11 Things I Think I Thought About The Australian Open, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams And Roger Federer’s Knee
by Sean Randall | February 4th, 2016, 3:28 pm
  • 71 Comments

Now that the first Grand Slam of 2016 is over, some thoughts on the Australian Open.

1. Djokovic’s Era
He crushed Roger Federer, manhandled Andy Murray and he’s already whipped Rafael Nadal and to make matters worse for the field he’s only 28, he’s fit and he’s hungry. So until someone steps up or he gets injured – which hasn’t happened since…?? – it’s his show. He’s the boss. Get used to more.

Djokovic played some remarkable tennis the last two weeks. And he played some unremarkable tennis as well (see his 100 unforced error total against Gilles Simon), but he’s the best and he’ll likely stay the best through this year and problem into next.

2. Serena Slammed
She’s 34 and even in a watered-down WTA landscape, you just can’t win at that age all the time, especially when you are not as fit as the other players. And that’s what happened Saturday in Melbourne.

To her credit, Angelique Kerber just kept getting balls back, forcing Serena into errors and it worked in the end. And she deserved the win, especially after saving a matchpoint in her opener!

Serena probably will tie Steffi and may even pass her last this season, but it won’t be easy. Even though there really isn’t anyone on the WTA stepping up per se – Kerber is No. 2?!?!?! – Serena struggled in Paris last year having to win five three-set matches, then had early round scares again at Wimbledon before Roberta Vinci finished her off at the US Open.

Serena’s a champ, but at her age and with that body, it going to get tougher and tougher to win.

3. WTA Madness
With Serena’s decline underway, who will take the reins on the WTA the next few years?

Angelique Kerber – One Slam wonder?
Simona Halep – Does she want it?
Maria Sharapova – After so many years on the tour, how much is the “corporation” thinking about wins vs. starting a family?
Petra Kvitova – Has the game but too many injuries?
Victoria Azarenka – Might be a contender but my gut tells me she’s passed her prime.
Agnieszka Radwanska – Good player, but not No. 1 material.
Madison Keys – Everyone’s pick, but often injured.

Is there someone I’m missing? Belinda Bencic? Garbine Muguruza?

Honestly, the eye test tells me the WTA is nowhere near the level it was 8-9 years ago when you had Serena, Venus, Clijsters, Henin, Sharapova and Mauresmo and competing for the top. You think against that field Angelique Kerber wins a Slam? No chance.

Obviously, once Serena goes someone will have to be No. 1. Maybe it will be Sharapova who will see the opportunity with her greatest nemesis gone to finally clean up, but otherwise the future is quite bleak and quite uncertain.

4. Raonic’s Rise
If someone can challenge Djokovic 18 months from maybe it’s Milos Raonic. With that monster serve and awkward, but decent groundstrokes, maybe he can put that brain of his to use and come up with a plan to thwart Djokovic and others.

That is, if he can stay healthy. Just 25, he’s already had a multitude of injuries for someone so young. But the weapons and the head are there and it sounds like the fire is too.

With the teen wave still a few years away, maybe Raonic can be the next guy before his window also shuts.

5. Federer SABR
I never saw it, did you?

6. Raise The Roof
With all the rain there this year, imagine if they had no roofs on their three big courts. They might still be playing today.

That investment and foresight paid off nicely this year for the tournament. Other events are smart for taking notes on what they’ve done in Melbourne.

7. Moving The Final Times
I know TV is involved – they have to be – with the start times of the men’s and women’s finals of 7:30pm local time in Melbourne, but for us Americans (yes, I’m being selfish!) that’s a horrible hour to watch live at 3:30am.

8. Match Fixing
Like I said before, I want the names and not just unknown challenger and futures players. If this is a serious problem then show me where it’s happening in main draw ATP/Grand Slam matches. Not in matches at the minor leagues.

And if this is such a huge problem, then why do betting companies continue to take bet on minor league matches? And why are there 68 different ways to bet live on a match? Why?

9. Rafael Regression
After all that work, the positive results the last half of 2015, what a demoralizing way to start the year losing to Fernando Verdasco in five sets.

You have to feel bad for Rafa and unfortunately it further signals the end is nigh.

10. Roger Federer’s Knee
Match fixing aside, the biggest story off the court from Australia is recent news of Roger Federer’s knee injury. The durable Swiss underwent his first surgery that I can recall yesterday to repair a meniscus tear he apparently suffered while walking the kids the day after his loss to Djokovic.

He’ll return – I’ve had friends undergo this surgery and it’s a good recovery rate – but Federer can kiss the upcoming two months of outdoor hardcourts goodbye.

He’s already out of Rotterdam and Dubai where he’s the defending champ. And he won’t play Indian Wells either – playing hardcourts on a just-surgically repaired knee can’t be a good idea. But I expect him to add a few events in the clay season when he’s back at full strength or just rest for Wimbledon and the Olympics.

As long as he comes back and plays well, he should be fine. But another flare up in that same knee later this year could spell doom for someone his age and his reliance on timing.

And unfortunately, at 34, this is just par for the course. Welcome to getting older, Roger.

11. Juan Martin Del Potro’s Back
Really great news to read of Juan Martin Del Potro’s return in Delray Beach in just over a week.

It’s been so long since he’s been he’s been a factor that my fingers crossed, but it’s a real longshot he returns to contending for Slams. Maybe he can get back to the Top 30, 20, maybe even Top 10.

Whatever it is, I’m rooting for him. It’s hard not to.


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71 Comments for 11 Things I Think I Thought About The Australian Open, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams And Roger Federer’s Knee

Gbati Says:

No. 5 … I don’t think I did(but then again I didn’t watch a good deal of his AO ’16 matches)… LOL


AndyMira Says:

No 9,always my favourite topic to talk..although part of me agreed with sean,but the other part still saying..i still wanna give rafa a chance especially on clay..if he can win a couple of it..his self belief will come back and god knows what will happen after that..he’s only 29!not 39!


Wog Boy Says:

“..but for us Americans (yes, I’m being selfish!) that’s a horrible hour to watch live at 3:30am.”

No Sean, you are not being selfish, you are just being American..Europe and Asia are happy with final time slot, perfectly happy, besides, USO open final doesn’t suits all time zones either..


Ben Pronin Says:

1. Yeah
2. Uhh, Serena is supremely fit. She steamrolled her way to the final. And she played subpar but also came up against someone who played extremely well navigating through her side of the draw. At this age Serena might be more inconsistent but I’m not sure where you’re getting this “her body is an issue” thing from. Have you seen her on Sports Illustrated?
3. A SF and F in back to back slams is still better than how she fared at the first 3 slams in 2014. It’s still her show. But yes, the rest of the tour is chaotic.
4. Next guy to do what? Let’s see if Raonic can win a slam before assuming he can get to number 1.
5. Nope. I wonder why but I also thought Federer was returning pretty well throughout the event.
6. Agreed, the Australian Open is a remarkable tournament, spelling issues aside.
7. Really?
8. I’m not really following your train of thought here. Betting sites aren’t responsible for match fixing. And they’re not responsible for preventing it. Why are there so many ways to bet on matches? Because that’s how they make money. If you’re morally opposed to gambling then I get that, otherwise attacking the betting companies is pointless.
9. It was a very unlucky first round opponent. We know the top guys tend to be more vulnerable early on, especially Nadal. Definitely a bad start but, you know, he’s still healthy.
10. Can we stop pretending the injury is a result of age?
11. Agreed.


SG1 Says:

Would love to see a Milos-Novak Wimbledon final! Hopefully the seeding makes this possible.


Pauly Says:

Bring back GLUTEN
That’s how you beat Djokovic


Pauly Says:

Rafa at his best would only beat Djokovic at French open
Philippe chatrier court only … The way Djokovic is playing now he’d beat Nadal everywhere else even on clay

Only introducing gluten in his diet can stop Djokovic now 😂


AndyMira Says:

Uso final played at 3 or 4 am in the east,as much as it annoyed us..we never complain sean..and me think neither should you!All fair and square in tennis..


Humble Rafa Says:

Rafael Regression

There is no regression. Wait for clay.


AndyMira Says:

@Pauly 7:05pm..rafa already beat novak twice at uso 2010,2013..not to mention other venue as well..also at the olympics..all of them was a hardcourt..if you are truly a rafa fan..i understand your frustration..i am too but to attack rafa to such extent..it’s not fair pauly..also not fair to compare rafa at his lowest with novak at his best..please show some compassion..


chrisford1 Says:

A. Sean is in doom and gloom mode. Either writing off or declaring the end is high on near for a declining Rafa, big out of shape Queen, maybe Fed if his knee(s) break down again, Azarenka. Not said but obviously the old nag Venus is ready for a one-way trip to the glue factory, while fellow brainless screaming ball basher Sharapova may be gone posy-Olympics on yearning to start a Grigor-less family…And, BTW, the WTA is crap compared to 8-9 years ago.
Reply – With so many thumbs down, the odds are that many will escape the scrapheap prediction. Don’t know which. Hope Rafa can have some vintage matches and maybe win some big thing like the WTF. I will be rooting hard against him at the French Open though. He’s hogged it too long and 10 is as meaningless as 9 ot 7 trophies since he is already established as best clay courter ever.

B. Agree the slimers on betting allegations at BBC and Buzzfeed need to name names. As it is right now, its like waving a paper allegedly containing the names of subversives, saying subversion by commies, the secret heads of the Order of White Privilege, radical Jews is everywhere….but the paper’s contents cannot be revealed at “this time”. A classic and time honored smear ploy.

C. Two Australian Open stories inadequately covered are Martina Hingis and Andy Murray’s disclosure he almost quit the Open for two things. Andy on baby anxiety and his father in law’s taking ill.
Now, that sort of reveals a key difference between him and Nole – at Monte Carlo, Djokovic got word his childhood coach died unexpectedly and he broke down and was a wreck at his presser. He reacted by more weeping, shutting himself in a room to mourn. And to pen a remarkably touching eulogy. Called his mom to go to Gencic’s funeral and stand for him – because he was going to stay in the fight and keep playing.
Andy and Novak have different concepts of commitment. And this helps explain why Andy may have more raw talent than Novak, but why Novak has become an all-time great.
Martina Hingis had not won a doubles, mixed doubles Major or Year Championship in 12 and 9 and 15 years respectively, before 2015. With her Indian partners Mirza and Paes – 6 Doubles Grand Slam trophies and 1 Tour championship in the last year and a month. Remarkable. A movie in the making sort of remarkable.

D. D as in Delpo. All the best. Fingers crossed. A gladiator may be returning to the arena. Are you not entertained by this???

E. Milos Raonic had a fine tournament. Highly intelligent, highly coachable. He comes with weapons, has the fire to better himself. Will it help with Novak? It will help him with all oppponents….but the last player mentioned as possessing all those qualities Milos is properly lauded for, happens to be Djoker.

F. Djokovic has made “performance anxiety” into a trademark – not for him – but his fans. He almost always seems to go deep, but habitually has certain crap matches driving his rooters crazy, including his Dad and wife. He usually pulls a win off, doesn’t seem bothered by being led to the brink and is calm and unrattled postmatch. Others?? Dad has been told to relax, not attend matches anymore as best for his health, by doctors. Mrs D for last years AO, got stressed out in the 3rd as Novak began playing crap – and tweeted that she was stressing, couldn’t watch anymore, and was off for a long chill-out walk with son and dogs.
Djokovic’s career is littered with stinkers that he still managed to win and go on to a final or the trophy. It’s bad for his fans blood pressure, but worse for players like Dogopolov, Gilles, Anderson who had a craptastic Djoker basically finished off in their minds, yet they exit the court 1st. Serena is another escape artist like him. Williams is almost always good for at lest one flat, lousy match along the way to the SFs and above. With Djokovic, the worst is knowing that if you almost beat him, or beat him, you are now a target on his acquisition radar to “solve” and remove as a threat.

F. Ninja Pole? Sadly, I concur. Fun to watch, but just doesn’t have the serve or groundstroke power to be #1.


BBB Says:

WTF with the comments about Serena.


Sean Randall Says:

Wog Boy, yeah but USO is more important than all the Slams. He He.

Ben, did you watch Serena at the Australian? She was out of shape. And yeah, I saw the SI shoot, was that taken the week of the Australian? That was two months ago and before she let herself go.

And who in part are going after crying foul in this match fixing scandal? It’s the betting companies themselves. Yet they do it to themselves all to make a buck, then complain when they get scammed.

Hell, they probably created this scandal themselves just to bring more publicity. Think about it.

And show me where a 15-year-old is just as likely to tear his meniscus as a 35-year-old while walking in the park? It’s an age thing.


Wog Boy Says:

Sean, yeah, I got that one.

I agree about Serena fitness, she was always struggling with fitness, but was always able to bully her oponents on the court, buying the time when she is in trouble during the match, Kerber didn’t let her do that, she was relentless and Serena periodically had longer absence from tour for whatever reason, we can only keep guessing why..
She wasn’t fit in Perth, you remeber “knee injury “, she couldn’t get fit in one week time for AO?


Wog Boy Says:

It should be smiley face after my first sentence.


Margot Says:

@Chris Ford
C. Very good observation about Nole and Andy. I think you may have hit the nail on the head.
But you see there you have also one of the reasons why I like Andy so much. Irritating as f*** but oh so human with all his imperfections on show to the world.
Difficult for such a private man.


Pauly Says:

I’m not attaching Rafa … I’m just telling it how it is !
He’s done … Losing to some Italian SCHIZOPRENIC bozo like fognini was an absolute disgrace
Plus verdasco who couldn’t beat Sela 😂

Losing to Djokovic isn’t a disgrace Coz he’s the best … Djokovic is playing at level MAX
Federer is just below him with Murray Wawrinka & Nadal is behind those 3 … How far do you want Rafa to go before enough is enough ?

It’s sad wel will never see him in full flight again but injury not age has caused his premature demise
He won’t win anymore majors
He was very lucky to beat Djokovic in 2014 French open … Had he lost the 4th he was out of energy he later told uncle Toni … His stamina is also gone

Everyone will see I’m right after 2016 ends
He won’t beat Djokovic again … Why play if you can’t win majors ?


Pauly Says:

**** attacking I meant to write


Pauly Says:

The elite players play for prestige not money
Nadal Federer don’t need anymore money
They play Coz they want more majors on their RESUME before their careers end


blah Says:

Where does this notion of Murray having more “raw talent” than Djokovic come from? How is raw talent being defined here? Only things Murray does better than Djokovic is the smash and the lob. Djokovic is better at almost everything else.

Not trying to be mean, just trying to understand where that’s coming from.


jane Says:

1. pauly @ 7:00, lol

2. chrisford1 @ 7:56, i believe to his fans it’s known as “the nolecoaster”? :)

3. thought serena looked supremely powerful and flexible at AO but perhaps a tad slow, if anything

4. chrisford1, interesting thoughts about nole and andy and how “all-in” or not they are w.r.t. to tennis. but i do think novak’s performance in that monte carlo final, even though he honoured the commitment, was indicative that his heart wasn’t in it. with jelena’s giving birth, it just so happened that it was last in the year, after all the slams, so it was fortuitous timing. i am sure most players, regardless of commitments, would make the effort to be around for child’s arrival.

5. margot we love all those emotions and such though. tennis is wonderful for it’s spotlight on humanity, something you don’t get as close of a look at in team sports, for e.g., (arguably).

6. yeah…what happened to the big “match fixing” expose? such a big deal during AO, particularly at the start. novak was grilled like a common criminal over 2007 santoro match before which he’d had wisdom tooth surgery. british parliament were even launching an investigation. names were named. leyton threatened to sue.

and then poof! it’s gone…. like it never existed, like keyser soze! makes you wonder: what was *that* all about eh?


Giles Says:

All these predictions of doom and gloom for Rafa on this site is really getting toooo boring . Just hold your horses for a while longer before committing him to retirement. Let’s take Fed’s case for example. Did anybody predict that he would have knee surgery? It was all about Rafa and his dodgy knees. Just proves one never knows what’s around the corner.
Zozza I’m sick of reading your cr@p. Change the record.


Margot Says:

True jane, but I can’t believe there are any Nole fans who find him as annoyingly f*** as Andy’s fans find him.
If they do then they are just darn ungrateful!
;)


jane Says:

for sure this past year or so… but he’s had his annoyingly f*** phases. trust me, we’re grateful! me? i’m in awe. my cup runneth over. :)


AndyMira Says:

Why everybody obsessed with f****word today?Oohh..i understand now..is it friday?


Pauly Says:

Even though people say I attack Rafa … I’m still hoping he can find one more effort to win 10 French opens ?
Can he do it ? I hope so … What Djokovic hates is hot Humid dusty conditions at Roland garros which is when top spin is deadly
We all dream of a day like that for French open final
2016


AndyMira Says:

@Pauly..i’m sorry if i hurt your feelings..didn’t mean to..it’s my hope too if rafa can up his game at that time..i wish very much before he hangs his racquet,he’ll be able to add just 1 more slam..2 the better..it doesn’t matter if he can’t surpass roger’s 17..


Pauly Says:

AndyMira

All I want is for Rafa to end his career on the highest possible note … Winning one more French open is all I want
Perfect 10 👍


AndyMira Says:

@Pauly..i couldn’t agree more..also i want him to make a big statement to the world and to the people who quick to point out that he already a spent force..


Dave Says:

2016 does seem like a pivitol year for Federer and Nadal. Will Nadal win the French? Can Federer win one more Wimbledon or U.S. Open? Can Federer or Nadal win WTF’s this year? I believe this is their last chance. If it doesn’t happen this year, it isn’t happening in 2017. The only way it happens in 2017 for Nadal is if he gets a super coach like Agassi or Johnny Mac. Than he has a chance to do something again.


Giles Says:

No, Rafa doesn’t need a super coach, what he needs is for joker’s level to drop! And pigs might fly!


AndyMira Says:

Also agree with dave..hope he’s willing to make a changes this year..he can’t afford to wait till next year..he’s going to be 31…31 and battered body..don’t know how much longer his body will endure..also it’s not easy to execute whatever formula that he’s suppose to be super coach will teach him..it will all takes time..time that he don’t have actually..


Pauly Says:

Dave

Sampras would be the best coach for Nadal but he’s a huge Federer fan so he won’t do it … Agassi can improve Nadal’s game … Even pat cash could help Nadal with his game
But Nadal is too damn stubborn
His uncle is no boris Becker


Pauly Says:

People laughed at Djokovic when Wawrinka beat him in 2014
Saying sack boris now … But Becker has improved his game
Second serve is good plus forehand is better … Backhand is always been great
Djokovic could get all 4 this year


AndyMira Says:

Pauly..yes he could..but somehow i doubt it..don’t know why or how maybe just a hunch..sometimes when we assumed too much or too far,most often than not things usually tend to get away from us..roger and rafa are simply the best examples..although if i’m wrong i will certainly apologise at the end of the year..


Ben Pronin Says:

Sean, we must have been watching 2 different players because what I saw was a fit Serena. I don’t know where you’re getting this “let herself go” thing from. And none of her matches indicated she wasn’t fit.

Again, are you morally opposed to gambling? Because then I understand your complaint regarding the sites themselves. Otherwise, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Betting sites don’t benefit from fixing, they lose money. And they have nothing to do with the players themselves. Are you also going to blame your bookie when you bet $10000 on the Sixers to make the playoffs this year? If you want to blame anyone, blame the tennis organizations that essentially turn a blind eye to this kind of stuff. The Tennis Integrity Unit was formed in 2007 in response to the Davydenko fiasco. It’s total number of employees is 2. If the governing body doesn’t care, why should the players?

In regards to the meniscus tear, are we just taking things entirely out of context? If a random 15 year old is walking in the park and a random 34 year old is walking in the park, I don’t think either one is likely to tear their meniscus. If we’re talking about a full time tennis playing 15 year old who’s practicing every day for 3 hours and traveling to sectionals and nationals vs the Federer we know, then the 15 year old is more likely.

The meniscus doesn’t decide “hey, I’m old, time to tear”. There are underlying issues that lead to the occurrence. It’s why this is so surprising with Federer. We’ve never heard him have any issues with his legs or knees. He’s always been really fit. And at this point in his athletic career, you’d think everything is structurally sound. A 15 year old being pushed physically before they’re even fully developed is more likely to have structural imbalances and, just generally, are less aware of what’s happening with their bodies. Federer has been upkeep with his body for a long time.

My older cousin tore his meniscus when he was 18. His younger sister tore her meniscus when she was 12. It’s not an age thing.


BBB Says:

I don’t understand the fitness comments either. When Serena’s out of shape, she has a gut (AO however many years ago).

I do think her footwork has been sloppy for a long time. When they showed the retrospectives of Indian Wells, I was shocked at how organized her footwork was back then. Now it seems she has gotten lax, relying on her ability to hit off balance shots even when she doesn’t have to.

The talking heads always praise PM as a fabulous coach. Maybe in terms of mental preparation, but I have my doubts about technique. On the other hand, I’m a hack, so maybe they know exactly what they’re doing. Dunno.


Pauly Says:

Giles Says:
No, Rafa doesn’t need a super coach, what he needs is for joker’s level to drop! And pigs might fly!

Pauly says
No , Rafa’s level needs to improve


Giles Says:

And Zozza needs to stop thinking he is the oracle. You know nought.


Django Says:

Jane I think we know why number 6 happened. It’s like nubs on shoes and abusing ball girls or leaving out a lleyton tribute video


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Serena looked ripped and fit. She’s won Slams in much worse shape.

I’ve always thought Milos would be the next to break through. I thought Kei would be out of top ten this year. But after this AO, I finally believe in Kei. He had a bad day against Novak. He can play much better. If anyone is going to beat Novak in a Slam, I think those two have as good a shot as Fed and Murray at this point. As a Fed fan, I gotta say, Novak plays SICK tennis against Fed at the Slams.


jalep Says:

Stand your ground, Gilles. You get dumped on here a lot by the tx club. But I find your posts refreshingly honest. ( Novak jabs aside)


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer tweeted the story of his injury:

http://i.imgur.com/mhS2kMq.jpg


jalep Says:

Serena is ripped and has great flexibility but I’m not convinced her endurance is that great anymore, plus that, she’s possibly not having so much fun under the microscope = mentally tired. But I expect her to keep fighting this year and bring it to the Olympics, if she possibly can.


Giles Says:

jalep. Hahaha. Cheers. :))
I’m not going away. I can deal with TX club and more if necessary.


SG1 Says:

I don’t think Rafa is done yet…and despite a post somewhere above that 10 FO’s wouldn’t be a big deal, I beg to differ. A double digit slam count is an incredible accomplishment and there is a small number of players in this club. Winning one of the slams 10 times…never been done before. It would be a singular accomplishment (a club with only one member). Martina won 9 Wimbledon titles. No one (man or woman) has won 1 major 10 times. So do I think it’s a big deal? In a word (or maybe two). HELL YES!


SG1 Says:

I hope Rafa has a resurgent clay court season. The tour needs him. There isn’t a balancing force to Novak in his absence.


J-Kath Says:

@ TV: Respect your choices but Poor wee Kei- he should but he won’t. Yes, he can be brilliant but is he consistent?

Milos – possibly but when “punch comes to shove” – and he has improved – he simply doesn’t have that brilliant streak.

Once in a blue moon they will beat a top 5 player but Nole (and even Andy- God rest my soul) can handle big serves. Yes, Milos has vastly improved
but he is not a “natural”. Who is/was a natural? : Novak/Rafa/Federer. I’d like to add Andy and Stan as they are current potentials….but they may have the stamina, and/or high levels of consistency and skills but they don’t always have the single-minded that is needed.

Sorri Margo – feel like a traitor…Andy still my most favoured….always will be for a variety of reasons.


Travis Bickle Says:

J-Kath,

“when punch comes to shove”… Is this your original expression since you may shove harder then you punch?

I’m used to “when push comes to shove”.

My personal strength scale (flavored by so called tennis Big 4 equivalents) would be as follows:

Cough (Rafa)
Push (Federer) – “pushover’ also works
Shove (Murray)
Punch (Novack) – using the Aussie spelling of his name


RZ Says:

@Ben – that tweet clearly indicates that Fed injured his knee because he is ancient.


RZ Says:

^ (Just in case it wasn’t clear, #sarcasm)


jane Says:

that was a cute tweet with the emoticon story of fed’s injury. there were some medical experts who discussed his injury (link on tennis.com) who do think the wear and tear of so many years playing so much tennis will weaken joints, ligaments etc, but they didn’t think his age should affect his recovery at all.

django, makes you wonder!


RZ Says:

@Jane – it was cute but I’m pretty bad at figuring out long emoji threads. If I didn’t have the context behind Fed’s story, I would have been completely lost.


J-Kath Says:

Travis – You are probably right…I did stare at that for a few seconds – then said what the heck…as you may know/gathered, my brain has taken a vacation recently – trying to join it.


Pauly Says:

GILES

Knows ZERO about tennis that’s something we all have established so far but he certainly is infatuated with ZOZZA?
WTF


Pauly Says:

Maybe GILES

Can coach Rafa to improve his level ?
He certainly can’t do any worse than uncle Toni


Pauly Says:

GILES alias GINGER

You need to understand that your favourite player Djokovic won’t be around forever … Let’s see how he goes at 34 ?
Ginger you know nothing about tennis …


Dantheman Says:

#4 – If Raonic can keep the injuries under control, he’s clearly playing at a top 4 level. Keep it up Milos, the top of the game needs a fresh face to start winning slams.


chrisford1 Says:

Dantheman – I’ll believe it when I see wins over Big 4 players. For now, Raonic is a promising live arm cannon. A better all-round player and more mobile than any “tall” players save Delpo, Cilic and the not winningest but always consistent Tomas Berdych (6′ 5″)
Remember all the hoopla over the Polish Cannon who was destined for the tip, Jerzy Janowicz?
But I am a fan of Milos. Has the brains and coachibility of a Djokovic and the drive.


mat4 Says:

I don’t know what happened, but it seems that Peter Bodo left tennis to write for espn. And suddenly, there’s a war of blog posts between Tignor and him. On the same day, Peter Bodo writes that Novak could catch Fed’s number of slams, and Steve Tignor “answers” that it’s too early to think about it.

Funny.


Margot Says:

Hey mat, Les bleus looked very promising. Awful defence but great attack. Thank goodness they’ve at last got rid of PSA. What a dingbat!


Margot Says:

@Kath
Don’t apologise, I’m annoyed with Andy too, but he’ll always be my 2nd favourite player ever Mac being the first. Have not found a 3rd yet….busy searching…..may be some time…..;)


Margot Says:

@Kath
Much quicker than I thought, Santoro. And what about Brahami?
As you see I like magicians, on and off the court, :)


J-Kath Says:

Margot

Love Santoro.

When you said Andy was your 2nd favourite – I thought oh gosh this is bad news….surely it ain’t Tomic!!!! then found the thread and it is MAC!!! I used to love him – always disappointed if a match failed to irritate him in some way. Don’t care so much for today’s version though.


Margot Says:

Kath:
Agree re Mac. Fab on court in yesteryears, not so much off court these days. Gob got even bigger!
Seen him play veterans quite a few times. Still got it.
Nooooooo, never, never, never deserting Andy while he’s still got a racquet in his hand. Nobody comes close.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

I still live in the era of Jacques Fouroux et Jean-Pierre Romeu, when rugby looked like rugby, et when we use to beat these treacherous Normands from across La Manche. Last time I watched it was in 2003, and I was shocked how much it changed, it wasn’t the same sport any more. And it was also humiliating to see our team of “professionals” lose so bad. So, to see that we beat… Italy… 23-21… come on…

It’s, unfortunately, from what I know from conversations with a colleague that played the game and is a huge fan, mostly a problem of federation — just like in tennis. Melbourne has three covered courts, Wimbledon too, even the Americans will have one, but we can’t have light in the evening, we don’t need Hawk-Eye, and our inefficacy, inefficiency is like Po the Panda, legendary stuff from legends.

You just turned the knife in the wound ;-)


Margot Says:

Mat
But coming from where they’ve been…don’t you think? ;)
I too loved the way they used to play, but am hopeful.


J-Kath Says:

@ Blah
…..because you rate Andy as better than Nole at smash and lob…….what else is there!!1

PS: Was too tempting to resist


chrisford1 Says:

J-Kath -
There will always be nervous cringing by Djokovic fans when they see a smash off the racket of Nole coming – but the sucker has actually turned out to be a fine lobber. One of the best in the ATP in fact. Ask Roger about how SABR has worked after surprising Nole once with it. He doesn’t try it hardly at all against Nole now. If Fed hits a 2nd serve return close to the doubles lane and charges, Novak has the angles and a 1M to 1.5M gap to pass him, and the guy rarely misses that gap opening. If Fed hits up the middle and charges in, with less good angles, Djokovic can still pass even with a smaller gap more often than not, or just wait till Fed fully commits to the net and lob him.
* (Lobbing Fed in that situation results in a winner, a forcing of Roger to sprint back and try a low-percent odds ‘tweener’ or 180 Deg pivot shot on the fly Djokovic usually wins. And if Nole loses a SABR play – he has at least stressed ROgers older legs and back more than on a typical point. By forcing Fed to sprint front, then back, put his back in an unusual ball striking position.)


J-Kath Says:

I’m sure you’re right ChrisFord 1…..my remark to Blab fitted what was said and came across as amusing. My response was a bit of tongue in cheek!….

That said, – it’s the mindset that seems to matter..

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