1 Says:

@Mat4 – And perhaps not, on the matter of a clay courter “weak era”.
I would put it this way. In 2004, The Spanish Davis Cup Armada had two French Open winners. Carlos Moya and Juan Carlos Ferrero. Both had won clay Masters and followed in the tradition of Spanish clay court geniuses. Both were good enough on other surfaces (MOya RUP at the AO, Ferrero RUP at the USO) with hardcourt titles elsewhere, to be ranked #1 ATP.
Two clay studs.
One was saying back in 2002 he knew a young player from the same tiny resort island he was from that was going to be a better player than he. The other, took years to admit it. Especially since a year after winning the French Open, Ferrero was benched in the 2004 Davis Cup Final in favor of the 18-year old wunderkind who impressed the DC coach so much – Rafa Nadal.


mat4 Says:

CF 1:

It is a misunderstanding. I just wanted to illustrate the fact that a few — or even only one — great player can make a tennis “era” look weak.


mat4 Says:

There was a long interview with the “magician” — Fabrice Santoro. He played since the 90s and compared those years with the one when he finished his career (the interview was in 2009, if I remember well). His opinion was that the game has improved, that players were more complete, they were working more, and that the level of professionalism was much higher than before.

So. I think he knows a bit about tennis, and that he is entitled to compare the different “eras”, having played from 1990 to 2010 and spend 20 years on the tour. And his opinion has much more value than ours.


chris ford1 Says:

Mat4 – And my point is there are some analysis tools to distinguish between a player in a weak era excelling and a player that is exceptional prevailing against strong players in a strong era.

Leyton Hewitt, for example, while admired for his “feistiness”, was not the #1 player for 75 weeks because he was the strongest of the strong in that time. He was the strongest of the weak. He was supplanted by Fed, who had no real rival once he came into full form at 23 – getting “5 Straight Slam wins” in various venues except where a young Rafa could challenge him – on clay.
And it gets complicated when you have a true giant like Fed, who would have won big events if he had played in the heyday of Sampras and Agassi – but not as many wins. My contention is Fed’s records are “padded” somewhat.


mat4 Says:

@CF1:

I gave stats that illustrated the level of dominance by certain players over their competitions, but it is buried now on the pages of tennis-x.

Anyway, it is a very difficult question to answer. You have to assess the competition, player by player. How strong were Roddick, Safin, Ferrero, Hewitt at their best? Let’s not forget that Safin routinely beat some of the great of the 90s at his beginnings. Last time I watched Ferrero (against Monfils, a few years ago) he reminded me how versatile he was.

Then, there also was Coria, a player I liked very much, and before his heath problems, he was an exceptional clay courter, with flair, imagination, touch. His career was very unfortunate, alas.

I never liked Roddick — I simply don’t like his brand of tennis. But he lost 4 slams finals to Federer, and his game, built around his serve and his FH, although simple, was efficient for years. Where can we put him among the best players of the previous generation? It is also very difficult to answer.

So, to qualify an era as “weak”… requires a lot of knowledge, of analysis, of comparison. The arguments usually read on tennis blogs are just a minor part of the story.


Markus Says:

Weak era theorists are weak in the head because they cannot grasp the idea that that there can be several great players can co-exist and that one of them can be better than most and dominate them all?

Federer dominated for such a long time over so many because he is singularly good over the rest.

Nadal dominated on clay and amassed all his titles over such a long period. Why? Is it because eveyone else is weak? Or is Nadal simply gifted and better than any single person regardless of how great he is on this surface?

Djokovic is emerging as another dominant player? Weak era theory again? The way he plays now, he can beat the best of them, from Laver to Becker.

Look at the history of tennis. Have there been other players who compare well with these three? These 3 will go down in history as among the best who have ever played the game. Which stands more to reason? That these three dominated because they are plainly and simply better than the rest and would have done just as well in any era they may have been born to play? Or that all the players they played again are weak? Look at all the players now, those with nary a victory over these three. They are bigger, they are more powerful, they are faster. They have better training, better technology. They could have done much better, were it not for these three the likes of which we may never see again. Put them in an era where none of these three played and they could have had their own moments of glory, a slam or two or more. Respect and appreciate these three because they are truly great, in any era where they could have played. We are lucky they came at a time when we are the beneficiaries to the spectacle they provide to any true lover of this game.


wilfried Says:

@ Mat 4 and y’all
Two other interesting opinions comparing today’s game with tennis in the past.
1° one with Yannick Noah 2 years ago:
« Yannick, suivez-vous le tennis aujourd’hui ?
Un peu. Il y a deux ans, à New York, je suis passé devant un magasin où des télés diffusaient l’US Open. Pendant quinze secondes, j’ai cru que c’était un jeu vidéo tellement ça cognait. Aujourd’hui, le tennis, c’est un bras de fer, c’est hyperphysique. La notion de finesse n’existe plus. Les gens disent que Federer joue en finesse. Non, Federer joue relâché, mais il ne joue pas en finesse. Il cogne au service, il fracasse en coup droit, il fracasse en revers, et de temps en temps il fait un slice ou une amortie quand il en a marre. Il n’y a plus cette notion de surprise. C’est à qui tapera le plus fort, à qui sera le plus résistant.
Mais alors c’est impressionnant, ça joue tellement bien, ça me fait halluciner. Il y a quelques semaines, on m’a demandé ce que je pensais du niveau. J’ai répondu : à mon meilleur, meilleur, meilleur niveau, contre Djokovic, je ne gagne pas un jeu. D’ailleurs, en Serbie, un journaliste a mal fait la traduction et a balancé l’interview en écrivant : “Noah a dit que s’il jouait Djokovic, Djokovic ne ferait pas un jeu.” J’ai fait les titres des journaux télévisés en Serbie toute une journée ! »
http://www.lemonde.fr/roland-garros/article/2013/05/23/yannick-noah-on-a-tue-l-ame-du-jeu_3416389_1616946.html
Translation in english :
« Yannick, do you follow tennis today?
A little. Two years ago, in New York, I went to a store where TV’s were broadcasting the U.S. Open. For fifteen seconds, I thought it was a video game – so hard they were hitting the ball. Today, tennis is more like armwrestling, it is hyperphysical. The notion of refinement no longer exists. People say that Federer plays with finesse. No, Federer plays released, but he does not play with finesse. He hammers the service, smashes his forehands, smashes the backhands, and occasionally hits a slice or a dropshot when he is tired. There is not anymore the notion of surprise. The one who hits the ball the strongest and is the most resistant, prevails.
But then it’s awesome (to watch), it plays so well, it makes me hallucinate. A few weeks ago, I was asked what I thought of the level. I said: well, even at my best, very best level, I would not win a single game against Djokovic. Besides, a Serbian reporter did a poor translation and changed my words by writing: “Noah said that if he played Djokovic, Djokovic would not win a single game ” I made the titles of Serbian televised news an entire day! »
You can link here to the entire interview and read it (in French).

2°) one with Roger Federer also in the same year in Télémoustique (Belgian magazine) (may 2013):

Journalist: « Vous pensez que si vous vous retrouvez à 5-5 au 5ième set face à un Djokovic ou un Nadal, le facteur physique ne va pas entrer en jeu ? »
Roger federer : « Je ne pense pas. Aujourd’hui, je dirais que je suis aussi fort, si ce n’est plus, qu’au pic de ma carrière. Je pense qu’on a tous progressé d’ailleurs. J’ai beaucoup moins de courbatures, de petits bobos. Mon corps a pris l’habitude de produire l’effort exigé.
Et le tennis a changé. Aujourd’hui tout le monde joue un peu de la ma même façon. Tu n’as plus un joueur avec un monstrueux coup droit et pas de revers. Tu ne peux plus te dire que tu vas jouer le coup faible de l’adversaire.
C’est plus explosif, mais comme ça demande essentiellement des pas latéraux, on a beaucoup moins besoin de se déplacer d’avant en arrière. C’est presque plus facile pour le corps. Avant, je montais beaucoup plus au filet, parce que l’autre montait aussi, et c’était épuisant. Aujourd’hui, tu peux vraiment te mettre dans un rythme, qui est presque assez agréable d’ailleurs. Le tennis d’aujourd’hui, c’est un jeu de mouvement òu celui qui bouge le mieux a le plus de chances de gagner. »
Translation of the Fed Télémoustique extract:
Journalist: « You think that if you find yourself at 5-5 in the fifth set against a Djokovic or a Nadal, the physical factor isn’t going to come into play? »
Roger: « I don’t think so. Today, I would say that I am as strong as, if not stronger than, at the peak of my career. I think we’ve all improved in fact. I have much less stiffness, fewer little aches. My body has taken the habit of producing the necessary effort.
And tennis has changed. Today everybody plays a bit the same way. You no longer have a player with a monstrous forehand and no backhand. You can no longer tell yourself you’re going to play your adversary’s weak shot.
It’s more explosive, but since it requires essentially sideways steps, there is much less need to move forward and back. It’s almost easier for the body. Before, I went much more often to the net, because the other (player) was going up too, and it was exhausting. Today, you can really put yourself in a rhythm, which is almost quite pleasant actually. Tennis today, it’s a game of movement where the one who moves the best has more chances to win. »


mat4 Says:

@Wilfried:

Merci. Je n’avais pas lu ces deux interviews. Mais bon, j’estime que Noah, avec les ajustements nécessaires pour jouer avec les nouveaux cordages serait assez bon, même aujourd’hui. Sur le tard il avait compris les bienfaits de la discipline sportive (comme en témoigne son stage en tant que capitaine de l’équipe de France).


mat4 Says:

Sorry. I just finished the entire Noah interview, and it is something that should be read. An interview like this reveals a lot about tennis, his evolution, changes, and also his darker side. Wilfried, thanks once again for the link!


Yolita Says:

Just to clarify…I’m not jumping on Novak’s bandwagon. I’ve been a Nole fan since 2005, and started supporting him in forums in 2009 an on Twitter in 2010. Those were tough years to be a Nole fan. But I kept the faith. :-)
Jane and Wog Boy told me about this blog when I expressed disappointment on other blogs/sites.
And I, for one, am really happy that more and more people are seeing what a champion Novak is. The more people know him, the more they love him and admire him.


Yolita Says:

@wilfried
I just finished reading the Noah interview…very illuminating…Thanks for posting it, wilfried.


mat4 Says:

@Yolita:

I know that you are not a new Nolefan. I read your posts for years on tennis.com, and I always thought that you are, with jane, one of the best Nolefans around. I often just read your comments without looking at the article.

I also found the Blue Moonball blog and TB posts there. Although the spirit is not the same, he’s welcome here, I guess especially if he doesn’t mention a few topics very current on Blue’s blog (just to point out it doesn’t bother me). Especially since here Fed fans are very friendly, and most of Rafans too, with the exception of one or two.


mat4 Says:

But it is also the truth that there are more and more Nolefans, and I believe that it is a reflection of the situation overall: after years of searching a place under the sun, Novak finally found it. He is now accepted as the great champion that he is. I am a bit sad that my Frenchies don’t seem to see his true value yet (in a sense, he’s Fed best friend and has done a lot for his legacy as the GOAT — dominating Rafa when Rafa was at his peak, and slowly, despite Rafa’s ducking and avoiding matches out of clay, dismantling his fighting spirit and confidence).

That’s something I found funny at Blue’s blog: instead of rooting for Novak, who enhances Fed’s legacy with every tournament won, who has shown that the H2H means nothing (he has largely dominated Rafa since 2011, and if he wins the FO, the process of demolition will be over), most of the posters are against him.

It just makes no sense.


mat4 Says:

BTW, for those who are new here: I am a pretty good jinxer. So, always take my prediction with a grain of salt.


jalep Says:

@Yolita. Very happy to read your posts here. I am a reader of tennis.com and once in awhile posted there. But not for a long time. Enjoy your style.

Very interested to read the entire Yannick Noah interview but my French isn’t good enough without translating it.


Okiegal Says:

I paid a visit to blue moonball, and that was nothing but pure trashy filth! I was appalled. I should have expected as much after reading comments from Mr. Bickell….He fits right in there!


mat4 Says:

@Okiegal:

It is a place for naughty boys and girls… to say it mildly.

Travis Bickle is an agent provocateur par excellence (ah, this French), and he did a good job there.


Okiegal Says:

@mat4…..Alrighty then…..the blue theme should have given me a clue. I’m no prude, but some of the subject matter is taboo, especially if you happened to be a victim……just saying……I’m sorry I gave it one minute of my time. It stirred up a painful memory for me…..subject closed. :(


lilayski Says:

Yolita!! Glad to see you here!! Twitter’s 140 character is just too limiting, no?

So far this is the friendliest of all forums I have been on (I was never a commenter,just a lurker). In my experience as a Nole fan its the Rafans (ofc not all) that irk me a lot! They just hate him with a passion. It used to make my blood boil,now I just laugh at them. I still avoid Nacho and Roxana on the ATP FB threads thOugh.


jane Says:

yolita, always great to see you here of course. hopefully there are more real novak fans to come. he certainly warrants a good fanbase because he’s such a fun player to watch, and to follow off ice as well.

by the way, he definitely is playing madrid, as he’s already signed up to play the charity event, so he’s recharged and ready to go. woot!


danica Says:

lilayski,

I had a similar experience on one forum where Rafa’s fans were dominant. I fought tooth and nail for Nole there and when they all moved to another site, I was glad not to follow. Some were really nice but most were plain hateful when it came to Nole. They were lurking here, occasionally posted and branded this site as “cesspit” just because some of the fans were not supporting their view of Rafa’s greatness.


Okiegal Says:

I guess it takes all kind of people to make a forum….the pleasant :) and the unpleasant :(

There are lots of great players out there, Novak is the man to beat atm. He’s playing great tennis! His fans are busting their buttons and rightfully so!!


T Dawg Says:

If I’m Uncle Toni, I say lose on purpose – or people will think you are for sure on roids if you win 10/11, 11/12, 12/13 french opens.


Zozza Says:

Djokovic has to win the French open this year
With Nadal in decline
It’s now or nothing


Zozza Says:

I know onething it won’t be Nadal vs Djokovic final but could be quarter final between the two ?
Nadal might be ranked 8 when the French open starts

Time will tell


sienna Says:

zozzao might have a valid point here about djokovic.
realistically he has 2 chances left. with the way Nadal is playing Djokovic certainly aims to get it now. so now or never tournement adds pressure and the pressure will mount.


mat4 Says:

@Travis Bickle:

Who’s AW?

Lately this blog has been a very nice place to post once again (after a certain period when a lot of old posters left, bullied by a herd of wild bulls), and it would be nice if it remains a pleasant place to be. It’s not Blue’s… hopefully.

I see that you can be hilarious but also respectful. Let it be that way, ok?


jane Says:

“off ice “… lol, off the court, i should say. :)


mat4 Says:

@Okie:

In 2010 times were different, and 2009-2010 were a hard time for Nolefans. Since last Wimbledon, and especially Beijing last year, it’s Novak’s time. Will it last? Of course not. Times change quickly in tennis. For my part, although I will continue to be a Novak fan, I hope to find a new player to watch. Probably 4K, or perhaps Rublev.

But the truth is that the “big 3″ were something very special in the history of tennis. Never three players dominated that much, with only one player able to join them at the top, and to beat them on a regular basis.


mat4 Says:

@danice:

I guess the site in question was TT? They all moved here, if I remember well. Most of them are gone now, and I hope they won’t return.


KatH Says:

@ Rithvik

Are you referring to the “Le Barron”? – HE who has a wee gong to go with the name?


mat4 Says:

@Giles:

Come on, Giles… why can’t you be decent for once? I know that it is not easy to read zozza’s posts, why do you read them anyway?


Zozza Says:

The truth hurts
Federer won the French open coz soderling beat Nadal
Djokovic will win the French open coz Nadal is in decline
It’s time Djokovic won it
It’s this year or never
Next year someone else might win it
Nishikori ?


Giles Says:

mat4. Hope the joker fan base becomes inundated with trolls like Zozzazooo, until then do not preach to me, you with your trashy posts, riding your high horse because your fave is successful at this moment in time. I had a very quick look at the Blue Moon or whatever it is called and read a very loving (NOT) post about your fave. Unfortunately TX deleted my post, but no matter I think you know the one I mean. Why do I read zozyzooo’s posts? Can’t help but read, they stare you in the face, something like your trashy posts. Didn’t you promise a few threads ago that you would stop posting here?
Anyway, all I can say is enjoy your time here while it lasts which won’t be forever.
Remember Karma!


Muhammad Says:

This indeed is by far the most civilized tennis blog. There are exceptions but that’s fine.
I had to lough the other day when one idiot (the guy who called mat4 insane) was complaining to the admin about another idiot to ban his idiotic posts? I usually read only posters I respect but that somehow caught my eye and I’m glad it did.


lilayski Says:

@danica,

Thats been the story of my life on twitter and atp fb page since novak started to dominate rafa in 2011. I have always defended him but the rafans were just so vile i couldnt keep. I actually LIKE Rafa and have great respect for him. Its just the fans…. :(


lilayski Says:

*keep up


brando Says:

LOL, 2 days away and tune back in and a lot of crap is visible. Per usual. It’s same and I don’t blame no one: tennis fandom and blog sites is all the same. Whenever any player wins alot, we get the usual media butt kissing and a surge fans out of nowhere emerging proclaiming love for that player. And to be honest: most of it flat out idol worship. The other day apparently was novak day. Like wtf? Really? Let’s get it straight: these guys play for themselves. Live for themselves. Make a life for themselves. When it really comes down to it: they dont give a ***k about fans. It’s all about numero uno. Sure they give props now and then, but hey: who doesn’t like getting there behind kissed, being fawned over,being told you’re great etc. Many would sign up for that ego trip. And it’s funny how protective some idol worshippers get over their fav. Say a measly criticism over a public figure and lo and behold: apparently you have done something blasphemous. Lets get a grip people. Get your head out of your favs behind and get some fresh air. You have spent far too much time up their behind some of the drivel here is beyond laughable. Elsewhere too. I’ll tell you in advance now: rafa could retire now and he’ll enjoy a amazing life. Millions in the bank, easy access to whatever he wishes, the easy life on a great island. Ditto nole. Doesn’t win another slam? Oh the ******g tragedy. He’s made for life. He has a nation that will kiss his behind no matter what. Even though he’s chilling and rubbing shoulders with billionaires in monte Carlo, laughing out real loud at how good he’s got it. Who can blame him? No one. They have got it made: have you? They are 110% focused on themselves and their life? Are you? So don’t waste your time which at the end of day is little. You could go anytime. Look at Nepal in last few days. So much b******g and moaning about minted rich men, a racquet and a frigging tennis ball and what about real world stuff? Seriously: get a grip. Cut the BS out. Don’t waste your time being obsessed over individuals: who don’t know you. Probably would pass on meeting you since what have you got to offer them? Some a***kissing fawning? They’ll pass. They got millions doing that anyhow, and they’ll rather get that from a prettier face. Let it go. Chill. Don’t let yourself down and waste your life by getting OTT ultimately over strangers who do nothing for you. Its summertime now. Enjoy that. Have some fun. Enjoy life. Don’t waste it worrying, b******g, yapping BS about people who don’t know you and don’t really care for you. Out.


Okiegal Says:

The focus on the forum atm seems to be how horrible Rafa fans are……there is no fan base that’s immune from hateful, mean spirited posters. I’ve seen tacky from every group, don’t just pick on Rafa
fans….I for one resent it….not that anyone will care. I would rather people call them out by name, rather than lump them all together.


Okiegal Says:

By the way, Brando beat my post….just read his….

@mat4…..I wholeheartedly agree, it is Novak’s time, he’s got thousands of fans who are relishing the moment. This is great times for them. I also think he’s garnered lots of new fans too….there are some people who prefer to support a winner rather than a loser…….jmo, of course….


Markus Says:

…good morning, Brando. :-)


brando Says:

@Okiegal: chill dear woman. Don’t place any credence to it. It’s just life in tennis fandom: when Federer was a beast, for rafa fans and otherwise he, his fans were arrogant, aloof. Then when rafa was top dog, he and his fans were fake, phony. When novak became the top player he and his fans were seen as fake, a wannabe imitator,whatever else. Put simply: EVERY fanbase thinks their guy is THE man. They wouldn’t say it, but privately Murray fans would think their guy at his best whups alls behind. Don’t blame them. Its just fandom thinking. Yet, whenever any fav of fanbase gets criticized his fans pull the victim card. They act like it’s injustice, unfair to criticize their guy. So what: you expect people to just kiss his behind like you do? Gtfo of here with that BS. I said it years ago: whenever a player dominates or wins must: so does his fanbase on websites. It’s evident across the years. And it’s political and hypocritical agenda based rubbish: fed fans have a problem with rafa fans: well Who else is challenging feds place in the game? Nole fans have a problem with rafa fans: well who else is his main rival post 2010 uso? And rafa fans dislike novak: well who else has been his main rival in last 4 years? It’s just BS for underlying reasons: the player they hate has committed ONE sin and ONE major sin only: he’s the guy who stands in the way of whatever fantasy they have for their fav and his standing in the game. What really amuses me is this- seriously amuses me: the players themselves get on REALLY well with their supposed rival. Novak laughingly goes to SA to bank $$$ with rafa. Rafa is cool around him and his camp. Fed has always been chilled out about rafa and the whole goat debate. So the players in question-ultimately- are fine with themselves. Yet it’s the fans who are ones with the problem and butt hurt. And that just makes me laugh since: IF someone’s cool with another individual then why the hell have you got a problem when they do not? Your not even involved in this and yet you whine, whinge about them hatefully. To me that idiocy. But ultimately I expect it. I saw a great quote once: FAN IS A ACRONYM FOR FANATIC. It makes sense to me: a lot of so called fans are nothing but fanatical idol worshippers on here and in general. And when you see it like that all the vitriol- in this case towards rafa- just makes sense. Whatever is perceived as a threat to the obsession of the fanatic: expect hate, malice to be given that way. So like I say: chill. Let it slide. I’m going to check out till USO series. Regardless of whether rafa wins or not prior to it. Time spent here more and more seems to be a waste of time since their is hardly any intelligent discourse at all. Just a whole lot of petty, agenda ridden pot shots, b*****ng. Rather chill, watch the tennis and enjoy the summer outside it as opposed to check in on a screen and see the trash.


skeezer Says:

Yawn.


Wog Boy Says:

I don’t know exactly what would be english word to describe the person that until yesterday was die hard fan posting trilogies on this very blog about his favorite (and other ones), but since his favorite is not doing well (and fan base is shrinking) he is lecturing us that being the fan of anybody is stupid and waste of time.
I am calling upon my English teachers (and others) on TX to pick the right name (word)…does that word star with “H” and finishes with “E” ?


Wog Boy Says:

@mat4,
I noticed sudden surge of Nole fans on TX, but I am not quite sure if all of them are really Nole fans? I personally prefer quality over quantity.


mat4 Says:

@Brando:

There is on thing that you don’t understand: this is a tennis fan blog. You chat about tennis with people you like. You argue a bit, debate a bit, write nonsense a bit too, and that’s ok.

If you want to be serious, just watch around: there is an imminent economic collapse pending, war is knocking at our doors, the EU will soon disintegrate…

So, let us forget about it for a few moments.


jalep Says:

@ Wog Boy. Are you looking for hyperbole?

A lengthy diatribe filled with hyperbole?


Giles Says:

Post April 26th, 11 16 am. I have a name for you that starts with “I” and finishes with “S”.


mat4 Says:

@jalep:

I believe that WB wasn’t writing about you.


jalep Says:

Hahaha. ..mat4


mat4 Says:

But rather about some wild boars appearing, that disappearing quickly after a few insulting posts.

Unfortunately, it seems that they are indeed Nolefans…


Margot Says:

Not sure you’re right with your doom and gloom guys, or whether its the ubiquitous modern mass media that revels in and reports every blooming awfulness.
There’ve always been awful disasters and dreadful wars, after all The Black Death carried off most of the population of Europe in the 11th/12c, I think it was.
Google needs to be my friend;)


jalep Says:

mat4. I was trying to guess the word Wog.Boy was looking for starting in ‘H’ and ending in ‘E’ to describe a post.


mat4 Says:

@jalep:

I am a bit confused. I don’t know which WB’s post you answered… Doesn’t matter. It is obvious that he wasn’t writing about you in either.

@WB:

War and Peace? In Search of Lost Time?

When I see some posts (some of mine included) I always remember a certain Shakespeare sentence from “As You Like it”, the response of Orlando to Rosalinde:

“the eternity plus one day”.


jalep Says:

I like scrabble.


jalep Says:

mat4. His post at 11:16 am.


mat4 Says:

@jalep:

You were faster. It has to be a very complicate word, I guess.

@Margot:

The Black Death killed 9/10 of the Athenian population in the 4th century BC, and destroyed a third of the population of Provence (south of France) at the beginning of the 18th century. So, it was a long story.

But an economic disaster worse than in 1929 is upon us, and that is a well known fact to anybody that has enough informations and understand the basics of economics. I’ll stop here, there are other places to discuss about such things.


Wog Boy Says:

@jalep,
Not quite, though the word has nine letters like your one and second letter is “y” like your one.

@mat4,
I am not quite sure all of them are Nole fans, if you know what I mean, besides, we don’t need Giles types of fans, Rafa can have them.
I am off to bed, it is 2am, I attended wedding tonight but couldn’t drink since the reception was on the other end of town and nobody wanted to drive, it first class music (Balka&Macedonian) first class food and brandy and I ended up drinking mineral water. I am filthy with my family for doing that to me. Just have a look at the venue where reception took the place…and I had to drink mineral water:(
http://curzonhall.com.au


Margot Says:

@jalep
Or h——–e…..;)
I like scrabble too.


Margot Says:

Oh darn Wog Boy, mine has 10……


Margot Says:

@mat4
Inevitably capitalism has within it, the seeds of its own destruction. Agree with Marx.
But I too will stop, as its a tennis blog.


mat4 Says:

WB:

I always believed that the bridegroom should drink to death in such an occasion. Have you ever heard about the epitaph:

“I lived 30 years as a man, and another 30 as a husband…”


jalep Says:

I dunno. I thought a lengthy diatribe filled with excessive HyperbolE. described the post in question.

I’ll exit stage right before I get in too deep and go watch Kei and Pablo honey.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

Yes, it is not a place to discuss about it, although it is indeed quite worrying.


mat4 Says:

@jalep:

The word is “hypocrite”.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

Unfortunately, that’s another word you, Brits, learned from us… The ugly face of civilization…


Wog Boy Says:

@mat4,

You are right, I don’t remember my wedding, but the problem is my wife does and she never forgave me:(

Before I go to bed, the word is not about the length of the post but about the person that is lecturing about something what that person excatly was/is doing.
I guess it is my english tha is confusing you, good night.


jalep Says:

Fair enough mat4. I don’t know that poster well enough for that word. Just describing my description of the post itself ;)


Wog Boy Says:

@mat4,
You won a bottle of twenty years old “slivovic”, you’ll will be given your reward in August, now I really have to go.


mat4 Says:

@jalep:

I didn’t give a thought to that — thinking bona fide that WB didn’t know the word… Guess I am tired. Brando isn’t a real h—e. It’s just that Rafa lost in Barcelona, and he is a bit disappointed.


Margot Says:

@mat4
1348, 5 million, estimate, dead.


mat4 Says:

The bubonic plague wasn’t the only one. Those epidemies repeated themselves in times of famine, and there were very important ones: one in the 4th century BC, another one in the 6th century, one in the 14 century…

Just like wars…


Margot Says:

@mat4
1665, no one left alive.


courbon Says:

@ WB:Hi there.I hope is OK flooding situation where you are.Last time I have seen your comment about taking water out of your garage..;tell me honestly-you went quickly to garage to save your Swedish ‘educational’ magazines from water, didn’t you?


courbon Says:

@ skeezer:You sound tired?


Okiegal Says:

@Brando

I didn’t have any cheese with my “whine”, because my dear Rafa hates it! Lol I will take your advice and chill out……

I’m outta here……..this is when the cowgirl rides away…….


Hippy Chick Says:

Okiegal April 25th 9.01pm,completely agree with your post just went to read that blog out of shear curiosity and i cant believe some of the stuff i read absolutely disgusting,reading between the lines i assume you were refering to the Bill Tilden stuff,so im sorry about what you went through its certainly nothing to make a joke about enough said,i also cant believe that some posters here would find what a certain poster here says in retaliation is funny either,strange what passes in some peoples minds for humour….
Congrats to Kei BTW delighted for him,but im joining you Okie OUT….


Travis Bickle Says:

Hippies, in general, have long hair and prefer free-for-all love and, typically, are not liked by folks from the US south, Bible Belt states especially. However, it is really nice how one humble Spanish bull could make these animosities disappear and unite Hippie Chick and Okie Gal under the same rallying banner. And some dare to say the Internet is bad!

For all Europeans here, these are the lyrics from a legendary country song describing the sentiment Oklahomans (or Okies) feel towards hippies from US West Coast…

“…We don’t make a party out of lovin’
We like holdin’ hands and pitchin’ woo
We don’t let our hair grow long and shaggy
Like the hippies out in San Francisco do

I’m proud to be an Okie from Muskogee,
A place where even squares can have a ball…”


Muhammad Says:

@TB
Merle looks like Tony Nadal. That might be the missing link?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iYY2FQHFwE


Okiegal Says:

@Chick…..Thanks girl. I am gone but wanted to acknowledge your sweet post. Some things just aren’t funny…..


Brando Says:

@Okiegal:

Don’t blame you.

I’m checking out tomorrow and shall only consider return post Wimbledon. Busy stretch coming up for me in personal life so shall be limited for time to watch tennis let alone comment on it.

Got to be honest:

I was away from here for a few weeks but upon my return I have seen that:

1. There is a sudden storm of new posters, random identities with few of the familar names from when I originally tuned into TX around now. A couple only post regulary here if at all.

2. Some of the new posters are just straight up trolls. A great influx of trolls is pretty much driving this site down through the sewer.

3. There seems to be a real nasty climate on the site at present………….. and I reckon it will only get nastier. IF Novak succeeds: expect a s–tstorm. IF Rafa succeeds: expect WW3. IF Fed succeeds: expect some crap also.

There’s just nothing here left in terms of good, decent interaction. Low on intelligent discussion, high on vitriol and b——g.

Alot of shady stuff being said that put simply: same posters would not say in face to face interaction since they know a slap would be heading their way. Too much b—- stuff going on in this site.

I’ll say adios tommorrow and I’ll check in pre-USO. See what the temperature is around here then since if it’s the same sh–storm on show, it’ll be a good bye and good luck:

which really has been the case by all posters I ever rated around here.

You take care and have fun.


mat4 Says:

@Brando:

You are quite right on some points.

But come back anyway. Storms start and vanish. WWIII… let’s hope not. A little chitchat doesn’t harm, from time to time.

Sometimes you take it too emotively, but it is nice to have you here anyway [one day excepted: when Rafa beats Novak in the final of the FO, of course].

Good luck in your work!


mat4 Says:

@Travis:

Why? HC and Okie are very nice posters. You can discuss with them about any topic, all in good faith.

I understand that there is war ongoing on Blue’s blog, but not here. No need to be sarcastic. Everybody here knows that I am persuaded that draws were rigged in Rafa’s favour, that he was doping for years, even that the FO final was interrupted on purpose, but I never called him a bull. There’s really no need for this.

I believe that you can write interesting posts, with a lot of humour. So, why don’t you do it?


TL Says:

I don’t want even remotely to be seen as a spoiler in the current Djoko love-fest party. I apologize sincerely if any Djoko fan – especially mat4 who I have always admired greatly – is annoyed even slightly. However, errors should not be presented as facts the way they have been in the lovely and excellent article provided by the great taxi driver Mr Travis Bickle who has already shown glimpses of his considerable talent, much appreciated and valued by his fellow Djok fans, on the other thread. This blog is going to be much the better for it and our vocabulary is certainly going to be enriched in the process. It is not surprising that nobody has pointed out such obvious mistakes for the fear of being dubbed a Djoko “hater” by some of the more extremist Djoko fans who obviously would not want the fun to be marred even slightly and who never see the irony of haters dubbing someone else a hater.

“Nole leads Roger Federer by 5,460 points which is the largest ever gap between the World No.1 and the No.2 in the history of the rankings.”

The author has no idea about the ranking system and how the points are weighted currently and how they were weighted in the past. This sweeping statement about the “largest ever gap”, without doing an iota of research to adjust for past changes, is such a blatant falsehood that one has to assume that it is a Djoko fanboy getting carried away in order to justify his sensationalist headline. Djoko could indeed go on to create that history-making gap later this year given the current state of the tour which, of course, is not his fault by any means. However, let us wait for that moment to arrive and which is highly likely to materialize very soon. In fact, he could end up winning every event he enters and that means a CYGS too. I can conceive such domination and it is not all that far-fetched as the circumstances appear to have aligned. I just wish he had not lost in Dubai. A win there would have ensured a perfect record at the end of the 2015 season.

“….has also won the last main event on each and every surface: hard, clay, indoor carpet and grass…”

So far as I know, not a single event on the tour is played on carpet and this has been the case for quite a few years if I am not mistaken. The slow WTF indoor hard surface in London is a far cry from the fast carpets of yore. Djok has never won a carpet event and I wonder if he has ever entered one. This is in no way meant to question his credentials or prospects on carpet. He is simply a great player across surfaces although he truly excels on slow hard courts.

Generally speaking, talking about all-surface domination across eras is – just like the GOAT debate – extremely tricky since it might open some cans of worms. The playing conditions today do not require possession of different skill sets for different surfaces. Surfaces have changed considerably over the years and are more similar to each other than they were in the past. Borg’s channel slams were much more difficult to achieve than Fed’s or Rafa’s. The higher bounce and bigger and heavier “uncompressed” balls favor some players more than others. Physical fitness and endurance have become decisive factors. Racket and string technology have transformed the game. All kinds of new methods – sometimes unethical or even illegal – are being tried to improve strength, endurance and recovery. It has become fashionable to trash players of the past, their playing styles and their achievements. Hyperbole and fanboyism rule the roost. Context and nuances are conveniently ignored in the process.


Travis Bickle Says:

Mat,

The “humble bull” is an endearing term used by Nadal’s fans throughout the world. His #1 fan Viva Fernando (a friend of mine) calls him that – check his twitter account. Thus, that was not an insult to Rafa, AT ALL!
And for the rest of my post, it is a nice fact that Okie girl and hippie girl get along with each other here since it would generally be unexpected… Again nothing insulting there…

As for regarding FAR more interesting topics, I did not know your stances on those issues, but have to give you a feedback:
1. I disagree about the draws – I think most of the time (90%) they are random – small minority is rigged.
2. nadal was/is doping for years – DUH. I would add that earth is not flat…
3. FO (I goes you mean 2013) was interrupted on purpose – unlikely since the balls were soaked wet and they had to play with the same ones every 9 games – not fair since spin is diminished…


Travis Bickle Says:

@TL

“Nole leads Roger Federer by 5,460 points which is the largest ever gap between the World No.1 and the No.2 in the history of the rankings.”

The sentence is absolutely true and your attempts to discredit it as somehow false or incorrect are in vain. It is the largest ever gap indeed – the fact the ranking points were weighted differently has nothing to do with the accuracy of the current statement.

It is a different story altogether if you are personally hurt the statement made the headlines in the media. That is your emotional prerogative. Be ready to try to discredit more and more headlines and sentences in the next several years…


django Says:

Now this…is a fine blog. :-)


Wog Boy Says:

“The slow WTF indoor hard surface in London is a far cry from the fast carpets of yore.”

Correction, London is not slow and never was, I noticed tendency from some Roger fans to declare every HC surface that Roger stoped winning on or is having trouble winning as slow, did they ever consider that maybe, just maybe, the other players are getting better and Roger is getting older. If you look at HC masters they are even as how they play, IW and Miami (Roger won them multiple times) slow with high bounce, Rogers cup and Cincinnati (Roger won them multiplay times) fast with low bounce, Shanghai (Roger won it, WTF and masters) medium fast with low bounce, Paris (Roger won it) medium fast with high bounce. Don’t you think they different and evenly spread around or you want them all to be fast with low bounce?
GS are the same, USO fast with low bounce and AO medium fast with higher bounce between 2008-2013, 2014 and 2015 are playing faster with lower bounce due to change of court speed and change of the balls.
These are all the fact that you can find in the link of Federer fanboy blog that I posted before and I will post it again now:

http://www.perfect-tennis.co.uk/tennis-court-surfaces-and-court-speeds/

If you are insisting on faster courts with lower bounce than you are no difference to fans fans who wants everything slow with higher bounce, in that case what is left for players like Nole?


Wog Boy Says:

“^^ should say “no difference to Rafa fans”


elina Says:

I have been away for sometime as well. Nothing here to encourage me to stay sadly.

The level of trolling from “new” posters has hit an all time low.

Insults and baiting due to an obvious lack of tennis knowledge and intelligent discussion has become the new norm here.

It matters not a player’s sexual orientation. But it is done here simply to troll. How absolutely juvenile.

To call out (accuse without evidence) a single player and ignore the rest is particularly both telling and naive but I will leave it at that. It is a low brow and self-serving exercise.

Novak is a fantastic player. Some of his new fans here do a disservice to him and his many long time fans on this site.

Sad to see.


lilayski Says:

Just when i thought this was a friendly site…


Markus Says:

@Okiegal & @Brando: Are you both riding off into the sunset? I respect your reasons and I will not stop you. Brando said he’ll be back pre-US Open. Hope you will, too Okie. I only started blogging after being a silent follower of this site. I thought it would be nice interacting with all of you. And I was right. Even if we did not always agree on everything, we were always civil. But now you’re leaving. Make it temporary.


Markus Says:

You too, Elina?


Brando Says:

@Mat4:

Thanks, and I will take your advice on board. Hope to catch up with down the line. Take care friend.

@Markus:

Appreciate it. I have enjoyed my interaction with you Markus. Of the new influx, you are comfortably one of the best, if not the best, addition to this site and absolutely welcome. You are intelligent, respectful, reasoned thinker who states his views succinct manner that I know I fail to do so in. Sadly, your kind are in short supply. In fact: there ain’t a supply, just the odd accidental gem appears out of nowhere since the usual is, well if i’m being honest: straight up garbage. Bile to add onto more bile.

A bid you and all farewell. I’ll make sure to check in (hopefully) post Wimbledon/ pre USO series. Hopefully the climate will have settled down by then in the calmer, 7 week break period of the season.

If it’s the same old insanity on view (honestly feel it will stay the same sadly) then i’ll just check out and retire as a poster permanently which really all the individuals who compelled me to become a poster have done so. You would have enjoyed them and longed for them to still be around as I wish they were.

Farewell to you and all.

Brando.


Travis Bickle Says:

“… just the odd accidental gem appears out of nowhere since the usual is, well if i’m being honest: straight up garbage.”

I think it will be good for this site to lose a poster who calls other posters “garbage”. Sadly, I doubt good old Marlon will stick to his promises and disappear forever – to much ego to do that…

Full disclosure – I do not mind if someone calls me or my posts “garbage” – I find it harmless, it’s an internet site and the cogent should not be taken too seriously.
For instance, look at that add on the bottom of my page here – a middle aged woman dressed provocatively with the sign to just message her and not ask any questions :-) I am tempted to do so!!!

For all easily offended folks who self-portray saintly images while simultaneously call other posts garbage, I say Good Riddance…


Okiegal Says:

@Markus, you have been a positive force on this forum. I’ve enjoyed our interaction. I am acknowledging your post because that is the proper thing to do. My Mom raised me right. Yes, I am gone, just not fun anymore, but has been nice conversing back and forth with you. The sunset is looking very appealing atm! :) ADIOS!!


Muhammed Says:

I’m one of the random posters mentioned above. If this blog is an old guys club perhaps the chosen few should exchange emails and discussed everything in private.
I’m first Roger then Novak fan but I find Travis (Novak fan) to be hilarious. I can’t say the same about boring big ego Marlon. This blog is getting better!


mat4 Says:

@TL:

I very well know that the point system changed a few years ago, and I find your post quite OK. I am always for an reasoned debate, since I am wrong most of the time.

And it is easy to find that in 2006, Fed had more than 3000 points more than Rafa. So, the relative difference was bigger.

I thought, back then, that the changes were not fair: a win in a slam was worth 1000 points, a final 700. Now, it is 2000 vs 1200. I don’t see why such increase in favour of the winners (it is not only about slams). Players that fight hard and lose a final by a few points shouldn’t be disadvantaged that much. Players who commit to play all the mandatory tournaments are also punished by this way of ranking, while those who pick their tournaments, or dominate a surface, are rewarded. 2013 was a perfect illustration of this, and that’s the reason why the ITF designated Novak as its WC.

The purpose of the ranking is twofold: to designate the ATP world champion and to rank the players for the seeding in tournaments. But there, I find the ranking used at Advanced baseline and the JRank of tennisabstract much better. I even proposed the use of chess ratings. So, go figure…


mat4 Says:

@Muhammed:

No, I don’t think you are a random poster mentioned above, since your posts were quite OK, and I read most of them.

And while I believe that Brando is a nice person, I usually skip his posts (they are too long, most of the time).

The only thing most of us want here is a bit of civility, no personal attacks, something like that. Otherwise, it is all ok.


Okiegal Says:

@Brando…..Didn’t mean to leave you out of my acknowledgements. I just got in from church and your post was way up there……just now saw it. Back at you! Good health, good times and be safe! Okie


mat4 Says:

@Travis:

About the draws: posted here analysis, and Wilfried (who is a statistician) did the same. The draws are not random most of the time. I even predicted the 1-4 seeds for years at the slams, before somebody else wrote a study about the rigged draws.

Novak’s behaviour in the FO final in 2012 was absolutely stupid: he let the umpire decide, instead of protest strongly. Rafa and Toni, on the other side, put a lot of pressure on the French organisers. The situation was critical, and Novak didn’t understand that it wasn’t a match, but a war.

Fast forward: he has finally understood that when your opponent is down, you don’t let him stand up. That’s why he’s going to play in Madrid. There’s a risk, but the reward can be huge.


Travis Bickle Says:

“I just got in from church…”

As an Italian-American, I used to go to church every Sunday… until I read in a newspaper what my priest had done to altar boys! After that I have found out he was not the lone case…

Preaching one thing, doing “slightly” different, not my thing!


mat4 Says:

BTW, there are no tournaments played on carpet since 2009.


Travis Bickle Says:

Mat,

Regarding rigged draws – we will have a perfect opportunity this RG to find out who is right, you or me?

Rafa will be ranked outside Top 4. f you’re correct and the draws are rigged most of the times – this RG Rafa will “end up” in Novak’s quarter. I don’t think he will. We’ll find out soon!


Wog Boy Says:

“tell me honestly-you went quickly to garage to save your Swedish ‘educational’ magazines from water, didn’t you?”

Frenchie, the throuth is that they were not Swedish but Danish, Swedes are wrongly blamed for starting sexual revolution in Europe, Danes were the one that first started making those “movies” from the “brown paper bag” for old fashion projectors that you have to switch off to cool the lamp down or you would burn the film. That was long time ago before video tape was invented and yes I had them (you were not born then) and when I went to do my Army service (15 months), my father entered my room and according to my mother, he and few of his mates were often found sitting in my room and females were not allowed in. When I was released from Army I found no movies left in my room, my mother finally realised why all of neighbors are visiting my room and one day stormed the room, like the real trooper, kick them out and threw everything in rubbish, including my beloved film projector:( to finish I never had them since nor I needed them, I grew up quickly;)


mat4 Says:

@Travis:

I am not catholic, but… the articles on such themes were published a lot when the USA and jpmorgan chase decided to put their hands on the Vatican gold (they stole it, eventually).

There isn’t much truth in most of them.

BTW, just to remind the folks here that the Holy Fire occurs the day preceding Orthodox Easter.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

So, did you save them or not?


Wog Boy Says:

^^this was for courbon Frenchie and not for mat4 Frenchie…though I am pretty sure mat4 Frenchie is familiar with the “subject”.


Wog Boy Says:

mat4, no because I didn’t have them in my garage;)..besides, I don’t have a son to cover my back;)


mat4 Says:

@Travis:

About this FO: I don’t know the logic of this FO. It was clear for a time: the organisers wanted a Rafole final, so they did everything to get one, and Novak landed always in Rafa’s half.

The exception was in 2009: after Madrid, they reconsidered, and Fed and Novak were in the same half.

This year, I am not sure what they want. I was surprised that Novak and Rafa were in the same half in MC. Perhaps they wanted to give Fed a chance to finally win there, since he played so well in 2014. I don’t know.

In Paris, in 2013 it was so clear that the previous years the draws were fixed that they put Rafa and Novak in the same half just to prove the contrary. Two studies were already published showing that the draws were not random, and it was time to react. In 2015, I don’t know what they want: probably a 10th title for Rafa. So, I guess that Novak will have Nishikori, Wawrinka and Berdych in his half. Probably Raonic and and Isner too. Rafa will land with Fed, Murphy, Ferrer. But it is too soon to know.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

I found your post quite interesting ;-)

I knew it was for Courbon. I recently even deciphered his knick, although I needed a lot of time, but I remembered a Bulgarian word, and then discovered that the same root was used in Serbian… Courbon is a normal family surname in France, so I didn’t think about it…


Wog Boy Says:

mat4,
I can’t figure out his nick, he is shifty, street wise dude from Belgrade. What is Bulgarian word, I am pretty familiar with Bulgarian language?


mat4 Says:

@WB:

And I am a wise dude from Haute-Savoie ;-) And I have learned latin, too. How could I be so stupid? I had a good laugh, I admit, when it occurs to me what “courbon” means.


courbon Says:

@ WB: You are absolutely right about Swedes being wrongly accused.There was also lots of German movies that would use ‘Swedish’ theme ( Hi, my name is Ingrid.Do you have some sugar, dear neighbour??). Anyway, I figure out that even an old school bloke like you, must shifted to internet, these days….(-:

mat4: I used my wife family name for all sorts of things ( bussines,passwords, blog ) but my real name is very Serbian-I named after biggest ( and only ) Serbian Emperor ( Car ).
By the way, I envy you speaking Latin-I wish I could and it would make easier to learn French. I think I never seen such a ‘lazy’ linguistic nation ( and make dificult for others to learn ):
Like chene ( or chein ) it sounds so similair-Oak, Dog, Chanel (TV ), Chain…You guys could not bother to make them bit different?


sienna Says:

it is a great Day. Brandi decides to rest her fingers. that certainly will be noted in Internet Data.


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 thanks for your sweet words,like Okie,Brando and Elina,im also taking a break,as theres no fun in blogging anymore,take care and enjoy your tennis,and the rest of the nice posters Wogboy,Courbon,Markus etc etc….


Margot Says:

@Hippy and OK
I took a so lo-o–ong break ater AO final.
Can’t think why…..;) But came back. Too much fun to stay away and I like the mix of fans of different players, tho it is a bit “Nole Heavy” at the mo. true. But its been “Fed Full” and “Rafa Rampant ” too and hey, us Murphy fans are used to being a very small and very exclusive, tiny minority…….
BFN


Hippy Chick Says:

Tennis-X staff this isnt a post,its a complaint,recently weve had an influx of new posters,and one in particular seems to take great pleasure in attacking posters personally,and not only that insulting the gender and sexuality of players,to add we also have unsavoury jokes on other topics case in point the post at 8.00pm and 8.40pm,i have to ask seriously is this in keeping with the guidelines?its begining to drive posters away,i ask if you would remove such posts and tighten up on moderation please?no need to show this post as i dont want you to,many thanks….


Giles Says:

https://twitter.com/bounzifu/status/592662018617942016
Hahaha. Wonder if it’s true. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is.


Giles Says:

https://twitter.com/davegertler/status/592664765794754560
Scaredy cat. Why doesn’t he man up and go to Madrid?
LMAO!


Emily Says:

I’ve been a long time reader here and have been posting, but I don’t read the boards for a few days and this forum has disintegrated into troll central. I enjoy many posts here and the discussion that follows, but I don’t know why half of these new people are here or are so eager to go into attack mode (both players and other posters).

Congrats to all Nole’s long time followers, b/c those are the fans I respect the most. There are so many ebbs and flows in tennis and everyone has to wait out rough patches. I know I’m not exactly on the winning team right now, but I simply want to see the best tennis possible at the slams and it can be any of the big four as long as it’s a great tournament. Really interested in the odds and though I have never bet on tennis, I thought some of them were a bit dodgy (which, full disclosure, includes my fav’s).


Emily Says:

If these twitter withdrawals are true (and twitter is not the most reliable source unless it comes from their accounts), someone has a real opportunity to win a MA right before RG.

I know some people are skipping Rome, so it’s not unusual to choose to skip at least one clay MA since there are so many long rallies on clay and they need their rest. Little surprised about Rafa though, as he seems to want match play in order to get his confidence back (though I know Madrid isn’t his favorite, they got rid of the blue clay, right?).


Margot Says:

@Hippy 7.56am
If you want to complain go to the email address at the bottom of the page and go directly to Sean.


Okiegal Says:

@Margot……The forum being Nole laden at the present time is not the reason I’m giving up the ghost, so to speak. Nole fans have their fav in the limelight now and power to them! It’s their guy’s time to shine. I think the moderators are slipping a little bit. I was under moderation for almost a
year…..is moderation dead? My departure is b/c of some of the subject matter TX has let infiltrate the forum…..that’s all. I will continue to read…..I love the knowledgeable posters comments, like yourself. I have learned a lot about the game.

Margot, Andy is still my second fav and always hope he recovers from whatever and comes back with a vengeance. He’s still in the top four….but my guy is sinking atm…..maybe he will rise and shine
soon!! Good luck to our two! Thanks for the feedback. You’re a good egg!!


elina Says:

Okiegal, didn’t you know? Only Nadal fans are moderated as only they are considered annoying (as laid out in the guidelines).

Sure even Hippy Chic is still moderated I believe based on her request not to have her last post shown. Why would she be moderated???

Yet another poster is permitted to insult another poster’s religion? What does that have to do with tennis?


mat4 Says:

@Okie, Elina:

I just read the guidelines. I should have been banned long time ago, since I repeatedly:

- Make use of multiple identities (Trigg, mat4)

- Make repeated non-tennis related posts on on topics like, but not limited to, religion or politics (poetry, grammar, marriage, history, French superiority over the anglo-saxon world, even the Celtic world, although our ancestors are the Gauls…)

- Write pure nonsense (most of the time, especially on mondays)

- Use deceptive proxys (yes, that too).


mat4 Says:

Hopefully, I am a nolefan, not a rafafan, so, they give me a pass, but nearly…


mat4 Says:

I forgot :-)


Giles Says:

mat4. I think you should change your allegiance, that way they might ban you and we won’t have to suffer your posts!


Margot Says:

@OK
OK gal :)


Okiegal Says:

@elina…..I’ve always thought that myself…we are fans of the wrong guy, I suppose. Oh, well so goes life, we don’t all like the same thing, which makes things more interesting.

@mat4…..You need to abide by the rules!! Lol..
BTW……The Trigg name you have used before is a last name that is in my ancestral Johns line (from Wales)…..I have a good friend and her first name is Trigg. There are a line of Trigg families here in the states…. or is your Trigg moniker short for Roy Roger’s horse Trigger? Roy was an old time cowboy movie actor. You may or may not know of him or the horse he rode in on…..lol An icon in the USA, however! Have a great week!


Giles Says:

Okie. You still here? Thought you were long gone!


skeezer Says:

Hey gang,
How about just enjoying the game of Tennis, and always not A person?
Nothing wrong with a fav, but c’mon now. True, Rafa has gotten some negative comments lately but in the past Fed has had his share and so has Nole. (And lets not forget Murray who gets blasted now and then). In the end, these guys will be gone but Tennis will live on. Enjoy the sport.


Okiegal Says:

@Giles

I figured someone would call me out on still being here. I just feel I should answer a post if the poster is directing a comment to me personally..just like now. I believe that is the proper thing to do….etiquette and all that jazz!!
LOL I try to treat people whith respect, whether we agree or not…..that’s how Mommy taught me to be. Have a good week, Giles!


mat4 Says:

@Okie:

Trigg is…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVwyij-0sOw

Now you know. ;-)


mat4 Says:

@Giles:

You really have to be a masochist to read my posts…


Markus Says:

I, for one (and I am pretty certain Hippy Chick, for two), certainly don’t mind if Okiegal decides to stay a little bit longer. In fact, she can just as well not leave at all to bug the heck out of people who prefer to see her gone. I don’t even understand why anybody would want to see her leave. She is one of the most innocuous posters here, more pleasant and funny than annoying. Very ladylike I must say. And being a lady, it’s her prerogative to change he mind as often as she pleases. What’s the harm in that?


Giles Says:

Yep, I agree Okie is good fun. Was just surprised that after saying she was going to desert this “happy” forum on more than one occasion she was still here. Stick around Okie, you never know things might change in the not too distant future.


elina Says:

skeezer, I’ve seen you more than upset at some posters who have been very insulting to Roger in the past so that is easy to say, but sometimes harder to practise.

mew too?


Miles Says:

Chris Ford – if Federer hadn’t had glandular fever at his peak, he’d have won over 20 majors – Nadal was the major beneficiary of this.


Okiegal Says:

@Markus….I’ve been slow moving on…..I’ve never thought moving on might make some folks happy?? Heck, you make an excellent point! There are so many on here from all fan bases who are very nice. I even get a kick out the ones who are bitter! I will continue to read. I rate you up there with Margot, you’re a good egg who I think has a great sense of humor and personality! Oh, one more thing, I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut, so if I read something that I feel needs my input, I will probably chime in! Have a good week!! Smiles and giggles!! :)


Okiegal Says:

@mat4…..I forgot about this sitcom! You gave me a link before. Short term memory is awful. Maybe PBS will show this at some time. They show lots of British TV shows from time to time, but not this one. “Are You Being Served” and “Keeping Up Appearances” two favs and my all time fav is”Benny Hill”….the Brits have a great sense of humor. Enjoy their stuff!!


jalep Says:

Okigal. Glad to see you are still here.


mat4 Says:

@jalep, Okie:

Me too.


Okiegal Says:

@jalep and mat4……Thanks, I appreciate that very much!!

@Giles….Giving it some serious thought……


Markus Says:

@Okiegal: Don’t think. Just keep reading AND posting. Tennis-x needs Rafa fans like you. Who else would there be to best up on? Hehehe! Besides, we need to welcome the new guys. They are sharp tongued but I don’t think they’re bad at all. They are witty albeit in a somewhat twisted way, but humorous, nonetheless. The worse that can happen is you’l kill them with kindness. Now, that wouldn’t be too bad, would it?

I think that tennis gets boring when there are neither majors nor masters and this turns tennis-x into a devil’s playground.


Markus Says:

Erratum: “best up” should be “beat up”.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Markus, absolutely true re Devil’s playground times.

I don’t understand all the soul searching and accusations suddenly. I’ve seen the Dysfunctional Tennis Blog a lot more dysfunctional than the last few weeks. In fact, over the last few years I’ve been reading and typing here I’d be tempted to call it a Golden age in Tennis-X discourse, except for missing Grendel and Contador!


TL Says:

Travis Bickle,

“The sentence is absolutely true and your attempts to discredit it as somehow false or incorrect are in vain. It is the largest ever gap indeed – the fact the ranking points were weighted differently has nothing to do with the accuracy of the current statement.”

If you don’t see anything wrong with that statement, I don’t know if its worth responding to you but I will make one effort anyway. The author’s point is how dominant Djok is and he is indeed very dominant. He is presenting the points gap to support his domination theory and taking it in a historical perspective. Hence the “largest ever gap” as part of the evidence. Surely the import of his point is to show how much better and dominant Djok has been compared to his immediate rival ranked below him and the rest of the field and the unprecedented nature of such a gap.

Suppose, the atp had reduced the assigned points by a factor of 1000 instead of roughly doubling the points the last time they revised the system. Djok would have 13.845 points and the the no.2 ranked player would have 8.385. The relative gap is the same as in the current rankings but the absolute points difference would be a “mere” 5.46 points. Now, some other idiot could propound another theory that this is the narrowest ever gap in the history between the no.1 and no.2 players and conclude that the tour has never been so competitive, tough, strong or neck to neck – virtually a dead heat based on such “compelling evidence”. That would be a travesty and equally as misleading, distorted and exaggerated representation of facts. However, it would, as per your logic and reasoning, be absolutely true and accurate if someone talked about it as being the narrowest gap ever. I wonder if you will be equally happy with that and not try to discredit that sentence. It is a brazen and bizarre way of arguing when we focus on the absolutely narrow and limited point in isolation and without any context.

If the purpose is to show domination in a historical perspective through the points gap between the no 1 and no 2 players, adjustments must be made to take into account the way points were given for different events and different rounds wins/losses in the past. Only then can we compare, historically, the extent of domination gap numerically at least. This is, of course, a bit arbitrary since the perception about one’s domination can vary based on a number of factors and a small or large gap does not necessarily reflect the reality. I personally think Djoko is more dominant at the moment than what the points gap indicates. However, history is a bit more tricky to judge.

“It is a different story altogether if you are personally hurt the statement made the headlines in the media. That is your emotional prerogative. Be ready to try to discredit more and more headlines and sentences in the next several years…”

I do get annoyed by hyperbole and sensationalism in the media and try to correct distorted views whenever I can. However, “hurt” is stretching it a bit too far. You and some of your fellow Djoko fans seem absolutely delirious with joy, though. That is your emotional prerogative. I am sure you and your clan are ready to discredit and wage a war with anyone who questions such articles and give such “journalism” all the credit that you can possibly do. Crediting shoddy articles and sentences is not the exclusive preserve of Djok nuts, though. Fed and Rafa nuts do it too. I wish u all the success in this mission during next several years of Djokovic domination. :-)


Okiegal Says:

@Markus…..Still pondering the thought!! Thanks for caring bout lil’ old me in Oklahoma!! You are right….RAFA NEEDS ME!! :)


jane Says:

tennisvagabond @ 8:01 – i totally agree!


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Jane, we always agree except when we disagree.


TL Says:

Wog Boy

The WTF surface has always been slow and was made even slower during recent years although the bounce has been a bit up and down. Of course, if you go by court pace ratings, it is not “slow”. By that logic no event on the tour is played on a “fast” court. Not even Cincy where conditions have been made slower during the last two years. What does it tell you about the slowing down process? In any case, I meant to say as compared to previous TMC/YEC surfaces in Shanghai or Houston not to mention the surfaces in the 1980s and the 1990s. The surface is one aspect of the equation. Balls, heat, humidity, day, evening, night, altitude etc are the other relevant factors. I did talk about the balls and that has been a major change.

You think I am whining because Fed stopped winning. This has nothing to do with Fed. He is done and the only reason he seems to be doing ok is because the tour has been in pretty bad shape for quite some time. The faster conditions, at least during the day time, at this year’s AO did not prevent him from losing early to a player like Seppi. His problems are age-related and that is natural. I don’t expect him to win whenever he plays a top player irrespective of playing conditions. The fact that Fed won on supposedly slow surfaces in the past does not necessarily mean that the conditions have not been made even slower or bouncier. A 2015 cpr can not be compared to the cpr of 2004 or 2005 apart from the other variables. All the changes have made outstanding defense a lot more valuable than outstanding offense. I just think the balance has tilted a bit too far.

Basel, Bercy and WTF are played on the “same” surface but WTF and Bercy, after the recent slowing down, appear much slower. I wonder if you read the article carefully. I will paste the relevant parts.

“Please note that the actual CPR for each court surface at the Grand Slams, M1000 and 500 is not publicly available, only the category into which they fall. So the surface speed is very much at the discretion of the tournament.
So there’s no rule to say for example the US Open must choose a Category 5 surface.

Just because a court surface falls into a certain category on the day it’s tested, doesn’t mean the company who makes it can’t change the manufacturing process to make it slower or faster at the discretion of the tournament it’s being provided for.

The balls make a ton of difference because some fly quicker, some fluff up more easily, some are heavier – there are too many variables. There are currently around 200 approved tennis balls on the ITF list.

It all boils down to the manufacturing process.

Court Speed Rating only takes into account the speed measurement on a given day, there’s no governing body or rulings that say the product has to be manufactured at that speed.

Let’s say that I run the peRFect Masters 1000 tournament in England, I want to use Plexipave IW which is classed by the ITF as Slow, but I want it to be fast, not slow. I simply get the manufacturer to change the composition of the product i.e. make the finisher smoother, use more Rounded/Sub Angular particles so there’s less friction and hey presto I have a court that plays like a Category 5. But wait, isn’t Plexipave Category 1 according to the ITF? Let’s not even go into the type of balls that I’m going to use, and how easily they fluff up because that effects things too!

Court Speed to me seems to be solely at the discretion of the tournament owners, the ATP and the sponsors, the CPR rating means very little.

That means that traditionally fast tournaments get slowed down even though they are using the same surface as always because they change the composition of it. If the owners want a Nadal/Djokovic final they make the surface rough and sticky so the ball bounces high and slows down. There’s nothing to stop them doing it either which I find bizarre.

Take for example the US Open, they use Pro Decoturf II which is a category 4 -medium-fast surface, but is it? I’m not sure, this year it was widely reported they used more sand in the top coat to get more friction and slow the ball down. They also made Arthur Ashe slower than Armstrong, intentionally. So the CPR rating is simply a rating that provides no real value.

My advice – judge with what you see with your eyes, not what the ITF, ATP or tournaments tell you about the court surface. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

The balls make all the difference

From what I can gather, the court pace tests aren’t carried out with the balls in use at the tournament where the surface maybe used. They’re just tested with whatever balls are available that are on the ITF approved list. Like I said above, there’s around 200 types of ball on the list, that can make all the difference.

Remember at the French Open in 2011 where they changed the balls so the flew through the air differently? The court didn’t change but it played faster. Another variable and I think thee are too many balls in use, the number of approved balls should be limited.

How to Solve the Court Speed Problem

My simple solution is that the speed of the court at any given tournament is pre determined by an outside body and it can’t change year on year or at the discretion of the tournament organisers.

So as an example, the US Open has to play at a set speed every year and it can’t drop below, or exceed an agreed threshold. There’d be no more putting more sand into the DecoTurf mixture to make the surface rougher, it’d be made the exact same each year for all of the courts at Flushing Meadows. And it’d be a fast hard court, as it should be.

By using that approach you’d be able to have a wide variety of court speeds on tour. With the right rules in place and planning it’d be possible to have courts ranging from one end of the spectrum to the other throughout the year. Allowing players to be tested on a variety of surfaces of which some play super quick, some play inbetween, some bounce high, some bounce low and some play slowly. The key is variety and I think you will only get that with some kind of regulation in place.”


TL Says:

mat4- It is always good to see you here. In the absence of grendel and MMT, there is at least one voice of reason here with a very open mind. You are being very modest, though. You are right most of the time. We have had a few disagreements, always polite of course, in the past but, as I have said before, your contribution to this blog is immense. I miss grendel but you are one of the factors that still compels me to read the blog even though I don’t post regularly anymore.

As for the ranking system, I think the current system is not all that bad. It is simple and there have rarely been issues about its credibility. There is always scope for improvement in any system and I do think that they have to revisit the weightage assigned to events/rounds. Surface based rankings are a bit more complicated and I guess the atp wants to keep it simple for the casual tennis fan. As for the lesser points given to the losers, I guess putting a premium on winning is not all that bad. The Rafa issue, because of how great he has been on one surface, has always been a bit of a conundrum but look at it this way: The tour is still primarily composed of non-clay events and Djoko, despite winning a lot less at majors, has more weeks at no.1 than Raf and, to me, that is sufficient reward for Djoko. I obviously don’t like the fact that MC carries 1000 points despite not being a mandatory event but I guess Madrid makes up for it as it is a more level playing field there.

Seeding obviously is more tricky given the different surfaces but there are very few surface specialists nowadays especially on grass. A draw of 32 ensures relative safety especially on hard courts. Clay is still different somewhat and a wimby-like system is not a bad idea at all.

I remember the great work u did to compile that list of players based on the elo system. I had a major difference of opinion with you as to the applicability of such a ranking system to tennis which is vastly different in nature to chess. However, the work you did was commendable and it is always good to analyze the alternatives. Some fascinating discussions take place because of it and all of us are better for it.


Wog Boy Says:

TL,
I tead the article few times, first time in 2012 when it was published, the whole aim of article is to prove that all courts were slowed down (keep that in mind) and to prove that it doesn’t suit Roger’s game but still the writer had to publish official court speed and that is what matters to me and not writers opinion, he states that court ratings are flawed, that is his presumption and reason why he wrote it. If you look in the artical how he wanted to prove that Wimbledon has slowed down in 2008 compare to 2003 and according to writer that was the reason Roger lost to Rafa, you can see how biased he is. It is not that Rafa played better but the court has been slowed down. The way he made those diagrams to prove his point is completly wrong, he found two Rogers shot with the same speed and than drew the diagram, did he take into account that is almost impossible to hit two excatly same shots even if the speed the, the angle of the arm, the angle of the ball hitting the ground before it bounced, the clearance above the net, weather conditions in n 2003 compare in 2008, the state of the grass in 2003 and 2008? No he didn’t because he wouldn’t be able to prove his point that Roger lost 2008 final because the court slowing down. But one thing he couldn’t avoid to post is official ratings of all the courts, and that is what matter. We all know the can be slowed down or fastened depend how they laid and if they add more sand or whatever, that is something that orginizer do, as they did in Melbourne in the last two years, the court is faster with lower bounce.


Wog Boy Says:

^^ “read” not “tead”


skeezer Says:

TL,
Intelligent post and enjoyed your reasoning and research. Although I have some issues with some of it, appreciate the thought and effort.


TL Says:

Wog Boy – Unless you think that the surfaces used at majors or atp events have exactly the same pace ratings as given in that article and no other factor is relevant, then there is no point reading that article. I wonder what you were trying to prove by providing that link. It does not matter if he is a Fed fanboy or not. Waht matters is if his ideas are plausible, rational/sensible. I think he makes some very good points which I pasted in my post. I go by my naked-eye observations and players’ reactions and I have been watching tennis for more than 30 years. It is not that difficult to determine if you have watched the same event for years especially if the change is not very subtle. Bercy, for instance, was very easy to see. AO this year was easy too. FO 2011 due to the balls…..

One thing we can agree on is that there is not a single event which is played on a “fast” surface. :-)


Wog Boy Says:

TL,

Since our discussion went sideways I’ll go back to my original post. You stated that that WTF is slow court I gave you the link with facts that it is not. That was the point of my link. Your argument is that you can judge by your naked eye that is slow, well, that way more debatable than the offical fact that I gave you. For example, we all heard rumors that AO is faster since 2014, I didn’t quite believe it until Hewitt lost this year and joined Courie as commentator. Jim asked him directly what he thinks about how the AO court plays, the answer was “faster, but not just because of the court but because of new balls that were introduced last year, they fly faster and stay lower then previous ones and don’t fluff as much”, now one can argue, whose sponsor os Wilson ??:)
Just to finish, if we have to go to court with our arguments, what do you think who has more chance of winning the case, me with written and approved facts or you with your naked eye argument:)


Wog Boy Says:

I’ll have a word with “Judge Judy” if she can take our case.


Travis Bickle Says:

TL,

You sound like a reasonable person, and I like that. There is a bit of “snark” in your comment addressed to me but nothing too bad for my taste, especially for a Federina (and you are one, aren’t you? – don’t get offended, the term of endearment).

Despite your very long post and arguments trying to somehow diminish the fact that Novak’s lead over Federer’s is the largest in the history of tennis, I will stick with my indisputable numerical truth – it is indeed the largest gap. The fact that Roger is on the receiving end of it, doesn’t change it :-) (this is a smiling sign signifying my lack of hostility towards you, TL)

One question: Do you call Donald Trump a billionaire as the rest of the world does?
Following your line of reasoning, he is not worth 4 billions since using monetary weighting of, say 1940′s, his worth is likely only in millions. So let’s tell everyone that today’s billionaires are misnomered the same way Novak domination is…


sienna Says:

what great reading.
chickster is gone.
itwas nice when it lasted but we are free.

how long? no one knows.


skeezer Says:

“Novak’s lead over Federer’s is the largest in the history of tennis,”
Against a 33 yr old?
Impressive.


Travis Bickle Says:

Skeezer,

That 33-year old still soundly beat Novak in Dubai mere 2 months ago. Give the man some credit, he is a very good player, even at 33! BTW, I am aware you’re his fan.

Roger’s tennis game has to be admired and respected. Roger’s personality is different thing – I let everyone make their mind on that one.


skeezer Says:

TB,
Also a fan of Nole btw ;). Just don’t ask a rafanatic, they will cry foul.


mat4 Says:

@TL, WB, Travis, Giles:

A few notes for everyone. First, Travis: I like the way you change. Like you can see, we try here to remain convivial with all the posters. Even Giles, although a rafan, becomes nicer with time. He even reads my posts… Who would have believe it? I am deeply touched ;-)

About the speed of the courts: there are a lot of articles on Heavy Topspin about it. I’ll give two links here:

http://heavytopspin.com/2013/11/19/the-speed-of-every-2013-surface/

http://heavytopspin.com/2013/04/08/the-mirage-of-surface-speed-convergence/

The methodology is a bit flawed, but it is perhaps the best one can devise from the data available. The balls, the altitude, the surface, all of this is important. Let’s not forget that the new racquet technology allows to hit much harder, to have a better control of the shots, even with low rebounding balls, so while the courts are slower, the game itself is a lot faster. The serve is the key area where the surface “plays”, so measuring the impact the courts have precisely on the serve could be the right way to analyse things. But this is debatable.

The surface/balls combo of the WTF is a bit strange: the rebound is a bit lower, the courts doesn’t slow down that much flat shots, but the impact on spin is tremendous, and it indeed seems to be a very slow surface.

Visually, we have the impression that the game has slowed down, because there has been a shift from serve and volley toward baseline rallies. In my opinion, it is more the consequence of the new string technology that the slowing of the courts (although the quality of the balls play a big part in it, and I agree that the tennis instances should standardize the quality of balls). The ITF/ATP decided to use balls 8% larger a decade and a half ago to slow down serve, but the advances in string technology allowed more control on the return, much more spin, and it changed the physiognomy of the game overall.

That physiognomy is slowly changing again: after a decline of volleying in the first decade of this century, I believe that we will see more and more netplay in the years to come. Volleying becomes unavoidable if you want to finish points, and is the main weapon against defensive slice.


mat4 Says:

About Fed: yes, he is older, he has the usual problems of a player in his thirties — focus and recuperation. But game wise, I believe he has improved.

His problem is to produce his best game from match to match, but the WB final last year showed clearly that his game has evolved nicely. I compared the finals from 2008 and 2014: Roger’s game in 2014 was much more in sync with the surface and the possibilities given by a grass court, his shot selection more judicious, his serving better.

But here, we saw what just a little decline in speed means: Novak attacked his FH and Fed was three inches too slow. Just enough.

Rewatching the 2008 final, I was appealed how wrong Fed played — from a strategic point of view, playing IO FH right on Rafa’s FH, staying of the baseline, returning always in the wrong direction. He lost that match because he finally accepted to play on Rafa’s terms. The impact of the repeated defeats on clay was so evident.

What makes Federer such a great player, in my opinion, is not his stretch of domination in the middle of the last decade, but the way he retooled his game, he changed his ways, his understanding of tennis. In an era of ferocious competition, he has managed to remain competitive despite the age.

Roger’s main problem was his dominance. He had a DR of 1.4 approximately, and while Rafa, Novak and Andy had to retool and rethink their games, he didn’t feel the urge to do the same. Had he started the process two, three years earlier, tennis history would have been different.

I believe that Novak is on the same path. It is a process: it lasted three years for Federer, it will take at least two years for Novak, although he doesn’t have to change his game that much. But I hope that the work he puts in an evolution of his game will make him last too.

That’s the reason why I rank Rafa far behind both Fed and Novak. Rafa is the product of a specific time, of specific circumstances — while Federer and Djokovic are men for all seasons.

The thing I admire about him is his ferocious competitiveness, but there, I have my doubts. I mentioned a few times that his decline has suddenly started after the USO 2013, when the blood passport was introduced.

We know that doping gives also confidence and a certain winning rage, a feeling of invincibility (it also make me think that something was happening with Novak in 2011), and suddenly we discover that Rafa recovers much slower from small injuries, that he has a lack of confidence, and his physical decline seems obvious.

There’s nothing proven here, but it all looks a bit murky. Most of French and Belgian players were astonished by Fed’s stamina ten years ago, Novak was shockingly good in 2011, Murray changed his overall aspect in four months, but the most suspicious case, for me, remains Rafa. And not just for me, but for many players too, and I already gave links here (the QA with Cedric Roelant, among others).


mat4 Says:

My two best posts of the week will remain unread…


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Mat, how could you possibly pick two best from your oeuvre?


elina Says:

lol TV.

2 mews 2 U!!!


mat4 Says:

I picked the longest… That’s why no one reads them…

BTW: my little son had decided to write a novel. I was very happy with that, so I said that I have myself written a few volumes of short stories. He looked at me and answered: “You promised never to lie to me.”

Anyway, no one reads my short stories either.


TL Says:

Travis Bickle

Whether I am a “Federina” or you are a Djokasslicker (and you are one, aren’t you? – please don’t get offended, the term of endearment I just invented for Djok fans like you)is not all that relevant here. This assumption of “emotional hurt” of a “Federina” and other insinuations are hardly relevant here. People resort to those methods when they run out of sensible ideas. Your silence on the “indoor carpet” bit was revealing. What really matters is whether the point I raised is sensible or your stand is the correct one with respect to the given statement in the context of historical perspective. Nobody is questioning that Djoko has a huge lead over Fed and is hugely dominant today and I have not attempted to “somehow diminish” his domination and even the extent of his domination right now. That is not surprising given that Djoko is at his peak and Fed struggles even in best of three matches. Fed has no business being the second ranked player and the Race probably reflects the real situation at the moment. I am just saying that the gap is not the “largest ever”. It could become that sooner than later, though.

Suppose, Djoko, like Fed, refuses to retire and keeps on playing into his thirties and, after remaining no. 1 throughout these years, decides to take a prolonged break for some reason. Jelena and Stefan might want to spend a long vacation with him; Djoko might reunite with Dr. Cetojevic for some miraculous treatment to reverse ageing which requires him to take break from the tour keeping in mind the larger goal of dominating the tour in the future forever; players ranked below him might request Djoko to take a break so that they can win some events and Djoko might agree given his generosity and dedication to charity……..Imagine the atp increasing the current ranking “scale” by a factor of 1000 by the year 2020 or thereabouts and the no.2 player overtakes Djoko as no.1 due to his prolonged absence with a margin of 10000 points which would essentially be roughly 10 points as per the current method. Djok would then be at the receiving end of the “largest ever gap” as per your reasoning but every Djoko fan like you would accept that as a true and accurate representation of reality and would gleefully applaud any such lovely and excellent article appearing in the media. The fact that Djoko would be on the “receiving end” of it, won’t change it :-) (this is a smiling sign signifying my lack of hostility towards you, TB)

“One question: Do you call Donald Trump a billionaire as the rest of the world does?
Following your line of reasoning, he is not worth 4 billions since using monetary weighting of, say 1940′s, his worth is likely only in millions. So let’s tell everyone that today’s billionaires are misnomered the same way Novak domination is…”

Well, you are asking the wrong question and its a wrong analogy because inflation is a real phenomenon while the atp could keep its somewhat “arbitrary” ranking system unchanged for years without any issues as such. If someone were to compile the list of richest Americans ever i.e. historically and not the richest Americans alive at the moment, you would necessarily have to either deflate/inflate the value of their wealth to accurately reflect the purchasing power of that wealth, say, in the 1940s dollars or current dollars to show the real purchasing power of that wealth in the 1940s or now. That is why real gdp or real returns are true indicators as they account for inflation, taxes etc. Otherwise, we can happily accept that Bill Gates is the “richest ever” American but that is indeed a misnomer just like “largest ever gap” that you are so beholden to is a bit of a misnomer at the moment but could turn into reality pretty soon. I look forward to that momentous occasion and I would congratulate you if I happen to come to know of this great accomplishment of Djoko’s although, in all probability, all he cares for right now is his first FO. Now, if you still are not satisfied – I have a feeling you will never be or don’t wanna be – and because I have no intention of wasting any more of my time on this matter, please accept my heartiest congrats for the “biggest ever gap”. :-)

BTW, Have a look at this:

http://www.forbes.com/2007/09/14/richest-americans-alltime-biz_cx_pw_as_0914ialltime_slide_2.html


MSN Says:

Plexicushion surface and the WTf surface have greatly favored Djokovic, he has been the biggest beneficiary.
With Rebound Ace, there is no way that Nole had been dominating so many years, when Federer, Nadal, Murray, Berdych Wawrinka and have had many more chances to win on that surface. His defense is almost impregnable in plexicushion, this is why it so hard to beat there.
And on the actual surface of the WTF, it’s definitely a joke. ATP wants a great businness after all and the big winners are the big four.


TL Says:

Wog Boy

“You stated that that WTF is slow court I gave you the link with facts that it is not.”

I think my previous post was adequate and I quoted the relevant parts of that article which I agreed with or which I thought sounded sensible. It explained and covered everything unless you think he is lying because he is a Fed fanboy.

I was saying slow as compared to the previous tmc/yec surfaces and it is indeed slow irrespective of what the “facts” say since that is an itf classificatin and need not necessarily reflect actual speed especially if you consider other variables especially balls etc. Do you think Bercy conditions have not been slowed down considerably? Basel is not as slow although all three events use the “same” surfaces. Tournaments do tweak their surfaces and use different balls and quite frequently too. As for the different balls at the AO, there are many players Wilson sponsors and, in any case, the event decides what balls to use.

A kangaroo court(pun unintended) could accept your arguments and even mine depending on certain factors. A more sensible court would not blindly accept the itf ratings. It’d have the conditions objectively examined by a scientific process to truly reflect actual speed and bounce under different conditions and examine past data,if available,to arrive at a more reasoned judgement.

BTW, there is not a single “fast” surface(not even Wimby or Cincy) on the tour as per your evidence/facts. Who does it benefit? It seems Djok and Raf are much more influential than you think:-)


MSN Says:

More Djokovic than Nadal, TL, who won 5A0, 4IW and 5 Miami and counting, he is known as the king of slow hardcourt. a big wall impossible to penetrate.


mat4 Says:

@TL:

You just reminded me of the old TL of a few years ago and his witty posts, although you were a bit naughty, especially with those “endearment” terms ;-)


Wog Boy Says:

@TL,

No need for kangaroo court since, in our case, I accepted jurisdiction of cowboy court, Judge Judy :)


mat4 Says:

@TL:

On another note: I searched for info about Cetojevic and my impression is that he is not that kind of “doctor”. He did different things with Novak, he disciplined him, introduced meditation in his daily practice, that kind of stuff.

I do honestly hope that Novak will continue to play for years. He doesn’t have to be numero uno, nor in the top ten. I enjoyed watching Connors at 35, and I recently found an match on the senior tour where he played Borg on Youtube that made me very happy. I believe that you have the feelings about Fed: it is not the ranking, the result, but the game we like that matters.


TL Says:

mat4

Great posts as always. Its always good to read your take on issues as I like to question my own beliefs. Grendel was extremely good at thought-provoking ideas and constantly questioned his notions in the light of any compelling new evidence. I have read those articles before but the arguments are hardly convincing since the methodology, as you said, is debatable. It is good that you have provided those links, though. Food for thought is always good and those who haven’t read them will get a different pov.

I wish they just had a simple objective method of testing speed and bounce under different conditions for every court/balls combination used every year at the tour events. Year on year comparisons would be so much more easy to do.

Regarding Fed, I don’t wish to enter into a prolonged debate like we had a few years ago. I think his main issues remain the same. Game wise, his ROS has deteriorated considerably as compared to his peak years but it is not a new issue. That is his biggest liability. His second serve is not as good now. Maybe, the dodgy back just doesn’t allow him to hit that kicker as effectively. His first serve speed is down. Again, probably a smart compromise – given his back issues – in favor of a higher percentage although it makes his serve more vulnerable against the best returners. The bigger racket head has helped in reducing the shanks and he is not so easily overpowered now but the compromised game he plays comes unstuck against the very best. He doesn’t go to the net on his own terms. He is forced to becoz he can’t afford to engage in long rallies with the baseliners. It is a heavily compromised game he plays to elongate his career but that kind of game is unlikely to fetch the big prizes. There is a reason he has won just one major in the last 5 years and it is not only Djok, Raf or Murray who have been beating him at majors. Its a game of tiny margins and Fed’s tennis has deteriorated enough to lose that slight edge that makes all the difference in the end. No player can keep that edge for very long and that is why we talk of the peak or prime of a player.

I agree about his lost years. The racket change came way too late and the coach-less years cost him dear as the game passed him by. Your guy has to be commended for always improving and taking some risks in the process. The rewards are already immense. However, I remember commenting about his new improved and offensive game in my analysis after the 2013 AO final. I thought he was following in Fed’s footsteps and he played the right way while Murray, who I expected to be more aggressive because of his better net play, hardly came forward. Djoko somehow lost his mojo after that and didn’t continue in the same vein and lost track. He has come back on that track under Becker and one can see clear improvements in the serve, volleys and slice. He does not look a natural when it comes to the latter two skills but his serve sometimes appears bullet-proof. The cheap points he gets on his serve now are critical imo so far as his longevity on the tour is concerned. It is such a clinically efficient game and, ominously for others, there is still scope for improvement. That really is quite scary.

Fed was a product of a different time and he has had to adapt more. I think Djoko, Rafa and Murray all seem to be products of similar circumstances in terms of the strings they used and the styles they played. Great defense, movement, retrieving and great ROS characterized their games. A true new strings generation, if you will. Their games have obviously evolved over the years although, I am disappointed with Murray to be very honest. He appeared to have the greatest upside but has regressed in some ways. It just shows a load of talent or potential needs proper channelization and some luck to yield the right results.


Travis Bickle Says:

TL,

I don’t know how to call your sorry attempt of inventing a nick (Djokasslicker). Perhaps, “meh” would be the best. You should try harder since humor obviously does not come naturally to you…

Federina is a creative nickname (I do not take credit for it, btw) since it encapsulates fragile egos, arrogance and easily offended sensibilities of Roger’s fans comparing them to ballerinas. To be honest, few ballerinas I have met were way tougher than any Federina I know, nevertheless the nickname is kinda funny.

Your attempt of funny nick “Djokasslicker” is no different than “Fedasslicker” or “Travisasslicker” and is very lame. I know you’ll get all sensitive over this, but that is the truth, it is lame, the same way Novak hold largest ever ranking lead over No.2 who happens to be Federer.

Now, another thing comes to mind when I closer analyse your attempt of branding Novak’s fans – the meaning of your own nick “TL”…
Considering the themes you consider in assigning nicknames, is it possible that “TL” stands for “T… Licker”
(the first word starts with “T” and rhymes with “nerd”)


mat4 Says:

@Travis, TL:

Slow down both a bit. You are both quite capable to argue without breaking the limits of humour and good taste. No need for… endearment…

About the strings: Novak use the same pattern of strings as Fed, and similar strings (it is unusual for both). The tension is different though.

The serve: I remember well Fed’s kicker from the 2006. But the racquet changes impacted his serve. It is always a compromise of a kind. I’ll have to check the stats to see if he made more aces then. From memory, I have the impression that he served less wide, but I could be wrong.

I think that you are a bit harsh with him, and that my assessment of his game is a bit more fair. Concerning his return, it was something that bothered me (I had the same impression as you) and I checked his stats, and they are quite confusing on this matter. Food for thought, but I would have to check, and to rewatch some matches, something I don’t have time to do right now.

About Murray: I also believe that he should have made the same adjustments Novak did, especially with his power and good hands at the net. But it is still not too late. I guess that his weight could be a problem, and, in my opinion, he should slim down a little. His back now could be a problem too.

Finally: tennis is a mental game, among other things. Sometimes players lose their way. I am happy Novak found the right direction again.


TL Says:

mat4 – I don’t know about the witty part but I am that same old TL. I abbreviated the nick since many posters, including you, addressed me as TL anyway. The nick was unnecessarily long and I don’t even know why I chose such a nick but the change became necessary because some other poster started posting under the same nick and, despite my request, did not change his/her nick. Since I don’t visit the blog regularly, there was no way of knowing if someone was posting offensive stuff under my nick. Hence the change.

About the “endearment”, I have never used such a term ever before in my life or on this blog even when faced with the gravest provocation. I don’t know why I couldn’t resist the temptation this time even though I thought it is so silly to stoop down to such a low level. Maybe, it was just the federina “endearment” which I thought was so casually, nonchalantly and coolly used by Travis which forced me to think that this guy is pretty thick-skinned and won’t really mind a response in a similar vein. Believe you me, I don’t mean to be nasty at all as I said in that post. I promise you I will try not to be so naughty in the future.

The bit about the doctor was not serious at all. I know he is not into that stuff. I actually wrote some more hilarious points but deleted it as some of the nicer Djoko fans could have taken offense.

You are absolutely right about my reasons for being a Fed fan. I got hooked the first time I saw him play in 2000, I think, as he just seemed so different. The mechanics and aesthetics of his game combine to produce a rather uplifting experience when he is in full flight. I won’t say more for the risk of being dubbed, well, a federina again :-)


mat4 Says:

@TL:

I’ve perhaps chosen the wrong word: I thought “witty” was something nice. Nor was I serious when I wrote “naughty”, the endearment excepted.

I don’t know about other things. I sometimes hurt the feelings of Rafans, on other occasions I avoid some themes for the sake of Hippy, or Okiegal, who are very nice posters. It depends, and I don’t know when I am right and when it is wrong.

Generally, I feel that if you think something is the truth and you have arguments, you have the right to write it. We can have a debate after that. E.g. if you believe that Novak was doping in 2011, just write it. I won’t take offence about it, but I’ll give my opinion. Let’s check facts. Let’s discuss.

I don’t like personal attacks, on the other side. Since I can be a troll par excellence, I troll in those occasions. I enjoy trolling then, and I just did it in another thread.


elina Says:

We need a “yawn” here, where is skeezer?

mew!


TL Says:

mat4- You misunderstand me. Witty is indeed a nice term and naughty was absolutely the right term to describe that endearment. What I meant was that I didn’t know if I deserved to be called witty. I also don’t like personal attacks and as you saw, I tried hard to argue but it was basically a waste of time. I regret having said anything on the matter at all. I should have guessed from the first response itself and the general attitude on show. I hate double standards and that is why I don’t like interacting with these hypocrites. God knows there are quite a few on this blog but the reaction and self-righteousness of the latest one simply takes your breath away.

Top story: Djokovic Reaches SFs Stage At ATP Finals, Cilic Beats Isner; Federer-Anderson Rematch