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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 Moderator 04/01/2010 at 02:53 AM

Annie - tone down the personal stuff a bit, please. Standing up for oneself doesn't have to cross that line.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/01/2010 at 02:54 AM

I have been burning off all the expected calories I think I am going to put on come Sunday. I have 40 days to make up for. I hope all those stomach crunches I have been doing comes in handy.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 02:54 AM

GH Please Joe isnt Delusinal at all

Posted by greenhopper 04/01/2010 at 02:55 AM

Fair enough, Annie. They'll put up an official English translation in a day or two. So far they've all been very close.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/01/2010 at 02:56 AM

Annie the Tommy Haas citizenship is quite old and I think it has more to do with his gf being American than him playing for the US. If he does play for the US I won't be impress.

Posted by mina (meanie and proud of it) 04/01/2010 at 02:56 AM

"El Diario Tonto"? please. big massive Happy April Fool's Day sign right there.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 02:56 AM

Mina I thought of all people you were made of sterner stuff

Next year we can all offer up Tim for Lent

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 04/01/2010 at 02:57 AM

I so fell for that! I was just about to post something about Murray will be crucified by the press...LOL. *head-desk*

I know, mina. :)

I don't know, I've seen Tim be absolutely infuriating with lumping fans together & especially with endless posts about moonballs and drama queen tendencies - but I would not categorise that as spewing vileness. I can point to much, much worse. :)

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/01/2010 at 02:58 AM

I am so over Lent this is my first and last time in participating.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 02:58 AM

ha, whats vile about moonballs??? wait, dont answer that!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 02:58 AM

AA Blah with the stomach crunches

I was listening to the radio and one person eats a kilo or more of chocolate at Easter

Well if thats the case might as well gorge on the good stuff.

Posted by zenggi 04/01/2010 at 02:58 AM

Arrived at the office. Thank the Lord above I'm only a Roger fan. Actually I'm a tennis fan with lots of players (ATP-side) and a few (WTA-side)I enjoy to watch. Never been a KAD of any sport because it can be so frustrating. Not good for your heart. Specially after time change in the spring. I posted last year an article stating that that tiny 1 difference has huge consequences for one's health.

Posted by Pspace (Allez Tsonga!) 04/01/2010 at 02:59 AM

'hopper, yeah, I dunno what to say. He obviously thinks this is the right way for him to play. I mean, he's just not that good from the baseline...his GS technique is a little too flat, and there's no way he can last in these 10+ shot rallies with Fed and Nadal. Most of the BPs in which he had a chance, he tried to pull some crazy fh and missed it. He hits with little to no idea how he can survive against the top dogs. Oh well. We know this already from watching him last year.

Anyway, on balance, the court is really really slow. So, there's not too much in it for him. Let's give him one more season on grass and Deco/indoor and then revisit.

'nite forrealz.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 03:00 AM

okay, mods, sorry. i thought i was being careful.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:00 AM

again, i gotta laugh at the possibility i can infuriate anyone with my opinions or posts, its amuses me to no end, i mean, who cares?

Id say what i opine about tends to hold water when push comes to shove...

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war 04/01/2010 at 03:01 AM

I like the idea of pre-emptive calorie burning so one can have fun over Easter weekend. :)

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 03:02 AM

Look most Roger fans admire Rafa and vice a versa

Rogers record speaks for itself.Any tennis fan knows that and respects that.

Passion can make one say things at times later they regret.I know cause I have done the same thing myself and I am much older than most of you.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:02 AM

Tsonga is a major disappointment, truth be told, what a horrible job today, not a chance he will come anywhere near a Slam title in the future

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 03:03 AM

Though in saying that I still have a great body and fab personality to boot.

Posted by greenhopper 04/01/2010 at 03:04 AM

AM, he has some choice words for Rafa and you won't like that. (I didn't either.) But the important point here is he doesn't respect his opponents enough. He thinks that if he plays his game, he can beat anybody. Sure, may be, but what if your game isn't working? What if someone else is really better than you? Why do you think it's beneath you to make adjustments?

I like it that he's pissed when he loses and realizes what he did wrong. He's admittedly been making efforts in such areas too (he put a lot of returns in play, just not when it mattered). But it is delusion of the highest order when you talk like Serena Williams after losing a match. She has proven that she can walk the talk. You haven't. A little humility goes a long way.

Posted by Carrie *trying to get back into Zen after small lapse- posting rehab is hard* 04/01/2010 at 03:08 AM

greenie- what where his words agaisnt Rafa. Are they going to make the French hate him even more than they do despite Reeshard's commensts over the last year. Although I don't know how the French can hate Rafa more- I mean they would look at Tim and Tigress as too soft and not booing and hating and wanting to hurl feces at in terms of Rafa.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:09 AM

ha marg@! u work that bod girl!

Posted by Carrie *trying to get back into Zen after small lapse- posting rehab is hard* 04/01/2010 at 03:11 AM

Now that I am thinking about it- have the French fans ever liked a Spanish player? I mean they even loathed and hissed and booed Corretja!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 03:13 AM

GH Lets face it French people at times can be arrogrant and thats a part of their character I know coming from a French background.Sometimes they like to "pretend" or dig their heads in the sand.Though most of us at times can be guilty of that.

I suppose when you have "runs on the board" you can feel smug and self assured hey you earnt it.I think Joe was probably soo Up for this match he let his emotions get in the way.As a tennis player you cant afford to let that happen.You have a plan and you try to execute that plan.Okay you also have to change that plan if its not working.Thats a sing of a good tennis player.

Joe is very naturally gifted.He has had a lot of injuries as a junior and senior player to contend with.He probably should have won more.Though he has to regroup after this loss regardless.Thats also a sign of a good tennis player.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/01/2010 at 03:15 AM

I am not very happy that Flavia and Gise have to play that awful dubs pairing of Raymond/Stubbs. Gee their bracket has been horrendous, still they have done fantastic to get to the semis.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:16 AM

interesting though, Tsonga seems to repeat most of what I say about Rafa, and he's on the court with him, interesting....hmmmmm.... lots of experts around here seem to know more than one of his fellow competitors ... can this really be considered delusional? or is it posters on here who've stepped nowhere near the same court as nadal who might be categorized as such?

Im just sayin...

Posted by greenhopper 04/01/2010 at 03:16 AM

Carrie, not so much as words as not giving him enough respect. This is a rough translation. If you want me to, I'll come back and post an official translation later when it becomes available.


"How did you feel about the game, frustration to see Nadal win the points as he did?

No, it's more the frustration of not being good on those moments when he needed me to be. Nadal played his game, it is constant, we know he is running and it gives almost everything. It is I who am not very good today. Next time I hope I would be better.

You have been impressed by the level of play of Nadal?

Not impressed. It is constant and always plays the same way. It's just me who did not seize the opportunities I have and I have quite a lot and more as a result. I am not impressed with his level of play has been No. 1, it is 2, 3 or 4 I do not know. The player that finds all the time in the semifinals or finals of tournaments and is a big and cons it must be good.


Delusional extraordinaire. He just refuses to believe that Rafa's got him figured out. (BIG surprise after 5 meetings, eh Jo?)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 03:17 AM

What did Jo say that was so bad?

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/01/2010 at 03:17 AM

Speaking of Frenchies, I went and watched a French movie a couple of Saturday's ago and the movie was late and the audience started carrying on like it was a concert or something bigger. I had to laugh because it reminded of the FO and tried to explain this to the group of friends I was with.

Posted by Carrie *trying to get back into Zen after small lapse- posting rehab is hard* 04/01/2010 at 03:18 AM

I am mainly intersted in the negative remarks that Jo said agaisnt Rafa. I mean- the hatred the has had there at times (imo) has been beyond the pale and I dislike to see him wanted to be pillored and burned even more so I am very curious about Jo's comments since the Parisians hate and loathe Rafa so much already. It will still be an ugly and mean RG for him- they will always hate him. I have never seen the French be warm to a Spaniard- even JCF who I thought would have fit thier grill. Sad to see.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:18 AM

the french just are bored with moonballs and fistpumps, they like artists with all court games, this is not complicated, people...

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:19 AM

carrie jo hates mooballs, like most of us :)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 03:19 AM

Oh. Tsonga has been reading Tim's posts, no? :)

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:23 AM

i know it shocks u that other people share my opinions of Rafa, even one of his fellow competitors! wow, what a coincidence? maybe im not the devil afterall, huh? Jo sees what I sees, its not rocket science here

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 03:23 AM

French players are taught different.They are taught the "text book way" you cant tell by their stokes etc.Though I must admit Gilles is not your typical French player

Posted by Carrie *trying to get back into Zen after small lapse- posting rehab is hard* 04/01/2010 at 03:23 AM

Glad to hear that Jo's comments were just about his game.

I am disturbed by the hatred Rafa gets in France.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 03:24 AM

Tim Well you and Joe can become firm friends then.

Posted by Carrie *trying to get back into Zen after small lapse- posting rehab is hard* 04/01/2010 at 03:25 AM

Tim- so can I get is straight.

Rafa has no talent- he just moonballs.

His fans are stupid- need to be more like YOU!!!!!!

Did I get it right. Please correct.

Posted by greenhopper 04/01/2010 at 03:25 AM

The reason I think he's delusional is:

1. Opponents have figured out his serving patterns. He refuses to mix them up. Goodall showed Rafa's return graphics today and his plan seemed to have worked every time.
Soderling returned his serves very effectively at IW. Roger did in Melbourne. Verdasco handled him well in an exo they played before AO. Davydenko has always had great success against him.

2. He's struggling to find the right balance between good offense and defense and refuses to acknowledge that the same game plan isn't going to work against the best of them.

Prior to today's match, Jo has managed to take a set off Rafa or at least kept it close. He lost cheaply today and it wasn't all Rafa's doing to be honest.

Luckily for Jo his technique would work against most people, like Pspace mentioned. But he needs to find another gear or a different game plan while playing the big boys. And improve parts of his current game. From what I've read and seen he is working on them, but just doesn't carry the right mentality with him on court. I agree with what AM said that he wants these wins so badly and loses it emotionally after just a few missed opportunities.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 03:26 AM

I know the French crowds haven't ever really warmed to Rafa, but was it really that bad? I mean, in comparison to the booing that Serena got that one day (possibly others, but there's one I'm thinking of, a final).

I didn't see the Soderling match, although I read the crowd was cheering for Soderling - but there's an element of under-dog cheering there, too, I guess.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 03:26 AM

I really cant stand the word "hate" its soo offensive to me.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:28 AM

carrie those are your words not mine, but when a top 10 players confirms my comments, yeah, i smile about it ... i laugh at how so many rafa kids act like Im off in left field when I talk about rafa's game, and here a top 10 player does the same... might wanna think twice before demonizing me, others very definitely share my opinions, thats the bottom not crazy here, if it makes u feel better to say so, well, thats another story

Posted by Carrie *trying to get back into Zen after small lapse- posting rehab is hard* 04/01/2010 at 03:30 AM

jewell- the fans have been hostile to Rafa from the start. They have never liked Spanish players from my memory and even if Rafa played like Lacoste they would hate him.

He is more defensive and he has beat Fed- who they love. The French announcers like LeConte would thrill Tim because they loathe him and say he has no talent and is just a construction worker.

The French have been hostiile to Spanish players traditionally- always been prone to boo. Even got Corretja- one of the most well liked players ever to remark on it.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 03:31 AM

Interesting but I didn't interpret Jo's remarks the same way as you guys. When asked if he was impressed with nadal's game he's kind of saying Why would this impress me? This is the way he always is. going for everything and giving almost everything. Why would I be impressed? He's been no.1 and is always in the semis or finals? - he's not fawning that's for sure but I kinda think it's a cool reply. I'd really like to see the presser to get the tone of voice and facial expressions.

I don't see where he's dissing him.

anyway, i better leave. i really can't take this anymore.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/01/2010 at 03:32 AM

I finally got my computer back on Tuesday, but it came back from the eastern states without my power supply. So not happy. I am hoping that the universal power supply they have provided me with is going to work. I am so tired of not having computer access at work.

Posted by Carrie *trying to get back into Zen after small lapse- posting rehab is hard* 04/01/2010 at 03:33 AM

Tim- I don't feel any better for saying anything. I like my guy. Others may not. But you seem to take great joy and pride for diminsishing any Rafa fans who like him. Take that joy and run with it. I don't care who people like- but I don't agree with you that Rafa is a talentless idiot like you always say he is. Sneer down at me and other fans. Get your jollies that way.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 03:33 AM

GH Have you Rafa's press conference at all? I had to leave after his match and havent had time to read anything

Though I can imagine what he said

I am very happy for the result no? He is a very difficult player no? I am very happy for this victory no? and so it goes on lol!

Posted by imjimmy 04/01/2010 at 03:35 AM

Those are strange remarks from Tsonga. That's the thing about streaky players. ONE great match and that's supposed to be the norm.. For someone who has a VACANCY sign for the stuff between his ears, it's no surprise that not only is he inconsistent in his game, his match analysis skills are also heading southwards . Sour grapes much?

Posted by greenhopper 04/01/2010 at 03:37 AM

Delusions continued...

3. Jo often thinks his shots are other worldly or at least gives the impression that he does.
Exhibit A: I've lost count of the number of times he's stopped a rally to challenge a good return right smack on the baseline after a good serve, or a belter off one of his powerful ground strokes. Most of these happen in important moments in the match and he not only ends up losing that point, but also goes on wildly spraying errors to completely lose the plot.

Exhibit B: He loves to hit an inside out forehand, but leaves a lot of court open when doing so. When his shot isn't good enough, the opponent goes down the line. Jo is athletic enough to get there, but ends up shanking the forehand. Soderling toyed with this play in IW as Robin can hit a great bh dtl shot. Or when he plays a lefty with a powerful forehand like Rafa or Verdasco, he gets toasted.
This has happened way too often and I haven't seen him do anything about it.

It's painful because, he's athletic, can volley well, cover a lot of court, but is losing some of the big matches because he refuses to think matches through and utilize his full array of shots, if needed.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 03:37 AM

you know, it's possible that you and Jo and others who think the same are all wrong, Tim. :)

Anyway - it is a matter of opinion, you're allowed yours and Jo's allowed his - and others who think that Rafa does occasionally show more to his game than moonballing, running and fistpumping are allowed theirs, too. :)

One thing is, if Jo underestimates Rafa - and I think it sounds as if he does, a bit - he's going to end up losing against him more often than not.

Carrie - I forgot about the construction worker thing.

Annie - yeah - Jo did say that it must be good to be in the SFs and Fs of most tournaments, didn't he? at least, that's how I read it.

Posted by Carrie *Hey folks, I don't think Rafa is stupid, dsepite what the cool kids say* 04/01/2010 at 03:40 AM

Am- while his press conference had a lot to be desired I thought his remarks right after the match were well thought out. He remarked about needing to but up in the deuce court to receive the slice serves from Jo.

I know I bashed Rafa in his last match- but I do think he has smarts- and tennis smarts and showed them tonight.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:41 AM

i laugh becuase too many rafa kids have zero ability to laugh or have fun with any of this, its amazing to me, actually... at least Samantha can laugh when i throw out moonball Woz, and accept the truth in it...

i mean i make silly comments and throw in federbear and whatever else, and everyone takes it soooo seriously, it just spurs me on its absurd ... Rafa is a basically defensive player who runs like hell and beats people with tenacity and concentration, why is this offensive to anyone? its the total truth.. Chris Evert did the same, its just their style...

and the French hate mooballs and obnoxious baseliners, they always have, this is not a mystery..

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 03:41 AM

imjimmy Welcome.I was wondering where you were.I had to leave after Rafa's match.I would like your thoughts if your not too tired.

Posted by greenhopper 04/01/2010 at 03:43 AM

I don't care if he disrespects Rafa's game. I'd simply ignore his opinion. But it becomes delusional when he's going all Greg Rusdeki on us and saying such a thing after getting his backside handed to him. In my over thought over analysed opinion that's negatively affecting his game. And that's why it's bothersome.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:43 AM

jewell my point is, my opinions are shared by more than a few of rafa's competitors, and often Im looked at as some loooney kook with out of this world opinions, which is far from the truth...

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 03:44 AM

Well Chris Evert the Moon Ball player that she is lol! and a American to boot.Still holds the record at RG.Fancy that!!!!!!!!

Posted by rafafan 04/01/2010 at 03:45 AM

Guess what Tim. We Rafa fans love Rafa and we love watching his game. Your endless repetitive posts are not going to sway us or convert us into "Rogie" fans. So why do you continue to post your *hilarious* insults to Rafa throughout every. Single. Rafa match? Can't you see how rude that is? How do you think it would go down if any Rafa fan did the same during a "Rogie" match? You think your fellow Fed fans would be amused? Why do the moderators here let this go on and on and on, year after year after year? Do you seriously have *nothing* better to do? If you lose interest in a tournament once "Rogie" has been knocked out why don't you do something - anything else with your time rather than wasting everybody elses?

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 04/01/2010 at 03:45 AM

Just heading off to bed.

Not sure what the big deal is with Jo's remarks about Rafa.

I read them the way Annie did. He's a good player, but Jo was not dazzled by him or anything. Fair enough. And, let's give some leeway in translation. I believe we had a discussion in the past about the proper way to translate impressione...and there are a few different uses.

The thing with Rafa is that his tactics are very subtle. It's very hard for player and even viewers to understand what he is doing. Hail, most of the time, I don't know what the hell is going on in his matches. Sometimes players say he is one dimensional. Others focus on his running. Yet others say that he is just consistent. It's like Karpov's don't know what the hell is going on, and then you're just very tired and you lose.

really really off.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:45 AM

moonballs win on clay, marg! lol

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 03:47 AM

When Rafa fans get a sense of humour Tim wont bait as much.

You guys take things too personal gee you all must have hard lifes.

If you cant laugh at yourself then I say Pity lol!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 03:47 AM

HCFoo just tweeted that Roger Federer hints retirement after french open, on facebook.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:47 AM

rafanan more power to ya, but u guys act like no one here has a right to post anything other than how great rafa is, and youre dead wrong, end of story... i mean this is not complicated

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/01/2010 at 03:48 AM

ack, late for work, bye all. :)

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:48 AM

yah marg, amen sister!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 03:48 AM

have a field day.

Posted by Carrie *Hey folks, I don't think Rafa is stupid, dsepite what the cool kids say* 04/01/2010 at 03:50 AM

Tim- the thing is when ever Rafa fans don't agree with you 100% you say they suck and need to be more like you and need to do everything like you -you say they have no sense of humor. Whenever after three hours of you moaning there are only moonballs by Woz or Rafa and they point out there were winners you say they have no sense of humor. Whenever Rafa fans are happy about a win you say they have no sense of humor. Whenever some folks try to tease you say they have no sense of humor and are evil and want everyone to think like them.

So what is it. Agree with you and laugh always or have no sense of humor?

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:51 AM

I heard Mirka is pregnant again, twins! Roger will never sleep again :) the whole ATP Tour celebrates his healthy sperm :)

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 03:51 AM

Its April Fools Day,I would disregard anything.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:51 AM

carrie my goodness,, Project much?

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 04/01/2010 at 03:52 AM

carrie my goodness,, Project much?

Posted by greenhopper 04/01/2010 at 03:53 AM

Annie, what you said could make sense. Thanks. I'll wait for the official translation.
It's just that I watch way too much of either of these guy's matches and sometimes over-analyze them and get carried away. I like that I can vent it here and see a few different views.

Posted by imjimmy 04/01/2010 at 03:57 AM

AM: Thanks! Re-posting from 2 pages ago. ( Apologize to others)

That was definitely Nadal's best match for a while. And totally unexpected after the LAST train wreck. He served excellent (His serve had nice action on it and he picked his spots well), and played REALLY well when facing break points. Although in all fairness, Tsonga squandered some of them.

Nadal started shaky. Surprisingly he made 10 Unforced Errors in the first two games alone. But then he improved. He went on to have three unforced errors for the rest of the set, and ONLY five in the second. That's a good indication of how his level gradually increased as the match progressed. And how he adapted.

I thought his slice sucked LESS today (it was almost effective :SHOCK) and so were his net approaches. It was good to see how well he started hitting his backhand in the second set, especially seeing as how abysmal that shot was against Ferrer. He also did well to cut of the ad serving angles by stepping in closer on the ROS. My only complaint (minor) is that Nadal could have been more aggressive with his inside out forehand and tried to end some points sooner.

To be fair, Tsonga served poorly by his standards. That definitely helped Nadal impose his game on JWT. Overall it was intelligent thoughtful hard court tennis. Nadal almost looked authoritative while coming in to the net (sometimes at will) and closing the pt. When he was put on the defensive end, he didn't scramble so much as he did neutralize Tsonga's efforts. Hopefully this match will help Nadal's fragile confidence..

Posted by Carrie *Hey folks, I don't think Rafa is stupid, dsepite what the cool kids say* 04/01/2010 at 04:01 AM

Tim- are you seriously trying to turn fans of certain players off this board? You mentioned that you wished it had more fans of other players and how you hated that it was overrun by fans of certain players. If so- well done, you are doing a good job of running me off.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 04:03 AM

'hopper: good, i'm glad I could help!
If you happen to find a vid of the presser i'd love to see it. But I know at IW they weren't releasing vids of the pressers, just transcripts.

Posted by Carrie *Hey folks, I don't think Rafa is stupid, despite what the cool kids say* 04/01/2010 at 04:05 AM

Hee hee...I do realize the irony in my fo post I had a typo in my handle....

Posted by greenhopper 04/01/2010 at 04:11 AM

Annie, there haven't been transcripts or videos available either on the tournie website or on TennisTV. I get most of these from his official site and no videos there yet.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 04:13 AM

imjimmy Thanks.I agree.I was glad to see that b.hand at times.I think he counter punched Joe and had a good game plan.His serve also impressed me,especially down on b/points.Though his b/point stat improved out of nowhere.I hope this continues.

Posted by rafafan 04/01/2010 at 04:13 AM

Tim it is not about having the "right" to post whatever you want. It is about having some common sense and some ability to gauge the mood of the room. When there is a mix of posters about, and general conversation going on your little comedy routine doesn't bother anyone. But during a Rafa match? When pretty much everybody else here is a Rafa fan? You really think your anti Rafa tirades are going to go down well? If you simply have to bore on about moonballs at those times, why not find a room full of Fed fans who will just *adore* your humor. Say over at the Fed mothership? Just an idea. Again, do *try* to imagine a Rafa fan doing the same during a Fed match. You do have an imagination, right?

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

thanks for re-posting imjimmy. lemme just say i like your brand of fandom. sometimes you're hard on Rafa, but so am i... just don't post those thoughts here cos there's enough of that going on even without my contribution :)

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 04/01/2010 at 04:26 AM

Mina lol! you have every right to posts your thoughts on Rafa.Hard or soft.

Are you going to the Easter Show?

AA I wont give you my thoughts on Sams game today.In a nutschell "the usual" though she did better in the 2nd set.I still think she is in the doubles with Nadia.Though I wish she would stop.I feel this is affecting her singles game.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 04/01/2010 at 04:42 AM

Ok I am off too. Hopefully I will have computer access at home this weekend. TTYAL.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa just get rid of those shorts 04/01/2010 at 04:44 AM

Bye AA

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

Wow. I'm just now watching this match without interruptions and it's unbelievable. It's only the second game and they just played a point that that just has be gasping in amazement.

Posted by lightforce101 04/01/2010 at 05:03 AM

It seems that Tim is hugging the limelight huh. Well, I'm a Rafa fan and I find his taunts and posts amusing and funny at times. They are actually very timid compared to the posts you will see on other sites i.e. espn etc. Just laugh with/at him because we (rafa fans) know too well that deep inside he is scared of the moonballs, something to do with the one who lost i guess.

Posted by Corrie 04/01/2010 at 06:48 AM

I think Tim is hilarious. I don't see Nadal as he sees him, as moonballer incarnate, but it's hardly a subject to react to as if he's insulted people personally. If everyone was so deadly serious as if we're discussing world hunger instead of tennis, it just wouldn't be worth reading anything.

Everyone exaggerates too much, including the reactions to Tsonga's reaction to getting beat. The guy is no doubt feeling p... off with losing, has to express his views on Nadal straight after his loss, and he hasn't been trained as a diplomat.

Posted by babypanda 04/01/2010 at 08:30 AM

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] at 03:47AM

When Rafa fans get a sense of humour Tim wont bait as much.

You guys take things too personal gee you all must have hard lifes.

If you cant laugh at yourself then I say Pity lol!


agreed,AM:) This Rafa fan adores Tim:)


Posted by Samantha Elin 04/01/2010 at 08:44 AM

I think Oudin is going to be the next Serena for American tennis. April fools! Hehe, sorry, but that is the best Ican do.

Posted by cgmoore 04/01/2010 at 08:56 AM

I think Tim is adorable! April fools!

Posted by just a note 04/01/2010 at 09:13 AM

jewell, pg. 11 - “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. :)”

Don’t have time this morning so I will agree with one of the best! Only I must say, as for the skillet......copper is the thing! :)

I’m sooooo happy for Rafa and his fans; thought it was great play from him and even if Jo lost his focus and didn’t play to his full potential, he can be a mighty force to be reckoned with and Rafa stayed within himself and won beautifully. Free drinks all around…..OJ and ice!!

Some great posts from last night; thanks everyone.

Posted by susan 04/01/2010 at 09:13 AM

Tim is funny.

Posted by Texastennis 04/01/2010 at 09:29 AM

Pete has finally restored the CC for day to day tennis musings among us...

Posted by moonballs 04/01/2010 at 09:29 AM

"at least Samantha can laugh when i throw out moonball Woz, and accept the truth in it..."

She does????...... by calling everyone hater? :-))

"I think Tim is hilarious"

agree, him and Samantha :-))

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 10:03 AM

babypanda, curious as to why you liked that post from AM. I'm beginning to wonder where i've been posting for the last 20 months.

Posted by babypanda 04/01/2010 at 10:41 AM

Annie,her post simply reflects my opinion on this whole issue.It's very important to understand that this place is dedicated to fans of all and any player and everyone is entitled to their opinion.We may sometimes find ourselves hurt by those opinions or teasing,but at the end of the day,it's just a game we love so much.Life is more than that.

Posted by Kombo 04/01/2010 at 10:59 AM

Berdych or Soderling is gonna win the tournament

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/01/2010 at 11:10 AM

ok Kombo, i think rafa's gonna win the whole thing.

Posted by Nam1 04/01/2010 at 11:54 AM

"Tim is adorable" "Tim is hilarious"

Well I would'nt go thaaat far, but he certainly plays up to expectations. Every time there is a Rafa match on, you can gauarntee that Tim or Tigress will come on and be "adorable" and 'hilarious".

And sometimes, some of us "RafaKADS" just dont want to scroll and laugh it off like it has been suggested here. Why should we laugh it off? Why should'nt we stand up for the player that we are fans off. I dont hear anyone saying to Federer fans or Djokovic fans or anyone else's fans, laugh it off.

I applaud Annie and Carrie for having the tenacity to reply to "Adorable' TIm" over 3 long pages; the rest of us are busy polishing up our sadly lacking "sense of humour" .

Posted by Joe 04/01/2010 at 11:57 AM

The problem is that Tim jokes are not funny at all, too much the same, not original at all, black humor. Bottom line, we can't laugh ourselves even having the best sense of humour

Posted by Joe 04/01/2010 at 12:03 PM

And, please, don't make jokes about Federer because Tim is getting mad, mad, very ungry and then it's not funny at all. How old are you Tim?

Posted by Joe 04/01/2010 at 12:07 PM

"angry" and not "ungry"

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