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The Spartan Believer 03/29/2010 - 10:47 PM

96475752 by Pete Bodo

Well, it wasn't exactly Borg vs. McEnroe, Wimbledon 1980, but Sam Stosur and Jelena Jankovic played an entertaining and meaningful tiebreaker this evening under restless, roiled skies in breezy Miami.

It ended badly for Jankovic, the No. 7 seed and winner at Indian Wells last week, as Stosur held on to win the breaker 11-9, and with it the match. Jankovic's chance to win back-to-back Premier Mandatory events went pinwheeling off into the night like so many chickadees buffeted by the wind, but the palm fronds surrounding the court continued clicking and rattling, taking Jankovic to task for blowing an interesting opportunity.

Stosur had already laid a little wood on Jankovic's fanny when I walked into Court 1, under the erroneous impression that I had plenty of time to settle in and enjoy the show. I might have suspected the direction things were taking by the pair of menacing turkey vultures that rode the gusts like a rollercoaster right above the court. They dropped low often enough to make me wonder if one of them wasn't about to descend and peck out Jankovic's eyes, but some things are better left to coaches, moms, agents and other professionals.

I say that only half in jest, for while windy conditions are equal opportunity irritants, they ought to have been more manageable for Jankovic, one of the most lithe and adaptable of players. Instead, they seemed to have an unduly deleterious effect on Jankovic, at least judging by the scoreboard, and the way her sherbet-green dress kept boiling up around her waist, as if our favorite WTA flake were doing an interpretation of that famous Marilyn Monroe subway-grate photo, but on behalf of Anta.

It ought to have been the other way around. Slammin' Sammy Stosur's game is, on the whole, more dependent on precision and timing (more on that later), and acting out something very like set pieces, all based on her outstanding serve. That serve, she would tell me after win, has been the cornerstone of her recent success. "I've had some good results starting about this time last year, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm serving well. I've been getting a good percentage of first serves in, and no matter how well you serve the ball, if you're not getting it in, who cares?"

Jankovic, by contrast, is at her best when she's free to improvise, counter-punch, and use her natural flexibility to retrieve her opponent's most invasive questions. In fact, she's a lot like a yellow lab, or similar retriever breed of dog. She goes into a serene, focused state when when she's scampering east-to-west along the baseline, at full stretch, making desperate reaction-born fetches. She can do wonders chasing a ball, and never seems happier, or more in tune with what she's cut out to do. But like that lab, there isn't a whole lot she can do if you just give her the ball with the command, Okay, Jelly, now do something...

Whether it was the difficult conditions or Jankovic's flair for the dramatic, or some combination thereof, she was error-prone, grumpy and out of sorts; time and again she would drive a backhand into the net, or miss with the forehand, then volubly rue her fate, addressing the crowed with a slender arm elegantly extended - until she had to drop it to quell the hemline fluttering around her waist. 

Jankovic began to pull herself together in the second set, but she was up against a young lady who's as practical and disciplined as Jankovic is flighty and profligate. Stosur has gradually evolved into something like the consumate professional. When her own hot-salmon dress rode up, the serious tan lines on her upper thighs told the story - this is a woman who has spent a lot of time in shorts, presumably whacking balls under a broiling sun. The dedication shows in her game, too, and not just in the familiar ways. There's a point of diminishing returns where focusing on technique and execution, on maximizing your strengths and hiding our weaknesses, eventually leaves you with a game that, apart from anything else, looks studied. 

But such hard work has its rewards, even if it's at the expense of the natural. The serve is the one shot over which a player has absolute control; theoretically, at least, a player could go an entire match without having his or her serve returned. Stosur plays as if that's her aim, and the priority and focus she assigns the task is palpable. She's learned to trust her serve, and to try to get the most out of each delivery. She's built her game around it in a way that suggests that screwing up is not an option, and that's unusual on the WTA tour.

Jankovic returned her share of Stosur's well-placed bullets, but she was backed into a corner  throughout the second set. Stosur's ability to hold, and to work her way out of potentially sticky situations (15-30, or deuce) with the serve must have had a corrosive influence on Jankovic's game. Oh, the Serbian star kept finding ways to stay with Stosur, for that's what she does best; she's the human equivalent of the philanthropic world's "matching grant." But Stosur set the pace, and her ability to hold, slamming the door of opportunity shut each time she leaves it open a crack, eventually took its toll. It always does.

In the tiebreaker, however, Stosur served up a mortifying double fault at 1-1 (let's remember, it wasn't all that long ago that Stosur was a poster child for head case tennis players worldwide). But Jankovic responded in kind (see what I mean about "matching grant?"). From there on, though, both women played pretty tight tennis. Jankovic started points, then tried to figure out ways to win them. Stosur figured out what she needed to do, then started points - and tried to end them on her terms.

The tiebreaker points went on serve until Stosur reached match point, at 5-6 (with Jankovic serving). Stosur made a forehand error and in the blink of an eye Jankovic had a set point. But Stosur brushed it aside. Stosur had another match point at 8-7, but blew it with a wild forehand error. Then it was Jankovic's turn again, with a set point, but Stosur erased it with a good forehand. She ended it two points later with a backhand laser down the line.

Stosur is aware of her shortcomings and she's built around them just as much as she's based her game on her signature stroke. She's developed a streamlined game plan on her journey from electric but sometimes ghastly shotmaker (think Amelie Mauresmo, or Hana Mandlikova). She's become a spartan believer in "the game plan."

Of course, tennis isn't entirely about figuring it out; you have this little matter of physical and even mental limitations, a complex and inter-related set of strengths and weaknesses. Every player's game is unique, like a fingerprint. When a player does due diligence, the way Stosur has, it tends to heighten the visibility of her shortcomings as well as her strengths. In Stosur's case - and it really seems a novel one for a player with such natural feel and athleticism - the outstanding flaw is, ironically, something as fundamental and seemingly second-nature as body positioning relative to the ball.

You'd think that any world-class player would have this distance-to-the-ball thing down pat, but it's surprising how often Stosur overruns a ball, or ends up playing it too close to her body (one by-product of that is a slice backhand that lacks sting). I suppose it's a sign of bad footwork, or slow reflexes. The conditions certainly had something to do with her positioning difficulties tonight, but it was still clear that Stosur doesn't - make that can't - adjust nearly as well to the ball as does Jankovic. Never mind. Stosur compensated for the shortcoming by having a clear idea of what she was going to do, and deciding that nothing was going to stop her. She had the game plan.

When I asked if she was worried that the tiebreaker might slip away and leave her dead-even despite the great start, she merely shrugged and said: "Well, I knew what I wanted to do in that match (serve well, take the game to Jankovic, end points with crisp, positive tennis), so it didn't really matter. I had to keep pushing her. If I'd lost that second set, I would have gone on in the third doing the same thing."

And that's the spartan way, isn't it?


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Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 01:25 AM

Morning, everyone. :)

So it sounds like Rafa played well? That's nice to know. :) Commiserations, Spacie and greenhopper and other Tsonga fans.

Posted by Jai 04/01/2010 at 01:25 AM

I think the issue is always going to be that Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome are in three consecutive weeks. Those are all tournaments that Rafa has done very well in over the years, two of them are Masters with lots of points at stake, and the one in between is the tournament that he considers his home tourney. Last year he won all three, which was a superhuman effort (especially given the battles Djokovic gave him), but it took a lot out of him for the rest of the clay season.

On the other hand, if he misses Madrid altogether, he goes into RG having not played at all for three straight weeks, which is not the best way for a rhythm player to enter a Slam.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 01:25 AM

isnt rafa skipping Mardid the same as Fed skipping Basle? ridiculous@!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 01:25 AM

imjimmy/rafadoc: It's late and i'm kinda tired but you guys were being facetious, right?

I think it's perfectly appropriate for rafa's fans to be thinking about his schedule, his health, his psyche and whatever else we feel may effect his game. Last year was a rollercoaster that began on such a high and then came crashing down. I don't think i'll ever take rafa's winning ways for granted ever again.

When Fed was in something of a slump and losing unexpectedly and smashing raquets, his fans here filled page after page of comments analysing his serve, worrying about his back, the lingering effects of his mono, impending fatherhood, baby watches, name games and on and on. It's no different for us.

Posted by Carrie *trying to pracitce the art of Zen and posting- hoping it lasts* 04/01/2010 at 01:29 AM

Tim- Barcelona is more important to some Spanish players on clay than Madird. Some may sneer down but just because Madrid has an 1000 tied to it does NOT imo wash away the long history of Barcelona. At all.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 01:30 AM

Commiserations for Samantha, too. (and congratulations, LOL) Caroline put up a really good fight from what I saw.

Posted by Carrie *trying to pracitce the art of Zen and posting- hoping it lasts* 04/01/2010 at 01:32 AM

Jai- Rafa skipped Hamburg I think two or three times before getting the RG title.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 04/01/2010 at 01:33 AM

"barcelina MORE essential than Madrid?"

Barcelona may not have Madrid's 1000 points but the Barcelona tournament had been the most important tournament held in Spain for over 100 years.

To Spaniards who hold tradition dear, Barcelona is the most important tennis tournament held in Spain.

Screw Madrid's extra 500 points and screw Tiriac.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 01:35 AM

Rafa skipping Barcelona is the same as Fed skipping Basel. Barcelona is more important to rafa than Madrid.

I don't think any of the players on the ATP make excuses for losses. Losses are losses. You don't hear any player in a presser saying I lost because my tummy ached or i had a fight with my girlfriend or whatever. If they are injured they retire. Any talk of injury excuses is a fiction made up by posters who have run out of things to say.

Posted by Carrie *trying to pracitce the art of Zen and posting- hoping it lasts* 04/01/2010 at 01:36 AM

Thanks msf- I have just read for years how important Barcelona is to Spanish players and history. Just because Ian say Madrid is more special doesn't make it so. And Rafa is a traditionalist in some ways. I really am bitter about Madrid being a clay Masters. A better call would have been to make it Barcelona or move something like BA after Miami and make it a clay Masters.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 01:37 AM

ohm man u rafa kids, never seen a more defensive bunch in my life... oooh ,altitude, horror of horrors! how much more advnatage does rafa need than home country, home surface, u act like he's playing on indoor hardcourt or something...geez... Rafa should be glad there are so many clay court masters events on red clay and stop complaining like a baby

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 01:37 AM

Well I just got back from getting fish for Good Friday Goodness me!!!!!!!!!

First up

It is 2010 right? Rafa played Joe in the AO 2008 correct and has played him and beaten him on h.courts after that.Rafa's head to head was 5-1 before this match.So how does this match Ever Relate to this current one?????

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 01:39 AM

2nd fact

The most important reason Rafa plays Barcelona its because that is his Club and he has fond memeories.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 01:40 AM

Madrid is just 1000 points. No tradition since it's brand new. The players said the courts were terrible. And the practice courts were even worse. I guess the architecture is supposed to be WOW but it looked kind of industrial and cold to me.

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

Several people have posted that Barcelona is rafa's home club.

Posted by Carrie *trying to pracitce the art of Zen and posting- hoping it lasts* 04/01/2010 at 01:42 AM

Tim- this is not even about Rafa. I am a fan of the clay surface and the history behind it. Full stop. I have said several times why I am not a fan of Madrid as a clay Masters. Not everything is about a certain player. I do not like Madrid getting the clay Masters the way it did and I think SA deserves a Masters and I think if clay Masters was in Spain it should not be in Madrid the way Ian got it. That is fully independent of Rafa. It is what I feel and love about the game.

Posted by mina (meanie and proud of it) 04/01/2010 at 01:43 AM

heed your own advice Tim, and stop complaining. abt Rafa, his moonballs and Rafa KADs. and it doesn't even matter if you refuse to... cos we'll just go on our merry whingeing ways of saying Madrid's blue surface/altitude and whatnot sux. kinda like someone i know.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 01:44 AM

Annie Thats what I just posted.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 04/01/2010 at 01:44 AM

greenhopper:

The RC Glasses group of postings was 95% tongue in cheek. I didn't take them very seriously. I wasn't expecting anyone else to do so.

As far as "good" errors, I agree that sometimes there are "good" errors. You probably saw more "good" ones among Rafa's early collection in the Tsonga match than I did.

I was watching the match on a laptop while I multitasked. You may have been watching the match more closely.

So your opinion on the matter could very well be more valid than mine.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 01:45 AM

imjimmy Seeing you are sensible are you still around.I would like your views on this match

Posted by zenggi 04/01/2010 at 01:46 AM

Good morning,

No more upsets while I was sleeping :). Congrats to Rafa and his fans. Commisserations to Tsonga and his fans.

It's getting more and more difficult to find the right thread at TW. I hope this can be solved soon.

Right on the money about Barcelona. Tradition and status. Tiriac&Co have a long way to catch up.

I saw a little bit of Justine-Caro and Justine is playing well. Battle of Belgium again :)

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 01:46 AM

well if Rafa would have won Madrid last year, the rafa KIDS would LOVE the event lol... so be it

Posted by Jai 04/01/2010 at 01:46 AM

Carrie: true, he didn't play Hamburg in 2005 and 2006. But in both those years there was only a 2-week gap between the end of Rome and the start of RG. (And in both years he played a tough 5-setter to win Rome.) The clay-court calendar seems to have changed a few times in the past five years.

Anyway, fingers crossed. He's certainly capable of going into RG and winning it after three weeks of no match practice. The idea just makes me a little uncomfortable.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 01:47 AM

Manuel I never take you serious at all.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 01:48 AM

Tim Stop stirring up the Rafa kids you know they come in Hook,Line and Sinker?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 01:50 AM

zenggi Hi.Thanks for the wishes.Rafa played much better.Though you would think he won a bloody GS title.There is still a long way to go.

Posted by Carrie *trying to pracitce the art of Zen and posting- hoping it lasts* 04/01/2010 at 01:50 AM

Tim- I will only speak for myself. I would not love Madrid if Rafa won it. I think it should have gone to Barcelona. I love history and Barcelona has it in spades. I think that Ian is a crook. I have never liked him even when he was coaching Boris- who I was a huge fan of. I still steam when I think that South America does not have a Masters tournament or even a freaking 500 torunament (to my knowledge) there. This has NOTHING to do with Rafa but has to do with the sport. Sneer down on it all you want.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 01:50 AM

gottta say Rafa KADS are nothing if not persistent! still amazes me how Fed comments are about if he LOSES one event, he's going down, and if Rafs WINS one event, he's BACK on top ... however

I think its gonna be funny to see Roddick's pathetic little chip get pounded by Rafa's moonballs in the semis... i acutlaly look forward to that, i HATE Roddicks' pushy ball tactics from the baseline, he deserves to get punished big time ...

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 01:51 AM

Tim, stop lumping rafa fans together. And there is only one baby on this board. Take a bow. Now put in your binkie and go to bed.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 01:52 AM

hee marg!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 01:52 AM

Tim LOL!!! I give you extra points for being relentless no?

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 01:52 AM

annie cant take the heat? typical...

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 01:55 AM

Carrie: something tells me we would get along :) I was a huge boris fan...I was also a big McEnroe fan..don't know if you're old enough to have watched him.

Posted by Carrie *trying to pracitce the art of Zen and posting- hoping it lasts, not looking like it will 04/01/2010 at 01:56 AM

I am still scratching my head to where Rafa fans said their guy was on top. More that they were just happy with his play in this match. One match at a time- that is Zen right?

Zen not lasting....

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/01/2010 at 01:57 AM

AM today at work there were hot X buns that had chocolate in them, due to me being in a hurry I picked one up thinking it had fruit in it. Took a small bite then threw the bun away in disgust. Even though I have 2 1/2 days to go I don't particularly like choc chips in my hot X buns.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 01:57 AM

Tim You have them just where you want them? they never learn.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 01:58 AM

Now that I think of it, boris had alot of the same charm that rafa has. I remember when he first won wimbledon he was very humble and witty for such a young champion. I don't think they have much in common now though.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 01:59 AM

AA Yikes I could not think of anything worse.They have Mocha Hot Cross buns here too.

I did my Easter egg shopping after Rafa's match and everyone was handing out chocholates Ahhhh.

I stayed strong,

Posted by mina (meanie and proud of it) 04/01/2010 at 02:01 AM

"I am still scratching my head to where Rafa fans said their guy was on top"

Carrie, clearly a figment of the poster's imagination.

Posted by Carrie *trying to pracitce the art of Zen and posting- hoping it lasts, not looking like it will 04/01/2010 at 02:01 AM

Annie - Boris winning his 1985 (yes?) Wimbledon title was one of THE main sporting events of my childhood. It was during the summer, we had HBO, I swan and biked with friends at early childhood hours and family would watch Wimbledon together when I came back and ate lunch- sometimes my mom would tell me to come home early because of the time differences. Salad days. A lot of my family memories are around tennis. My first sports memories are watching Steelers games in Pittsburgh and then McEnroe/Borg matches. In family get togethers we play tennnis. I am horrible- but the rest are very good. My dad has won some USTA dubs title in his age group.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 02:01 AM

Gosh, I think Rafa fans are just happy that he didn't play "WTF pusher tennis" (TM imjimmy) & managed to beat a top 10 player seemingly in form for the first time in about six months...don't see what's wrong with being happy about that. I think most of us know there's a long way to go to winning the tournament and being properly "back", etc.

As for the skillet...I say enammelled cast-iron is the thing. :)

Hi zenggi!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 02:04 AM

Jewell, way way too heavy. i know they're the best for cooking but i can barely lift my dutch oven.

Posted by zenggi 04/01/2010 at 02:06 AM

Hi AM,
I'm glad to hear that Rafa played well.

There is an interview with Tiriac a few days ago. He says that Madrid is a great tournament even if Nadal isn't playing. He tried last year to get a 32-players instead of a 56-players draw but it wasn't allowed by the ATP. This make it very difficult for the players because they have to play 5 days in a row. He insists that the blue clay was tested by several players (Feliciano, FernandoV and Dinara) and they liked it and it's better for TV viewers. He is certain that all the problems of last year with the courts will be solved. He says that the altitude difference between Madrid and Paris is about 300 m.

Yeah, Tiriac, go back to your books because the difference is 600 m.

http://www.as.com/tenis/articulo/tenis-nadal-madrid-seguiria-siendo/dasten/20100327dasdaiten_1/Tes

Posted by Jai 04/01/2010 at 02:06 AM

"still amazes me how Fed comments are about if he LOSES one event, he's going down, and if Rafs WINS one event, he's BACK on top"

Tim: what's truly amazing is that despite being such a Federer KAD yourself, you never seem to understand that the expectations set by Fed's achievements over the years are much higher than the expectations set by Rafa's (especially off clay). Fed will always be held to a completely different (and unreal) set of standards. And this is a Rafa fan talking.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 02:06 AM

Jewell Hi,good to see you came out of your covers.I havent read imjimmys thoughts.I had to go to the Fish markets tommorrow is Good Friday here.Was happy to see Rafa turn up and played much better than against David.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 02:08 AM

Tim you have been at your stirring best.I will have to read your posts

Posted by zenggi 04/01/2010 at 02:09 AM

Hi jewell,
I see that no matter who is playing both of us cannot wake up at 3 in the morning to watch tennis. I would have been sorry had Roger won but as he lost his match, I was able yesterday to work normally. Or what normal is for me to work :). Did you recorded Rafa's match?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 02:10 AM

Guys it amazes me how none of you know How to Handle Tim

He is a Master of this lol!

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 02:11 AM

I think imjimmy was actually - *gasp* - relatively happy with Rafa's play. There's a post a couple of pages back.

It's just nice for me to know he played a good, not-too-long match with no real wobbles. He's also gained a few points from last year, which is quite happy-making. :)

Posted by zenggi 04/01/2010 at 02:11 AM

recorded = record. I'm making a record of my mistakes :)

Posted by Carrie *Zen gone* 04/01/2010 at 02:14 AM

AM- some can handle it. Some can not (ie me). But I have learned my lesson. Rafa fans need to take lessons from him because we don't know how to handle things and need to be told how to look at wins Iex. not the way they do but like him) and losses with the guiding hand of someone who will tell us that even if we like Rafa- he is nothing but a moonballer.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 02:14 AM

I didn't, zenggi, I can only watch ATP Masters tennis on Bet365 or equivalent. :)

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 02:14 AM

Carrie: same for me. That '85 Wimby was very special. I was over the moon when Boris won. And wasn't he the first qualifier to ever win the title? My family all played together too. My dad finally had a court put in at our house and we would play all summer and any of our friends were welcome to come over any time. So there was always someone out there. My brother has couple of friends were spent summers with us and one year for christmas they had a local guy build us an umpire's chair! I thought it was very special that we had one on our court. (I was the youngest)

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 02:14 AM

Andy is gonna get beaten like a stick with Rafa's moonballs..

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 02:14 AM

Jewell I did sent him a memo "not to dilly dally" cause I had to go the fish markets and blow me down he did it in straights.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 02:15 AM

oh marg u always inspire me, GEs or not!

Posted by zenggi 04/01/2010 at 02:15 AM

Newspapers full of soccer and basketball. NP, will not be happy with the Lakers.
I'm going to work. See you all later.

Posted by mina (meanie and proud of it) 04/01/2010 at 02:16 AM

Vetmama says to scroll cos "things" will never change, that much i believe. cos "handling" isn't the way to go about dealing with "things". it encourages nasty bullying posts on a tennis blog. pathetic really, when you think abt the things that kind of wasted energy used to rip into Rafa could go into.

now i'm off to merrily scroll this page along. feel free to post more haterade, "things". Rafa KADs, you'll find me on Twitter and FB.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 02:16 AM

Carrie I think Rafa is one of the best Moonballers I have ever seen.Thats just one of his many bag of Party Tricks.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/01/2010 at 02:16 AM

AM I don't think it is a case of people not knowing how to handle said poster but it just becomes so boring after awhile.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 02:17 AM

Rafa obviously knows not to mess with Madame President's schedule. :)

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 02:18 AM

i just wish all the Rafa KADs appreciated my efforts more lol ... youd get nothing but puffballs if not for me around here, Pete and the rest just shower Rafa with softballs no matter how bad he plays, at least I call a Moonball a Moonball!

i can only imagine how Pete would write up a Federer title drought of 10 months! Rafa is like the most fearsome competitor in tennis history no matter how many matches he loses...

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 02:20 AM

Tim Thanks I know deep down what you think of Rafa

Yes I agree regardless if he loses he still competes.

Posted by Carrie *trying to get back into Zen after small lapse- posting rehab is hard* 04/01/2010 at 02:22 AM

Wow Annie- sounds neat that ya'll had a court. We did not have any of that- even if we had the $ did not have the land for it. But my folks were very good and hoped that their children would be. Bro played juniors for a bit at decent state level until they realized his brain would be better used elsewhere. I never got to juniors when they realized that I am a klutz. (I could dance on the dancefloor though)

Posted by Carrie *trying to get back into Zen after small lapse- posting rehab is hard* 04/01/2010 at 02:24 AM

mina- stay. We need us fans here.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 02:24 AM

as I said, i want Rafa to win a damn title so all this excuse talk can END, and it can be about tennis again...

Posted by Carrie *trying to get back into Zen after small lapse- posting rehab is hard* 04/01/2010 at 02:26 AM

Tim- you call every Rafa shot a moonball and you call all Rafa fans deluded or not as good as you.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 02:26 AM

by the way, Henin proved today she's at least no. 3 in the world, easy...Kimmie might still be ahead of her so far...hope one of the belgie's beats Vee in the final would be awesome!

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 02:27 AM

carrie, dont bite the moonball that feeds you!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 02:27 AM

that's the only accurate thing the "master" has said all night. Rafa is the most fearsome competitor in tennis history. spot on.

most of the time this blog enjoys posts by very witty, knowledgeable, nice people who aren't looking for a fight. What a shame that it takes you actual effort to come up with your irritating little ditties. like nails on a chalkboard..

Posted by Carrie *trying to get back into Zen after small lapse- posting rehab is hard* 04/01/2010 at 02:31 AM

Tim how can I - I am nothing but a fan of the moonballer who needs to be taught my way by a better fan such as you. Come Yoda- tell me more what I need to do. ;)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 02:31 AM

We're wasting just as much energy arguing pointlessly, no?

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 02:32 AM

Carrie: but you can dance, that i cannot do to save my life. and i really wish i could.

Posted by Pspace (Allez Tsonga!) 04/01/2010 at 02:32 AM

I dunno why people bother reasoning with a wall ;-)

A wall, by definition, cannot be reasoned with.

Ever tried playing tennis with a wall?

OTOH, doors sometimes have emotions, I'm told.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 02:32 AM

BTW Tim, did you see Pete's post about Justine?

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 02:33 AM

careful carrie, you are venturing into dark waters...

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 02:36 AM

Ahhhh Pspace aka Tsonga fan aka Murray fan aka Rofer fan''

Hell I am running out of space

Posted by Carrie *trying to get back into Zen after small lapse- posting rehab is hard* 04/01/2010 at 02:36 AM

Annie- I am a very good club and wedding dancer- folks have approached me in those circumstances. But give me choreography and youch! I suck. Had to quite ballet.

Posted by mina (meanie and proud of it) 04/01/2010 at 02:37 AM

Carrie i'm still here, just ignoring "things"... which is the very reason why a lot of Rafa fans (esp in the message boards) hate the guts of a certain player's fans... it gives them all the reasons to.

pity the new posters/lurkers who witness the spewing of vileness on the pages of TW. i do not blame those who have left for doing so. luckily there are places on the interwebs that are a refuge for Rafa fans/FOOPs... i stick around these parts for the people i've met here, good folks who are keen on the game and not creating/stirring/encouraging nastiness.

Posted by Pspace (Allez Tsonga!) 04/01/2010 at 02:38 AM

AM, you missed aka Rafa fan! Jajaja. I'm the Tiger Woods of KADs. Hey maybe I should root for him.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 02:38 AM

annie when u stop taking yourself and your man so seriusly, it might be easier to communicate... the hallmark of every Fed KAD is they know how to laugh at the shanks and Fred Federer matches, as well as enjoy winning 3 of the last 4 Slams, of course :)

the day u can play around with moonballs and canary yellow will be a breakthrough in the Fedal wars... as youll notice no Fed kids even bother to show up here anymore too much heavy lifting...

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/01/2010 at 02:41 AM

mina have you got anything planned for the easter break, besides watching tennis and eating hot x buns and chocolate easter eggs.

Posted by Carrie *trying to get back into Zen after small lapse- posting rehab is hard* 04/01/2010 at 02:41 AM

mina- where do you hang out? It can be hard to scroll- I had to leave one board because of that.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 02:42 AM

Have to defend Tim for a second...he's hardly "spewing vileness", is he?

And retaliatory hating of a whole group of fans is not the answer! And is totally unfair, too.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 02:43 AM

Pspace I cant keep up with you these days.Ok writng that one down for future use.

Sorry about Joe he started great.He has to play the big points better.He had his chances to break.

Posted by some guy 04/01/2010 at 02:44 AM

what's this!

"Murray considering representing Spain"

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/01042010/58/murray-considering-representing-spain.html

It's probably a BS, but that'd be cool. Rafa + Murray + the rest of Spanish gangs in DC!!

Posted by Carrie *trying to get back into Zen after small lapse- posting rehab is hard* 04/01/2010 at 02:44 AM

jewell- loveley peacemaker...but continually telling another group of fans how they are deficient can also rattle on the nerve cages.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 02:44 AM

No Fed kids? LOL, actually I've been thinking how many Federer fans have come back in recently - enjoyed seeing Christopher posting and crazyone being around more frequently, just as two examples. :)

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 02:45 AM

Pspace: oh don't misunderstand, I had no desire to reason with anyone or anything. sometimes it feels good to stand up for oneself when being unreasonably maligned by a chronically constitpated crybaby.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 02:47 AM

Oh, believe me, Carrie, I know! I find it is annoying as anyone else.

Posted by Pspace (Allez Tsonga!) 04/01/2010 at 02:48 AM

AM, this has been going on with Jo for a year now. He wins most of the matches he's supposed to win (which is great), but he's lost the ability to go up a gear against the big dogs. Other than Nole who is his whipping boy, I think he's been losing to all other top 10 players. Oh well. I don't think the problem was just the big points...his overall approach to the game was kinda silly. I mean, did he really think he was going to beat Rafa staying at the baseline 90% of the time? Same thing happened against Fed in Oz. Just 0 creativity.

Oh well. End rant.

'nite all.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 02:49 AM

no missed Pete's posts, i cant quite get on board with them since the whole asterisk nonsense... might catch up soon if I have extra time, and Ive given up on most Rafa kids havin any sense of humor in any way shape or form, clearly it aint gonna happen ... thanks for the shout out jewel, i find it hysterical how many rafa kids think im the anti christ lol ... makes me laugh...

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 02:49 AM

I will say i'm enjoying this. letting my id out for a stroll. this could become habit forming. maybe being an asshat online gets compulsive. like gambling.

Posted by Pspace (Allez Tsonga!) 04/01/2010 at 02:49 AM

"Murray considering representing Spain"

It's April Fool's Day :-).

Posted by mina (meanie and proud of it) 04/01/2010 at 02:50 AM

J, i've seen the retaliatory thing, it ain't pretty i'll give you that much. and i do not engage in that kind of activity. the number of my Fed KAD friends attest to that, here on TW and elsewhere.

on your first point though, i respectfully disgree. we will have to agree to disgree on that one. *hugs*

Angel, hopefully at the beach, weather permitting. eating bunnies and eggs. the chocolate kind of course.

Posted by some other guy 04/01/2010 at 02:50 AM

Some Guy, just some other guy here to point out that it's clearly an April Fool prank.

Posted by greenhopper 04/01/2010 at 02:51 AM

Pspace, I strongly recommend you google translate Jo's latest interview and tell me what you think. The dude is delusional and this is cause for concern.

http://www.jowiltsonga.fr/itw_fr.php

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 02:52 AM

Pspace: you caught that one fast. I was falling for it for a split second.

good one!

but the real question is will tommy haas play for the U.S.?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 02:53 AM

Pspace Yes I too was a bit amazed at times that he didnt use the tactics like in 08.Though Rafa has improved since then on the h/court.Rafa was dominating from the baseline and also not giving Joe short approach shots.Joe has wonderful feel and touch at the net and is a great volley player.He does lose focus though at critical times of a match.His ROS is also a weakness.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 02:53 AM

greenhopper: but google translate is so bad that it might have twisted what he said. so maybe he's not as delusional as he sounds.

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