Peter Bodo's TennisWorld - Sunday Brunch
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Sunday Brunch 10/04/2009 - 10:00 AM

91186219 Howdy, everyone. With a little help from the gods, Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day here in game-rich Andes, after a week-long forecast of rain. The fall foliage is at it's colorful best, and generally peaks in this neck of the woods on Columbus Day weekend - which is next week.

I'll miss it this year, because Lisa, Luke and I are going to Boston for one of the "Geezerpalooza" weekends that Lisa's college friends organize, whenever seems like a logical or good time for the lot of them to get together. It's a nice tradition, and a great weekend, especially now that so many of her friends also have kids. But in all honesty, the entire concept is a little foreign to me. Unlike my wife, I'm not in regular contact with anybody with whom I went to school - high school or college. Which makes me wonder which way y'all swing on that subject.

For me, it's not a policy, just the way things worked out. And it's not because I live too much in the here and now; I have some good friend whom I've known for ages, but none of them date back to my school years. I seem to be more of the type who forms new relationships as he goes along. Friend relationships are funny; I think there's an inner dynamic that makes them last, or not, and it's got nothing to do with the depth or authenticity of the relationship. Some other, largely automatic factor(s) determine the arc of any given friendship. Maybe the lack of a core group of friends makes it easier to expand your base of friends. This weblog has certainly broadened my pool people I happily call my friends.

Well, maybe that's a good  basis for a Sunday Brunch conversation, maybe not. In either event, there's also some tennis to talk about, what with Gilles Simon in the final at Bangkok and Ana Ivanovic pulling the emergency brake of her career in Beijing, citing an upper-chest respiratory infection. Does anyone else reading the bare-bones AP report get the feeling that there's a little spinning in progress here? What seem like a simple story of a withdrawal due to illness really becomes the story of Ivanovic acknowledging that her year has been dog doo-doo. In a way, it's a fitting end to a year she'd rather forget, and citing a shoulder injury that inhibited her post-Wimbledon performance is another item that suggests that she wants to control the damage.

I don't doubt the authenticity of her complaints,  but it seems pretty clear that Ivanovic has seen the light, and the word it illuminates is "regroup."  Ivanovic won the French Open in 2008, but she's lived in a vale of tears most of the time since then. It's certainly a cruel but not by any means unusual fate; just when a player reaches the top of the mountain, a number of unanticipated factors, ranging from injury to the unexpected pressures that come with the top position kick in. I don't know how you prepare for that,  but it seems to underscore the counter-intuitive theory that you must be very careful not to be too goal-oriented.

Everybody wants to play great, that's a given. But some players seem to focus on achievement to such a high degree that realizing their ambitions leaves them on the edge of the motivational precipice. Or maybe it's the consistency precipice.

If your life's dream is to win Wimbledon, the toughest fate that may befall you is. . . winning Wimbledon. I'm not saying that this is the case for Ivanovic, but there's also no doubt that her fall from the top has been swift and hard enough to make you wonder about her bedrock psychology. If she played great and lost matches, that's one thing. But long before she began to complain of injury, it was fairly obvious that she had a difficult time handling the pressure once she won a major and reached no. 1.

That loss of nerve - for that's exactly what it appears to have been, has been the dominant theme in her struggles, and refusing or failing to face up to the basic problem is a long-term negative. I'd feel better about her future if she had come out somewhere (any help, anyone?) and admitted that the pressures of being the top player simply overwhelmed and crippled her. Trying to rationalize her troubles, or position them as injury-related, only makes it less likely that she'll overcome them. So, while I don't doubt that she's hurt, or that she really wants to regain her former status, I think the road back to the top will have to begin with a look in the mirror. That she has said nothing about failing to adjust to the new, increased demands and expectation she faced as a Grand Slam champion isn't a good sign, for the most overlooked aspect of the champion's mentality is honesty.

And yes, I know it's easy for me to say that. But that doesn't mean it isn't true.

-- Pete


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Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/05/2009 at 01:28 AM

Hi Spacie how was your w/e?

Posted by crazyone 10/05/2009 at 01:29 AM

Pspace, interesting thing about PEHK--he has one of the highest 2nd serve winning percentages on tour. That seems to have been the big difference in this match.

There are three Swiss in the top 100 now.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 01:38 AM

anyone got a working stream for beijing?

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 01:40 AM

Hey, everyone. :)

Poor Licky...I wish she would take a longer break.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/05/2009 at 01:48 AM

Hiya jewell and mina. No working link for China. I wonder if Licky's retirement was due to the same injury

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 10/05/2009 at 01:48 AM

Hey Angel, mostly stuck at work this weekend. But, pretty decent as far as work weekends go ;-). Did you get up to anything fun?

c1, didn't know that. It's a curious stat. Maybe closing your eyes and feeling the breeze with your tongue helps with a good second serve ;-).

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 01:52 AM

the tour needs to do something abt international coverage of it's 500's. and i don't meant getting people to subscribe to the online feeds. too expensive.

TV broadcast carriers need to increase their coverage... just carrying Masters and Slams won't cut it. and don't even get me started on DC.

/end rant

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/05/2009 at 01:55 AM

mina
+100

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 01:57 AM

Hello jewell.
You referring to Sabine? What happened to her?

Posted by Grad Student 10/05/2009 at 01:57 AM

I just wanted to thank everyone who responded to my post. I don't get to write that often (too many courses to teach) but I am faithful reader.

To Peg,

Yes, it is easy to overlook how good Agassi was in this decade. If you limit the list to the first half of the decade, 2000 to 2004, he is number one.

To thebigapple,

Roddick is very underrated. I devised a point system for the Open Era (components include slam titles, slam finals, slam semis, slam quarters, career titles, Davis Cup singles record, Master Series Titles, YEC performance, yearend rankings, etc.). In this system, he comes in at #20. I Think it is misleading to judge players solely by number of slam titles. That is the single most important rubric. But it is not the only rubric.

To Bhai Marzai,

I was not trying to slight players like JMDP or Pete. It was actually pretty impressive that Pete finished in the Top 10 for the decade, considering he only played for three years.

Where decade lists get dicer, actually, are players like Guga. His achivements are roughly divided between two decades so he will not place particuarly high in either decade.

One last thing I would to say to everyone about Fed. Before 2004, he only advanced past the 4th round in slam three times (QF of French in 2001, QF of Wimbledon in 2001, Championship at Wimbledon in 2003). So, basically, he ran up the ungodly number beside his name in just six years!

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/05/2009 at 01:59 AM

AM I've read that Casey is playing a couple of small tournies in country WA.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 02:03 AM

Hi Angel and Mina!

Poor Ivo. :(

Catching up on the thread...I had forgotten how much like Safina and Ana Rafa is. ;-)

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 02:04 AM

hi jewell... and LOL at the last part of your comment.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 02:04 AM

Hey rg! She had to retire in her match, I was wondering if she was still suffering from the recent injury.

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 02:09 AM

Ah ok. What injury was that? Poor girl. I like her game a lot. Anyway, I like all things German! :-)

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 10/05/2009 at 02:11 AM

""I had forgotten how much like Safina and Ana Rafa is. ;-)""

Yep. Safina and Rafa speak Spanish, and have dominant male figures in their lives Ana and Rafa own homes in Spain, and inspire significant fanboy/girling. It's like they're one person ;-).

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 02:11 AM

didn't Sabinme turn her ankle in that match against Rodionova at the USO? news was it was broken cos she was carried off court in a stretcher

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 10/05/2009 at 02:12 AM

Oh, they're also professional tennis players. Duh!

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 02:13 AM

I am sorry for Caroline. Think she needs a lil break. She played way too much tennis this year!

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 02:14 AM

i hope you find what you're looking for in Court 3, Pspace. though it might prove difficult since she's in Asia at the mo. :)

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 10/05/2009 at 02:18 AM

mina, yeah, it's gonna be a long winter ;-).

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 02:18 AM

i agree with RG. Caroline just needs time to hone her game and find consistency that she needs. andd rest doesn't hurt. the way she schedules reminds me of...JJ.

and speaking of JJ, is she in Beijing? Masha won't be smiling at her anytime soon if she does play there.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 02:23 AM

2nd set of Nole/Hanescu is now officially a breakathon. according to the sb. it's ridiculous that there is absolutely no working (free) stream. like a quasi blackout. just how international can a tourney be without much coverage?

thank goodness Shanghai is a Masters. at least it'll get TV coverage... and that means (free) streams for us! hehe

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 02:25 AM

I don't think the ankle was broken, she played a tight three-setter with JJ last week.

Hm...first part of the post, I don't think I have any friends remaining from school days. I hated school though, when it was over I didn't really want to keep in touch with anyone. Drifted away from a group of very close friends at college, but still in touch. I am still close to the few friends I made at university, though. I think generally I am one of those people who likes to have a small group of friends rather than a huge mass of them. Made some good friends here over the past year or so, which is very nice. :)

I haven't anything much to say about Ana, I just hope she does manage to regroup, really. :) I still think she has the talent somewhere in there - it's not like that FO win was her only good run at a slam.

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 02:37 AM

Thanks, mina. Jj played based on the assumption that when you are young, your body can take a great load. Using this logic, players like JJ overplay and while they accumulate wins and ranking points, they arrive at slams slightly overworked and jaded. Caroline should ensure that she does not go the JJ way.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 02:43 AM

I guess JJ liked being in a rhythm though. It must be really hard to get the balance right.

Posted by Sarah 10/05/2009 at 02:45 AM

"vale" of tears....?

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 02:52 AM

I shall try answering the first part of today's topic. My dad was in a job where he used to get transferred every to years. Which meant that I did not stay in any single place for more than that time. Between my 7th and 10th grade, I did make some good friends and I am still in touch with them. Two of them, I think I am very close with. Over the years, I made some new friends with whom I share a lot more in common. Like Jewell, I have a small group of very close friends.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/05/2009 at 02:59 AM

Well Cornet couldn't back up her win yesterday. Such a shame.

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 03:03 AM

Hi y'all.

One more thing on Ana that I ran out of time to post earlier.

It seems natural to me that if a player is going to pull out for the rest of the year they will site injuries and not mental fatigue, or at least not mental fatigue alone. Firstly because it is more understandable for the fans and the tournaments who would be disappointed when a player pulls out. Unless an injury is claimed, it would appear to these groups as if a players withdrawal is simply a choice rather than a necessity, and that it reflects a lack of commitment.

And secondly because declaring in a press release or somesuch, that you are mentally fatigued, have lost your confidence and are struggling with the pressures, is probably revealing something rather intimate for the purpose (which is simply to take time off), and exposes weaknesses that may not be in your interests to expose and which certainly don't fit in with the sponsors, media and publics requirement of an athlete as a 'champion'.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 03:23 AM

Hi, Nic!

I thought I was reading stuff a week or so or more ago about Ana deciding to have a break; it was kind of surprising that she showed up to play last week. It seems like a messy way to announce one to me.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/05/2009 at 03:24 AM

I'm checking out guys may check back in later. If not hope your favs win.

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 03:28 AM

Angel: See you later.

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 03:30 AM

Hey jewell! I'd started to think I'd driven everyone away with my virtual stink. It does seem like a messy way to announce. Maybe there was still some flip flopping in the camp? Kind of like, once you say it's really over for the year, there's not even the tiniest chance of being able to redeem it.

Caro went out v. early. Probably that bug they all seem to give each other in Japan still playing out.

I know it's probably better for everyone, but I hope Serena doesn't reclaim no.1. I still pathetically cling to the hope that Dina takes a slam while holding the ranking.

Bye Ange.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 03:36 AM

Bye, Angel. :)

Ha, Nic...I like Serena but I have to confess I am kind of hoping she doesn't reclaim the #1 spot, too. :)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 03:39 AM

I often wonder how Ana's year would've gone if she had won in IW over Zvonareva.

anyway, the messy announcements make me wonder about her team and the competence of the spin operation. Perhaps she needs Peter Mandelson or Alistair Campbell to help out. ;-)

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 03:48 AM

And yay for Kolya's KL title. It looks like Kolya might edge Nando out of the WTF. Seems a shame when Nando has had a banner year, and he has been really keen to play in the WTF, playing the Asian swing and pushing through his foot pain to do so. While Kolya has been out for a chunk of this year, and would be sneaking into that last spot.

But I believe Kolya deserves to be a top 10 player. And I would have been sad if the time out had forever derailed his chances of slotting back into that spot.

But who knows, there might be time for things to switch yet. And actually, looking at the top 10 at the moment, I'm really satisfied with who is filling the spots. It seems that everyone who should be there, is. There's not a dud among them :P

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/05/2009 at 03:48 AM

Well I am back from the Pharoh Exhibition

AA yes I am soo pleased our junior boys won,Ray Ruffles said he wanted sone revenge seeing our Cricket team lost the Ashes lol!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/05/2009 at 03:50 AM

Gee I see we are still Stuck on Anna

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 03:51 AM

Heh, or even a Charles Prentiss.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 03:54 AM

i just re-read one of my earlier posts, glaring error there, sorry. it was the first set that was initially a breakathon for Nole/Hanescu... this lack of streams is really getting to me... a whole day off and i can't watch any tennis...such a waste. :P

i kinda want the pressure off Dina, not just for her sake, but also for my own health haha.

but seriously, i'm torn. Dina retains number 1: pressure stays on, mental fragility ensures crumbling losses. Dina loses number 1 to Serena: i won't be able to stand the gloating of *ahem* certain people. LOL

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/05/2009 at 03:55 AM

AA Thanks for your respsonse to Casey.I hope her shoulder injury has well healed.Playing smaller tournaments will at least give her some vital match play.I believe too she has altered her service motion as well,due to the shoulder problem.Also she would have had her ranking protected for Slam events I would imagine.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 03:56 AM

Anyway, I need Mandy over here for the next ten months...Ana will have to find someone else. :)

"Stuck on Ana" - LOL. Where have all the fanboys gone? ;-)

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/05/2009 at 03:56 AM

Mina I hoped you turned your clock forward by now? lol!

Gee what a horrible,wet,cold long weekend it has been.Shades of Winter.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 04:00 AM

It's raining here for the first time in about a month, kind of nice.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/05/2009 at 04:00 AM

Also the Fashion Gods were against me today

After the exihibition I found out the most wonderful shop in the world Chanel was opened

Only to find out,Shock Horror they have run out of my fav perfume?

Then I found out the Bag that I am after off the Chanel Website they arent sending to Australia? hey could things get any worse for me

Also I had Peter with me,also his credit card.Pfft.

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 04:03 AM

Hey AM> How are you? Happy for Simon and Masha. Hope Verdasco qualifies for the YEC. Hoping for an Aussie win at the Champions Trophy today?

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 04:06 AM

AM u just reminded me i haven't given my 2 cents on AI...

i'm totally with her re calling it a season. if i was in her position, i would have done it her weeks ago. there is no point in trying to rally on an empty tank, mentally and physically. regroup for 2010.

and the girl needs to sort out her team, for crying out loud. that will take time to say the least. picking up a new coach and trainer won't show results in a couple of weeks. athletes with virtually no coaching staff who still keep on winning (see RF)are very few and far in between. they are an exceedingly rare breed, for obvious reasons.

lastly, there's something to be said about her introspectiveness. reading her diary entries on her blog, one gets the impression that Ana is a super smart girl, the kind that can overthink things. not to say that her smarts get in the way of her tennis but this somehow factors in given all the things she's had to deal with for the past year or so.

at least she's got that FO08. forever. Dina, much as i love her, has yet to prove that she can get that monkey off her back.

see you in '10 AI. hopefully back in form.

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 04:06 AM

On the plus side, the rain kept some of the party goers and crazies away from work over the weekend. Although the most determined find a way, even in suede platform heels.
*sigh* I'm such a scrooge. Darn young people having a good time! Well, if I can't neither should they :P

I know about Dina. But take pressure away from her, and she'll just go and invent some more for herself. Take the no. 1 away and she'll probably think "Oh no! Now I've lost no. 1, and I didn't manage a slam. And I'm on the decline and now I really really need to prove that I deserved the ranking to begin with and win that slam!" It's lose-lose with that girl :)

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/05/2009 at 04:08 AM

Rg Nadal Hola,well things are ok I suppose.Wemt to a wonderful exihibition on the Paroh's of the Nile today.My dream is to take a cruise up the Nile one day.

Yes Mr Pointing has a lot to prove indeed.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 04:08 AM

Suede and rain don't really go, do they? What do you do over the weekends, Nic?

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 04:11 AM

AM: Kewl. Me in office now reading Dan Brown's Lost Symbol on the comp.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/05/2009 at 04:12 AM

Nic With the rotton weather,the crazies come out dont they? I always spray my suede shoes for rain,though I still wouldnt wear then in the weather we have had.

Also thank goodness the Rugby League season has finished though Phew my team won.Shades of least year were with me all through the match though

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 04:13 AM

Dina is JJ-esque that way :) props to my girls for their 'creativity' LOL and i love me some headcases! fact.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/05/2009 at 04:13 AM

RG Nadal Hey what is it like?

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 04:14 AM

How far in are you, rg? Is it good? I quite enjoyed the Da Vinci Code despite all its faults.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/05/2009 at 04:15 AM

No Safina is in her own League for sure lol!

Hey I have been a long term suffering fan I should know lol!

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 04:15 AM

AM was cheering for the Storm against the Eels? must've been why Paramatta lost. :)or cos KRudd was cheering on them LOL

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 04:18 AM

They really don't. And heels in the rain are a recipe for disaster. Also it seems like there is no such thing as weather appropriate party wear. But shivering outside is not sexy!

I work on weekends. And right at the center of the club district in Sydney. And other than that it means missing a lot of parties and birthdays and things, which doesn't help the unforgiving friends. But it's necessary, and I plan on switching things around over the summer and making up for it.

Sorry about the Chanel store AM. Never mind that it's the 21st century, somehow we're still left behind.

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 04:21 AM

AM: Good so far. Long way to go.
Jewell: On page 11. Want the pdf file? Btw, bought Orwell's Animal Farm yesterday at a sale.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/05/2009 at 04:21 AM

Mina You werent here last year,they got smashed by Manly who I detest,dosent everybody? apart from St George

I put myself in a Straight Jacket,vowing never to come out of it.

Posted by mick1303 10/05/2009 at 04:22 AM

Cumulative_ranking_in_Slams_for_ATP_1990-2009:

Player______________________Total
1)_Federer,_Roger___________42456
2)_Sampras,_Pete____________41460
3)_Agassi,_Andre____________36964
4)_Nadal,_Rafael____________18954
5)_Courier,_Jim_____________18950
6)_Hewitt,_Lleyton__________16750
7)_Edberg,_Stefan___________15784
8)_Roddick,_Andy____________15304
9)_Becker,_Boris____________14034
10)_Ivanisevic,_Goran_______13558
11)_Kafelnikov,_Yevgeny_____13470
12)_Safin,_Marat____________13426
13)_Chang,_Michael__________12340
14)_Ferrero,_Juan_Carlos____11664
15)_Martin,_Todd____________11650
16)_Rafter,_Patrick_________11614
17)_Stich,_Michael__________10704
18)_Henman,_Tim_____________10532
19)_Krajicek,_Richard_______10378
20)_Kuerten,_Gustavo________10334

Posted by Mark Petry 10/05/2009 at 04:26 AM

I hope Ivanovic will be able to regroup and come back strong next year. She has weapons in the forehand and serve that should definitely keep her at the top. It's all mental. Not sure how she can overcome it, but hopefully she will. Until that happens, I'm adding her to the "headcase club" along with Safina, Dani, and my girl Patty

Posted by imjimmy 10/05/2009 at 04:26 AM

Interesting comments from Nadal on the eve of the China Open -

http://eurosport.yahoo.com/04102009/58/return-action-scared-nadal.html
_________

Nadal argued that his consistently high ranking over the last half decade was witness to his generally good conditioning and said he could not change his swashbuckling style even if he wanted to.

"If you are not fit and your body is not ... in a good condition, it's impossible to spend five years in the top two," said the 2005 China Open champion.

"Yes, I have an aggressive style of game but I think no one can choose their style. Sure, I would like to serve like (Ivo) Karlovic and volley like (Roger) Federer but my game is another.

"I'm happy with my game, I have a very good career right now and ... it's impossible to say I'm going to change the style of the game."

"I hope I'm ready and I hope I'll be good but after a year like this, you are always a little bit scared," the Australian Open champion said.

"It was probably one of the more difficult years for me because I had the important injury of the knee and the abdominal injury at the US Open so it wasn't a lucky year for me," he added.
_________

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 04:27 AM

Pft, spoilt Storm supporter. A team only around since the 90s and 3 championships already? And what the last 3 grand final appearances in the row? :P

And what's with the new final system letting the Eels into the finals when the would normally be out of it?

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 04:29 AM

LOL AM. your 'love' of St George leaves one with that warm fuzzy feeling... of a straightjacket.

just read that the RF frangrance line is gonna be discontinued and the company liquidated. i don't think Fed will miss that drop in the bucket :)

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 04:30 AM

Sorry, is it 4 finals in a row?

Anyway, I've been out of rugby league for a little while, but couldn't even muster enthusiasm for the final, because of all the scandal tarnishing the game.

And what's with all the random reports coming out about Rafa's nerves?

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 04:31 AM

Henman is higher than Kuerten? That's funny. But nice to read...I guess that's consistency and his 2004 FO and USO SFs.

Thanks, Nic, and word x 2 million on the shivering. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 04:32 AM

Nic I was scared of the Eels in the last ten minutes

Anyway at one stage the were headed for the Wooden Spoon so kudos to them.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 04:33 AM

Mina I wish Chanel would hurry up their supplies of Beige purfume

Forget about RF and his fragrance lol!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 04:33 AM

Mina I wish Chanel would hurry up their supplies of Beige purfume

Forget about RF and his fragrance lol!

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 04:33 AM

RG: Rafa does make a pretty good point there. 6 years on tour and 6 Slams. in all surfaces. tonnes of healthier players would swap their half their healthy days for that in a millisecond, so i'm counting Rafa's blessings and not dwelling in his perrennially injured state

i just hope he doesn't do irreversible damage to himself with the insanely stupid schedule he continues to have... well i can hope and pray all i like, can't i? :)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 04:34 AM

oops sorry for the double post

I blame Chanel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 04:37 AM

AM, have u seen the Lanvin Rafa endorsed perfume at DJs? i haven't...

Nic: i blame spin on the random reports on Rafa's recent case of nerves. Thanks Benito. this way if he loses early there's something to feed the trolls...

but you know what, i would be jittery too if i just had an abs injury to top off this fantastic injury besmirched year.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 04:42 AM

Cheers, rg! No, it's ok, I will probably pick up a paperback in a few months' time, but, thanks. :)

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 04:43 AM

With scheduling (and JJ, Rafa, Fed.... everyone)

Doesn't everyone feel almost invincible at age 20 (I say, with the wisdom of my nearly 3 years seniority ;)). And not just that but hungry and determined to make their mark while they can. There's not the assurance that comes with a few years on top, to know that you have 'it' and that it won't go away. Even Fed of the wise and limited schedule has spoken about how much he used to play when he was younger, and how it's taken him time (and probably a few million and dozens of titles) to realise he doesn't need it.

That's why I think JMDP should be commended on pulling back at appropriate times this year, like before the USO. It might also be factoring in his size and how he may be prone to injury as a result. Either way, it demonstrates a forward thinking beyond his years. Or at least good guidance from his camp. And

Others never get that kind of assurance even after years on tour, they need a week in week out grind and thousands of balls to feel good. Like Kolya.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 04:44 AM

Mina I posted the Lanvin add for Annie from my pics on Flickr

I am using my other computer where i store these.I will post another day

Tommy Roberdo d B.Becker 6-2,6-2 Yay Tommy

Gee Venus took the 1st set againt A.Pavlyuchenkova gosh I wish some of these Russian girls had easier surnames

Though is down 1-4 in the 2nd Yikes!

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 04:45 AM

mina: Hope he opts for a smarter schedule next year. But I am thinking against that. He is playing Rotterdam in 2010. Nothing against the tournament. Personally i love it. May be his reasoning would be that one is fresh at the beginning of the year.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 04:46 AM

Pavs is on her way to leveling her match with Vee. plans to 'stick Vee on the way, we'll see if Pavs can pull this off

in other news the more handsome Tommy has won his match against Becker. that's Robredo. well to me at least he's it :) never got the Haas fascination. ever. oh well, if Flavia says he's pretty then he probably is...

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 04:46 AM

oops

Robredo d Becker 6-2,6-1

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 04:48 AM

Rafa is totally insane playing Rotterdam so soon after the AO

Gee he picked up a knee ligament injury there

When will he Learn??????????????????????

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 04:50 AM

jewell: ok. Welcome.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 04:51 AM

Nic I totally agree with you on The Elf and his team.he had a rest before the US OPEN and it worked for him.He had to play a tough 5 set match might of been a different result if he had played a tournament before

Its all about match scheduling these days.Of course theyre are certain tournament you have to play.Though recovery is most vital to any athlete even the fittest.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 04:53 AM

Nic: Rafa just won't quit the insane scheduling. he's one of those who need/crave matchplay for confidence. having said that, he prolly will stil play an exhibition or two during the off season.

oh and one more thing, Rafa isn't exactly a spring chicken on tour given the miles he's logged on by going pro at 16 :) his age may say 23, but his body is bordering on 26 right now. not that there's anything *ahem* wrong with the body. it's perfect, no?

*laughs at own joke*

*realizes it*

*rolls eyes at self*

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 04:56 AM

this is how it's gonna be for the rest of the week isn't it? we're all stuck scoreboarding China Open. pffftt. open indeed. in more ways than one.

*grumbles some more*

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 04:56 AM

Yikes Pavs is up 2-0 in the 3rd set

Come on Vee

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 04:59 AM

when Vee and Serena were starting to win (a lot), i pegged Vee to be the more decorated one. shows you my forecasting skillz.

just like i didn't think in 1998 that this Swiss guy would be a bigger star than Marc Rosset. haha. that's my best work right there.

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 05:01 AM

Mina lol.

A few good experiences coming back after breaks could help. RAndy likes to think that's he plays better when he comes back on tour after a while, when he's fresh and has had time to work on his game, because that's when he's experienced some success.

Rafa is one of those guys that likes to have match play and be well beyond warmed up before he gets out on the match court, but there's time to change. And it might be next year. Who knows when and how the moment comes when we change our approaches to things? Sometimes those moments seem to just appear in very unexpected ways.

hehe, I feel like I've been taking Yoda lessons :P

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 05:03 AM

I keep being tempted by the siren call of Cotton Jack's Rafa theory of win streaks followed by droughts. And part of me thinks that his success in the early part of the year kind of messed up his normal rhythm, too. In other years I guess he hadn't played so many matches before the clay. And then the injuries came along...sigh.

I think I'd rather he cut some stuff out of the clay season, to be honest, and built in rest periods there.

I don't know if he can change his style entirely; and would I want him to? I think he has the talent to make adjustments/develop his style as necessary, but he's not going to ever be the sort of attacking player that we usually mean when we talk about aggression...it's like yelling at Roger to be aggressive on BPs, I guess. I mean, who they are is who they are.

I am not sure about the dichotomy of attack vs. defence, though...as usual I think it's too narrow.

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 05:04 AM

AM: If it is any consolation, Nole too is playing at Rotterdam...lol

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 05:04 AM

Yes Rafa's body is perfect, even his navel. :P

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

Ramble ramble ramble...sigh.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 05:08 AM

Rg Nadal The twins then I will call them then lol!

God help Rafa if he dosent defend and win the AO next year

I have paid for my trip and tickets in full

I will hunt him down at the Crown mark my words lol!

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 05:10 AM

LOL Nic. coming fr Fed fan, i'll gladly take that Rafa compliment. seriously though, i think the most perfect part of Rafa are... his teeth. for those who don't know me, no i'm not a fetishist, just a technical observation as i've studied teeth haha. and no i'm not counting the *cough* hours i've spent looking at zoomed in Rafa pics. actual schooling. LOL

speaking of teeth, i assume y'all have seen Elf's new smile?

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 05:13 AM

if Vee doesnt break after this game or loses her serve, i can see her boarding a plane tomorrow...Pavs up 4-2 in the 3rd, Vee serving.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 05:13 AM

Oh hey I forgot to say I did pick up a great summer dress

A Alberto Ferritti at DJ's on sale,yes thanks to Peters credit card lol

Well i have a anniversary coming up in October the 17th,though Peter maintains its on the 16th.I have lost my marriage certificate though lol!

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 05:15 AM

at long last! some streams

Vee/Pavs:
http://www.fromsport.com/video-88343.html

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 05:17 AM

wow a Ferretti dress. must be nice, AM. you have a charmed life!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 05:17 AM

Thanks Mina

Heaven help the Aussie cricketers 26-1

Catpain Idoit at the crease

Need 232 to win

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 05:18 AM

Meanwhile, Fed better continue his semifinal streak, or look out Dubai here I come, hehe. I think for Fed at this age and stage, the AO is a good thing (not that it ever wasn't). In theory it's good for everyone because it's at the beginning of the year and everyone is fresh, and talented flash in the pans can come out of nowhere. But I think it's good for Fed because of the ongoing back issues, and very few requirements in terms of lead in tournaments.

hehe, I've been meaning to say how awful that shot of Fed is in the tennis tv ad on the right hand side. He looks about 80 and toothless.

And your rambles make perfect sense to me Jewell.

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