Federer Upbeat Ahead of 900th Match, Calls a Calendar Slam “Far-Fetched” [Video]
by Staff | October 19th, 2010, 9:51 pm

After a long flight from Shanghai, Roger Federer arrived in Stockholm on Monday “energized, fresh and motivated and ready to go”. ADHEREL

“Actually I’m not jetlagged,” said the top-seeded Federer during a press conference at the tournament. “I went to bed at midnight and woke up at 10 which is perfect. It wasn’t very tiring in Shanghai, and the only tough match I played was against Djokovic in the semis. I have a Thursday start here, and I’m very confident that I will be in perfect shape.”

In his 900th career ATP match, Federer will play the winner between Taylor Dent and Michal Przysiezny on Thursday.

“I like to play tennis and I haven’t been here in 10 years. And the fact that Thomas (Johansson) and Jonas (Björkman) are in charge makes it extra special,” said Federer who was once coached by Swede Pete Lundgren and who idolized Stefan Edberg. “Physically I’m feeling good, and mentally I have a lot left in me. I don’t feel like it’s the end of the year. I intend to make it fun for myself.”

No. 2 seed Robin Soderling and No. 3 Tomas Berdych are both in the bottom half of the draw.

Federer was blown out by Andy Murray in the Shanghai final. The Swiss has two titles on the year at the Australian Open and Cincinnati, and final losses in Madrid, Halle, Toronto and Shanghai.

In this 7:30 interview, Federer breaks out some Chinese and talks about his year (losing three matches with matchpoints), his desire to return to No. 1 and the possibility of winning a calendar Grand Slam, something he calls “far-fetched”.

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136 Comments for Federer Upbeat Ahead of 900th Match, Calls a Calendar Slam “Far-Fetched” [Video]

Vulcan Says:

He came within two sets of achieving the calendar slam in 2006 – the obvious question at this point is how many more Wimbledon’s does he have up his sleeve.

Kimmi Says:

great interview. good luck in stockholm roger

Mink Says:

He came within two sets of winning the calendar slam in 2009 too.

Twocents Says:

Either Dent or Wanrinka is long over due for a win over the Fed. Being a loyal Fed fan, I wouldn’t mind an upset here: Fed can afford not winnig a ATP250. Dent’s such a brave guy coming back to tour after huge setback; and Stan fought for Swiss DC carrying an injury.

Let the fun begin.

Twocents Says:

Sorry, I mean both are over due, either win’s fine…

As you can tell, I’m still drinking off that tweener in Shanghai.

dari Says:

By golly, that w as one of the most enjoyable roger interviews I’ve ever seen. What a happy chump, that Roger!
Man oh man I hope he can pull out a couple more majors! Viva la Rog!

skeezerweezer Says:

Nice ‘view. Seems at peace with it all. Go Fed!

“…….conditions have slowed down everywhere”….interesting and exactly what some have surmised.

madmax Says:

“Physically I’m feeling good, and mentally I have a lot left in me. I don’t feel like it’s the end of the year. I intend to make it fun for myself,” Federer told the ATP Tour website.

“It’s a combination of factors behind a decision like this. I love playing tennis and love playing tournaments, and haven’t played here in 10 years.

“I was supposed to have played here two years ago, but had a bad back. I thought it would be fun to come back to Stockholm, and the fact that Thomas and Jonas are in charge makes it extra special.”

Federer has won just two titles this year, the Australian Open and the Cincinnati Masters, but told reporters on Tuesday that he is determined to win back his No. 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal — who has moved well clear at the top after his Wimbledon and U.S. Open victories.

Federer will try to reduce the deficit in Stockholm, his home event in Basle, Paris and then London at the ATP Tour World Finals.

“For me there is number one and everything else. It’s not too important for me to be two, three or four,” he said in quotes carried by AFP.

“I’m always trying to get back to number one, it’s what I’m concentrating on week by week.”

Love Roger Federer!

One thing can NEVER be doubted! The man loves his tennis and is here to stay.

Fedend Says:

Realistically speaking he should not think about the No.1 ranking at this stage of his career.
He should target ONLY the slams and try to take one or two as Samprass did. Concentrating too much on smaller tourneys will only affect his chances in grandslams. Even during his best years he was using MS and other tournaments only for trying new things not for gaining points.

If Federer targets both the ranking and the slams then he will end up with nothing.
If he could win a couple of slams the ranking will take care of itself.

jane Says:

I think Fed has more slams left in him. It’s not like he’s losing in R16. This year, he won one and got to the semis and quarters in the others. So why couldn’t he win more? As for number 1, it often depends on the top guy too. For instance, if Rafa doesn’t defend some titles, he loses the points. So it’s not just dependent on how Fed alone performs. Who knows? He’s number 2 so it’s not impossible.

madmax Says:

Morning fedend.

Disagree with you, but nice to speak to someone this early in the morning (for me).

Don’t you ever strive to be better than what you are and isn’t it great that federer still has the fire?

The only way to improve for him is to set his sights on No. 1, whether or not people feel this will happen, is irrelevant with a capital ‘I’.

Federer believes in it, so if you read an earlier post, not sure who from, they provide some stats about this possibility not being too far fetched.

Anything can happen in tennis. Federer did it before, he can do it again. You talk about the fact that he should target the slams. Two things.

1) He does.

2) By winning them, the ranking will take care of itself.

madmax Says:

fed end, if you read the full interview, you’ll hear that federer said, ‘you have to be patient’. If you read the full interview it will put things into context more clearly.

montecarlo Says:

Is it me reading too much into Federer’s words or he is saying it is possible for Rafa to win all 4 slams in 2011 especially since all surfaces have been slowed down?

guy Says:

all surfaces haven’t been slowed down. the australian open was slower with rebound ace. the usopen has the same surface for ages. the grass is grass. like nadal said, people only started talking about it being slow after he started making finals.
there’s no carpet anymore, that’s about it.
anyway federer is the second best claycourter, or at least second best with djokovic. slow surfaces suit him fine and give him more chances against bigger servers.
but he only got no.1 back because nadal went away. and that’s the only way he has any chance now: if nadal gets injured. so it’s possible, but not the way he thinks it is.

Fruitcake Says:

Nadal is wrong …. there was talk about Wimbledon grass being slowed down after 2003, not 2008 when he won it. And when I did the Wimbledon tour a couple of years or so ago, the guide said as much … its laid on a bed of clay and they use rye grass which is tougher and slower than in the days of Pete Sampras.

TGiT Says:


What is it like inside the sacred Wimbledon player’s area. Did you get to see it?

Kimberly Says:

montecarlo Says:
Is it me reading too much into Federer’s words or he is saying it is possible for Rafa to win all 4 slams in 2011 especially since all surfaces have been slowed down?

That is how I took it as well. Of course maybe I’m hearing what I want to hear.

Kimberly Says:

Federer was very complimentary and respectful of Rafa, Rafa fans should like this interview.

So Fed is playing his 900th match. WOW.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Yes what fruitcake has said is true at wimby. Not only slowed down but a higher bounce off the ground.

Vulcan Says:

guy Says:

all surfaces haven’t been slowed down.

It’s a shame the ITF does not publish (or does not perform) it’s surface pace ratings (SPR) for each of the tournaments. There are always qualitative assessments by the players and commentators but there is just way to much speculation when this topic is discussed.

Twocents Says:

It occured to me that the last time I was in Stockholm was exactly 10 years ago this week. I didn’t remember going to any tennis, stucked in meetings all the week.

Roger amassed 16 majors during this past 10 years. What have I done all these days, except growing a couple of white hairs?

At least I got to enjoy his magic.

Twocents Says:

It occured to me that the last time I was in Stockholm was exactly 10 years ago this week. I didn’t remember going to any tennis, stucked in meetings all week.

Roger amassed 16 majors during this past 10 years. What have I done all these days, except growing a couple of white hairs?

At least I got to enjoy his magic.

grendel Says:

That’s a great link, Skeezer, though the chap who wrote it got Blake wrong (“The poet William Blake famously found the universe in a blade of grass”), even if the spirit is sort of captured. What Blake said: To see a World in a Grain of Sand/And a Heaven in a Wild Flower/Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand/And Eternity in an hour.

Apart from the grass changing, also the ball has changed, slowing the game slightly. Tim Henman commented on this a long time ago, and one of the Woodies actually used to keep a ball from each year,which he said provided clear evidence of its change.

Dari:”what a happy chump that Roger!” Yes. A delight.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Twocents- its incredible, almost eery, how your career has paralleled Federer’s.

skeezerweezer Says:


Awesome quotes. Do you have more links to Blake I can read? Thanks!

Fedend Says:

There is absolutely no objective reasoning to suggest that the courts have slowed down compared to Federer’s period of domination.
Fed’s comments about the slowness of surfaces now is in poor taste.

He is only spoiling his reputation with such sour grapes comments.

Fedend Says:

What I mean is he cannot overload his body by playing all the petty tournaments in order to regain the top ranking.
How did he get back last time ?
By winning a couple of slams and also helped by Rafa’s injuries. Last year Federer took a break from the clay season and came back only for the madrid masters. He did not play all those 250/500 tournaments. He took a break, trained well and turned up fresh for the channel slam.

Fedend Says:

I am really sorry Madmax, I spelt your name incorrectly.

Fedend Says:

Even the AO surface is not slowed down recently. Even during Samprass/Agassi days AO was considered to be a slow hardcourt and that was considered to be the reason for Agassi’s dominant record against Samprass there.

margot Says:

skeeze: Look up William Blake 1757-1827 in wiki. My favourite is “The Poison Tree” it’s just brilliant, very simple style, very powerful idea. He was also a pretty good artist and a print maker.

Vulcan Says:

“almost eery”


Rajesh Says:

Fedrer has achieved great heights but as you age and as other younger players start learning your game, you start loosing more often. Also, when you het cloe to age 30, your reflexes in sports starts getting slower in the fast agme like tennis. Yes, he shoulr really concentarte on winning big tournaments & slams, not the #1 ranking.

So, if he wishes to win few more slams, he MUST find a top notch coach who can teach and make him learn improve his game – such as concentrate more on serves to hit more aces that saves lots of energy by winning free points and, at this age, he needs to fine tune his vollying game to win quick points.

He needs to understand that just keep running to the net without having a nice placement, opponents are going to hit passing shots. May be he should hire Sampras to reach him net game or he should watch Nadal how determined he becomes when he is close to loosing a game or a set.

grendel Says:

“There is absolutely no objective reasoning to suggest that the courts have slowed down compared to Federer’s period of domination.
Fed’s comments about the slowness of surfaces now is in poor taste”

I listened very carefully again to Fed’s comments (and b.t.w. the Chinese sentence he quotes as meaning I’m very happy to be in China is not quite right – “lai dau” strictly means “come to”; Im still astonished that he can remember to say a Chinese sentence on almost no tuition; I’ve been trying to teach myself Italian, and listen to these tapes over and over again – and seem to get almost nowhere)and it is not possible to say exactly what he means. He COULD mean, as Fedend says, that the courts have slowed down in his time. Or he could mean that since the days of Laver, the last man to achieve this almost impossible grandslam, the courts have slowed. Which of course they have.

Which does he mean? Well, I took him, instinctively, to mean the latter. Fedend, instinctively, took him to mean the former. Short of asking Federer, there is no way to resolve the question. So it looks a bit like we see what we are predisposed to see.

Von Says:

guy: “the usopen has the same surface for ages. the grass is grass. like nadal said, people only started talking about it being slow after he started making finals.”

I disagree. I’ve heard the commentators state the grass is slower, and I’ve heard other players state similarly, including Roddick. Additionally, it’s a known fact that Wimby changed the grass to a different type of grass, which they claimed was more durable, and easier to maintain. I think they meant cheaper, but don’t want to admit it. I think it should be there in Wikipedia, if I’m not mistaken.

From what I’ve observed in watching matches pre and post 2003, the newer grass is anything but durable, as after a few days of playing in the tourney, it’s very obvious the grass becomes extremely worn and dies, thereby leaving only dirt/b ald patches in the heavily trafficked areas of the court itself. In the second week, it looks likke a dirt tract of land. By the final, it’s more or less just dirt. This was not how I remember it during Sampras’ days of playing, and I’ve watched past matches, as far back as Arthur Ashe v. Connors in 1984, and for sure, the grass was greener, and dirt was not the main surface on which they played the final.

I’m sorry to disagree with those who feel differently, but to me, just from my observation, and comparison of the past to the present, the grass is very different. Oh, Sampras stated similarly, and he’s played on both types of grasses, so who would know better than Sampras?
In sum, the Wimby grass has been changed, and the change has made it slower. I suppose there’s more oomph to the bounce, but slower in other aspects of the game.

grendel Says:

margot – I’m absolutely with you on “The Poison Tree”. The “powerful idea” is one he pushes a lot, but nowhere so succinctly. A much less known poem, but one of my favourites, is the one that begins:”Never seek to tell thy love/Love that never told can be” – the rest of the poem doesn’t quite fulfil the promise of those 2 lines, but even so.

jane Says:

Personally love Blakes visionary stuff, Skeeze, including his art(as margot recommends), and things like “the Marriage of Heaven and Hell” (and if you like that, then perhaps see a film by Jim Jarmusch starring Johnny Depp, which is a Blakean allegory; it’s called “Dead Man”).

Fot Says:

Not only have I heard other Roger and Roddick talk about the slower conditions – but also Hewitt at the AO. He was upset because the surface they changed to was not ‘faster’ which he thought would help him. Anyway…maybe it’s a combination of the surface, the balls they use, etc. I remember watching tennis in the 90’s and it wasn’t pretty to me. All we saw was “serve/ace/point”, “serve/ace/point”, particularly at Wiwmbledon. So they HAD to do something because it really wasn’t ‘tennis’ any more. HOWEVER, I, too think they have gone too far left. Now it seems like almost every tournament is like ‘clay’ (without the sliding) – although I have seen players actually sliding on hard court these days! lol!

Maybe if they slowed the courts down, they should have kept the same balls to make it more ‘even’? I don’t know. Personally, I prefer to see rallies vs service/aces all the time.

But getting back to the interview, I really loved watching it. Roger seems like he’s such a laid-back player and a ‘happy’ player. I remember reading an interview from Mirka saying that she’s amazed that Roger wakes up everyday with a smile on his face. She said he’s just a ‘happy’ person and if you only watch him during a tennis match, you miss that side of him. The players say they see it in the locker room; the media say they see it in interviews; and when he does exho’s we fans can see it as well.

And for someone (Fedend) to take offense of anything Roger said in this interview – is just sour grapes. How in the heck could you say “He is only spoiling his reputation with such sour grapes comments”, by listening and watching this interview is beyond me! *confused* This is a very laid back, happy interview in which I find nothing wrong with any of it. It was very enlightened and enjoyable to me. But if someone doesn’t like a person, I guess they can find anything wrong with that player anytime.

margot Says:

jane: Wow! Absolutely LOVED “Dead Man.” Depp’s best role for me. Spooky, dense, atmospheric, brilliant.

skeezerweezer Says:


Love the Depp, man, and never saw that so it will be on my list. Thanks!

“Take what you can, give nothin back!”


skeezerweezer Says:


BTW, “The Poison Tree”, most excellent. Dude had “Game”.


Von Says:

From what I’ve observed in watching matches pre and post 2003, the newer grass is anything but durable, as after a few days of playing in the tourney, it’s very obvious the grass becomes extremely worn and dies, thereby leaving only dirt/b ald patches in the heavily trafficked areas of the court itself. In the second week, it looks likke a dirt tract of land. By the final, it’s more or less just dirt. This was not how I remember it during Sampras’ days of playing, and I’ve watched past matches, as far back as Arthur Ashe v. Connors in 1984, and for sure, the grass was greener, and dirt was not the main surface on which they played the final.

Exactly Von. Here is a quote from Nadal about how the surface dramatically slows by the end of the tournament:

“For me, first matches are very difficult,” Nadal said. “If you win more matches, you can finish playing better than you start because in the end of the tournament you play similar to clay, no?”

SOURCE: http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/wimbledon10/columns/story?columnist=kamakshi_tandon&id=5322735

Also, in the mid 90s they changed the ball compression by 2% to slow things down because the points were averaging under 3 strokes.

Kimberly Says:

allright Berdych and Davydenko are officially slumping. Enough!

Twocents Says:

Tennis Vagabond, Vulcan,

Eery it is indeed. And in this time of Hallaween! I also happened to end up in Shanghai at the week of TMC since 2005 when Fed began to play there, till 2008. How can I not become a Fed fan?

But parallel is no the right word here comparing my career with Fed’s: he has a much steeper slope :-(()).


“Im still astonished that he can remember to say a Chinese sentence on almost no tuition;”

Fed’s Chinese tricks turn out a nightmare for me: now all my Chinese friends insist me to try more. Sigh.

Von Says:

NELTA: Nice to see you around, again.

“Also, in the mid 90s they changed the ball compression by 2% to slow things down because the points were averaging under 3 strokes.”

As I was typing the other post, I remembered the balls also. Roddick mentioned that they were smaller. Anyway, glad you remembered it as it’s definitely a very salient point with respect to Wimbledon.

One more thing I have observed in the finals, the ball as it hits the surface sprays some sand/dirt. And if it’s windy, one can see dirt flying around. Now, if that isn’t indicative of the court being a tract of land/dirt in the later stages, then what is?

I live in Florida and it’s obvious in the winter months, my lawn, when the grass begins to die, one can see the dirt coming through. If it’s very windy, I can see some dirt spraying. And, our grass is far superior to the Wimby grass.

skeezerweezer Says:


Greeaat to have you back. Thanks Von and you for helping clear that up.:). Did not know about the balls….Is that ball compression just for Wimby?

Von Says:

skeezer: You’re welcome. I usually tell one of my nice friends, who likke to hear thi, “I aim to please”. LOL.

The ball compression I think was changed for the USO. I’m not 100 percent sure, but I did catch a part of a conversation wherein a commentator mention something to that effect. Perhaps Wikipedia might help.


Here is the article from 1994 that discusses changes to the ball at the French and Wimby.


Did anyone watch Davis Cup in Bogota? It was like watching a match played on the moon with zero gravity. They used “pressure less” Tretorn tennis balls to counter act the effects of high altitude.

Thomas Says:

WTF is up with Davydenko? I mean it cannot get any worse than losing to an out-of-form Uruguayan clay-court specialist on an indoor hard court
at home. As for Berdych,he seems to be in terminal decline. Losing to Nieminen wasnt that surprising. He is simply too good for Berdych these days. Youzhny has withdrawn as well.

Kimmi Says:

davydenko is already out of top 10. the loss today does not help either. the other thing is, he cant qualify for london, that means he cant defend his WTF points (1300) ouch!! i think he could finish out of top 20. its turning out to be a very bad year for davydenko.

he started the year very well, winning in doha..gave federer a run for his money at the AO..got to the final at rotterdam..and then the injury. i think rotterdam is when he injured himself. its never been the same for him since..

he just have to forget this year and concentrate on next year…

Nina Says:

Injuries can ruin careers. Let’s see what happens with Delpo and Davydenko, they had a bright future ahead of them but now…

madmax Says:

Fedend, don’t worry about the mis-spelling.

Am I detecting a softer side to your nature?

Let me counter argue.

“but he only got no.1 back because nadal went away. and that’s the only way he has any chance now: if nadal gets injured. so it’s possible, but not the way he thinks it is.

Fedend October 20th, 2010 at 4:39 am”

Fedend, I hear you, I hear you, but could it also not be said that Rafa also took advantage of Federer’s mono in 2008 and his subsequent lack of form during that year in order to gain No.1 position. I think so. I think people conveniently forget this.

As jane often says, 6 of 1, half a dozen of the other.


Fedend Says:
There is absolutely no objective reasoning to suggest that the courts have slowed down compared to Federer’s period of domination.
Fed’s comments about the slowness of surfaces now is in poor taste.

He is only spoiling his reputation with such sour grapes comments.

October 20th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

It’s not sour grapes at all. Despite what you think, the man’s interview is respectful to the wire. You choose to not see it that way, read the full interview and see it on video, look at his face when he is saying those words, there is no sour groups and not even a suggestion of such.

And I think you said earlier fedend about the 900 matches? linking that with his age.

Who do you think on tour has the most elderly legs in the business? Federer, 29, 900 matches, or rafa, 24, (I don’t know how many matches). You have to bring into the equation the WAY both guys play the game, you know what I am saying, it needs no further explanation.

grendel Says:

NELTA – I posted above that one of the Woodies – and I remember now, it was Todd Woodbridge – kept back a ball each year from Wimbledon, and so had proof of the change in ball type. Don’t know which year this took place.

I don’t know why certain Nadal fans just can’t accept this, but go on and on rehashing old arguments which are dead. Finished with. Concluded. They have a much more powerful weapon in their armoury, and that is that we now see that it is possible that the amazing Nadal might have been able to master even the fast grass and ball.

We’ve recently seen with our own eyes his phenomenal ability to adapt. Who is to say he couldn’t have adapted to the old style grass? That said, Federer was undoubtedly right (if this is what he meant) that it is easier to win the 4 slams in the season now than it was in the nineties. That’s just common sense, it’s not controversial.

Kimberly Says:

Fed plays dent tomorrow. Who did berdych even lose to? He sure has tanked since wimbledon.

Soderling is not playing his best, getting smashed by fed, ferrer forgot who he lost to in Malaysia, but at least made two quarters at slams after Roland garros.

grendel Says:

Two Cents

You had to laugh at the description given of Fed’s Chinese “tuition”. Evidently, Fed and team entered the class, but before too long, the disconsolate team wandered out,dazed with the difficulty of it all, with Fed left manfully holding the fort. Did you notice, he also spoke a Swedish sentence in that interview?

They say learning languages gets easier as you get more under your belt. Working in the sewers for the water Board in Sydney once, our Yugoslav foreman (who spoke good English) used to refer sarcastically to one of the workmen as “6 languages”. (I’ve often noticed that those who know a lot of languages often claim to know 6; why not top it up to 7 or 8, I can’t help wondering?). On the other hand there was an old Greek guy, who would shovel away with the rest of us despite looking at death’s door most of the time, whose English was limited to words with certain sexual connotations, like holding his finger and thumb in a ring and saying “tight!”, in between a leer and a cough and a spit. I rather warmed to his resolute inability to handle more than about 10 words in English despite having emigrated to Australia 30 or so years ago. Even so, if you were left alone in the ditch with him, turds floating by you in stately procession,things could get tricky as he signalled that he wanted to talk. Sometimes, in desperation, one might venture the word “tight”, and he would instantly nod eagerly, grinning evilly, hacking and whistling through the gaps in his teeth. But there was a limit to how often you could try this gambit. Just when you needed 6 Languages to help out, he was nowhere to be seen.

van orten Says:

the last two seasons were amazing.

the top 5 players beat each other on a regular basis but
still federer and above all nadal crushed everybody in the slams( except for delpo )
it will be interesting where nadal is goin to be when almost 30 years old and the other youngsters who are still behind federer .he won a grand slam and a masters title this year,
has been here and there a littly sloppy and unlucky but i don’t see why federer cannot win a slam next year ..i don’t say he will but he is sure able to

Twocents Says:


I had this big smirk on my face when I heard Fed’s Swedish in this interview. Why? Cuz I was wishing him messed it up — someone told me that Lungren and Fed were such a team of headcases :-)) that Fed learnt quite some organic Swedish curses from his coach pal.

I never get it why do people go for >3 languages. While it’s technically feasible to learn many languages, it’s so daunting to learn about all the cultures behind each languages. Imho, knowing something superficially is not necessarily better than just acknowledging that you’re an outsider all together.

That’s why I never get it why Fed spent all these extra hours doing 3 extra pressers. 1 extra maybe, his native Swiss German. Why German and French? Any journo’s don’t understand Fed’s English presser? And he better use those hours to sleep.

Fot Says:

Twocents, sometimes the journalist write in their own language and maybe want to just have their language on tape or as a ‘feed back’ for their audience (instead of – like the interview above – putting the words over the screen showing what the interview has said?). Just a thought. Roger said he was comfortable giving the interviews in German and French so he doesn’t have a problem with it.

I remember when he was younger, he said he purposely got a coach that spoke English (Peter Carter?) because he was – as he said ‘forgetting his English’. So maybe with him constantly speaking in those other languages – it keeps him ‘updated’ and strong in those languages?

Twocents Says:

Good point, Fot. Fed’s a language freak — no doubt about that. And a showman. That’s why he offered to do these multiple pressers. When you’re young, you need no sleep, you can never get enough limelights, and you think you’re making media your friend.

Trouble is you get yourself a one way ticket. You pushed the expectation high — a no-no when you deal with Wall Street vultures. Media is no different. They take your offer for granted. And now you do need more sleep, you have family waiting for you, and you know by now no matter how you treat them media tears you apart at the first blood and they only love the next big thing. You could not find the exit, could you?

Skeezerweezer Says:

Always conscious of the Game, and it’s impact globally, Fed realizes the importance of communication and acquiring language skills. kudos to him and obviously furthers the game of tennis. A true leader of the game.

jojostruys Says:

I don’t care about the conditions of the surfaces. I believe Nadal is able to win them all anyway, no matter how fast/slow the surfaces are. After all he’s the master of adapt and overcome, no?

Fedend Says:

I agree with you.
Among the GOAT candidates (Federer, Samprass, Borg, Laver and Rafa), Rafa is by faaar the best when it comes to adapting and improving the skills in order to accomplish something.
Surface speed, technology, balls, etc doesnt matter to Rafa at all.

What will happen if Rafa is transported to Borg’s era with a time machine ?
Rafa will be thrashed by Borg by all means and Rafa will find it incredibly hard to win anything with those equipments.
But you know what, give him a couple of years, he would definitely improve/adapt himself and beat Borg in his den.
Thats Rafa for you.

Fedend Says:

Oops, I forgot to add an important point/condition to the above post.
Uncle Toni should also accompany Rafa in the time machine. Without his uncle he will become half the player he is.
May be he should also be there in the box in ALL of his matches to give him signals.

Skeezerweezer Says:

No doubt to some, the “way they were” vs. the “way they are”. has no impact on those who only care about “what it is” now, cause all that matters as of “today” to some is “what it is”. Some are only concerned about playing in the “what it is”, so that is what matters now to some of those, but as history plays out it’s timely role. the “way it was” will have significant impact on “the way it is and the way it will be”. History always tells the story, and always is the champion of champions.

Skeezerweezer Says:


LMAO on your 1:28 post. That was seriously unexpected from you and a lot of fun. I am not worthy from knocking you earlier……now if you can only redo your poster name….maybe RafaDaBest?

Twocents Says:


I was watching Nadal playing Gasquet in Shanghai TMC one year. After Gas was one set up, one of my Chinese friends told me: “There, Uncle Toni!” It then downed to me that in all 5 matches of Nadal I went to, I saw Toni and Nadal look back and forth often. Yeah, for me that’s 100% of Toni presence. But, I have no way and no interest to judge he’s coaching or not. It is a very strong bond.

Fed will end. It’s fun though to see how he ends it.

grendel Says:

Two Cents – if you’re interested, I’ve posted a link on the Federer hammers Murray thread (addressing madmax) on the difficulties the Chinese language presents for anyone foolhardy enough to attempt to learn it. It is quite long, but very readable and generally hilarious.

grendel Says:

Golly, that was a freudian slip, wasn’t it? I should have said “Murray hammers Federer” thread!

Twocents Says:

A freudian slip it was, grendel. I’m assured now that you’re not a Scotish :-)) — not there’s anything wrong if you are.

Thanks a lot for that great pdf on Chinese language. I’ll send it to all the Chinese guys who acused me of not trying enough! Not everyone is a Roger-the-language-freak-Federer. And even the mighty Fed just took an one-hour lesson after 7 trips to China, while I did like three one-hour sessions in about a dozen trips to China.

I had a quick glance on the exchange btw you and madmax on China. I love it. It amuses me non-stopping that some people in and out side China see such a sophiscticated culture in black and white.

jane Says:

Well, Fed took care of Dent in set one, with a breadstick. And he just fought off a break back point, so he looks on track for an easy win. He will probably win the title, I would think? I haven’t looked at the draw though; who is is stiffest competition?

jane Says:

Oh I did notice Blake’s match earlier, he was actually down a break in the 3rd set versus a qualifier I’d not heard of but I am happy to see James came back to level it and pull out the win in a 3rd set tiebreak; that may be good for his confidence.

Dari Says:

jane- stan is next and i don’t know where robin fits in the whole game. don’t wanna play the ‘should win the title” game!

Dari Says:

by “dont know where he fits” i mean, don’t know if he is playing poorly or not. will he really be a threat to Roger/ will he get the opportunity to be? he is the second seed behind roger.

jane Says:

Dari, got you. Thanks for the info. Well anyhow, congrats to Fed for his 900th win. That’s a lot!

Dari Says:

Yay, Fed! 900 is indeed a lot, especially when you have WON 700+ of those matches. COngrats on 900 and here’s to 1,000!!!!!

jane Says:

Oh I was thinking that was his 900th win, but either way, yes, is a good lot of tennis.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Go Fed! Congrats on 900

Fot Says:

Never underestimate Stan OR Soderling (especially since this is in Soderling’s home country). I hope Roger takes the title though…but – ONE match at a time!

Kimberly Says:

Great win for Troiki over Tsonga. I wonder if Troicki is coming out, almost beat Novak and Rafa. His serve is AMAZING. Johnny Mac always talks about what an amazing athlete he is.

Kimmi Says:

“almost beat novak and rafa”

..he had a match point against rafa, didn’t he? and was up a break in the 5th set against djoko. in this day and age, almost is not good enough. lets hope he comes out kimberly. beating tsonga from a set down is a good start.

Kimmi Says:

blank – thanks for the link.

“If it is true” then congratulation to maria. well, even though 2010 is not her good year tennis wise..she has something else to be happy about.

Kimmi Says:

congrats to fed for his 900th win. i did not expect such easy win…easy matches are always great, he has a lot coming up in the next few weeks.

stan is a tough opponent. hope he wins his 901th tomorrow

Kimberly Says:

kimmi-agreed, but he has a great serve and seems to be getting more confidence. Perhaps he will learn from the two chokes.

Kimberly Says:

Congrats to sharapova on her engagement. Myabe it will pep up her performance in 2011—-said by a desperate fan

Fedend Says:

What I wrote is partly true if not fully true. Rafa wouldnt have become the player he is without the Godfather (Uncle T) and his team.

I agree with your comments. Rafa depends a lot on his Uncle, though no one is sure about on court coaching. I have stretched it a bit too far as I have done with my screen name :-)

Skeezerweezer Says:


Got it and agree with you partly also. Your last sentence kinda threw me but thanks for clarifying…..:)

margot Says:

Fedend: thought I detected a touch of irony in your post at1.28..Agree with you about Rafa and Borg BTW but who knows what johnny mac would’ve done if transported to Fed’s era?
Also, if Borg had been left handed, I think Rafa would’ve played right. I still feel they had their gaze on Fed from the very start.

Vulcan Says:

Fedend’s “Sour Grapes” comment really seems to have touched a nerve with alot of the Fed fans here…as it should because he’s questioning Federer’s integrity much in the same way that people incessantly question Nadal’s. Nobody seems to have offered an explanation as to how Federer could say that ALL of the Slam surfaces have slowed when everyone knows that the US Open’s surface has been Decoturf since 1978. Federer has on several occasions seemed to have lost his bearings when confronted with the enticing opportunity to somehow explain away how it can be that somebody could diminish his greatness by immediately accomplishing so much so soon in his wake. The pressure seemed to start to boil over during their second Wimbledon meeting when Federer uncharacteristically said “hes killing me” during the changeover. Then it was 2008 Wimbledon where he blamed the darkness for his loss and reminded everyone that The French “means nothing” and that losing Wimbledon “was a disaster”, finally it was AO 2009 where Federer, sobbing, stated that “it’s killing me” apparently in reference to the fact that he was unable to cope with that part of his ego which was unable to sustain the recalibration that he was being forced to undergo. Federer, for whatever reason, does sometimes seem to feel like Nadal is literally (not just on the tennis court) his Freddy Kruger.

steve-o Says:

“Surface speed, technology, balls, etc doesnt matter to Rafa at all.”

Quite the opposite; the style Nadal plays would be impossible without modern technology. The immense spin he utilizes can only be generated with the aid of synthetic strings and ultra-light rackets. In addition, it requires extraordinary strength to muscle the ball the way he does–strength unheard of in athletes in those days.

If you put a wooden racket in his hand he would be at a considerable disadvantage. Every match he played would be like the match against Melzer–his shots would fall way, way short.

Of course his opponent would not be able to hit through him as easily with a wooden racket, so it would still be fairly even. But he certainly would not play anything like the way he does now, and he wouldn’t be able to win on hard courts.

MMT Says:

I disagree with Federer – I think the calendar grand slam is on – just maybe not for him!

With Rafa the issue is always the extremes of the calendar. Early on and towards the end.

If he wins the Australian Open next year, I would think he has a shot at it, as I think he’s getting the schedule right these days. No more unnecessary 500s on his schedule.

grendel Says:

“Fedend’s “Sour Grapes” comment really seems to have touched a nerve with alot of the Fed fans here…as it should because he’s questioning Federer’s integrity much in the same way that people incessantly question Nadal’s”

Actually, Federer’s integrity is constantly being questioned on this site by some Nadal fans. Nothing new there. However, speaking as the first person to respond to Fedend, my nerve was not touched in the least. I simply pointed out that Fedend had interpreted a particular point which could just as easily have been interpreted the other way. (i.e. was Federer referring to the difficulty of getting a grand slam BEFORE the change in grass and balls, which took place, of course, before Fed began his slam haul.)

I think others thought Fedend’s comments were inappropriate in the context of that particular interview, where Fed was obviously having a lot of fun. If he was inconsistent in the way Vulcan suggests (the Decoturf business), so what? No major points were being made, no thesis was being proposed, this was just a friendly interview of no importance but affording pleasure to some.

As for the other comments, Wimbledon in the dark and so on, they have been rehearsed and debated endlessly. What purpose is served by dragging them up yet again? Is Federer having difficulty in coming to terms with the fact that another great, who may even eclipse him,is emerging so very soon? I’m sure he is. As would most people in that situation, I would guess. It is an extremely unusual and piquant situation, and by and large I don’t think Federer is handling it too badly, considering the absurd degree of celebrity which, the media being the animal it is, has been thrust upon him.

It is easy to forget this, and how incredibly difficult it must be to handle. In football, in my country, we see casualties of the media cult of celebrity all the time. I assume this is the same in other countries with both football and other sports.

MMT – I do agree up to a point. Of course, if Nadal wins AO, he’s got all 4 under the belt in succession, a truly phenomenal achievement in it self. To go on and win the next three – well, that would mean he had won 7 slams in a row. You can see logically how this is possible. If he brings his best game to the next 4 slams, why shouldn’t he win them all? But there are some formidable psychological factors he will have to deal with, not to mention physical ones too.

jane Says:

margot ” I still feel they had their gaze on Fed from the very start.” I don’t know what age Rafa began playing left but I am assuming it was before Fed was reaching his top potential. So I am guessing the leftie thing is a separate strategy, and with a broad eye to advantage rather than advantage over just Fed. However, that the Nadals set their eyes to the incredible challenge of taking on Fed at his best, I agree. It seems as strategizers they are up there with the very very best. I also wonder how JMac would’ve fared now, with today’s technology. I also tend to agree with Fedend that Nadal would adapt to whatever conditions/challenges he encountered, be they wooden racquets etc; he’s a born competitor, it seems.

Kimberly, I am curious about Troicki’s potential too; maybe those 2 close losses can spur him on (he must be thinking to himself, “if I can get that close, within games/points, versus the number 2/3 and number 1 players, then I can achieve … a lot!). Maybe his win over Tsonga was a sign, but I didn’t see the match so it’s impossible for me to say. For example, is Tsonga playing well? Maybe that’s part of it.

Vulcan Says:


Before you call out your cavalry (Skeezerweezer, Contador, et al) to chime in here…I will try to say some quick words before the full barrage starts as I won’t be able to offer a full reply till later.

Yes, many times things can be distilled down to an argument of how to see a Necker cube. It comes down to intellectual empathy…which is basically trying to see things from the opposing camps vantage point even though it doesn’t serve your end purpose which in this case is to further glorify your hero. I thought I might catch some flack on this one – the main point was to point out that yes we can very easily make VALID interpretations which yield a conclusion that serves our purposes. I’ll try to finish this later.

Von Says:

Vulcan: “Before you call out your cavalry (Skeezerweezer, Contador, et al) to chime in here…I will try to say some quick words before the full barrage starts as I won’t be able to offer a full reply till later.”

Sorry, I find the foregoing to be a bit amusing, LOL. However, I see you’ve very adeptly put whatever psych knowledge you’ve amassed to use by *disarming the opponent*. I also see an attempt at conversational implicature in your words. Anyway, carry on, but i’m interested in seeing the rest of it — hope I’m nt disappointed. :) .

grendel Says:

Skeezerweezer, Contador, Daniel, madmax,Kimmi, steve-o, Gordo, twocents, sheila – help!! help!! Tejuz, come out of retirement, shital green – return to your early love, Christopher, abandon tennis.com, your services are required here.

To me, all of you!

Absolutely no idea what it is we’re supposed to be defending, but the skys are dark, a storm is threatening, we must above all be prepared!!!!

steve-o Says:

I wish I could help you out, grendel, but I don’t have time to prepare my “barrage” today.

Von Says:

LOOL, Vulcan has got his job cut out for him. grendel is gathering his forces. This I gotta see.!!!! Is this a war of the two sides????

skeezerweezer Says:


Yippee kay ay!

Sorry I have been skipping over his stuff as of late. Not interested. His arguments are clouded in a sea of seaweed. Taking multiple paragraphs to describe what a troll is, is not what I am here for. Plus, I don’t swim well in seaweed.

On another note, your post was spot on and I will continue to enjoy your opinions as well as objectivity in other times. I am glad we can post each other and disagree, and at other times agree. For some reason you make that inviting, rather than a war. I am sure your writing skills will more than handle whatever he throws your way :)

Anna Says:

Why am I not surprised you’d prefer Contador’s 6 step approach to trolldom. That was a real zinger. What does surprise me is that you skip Vulcan’s posts, especially since you so recently voiced your desire to know more about Rafa. I find Vulcan’s posts to be crystal clear, much like the spring waters of the fjords, healthy and refreshing. How is it that your buddy Grendel is shaking in his boots begging for your aid and all you can say is yippee ka yay? That’s not the way to have your buddies back unless your simply outgunned, outmaneuvered, or outsmarted.

Kimmi Says:

hahaha grendel, that was funny. I am sure you can handle them…goodluck anyways!

skeezerweezer Says:


– er…uh…..definitely not from Vulcan.

– I am glad you enjoy Vulcan. Maybe you two should exchange e-mails and talk more.

– I do enjoy your ATTACK in the last two sentences, just what the trash talking Drs ordered. That is how to trash talk back to the Skeeze! lol

Now, when is YOUR team going to talk about tennis again? Is it going to take Rafa to be in a tourney?


skeezerweezer Says:


“…we must above all be prepared!!!!”

My gift to you……

“Scotty, I need more power”

“Capt, I’m givin ya all I got Capt, she can’t handle no more”.

“What about Auxiliary power Scotty? “.

“Aye, She is on it now Capt., that is all we got. She is dead in the water, and I need two weeks at least”

“We don’t have two weeks, we are getting attacked by Rafa Romulans”


“Yes Capt.”

“Any suggestions?”

“Yes, Capt, the “VULCAN” ways says we should think logically, and throw out all opinions of opinionated matter and come to a logical conclusion”

“And what in the hell is that, Man? Hurry up and clean your ears and tell us what your green blooded skull thinks, we are going to DIE!!!”

“Spock? Spooooock? I need a solution!”

“Yes Capt.”. The Rafa Romulans have been insulted by the “Fed” eration “Neutral zone” policy. I suggest we talk a diplomatic solution. Consider it done. I will handle it.

I was hoping for a fist fight! Oh well, thank you Spock, well done!

Space, Tennis-X space, the final frontier, where no Tennis fan has gone before, to explore strange new worlds, to boldly go where no Rafa/Fed/Murray/Novak fan has gone before………………

Skeeze Reportin on the set for WTF! Network……..till next time

margot Says:

Well, jane, no need to watch those old John Wayne movies on TV any more, it’s all here and I’m a-taking cuuuveerrr….”They fired their muskets and the rebels kept a-coming..”….

margot Says:

skeeze: think we posted same time. I think sci fi films are Westerns in space :)

Skeezerweezer Says:


Yes ;) The good ones anyways …

jane Says:

OMG margot, you’ve quoted Johnny Horton?! “we fired once more and they began a runnin down the mississippi to the gulf of mexico…’ LOL!

On the other hand, if we buy into Skeeze’s latest (hilarious) WTF report, they’d be headed down past the Milky Way, but still a runnin…

Yep, take cover! It’s not 1814, but you never know what’ll hit ya. ; )

Skeezerweezer Says:

Batlle of New Orleans…. You two have very good knowledge :)

margot Says:

oooh skeeze, just becos I live in the UK doesn’t mean I can’t see USofA…. have binoculars, don’t you know…;)
jane: good morning, guess it’s goodnight to you, just before I run for the hill billies/the rings of Saturn, Guardian has done a top 25 films in 6 different genres. Gr8 fun for the outrage its caused if nothing else. “Chinatown” tops crime ?

Vulcan Says:


The Cavalry never arrived, but as I expected your faithful Sancho Panza has come to your rescue to ensure that justice is served! (you can feel good too because he has just returned from a Trekkie convention sponsored by “WTF Network” where he has learned that Scotty, with the help of Spock logic, always comes through in the clutch!). Gordo? I always thought of him as the resident statistician – I wasn’t aware that you thought of him as cavalry – then again I guess it is possible to skew perceptions with statistics but I have never thought Gordo tried to do that.

Yes, I was playing devil’s advocate when I interpreted Federer’s statement in such a way as to question his intentions. I say this because I have no desire to err on the side of seeing him as trying to bend things in such a way as to give himself any more or less credit than he has earned. Nevertheless, if somebody ever DID put me on the spot and ask me to offer up one single criticism of Federer it would be that there does seem to be a pattern of his of being ever so slightly stingy in his explanations regarding his losses to Nadal and (this require inference) his explanations as to why he is no longer Number 1.

The bending I DO see as a much more distinct pattern is that which goes on here amongst Federer fans when it comes to the issue of seeing Nadal as somehow intrinsically (not just tennis) inferior because his “fast” court credentials are not as impressive as Federer’s. People seem to WANT to see Federer as being arrogant and specifically WANT to see him as being condescending towards Nadal even though from what I have seen it requires a lot of misinterpration to see things to that degree.

For this reason I do not understand how you could, as a Federer fan who is familiar with the distortions that I have alluded to, say that “No major points were being made” in reference to the fact that Federer was precisely discussing court speed as it relates to his dominance. It would seem based on the comments on this thread and the numerous other discussions of this topic on this board that you would be abundantly aware of how this statement relates to that discussion and that, from the vantage point of Nadal fans could if we so desired, be interpreted as an excuse by Federer to explain why it is that he has not been able to continue to dominate. It seems that your assessment is one totally devoid of intellectual empathy. I dredge up all the other stuff only because it shows a pattern of behavior and it serves as one possible expanation as to why Federer might have a tendency to resort to making excuses as opposed to offering reasons.

And a PS for my good friend Skeezerweezer:

Don’t swim with the seaweed aye? The mud is thick?

Is there something I should be inferring from your statements? Certainly your’e not the kind of guy to launch ad hominem attacks are you? (nahh thought never crossed my mind)

Are my arguments full of so many logical inconsistencies and your’e just such a busy guy that you can’t bother to drop me the occassional line to point them out?…sheesh…I try to point yours out…but I can’t get so much as a binary yes or no out of you…such gratitude after all the Star Trek missions we have flown.

Daniel Says:

So here is everybody!

grendel, I am late but here!:)

Anyone watching FedxLjub?
Lub is playng great, saved 2 break pints to kept the lead. But I think even if Fed loses this set he is still in the match.
Let’s see if Lub holds to close the set.

Daniel Says:

Jane, Margot

Chinatown indeed is a masterpiece. But in which category the guardian will put the Godfather’s films? To me they are crime movies as well.

Daniel Says:

Yeah, Fed break back after Lub missed a terrible forehand at 30-30.

grendel Says:

good stuff. proud to have been able to be the occasion of it – which rather makes me Sanchez to your Quixote, not other way round……


Of course Gordo is a very knowledgeable tennis fan indeed – but he also happens to be a staunch supporter of Fed.

There’s quite a bit in your post to me which I agree with in a sense. It’s all about context, in my mind.

“Federer was precisely discussing court speed as it relates to his dominance.” That essentially was Fedend’s point, and I disputed that this was clear – twice. Here goes for a third time. Federer may have been referring to the state of the courts when he was first amassing slams. In which case, he was lying. That’s a strong statement, but it’s unavoidable. Or he may not have been referring to himself at all, but was taking into consideration the conditions under which Laver etc won all 4 in one season and contrasting them to those extant today. I instinctively assumed he meant the latter, Fedend assumed the former. That tells you quite a lot about where each of us are coming from but – short of asking Federer himself, there is no way of resolving the matter.

The important thing is, though, which I have already mentionned but I thought Fot put it with great eloquence: is a friendly, jovial and above all informal interview really a sensible source for seeking to derive knowledge on what Federer really, in his heart of hearts, thinks? Absolutely not, I’d say. It’s being just a little bit too solemn – at best.

“…his [Federer’s. i.e.] of being ever so slightly stingy in his explanations regarding his losses to Nadal and (this require inference) his explanations as to why he is no longer Number 1.” Oh, yes. You actually put this thought with some restraint, Vulcan. The guy’s human, you know. How many people who found themselves in his situation vis-a-vis his successor would be absolutely candid? That would be to be almost impossibly “good”, I’d have thought – and one might even be suspicious about that! That’s because absolute candour, as opposed to assumed candour, implies an almost pityless degree of self-knowledge. Most of us just don’t have that, why should Federer? I’ve always maintained that outside of his tennis, he is the most normal of human beings, with no side to him. He clearly doesn’t, anyway.

Now, about the “bending” you see as going on among Fed fans w.r.t.this fast court business. You’re partly right, but I also think you’re too harsh.

The “partly right ” bit. It’s just human nature to be less austere in judgements when it comes to assessing your own, to be a bit picky, to be inclined to lean, when the issue is in doubt, to your side rather than the other. Likewise, it is human nature for the other side to be instantly aware of this partiality whilst utterly ignoring their own wobbles. That’s just how it goes.

The “harsh” bit. The fact is, Nadal’s tennis is in a continual and remarkable state of evolution. In these – unusual – circumstances, it will take a while for everyone to come round. Some, not just Nadal fans, will instantly spot what is going on w.r.t. Nadal’s mastery of fast hard, some will take a little longer, some a lot longer. Everyone will, eventually, be converted, I suggest. But don’t expect miracles.

Finally, this is just my take. Of course I don’t speak for other Fed fans. “It seems that your assessment is one totally devoid of intellectual empathy.” I’m afraid you’ve lost me here. Try as I might, can’t see what you’re getting at.

Daniel Says:

Fed first set. 2 aces in the tiebreak!

Daniel Says:

Ljub had bad luck when Fed forehand tocuhed the net and drop in on break point. Now Fed is rolling, excelent serving and returning.

margot Says:

daniel: completely agree but Guardian put Godfather into “Arthouse and Drama”!! What??
Shocking omission of LA Confidential from crime. It would be in my top 10!
Looks as if Fed’s won..why isn’t Andy playing???

grendel Says:

Daniel – it’s thanks to you I watched 2nd set, when I saw you say it was on. Yes, Luby just seemed to disappear after that unlucky net cord. he belted a ball into the crowd as if he was belting all his hopes, too. Strange how one piece of bad luck can determine the course of a match.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Fed has the uncanny ability to break out in a match and roll. Seen him do this so many times. Not an easy feat to do.

On a side note, loved how in the changover they broke out to MJ music. I did not know Stockholm was huge fans of MJ’s music. Check out this tribute they did:



Kimmi Says:

shammmmoooon! skeezer. love the video!!

Daniel Says:

Totally true LA Confidential is another tem agiu was imputou to be in the sane year as titânico, otherwise it woulb has multiple Oscars.

jane Says:

margot, I saw that list this morning and have seen almost every film on it. Some surprises, and yeah, LA Confidential is a shocking omission. Loved its noir feel. Vertigo doesn’t really strike me as crime either; it’s so melodramatic as to be campy. Showed it to students not long ago and they loved the ending, actually stood and clapped, some of them. Love how Stewart’s character is constantly plying the icy blonde with drinks. ha ha. Have very recently rewatched Breathless, Rosemary’s Baby, Don’t Look Now and Annie Hall. Would like to rewatch “Fanny and Alexander” but it’s so long! Badlands is incredibly creepy, almost horror more than crime imo, for the flat affect, which Spacek nails. I have never seen “Borat” – not sure why. Something about resisting the hype. Anyhow, thanks for recommending the list margot!

Daniel, I hate when great films like “LA Confidential” get overlooked due to films like “Titanic”, which I personally did not love. But at least it didn’t happen with “Avatar” this year, which was great eye-candy, but not the best movie I have ever seen.

margot Says:

jane: glad u liked it! Did u look at the other genre? Comedy was interesting, no Jacques Tati! Another shock.
Not sure where u place “Badlands” either, but absolutely love Malik, especially “Days of Heaven.”
“Titanic” only good for gorgeous young Leo ;) who gets better and better and no “Departed” either. Must stop, could write pages. Perhaps tennisx would let us have our own thread, after all we could discuss that truly awful Woody Allen film sometimes….

jane Says:

margot, yes looked at all genres. “Annie Hall” was on t.v. last night, so I watched some of it. I actually don’t mind that film. It’s not my favorite or anything, but some of the writing is pretty good if pretentious at times, and technique-wise he uses split screen, subtitles, animation and flashbacks well, i.e., it’s well made for the time period imo. Annie’s costumes are iconic too and I think Diane Keaton’s acting really carries the film. ;) Anyhow, yes, we digress horrendously. People seem to love or hate Woody. I am more in the middle: love some, dislike others, some are meh. Liked “Vicky Christina” very much, for e.g..

grendel Says:

jane I never got round to see Titanic – my little one assures me it is crap (he hates james cameron, I don’t know why. I mean, hate?) But, like that Hollywood mogul or something in PG Wodehouse who hired an actor according to whether his obnoxious grandchild liked him/her or not (not that my lad is obnoxious or anything like, but you know what I mean)…..Saw Borat by accident, and it is genuinely funny, no getting round that. However, the bit where he wrestles with the naked fat man – which grabbed attention I gather – is interminable and tedious, I nearly switched off then. just watched a small budget sf movie called Moon – rather effective and touching.

skeezerweezer Says:


-Tennis break

Can’t believe you saw Borat, lol. Sorry with your intellectual writing skills I thought you would not be the type to enjoy that. Ahhh how we misinterpret by our eyes, not only by what we see, but what we read!

Yeah the scene with the nude big man was too much for me also, but some of it was pretty darn funny!

I would not poo poo Titanic, it is a well made film, and Cameron’s love for the underwater sea came through in the movie imo. After this film, he took an expedition back down to the grave of the Titanic, and this was made a film also…..

I haven’t studied the man per se, so I don’t know about that part.

I would be watching with a cup of tea or java, as the movie is quite long….

grendel Says:

Oh, yes, I like Sacha Baron Cohen alright. Few things were funnier than when as Ali G he interviewed an English politician called Tony Benn, and asked him how things were going with his “bitch” or something like that. Benn was outraged, and fulminated at length on how it is incorrect to refer to wives and girl friends in this manner. Baron Cohen, of course, was slyly grinning throughout. Poor old Benn had no idea he had been set up – but to do him justice, he admitted later he’d fallen straight into the trap.

About Cameron – you may well be right. The young can be very dogmatic and unrelenting, don’t you think? That film Moon I mentionned, it turns out the director, Duncan Jones, is the son of David Bowie. I wouldn’t be surprised if in time he doesn’t become as famous as his dad.

margot Says:

jane: talking about films is 2 seductive 4 me especially at the mo.when tennistv, which I find the best, not streaming.
Feel same way about Woody, some marvellous: “Purple Rose,” “Radio Days,” “Sweet and Lowdown,” “Bullits” among my absolute favourites, but also he is capable of terrible, self indulgent c***.
grendel: am with your son on Cameron -what a load of u know what, “Avatar” was. My daughter cannot stand Woody, offended by his morality! Cutting off her nose, I feel. BTW “Moon” is lovely. Wasn’t poor old Duncan originally named “Zowie Bowie?” Hmm, things we do for love…
“Borat” doesn’t do it for me, in fact “Top Gear” pulled a very similar stunt which I did find funny, while heartily disapproving of the whole concept, you understand ;)
Have just listened to “Something Understood” on Radio 4, which is usually too religious for me, but today was a Serbian woman talking about “living” in a foreign language. Really moving it was. She points out the initial puzzlement with “Mind the Gap.” Don’t know whether other languages have this cavalier switch from nouns to verbs, but makes learning English baffling.

steve-o Says:

I think Allen’s success resulted because he captured a certain zeitgeist in the 70s. He did it really well. But I don’t think he speaks to the current generation. He strikes me as a filmmaker who, even in his heyday, really resonated only with people over the age of forty-five, as opposed to others like Coppola or George Lucas who made movies that the whole family could enjoy.

To be fair, all I have seen of Allen’s works is about twenty minutes of Zelig, those twenty minutes were fairly clever and reasonably witty, but I’m not sure I could sit through two hours.

For James Cameron I vote Terminator his greatest movie hands-down. It’s gritty and suspenseful. Governor Ah-nold gives a great performance, he’s always best in roles which use his physicality rather than requiring him to talk.

margot Says:

steve-o: welcome to the alternative tennisx blog! Liking “Terminator” is probably a bloky thing, think skeeze would njoy it, though maybe wrong.
Try “Purple Rose” it’s about the importance of film to enrich our emotional life and ease the pain of existence – so there!

Vulcan Says:

I’m beginning to wonder if Dr. Chandra and HAL would have been more fitting. (at least HAL seems to have finally entered into a Hofstadter-Moebius Loop as I thought he might.)

Since nobody has posted it here’s exactly what Federer said:

Federer: Rafa’s goal next year should be to win the grand slam.

Interviewer: Will it ever be done?

Federer: I think it’s possible, because conditions have slowed down everywhere, to be honest

grendel Says:

“Federer was precisely discussing court speed as it relates to his dominance.” That essentially was Fedend’s point, and I disputed that this was clear – twice. Here goes for a third time.

I think you may have misunderstood what I was trying to say here…dominance was not in reference to Federer’s period of dominance but it was rather in reference to his lack of it. What I was trying to express was the fact that he was talking about Nadal’s Calendar Slam chances (which inversely relates to his own dominance) and the fact that he might of been deliberately trying to exaggerate how easy it would be for
Nadal to win the calendar slam with his possibly fallacious statement that the US Open courts are now slower.(the falsity of his statement of course is dependent on the time period that Federer was referring to) This postulated exaggeration of how easy it would be for Nadal to win (and to have won) the US Open would enhance his own perceived dominance relative to Nadal. You and Fedend were arguing explicitly over the time period in question in regards to Federer’s statement above: “because conditions have slowed down everywhere” which has nothing to do with Federer’s discussion of his own dominance at the present time. My entire point is that Federer was possibly understating Nadal’s dominance on fast court surfaces and was in reference to your statement that “No major points were being made”. I was asserting that the topic of Nadal’s dominance on hardcourts is a “major point” on this blog and that I would expect you to be aware of that.

Perhaps this will help you to understand my statement:

“It seems that your assessment is one totally devoid of intellectual empathy.”

Which was in reference to:

“No major points were being made”

As far as Federer making these comments during a highly informal interview:
I understand what you’re saying but one could easily (and pointlessly) take the opposite tact (I would say it’s 50/50 as above) that it is precisely because it’s informal that he might be likely to let things slip and say what he really thinks. Our discussion was framed in terms intellectual empathy so I should hope that you would at least consider the opposing view.

I agree with much of the rest of what you have said and my final words on this discussion are the same as the words I offered before we started it which is that it basically boils down to two things: the Necker Cube and intellectual empathy.

steve-o Says:

@margot: thanks for the recommendation!

grendel Says:

Boy, you don’t give up, do you Vulcan? There was no argument with Fedend, b.t.w., since he didn’t reply – but instead he’s continuing with this “sour grapes” crap on another thread.I notice that noone is paying him any attention.

“Our discussion was framed in terms intellectual empathy so I should hope that you would at least consider the opposing view.” In the context of that friendly, almost off the cuff interview, no, no, no (as the lady said). I’ve already said why more than once.In theory, anything is open for discussion, of course- but the context and background counts. And I genuinely believe it is just perverse to subject that particular interview to stringent analysis. It was a lighthearted chat, period. And Nadal fans are not, in my view, doing themselves a favour in focusing on it.

And now I must attend to my garden for a while.

jane Says:

margot, and of course “Purple Rose” must absolutely be paired with Buster Keaton’s genius “Sherlock Jr.” to which Allen was paying homage, don’t ya think? I like “Sweet & Lowdown” too. By “Bullits” you must mean “Bullets over Broadway” ‘ don’t speak’ don’t speak! lol. I know; talking film is very seductive for me too. At least we’re on a mostly defunct thread so can sorta go incognito down here. : )

Vulcan Says:


On the contrary I do, particularly when it comes to playing Tic-Tac-Toe. Based on your statements above in this thread it’s 50/50 whether Federer was lying or not (remember you were the only person to use the word “lying” here nobody else did).

Nothing that I have stated above contradicts your OPINION that it was 50/50 that he was lying. I simply stated that the context was also 50/50 which represents a Necker cube nested outside of the Necker cube representing that of the lie/truth. Grendel, Do we need to continue to add Necker cubes from the inside out to form a recursive sequence?

PS: The thing that you said that I liked best in this entire discussion was:

The guy’s human, you know.

Skeezerweezer Says:


You own me :). So right on Terminator, lol. Although Terminator 2 was the best:

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