Djokovic in Death Spiral? Henin, Roddick Post Wins, Federer Today in Miami Tennis Masters
by Sean Randall | March 27th, 2010, 10:08 am

He may be ranked No. 2, but Novak Djokovic is playing nothing like the second best player in the world. Djokovic was first major casualty of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami losing a shocker to Olivier Rochus 6-2, 6-7(7), 6-4 in the second round. ADHEREL

For Djokovic, expectations were high in Miami. After a poor Indian Wells where he was clearly fatigued following a hectic stretch of Dubai and Davis Cup, Djokovic came into Miami as a contender and a two-time finalist having won in 2007. But for the third time the Serb fails to reach the third round.

“Well, I just didn’t play well. That’s it,” Djokovic said. “It happens, you know. You know, everybody plays tennis. Since I don’t sometimes you feel great on the court. You can win against anybody. Sometimes you don’t feel confident. It’s a mental game definitely.”

Novak’s serve has born the brunt of criticism and against the diminutive Rochus he again languished serving 11 double faults, six in the third set. And while he was hitting on 61% of first serves he only won 69% of those and just 30% on his second offering. He broken six times during the match, three times in the final set.

“You know, I’m working on it,” Djokovic said of his serve. “As I said, you know, when you don’t feel on the court well, when you don’t just feel your strokes, and, you know, serve, which is a very important element in the game, today’s tennis, if it doesn’t go well, then, you know, opponents feel the pressure that you’re feeling. Made a lot of double faults when I didn’t need when I didn’t have to, and that’s it.”

And that’s it for Novak’s hard court season until August. With mega-points coming off from runner-ups in Monte Carlo and Rome and a Madrid semifinal plus his Miami final from last year, he’ll have to work hard just to keep his No. 2 ranking for the French Open and stay within reach of No. 1 Federer. At least now he’ll have some time off to rest and think about his game which right now is circling the drain.

Other winners on day three at the South Florida tennis stop were Andy Roddick, who ousted the struggling Igor Andreev 6-4, 6-4, Rafael Nadal topped Taylor Dent 6-4, 6-3 and JW Tsonga won by the same score over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Indian Wells winner Ivan Ljubicic was gone early after retiring with a bad back to Ben Becker.

While Roddick’s match business as usual, his post-match comments were anything but. The former No. 1 ripped into Wayne Odesnik who was busted for possessing HGH yesterday.

“If he pled guilty, which it looks like he did, there’s nothing worse than that,” Roddick said. “I’m normally the one to give people the benefit of the doubt. If that’s the case, what we read today, that’s just plain cheating and they should throw him out of tennis. There’s just no room for it. I was shocked. I was surprised. You know, we don’t need stories like that. You know, I know that’s the minority. If that’s the case, I have zero sympathy.”

Roddick’s buddies had mixed results. Big John Isner did his customary thing winning in a third set breaker over Michael Russell while his fellow American’s James Blake (Belucci) and Sam Querrey (Chardy) were both losers on the day.

For the women, Justine Henin rolled over Elena Dementieva 6-3, 6-2. Unlike Indian Wells, looks like Henin’s showing up for this one. Kim Clijsters, Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic, defending champ Viktoria Azarenka were also winners along with Vera Zvonareva who thumped Melanie Oudin 6-1, 6-2.

A big schedule is on for today – with TV coverage on Fox Sports if you get it in the US – with Roger Federer on tonight vs. Nicolas Lapentti. Andy Murray faces Mardy Fish in the daytime. Fernando Verdasco, Venus Williams and Rafael Nadal who will play the Bryans in doubles are also playing.

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243 Comments for Djokovic in Death Spiral? Henin, Roddick Post Wins, Federer Today in Miami Tennis Masters


Yes. I picked Petzscher to upset Tipsarevic. Losses by Ljub and Djoker hurt my draw, but I imagine most people picked them to win a few more rounds anyway.

Andrew Miller Says:

Bad outing by the Yanks in more ways than one. Blake’s loss is bad and Querrey’s loss is bad. If Odesnik is doping (and Odesnik is no household name) I fear what it means for the rest of the ATP: that there are many others.

As for Djokovic, seriously the guy out to see his serving and hitting in years past and ask head to make him a better racquet, maybe switch to Andy Murray’s racquet. Sorry about being pigheaded about this, but it seems to me that Djokovic needs a racquet switch (either to another Head racquet or to something else). The guy’s career depends on it.

2007 – Fast and Clean:

probably 2008, Fast and Clean:

Clean Strokes:


jane Says:

Djoko also hit 62 UEs in that match -62 in 3 sets!! What the what? Anyhow, it’s amazing that even while hitting 62 UEs, 11 doubles, hitting in 32% first serves in during the 3rd set, he still had a chance to scrape through. Maybe if he’d’ve had less errors, he would’ve win, even with a crap serve.

No more kneeling / practices with Martin; once he’s back with Vajda, I hope we’ll see better play. I really think he ought to fire Martin and stick with one coach. For sure, he’s made changes that he didn’t need to: first the racquet, then Martin. At first I thought Todd might be a good fit, but it’s not looking like it now.

Andrew Miller Says:

Martin may not be a good coach yet.

Andrew Miller Says:

Jane: do you think the question of whether Djokovic will win another Slam is important? I wonder if Djokovic himself is a kind of barometer for tennis. A relatively weaker Djokovic does not seem to have been good for the sport!

jane Says:

Andrew, personally, of course, I’d like to see Novak win another slam (just as I’d like to see Roddick win Wimbledon and Murray get his first slam too), so to me it’s important. And I am sure it is to him as well. I don’t know what to say. Yesterday, was a bad loss; he is playing poorly due to his serve, which even Rochus commented on:

Q. Did you notice anything different from Novak? His serve didn’t seem as penetrating. He’s pushing his backhand. Did you notice anything, like a shake of confidence in him at all?
OLIVIER ROCHUS: It’s tough to say. The thing of course that I saw, it was more his serve, that he was not serving as good as he normally does. Maybe not as powerful and not too many first serves as he can do.
Normally he’s doing a lot of aces when I play him, also, a lot of aces. Here less, so I think it was nice for me that he was not serving well today.
Because when he’s putting a lot of first serves, it’s even tougher. So I think it was more of this. I saw today his serve was not as good as normal.

Martin shouldn’t be the scapegoat though, and I don’t want to make him into that. He is trying to help. It’s just that whatever they are doing seems, at the moment, to be making the serve worse. We’ll see what happens. I am sure Djoko knows if Martin is good or not. Anyhow, it wasn’t Martin who made 62 UES!!! on the court yesterday; Novak has to shoulder that all by himself. He played poorly. His attitude needs to be better too. It is not that he gives up because he fought hard even though his game was off. But he needs to try to put a little more ice in the veins during his matches. Shake it off. Move on!

I am glad he credited Rochus afterwards by noting that “He picks up the ball very early and he runs all over the court,” and “He was playing really well today, so I want to congratulate him. Definitely he deserves it.”

Andrew Miller Says:

I agree, a lot of it has to do with Djokovic. I really though in 2008 when he was playing Nadal close at Queens Club on Grass and Hamburg on Clay that Djokovic was coming into his own. But in each of those matches there was a moodiness to Djokovic (the shrugging and general frustration).

That sentiment expressed, Djokovic’ results vs. Nadal have improved: he is 4-5 vs. Nadal since the Queens’ club showdown, and won 3 straight since losing a tiebreak on clay in Madrid (even though that match “crushed Djokovic”, Djokovic has beat up on Nadal with six straight sets and three straight hardcourt Masters wins). Djokovic has also won two of his last three matches vs. Federer (a Cincy win and a Switzerland win in Federer’s hometown).

It’s tough getting over how Djokovic should be playing (winning big tournaments in an impressive display against tough fields) and how he’s playing now (losing to players he should beat without problems).

It’s controversial to say this, but here goes.

The reason Federer and Nadal dominate may have something to do with Djokovic’s inability to handle pressure. For Andy Roddick, he’s not as good as Federer and Nadal on most days; for Andy Murray, he is not as good as Federer (Murray seems to have a little Djokovic in him).

But with Djokovic, it has nothing to do with not being as good as Federer (who he clearly matches up with more or less well) or Nadal (who he matches up with well).

It’s all about Djokovic! Really, he should win another big tournament soon. He should win a French Open and come close at Wimbledon, and bag a US Open. More than any other player in the ATP, I think a lot of Djokovic’ future is on his racquet.

Kimmi Says:

Baghdatis seem to be ON THE ZONE in this match with Chela. Great shot making and everything seem to go in. One to watch..Baghdatis

Kimmi Says:

Andrew Miller: “Djokovic has also won two of his last three matches vs. Federer (a Cincy win and a Switzerland win in Federer’s hometown).”

just though I make correction to your post above -federer beat Djoko in cincy not the other way round. cheers

jane Says:

Kimmi, true, but Chela’s not exactly been on a winning streak of late. ; ) I notice Soda pop is in a first set tiebreaker…
You’re right Kimmi: Djoko won in Miami and Rome, then Fed won in Cincy and at the USO, then Djoko won in Basel. So Djoko is 3/5 in their last 5 meetings.

I am not sure if Djoko matches up well with Rafa, certainly on clay he hasn’t had much luck, but then again, even Roger, the second best on clay, hasn’t had much luck versus Rafa on that surface, so I guess I cant’ fault Novak too much. He’s been trying.

As for his moodiness, while I don’t mind some of it, I think it’s the frustration and perfectionism that can hurt his focus. (like Murray sometimes too). He just needs to let it roll off his back a little more. Ride the wave.


Daniel Says:

Plus, Fed beat Djoko at the US Open, the last three 2 were Fed.

Fot Says:

But Andrew, don’t you think that is one reason Roger and Nadal have won so much? It’s in the mind as well as talent. We have seen so many players have talent (Gasquet, Nalbandian, etc.) but have NEVER put it together to win the big one. SOMETHING always happens. You would think with the ‘talent’ that Gasquet has, he would have done more. You would think that the TALENT Nalbandian has – he would have had at least ONE or more grand slams. When he got to the Wimbledon final all those years ago, people said “Oh, don’t worry, you’ll have many more chances and you’ll get that grand slam”. It didn’t work that way.

Same about Djokovic. To his credit, he did bag that AO but after that people were saying he would win many, many more grand slams. So far, it hasn’t happened. Not because he doesn’t have the talent, but you need much more than JUST talent to win a slam.

Because of this – we really should admire the multi-slam winners because it is NOT easy to win one, two, more less 16!

I think Novak is going through a little slump right now, he’s experimenting and changing a little TOO much, I think. You always should try to tweak your game to get better, but you run into a serious problem when you try to change TOO much of what got you to the top in the first place. I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing but the Serbs all remind me of the same thing (Ana, Jankovic, and Djokovic). All 3 are mentally a little frail to me but if they fight through it, I think they can get it back. Jankovic got it back last week. I don’t know if Ana will ever get it back. But Djokovic just has to hang in there because he does have the talent.

Kimmi Says:

It seems like djoko has some kind of match-up problems with O.Rochus game. Before yesterday match, Rochus was 2-1 H2H and their match in Halle last year was very close, Rochus mentioned in his presser yesterday that he had couple of set points in the first set before losing 6-7 4-6.

With Djoko serve problems, the match-up problems were magnified yesterday, and of course losing eventually. I swear if it was somebody else, Djokovic would have been the winner .

Kimmi Says:

Nadal and his patner Vs Bryan Bro. on court a.t.m. Would like to see how this match pans out. Nadal is a very good doubles player but this week he plays with somebody else not the same guy he won IW with… so it will depend if they click.

jane Says:

Kimmi, good point: Rochus does seem to always play Djoko tight, so as you so aptly put it, that was only magnified with the form Nole brought into yesterday’s match. Plus Rochus pointed out that he is more mature now so mentally he wasn’t out of it after the second set loss; he just stayed focused.

jane Says:

Soda popped a bagel in the second.

Kimmi Says:

aha, did you know, the same guy who paired with Nadal to win IW (M.Lopez) is pairing with Bellucci this week..and they just lost the first set. Interesting!

Kimmi Says:

Ivanovic playiny aggie radwanska at the moment. Anna mentioned that she is starting to feel her game after her first round win..she needs to win this kind of a match now!

jane Says:


Kimmi, it’s true that Anna should beat Aggie, but Aggie is top ten and was in the semis last weekend, so I consider Ivanovic the underdog in this match – based on present rankings and forms.

contador Says:

Hello tennis people.

contador is frustrated. grrrrrr! haven’t been able to watch a match.

finally, the muzza is on court. good news-this match has possibilities, eh Jane- Kimmi?

i missed my soda pop, pop! love mr. dimples.

wawa and youzhney will play in the near future. that one might be good?


Kimmi Says:

Murray better concentrate here and play aggressive..hello Contador

Jane, but ana is also a top 10 material..she used to be world # 1, so I expect her to over power radwanska.

Nadal and co been feed a bagel by Bryan bro. *sigh*

contador Says:

murray up a break, but neither not looking sharp. we’ll see. looks like fish is too excited, making 15 UE’s already.

Kimmi Says:

Murray..sloppy game!

Kimmi Says:

Doubles new flash!

Nadal lost to bryan bros. eating a bagel on the way 6-0 6-3

Andrew Miller Says:

Kimmi, Jane and FOT are right – sorry about misrepresenting the Djoko record. I stand corrected.

I am puzzled, Djokovic seems to have a lot more in common with Agassi mentally despite his game’s similarities (the assasin mental attitude of 2007-2008, the big forehand and solid backhand, the big serve) to Sampras.

Sampras was definitely superior when playing big points to Djokovic. (Djokovic at his best is right up there, but he’s rarely at his best in my point of view!)

FOT is right – Djokovic is less mentally tough than Federer and Nadal at big tournaments. I am not sure what his physical training is, but maybe that is a problem also.

On talent alone, Nalbandian and Baghdatis are probably 4th and 5th on tour to Federer and Nadal. Here’s my hunch on “talent ranking” if points were given for the crazyness (excellence) of players’ ball striking skills:

Federer, Roger (1)
Nadal, Rafael (2)
Nalbandian, David (3)
Djokovic, Novak (4)
Baghdatis, Marcos (5)
Gasquet, Richard (6)
Gulbis, Ernest (7)
Almagro, Nicolas (8)
Verdasco, Fernando (9)
Malisse, Xavier (10)
Tsonga, JW (11)

Honorable mention:
James Blake
Gilles Simon
JM Del Potro
Nikolay Davydenko
Mikhail Youzhny
Feli Lopez
Tommy Robredo
Juan Carlos Ferrero
Andy Roddick

Mental Toughness Rankings:
Federer, Roger
Nadal, Rafael
Murray, Andy
Del Potro, Juan Martin
Roddick, Andy
Djokovic, Novak
Davydenko, Nikolay
Ferrer, David
Isner, John
Cilic, Marin
Tsonga, JW

contador Says:

so, baggy was in the zone, eh?

sharks are circling. thanks to benny and baggy.


saw your post on another thread. no, i don’t take any match for granted anymore. you can be ceertain *lover-lips* lapenti believes he can win.

sorry, couldn’t resist. : )

comentator confirmed: marty has lost 25 lbs

margot Says:

jane, sar, all Djko fans: ooh dear SO sorry. Any consolation, I can hardly bear to watch Andy at the mo., for fear of disaster. Fish is no slouch either.
jane: madmax is right “The Book Thief” is just lovely, I sobbed on every page!
von: was me who asked if you’d seen Andy R play. Wow! You saw him win the USOpen. That must’ve been so amazing. Sometimes I think my children will’ve put me in a care home long bfore Andy M wins a GS!
Girls, Girls: Chardy is my eye candy of choice too. There’s a very long queue developing here but am sure I saw him first!

contador Says:


andrew miller

on behalf of Ernests Gulbis, i thank-you. he is all raw talent. but sheeesh….and poor gasquet.

soderling can be mentally tough, he has no fear. at times against federer, maybe too much fed-love, but that can’t be helped.

the “new” soda and “new” davy. i say are extremely tough: rafa v davy in doha 2010

contador Says:

fish will choke. guaranteed.

Kimmi Says:

Murray FH is breaking down, what is going on…he is gonna lose this set if he is not careful

Fish breaks…oh dear

Conty, yes, I have to admit baggy was good. But as jane pointed out..chela is not the best to judge with but hey..great matches ahead!

jane Says:

Andrew – very interesting post @ 3:30; thanks for that. I like a lot of your “rankings”, but yeah, I agree with contador in that Soderling should fit there somewhere.

contador Says:

see fish tries too hard…..he just blew that set point

Kimmi Says:

I have never seen murray hitting sooo many UE..incredible!

contador Says:

Oh, brother. which guy is the worst out there?

fish got the first set. time for muzza to wake up, look sharp…play his tennis, c’mon!

jane Says:

margot, thanks for commiserations; am presently willing Andy M. to break back and defend his darn title! I will read “The Book Thief” at yours and madmax’s behests. And I think *I* saw Chardy first, ;) – when he played Djoko at the AO in 2009, I was smitten watching that match. Swoon. Would love to hear him talk with that French accent.

Oh Murray!! Win the second set already!!

Well Kimmi, Looks like quite the battle with Ivano and Radwa – Anna has a decent lead in the third, but lots of breaks of serve!

Andrew Miller Says:

Kimmi/Contador: if Baggy wins matches he should win (v Chela) that is good to me!

Baggy seems like a few other suspects out there (Nalbandian! Blake! Gulbis!) to enjoy playing the very best players but hate playing anyone else (“they live to play against the best” but “usually don’t make the later rounds of tournaments to even get the chance”)

they ruin any draw, choosing Blake, Nalbandian, Gulbis or Baghdatis to make it to the 2nd week of any tournament is probably a bad bet these days (sure, Baghdatis and Gulbis both have tournament wins in 2010 but they always prove they can lose any match, and do lose them, lots of high hopes and disappointments for these talented players!)

All that said…I must admit I really found the match of Baghdatis vs. Federer to be riveting. Exciting match that reminds me how incredible Federer is and how talented the Baghdatis is.

margot Says:

von: just caught up with your response on other thread. Bummer you got your Miami dates mixed. Put them in next year’s calendar now!
I see a comment about Andy’s forehand breaking down. How right I am not to be watching!

Kimo Says:

Novak, Novak, Novak…. What the hell is wrong with you?

Every time I start to think that he is starting to mature, he proves that he’s even more childish than he was before. Where the hell did 2007 Djoko go? I kinda miss that brat. At least he was passionate about tennis, not endorsement deals and the good life.

Total cave job he just pulled off against Rochus. Did you ever see Roger or Rafa lose a match that badly? Ever? Even on their worst days? And I think that’s the standard we should hold Novak up to, considering that Roger and Rafa (and Andy for a few weeks) were the only people who held the no.2 spot since 2005.

Racket change was a gamble that didn’t pay. Martin is a hack. He’s gotten too defensive and don’t even get me started on that serve!!! Novak can’t do with an entire entourage a tenth of what Roger did with no entourage at all. Kinda tells me that the whole way he manages his tennis career is wrong.

Andrew Miller Says:

Is anyone watching online? I checked the site I usually go to (based on your recommendations!) but cant find anything.

Kimo Says:

And now Andy is rambling again. Booooooring. Put on the Roger match already.

Dan Martin Says:

Points wise Novak is going to drop 599 points when the new rankings come out. I feel for the guy. I think there are two ways to look at this. 1. A job looks worst when it is 50% complete and all he needs is some time for Martin’s (no relation) advice to pay off as it did at Basel and Paris last year. 2. Martin (still no relation) is giving him too much data and too many notes. Novak is over thinking and doubting himself instead of just playing, and his results are suffering. My gut says Novak just needs to simplify and let his fluid game do the work it needs to.

Kimmi Says:

margot he lost the first set to fish (4-6)and double faults arrrg..he is on serve first game second set and struggling to close it out..not looking good!

Murdy can break this game..oh noo its getting worse

jane Says:

Hi Dan: I laughed at this little point “some time for Martin’s (no relation)” : ) I think I agree with your second point – too much maybe is confusing Nole and he’s having doubts. I totally agree with your gut. BTW, you must be excited for the second little one to arrive…

Kimmi Says:

Fish breaks

jane Says:

Murray!!! Stop it!!! Get it together dude.

margot Says:

kimmi: ta. In which case I just give up. When’s Cilic playing? Bring it on!

Kimmi Says:

What about Murray who is going to lose 10,000 points..oh god !

jane Says:

Okay Murray’s up to 5 double faults. WTF? Why are these players having so many serving woes? Is it a virus?

Andrew Miller Says:

Hey, here is some vintage Djokovic. This is the assasin! 2007 (around the 2:20 minute mark Djokovic just gets ferocious). Federer of course brilliant, but a brilliant Djokovic matches up well.

Fot Says:

If you subscribe to, you can watch the match there. (I have it on my computer, as well as on the Fox Sports channel from DirecTV.

Fish is playing pretty well but Murray is playing awful, hence, a set and a break lead by Fish right now.

Fish played like this when he played Roger a couple of years ago.

jane Says:

margot – sigh, oh dear, I empathize. I feel that same sense of futility with Djoko but it’s not supposed to be infecting Murray too. Sheesh. Cilic or Roddick for the title? Maybe Soda pop?

Kimo Says:

jane, it’s the same old story: Opponent is agressive, Andy is defensive, opponent beats the hell outta Murray. The End.

Fot Says:

And Ana, poor Ana…she lost the first set; had a 3-0 lead in the second set – now it’s 3-3 in the 2nd. Her troubles continue.

Andrew Miller Says:

Seriously from the 2:20 mark to the 5:30 minute mark vs. Federer in that clip it’s just awesome. Djokovic should win more slams!

Fot Says:

This match (so far) points out one of the worse features of Murray – his 2nd serve. Murray may yet come back in this match, but he definitely will have to get more aggressive. Right now it’s all on the racket of Fish.

Andrew Miller Says:

Dan Martin is right! I hope the “assasin” style of Djokovic 2007 returns – he was on the road to very huge things (no offense to Djokovic’s considerable triumphs since that point, but he truly was about to break apart the Federer-Nadal hierarchy)

Andrew Miller Says:

still 22 years old…the same age as Federer when Federer began his march to the heights of tennis history.

contador Says:

i just have to mention, fish has such pretty legs. no socks, freshly waxed…….lol

wow! usa adds Tommy Hass. better later than never. we’ll take him!

this is not a good match for the muzza.

andrew miller-

yours are quality posts, imo. baggy, nalby, blake, gulbis, the new davy and soda…all dangerous to the top 10. gulbis has played his best tennis against roddick, rafa, raoger in doha. his interviews during and post del ray, andrew…tell it all about him, i thought. there are 5 on youtube. the guy has no real goals. he basically says anything he does is golden, win or lose….lol..atta boy slacker, Erno. he on my “ex” list.

has been relpaced by.. the young serbian, the “new” novak *forgetting* his name at the moment watching the muzzah demise.

have been feeling like the last of the top 4 standing in miami will be rafa. he’s not one of my favorites but i have to respect his accomplishments and consistent mental toughness.

jane Says:

Andrew, thanks for posting that clip; that was an awesome match, the first time Novak stepped up and beat Fed, and he’d beaten Rafa earlier in the year to win Miami. I was so proud to see him winning back then. Maybe he needs to spend a day or two just watching old tapes ; ) Anyhow you renewed my sense of joy when watching him at his best, so I totally am grateful.

Now what to do about Andy M. : (

I have nothing against Fish, and have always acknowledged Mardy for the threat he poses on any given day, given his serve and aggressive style, but I really wanted to see at least one of Murray or Djoko do well here. Sigh.

Kimo Says:

AM, what considerable triumphs? The 2008 AO win might as well be counted for 2007 Djoko. After that he won what? Can’t be more than 3,4 masters series shields, and that’s including Paris which no one cares about. The TMC? He won it in Fed’s out-year and Rafa was never a force at the tail end of the season. Beating Fed in Basel? Sure, that’s nice, but Fed was hardly at his best.

Since the 2008 AO Djoko hasn’t reached a single slam final. In 2007, he reached two slam semis and a final. His career was in an upward trajectory. He was a force. Now he isn’t. He’s gotten soft.

Kimo Says:

AM Said:

“still 22 years old…the same age as Federer when Federer began his march to the heights of tennis history.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s been more than two years since Djoko reached a slam final. How long did it take Fed to win his 2nd slam? 6 months. Djoko will turn 23 this year, right? Do you know what Fed did in the year he turned 23? He won three slams.

Please guys, for the love of whatever you find holy, you’re not doing your favorites a favor comparing them to Fed. You really aren’t.

sar Says:

Murray looks awful. Maybe he’s got 2nd round Novak-itis.
“Thank God the hardcourt season is over.”

Andrew Miller Says:

Contador and Jane are right: Soderling definitely belongs up there in the toughness rankings – beating Nadal, consistently, is almost impossible! He also beat Federer in Abu Dhabi – any win vs. Federer, especially a Federer that is playing as well as ever, is an excellent win.

And: Soderling tends to follow up his wins. If he has a big win, he prepares himself for the next match and does not celebrate too much. That is definitely toughness.

Contador and Jane are right – Soderling is definitely top ten in toughness.

contador Says:

muzza, hang in there. i agree with those who say murray is not aggressive enough these days.

his confidence is definitely not what it was.

uh boy, murray. i like fish but it’s sad to watch muzza at the moment.

kimmi- fat lady yet to sing though.

big game coming up! muzza could break back?

jane Says:

Kimo, While Novak is going through a tough period indeed, I believe you’re undermining his achievements somewhat @ 3:48. It’s not easy to win a MS shield, and you kind of belittle that saying he’s “only” won 3 or 4!! These are substantial wins. In addition, Novak has gotten two monkeys off his back: winning back-to-back titles (Basel and Paris, going through Fed and Rafa respectively) and defending his Dubai title. Moreover, let’s look at who, precisely has stopped him in the slams since he won the AO:

FO – lost to Rafa in semis
Wimb – lost to Safin, surprisingly & badly, but Safin made it to semis that year
USO – lost to Fed in semis

AO – lost to Roddick in QF (Rod’s best slam year in ages in 09)
FO – lost when he shouldn’t have – LAME! I agree.
Wimb – lost to Haas in QF, Haas makes it to semis
USO – lost to Fed in semis

AO – lost to Tsonga in OFs.

Realistically, or at least imo, the only really “bad” losses were to Kohls and Safin, though Safin is a dangerous guy and continued through the draw. Nole maybe shouldn’t have lost to Haas or Tsonga either, but Haas had just won in Halle and was riding a wave of momentum and confidence, and Tsonga is always dangerous on hard court and especially at the AO, his peak slam performance location.


Ivano – OUT!

Murray – one last chance to break – Come ON!!
All the other losses were to Fed or Rafa, and to Roddick, who is cream of the crop, always top ten.

margot Says:

Re-Write Title: “Andy Murray joins Djkovic in Death Spiral.”

Fot Says:

Andrew…but the H2H will still say Soderling has never beaten Roger. lol! In that case, Roddick might as well count his win at the exhibition before the AO to improve his H2H against Roger! That win didn’t ‘count’.

And if anyone cares….Ivanovic lost AGAIN.

jane Says:

Break point Murray — can he do it?

Kimo Says:

WOW. That’s gotta be the coolest match point I’ve ever seen.

Way to go, Mardy!!!! HI MOM!!!

jane Says:

Oh CRAP! Murray I am officially mad at you! margot – my deepest commiserations. Good lord, we picked the wrong trains. At least they’re going the wrong way a.t.m. Sigh.

Okay, well, go Cillic, Roddick, Soda pop pop pop.

jane Says:

Congrats to Mardy Fish. Good win for him and I hope he can capitalize on it and have a good run with his nice legs.

Kimmi Says:

oh dear Andy murray join djoko for the early rounds casuality.

1000 points he loses

Delpo should not worry not playing right now..he could come back and fight for # 4 ranking spot.

blank Says:

Hmm…looks like we may finally see Fed-Nadal battle in the finals again.

Andrew Miller Says:

Kimo, maybe I’m wrong about Djokovic’ talent but he really is the only player (maybe Murray is too) other than Nadal, Federer or Del Potro that has shown the ability to win a Grand Slam since 2006. In four years, only Djokovic, Del Potro, Nadal and Federer have won slams, and there are no players that Djokovic has not beaten.

Sounds to me like that’s a pretty good base to work from. Add to that that Djokovic is coming into years (22, 23, 24, 25) where he will be stronger than ever. I don’t think it’s that out of reach to suggest that he’s entering the peak physical strength period as a player (James Blake played most of his best tennis around 26 years old, Federer played his best in 2006-2007, around 25-26 years old too; Agassi won some of his biggest titles around 24-25 years old [a US Open title at 24 in 1994, an Aussie Open title at 24 in 1995), Sampras around 22 started winning a huge number of big tournaments – Sampras was also removed a few years from his US Open title in 1990.

So – I agree that Djokovic is slumping, big time and should probably not be given the benefit of any doubt. But based on when players win their slams, Djokovic might want to do some extra training, because 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 are his prime years!

(We have not seen the best of Djokovic yet, and if [BIG IF!] he does get into better ways mentally and physically, I’d say he’s the favorite, given that his game is not as intense as Nadal’s and he breaks down less frequently, to ascend to the top slot).

Kimo Says:

Just saw the draw. Wawrinka is gonna play Youzhny. That’s a must see for fans of one-handed backhands.

margot Says:

jane: no worries, my faves are now Cilic, Chardy, Youzny, Tomic and Simon. Andy who?

Fot Says:

blank, with what has happened so far – I am not even going to ‘look ahead’ to a possible Federer/Nadal final! I just hope Roger can get through his FIRST match! *scared*!

contador Says:

poor muzza. oh, man. another top seed out.

so sorry murray fans. fish played clutch in the end. we’ll see. can mardy follow-up and take down feli?

well, so much for my tennis coverage. i’ll have to miss the federer match tonight too.

c’mon FED! don’t get sucked into the death spiral.

thanks for the links again, Andrew Miller.

Andrew Miller Says:

sure thing, I thought it was definitely a good clip of Djokovic. I think the same Djokovic is out there today…somewhere!

Kimmi Says:

Fot, I agree, I am really scared as well..C’mooon Fed

Kimo Says:

AM, of all the legends you have mentioned in your post, I think only the case of Sampras applies since it took him three years to win his 2nd slam, but you have to remember that he was only 19 when he won his 1st.

I agree that players hit their peak usually around the 24 years old mark, but it’s called a “peak” because it’s a point you hit only once in your career. The fact that Djoko’s peak was two years ago is not a good sign. In top 5 tennis, you’re either going up, or you’re going down. There’s no zigzagging. You might plateau, but the only players I’ve ever seen plateau are Roger and Rafa, maybe even Roddick and Davy. Murray is still going up, but he’s still a mental light-weight.

What worries me isn’t that Djoko is slumping, it’s that he has lost the edge. Look at how he played in that Montreal final in 2007 and tell me if that’s the same player of 2009 and 2010. And his game is worse now than it was then too. His down-the-line strokes are nowhere near as good no as they were then. IMHO that’s because of the racket change, but that was HIS choice. It’s not like Wilson dropped him.

sar Says:

Maybe Djok and Murray just wanted to get to the clay early?

contador Says:

calling *dibs* on-

krajinovic. Erno has been replaced. i can’t take any more EG.

( i know, i’ve said it before ) this time i mean it. not a fan.

jane Says:

Kimo ” The fact that Djoko’s peak was two years ago is not a good sign.” Unless you can see into the future, though, how do you *know* his peak was 2 years ago; maybe (hoping) it’s still to come!

Also this statement: ” In top 5 tennis, you’re either going up, or you’re going down. There’s no zigzagging.”

Er, I’d say that an examination of history, even recent, would prove you wrong. There is zig-zagging. Murray was #2, then #4, then #3 now he’ll be #4 again. Rafa was #2, then #1, then #2, 3, 4, now likely #3 again…. etc. That’s called “zig-zagging.

Anyhow, will wait and see what happens with Novak. I am not, by any means, writing him off!

jane Says:

sar, maybe? : /

blank Says:

Fot, Kimmi – I agree with you guys. Federer’s fickle nature when playing non-GS tourneys and Nadal’s consistent-but-not so strong showings since his injury make me wonder as well.

blank Says:

How is everyone doing in the draw challenge? My rank is in 5 figures now! lol

sar Says:

It took Sampras almost three years to get a second GS. There is still hope for Novak to get another one.

blank Says:

And I picked Andy Murray to win. This is becoming more like the stock market…always goes against the bet.

fadingis Says:

jane,murray will apear behind delpo in the rankings and if rafa wins maiami he´ll tie djokovic in points so there will be even more zigzagging going around than you think

Kimo Says:

jane, about zigzagging, I’m not talking about ranking. I’m talking about form. Andy’s overall trend is pointing up. Sure he has off-days, but that doesn’t mean his overall game is getting better.

Novak’s game isn’t getting any better.

Kimo Says:

Correction, in my last post I meant “Sure he has off-days, but that doesn’t mean his overall game isn’t getting better.”

jane Says:

fadingis – thanks for clarifying the points situation; math is not my strong suit. : )

Kimo – well, personally speaking, I don’t see how you can say Murray’s overall trend is pointing up, and Novak’s is pointing down, when at the end of last year Novak won three titles. And he’s won DC and Dubai this year. Murray is as up and down as Novak in my opinion.

If you’re talking solely form, even Murray’s has been up and down, and I am not sure if it’s because he’s got people telling “how” to play all the time instead of going with his own gut. Or if he is transitioning or what. But maybe it’s the same for Nole too? They are getting too much advice, and they should just be doing small tweaks, not overhauls. After all, both got to #3 based on their OWN PLAY and styles.

Both have had great stretches in the last year or so (Nole on clay and late fall hard; Murray on grass and mid-summer hard), but both have also slumped at times. Remember that Novak was in the finals of Cincy (lost to Fed) and the semis of the USO (lost to Fed) and Murray lost early at the USO, whereas Djoko lost early at the AO.

I am a big fan of both of them. But imo, they are in VERY similar boats at the moment. The seas are rocky. But am hoping for smoother sailing ANON.

jane Says:

Cilic is cruising. Let’s see if Gilles has something to show here.

blank Says:

Good analysis Jane. Between Murray and Djokovic, I’d personally say Djokovic is in more trouble coz he still has Todd Martin telling him how to screw up.

jane Says:

blank, thanks. Yes, Murray’s coaching situation is more stable than Djoko’s so that’s a great point you make. So yeah, Nole needs to sort that out soon.

BTW, when and whom does Fed play? I might not get to watch him as I am taking my son to “Alice in Wonderland”.

blank Says:

Federer plays Lapentti at 8PM

blank Says:

If Nole needs a coach that can teach him how to beat Rog everytime, well…then Canas is up for grabs! LOL

blank Says:

Enjoy the movie Jane :-)

jane Says:

blank, lol on Canas. Nole just needs a coach to show him how not to beat himself (as Joe W, another poster here, once put it so eloquently).

Enjoy Fed’s genius tennis; I am sure he will dispense of Lapentti with no major problems. : )



The h2h for Fed/Canas is 3-3. I’m sure Canas has some great performance enhancing ideas for Nole..ahem ahem!!!

Fot Says:

blank – actually the H2H between Roger and Canas is 3-3

Fot Says:

Nelta we were thinking the same thing at the same time! lol!

blank Says:

NELTA, Fot – I was just kidding around :-)

Fot Says:

I have to go bowling in a little while (in a league) so unfortunately I think I may miss Roger’s match too! *sad*. I don’t think television is covering this match so I can’t even tape it! Bummer….I just hope he gets a win.

Fot Says:

Oh, I just saw that Fox Sport will broadcast Roger’s match! Yea! So now I can tape the match and watch it (if Roger wins tonight). If he loses, I will just hit the delete button!

Von Says:

margot: Yes, I saw my sweetie lift the trophy in 2003. He was walking around saying “I can’t believe it”, hugging/cradling the trophy close to his body and crying. I miss living in NYC because of the USO. What with corporate seating/free tickets and a prominent view, ya can’t beat that with a stick.

On your sighting of Chardy, yes, you were the first to mention him. I remember questioning your choice. We were discussing handsome men, with Joe W., Patrick Stewart, Captain kirk, Bill Shatner, Sean Connery and you happnened to mention Chardy. At the time I didn’t agree with you, but now that I’ve seen him mature some more and posing different haircuts, I’ll agreem he IS a handsome guy.

My Miami trip agenda thurned out to be a fiasco due to the mix-up of my dates. I had planned on going to the tourney, attend a wedding, and then finish off with a cruise. Now only the wedding seems to be a definite. The cruise is a *maybe*, and I might have to cancel. sheesh.

Fot Says:

Von, I actually think you man has a good shot at winning Miami. With all the ‘upsets’, he has to be considered one of the favorites.

Fot Says:

Uh…that should be “your” man. Not ‘you’ man. lol!

Von Says:

jane: “Unless you can see into the future, though, how do you *know* his peak was 2 years ago; maybe (hoping) it’s still to come!”

I saw you mention something similar to Ancic about him being past his peak, and questioned it, but you chose not to answer my question. You stated Ancic had passed his peak along with Schuettler, and I wondered how would you know that, and/or how could he, at age 25. Seems like a tangled web there.

Andrew Miller Says:

Kimo is right, in my opinion, in a lot of ways! Djokovic definitely HAS lost the edge from 2007 and, in my opinion, the racquet change was a bad move.

I am worried also about the “edge” that does not surface in his game – that “edge” helped him win against Roddick in 2008 here:

He’s just more fierce – cooler in the tie break, forcing Roddick to come up with shots that are “too big” – too ambitious. When he’s forcing other players to “overhit”, he’s doing his job.

(all that said: this match vs. Djokovic made an enormous difference for Andy Roddick. If there is one match that put Roddick in position to make a difference in 2009, it was this match vs. Djokovic and the lessons that Roddick acted on).

Von Says:

FOt: Thanks, I appreciate the kind thoughts, but no predictions please. Every time someone says he’ll win, he loses. I’m not a superstitious person, but Ithink I’m becoming somewhat paranoid.

Andrew Miller Says:

Canas – sheesh. If there really is an Odesnik-Canas-doping link, that would be awful. Canas worked so hard to clear his name and if he has a hand in this, he will be banned for life from every part of the tour.

Odesnik is stupid stupid stupid.

Andrew Miller Says:

Berdych should probably be added to the “loads of talent” but “lacking mental strength”

Andrew Miller Says:

De Bakker has a huge game!

I am glad Roddick is undefeated against him but, big if again, if De Bakker gets it together I don’t think anyone will want to play him.

Von Says:

margot: Commiserations on Murray’s loss. I didn’t think Mardy could take out Murray, as he wasn’t playing well at IW, plus he has knee and ankle problems. What’s happening with the top seeds? sheesh.

Fot Says:

Just one question: How is Horacio Zeballos? He’s beating Simon right now.

Kimmi Says:

Murray was making one UE after another and the second serve was awful. While fish played his best match ever, even though his groundies were so and so..he served very well, especially the big points. Great win for Fish.

Simon does not have anything in him a.t.m and Zeballos is taking adv here..good on him.

I read somewhere that his injury is not recovering so he is decided to play thru it.

contador Says:

birdie is on the head case list.

* except against RF. he also puts up a decent fight against rafa.

poor gilles. he still isn’t up to speed. definitely the more talented player in this zeballos v simon match.

simon- such quick reflesxes- and strikes that backhand is a way that makes it look simple.

2 match points for Horacio.

zeballos through,

Andrew Miller Says:

Gilles Simon is playing awful! Seems Zeballos is playing “solid and steady with a good lefty hook”. He is one-handed off both sides.

Simon may have had too much fun in Miami outside the tournament. I have no idea but he’s French.

(ha…i am stereotyping but it is fun sometimes!)

Andrew Miller Says:

Apologies, Gilles Simon is coming back from injury, everyone else is right.

That backhand is interesting. I will take another look at it.

contador Says:

simon strikes the backhand IN a way that looks simple.

Kimmi, you know i can’t type and watch. yes watch. atdhe showing the simon v zeballos match.

Kimmi Says:

contador, where are the days simon giving the GOAT a run for his money! the backhand WAS sweet I agree…I wonder if that simon will be back? just wondering!

margot Says:

von: are you too joining the queue for Chardy? It’s now stretching round the block lol!
That’s a gr8 memory of your Andy, would love to go to Flushing Meadow one of these days, but seems v. expensive for us Brits. As for Andy M…., dunno what to say really, words fail.

margot Says:

kimmi: u say Andy was making many, many unforced errors. He hardly EVER does this, what is going on with him? Help someone? Conty where’s that shrink you were recommending??

Kimmi Says:

Contador, while waiting for federer v lapentti match, here is a word from Lapentti regarding his encounter with federer tonight.

**Nowadays, I don’t get too many chances to play on Stadium Court, so this is very special, and to do it against Roger, the best player, in a city I feel is my home, in front of so many family members and friends and Ecuadorean people — it doesn’t get any better, Lapentti said***

Andrew Miller Says:

Lapentti: great stuff! I will watch it!

Polo Says:

…queue for Chardy?

I don’t think I like to join any queue for a French player anymore. The fizz from Champagne in a flute seems to last much longer than those guys.

Polo Says:

Head executives must not be feeling too happy nowadays.

fadingis Says:

headline: fish eats murray!!!

contador Says:

*nervous giggles*

Kimmi, didn’t benny say something like that in paris? before playing fed?

and, during the z-ball match, you can hear the huge south american contingent….lapentti will get the same uproar.

hey, feddy handles it. IF roger’s game is on, nobody beats him, right? ( in a GS, nowadays)

Fed could join nole and muzz.

madmax, you must be asleep, just as well.


Kimmi Says:

Contador, fingers crossed..

fed will be OK till he meets berdych in Rd16, me thinks! so relax

you must be going out soon, no? enjoy the night..are u able to record that match or watch reruns on espn360 or should do that, then you can see for yourself how he is playing.

contador Says:

haha-margot. i couldn’t recommend anyone. i do business with many shrinks and only know of (1) who actually isn’t nuts him or herself.

i know nothing about sport psychology.

what is the scottish way? a boot?

poor andy and nole both need help. fast.

the good news: cilic won. didn’t see the match but the score looks convincing. his opponent? an old french guy though. : )

i think baggy will take down marin, next round.

marcos baghdatis could go all the way to the semi.

get well JMDP! the draw is not the same w/o Juan marteen.

tomas Berdych through easily. oh no.

Kimmi Says:

“tomas Berdych through easily. oh no.”

hahahah lol

madmax Says:

conty – am here. I have 100% faith in Roger federer! C’moon roger.

Conty, you need a drink baby girl!

contador Says:

well one can hope. but de bakker wasn’t up to the task.

z-ball doesn’t stand much chance against tomas.

so, IF roger doesn’t get flushed down the top seed drain, i fear the czech is his destiny..4th round

the bird will fight to get to the quarters. *big sigh*

i don’t like roger losing to berdych, nor lapentti, nor serra in these early rounds. it’s just wrong.

….baggy or cilic, lose roger, okay. no losing tobasco. sorry kimmi but no losing to spaniards for roger…unless it’s on clay. deal?

c’mon FED!!

contador Says:

BUSTED! hello madmax!

you were supposed to be sleeping. it’s like 2 or 3 am in the UK, right?

are you going to be watching FED’s match? i am getting ready to go out. not chickening out but as in, have a “dinner”

i don’t want to come home and see roger ousted by LL-Lapentti. sick.

Kimmi Says:

“….baggy or cilic, lose roger, okay. no losing tobasco. sorry kimmi but no losing to spaniards for roger…unless it’s on clay. deal?”


noooo…fed not losing to hot sauce, unfortunatly he loses to one and only…rafa. but not anymore :)

speaking of rafa, nalbandian v rafa tomorrow, hoping is a good match. nalby not back to his best yet, but to play rafa, he will learn what he needs to do to be back there.. Goo nalby!

OK, only half an hr before roger takes the court!

madmax Says:

contador, when you go out to dinner – have a large, very large gin and tonic, THEN, a vodka on top, get a lil’ bit tipsy and relllaxxxxxxx.

Roger will be fine. You are stressing too much. I knew that I would need to check in on you tonight before I went to bed!!!!

Yep! You been busted girl!

Now! enough! Take, long, slow, deep breaths. Breath in through your nose, and out through your mouth, feel the air circulate through your body and relllaxxxxxxx conty.

now. doesnt that feel better?!

Enjoy your evening.

It’s half one here in UK, and eyes are drooping. Will press button for record, but wont be able to sleep knowing the fed is playing!

Cannot believe that Murray has gone out as well? what the hell is going on? just too crazy right now.

Roger will be PUMPED conty! No fear!

Go Federer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


madmax Says:

just checked skysports american friends, and NO MIAMI MASTERS to record! Fed match will be shown tomorrow afternoon at 2pm! They are showing CURLING – can you believe it?

Enjoy the match those of you who can get livestream, if you could do a running commentary for me, that would be great!

Kimmi? I will probably be up in around 2 hours time to check on the score, so C’MON FEDERER!!!!!!!!!


contador Says:


Thank-you again for interpreting my incoherent speeches.

obviously nervous here. Lapentti is going to be tough. he’s a talented player, all psyched up for a GOAT scalp. ( as is nearly everyone on the tour )

can you blame them? for most it’s as close as they come to glory. like benneteau.

baghdatis could make a GS final or win a masters 1000.

this is the reason i get nervous, madmax. and rog saves his best for the GS wins and maybe meeting rafa on clay-try to grab another one from the greatest ever on clay.

GO FEDERER…..especially in Rome, yes!

Kimmi Says:

madmax, that is a pity. I hope you get to watch it when they show it tomorrow.

I still don’t understand why you cannot watch it live online, I am sure there will be a lot of streaming out there..I know you explain something about “not a broadband area” but still it does not make sense to me. ..anyhow, I will see if I can do live commentary, depending who will be here..conty is not here and jane maybe not.

Go Roger indeed..

madmax Says:

it’ll be fine contador! go eat and enjoy your evening! Have to sleep now.

contador Says:

uh, madmax. that would be a LOT of alcohol for me! no need to go into details here, but trust me, a glass or two of wine is sufficient…with dinner. no need to get plastered. it’s fine win or lose, madmax.

will be home until after the match.

then i hope to read all about it. and i actually do hope it’s a good match…

great tennis watching, people.

Andrew Miller Says:

Is there any free live internet coverage or is it only on cable?

Kimmi Says:

federer FH is leaking so much at the moment

andrea Says:

yikes. murray out too? waz happening?

djokovic death spiral? now that’s a catchy title.

Kimmi Says:

federer wins this set but not convincing at all..all well, a win is a win.

set 2..

Andrew Miller Says:

Lapentti is not in this match. He seemed to be trying the Nadal strategy (“spin high to the backhand of Federer”) but it’s not working. He flattenned his shots out, but his own backhand does not work. Lapennti is not working right now.

Federer of course looking like his brilliant self. To Lapentti, probably an honor and a coda to his career.

Andrew Miller Says:

Federer shanking some balls – still a challenge for Lapentti to hold. Lapentti was a big deal in the pre-Federer era, held a top 6 ATP ranking (1999) behind two titles and an Australian Open semifinal.

Gosh, to Lapentti, Ecuador’s best player since Andres Gomez (none other than Lapentti’s cousin) this must be the match of his life!

Kimmi Says:

Andrew miller, this federer is not looking brilliant, he serves well but his ground strokes has been poor. A lot of shanks from both wings. he is not feeling the ball…not on that first set anyways. Lets see this set, he ofcourse needs to raise his game for the next rounds.

Andrew Miller Says:

The question: does Lapentti make a match of this?

Andrew Miller Says:

Kimmi, you are right – is Federer seeing the ball?

He has always had a problem with the lights at night in Miami. The lights are a little odd there.

Andrew Miller Says:

“out foxing Federer” – clever shot by Lapentti.

Andrew Miller Says:

Lapentti “Another good game by the South American”

truly, Lapentti definitely went for his serves there and flattened out his shots, and took advantage of Federer’s poor night vision.

Wonder if Lapentti can make it to a tie break?

sar Says:

I think Andy is having different problems than Novak right now. It could have begun with the big letdown from losing at AO. Add to that the Dubai mess where he said it was a “practice session”, trouble with Marseilles tournament directors over his pulling out at last minute, trouble with Adidas when he wore Hugo Boss instead of his label, and finally the Davis Cup/Greg Rusedski/John Lloyd spat. He might be feeling like everyone is on his butt.

Andrew Miller Says:

Kimmi, right on – Federer serving well. Good thing

Andrew Miller Says:

Maybe Federer can see at night! His challenge was correct

Andrew Miller Says:

No way Lapentti will break back. This is over!

Kimmi Says:

with this kind of play, federer is still winning easily. the two break chances he had, converted them with ease..thanks to errors by lapentti

now hold serve (which has been good so far)

0-30 c’moon fed

Andrew Miller Says:

Why no racquet switch to a higher tension?

Seems the conditions warrant it, especially with Federer’s “over-hitting”

sar Says:

Murray confirmed he has been struggling the past two months and described the problem as mostly mental.

“It’s purely down to me, what goes on inside my head,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how well you practice. You need to be tough in the matches.”

Dan Martin Says:

Jane, Yes we are excited for the second baby to get here in June. Jane and Andrew I do think Nole could have some paralysis by analysis afflicting his game. I also agree that he is young and at an age where he can turn things around, but I just wish he were not struggling so much. Sampras struggled some between USO 1990 and Wimbledon 93, Safin went from USO 2000 to AO 2005 to get his second slam, Federer looked like he would be a top 2-3 player going into 2002 and after the FO in 2003 he looked like a right handed Leconte to only go on his crazy streak of consistent wins. Nole has time, but maybe the Todd Martin experiment is not working.

Kimmi Says:

excellent!!..first match point converted…he was definetly good on break points today.

Needs to sharpen up that FH though..a lot of errors.

Andrew Miller Says:

Hi Dan – I think you are right. I can only think of one player in the top ten that has consistently tinkered with good results: Roddick. But he tinkered because he had to – he needed more game.

But with Djokovic, you are one hundred percent right. There seems to be some junk in his game, it’s not the effective, aggressive yet consistent game it was in 2007 and through much of 2008.

He is looking, in my opinion, less like Sampras and more like Thomas Johanssen!

Andrew Miller Says:

Federer’s backhand looked super good in the last 4 games. I think the backhand is as good as ever.

The forehand though – some shakiness tonight!

Kimmi Says:

sar, thanks for that re: murray, i will have to look for his interview. Miami has been great on posting the pressers quickly!

Andrew Miller Says:

(or Djokovic is looking…more like Todd Martin)

– methodical
– well rounded but doing nothing special
– winning many matches but losing when he should win

Kimmi Says:

BTW, I like federer’s polo shirt, looks GREAT!

Dan Martin Says:

I think in one sense if I were to be hired by Nole (I’d charge 1/3 of what that other Martin is charging), I would emphasize that at the last three slams he has gone quarter, semi, and quarter. He won the Paris Indoor and beat Federer in Basel last year. I’d emphasize that he is close to being where he wants to be. I’d say get back to what you do best, pressuring guys to hold, outplaying people with a solid and smooth game and moving his serve around the box and taking control of points when serving. I think he should now gear toward peaking in Paris and take each clay court event as a chance to play some longer points and get confidence in his ground game and return game.

#1Rivalry Says:

This was a pretty convincing win for Federer. Roger expects to struggle in his first round matches. New venue in new conditions will always be difficult. Playing at night when you have been practicing during the day is very difficult as well. Roger looks very fast, and his serve is awesome. Put all this together, and than add on top of that he converted 3 for 3 on break points. A very solid performance from Federer in my view, and it will only get better. I picked Roger to win this event, and still believe he will, but it will not come without tough obstacles along the way.

Andrew Miller Says:

Dan Martin: “I think he should now gear toward peaking in Paris and take each clay court event as a chance to play some longer points and get confidence in his ground game and return game.”

Sounds like the Federer strategy from 2009! It worked for Roger Federer when he was in a funk.

#1Rivalry Says:


I agree with you 100% on the way Djokovic needs to be dealt with. The problem with these professional athletes, and I include Federer in this as well. They have so much power to hire and fire they often miss out on what they really need. The ego’s are huge in today’s game, and in some instances the players must be humbled on the court to see where they need to improve. This happened to the GOAT last year after the loss in Australia. Todd Martin or whoever is supposed to be running that show needs to step up, and let Novak know what’s preventing him from playing his best tennis. After that the coach must demand a response to make the adjustment to get the desired result. Andy Murray is also a prime example of this as well.

Kimmi Says:

1rivalry, it is too early to pick roget to win this tournament. lapentti was no contest, federer won easily but he was given most of those points.

in the first 3 games in the first set, he was not winning any points on lapentti serve, like wise beginning of second set..either a shank return or hitting too long or the was bad.

berdych will be very difficult if they can play in the 4th round, so lets hope he sharpen up his return game.

His serve was very good though..great serving from the master.

Ben Pronin Says:

I just don’t understand what happened to Djokovic’s serve. It’s one thing to be off on your ground strokes, but the technique on the serve was somehow altered during the off season. I still don’t get why. Firing Martin could actually be a good spark. Roddick, for example, always gets really fired up after hiring/firing a coach, even if he hasn’t actually improved his game. Djokovic maybe could try that. But it’s just absurd what is going on with him.

Andrew Miller Says:

I think the “Other Martin”‘s influence is not working.

Djokovic’ game looks worse.

Ben Pronin Says:

Coincidentally, I just got an HDMI cable so that I can hook up my laptop to my tv. I have the Djokovic-Federer AO semi in HD so I was wondering how it’d look. Awesome.

As for Djokovic. I watched like 3 points. Even in the one he lost, his game looked magnificent. He used to be so aggressive and he actually went for his shots and was still incredibly consistent. You can’t lose talent like that but his game now is just… he’s gotten really bad. It’s a real shame. I’m not gonna write him off or anything, but as of this very moment, Djokovic has an incredible amount of work to do if he wants to reach the top.

Andrew Miller Says:

Ben Pronin is right. Djokovic’s serve is messed up.

This is no time to be like Dementieva. Is Djokovic playing like Martin?

Todd Martin vs. Agassi 1999:

Djokovic vs. Tsonga 2010:–Uiu30Utk

Djokovic vs. Federer 2007 Montreal:

Andrew Miller Says:

Looks a lot like playing “not to lose”. It is seriously awful stuff.

skeezerweezer Says:


Actually I like your comments about Fed’s serve looking good. I didn’t get to see the match :( but if he is serving well early, this is a great sign for him. Also his movement, watch for that. If the two are working well, look out. I am not worried about him so much in the early rounds as he as admitted he feels his way through sometimes, as long as he gets through of course. He has had a record of having some tough starts in the early rounds, so we’ll see. All in all a good start it seems.
Lapenti was no slouch, being ranked as high as #6 at one point( dated AK, that is huge in my book, lol )so good win for the FED :)

Daniel Says:


I agree with 1rivalry, Fed dominate the points, he was dictating play. Either he won the point, or he lost by a mistake going for to much.

Similar to what he was doing in IW. But I agree with you the he shaken too many balls.

Will see if his form gets better or if he will meet another hot Baggy in his way.

Ben Pronin Says:

Federer really did not look great. He played well enough. Lapentti has nothing to hurt Federer with, it’s really that simple. Federer could tee-off however he pleased. He did find some great range in the end of both sets, though, which is good. But he is in no way in the clear. If nothing else, I hope he keeps winning here because I absolutely love his shirt.

skeezerweezer Says:

“Andrew Miller Says:

Ben Pronin is right. Djokovic’s serve is messed up.”

Thanks for digging that up. I have been saying that all along, so goes your serve, so goes your game, in most cases. And in his case, for sure.

Nole, if you read up here you have lots of fans rooting for you. Get rid of Mr. Martin (He is an good guy, just not right for your game ), call Pistol Pete up, have him over for a Beer, and you’ll be on top in no time.


Dan Martin Says:

Like I said, Nole could hire me for 33% of Todd’s salary and I’d learn enough Serbian to tell him how great he is (for putting my kids through college) to the point that his ego would need to be tamed.

Dan Martin > .33 Todd Martin ?

skeezerweezer Says:

Ben, Daniel,

Thanks for the description of the Fed match. Did you think he was moving well, attacking, running around the FH etc,? would like to hear you comments…tx

skeezerweezer Says:


“Most excellent” post at March 27th, 2010 at 10:11 pm

You do have some wit! Impressive! :)

Ben Pronin Says:

Lol, skeezerweezer. I think it’s pretty obvious to everyone Djokovic is having a serving problem, no doubt. But I was watching some clips of his blistering win over Nadal in Paris at the end of last year. A match where Djokovic played amazing in every department, serve included. And this match was what, 5 months ago? And now his serve is messed up. So he definitely did something in the off season.

Couldn’t agree with you more about calling Sampras. Djokovic said Sampras promised to hit with him, he didn’t specify when. Whether they have or haven’t had that hit, Djokovic should fly back over to California and practice with Sampras. That might sound weird since Sampras isn’t exactly a clay expert and the clay season is coming up, but last I checked, being an attacking player on clay reaps in benefits. And who better than Sampras to get someone in an attacking mindset?

stu Says:

“Andrew Miller Says:
(or Djokovic is looking…more like Todd Martin)”

Best analysis of the day. I agree wholeheartedly.

stu Says:

is it just my imagination or is tennis sucking all over again?

Kimmi Says:

“If nothing else, I hope he keeps winning here because I absolutely love his shirt.”

ben pronin: I L-O-V-E-D his shirt too, so i am not the only one..thanks

Dan Martin Says:

I’d even opt for a slvic version of my name and become Martinovic(h) if he is paranoid about coaches named Martin. My daughter would get the last name Martinova, but at 17 months of age she could easily adapt.

Ben Pronin Says:

Federer? I thought he was moving pretty well. He was shanking a good amount (which I always find incredibly amusing) but it looked like more of a “he can’t see the ball” issue than a “he’s too slow”. His forehand went on and off, backhand was quite amazing throughout. He hit a ferocious cross court backhand on match point. Youtube that shot once it gets out, it was absolutely perfect in every way. And he was serving well, 10 aces and 0 (or 1?) doubles. But he still didn’t look like The Federer. He could’ve been quicker, more consistent. He was kind of sloppy, I guess. Like I said, Lapentti has nothing to hurt him with so most points were Federer hits or misses. But yeah, he was running around the backhand a lot (weird seeing him in one corner so often) despite how truly great his backhand was tonight.

skeezerweezer Says:


Thanks for the comment. Interesting….

Ben Pronin Says:

If I was Djokovic’s coach, I’d make him re-watch every single one of his matches from sometime in 2006 until Indian Wells 2008. Besides stroking his ego, he needs to be reminded of how he used to play AND how his demeanor used to be. Calm and never showing emotion, incredibly consistent and always on the attack. Effing phenomenal. That’s what he needs to get back to.

Kimmi Says:

Ben @ 10:20pm. Agreed 100%. sloppy is what I would call a big chunk of his perfomance tonight.

next..we have serra!

Andrew Miller Says:

Ben Pronin, excellent observations, totally on point for the match. Federer’s backhand was as “on” as his forehand was “off”

Some backhands reminded me of the AO final vs. Murray, it’s just become such a weapon. Solid serving, and Lapentti – not a bad showing,

just that if Federer’s forehand was even somewhat on, Lapentti would not have won more than one game per set.

Andrew Miller Says:

Here’s the monster backhand (around the 2:49-2:51 mark)

Ben Pronin Says:

This is a pretty interesting article about how Federer’s game has changed over the past few years. If you watch some of his old matches from 05 and 06, you’ll see his backhand was a huge weapon back then, too. But it seems like now he goes for even more showmanship-type of shots. I don’t know if I fully agree with that assessment because not too long ago I wrote about how Federer actually used to go for more, and now he’s more prone to waiting or being too impatient and missing a lot. But still, interesting take.

Kimmi Says:

If you ask me, I thought federer performance in Indian wells was better, even on that match he lost to Baggy..he was more sharper overall!

ben, lets hope you are right about those FH misses..that could be due to poor light..but did not look good for a while there.

But then he has another chance to get his game together, serra should not be a problem either (another good practice match I think)..

Kimmi Says:

andrew miller, already have the match on youtube..great!

jane Says:

Von says “Seems like a tangled web there.” Yes! I must be weaving a tangled web. LOL. The truth is, I don’t even recall you asking that, where or when. I guess it must’ve been when discussing Nadal, since he was playing them. Well, my honest answer would be that Scheuttler is a bit older, and while he may have a surprise or two left in him, I’d fall off me rocker if he won a slam or something; I do think he’s peaked. Ancic is a different story, I guess; super Mario – hmmm.. so dreamy and so much talent – but the illness has really set him back. However, with him, I guess he could still peak.

In any case, it’s all conjecture. Know one *knows* for sure. But going by when most players peak, maybe Djoko has a better shot at peaking than Scheuttler, maybe even more than Ancic. However, I do not own a crystal ball. Nor do I profess to know the future.

Merely opinion. No evil tangled web intended. : D

sar Says:

Firing Martin could actually be a good spark. Roddick, for example, always gets really fired up after hiring/firing a coach, even if he hasn’t actually improved his game

Ben you’re right. JJ just fired Ricardo Sanchez and got Chip Brooks and won IW.

jane Says:

Congrats to Fed fans. Oh, and blank, if you’re curious, “Alice in Wonderland” is very cool; the 3D glasses/effects weren’t even schmaltzy, as 3D technology sometimes can be. Rather, they helped really take one into that mad, mad world! Beautiful…


“Know one *knows* for sure.” Erm … still exuberant from the popcorn I guess; that should be “No one”. Sorry no proofreading a.t.m.

Andrew Miller Says:

Ben – interesting take by the Bleacher Report.

I still think the probing Federer that mentally psyches out the opponent is there (see the AO match vs. Davydenko)

jane Says:

Von, no predictions intended, but Roddick is looking good, and what I like about him in particular is his stable attitude; he has such a clear sense of himself that really comes across on the court. I guess he’s had his downer moments, like Wimbledon 06, but he seems to be in a good place right now, with a good coach and happy relationship. So who knows – he may peak again and win another slam soon! Hope so, and let it be Wimbledon.

I guess that’s the other thing I might’ve asked Kimo – why does there have to be only one peak? I suppose all (or most) of the players go through peaks and valleys. Looking at Agassi’s career for instance: where would the peak be?

Kimmi Says:

I liked it when murray said “Its not acceptable”..yes he is right it is not. Hope he finds a way out of it!

Andrew Miller Says:

Ben is right again on Djoko in Paris – he looks like another player (more 2007, less 2010!! (even with the Head racquet))

Fot Says:

Just read Roger’s interview where he said the conditions tonight made the balls fly which surprised him because in practice it was humid and hard to ‘hit the ball through the air’. Then he comes out tonight and hits everything too long because the balls were flying tonight. But he’s happy to get through.

Also… I was pleasantly surprised at what Roger had on! Usually the gang gives us a ‘warning’ on what he’ll be wearing. I had no clue he was coming out in orange! But it looks ‘classy’ and I actually like it. If, before I saw it, someone would have said Roger would be wearing orange, I would have cringed! But that shirt is very nice and the matching accessories makes Roger’s look really nice. I like it! Let’s hope he wins more so we can see it and him more!

Night all!

Dan Martin Says:

Murray and Djokovic’s losses do help Federer’s chances of getting to 286 or more weeks at #1. Nadal may be the only guy who can catch him and doing so would likely be like playing for an inside straight. He’d need to win Miami and Roland Garros, need to defend a ton of points, and hope Federer drops points in Madrid and Paris without picking up too many at Estoril and Monte Carlo where Fed is defending few or no points.

margot Says:

Dan Martin: you’re on a roll, your comments about coaching Djko are really droll! Perhaps you could offer your services to Andy M? Not such a traumatic language change for your family…
conty: the Scottish way is alcohol, fighting and NEVER talking about what’s going on in your head! Apologies to all Scots out there for this outrageous stereotype.
polo: loved your double entendre….
jane: “Alice” has not had terrific reviews, overlong etc but always like Depp. Just seen “A Single Man” terrific. Also, admire Roddick’s attitude, he just seems relaxed and of course this leads to consistency. I would be very happy if he won Wimbles.

Dory Says:

I’m really really worried about Nole. He’s my 2nd favorite behind Roger. He hasn’t played as poor as this season for quite sometime now and hanging on to No.3. It’s all mental I hope and not physical. You can win a Slam Nole if you do well one match at a time.

madmax Says:

thanks to everyone for giving me some insight into the federer game, I watched the highlights on youtube this morning, and I have to say, I thought roger was hitting some of the shots in such a clinical “I want to get this done NOW!”, kind of way. Yes, the forehand was not firing as well as usual, but 10 aces 0 double faults and a 3/3 break point conversion, with more than 60% first serves in, was actually pretty darn good in my book! – that back hand as well was awesome! So great to see roger playing so well.

I must be one of the few roger federer fans who actually thought roger played well in IW (against Baggy), okay, so he lost, but he still played really, really well. In Miami, I also feel it’s a great start for him. I never expect him to do “brilliantly” in the second round, because “he doesnt have to”, one match at a time, and then he can analyse his game and put right the niggles he experienced in that round. Move on to the next and get even better as he goes through the competition.


his shirt was just beautiful! I loved it! Such a classy guy! You never expect “orange” to look soooo good on a man! But roger can pull it off!

C’moon Federer!

madmax Says:

DURO, if you are out there, and still reading these posts, I hope you are keeping well and your father is doing much better – take care and come back soon!

Same to you HUH! take a break from your studies and come back! Roger is playing!!!!!

Polo Says:

Novak was also my second favorite after Roger until he started acting strange and became confrontational with the spectators. I think it began around the time he beat Roddick at the US Open and gave a sarcastic anti-Roddick-comment interview that was booed by the crowd. He has stopped being fun to watch ever since. He always shows his resentment to the crowd when they cheer for your opponent. And he does it by doing annoying gestures. He wastes his energy doing that and has turned off several fans, me included. And the more the fans turn against him, the more he gets affected in a negative way in both his game and his attitude. It has become a vicious cycle. I don’t think he can get back that fun attitude which I liked so much before. Nadal has moved way up in my “like” chart.

OllyK Says:

Now I’m really worried about Nole. Ok, this is not the 1st time (and it won’t be the last, probably) he lost in 2nd round…even when he was at the peak of his form, in 2008, he lost at Miami from Kevin Anderson (then ranked 122). BUT, before that he won IW and after that he was in semis of MC and won Rome! At that time, it could be just a bad day cause we all knew he had the game to beat anyone, so…From AO till now, his game looks like never ending nightmare… He said that working with Todd on new, improved service would be a long process and it can’t be done over night. ell, now, I have few questions which will remain unanswered for a long time, I’m affraid: 1) How much MORE time Nole will need to see that everything in his game is going to hell and that comeback from that point will be very tough? 2) Is that new_but_not_seen_yet, “fancy” service worth that sacrifice? 3) Can Vajda change in next few months any damage that has been done? 4) At the end, is Vajda still good coach for Nole, cause, I know that he is to Nole like a family member and I don’t think that he has enough authority over Nole any more? Hm..really, it is a big big question what to do next.
Well, I just hope when he clearly sees the mistakes he’s made and realizes what he has to do to be back on track, he will continue to play tennis and not start with his second choice – golf! ;) Come on, Nole, wake up, please!!!!!

OllyK Says:

Maxi and other Fed fans, Von and everybody else who supports any other top10 player except Nole and Murray: good luck to your guys! Lets have at least one expected final in last few months! I think everybody would like to see that happen! :)

Polo Says:

Djokovic is probably paying a lot of money to Todd Martin and he has gone into denial by trying to convince himself that he is getting his money’s worth. Unless he gets over this denial phase, he will be joining another player from Serbia whose freefall is happening at the speed of light. I could not remember her name at the moment.

contador Says:


i enjoy reading your posts on nole. “..he will coninue to play tennis and not start with his second choice-golf!) ha-ha-ha

so true. he said something like that about golf, i remember, on the gototennis videos.

yes, his serve is not the weapon it was and i wouldn’t argue that TM is not helping the matter. and i was shocked that nole lost to olivier rochus. ollie is a fantastic tennis player to even rank where he does with such a height deficit. but, nole should have handled him easily.

ollyk, i thought those videos were a great look into how happy nole actually is. though as his fans, we are not so happy.

he is still young ( love is his #!1 on the most important list!! ) he wasn’t joking, olly. his rapid fire answer to the question of what’s most important to you: “in love” he says, with a beaming smile.

as i said before, i don’t think roger, at nole’s age nor rafa would have answered anything but “tennis and winning and being #1.”

i must respectfully disagree with Polo. if anything, Polo, nole has gone the opposite direction since the bad juju with roddick. nole is too nice many times. exhibit A: the 2009 semi-final, when he applauded federer too much and seemed to just “give up.” nole could now receive an award for, ” most generous to his opponents.” on court he applauds them, helpful and advises them when a call should have gone their way, not his, man-hugs, exchanging sweaty shirts…all graciousness and entertaining, nole is.

i say, dial down on the mr. nice guy. get some fight back, ajde!

ahh, but he’s happy, 22, and *in love,* dreaming golf dreams

seriously, it’s hard to imagine the talented novak djokovic not waking up after this hard court season, making some changes, and focusing more on winning as we go into clay court season, so…

…here’s to return of novak djokovic-*clink* and cheers.

OllyK Says:

contador… about enjoying in reading my posts: *blushhhh* well, at least one good thing in this horrible “Nole_is_making_me_crazy” times. :D

I know, I knooow he is happy and I’m happy for him..I ADORE his personality more and more each day. Especially off court one, I mean! :P And that “in love” thingy – I knoow, my heart melted when he said that…he is a perfect boyfriend! :) But, that feeling can last for years (and I hope it will)… and, btw, he is with Jelena for 3 -4 years now… so what has she done to him lately then?! Maybe we should ask her what is the problem! :D
And, contador, everything you said about Polos post – I agree! ;)
Here is to NEW IMPROVED BUT SIMILAR TO OLD NOLE! cheers, contador! :)

contador Says:

and thanks to everyone for the comments on fed’s match last night.

good to hear his first serve is “on” in clutch moments.

i looked up some stats: 26 winners and 24 UE’s. glad i missed that UE part.

sorry to hear his forehand… shanks ( yeah. okay. 1) fed’s getting used to conditions 2) poor night vision? )

practice at night FEDDY and get that eyesight checked.

i still maintain that federer was a half step slow getting to the forehand shots vs baghdatis. thus, not quite in good enough position and misfiring or just missing the line.

it’s true however, if fed is up to his speed, he stretches out and his position to hit a winner off the forehand need not be anywhere near perfect. in IW, he wasn’t getting quite close enough into place to get a good “get’ with the famous forehand, from what i watched, playing baggy.

backhand sharp? must go watch those youtubes madamax. you say are up already from last night?

not too worried then about serra,

berdych? arrrrrrgh! and if he gets past berdych? i think fed will have a rematch with baghdatis. personally, i would prefer cilic, tobasco, or melzer.

we’ll SEE…monday.

contador Says:


you know so much inside info on nole. i did not realize he’s been with jelena that long!

hmm, okay, todd marting and that kneeling, humiliating idea to assist his serving? what? was that preparation for playing rochus?

hmmm,,,#2. maybe nole and jelena have a secret? like the federer and mirka one?

hmmmm…#3. perhaps he actually IS thinking of switching to golf? michael jordan switched to baseball for awhile, right?


thanks ollyk. and a toast to nole’s comeback to earth, literally and figuatively, on clay!

now i must go. but will be back to watch some tennis later this afternoon.

cheers, olly

OllyK Says:


Yep, I’m obssesed fan.. ;) I know everything that is possible for me to find out about him! :D But, sometimes it is not easy thing to know all that stuff. When he plays poorly I always try to find some reason for that in his personal life. For example now, there are rumors in Belgrade that his family is in debts cause they took some big loans for building “Djokovic Tennis Academy”…I hope that’s not true, cause sth like that would bother him for sure. And stuff like that…Does any other player have problems like that or they are just focussing on tennis?!
And, I don’t know what is with that kneeling service practice! I would really love if someone, who knows anything about coaching tennis, could explain to me benefits of that?! Cause I’m sure he will not kneel on court (except maybe for proposing Jelena one day! :D)…
cheers, conty, and I hope your other “choice” will do his job as expected! :)

jane Says:

margot, I had read some of those mixed review on “Alice” but my son, hubby and I all enjoyed it. Visually it’s just lovely, and I worship both Depp and Burton, for his wild imagination. It’s not a faithful adaptation of Carroll in detail, but in spirit I think it is. I will have to see “A Single Man” – love Julianne Moore, and it’d be interesting to see how Ford makes the switch from fashion to film.

contador – “was that preparation for playing rochus?” LOL on that one. “…here’s to return of novak djokovic-*clink* and cheers.” Cheers on that one!

OllyK – commiserations. Liked reading your thoughts on Nole, esp. the 8:47 a.m. post – makes me very concerned. : /

contador Says:

“…and I wroship both Depp and Burton..”

no kidding. fell in love withTim Burton after his, “Nightmare Before Christmas”

Johnny depp-my sister bought me what has become my favorite all-time depp and young dicaprio film: “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.”

put some high mountains around the town and it replicates where i come from…lol.

ollyK- i will go to you or mr. duro ( wherever he is ) for all things, novak djokvic. top honors for being an “obsessed fan” : )

take care, Duro.


sure, they are all human. i’m sure personal problems, the happy, exciting secrets and good stressors as well as the negative stressors, you mention, do interfere to a degree; more with some, but even most rafa fans admit the divorce of his parents was clearly tough for him. it all matters, even with the top “fighters.”

which makes me wonder, “what’s eating andy murray?” maybe he could use a new girlfriend? i ask the expert on the muzza here, margot?

madmax Says:

do not worry ollyk, novak has lost his way. It happens, but he will find the path, the light once again, he just needs to sort out his head. It may be that tennis is just not his focus right now, (clearly it is his girlfriend), but she is so supportive of him, and it could be that the debts your mentioned do have something to do with his performance here? Who knows, you have to just ride the storm. calmer waters will reappear.

OllyK Says:

jane, thanks! I’m concerned too, as you can see, that is why all those questions are crossing my mind… :/
contador, if you need any info about Nole, just ask..I’ll be happy to please you! :D And you are right, they are all humans, it was selfish of me thinking that us, Nole fans, are in worst position. I totally forgot about Rafa and divorce of his parents…
maxi, you are very kind…I’ll try not to worry! I know, everything will be put in the right place in Novak’s professional and personal life eventually …I just hope that it will be soon! Ajde, Noleee!

madmax Says:

I’m just watching the nadal and nalby match, in the bottom right hand corner, skysports have a digital clock to calculate time between hitting the first ball – rafa has just taken 35 seconds between the last point (won by nalby) and hitting his first serve. Is that acceptable in the rule book – can anyone tell me?

dc Says:

In an effort to beat Fed, every body has ruined their game. Rafa screwed his knees, Murray his mind and now Djokovic’s game has gone bonkers. Various top players like Hewitt, Safin , Roddick physically injured themselves in an attempt to dethrone Fed. Delpo beat Fed in US open and the physical and psychological effort required to do so have put him out of action.

Fed has gotten into the head, psyche and soul of each one of them. They need to get Fed out of their head and start playing naturally and accept win or defeat as it comes.

blank Says:

Jane, Thanks for the movie review. Just for 3D and Tim Burton, I want to watch that movie.

margot Says:

DC: what an interesting observation, however, you’ve turned Fed into a bit of a Grim Reaper!

blank Says:

Good win for Nadal. Now he has to possibly fight his way past Ferrer, Isner/Tsonga and Roddick to reach the finals!

Nice to see Nalby comeback from his injuries and playing well.

Fot Says:

dc – interesting take (and with some sense of truthfullness in there). But remember, Roger WAS the guy to beat so they had to change their game (or try to improve) if they wanted to take his place as the ‘king of tennis’. It’s nothing new though because remember Lendl did everything he could (including hiring a left-handed coach to beat McEnroe who he didn’t hardly beat early in their careers.

I see Justine is about to finish off Cibulkova. Today was/is a relaxing day for me since Roger isn’t playing. I’m just going to cross my fingers to hope that the weather holds out for tomorrow.

Fot Says:

P.S. Is Cibulkova pregnant? She has a little ‘pouch’ there.

contador Says:

LOL, margot. dc’s description.

fed, the grim reaper. he’s done some damage, indeed.

dc- i must concur. have been thinking just what you posted on the subject of what the cost mentally and physically is to win at the top in a GS or big tournament.

however, while we’re speaking of champions who wear down their opponents to fractured bones, pulled muscles, wounded feet, damaged egos, one
must put the cruel, relentless matador, rafa nadal,up there with grim reaper federer.

there is that price to pay when anyone
takes on either of them…walk on court at your own risk, baby.

nalby- had hip surgery after that battle to the death in IW 09 with rafa.

verdasco- what a horrible defeat at ao 09. he has not been the same; foot injury, abdominal injury, psychological damage, except in New Haven where he was top dog. he’ll not be able to come close to rafa again , should they meet in a semi or final….or anywhere, for that matter. forever pysched and submissive.

speaking of those with losing records against nadal and psyched out by their compatriot leader: look who is left in nadal’s half. Tsonga has the best shot at rafa but rafa would need to be having a very bad day.

roddick? a win over rafa? i fear andy will injure something and he just is getting his form back and head together.

actually, roger won rafa last time they met too…oh, no…a fedal can hurt on several levels-both players involved.

tennis is a tougher sport than most think.

nadal had to get into the incredible hulk shape to get those 2 slam wins over federer, (the wins
not on clay)

federe’s back fell apart trying to get that AO 09
win over rafa. rafa’s knees were done by the FO 09.

as dc points out, seems del potro hasn’t yet recovered from what it took to beat roger at the US Open.

the injuries- mental/ emotional cost is high.

all the more reason to admire roger and rafa for how much they must love the fight and take the risk. and they keep making comebacks, even when critics say they’re done. it’s unreal.


” Fed has gotten to the head, psyche and soul of each one of them.” well said.

i would only add rafa as well as fed in ability to get to the head psyche and soul of all of them….and their bodies too!

it’s late for me and i missed most of the action today. thanks again tennisx’ers!

Clay Says:

I shudder to even consider what post Federer tennis will be like. Let’s hope there are some awesome juniors out here who will take up the slack, as right now these big boys are stuttering badly.

Polo Says:

I could’nt agree more with dc’s observation about Federer wrecking havoc on everybody who tries to beat him. Every now and then somebody can beat Federer but something seems to give in the process. If not the body, then it is the mind. And that includes Rafa (body only because his mind remains the strongest of all the players out there, including Roger).

Polo Says:

Am I the only who is not pleased when a player applauds his opponent who just hit a winner? I find it rather condescending.

OllyK Says:

Polo, it is exactly the same as, for example, Rafa’s “buena” on some good opponent’s winner! Players are doing that to show respect not superiority!! I must say this is the first time I read that someone interpreted it like that…

Ben Pronin Says:

I get annoyed when they applaud a shot AND have a look of despair on their faces. Djokovic and Blake come to mind. It’s like they feel helpless and believe their opponent’s are truly superior to them. Roddick applauds once in a while but then he goes on with the tennis, he doesn’t give in to his opponent because he’s “too good” as Blake likes to put it.

Polo Says:

You may be right about that Ben Pronin, it must be the body language that accompanies the applause that makes it look like either a genuine compliment or a gesture of annoyance.

Siddy Says:

Djokovic is just tired and needs rest. He also needs to fire Todd Martin, because he has jacked up his serve and made the thing completely unreliable. Finally, he needs Nadal to stay healthy. Because Nadal hasn’t been there to give him the TLC he needs. If you have been watching tennis the last few years, you would see that Novak is seriously crushing on Nadal in a bromance sort of way and he has been missing Nadal. And missing their rivalry.

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