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What's With This Blue? 01/19/2010 - 1:37 PM


by Pete Bodo

[For more on the Australian Open, also check out our latest podcast, which ought to be live later this afternoon. And while you're at it, check out our new feature, The Daily Spin.]

It's the first bleary-eyed morning of the year's first Grand Slam event, and I find myself once again wondering, "What's with this blue?" Granted, the potter's clay-colored court Down Under is a vast improvement over the Marlin blue the Aussies featured last year. It's an interesting, easy-on-the-eyes color. But it would look even nicer if the areas outside the lines were a complimentary, pale shade - a light green, perhaps?

But the Lords of Tennis seem to have this absurd fixation with blue, especially dark blue. I felt that way last year at this time, and also when tuned in to the ATP World Tour Finals. I also thought that when I heard Ion Tiriac floating the idea of blue clay courts. And I keep asking myself, why blue?

It's not like blue is a color that's psychologically associated with the game. Blue is a maritime color, and a Big Sky color; tennis is a grass and red-dirt game, played on dry land (unless you're on a cruise ship). Tennis evokes the solid, not the liquid or the transparent. Originally, those who could afford to contemplate the aesthetics of tennis painted the top skin of their hard courts in a maroon and green combination; the court itself was green, with white lines; the surrounding area a medium shade of brick, not unlike red clay, or terre battue.  Consciously or not, those original colors nodded pleasantly to the roots of tennis as a game played mostly on green grass and maroon clay. Now that was psychologically satisfying.

So, why blue? Just to be different? Or maybe the lords hired one of those market-research firms that tries to associate consumer choices and desires with specific colors or designs. Let me ask you this, lords: Haven't you heard expressions like, I'm feeling a little blue...He's got the blues...Blue Monday...Or maybe the idea is to get people so bummed out and depressed that they just want to stay in the house tennis!

So that's my rant. Let's move the game and forget this silly obsession with blue and start looking at nice, organic, light-side colors - the grays and tans and greens and maybe even yellows. Let's emphasize the bright and mellow, the earthy.

And while we're on the subject of earthy, did you catch Serena Williams' brief interview yesterday during the evening ESPN broadcast? I had to ask myself, what's with this giggly, girly Serena all of a sudden? Maybe she was just in a good mood. Or maybe her handlers told her that she looked pretty scary during that unpleasant incident that ended her semifinal match with Kim Clijsters at the last major, so it would be in her own best interest to really ham it up, and show a softer, gentler side to help wipe away memories of the foot-fault affair. Well, Serena really wanted to be an actress, and only her lack of can't miss talent enabled us to keep her for a little while longer. Now she can act - as well as rain perdition down on all comers.

BTW, did you see what a big deal was made out of Serena's streak of 41 consecutive first-round wins at Grand Slam events?  Darren Cahill joined that conversation with an unfortunate prelude,  citing Roger Federer's record of having appeared in 22 consecutive Grand Slam-event semifinals, and then segued to praise Serena's mark. He didn't equate the records, but just discussing them in the same breath seemed a bit of a reach.

Just out of curiosity, I checked the records of a few other top women, and came up with this: Kim Clijsters lost in the first round of a major just twice in her career (once in Australia, and once at Roland Garros), in the first year she played said majors. Henin has lost four times (also early in her career) and Serena's sister Venus has suffered just three first-round losses at majors. A consecutive anything streak is worth noting, of course. But first-round losses are oddities, not indicators -- especially so on the WTA tour -- and are virtually unknown once a player has a year or two of experience under her belt. So it begs the question, does the streak deserve to be highlighted and emphasized, or is it merely worth a mention and tip of the hat? 

In any event, I thought Serena at times yesterday looked awesome; she's the only woman who can hurt you as much with her serve as her return (see yesterday's post). But I do wonder about her stamina, should she get into a fracas with a woman who can move her around the court and make her work for every point.

Roger Federer had a few uncomfortable moments before he rassled down Igor Andreev. My feeling is that the model for playing Federer has been established: engage him and try to extend the points as much as possible, and work his backhand with the high-bouncing forehand (the court is especially bounce-friendly). Await the inevitable letdown(s) that have been creeping into The Mighty Fed's game, now that he's entering the "all gravy" phase of his career.

Watching Roger yesterday, I had to re-examine some of my own assumptions - the ones drawn from around the time of the U.S. Open final until now. I've expected Federer to be prone to lapses of focus and a certain amount of mental and emotional fatigue (or disinterest) now that he's bagged the Grand Slam singles title record. And I believe he was victim to them at the tail end of last year. But it's a new year, and perhaps that changes things more than we might expect.

All the while, I've also considered (and written about) Federer's greatest asset, his simple love of the game. He's a happy camper playing tennis, and that suggests that maybe that major No. 15 wasn't really such a big deal. Given how much the guy enjoys the game, maybe after Wimbledon last year year, he was thinking: Fifteen, great! That doesn't mean I have to stop now, does it? 

Federer has declared his intention to keep playing ad infinitum, and why not? This guy just isn't in a hurry to collect his trophies and deposit tickets and go into hiding in the Arabian desert. You might as well ask Bubba if he'd like to stop drinking beer, or bass fishing.

It naturally follows that Federer may be less prone to those anticipated lapses, or days when he simply feels too sideways to produce his best tennis. The temptation to psycho-analyze his competitive identity and accomplishments can lead to some pretty pat assumptions about the state of his motivation, but let's remember that Federer didn't set out to break Pete Sampras's mark; it just became part of the job description, and like any good employee he just kept his mouth shut and fulfilled it. This tournament may tell us a lot about whether the 15th Grand Slam was merely another milestone of Roger's journey on smooth pavement, or a sign sending him off on a fork in the road that quickly turns bumpy. I'm leaning back toward the former.

I thought James Blake looked sharp in his win over Arnaud Clement, and particularly good in his subsequent on-court interview with Pam Shriver. His light-hearted mood and lively, utterly relaxed banter with Shriver had to make you smile. I was impressed by how relaxed James looked, which bodes well for him in his next match, against Juan Martin del Potro. Those swirling rumors about the condition of Delpo's wrist are ominous; things like that seem to get out and into the public forum to prepare us all for disappointment. You can't blame Delpo or his camp from looking for a soft landing, but there's always a flicker of the white flag implicit in such revelations. And that means Blake's chances of getting by Delpo automatically improve. I'd look for the upset in that one.

I also liked it when Blake related how he and his American countryman John Isner were originally scheduled to play side-by-side on outside courts. "I could have been yelling over, Go Dawgs," Blake said, referring to Isner's college days as a Georgia Bulldog. "And he could have yelled, Go Crimson!" -- a reference to the small northeastern University where Blake spent some time before turning pro. And it was telling how Blake said that worst thing about being banished to the hinterlands (now that he slipped out of the Top 25) was the absence of Hawkeye and the line-call challenge system. Until recently, Blake could always count on being on a court using Hawkeye, and he said he found it somewhat unsettling to have to make do with it.

It's just another good reason for Blake to look upon his exile as a wake-up call. Have you hugged your digital aides and accessories today?

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Posted by Game Lover 01/20/2010 at 11:26 AM

Good stuff from Rafa last night!

And earlier Youzhny-Gasquet!

Boo to the American ESPN and commies, suffocating us with sex on TV, labbeled as tennis in the form of Melanie Oudin and even some mother or such, while Hewitt, Gasquet and Djokovic were playing...Then interrupting Rafa's match to show the Williams on double?

I liked Youshzny's attacking spirit, Rafa's, some of Roddick and Nole..Missed Delpo- Blake and Justine (Wasn't broadcasted live).

Posted by Chris 01/20/2010 at 11:32 AM

Citing Serena's 41 straight majors without a first round loss sounded completely absurd to me. Call me when she gets to Chris Evert's 13 straight years of winning at least one grand slam title.

Posted by beth 01/20/2010 at 11:33 AM

well - congrats to JMDP and Henin
I know their fans are thrilled . I , for one, was sad to see James lose such a heartbreaker - I was really hoping that he would win this one
as for the ladies - I was not necessarily surprised that Henin won - just kind of sad for Elena
I think it is a shame they had to play so early - but that is the way the draw worked out
still , I think it is good for the game that Henin has returned .

on a fashion note - I really liked Elena's dress - for once she was not wearing pink! and the dress was attractive and yet functional at the same time - not a cocktail dress , or lingerie serving as a tennis dress .
While Justine's look was plain and simple - the color was good , and it certainly was practical athletic wear - It served it 's function and looked good on her . Not really making a fashion statement , but she never really does . She just plays the game and that is just fine .

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 01/20/2010 at 11:37 AM

Isn't Oudin a bit young for that sort of thing? ;-)

Posted by Tigress 01/20/2010 at 11:42 AM


Monday, January 18, 2010
Roger Federer Countdown to 287: 21 (Twenty-0ne) weeks
Weeks #1: 266
Ranking Points: 10,550
Points gain/loss from last week: 0
Point Lead: 1240 (Nadal), 2240 (Djokovic)
Points Lead gain/loss: 0 (Nadal), 0 (Djokovic)
#1 Weeks Rank: 4th
Target Date for Record #287: June 14, 2010
Pete Sampras Record for #1: 286 weeks
Target Date for 3rd Rank #269 (Connors 268): February 8, 2010 -- 3 weeks
Target Date for 2nd Rank #271 (Lendl 270): February 22, 2010 – 5 weeks
1st time #1: February 2, 2004. 237 weeks
2nd time #1: July 6, 2009. 29 weeks (ongoing)

GO Fed, ALLEZ Roger! So I won't have to suffer from the tennis "blues" ('on topic' segment)

Posted by beth 01/20/2010 at 11:47 AM

I am not sure that tennis is marketing Oudin as the next sex symbol :)
but she is 18 - so she is technically an adult , even though a very young one

I do think the american media is hyping her as the next big thing - because there are so few other young american women on the tour competing well , and they are trying to generate some interest for her with their audience . She is personable, attractive and has had some good wins - it makes sense that they would try to draw in the american public by featuring her . That has always been their M O .

Posted by Skyt3nn15 01/20/2010 at 11:53 AM

Steve, when you spoke about the color of the courts I thought about the how the color blue's might relate to human phsycho tendencies. I think that a deep see blue, similar to the color of the courts, evokes an almost serene calm focus for the players. That's what it does for me. I feel like the color reminds us deep inside of that calm and gentle beach. It's almost like instinct... that combined with the freshness the players have after the off season may lead to all these suprise finalists and semifinalist contenders we've had in the past few years. It's all very calming and brings out an intense focus in most of the field, of course later in the year it's the mentally tough ones we see maintain that level of play. Fed, Rafa, Del Po... to name a few.

Posted by mcakron 01/20/2010 at 11:53 AM

Anne -- yes and no. It's more when she has a chance to wrest control of point, she doesn't quite do it with the authority of a Henin, Serena, Kim, Venus or a Safina. And when she gets a sitter, her power and placement fall slighlty short of the big girls and allows her opponent, at times, to get their racket on it -- and given a Henin's or Clijster's footspeed -- even return it.

Mind you, I'm only comparing her to a handful of the top players in the world. Against a #9 or #10 the deficiency might be unnoticeable or irrelevant.

Posted by Alexis 01/20/2010 at 12:09 PM

I didn't see any tennis yesterday, but sounds like the Delpo/Blake match was something else. It's such a heartbreaker to lose a match like that, no matter who you are. Tough, tough luck for Blake. And we'll see whether this helps or hurts Delpo. But again, draws definitely play a part in how a tournament unfolds. Playing Blake in a second-round match is not something any of the top guys would want. Nor is getting Andreev in the first round. It will be interesting to see how the other top guys do when they face their first real test.

Just like with Henin and Dementieva. Such bad luck that this was a 2nd round match. These two should both be in the second week. Tough, tough luck for Elena.

Posted by CL 01/20/2010 at 12:09 PM

Many thanks to all the night owls and/or those in different time zones for match calls and observations. Sounds like it was a cracker jack match between the Ent and James. James often plays great D - his speed lets him get to many shots that would be winners against others, but often, he makes an error because, despite the fact that he get there, his footwork isn't quite right and he is off balance. However, when he is ON...when he is making those shots...which is what it sounded like last night, he can play with anyone and he actually thrives on the kind of power that the Ent can generate. Hope someone/somewhere repeats that match.

Did Randy REALLY refuse to shake the umps hand? tsk...I'm sure he had something to say about it all in his presser.

Glad Justine is through...though I like Demmy too.

What else - ah, sorry I missed another Grantathon. I must see if I can persuade him to set his clocks ahead.

Why did Marin have such a tough time with Tomic...not good.

Off to check OOP,

Posted by Alexis 01/20/2010 at 12:12 PM

Well, Fed plays the first match of the night session, which is 2am for me. Ouch! Guess I'll try to get 4-5 hours sleep prior to the match... and maybe even 1-2 hours after. We'll see. GO FED!

Posted by Peg 01/20/2010 at 12:16 PM

*shakes head sadly* Jarkko, Jarkko, Jarkko. So darn close.

[Five sets and two match points. Sigh.]

Posted by beth 01/20/2010 at 12:17 PM

CL - sadly , yes- bratty Andy appeared at the end of his match yesterday
He has not been making nearly as many appearances as in the past - and I was hoping he had outgrown that
but - there was an incident and an expletive
AT least , compared to some of his tantrums of the past - this one was rather minor .

He discussed it in the presser -but was not terribly contrite .

Posted by robbyfan 01/20/2010 at 12:20 PM

Did AussieMarg really leave us? I want her take on the Hewitt-Young match.

Posted by CL 01/20/2010 at 12:21 PM

So is that Rezai who lost last night the same person who almost beat Serena last tourney? The one in gold lame' and black? If so, what the hail happened? I saw her first round match and she looked great. Tough as tough can be and hitting the ball a ton.

I see by his presser that Randy allows that the call that upset him so much was closer than he thought. He MIGHT wanna try to keep that possibility in mind before he unleashes his next string of obscenities at an umpire or linesperson ***waves to Rachel****

Posted by robbyfan 01/20/2010 at 12:22 PM

I'm not familiar with the fellow playing Federer this evening but he is from Basel. Any stories there?

Posted by robbyfan 01/20/2010 at 12:24 PM

string of obscenities ???? one BS and one F bomb do not make a string. and there was no threatening behavior.

Posted by VC 01/20/2010 at 12:26 PM

Well, at the very least it's same as what Federer received his USO Final fine for.

Posted by zenggi 01/20/2010 at 12:27 PM

Good evening,

I'm glad Roger plays the first night match. It's 9 am for me. No appointments of meetings scheduled.

Poor Demi, she doesn't have any luck with the draws. I'm happy though for Kim en Justine.
I hope they can go far in AO. Kim in the final?

Matches to watch tonight-tomorrow: Marcos/David and Janko/Tommy.

Thank you all for the match calls. I'm watching Delpo-Blake. I'm sorry that James lost.

AM, you must have a vacation after this tournament!.

Posted by Tigress 01/20/2010 at 12:28 PM

Foolishly, I took a chance and picked Querry in the SP. Result: I got bounced out on the first day, for the first time ever. Never again! Sam Querry, you burned me and now are burnt toast.

By the way, Congrats squared to Queen Justine. Kim and Justine back and in full flow. Women's tennis is truly recovered from its recent doldrums.

Posted by zenggi 01/20/2010 at 12:31 PM

Rafa on Kolya's comments:

Q. Davydenko told us yesterday he never wants to be really famous like Federer or you. How do you feel about being so famous?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think you are or you are not. You want or you don't want, that's not an answer, no? You are or you are not. That's it, no?

I feel okay, no? I like my life. I'm feel very lucky to be where I am. And, sure, I work in my hobby. So not everybody can say the same. So I feel very lucky person.

Posted by robbyfan 01/20/2010 at 12:32 PM

Tigress-don't feel too bad, I took no socks Fish. Never again.

Posted by beth 01/20/2010 at 12:38 PM

Tigress - so sorry you lost first round - the pool is actually fun , so I hope you try again
I have players -cough , cough Paul Henri - that have messed me up in early rounds too , So I feel your pain

although I am still in the men's so far this time . And yes, Rezai is the black and gold lame clad wonder who played so well in Sydney , only to cause massive fallout in the pool yesterday

I agree , Roddick did not exactly unleash a string of obscenities at the umpire ,nor were they threatening - but they were audible on the tv ( just as Roger's were at the US Open ) so I imagine he will get a fine of some kind .

Posted by beth 01/20/2010 at 12:39 PM

well - got to run out into the rain
get my daily errands run and exercise - before the matches begin again live

talk later

Posted by Alexis 01/20/2010 at 12:45 PM

Yeah, Andy should receive the same fine as Federer and those other two players from the USO. Any audible obscenity should warrant the minimum fine.

Posted by Caroline 01/20/2010 at 12:45 PM

Robbyfan, Marco Chiudinelli who is playing Djokovic is Roger's childhood friend from Basel. Roger is playing Hanescu who is Roumanian.

Posted by CL 01/20/2010 at 12:47 PM

beth - thanks for the confirmation re Rezai - ***shakes head***

Posted by zenggi 01/20/2010 at 12:47 PM

New videos uploaded on youtube:

Roger "The special one"

Roddick's discussion with the umpire:

Posted by robbyfan 01/20/2010 at 12:53 PM

Caroline-thanks! I did have it backwards.

Posted by Peg 01/20/2010 at 12:56 PM

CL: Rezai had 43 UFEs, including the last two points of the match.

Posted by robbyfan 01/20/2010 at 01:00 PM

It would have been difficult for Randy to shake Fergus' hand while he was calling him a Fbombing idiot. Isn't that what he said?

Posted by karin1492 01/20/2010 at 01:01 PM

Have any of you seen the statistics for the Henin/Dementieva match? They have Henin serving a 212 kph serve (or about a 131 mph serve) last night against Dementieva. I know she's served at 122 a couple of times, but that's insane if true (which I highly doubt).

Posted by mcakron 01/20/2010 at 01:02 PM

Yeah, I prefer Zen-like/unflappable ARod of Wimby to the clownish/bratty one who often rears his head on the court. That said, his complaint was semi-legitimate, and a couple of non-threatening curse words are pretty dismissable, albeit fine-worthy.

Posted by chicklet 01/20/2010 at 01:04 PM

More videos.

This is one is Rafa's proposal

Posted by Peg 01/20/2010 at 01:05 PM

Addendum on Rezai - that's actually fewer UFEs than Justine-Lena (who both had over 50), but the point is, when you make 43 to your opponent's 14, you're having a bad day.

From Roddick's Twitter: "apologies for the language today folks hopefully most kids were asleep by the time i went off ...... my bad."

"also did not realize that i didnt shake the umpires hand we were mid argument and i guess it didnt happen not a conscious decision"

apologies for the language today folks hopefully most kids were asleep by the time i went off ...... my bad

Posted by carnap 01/20/2010 at 01:11 PM

Pfffttt you people have it all wrong. Kolya didn't say he didn't want to be famous like Fed and Nadal, he said, "I don't want to be FABULOUS like Fed and Nadal." He's such the guy!

OK, so I'm lying like a cheap rug.

Posted by zenggi 01/20/2010 at 01:28 PM

I wonder how many of the players feel that tennis is their hobby and not just a hard chosen job. Maybe it only applies to the nrs. 1 and 2.

Thank you for the video proposal, chicklet. Nice to see Rafa smiling on court. Bad luck, Aussie girl, Ciska is waiting to hear Rafa asking her the same question.

Posted by CL 01/20/2010 at 01:31 PM

Peg - thanks so much for the Rezai info. That IS a LOT of errors when your opponent isn't making any.

Too bad...I missed the Serena match, but saw Rezai's first round and she strikes me as having loads of potential - fearless shot making, and with a sort of slightly sullen anti-hero swagger. She would/will be a fine addition to the Women's game. She can leave the lame' at home though...

Posted by sokol 01/20/2010 at 01:35 PM

question for those who have Directv: what courts are shown in their 5 channels? I'm trying to plan my evening deciding what to watch :-)

Posted by robbyfan 01/20/2010 at 01:40 PM

Sokol-I have direct tv. I'm pretty sure they show the 3 show courts, Rod Laver, Hissense, and Court. Not sure about the other 2. I love being able to scan all the matches and then pick one that looks interesting.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeee!!!) 01/20/2010 at 01:42 PM

chicklet - Thanks for the clip.

Thank goodness for ESPN360. I kept dozing off this morning during Blake/Elf and Demmy/Henin and now I can go back and watch them. :)

Posted by robbyfan 01/20/2010 at 01:43 PM

oh pooh. I thought Hissense Arena was named after some famous Australian but actually the Chinese company bought the naming rights. I detest when that happens. We have Philips Arena here in Atlanta. ugh.

Posted by carnap 01/20/2010 at 01:43 PM

I'm inclined to scan all six channels at once and hone in on one when something interesting happens. It's a great way to avoid the "paint dryers" and the "screaming Mimis."

Posted by zenggi 01/20/2010 at 01:44 PM


When my neighbours the Belgians, think that Kolya's comment "I'm not Paris Hilton" is worthy of a front page news, I wonder what will happen next. It's not like they are known for their sense of humor...

Posted by robbyfan 01/20/2010 at 01:46 PM

Has anyone else noticed that Pete never stops in to comment any longer. Or have I just missed him. Maybe he got scared off?

Posted by carnap 01/20/2010 at 01:50 PM

zenggi: Yes, he did mention Paris Hilton in that vein. So, I wasn't really lying after all. YAY! KolyaTheUnfabulous.

Posted by Peg 01/20/2010 at 01:53 PM

I believe I've seen Pete commenting several times this month, robbyfan. In one instance, he and a Fed KAD were getting into each other's virtual face on whether his critique of Roger was overly harsh.

Posted by zenggi 01/20/2010 at 01:53 PM

If you don't want to get scared, don't go the the new post. Terrible picture of Lena.
Why are they doing this?. This is TW, no?

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 01/20/2010 at 01:56 PM

Can't imagine Pete being scared off, somehow. :)

Posted by sokol 01/20/2010 at 01:56 PM

"I love being able to scan all the matches and then pick one that looks interesting.'

me too, that's the main reason why I have Direct. I just trying to fugire out which 5 matches I'll see and if I need to find a link for Vera's. She's scheduled on Court 2, which I think one of the courts shown... and I think Court 8 (looking at yesterday's schedule)

Posted by Master Ace 01/20/2010 at 01:57 PM

Pete does comment but it has been few and far between these days.

Yes, Aravane went back to post Bali last night as her opponent won 75% of her points because of UFEs by Aravane.

I got ESPN360 too but I will have to wait until Friday or Saturday afternoon to see Elena and Justine at the earliest.

Posted by zenggi 01/20/2010 at 02:02 PM

Hi jewell, I've missed you since last week (busy time for me).

Please go and verify Lena's picture. I don't think Pete needs to scare us. We do it for free.

Posted by Master Ace 01/20/2010 at 02:07 PM

Please put another picture of Elena up or have a picture of Elena and Justine shaking hands at the net.

Posted by Black Matt 01/20/2010 at 02:24 PM

robbyfan - Here in Utah, our NBA team has EnergySolutions Arena - named for a nuclear waste storage company. One that wants to bring foreign waste into our state to boot!

One of it's (many) nicknames is "Radium Statium," hehe. Ugh, makes me cringe just thinking about it.

Wasn't Rod Laver Arena originally called Vodafone?

Sure glad they changed THAT one.

Amused by all the shock and horror at Roddick's little fit yesterday. (More on other sites than here.) How some people survived tennis in the 80's I will never know.

Posted by Mark 01/20/2010 at 02:39 PM

Have not posted on here for a while! Love the new look to the site. I've been really enjoying the AO so far. Kim and Justine have really made things interesting on the women's side. Congrats to them both on their wins so far. Feel bad for Elena, but at least she started the year out right and repeated her title in Sydney with a win over Serena.

Watched the Isner drama last night and was happy to see him get through that match!!!! He was very smart on how he managed his energy (or what was left) to get through the last set. I like watching the big guy play.

Also watched the Roddick match and after attempting to give Roddick the benefit of the doubt for years, I firmly believe the guy is a total jerk! Why in the hail did he go ballistic after he won the match in 3 sets. Belucci played well, but Roddick was never really in any danger of losing. I understand it was match point, but there was no reason for him to go crazy about that call after the match ended. Also, in his first-round match, when he tripped over the line judge, then blamed the line judge for not getting out of the way? What was that all about? Where could line judge have moved? He was standing against the wall and the whole thing happened too fast. Roddick is probably just pissed that he looked like an idiot tripping over the judge. In any case, the crotch-grabbing, arrogant, prick has gotten on my nerves and I hope he goes down early.

Disppointments so far:

Feel bad for Blake.....But what a match!

Anyone know where my girl Patty Schnyder is? Don't see her in the draw.

Prediction - I think my other girl Dani may be able to make it to the quarters if she can potentially get past Li Na in the round of 16, I think she is capable of beating the Woz. C'mon Dani!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by robbyfan 01/20/2010 at 02:39 PM

True that Black Matt! off to new post.

Posted by VC 01/20/2010 at 02:40 PM

LOL at Rafa's reaction to that marriage proposal. :-)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 01/20/2010 at 02:41 PM

Hi zenggi! I've seen you in passing but that's all. How are you? Are you seeing much of the tennis?

Posted by Andrew 01/20/2010 at 02:43 PM

Afternoon, all.

This is not the first time I've seen Andy Roddick involved in exactly this controversy - it also happened in Toronto 2008, with Mohamed Layhani in the chair.

You can see on the YouTube video referenced at 12:47pm by zenggi (for which, thanks) that Roddick is in position to play the ball (the shot is hit at 0:48 in the video), but Roddick believed the ball was out (and he actually signals out with his hand instants after the line judge calls out).

As far as I can tell, the line judge's call did not affect Roddick's play, so Murphy legitimately gave the point to Bellucci. However, the timing was very close - in Federer-Andreev, I thought a line judge "out" call at ad Federer, 5-6 in set 3 also did not affect Federer's attempted FH shot, which went into the net. In that case, Enrique Molina in the chair asked that the point should be replayed. I can see why Roddick could make the case for the same treatment.

Drysdale and McEnroe in the commentating booth appear to have the sound off when commenting on the replay - McEnroe says that he thinks Roddick stopped because he thought the ball was going out: I think Roddick stopped because he thought the ball had landed out. Roddick could, of course, have challenged himself if the out call hadn't been made.

There hasn't been a lot of comment on Roddick's self possession and nerve in serving out the match at 2nd serve, 40-30, after two consecutive successful Bellucci challenges at MP, which I think is steely stuff.

I personally don't have any objections to grown men or women using an occasional profanity in an otherwise civil conversation (which this was, although clearly Roddick felt that he'd been ill-used). Yes, microphones pick this up, but let's stay away from the fainting couch. Probably there'll be a fine involved, which seems a bit silly.

Posted by zenggi 01/20/2010 at 02:54 PM


I'm watching bits and pieces while I'm at work. At home I have two different channels recording from 1 am (my time) untill the last match is finished the next day. I mostly watch highlights in the evening. I'll chose next week which matches to watch entirely.

Hard times for working people :)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 01/20/2010 at 03:00 PM

Employers are so inconsiderate when it comes to tennis. ;-)

Posted by Samantha Elin 01/20/2010 at 03:00 PM

I don't care if the American media hypes Oudin from now until eternity. What I really resented was when Caro beat her at the USO and Pam Shriver completely ignored Caro as if she didn't matter so they could interview Oudin. She had just loss to Caro and yet she was given the spotlight that Caro had earned by her win. I had never seen the loser interviewed and the winner completely ignored so it really stood out.

Posted by Master Ace 01/20/2010 at 03:16 PM

Per WTA website, Patty has left foot tendonitis

Posted by robbyfan 01/20/2010 at 03:17 PM

Samantha Elin-your complaint should be with Pam not Melanie.

Posted by Master Ace 01/20/2010 at 03:18 PM

Black Matt,
Believe Hisense was Vodafone until about 2 to 3 yrs ago

Posted by Master Ace 01/20/2010 at 03:22 PM

Did you mean ESPN2 instead of Pam? Melanie was the story of the USO as she made an unexpected run defeating Russians along the way and Caroline finally stopped the run. ESPN2 probably wanted to get Melanie's reaction.

Posted by robbyfan 01/20/2010 at 03:25 PM

MA-I know but Samantha Elin was angry that Pam interviewed Melanie instead of Caro. I don't blame Samantha for being miffed but what was Melanie supposed to do?

Posted by sod'sfriend 01/20/2010 at 03:25 PM

Samantha Elin,

i also saw that oudin interview after caro beat her. it was odd. in fact, oudin didnt want to do the interview but shriver pushed her until she was ashamed and succumbed to the interview. very odd, and out of place.

Posted by sokol 01/20/2010 at 03:53 PM

"Employers are so inconsiderate when it comes to tennis. ;-)"

lol, Jewell

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 01/20/2010 at 04:41 PM

Hi guys, I was away for two days and oops, i missed day 3 of SP so I'm out. grrr.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/20/2010 at 04:41 PM

I feel all employers should just schedule off to thier Tennis Nuts Employees

All GS events,

ALL Master Series events and then some.

Posted by sokol 01/20/2010 at 04:43 PM

"Tennis Nuts Employees"


Posted by anon 01/20/2010 at 09:37 PM

Bodo you're constant Federhating is really surprising. This guy has put up numbers like nobody has done so in the past...except for his constant battles with Nadal there's been nobody close to him in the biggest moments. Against Nadal...his strength which include self belief and stubborness also let him down...but that looks to be changing. People have been expecting Fed to shrivel up and go away to the bottom of the top 10 or below. Barring a serious injury I seriously doubt that's going to happen. Andreev was playing way above his pay grade for a set and a half and came crashing back to earth in the third set tie-break. That tells you the level he was pressing at ...and Federer biding his time with his B/C game till he flamed out. I recollect Sampras using this tactic through most of his career to conserve energy. For this he was called boring, uninterested, cold. Call it what you will, if this website wants to keep you on counterpoint for all the on. I expect him to win another 5 or 6 slams before he's done. He's got a new problem to solve...which is DelPO....who's looking like the next real end to his upside...and a level head on his shoulders...but all these guys still look upto and chase after the Fed...even Nadal despite his winning record against Fed...they may beat him on a given day...but nobody in the todays top 10 is going to get anywhere near his cumulutive success....even Nadal.

Posted by kj 01/22/2010 at 12:27 AM

Gee pete, i also wonder if the plan you mentioned that andreev was using9 against federer) was helped along the way by slowing down just about every court surface on the atp. ( a move to try to bring him back to field done by some smart tv executives, to prolong matches that would otherwise be an absoloute walkover)

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