Peter Bodo's TennisWorld - Contrary Optimism
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Contrary Optimism 01/12/2010 - 2:26 PM

95663949 by Pete Bodo

Howdy, folks. I hope you all check out our latest podcast (or just click on the icon on the Tennis home page). The sound quality is much better than in the past, because golden-throated Andy Nelson (who does the canned intro to each weekly broadcast) sprang for a few first-class microphones for us.

Ever see a broadcast of a radio show, and how the talent (does that word apply to us, too?) always have their face and lips right up against a mike suspended in a cage dangling from a boom? We've got that whole deal going now, and I think it improves the product. I'll be curious to hear your opinion about the quality, as well as the content of this latest effort.

We tackled two subjects in the podcast: the Henin vs. Clijsters final in Brisbane, and the Davis Cup story I broke, about Andy Roddick and James Blake taking a pass on the U.S. ties for 2010. Let me elaborate on a few of the comments I made on both subjects of the podcast (I've already made some comments on the Clijsters-Henin issue in a post on ESPN's site).

You know, I'd rather have seen either of those women win this match, 7-5, 6-4, just to avoid the inevitable question that now must dominate the discussion: Are we just going to return to the same-old, same-old, (with mental basket-case Kimmy battling self-dramatizing Justine, she of the beautiful game?) in matches that may be unpredictable (but not in a good way) and exciting (in the same way that a six-car crash is  "exciting")?

Sure, it was good drama, in only a Battle of Antietam way (there was so much smoke, fire, panic and agony that after a while you couldn't even tell who was who). Frankly, it made me long for a far less spectacular kind of match - one in which the players split 6-4 sets, and one of them manages to come back from 2-4 down in the third to win with a service hold.

Of course, when we mention the "H" world, we're veering sharply from the WTA game, but nevertheless. .  . I'm still holding out hope (another "H" word) that someone not named Williams is going to be able to go out there and serve like she gets paid for it. I am, after all, an optimist - as well as an accused contrarian.

One of the funny things about these chaotic shootouts that are so indiscriminately billed as great matches is that they show how conditioned we are to entertainment value. A tennis match featuring a gazillion service breaks and double-faults galore addresses our appetite for sensation, which the purveyors of media have been feeding and increasing in what amounts to an escalating cycle for a long time now. I sometimes wonder, does anyone still want to see a good, old-fashioned, tight, well-played tennis match featuring excellent shotmaking, a lack of conspicuous emotional stress, and maybe two or three critical service breaks?

Why don't we just hit the fast-forward button on this issue and leap right to a future in which a tennis has a best-of-seven tiebreakers format, one instead of two serves, and a playing surface slow enough to ensure that we'll have wild rallies that don't just level the playing field, but turn it into a giant-sized craps table?

I just keep thinking, a player who leads a best-of-three match by a set and two breaks should only lose if she breaks a leg, or the other player truly gets into the zone and unloads a stream of unanswerable winners. I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not Justine did that in Brisbane.

95711441 On the Davis Cup issue, I must say I'm puzzled by Roger Federer's pattern of showing up to play relegation ties, and then abandoning the team - ensuring that Switzerland will have no chance whatsoever in the World Group, and will face another relegation ("playoff," in Davis Cup parlance) tie come September. Why the hail does he bother? Just so Stan Wawrinka and company can go and get their fannies tanned in the first or second round yet again?

But maybe it makes sense, in a warped kind of way. Roger can say that he commits to Davis Cup every year - just don't read the fine print. I'm too lazy to check, but the Greatest Player of All Time may have found his way into the record books through the back door, while rivals like Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal enter through the front. Roger may wind up as the best playoff-round performer in Davis Cup history. 

A less bizarre but more interesting - and sad - issue is the seeming decline of Davis Cup in nations that, unlike the USA in the Roddick-Blake years, have enthusiastically embraced the competition. Nadal is lucky; Spain is strong enough as a nation to fire up its fans win without him. Great Britain is unlucky, in that the kingdom is too weak to win, even with Andy Murray. And the Swiss tread water, ever hopeful that Federer will turn his attention to the Davis Cup. Didn't it used to be the USA that looked like the Davis Cup deadbeat, consistently failing to produce dedicated Davis Cup workhorses to follow the trail blazed by the likes of Arthur Ashe and John McEnroe?

All of us know the problems inherent in the Davis Cup format; regrettably, those "flaws" are also the sources of its considerable charms and legitimacy as a truly competitive event (the chief among them, of course, is the host-visitor format that gives the top players insufficient advance warning of where they're expected to play next, and on what surface). 

Most of the "solutions" put forth would destroy Davis Cup as we know it. I'm especially nonplussed by the idea that, somehow, playing it every two years would solve the competition's problems. Let me get this right: You want to take the world's biggest and best annual international team competition and turn it into. . . Ryder Cup?

Is Roger Federer going to be more inclined to sacrifice (or believe he's sacrificing) chances to win majors every other year, just because it's marginally more appealing than taking the hit every year? Major titles don't come so easily for anyone, including Roger, for him to be able to halve his career opportunities. If the guy thinks he can't win majors and play Davis Cup, it's an open and shut case. More - or less - power to him.

U.S. Davis Cup captain Pat McEnroe has thought plenty about this issue. The potential solution he favors is playing the first two rounds under the present format, then bringing the four semifinalists together at a neutral or rotating site to battle it out for the championship. That would cut back the time commitment (although not by that much), and create something like a fifth Grand Slam in the late fall. It would undoubtedly have loads of star power, and an all-star cast- something not every final can claim. But I'm not sure that approach would be more appealing to the Federers and Murrays of this world.

In any event, I'm really disappointed that Federer won't be available when Spain opens its title defense at home against Switzerland. Slotted for the first week in March, the first-round of Cup play won't have any repercussions whatsoever for a player hoping to do well in the majors this year. It may have a negative impact on those hoping to do well at Indian Wells and Miami, but that seems a small price to pay.

A Federer vs. Nadal Davis Cup showdown, in any round, would add a chapter to the already rich history of their rivalry, and a Federer win would go a long way toward recapturing some of the thunder Nadal stole from him. What could be better, for those who worship at the altar of Federer, than to see him lead the Swiss into Plaza de Toros in Lagrono in March, and leave that historic bullring with a win? Does anyone think so little of Roger's game that they think that couldn't happen?

Which brings up my final point. Unlike the UK, Switzerland with its top star in harness would be a major contender for the Davis Cup championship. And doesn't that beat being the best team every to dominate the playoffs?

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Posted by Jamaica Karen 01/12/2010 at 08:10 PM

Cupcake lurker - it was pretty strong here in Jamaica as I live in a concrete roofed house and you could feel the vibrations. I think we were getting after shocks actually. Yes, I am as surprised as you that no pictures or anything from Haiti in the news media. Going to check CNN now to see if they got anything up, but even while I was watching the BBC I did not see anything.

Posted by annove 01/12/2010 at 08:14 PM

Finally some sanity about that Justine and Kim match, I think folks were just happy to see a match without the Williams sister in it, so they can stroke themselves and call on the drama as what the WTA has been missing. Silly

I wonder if Davis Cup wouldn't be more successful if it wasn't about using the stars but about using another tier of players. Damn, I'd rather see upcoming juniors represent their country than have to fight and plead for professionals who don't want to risk their individual fame for the Davis Cup grind. Remember when the olympics were for non-professionals, it certainly seemed to mean more to folks.

Posted by Tfactor 01/12/2010 at 08:14 PM

Typepad is acting up and not posting my comments.

Just to say we're Ok here. My relatives were worried about the tsunami warning but that's been cancelled.
Just trying to follow the news. I know people there and the conditions are already so poor, I don't want to imagine the devastation after such a strong earthquake.

GH, thanks for the update :)

really, really going now

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/12/2010 at 08:16 PM

Jubby is not able to get into many points on Elfs serve. 5-2 Elf.

Posted by Cosi 01/12/2010 at 08:17 PM

I for one, thought Kim and Ju played a wonderful match. Yes, there were errors, mostly from Justine in the beginning, but alot of incredible defending, winners and variety. For heaven's sakes, this is Justine's first tournament back, we have to cut her some slack for more than the usual errors and nerves! Same with Kim, she hasn't played Justine in a long long time, this was a nerve inducing meeting for both. I was on the edcxge of my seat in this match, loved the typical Justine Henin fight back in the second set and the fight for the title at the end. If this was a match in the middle of the season, maybe you could critize them for the nerves and serves, but for the first meeting in over two years and Justine's first title match, back, I say KUDOS for the performance, One thing we know, the idea that Justine would be outplayed physically by the bigger Kim is not reality. She didn't lose because of a physical mismatch, she was a little rusty and a little nervous on some big points, totally understandable

Posted by Angel of the Surf (A Complete Bobblehead) 01/12/2010 at 08:18 PM

Karen my bad I knew it was an earthquake don't know why I wrote hurricane, sorry about that.

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/12/2010 at 08:25 PM

LOL, Elf down BP, and hits a second serve ace. He does it pretty often. IIRC, in the WTF RR match against Fed, at least 2 BPs were saved with monster second serves.

And, he holds to take the match. 6-3 6-2.


Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/12/2010 at 08:26 PM

Oops, that should be 6-3 6-3.

Posted by chicklet 01/12/2010 at 08:28 PM

"And, he holds to take the match. 6-3 6-2."

Damn, that was fast!

Nole up next?

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/12/2010 at 08:30 PM

chicklet, yeah, looks like it's Nole next. Grudge match....though Tommy is just back from the Swine Flu.

Posted by Stewart 01/12/2010 at 08:30 PM

Bodo you always manage to find the dark cloud with no silver lining. Quite frankly I find your writing misogynist. Federer choked in the 5th set of two grand slam finals last year, especially Australia. He also won the French only after his path was cleared for him by Soderling. Many matches with the men's giants are nothing but ace fests (Ivo Karlovic anyone?).

Kim and Justine had an excellent match - it was unfortunate Kim couldn't close in the 2nd, she always plays best hitting within the margins instead of going for broke - but Henin made her work for it. To characterize it as a match more noteworthy for errors than for great play is wildly inaccurate and grievously unfair.

Plus, get it into your head! Women are several inches shorter than the men, but play on a net of the same height - and thus will NEVER serve with the same power or consistency of the men - ESPECIALLY since the top women are now clobbering weak returns - see several shots by both Henin AND CLijsters in that match, not to mention the WIlliams and Sharapova. The women are forced to go for more than they're built for on the serve or they'll be punished.

The rallies Kim and Justine displayed were tremendous, with deep, hard and clean hitting that was the best since Dementieva/Serena at Wimbledon.

I have always felt that commentators unfairly btch and complain about the supposed lack of depth of the women's game, and yet the WTA has had twice as many different women win Grand Slams since 2004 than the men, who have been utterly dominated by Fed/Nadal. Only Safin, Djokovic and Delpo have won one each. And yet no one's saying that the men aren't stepping up in big matches as Federer rolled over EVERYONE in his path.

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/12/2010 at 08:37 PM

Interview with Tsonga. The ladies would've liked that one...hmmm...wait...they're doing shirtless interviews with every1. I demand quid pro quo.

Posted by chicklet 01/12/2010 at 08:39 PM

If there's a shirtless interview with Nando, I'm going to have to find a workable stream. :)

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 01/12/2010 at 08:42 PM

Just for fun rafa fans. This is a clip from Stuttgart 07. At the end, rafa gives a really cute interview. His english has improved enormously from two and half years ago. I don't even know the player he beat.

Posted by malimeda 01/12/2010 at 08:43 PM

What, is that Tommy Robredo warming up with Haas?!

Posted by Alexis 01/12/2010 at 08:55 PM

Pete, in response to your 6:12pm, you're damn right you were ripping Federer, especially your comments about his DC stats being accomplished through the "back door". That was completely unnecessary. I guess Sampras and Agassi who routinely skipped the DC first round also "backed into" their DC titles, since it wasn't them who got the US to the final... they just got to come in and save the day. Wouldn't it be nice if players like Fed and Murray could do that as well?

Posted by Angel of the Surf (A Complete Bobblehead) 01/12/2010 at 08:59 PM

Yay Pico won the first set, boo Isner has broken in the second.

Posted by wilson75 01/12/2010 at 08:59 PM

"What, is that Tommy Robredo warming up with Haas?!"

malimeda: I'm not watching but it can't be Robredo because he's in Auckland playing Simon Greul at this very moment leading by a set 7-6 but down a break in the second 1-2

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/12/2010 at 09:01 PM

Yikes. Sloppy game from Tommy. DF and a couple of UFEs. Nole breaks for 3-1.

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/12/2010 at 09:03 PM

wilson, I think that's a reference to Nole's new clothes from Sergio Tacchini....which used to sponsor Robredo. Nole looks dapper as usual.

Posted by lollipop 01/12/2010 at 09:04 PM

gee, Nole. sloppy. no need to gift this back to tommy...pfft

Posted by lollipop 01/12/2010 at 09:05 PM

man its super windy out there. yikes!

and LOL at the Tommy Robredo comment. Nole looks...different.

Posted by crazyone 01/12/2010 at 09:06 PM

did Sergio Tacchini also require Nole to grow out his hair?

These streams are can hear the commentary, but none of the sounds from the court.

Posted by lollipop 01/12/2010 at 09:08 PM

crazyone- lol. nope, i think the long hair is an off-season thing for Nole. He did the same thing last year.

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/12/2010 at 09:08 PM

c1, I think the hair might be for his role as the King of Serbia.

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/12/2010 at 09:15 PM

Meh...pretty low quality stuff from Haas. He may be struggling with the wind. Gawd...Nole's fh looks like a disaster waiting to happen.

Posted by Tim (Year of Aussie Rogie ) 01/12/2010 at 09:15 PM

exactly alexis, idd have loved to havd seen how often Sampras played DC if he was from a country with basically one player, himself, capable of winning all the matches ... agassi, sampras and the rest had it incredibly easy with the depth of players, and often could just come in for the semis or final and not go to Spain to play on clay in the first round ...

by the way Id love to see if Rafa showed up for a tie in Switzerland in March, if it was played on grass...

this Navratilova Evert 82 Aussie open final is a stinker, eech martina can't find the court

Posted by Kristy (tennis-related moniker coming soon) 01/12/2010 at 09:17 PM

Oh! I want to see Nole's hair. But when I go to livescorehunter, it says I have to join Bet365. When I try to do that (and I tried the other day too) they don't have a choice for "United States" in the country drop-down menu. I tried picking American Samoa but when it came to giving the street address, I knew they had me.

Has anyone successfully joined Bet365?

Aussiemarg, I lol'd over your referring to your husband as luggage! You are too funny.

Posted by observer 01/12/2010 at 09:18 PM

As much as I love the Davis Cup and the excitement that comes with watching a squad represent a country (truly--I love the World Cup but can't stand watching club soccer because it pales in comparison to the importance of when the players aren't bought and sold like MLB players to play in other countries' leagues)...

Does anyone else think that it's okay for Federer to not commit to DC because what he is doing in Grand Slams and other tour tournaments is so important and historical that it truly eclipses any auxiliary concerns like the DC and the Olympics? For many people, there is no doubt that he is the greatest player of all time, and there can be no doubt for anyone that he is the most successful. He goes out on court during majors and performs miracles at times when the pressure should be greatest, and we are truly privileged to be alive in a time to watch him go out in the biggest moments and put it all on the line, whether he comes up with the trophy or not. It should be a very long time before there is another player making tennis history of this magnitude--I'm not saying that a DC title for Switzerland wouldn't add to his lore, or that his gold in doubles in '08 isn't an accomplishment (but honestly who considers that one of his major achievements?), but whether or not you love the Davis Cup, I think you have to give a pass to a person who only has a limited number of years left to give us his best at the majors in an attempt to add to what is already the most incredible story in the history of the sport. In my opinion, what he is doing at the grand slams-- what he is attempting to add to what he has already done-- is simply more important than the Davis Cup.

Posted by greenhopper 01/12/2010 at 09:18 PM

"Interview with Tsonga."

What did he say?

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/12/2010 at 09:20 PM

'hopper, not much. Basically, he lives in a suburb 5km outside Paris...sounded exotic, but I didn't quite catch the name. And, the last time he took the subway was six months ago.

Posted by Federeske 01/12/2010 at 09:22 PM

Because it´s all about majors,and for Roger is about to years of full comitment until he began to slow down,and play for one major a year until one major final maybe a year until he retires maybe in Wibledon in 2012 or the olimpycs...

And Davis cup it´s not a single sport,so why dou you have to carry that weight?
Yes,as a Federer fan i would like he go to spain,and cut two ears and tail of Toronadal,but he can go back to Indian Wells 3-2,sad and down in motivation...

And davis cup is sooooooo boring,every year,it must be played every 4...

It´s all about sweet sixteen!

Come on!

Posted by greenhopper 01/12/2010 at 09:22 PM

Le Mans. Thanks, Pspace. So nothing at all about his wrist, tennis preps over the off season or anything else useful? Phooey.

Posted by lollipop 01/12/2010 at 09:23 PM

Pspace- apparently Nole denied the offer to be Yugoslavian King because he was "too busy". to which i said DUHHH. You're a tennis player! geez.

Posted by Elena_YYZ 01/12/2010 at 09:25 PM

I've been reading the discussion re Junsine/Kim match with great interest (so far finished only page 1) and want to say big thank you to CL for articulating so well what I feel about this match.

On the whole I'd like to say that I don't care what label is put on this story, saviours of WTA or not, failed retirees, drama queens, chokers or what not. I am just crazily happy that they are both back. I never thought that Justine, my all time favourite, would be back and am enjoying her comeback immensely. Although I prefer her to Kim, I was very happy for Kim, I thought she won deservedly and I enjoy her game now more than before.

When Justine left, I started rooting for Russians to fill the void (being Russian myself) but there is no ambivalence for me now (opposite to Samantha Elin's case) - I'll be rooting for her over any Russian or anyone else until she retires for good.

As a Justine/Kim fan, I don't want to convert any other players' fans.
Ruth/Jamaica Karen and others - you just keep rooting for the Williams sisters or other favourite of yours but I am just happy that my true favourite returned and I can root for someone whole-heartedly as you do with your favourites.

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/12/2010 at 09:25 PM

Nope...I read another interview yesterday, where he said the wrist is ok, and he's "antsy" to play. I think the purpose of today's interview was to get shirtless shots ;-).

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 01/12/2010 at 09:25 PM

Kristy, Bet365 streams don't work in the US even if you register with the site.

Try some of the fromsport links:

Posted by Master Ace 01/12/2010 at 09:25 PM

Read on ESPN2 where it said that the ATP is concerned about exhibition matches:

Posted by Andrew Miller 01/12/2010 at 09:25 PM

In all seriousness, in 2001 Federer made his mark against the U.S. in Davis Cup in his hometown; he hasnt given back all too much to that competition since around 2003 - probably the last time his heart was in the hunt for a Davis Cup title. It doesnt matter much - Federer as Bodo pointed out will retire with a great Davis Cup record (37-11, with most of those losses in doubles and just one singles loss since 2003, the infamous loss to Lleyton Hewitt). Since that point, their careers have gone in opposite ways: Hewitt's has nosedived (so to speak) and Federer's has gone into the recordbooks as the world's greatest tennis player of all time.

Federer will kick himself if he plays too much Davis Cup and misses out on another slam title. Federer's life is to win slam titles and put it out of reach of anyone else (nabbing, likely, #16 sometime this year, maybe even #17). If you as a player are in that territory, Davis Cup rewards go to the guys that dont win the slams.

Like it or not, that's his strategy. And if doesnt soon become Roddick and Blake's strategy, they can kiss goodbye to a slam title possibility. The only reason any of them should ever come back to Davis Cup, is to recruit other U.S. players onto the team.

Federer simply makes choices: to be a Davis Cup hero requires playing a lot of Davis Cup every year, which means slightly fewer chances to be fresh for a slam...this aint happenning. We're not going to see Federer with a Davis Cup title.

Posted by CL 01/12/2010 at 09:26 PM

Ruth - you may find the discussion "polluted." I find it interesting. To a point. After that, it is just more of the same.

But then, when has 'more of the same' EVER stopped the Twibe. We are made of sterner stuff! So stern we can beat Zombie Ponies to almost death.

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/12/2010 at 09:26 PM

lollipop, really? Oh nooooooo. I wash hoping to see him in that role. He's the only remotely interesting player off the court. Hope he doesn't turn into a square like the other guys.

Posted by Kristy (tennis-related moniker coming soon) 01/12/2010 at 09:28 PM

thank, Papo.

Posted by lollipop 01/12/2010 at 09:29 PM

uh pspace- i'm actually quite relieved. talk about distractions? We need him to focus, lol. :)

Posted by malimeda 01/12/2010 at 09:30 PM

Speaking of hair, look at Haas: super tidy and dorky below, with a fauxhawk on top. Besides, he looks almost chubby. Not promising.

As for Tommy Djokovic, he only lacks a chunky white wristwatch and OHBH to complete the transformation. Polo too floppy, both shorts and polo wierdly cut. Overall, too bland for him.

But he cannot hide his true self, clowning around the court a few times already, replaying tamer parts from his nipple-tassel vid. It is an exo, after all. He's winning easily anyway. 6-2, 2-2.

Posted by lollipop 01/12/2010 at 09:32 PM

and don't worry Pspace, he'll never be a square! Evidence by Malimedia's comment haha. But i really seriously miss adidas so much right now :(

Posted by crazyone 01/12/2010 at 09:35 PM

yeah, I don't know what the deal with the fauxhawk is.

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 01/12/2010 at 09:35 PM's impossible to watch without the sound of the ball. I give up.

Posted by lollipop 01/12/2010 at 09:35 PM

hehe. novak's basically made to play exos. great to see him having fun out there.

Posted by Flyer 01/12/2010 at 09:40 PM

Hardly anyone in the stands @ Kooyong.

Glad Federer is skipping DC - a very sound & objective decision when taking into account his priorities and training schedule for the entire year.

He deserves all credit for being a consumate professional and paying such attention to his physical, travel, training & playing requirements - not just this year but for his entire career to date.

Am very tired about this old dust covered chestnut being dragged out again on the DC first rounds and the "controversy" of Fed passing up the glories of playing.


Posted by Flyer 01/12/2010 at 09:45 PM

Am WOVED the Kim & Justine match.

It was exciting, unpredictable - and had some really great points & winners.

Plus - enjoyed just seeing tennis - no side dramatics.

Haas broken again - not looking in great form today.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 01/12/2010 at 09:45 PM

In the Australasian Spanish Open (being held in Auckland, Madrid's sister city), Robredo won his first match in two TBs.

Juanqui, unfortunately had to retire in the first set with an injured ankle.

Can't be good for Juanqui's preparation for the AO.

Put me down as someone who thought the Clijsters-Henin match was a very good match, with some of the errors due to the fact that it was the first true tournament of the season for both players--hence they were both a bit rusty.

Hopefully for tennis fans, both women will be able to stay healthy and motivated this year, so that tennis fans can enjoy much highly quality tennis from both players.

Posted by lollipop 01/12/2010 at 09:49 PM

aight so Nole wins his first match of '10. nice.

Posted by sod'sfriend 01/12/2010 at 09:57 PM

for those ladies on here who love eye candy, here's the emerging king of the hill, robin soderling, in all his raw, gory, prowess.



Posted by Andrew Miller 01/12/2010 at 10:01 PM

Or Nadal's Davis Cup record: one singles loss. That's it. Jiri Novak.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (A Complete Bobblehead) 01/12/2010 at 10:04 PM

Damn day not starting good with Pico losing. Now can I be bothered with Almagro?

Posted by CL 01/12/2010 at 10:08 PM

"raw gory prowess" - sounds like Freddy Krueger. Is a 'prowess' like a tigress?

Posted by Carol ( 2010 Nadal Reign) 01/12/2010 at 10:08 PM

sod'sfriend, read the first comment underneath, he or she is right!

Posted by sod'sfriend 01/12/2010 at 10:11 PM

Carol ( 2010 Nadal Reign)

i saw that comment, too, but i don't care. whoever wrote it is entitled to opinion.

le sod will prevail and grab at least one slam in 2010.

pray that ur man does not cross his path.

Posted by Nam1 01/12/2010 at 10:11 PM

"for those ladies on here who love eye candy, here's the emerging king of the hill, robin soderling, in all his raw, gory, prowess.


Ok this has got to be a joke.....

Posted by mimosa 01/12/2010 at 10:11 PM

Everyone knows that Federer won't play Davis Cup because he's afraid of losing to Rafa Nadal.

Posted by Arun 01/12/2010 at 10:12 PM

don't even bother, Angel.
he is getting wiped off the court.

Posted by sod'sfriend 01/12/2010 at 10:14 PM

btw, did u see the 2nd and 3rd comments, too? cute, eh?

Posted by Corrie 01/12/2010 at 10:14 PM

It makes a big difference being able to see a match live and not know the outcome. I found the Justine Kim match rivetting all the way. I expected them to show rust, which they did but Justine's performance all week was exceptional for someone who'd been out for so long.

I'm surprised at Pete's comments, especially when we saw Roddick melting down spectularly on his serve. Its a wonder he didn't start sobbing and look imploringly at his coach, because he certainly did all the rest of the WTA thing.

I'm also surprised at Pete getting onto Roger for not playing DC. If he played and wore himself out with the time zone changes and three five set matches in a row, no doubt to no avail without Stan, got injured due to surface changes and then did badly on US hard courts as a result, would he then tell the world he was on the downhill slide and all the rest of the nonsense the media has dished out to him?

I hope Nadal follows Fed's fine example of how to pace yourself and look after your body and not play his tie either.

Posted by CL 01/12/2010 at 10:15 PM

Hey Nam1 - beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I actually wasn't especially criticizing Sod' friend choice of hottness- only his or her choice of metaphors. Or is it analogy? I alway get those two mixed up.

Mimosa - may I offer you a Bloody Mary...clearly a lack of alcohol in your system has befuddled your brain.

Posted by kchowcrazy - Go ReRe World #1!! 01/12/2010 at 10:15 PM

I know nobody probably has a stream but what the heck is going on with Flavia, she down a set and a break very tamely to Rezai it seems from sb, i thought she was in good form too.

Posted by Carol ( 2010 Nadal Reign) 01/12/2010 at 10:16 PM

sod'sfriend, I can't wait that my man cross his path and not just in AO but RG too!!
The *picture* will be different........

Posted by chicklet 01/12/2010 at 10:18 PM

Anyone see Gonzales get nailed in the 'nads just now. Never seen that before.

Posted by Flyer 01/12/2010 at 10:21 PM

How the hell long has this first game been?

Finally FV held.

Posted by greenhopper 01/12/2010 at 10:24 PM

How's it that you can hear the audience applaud, but not the sound of the ball being hit?

Posted by malimeda 01/12/2010 at 10:25 PM

First serve of the match, Verdasco smacks the ball right into Gonzo's crotch! Poor guy had to double up for a while, until the pain subsided.

New Adidas kit for Fer: white with pale green splashes, baggy, retro 80s, loud, but he strangely manages to wear it well (too much of a hunk not to). Redeeming feature: top half of shorts is one block of green, the rest is white; each time his shirt hikes up, it's visible.

One game all.

Posted by chicklet 01/12/2010 at 10:27 PM

Ugh. Both Fernando's look rusty. Or in the case of Verdasco, maybe just a return to previous form. Here's hoping he doesn't regress

Posted by kchowcrazy - Go ReRe World #1!! 01/12/2010 at 10:28 PM

OMG flavia gest bageled in the 2nd by rezai loses 63 60, is she injured or something casue that is just wierd

Posted by greenhopper 01/12/2010 at 10:29 PM

One for the Brits -- Ross Hutchins gets the biggest win of his career. 7-6(3) 6-1 over Kubot/Marach. I'm completely ignoring the results from Auckland, fyi.

Posted by Jenni 01/12/2010 at 10:29 PM

Ouch, Flavi just got her you-know-what handed to her.

I thought Del Potro looked pretty sharp in his earlier match. A few patchy points but overall a dominant performance. Robredo had some problems and worked through them, but he's going to have to raise his level if he wants to make the final.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (A Complete Bobblehead) 01/12/2010 at 10:29 PM

Sod's friend thanks for the yummy pic of Rockin' Robin and WTF is Flavia losing to Aravane for especially getting bagelled in the second. I thought this would be a routine win for her.

Posted by chicklet 01/12/2010 at 10:30 PM

"New Adidas kit for Fer: white with pale green splashes, baggy, retro 80s, loud, but he strangely manages to wear it well (too much of a hunk not to). Redeeming feature: top half of shorts is one block of green, the rest is white; each time his shirt hikes up, it's visible."

He carries it off, but the fit is awful.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeee!!!) 01/12/2010 at 10:31 PM

Evenin' all.

Watching Gonzo/Sauce now... Sad to say, I hate Sauce's leprechaun kit even more than I thought I would, based on the pics. Even the power of Sauce's pretty isn't enough to make this fug outfit work.

Just saw the news about the earthquake. Damn. Of all places for disaster to strike, it had to be Haiti. :(

Posted by Jenni 01/12/2010 at 10:33 PM

"Even the power of Sauce's pretty isn't enough to make this fug outfit work."

Yep (except to the pretty part), it looks like he's wearing sagging shorts. Drives me nuts.

Posted by sod'sfriend 01/12/2010 at 10:35 PM

"sod'sfriend, I can't wait that my man cross his path and not just in AO but RG too!!
The *picture* will be different........"

be careful what u wish for, now, u just might get it!

Posted by tennisesq. 01/12/2010 at 10:35 PM

Wow, shocking upset. Congrats to Rezai.

Would love to know what happened there.

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 01/12/2010 at 10:36 PM

Nando vs Gonzo sounds like an intriguing match up. Two of the biggest forehands in the game.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeee!!!) 01/12/2010 at 10:36 PM

Anyone have a stream of Sauce/Gonzo with court sounds? I can only hear the commies.

Tennis (men's especially) just isn't the same without being able to hear the grunting. :/

Posted by VC 01/12/2010 at 10:36 PM

I really like Verdasco's outfit.

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 01/12/2010 at 10:39 PM

I think Nando has the slight advantage since he can find Gonzo's one-handed backhand with his lefty forehand.

Posted by greenhopper 01/12/2010 at 10:39 PM

I give up trying to post this from Nic.
Can't wait to read her full report.

Posted by Arun 01/12/2010 at 10:45 PM

why is Vika-Domi suspended?

Posted by Bobby 01/12/2010 at 10:47 PM

Tennis is an individual sport, and I understand Federer has to think of himself first (e.g., schedule, possible injuries). Still I wish Federer played Davis Cup more. I'd think even more highly of him. Far more important I think it would make his record look even better (if that's even possible).

As for the Justine/Kim match, I've only watched the first set and change so far, and I thought that was darn good tennis. There were good rallies, and both players were going for their shots -- but not in a crazy way. As for service breaks I don't think they automatically make for a bad match. (Mr. X, I think some of this is in line with what you mentioned.) If the breaks are because a player continuously DFs (and especially if the DFs owe to nerves), then, yes, they probably do make for a bad match. However, if the breaks happen after pretty good serves just because of how the points played out, I'm fine with that. What I love are the good rallies.

Posted by kchowcrazy - Go ReRe World #1!! 01/12/2010 at 10:49 PM

Arun i was wondering that, maybe it has something to do with the schedule. They might have swithced it to th night session.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (A Complete Bobblehead) 01/12/2010 at 10:49 PM

Maybe the heat rule has come into effect.

Posted by mcakron 01/12/2010 at 10:49 PM

Didn't know Fed had played that many DC matches. Guess my thing is if people want to give others more credit for having been more dedicated to DC, seems fair enough. But if you just want to hammer Fed for having not played enough ... well, you probably have an axe to grind with the guy above and beyond DC.

Anyway, I gather this is an old topic (albeit new for me) ... so ... back to the present action ...

Posted by kchowcrazy - Go ReRe World #1!! 01/12/2010 at 10:50 PM

Oh right, now Domi and Vika are playing.

Posted by chicklet 01/12/2010 at 10:50 PM

4-4 for Fernando squared. Someone needs to break soon so I can get to bed before midnight.

Posted by chicklet 01/12/2010 at 10:58 PM

fromsport stream just died. Anyone have a live one that can be viewed from the states?

Posted by Red⁺ = Legacy Solidified 01/12/2010 at 11:07 PM

Evening everyone.
Pete, a quick response to your ongoing obsession with Fed's participation or lack thereof in DC. It's old. Move on.
AO is upon us. How about a write up on the young guns.
You know..Can, will Nadal defend his title? or will 2010 be the rise of Djokivic? ooh ooh how about, Is this the year Murray finally bags a major?
Yes we know it would be nice if he played more DC. He hasn't. Wrap this story up.
Have a good one all.
Fed Fan Forever,

Posted by Carol ( 2010 Nadal Reign) 01/12/2010 at 11:09 PM

sod'sfriend, same.......

Vamos Verdasco!!!!!

Posted by chicklet 01/12/2010 at 11:18 PM

Any updates on the Verdasco match?

Posted by malimeda 01/12/2010 at 11:25 PM

Fer is serving for the match, 7-5, 5-1. Doing more than enough, playing more solid as the match progressed. Match ball. GMS Verdasco.

Gonzo was missing too much, then started to goof about, even smacked a net judge, an elderly lady, into the back of her head with a wild FHDTL, got all apologetic, even came over and patted her head clumsily. On the contrary, Fer was all business, albeit a bit rusty.

Posted by Carol ( 2010 Nadal Reign) 01/12/2010 at 11:27 PM

It's pretty sad what is happening in Haiti, I don't know why the worst catastrophes atmospheric always happens in the most poor countries
Hope they or others don't get any sunami

Posted by chicklet 01/12/2010 at 11:30 PM

Thanks for the update malimeda. I'd love to get an idea of Verdasco's form against Soderling or Tsonga before the AO.

Posted by malimeda 01/12/2010 at 11:35 PM

And, the "reigning finalist" of Doha (a Scandinavian copyright) is practicing in Melbourne.

Reinventing tournament logo:


Fancy footworking:


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