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Your Call, 2.10 02/10/2009 - 1:17 PM

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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.


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

well done Gasquet!

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 05:45 PM

greenie, I just got here, see my 5:44.

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 05:45 PM

aaaaaah and amidst all the jj, raffuh, feduhruh roundabout. Headgasket manages to do what he does best.
sorry Arun. See a pattern yet??

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 05:46 PM

c1, c'mon...Mello took Rafa to a TB. Why should Ernie do any better? :-)

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 05:46 PM

Commiserations to Arun and all Reeshie fans.

Talking about battling from behind, it is good but does not do my BP a lot of good ;-) as boring as they may be I think I like beatdowns e.g., Serena vs. Dinara (AO F) instead of Serena vs. Kuzzie (AO QF) ;-)

Posted by sblily (Gil Reyes KAD) 02/10/2009 at 05:47 PM

Sic - Ha! Yeah, I was also surprised myself at how useless his left hand is when it comes to all things not tennis related. If he broke his right arm, I'm not sure the boy'd even be able to feed himself, lol.

Interesting re: the mental/physical connection with Fed. I tend to fall on the side of it being more of a mental issue as I haven't really seen anything from him this season to suggest that he couldn't physically hang with Nadal for 5 hours; whether he has the desire/mental preparedness to actually do so is another matter. Not that I blame him. Heck, I get worn out watching Rafa from my sofa -- I can't even imagine standing across the net from that scampering ball of vamos-ing nervous tic-y intensity for 5 hours.

Problem for Fed is that it's hard to prepare for Rafa without actually playing him, esp. when Fed is able to overwhelm most of his opponents with genius. Not exactly the best mental preparation for a match against Mr. "He's the Number One . . . but I gonna try my best, no?"

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 05:48 PM

"Ace on second serve--Ace #0 for E.G."

Ernie has a bit of the Federer need to do something flashy on set or match points...he always seems to go for the big ace, even on second serves, unfortunately this results in DFing...

ok, well, he won the set. I'll take it.

Posted by sic (Roland Garros, Wimbledon and AO) 02/10/2009 at 05:48 PM

Sherlock,

I'll add my sympathy to your list....

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 05:48 PM

Surprisingly Mello won 1 more point than Ernest even though Ernest took the first set;-)

Posted by Annie 02/10/2009 at 05:49 PM

GH: i couldn't figure out lolcano either! does anybody know what that stands for?

Posted by Sherlock 02/10/2009 at 05:49 PM

Thank you, Pspace and Avid, for votes 5 and 6.

I think we're experiencing something very special here today. :)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/10/2009 at 05:50 PM

Oh Reeshie.

commiserations Reeshie fans.

This is kind of interesting on the mental aspect of Federer:

http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2009/02/tennis_and_time.php

Posted by Arun 02/10/2009 at 05:51 PM

> See a pattern yet??
nT: not yet. coz I'm always amazed @ how he spectacularly manages to escape from the victories.

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 05:51 PM

sorry to Gasquet fans.

Maybe Dimitrov will bring some balm?

Posted by beth 02/10/2009 at 05:53 PM

Oh , Reeshie
another day , another loss
very frustrating

Posted by sblily (Gil Reyes KAD) 02/10/2009 at 05:53 PM

Make that 8, Sherlock.

Wait, Reeshard lost?! To PHM? 'the hail?

Posted by Arun 02/10/2009 at 05:54 PM

sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!): well said.

Posted by Rosangel 02/10/2009 at 05:54 PM

In the fifth set of the AO, Rafa more or less said in his remarks afterwards that a key point for him was ensuring that he held his own serve, which he did emphatically early in that set. I can't recall which interview he discussed it in in, but I got the impression that he felt that this was a key to holding Federer at bay. Fed couldn't make an impression on the Nadal serve, Rafa felt that Fed was waiting for him to collapse physically, and he didn't allow this to happen. Possibly one of the crucial elements in the match was the improved Nadal serve - it will never be the most powerful on the tour, but he's able to use it very intelligently (especially against Federer ). In recent times he's been better able to mix it up.

Posted by Arun 02/10/2009 at 05:54 PM

that was for your 5:47 actually.

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 05:55 PM

sblily,

"""
Problem for Fed is that it's hard to prepare for Rafa without actually playing him, esp. when Fed is able to overwhelm most of his opponents with genius.
"""

I'd be very surprised if Fed doesn't have a ball machine that can simulate Rafa's topspin. If he doesn't, well, we gotta get him one. No way Jesse Levine is adequate practice :-).

Posted by Annie 02/10/2009 at 05:56 PM

sblily: i agree. fed's fitness is amazing. the guy plays a 5 set match and looks fresh as a daisy afterward and nadal looks like he's about to collapse after a set. Obviously, the visual isn't an indicator of fitness. I've now watched the AO final twice and i feel like watching it again and really concentrating on fed during the points. But huffing and puffing and looking tired? i've never seen fed look like that.

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 05:56 PM

sbilly I second that wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee with a whooooooooooooop and slight incontinence.

Posted by Sherlock 02/10/2009 at 05:56 PM

Thank you, sic. Lucky seven, you are. :)

Sblily, bless you. :)

I feel a spontaneous Elton John moment coming on.

Caaaaan you feel the JJ looove tonight....

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 05:57 PM

Rosangel: I agree with your 5:54 post, though I actually expected Rafa to serve better than he did that day (barring the 5th set). I broke down the player's performances in terms of different parts of the games, and while I thought Rafa garnered a B+ overall, for "match management", I gave him an A.

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 05:57 PM

""In recent times he's been better able to mix it up.""

Hehe...I guess he changed direction about four times? So, yeah, improvement!

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 05:57 PM

Sherlock - LOL!

Posted by greenhopper 02/10/2009 at 05:58 PM

ooooh Sherlock, the Lion King song!

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 05:59 PM

hehe yeah Pspace. He mixed it up at Wimbledon, not so much here (which is why it was disappointing he couldn't do more on certain points...).

Posted by Annie 02/10/2009 at 06:01 PM

Pspace: that's the most brilliant fing idea i've heard so far for fed. Do ball machines put spin on the ball? I was watching rafa's bullwhip f/hand during one of their incredibly long rallies and couldn't believe the racket speed he's got. you'd think his arm would eventually fly right off his body after awhile.

Posted by sblily (Gil Reyes KAD) 02/10/2009 at 06:05 PM

Pspace - LMAO. I agree that practicing with Jesse Levine and random junior lefties ain't cuttin' it.

I'm intrigued by the thought of a Rafa-esque ball machine. That would help with the physical aspect of things, but how would he simulate the mental experience of facing Rafa? Hitting backhands shots into a wood chipper? Playing frisbee with Cujo?

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 02/10/2009 at 06:05 PM

I need the Lion King on DVD. :)

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 06:06 PM

oh Sherlock, one day you are shooting that dove outta the sky and the next you are a rainbow of love and goodwill.
a man for all seasons indeed.

Posted by greenhopper 02/10/2009 at 06:06 PM

me too, jewell. the platinum edition.

Posted by Arun 02/10/2009 at 06:07 PM

lol nT!

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 06:07 PM

Annie, yeah, the newer ball machines can do all sorts of spin...topspin, slice, etc. Also, you can set it to random variation so that you get different sorts of balls. However, IMR, they top out at around 1500 rpm...while Fed's fh comes in at 3000+ and Rafa at nearly 4000.

Posted by Rachael 02/10/2009 at 06:09 PM

a lolcano is simply a volcano of lol.
you couldn't make this stuff up.


trying. hard. to stay up til 2 to SB Rod. even though it is crazy.

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 06:09 PM

"playing frisbee with Cujo"
another whoooooooop

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 06:09 PM

I still maintain that Fed's BH held up pretty well in sets 1-4. He needs to learn what to do about *Nadal's* BH, though.

Posted by Samantha Elin 02/10/2009 at 06:09 PM

I was reading over some posts I missed and some people thought that JJ and Rafa would make a great couple. Total opposites. Rafa is sweet, kind, very humble, never has anything bad to say about anybody. Also, Rafa has said that he thinks Swedish girls are the most beautiful. JJ looks the opposite of a Swede, but Caroline could easily pass for a Swede and she adores Rafa. I saw her on TTC talking about how hot he's. I know he has a girlfriend but if they ever break up, I think he would be great for Caroline. They both are sweetheart, now that JJ, she would dominate poor Rafa, boss him around. I don't think Rafa likes the pushy type. Go Caroline, Scandinavia's#1!

Posted by Jackie 02/10/2009 at 06:09 PM

Delurking to say I'm so loving the interaction right now. ;)

AND ... I got my car back! Yayness.

Posted by greenhopper 02/10/2009 at 06:12 PM

ha. Rachael.
but what were you erupting out laughing (eol) for?

good stuff, Jackie.

Posted by Annie 02/10/2009 at 06:12 PM

Rachael: that is the most awesome loyalty to stay up til 2 just to SB? no watchies? girl, i'm impressed.

and lolcano. it's great and i feel like i should have gotten it. thanks.

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 06:12 PM

sblily, I guess he could get a Rafa doll stuck on the ball machine? Anyways, I really don't think it's that much mental, and saying that just does a disservice to both guys. It's the perfect way for a lefty to play a 1hbh player. When you have a stock tactic to get yourself points, it lets you pull through in the tough moments.

Another key for Rafa is how well he handles Roger's slice. Yeah, Rog gets a couple of free points here and there. But, if he does it too much, Rafa can run around it and destroy it. That was the key to Wimby. Rog can't push the serve back in play, and playing a topspin bh return is really difficult.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 02/10/2009 at 06:13 PM

any old version will do me, GH, as long as it's on DVD - I wore out the video through too much watching. :(

LOL Samantha Elin, I think that was me hoping for a JJ-Rafa romance.

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 06:13 PM

"even though it is crazy."
it's why we love you Rachael.

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 06:13 PM

my SB appears to be frozen.

C'mon Ernie.

Posted by greenhopper 02/10/2009 at 06:14 PM

Rafa doll in a ball machine.
Fed won't even have to imagine every ball as Rafa anymore. He'll blast them off the court.

But remember, the doll has voodoo powers.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 02/10/2009 at 06:14 PM

congrats, Jackie.

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 06:15 PM

oh it's back now. Looks like Mello saved another bp.

Sarauj.

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 06:21 PM

Sam Elin - LOL @ your 6:09 PM post

RPMS data

From previous Tennis Mag issue got from mens tennis forum. They listed topspin averages (RPMS) --
Nad: 1800 - 4900; 3200 AVG
Fed: 1400 - 4500; 2700 AVG
A-Rod: 1400 - 4200; 2700 AVG
Safin: 900 - 3300; 2200 AVG
Hewitt: 1300 - 3700; 2200 AVG
Agassi: 1200 -3300; 1900 AVG
Sampras: 1000 - 3400; 1800 AVG

Also an interesting article, scroll down to find the section on top spin

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2009/01/australian-open.html

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 06:22 PM

hey folks, I found the tennis fairly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRcI-mFr6aQ

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 06:22 PM

hey folks, I found the tennis fairly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRcI-mFr6aQ

Posted by ptenisnet 02/10/2009 at 06:22 PM

Igor's forehand has to be up there somewhere.

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 06:23 PM

or even fairy. lol

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 06:23 PM

scary typeBad loves my typos

Posted by crazyone 02/10/2009 at 06:24 PM

or Verdasco's.

I find the number on Roddick's FH hard to believe...because his FH is fairly ineffective these days now that he hits it topspin rather than flat. But maybe it's because he can't get simultaneous depth and spin.

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 06:24 PM

Hey Jackie good for you ;-)

Posted by Rachael 02/10/2009 at 06:24 PM

Annie - I can't not follow a Roddick match. I can't remember the last time I missed one, apart from last August when I didn't have internet.
I'd pay to stream but I really don't think my net could handle it. will be tempted to try if it comes to Rod/Gulbis though.


greenhopper - I was laughing at this:

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

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 02/10/2009 at 06:26 PM

LOL naughty.

Posted by Jackie 02/10/2009 at 06:26 PM

Thanks, y'all. Car sweet car. ;)

OMG, naughty, I'm like falling all over myself laughing at your comments.

Posted by sic (Roland Garros, Wimbledon and AO) 02/10/2009 at 06:27 PM

Nice article about Rafa's dominance of Raja.


http://tinyurl.com/cymzt2

Posted by Sherlock 02/10/2009 at 06:30 PM

LOL, Naughty. Awesome video. :)

I'm glad I didn't mention any movie with Elton's song. I would have looked even more foolish than usual by saying Aladdin.

As with any Disney discussion, I feel compelled to mention that "Beauty & the Beast" is the best ever. Go Paige O'Hara!! :)

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 06:31 PM

c1, RPM is not the whole story, of course. My guess would be that Roddick's fh has lot less speed through the court than Rafa or Roger. The key with Nadal and Fed's shots is how far in front of the body they play it....it's ridiculous...the amount of wrist you need to get the topspin on the shot in that position. (I've not seen any data collection on this aspect).

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 06:35 PM

just to keep it a bit tennis

backhand fail

http://tinyurl.com/ce6bnz

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 02/10/2009 at 06:36 PM

thanks avid and sic for the articles. :)

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 06:38 PM

oh and suddenly ernie decides that it is a bit foolish to be having such a hard time against a mini, left handed Brazillian (lol that sounds like something a woman might get done before a big date)

well done Ernie

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 06:38 PM

nT, lol! It's nice to see that even Fed can get nothing but air on a backhand...though it prolly happens to him once or twice a year.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 02/10/2009 at 06:40 PM

I love the whole idea of Failblog.

I just went to Paige O'Hara's website (the things you do when you're trying to be tired enough to sleep!) and saw she was singing in something called "Menopause: the Musical." What fun.

although, she was good as Belle. :)

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 06:43 PM

Who is Todd Widom? For split second I though that was supposed to be Wisdom ;-)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 02/10/2009 at 06:45 PM

Nice piece on Tsonga by Neil Harman:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article5705094.ece

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 06:48 PM

failblog is so good. It is a great boost on our off days

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 06:48 PM

Bellucci having a very good day indeed by the looks of things

Posted by sblily (Gil Reyes KAD) 02/10/2009 at 06:50 PM

Jewell - thanks for the Tsonga article. This part made me LOL. Poor David Brewer:

Tsonga built on the raw talent that first came to the attention in the boys' singles at the 2003 French Open, when he defeated David Brewer, from Scotland, of whom little has been seen since, and reached the semi-finals.

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 06:51 PM

jewell, tx for that. Hehe...gotta love the big hitters:

"""
Asked about his happiest moment on a tennis court, he said: “My first year at Bercy, I served so hard that it knocked the racket right out of the hands of Mario Ancic. He still held on to the grip but the rest of the racket was gone.”
"""

Posted by beth 02/10/2009 at 06:53 PM

wait - he broke the racquet ?
is that like breaking the backboard when you dunk
that is so totally macho - and hot

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 02/10/2009 at 06:54 PM

I think I will look at failblog whenever I need cheering up from now on.

Posted by Pspace 02/10/2009 at 06:55 PM

beth, that's what it sounds like...I can't find a clip, unfortunately. Hehe...exactly like breaking a backboard. Wow! Ok...I'm going to lose my next match trying to serve bombs :-(...can't help it.

Posted by ptenisnet 02/10/2009 at 06:55 PM

Did you guys catch shortsfail?

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 02/10/2009 at 06:56 PM

ptenisnet - sadly not.

Posted by Sher 02/10/2009 at 06:56 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.]

Without getting into the whole who is the better whatever (I happen to think both guys are fine, thank you), I'd like to see this logic applied more often to Rafa's loss vs Murray in USO 08.

Just saying'.

Posted by ptenisnet 02/10/2009 at 06:58 PM

Jewell
That cracked me up to no end. But I am sure they are all equally funny, if not more :-)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 02/10/2009 at 07:00 PM

I just found one called Ironing Fail which is slightly too close to home.

Posted by ptenisnet 02/10/2009 at 07:01 PM

And courage fail.

Posted by sblily (Gil Reyes KAD) 02/10/2009 at 07:03 PM

Thanks to whoever mentioned Failblog. Comedy gold.

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 07:03 PM

slide fail is a health risk.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 02/10/2009 at 07:04 PM

is Shorts Fail the one where the woman got sent to jail for showing too much leg in the courtroom?

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

[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. ]


This argument basically states that Federer IS the higher level of competition that anyone who grew up in his era has had to deal with, when the rest of the field wasn't in the same league.

I would argue with this view, if it weren't so darn complimentary to Roger. Shucks! :)

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

Good god

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNQLmHKlmiE&feature=channel

Posted by ptenisnet 02/10/2009 at 07:06 PM

jewell yes.

Posted by Sher 02/10/2009 at 07:07 PM

avid sports fan, wow very interesting article at 6:21.

naughty T: LOL at tennis fairy & roger whiffing the ball

jewell, what is Failblog? :)

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 07:09 PM

always a pleasure Sbilly

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 02/10/2009 at 07:09 PM

Sher - it's where naughty's videos came from...never heard of it before a few minutes ago, but I love it already. :)

LOL ptenisnet, is that one for real? How did the judges last that long without cracking up?

Posted by Mike 02/10/2009 at 07:10 PM

'All we need is Il Divo to have a huge serving day over two sets and then Fed's out...'

Past performance does not guarantee future results. ;)

Rafa can lose in the FO Final ... we can barely comprehend it, but it's possible. I honestly feel that if TMF shows up in Dubai this year, he will win it ... nothing in Pro Tennis is guaranteed, but I think Fed is playing better and looks healthier than he did at this time last year ... IMHO.

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 07:12 PM

Serena receives Kids Choice Award Nomination for Favorite Female Athlete.

Serena and Common still an item ;-)

More Serena news, check the link below
http://simplyserenawilliams.blogspot.com/

Posted by Sher 02/10/2009 at 07:12 PM

paragraph from that scientific article that made me laugh:

[The strangest thing about the first week was that the main protagonists were actually arguing about who the favourite was! Murray was the bookies favourite, thanks to his victories in Abu Dhabi and Doha, but seeded fourth. Djokovic felt he was the man to beat as the defending champion, while Federer was telling anyone who would listen that he and Nadal were still the two to beat. It was a peculiar approach to the mental preparation to sport, because usually the favourites are reluctant to acknowledge their status. Only Nadal has been relatively silent this week. ]

Heh.

Also, I think the ESPN article had previously been posted by Master Ace

Posted by Sher 02/10/2009 at 07:14 PM

wow, what, "video no longer available"

FAIL.

Posted by naughty T, next!!!!!! 02/10/2009 at 07:15 PM

sher it is where those clips come from. Failure after glorious failure.

ptennis if you like language failure and losing things in translation then you must check out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bic0pTTXeNw

Posted by avid sports fan aka Sigh-Rena *back at work* 02/10/2009 at 07:16 PM

Sher - That paragraph had me thinking too ;-)

Posted by Sher 02/10/2009 at 07:17 PM

naughty T found it :)

btw, with Sampras, Tiger Woods and Andy Roddick weightning in on the AO final, anyone know where to find the interview with Roddick where the quote came from?

http://www.tennis.com/news/ticker.aspx

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 02/10/2009 at 07:19 PM

LOL naughty.

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