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The Silk Shirt 11/17/2009 - 12:42 PM

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by Pete Bodo

You gotta love The Mighty Fed. Just about the time that everyone is trying to adjust to a world in which Roger Federer doesn't - or maybe, no longer can - win everything in sight, he comes out with this (in an interview with Paul Kimmage of The Times of London):

"I'm midway [through my career]. It feels like the second part of my career right now, although I am trying to avoid saying that because the second part sounds like ‘neehhhhrrrrr' [motions straight down]. You can definitely play your greatest tennis until 32 or 33, it's just a matter of how you look at it. I've always been a big believer in looking at the big picture. It's not about, ‘What will we do tomorrow?', it's about, ‘How will my life and tennis look in the next five years?' And I still have the same vision, so that's going to help me."

I had laugh out loud when I read that - especially the "neehhhrrr" bit. Anybody want to talk about handling pressure with grace? Actually, the entire piece is a good read; you could call it TMF's Sermon on the Mount - a discourse on how to handle being the guy with the target on his back in perpetuity, a meditation on the importance of taking joy and pleasure out of even a stressful life, an exposition of the workings of the mind of a confident, imperturbable genius. This guy needs a coach! It may be the dumbest thing I've ever said (but stick around, there's always tomorrow).

If you want to understand Federer, you really need to start with the fact that despite his resemblance to a regular if very nicely-dressed guy, he really is different; you have to throw out everything you known about other guys who have walked in similar shoes.

For example, look at the contrast between the way Federer and his pal Pete Sampras drove on to greatness. Having written Pete's book, A Champion's Mind,  with him a couple of years ago, I feel pretty qualified to make this comparison. Pete took his mission to make the most of his God-given talent as a challenge, and decided a few years into his pro career that he was willing to make the sacrifices required to fulfill his destiny. His drive to secure that sixth-consecutive year-end number 1 ranking (a first-order record that is now safe even from Federer,which makes it hard to imagine anyone every toppling it) almost wrecked him; the day he won his record, 14th singles title, he was ready to quit. Sampras had as deep and abiding a love for the game as any player who ever laced them up, but he grew tired of having to wear the hair shirt.

Federer's shirt, by contrast, is made from silk. And you can't help but notice how much, well, easier, it all seems for him. In the interview, he even mentions how he decided to take pleasure out of the things that drive so many pros batty - the travel, the itinerant lifestyle, the 24/7 bugle-call of competition. Once Federer decided that winning majors and making a run at the record established by Sampras was a worthwhile goal, he essentially shrugged and decided: Well, it's going to be a bear, but I may as well have fun doing it. . . 

And that's a conclusion that escaped most of our other, recent male tennis icons. Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lend and Sampras were all about the discipline of greatness (anyone else notice that the word "discipline" just doesn't appear to be part of Federer's vocabulary, and probably won't be, until his twins, Wimby and Rolanda (sic) start school?). Jimmy Connors was all about bringing the poor schmo across the net to his knees, begging for mercy. John McEnroe's schtick was, as that successful but cheesy reprise of the famous James Dean Rebel Without a Cause poster (on behalf of Nike) demonstrated, mostly about being the misunderstood, alienated genius. And what is Roger Federer about? Try enjoying life; having fun. Nike probably rejected the idea of a poster: We can't dress Roger up like Cyndi freakin' Lauper!

Andy Roddick, 16-14 in the fifth in the Wimbledon final? Hahahahaa! Isn't this great! Rafael Nadal, beating him to a pulp on the red clay?  Man, this is going to hurt in the morning, but it's kind of cool seeing all those Spanish princes and stuff here . . . Juan Martin del Potro at the US Open? Alright, I had him, but you can't win 'em all and did you catch that serve of his, pretty awesome, huh?

I can think of only one aspect of Federer's legacy that may be negative. It's going to make you wonder why all those other guys seemed so tortured, why everything had to be so danged dramatic, like in some stupid Ken Russell flick.  No matter what Andre Agassi might say, it's possible to love this game, from beginning to end. The "sacrifice" narrative is a gripping, honorable one, great fodder for hero-worshippers, role-model seekers, and amateur psychologists.

But what about the "fun" narrative?

Federer has made his life in pro tennis seem a little like the story of a a teen-ager who got to go snowboarding instead of back to school for the entire month of January. Sure he wiped out a bunch and got a little tired as Februrary bore down, but it sure beat struggling with geometry.

It turns out that even that tearful, post-Australian Open final moment earlier this year wasn't nearly as traumatic as some wanted, or hoped, it was. When Federer, wiping way a tear, said,  "God, this is killing me. . .", he was referring to having to make a speech while in the grip of turbulent emotions, not the actual, emotional pain of losing. It was more like having to talk to your mother on the phone while sitting in the dentist's chair, having a cavity drilled, than having to address the mourners at your best friend's funeral. 

I thought this nugget from the interview especially telling:

He (Federer) begins with a story about a script he received for a commercial for Nike with Tiger Woods in 2007. "We had these different lines," he explains, "and I was reading through it and said" ' I’d like to take the text where it says, ‘I love winning’. And they said, ‘Well, that works perfectly because Tiger says he hates losing’. So that’s a part of it, I suppose. I feel I’m the ‘love winning’ rather than the ‘hate losing’ type.” 

This is a pretty radical confession, given what we know about most great players, who fall almost exclusively into the Woods camp on the subject. And it's easy to underestimate how difficult it is to take the Federer stance on this, either naturally (which almost never happens) or through a lot of hard work on the mental aspects of competition. For you risk a lot more when you hitch your wagon to the idea of winning instead of the fear of losing, in roughly the same way that it's a lot easier to avoid doing bad than it is to actively do good.

The desire to win is driven by hope and optimism; the hatred of losing draws to a greater degree on fear, a constant looking over your shoulder. The guy who hates losing stands in danger of becoming a hoarder, a miser. The guy who loves winning stands a chance to become rich and make others wonder how come he's so "lucky."

And let's be frank about this: haven't we all thought, at one time or another, that Federer is lucky? That he's got that "easy" game, that rational, even-tempered nature, all those cupcake draws, all those unworthy Grand Slam final opponents, greasing the skids for his slide to tennis immortality. If Nadal wouldn't have come up lame at Roland Garros, Federer would still be chasing Sampras! Yeah. Cry me a river, begrudging his success. Then try opening your eyes, unclencing your fists, and relaxing that frown on your face.

As Roger well knows, life can be fun. And so can tennis.

PS - This is also your Watercooler post for today.


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Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:00 AM

JohnC Well one could say the same for Rafa in 2009

Posted by rg.nadal (carpe diem) 11/18/2009 at 01:00 AM

Hello all!!!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:02 AM

It might be fair to say Rafa and his great results in 2008 was just not because other players were playing badly either.Though sometimes people dont wish to acknowledge this fact lol!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:05 AM

Hola RG well we will know tomorrow the all important draw

Nervous are you lol!

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 01:06 AM

Morning, everyone. :)

I think we will likely get to read more pieces on different players/issues after the season-end.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:09 AM

Jewell I thought we got this all year round?

Well gives us something to saviour in the off season

Posted by rg.nadal (carpe diem) 11/18/2009 at 01:10 AM

AM: Hey there. Yeah, would be good if Nole is in Rafa's half, so that they would not face in the semis.

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 01:12 AM

yes, I just meant that at the moment we're heading to the WTFs so pieces on the top players are most likely, I guess, I wasn't trying to criticise. :)

Posted by streams 11/18/2009 at 01:12 AM

Tennis is fun ... its a strange Catch 22 that so many of the best players of the sport have lost their love of the game by the time they reach the peak of their ability. It's always nice when you see them appreciating each others' game, and I think Roger is a true example of someone who loves the game and seeing it played well (by himself or others).

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:13 AM

Jewell Have you changed your moniker again?

Or have I not noticed,anyway I agree.Its coming to a point here I wont be posting cause I am getting a bit sick and tired of the whole thing

Maybe I need your "special tea"

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:14 AM

Rg Nadal If I hear Cup Cakes draws or things being rigged I am out for sure lol!

Posted by JohnC 11/18/2009 at 01:14 AM

"Well one could say the same for Rafa in 2009"

One could, but it wouldn't be true. Apart from the fact he had to skip Wimby, his rivalry position vis Roger in 2009 is little changed from what it was in 06-08. In fact it's been remarkably consistent. What changed was Roger's slump, and then a partial resurgence this year. The fact the top slot is yet to be nailed down is clearly reflected in that table (as is Rafa's YE #1 in 2008).

The reason this kind of analysis works so well is because no one else has been in the top two slots since 2005 (apart from a momentary Murray aberration), so looking at tournaments both have entered is an accurate condensation of the broader picture.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:15 AM

Thanks John for your stats,whatever.

Posted by VC 11/18/2009 at 01:16 AM

Wouldn't mind seeing a piece on say, Davydenko. I don't think Pete has done one on him recently.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:17 AM

Streams You havent posted for a while.Good to see you on board.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:19 AM

VC Yes he did do one a little while ago

I wish he would do one on Borg,who still has the best percentage overall stats.Considering he retired at 26 onone has come near him on that one.

Posted by Angel of the Surf 11/18/2009 at 01:19 AM

If anybody else retires I like see articles on those players even if Pete doesn't like them or where they come from. Another good article would be players that are returning from injuries who have been out for most of the season.

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 01:20 AM

Hi streams! How are you?

*hugs AM*

I wish I had a special magic tea for stopping Fedal wars, LOL. I love talking about Fedal - I haven't caught up with all the posts yet though - but the hate and the ridiculousness that comes out on both sides is something I find really hard to deal with. I don't know why I can't just scroll past.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:23 AM

AA What about David's return,I will be inetested to see how he goes next year.He wont be defending his Medibank title.I love his game.He on his day has beaten the top 3.I hope his hip is ok

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 01:24 AM

I remember some stuff about Kolya around Shanghai, but then I think much of the focus was on Rafa.

Hm...want to catch up on JohnC's comments but I don't understand numbers...especially not before 6.30am, sigh.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:25 AM

Jewell Thanks for the Hugs

Maybe you can start working on a magic potion hey lol!

Posted by VC 11/18/2009 at 01:26 AM

aussiemarg : I must have missed it then. I'm not sure, but after the Shanghai tournament was there one mainly focusing on Rafa? Don't remember.

"I wish he would do one on Borg,who still has the best percentage overall stats.Considering he retired at 26 onone has come near him on that one."

Don't you think part of the reason for the percentage records is the fact that he retired so early, before physical ageing?

Posted by Suze 11/18/2009 at 01:30 AM

AM, yeah, it has probably been linked here previously and read by most. There has been a slew of articles lately due to the coming WTF, that I think I have gotten confused.

"It is, but his rivalry with Rafa is surely a central part of the narrative."

JohnC,

True. Even if one wants to talk of other things, it will eventually drift to Fedal. That's how popular these two are. But this is also the watercooler post as Pete says, so I guess, anything goes.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:31 AM

VC Sorry you were right on Kolya,perhaps Pete could do more or a indepth piece on him

Well I would love to see him perform further.No I dont think it was about the physical,cause he was the fittest athlete I have ever seen,noone has come near him,even today.He said to Mac at Wimby 08 he had lost the desire to compete.Quite frankly there was a lot of things personal going on outside his life at that time.He was such a private person.I would love he if would tell all.Though I dont believe he will.I want to know why he judged Wet Tee Shirt Competions for one lol!

Posted by Angel of the Surf 11/18/2009 at 01:32 AM

AM David will be playing some exos in South America through December with Canas (who I think will retire at the end of the year), Moya and couple of other players. Hopefully I will be able to keep up to date with the play etc.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:34 AM

AA Thanks for that

I did post above,Casey and Alicia paired up in doubles and won their match in WA.

Posted by zenggi 11/18/2009 at 01:40 AM

Good morning,

Kind of ironic. Verdasco got yesterday a trophy as best Madrileño (from Madrid) athlete of 2008. He cleaned his language for this ceremony and said that going to the WTF is the dream of a lifetime.

http://www.marca.com/2009/11/17/tenis/1258467531.html

Translation: http://tinyurl.com/yh5gnew

Posted by JohnC 11/18/2009 at 01:42 AM

The thing is, Suze, my interest is not in combat but in accuracy. And indeed as I've been putting together numbers today, and kinda thinking out loud in this thread, I've realised it's unfair to Rafa to throw in his records for 2003-4, when his ranking was fluctuating between the 80s and the 30s. So by excluding those, I say we are now looking at 62 tournaments entered by both, of which Roger has won 25, Rafa 19 and 18 by neither player. That covers the full five years of their rivalry, with simply this YEC to be added.

Posted by Angel of the Surf 11/18/2009 at 01:42 AM

I thought I had posted the news about those two earlier today for you. Well I intended to but I have been busy at my day job. I hope Casey's shoulder does hold up because she is such a nice girl also from my home state and follows the same footy team as me. I think though she needs to lose a couple of kilos and be fitter.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:45 AM

Hi Zenggi

He also said some very weird things about getting married

He said he was Crazy enough?

Well he does drive a Yellow Porshe and wear Giraffe tee shirts

I rest my case.

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 01:45 AM

"I want to know why he judged Wet Tee Shirt Competions for one lol!"

I might be able to hazard a guess at that one. :) Actually it sounds very Boris Becker-ish.

I think it would be fair to say that Roger slumped (for whatever reason) at the beginning of the year in 2008, and as I recall Rafa didn't do anything title-wise till the clay season.

But I suppose as always it's a combination of one person's level dropping, and other people improving - both Djokovic and Rafa had been improving since 2007, despite Rafa's title drought - which is interesting to think about in light of now - and I suppose one could go back to Canas and Murray in 2006, as well as Fed's matches with Rafa, to find ways of playing and possibly beating Roger.

I also think that losing those two GS finals against Rafa - Wimbledon and AO 09 - didn't help Federer's confidence for a few tournaments after each; although I suppose one has to think about 2008's very compressed schedule and mono after-effects, and then the back problems in early 2009, too.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (A Complete Bobblehead) 11/18/2009 at 01:45 AM

Gosh AM I didn't post it but I meant to. Gee I hate working sometimes. Please refer to me as bobblehead in the future.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:47 AM

AA Sorry I didnt see it,I had to go and get a passport photo for Medibank Yikes! I loathe having my photo taken,regardless.

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 01:47 AM

Morning, zenggi. :)

Posted by JohnC 11/18/2009 at 01:50 AM

Whatever Borg's motivation for abruptly quitting, it still means his w/l percentage requires an asterisk, since you cannot do a fair comparison with players who have had a full career.

This is possible. One could for instance calculate his w/l for his best five years and do the same for any player you wanted to compare him with. This would level the playing field with "slow starters" and/or "ageing champions".

Posted by zenggi 11/18/2009 at 01:50 AM

AM,

I know, I heard the radio interview posted by Mr. X. Fer will have a hard time finding a woman who won't make him crazier than he already is (his words).

I'm going to work. Gales, rain and traffic jams. What else is new?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:52 AM

Well Borg has the stats,regardless.I am not getting into anything on Borg.

Posted by zenggi 11/18/2009 at 01:52 AM

Hi jewell,

Just a few hours and all the frenzy and frazzle about the draws will lead to another silly discussion about luck and conspiracies.
I'd say that it doesn't matter. He who wins, deserves it.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (A Complete Bobblehead) 11/18/2009 at 01:54 AM

I don't have a problem with Nando driving a yellow porsche at all, in Perth we have guys driving around in flash cars so it makes no difference to me.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:54 AM

zenggi Well makes me wonder why Anna broke up with him,scary thoughts indeed.

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 01:54 AM

See...I think Dasco will almost attract more women with that statement; think of all the girls who will just want to rescue him from his own craziness and give him stability, etc!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:55 AM

AA That was a joke really,cause his Tee shirt also happens to be yellowish.

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 01:56 AM

Couldn't agree more, zenggi.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 01:56 AM

Jewell Methinks they need to be on Valium 24/7

Posted by zenggi 11/18/2009 at 01:58 AM

AA,

In Madrid a lot of people drive Porsche. The color of it is another thing and yellow is boyish and tacky. But Fer is young. He will mature and change to the Cayenne model. Same with women :)

Posted by rg.nadal (carpe diem) 11/18/2009 at 01:58 AM

Zenggi: Hi. Verdasco cleaned his lang? Does he use the uncleaned version usually?

jewell: Hola. How many more hours for the draw?

Posted by GB 11/18/2009 at 02:00 AM

Hey all,

*so frazzled about the WTF draw*

JohnC --I think there's a mistake with the 2008 stats --i think Rafa won 6, rather than 5 tourneys in which they were both entered (Monte Carlo, Hamburg, RG, Wimby, Toronto & the Olympics).

Agree with Jewel that you can't just look at the stats without context.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 02:01 AM

zenggi Well I am all for the Cayenne model

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 02:03 AM

Two hours and 45 minutes, I think, rg...I will be at work though. :)

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 02:03 AM

GB Goodness me

L.Rubin has set up a Rafa Frazzle line remember

Though you will hear Tims voice at the end of it

Dial at your own peril,also there is Phantom Of The Opera going on as well.

Posted by zenggi 11/18/2009 at 02:03 AM


Buenos días, rg.

I've only spoke to Fer once and everything I've read and heard of him was always polite and nice. It came as a not so nice surprise to me the words he used ON RADIO about Brooke Shields.

I think he was in a car while the interview was made (by phone) because you hear other people's voices in the background. Maybe he tried to be "funny" but it came way too harsh and vulgar. Totally unnecessary language for a professional while talking to the media.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 02:05 AM

Lucky me I dont start work till 11pm,I will still be here.

Posted by GB 11/18/2009 at 02:06 AM

AM: well, I should probably be first in line for such a hotline, but fear the combo of Tim & Phantom would only make me more stressed:)

Posted by zenggi 11/18/2009 at 02:06 AM

Sorry for the typos. Not yet awake.

I'll try to join later from work. Bye.

Posted by JohnC 11/18/2009 at 02:07 AM

"But I suppose as always it's a combination of one person's level dropping, and other people improving"

Indeed, Jewell. The fact the number of tournaments won by neither doubled in 2008 indicates precisely that many others were taking advantage of Roger's slump. He lost to (in chronological order): Nole, Murray, Fish, Roddick, Nadal, Stepanek, Nadal, Nadal, Nadal (those three all clay, of course), Simon, Karlovic, Blake, Murray, Blake, Murray, Simon. Annus horribilis.

btw, there's one typo in my table (of course!), so I'll repost:
Year Fed Nadal Neither Total
============================
05___6___2____1______9
06___7___4____1_____12
07___7___4____4_____15
08___1___5____8_____14
09___4___4____4_____12

Posted by streams 11/18/2009 at 02:08 AM

Jewel & aussiemarg, thanks for your greetings. I'm very well thanks, currently visiting aussiemarg's lovely land right now in fact ... heading back to Asia soon

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 02:08 AM

Although it has to be said, if they are going to rig the draw (which they're not), it would be most likely to be fixed in Murray's favour, no?

Hi GB!

I'm not really frazzled about the draw, anything can happen once they start to play, as we've seen this year.

I really loathe Porsche Cayennes. *rant alert* I live in an area with very narrow lanes, and those things are just too wide for the roads. Plus they are always driven by women on the school run, who are late and drive too fast - I've lost count of the number of times one of them has taken a corner ridiculously fast and sent me into the hedge to avoid a crash. Not to mention that it is *always* Cayennes that park on the double yellow lines in the village...GRR. If ever I get to be in charge of the world, I will ban them outright!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 02:09 AM

Gb What are you stressed about? lol!

Look I hold no high expectations for Rafa at this tournament ok

I just want him to be competitive and remain injury free

Though Roger fans fear him lol!

The man who they should fear is Novak,he is the player at the moment who has the mometum and is playing well.Shades of last year remember.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 02:10 AM

streams Are you in Sydney at the moment?

Posted by streams 11/18/2009 at 02:13 AM

AM - no Queensland

Posted by rg.nadal (carpe diem) 11/18/2009 at 02:13 AM

zenggi: Thank you. Yeah, very true.

jewell: ok..What is it you are hoping for from the draw?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 02:14 AM

Jewell Remember what I said

No Cup Cake Draws or Draw Fixing ok lol!

Posted by zenggi 11/18/2009 at 02:15 AM

jewell,

You should see the amount of Cayennes here. Maximum speed allowed is 120 km. Mostly 70 or 50 km (in normal roads) and 30 km. in the cities.
Just the one mountain in the corner with Belgium and Germany. Who needs those monsters?

Bye.

Posted by JohnC 11/18/2009 at 02:15 AM

GB, I've excluded all Olympics so I can get annualised consistency of tournaments.

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 02:15 AM

Ooh...beautiful stormy day outside, not raining yet though. Wonderful purple and grey light.

One of those three Nadal losses must be on grass, JohnC? Or are you trying to write the "Triumph at Twilight" out of history? ;-)

Did he really have two losses to Blake? I don't remember him losing to Nadal before the clay season either, although my memory is pretty awful.

Posted by GB 11/18/2009 at 02:15 AM

AM: I'm stressed about Rafa's chances to be competitive ATM, and what'd do to his confidence if he isn't.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 02:15 AM

Streams Are you on holiday there? you should have come to Sydney

Posted by Angel of the Surf (A Complete Bobblehead) 11/18/2009 at 02:18 AM

Ok what are cayennes?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 02:20 AM

GB I have been reading what Rafa has said about being beaten just recently

He said Just because you lose,that dosent mean you lose your confidence?

Players look at things with much more perspective than us fans ok

Could you imagine a player getting Frazzled everytime he or she lost? they might as well retire.Also losing you get to know more what you should do.

My coach always gave me my b/point stat sheet first,regardless if I won or lost.That was a eye opener to see how I really went in a match.

Posted by streams 11/18/2009 at 02:21 AM

AM yes holiday - rellies live up here

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 02:21 AM

I don't think I'm hoping for anything from the draw, really. They so rarely work out the way they're meant to.

I will start frazzling on the day of the first match, LOL...of course I'm not sanguine about Rafa's form, but it's not as if he's ever done brilliantly at the WTFs/YEC/TMC or in this part of the season...indoor HCs are his worst surface. So in terms of what Rafa does at the tournament, I'm not really expecting much anyway. What I would like to see most of all from him is continued improvement; if he wins one match and keeps #2 I'll be happy.

of course I would be happier if he won all his matches and the tournament, but that seems unlikely to me. :)

Posted by GB 11/18/2009 at 02:21 AM

http://tinyurl.com/yggteze

Vassallo Arguello saying he's tried drugs but not ones that were illegal/would show up in tests.

Most significantly, he does seem to suggest that he thinks an Andreesque coverup would still happen now:

"From then on, I feel that this clearly shows what many of us think and have no way to prove: If one of the top tens does something illegal, the first thing to protect is the business"


Posted by JohnC 11/18/2009 at 02:24 AM

jewell, there are in fact 4 Nadal entries in my list -- three clay and Wimby. I should have written "(three of those on clay, of course)". Sorry for the ambiguity, but I'm pretty sure the list is correct. Blake got a w/o in Paris.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (A Complete Bobblehead) 11/18/2009 at 02:25 AM

Streams you should be glad you are not in Perth as it is terrible weather. Rain and possible storms this afternoon. It has definitely gone back to winter weather.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 02:25 AM

streams Well I hope you had a great time in Queensland,next time come to Sydney great place too.I will be going to Melbourne for the AO next year,for the womens and mens finals.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 02:26 AM

oops sorry for the double post


AA its just another type of Porshe

Posted by GB 11/18/2009 at 02:28 AM

AM: definitely agree the players handle losses better than us (LOL - can you imagine the locker room scenes if they didn't?)

Rafa's always recovered his confidence long term, but I do remember him saying at times that he had lacked confidence when he went through slumps. I do think that he's lacking confidence at the moment and he'd lose even more if he had easy losses here.
(Although hopefully he could rebuild some in DC).

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 02:28 AM

I forgot the withdrawal in Paris. Cheers, JohnC.

Posted by rg.nadal (carpe diem) 11/18/2009 at 02:30 AM

I too would be content if Rafa keeps his no.2 ranking. Since he did not play last year, in terms of points he has nothing to lose. That is a +ve to look at. I somehow think Murray would be no.3 at the end of the tournament.

Posted by rg.nadal (carpe diem) 11/18/2009 at 02:30 AM

I too would be content if Rafa keeps his no.2 ranking. Since he did not play last year, in terms of points he has nothing to lose. That is a +ve to look at. I somehow think Murray would be no.3 at the end of the tournament.

Posted by JohnC 11/18/2009 at 02:35 AM

Short of someone doing a spectacular meltdown, I don't expect the YEC to produce and ranking change among the top 5.

Posted by JohnC 11/18/2009 at 02:37 AM

"any ranking"

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 11/18/2009 at 02:38 AM

Rg Nadal Murray to be no 3 at the end of this tournament?

Oh I forgot he is your tip,sorry proceed.

Posted by Tigress 11/18/2009 at 02:49 AM

Here are my draw preferences:
Roger's Group: Murray, Davydenko, Verdasco
Rafa's Group: Djokovic, Del Potro, Soderling

Roddick's withdrawal changed the last 3 positions, correct?
So now it's 5. Del Potro, 6. Davydenko, 7. Verdasco, 8. Soderling
Davydenko has moved up to #6 and is mow paired for division with Delpo, no.

Does anyone else have draw preferences they'd like to share?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,thinking of Fish and chips,London 11/18/2009 at 02:52 AM

Tigress I am scared at the thought if Roger loses to anyone


What you might do lol!

My lips are sealed

Posted by greenhopper 11/18/2009 at 02:57 AM

Call the exo committee, 'cos Borg wants to play Rafa.

[Q: What do you think of Juan Martin Del Potro?

Bjorn: He’s been playing well the whole year. I think most people thought Roger would win that final, but he (Del Potro) played really well the whole tournament and he deserved to win it. To play that well in your first Grand Slam final is a really great effort.


Q: If you could play anyone in history when you were at your peak level, who would you like to play?

Bjorn: I think it would be fun for me at my best to have played Rafael Nadal. Maybe on clay! We play a pretty similar game so it would have been nice. I would have liked to have played Roger as well. Who would have won? I have no idea!]

http://www.atpchampionstour.com/qa_borg1.html

Posted by Suze 11/18/2009 at 02:58 AM

JohnC,

Yes, that's why I enjoy reading your posts. You have your favourites but you are rational and not the overly fawning, drooling or delusional fan as some are.

Posted by rg.nadal (carpe diem) 11/18/2009 at 02:59 AM

AM: lol

My group prefs:
Rafa, Nole, Verdasco, Potro
Roger, Soderling, Davy, Murray

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 03:00 AM

OMG yes please yes please yes please to Borg-Rafa exhibition!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,thinking of Fish and chips,London 11/18/2009 at 03:01 AM

Greenhopper Well that would be a match made in heaven

Though I really would prefer to see them in their prime,to be a fair contest.

Well thats a never now

Posted by Net Post 11/18/2009 at 03:03 AM

The Mens Barclays ATP World Tour draw will be announced @ 9:15
(6-hrs ahead) this morning in London. (3:15 A.M. EST). 15-mins from now. If you log on Barclays ATP World Tour you will see the draw @ 3:15 AM.

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 03:06 AM

I think London is 5 hours ahead of TW, so it'll be an hour and a bit from now.

Posted by GB 11/18/2009 at 03:07 AM

So the draw's going to be show live?

Posted by Net Post 11/18/2009 at 03:07 AM

Thanks Jewell, I got my timing mixed-up. 4:15 AM EST

Posted by GB 11/18/2009 at 03:10 AM

I think the website says it's at 9.45 am London time, rather than 9.15

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,thinking of Fish and chips,London 11/18/2009 at 03:11 AM

Gb Thats about 8.15pm our time in Sydney

Posted by GB 11/18/2009 at 03:12 AM

Borg_Rafa would be awesome. But it sounded to me more like Borg was saying he'd have liked to have played Rafa when they were both at their peaks, rather than he'd like to do it now. But who knows.

Posted by GB 11/18/2009 at 03:14 AM

Thanks AM. Not long now then.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,thinking of Fish and chips,London 11/18/2009 at 03:17 AM

GB I think that is our time cant be 100% sure,keep getting different times.

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars... 11/18/2009 at 03:18 AM

Master Ace said 9.45 the other day but it might easily have changed.

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