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The Occasionally Terrible 04/29/2010 - 11:04 AM

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Just as a follow-up to yesterday's post, I see that John Isner and Sam Querrey won their doubles in Rome today, taking about the powerful Bhupathi-Mirnyi squad. The draw at the official Internazionale D'Italia website won't load for me, but I assume the Americans are still on track to play Roger Federer and Yves Allegro in their next match.

BTW, Isner told me last week that shortly after he returned to the tour last summer after a bout of mononucleosis, he found himself feeling sluggish and out of sorts at the Cincinnati tournament. Craig Boynton, Isner's coach, reached out to Severin Luthi, who assists Federer. He was hoping to get some advice on coping with mono.

The next day, Isner was killing time playing some arcade-style golf game in the Cincy player lounge, when Roger Federer approached him and told Isner he'd heard about his struggles with mono. They had a conversation about mono.  "Roger told me to listen to my body," Isner said. "He said if I felt spent, I shouldn't be afraid to pull out of a tournament, or even a match. 'Don't be afraid or ashamed to do it,' he said. For Roger to take the time to do that, I thought that was pretty cool."

So put another gold star next to Federer's photo on that employee-of-the-year contest chart. I see a reserved parking space near the main door for a month in this guy's future!

Rafael Nadal won't be in action until tonight (night sessions at a spring clay event, and "not before 8:30 pm" - is nothing sacred anymore?) But Ivan Ljubicic is playing Feliciano Lopez later today, so it's Mr. Baldy vs. Mr. Gel. Looks like Ivan is reprising some sort of On Golden Pond thing - until you take a close look at his upper back and body in the photo above. It's a winnable match for Ivan the Occasionally Terrible.

Well, I've got some magazine work to take care of here today, so I'll let y'all take it from here.

-- Pete




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Posted by Master Ace 04/29/2010 at 11:09 AM

Jelena is handling a potential dangerous opponent at ease for now 6-2,5-1

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:09 AM

Thanks for the fresh post Pete.

This set of tennis between Gulbis and Volandri is very entertaining. The crowd is really into it too.

Posted by Master Ace 04/29/2010 at 11:10 AM

Pete,
Correct on John and Sam facing Yves and Roger tomorrow

Posted by yello fuzzy 04/29/2010 at 11:10 AM

foist

Posted by yello fuzzy 04/29/2010 at 11:11 AM

oops fourth

Posted by CL 04/29/2010 at 11:13 AM

rafadoc - yeah, it is turning into o good match. Volandri is making NimbusHead work harder than he wants to. Fun that the crowd is so into it.

Heh- if only Fed had followed his own advice during his mono moments and pulled out of a few tournaments. He might have spared himself and his fans a some trauma. Oh well, 20/20 hindsight and all.

Posted by yello fuzzy 04/29/2010 at 11:13 AM

Filippo is imploding when he has a chance to get in front, but Gulbis is playing tentatively and missing easy shots
not sure if fatigue has anything to do with it

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:13 AM

Close YF ;-)

Oh...and very important point of correction in Pete's post...Feli would not be the "gelled one". That would be Verdasco, who is actually using less "product" these days. Feli's hair is nice and fluffy. ;-P

Posted by highpockets 04/29/2010 at 11:14 AM

Saint Roger ... gotta love the guy. He really is a sweetheart ... and I love the way he struts around looking like he owns whatever space he finds himself in.

After his tennis career is over, I want to see him on "Dancing With the Stars." :)

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:15 AM

CL...it is entertaining. Some craptasticness mixed in with some brilliance. :-D

Posted by crazyone 04/29/2010 at 11:16 AM

Break here, please. Even though you have trouble getting VOLANDRI's serves into play.

Posted by crazyone 04/29/2010 at 11:19 AM

Sarauj!

please, win this match right here and now.

Posted by Master Ace 04/29/2010 at 11:20 AM

Jelena closes out the match at 2 and 2 saving 2 break points in her deciding serve game.

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:20 AM

Suddenly (or not) match point for Ernie...

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:20 AM

Oof Ernie!! Deuce.

Posted by crazyone 04/29/2010 at 11:23 AM

this is just sad...

Does Rome have a final set tiebreak?

Posted by yello fuzzy 04/29/2010 at 11:23 AM

Federer is the archetype for 'the cat that ate the canary'.When he comes up to you with feathers sticking out of his mouth, players like Isner just smile and bask in the idea that they are not on court (the menu).

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:23 AM

I think I was holding my breath that whole point...5-5

Posted by Peg 04/29/2010 at 11:24 AM

c1 - yes. As Stan and Tomas can tell you. ;-)

Posted by CL 04/29/2010 at 11:24 AM

I love it that Flip Volandri, ranked whatever the heck he is ranked, is now playing about 30 times better than # 1 ranked Roger Federer. A tennis, thy name is, 'on any given day.'

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:25 AM

YF: lol...was thinking something similar. :)

15-15 Ernie serving...

Posted by crazyone 04/29/2010 at 11:26 AM

shades of Sampras there...

Posted by crazyone 04/29/2010 at 11:27 AM

I don't trust Ernie in a tiebreak AT all...

Posted by highpockets 04/29/2010 at 11:30 AM

Volandri did this a few years ago too. I think he beat Fed. The home crowd lifts him up.

This is a fun match.

Posted by yello fuzzy 04/29/2010 at 11:31 AM

Ernie has not been moving well at all late in this 3rd set, maybe that talk about being lazy is catching up with him. A higher ranked, more accomplished player will make him pay for those lazy feet(or at least have his dad pay for those lazy feet)

Posted by CL 04/29/2010 at 11:31 AM

highpockets - the Federer strut is one of my favorite part of the guy's personae - but his walk is actually more relaxed than a 'strut' - not really a swagger either...sort of a strut/swagger/stroll = strwol?

Posted by crazyone 04/29/2010 at 11:32 AM

Volandri is winning this match.

No way Ernie is steady enough to win a TB.

Posted by crazyone 04/29/2010 at 11:33 AM

that point was a perfect example...

Posted by CL 04/29/2010 at 11:33 AM

Yeah - I was wondering if it was Volandri who took out Fed a few years ago? Or the Fog? During the Tony Roche split.
Imagine the irony should Flip take this TB.

Posted by yello fuzzy 04/29/2010 at 11:33 AM

CL
Roger saunters (sashays) confidently

Posted by CL 04/29/2010 at 11:34 AM

YF - Excellent!

Posted by crazyone 04/29/2010 at 11:34 AM

CL, it was this very same Pippo Volandri. That's probably why the crowd seems to give him even more love than Starace or Seppi...

Posted by Master Ace 04/29/2010 at 11:35 AM

Can we get a match call summary on the TB b/w Jim Morrison and Flip?

Posted by Master Ace 04/29/2010 at 11:35 AM

Lopez adavances to the QF as Ljubicic retires per scoreboard

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:36 AM

Nail biter here! 2-2

Posted by CL 04/29/2010 at 11:36 AM

Crazyone - thanks for the confirmation.

Dunno whether Flip's nerves will be much steadier than Ernsie's - a real toss-up, this TB.

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:36 AM

3-2 as Ernie's shot sails long...Volandri to serve...

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:37 AM

Volandri's shot sails long...3-3

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:39 AM

Volandri serving at 3-3

V duffs a volley...4-3 Gulibis

Posted by CL 04/29/2010 at 11:39 AM

See?

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:39 AM

5-3 Gulbis and with another serve...

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:40 AM

Ace-and Gulbis has a match point...

Posted by crazyone 04/29/2010 at 11:40 AM

those were two AMAZING serves.

Win this!!!!

Posted by Chris 04/29/2010 at 11:40 AM

2 huge serves for 6-3

Posted by highpockets 04/29/2010 at 11:41 AM

CL, it's like a stroll with attitude.

I think Volandri beat Fed during the clay season when Fed said he was "gathering information." Wasn't that when Roche was coaching him? Gee, that went well, didn't it?

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:41 AM

Lovely dropper by Flip to save a MP...6-4

Posted by crazyone 04/29/2010 at 11:41 AM

that was an amazing point from Pippo...

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:43 AM

Wow...Ernie wins! Congrats to C1, Beckham, and other fans of Ernie!

Commies to fans of Flip...he played a great match.

Fun to watch.

Posted by Master Ace 04/29/2010 at 11:43 AM

Jim Morrison vs Pretty Boy tomorrow.

Posted by Jai 04/29/2010 at 11:43 AM

And finally Gulbis takes it. So basically, after playing a 2 hour 40 minute match today he faces Lopez, who didn't have to play at all. That should test his stamina.

What happened to Ljubicic? Any news?

Posted by yello fuzzy 04/29/2010 at 11:44 AM

Hubris serving 2 all
2nd serve, lazy feet by Hubris 2-3
Flip serving
a great Rally, flip hits the FH approach long 3-3
the crowd groans
a good droppa by Hubris, Flip is there gets it back deep, then misses the BH volley(badly) 3-4
Hubris serving
ace down the T 5-3
ace out wide 6-3
Flip serving to stay in the match
2nd serve,good rally, Flip has Hubris moving side to side, he approaches CC and hits a beautiful drop volley winner 6-4
2nd serve,a short ball draws Flip in, he can't handle the heat on the Hubris pass
game set and Match to Sideshow Bob

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:44 AM

Dare I say Ernie showed "mental fortitude"? Okay...I will-he kept his head in that match and had some monster serves. Well done Wild One.

Posted by crazyone 04/29/2010 at 11:44 AM

highpockets, Fed lost to Volandri *right after* he fired Tony Roche.

Ernie!!!! You finally gutted one out!

2nd MS QF...

ok, now for Ljubicic or Lopez...

Posted by crazyone 04/29/2010 at 11:45 AM

wait, what happened to Ljubicic?

I believe in Ernie's ability to beat FLo...

Posted by evie 04/29/2010 at 11:45 AM

Ljuby retired. Does anyone know why?

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 11:45 AM

YF-nice match call. :) Love Hubris v. Flip...lol

Agree that Ernie had some lazy footwork, but his serve bails him out.

Posted by CL 04/29/2010 at 11:46 AM

Highpockets - yes, that loss was during the 'gathering information' months. And it was right after the loss that Fed split with Tony R. Apparently he was a bit upset that Tony didn't communicate more after his losses to Canas. So much for the theory of the 'completely self reliant Fed.'

A 'strottitude.'? :-)

Well, you finally did it Ernsie...which is good for you as I would have been forced to take stern action had you not.

Posted by CL 04/29/2010 at 11:50 AM

Ooh - who is THIS cute thing on my TV screen? My first look at Giraldo - not, thanks heavens to be confused with the Giraldo.

A friend just sent me the ESPN magazine w/Fed on the cover. I can tell after the briefest scan that it is a bit over the top, and coming after his recent losses seems kinda out of tempo, but I think there is some good stuff within all the purple prose and palpitations.

Posted by yello fuzzy 04/29/2010 at 11:50 AM

Tsonga has a major widows peak

Posted by highpockets 04/29/2010 at 11:51 AM

Golden Boy vs Pretty Boy ... should be a good one.

Gulbis really brings something to tennis when he's playing like this ... and his press conferences are great. I hope he keeps this up for awhile.

Gotta go participate in my life ... be back later.

Posted by CL 04/29/2010 at 11:54 AM

Gee - has Tsonga always been THIS loud?

Posted by Master Ace 04/29/2010 at 11:55 AM

Thanks for match call, Rafadoc and Yello Fuzzy.

Posted by Master Ace 04/29/2010 at 11:56 AM

Justine vs Yanina in about 25 minutes from Stuttgart

Posted by Jenni 04/29/2010 at 12:01 PM

JJ's back out there again for doubles? That wasn't much of a rest, not that she needed it based on the scoreline.

Posted by Master Ace 04/29/2010 at 12:14 PM

Jenni,
How are you doing these days? Jelena will take it easy as Liezel will advise her on where to position on the court.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 04/29/2010 at 12:17 PM

Hi guys, Felidaddy got a w.o. into the quarters because Ivan the Occasionally Terrible pulled something during the warmup of their match. The physio was called. Something with one of his ribs. He injured it while practicing serves.

Nice story about Fed talking to Isner about dealing with mono. But should we be so surprised that the guys on the atp talk to each other? Is it really that unusual what Fed did? I get the feeling that most of the guys on the tour get along quite well and that it's a kind of fraternity. Barring language barriers and such.

Posted by Nam1 04/29/2010 at 12:18 PM

Hello,

Just stopping in between meetings today so thx to all of you for the comments that keep me up to date.
When does Rafa's match start , please? Is it 8.30 pm Rome time , another 2 hours or so?

Posted by Jenni 04/29/2010 at 12:22 PM

MA, I'm doing all right. Slightly ashamed that this Ferru/Murray match snuck up on me - I had no idea that was happening today. I'm a very bad fan. In my defense, I've been a bit immersed in the winter sports fandoms...trying to hang on to the Olympics for as long as I can!

27% first serve percentage? Break him already, Ferru.

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 12:26 PM

Nam1: Yep...about 2 hours from now.

You're welcome MA. :)

Annie: lol...the player's talk to each other? Weird.

Posted by ActionFlunky 04/29/2010 at 12:26 PM

Yeah, saunter accurately describes Fed's walk. And agree with a previous poster that he tends to enter space as if he owns it. The regal bastard. ;)

Well, so much for getting behind the Giraldo-breakout-star-at-FO idea. Good tourney, though. In terms of someone new entering big boy territory, hope may now rest solely with Gulbis. Strange prospect.

P.S. Good to see Nole getting through, and Murray's results will be interesting.

Posted by rafadoc 04/29/2010 at 12:27 PM

...Oh,and thanks Annie for the update on Ivan. Too bad :(

Gotta get some stuff done...see you all later. :)

Posted by fuzzy balls 04/29/2010 at 12:29 PM

murray already broken... see if he breaks back deuce now @ 4-2 for Ferrer on serve.

Posted by Fangorina 04/29/2010 at 12:31 PM

stream anyone?

Posted by CL 04/29/2010 at 12:33 PM

Annie- I agree - i'm sure Super Mario talked to guys about mono. And as long as they aren't giving anything away about a current injury, I'm sure players exchange injury war stories/info/experiences as well. To me the most interesting part of the anecdote was what Fed said to Izzy about 'listening to your body.' As I wrote above, with 20/20 hindsight, I wish Fed had 'listened to HIS body' a bit more during and in the immediate aftermath of his bout with mono. And I think, from what he said, maybe he wishes he had too.

Posted by Master Ace 04/29/2010 at 12:33 PM

Justine and Yanina match has started as I am about to get some lunch.

Simona defeats Patty 6-2,7-6(3). Simona made it from qualifying to the QF in Barcelona only to lose to Flavia.

Posted by london 04/29/2010 at 12:34 PM

when does yanina and henin start?

Posted by Sherlock 04/29/2010 at 12:37 PM

"A higher ranked, more accomplished player will make him pay for those lazy feet(or at least have his dad pay for those lazy feet)"

Between that and "Hubris", lol, Fuzzy. :)

Posted by yello fuzzy 04/29/2010 at 12:39 PM

no available link or stream for the Justine Yanina match!?!

Posted by Simon 04/29/2010 at 12:39 PM

"Nice story about Fed talking to Isner about dealing with mono. But should we be so surprised that the guys on the atp talk to each other? Is it really that unusual what Fed did? I get the feeling that most of the guys on the tour get along quite well and that it's a kind of fraternity. Barring language barriers and such."

Well, seeing how Isner is actually on the tour and intermingling with these guys, I figure he knows better what goes on behind the scenes and if he sees fit to mention a gesture of kindness because to him it stands out then I would take it as something special. He also mentioned earlier in January how Fed went out of his way to congratulate him on his win in Auckland. Seeing as there are many mentions by random players about acts of friendliness by Fed I suppose we should just accept that he seems to be an exceptionally considerate and well brought up kid.

Posted by JohnC 04/29/2010 at 12:40 PM

So I tune in to see Murray in trouble and not looking very happy. David to serve for the first set at 5-3.

Posted by Jenni 04/29/2010 at 12:42 PM

And here is where historically, everything starts to go downhill. Come on Ferru, hold it together.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 04/29/2010 at 12:44 PM

Hey, everyone,

And just as I tune in, my David is broken ... bah !

Posted by yello fuzzy 04/29/2010 at 12:47 PM

Murray is chatting up a storm . If he'd quit kvetching and just play, he might have an easier time out there

o hold on , disco break

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 04/29/2010 at 12:48 PM

But David takes the 1st set 6 - 3 !!

Posted by Carrie *¿Dónde está el Elfo? Goes to light a candle and wait* 04/29/2010 at 12:49 PM

[not jinxing] Ferru has quietly had a pretty decent veering on good season so far. Come on Honey Badger! [/not jinxing]

Posted by fuzzy balls 04/29/2010 at 12:50 PM

what match are you watching? ferrer broke murray and held to close out the set.

Posted by JohnC 04/29/2010 at 12:53 PM

I don't think Murray understands clay very well (despite all that Spanish tennis schooling). Is there a fan of his around to offer another opinion?

Posted by JohnC 04/29/2010 at 12:55 PM

Oh, and I now notice his first serve percentage is 32% -- that won't win him a match on any surface.

Posted by london 04/29/2010 at 12:56 PM

im watching henin and yanina!!

Posted by FM (Vamos Rafa!!!!) 04/29/2010 at 12:56 PM


Justine Vs Yanina:

http://cdn1.ustream.tv/swf/4/viewer2.9.swf?cid=3994039
or
http://atdhe.net/17583/watch-wta-stuttgart

Posted by JohnC 04/29/2010 at 12:56 PM

That's a bit more like it, to get him to 2-1. Ferru to serve.

Posted by TeamNadal 04/29/2010 at 12:57 PM

speaking of Felidaddy, this tweet from James LaRosa (nothing confirmed), but I am ROFL at LaRosa's background page! TOO FUNNY!

http://twitter.com/JamesLaRosa/status/13020677234

Posted by Cotton Jack 04/29/2010 at 01:02 PM

Anyone got a link to I can watch the last half set of Murray at this tournament?

Posted by TeamNadal 04/29/2010 at 01:02 PM

^ my post should have read confirmed (by María José Suárez).

Posted by BrooklynNY 04/29/2010 at 01:03 PM

Santiago Giraldo has serious game. We should be seeing alot more of him in the future.

Posted by JohnC 04/29/2010 at 01:05 PM

So Murray manages to slip from 40-0 to deuce in the fifth game. Hmmm.

Posted by Nam1 04/29/2010 at 01:06 PM

Thx Rafadoc, cant wait, frazzling already!!

Sorry for Ljuby....

Go Ferru! Why do they call him Honey badger?

Posted by JohnC 04/29/2010 at 01:07 PM

Murrray link
http://www.fromsport.com/video-238891.html

Posted by imjimmy 04/29/2010 at 01:10 PM

Come'on Murray. Step it up dude. <30% first serves? WTF.

At least win a set. You're playing Ferrer NOT Federer..

Posted by fuzzy balls 04/29/2010 at 01:10 PM

stanislas holding tough with robin about to break him 15-40 on sods serve.

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