Peter Bodo's TennisWorld - Kim Time?
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Kim Time? 01/05/2010 - 1:54 PM

95583687 by Pete Bodo

I've been thinking about Kim Clijsters a fair amount these past few days; I think she's going to have a big -- a very big -- 2010. So she's my choice as the most likely player of the year on the women's side; later this week, I'll also choose a potential male PoY for 2010.

My feelings about Clijsters didn't really crystallize until I read and thought about the return of Justine Henin. Yes, these two Belgians are joined at the metaphorical hip, and have been for a long time. And one reason I think Clijsters will do well is because 2010 represents a great opportunity for her finally to escape from Henin's shadow. I'm sure she wouldn't mind at all if she also puts Henin into her own. Payback. It's an itch.

The Clijsters saga, despite all those elements that could be stitched onto a sampler pillow, seems so artfully constructed that Kim or her advisers couldn't possibly have dreamed it up. In 2007, when she "retired" (it's a prettier word than "quit"), she had one Grand Slam title to her credit, and a long history as a talented but woefully choke-prone competitor. She was 1-5 in major finals, and 12-10 against her nemesis, the dynamo Henin. But keep in mind that from 2001 to 2003, Clijsters dominated Henin, including in some major events; from 2003 on, the tables were dramatically turned. The turning point came in Berlin, in 2003, where Henin squeaked out a win, 7-5 in the third. A few weeks later, the Sister of No Mercy surrendered just four games to Clijsters in a brutal Roland Garros final, winning 6-0, 6-4. That opened the floodgates: from that point on, Henin was 8-3 (4-0 in major finals) against Clijsters.

Clijsters also suffered at the hands of Venus Williams, although a few wins late in their rivalry helped Clijsters build the H2H to a respectable 5-6. Champagne Kimmy was less successful against Venus's sister, Serena, who was 7-1 (and 2-0 in majors) against Clijsters at the time the latter took her break from tennis. Clijsters did manage to wave good-bye with a positive H2H against Maria Sharapova, 4-3, although she was 1-1 against Maria in Grand Slam semis. Clijsters was a narrow 8-7 with Amelie Mauresmo, but hey - she owned that other Grand Slam champ, Svetlana Kuznetsova (7-1)! Didn't everyone?

Given all this, you might be inclined to think that Clijsters was totally bummed out when she heard that Justine Henin was following her out of seclusion, but the operative word there is "following." Henin is the one doing the following now, which is a 180-degree shift, and symbolic in a larger sense of where the two women stand in relation to each other. Given the way Clijsters stole the summer headlines in '09, the message seems clear: Clijsters has re-invented herself (that cute little kid of Clijsters is, among other things, a convenient distraction, although Clijsters certainly doesn't see it that way). The problem for Henin is that there was nothing to re-invent; she just faces the challenge of getting back to what she once was. She's burning a different form of emotional fuel.

The other day, in my post at ESPN, I went into the reasons that Henin might have a tougher row to hoe in her comeback than did Clijsters. I wrote that because her game is rooted in finesse and versatility, it may take her a long time to find her timing and turn her on-court decision-making into an instinctive reaction. But there's a little more to it than that. When I compared Clijsters to a four-wheel drive pick-up truck and Henin to a Ferrari, I was also thinking about where the game is, in general, and what it takes to win - on both tours.

Men's tennis has become, over recent years, a much more physical game. Pure power no longer reaps enormous benefits in the form of aces or winners the way it once did; it now pays off in long-haul stamina. Not just the ability to run for a long time, but the ability to maintain racket-head speed, quick-start muscle reactions, consistency of stroke. The relatively new polyester strings have played a part in this evolution; the harder you swing now, the more confident you can feel that the shot will go in. This has had a huge impact on the game (although we've seen that mostly in the men's game - so far).

A racket isn't a very heavy object, but when you have to swing it accurately, with something like full force, for two-and-a-half hours or longer, it can feel like an anvil. This will be an increasingly big factor in the women's game, too - just as serving power and efficiency is a new frontier that the women are finally beginning to explore.

Clijsters is well-positioned to take advantage of these developments, because she's an exceptionally physical athlete. A few weeks ago, Caroline Wozniacki told me (she was talking about her U.S. Open final against Clijsters): "That was the first time I’ve played her. She’s hitting a heavy ball. Every time you play short, she takes another step forward and wants to be the first to attack. She’s a good runner, too, and a fighter. I wouldn’t call it a different level from the other girls, but she was fresh and relaxed. She’s accomplished all she wanted already, so she’s just playing for herself and her family. I could feel she was relaxed and enjoying the game."

With all due respect to Caroline, I'm thinking it might be a different level.

We all love to watch tennis matches, and sometimes we get in too wrapped up in the details of the game - how someone hit the ball on a certain day against a certain opponent. We can learn a lot from that, but there's a forest-and-trees element at play, because so much of what happens in any specific match is determined by form of the day. We get a better understanding of the game if we look at how a player's fundamental profile fits into the gestalt. To me, the game is becoming more and more physical, and Wozniacki's experience puts into perspective the threat Clijsters represents to her peers and rivals.

If you want to read a counter-point, check out the piece Tom Tebbutt wrote for ESPN on this subject. Tom is a tennis aesthete who worships at the altar of Federer, irretrievably in love with "beautiful" tennis. And with Henin back and Roger Federer in command of the men's game until someone says otherwise, fans of pretty tennis are experiencing glory days. I'm not sure how much longer that will be sustainable, though. Last year's men's U.S. Open final was telling to me, in that it represented the first time that someone other than Rafael Nadal was able to play the game on his own terms on a big stage and get the best of Federer. Against Juan Martin del Potro in that final, Federer took his familiar position: Play any way you want; I'll still find a way to beat you. Del Potro responded with: Okay, its power tennis, with the emphasis on physicality.

In that match, Federer was banking on his formidable abilities to transition from defense to offense - to absorb del Potro's most punishing blows and use them roughly the way wise Yoda used The Force in Star Wars. Yoda, of course, was much older than Federer (Yoda was 900-plus years when he died; that's older than Jonas Bjorkman!) and his complexion was considerably greener than that of the olive-skinned Swiss. But in the end, Federer was unable to turn del Potro's power against him, and he spent most of the match futilely chasing rockets. Even when he did catch up with them, they were too hot to handle and fire back.

For different reasons, Clijsters took a similar, Federer-esque attitude into her U.S. Open semifinal with Serena Williams, but she came away with a different result (the match was close enough before the bizarre ending to draw that conclusion, no matter what might have happened at the end in a more conventional scenario). And she was one of the very few women who managed to resist Serena's shoving and pressing and athletic bullying.

95509212 The first time around, Clijsters suffered some injuries that hampered her effectiveness and probably contributed to her disappointing results in the late stages at some big events. But her game, specifically her physical attributes and abilities, were never in question. Like the lion in the Wizard of Oz, the thing she most needed was a heart. Other players, including Pete Sampras and Martina Navratilova, have faced and conquered a similar shortcoming. There's no reason Clijsters can't do it as well. If she's managed to banish her demons and her smoldering resentment of the way Henin once stole her thunder, she's positioned to flourish.

Now that the Williams sisters are nearing the finish line of their careers and appear to be in some stage of physical decline, Clijsters moves up is an ideal specimen for an increasingly physical game.

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Posted by Samantha Elin 01/06/2010 at 07:58 AM

MSF, a big correction on Caro, she WASN'T "born in Poland." She was born in Denmark, raised there and has never lived in Poland. When asked by Luke Jensen, she said she was proud to be the best player from Scandinavia. Case closed! Go Caro, Scandinavia's#1. Aggie, I believe is the best player from Poland.

Posted by Master Ace 01/06/2010 at 07:59 AM

Thursday Order of Play

All times are USA EST

WTA: Auckland starts at 5 PM - QF: Peer/Kirilenko, Date Krumm/Wickmayer, and Pennetta/Cibulkova
WTA: Brisbane starts at 7:30 PM - QF: Pavlyuchenkova/Ivanovic, Hantuchova/Petkovic, and Czink/Henin
ATP: Brisbane starts at 7:30 PM - QF: Odesnik vs Stepanek
HOPMAN: Australia vs Spain at 9 PM in Perth - Stosur vs Martinez Sanchez to start session on first court followed by Hewitt vs Robredo
HOPMAN: Romania vs United States at 9 PM in Perth - Cirstea vs Oudin to start session on second court followed by Hanescu vs Isner
WTA: Auckland starts at 1:30 AM - QF: Schiavone vs Cornet
MIXED: Brisbane starts at 4 AM - QF: Clijsters/Safarova and Blake/Monfils
ATP: Chennai starts at TBD - Wawrinka, Sela, and Ginepri are scheduled
ATP: Doha starts at TBD - Quarterfinal matches

Posted by Samantha Elin 01/06/2010 at 08:02 AM

Another thing on the comparison of Serena to Kim, they are only two years apart and clearly belong to the same era and were major competitors. If Serena is long in the tooth, so is Kim for tennis. Frankly, I don't think either is at the end of their career. Serena to me is at her prime.

Posted by Samantha Elin 01/06/2010 at 08:06 AM

For those American so eagered to predict the end or decline for Vee and Ree, who do you have to replace them? Oh, I forgot Oudin is their sucessor. We just have "to believe" right. Stop the hype, nobody is buying it. Go Vee and Ree!

Posted by Jacko 01/06/2010 at 08:06 AM

Ugh...those Shahar protestors are ridiculous...I kinda want her to win this event now (even when there are still players i like in it) just to shut them's just not fair on this poor woman....

Posted by Master Ace 01/06/2010 at 08:13 AM

Karin 1492,
Thanks for the match calls on Justine/Sesil. Speaking of Sesil, that QF run at the French,before she got banned, may be a once in a lifetime accomplishment.

Thanks for the updates at Hopman Cup and Brisbane for ATP. Daniela/Agnes match was officially started at 7:30 PM TW therefore, you saw a taped version.

Posted by Jacko 01/06/2010 at 08:16 AM

Sharapova serving for the match against Zheng in Hong Kong....she lost the first set in a TB but won the second 6/4 and is now up 5/2....and I believe Bepa won her singles against Ayumi Morita....

and for those who havent seen.....Vika and Caro on twitter = Pure Amazing!!!!!

Posted by katada 01/06/2010 at 08:19 AM

Good morning

I did know that we had a new country Scandinavia? Because I was of the knowlege that there was a group of countries that were call "Scandinavia" May ask since when they became a country?

I was born in a caribbean island were they are many other island in the caribbean sea, thoset his islands are one country? Wow the the would map keep changing by the minute.

Posted by just a note 01/06/2010 at 08:22 AM

Before I lose complete track of time, thank you crazyone and mina for links!

TennisFan2 - " I was a fan of Justine until her shenanigans - she lost me after her "hand up" incident against Serena.

With all that's written about the Williams Sisters and their schedule management neither have chosen "retirement" to rest and heal their bodies before they jumped back into the game. They've been in it for the long haul and certainly deserve fan appreciation for gutting it out mentally and physically.

Imagine for a moment a "retired" and rested Serena taking some time off and jumping back into the fray just before the US Open - her opponents would be lucky to get a game or two. The "retirement" thing is bull**** it's really a vacation from the globetrotting grind that is professional tennis."

Thanks TF2, I agree with this!!

(BTW, I left out the 1st sentence b/c I don't do predictions;)).)

Posted by Samantha Elin 01/06/2010 at 08:23 AM

Katada, of course Scandinavia isn't a country, but include Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. All of these countries were at one time ONE land composing the Sweden empire and share many culture similarities. Caro is perfectly in her right to say she's Scandinavian, nothing wrong with using that term to describe where she comes from.

Posted by EC 01/06/2010 at 08:26 AM


The fact that Federer and Henin play tennis "beautifully" doesn't mean that they lack physicality. The two of them train as hard as anyone on each of their respective tours. They also have more variety in their games than the other players. Consequently, they have more shots to fine tune and have to spend more time on court. Isn't Federer known for practicing for 4 hours at a clip, and Henin having trained at one point in her career with reknowned physical trainer Pat Etcheberry? There's nothing soft about these two particular players. If anything, they are the two smartest players on tour. They have efficient, beautiful strokes backed up by hours of physical training and practices. They'll stockpile more grand slam trophies because they do have more variety in their games and the physicality to back it up.

Posted by Master Ace 01/06/2010 at 08:27 AM

Are you watching Hong Kong? If so, how is Maria progressing?

Samantha Elin,
Ready for Caroline and Venus tomorrow in Hong Kong?

Posted by Samantha Elin 01/06/2010 at 08:28 AM

Katada, to answer your question, yes, at one time they were one country known as the Swedish empire.

Posted by Tfactor 01/06/2010 at 08:30 AM

Just to update on Doha:
Darcis is up a set and 3-0 over El Aynaoui. Federer's match to follow this one

Posted by Samantha Elin 01/06/2010 at 08:31 AM

Looking forward to it Patrick, Vee needs to clean up her errors. She was wpraying all over in the match against Maria.

Posted by katada 01/06/2010 at 08:31 AM

Samantha Elin

Thank you for the explanation. But she is for most fron Denmark, with heritahe from Poland. I'm sure she doesn't care much about all those other countries that make Scandinavia.

Posted by Jacko 01/06/2010 at 08:33 AM

not watching...just scoreboarding MA....

Posted by katada 01/06/2010 at 08:34 AM

spelling correction:


Posted by Samantha Elin 01/06/2010 at 08:34 AM

"She doesn't care about the other countries that make up Scandinavia. Caro on Sweden, "It remind me of home, I love playing here. Not sure I would agree with you. Caro, "I love being the best player from Scandinavia." And you're. Du er den bedste!

Posted by Master Ace 01/06/2010 at 08:37 AM

Roger should be playing in a few minutes as Steve won 6-3,6-1 over Younes

Posted by Tfactor 01/06/2010 at 08:38 AM

Well that was quick. Darcis defeats El Aynaoui 6-3,6-1 Although it doesn't seem many people around here following atp at the moment, Federer's up next.
Am I on the right thread? It's hard to tell these days

Posted by katada 01/06/2010 at 08:39 AM

Samantha Elin

By the way I have a friend from Denmark, she still lives there, and I can tell you that she is one the most frendly person that I have ever met. People from there are very friendly. We met here in Puerto Rico about 20 years ago.

Posted by katada 01/06/2010 at 08:41 AM


Posted by Samantha Elin 01/06/2010 at 08:43 AM

Katada, very nice to say, thank you. It's one of my favorite countries in the world. Just beautiful.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 01/06/2010 at 08:43 AM

Hiya Samantha glad to see you are back in fine form.

Watching the dubs match at HC and it is rather exciting. Andreev is playing poorly, his serve is off and he can seem to stick his volleys. I am kind of going for Russia. I know AM does not like Elena's dress but I love it especially as it is green which is my fav colour.

Posted by Or 01/06/2010 at 08:44 AM

Apperantly this is the right thread, I didn't think so in the morning, because of the lack of convo - I guess everyone else are confused, too.

Stream for Rog?

Posted by just a note 01/06/2010 at 08:45 AM

Morning Tfactor! Always nice to see you here;)). And I think we're on the correct thread. Not sure.

As Younis received an award, I heard he's 38 yrs. old. More power to him for winning yesterday!

Posted by just a note 01/06/2010 at 08:47 AM


I'm watching here.

Posted by katada 01/06/2010 at 08:48 AM


Yes she is from Odense.She has come here to Puerto Rico a few times. Her husband is a doctor that work on a cruise ship that comes to the caribbean and they meet here a few times.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 01/06/2010 at 08:48 AM

Elena to serve to get it back on serve, she serve a fault to begin with. Golubev seems to be playing the best at the moment.

Posted by Or 01/06/2010 at 08:48 AM


Posted by just a note 01/06/2010 at 08:48 AM

ANd good morning to you Or!

Posted by Flyer 01/06/2010 at 08:50 AM

Morning All.


Was also confused as to which thread was the "live" one for matches - continues to be a sleuthing intrigue.

Anyone else having problems w/the site? It takes several tries for me to get the blog threads up on the computer - most times the last few days all I get is a blank screen - even after refreshing - still only get a blank screen - strange!

Best of luck to Fed.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 01/06/2010 at 08:53 AM

Igor Andreev hits a great fh and raises his hand in triumph as he has been playing fairly crap and gives a big smile. Elena otoh sends a fh which could of landed in the next suburb.

Posted by just a note 01/06/2010 at 08:54 AM

Flyer, same thing happened to me yesterday. And I think MA and others mentioned the same problem. Good morning to you and all others behind the scenes or on board!

Hope Roger plays well!

Posted by katada 01/06/2010 at 08:55 AM

On another note here:

For me the most disappointed player on the WTA for 2009 was Nicole Vaidisova and on the ATP Gasquet

Nicole with so much talent where is she now? I haven't seen her in any of the warm up tournament. I guess she more interested on Radek that tennis a pity really.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 01/06/2010 at 08:56 AM

flyer I don't seem to have any problems either or my home or work computer.

Posted by Flyer 01/06/2010 at 08:57 AM


Thanks - at least it'll stop me from kicking me computer all over the kitchen now that I know it's the site and not my (errr) "equipment"!

Hmm - the stream provided above now says the match will be moved??

Is there another site we need to go to?

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 01/06/2010 at 09:00 AM

Golubev is playing some great angle volleys and Yaro hits a fh dtl to take them into the lead 6-5 with Elena to serve. The Russians seem rather flat.

Posted by Or 01/06/2010 at 09:03 AM

Yup, the mystery of the match-calling thread is still on-going, cause what we're basically doing is using a red-meat post for that, not sure we were meant to do that.

I also had issues with the main page.

Posted by just a note 01/06/2010 at 09:07 AM

Flyer, this was provided by Alexis or ? (please forgive lapse of memory) the other night:

When you click on the match you want to watch, a drop-down menu appears and you choose a link. The same poster advised that the bet65/bin links don't work in the US. I just keep trying each link until one works;)).

This is still working for me. Good luck!

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 01/06/2010 at 09:08 AM

Elena had the opportunity to level the scores up in the tb but she has served a df has one serve left.

Posted by Or 01/06/2010 at 09:08 AM

Nice and quick break for Rogi.

Posted by just a note 01/06/2010 at 09:10 AM

As an aside, I'm currently taping the Soderling/Federer semi from Abu Dhabi (on TTC). Fed wins the first set, is up 3/1 in the second and goes on to lose. I'm interested to see what happened.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 01/06/2010 at 09:12 AM

Khanistan takes the first set 7-6 with some great play from Golubev and crap play for Igor, though I must say Igor's hair is looking lovely.

Posted by Or 01/06/2010 at 09:16 AM

Roger broken back. Pity.

Posted by ladyjulia 01/06/2010 at 09:17 AM

eeeks...i just managed to find the right thread..the stream...and Federer was 0-40 down and gets broken eventually...

Posted by Or 01/06/2010 at 09:19 AM


Posted by Bobby 01/06/2010 at 09:19 AM

Hi, Guys. Is the the Hopman cup mixed still going on, and if so does anyone have a stream?

Posted by Or 01/06/2010 at 09:21 AM

Ah, Mirka in the stands. Someone got a sitter.

Posted by ladyjulia 01/06/2010 at 09:22 AM

Roger has steadied the ship.

No more hiccups please...

off to work..hopefully, the score won't astound me when i check it later today.

Posted by Andrew 01/06/2010 at 09:25 AM

Typical Korolev match. The lad gives the ball a ton of welly, and it goes in about 35-40% of the time. When it does go in, watch out - but it doesn't go in often enough to put him at top 20 level. Federer up 5-2, with a break.

Posted by Flyer 01/06/2010 at 09:26 AM


Has anyone seen a confirmation yet that Roger's racket has been changed in any way - and NO I aint counting a paint job in this querry!

Rumors all over the place - but I'd still be real surprised to read that it has changed in any significant way.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 01/06/2010 at 09:26 AM

Kaza breaks Russia to lead in the second set after taking the first in a tb. Elena lost her serve.

Posted by sokol 01/06/2010 at 09:28 AM

Davai, Lena and Igor, and both Zhenyas. I know for Korolev there is not much chance, but hoping he'll make it competitive.

Good job by Masha, Vera and Lena.
Davai, Russia!

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 01/06/2010 at 09:29 AM

Sorry can't find a stream to HC.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 01/06/2010 at 09:30 AM

sokol the Russians are playing terrible in the dubs.

Posted by greenhopper 01/06/2010 at 09:31 AM

Where did you guys watch Hong Kong?

Posted by Bobby 01/06/2010 at 09:31 AM

Angel of the Surf, how are you following the scores? Live scoring? Thanks!

Posted by Andrew 01/06/2010 at 09:32 AM

First set Federer. Windy conditions, big hitting opponent, three breaks to one, 6-2. I saw the first set vs Rochus yesterday, which looked quite tasty.

Posted by Master Ace 01/06/2010 at 09:36 AM

To you knowledge, has Roger changed racquets as far as size, strings, feel, etc...?

Posted by Flyer 01/06/2010 at 09:37 AM

The comms in Fed's match keep saying that he's losing focus - it seems to me it's more the windy conditions.

Posted by Or 01/06/2010 at 09:39 AM

Yeah, Roger is playing pretty darn well.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 01/06/2010 at 09:41 AM

Bobby I live in Perth and have live coverage on Fox Sports, Kazaistan playing very well, though the Russians are better looking.

Posted by Bobby 01/06/2010 at 09:45 AM

Angel of the Surf, thx for the info and love the comments. :)

Posted by Or 01/06/2010 at 09:47 AM

Israeli news site report that the security around Shahar would be increased after the events in her match.

Tougher match for her today against Maria K., hopefully it won't distract her too much.

Posted by Nic 01/06/2010 at 09:49 AM

Don't know about the last 10 minutes, but Russia were totally lacking in team chemistry and energy.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 01/06/2010 at 09:49 AM

Kazaistan beats Russian 7-6 6-4 in the deciding rubber to win the tie. They are so happy can't wait to hear them speak. Golubev was definitely the winner out on court tonight winning his singles against Igor and staring in the dubs.

Posted by Andrew 01/06/2010 at 09:50 AM

Quick hold for Federer, after Korolev staves off 2 BPs in his last service game. The commentators are missing, I think, the secret to Korolev's game - he hits hard, but very deep - very few balls land near the service line. Some shots go long, some wide, but those that go in are flat and close to the baseline. 3-2 Federer.

Posted by Or 01/06/2010 at 09:51 AM

Roger seems so pissy when he misses, cute!

Posted by sokol 01/06/2010 at 09:54 AM

"Elena lost her serve."

thank you for updates, Angel. Please, keep them coming.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 01/06/2010 at 09:54 AM

Ok guys I think it is time for me to hit the sack.

Read that Flavia Flav is not with ST anymore. I think Novak has taken up all the money, will keep you posted. Should be a good match gainst Domi tomorrow, wish I could watch.

Posted by Andrew 01/06/2010 at 09:57 AM

4-3, still on serve. Korolev has used a fast wide slice serve to deuce quite effectively, and also jammed Federer on a BP opportunity with a flat body serve. Not sure I'd call it plain sailing, though.

Posted by Nic 01/06/2010 at 09:57 AM

Ange - I don't think Tommy Robredo is with ST anymore either. But it hasn't been updated on his website. Funny, because when I think ST, I always thought Tommy.

Posted by sokol 01/06/2010 at 09:57 AM

I'm having issues with Typepad, it takes forever to post a comment...

Congrats to Kazakhstan,... shame on you, Igor
thank you, Angel, for updates...

Posted by Or 01/06/2010 at 09:59 AM

Roger totally spraying right now.

Posted by sokol 01/06/2010 at 09:59 AM

does anyone know if Kafelnikov played yet? If not, when will it be?

Posted by Master Ace 01/06/2010 at 10:00 AM

Great Britain is now in the drivers seat to advance to the final but if Russia sweeps them, things will get interesting especially if Kahakstan defeat Germany.

Posted by sokol 01/06/2010 at 10:02 AM

"if Russia sweeps them"

MA, you think Igor can beat MAndy? not likely...

Posted by Andrew 01/06/2010 at 10:02 AM

Two more holds. My live stream, which started clean, is now very choppy, and I'm going to need to get ready for work soon. No worries, though.

Posted by Master Ace 01/06/2010 at 10:02 AM

No, to Igor winning against Andy M.

Posted by sokol 01/06/2010 at 10:03 AM

ok, I found an update that Kafelnikov lost...

Posted by sokol 01/06/2010 at 10:05 AM

good luck to Masha and Zhanya in the doubles, I don't know how I feel about their chances :-)

Posted by Flyer 01/06/2010 at 10:07 AM

YES - Happy morning - time for me breakfast!

Posted by Master Ace 01/06/2010 at 10:08 AM

Roger is finished for today and now Rafael turn to play against Potito.

Posted by rafadoc 01/06/2010 at 10:09 AM

Hi TW!

Saw the last set of Fed's match. Didn't look as good as yesterday, but got the job done. Commies said he was playing really well in the first set, which I missed. Congrats to fans of Roger.

Tennis channel is playing last week's Abu Dhabi tournament. Timely. *rolls eyes*

Posted by sokol 01/06/2010 at 10:10 AM

bad day for Russian men, Kafelnikov lost, Korolev (well, that one is expected), Andreev. I hope Kolya won't follow the trend.
Davai, Nikolay!

Posted by greenhopper 01/06/2010 at 10:10 AM

sokol, where are you following/watching Hong Kong?

Posted by DARTHUNIVERSE 01/06/2010 at 10:12 AM


Posted by rafadoc 01/06/2010 at 10:13 AM

It looks very warm and breezy in Doha.

It is bitter cold here. I would love to have some of that warmth.

I see El Aynaoui lost. His celebration yesterday after the win was so awesome. That match must have taken a lot out of him. Happy retirement Younes.

Posted by Andrew 01/06/2010 at 10:14 AM

So there we go. The choppiness of the live stream meant that I was sort of listening to the end of the match in ham radio mode at the end, but 62/45 Federer, or 58% to 42%. That's a clean kill if you're keeping score at home. Commiserations to Korolev fans, congratulations to Federer fans out there.

The commentators are expressing a touch of disgruntlement at Federer's level of play, which is odd to me for a number of reasons. First, matches against Korolev, believe it or not, are on Korolev's racquet - if he gets even 55% of those meaty drives in, he wins the match. But 35% gets you the score you had today, and Federer played him twice last year and knows how he plays. Second, there are far fewer opportunities to play the short attacking ball the commentators seemed to love - Korolev hits so few short balls. To beat him, you have to make your neutral and defensive shots stand up, which Federer did pretty well in the conditions.

No didappointment on my part.

Posted by rafadoc 01/06/2010 at 10:14 AM

Darth: I am watching at

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/06/2010 at 10:15 AM

Good Morning Everyone,

gee surprised with the Night Hopman Cup score line

I see I woke up in time for Rafa's match

is there enough tennis tounaments going on at present?

I think so.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 01/06/2010 at 10:16 AM

Good morning, everybody,

It feels bitter cold here to me too, rafadoc, but obviously no where near to what others
are suffering.

I will never complain about the heat or humidity again!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/06/2010 at 10:17 AM

Would someone have a link pls to Rafa's match

Posted by greenhopper 01/06/2010 at 10:17 AM

I'd watch Mo adjust the net all day. I'd just watch Mo all day and even pay for it.

Posted by sokol 01/06/2010 at 10:18 AM

sokol, where are you following/watching Hong Kong?

I'm not, gh, I just read updates on the Russian site...
so far Vera won 6/2, 6/2; Masha won 6/7,6/4, 6/2
and Zhenya lost 2/5, 6/1, and 4-10 on TB

Posted by greenhopper 01/06/2010 at 10:18 AM

Posted by Caroline 01/06/2010 at 10:18 AM

MA@9.36, someone put up the spec comparison on Unfortunately I haven't got time to track it down for you, but I think it came from the Wilson website. From what I remember, the size is the same, but the 'selling point' is that it gives more feel.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Summer in Oz Tennis 01/06/2010 at 10:18 AM

GH LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

Would you have a link pls

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