Djokovic, Nadal Resume Rivalry in Montreal; Will it be Roger’s Cup?
by Sean Randall | August 5th, 2011, 7:20 pm

They’re back! Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and the rest of the top names in tennis return to the courts next week in Montreal for the Tennis Masters Rogers Cup.

The field is deep and lean, although passing up a chance at Canada’s biggest prize are notable absences by Andy Roddick, Robin Soderling and David Ferrer. But that trio wouldn’t have impacted the “trivalry” of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer who’ll likely resume their dominance this summer.

As for the draw, here are some thoughts.

Djokovic got no favors being the top seed. The former champ could face Nikolay Davydenko in his second round opener, then te 16 seed Juan Martin Del Potro in the third round before Gael Monfils in the quarters. Not an easy path but the way Djokovic has been playing it almost doesn’t matter, although a clash with Del Potro on Wednesday would be something to see. Del Potro starts with Nieminen and then likely Marin Cilic! And Monfils will have to deal with Viktor Troicki and John Isner to get out to that quarterfinal with Novak. If Isner gets his serve humming he could be the spoiler.

Federer is located in the second quarter and he could face Juan Ignacio Chela in his second rounder, then a Wimbledon rematch with JW Tsonga followed by Richard Gasquet. Not easy, but not overly difficult. Lurking is Bernard Tomic who could face Tsonga in the second round while Gasquet has what appears to be a clear path to his QF.

I think the bottom half overall is weaker. Andy Murray is the class of the third quarter and I think he comes out beating Mardy Fish in the last eight. Murray might have Kevin Anderson in the second round before a date with the man who beat him at the US Open last year, Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss though has the match of the first round against David Nalbandian.

Rafael Nadal anchors the final and arguably the weakest section, and the Spaniard shouldn’t be troubled. After opening against Chardy of Dodig (somewhat tricky) he’ll have his buddy Fernando Verdasco in the third round then maybe Gilles Simon or Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals. Simon’s probably the most dangerous guy for Nadal in that quarter.

As for a pick, I think come next Saturday we’ll see the top four seeds get through. I think Nadal’s a lock for the semifinals, then I’d say Federer followed by Djokovic (who’ll play Delpo) and Murray who could lose to Fish.

And in those semifinals I’ll take Djokovic to beat Federer and Murray to upset Nadal. In the final I’ll ride the hot guy Djokovic to the title.

Montreal is usually a pretty fast court and the temperatures won’t be as hot as they would be in Cincinnati, so that should help Novak.

If you want some longshots I give Del Potro a real chance against Novak and the Frenchmen could surprise – Gasquet? Montreal is a French speaking city after all. Allez!

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74 Comments for Djokovic, Nadal Resume Rivalry in Montreal; Will it be Roger’s Cup?

Kimberly Says: join group tennis-x fans it is verybfun. Hope to see everyone there.

jane Says:

“The Swiss though has the match of the first round against David Nalbandian.” Fed beat him easily in England, and Blake pasted him this week. So I think Fed should cruise.

Nole’s draw is brutal, but I’d say that for anyone who had to face Delpo round three.

tennisfan Says:

Well i think i agree here that nadals chances are weak this time. The stats also support that but i would say that nadal will reach the finals but he will be beaten by Nole. Why i think so :

The Top 4 (Djokovic/Nadal/Federer/Murray), Del Potro And The Story Of Hard Court Statistics So Far: Part II

Murray is playing weaker than before interms of game stats on hard court this year so i doubt he can beat nadal. But Nole has been awesme this year
so his chances of winning are strong!

scoreboard66 Says:

Davydenko is not the player he once was. Don’t agree that DelPotro is a brutal draw for anyone? He’s inconsistent at times. Isn’t he the same guy who got beaten so easily by Gulbis at the Farmer’s Classic?

Roger’s draw is tricky with Tsonga and Gasquet.

Kimberly Says:

i think Delpo is a brutal draw for anyone. He can be inconsistent but he is also a “big match” player. He rises to big occcasions. Believe me, no one wants to play him.

Kimberly Says:

George Bastl, the guy who beat Sampras in 2002 WImbledon is a qualifying wildcard in Montreal. He is playing against Flavio Cippollla. Wtf??????

jamie Says:

Nole will win Rogers Cup

Muzza will win Cincy

Nole will win the USO

madmax Says:

Murray might have Kevin Anderson in the second round before a date with the man who beat him at the US Open last year, Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss though has the match of the first round against David Nalbandian.


The Swiss this time is not Roger, but Stan who will be playing Nalby. At least this is how I read it.

Brando Says:

Djokovic is the clear favourite, quite obviously. I think federer may beat him though, he did the last time they played and also the last time they played in Canada. Nadal – Murray, if this match happens I favour Murray. He’s the defending champ, winner on the last 2 ocassions, favourite surface, possibly tournament. I actually think this 1 is murray’s, he seems to be the quietest 1 out of the big4 coming into the tournament, possibly getting ready to make the biggest noise…..

grendel Says:

There is no Big 4, imo, except in a tenuous sort of way.

There’s a Big 2. Even here, one of the big two is way ahead of the other, but you get the feeling that could turn around. Djokovic dominated Nadal on clay, probably would have beaten him at the French. But if Nadal can capture last year’s US form, there’s nothing between them. Hence we’re entitled to say – the Big Two.

Then,a little way behind, there is Federer.

And behind him, Murray.

Behind Murray, no one.

In this sense, there is a Big 4. But it is a staggered Big 4. The members of this elite group are not interchangeable. Something dramatic is going to have to happen for the order to change.

margot Says:

jane, dari, kimmi: nice interview with Andy on “Murray’s World, Andy in Montreal.” Looking like a lean, mean, fighting machine…with tidy hair for once…;)

Brando Says:

@ Grendel completely agree re big 4. Whilst I was initially annoyed that djokovic beat nadal, I now feel that he completely deserved it since I felt that he would have beaten nadal at the FO considering both their form going into the semi’s on clay. And for nadal, winning that FO was more important than winnning WIMBY I feel, not only to match Borg but also to still retain the slam that most people identify him with. Had he Lost the FO to djokovic, then that would have really knocked him sideways I feel.

Kimberly Says:

anyone else having trouble getting in bracket site. Patricko4 trying to register. I wonder if its just me since this will be the 4th account from the same computer?

jane Says:

madmax, yes, thanls for clarifying. I went through the draw challenge lasr night and realized that “the Swiss” Sean meant was Wawa not Roger. I still think the Swiss will win. Or should I pick Nalby??

margot, so happy it Is a video. Andy seems so upbeat and looks ready to go. i love that he loves playing in Canada. :) Glad he skipped LA this year; he looks so fresh.

scoreboard66, you have a point about Delpo being inconsistent; I wouldn’t disagree with you. Yet he is the only other guy besides Novak to win a slam in the Fedal era, so I think no player wants to run into him early on. The ATP site has an article about Novak’s “brutal” draw and even in the Murray interview I just watched, he mentions Djokovic having to play Delpo. So I think Kimberly is right: the players know Delpo rises to the occasion for the big matches becaus he wants to prove himself. His best matches this year have probably been versus Soderling in Miami, versus Djokovic at the French and versus Rafa at Wimbledon. He is dangerous, perhaps especially over 3 sets. Still, I do see what you mean about him maybe not being quite back to his best.

jane Says:

Kimberly, just checked, and I got into the draw challenge straight away, no problems.

alison hodge Says:

rep brando i agree i am also a big fan of rafa , and was also peeved to see djokovic getting the better of him all the time,although you have to give nole credit for such a fantastic year,however rafas also had a fantastic year making eight straight finals,and winning three of them is not to be sneezed at,any other year that would have been enough for anyone,whod have thought nole would have a year hes had,however i hope rafa goes back to playing like he did at last years uso, although i still believe he has more grand slams left in him yet regardles of what happens at flushing meadows.

van orten Says:

this is feds best surface or best time of the tour..since 2004 he always plays very good in the summer swing and it needs a very good performance of any top player to beat seen in us open 2010 and 09.. the surface is fast and he will be a factor

Kimmi Says:

just got back at the right time to do the bracket challenge. Went on vacation to england for couple of weeks. the weather was beautiful this time. Didn’t get to see the queens though :( but I had a jolly good time.

Excited big time tennis is coming up. have they changed the timetable for womens rogers cup? I think it used to be a week after mens…it is packed up with top players too. Bring it on :))

jane Says:

^ Welcome back Kimmi! ;) Glad you had a nice time in England!

Kimmi Says:

thanks jane. just catching up on what is happening on the tennis world. first thing first, bracket challenge.

I don’t have much expectations on federer, I hope he surprise me. I think everyone must have picked rafa and nole to the final and nole winning ofcourse? that has been the norm in the past six months. federer was able to crush the party at RG and Murray at the aussie..but the master series have been dominated by these two. time for a change?

Kimmi Says:

WOW!congrats to robin Haase for winning his first title beating montanes. very happy for him. The talent is there but his career has been plagued with a lot of injuries. Hopefully this is the beginning of good things to happen for him.

madmax Says:


whereabouts in UK did you go visit? Usually it’s the brits that come to visit your neck of the woods? Did you get to go to Stratford Upon Avon and do the theatre rounds? or was it London all the way?

madmax Says:

Huh, I know you are out there somewhere, biding your time, until the tournament starts. I’ve been having a look around to see what is out there in terms of federer pratising on court ready for montreal.

I saw on his facebook page that he was ‘late’ for a practice session so had decided to take the boat’, but found this lovely piece from Nima Naderi, (grendel), this is the sort of thing you would write:

There’s a certain level of conflict provided when watching Roger Federer practice.

For those who have seen him rack up all or most of his 16 Grand Slam titles, the effortless nature which he takes to the practice court just doesn’t add up to his success.

Looking freshly groomed with not a hair out of place when he strolls towards the back courts of whichever locale he’s visiting, Federer’s practice time would lead many who have never been to a tennis event to question: “Just how good is this guy, really?”

Throughout my year’s of covering tennis, I’ve probably witnessed three to four dozen of Federer’s practice sessions at about 10 to 12 different tournaments. And with each passing month, with each passing year, the routine has remained the same.

Federer will usually walk onto court—which was previously occupied by another player(s)—provide a subtle nod or say hello, and then sit down. Waiting patiently as if he’s got all the time in the world, Federer will slowly bend over and pick up his racket of choice.

Keeping his track jacket on as he approaches the net, Federer approves of his string tension by gently thumping his palm off of his string bed, while engaging in a wide grin conversation with whoever stands on the other side of the net.

After shaking out his legs and raising his racket over his head to stretch out his shoulders, Federer will typically glance up at the sky and pick which side he will begin his warm up.

Starting off his first rally with a sliced hit feed, Federer’s intensity and footwork continue to remain in a very casual sequence for the duration of his session.

Unlike his chief rival Rafael Nadal, Federer’s movement and outlook towards his practice time revolves more around developing a feel for his shots, and not overexerting his body.

Where Nadal grinds, grunts, and full on attacks every shot when he’s practicing; Federer will glide, caress, and more often than not let a ball that is out of reach sail by.

I’ve always been amazed at how Federer can transition from his easy going “hit,” to his eclectic presence in match play.

The Swiss star will enter Center Court with no sense of urgency, before he tightens his headband, adjusts his wristband, and makes sure that his weapon of choice is ready for battle.

I guess the ability to know when to step it up is an elite commonality that only the game’s best players share. I remember reading an excerpt from Brad Gilbert’s book titled Winning Ugly , suggesting that what made Pete Sampras such a dominant force was his elite ball-striking ability. There was really no need to implement a game plan for Sampras, and subsequently very little in the way of providing an answer to combating his genius. Gilbert commented that the outcome of Sampras’ matches rested on his shoulders, and that his experience had taught him how to address various situations.

Federer in many ways is cut from the same cloth as Sampras, while taking his modern strokes to another level.

We’ve all heard many great players claim that when they’ve played at their highest levels that they’ve been in “auto-Pilate” mode.

I’ve sensed that from watching Federer on numerous occasions that irrespective of his wins or losses, his ability to cruise through the point-by-point flow of a match has always remained in place.

Federer certainly believes in his strengths and the surfaces that he’s gathered his greatest victories.

I must confess that I enjoy watching players who wear their emotions on their sleeves, and show us constantly that their rewards have been hard earned. But I must admit that there’s something special about watching Federer go about his daily routine (especially on the practice court) that holds a timeless quality.

The precision that Federer has been able to consistently place his shots time and time again within the singles sideline has never provided anything short of a disbelief look from the crowd, or a subsequent dismal sigh of anguish from his opponent.

Federer may once in a while provide a “c’mon” or an “allez” to spur on his charge, but his practice court mentality will always stand as the cornerstone of his match time dominance.

The best players have always designed their own set of routines that have matched their successful careers, but not too many of the greats have been as relaxed on the practice court as Federer.

I certainly hope that the trend of Federer’s practice court regime doesn’t trickle down to the future great’s of the sport, but there’s no question that the easy going resolve of the Swiss has resulted in his historic on court brilliance.

Kimmi Says:

Hi madmax, I was in Reading most of the time. my sister lives there. We spent a day in london, don’t know the stratford upon avon..never been, will look for it next time i am down there. We spent a day in oxford too, a friend of mine works for a tour guide company. so it was nice to learn a lot of history behind a lot of the old buildings…visited oxford university too.

I know england quite a bit because I spent almost 6 years there, going to college in Birmingham and Sheffield and have been visiting my sister quite a lot too.

Andrew Miller Says:

Del Potro may be back, still not confidant on his return to form.

grendel Says:

alison hodge says:” i still believe he [Nadal] has more grand slams left in him yet regardles of what happens at flushing meadows”.

The fascinating thing is, Nadal could win another 7 slams, to gain the record, or none at all or (more likely) something in between.

You can make a respectable case for either of the extremes. Let’s take no more slams: this supposes that over the next two years (say)he consistently meets one of the other top 3 at the height of their powers and also finally free of the extra-tennis Nadal complexes, which of course applies only to 2 of the 3. When the 2 years is up, other players have entered the scene who are capable of blocking Nadal.

Or let’s take the case of 7 more slams. Similar to the above, only the other way round. Nadal is at his utter best in 7 more finals (having had a bit of fortune on the way – everyone can expect a bit of fortune) and when his opponent is not quite at his best on shall we say 4 occasions. The other 3 Nadal wins on pure merit. This scenario strikes me as fairly plausible and certainly more likely than the first.

However, if Djokovic maintains his level, Federer finds his freedom and Murray finds himself, and one other pushes his way through, the likelihood is Nadal will struggle to win many more slams.

Brando Says:

@ grendel: I think, hope, that nadal will win more slams. I always doubted him having the record- 16 is a step no. Just to match! Rafa to his credit always stated that he doesn’t see himself ever havin the record. What I see rafa matching is sampras 14. 4 more slams from age 25 onwards is both plauseable and realistic.

RFfan Says:

Fed’s draw not “overly difficult”?

He’s lost to both Tsonga and Gasquet the last time he played each.

Meanwhile Djoker is 4-0 v. DelPotro.

It would seem the chances of Fed losing to either Tsonga or Gasquet are higher than Novak losing to DelPo.

alison hodge Says:

reply grendel im not saying he will win more grand slams,i just recognise that he might i think its too soon to right him of just yet,dont get me wrong im not saying djokovic wont maintain his level but its the same for him if,without a crystal ball no one knows what the future will bring,its never been an issue with me about rafa beating rogers record im just delighted he has 10 grand slams,and will go down as one the best,obviously i would never right roger or andy of either.

grendel Says:

Brando and alison hodge

oh, absolutely, of course Nadal is likely to win more slams. I was just amusing myself with contemplating the various possibilities facing Nadal. But you could do that with a number of players. For instance, it is not unreasonable to suppose that Murray does a Lendl and throws off his chains and proceeds to win several slams. On the other hand, perhaps he’ll do a Nalbandian and wrap himself up tighter than ever in his chains and not win any slams. That seems to me just as likely. I speak as one who would rather like Murray to win a slam or two.

Colin Says:

Kimmi, you spent 6 years in England and you don’t know Stratford Upon Avon? It’s only the town where that fellow Shakespeare was born. At the theatre there, I saw Richard Burton before he became a film star. He was young and athletic then, and I was … well, young, anyway.
As for the tennis, I don’t know if I can bear to watch Murray – it’s too nerve-racking. Nonetheless, he’s perfectly capable of winning this tournament, despite Nadal and Djokovic and Federer and anyone. In three-setters there is still a top 4, and he’s one of them. Even so, I may not watch!

grendel Says:

Kimmi, pursuing the same theme, no need to despair. There’s an excellent William story in which our eponymous hero (aged eleven)is hanging about in his village in a desultory sort of way, when he comes across a young, female American tourist. She is lost and distraught, and conveys her distress to William just as if he is a normal person and not some grubby schoolboy unworthy of her attention.

She is also pretty and William, stunned equally by her looks and lack of condescension, instantly loses his heart to her. He learns that she wants to go to Stratford on Avon, visit the cottage of Anne Hathaway (Shakespear’s wife) and so on. William breezily tells her that that’s alright, they’re in Stratford now. The young American claps her hands in glee and asks William if he can direct her to Anne Hathaway’s cottage. Oh yes, says William confidently (he has actually never heard of Anne Hathaway and has only the vaguest idea as to who Shakespear was).

William may only be 11 years old, but already he has a firm grasp of the blurry distinction between illusion and reality. He wants the young American woman to be happy, and if this entails Stratford 0n Avon, Anne Hathaway’s cottage etc, then he will conjure them up for her. He encounters some hairy obstacles on the way, but proves equal to dismantling them. For example, when he alights upon what looks like a suitable cottage to pass as Anne Hathaway’s, it turns out to be inhabited by an old crone who is a confirmed enemy of William’s. However, knowing that she is pretty deaf, he asserts that she is Anne Hathaway. The American looks a bit doubtful, and wonders if William meant she was a descendant of Anne Hathaway. Yes, that’s what she is says William, seizing gratefully on this explanation.

The young American is struck by the coincidence of William’s name and wonders if perhaps he might be a descendant of Shakespear. Yus, that’s right, says William, his surname is Shake-shakes-wot you said. You mean Shakespear? queries the young woman with incredulous delight. William affirms this to be the case. There are one or two awkward moments when Mrs.Brown, William’s long suffering mother, makes an appearance but William manages to glide over the difficulties with a skill borne of long practice.

As the afternoon draws to a close, the young American takes William – happily devouring an enormous ice cream – to see her father who, doggedly uninterested in English culture, has taken the opportunity to have a snooze in the car. He wakes up with a jump, and inquires of his daughter if she’s seen Stratford, could they tick it off and get back to the hotel, and she happily replies that better than that, here – and she points to a small boy covered with dirt and the remains of toffees and ice cream – is an actual descendant, a direct descendant, daddy, of William Shakespear!

The father is happy – he’s managed to get out of some boring sightseeing. The girl is happy – she’s got much more than she bargained for and just think what she’ll be able to tell all the folks back home. And William is happy because he’s in love, she’s given him lots of smiles and he is also clutching a five pound note.

jane Says:

I thought Anne Hathaway is the Hollywood starlet who wore a polkadot dress at Wimbledon this year, who’s just about to play Catwoman in “The Dark Knight Rises”? Perchance she is a direct descendant too? Tee hee.

Enjoyed your yarn grendel.

Kimmi Says:

ha ha grendel.lovely story. will remember that when I visit Stratford.

Colin – yes, what a shame. during my college years I never get the “time” to visit all those wonderful places.

I was lucky to see the building where alice wonderland used to live oxford, which is quite fascinating.

jamie Says:

Total Slams for the top players:

Nole 8

Nadal 11

Federer 16(I think it’s over for him)

Murray 3

Del Potro 4

Kimmi Says:

“alice in wonderland”. should say where the author of that book used to live…anyways, that is what i was told.

Brando Says:

@jamie interesting take. I see it as following: federer: 17 slams- I think he will win one more slam and he should bow out with a win similar to Sampras. Nadal: 14 slams- he’s 25, he’s in good position to win 4 more from now until career end. Djokovic: 10 slams- I always saw djokovic being in the Lendl, Agassi category and 7 slams from the age of 24 onwards is reasonable considering nadal, Murray, del potro are at a similar age and stage to him in their career. Murray: 3 slams- to be honest if he wins only the 1 SLAM it will make britains greatest ever and a legend, so I think he shall do it. Finally, JMDP: 4 slams- he’s got a massive game and when he’s on fire it really doesn’t matter who he s playing against. He’s 22 so he should be able to fire 3 more ocassions and get the win

jane Says:

Monfils is in the Washington final; maybe his split with long-time coach Rasheed will pay off? He is with Murray’s / Kohl’s ex-coach, Miles MacLagan, now.

Not sure about Tsonga, i.e., whether he has hired another coach after splitting with his, or if he is still going about it on his own. Anyone know?

Blah Says:

“murray 3.”
That was a good one, thanks for the laugh.

van orten Says:

fed again in djokers side of the draw :

lets hope in NY we ll see fed vs nad and djok vs murray in the semis…
i want fed vs nadal on fast hard court so bad…

Kimmi Says:

happy for la monf,isner serve has been very tough this hardcourt season. it was 11pm last night and the match was still suspended due to rain, i wonder what time they finished.

Now go win the title la monf.

Kimmi Says:

ATP site says they finish at 1:15am local time….wooooo that is late.

Brando Says:

@ van orten: if federer- nadal play on a fast hardcourt i would give the edge to federer. He leads rafa 3-0 on indoor hard, but if I’m not mistaken I think rafa leads the outdoor hard 3-1? Either way they have never played at cincy or USO and federer has an outstanding record at these 2 tournaments, so he would be favourite I feel.

Humble Rafa Says:

The anger against George Bastl in America is amazing. Yes, Pete lost to him at Wimbledon. Since then Bastl has had a lackluster career. So what, it is not news.

There are so many players who beat legends at majors but they don’t get tortured like Bastl. Poor guy. Is he not allowed to make a living by playing in qualifying?

Dumbasses and jackasses everywhere.

Humble Rafa Says:

If Andy Murray wins one grandslam instead of just choking, he will get double knighthood from King Charles. “Sir “Sir Andy Murray.

The British standard is so low, I actually thing J. Ward is bound to get knighthood after winning a few rounds.

grendel Says:

w.r.t Fed/Nadal on coming hard court tourneys- do we go by career records or recent form? The former, if you discount h2h, would suggest Federer. The latter, Nadal. It’s a bold man who discounts recent form.

van orten Says:


would be great to see that match in cincy or NY…

and you are right they have never met in cincy(fastest court) and us open ( second fastest court’) so lets cross fingers..

dari Says:

I was at the isner monfils match last night, kimmi, it was indeed very late, i don’t know how they did it coming off and on court like that. After one of the rain delays, they spent the hour plus drying the court only to warm. up for five minutes and then it would rain again
But well worth the wait- it was an entertaining match, 3 rd set tie break, a monfils dive, some great returning by isner, too.
I’d never seen isner play, he sure is a sight, and monfils- we all know what an entertainer he is.
Besides the rain it was a bit of a drama night, isner hit a lady in the eye with a serve and hawkeye broke down on a challenge on monfils 1st matchpoint!
Very fun tennis to watch, I had about 6th row seats ( the stadium is tiny anyway) but so many people left for the rain we were able to move further to the front.
John threw his wristband in the crowd and I was the lucky one!
Small tourneys are the best, but bring on USO!

Kimmi Says:

dari – i watched some of it last night by 11pm i was ready to go to bed. Sounds like the third set was where all the fun was. Monfils saving a match point apparently.

How was isner serve up close? he is learnt to generate so much kick on his second serve.I watched some of Troicki/Isner the other was insane. I don’t think any of the top guys would fancy to play him..he always does well this time of the year.

Is there any other sport that play live matches right into the odd hours at night? I remember that famous hewitt vs bagdatis match at the AO finishing at 4am in the morning i think. The USO does the same too.

Glad to hear you had a good time. and the wristband ha-ha..lucky you. I have seen players throwing things to crowd, it never easy to get them.

jane Says:

dari, woot! Sounds like you had fun. Good to hear all “live at the scene” reports.

Huh Says:

thanx for the nice article dear maxi. :)

Kimmi Says:

monfils has to be aggressive. stepanek with an early break. he is starting very aggressive.

step with over 24hrs rest, monf with just over twelve hrs hmmm!

madmax Says:

Just checked out Roger’s outfit for Montreal Huh, he’s wearing blue. I love Federer in blue.

Here’s the link.

dari, you are so lucky catching the headband. Are you going to wash it and wear it yourself or put it in a trophy case or sell it on ebay?!

dari Says:

Kimmi- john’s serve is actually really smooth looking, to me, the toss was lower to his body than I expected, but then again, hes already so high up he doesn’t need those extra couple of inches like the others.
With Gael, you could see an intensity in his movements when he was going to hit a big one, with john everything stayed so smooth, you would just hear a little extra grunt and then see the ball whiz by and drop your jaw. After john hit the lady, Gael made a funny little gesture like “ah, dont hit me in the eye” everyone got a kick out of it!
But monfils is quite tall himself so the kick didn’t bother him as much, at least it seemed, it was just the heat on some of those serves.
I was most impressed with john’s ground game. That has improved a lot just recently I believe.
Was cheering so hard for john!
A little disapointed in the outcome even though i really like gael.
Am cheering for la monf today, though!

Kimberly Says:

Isner and Fish both seem like really nice guys. Essentially I root for them against everyone except Rafa and only then I don’t root for them because i don’t give them a legitimate shot at the title. Of course they could both be total jerks but they don’t seem like it at all.

Would you believe the registration of Patricko4 caused the ATP site to block my house. We wrote an email trying to explain that we are a family and thats why there are four accounts. Kaiser picked his bracket at my in-laws but Patrick did not get a chance yet. Hopefully they will unblock it tonight and he can pick.

Colino6 was supposed to play his first tournament today but he got rained out. He was very disappointed. He was all ready and dressed in Rafa’s French Open outfit because he wanted to wear a winners outfit (so obv. the wimbledon outfit was out) He won’t even wear Verdascos clothes anymore because he says he’s too much of a loser.

Kimberly Says:

monfils very unimpressive from what ive seen

jane Says:

la Monf…sigh.

dari Says:

I wish gael would step up.the forehand a bit and the agression in general. It’s a good idea since he is tired, anyway.

Kimberly Says:

i wish isner had won, at least he would put in a better showing, no one can fault isner for not trying ever.

Kimmi Says:

grrrr la monf!!

great to see stepanek playing well again though. A 32 year old giving the young guns a run for their money. maybe I should start to root for all 30 something guys. soon my fav fed will be a member of that club.

alison hodge Says:

i hope roger is in novaks side of the draw and beats him at the uso,and also rafa gets to the final on the other side of the draw,as this is the only grand slam that roger and rafa have not met each other in a final,that way the two of them have come full circle,and faced each in every grand slam,i think it would make for a very exciting final,roger would be trying to proove that he is still a force to be recond with,and rafa wanting to proove he can win a grand slam against his great friend and rival on every surface,fingers crossed.

dari Says:

08/08/11 is the doomsday, kimmi ;)
Re: isner, kimberly- you’re tellin me!
Time running out for monfils to do something and I hope he does!

dari Says:

max- just seeing your comment, haha on eBay

dari Says:

Congrats to the Worm!
Disappointing from monfils, glad I didn’t stay for the final, john would have done better!
Commentators were talking about gael’s poor record in finals- tsk tsk
Good for old dude to snag a 500, though!

Kimmi Says:

it feels kind of strange rafa fans are cheering for fed now. But then it does make sense coz roger has been a rafa whooping boy for a while now.

I am just happy that rafa fans get a feel of what fed fans have been feeling. Its never fun to see your fav lose to the same player over and over and over. I never watch fedal matches anymore coz I know the outcome already.

Congrats to stepanek.

dari – yeah tomorrow is the doomsday.

grendel Says:

Tedious match except for the fact that it was a virtuoso performance from Stepanek (if you exclude the serve). Ground strokes always positive as opposed to Monfils pitter-patter stuff, and one monstrous bh crosscourt. But above all, nice deep driving to smooth Stepanek’s advance to the net, where he was impeccable. Surely the best in the world by some way in that position. Did Monfils ever pass him?

alison hodge Says:

rep kimmi its very much like i said this is the final i would like, as its the only slam they havent met in a final,roger plays really well on us hard courts,and us hard courts dont favour rafa,ok rafa has the edge over roger,and nole has the edge over rafa granted,however thats not to say that will always be the case,as it happens i am also loving the nole rafa rivalry too,rivalries are the whole point of any sport,and im excited to see what rafa can do to try to turn things around,and raise his own level to match nole,also i think it would be terrific to see roger proove everyone wrong and say i ccan still win a grand slam and beat rafa and nole,and also win grand slam number 17 into the bargain, now that would be something really special,dont you think.

Kimmi Says:

wow, radwanska beat zvonareva to win Carlsbad. one of the big tournaments too. she has a great game, very talented but unfortunately she does not have the power to trouble the big hitters.

apparently it is the first time she beats zvonareva. actually the first time she wins a set against zvonareva.

Kimmi Says:

alison – i hear you. I would definetly love to see roger winning another GS. french open this year was his biggest chance in my opinion. he was playing so well there but for some reasons he always breaks down when playing rafa.

Anyways, lets wait see what happens. My ideal draw is fed on rafa side and beats rafa in the semi and beats nole in the final. maybe fed will play rafa better in the semi than is hoping.

Brando Says:

@ kimmi I think fed- rafa in the semi’s will happen alot more often now. Will It make a difference? Not particularly. But what will make a difference is the surface. I’m not to sure about Montreal/ Toronto but cincy and flushing meadow are alot quicker outdoor hard than anywhere else, and rafa-fed have not played here before. With that in mind I also believe this is federer’s best surface now, and personally I always felt it was his best anyway, I’d say federer would be the favourite. What would help nadal is that he is ALOT more better now than before on these surfaces so he would certainly be in with a good chance.

Rick Says:

Thankyou very much for not picking Nadal! Hopefully, you pick Federer to win the US Open as well! Keep up the good work, Sean! :)

alison hodge Says:

hi kimmi iaree it probably would be better for roger to play rafa in a semi rather than a final not as much pressure for roger,although i think we will have to agree to disagree about which side of the draw rogers in,you see the thing for me last year, although i was delighted rafa won the uso,i was dissapointed on the other hand that nole robbed us of a roger rafa final,the one and only grand slam they have never faced each other,sorry if i sound like a broken record repeating myself,but this is the final im itching to see,however i promise you one thing im not saying any of this because i have an ulterior motive in any way whatsoever.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Should be a great tournament. Rafa’s draw is a walk, Nole has some real challenges.
None of the Big 4 would surprise me as winners here, and yes, of course I acknowledge Grendel’s caveat but Nole’s dominance notwithstanding, Conflict is what drives any story, so we need to fill in the role of Antagonist, and that must be the current Lesser Three. In any case, as complete as it has been Nole’s reign has also not been too long to imagine challenges to it.
Tsonga and Gasquet are great threats this year, hard to pick one of them over the other (strange that Monfils and Simon are both ranked higher, I don’t think either are as dangerous as tournament winners or Big Four slayers).
There are three folks who could make a BIG statement here: Murray, DelPotro and Tsonga. Any of those three win or make the finals here or in Cinci and they will be talked about seriously as USO challengers. If none do, it will be a Big Three debate.
I don’t think that itself translates into pressure on Andy, after all, what does he care how fans argue, or Vegas odds? But from a fan POV, Andy is the one here with something to prove. JMDP and JWT can also prove things but with them its Climbing, with Andy its Droppage Prevention.

Make Sense?

All of which is to say, Nole will win over Murray.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Also, whats the over-under on Gulbis being spotted at Chez Paree, Club Wanda’s or Super-Sexe?

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