Screwed on the 4th of July: NBC Offers No Live Wimbledon Semis
by Sean Randall | July 4th, 2008, 8:31 am

Thanks NBC, and thanks Wimbledon. Thanks for again banding together to try and ruin the sport. If that’s your combined intent, your combined goal, you are really doing a helluva a great job! ADHEREL

I woke up today – a Fourth of July Holiday no less – looking forward to some men’s semifinals action from Wimbledon, but instead on ESPN right now I’m getting Williams sisters doubles, and over on NBC, well, I won’t even go there. How could I have forgotten that we are late in a European Slam and than means NBC takes over by usually going to tape.

So leave it to NBC to again screw over American tennis fans. And also to Wimbledon/Slams for allowing this garbage to happen. Recall just a month ago NBC didn’t go live with either Nadal v. Djokovic or Federer v. Monfils.

This time, again no live men’s semifinal coverage – at least not on my TV, not right now – of Roger Federer v. Marat Safin and likely Rafael Nadal v. Rainer Schuettler. From my listings NBC doesn’t even come until noon, at which time both semifinals will likely be over (I think Federer/Nadal could win 6-0 in sets today). And ESPN. Well why the hell are they even on if they cannot show live singles? Juniors? Seniors? Sorry, but I’ll pass on the Williams doubles. At least give me some Fed playing croquet.

Obviously NBC needs to either get the hell out of tennis or start doing the sport justice by fully committing to televising the French Open and Wimbledon tournaments fully live, not just the finals. Unfortunately I’d imagine neither is going to happen anytime soon. Guess I have good reason now to go out and by some fireworks.

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88 Comments for Screwed on the 4th of July: NBC Offers No Live Wimbledon Semis

Mike S. Says:

I agree completely. Totally disappointed. On top of the insult if having to wait untio noon, then we get inferior commentating my Robinson and Carillo. And, most likely, edited amtched where NBC has to cut out some of the matches. 5 hours of coverage for 2 men’s 5 set matches??

When will this BS end?

melvin katz Says:

can’t believe they are not showing the men’s semi-finals. no wonder we keep losing tennis fans.

Dom Says:

I’m bewildered that they are not showing the men’s semifinals. Yeah, the William’s sisters are American and they seem the be the story that NBC *thinks* their audience wants to follow. I for one couldn’t care less and am itching to see the Federer/Safin match. It’s more important match by far, and NBC is not even commenting on it. The universe revolves around the Williams.

NBC, you suck. Please get out of tennis

Christian Says:

Clearly, you people are either just looking to complain or you’re morons.

NBC has locked in their exclusive coverage of the Wimbledon semis and finals for a while now which means that even though the Men’s matches are in play earlier in the day, ESPN and the Tennis Channel are prohibited from airing them until after NBC does. It sucks, but that’s business.

As far as showing the Williams’ sisters match – stop the hate! They are showing it because it is a doubles match featuring highly popular players and because they can. So that, rather than no coverage of Wimbledon action until the taped matches on NBC this afternoon, viewers can still get their tennis fix. Personally, I wish they’d show more doubles action from the majors.

If you don’t like it then why don’t you go marinate some meat for a bbq later or demonstrate some American pride until noon. Of course, you could also be proud of the ONLY 2 Americans – among Men and Women – left in the tournament playing singles.

Radu P Says:

I grew up in a communist country. This morning I thought I was back in my childhood when some sporting event was deemed too political and just not shown.

What dissapoints me most is the ESPN commentators. What do they have to lose to comment one bit about this? I risked my life to speak up against communist methods, even though I was very young, and came here thinking that the US is a different country; yeah, not under the covers. What do the commentators have to lose to comment on this? Even if they lose their jobs, don’t they have nice lives already? And I’m sure someone else would hire them again.

I am more and more dissapointed by the gutless America hiding behind money and guns. Why don’t we just bomb London, they just have too many non-Americans at Wimbledon. It’s their fault that tennis is a loosing business in the US.

josh Says:

yeah, listen to morons like christian who are used to tape tennis and never demand anything better and are just glad tennis is on tv at all. the christian army is why tennis fans are such losers.

Dee Says:

Agreed. This is disgusting. The only way for tennis fans to get decent coverage is to subscribe to a sports package – so unfair. May the NBC peacock lose all its feathers.

Paul Says:

The universe does not revolve around the Williams sisters but around NBC ratings, obviously. They think they’re doing the general public a favor by starting the coverage at noon in all time zones so that the greatest number of people can “enjoy” the coverage. Now, I completely disagree and am as rankled as any of you but I just wanted to make clear that this is their intent, however flawed, sad and sorry.

I do agree that NBC should get out of tennis. I resent this move.

Johanna Says:

I just watched the Williams doubles match, thinking “oh, Federer is next…” Well, then the match concluded and the ESPN anchor (forget his name) said, “Federer/Safin match well underway, but because of a reporting contract it is embargoed…” and some ribbing ensued…. And later as the anchor was visiting with Gilbert and Cahill, he said, “did you imagine two weeks ago we’d be giving analysis on women’s doubles today?” and Gilbert said, “Negative.” So yeah, disappointment goes far and wide. Not to say doubles is remotely disappointing – but in the framework of reporting all the action – what can be done?

Radu P Says:

Yes, Christian, it IS business to manipulate the audience into oblivion, regardless what kind of society you pretend to be.

Bill D. Says:

I also am disappointed. I read our paper’s TV listings and the televised “tv guide” and both said “Wimbledon – Men’s Semifinals” at 7 AM ET, on ESPN2. I didn’t notice until I read these posts that NBC is broadcasting these matches, tape-delayed, later today.

Suzie Says:

I am in complete agreement! I was frustrated and disappointed this morning to turn on doubles. I could care less about it and won’t bother tuning into anything that is shown later today. The networks failed the tennis fans big time today.

Susan Says:

For the true tennis fans………..what a rip-off! When a match is taped we can always tell who wins by the time left and where the match is. And let’s not forget the “always popular” For time purposes we’ve moved ahead……………… WHY BOTHER!

Having the doubles on is fine, but the already played matches is “BUSH”!!

lbom Says:

Johanna, I agree with you! I am SO FRUSTRATED as well! It is a ritual to watch Wimbledon in our family and then enjoy the 4th with family and friends. Now, with the tape delay, I won’t get to see any of the men’s semi’s because I’ll be in the car going to my in-laws for a BBQ. I got up early, did enjoy the Women’s Doubles (actually did enjoy it!) and then waiting for the men… just checked the Wimbledon website and now know the Federer/Safin score… UGH… I want to see it LIVE – but I will not pay for a streaming package from the site. I am so frustrated with NBC this is crazy…

Berni Says:

I, frankly, am stunned that ESPN showed women’s doubles rather than the men’s semis. If NBC wants the rights, they should interrupt their regular programming to show WImbledon live. But, God forbid the Today show doesn’t air for a day. End of the world!

I was so looking forward to watching the men’s semis as they happened. Now, I have to embargo all news from my tv or radio until NBC feels ready to show the tape, lest I hear the scores of the two matches.

NBC really blew it and I hope it reflects in future viewership because that is the only way anything will change. They have tennnis viewers by the you-know-what. We are at their mercy, so they figure they can do what they want. Next time, I plan to connect my PC to my TV and watch ESPN360. Screw NBC/ESPN. They suck.

Carlos Says:

Let me jump on the bandwagon; I am glad to see that I am not the only tennis fan who is outraged at the lack of live coverage of a Grand Slam event. There is no excuse for this. I only hope somebody in NBC, ESPN and the Tennis Channel is reading the overwhelming number of complaints. It makes no sense to watch Wimbledon on tape because of “business”…Christian, you cannot be serious – if you are truly a patriotic American then you should demand from the powerful national media that they provide outstanding live coverage of the Wimbledon semifinals.

I agree with the majority — NBC needs to get out of tennis and let somebody who cares take over.

Roy Says:

In response to Berni,

ESPN 360 too is showing the Women’s doubles instead of the Men’s SF. The malaise runs deep.

lbom Says:


linda stein Says:

The July 4th non-coverage by NBC of the Wimbledon mens semi-finals is a disgrace. NBC Board of Directors needs to review their policies. Please place this item on the agenda of the next Board meeting. If NBC must continue in this vein, it should then use its influence to allow ESPN to provide the missing coverage.

Carlos Says:

Radu P,

I also grew up in a communist country, so I don’t understand your comment about “gutless America hiding behind money and guns”. On the 4th of July, no less? Bomb London? What the hell are you thinking?

You should be grateful that so many Americans have given their lives to give you the right to be a moron.

Carlos Says:

Thank you Ibom!

rjnick Says:

In the past, NBC has usually “embargoed” one of the matches, not both. But unfortunately, sometimes the scheduling at the tournament itself means that none of it is live, and sometimes it works out.

I remember in 2004 Roger was scheduled first, and ESPN was going to show it live. Then it rained. For five hours. And by the time it stopped and NBC came on, the club had put both semis on at the same time to get them done — and NBC of course, went with Roddick. And Fed’s match wasn’t shown until later that night.

And while Rafa is on now, unless he can finish in 80 minutes (and I mean, this is Nadal here), ESPN will have to cut away at noon — and NBC will come one with Federer-Safin on tape. And the end of the Nadal match will be on sometime around 4 or 5 pm.

But had Nadal played first, he would have been live from start to finish. But because Shuettler played yesterday, there was no way they were going to play first. And Fed-Safin unfortunately was going to be on tape no matter what.

lbom Says:

Maybe they heard us all screaming our outrage… just glad that one of the two matches are on live! Go Nadal!

Tennis Fanatic Says:

I agree with all except for watching the Williams sisters doubles match which was highly capable doubles and puts the in the Ladies Doubles final….it’s a stunning accomplishment considering how few doubles matches they play.

As for NBC…what do you expect? Of course that network would select the Federer v Safin match to air….and even more delayed here at NOON in LA.

ESPN2 is now airing the Nadal v. Schuttler match live (which folowed the Federer match) and yup, Nadal won the first set 6-1,.

Mike Says:

This is definitely NBC’s fault almost completely. They’re the ones who don’t want to show the matches live because they’d come on too early. And that forces ESPN to limit their coverage of those matches.

Aaron Says:

“but reality is is that Serena just isn’t that good anymore. And she’s getting bigger again. Let’s face it, in Grand Slam play she’s hasn’t done much of anything since her Australian Open title in 2007. And while she does do will at the non-Slams, the majors are where it counts in women’s tennis.”


PJ Says:

To be fair, until this Wimbledon, Serena hadn’t done much at slams. She was consistently losing in the quarters (which is not that great for her), and she lost in the third round of the French this year. In that loss to Srebotnik, she just looked out of it.

As for Nadal/Schuettler, it’s already more competitive than I expected. Rainer is playing really well in the second set.

Vulcan Says:

Just an observation…Jake Garner is the worst umpire on the ATP tour…since Shot Spot has been implemented how many times has this clown overruled incorrectly?

Maya Says:

Nothing beats live tennis. It is the American tennis fan that has to put up with this crap. We don’t see tape delayed baseball/football/hockey/basketball but have to watch a Wimbledon mens semi-final with Fed and Safin on tape and hope that we don’t hear any news that might spoil the result.Unbelievable! Leave the sport NBC.

Vulcan Says:

Another observation…if Nadal makes it to the final and plays at the level he is playing at today…he is going to get a rude awakening and some payback for the FO in the final…Federer was as sharp as an excimer laser today.

Sean Randall Says:

Aaron, yup, i said that. Not sure what was so rude about it. She has gotten bigger and she’s been in a bit of a slump in the Majors. And I’ve since said I expected good things from Serena at Wimbledon. Maybe she returns to her winning ways after Wimbledon, maybe she doesn’t.

Ra Says:


In my perception, Federer was not as sharp today as he has been up until today (and it wasn’t all Safin’s doing). I think both of he and Nadal have both shown some vulnerability today, for sure.

tenski Says:

First of all I agree with all of comments..NBC SUCKS!!

But, there is no reason to watch this afternoon and pump up the ratings. I switched on Wimbledon radio on my computer and listened to the match. At the end the BBC commentators just slagged Safin and the quality of play…quote (as I remember it) ..
That was the worst semi-final I have ever seen, there was absolutely no excitement, Safin threw in the towel early and so on.

So, go out this afternoon, enjoy the 4th and rest up for Sunday!!

Ra Says:

I hadn’t watched Schuettler play at all until today, and I’ve gotta say that I’m no longer at all surprised that he overcame all the opponents in his path thus far. This guy’s really got some game. What he doesn’t have in technique, he seems to make up for with court sense.

Ra Says:

Ok, Federer certainly didn’t show this much vulnerability…

jane Says:

Good runs for Safin and Scheuttler – congratulations to both for their amazing runs at Wimbledon this year.

Joey Says:

NBC shouldn’t even be allowed to utter the word tennis let alone show it the way they do. I searched online when the Fed-Safin match wasn’t on and found out about two days too late that the MediaZone provider was giving away free passes for this weekend to watch live Wimbledon coverage on line. The kind you usually have to pay $25 for. Didn’t do me any good. I did find a Turkish channel showing the match online. It would get stuck every few minutes and you couldn’t really see the ball, but hey, I couldn’t see it at all on TV! I’m buying some high powered binoculars next year and trying my luck with them instead of wasting time trying to watch NBC.

Jack Says:

I would suggest we all stop watching NBC, but then they’d stop showing tennis altogether…and we’d be s**t outta luck.

Kroll Says:

Christian Says:

“Clearly, you people are either just looking to complain or you’re morons.”

I can clearly see how the two possibilities are exhaustive and exclusive. Very insightful..

” Personally, I wish they’d show more doubles action from the majors.”

I guess any preference other than your own is moronic? Wonderful worldview that, love…

“If you don’t like it then why don’t you go marinate some meat for a bbq later or demonstrate some American pride until noon. Of course, you could also be proud of the ONLY 2 Americans – among Men and Women – left in the tournament playing singles.”

Thankfully there are people who love the sport than delude themselves about being patriotic. I guess that makes us all moronic. Besides I am vegetarian..

Truth is, its hard watching any sport which is different from Baseball or American football here in the US.

Von Says:

That Peacock should be feathered!

Happy fourth everyone! Too bad NBC had to mess it up with their lousy coverage. There’s one word that can be applied to NBC though, and that is: “consistency.” Give them a tennis match and they will consistently mess it up.

Today commemorates the US’ independence, perhaps the US tennis viewers can exact their independence from NBC. Anyone in favor of a revolt?

Von Says:

“Truth is, its hard watching any sport which is different from Baseball or American football here in the US.”

Golf, Basketball and Ice Hockey have been pretty successful in obtaining good coverage. Golf has its own dedicated channel. Seems that the TV stations are prioritizing their sports coverage alphabetically. “T” – Tennis is pretty much at the tail-end of the alphabet.

JCF Says:

I’ll bet you’d get a live match if Andy Roddick was playing today…

Daniel Craig Says:

f$ck you nbc holy s&it this is a f$cking nightmare everytime good tennis is on nbc broadcasts it through the ass. when does their contract to show matches expire cause it needs to happen NOW.

Daniel Craig Says:

JCF, youre right on. if any american was in the semis nbc would be jumping through hoops to televise it live. instead we get crap tape delay. i didnt even realize it until i was watching serena play zheng yesterday. i flipped to espnews during the changeovers and what the hell when it said serena defeated her in a second set tiebreak. it just took the whole fun out of watching that match. unbelievable….

not_joker Says:

lol, ESPN en español had both matches LIVE!!

woooo hooooo

:) It was great waking up and watching fed vs safin I gotta tell you.

Vulcan Says:

Guess ill chime in here on the TV coverage issue.
Its two slams in a row now without live semifinal coverage…not showing them is one thing…but a bait and switch is another…which seems suspiciously like what ESPN2 does from time to time. If you really like to watch tennis though things have improved as far as overall coverage. There is the Tennis Channel and DirecTV has had their US Open and French Open “Interactive” coverage which covers action on 6 courts for the first week..its great.

Naresh Says:

Nadal has shown some vulnerability in this semi final. what a difference from the way he played against Andy Murray..he was a lot more defensive in the semis.He better stick to the attacking style play..slicing against Fed might not be such a good idea..

Henry Says:

Christian obviously prefers BBQ over good tennis.

I sent a complaint to both NBC and ESPN, but, let’s face it. It all starts with both the tournament and the ATP. THEY should make sure that when they sell exclusive rights, the matches are shown live. That’s the major problem. They are concerned with short term gain and sell rights to the highest bidder without the MUST live broadcast condition. It is the ATP’s task to further interest in tennis and the present man in charge is raking in a lot of money for the ATP but forgets the ATP’s obligation to its sports’ fans

C!P! Says:

check this site ,it shows all the games in most of the tournaments LIVE ; you have to choose from either Star sports Channel or

Von Says:

The Tennis channel’s coverage has been very disappointing too in their “Wimbledon Primetime” broadcast nightly. What they’ve done is have MacAtee sit with Gimelstob and Navratilova, show the ESPN tapes and re-hash the day’s matches. They could have helped to a much larger extent by selecting and showing some of the top players’matches in their entirety. Instead, they showed the same bits and pieces as ESPN did. These networks need to have more communication as to who will cover what and when. It’s obvious that there isn’t a collaboration of effort; the redundancy is a disgrace. Why can’t each netork, viz, ESPN, NBC and the Tennis Channel feature different matches, thus giving the viewers variety. This is what democracry is all about, isn’t it? However, in the present situation we have a dictatorship. Maybe a Tennis Task Force would help — or maybe, just maybe, the USTA in this instance, could pay some attention to the huge outcry of the viewers, taking a pro-active role. This probably sounds ludicrous, but it could work.

We have an alternative as many have pointed out, and that’s live streaming, but why should we have to seek these alternatives, and why do we need TV sets, if we are to be relegated to watching tennis on our computer screens? With 3 networks, live streaming should not be made the primary source of viewer participation.

C!P! Says:

oohh i forgot you have to download a plug-in first ,but don’t worry is free of spyware or things like that.
Have a nice Final on sunday ,hope Nadal wins !

Lenny Says:

MAN! I can’t believe what I’m reading here! As a HUGE tennis fan myself, I can really sympathise with you guys. I feel SOOOO fortunate now to have Star Sports here in India. To think I was actually cribbing about the coverage here! Just because they’ve only been showing the main courts and not switching between courts and showing crucial stages of other interesting matches!! Was p@##ed off today, for example, cause the men’s doubles semis was so tantalisingly poised and instead of showing that in between the 2 semis they were showing fillers and then Nadal & Schuettler warming up! I guess I’ve just been spoiled, huh? I’m SO not complaining about the tennis coverage here any more. No reason to with every master’s series, every Slam, a few lower rung tournaments and Davis Cup all shown live from beginning till sweet or bitter end. All I can say is thank you , thank you, THANK YOU, Star Sports!

Lenny Says:

PS – Hope APART from the crappy tennis coverage, you guys had a great 4th of July! :)

fed is afraid Says:

rafa-08 Wimbledon champion!!

Larry Says:

No real interest in seeing the Williams brothers in a women’s tournament-too bad it’s politically incorrect to check for male hormones in “WTA” players or they’d be long gone from feamle tennis like the East German “females” finally got tossed from the Olympics back in the day.

angel Says:

For the as*hole who calls himself: “fed is afraid” You wish… Federer is serving even better than Sampras did when he was a champion and now he is more prepare for Nadal’s challenge. If Federer doesn’t choke he’ll win in four close sets.

Jhurwi Says:

ESPN did show the Nadal-Schuettler semifinal live, continuing it past their announced 12 pm cutoff time while NBC started Federer-Safin on tape at 12 p.m. However, I don’t know if they would have shown any of the men’s semifinals live if the first semi hadn’t been over so early.

fed is afraid Says:

larry-the william’s look like woman to me, very attractive woman at that, so i don’t understand what you mean.

PJ Says:

If both Roger and Rafa play like they did today, I’d have to give the edge to Roger. While he lacked a little something at the net, he looked very good everywhere else. After the first set, Rafa never really looked comfortable. Roger’s serving was definitely better too.

Smith Says:

No other sport has their live events shown on tape delays hours later. In the days of the Internet and livestream everyone and their brother knows the result of the match before the match actually showed on NBC.

We were lucky to get one match live but BOTH of them should have been live. IF this was early rounds it might not make a difference, but it’s the freaking semifinals of the most prestigious title in tennis. This is why I want NBC’s contract to end immediately – let CBS or someone else pick up Wimbledon coverage. Really, I think the Today show can manage being off for one day.

Neither Nadal or Fed played well today – I think they were looking ahead to Sunday’s match. Let’s hope both players step it up on Sunday or else it will be a shaky final.

As for the women, who cares, the Williams sisters usually play horrible matches against one another. Maybe they’ll surprise us and play a classic, but I’m 99% sure the match will be a dud. A small 1% of me is holding out for a decent women’s final, but the matches these two have played in the past have been dismal.

The ratings will probably be high for the women’s final considering it is two Americans and arguably the two most high-profile American players playing against one another. I have no idea how high the ratings will be for the men’s final – the FO men’s final got horrible ratings even though it was Nadal-Federer.

David81 Says:

I live in Canada and we too get the NBC feed.

I’m real surprised when I realize that in the “world’s richest country” (the US) it’s not possible to get live Wimbledon semi-finals matches. I guess “richest” applies to only those with satellite tv? I ended up watching part of the Safin-Federer match online using TVU online television.

John Says:

Yawn, who cares? The Williams sisters playing doubles is more exciting anyway.

maria Says:

Federer/Safin semi finals. According to the schedule on, federer/safin’s game was to start at 7am et and Nadal/Schúl. after feds
game. Williams sisters were playing on Court 1 and mens semi finals were suppose to be on Centre Court. For some reason Nadal’s game was on ESPN before Federer/Safin’s, which was shown only at noon on NBC. I have also noticed that many positive remarks were made about Nadal and no mention at all about Federer. Sometimes it is impossible to follow the game with so many comments. Hope the men’s final will be on time and free from negative comments. thanks

Vulcan Says:

Although the level of tennis wasn’t as high today both Rafael and Roger played at a level which was comfortable to get them through to the finals. Im guessing Sunday is going to be a Titanic battle…and at least we dont have to worry about the final being televised live.

simba Says:

NBC did that even with the Olympics. In the Atlanta Olympics of ’96, they showed tape-delay without telling the audience. Do you know what they call it: “plausibly live!!!”

jane Says:


I don’t think how they played today can be the sole indicator though of how they’ll play in the final. If we look at their tournaments as a whole, we might be getting closer, but even then it’s difficult to say. Last year Rafa didn’t play nearly as well throughout the tournament, and yet he took Roger to 5 sets in the final. This year, Rafa has a much easier route to the final and he’ll be more rested. By comparison, this year, Roger’s way through has been pretty much the same as it has for 6 years -straight sets, so there is not much change there.

It all depends on day form, I think, and perhaps the weather?

Kroll Says:

“Federer is serving even better than Sampras did when he was a champion…”

Its nice that you are a fan and all but lets not get carried away here…

PJ Says:

Jane, I completely agree. I was just saying that if both played the way they did today, I think Roger would win. I believe both will step it up for the final.

As for Federer serving better than Sampras, I believe in 1997, Sampras only lost serve twice heading into the final. Only getting broken twice is really freaking impressive. If Roger continues to serve as he has the entire tournament, I don’t know if Nadal will be able to beat him. Of course, Nadal certainly hasn’t been as shabby either in the serve department.

I’m really looking forward to this final. I definitely want Federer to win, but it means a lot to both guys. For Nadal, it’s finally winning a slam outside of the French and doing something that hasn’t happened in a long time (winning the French and Wimbledon). For Roger, it’s breaking Borg’s record and shutting the doubters up.

Other than wanting Fed to win because I’m a fan, I think the rest of the year will be really exciting if the top 3 all have a slam going into The Olympics and the US Open.

Tennis Fan Says:

If I read or hear one more William’s sister interview about how they are beating up the other “sisters” in womens doubles …I think I’ll switch to watching bowling…its more action packed! TSN in Canada should be ashamed for not picking up the British coverage of Wimbledon. Its largely unbiased and a whole lot more informative than “wrapped in the flag” US coverage …..and they televise live!!!

Tennis Fan Says:

Vulcan Says:
Im guessing Sunday is going to be a Titanic battle…and at least we dont have to worry about the final being televised live

“I wouldn’t count on it Vulcan … if the Williams sister match some how gets delayed by rain till’ Sunday”

fed is afraid Says:

why doesn’t canada provide their own coverage? why depend on coverage from the US?

jane Says:

fed is afraid,

that’s a good question, but we just don’t have the media infrastructure in Canada. we’ve always had US media overwhelming our own. i don’t know who’s to blame for that, but it goes back a long way historically. Maybe, too, we don’t have the tennis fan base? We do, at least, cover our own Masters Series events, and pretty darn well, too, I’d argue.

Tennis Fan,

I agree – TSN should’ve stuck with who they had covering the Master Series events; it was great coverage, and I liked the commentators overall.

jane Says:


Fair enough; may the better player win tomorrow – either way, as you mentioned, it’ll mean a lot to one of them.

FoT Says:

I was disappointed in the NBC coverage too, but since I subscribe to Wimbly Live, I was still able to see the Federer/Safin match live on my computer. (not quite the same as watching a 60 inch television…but nevertheless, it was live and the feed was excellent. (athough we did lose it one time close to the end, but it was quickly corrected.

The thing that I, as a Federer fan, have to hold on to is this stat (the last line of the following) from TennisWeek:

For the third straight year, Federer and Nadal will meet in the finals of Wimbledon. Two years ago, Federer needed four sets in 2006 and then last year Nadal pushed him to five sets. This year, both men are playing at such so well that this is going to be a tough match to call. Nadal is 11-6 against Federer, and has beat him three times this year (all on clay though). On a harder surface (grass or hard courts), Federer is 5-1 against Nadal.

Vulcan Says:

Federer is 5-2 against Nadal on grass or hard…Nadal got him in Dubai and Miami.

Vulcan Says:

Also, I would add that any previous history between Nadal and Federer is probably unreliable for this encounter. 2008 Nadal is a whole different toro from the 2007 version. This is particularly true of the serve which he has cranked upwards of 130 mph. The serve was Nadal’s biggest vulnerability and now that has been upgraded. If Federer flinches…im thinking about another decisive victory for the man from Mallorca.

JCF Says:

Anyone got stats on how many aces and service winners he is averaging per match? People say his serve has improved, but I’d like some hard numbers to see how much it’s improved by. In 5 sets last year, he hit like 3 aces against Federer. Couldn’t get him out of break points. Fed on the other hand hit dozens. Fed is a good clutch server. Rafa has to close that advantage if he wants to convert on the crucial break points, which he couldn’t do in the 5th set last year. And also play better in tie breaks.

JCF Says:

PJ Says:

“If both Roger and Rafa play like they did today, I’d have to give the edge to Roger. While he lacked a little something at the net, he looked very good everywhere else. After the first set, Rafa never really looked comfortable. Roger’s serving was definitely better too.”

Despite that, the scorelines were awfully similar:

6-3, 7-6(3), 6-4 for Fed.
6-1, 7-6(3), 6-4 for Rafa.

Rafa actually dropped 2 games less than Fed did.

If he plays 3 sets like he did the first set against Schuttler, Fed is in trouble. Nadal hit no unforced errors at all in that set.

Naresh Says:

Getting the same result against Schuttler as opposed to against Safin, is a world of difference JCF..if Nadal doesn’t play like he did against Andy Murray, he’s going down and he knows it too..

conclusion of d matter Says:

Let me say it up front, I’m always a Fed fan first. But i’ve grown to respect and like Rafa, as he also has a history of his own to chase.
Rafa only chance of pulling an upset- (i don’t care for the wishful thinking pundits of those so called pundits especially that Mary Carillo–who should be relieved of her duties as her comments becomes more appaling and totally unprofesional by every single match she disgrace with her ridiculous and inartful comments on NBC) in the wimbledon final is for Fed to start up nervous as he did in Paris last month. As pundits carefully plots their of crowning Rafa at wimby 08, notice the exclusion of the fact that Federer obviously played the most match of tennis i’ve ever witnessed him play especially he got broken in the first set. the 3rd at rolland garros didn’t mattter cos fed didn’t even try. it was he wanted to get out that match after he failed to take his chances in set 2. but this so called analysts that get paid so much to give expert and non partisan opinion, are derelict of their duties. who ever handles the Nerves better especially in the first set wins the title.
A recall of previous Rafa-Roger French wimby finals–Rafa always start the more nervous of the two, the only exception was last month in Paris and that result in a complete demolition of feds confidence on clay, on grass this a tougher proposition for Nadal to demoralise Fed. It is possible of course with additional demand on Fed to prove everybody wrong including Borg(who creates additional pressure with his appearance and in his recent inartful or calculated remarks). but with this premature anointing of rafa the wimby king, comes additional pressure on Rafa to deliver and and has mentally tough as he is everybody chokes once in a while(most recent in Tsonga match at AO 08). So if Fed start up lining the lines with good first serves for the first couple of serve games self doubt would creep in on Rafa and why this time he might look helpless against fed like in (masters cup shangai 07)is due to this one year burden heaved on him by superficial extrapolations done by some pundits from last wimby final. if rafa take those words to heart those would affect his confidence should fed start dominantly on serve.

If serves well and breaks Rafa in any of his first 3 service games. Fed wins in straight sets.
If takes the first set he wins his first winby title in 4 or 5 sets!

PJ Says:

JCF wrote:

“Despite that, the scorelines were awfully similar:

6-3, 7-6(3), 6-4 for Fed.
6-1, 7-6(3), 6-4 for Rafa.

Rafa actually dropped 2 games less than Fed did.

If he plays 3 sets like he did the first set against Schuttler, Fed is in trouble. Nadal hit no unforced errors at all in that set.”

Yes, Nadal lost 2 fewer games, but in all honesty, were the two opponents comparable? Schuettler turned it on in the second set, but if we took a poll, I believe most would’ve said Safin would challenge Federer more than Schuettler would’ve challenged Nadal. I think Roger consistently looked better in his match than Nadal did. I agree that if Nadal were to solely play like he did in the first set vs. Rainer, he’ll most likely win. However, if he were to play overall, I think Fed would win. I don’t believe Federer would’ve let the chances Rainer let go.

jane Says:

Schuettler is a good player, who had absolutely nothing to lose in this semi – he’s fit and he’s got a powerful serve, flat strokes and he’s not horrible at net. He knocked out Tipsy, who knocked out Roddick. There is no reason to belittle the guy. It’s not smart to underestimate an opponent like that, who has no pressure. Who is expected to get routed.

It’d be quite logical to argue, in fact, that Safin had a lot more pressure; people expected him to take it to Roger because he’s a former world number one. Safin has more to lose than Schuettler; he has a stronger fan base; he wants back into the top 20 and has openly said so.

So to judge Rafa & Fed’s performances by their opponents doesn’t really add up either.

The point is, only tomorrow will tell.

The weather may be a factor; if it’s rainy, windy or cold, it might affect Rafa more than Fed. I don’t know. Also Rafa’s knees may be an issue whereas with Fed he’s perfectly injury-free.

Let’s just hope it’s not a rout like the FO final. It shouldn’t be.

jane Says:

One wonders too – does Rafa have the right shoes now? lol

Colin Says:

Yes, I think that comment about bombing London was pretty silly, but what’s this about Americans giving their lives so the writer could make that silly comment? Which Communist population was freed by American military action? Afghanistan, governed by those well-known Commies the Taliban? Iraq, governed by Marxist star Saddam Hussein?

cgator41 Says:

I am huge tennis fan, but for some reason the fact that it wasn’t shown LIVE doesn’t really bother me at all. I avoided the internet until 12 and watched the Federer match like it was live. Didn’t really matter to me that it was on tape. It’s not like they cut out part of the match or something.

I don’t really see what the big deal is.

Vulcan Says:

Cgator, the main thing is if the TV Guide says “Mens Semifinals” at the 8 AM slot and you are looking forward to seeing it at that time and plan your morning around it, its annoying as hell when you tune in and get Womens doubles.
I agree that as long you dont know the outcome you can still enjoy the match but being bait and switched is not a fun way to start off your weekend morning.

Kathy Says:

Talking about patriotism is a specious argument. Whether tennis is shown live or taped on the 4th has nothing to do with it. I’m with everyone else who is outraged that the Federer-Safin match was not shown live and that ESPN chose to cover the Williams doubles match. I think ESPN and NBC, and even Tennis Channel these days, do not understand that their viewing audience is smart and dedicated to tennis and that we want to see matches live, not taped. We’re the ones who get up at the wee hours of the morning to watch the Australian Open live. Getting up for an 8am match (EST) is nothing. My sense is that they do this because they really don’t want to show tennis in the first place and this is their way of slowly phasing coverage out. If enough people give up over the pathetic coverage, then they won’t have to show it anymore.

As for showing doubles, I’d love to see more, but I don’t want see the Williams sisters playing singles tennis in a doubles format and blasting their opponents off the court. If ESPN is going to show doubles, let’s see some Bryan brothers or other top doubles teams.

J.R. Says:

it is also ridiculous that the nadal-fed epic was aired once i was looking for it again in prime time so i could record it and it was no where to be found- even in the third round the V. Williams – Sanchez Match on Court two was shown on nbc live then on espn on delay before final tennis channel showed the Murray – Gasquet match that was on center court on primetime- i had to listen to it on radio- who wants to watch a 6-4 6-3 match when there is a legendary epic being played-

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