Peter Bodo's TennisWorld - Your Call, 2.10
Home       About Peter Bodo       Contact        RSS       Follow on Twitter Categories       Archive
Your Call, 2.10 02/10/2009 - 1:17 PM

Phppd3qwcpm_2

by Pete Bodo

Hey, how about that call on the USA squeezing out a Fed Cup win? You know, it was hardly on the media radar, and in the grand scheme of tennis things, it probably isn't destined to be what they call a "historic moment" when compared to, oh, Spain's upset of Argentina in the 2008 Davis Cup final, but I guarantee you this: these American girls who turned back Argentina over the weekend are ecstatic, and none more so than Melanie Oudin. After all, she provided WTA staple Gisela Dulko with some pretty firm opposition in the first match, only to lose. Then, in her second match, she endured a 2-6 nightmare of an opening set only to claw her way back into the match and win in three. The comeback win ensured that the tie would go the distance, decided by the final match - the doubles.

Pause a moment to appreciate this: Jill Craybas got the USA off to a good start by hammering Jozami, two-and-one. Oudin then had to play Dulko, with pretty much nothing to lose. Dulko is no. 44 in the world; Oudin no 147. Dulko was playing an underdog to try to keep Argentina's chances alive in the tie, while Oudin could swing from the heels, knowing the USA had a match in hand. If it was a high-stress situation, but only for Dulko. But within 24 hours, it was a different story indeed.

Dulko handled Craybas with ease in the third singles of the tie, so Oudin had to meet Jozami with the US on the brink of elimination. Okay, on paper Jozami had to be the nominal favorite; after all, at no. 134, she was ranked 13 places above Oudin. But the reality on the ground was that Oudin was looking at a winnable match, against an equal, with her team's survival on the line.

The funny thing about "pressure" is that it's something felt equally by all players. The degree of pressure that a David Nalbandian faces upon meeting a Fernando Verdasco, or Nikolay Davydenko encounters when he squares off against James Blake, is no different in intensity or substance than what Oudin must have felt before playing Jozami. You don't feel less or more pressure depending on your status, unless it's notably higher or lower than that of your opponent, or some extraneous factor comes into play. And let's face it, one of the reasons top players are ranked where they are is because of their superior ability to handle pressure - not because there is any more or less of it. Pressure is all about the conditions, and the degree of pressure is created by a potentially volatile mixture of temperament, the match-up, and whatever vibe is in play - in this case, the whole cluster of issues that arise from an international, team competition.

And on that playing field, it's pretty easy to forget that when it comes to any competitive athlete, there's a point where it doesn't matter who is - or isn't - watching. It isn't about the hype, and it isn't about the press. It isn't about the endorsements, and it's not about size of the trophy. It's about you, the team, (vaguely) the nation you represent and, in a small way, about the record books. You go into the books as someone who pulled your team and nation through a tough but winnable tie, and it's. . . sweet. Oh, so sweet! And at some level that we fans and pundits easily ignore because we're so focused on Roger and Wimbledon, Serena and the Masters Series, Rafa and the Davis Cup final, this matters in a way we can understand, but rarely sit back and appreciate.

But this, in a nutshell, is also why people like Melanie Oudin (and Betina Jozami, for surely there will come a time when the shoe is on the other foot) continue to play this game, despite triple-digit rankings, and it's the moments like these when the differences between them and Serena and Ana and Maria are, well, irrelevant. The truth of the matter is that a Wimbledon final is played a few thousand times each year on the tour, on clay, indoors or out, by individuals destined never to decorate the cover of Tennis magazine. Every once in a while, conditions congeal to create a special moment of importance - a break from but also a payoff for all those hours of frustration, tedium, matches whose significance, win or lose, is pretty hard for anyone - including the person experiencing it - to fathom.

But there's also this: Players exist to be found by moments like the one that located Oudin on Sunday, and such moments will enable them to look back on their careers one day and allow them to feel satisfied, to say something like: Yeah, it was tough, I always felt the blow of a setback like a slap in the face, and I know the sting of defeat. But it was worth every hour and ounce of effort I put into it.

So let's share Melanie's moment here, and also acknowledge first-time Fed Cupper, Julie Ditty, who joined with reliable Liezel Huber to clinch the match with a fine performance against Dulko and Jozami in the doubles. Happy 30th birthday, Julie! Here's to hoping it was, indeed, worth the wait.

Any further questions on this, just address them to the ultimate Fed Cup warrior, Flavia Pennetta. But she's a story for a different time. Enjoy the tennis, everyone. I am working on a red-meat coaching post, which I may or may not get done today. Stay tuned, enjoy the tennis and leave your always insightful comments below.


950
Comments
Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.
<<      1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10      >>

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 03:42 PM

I dunno what's come over me. I NEVER used to frazzle over Il Divo.


Posted by Arun 02/10/2009 at 03:42 PM

Pspace: Bizzer's hates 1hbhers I think. Steffi, Haas (and Almagro?) are exempted from that list though.

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 03:43 PM

Pspace: I think Bissy hated Fed before he was the Fed, and his 1hbh had something to do with it. I don't understand it either, but yeah.


Posted by Sher (On TypePad no one can hear you scream) 02/10/2009 at 03:44 PM

crazyone,

Yeah, but Rafa winning in Rotterdamn and not playing Dubai is certainly not hurting Roger's chances either...so Vamos Rafa! ;-)

btw, with Rafa's draw, I think we'll be seeing him in Dubai, that's all I'm sayin'.

Posted by Syd 02/10/2009 at 03:45 PM

Sher, @ 3:17 lol. Vamos, Rafa indeed.

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 03:46 PM

last

Posted by Sher (On TypePad no one can hear you scream) 02/10/2009 at 03:49 PM

Also possibly I need a decompression period after the last Fedal final :)

Posted by marcela 02/10/2009 at 03:49 PM

Costa do Sauipe link...ferrero and montanes playing in an empty stadium.

http://www.channelsurfing.net/watch-wabuk-6.html

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 03:49 PM

well what a day it appears to have been. Any scandals that I should know about? Cannot be bothered with Nexting my way through to the end.
Go JC!!

Posted by Master Ace 02/10/2009 at 03:55 PM

Marcela,
I watched some of Almagro/Hocevar and the stadium was almost empty the. Hopefully, the crowd will pick up as the tournament progresses.


Naughty T,
You have the Jelena Jankovic/Roger Federer feud that Sher posted in MNP.

Posted by greenhopper 02/10/2009 at 03:55 PM

Pablo takes the second set. Come on kid, one more to go.

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 03:56 PM

Marcela - yes the stadium was empty in Brazil for the most part yesterday too. I hope the tournament won't be running at a loss with the poor attendance

Posted by Master Ace 02/10/2009 at 03:57 PM

"Heh, have you guys seen this?


http://uk.reuters.com/article/tennisNews/idUKLA75727420090210


[She said she could not understand why Federer felt the need to hit out at women's tennis while his great rival Rafa Nadal, who took over from the Swiss as world number one, was so "humble".

"Why should he even care? I don't like putting my nose in other's business.

"I mean, one thing I like about Nadal is that he is such a great champion, he is so humble, always has kind words for everybody, he is a role model for everybody," said Jankovic

"Federer is a great champion, I don't want to get in a fight with him but why does he care, I really don't understand. Why does he need to do that?"]

Sorry JJ, but that's kind of the whole point. He does care.


Also read her defense of Djokovic....Thems fightin' words!"

Posted by Sher on Monday Net Post

Posted by Sher (On TypePad no one can hear you scream) 02/10/2009 at 03:58 PM

naughty T, try my 10:52 here and onwards:

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2009/02/monday-net-post/comments/page/9/

Posted by Sher (On TypePad no one can hear you scream) 02/10/2009 at 03:59 PM

haha, Master Ace...we posted at the same time.

Posted by Master Ace 02/10/2009 at 04:03 PM

Sher,
Yes, we did. Reading some comments on tennisforum.com and most of the comments favor Jelena.

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 04:08 PM

lol! Good on ya, JJ.

Posted by marcela 02/10/2009 at 04:10 PM

MA and avid ~ it's just painful to watch. I get it's early in the tournament, but still.

Posted by Sher (On TypePad no one can hear you scream) 02/10/2009 at 04:10 PM

Master Ace,

*shrug* Her comments were well meant, Djokovic is probably her friend and she feels she's defending her #1. It's easy for me to defend her actions in my head.

This whole thing is obviously a hot button for the two of them.

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 04:13 PM

26 - If you could choose a country or town to live (except Austin of course) what would it be?

Probably Melbourne... nice weather and people and there's lots to do


see!! I am lovely. Even Randy says so.

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 04:16 PM

Yes indeed JJ's number 1 is every bit as impressive as Raffuhs, perhaps even more so, because she achieved it with much less talent to work with.

Posted by greenhopper 02/10/2009 at 04:16 PM

Melo/Sa lost to a wild card team of Bellucci and whoever?
It was probably home crowd pressure.

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 04:17 PM

ok JC with the double break. See!! Why all the drama in the first set??

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 04:24 PM

ok I was just on tennisforum.com and reading about Serena and playing in IW. I saw this comment about IW taking down Serena's pics even though she is a two-time champion. Would they really do that?

"IMO Serena and Venus won't make that big of a difference at IW. If it was just a women's event alone then yes but Federer and Nadal and all the big star male players will be there so I think it's fine. and I don't think IW wants them back either. I mean they pulled a picture of Serena down even though she's a two time champion and they have pictures up of all the previous champions."

Posted by Samantha Elin 02/10/2009 at 04:27 PM

I just went over to the WTA world site and they're reporting Jankovic's replies to Roger's comments about her.How dare Jankovic criticize Roger and say that he needs to concentrate on his own career. He has every right to comment on the state of the women's game. She will never be half the player he's and what he said about her was the truth. Even this tennis blog called her the weakest #1 in the history of the game. JJ has a big mouth, she needs to keep it close and let her racket do the talking. I think what Roger said was right on target. Go Caroline, Scandinavia's#1!

Posted by Amit 02/10/2009 at 04:27 PM

Crazyone,

The Il Divo upset is less likely to happen with the form Federer showed at AO. Cincinnati'08 was not a real high point of Fed's career - Ginepri nearly had him and blew while serving for the 2nd set at 6-5. But yes, Murray can handily beat current Federer in the 3-set format. No question.

In spite of his verbal assurances, there is a chance that Federer hasn't internalized how good a HC/grass player Nadal has become over the last year or so. He needs to understand it in his bones before he makes tactical/technical adjustments, including mentally preparing himself for lengthy, heavy rallies. Among other things, recent Federer has appeared under-prepared for recent Nadal.

I doubt he will ever play as an underdog, though. Just not the way his mind operates, evidently. But if Fed makes some changes, I can see this rivalry taking interesting turns.


Posted by Sher (On TypePad no one can hear you scream) 02/10/2009 at 04:28 PM

"I mean they pulled a picture of Serena down even though she's a two time champion and they have pictures up of all the previous champions"

eh? makes no sense.

naughty T, lol, a point of view I haven't considered!

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 04:30 PM

*In spite of his verbal assurances, there is a chance that Federer hasn't internalized how good a HC/grass player Nadal has become over the last year or so. He needs to understand it in his bones before he makes tactical/technical adjustments, including mentally preparing himself for lengthy, heavy rallies. Among other things, recent Federer has appeared under-prepared for recent Nadal.

I doubt he will ever play as an underdog, though. Just not the way his mind operates, evidently. But if Fed makes some changes, I can see this rivalry taking interesting turns.*

Amit, thank you for more eloquently articulating what I was actually trying to say. Perhaps underdog isn't the right term, but more accurately, not expecting to win.

Posted by Rachael 02/10/2009 at 04:30 PM

greenhopper - lolcano

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 04:31 PM

IW...not rascist at all apparently...or petty
perhaps every tw'er that goes this year could make enquiries as to where the pics are?

Posted by Samantha Elin 02/10/2009 at 04:31 PM

JJ on Roger, "I don't think it's nice to attack other players." Yeah, and I don't think it's nice to steal from other players and to criticize Venus for never finishing has world's #1 like her mother did. I don't think its nice to try and steal another's players moment when they're being interview. JJ needs to look in the mirror. Good on Roger.

Posted by Sher (On TypePad no one can hear you scream) 02/10/2009 at 04:34 PM

"there is a chance that Federer hasn't internalized how good a HC/grass player Nadal has become over the last year or so."

oh my goodness, where is this perception coming from? :)

Federer has been saying since 2006 that he expects to see Nadal in the final in AO, and that he is surprised if he is not there because he is a great hard court player and the conditions suit him! This is when other experts were writing Rafa off as half-way-retired-already. I'm just saying, he speaks like he knows how good Rafa has been on hard courts.

I would have serious trouble buying the argument that Federer underestimates Nadal's abilities. More like he is a bit too deferential on court.

That's how I see it, of course.

Posted by Master Ace 02/10/2009 at 04:34 PM

Samantha Elin,
I have been waiting on you to chime in on the Jelena/Roger feud.

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 04:36 PM

that is my view as well Sher. Fed was on record as saying that Rafa could win a hc slam long before anyone else.
Less deference would be good for my money too.

Posted by tennisesq. 02/10/2009 at 04:38 PM

Samantha,
Don't forget the time JJ stole Sophia Arvidsson's massage appointment.

"I mean they pulled a picture of Serena down even though she's a two time champion and they have pictures up of all the previous champions"

Avid,
I hope they are just replacing it with a better picture.

Posted by Stella 02/10/2009 at 04:41 PM

Samantha I agree with you. Roger was saying what many people thought, the difference is that he said it out loud. Also don't forget about JJ's coach, he said that JJ was the favorite at the AO and not Vee and ReRe because they only could in the USO and Wimblendon, but that really didn't matter because real tournaments were played in Europe. Really since when England is not in Europe.

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 04:41 PM

Hmmm...I like this whole mental adjustment business. However, it's a pretty big one for Federer, so he prolly needs outside help to drill it into him. Where are you gonna find someone he'll listen to on these matters? Pistol?

I always wonder if the mental difficulties stem from inadequate physical conditioning, i.e., he's just not fit enough to play 4+ hrs of baseline tennis with Nadal. This leads to impatience, and frustration when he loses a long rally.

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 04:41 PM

Sher - yeah I was surprised at that comment and am really hoping it's not true. If it were true, it does not speak well of IW at all.

nT - I like your suggestion about finding out about ReRe's pic at IW ;-)

Posted by Arun 02/10/2009 at 04:42 PM

from the match stats, it looks like the 1st serve % is abysmal for both Reeshard and PHM - neverthless Reeshie has been winning a lot of points on his serve and PHM isn't..

Posted by Samantha Elin 02/10/2009 at 04:46 PM

Stella, I also remember when her stupid coach got a timer and stood up in the stands, and was timing Venus as JJ loudly complaint about all the time Venus was taking. This from someone who has received many time violation and injuries time outs. Roger gave her a taste of her own medicine and she didn't like it. So what!

Posted by sblily (Gil Reyes KAD) 02/10/2009 at 04:46 PM

Don't forget the time JJ stole Sophia Arvidsson's massage appointment.
~~~~~
LOL, tennisesq. I'm sure that was just an oversight.

Re: IW and pics of Vee and Serena -- what was the context for the pics? I.e., are they removing ReeVee pics from program or promo materials (understandable) or from some kind of "Wall of Champions" -type display (petty)?

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 04:46 PM

"Avid,
I hope they are just replacing it with a better picture."

tennisesq. - LOL!

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 04:47 PM

Is 50% really abysmal for a first serve percentage? Hmm...I guess you wanna end up winning around 70% of the points on your serve. So, Reeshard with 50% first serves and 87% winning percentage is already winning 43% of serve points. Add a 50% second serve conversion rate, and you come in at 68% of serve points. Not too bad, no?

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 04:49 PM

"what was the context for the pics? I.e., are they removing ReeVee pics from program or promo materials (understandable) or from some kind of "Wall of Champions" -type display (petty)?"

sblily - personally I do not know but I assumed from the context to mean the latter which would be as you said petty especially since Serena is a two-time champion.

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 04:51 PM

Sher: what can you point to during a match that says this? Where are the new patterns of play that Roger is adopting versus Nadal? Against most other players, the old patterns of play work. Not so against Nadal. What about the numerous points where he thought he'd won the point and stopped reacting only to see balls fly him?

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 04:53 PM

LOL pspace
Lies,damned lies and statistics. Please explain to HeadGasket the ins and outs of your philosophy of holding serve...coz he is just about to lose the 2nd set
thanks

Posted by Arun 02/10/2009 at 04:54 PM

*neverthless Reeshie has been winning a lot of points on his serve and PHM isn't.*
Pspace: That's what this means too, no? :) But bummer - he gets broken and PHM is serving for the set.

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 04:55 PM

nT, hehe, guess I jinxed him. Yeah, these damn stats and tennis. Anyways, he broke back ;-)

Posted by Arun 02/10/2009 at 04:56 PM

surprise! he breaks right back.

Posted by Sher (On TypePad no one can hear you scream) 02/10/2009 at 04:56 PM

crazyone,

I know those points you speak of (he thought he'd won the point), but I did not feel he lost the match because of those points. He made too many ufes in the third set tiebreak, and played too defensivel in the fifth -- thus my argument about being too deferential. I can elaborate, but not right now and possibly not today since I have a lot of stuff after work and have to go now!

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 04:58 PM

Arun, "That's what this means too, no? ", hehe, subtle.

Posted by Rosangel 02/10/2009 at 04:59 PM

Well. I'd be happy if Rafa won Rotterdam, then Murray took out Federer in the Dubai semis and lost to Rafa in the final:)

Having always thought that Rafa is a better competitor/match-player than Federer, I admit that their recent H2H is a source of satisfaction to me.

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 05:00 PM

surprise...he is playing a rubbish TB.
hope springs eternal Arun.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/10/2009 at 05:01 PM

Hey people.

Glad to see Murray won. :)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/10/2009 at 05:05 PM

Who is Il Divo?

Posted by Annie 02/10/2009 at 05:05 PM

Avid: if IW is removing pictures of Serena or Venus from the tennis center walls I am outraged (unless it was done at SeeVee's reguest). what's going on here? from what i learned on TW, the williams sisters maintain that they were subjected to racial epithets from the crowd, but where does their beef with IW come in? Were the instigators not removed or what exactly did IW do that would get them axed by the williams sisters?

I mean, to remove their pictures from the walls is blatantly racist and offensive.

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 05:06 PM

Gulbis on my scoreboard in San Jose.

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 05:06 PM

Rosangel, why would the H2H record lead you to believe that one is a better competitor/match-player than the other? The only thing it points to is that Federer has difficulty handling Nadal's topspin with his backhand. So, while it is a nightmare match up for Federer, I don't see what it has to do with either one's heart (in general).

Posted by Rosangel 02/10/2009 at 05:07 PM

Divo is Ivo Karlovic. Not sure when he became Il.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/10/2009 at 05:07 PM

thanks Rosangel.

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 05:08 PM

jewell, Dr. Ivo.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/10/2009 at 05:10 PM

and thanks Pspace.

btw, your thought on Roger's fitness is interesting.

Posted by Arun 02/10/2009 at 05:10 PM

nT: Right. Let's see if Gasquet can take the 3rd.

Posted by ptenisnet 02/10/2009 at 05:10 PM

Having always thought that Federer doesn't have much truck with this "winning everything" thing, the 13 slams is a source of immense satisfaction to me. jejejeje

Posted by Amit 02/10/2009 at 05:12 PM

Crazyone/Pspace,

Going by 2 empirical data points (Wimbledon/AO), physical preparedness may have something to do with it. How he wishes to solve the problem is something Fed and Paganini can work on.

However, the way Nadal improves his game (adding individual building blocks) may be different from the way Fed does. To be more successful on HC, Rafa hasn't really added a lot of shots to his repertoire. Has he ? He lost weight, became a little more aggressive with existing shots, amp-ed up his serve a bit. That's about it. His core strengths are still his monster FH, 2HBH and inexhaustible stamina.

Other than stamina, Federer cannot add much to his core game. What he can do is play some of the rallies on his terms rather than Nadal's. Two shots that worked in the final - a Nalbandian like very sharp flat BH to disrupt the natural rally rhythm and a heavily sliced BH to Nadal's BH that stayed low.

Sher/NT,

I realize that Federer has said glorious things about Nadal and HC. But he still seems to appear surprised (repeatedly) after Rafa keeps getting to his "winners". This leads me to think that Fed might've said it, but he hasn't come to terms with it.


Posted by sic (Roland Garros, Wimbledon and AO) 02/10/2009 at 05:13 PM

Sblily, I always assumed that Rafa was ambidextrous, but it appears that when it's not holding a racket his left hand is really and truly.....retarded (sorry, I can't come up with a better adjective)

Posted by Rosangel 02/10/2009 at 05:13 PM

Pspace: I always thought that one was a better competitor/match-player than the other - the H2H confirms my initial feeling in one sense.

Rafa's list of very exciting matches won exceeds Federer's handsomely in the last couple of years. He does a brilliant job in pulling out some very tight encounters, and saving/winning big points. Including against Federer.

He may well be the best match-player (as opposed to tennis player) I've ever seen. THat's a major reason why I have so much respect for him.

i can't lie - I think that Rafa has had a tougher path to winning at least a couple of his majors than Federer ever did. Because of Federer.

Posted by Sherlock 02/10/2009 at 05:14 PM

Samantha, so let me make sure I have this straight. Roger can comment on any player and it's fine, but if JJ does the same, she's got a big mouth. I see. :)

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 05:15 PM

yes those thirteen slams and almost 5 years as world number one sure point to a lack of heart and competitive spirit.... still they are a source of immense satisfaction to me. I must be easily pleased.

Posted by Samantha Elin 02/10/2009 at 05:16 PM

I think if IW has removed Serena's picture from the wall of champion, they make themselves look bad and they justify the boycott that the Williamses have against them. IW is an American event and it's removing an American champion? Well Ok! Sorry, but it simply gives validation to what the Williamses have been saying for years. Not to smart. Go Caroline, Scandinavia's#1!

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 05:18 PM

Amit, Adding stamina is adding a lot. Just look at the confidence Muzz gets from his training. However, the issue might not be so much stamina in his legs, but stamina in his shoulder. Fed plays with a very heavy racquet, and hitting backhands for 4+ hrs has to take it's toll. I dunno enough about tennis to speculate how he might add shoulder stamina, but Paganini prolly knows his stuff.

Posted by Rosangel 02/10/2009 at 05:20 PM

And. OK, I grant an exception for Wimbledon 2007 - that was Federer's best-ever Slam win. Easily. Because of Nadal.

Posted by Samantha Elin 02/10/2009 at 05:20 PM

Sherlock, you're missing my point. When you have done questionable things to other players and then you have the nerve to complain and say someone is attacking you, well, surprise, surprise if nobody is sympathetic. That was my point, don't dish it out, if you can't take it.

Posted by Amit 02/10/2009 at 05:24 PM

Rosangel,

It depends on how the "better match player" is computed. If it were so, wouldn't Rafa have a higher winning % than Federer, averaged over the rest of the field? Why just use one competitor to make the call?

Personally, I think Fed's win over Roddick in USO'07 was a pretty fine win. Roddick was serving bombs all evening, and couldn't get a set. Roger didn't even blink. It was one of the most impressive slam performances I have seen - the person losing plays lights out and loses in straights.

Posted by Rosangel 02/10/2009 at 05:25 PM

...and I'm not even going to explore the dark recesses of the injury that was treated during that final after Rafa had been totally screwed by a ridiculous rain-delayed schedule...unlike some people who continue to insist that Fed should have won the AO but for poor serving. As though it had nothing to do with who he was facing.

A win is a win. That's how it worked out both times.

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 05:26 PM

Rosangel, But they are two different kinds of players, mentally. Federer is a frontrunner, and Rafa likes to get his teeth into the match. This is why the key to their matches is often the first set.

Ok, the weak-era question is too difficult to resolve. I can see either argument. I guess the fact that Fed pwned Agassi, Roddick, and Hewitt diminishes his achievements somehow. Not to mention Safin and Nalbandian. But, yeah, Rafa winning Wimby and Oz over Fed in the final is pretty remarkable. Though, the way I see it, he only wins 'cos he's lefty ;-).

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/10/2009 at 05:28 PM

Oh Pspace - you haven't given up on your weak era metric programme thingy?

Posted by Annie 02/10/2009 at 05:29 PM

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/2001/03/26/ericsson_open_ap/

very few references when i googled this. i guess the controversy is rearing it's ugly head again since this is the year the women are mandated to play IW. this is gonna get interesting.

Posted by Sherlock 02/10/2009 at 05:29 PM

"surprise, surprise if nobody is sympathetic"

I'm sympathetic. I bet Djoko is sympathetic. See, there's at least two. :)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/10/2009 at 05:30 PM

Three. :)

Posted by Arun 02/10/2009 at 05:32 PM

crap.. from 2-love to 2-4 in the 3rd set. oh Reeshard!

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 05:33 PM

jewell, hehe, not given up. Just put it on the backburner for the top. But, off the top, I would say that the Lendl-era, and the current generation (Nadal-era?) are prolly the toughest two. I'm not sure about how the Federer-era would match up against Sampras'.

Posted by greenhopper 02/10/2009 at 05:34 PM

lolcano?
Say what, Rachael?

Oh boo. Canas lost to the Gooch.
Sorry, Ange.

Dude. Gasquet. WTF?

Posted by Sherlock 02/10/2009 at 05:34 PM

LOL, Jewell. Do I hear four?!? Don't be bashful, JJ sympathizers. She was young and naive when she stole that massage. Please don't hold it against her in her time of need.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/10/2009 at 05:35 PM

Yay Pspace. :)

btw, I started reading The Restaurant at the End of the Universe yesterday. It's good so far. :)

Posted by Samantha Elin 02/10/2009 at 05:36 PM

LOL Sherlock that was a good come back.

Posted by Amit 02/10/2009 at 05:36 PM

Rosangel,

With all due respect to Nadal's returning power, Federer was serving at 60% or less against returning stalwarts like Korolev. So, I can fairly emphatically say that 50% serving was not a Nadal-induced catastrophe. Whether he'd win with a 70% serve rate, who knows. But the man whom I have never seen DF was dishing out 3-5 per match ! Since Abudhabi !!

Federer has repeatedly gotten himself out of sticky spots against Rafa with aces and service winners. Rafa's service return hasn't improved that much.

Posted by greenhopper 02/10/2009 at 05:37 PM

four.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/10/2009 at 05:38 PM

Now, we need Jacko. :)

I think he should count for about twenty-five. ;)

Posted by Rosangel 02/10/2009 at 05:39 PM

Amit: I'm pretty much agreeing with Wilander's contention that Federer is the better tennis player, but Nadal is the better competitor. He has a habit of being spectacular when his back is against the wall.

I guess it also depends on what the observer thinks of Nadals's competition vs. Federer's competition, given that they are five years apart in age, so their total results are measured against different fields.

The total field for both has been highly competitive.

On average I think Nadal has had to deal with a higher level of competition at the very top of the game during his career than has Federer...Roddick, Hewitt etc aren't in the same league as either. But Nadal grew up in the Federer era, and has been in his shadow for a long time.

Regardless - let's wait until both careers are over before deciding who's the greatest. I'm not discounting the 13 Slams, though recalling that 11 of them were against someone other than Nadal in the final, most of whom weren't in his league. However, that's not the only way to view the discussion.

I just happen to be a big fan of great, very close matches, and I love to watch a great competitor like Rafa battle back from being behind.

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 05:39 PM

jewell, good to hear. I think that's my fave one...especially when they get to the restaurant. But...I'll wait till you've read it.

Posted by Sherlock 02/10/2009 at 05:41 PM

Greenhopper, thank you. Brother Love's Traveling JJ Salvation Show appreciates your courage. :)

Samantha, come on. If you're nice to me, it takes all the fun out of it. :)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/10/2009 at 05:41 PM

I'm at the restaurant now.

Stupidly I thought it was kind of at the end of a road, or something.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/10/2009 at 05:42 PM

In the book, not real life. :)

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 05:42 PM

Oh ok...I should leave. But:

Five!

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 05:43 PM

"I love to watch a great competitor like Rafa battle back from being behind."

and there I was thinking it was just all about watching a great behind. ;)

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 05:43 PM

what Amit said :)

Federer has been serving badly all year. And I've been saying that in his matches against the likes of Seppi, Kohlschreiber, Korolev. I fully admit that Rafael didn't serve or play his best either. But I would have much rather seen the match where Federer served better but Rafa dialed it up and won anyway.

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 05:43 PM

make that six ;-)

Posted by greenhopper 02/10/2009 at 05:44 PM

crazyone, are you watching (SB or otherwise) Ernie?

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 05:44 PM

why is Gulbis in a TB against Ricardo Mello, and why did have to save three break points (while not generating any of his own) to get there?

<<      1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10      >>

We are no longer accepting comments for this entry.

<<  Your Call, 2.11 Monday Net Post  >>




Wild Women of the U.S. Open
Wild Men of the U.S. Open
Roddick's Imperfect World
"It's Kind of a Dance"
Nadal's Kneeds
The Racquet Scientist: Canadian Tennis
The Long and Short of It
This blog has 3693 entries and 1646147 comments.
More
More Video
Daily Spin