Roddick Wins in Three; Americans Isner, Fish, Blake Today in Cincinnati
by Sean Randall | August 17th, 2010, 9:55 am

There may not be any Americans in the Top 10 this week (again), but the U.S. players are off to a good start at the Cincinnati Tennis Masters thus far. ADHEREL

Andy Roddick, who’s been fighting a mild strain of mono, fended off Sergiy Stakhovsky in three sets last night 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-1. It wasn’t pretty but for Roddick, who now ranks No. 13, a win is a win. He now takes on Thiemo de Bakker on Wednesday with a chance at Robin Soderling Thursday.

“He’s certainly capable of hitting big serves and shots, it’s just a matter of not playing the loose games,” Roddick said of de Bakker. “I think that’s the difference, or it has been the difference the two times we’ve played. He’s certainly can hit the ball big, and he’s certainly a very dangerous opponent.”

Sam Querrey has had an up-and-down summer. Yesterday was a decidedly up day after he pounded Phillip Petzschner 6-1, 6-4. Taylor Dent opened with an impressive win over Feliciano Lopez, and his reward is top seed Rafael Nadal tomorrow. Robby Ginepri was also a late-night winner in three sets over Somdev Dewarman as the red, white and blue went 4-0 on Monday.

Today, after missing Toronto to rest his shoulder, John Isner returns against Lukas Kubot at night. James Blake opens the day against Denis Istomin (winner to play Roger Federer), Mardy Fish meets Gilles Simon and Donald Young will be the heavy underdog against Ernests Gulbis.

Also Tuesday, No. 7 Tomas Berdych is the highest seed in action, he’ll play Paul-Henri Mathieu.

Some other matches of interest: Mikhail Youhzny v. Richard Gasquet, David Nalbandian v. Ivan Ljubicic, Marcos Baghdatis v. Tomaz Bellucci.

Matches will be televised on the Tennis Channel today and tomorrow in the U.S.


STADIUM start 11:00 am
[Q] D Istomin (UZB) vs [WC] J Blake (USA)
Not Before 1:00 PM
G Simon (FRA) vs [WC] M Fish (USA)
P Mathieu (FRA) vs [7] T Berdych (CZE)
Not Before 7:00 PM
J Isner (USA) vs L Kubot (POL)
[WC] R Ram (USA) / B Reynolds (USA) vs R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
[Q] A Falla (COL) vs [16] G Monfils (FRA)
R Gasquet (FRA) vs [12] M Youzhny (RUS)
M Baghdatis (CYP) vs T Bellucci (BRA)
L Hewitt (AUS) vs Y Lu (TPE) – Possible Court Change
Not Before 7:00 PM
[15] I Ljubicic (CRO) vs D Nalbandian (ARG)

COURT 3 start 11:00 am
H Zeballos (ARG) vs P Kohlschreiber (GER)
M Llodra (FRA) vs J Benneteau (FRA)
E Gulbis (LAT) vs [WC] D Young (USA)
T Bellucci (BRA) / M Melo (BRA) vs F Lopez (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) – After appropriate rest

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
N Almagro (ESP) / J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK)
[Q] F Mayer (GER) vs J Chardy (FRA)
Not Before 2:00 PM
[WC] R Ginepri (USA) / R Sweeting (USA) vs T Robredo (ESP) / R Stepanek (CZE)
W Moodie (RSA) / D Norman (BEL) vs R Lindstedt (SWE) / H Tecau (ROU)

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99 Comments for Roddick Wins in Three; Americans Isner, Fish, Blake Today in Cincinnati

Twocents Says:

Go Roddick!

Stefani Germanotta Says:

So does anyone know what exactly is going on with Federer and Annacone? Was he in Toronto? Why isn’t he in Cincy? What about New York?

jane Says:

Wow!! Istomin pounded Blake, 6-3, 6-0. Poor James; it’s just not been his year. Also Falla is serving for the match, to eliminate Monfils first round. Zaballos is up a set on Kohls.

contador Says:

morning jane

i was checking scores from work. well, there goes the good start.

i think of zeballos as a clay courter but he did fairly well on indoor hc last fall. kohls worn out? c’mon

the good news: at least chardy has a 3-1 lead over florian mayer.

jane Says:

Yes, contador – at least there’s Chardy. Who did you pick in the Gasquet vs. Youz match?

madmax Says:

Stefani Germanotta Says:
So does anyone know what exactly is going on with Federer and Annacone? Was he in Toronto? Why isn’t he in Cincy? What about New York?

August 17th, 2010 at 11:53 am


Annacone is currently on a trial basis (you can read for full information), he was with him in Toronto, but has LTA duties which he had to fly back to UK for, so Sverin Luthi, swiss davis cup coach is with Fed for Cinny.

Annacone back for USOpen.

jane Says:

Gasquet! He’s serving for the match over Youz. Youz (or “the bouncer” as margot likes to call him) was 3-1 H2H going into this match so I assumed he’d win again, especially since we’ve seen little from Gasquet this year to suggest otherwise.

This is a great win for Richard! Good for him.

grendel Says:

Istomin/Federer should be interesting – don’t think they’ve met before. And Falla looming on the horizon, a stern figure bent on retribution, determinedly moving forwards in Fed’s direction. Nothing will stop him….

jane Says:

You descibe Falla like Yeat’s “Second Coming” LOL.

Kimberly Says:

lbujic/nalby should be interesting tonight–

James Blake should retire. Also I think Roddick is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope not, but I think so.

Meanwhile, this is my worst draw challenge in the early rounds. Hopefully my late round picks will make up for some major major errors.

jane Says:

Kimberly, yeah I checked the H2H for Nalby v Ljub and Ljub is ahead 5-2. I still picked Nalby based on current form. I have 14 picks right so far.

jane Says:

Kimberly, yeah I checked the H2H for Nalby v Ljub and Ljub is ahead 5-2. I still picked Nalby based on current form. I have 14 picks right so far.

madmax Says:

grendel Says:
Istomin/Federer should be interesting – don’t think they’ve met before. And Falla looming on the horizon, a stern figure bent on retribution, determinedly moving forwards in Fed’s direction. Nothing will stop him….

August 17th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Hi grendel.

Fed played Istomin at the Australian Open, 4 years ago, where he beat him in straight sets (and no tiebreakers!).

Though I agree with you, this will be an interesting match. Istomin said after beating blake today (in fact he laughed when petchey said he playing fed tomorrow), Istomin said, will try to play his best tennis, bring a few new things to the court.

I think he will probably go on a tear and be completely agressive from the blocks.

As for falla, one match at a time buddy.

Should Fed meet Falla, who I think has to get passed Kohls (?) is that right, then we’ll start talking about that :), but in that event, I dont think fed will make the same mistake twice and will certainly give him more respect than he did in the first round at wimbledon, that’s for sure.

For now though, I believe fed has a night match? or a late afternoon/early evening one – i’m not sure whether rafa is playing first on or fed.

As Istomin is the only guy on tour who has his mum for a coach, he mentioned in his interview that she wasn’t there – it could be that he meant she wasn’t there at the match today, but pretty certain he’ll be talking to his mum tonight!

Should be a good match and Fed will be much more rested this time around.

I kind of feel that as long as he has a really good rest before the USOpen, I don’t mind so much what happens in cinny. But he says he ready to go, so let’s see what happens.

madmax Says:

*that’s fed beat istomin in straights*.

Skeezerweezer Says:


madmax Says:

Hi Skeeze!

Yup. Istomin beat blake today. blake was not there mentally at all. straight sets win. But blake is coming back from injury, right? so will take a while for him to get some matches and confidence back.

mat4 Says:

I have just read STignor’s prediction for Cincy. I like to read his posts, he’s an excellent writer (Mouratoglou is maybe better, but I prefer Steve’s blog), but sometimes I have the impression that he is just jocking. Gulbis in the semi? Rafa defeats Nole on hard, in North America (happend once, though)?

Just saw that Gasquet won. Glad for this very talented player.

contador Says:


you’d be on the leaderboard!

you don’t have to play. just sign in to the draw challenge and join the tennisxfans group! skeezer is in there. he is not playing either.
we can leave messages there about the picks.

all tennisx’ers interested sgin in! tennixfans group on atp draw challenge

you can click on all our names and see who i picked and laugh!
: )

Go gulbis!

jane Says:

15 right now (Go Gulbis!!!) – contador, if I got Baggy wrong in round 1 (i.e., had picked Cilic to win), then if I pick him to win the match in the next round, does it count? Or do you have to pick the entire tournament and suck it up when your first round picks lose?

madmax Says:

contador how do you play? where to go? I know kimberly posted the link here way back on a different thread, but cant be bothered right now to find it – can you help?

contador Says:

you pick the entire tournament and suck it up. lol


really i am *begging* sign in and you’ll see. it’s fun. you don’t have to do a bracket. but i think you’d like it. and “tennisxfans” group needs to raise its average!

go click on contador and you can see my scatched up blue bracket. i have 19 points atm…one off the leaderboard. that will change if LU loses : )

contador Says:

s/b “scratched up bracket”

go lu!

jane Says:

contador, joined the TXer group. My name is utterly recognizable.

madmax, it is very easy. Go to the ATP site; look for Draw Challenge; click on it. : ); sign up; search for and then join the TennisX group.

Kimmi Says:

jane – did u join. i will go check your name.

contador Says:

ooh yes, madmax

go to the atp website and at the top where the ” live score” is you’ll see “draw challenge” just click on it and sign in.

then when you are in, go to “groups” and type in tennisxfans…

that’s it. it’s too late of course to do cincy but shanhai is next. it’s for ato 1000 series.

grendel Says:

madmax – what rank was Istomin 4 years ago? I remember Fed playing an Arab from somewhere in the Gulf I think, in Dubai, ranked 4or500 odd – several years ago – and nearly losing the first set. b.t.w., tomorrow, Joker on first, followed by Rafa, Murray, Roddick and Fed (first evening).

Contador – caught a bit of Berdych this evening, and whilst we know about his aggressive play, he was pretty impressive in defence as well. Fella’s a menace! Still, will be interesting to see him up against Nadal; if he beats him, will he be promoted from your black list? And then if he beats Fed will he be re-installed? Tricky, innit? I have to admit, I’ve always enjoyed watching Berdych, he reminds me of Safin a bit (in his tennis), secure in the knowledge that he was no threat to Fed. But with each match he plays, these days, he’s looking more and more deadly. Gone are the days when people could patronise him as a head case.

jane Says:

Kimmi, yep, but obviously too late to play for real. It’s fun to spy though. ;)

Kimmi Says:

great, just saw you jane. next time you can play. :)

jane Says:

It’s kind of cool because then the drama of every single match is heightened, as if there weren’t enough already, lol. I mean, normally I’d probably root for Hewitt, but because I analyzed my
“fake draw challenge” and thought “oh Hewitt’s injured” and Lu beat Roddick etc, I picked Lu. So am now, between trying to do some work, eyeing the scores thinking “Oh no! Why is Hewitt winning”? And that’s not even playing for real. Ha ha.

jane Says:

grendel – Nole’s on first? Oh-oh. Heat. Drama. I hope he pulls through, and wears a hat.

grendel Says:

jane – it sounds like heaven for the schizoid inclined, if not one way, then the other,you win. I suppose, though, if you were a depressive shizoid as opposed to an upbeat one – which ever way you looked at it, you’d lose!

Kimmi Says:

jane – exactly what i have been thinking. trying to root for Llodra over benny, he took the first set and dissapoint me in the end.

I like gasquet but why youzhny lost after taking the firt set comfotably? Congtrats gasquet btw. I will pick him next time.

Lu is injured they say…

Kimmi Says:

why are they declining Lu a medical tome out? does anyone watching hewitt match? it does not make sense..

Trainer refusing to see Lu until after change over. he wants to take an MTO..what is going on?

puckbandit Says:

watching Lu, big screw-up chair-ump & trainer

contador Says:


im a happy camper. thank god, gulbis didn’t have a heat stroke. he made it through the match against young. although, he was up 5-2 serving for match and young broke him, or ernie choked. i don’t know. finally after deucing it out at 5-4 serving for match, he won.

i was staring at livescore at work. go gulbis! don;t faint..

i can’t see berdych as safin at all. berdych does not have the charisma or personality, imo. and no, berdych is on my blacklist indefinitely : )

nadal isnt really on a blacklist any more at all even when beats federer. i wouldnt watch a fedal though until after the fact. if nadal takes out berdych, nadal gets a promotion!

and thanks for reminding me about falla. falla and berdych-blacklisted! 2 villains atm. nice.

i would have loved it if matheiu had taken out berdych. gladly sacrificed a bracket point!

jane@ 5:35 pm

very funny! exactly what i was thinking watchin hewitt score!

“oh no.”

Kimmi Says:

puckbandit – just caught it up in the middle. listening to the commentators, it sounds like Lu was not treated fairly.

he just retired. Too bad. Lu a nice guy on tour. Good luck to him.

contador Says:


still working here so i didn’t see the match. what happened to Lu?

Kimmi Says:

maybe puckbandit can explain better coz I missed the beginning.

But apparently at 3-5 first set he asked for MTO, he was told you will get it at change over (by a trainer or umpire i am not sure). Then at change over they told him he has to wait until hewitt finish his serve.

I just heard Lu complaining to the supervisor that trainer lied to him…

I mean, why? players take MTO anytime. No one knows how much he was hurting at the time. he should have given MTO when he asked for it forst time, the guy could not chase the ball at all….

Anyways..he decided to retire in the end.

Kimberly Says:

draw challengers join our group on atp draw challenge website group name is tennisxfans. don’t be ashamed, no one can be doing worse than me at the moment. search groups, type in tennisxfans and join. It is a public group so no password necessary. It is a fun way to track our picks.

blank Says:

It’s a blockbuster day tomorrow. Look at the Center Court lineup!

Kimberly Says:

this lbujic nalby match may turn out to be good.

Kimmi Says:

Novak gets an early start. not too hot I guess

Kimberly Says:

blank-hope for djokos sake its not that hot yet at 11.

nadal, murray and roddick are going to bake.

Kimmi Says:

Lubjicic is serving big. one ace after another.
nalbandian complains about some of the challenge system in grandstand court.


Kimberly Says:

that sucks, you feel for the less popular players that can’t take advantange of the challenge system, especially in the GS’s.

blank Says:


Djoko is lucky. It’s not too bad tomorrow when he is playing. Temperatures are forecast to be in the 70s. Not bad at all.

Kimmi Says:

Lubj is a serve guy. a tricky match for nalby. practicing if he gets to play isner next. Go nalby

Luby has 8 aces and a lot of unreturnables. so far

Nalby with 0 aces.

Kimmi Says:

look like we are going to the tie break..I feel for nalby. tie breaks a toss up, especially when there is a big server. Go nalby

Kimmi Says:

lubj couldn’t get first serve in this game..

nalby 2 set point

Kimmi Says:

YAY! 1st set in the bag nalby. GO GO GO!

Skeezerweezer Says:

Lube vs Nalby. What a first round matchup! Geez

Skeezerweezer Says:


Tx for the link. Wow! I feel like a surfer dude , surfs up and I am calling in sick, that lineup is unreal :). Surf streaming here I come, lol

Kimmi Says:

what! nalby cruising, early break in the second set.

Finih him nalby

grendel Says:


i meant Berdych reminded me of Safin (a bit) in his tennis – certainly not personality. Oddly enough, Gulbis also – tennis but not personality. Wonder if Gulbis will be late maturer, like Bird. Lot of expectations on Gulbis now, perhaps he finds that hard to handle. Maybe, after everyone’s given up on him, he’ll suddenly come good. Some people never do – that Mathieu cna look really good for a few games (he rolled thru Berdych for 3 consecutive games towards end with startling strokemaking), and then he’s back to poking around again.

jane, I think my metaphor was rather a silly one. It just struck me that it must be hard backing someone against one of your favourites, yu really are gonna be in 2 minds about the winner.

jane Says:

grendel, I thought you were diagnosing me as a schizoid and possibly a depressed one. You’ll notice, Eeyore-like, I lumbered away feeling like an, well, you know what Eeyore is. Happy to know it was only a metaphor. I think. : /

Kimmi Says:

Lubj should say no to bagel..

0-30 mmmm..bagel coming up

Kimmi Says:

hahaha bagel it is. Congrats nalby

jane Says:

Thrilled for Nalby! Great win. But I do like Ljub and feel a little sorry he had to have a bagel for dinner. Oh-oh, there I go again, of two minds … lol, and sigh.

Kimberly Says:

wow, that was a blowout, went to give my kids a bath, came back and both matches were over!

Great matches tomorrow.


Worst stat I’ve ever seen: Ljubicic 1/19(5%) on his 2nd serve points. Nalbandian has a good return, but c’mon. Ljub would have been better off just going for 2 1st serves.

blank Says:


I used up that trick last week itself. To be safe, I need to wait until the USO to try that again :-(

Skeezerweezer Says:

Nalby is such am awesome returner…..

Kimmi Says:

jane – r u watching some of the rogus cup in montreal. JJ vs benesova. What is wrong with JJ, benesova is winning this match EASILY!

Skeezerweezer Says:



Kimmi Says:

s/b rogers cup *duh*

jane Says:

Kimmi, I haven’t been, no. Maybe I’ll tune in to see what’s up?

blank Says:


Any more matches today or that’s it? I can’t find today’s order of play anymore. Everywhere they have updated it with tomorrow’s schedule.

blank Says:


Why do you want to go there? What’s wrong with Men’s tennis???


jane Says:

blank, only that it is done for today, so might as well check on the ladies. Hope Kirilenko wins the Roger’s Cup. It’s probably not likely, but it’d be nice for her.

Kimmi Says:

no matches anymore today blank. except doubles.

Good luck on a challenge tomorrow. You and contador rock today.

Kimmi Says:

jane – JJ, NO.1 seed, out.

kimberly Says:

The wta is very disappointing as of late. I used to like it almost as much the mens.

blank Says:

Thanks Kimmi. Good luck to you and all the other draw challenge players.

Good night. I m out!

guy Says:

that’s nalbandian’s 4th bagel in a few weeks. the way he’s going he could lead the tour shortly. i believe ferrer is sitting on 7. nadal has 5, federer has 4, soderling has 5

jane Says:

guy – resident bagel tracker? : )

Some of you have already debated this re: Fed’s decline or others catching up, so here’s an SI article on same, for those interested.

skeezerweezer Says:


Thanks for the link. Nice article about both guys :)

I couldn’t help but notice the Picture of Fed. Great shot of a high flyin Fed off the serve! Let’s see someone else do that! :)

guy Says:

jane, mm, nalbandian just seems to be bagelling alot lately.

‘None of Federer’s contemporaries possess the elegance of Agassi, Laver or McEnroe, but they are strong, fast, fearless, and beneficiaries of the latest in power-tennis technology:’

complete moron this guy. it’s well known berdych has some of the smoothest strokes in tennis and anyone who fails to see the elegance in a nadal highlight reel lacks any aesthetic sensibility.

mcenroe plays like a drunk darth vader, i’ve never seen more awkward tennis strokes in my life.

as for the other players catching up to fed, well i think it’s very obviously the case. even in fed’s most dominant years, the winning margins weren’t huge, often quite small, he was just consistently a little better than the other top players.

there were obvious flaws in the games of many of fed’s rivals, be it technical or mental. some of these guys have sorted some of these issues out and the results are showing.

as it stands now, it’s pretty clear murray,djoker and nadal are superior players to fed outside of serve. the fact they have so much success against fed on fast courts while playing with essentially a handicap[weaker serve] proves this. murray and djoker can certainly improve this aspect of their game and if that happens you have to wonder whether fed will have any chance against them. nadal may never have a great serve given tony made him play with his non dominant hand, being the genius he is.

fed might complain about nadal being a lefty, but he should be thankful toni did that, because if nadal had been righty, he’d have a serve close to fed’s and with that kind of weaponry, nadal would almost be unbeatable. but that’s parallel universe material.

Ben Pronin Says:

It amazes me how much of a negative spin you put on Federer, guy.

skeezerweezer Says:


toni a genius? Whoa!


“‘None of Federer’s contemporaries possess the elegance of Agassi, Laver or McEnroe, but they are strong, fast, fearless, and beneficiaries of the latest in power-tennis technology:’

I agree with that.

“mcenroe plays like a drunk darth vader, i’ve never seen more awkward tennis strokes in my life”

Former # 1 in the WORLD, in ’84 had a 79-3 record( only Fed has a better 1 year record 81-3), 7 GS titles…….maybe he had just normal strokes in his time and everyone else was awkward? You seen seen his volleys? He had a continental forehand and a one handed backhand, unique and very talented I say, not like the cookie cutter big FH and 2 hander BH of today with western grips built for grip it and just rip it.



“in fed’s most dominant years, the winning margins weren’t huge, often quite small, he was just consistently a LITTLE better than the other top players.”


guy, your on a roll…. :)

andrea Says:

i’m surprised the wta events even sell out these days. i would not make the trek to see an event.

madmax Says:


dream team right now – thanks both for the atp challenge link instructions – will get on it later today and see what trouble you are causing :))))


“as it stands now, it’s pretty clear murray,djoker and nadal are superior players to fed outside of serve. the fact they have so much success against fed on fast courts…”

now c’mon guy! where’s the evidence – (and I’m not talking h2h, but if I were, Fed’s h2h record against novak is 7:4 and nadal’s is 5:4 (check not 5:5) and murray has not beaten fed in the last 3 tries on hard court, and murray has just bagged a hard court win against fed after 3 attempts.

I would not call that “so much success against fed on fast courts”. Fed has beaten both novak and murray on a regular basis, not so much nadal, but if we are looking at the type of surface, then everyone knows rafa’s wins have been on the majority clay court – i think 10 wins there.

whether it’s slow, fast, hard, clay, grass, indoor, carpet, fed is still hanging with ’em – the only exception is clay and we all know why, but that’s not just against fed, that’s against everyone.

may be i misread your intentions here, but how you can say this, where is your evidence?

Ben, guy isn’t the only one who puts a negative spin on federer – you do that a lot of the time too – and you know it.


i’ll check his ranking (istomin) and get back to you. but it should be an interesting match. I think Istomin won’t take this lying down – hope fed has done his homework.

madmax Says:


istomin was ranked 186. He accepted a wildcard into the Australian Open 2006, where he faced Federer.

madmax Says:

Here is what Federer thinks about his “decline”. It doesn’t matter whether you believe it or not, and likely, it has been not been reported word for word, but the essence is there and it’s good to know that Federer wants to continue to prove his critics wrong.

Ben, I would be interested in your comments here as you have stayed quiet for a while which is unlike you.

Go Federer!

kimberly Says:

Guy-granted rafas serve might have been better if he played with his right hand but I think toni’s done pretty well for him. Remember berdych answered on court at wimby that he thought the most difficult part of nadals game was that there were not that many very good lefties. All in all w 8 gs and 18 masters I think being a lefty is more valuable than just another guy with a serve.

grendel Says:

interesting take on Nadal’s fitness:

just for madmax:

guy – you need to talk to Nadal or Murray about Federer: they understand exactly what makes Federer such a uniquely great player, and never would they make such ignorant implications that his success is basically due to his serve, although of course it is an important component as it is in any great player’s armoury (including on clay and grass, Nadal’s lefty serve).

jane – you’re one of the sanest people to be found on these blogs, sorry for misunderstanding. But at least it has allowed me to play tribute to Eyeore, one of my very favourite characters. You ought to hear Geoffrey Palmer doing him on the audio tapes – impossible to imagine a better performance. b.t.w., re that link you gave, that brilliant shot of Federer’s he alludes to, and Murray’s even more astonishing response – who could forget that?

grendel Says:

why is my comment awaiting moderation?

grendel Says:

NELTA says: “Worst stat I’ve ever seen: Ljubicic 1/19(5%) on his 2nd serve points. Nalbandian has a good return, but c’mon. Ljub would have been better off just going for 2 1st serves”

I’ve often wondered that – if a player is getting hardly any points on his 2nd serve and he has a good first, why not do as NELTA suggests? Alright, you’ll get some df’s – but you’ll win some points too. But it never seems to happen except once or twice in crunch situations – never systematically). It’s almost as if players are programmed to do two different types of serve, come what may.

Ty Says:

Are there any FREE live streams available? ESPN doesn’t start covering until Thursday.

madmax Says:


you are a star. thank you for that (read it already and posted it just before you! – great minds are working behind the scenes grendel!!!).

Ben/Guy/anyone that could ever think that Fed isn’t the utmost classy guy ON or OFF the court, have spent some time checking out what the other players think of him and honestly, this really is one to save and store away next time guys like rinaldo, guy, fed is afraid come on with their bouffant hair styles mid match to rock the ‘gentle’ waves of discussion. – this was something between federer and nadal – it’s just awesome.

There’s plenty to get your teeth into:

Federer y Nadal antes de su semifinal en Roland Garros (2005)
Basel (Switzerland) – Two sharp but discrete knocks on the door of room 449 in a luxury hotel in Basel. Rafael Nadal, world number two, opens the door. “Hola, Rafa!” Roger Federer says to him. “Eh…! Hola, how are you?” replies Nadal, almost unable to believe that it is the world number one that is there.

Federer, recovering from an injury and on his first day without crutches, had decided to pay a surprise visit to his young rival, the man with whom he shares the domination of world tennis. Nadal had arrived in Basel an hour earlier to dine with the organisers of the local tournament, from which he had to retire because of tendinitis in his knees.

“Roger phoned me and asked me where Rafa was staying,” explained Vittorio Selmi, the ATP tour manager. When I told him which hotel, he said right off: ‘I’m on my way there’. “

Federer lives in Basel, which made the meeting easier, although there are not many sports where the number one has such an open frank relationship with his closest rival. The Swiss is the indisputable leader but Nadal, after a marvellous season, has equalled his eleven titles in 2005.

The Spaniard had just won the Masters Series Madrid on Sunday night, one of the most important victories in his career, when his phone vibrated signalling that he had a SMS. “Hola, hombre! Rafa, bueno tenis y Madrid! Muchos contento Rogelio por te”. The message in a mixture of Spanish and Italian had been written by Federer to congratulate the Spaniard for his triumph in Madrid. Nadal is in the habit of calling Federer “número uno” or Rogelio, and the Swiss has obviously taken the nickname well.

Contact was resumed on Monday night. They were not able to talk for more than twenty minutes because Nadal had tournament obligations to complete. But Federer had time to ask him about how things had gone the previous week in Madrid. “It was very hard, I thought I was going to lose for most of the match,” the Spaniard confessed to the Swiss in more than acceptable English.

Federer took off his shoe and showed Nadal the state of his ankle, still very swollen after the torn ligaments he suffered ten days ago. There was one topic that could not be forgotten – football! Federer once again lamented the fact that he had not been able to play in Madrid and had had to postpone his long awaited meeting with his childhood idol the Frenchman Zinedine Zidane.

“Are you going to go to Shanghai?” Nadal asked. Federer smiled: “I’m doing all I can. Next week I’ll start to run a little, and then I’ll try to play some tennis.” “There is a glimmer of hope,” said Selmi, thinking of the Masters Cup that begins November 13.

There was no time for any more. Nadal dashed off to the dinner – where he left a great impression speaking English much more fluently than he does in his press conferences – and Federer stayed and dined at the hotel. It was midnight when they met again, one on the way to bed and the other on the way home. They greeted one another again and once again wished each other good luck: the number one and the number two want to continue their conversation in Shanghai. – translated via MTF

mat4 Says:

@Ben, Madmax:

I’ve been watching all those four players for years, and I have seen most of their encounters. First, one of the things that characterize them is their ability to think about their own games, and to change it.

Rafa has made an attempt to change his FH last year. It didn’t work, so he reverted to his old motion. He’s making great efforts to improve his serve, and in the last three years, he rose the speed of his fist serve to almost 195 km/h from 180 km/h. He has made a fair try to incorporate a good slice BH to his play, although it doesn’t work so well. I always thought he should change his coach, and that he is so good despite his uncle, but I may be wrong.

Roger is in a period of change. I mentioned before that the new rackets have taken his edge on the FH, a area where he was utterly dominant (and I don’t agree about the opinion that he hadn’t a big edge over the others a few years ago); he’s a little bit slower and he can’t manage to place himself for a good FH on his left side, so he’s trying to be more versatile, to use his alround game to change the pace, to displace his opponent from his comfort zone. I don’t agree also that he has laps in his concentration: when you watch his matches against ND, when they both play well, they are also both extremely nervous, because one, just one shorter ball is enough to lose the point, and yes, they take a lot of risks. It is not that the FH isn’t working, but it has to work 10 cm to the lines, otherwise the match is going away. Don’t forget that he is in a period of changes, and that he is trying new things, investing in the future.

Djoko has made a few big mistakes, one with TM: a player has to have just one coach; but the most important is the racket change: yes, he has more power with the new one, but he needed a year or more to make adjustments on the FH (now, it seems to work), and it still is not good for his serve: he was serving between 200 and 210 km/h two years ago, with the W., now it’s just 185 average. He has lost his second serve too. I agree that he is a bit better than RF from the baseline, because of the BH, but RF is not bound to play from the baseline.

I should add that Rafa and Nole have greatly improved their net play, although Nole still has difficulties to feel when he should step forward.

AM needs just a better FH. Just like in Nole’s case, his racket, I believe, doesn’t allow him to play clean, flat strokes. He’s got to put a lot of spin if he doesn’t want the ball out of the court. I think also that in the crucial moments, he has problem with the pressure (lonely Brit in the top).

mat4 Says:

And once again, sorry for my bad english.

madmax Says:

mat4, enjoying your analysis above – BP is the expert here in terms of analysis, he plays tennis, I don’t.

I’m still working on analysing fed’s, murray’s (margot/Jane more of an expert here than me buddy), and also novak (nothing that sar/ollyk,duro won’t be able to comment on), but I’m improving (i hope!).

I do agree with you in terms of novak – I think one of the problems he has had in the past has been the alteration to his serve – i have looked at slo mo’s and you can see that he doesn’t serve the same BEFORE he took on new coach, and now that he has got rid of TM, his serve has reverted to a place where it seems he still is finding his confidence, but I do think he is getting there.

Murray is improving all the time and is becoming a more aggressive player – he has to, to hang with federer. I have always felt that murray has never felt threatened by playing rafa, that he rather enjoys it because rafa is his idol, and am sure he has been playing many rewinds of rafa’s matches to see how he can improve his more aggressive game.

As for Federer, will disagree with BP here. I still feel he can bring a lot to the slam, I feel he is still a main contender, but that the open is probably more open than it has been for 6 years. So we shall see. There is no one out there who has more experience on a hard court than either Federer, nor Roddick for that matter. I know Roddick is coming out of mono, mild or not, it will still have lingering effects on his game, but Roddick is still a great HC player, and so I wouldn’t discount him either.

I’ve just heard that rafa/roger/murray are joing favourites at 11/4 to win the USOpen.

I find this strange for three reasons.

1. Rafa hasn’t gone past SF of USO.
2. Murray hasn’t won a GS.
3. Roger is in ‘decline; – allegedly – although i can see dips in his game.

I don’t think there can be a favourite right now?

I think all the top 8 have a chance, with a dark horse looming too. but right now, I don’t know who that dark horse is.

personally mat, i think your English is fine. :)

contador Says:


here are the live stream sites i try. and usually 1 or 2 of them have matches. quality on fromsport is the worst but coverage is fairly dependable.

contador Says:


i just posted 3 free live stream sites for you but the links are awaiting moderation.

i dunno why

if you google gototennis and find their livestreaming links….it all there, as well.

good luck

contador Says:

oh hey. there ya go. that was fast. thanks moderator

good luck to all our picks draw challengers!

it’s a “blockbuster” day of tennis !

madmax Says:

contador are you around right now?

watching the querry/ferrer match.

ferrer just taken the first set. He is such a fighter.

Querry just missed two easy returns.

Ty Says:

Thanks Contador. Much obliged.

grendel Says:

What’s happened to Querry? Since beating Murray, he’s beensliding backwards so fast that if he were a horse he’d be in danger of winning the following race.

Been admiring Djokovic. After being a bit wayward, he recovered his form. Everything he did from the back of the court was silky smooth, a pleasure to watch. You felt he couldn’t really miss whatever particular shot he elected to take on and Troiki – a good up and coming player – was struggling to stay on the same planet.

super man Says:

guy is just a dumba$$, who lost his way from one of those federer-hater sites – craigdickman or tennis talk.

federer was barely better? ok.

stfu dude…..

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