French Open Dish: Sharapova Testy, All Americans Out

by Staff | June 3rd, 2008, 12:55 am

Sharapova Blows Lead, Exits French Open

Maria Sharapova had a lot to be angry about on Monday at Roland Garros.
Serving for the match in the second set, then one point away from victory, the world No. 1 let slip a fourth-round match against Russian compatriot Dinara Safina, falling 6-7(6), 7-6(5), 6-2.

“Oh, I was angry,” said Sharapova, who was booed by fans upon rapidly exiting the stadium court. “I was angry for making unforced errors, for not taking some of those balls and just ripping them.”

Sharapova led 7-6(6), 5-2, and was then up 40-30 serving for the match at 5-3. In the second-set tiebreak she led 5-2, but Safina to her credit would not go away, winning the next five points to claim the set while Sharapova looked tentative.

“It can go in the wrong direction really fast,” Sharapova said. “It just started going that way.”

Sharapova was not distressed by the jeering French fans as she hurried off the stadium court.

“I can’t please everyone,” Sharapova said. “That’s not in my ‘J.D.’ — not in my job description. I mean, they paid the ticket to watch me, so they must appreciate me on some level, right?”

With the loss Sharapova could lose the top ranking during the event to either Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic or Svetlana Kuznetsova.

“Boo-hoo,” said Sharapova in response.

Safina will next face another Russian in No. 7 Elena Dementieva, who beat No. 11 Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.

Two other matches were suspended by darkness, with No. 4 Kuznetsova leading No. 16 Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 2-2, and Petra Kvitova and Kaia Kanepi at one-set all.

On court Tuesday at Roland Garros are (2) Ana Ivanovic vs. (10) Patty Schnyder, (3) Jelena Jankovic vs. unseeded Spanish sensation Carla Suarez Navarro, (4) Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. (16) Victoria Azarenka (to finish), and Petra Kvitova vs. Kaia Kanepi (to finish…on Court 6…ouch).

Federer Into Quarterfinals, Monfils Upsets Ljubicic at French Open

World No. 1 Roger Federer tamed Frenchman Julien Benneteau and the French crowd 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 Monday at the French Open, moving into the quarterfinals.

The Swiss will next face No. 24 seed Fernando “Gonzo” Gonzalez, who eliminated the final American in the draw, unseeded Robby Ginepri 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-1.

“A five-hour ‘grindfest’ would have favored me a little bit more,” Ginepri told reporters. “I tried to end the points too quickly.”

Even the world No. 1 and former French Open champion Bryan brothers were ousted on Monday, falling to Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay and Luis Horna of Peru 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(1). Switching sides leading 5-1 in the third-set tiebreak, Cuevas jumped the net, leading the Bryan brothers to avoid shaking Cuevas’ hand after the match.

“I wanted to talk to them in the locker room,” said Tennis Channel/ESPN commentator John McEnroe of the American twins, “but they had this angry look in their eyes and I thought I’d better let them cool off.”

Also advancing in singles Monday were (5) David Ferrer (d. (21) Radek Stepanek in five) and unseeded Frenchman Gael “Force” Monfils (d. (28) Ivan Ljubicic in four).

Scheduled for Tuesday are quarterfinal matches (2) Rafael Nadal vs. (19) Nicolas Almagro in an all-Spanish grinder, and former practice partners (3) Novak Djokovic vs. unseeded Latvian “The Importance of Being” Ernests Gulbis.

Happy Birthday to Rafael Nadal who turns 22 on Tuesday…Gael Monfils has reached his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal…David Ferrer has won seven straight five-set matches…Dinara Safina beat Maria Sharapova again at the French Open in the same round, on the same court and by the same number of sets Monday as she did two years earlier in 2006…Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Sveta Kunetsova can all walk away with the No. 1 ranking…Roger Federer has reached 16 straight Slam quarterfinals…Svetlana Kuznetsova is the only player left in the women’s draw with a Slam title…Fernando Gonzalez has not lost a clay match this year. The Chilean is 16-0…Rafael Nadal is 38-0 in best-of-5 set matches…Nicolas Almagro leads all players in aces…Spanish qualifier Carlo Suarez Navarro has lost just one set…Forecast: Risk of rain remains, with likely interruptions…John McEnroe’s ex-wife, Tatum O’Neal, was arrested for buying crack on Sunday night near her home in Manhattan. That could put a dent in the visitation rights with the McEnroe kids…Why were the Bryans playing one-up, one-back doubles like the Girl’s 14s final at the French Open on Monday in their loss to two South American baseliners? Ouch…According to the SportsBusiness Journal, the ATP wants to use the calendar structure of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour as a defense in its court case against the Masters Series-Hamburg tournament, which is suing the ATP in U.S. court in July. The ATP, according to the court papers, plans to call WTA Chief Executive Larry Scott as a witness…Ouch — ESPN couldn’t have been too happy on Monday when it began its noon coverage with the tape of Robby Ginepri vs. Fernando Gonzalez, just after the Tennis Channel finished its switch-over coverage ending at noon with the news that Ginepri had lost. Thanks Tennis Channel, no need to watch ESPN for the next two hours!

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55 Comments for French Open Dish: Sharapova Testy, All Americans Out

jane Says:

I hate when crowds boo players; if I could be there watching a GS match live, I’d be soaking it in not booing and jeering at Sharapova. Yeah, Safina deserved to win but why kick Maria when she’s down. Nasty, that.

jane Says:

Re: Notes – not only is it Monfils’ first GS quarter final, it’s Gulbis’ and Almagro’s too. As I said elsewhere, it’s good to see a mix of the vanguard and the establishment this far along.

fisya Says:

It was such a ridiculous when crowd jeering and booing for the player after they struggle for their match… The player like sharapova who have fighting spirit and determination in tennis doesnt deserved that rude treatment…Do they forget sharapova always bring us exciting match and produce great tennis…I feel so sad with this sick situation and hope it will not happen again next time… Salute to Aussie fans during Aussie Open.

grendel Says:

True in a way. Crowds are fickle, and can be sanctimonious. But there’s a history here. French crowds in particular are unforgiving, and recall certain earlier instances of Sharapova gamesmanship.

meanwhile, I see sharpie’s putting a brave face on it. The fact is, she came close to cracking in that match, and we haven’t seen that before. “Anger” is not the correct description, though naturally from Sharapova’s point of view, it sounds more dignified. The criticism here is not that Sharapova had lost her composure – to me, that’s normal enough when you’re in the furnace, and I admire anyone who can venture into that kind of cauldron. But she can’t admit it. Here again: how many players would? Not very many, I suspect. One only lingers on it because there is a bullying streak in Sharapova, and I am not especially inclined to let her get away with what is, after all, fairly standard humbug.

Winston Says:

Sharapova is an arrogant spoiled brat who happens to be a good tennis player. Her father is another arrogant spoiled brat. Let the French have at her.

Ray Says:

I think they were booing Sharapova about incidents in the final set. At one point Safina’s serve was called out and Safina came towards the net to check it. Sharapova sauntered over to the mark (didn’t go right up to it) but didn’t really look at it and pulled her face as if she smelt something funny. The umpire came down and it turned out the serve was good, then Sharapova nodded as to say “Yes, I know.” Whay couldn’t she just call it good then?

Later in the third set Dinara’s shot cleared the line, Sharapova hit her shot out and then called the umpire down to look at a mark that was very clearly not out. She must have seen it when she looked at the mark?The crowd was already against her and she just made it worse.

Ray Says:

Just to clarify-Sharapova called the umpire down to look at Dinara’s shot that was good and called good. Sharapova wanted the shot to be called out.

Von Says:

The French crowd is the most unforgiving of all the GS. They’ll descend on you in a New York heartbeat with their criticisms. Their dislike for prima donnas is obvious, and sad to say, Sharapova’s one. Her undignified shrieking is also not an endearing trait. I wonder if Sharapova was ever told that nice young ladies are seen and not heard? :) I expect there will be a repeat of the laughter of ’07 when she gets on Center Court at Wimby.

jane Says:

Sorry this point is “off topic” – TSN is showing Rafa’s match so I can’t watch Novak /Ernests, but I just checked the stats and had to blink 3 times – the winners these guys are hitting are astounding! Unless those are typos, it’s late in the second set and both guys have hit over 50 winners. Wow! It’s looking like a tiebreak in this set.

jane Says:

Meanwhile, Rafa’s steamrolling Almagro.

jane Says:

Now Novak and Ernests are at over 70 winners each mid third set; of course that includes serves but still!

Compare that to the Almagro vs Rafa match at the end of the second set – 16 & 34 winners respectively.

I’m so annoyed I can’t watch the exciting match…

Gulbis will be an X-factor at Wimbledon; from what I saw in past play, and in his other matches here, he’s got a great serve and good net skills, not to mention sharp instincts. Two things to work on: cutting down on unforced errors & playing consistently like he has here.

Clay Says:

I may not care for Sharapova as a person, but she can play some awesome tennis. When she left the stadium early, it was rude to Safina. My suspicion is that the French just let Sharapova know just how rude she was. I can’t see Federer insulting his opponent by leaving early in a huff after a loss. Take a lesson Maria. Have some class, then practice even harder.

jane Says:

I wonder if Safina will win it all? She showed great mettle yesterday against Maria, and she played well last week…she’s certainly in with a shot.

Megan Says:

I think the boos all started when sharapova hit a winner when she was down and then looked up to the crowed and said the F-word. I never knew that sharapova can be that disrespectful.

Shital Green Says:

Gulbis deserves a lot of credit for his amazing performance. He was best at covering the court and passing shots. On the other hand, Djoko did not play well at all. He looked uncertain about his shots, particularly forehand, on numerous occasions. Like one commentator said, he was “battling within himself,” possibly because his losses at the practice court in and before 2006 were haunting him. Djoko made it to the semi, but for a supporter it was a dizzying experience to watch him struggle. Hopefully, after 2 days’ rest, he will play better in the semi.

Nadal is playing better than any other years I have seen him. Let alone taking a set from him, Almagro had to give everything even to take a game away from him. This was another brilliant performance by Nadal, to Almagro’s utter embarrassment, probably worse than Verdasco’s by some measures. The only good game Almagro played today was in the 3rd game of the 2nd set, and that, too, he lost at the end. I hope the same kind of one sided match does not repeat in the semi and final, but it is not completely impossible, which would make Nadal’s fans happy but not all tennis fans, including myself who would look for a rather competitive match.

Von Says:


Very good analysis on Djoko’s match. Gulbis, I think, seemed bothered by the elements. I saw the same thing when he played in Vegas on a very windy day. However, Djoko played very tentatively, at times even struggling. If Gulbis could have won the 3rd set, I think Gulbis would probably have won the match. Djoko’s legs were obviously tired and his body language lacked the fire we often see. Perhaps it was nervousness, who knows.

Djoko will have to play a lot better when he meets Nadal.

Almagro was a bitter disappointment. To say that he showed no heart is putting it mildly. A very dismal performance from Almagro made for a boring match devoid of opposition and one-sided enthusiasm coming only from Nadal’s end — but this is just speaking from my coign of vantage position where I was not on the receiving end of Nadal’s awesome topspin forehand and lightning speed legs, much more facing the awful weather. Poor Almagro he looked relieved when the match was over.

jane Says:


It’s worth noting that Gulbis hit way more errors than Djoko though. I didn’t “see” Novak struggling thanks to TSN! Grrrr. I was so looking forward to this match.

I know what you mean about Nadal – is it possible he’s gotten even BETTER on clay?

andrea Says:

6-1, 6-1, 6-1. wow…i’m starting to see double.

uhhhh…..should we just give him the title now? haven’t seen the matches yet. too bad gulbis. nice effort by the sounds of it.

jane Says:


“possibly because his losses at the practice court in and before 2006 were haunting him.”

Gulbis is a friend of Djokovic’s too, so maybe there’s a strange element involved in that regard. Either way, Djoko is through in straight sets.

But if we consider Roger’s scoreline yesterday and Djoko’s today versus Rafa’s last three – well Rafa seems completely and utterly insurmountable – even by the other two guys at the top.

Seth Says:

Rafa’s simply in another galaxy this French Open. Wow.

I hate to say it, but if form holds true and we have another Fed-Rafa final, Fed doesn’t stand a chance. I hope I’m wrong. Of course, I wouldn’t be terribly disappointed to see Rafa walk away with a 4th straight RG crown. He’s become my second-favorite player and he certainly deserves it if he keeps playing like this.

jane Says:

Yes, another galaxy seems a good way to put it.

Here’s a couple of interesting stats:

“Nadal is 26-0 at Roland Garros but Djokovic is making a mark in the record book, too. The Australian Open champion has reached five consecutive Grand Slam semifinals, joining Federer, Ivan Lend and Boris Beaker as the only men to accomplish the feat in the Open era.”

jane Says:

I assume they meant Becker – don’t know a Beaker?! LOL.

Not Shaking Hands!! Says:

Its not every day you beat a top doubles team like what Horna/Pablo did. Not shaking their hands! Its very silly of Bryan Borther. They are not all that invincible and if they think they do they should be a little more sporting.

I know they once took offense for the remarks of Leander Paes (in Australia) regarding his comments about their chest bumps. Leander said something like we (Paes and Bhupathy) have been celebarating winners with chest bumps since Bryans were wearing diapers (he probably meant since Bryans were young) or something like that.

Bryans are the top doubles team and if some team wins against them they deserve to be extremely happy. Even Radek does the “worm” after beating top players (Roger for example) that doesn’t mean he disrespects them.

Bryans need to grow up.

PJ Says:

Jane, you never heard of Boris Beaker? I believe he was the doubles partner of Dr. Bunsen.

At this point, Federer better make the final. He’s honestly the only one of the four on the top half that I could see giving Nadal a decent match. Mind you, that may not even happen, but I think Roger has the best shot at “challenging” him. This is the most dominant I’ve seen someone at a Slam and maybe the second most dominant tournament performance (the first being Mary Pierce at the 2000 Charleston event. She won her 5 matches, losing only 12 games; in the semis, she beat Seles 6-1 6-1 and beat Sanchez Vicario 6-0 6-1 in the final).

Seth Says:

Fed at the ’07 Australian Open was up there in terms of dominant Grand Slam performances, and mind you, that one’s already in the history books. But if form holds, Rafa’s cooking up one to rival that.

jane Says:

LOL PJ – I notice they wrote Ivan “Lend” too. Must’ve rush that piece to press.

Ole Says:

I’m also disappointed by the Bryan brothers’ behavior. Not shaking hands is petty and second-class, especially considering the fact that they are usually great guys on/off the court. Unexpected.

“They did not accept to shake Pablo Cuevas’ hand because of some showboating and it was reported they were extremely irritated.”
How should opponents feel about the chest bumps then?

andrea Says:

yep. despite his ranking, novak will not beat nadal in the semis, unless nadal has foot or health troubles. this leaves roger as the only hope for a competitive final.

I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

Mon dieu! The french are rude who know nothing about tennis!

With the loss Sharapova could lose the top ranking during the event to either Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic or Svetlana Kuznetsova. “Boo-hoo,” said Sharapova in response.


good luck to Ferrer and Djokovic in the final. :D

Skorocel Says:

To fisya:

Agree that Shriekapova has a fighting spirit – no doubt about that… Despite her yesterday’s loss, I still consider her as the best player out there as far as the mental toughness goes (aside from maybe Serena – if she’s on, of course), but are her matches really that much exciting? I don’t think so… Primitive ball bashing and even more primitive shrieking at its purest! Anyway, to each his/her own, isn’t it?

P.S. Agree on the Aussie Open crowd. If we count (at least) the Slams, they’re probably the best, always fair to everyone…

Skorocel Says:

To jane:

That guy named Gulbis really is a lovely player to watch! I’ve only seen some bits of the last set, and even though he seemed rather inconsistent, I can’t help myself – his game seemed very likable to me… And this was actually the very first time I saw him play…

Anyway, what I’m even more curious about is how well will Tsonga regroup after that disastrous injury… He I think is even more talented than Gulbis, even though he’s already some 4 or so years older… I’ve just once again reviewed some highlights of that AO 2008 semifinal destruction which he inflicted upon Nadal, and boy, did he looked brilliant in that one! Those volleys – even though some of them were indeed “a bit” lucky ones – were simply stunning! If he’s on, he’s simply a joy to watch! Just hoping he recovers from that injury ASAP!

P.S. Djoker reaching 5 cons. finals? Well, if he manages another 10 (!), then we can indeed talk about something… ;-)

jane Says:


Don’t you think both Gulbis & Tsonga could do amazing well at Wimbledon? They both have big serve and good skills at net. I don’t know about Tsonga’s movement though; he tired out in his match with Djoko and has this re-occuring knee issue. Gulbis, on the other hand, is young, talented and nimble. The question is this: is he motivated? I love his game too, so I hope to see him roar into the top 10!

P.S. That stat I quoted was 5 consequetive Grand Slam semi-finals; we all know your guy takes the cake on consequetive GS final appearances ;-)

jane Says:

Sorry I meant consecutive – had a weird spelling glitch there.

Skorocel Says:

To PJ:

Agree that Fed is still the only guy who can trouble Rafa at RG… Djoker will most probably exit in three on Friday, but then again, with Nadal’s current from, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the same happens to Fed (in case he advances to the final, of course)… My gut feeling just tells me that Rafa simply wants to win this one without losing a set – which certainly isn’t a pleasant news for the rest of the pack… Anyway, by the 8th of June, we’ll know…

P.S. Comparing Nadal’s current form at RG to that of Mary (at a certain non-slam tourney) doesn’t make sense… Even though Charleston is a Tier I event (at least from what I remember, that is), it simply isn’t a Slam… Forget about Masters Series, Davis Cup, Tier I, Masters Cup, Olympics, or whatever else – it will be always about Slams in tennis…

Skorocel Says:

jane said:

“That stat I quoted was 5 consequetive Grand Slam semi-finals; we all know your guy takes the cake on consequetive GS final appearances”

Yes, 10 cons. GS finals isn’t particularly a bad result :), but then again, 15 GS semis isn’t that bad either :) Let’s see if he can add his 16th tomorrow…

Btw, I just don’t get it why the local organizers haven’t put all tomorrow’s singles matches (whether it’s the men’s or women’s) on the Chatrier court? It’s not that I’m losing any sleep over the fact that Fed’s playing on Lenglen – not at all… Even Nadal had to play there too, so that wouldn’t be a problem… But really, I just can’t understand why the hell they have to start the matches “as soon” as 2 p.m. local time (especially when there’s a possible threat of rain delays) and therefore put 2 matches on Chatrier and 2 on Lenglen?! Both Fed vs Gonzo and Monfils vs Ferrer matches should provide us with some high-quality tennis, but unfortunately, they’re both scheduled at the same time (should the presedent women’s quarterfinal matches finish at around the same time, of course)…

jane Says:


I noticed that today too, and thought it odd. Usually the marquee match-ups are on center court at differing times, and surely all the quarter finals are worthy of that?

jane Says:

Okay, here I go tooting Djokovic’s horn again, but so what. :-) This is why I like the guy so much; in the following quote he gives credit, fully, where it’s due, but then he says that’s not stopping him from going into the semi-final match to win. Every player wants to win their matches of course, but he’s *really* in it “to win,” not “try his best”. His ambition & confidence are admirable and partly why he’s catapulted to #3 in the world so quickly.

Here’s Djoko on Rafa:

““He’s been playing better and better,” Djokovic said. “He’s improved I think the serve a lot this year, on clay especially, and he’s going for some shots much more. He combines that with his great physical strength and then patience, and it’s impressive on this surface. But I don’t want to go out there in semis and just try my best. I don’t want to do that. I want to win, and I think I have good quality and good chance. I know, of course, he’s a favorite, and all the credit to that. But only with a positive attitude and approach in the match I can get the positive outcome.”

Of course Novak had to throw in some humour too, on being asked about Rafa’s rout of Almagro:

” Well, I told my coach, I think it was 6‑1, 6‑1, 5‑1, I told him, Look, go, go fast. See one game, you know. Try to catch at least a game and see how it goes. Maybe he play some bad shots (laughter.)”

Susan Says:

Espn is just as bad. I put it on to watch the Sharapova/Safina match and heard what happened as coverage was about to begin. You’d think in this day and age of technology, they’d do a better job! Both of them.

grendel Says:

That “boo-hoo” stuff is pure Sharapova. Very childish, because of course everybody knows she doesn’t for one second mean it. Tremendous tennis player though, whatever anyone says.

Apparently, Darren Cahill is tipping Gonzales to beat Federer, on the grounds, I gather, that he can handle the heavy conditions better (given also that he is in prime form).

Of course, some might say that, with Nadal playing the way he is, what does it matter what anybody else does? Has anyone ever been such an overwhelming favourite? I don’t think so. McEnroe, in the year he won his 3rd Wimbledon, perhaps comes closest. I recall one of the Gullickson twins being asked, after losing to McEnroe early on, if there was anyone who could pose any trouble to him. About a millisecond of deep reflection before the shake of the head and: “No”. Nor did anyone.

If Federer does make it to the final, Nadal will not be merciful; if he can blow him away as McEnroe blew Jimmy Connors away, he will do. The point about this , imo, is the significance it will carry for Wimbledon. A rampant Nadal is going to be even more dangerous on the green lawns than over the last two years, particularly if Federer’s confidence is severely dented.

More than just the spectre of victory and loss hangs over the next few days. The manner in which it occurs matters deeply.

Fed-Rafa Says:


May be to maximize revenue?

4 matches in 2 courts = 2 sessions
4 matches in 1 court = 1 session (since there is no day session and night session in RG/wimbledon unlike NY and melbourne)


You are doing a great job of trying to sell us good Djokovic, but to anyone who is objective enough it is clear that guy is in deep illusion. May not be a bad thing at all given the scary form nadal is in. Whatever works, right? But here is some damning evidence against Djokobich – right up there with the “I am in control” and “He is going down tomorrow”

Q. You will play more aggressive than Hamburg, like the beginning of the match when you are winning? Or what do you think about?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think Hamburg was really good match for me. I was really unfortunate. I mean, I don’t think it can happen second time that I am so unfortunate on a lot of break points and in important moments I hit so many lets and even the string breaks, things like that. I didn’t have luck.

Really? What world is this guy living in? Nadal whipped his behind in the last set in hamburg. And all he has to say he was just unlucky? There was no luck in that match. Rafa was the better player over a longer period of time. Especially in the 3rd set where djoko was moving well below par. May be he meant to say he was unlucky because he suffered through the 6-2 3rd set, rather than retire 1 game into the 3rd set and claim he was in control of the match.

Cant wait for Rafa to thrash this guy so bad that it knocks some reality into his numb-head!

Vamos Rafa!

jane Says:

Well, Skorocel, I think you’re not being objective here either.

With a comment like this “Cant wait for Rafa to thrash this guy so bad that it knocks some reality into his numb-head!” your bias is rather glaring.

Not only that but it’s surprising to hear you say “Vamos Rafa!” when in the past, not so long ago, you argued with me about what a “destructive” and terrible player Rafa is, how he never hits winners and only dismantles the wonderful & creative shots of other players. Do you recall that conversation we had not too long ago?

Sure, I fully admit my perspective is colored by my like and admiration for Djokovic. Still, I don’t ever wish that he “crushes” his opponent. I hope for good matches. I like Rafa and would be thrilled if he won another title.

Did you watch the Hamburg semi? Novak played an excellent clay match against Rafa, winning one set decisively and coming close to winning the 1st (interesting that you mention only the 3rd set). Also, his string did break; he did get some bad bounces.

The way I read that comment is merely that he’s hoping that maybe luck will be on his side this match. Maybe the bounces will go his way; maybe his string won’t break. I think Novak is FULLY aware of Rafa’s incredible play and that his chances are slim, as the joke he cracked above shows, but why I admire him is that he will not simply concede defeat. Maybe he’ll get thrashed, but not without fighting the good fight and having the right attitude.

jane Says:

I think it was also you who has repeatedly accused Rafa for being coached on court, so, again, I find it surprising that you’re cheering him on now. Maybe your views on Rafa have changes, and if so, that’s great.

jane Says:

ACK – I AM SO SORRY SKOROCEL! I just realized I was responding to Fed-Rafa’s not your. So please forgive my misreading. Clearly you’re not suddenly cheering on Rafa, so ignore those comments! Apologies again.

jane Says:


Those comments to Skorocel were meant to be to you, so please disregard the bits about previous conversations.

I still stand by my comments about your rather obvious lack of objectivity. You clearly dislike Novak and that affects your perspective as much as my like for him does, if not more. As I say, I don’t crap on other players because I like Djoko.

JCF Says:

Henin should have played on… None of the women remaining are even remotely a threat to her, except maybe Sveta a little bit. She could beat them all even using a double-handed backhand.

PJ Says:

Skorocel wrote:

“P.S. Comparing Nadal’s current form at RG to that of Mary (at a certain non-slam tourney) doesn’t make sense… Even though Charleston is a Tier I event (at least from what I remember, that is), it simply isn’t a Slam… Forget about Masters Series, Davis Cup, Tier I, Masters Cup, Olympics, or whatever else – it will be always about Slams in tennis…”

I completely agree that slams and even Masters Series are bigger than an event like Charleston. I was just mentioning that Pierce’s play was one of the most dominating performances in one tournament I’ve ever seen. Nadal’s is one of the most dominant at a Slam than I’ve seen. Overall, Nadal’s is probably more impressive (at least the last few rounds; he wasn’t in any way horrible, but wasn’t as on point early on) since it’s best of 5, a Slam, etc. But, anytime you lose only 12 games in a 5 match run (with the worst set being 6-3 vs. Dokic), it’s pretty darn impressive.

craig Says:

“I know I can beat him. I’m the one playing aggressive. I’m the one trying hard. I’m the one taking the risks in those matches, so I think I have positive chances of winning here,” said Federer regarding Nadal.

hiding behind our keyboards Says:

“…I’m the one taking the risks in those matches…” is absolutely correct.
Federer has always been a risk taker. He takes more chances with his shots than anybody I can think of, not counting some of these respectable journeymen on the tour who go for broke. Sometimes he looks (or maybe used to look) to be in some sort of stream-of-consciousness state of play, flowing and hitting, and then, catching a brief glimpse of an opening of some sort, whether it be in the fore or the back, he goes for his shot. It can strike some as totally unforeseen, or a fluke, but then seen as an absolutely logical conclusion to a point. The difficulty is in having the focus to pull it off time and time again. I would very much like to see that kind of accuracy return in Federer’s game. If it doesn’t happen here in Paris this year, oh well. But having observed him to be a player of a certain very high quality, and with what this tournament means, one has to expect some sort of improvement over previous performances. Forget the previous rounds and rainy sloppiness. Enough to earn him that elusive title, certainly possible. He simply cannot afford to be passive, or willing to concede as much, because recent results show he’s had some trouble holding his own serve. I’d like to see him turn this around.

Joker Says:–1.html

Go to that site and check KP’s post at 8:19. I could not believe that Nadal hit 47 winners in his match against Alamagro. Or that Djokovic and Gulbis hit 82 winners each in one 3 set match! Stupid Roland garros website. They are just adding the numbers in the two rows above winners. I guess it is some kind of a bug in their software. I guess live scoring is also not reliable any more. Tennis seems to be going more and more retro!

hiding behind our keyboards Says:

“holding his own serve” should read “holding serve”. Redundancy error. Oops, my baaaaaaaad!

jane Says:


Thanks for that! I was gobsmacked by those stats this morning! I couldn’t watch Djoko’s match because TSN was showing Rafa’s, and so I checked the stats and had to blink 3 times. I thought I was missing the match of a life time. I did get to see bits of it, as the network had to fill in time after Rafa’s quick match, and it was good, but that link explains my amazement.

Skorocel Says:

jane said:

“Clearly you’re not suddenly cheering on Rafa”

Well, you can bet that I’m not :) , but still, I will root for him in that Friday’s semi… Well, “root for him” isn’t exactly what I wanted to say. As I’ve already stated cca 20 threads ago, I simply want to see that Fed vs Nadal final once again, so something like “hope that he wins” will be more appropriate I guess :)

“ACK – I AM SO SORRY SKOROCEL! I just realized I was responding to Fed-Rafa’s not your. So please forgive my misreading.”

Not a problem here :) But anyway, as I can see, you’re having a rather good memory of my previous comments made about Rafa, aren’t you? :) Well, you don’t need to worry at all! I haven’t changed my views on his game even a bit :)

jane Says:

Thanks Skorocel; I felt like a dweeb after writing those things when I noticed it wasn’t even your comment – doh! But yeah, my memory about most things is pretty good. I also recall you saying that the best way for Roger to win the FO would be against Rafa.

Joker Says:

Check that out. Anabel Medina garrigues and Pironkova hit 55 winners each in 3 sets! I remember Federer hit 60 winners in the 2003 Masters cup round robin match against agassi that was decided in a 3rd set tie-break. It felt like Federer was ripping a winner on every point then. These two WTA players have achieved the same in a routine 3 setter in which the closest set was 6-4! some shot-making, huh? ;)

I am off to buy this match on a DVD! – NOT!

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