Nadal, Djokovic, Federer: Where’s This Trivalry Go From Here?

by Sean Randall | June 12th, 2012, 6:44 pm

Is it still a “Trivalry”? Is it still the “Big Three”? Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have dominated the last two seasons of Slams while Federer, nearing 31, is clinging to their coattails. So for now, yup. Still the Big Three.

As for the events yesterday, I finally watched the conclusion to the rain-interrupted French Open last night (thanks Tennis Channel!) and you have to tip your cap to Nadal. No matter how much you dislike him you have to respect seven French Open titles to go along with all those clay records and accolades he’s already amassed.

Three times the guy has prevented a “Four Slammer” against two different players. That’s quite an achievement when you really think about – stopping the best player in the world, a tennis legend, from reaching the ultimate height in the sport. Hats off.

But Nadal did get a little lucky with the match being halted when it did Sunday – Djokovic had similar luck with the rain as well, so it’s evens in my book. However, he came back following the overnight with one singular thing on his mind: Protecting his house. And he did.

Djokovic again started slow upon resumption allowing Nadal, with his mind and focus back on point, to get the quick break back. Then he hung on until Djokovic’s ill-timed double fault on match point. It was an unsatisfactory ending to what turned out to be an intriguing finish to the clay season. The winner, though, was the right one. Nadal’s the best ever on the clay; no dispute.

As for the ever-changing pro tennis landscape, the song remains the same. It’s still the Big Three but it’s head-shaking the way Nadal/Djokovic have dominated – four straight Slam finals between the same two players is absolutely astounding.

Rafa’s win also puts him back on solid footing. After losing three consecutive Slam finals to Novak, getting that victory in Paris by beating Djokovic should do wonders for what had to be some broken confidence. After losing seven straight, Nadal’s now won the last three over his main rival, surrendering just one of eight sets. He’s back on top, folks.

And I know it’s early, Nadal’s also in the driver’s seat to finish No. 1. However, we’ve seen Rafa fade toward the end of seasons before, and I expect it to be no different this time as the wear-and-tear of the schedule, especially compacted this year, takes that ritualistic toll on his body.

Still, Rafa should do well at Wimbledon and the Olympics, both on the lawns of the AELTC where Nadal’s excelled, and the US Open, before hitting the skids. If he can win both Slams he’ll finish No. 1. If he and Novak split the remaining two I give a slight edge to the Serb because of his stronger indoor game and fall freshness.

After a sub-par post-Australian, Novak finally found some of that 2011 mojo, if for only patches. Even though Nadal got him yesterday I think he has to be feeling better about where his game is at. Sure, he struggled against Andreas Seppi and even JW Tsonga – i really think the pressure of the Djoker Slam played a role in those matches – but there were moments against Federer and Nadal where you could see that lofty 2011 form.

He stunningly won eight straight games off an irate Rafa and he got a set, the only player to win a set off Nadal on red clay all year. Now that he knows the magic is still there can he summon it, even if it is only for longer patches? I think so.

So the French should put Novak back on track and I expect stronger, more consistent play from him going forward, especially now that the pressures of the Djoker Slam are behind him and the spotlight shines back on Nadal and Federer. He may be the defending champion but the story at Wimbledon is going to be on his two mates.

Roger’s now feeling the scrutiny because he hasn’t held a Slam since 2010 Australia. That’s nine majors in a row without a title and just one single final. But the Swiss is still making Final Fours and doing damage in the smaller ATP-level events. “Senior moments” aside, Federer can still pack a punch and at Wimbledon I really think he has an excellent chance of adding to his career Slam haul.

But returning to No. 1 is looking like a tougher and tougher proposition with each passing week for Fed. Not only does he have to deal with Nadal, now he’s got Djokovic and there’s still Murray and maybe Del Potro who’ll hopefully be a factor during the summer hardcourts. He’ll likely have to beat two of those four to win a Slam, maybe more.

And I won’t get into all these Federer injury excuses. If his hip, back, etc, are really that bad or hamper his play that much then why commit to Halle? Money? Loyalty? Why risk it with Wimbledon and the Olympics just around the corner? That is unless there’s really no concern at all, which is what I think (remember Nadal and his bad shouder and knee at the start of year?).

Luckily for all three (and for many of us fans), there doesn’t appear to be anyone rising through the ranks who’s going to break up this “trivalry” in the near term.

After so many opportunities, it just doesn’t look like Andy Murray has that necessary next gear, and under Lendl he might even be regressing. Still just 23, Juan Martin Del Potro is far too injury prone, for now. Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer? Um, I’ll pass.

Among the younger generation, the Next Big Thing Milos Raonic is still a year to 18 months from a Top 5 ranking, though he could have a Slam final on his resume by the end of this summer. Among Raonic’s peers, I simply don’t see Bernard Tomic, Ryan Harrison, Grigor Dimitrov or even David Goffin as serious, long-standing Top 5 type players anytime soon, if at all.

So until further notice, the Big Three it is… How lucky we are.

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196 Comments for Nadal, Djokovic, Federer: Where’s This Trivalry Go From Here?

Nina Says:

And happy I am with the Big 3! These really bring all the excitement and make this era fascinating to watch. I’d love to be able to fastforward for a bit and know how well does each one of them at the end of their careers. I’m really curious to know how far they will go. Only sky is the limit.

Steve 27 Says:

Nadal plus Djokovic equals Federer GS total. This the best Trivalry at least in the open era. But everything changes very fast in life not to mention tennis, then who will be the fourth or third to replace again between now and 1 year to Federer?: Murray, Del Potro or Raonic are certainly the best options. Other Ferrer, Tsonga, Berdych, especially the last two-can sometimes give a surprise, but they will never have been as Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. Hopefully the Scots, the Argentine and Canadian quality to leap to give more competitive tennis.

billyboy512 Says:

This is the most comical rationalization I have ever read here. Poor Fed fans- they are so sad.

Robert Says:

Do not submit this article to an English professor! You make a lot of structural and grammatical errors in this “report”. Let me point out a few mistakes:

1. Djokovic again started a slow in the resumption

(No need for “a” here)

2. That’s quite an achievement when you really think about – (missing the word “it”)

3. Nadal did get a little lucky with match being stopped (missing “the”)

4. It was a disappointing ending to what turning out to be an intriguing finish (missing the word “was”)

I could find ten more errors.

Thangs Says:

8 games in a row is more to do with the heavy wet conditions..Nole was hitting as hard as he could…whereas Nadal’s spin was making the ball dead slow…Under normal conditions, it would have fetched some UE from Nole. Watch at Nole’s shot at 15-30 of last game which was an error.
Still Nole would have bagged the set. But, I don’t see that as a scary domination patch as mentioned.

kris Says:

Poor writer, I guess you have to brush up your writing skills. And Yes, I am a arrogant FED fan. Beat the 16 GS and numerous amount of consistant records, only then the others deserve some respect.

grendel Says:

” I’d love to be able to fastforward for a bit and know how well does each one of them at the end of their careers.” Nina, I couldn’t help smiling at this, and I contemplated the possibility of fast forwarding on anything whatever. For instance, the moment of one’s death. Having a quick peek at one’s funeral – what are they thinking, and is it altogether what I’d like to know….. Checking in on what happens to the Assad tribe in Syria. Or how about a more ambitious stroll into the future? Are humans still in control? What are androids like at tennis?

When we got our flat screen, I got a childish delight in realising you could rewind a program as you were watching it. How about fast forwarding, I asked innocently? Blank expressions till the penny dropped. I still feel an occasional impulse to do so, as if in some mysterious way the future is already out there, closer than your breath but more inaccessible than the stars….

Kimberly Says:

My gut says Roger to win Wimbledon. He never adjusted his game to clay at all this year probably with his focus on the grass season. I’m not making excuses for him, that’s just the only plausible explanation to me for a former french open champ and four time finalist losing sets to nicholas mahout and David Goffin. Really subpar performance throughout the french open yet he managed to make the semi

Sean Randall Says:

Robert, help is always appreciated here!

With dinner duties and little time tonight due to the NBA finals (just starting now), admittedly it was a sloppy job.

Kimberly Says:

The thunder are so annoying

jane Says:

grendel, nice post as usual – have you seen the funny British film from a few years back “Death at a Funeral”? I watched it last night and thought it hilarious – couldn’t help but hope my own funeral is just as fun. And is Pascal’s wager anything like Kierkegaard’s leap of faith? That’s what it made me think of when you, skeeze and Wog Boy were writing this moring. Knowing the future could be good, to be sure, but on the other hand, a bit of a bore too, don’t you think? The waiting, the uncertainty, that’s what it’s really all about: tennis or otherwise.

Kimberly interesting theory about Fed and possibly a good one too.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

It is not a Trivalry.

Federer hasn’t beaten either man at a Slam in over a year. He has one slam final in two years.
He is Junior Partner.
Its Nadal/Djokovic, until Fed at least beats one of these guys or makes a final.
But I still think he can.

Kimberly Says:

Shane battier!!!!! Wait wrong site. See u all later

dari Says:

I just saw the final from recording on tennis channel and i was a bit mesmerized by rafa. The movement, the feet, the “how did he make that point offensive” moments, and then imagining the demoralization of it all playing agaisnt him on clay! His tennis does not always excite me, but I enjoyed it this time.

Kimberly, hope your guts are right! But you make a good.poiny, there was ZERO patience in roger’s clay game, and by the end of it all, he seemed happy to have toughed out a five setter and made it to the semi.

conty Says:

Oh, do I feel like commenting on this trivalry thing and a couple of posts here but still on my self-appointed ban, unhappy since Djokovic lost. I don’t care Nadal won but unhappy Djokovic could get his Djokerslam.

ps. Kimberly, Tuity Fruity won the atp pool bracket challenge, hey? I don’t acknowledge ‘superlamb’, since ‘superlamb’ doesnt fess up to who he/she is :D

Congrats to Tuity Fruity; and Jane, of course, winning wta FO Bracket.

grendel Says:

That’s an interesting thought, Kimberley. It never occured to me, and it sounds plausible at a subconscious level. At a conscious level, Federer was certainly trying – he was livid when he lost that second set to del Potro, and made a really determined effort to come back. It was never clear to me whether or not del Potro was hampered by his leg injury. The commentators kept going on about it.

But it may well be the case that Federer was, at a deep level, saving himself for Wimbledon. I do believe players, top players especially, do this instinctively, which is why you can’t always take results in smaller tourneys as harbingers for the big ones.

It’s a fascinating thought that the old lion, who has not been able to roar when it counts in the big ones of late, is about to release all the frustrations of the last couple of years in one final mighty fling. I can’t believe it myself – but, as madmax once said of me, I tend to be a glass half empty sort of a person, whereas she is a glass half full girl. But there it is, we are what we are, not much we can do about it.

conty Says:

meant: … unhappy Djokovic could not get his Djokerslam 2012.

Kimberly Says:

Everyone for the heat playing well except Lebron. Chalmers and Battier hot. Lebron ice cold so far. Hope he’s saving it for the 4th.

conty Says:

grendel, wanting to disagree emphatically with you about the Delpo – Federer match I watched recorded. But I know where disagreeing on a Federer match gets me. So let that sleeping dog lie. Already forgot you mentioned it. I’m out.

ananthd Says:

Rafa has stopped the 4 slammer 4 times now…
twice of Rog & once of Nole and once of himself(when he got injured v Ferrer in 2011 AO)…

Besides reaching 5 consecutive GS Finals now, he has reached every GS final barring that 2011 AO Final from the 2010 RG onwards, that’s 8 of 9 slam finals , Federeresque!

dari Says:

Chalmers knows how to come through, quietly unexpectedly. Just like in 2008 on the jayhawks!

Here’s to the lion dear grendel!

grendel Says:

jane, no – I haven’t seen the film you mention. I shall ask my film guru (my son) about it.
No, Pascal’s wager is really almost exactly as skeezer and Wog boy described it. It is regarded as ignoble by some highminded souls (including the militant atheist Richard Dawkins and the religious thinker and martyr Simone Weil) because it seems to put a person’s own welfare ahead of the truth. Personally, I think there is a spot of priggery going on there.

Kierkegaard, on the other hand, was almost wilfully neglectful, even hostile, to his own well being. The silly ass even denied himself the possibility of love, largely because he didn’t think he was worthy of it – this despite the fact that the woman in question adored him. So he made two people very unhappy for no good reason at all. His leap of faith, insofar as I understand it, was partly a reflection of his Lutheran background, but also, I am sure, reflected his contrary personality (which I rather empathise with, b.t.w.). He was a very clever man who despised human cleverness, especially pretensions to knowledge (science etc), and he believed true happiness was only possible with the complete immersion of the self into God. He was perfectly well aware, long before his time, of the absurdities of religion – and gloried in them almost because they were absurd. The “leap” was absolutely not about intellect, although he himself was incurably intellectual. And so on.

Yes, of course, knowing the future would take the spice out of life alright. But how about a quick sneaky peep….

conty – can’t you team up with carlo and rip down the self-appointed ban and give us your views on the “trivalry”? Are you a sceptic?

enzo Says:

“Where’s this trilogy go from here?”
Hum… from Newsweek, today:

“The storylines for global tennis only get better as Nadal and Djokovic continue their back-and-forth. Who will conquer at Wimbledon? And again at the grounds of the All England Club a month later at the London Olympics? Can supporting cast members such as Federer, Murray, and the electric Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or the big hitters like Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin del Potro push aside the Tremendous Two for a title?”

grendel Says:

conty – I have just seen your comments about Fed/delPo. Yes, I remember the last time, and there was quite a ding dong, wasn’t there? But seriously, I have no strong opinions on this match – I mentioned, for instance, that delPo may have been injured, which would obviously have hampered him. I don’t know whether he was or wasn’t – but if you think he was, I have no argument with that. I’d be very curious to know your views – promise not to scratch…

grendel Says:

Gosh, Federer as “supporting cast”, that’s going to raise a few eyebrows – and a few tempers too, I daresay….

jane Says:

I think Nole cast Fed as the good-looking hero for his movie, and Delpo as the villain, yes, that’s it. conty don’t get mad at Nole. As he said “It’s only a movie.” ;)

Kierkegaard quote I remember: “impotent self-consumption” about despair. I remember something about Abraham’s sacrifice, too, and how that related to the leap, but it’s a long time since I’ve read any of his work. I should dig it out one of these light, sunny days.

conty Says:

jane, I’m not unhappy at Nole. I’ve fully embraced Nole and really am a fan. Always was a fan but didn’t like him beating Federer 2008 AO. However, it was evident to me that Nole was going to be a force. Really thought he’d win US Open 2008 or, Murray. But was not quite ready until FO 2009 to let my love for Federer’s tennis go. But after he won Wimbledon 09 and it appeared he might win US Open 09, well, it was getting too much for me. The first time I found myself rooting for someone other than Federer in a GS final was vs Delpo; was headed that way during the Wimbledon 09 final, ultimately was happy Fed won but killed a bottle of champagne…making mimosa’s during that final. That’s when I learned it wasn’t a good idea to post when inebriated.

By 2010, I felt Djokovic was going to turn the table on Fed, and didn’t watch but was ready for the result. It was good Rafa got his Career Slam but I cheered for Djokovic in that final. Even cheered Murray during AO 2010 final but can’t help being happy if Federer wins one he hasn’t won 6 times, like Wimbledon or FO. Federer winning FO last year would have made me so happy. I can’t stand someone, even Federer winning one of the slams 7 times. It’s over the top gaudy. Makes me think of a poodle with a diamond collar or something…piece of kitsch art.

jane Says:

conty, I know you’re a super-duper fair tennis fan; totally open minded – it’s you, after all, who always seems to know about the up and comers, not to mention who thinks of the best nicknames for all of them. I was joking, by asking that you not be mad because Nole cast Delpo as the villain in his tennis movie: I am not sure if you saw that video they made during the FO this year? Unfortunately, it’s been removed from the ATP site as well as youtube by the “owner” – can’t find it anywhere. Anyhow they asked Nole to cast, from the ATP, for a film and he picked Fed as the good-looking hero; Berdych as his sidekick; Delpo as the crafty villain; Tomic as the boy genius; and so on – I can’t remember the others, if there were any. It kind of went with the supporting cast comment of grendel’s, that’s all.

Cheers, keep posting.

P.S. – drinking mimosas watching tennis? I’m impressed. :)

conty Says:

grendel, we are cool. Always love reading your posts, even ones when there’s something I didn’t see the same way you did. Just learned not to comment on Federer vs Delpo matches here. Some other posters came down on me too. Wasn’t worth it.

And the Trivalry? yeah, my opinion probably not a popular one; yes a skeptic or I guess properly written in British English, ‘sceptic.’ I’ll just answer in a few words: no, I don’t see it as a Trivalry. But Federer is an end of season man these days and he has surprised me. I just stopped expecting anything long ago at Wimbldon and the GS’s.

Your posts tempt me off topic a lot when you get into science fiction. Asimov and Clarke, a little before my time but I used to buy books at Powell’s Bookstore in Portland. Could pick up a paperback for a buck and change. I did read “Children’s End” a long time ago. Also addicted to Science Channel and anything having to do with theories like multiverses, wormholes; and believe time travel is a possibility. I don’t completely rule out some version of a God, but not sure exactly. Not a strict atheist like Dawkins. Experiments and advances in stem cell therapy and who knows what genetic uh, tweaking, have no doubt applications in the minds of sports scientists for preparing a stronger, faster, more durable athlete; or repairing what goes wrong. Makes WADA seem a little insignificant or even obsolete, what I imagine.

Eric Says:

Kimberly, :(. What a collapse! What happened after the first 20 minutes — they were playing perfectly, and then… not so much. It was like watching Roger lose to Rafa after leading 5-2. ;) (Okay, maybe you won’t appreciate the analogy.)

Humble Rafa Says:

Lebron’s mom called. She needs some company tonight.

conty Says:

jane, the Federer glory days every GS was an occasion for celebration; would spend it with my friends in Portland who loved tennis and Federer. Breakfast at Wimbles, champagne and strawberries. 09, I got plastered and sick afterward, I had moved to Idaho. It was not like the fun in P-land. But 2008, Wimbles was still there but I spent the day working and ignored the results; 07 Wimbledon, was too close for comfort with Nadal.

No, I did not see Nole’s video. And have no idea why I cheer for Delpo and defend him so much; just like the guy.

conty Says:

lol, Novak. He cast the video like that? sorry I missed it!

Kimberly Says:

Terrible :(

Sean Randall Says:

Kimberly, OKC seems too young, too energetic. And Durant is so damn smooth. But they’ll crack.

Humble Rafa Says:

Lebron will choke. You know the joke…Give Lebron 1 dollar, you will get 3 quarters back. No show in the 4th quarter.

skeezer Says:

^wow never saw the Thunder till tonight. Durant is a superstar in the making. The whole team very athletic, fast and young. Can they hold there poise?

So funny in the Heat/Celtic series it was the youth vs experience. How quick the roles reversed!

Miami has to use there experience they from gained the Boston series and slow this guys down. Otherwise, Thunder and Lightning is coming real fast. Looks like the makings of a great series Final. Now if only the Heat had Doc Rivers has the Coach…hehe.

mike Says:

i like how you say “no matter how much you dislike him” because i cannot stand Nadal, winning is the only thing that keeps him from whining thesedays, during the rain delay i was expecting him to rant about how he’d never come back to Roland Garros unless the conditions changed for him

and i dont respect his achievments either, he’s a boring monotonous moonballer who dominates a absurdly weak era of tennis outside of the top3 players.. and i include federer in that top3 as he is not even a shadow of the player he was

jane Says:

conty, meant to say I love Powell’s: can get lost in there for hours.

skeezer Says:

Whoa! And then in your face post presser OKC Durant/Westbrook wears the famous Wade/Lebron Glasses. Game on!

Michael Says:

Roger is 31 and still counting whereas Novak and Nadal are in the peak of their careers. That being said, I do expect some surprises at Wimbledon this time around. My gut feeling tells me just by the law of averages that it may not be a Novak-Nadal final at Wimbledon.

Steve 27 Says:

2008 Nadal Federer
2009 Federer Roddick
2010 Nadal Berdych
2011 Djokovic Nadal
Yes Michael, there will be another different final like the previous years, but we know one finalist would be.

The Great Davy Says:

Back in the 2006, I was number 3. Why nobody call us big three in the 2006? Why nobody know my name in the 2006? We cant all have hair you know.

King Federer Says:

here’s a comparison of top 3 slam wise :

AO :

fed no.1 with 4AOs, 2nd nole with 3AOs


Rafa no.1 with 7FOs, fed 2nd with 1


Fed no.1 with 6, rafa 2nd with 2.


Fed no.1 with 5, djokovic 2nd with 1W and 2finals as opposed to 1win and a final to nadal.

Year end:

Fed no.1 with 6titles, djokovic 2nd with 1, rafa = 0

Fair to say, when top 3 end career, most likely scenario is nole and rafa tops at AO and fed being the best at Wimbledon, uso and year ends.

oh let’s not forget no.1 ranking where fed got 285 weeks. nole and nadal will be lucky if they can even get to 150 weeks.

looks like we know who the top dog is in this top 3.

As I said before, rafa is in danger of being no.3 in this trivalry. djokovic is well on course to equal rafa’s slam count at wimbledon, he has already equalised rafa @ uso and at year end and AO, djokovic is ahead.

novak is also half way on to rafa’s numbers in the no.1 ranking.

King Federer Says:

@ great davy – dont worry, rafa is getting there – with the hair that is.

loss of hair and lot of breaks from the game with suspicious “injuries”. these are the kind of stuff that has lent credibility to “tennis has a steroid problem” blog.

check it out, unless you are a rafa fan.

harry Says:

seriously grendel and jane, reading your posts on “taking a quick peek at the future”, i couldnt help but laugh with genuine amusement.

conty — enjoyed your posts as usual :) my fav post was the one about your router, lol (in another thread, i think).

Michael Says:

Steve27, You can have your premonition and it is your right.

Nims Says:

I just wish Sampras comes out of retirement for this Wimbledon. We cal all claim him to be the favourite, since he has most titles in Wimbledon. We should not talk about Rafa and Novak being favourites.

Wog boy Says:


I don’t know if you got the answer for Tomic, but apparently he picked up some virus during FO that is making him sick.
They are worried about Wimbledon!

Nadal had his €300.000 watch stolen from Paris hotel where he stayed with his parents. His father reported it stolen to police.
It must those Nole’s “gangsters”.

Wog boy Says:

It must BE those….

King Federer Says:

yes, that would be ideal, but let us not forget also that he lost in his only encounter with federer on grass and also lost 3 out of the 4 in those exhibitions against roger. after all raf@tards think H2H is the be-all and end-all. who cares that sampr@$$ was 10 years older than roger.

that would make roger the favorite. too bad raf@tards can’t even get relief from getting sampras in the fray.

another thing, on this clay grass, rafa/djokovic would wipe the floor with the pretender on clay called sampras.

King Federer Says:

isn’t it the 2nd time rafa lost this watch? if he is not paying for it, “losing” would be a smart way to gift expensive watches to his friends/relatives…..

Wog boy Says:

Funny thing is that watch doesn’t belong to Nadal, it was on loan from Richard Mile:)

Wog boy Says:

And it was in his parents apartment when they noticed, it is missing:)

King Federer Says:

next week, djokovic finishes 50 weeks as number 1.

this means nadal would be making consecutive appearances in the most consecutive 1/2 ranked pair in history.

nadal was no.2 to fed’s no.1 for 160 weeks in a row ~ a little more than 3 years.

now he will be 2nd on the list as well being no.2 to djokovic for 52 weeks in a row!

sometime this year, nadal will break the 250week barrier for the longest serving no.2 ever. he has that record completely sewn up!

King Federer Says:

LOL! wogboy, you might be on to something here. i believe you deserve a job in some high-paying insurance company to unravel cases like these ;)

Wog boy Says:

I just passed on the information from “Sydney Morning Herald” in three goes!

Nims Says:

I do not understand the logic of Trivalry. If we call this Trivalry, then we should include Murray also. Roger has not done much compared to Murray.

Either we call it Top 2 or Top 4. The Top 3 is absolute bullshit based on last 2 years results.

Michael Says:


Last two year results of Roger just in majors.

2011 – Semis at Australian Open, Finals at Rolland Garros, Quarter finals at Wimbledon and Semis at US Open (losing to Novak with match points on hand)

Tournaments won – Qatar Open, Swiss Indoors and most important of all, the World Series finals defeating Nadal.

2012 – Semis at Australian Open, Semis at French Open

Tournaments won – Rotterdam, Dubai Open, Indian Wells, Madrid.

And you call such a performance as absolute bull shit. No wonder though because Roger has set such high standards that all these doesn’t mean much.

By the way, can you recount to the viewers about Murray’s performance in 2011 and 2012.

Nims Says:


For Top 4, I judge based on GS. I agree Roger is good on 3-setters. My opinion is based on Slams.

Roger consistently reaches the semis of GS, which is a nice result. That’s why he cannot be clubbed with Rafa or Novak who reach the finals. If Roger beats either of them consistently and reaches the Finals, then I agree it should be Top 3.

But Roger is more like a punching bag for the Top 2. They seems to be grinning and jumping by looking at him in their draw.

If ATP gives the Top 2 a choice to choose their Semis opponent, I bet there would be a big fight between Rafa and Novak to pick Roger in their half.

Boxy Says:

Is Novak playing any grass tournament before W’ldon?

Wog boy Says:


No, he doesn’t. He puuled out of Queens day before FO final.

Wog boy Says:


Kimberly Says:

Guess my hot streak ended Monday. Only reason I wasn’t more pissed last night was a played tennis two hours in the heat and was cramping so I drink like 5 bottles of Walter and two Advil pms. That was awful! We can do better than that.

Kimberly Says:

So I was half asleep for the fourth quarter. Apparently so were the heat

King Federer Says:

If we are to go by only slam results in the last 6 slams, rafa has won only on clay. in fact this guy has done squat on other surfaces even in those easy “3set events” getting bageled by murray in tokyo and roger in london and novak – well nadal’s been his b!tch.

so stricly looking at last 6 slams, there is only 1 guy who really matters – djokovic. so either call it numero uno or big 3. this is grass we are talking about. rafa has not won a title outside clay in 20 months!

King Federer Says:

there is a 2000+ point difference between novak and his b!tch, and 750 b/w novak’s b!tch and federer. and 2000+ between federer and murray.

so, you either call this a one man tour, or a trivalry!

but ofcourse raf@tards are even more stupid than novak’s b!tch, so i donot expect them to get that.

Nirmal Kumar Says:


LMAO, you really got messed up by Roge’s recent results. I thought Rafa won the FO, not Novak. Rafa won their last 3 matches, in the finals. Not sure which years tennis results you have been following. I hope you are not using a time machine and looking at what was happening in 2007.

You have to get back to reality.

Mark Says:

@ King Fart. And whose bitch are you?? Moron!!

madmax Says:

Federer said that the record seventh French Open title won by rival Rafael Nadal in Monday’s conclusion to a rain-hit final in Paris just shows the intense quality at the top of the game.

“We have the great fortune that so many top players are playing well at the same time. This means there are always these top duels, these fantastic matches, and that deserves respect,” Federer said.

As for Nadal now holding 11 titles at the majors to the 16 of the Swiss, Federer he’s not worried by that either as he concentrates on his own form and grass game. Nadal will also be playing Halle and is also due a Thursday start in the second round after a bye.

“I don’t worry day and night that Rafa could catch up with me. He played a great tournament in Paris and proved that he is the dominating figure on clay.

“He was born to play on clay and be successful on it. But as far as this Grand Slam record is concerned, I’m sure even he is not thinking about that right now,” Federer said.

The Swiss, who is in his comfort zone in Halle, is looking forward to playing the event with Nadal involved.

“It’s a great achievement to get Rafa and me to take part here, it’s a coup. But this will not be just the big Rafa and Roger show,” he said of a tournament which also features number seven Tomas Berdych and Canadian Milos Raonic in the field.

Federer called his near-annual visits to Halle “like a working holiday.”

“I can get over the strains of Paris here and then attack again. It’s certainly different to Paris, where you are among 400, 500

different players and here you are with maybe 50,” he said.

“It is a totally different atmosphere – an intimate one, particularly when the final rounds are still quite relaxing.”

Haven’t read all posts yet, but will do so now. In the meantime, Federer’s words on Rafa’s success and looking forward to the grass season.

madmax Says:

And I won’t get into all these Federer injury excuses. If his hip, back, etc, are really that bad or hamper his play that much then why commit to Halle? Money? Loyalty? Why risk it with Wimbledon and the Olympics just around the corner? That is unless there’s really no concern at all, which is what I think (remember Nadal and his bad shoulder and knee at the start of year?).

Sean, Federer wouldn’t lie about his injury, I read it was more sore and if you see the clip where he did slip, he only mentioned it once, so give the guy a break will you. I know you want to sit on the fence right now and appear to be “fair”, but federer is the last person to go on about injuries.

He has every chance of winning Wimbledon and I am going to be there to watch in the SFs.

He committed to Halle for a life time. Makes no difference you including that here. He withdrew last year for the reasons that you reported here, why so cruel?

King Federer Says:

last i checked, rafa has not beaten djokovic outside clay in 20 months.

oh btw, wimbledon is on GRASS – NOT CLAY. so raf@farts can keep deluding themselves, but rafa doesn’t have a title outside clay in 20 months. no, not even those easy 3 setters called masters are 500s.

bageled by even murray. haha! that must be pathetic! what kind of a jack@$$ gets bageled by murray? oh yea, novak’s b!tch, that’s who!

grendel Says:

conty – it’s a shame you feel silenced. Your opinion on the Fed/Delpo match would be valued. There’s a fair amount of intolerance on this site, often masquerading as virility. Well, I can’t really complain – I’ve thrown a few brickbats myself; strange how this sort of infantilism – and that’s all it is really – can be so hard to shake off.

Dennis Potter once did a play where all the middle aged characters where dressed as schoolchildren. What about where all the elderly ones mix with the middle aged and the comparatively youthful as infants, barely out of the pram? After a while, you’d barely notice the difference, I’m sure. Growing up seems to be difficult.

Meanwhile, there’s a real story about how people attach to their heroes, idols, favourites, however you want to put it. Traditionally, heretics (as opposed to opponents)always cause the greatest offence. This is true in politics and religion, and it is clearly also the case in sport, judging by the tennis sites. I suppose this is to be expected. Curious, all the same.

Polo Says:

Does it matter if a player claims injuries or offer excuses for losing? Why do people here got so discombobulated when an athlete says he has aches and pains or suffers from an illness? They are human and they play or work out all the time thus, it is not entirely unexpected to get aches and pains.These athletes can say anything they want but what matters is what happens in the court.

tennisfan Says:

@King Federer…please remove federer name from your nick as you don’t deserve to be a fan of federer…

King Federer Says:

polo, to quote some raf@tards from another site :

rafa never loses when he is fit.

injuries were not such a big issue before nadal started the whole circus from 2007 wimbledon….. i cannot remember any injuries grabbing headlines before that!

athletes in all sports play with all sorts of issues. STFU and play.

the problem here is not delpotro, who refused to take the bait, but fans who have been accustomed to this injury talk.

Polo Says:

@King Federer

Some people are plainly gullible. Those are the ones who don’t just believe what their idols say but also blow them up into humongous fictinalized stories.

King Federer Says:

tennis fan :

stop breathing. you dont deserve to live.

stop telling people what they need to do. unless they are raf@f@rts, they have a mind of their own, and they will not listen to you.

King Federer Says:

tennis has some real issues – the prominent one being abuse of injury timeouts, time violations and the shrieking of women. i hope someone has the coj0nes to step up and improve on these issues.

if you watch football, it is devoid of such stupidity. unfortunately tennis has only a handful of stars and most of them are immature or juvenile and donot respect the spirit of the game.

i know, some dumb@$$e$ will even argue about this, but tennis could use a lot of stars who are impeccable on court like federer – playing the game as it should be and not bending rules to suit themselves. racquet breaking once in a while is fine, but when you abuse injury time-outs and use injuries to explain losses and take forever to start a point and scream like you are a pig in labour, you are a liability for the sport.

a lot of people i know, think tennis has too much idle time and players of the rafa generation are only increasing that perception.

King Federer Says:

i agree polo and most of the tennis writers are not visionaries and they donot call out people when they transgress.

if rafa was penalised points in the very beginning for his time-delaying and questionable medical time-outs, we wouldn’t have reached this point where players thing “it is all part of the game”. such pathetic behaviour in football would be called out and nipped in the bud. unfortunately tennis needs people who can write unbiased without any personal agendas and sucking upto their favourites!

fans can do that, but not the media and definitely not the umps/refrees!

Swiss Maestro Says:

I am glad rafa won the FO. He truly is the King of Clay.

special wishes to alison who is the best rafa fan i have known online.

I really hope Roger can dig deep and make one strong push in the grass season, so that he might

a) get a slam

b) the no.1 ranking

c) both!

come on fed, we believe in you Maestro!

Polo Says:

Tennis officiating leaves too much to be destined. The umpires and referees defer too much to big names players and allow them to transgress the rules. Too much and too obvious time delays and medical time outs. I always hated those medical time outs. There is no other sport that stops the game just to attend to whatever ailment a player claims, real or imagined. They should not stop play. If one is injured, he either forfeits or play injured. This medical time out makes tennis look like a sissy sport, with sissies crying for help whenever they feel some pain.

Swiss Maestro Says:

Polo and King Federer :

I agree on your views about tennis officiating! If nothing i hope they tape up sharapova and azarenka’s nasty mouths!

Sport is not just about winning. It is about how you play. at the end of the day, someone loses another wins. What matters is how you play. Sharapova may win a few Grandslams but compare her to Graf, navratilova, evert or even hingis, how special were they?

El Mago Says:

Federer needs to win one of wimbledon, olympics or USopen :)

Polo Says:

@Swiss Maestro:

Please, don’t even mention women’s tennis. After the Graf era, watching it has ceased being fun. It induces deafness and high blood pressure… and makes misogyny almost acceptable.

Mark Says:

Am still revelling in Nadal’s SEVENTH FRENCH OPEN title. All the accolades are still coming thick and fast. What a feat and what a CHAMPION!! Vamos Rafa!!!

Kimberly Says:

Love Sharapova and Azarenka. They make womens tennis exciting with their big games. Would you rather watch Bartoli and Radwanska counter punching?

Kimberly Says:

agree Mark, makes the heat loss a little less painful. Not much. Thankfully I was half asleep which would never happen normally. Thursday will be unpleasant. Tickets for my normal seats at over $1000 a seat. Unless they come down I am not going.

jane Says:

Not sure where to post about the on-going events – here are some updates

Roddick lost in the first round at Queens to Roger-Vasselin. Cilic, Dimitrov and F-Lo won. Actually, I wonder if Cilic might be good at Wimbledon; he’s had some nice matches on grass.

Murray’s playing Mahut now – lost the first set.

At Halle, Berydch, Youz and Raonic all won. Raonic won his match 6-1,6-1. I think he meets Fed next round.

RZ Says:

I think it really is a Big 2 with Fed playing the primary spoiler, Murray playing the secondary spoiler, and Ferrer, Berdych, Delpo, and Tsonga playing occasional (and by that I mean rare) spoilers.

I still think that Fed has one more slam in him – a golden run but things would have to work out in his favor in the draw (think Madrid, Indian Wells). Could happen – look what happened in the women’s F.O. with Sharapova’s draw. Not saying that she wouldn’t have won anyway, but obviously having all the top seeds (except Kvitova) lose before having to play her certainly helped.

the mind reels Says:

Meanwhile, Murray is down a set to Mahut at Queen’s, and it looks like they are going to a tiebreaker.

Roddick has already lost.

jane Says:

Mahut does play well on grass; he is serving to force a second set tiebreak: attacking the net per usual. There are streams at sport lemon or livescore hunter for anyone interested.

jane Says:

Murray takes the second set tiebreak (some lovely volleying) and now they are level.

Mark Says:

Rafa’s watch was stolen by the hotel barman. Watch retrieved and police have arrested barman.

jane Says:

Murray better be careful here: deuce, serving at 4-5.

jane Says:

Third set tiebreak – mini break to Mahut.

jane Says:

5-0 Mahut – and almost ALL on Murray errors. Tough first round match but still disappointing.

courbon Says:

@wog boy:Good one!Those noles gangsters…That was funny

jane Says:

Well both Andys, Roddick and Murray, now out at Queens. Tsonga’s just warming up.

Fot Says:

So… Roddick looses in Queens; Murray looses in Queens… Remember when people use to complain that Roger played Halle (to ‘duct’ the strong field in Queens). Look now… Halle seems to have the strongest field now with Rafa and Roger and Berdych and others…. And Roger has supported this tournament from the start. Good for him.

So Murray fans…what’s his excuse now? The back? Hip? Stomach? leg? jaw? What?

jane Says:

Fot, I think it’s Lendl. ;) Seriously though, Mahut is a former finalist at Queens and he always plays well on grass, so a tough first rounder. BUT, Murray was patchy today; he served well but way too many errors. His movement didn’t seem great; he was still sliding.

the mind reels Says:

@FoT: oh, c’mon…take it easy on the Murray fans. They haven’t offered any excuses for his loss (here’s one: Mahut can be quite good on grass, as jane noted above), at least not yet, so let’s not get so combative.

Brando Says:

What the hell happened? Come home from work, check BBC expecting news of a Murray win and he’s lost! I had him as 2nd fav for wimby (shake of head) ….:-(

Polo Says:

I hope all this losses do not completely erode Murrray’s confidence and his interest in the game. He has been taking so many backward steps.

jane Says:

Baghdatis just lost, too, to Lukas Rosol. Lots of upsets at Queens so far!

andrea Says:

we should also be saying hats off to perennial nadal whipping boy david ferrer, who denied rafa his opportunity to hold all four grand slams simultaneously at the AO 2011. no one saw that coming.

Mark Says:

@ andrea “no one saw that coming”. Nadal had a 2cm tear in his hamstring and played and completed the match through the injury.

Mark Says:

Rafa and Granollers win their first round doubles match in Halle. Vamos boys!!!

jane Says:

Tsonga’s through, played nicely: he’s now the top seed at Queens. Querrey’s also through (he’s won here hasn’t he?) and Nalby’s playing right now, on serve.

conty Says:

grendel, it’s not that I feel silenced; but realize everyone watches what they want to see in a match. Tennis-x Fed fan posters are some of my most dear. I don’t like offending them. Very few can simply call a match objectively, imo. There were some on FO radio that could, but Matt Cronin wasn’t one of them. Most of the time I mute the US commentators when watching and prefer listening to the match called over the website radio for RG, FO, and AO. Have no choice for US Open. They cater so much to what they think US fans want to hear. Tennis sells itself to me, but I suppose they know best how to market the sport in the US. I cannot stand the US commentator Bob Roll or Brits, Paul Sherwin and Phil Ligget calling TDF on Versus- the channel here in the US for TDF. Irishman, Sean Kelly, sure, he was a great cyclist, knows the names of riders, no matter where they are from, and calls a fair race. Eurosport in general has better commentators in the 2 sports I watch most: cycling and tennis. World Cup Skiing is a short season.Appreciate having coverage of it at all.

Delpo started great actually that match- he was hitting his forehand like it was US Open O9. Also serving well, really well; playing like he had a plan to beat Federer, too. But after the 2nd set Delpo called a doctor to the court and they consulted. It was ominous to me, because Delpo could not push off that bad knee and couldn’t play to the level he did. Federer realized it and played well, utilizing the advantage he saw by moving Delpo around. But the 1st 2 sets, Delpo was dictating to Federer. That’s what I saw. The best man won, the most fittest to go to the next round. Did I see that win as a great performance by Federer? no. Delpo absolutely would not mention his knee in the post-match interview. All class, Delpo. Federer didn’t need to mention it. I just hoped Delpo has something treatable wrong with the knee like Nadal has, and gets the same procedure, if that’s the case. But Delpo stoically played out the match; at one point I wondered maybe he would have something reserved for the 5th; but he didn’t. Kudos to Delpo. He wasn’t going to disappoint fans and give up in a big match. But he took it easy, knowing he’d played his last card winning those 1st 2 sets. That’s the way it goes. Federer, I can hope is saving something for the rest of the season, but who knows.

jane Says:

Right conty, and of course Delpo pulled out of Queens due to his knee injury:

conty Says:

Sounds like a play worth looking up, that Dennis Potter one! lol.

Never heard of it but like the idea already, grendel.

About Fans…I don’t know. I’m no psychologist expert in sports fanaticism. But have spent my time rolling around in the muck when 1st started posting and prefer not to troll the trolls now. The provocateurs, as the French call them.

andrea Says:

@ mark

ah yes, the injury. lest we forget.

no one saw that coming.

conty Says:

Oh jane, I can’t multitask. meant radio FO, Wimbledon and AO…for the most part have good commentators, fair ones. Matt Cronin, has lots of knowledge but loves hearing himself talk.

Thanks for the link.

grendel Says:

conty – I missed the first 2 sets, because I didn’t realise it was on, the Tsonga/Djkovic match, I think it was, was on at the same time and it was pretty exciting.

That’s a real shame about the delPo injury. Apart from anything else, you do have to wonder if he’ll ever be fully fit throughout a big tournament again. Size confers some advantages, but they seem to be easily outweighed by the disadvantages. Another tiresome thing about this from the spectator’s point of view is that del Potro is probably the only player, apart from Djokovic, who might give Nadal a run for his money at RG. Just have to keep fingers crossed for next year.

So far as commentators are concerned, we are well served, I believe, with Eurosport and Skysports with one proviso. For some unknow reason, Sky have taken on, from the BBC, the oleaginous creep Andrew Castle. This is a man who commentates as if people are there to listen to him rather than watch the tennis. So apart from being a toady, he is also very self-important, and raises his voice in a revoltingly theatrical way. Perhaps the BBC wanted to get shot of him.

conty Says:

The link makes me sad. Truly bad luck, all of Delpo’s injuries. Maybe in time he’ll know how to prevent what. Rather see him miss Wimbledon and go for Olympics and get a medal for Argentina. Then play well US hc season/ indoor season.

jane Says:

Very true what grendel says about size: advantages and disadvantages. I heard Courier has been commentating for, I think, Eurosport, is that correct? I am sure I’ve heard him on streaming. Anyhow, I like ex-players as commentators because they have some truly intimate knowledge that others don’t.

Nalbandian seems to be coming along at Queens, but Pospisl took at set off him yesterday so I am not sure how far he’ll go. Haven’t yet watched him live.

Tsonga, though, looked VERY comfortable already on the grass, very happy. He will be the biggest dark horse at Wimbledon, imo. More than Delpo (especially considering the knee) and Raonic.

The commentators I was listening to during his match with Baker think Tsonga won’t wiin a slam, though, mainly due to mental frailties. Hmmm.

Mark Says:

@Andrea. Get your facts straight before you post!

the mind reels Says:

I know people have commented one way or the other on the duo of Jason Goodall and Robbie Koenig, but for my money those two guys take the cake. I’m a Tennis Channel viewer in the States, and those guys show up for the Masters 1000 events (and I think some of the 500 events), which makes for an extra treat watching.

They’ll often let a point or two (maybe even a game) go by without much, if any, commentary, which seems like better pacing than the constant blabbering of John McEnroe, Mary Carrillo, and Ted Robinson, the third of which has never really added anything of substance to any match I’ve seen with him commenting.

I noticed more so than usual during the final on Sunday/Monday that McEnroe would say some statistic (“That was the first winner Djokovic has hit in this set.” or something to that effect), and about 10 seconds later, Carrillo would chime in with…the exact same statistic. What? Ugh.


conty Says:

Yes, it’s true about size. Look at Raonic too. Hope he can work out the injuries.

Results today: oh not Murray losing to Mahut, please. Poor Margot. Well, Mahut is good; I don’t know what to think of Andy Murray. Andy Roddick is almost done, that’s no surprise.

Dimitrov beat Muller, for what that’s worth and Tsonga through easily. Simon, lost to Bolleli?

Dolgo lost to Youzhny in Halle.

Have to pay attention, in case, hoping Kimberly will still have me in the Wimbles bracket? challenge ;)

conty Says:

Completely agree on Goodall and Koenig, TMR.

Also the blabbering…it’s like they have to talk all the time, those Network Commentators. If they called the scores like on RG radio, it’s enough. But Matt Cronin gets on and non-stop blab. Likewise with cycling and the 2 brits/ 1 US guy commentating on Versus. Maybe they all think we only want to be fed what their opinion is and will buy it and perhaps that’s good if you are a casual fan. What I want is to watch the race or the match.

conty Says:

My complaint with Tennis Channel is that they don’t show live matches; their programming is something I don’t understand. I can stream live from Halle and Queens but Tennis Channel isn’t tuned into it. I guess their hands are tied when it comes to live rights in instances like this? FO coverage was a disappointment, when in my time zone, matches on NBC were not shown live and Tennis Channel was showing something else. Then, they switch live coverage for the FO final to Versus…happen to have Versus for cycling but otherwise wouldn’t have it! Default to the dependable live streams from Europe is what I do when I have time.

conty Says:

jane, I miss Powell’s so much! Is there a Powell’s in Vancouver, BC? Or, did you visit the mothership downtown Portland, Or.?

Harry thanks for you kind words, I was digressing. That router problem was actually comical, if you had been there. SNL skit material – it went on for 2 days between the BF and me…he didn’t want to listen to me. But when I entered the closet and made the stereo speakers work throughout the condo, he started believing me about the router. But nothing was ever fixed with Time-Warner, lol. So typical sexist…that whole thing!

jane Says:

Portland, conty. Have spent literally hours in all the rooms and floors of that store.

CM Says:

Well I should have known better. There is nothing absolutely nothing good you Sean Randall can say about Federer. This site is for Rafa fans. So I should know better. I shall stay away from this site, that is the best I can do for myself.

jamie Says:

My predictions:

Wimbledon Nadal
Olympics Nadal
USO Djokovic or Federer
WTF Djokovic or Federer

These are the only big titles left this year.

Kimberly Says:

Conty–your participation is essential to the success of the bracket challenge and you are one of livlier members unlike others who never reveal themselves. So study up.

BUT, as I said on the bracket site, Alejandrobello will remain a 6’3 south american orthopedic surgeon who is an ex college tennis and basketball player and charitable to boot. He is also a huge Rafa fan and Heat fan as well with access to center lower bowl seats behind the heat bench for free.

grendel Says:

Tsonga, commenting on Mahut’s defeat of Murray, said Mahut was one of the best grasscourters in the world. This raises an interesting distinction. Because in a sense, Tsonga is right. Mahut is a fine grasscourter.

But on the other hand, if he really was one of the best in the world on grass, surely he would be regarded as a prospect for the Wimbledon title, and of course he isn’t. And that’s because all sorts of players whom you wouldn’t regard as grasscourters would certainly beat Mahut.

This is a linguistic problem, and not a tennis one, but it is still quite curious. Should we say that Nadal, Verdasco, Berdych, del Potro, for that matter Murray etc etc, all of whom would be huge favourites to beat Mahut at Wimbledon are, therefore, honourary grass court players? Or might we say: so far as grass court specialists are concerned, Mahut is one of the very best, possibly even the best. But as it happens, there are many hard court and clay court specialists who happen to be much better tennis players than Mahut, and therefore would be expected to beat him at Wimbledon, notwithstanding he is a grass court specialsist and they are not?

This is a trivial question, of course, of little interest to anyone I suspect, but it kind of intrigues me. Of course, the problem arises in the first place because grass courts are so rare. If the grass court season was, say, two or three months long, then you could be sure there would be far more grass court specialists, including some big names.

First up tomorrow is Mahut against Dimitrov. I look forward to watching that one.

Kimberly Says:

Jane love the article.

boss Says:


Didn’t you say that Federer would win Wimbledon and Nadal USO. And that Djoker was screwed for the rest of the year at slams? Are the predictions you posted above YOUR random predictions or astrological predictions?

jamie Says:


Mine, based on gut feeling.

conty Says:

Kimberly, ironically, i went on the bracket and read your message to me just now, thanks. so glad you aren’t mad at me! but you have to know I left a message there about the picture switcharoo. I went there wondering if ‘superlamb’ had introduced her/himself at long last but no. Do we know for sure allejandrobello isn’t Daniel? And, where is Alison these days?

Grendel, there is a lot of linguistic bias problems within the English speaking media. One would get the impression from listening to mainstream cycling on Versus that only English speaking cyclists are clean and the best. Tennis tends to pump up the English speaking tennis players. But Eurosport and Radio commentators, in general know others and highlight their talents; especially in cycling. From listening to Phil Ligget, Paul Sherwin, and Bob Roll, wouldn’t know any other riders are as great as the Sky team, US teams, Aussie riders, ect. Spaniards are bad, East Europeans = bad. That’s the message the send the casual cyclist fan in the US. Of course in tennis, they have to pump up certain Spanish players and that Swiss guy; but some are slow to compliment Novak Djokovic, imo.

jane, that makes me smile; you’ve been there and love Powell’s like I do. Could kill an entire afternoon there easily and miss it. And I had the book’s name wrong by Arthur C. Clarke, it was “Childhood’s End” not “Children’s End.” But returned all the paperbacks I had to Powell’s before moving from Portland. I love used books, used CD’s.

jamie Says:

This year reminds me a lot of 2008.

conty Says:

And Kimberly, that’s a nice compliment but really, the bracket challenge would be fine without me. I’m the one who loves the bracket challenge, lol…

But I don’t like those mysterious monikers winning the bracket. Really peeps, we welcome you! do not hesitate to introduce yourself, at least on the bracket, ‘superlamb’ and others being anonymous. Of course that’s your decision. But for now then, tuity fruity, aka margot, won! hehe…

Steve 27 Says:

Federer has too much WTF jamie, what are the chance of Nadal of win at least one of his career?
What are the chance of Djokovic be the best on the Australian Open?
What are the chances of Murray finally win one major?
Difficult talks, Hard to predict, isn’t it?

the DA Says:


Mahut is a former Queens finalist and beat Nadal there in 2007. he may not be a wimbledon contender but he can pose problems in best of 3.

jatt Says:

I agree Jamie.

Here are my predictions for rest of the year:-

1) Wimbledon – Rafa

2) Olympics – Rafa

3) US Open – Djokovic

Kimberly Says:

Conty, Wimbledon will start out with colino7 photos but I will try to capture the theme of the day each day like I did in Australia, ie baghdatis smashing a racket, someone fighting with umpire, if there are no dramatic occurrences colino7 will be featured.

I would never be mad at you. I love Nadal but I don’t even know the guy. We are people first and fans second. I love how lively you are on the bracket challenge and I know myself and the other participants all enjoy your presence.

Tennis channel showing the replay from NBC too bad. If thy had their own commentators I would re watch but even seeing rafa win not worth listening to Mary Carillo any more than necessary.

Ok so superlamb????? You won your time to brag?? And Dave you promised Wimbledon, I am anxious to see your bracket skills! Please!!!!

Kimberly Says:

Dear everyone

I did real good on the bracket you see I picked nadal to win and I didn’t win but I beated a lot of grown ups you know. Not sure how Andy and Andy lost to two players who stink today and silly Melanie Oudin won her match when she is a horrible player. See you in Wimbledon where I will do really well because Americans are good on grass they stink on red clay especially red clay in Europe. I’m sure John Isner will do great an maybe play quarterfinals. That’s all bye bye

Love Colin O7

Andrew Miller Says:

I agree with Mr. Randall. After reading though I thought:

At slams, really is the big 2 – Nadal/Djokovic, since Federer hasn’t been able to play through either of them since the French Open 2011. They have won all slams in 2011 and 2012.

Outside slams, it’s the big 3 at Masters.

At smaller tournaments, it’s the top 10 or so, with a few surprises here and there.

harry Says:

conty, dont mention it — the thing with your posts is that i can visualize the events as if they happen right before me :) well, i like grendel’s take on things too, even if i tend to disagree with many of them ;)

metan Says:

@ mark, let others quack quack quack abt our guy, don’t bother with it. RAFA WILL PROVE IT,,,,,,

GOOD NEWS, MY FT SAID, THIS YEAR IS VERY GOOD YEAR FOR HIM, HE’LL GET A LOT OF UNEXPECTED FORTUNES IN HIS BUSSINES, imo, he is gonna break a lot of records, ,,, so let’s see, if not, I’ll break my ft’s nose,,,,,,,hahaha

conty Says:

harry, tx. grendel is a writer, must be. Usually learn something from his posts like “oleaginous”. I had to look that word up. On a multiple choice vocabulary quiz, good chance of me getting it right but not only does it mean oily but smarmy and fawning, lol, perfect word for Bob Roll and Phil Liggett when they constantly mention Lance Armstrong during last TDF and Armstrong wasn’t riding. Of course they wouldn’t miss a chance mention Contador in a disparaging way every chance they got.

Don’t know where to post this but just read it. Seems like my favorite nerdy sport of cycling is about to blow itself up. But that’s cycling. The true fans, the journalists never give up trying to crack the Omerta. Ex-teammates of Armstrong and former pro’s like Greg Lamond aren’t hesitant to give up Lance. They know the truth and in many cases Landis and other teammates were taught by Armstrong. I’m not happy about this, nor did I want to believe it; but realize it is fair and will send the right exact message; I blame those who prepare these athletes from a young age: the doctors, team managers (Bruyneel, former pro Belgian star), middlemen, corrupt UCI; even parents probably know something. And the “never testing positive” excuse means nothing when UCI and others hide the truth for a sum of payments over time, of course.

conty Says:

Aw, thanks, Kimberly.

Colin O7. haha…about Americans stinking on red clay; and yes, you did beat a lot of grown-ups. I think soon you will win one of these bracket challenges. I’m always impressed with your early round picking luck and of course, you made the smartest pick for the winner. Congrats!

harry Says:

conty — i dont have a take on cycling and athletics with all the associated complications due to the testing… doesnt one day’s hero become the next day’s villain? and what about the false positive rate? and what if the bad stuff proves to be not so bad in the future? and would they then reinstate the prizes that were taken away? i understand that it is bad for health — but what if the athlete is willing to take that risk? should there then be two separate competitions — one for the risk takers and the other for the purists?

Michael Says:


If ATP gives the Top 2 a choice to choose their Semis opponent, I bet there would be a big fight between Rafa and Novak to pick Roger in their half.

The age factor cannot be sidelined. Roger is 31 while Nadal is 26 and Novak 25. That makes a big difference. Moreover, when compared with his illustrious predecessors, Roger has been more consistent even now when he is aged which was not the case then. It is to his credit that he gets beaten only by the top players even now rather than being getting beaten by “B” and “C” class players. By the way, Murray has been beaten in the first round of Aegon classic by a little known Mahut and this is now becoming more like a ritual and yet you want to include him in the top four whereas you want Roger to be excluded. I just cannot understand your logic ???

Nims Says:


I understand the change in guard, which is by product of Roger’s age. It’s pretty much understood. With the way Murray is going, probably it’s not right to call him with Roger, who is most consistent of the remaining 8 in the Top10.

But based on his results he cannot be clubbed with Top 2 too, since he cannot beat them consistently in the majors.

We need to give it to Roger and call him a special case, rather than mixing him with others.

My only concern is, there is no point in gloating about Roger’s past, and make him a favourite in the GS, when based on current form he may not deserve that title.

Roger playing is just a honor and privilege for tennis. Atleast he is there to play Tennis of pure bliss, compared to the athletic brutality the tennis has become now.

But when it comes to big titles, let’s limit the expectations with the Top 2.

Today’s big titles are being won by better athletes, not necessarily better Tennis players. I think this is going to stay for few more years.

I just can’t imagine Roger at 30+ is going to improve his athletic skills. If it’s a matter of Tennis skills, I would definitely trust him.

King Federer Says:

nole/rafa would rather want fed in their half and not murray @USO/wimbledon! oookay! thanks for the laughs. now go back before mommy catches you browsing!

Dave Says:

Kimberly: “Dave you promised Wimbledon, I am anxious to see your bracket skills!” Haha, no skills, just luck :) I’ll definitely try as long as I have time between the Wimbledon draw and the bracket deadline.


It’s easy to get addicted to Nadal and Djokovic’s expressive body language — but that does not necessarily translate into victories down the road. I’m not sure Nadal is “back on top” from winning three matches on his favorite clay against Djokovic, each in questionable circumstances: Djokovic’s family death in Monte Carlo, Rome’s rain delayed final (when Novak probably wanted to leave ASAP before French Open) and the French Open final’s weird partly dry, wet and wetter match. Djokovic is surely going to write off those clay matches in those terms — and see grass and hardcourts as a new chapter, like last year. We’ll see over Wimbledon and US Open. [Stopping a “Four Slammer” three times against two different players on Rafa’s favorite surface is quite an achievement — but the more significant achievement would have been if Nadal had come as close to achieving the ‘four Slammer’ when he had the chance to do so in 2011 Australian. Instead it soon fizzled into a drama about his illness at Doha singles/doubles and injury at Australian Open.]

I’m not so sure on Djokovic either. With the pressure off, Novak might turn in “stronger, more consistent play from him going forward” — or with the pressure off he might breathe a sigh of relief and just stutter into a slump now that his run has been broken. We’ll know by the end of Wimbledon. He has not stumbled through a major like this since 2010, though it could be due to the pressure. Those stellar moments against Federer and Nadal were not inconceivable — the rain turned Nadal’s shots into sitting ducks for Novak to hit (and make Rafa look like a novice for 8 games) and the smart Serbian team surely knew that Federer was injured and struggling (so Djokovic basically had to do what Delpo did by taking it to Fed early — except he executed for three sets, despite the second set stumbles). Regardless, over the last 1.5 years Novak has been closest to approaching Federer’s level of consistent achievement during his 2004 to 2007 years.

We have to accept that (1) tennis history proves contenders continually emerge to challenge the established top players and (2) history proves most pundits cannot predict when a contender will emerge. No one expected Federer to dominate like he did on the eve of 2003 Wimbledon. Before 2011 Australian Open, virtually no one outside Serbia saw even Djokovic emerging (not even Sean, see link… ok, not even me either, lol). But something clicked (either in Djokovic’s head of in his CVAC Pod) and his x-factor turned on. In the same way, we simply don’t know when the x-factor will suddenly turn on for Andy Murray, Juan Martin Del Potro, Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, Milos Raonic, Bernard Tomic, Ryan Harrison, Grigor Dimitrov, David Goffin or someone totally unexpected — but it happens in tennis history. Even if it turns on for a match or two, that could be enough to knock off Nadal or Djokovic from Slam contention this year. Recently, I was having some fun ‘debating’ Allen St John (co-author of “The Mad Dog 100: The Greatest Sports Arguments of All Time”) and he too makes the mistake of thinking in a linear way — what happened in the past is going to be repeated in the future.

Dave Says:

When a person says “I won’t get into all these Federer injury excuses”, you expect him not to get into the issue, right? Wrong. He gets into “If his hip, back, etc, are really that bad or hamper his play that much then why commit to Halle? Money? Loyalty? Why risk it with Wimbledon and the Olympics just around the corner? That is unless there’s really no concern at all, which is what I think (remember Nadal and his bad shouder and knee at the start of year?)”. OK, what’s wrong with this picture?

– Arguably no tournament’s marketing is more closely tied to one player than Federer is with Halle. Federer has a unique lifelong contract with Halle to appear there if he plays Wimbledon. He skipped Halle in 2007 (groin injury), 2009 (won French Open), 2011 (groin injury). Federer is the central figure in Halle’s 20th birthday celebrations, and they even named a street after him. So there is a business reason for Federer to be in Halle, at least for a few days. We don’t know at this stage how long Federer will be playing in Halle. he would do what Nadal does at Queens: play two rounds, get his appearance fee and go home.

– Don’t expect an insinuation to be right if you insinuate that Mr. Integrity (“I’ve-never-retired-in-my-long-career-and-rarely-called-for-trainer-yet-you-still-don’t believe-me”) is comparable to Mr. Shady (“boy-who-cries-wolf-and-then-cries-wolf-even-more).

– Pundits are stuck in a time warp when they treat Federer as a 25-year just like Nadal and Djokovic, but I guess that’s a compliment.We’re not talking about a young player in his physical prime like Nadal — whose injuries should be healing much faster — but a player in his 30s who will be more prone to picking injuries that take longer to heal.

– Federer has a long history of playing through pain, injury and sickness (e.g., 2005 Tennis Masters Cup despite still recovering from an ankle ligament tear). Unless the injury is a tear, most players are still able to play (even though their game is compromised) with knee, hip and back injuries — while simultaneously working with their therapists to heal these injuries.

– Where else is Federer going to find a grass court set up a bit like Wimbledon’s grass (Halle uses the same grass-soil mix, but it’s on fitted pallets) — certainly not in Switzerland. Federer is Mr. Exhibition. Even injured, he can do what he did at Roland Garros. First, he can practice lightly on the grass — which he needs if he is going to be in better shape for Wimbledon this year than he was last year (when he didn’t play Halle). Second, however, he wants to avoid what happened in 2010 — when he picked up a leg injury at Halle that almost led to a first round defeat at Wimbledon (to a clay court player he rolled over in French Open a few weeks earlier) and later contributed to a quarterfinal loss. For 250 points, Halle is not worth fighting to the death. So Federer will try to win his matches without worsening his injury. If a matches with Mayer, Raonic or Berdych/Nadal gets into a dogfight — or his injury shows signs of worsening — he can always tank the match.


“But returning to No. 1 is looking like a tougher and tougher proposition with each passing week for Fed. Not only does he have to deal with Nadal, now he’s got Djokovic and there’s still Murray and maybe Del Potro who’ll hopefully be a factor during the summer hardcourts. He’ll likely have to beat two of those four to win a Slam, maybe more.”

Returning to number one requires thinking smart and seeing the big picture, not thinking like a loser and getting stuck in the bushes — you need to have a strategy on when and where you want to put your most efforts to win. For Fed, things are still going according to the basic plan.

Federer made 250 more points (2080 – 1830) during this year’s clay season than last year’s clay season. With a hip injury it would have been stupid for Federer to risk his year by fighting to the death Djokovic at Roland Garros for a mere 420 more points. Even if he won that match, he was unlikely to beat Nadal in his physical condition.

It’s in the grass season that Federer stands to reap the most benefits. Last year he won only 360 points from a Wimbledon quarterfinal. This year he can make as much as 3,000 points from Halle (250), Wimbledon (2,000) and Olympics (750).

There is a mathematical chance for Federer to return to No. 1 by the end of the grass season if these ‘rigged draws’ finally throw some power players and difficult draws at Nadal and Djokovic at Wimbledon and Olympics (and US Open). It’s ridiculous that Federer got to play Del Potro five times this year and play Raonic three times this year (assuming Fed beats Mayer next match). The law of averages should send these players to Djokovic and Nadal over the next few months. If Federer keeps drawing these players and Nadal/Djokovic keep getting easy draws, how long can a coincidence be a coincidence?

We’ll know by the end of US Open, whether or not Federer can deal with Nadal and Djokovic over the next three months — when it matters in matches that win the most points for him. Federer has beaten Delpo all five times this year (even with a hip injury at French Open). Federer has beaten Murray at all grand slam meetings and in straight sets at Dubai the only time they met this year — so we should consider what you said (“After so many opportunities, it just doesn’t look like Andy Murray has that necessary next gear, and under Lendl he might even be regressing”). Frankly, I think that Murray is going through what happens to most players when he start working with a new coach — their mind and game gets screwed up for the next six months or more because they’re second guessing themselves in decision making and applying new plays (it happened to Federer with Tony Roche in the first half of 2005 as well).

Michael Says:


My only concern is, there is no point in gloating about Roger’s past, and make him a favourite in the GS, when based on current form he may not deserve that title.

Yeah past doesn’t matter. We live for the present and I tend to agree with you that his chances are very slim considering that he has to beat both Novak and Nadal back-to-back. It is highly improbable if not impossible especially at his age. May be with the early exit of these two or may be even one in any of the major, Roger might be with a chance. But it is getting tough to add on to his 16.

just can’t imagine Roger at 30+ is going to improve his athletic skills. If it’s a matter of Tennis skills, I would definitely trust him.

Needless to say that is the case. Age at over 30 restricts your movements rather drastically. However, if Roger has been still able to hold on it is only because of his tennis skills which are extraordinary.

But based on his results he cannot be clubbed with Top 2 too, since he cannot beat them consistently in the majors.

He is No.3 for a reason which means he is inferior to the top Two who are more consistent.

Roger playing is just a honor and privilege for tennis. Atleast he is there to play Tennis of pure bliss, compared to the athletic brutality the tennis has become now.

I agree. There is nothing more cheering for a Tennis Fan than watching Roger in full flow. Roger plays painless Tennis pleasing to watch.

But when it comes to big titles, let’s limit the expectations with the Top 2.

Yes for the moment I need to agree with you. Things may change tomorrow.

Today’s big titles are being won by better athletes, not necessarily better Tennis players. I think this is going to stay for few more years.

Are Nadal and Novak not better Tennis players ?? May be, they lack the flamboyance of Roger, but you cannot fault with their tennis level. It is of a very high standard.

Nims Says:


Are Nadal and Novak not better Tennis players ?

I believe their skills are extraordinary compared to any other players past and present, but not at the level of Roger, IMO.

My skills comparison is only based on the Top 3 players. But when you look up at the matchup between the 3 players, I believe Roger beats them on Tennis skills, and the other two beat Roger on athletic skills.

I’m definitely not in the group who thinks Rafa and Novak are one dimensional. They are supreme tennis players.

madmax Says:


Today’s big titles are being won by better athletes, not necessarily better Tennis players. I think this is going to stay for few more years.

I just can’t imagine Roger at 30+ is going to improve his athletic skills. If it’s a matter of Tennis skills, I would definitely trust him.

June 14th, 2012 at 2:30 am

Nims, It is right that the big titles up to now have been fought, won and lost by world no.1 and 2. They are the two best players in the world. It’s their time and probably will be for the next few years.

Federer has done his bit for tennis history, has made rafa and novak better players, as they have done to him. Federer will be in the mix at wimbledon, but I don’t see how he can be the favourite, based on past performances perhaps, but surely the favourite has to be rafa, closely followed by Novak.

Roger though will do his utmost to come out on top. I sincerely hope that happens, because to watch him play is a dream realised.

Nims Says:


unfortunately, at wimbledon the balls are made to be heavier each passing year. I remember last year Navratilova commenting how heavy the wimbledon balls are and how it’s going to impact Roger’s game. I believe it’s been the case for past few years. If they keep the balls heavy this year too, I could see any of the big hitters capable of taking Roger out, if not Rafa and Novak.

Roger’s strength of shots (racquet head speed) comes from his wrist action. I don’t think he can time the balls using his wrist, the way big hitters or Rafa and Novak do with their big swing with these heavy balls.

If Wimbledon uses the balls which were being used in last year FO, then I give a good chance to Roger. If they use the heavy balls which were used last year Wimbledon, then I don’t see Roger having much of a chance.

grendel Says:


your post raised – implicitly – deep questions which go beyond the issue of drugs. These questions don’t have answers, either, which is why we are obliged to muddle along as best we can. Someone said that hypocrisy is the tribute which vice pays to virtue, but you could say it’s the only way we can continue without becoming paralysed by indecision. I sometimes fantasise about an intelligent alien race scrutinising humanity from a distance, and without interference. I think what would puzzle them most would be the various systems of morality on view. They’d have to dig back into their own prehistory – when the world was a terrifying place – to gain an understanding, I think.

Conty, I’ll let you into an absurd and even shameful secret. As a child, I always wanted to write. I did a little with local London newspapers when I was 15 and had just bunked off from school, but I received no encouragement, and somehow that project was abandonned in the watering holes of London and Sydney.

Always, though, as the years slipped by and the hair dropped out and the flab stayed put, I consoled myself with the thought that one day….

Kimberly Says:

Dave, Raonic had been slotted to play Rafa the last two tournaments, Rome and Roland garros. He no showed losing to florian Mayer and Juan Monaco. Not Rafa fault. And he has had Berdych twice who I think is tougher than Delpo at Australian Open and Rome. He was drawn for Raonic at Wimbledon last year 3rd round but Raonic slipped on the grass and retired and he played Mueller instead. Then he had Delpo in the 4th.

jane Says:

Nole had Tsonga and Fed at both Rome and the FO: both could be considered big hitters. He was also slatted to face Verdasco at the FO but Seppi took him out.

jane Says:

Nole had Delpo at the FO last year (and Fed, as usual). At Wimbledon last year, he had Tsonga, who beat Fed. This year he played Berdych at Monte Carlo. Overall, I think the draws shift a fair bit, except the semis at slams, which have often been the same (Fed/Nole, Rafa/Murray), with this year’s AO being an exception.

conty Says:

You are too good a storyteller, grendel. Don’t give up! And your humor is subtle, descriptions and detail fun. Not trying to curry any favor with you; have no reason to do that, but must say it; enjoy when you let loose and write!

And I started a reply to Harry last night, got to about well, longer than the longest ‘Dave’ post and gave up, was too sleepy.

Harry, I basically agree with grendel. Could easily answer a couple of your questions, I think. Yes, today’s hero in TDF can become tomorrow’s villain, if they are not the ‘appointed’ one. Long story there. Imo TDF has become too commercial and plays favorite with monied teams. But 7 wins was over the top for Lance Armstrong. The French were not pleased, nor were many cycling fans. It became a charade.

Your other questions, harry, agree, go beyond sports doping culture into another realm where science fiction meets some kind of ethical dilemma. But there is no stopping the science of making us better, stonger, more adaptable, ect. Call it evolution or whatever you want, it’s that ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ thing again, to me.

Cycling is fertile ground for using humans as science experiments and there’s something addictive to me about it. My own questions and ideas as I was writing last night went on and on…

Just have to enjoy the sport and stay tuned because the sports scientists take every new idea, any finding about what methods, drugs, procedures work and find an application for trying in Athletes.

WTF Says:

There is no (t)rivalry. There is only Novak Djokovic.

And Nadal on clay.

On any other surface, Nadal is his chump, which by extension means Federer and everyone else are also his chumps (on any surface including clay).

Dave Says:

Kimberly and Jane, I will have you both know that my comment was mostly rhetorical :) Therefore it is frustrating that you both use facts and stats to try to deflate my opinions and bully me. It’s not fair to use my tactics against me :)

Yes, Kimberly you are right about Raonic failing twice to show up against Nadal on Rafa’s favoriite clay surface and Raonic’s worst surface. Not Rafa’s fault.

Regardless, Federer will have faced Raonic on all three surfaces by tomorrow, as well as Delpo five time on two surfaces. The law of averages should send such players to Djokovic and Nadal on grass and hardcourt over the next few months.

Delpo this year is better than Delpo last year. When Federer faced delpo five times this year, Juan Martin was ranked No. 9 to 11 and his year to date rankings were as high as No. 5 (meaning he was one of the hottest players on tour). Federer still beat him every time, onoly two sets lost probably due to his hip injury.

Though the mentally-shaky Berdych on paper would seem to be tougher than Delpo, I feel Delpo is the more dangerous player with more belief especially against Nadal and Djokovic.

I’m more interested in this year, since it is current. (In any case, last year Delpo was struggling to return to the top — when he faced Nadal on his least successful surface (grass) he was ranked only No. 21 and when he faced Djokovic at Roland Garros he was ranked only No. 26. Yet he still took a set off both of them and Nadal resorted to one of his medical time out ploys to disrupt his rhythm in the first set, which infuriated Delpo. Raonic this year is a better player than last year).

The top players would rather face Tsonga on clay, since it is clearly his worst surface. That’s why Djokovic’s struggle against Tsonga, even with the slow balls, was a head-scratcher.

Verdasco should not be a player to trouble a top player, yet he has troubled Djokovic and Nadal.

Wasn’t it coincidental that, for one non-clay slam, the semifinals shifted from Fed/Nole in this year’s AO, shortly after a report was publicized in September /October 2011 suggesting that grand slam draws were fixed based on statistical analysis of the draws. Several news media published articles supporting the cconclusions aftre they used their own statisticians to verify the findings (e.g., Google Der Zeit’s article in November 2011 “Roger Federer und Rafael Nadal auf Bestellung”).


WTF: Let’s use your logic. Nadal is Davydenko’s chump on hardcourts, which by extension means Nadal is Federer’s chump on hard courts. See, now you tuned it into a Quad-rivalry.

WTF Says:

There’s a difference between being 5-6 in head to head and losing 7 straight (incl 3 GS finals in a row) to the same guy.

Nadal has a winning head to head against all but a couple of players. If he’s Novak’s chump it says a lot more.

Federer does not own Nadal on hard courts, so the answer to your question is no.

harry Says:

grendel and conty — thanks for your thoughts! i am not being oleaginous here (to use grendel’s word!) sorry for the delay — i was just a little busy with my experiments…

grendel — you raised two issues; my whatever cents… with regards to being “paralyzed by indecision”, i am not sure it is worse than being hastily decisive :) i only wish that all the tyrants were less decisive than they were… but of course, we are talking in general terms… as to “an intelligent alien race thinking about different forms of morality”, i would like to believe that they would take an evolutionary view. but would they?

conty — kind of agree with you on the whole…

grendel Says:


I take your point about the tyrants, but I had something else in mind – but perhaps this is not the place to say it. As for the evolutionary bit, well Richard Dawkins, for instance, has claimed that any alien race which achieved intelligence could not have done it any other way than through natural selection. Impossible to prove, of course. But I like my alien races to be creatures of the imagination, which obey no known rules….

harry Says:

ha ha! as i finished typing my post, i too thought of dawkins… but i agree, it cannot be proven: after all, evolution is just a model that fits the data; although one has to admit it fits the data very well. but what is to say that no other model can fit the data just as well or even better?

i seem to end with a question most of the time (although the previous one was mostly rhetorical). so i added this bit ;)

grendel Says:

“what is to say that no other model can fit the data just as well or even better? ”

Well, yes, there’s no end to that one, is there? Part of me wants to say that there is certain knowledge – and evolution is just about as certain as anything can be – another part of me can’t help feeling that our knowledge is provisional. To some creatures, somewhere in the multiverse, we might be scarcely more impressive than ants. Still, looked at from one point of view, ants are pretty impressive….

Tennis Vagabond Says:

grendel, well said.

harry Says:

grendel — i again liked your post; but if i am not mistaken, you probably have extrapolated what i said in two specific aspects ;)

it goes without saying that an alternative model to natural selection would have to fit a century’s (or more) worth of experimental evidence (or data as i called it). is it possible? yes. is it probable? unlikely. so there you go — your “intelligent alien creatures” have that challenge in terms of coming up with another point of view!

re: “we might be scarcely more impressive than ants”
unless i am wrong, my earlier posts did not express an anthropocentric view… so i am not in disagreement with you on this.

grendel Says:

harry, yes but the pre-supposition that you and Dawkins make is that the “laws” of the universe are universal. Admittedly, all the evidence of astronomy suggest they are – but even so, there is more room for doubt here, I’d have thought (considering, for instance, that dark matter comprises over 90% of all matter and as yet, we have little idea what it is), than in any “alternative model”.

the only way I could foresee “natural selection” being overcome is not by finding alternative data, that would be as absurd (considering the mountain of evidence)as discovering, say, that the principles of the periodic table are completely erroneous. No, it would be by discovering a different perspective (within which evolution would be subsumed) – and that was my point about the ants. It wasn’t to make a criticism of anthropocentrism, but to point out that just as the view point of an ant is limited as compared to our own, so might ours be limited as compared to that of some alien creature.

grendel Says:

Gosh, Dimitrov is serving accurately these days. But one serve going very wide for, I thought, a certain winner Anderson connected with and won the point. Illustrating two things – the advantages of a wide wing span (not many could have reached the ball) and also the comparative lack of pace on the Dimitrov serve. he has to rely very heavily on accuracy. Question is – can he keep it up?

harry Says:

grendel —

sorry for the delay from my side. i just got drowned in work… and i dont know if you will ever read this, given that this thread might soon be moved out of the main page; so i will be brief.

ok, i agree with your 2nd paragraph/point — just to make things clear, i dont claim that any alternative model is disjoint with the current model (natural selection).

now, i go back to the first point, where i probably have a bone to pick with you. you make this statement — “but the pre-supposition that you and Dawkins make is that the “laws” of the universe are universal.” — leaving dawkins aside for a moment — where do i claim that the laws are universal? i make a possibility argument where i clearly acknowledge the possibility of the existence of alternate models/views (June 14th, 2012 at 8:56 pm). sure, i also make a probability argument. but if you got what i meant something as “unlikely” to mean something else as universal, well what can i say — we could discuss further, but are you acquainted with bayesian models?

grendel Says:

harry – it is true you are not explicit about the universality of the “laws of the universe” – whereas Dawkins is in the sense that he believes it strongly whilst realizing it is not strictly proveable. I assumed you believed this too, since one would imagine that an alternative model would itself have exclusive claim to truth. However, you now don’t wish to claim an alternative model is disjoint with the current one, so I was wrong it seems.

I suspect this is largely logical nitpicking, however. Whatever the possibilities of anything – and in the end, we really are in the dark aren’t we? – “natural selection” is as much a fact as any other fact one might care to posit.

All this has strayed from your original point – the question of drugs in sport. I am sympathetic to what you had to say about that.

harry Says:

grendel —

“it is true you are not explicit about the universality of the “laws of the universe””
on the contrary — i have been quite explicit, but my viewpoint is more bayesian (to be simplistic, statistical). from the choice of words you have used in these posts, you appear to be binary and deterministic in your viewpoints: for eg, you use words like “fact”, “always” with regards to scientific models.

“However, you now don’t wish to claim…”
this seems to imply that i prevaricate…

“All this has strayed from … I am sympathetic to what you had to say about that…”
but the discussion was nice — it could have been more polite in my opinion.

grendel Says:


“it could have been more polite in my opinion.”

I think this is a misunderstanding, due to my own clumsiness. e.g.”However, you now don’t wish to claim…” this seems to imply that i prevaricate… ”

You are right, it does look like that now that I look at it again, and yet I had no wish to imply this. I should have put something like:”I see you now etc.”, making it clear that I had not understood your position before.

Are you a philosopher of science? This is one of those many things I have been meaning to get into but, you know, still haven’t got round to. Kuhn, for example – he sounds very interesting, and perhaps just a little formidable… Nor am I familiar with bayesian models. I know about Bayes theorem, which is an extension of conditional probability, but I haven’t learnt it – but in any case, perhaps you mean something else? Probability is another thing I keep meaning to study beyond the fairly elementary level I am familiar with, though whether I am capable of doing so, I am not sure. Probability is not easy. Life is short, eh?

“you appear to be binary and deterministic in your viewpoints: for eg, you use words like “fact”, “always” with regards to scientific models.” I am not aware of having used the word “always”. My instincts are that much “knowledge” is provisional, so I doubt I am dogmatic in the way you suggest. But these are just instincts – I have no formal academic training as you obviously do, so I think there may be a bit of talking at cross-purposes.

Meanwhile, facts with regard to models: Forgive me if this sounds naive, but it is a fact, isn’t it, that if I jump off a high cliff, I will die? The model of Newtonian mechanics doesn’t seem to leave much room for doubt here. I’m not trying to score a point. I am, as a matter of fact, extremely perplexed about the realm of knowledge, always have been, it genuinely bothers me: but it is difficult to know how to investigate it, since most academic work is frankly impenetrable, at any rate to the likes of myself. But possibly you could recommend an accessible primer?

I do repeat, I am sympathetic to your position on drugs in sport – it’s an unusual one, and likely to be unpopular I would guess. But I agree with you in principle, although I ought to add I don’t know much about it.

harry Says:

grendel —

“…it does look like that now that I look at it again…”
from my side, i should have taken your statement with a pinch of salt too. but thanks for the clarification. i appreciate it.

“Are you a philosopher of science?…” no, i am a lowly postdoc. fortunately or unfortunately, i tend to use probability in my daily work.

“…Kuhn, for example – he sounds very interesting…”
yes, kuhn writes with a nice perspective, although like you say, the book is not easy. i liked his idea of normal science vs paradigm shifts.

“Nor am I familiar with bayesian models…perhaps you mean something else”
yes, one starts with the bayes’ theorem; but it has dramatic implications — especially when one can quantify prior belief as a probability. for example, by combining your prior belief with the observation of a data element (by computing the likelihood with respect to your model) leads to what is called a posterior belief — which recursively becomes our new prior belief, and so on. as you can see, this is a data driven theory of learning (which is as good as the data that the model sees).

unfortunately, i cannot do justice here (wikipedia seems poorly written as well). “probability theory: the logic of science” by e. t. jaynes is an absolute classic. the first couple of chapters should be accessible even without much background and should not take more than a couple of weeks of part-time reading. given your interest in science, i am sure you will enjoy it greatly.

“…but it is a fact, isn’t it, that if I jump off a high cliff, I will die…”
yes, my prior belief says that such an event is very likely ;) but is it an event with probability 1? i would not say so — there may be a very very small chance that one survives. of course events with probability 1 are facts. clearly, prior beliefs with probability 0 or 1 about events do not fit comfortably in bayesian inferencing.

“… The model of Newtonian mechanics doesn’t seem to leave much room for doubt here…”
very true. but later models like quantum mechanics introduce probability to concepts like position and even existence, which of course led to einstein’s supposed exclamation — “god does not play dice!”. newtonian mechanics is an approximation — albeit a great one and one that is sufficient for most purposes. your example, is a superb illustration of its sufficiency.

“..I am sympathetic to your position…”
thank you very much!

“I ought to add I don’t know much about it.”
but i dont know much about it either — hence my questions to conty. she seems to understand the issues well. at some point, we should get her to write about it :)

grendel Says:

thankyou for your recommendation – I am shortly going to America, and will look out for 2nd hand copies (it is very expensive!).

This is just a hunch, a throw in the dark: but your description of the Baysian model leads me to wonder whether it is used in climate change prediction.

conty Says:

harry and grendel, I’m an RN, my highest degree is a BS in Nursing. Okay, I loved science, astronomy, biochem, physics…er, I blame the professor for getting a B grade; better at math than i think. I know something about Baysian Models – it’s interesting, especially in its application to economics.

Bayesian theory can be applied to everything though; application in medicine, there is value; application in about everything there is value perhaps, but it depends.

Doping in sports is problematic. Bayesian models 1st require honesty. There is no honesty in cycling doping culture, there is an Omerta and a code of silence, enforced my a number of nefarious tactics. I posted the USADA 15 page document about Armstrong and the conspiracy cast of characters. One of their objectives was to get pretty much the entire peloton to take part in some form of doping, which can be dangerous if, let’s say a poor team doesn’t have the access to one of the specialits, doctors in the doping culture, or goes too far with an athlete and they die from complications (number of instances); blood storage and infusion is dicey and one gets mono or who knows what, suffers from the consequences of donor transfusions. I could go on.

The idea is maybe something to consider, blood boosting and performance boosting, to the extent we develop those already elite athletes into even even better machines, or step up the evolution.

But, as it is, there is no fair playing field and it has become ridiculous, imo, because competition is down to who has the money, connections for “never testing positive” and is the ‘appointed one(s)’ ie, money is exchanged. Actually the UCI tried to cover-up Contador’s positive, but a new sensitive test discovered plasticizers, not naturally in the blood in any way except by the usage of plastic blood bags with additives. His clenbuterol level was negligible and could have been down to eating tainted meat. But the burden of proof was on Contador and the meat excuse could not be proven. What was actually the more plausible way imo, Contador tested positive for the teensy amount of Clen was consistent with micro-dosing in training, plus, storage of his own blood for transfusion on the 2nd rest day of TDF prior to the ultimate climbing stages, thus coming up positive on Rest day 2 TDF 2010 for bits of clen, plus the new sensitive, but still in approval process of the plasticizers test. The testing positive for plasticizers is new now and would it have been used in the Armstong years, uh, nearly everyone would have been busted.

Contador took his ban. But as far as false positive go, in cycling and sports that truly do test, it’s more likely, looking at the Armstong years that false negatives were everywhere. See USADA document:

Okay, the playing field was not level, Armstrong, Bruyneel et al had control, in a mafioso way over the peloton. They ‘helped’ many teams and even Contador’s 2007 TDF win could be in trouble becuase he was riding for Bruyneel.

The story here is: lets be out with it, all drug using/epo/ hgh/ testosterone/ steroid/ Blood doping practices, make it safe, ( it was glorious watching unbelievable performances during the height of blood doping and peds); or, let’s root it out. Basically, either way we, as fans I feel, deserve to know the truth and whether or not it is possible to make a safe, fair, playing field, I don’t know. I have lots of questions, having been involved in double blind studies for EPO as a young oncology RN working in a cancer center in the mid-late 80’s when Amgen was in the final months of getting EPO approved. Now, if I was privy to the information about how this science would revolutionize treatments in cancer and eliminate dangerously low blood cell counts post- chemo; it’s not hard for me to imagine Sports scientists using the same products for other reasons. Also, I have worked in the autologous blood drawing clinc, attached to the cancer center and have collected blood, the controls are extensive to make it safe. Also have administered too many blood and blood product transfusions meticulously and none of it is easy. I cannot imagine storing the blood in buses, vans, taking it on the road, re-infusing one’s own blood in some hotel or bus on the road and all the things that could go wrong. Epo given incorrectly can cause all kinds of clotting disorders. Makes me question what happened to Serena Williams….all kinds of questions about athletes bar none, come to mind. I wish I was more innocent and blind to the possibilities. I try to be and try to imagine a safe way to use products for enhancement, turn out/evolve a better athlete but you can see the ethical dilemmas? Even the playing field for a start; or clean it all up, I say. Maybe a grey area solution, I’m not considering?

I do see many athlete dopers as victims; and others like Armstrong, as deceptive, opportunistic, abusers, and pushers.

grendel Says:

conty: ” do see many athlete dopers as victims; and others like Armstrong, as deceptive, opportunistic, abusers, and pushers.”

Kind of like life generally, eh? Thanks for the info. Definitely a minefield. My only – tentative – input would be this: you say there is “no level playing field” where drugs are concerned, and I’m very prepared to believe that. But again, that is true in life generally – which is why personally I cannot get that agitated about the question of drugs. Which doesn’t mean that i don’t understand there is a real problem. Thankyou again for your response.

conty Says:


If I think too deeply about it, I’d give up watching the sports I enjoy. Agree, the ideal thing would be, imo, to approve certain procedures, and be open with them, for instance Nadal’s prp injections and what exactly are they doing/adding to speed the recovery. Do other patellar tendinitis sufferers get new life in their knees too now, or is it something reserved for the financially fortunate? things across the playing field will not be fair, ever; that’s life. But tipping points do occur in sport as in life, when the balance is gets too overwhelming not to turn a blind eye; speaking in general.

As for doping practices and where’s the problem? That’s a good question. But it is still a big deal that riders and athletes advertise themselves as “clean;” which, on my most cynical days, is hypocritical and unlikely. But no, I choose to ignore and hope Contador comes back and wins more GT’s in the exciting way he did Giro 2011.

There actually have always been amphetamines or something assisting athletes, in the old days. Eddy Merckx on speed, no doubt. That was all pre-Epo/Procrit days. Always made me wonder after reading most of Agassi’s book what he left out. What he admits, okay. But the fact is, Epo was rampant in sports by then, and virtually undetectable. Also blood doping and masking agents have been around for ages. Saving up one’s own blood when training, while micro-dosing peds is newer. But now highly risky for getting caught with the new tests for plasticizers.

I got agitated when my favorite cyclist got caught, Contador. But also understand and this Armstong/Bruyneel/Dr. Ferrari ring was no doubt part of Contador’s early introduction to the sport on team ONCE. What will come of it all, and the things I notice in all sports, tennis, included, I have no idea and don’t normally spend this much time worrying about. A level playing field is probably beyond a reality but perhaps, not quite as out of balance the way it has been when certain people with power, control and money can ‘appoint’ which athletes test positive and which ones don’t. That is an arbitrary bias over the top worth some complaining imo.

By the way, I like TS Eliot in my Eng. Lit class, long ago. Thought he was sort of nervous and neurotic like ‘carlo’ :D

Indulge me one more on Zaz, please?

She’s not all scat jazz-ike when singing, as in je veux song. But there is a genuine quality about the way she sings and an energy about her that reminds me of myself in my 20’s. (not that I can sing at all!) cheers. I’m out the door for the afternoon.

conty Says:

almost forgot, it is fathers day here in the US. so, happy fathers day grendel, and to all other dad’s here, thanks for being good dad’s.

harry Says:

grendel —

i forgot to mention two things;

the first three chapters of the book are available online for free by the publishers ( unless you are working in that field, you may not want to read subsequent chapters.

secondly, i wanted to clarify yesterday — but forgot — that i did not intend “deterministic” or “binary” to mean “dogmatic”. i used it in the way probabilists do — to mean non-probabilistic viewpoints. newtonian mechanics, for example, is clearly deterministic (and i do not mean it to be dogmatic). i meant your viewpoints in that sense.

yes, bayesian methods are used in weather prediction; like conty says in economics; countless “intelligent” software — websites use it to display ads; siri uses it to do speech recognition; if you noticed the google search bar, it predicts your next character and words — it uses bayesian methods to do so…

and, welcome to america :)

harry Says:

conty —

always a pleasure to read your long posts — simple viewpoints enhanced with rich details.

i see your point about level-playing field. but i agree with grendel too; even in sports does everybody get the same access to facilities? i see your counter about a “threshold” beyond which things become unreasonable — why hold a competition at all when we know the most likely result?. i have been going back and forth for a while now…

all the same, your post is a bit scary — a bit like watching movies such as “the traffic”; i had a more simplistic view of things.

grendel Says:


just one more input. You remember the notorious business with Ben Johnson, the Canadian sprinter. I was gutted when he was found out, and smoothie Carl Lewis got the gold. I think Ben Johnson also got the world record – ‘course, that was taken away from him. There was something about Ben Johnson which immensely appealed to me. he struck me as being of the Sonny Liston mould, you remember “the big bad bear”. Guys like Liston and Johnson never had a chance. Did you know that when Liston was dead (prematurely, it goes without saying) he still bore the scars on his back,courtesy of his dear papa. I wished fervently that Johnson had got away with it.

I know nothing about cycling (though on the rare occasions I’ve seen it on telly, there can be something oddly compelling about it) but I remember a long time ago a British cyclist – probably the most famous – Tommy Simpson who actually died on account of drugs. I forget the circumstances. It caused quite a rumpus at the time. b.t.w.thanks for the Zaz. Yes, she’s quite something, I think I preferred the first one. As for T.S.Eliot, I discovered him as an angst ridden adolescent,and I have always preferred his first two great poems, the Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock and the Portrait of a Lady. He gained more renown from the Waste Land and the Four Quartets, but I do believe those two great early poems were the best thing he ever did. There’s a tremendous freshness about them. I have a soft spot for The Journey of the Magi, too.

grendel Says:

harry – thanks for that, that’ll save me a few bob. And perhaps keep me up a few nights, too!

conty Says:

harry, really? I never can be sure when I post. But thank-you. I realize I’m writing for an audience here but, wow, am i off topic!

Said this before, but wish there was a sub-forum for general topics other than tennis: books, music, politics, religion, cats, dogs, recipes, whatever… a general “Cafe” to chat.

Interesting that you mention the “intelligent software”. That software doesn’t know what to make of me. They know where my I live, whoever ‘they’ are and they send me adds for young girls wanting to “meet.” I think due to my searches, the software assumes I’m a guy, which I assure you, I’m not, and have a BF to vouch for me. And I’m socially very liberal and I get lots of LDS adds here in Idaho. It creeps me out on one hand that they know where I live, and I don’t know who is taking the data, analyzing it, or for what purpose. I could be in trouble in this state with my Portland liberal views. I’ve learned not to say much about myself; just do my job as well as I can. Love Idaho; but living in Eastern Idaho for a year was a real eye-opener! One restaurant open on Sunday that served drinks; no kidding! But I revel in the software not knowing I’m female or what!lol I listen to dj tiesto on my ipod for working out, running, bicycling, so music searches make the intelligent software have no clue, I get adds for music that college kids listen to at dance clubs. But I like a variety of music; not stuck in one generation in any way. Actually intentionally make it hard for the ‘intelligent software.’

conty Says:

grendel, i know absolutely nothing about boxing, have heard of the name Sonny Liston and would guess he was a boxer. Sounds like a sad story. My dad loved boxing and NFL football. I learned teams, players and football-speak when I was young, but just to be able to communicate with dad on the weekends.

I do watch track and field. Yes I remember 1988 Olympics but didn’t know that much about Ben Johnson, though do remember vaguely thinking something like, “this is BS, look at Lewis.”

The thing about doping and getting caught in sports is that it ruins a life, a family and sometimes, often, it’s tragic. And yes, the practice of doping in sport can end in death.

this, was unfair and tragic. the syringes I do truly believe were planted. He won Giro 1999 but was tested positive; then of course could not defend his TDF title – but the Bruyneel, Ferrari, and aspiring boss was the appointed one for 1999…and Lance went on to win every TdF 1999-2005.

For that story and many more, I get sick when an athlete tests positive. (except for the ones I’ve mentioned) the sociopath types without a conscience.

Looked up some of TS Eliot to remind me why I related to him. He’s always questioning, unsure. :D Hard for me not to like TS Eliot. Maybe will try ordering a used copy of “Waste Land” from Powells. It was “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock….” I remember writing a paper about in Eng. Lit class during a poetry term; but I hardly remembered it, only that I preferred Eliot to the other poetry choices I was given to write about.

While I order online, I’ll try and mess with the intelligent software the best I can, lol. If whoever is doing what would notify me that my data is collected, and tell me what’s up, probably I don’t care. But the constant dating ads pop-ups for hot girls living close to me creeps me out.

harry Says:

conty —

“…I realize I’m writing for an audience…”
no pressure :) but like i said earlier in this thread, i like your and grendel’s style; he simplifies complex issues while you add details. also, i should not have pressure as a reader to read and judge every post of yours — so dont expect comments from me every time :) so much for disclaimers!

“… but wish there was a sub-forum for general topics other than tennis…”
i agree. it would also take some sting out of the fed-rafa-nole trivalry discussions :)

“Interesting that you mention the “intelligent software”…they send me adds for young girls wanting…”
it is interesting what you say about confusing them :)

but i think there are intelligent software and there are intelligent software. i mean there are good ones and bad ones. for eg, with youtube, doesnt it figure out pretty quickly what you like and show suggestions? same with amazon, gmail and facebook.

but you are right; it is creepy — these suggestions/ads are customized for each person based on statistical models of the user’s behavior.

“…I could be in trouble in this state with my Portland liberal views…”
ha ha!

“…But I like a variety of music; not stuck in one generation in any way. Actually intentionally make it hard for the ‘intelligent software.’…”
what about youtube? does it give you good music suggestions? if yes, then it has figured you out :)

harry Says:

conty —

i have been meaning to ask you. who are the posters here who have been around the longest?

conty Says:

harry, please, of course I don’t expect a comment from you on each of my posts! lol impossible…

But if you compliment me, I must thank-you. I’m not a writer.

youtube has no idea about what to suggest to me, haha, i like it that way. I don’t use gmail or sign up for google. Like i said, if I had honest details of why and where their analysis from the software goes, when they were doing what, I might trust them. But information can be used in a negative way, as I’ve found out.

Borderline paranoid? or just wary? I have my FB page closed, and decided it wasn’t wise; don’t want everyone reading what I post. I suspect here in Idaho, seriously an Oncology unit in East Idaho where I really wanted to work and applied for the job, they checked out my FB. I don’t mind it being LDS-centric there of course; but they mind me. And my FB page had all kinds of political, liberal information at the time. I was naively and stupidly outspoken being socially liberal in a very opposite community. But I had no trouble working with the patients there, loved the geography and wild weather in that high altitude part of this state. But after a year, wanted back into oncology and feel now my resume of where I’ve worked, extensive as it is, uh, I didn’t interview well and if they read my FB page, case closed. There’s a BYU nursing school in the small city where I was applying. It’s run by LDS doctors, not interested in a liberal, even one that they wouldn’t have to train with great references. My resume fit the job perfectly and it was close to Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee, Yellowstone…all the places I love. But you can’t swim upstream in such a strong current. Now I keep a low profile, nod and smile. It is just enough more diverse in SW Idaho and especially in Ketchum, Idaho. But yet, I learned. Never had been turned down for a job in my years in Portland. No more FB for me here, or anything like that. And I never order on Amazon. itunes, yes. But they have no clue. My purchases range from Edith Piaf, Zaz, foreign language pop searches to Dj Tiesto dance mix and trance to world beat, punk, alternative, eminem, laday gaga for laughs, latin, salsa, classical, you name it; Himalayan Buddhist bells…true hippie girl is what I am. *Peace out* I recycle everything – which isn’t easy in Idaho!

I can understand the intelligent software for simple marketing purposes. It made me sick to think I lost a job I really wanted. I’m liberal but not militantly or dangerous about it, and that’s the feeling I got in being turned down. Tolerance is a tricky idea; there really is no tolerance in some quarters, though I would like to think agreeing to disagree works; but it does not most of the time in this economy, especially. I belong in Portland but stubbornly want to remain here :D (hoping no one where I live reads this) Have not met anyone here remotely interested in tennis posting, though have met some serious tennis players; here they tend to play more when possible than watch sports. Cycling is big here, but they still only follow TDF, I find, and tend to believe what they are told by Versus commentators – extreme bias, very ‘oleaginous.’

As far as the posters here, I’m not the one to ask. I think jane and others, grendel, have been here much longer than I have. I came here in the Fall, just after US Open 2009. Found it more Fed Fan friendly than where I previously posted and more tolerant…(there’s that word again). Tolerance is a bias, actually. How a site is moderated is influenced by the mods leanings. Less moderation here to me than the other place and like it that way.

jane Says:

harry, I believe some of these still regular and not-so-regular posters were also posting on this website back in 2007-08: Daniel, MMT, grendel, zola, Fot, NachoF, funches, Ben Pronin (then “sensationalsafin”), Voicemale1, Andrew Miller, stu, sar, i like tennis bullies, Skorocel, andrea, Joe W. and I’m sure there are more who I’m forgetting/missing or possibly some who changed names.

harry Says:

thanks jane.

harry Says:

conty —
it is interesting that you can trick youtube with your variety :) it almost always suggests me things that i like…

harry Says:

conty —

i suggest that we close this thread :)

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