Peter Bodo's TennisWorld - More from Mac
Home       About Peter Bodo       Contact        RSS       Follow on Twitter Categories       Archive
More from Mac 06/17/2010 - 6:00 PM

Cover.HardcourtConfidential Today, Pat McEnroe, U.S. Davis Cup captain, ESPN color commentator, and author of Hardcourt Confidential (with an assist from yours truly) is going to share some of his thoughts and experiences in that Inner Sanctum, the ATP locker room. This passage is preceded by a lengthy one on Jimmy Connors (if you remember, Connors' storied run in 1991 began with a remarkable comeback win over Patrick), which is why the material below begins with him. 

-- Pete

Jimmy was adept at mind games. He was so keen to keep himself distant from the pack that he would often avoid the locker room altogether, changing and killing time conspicuously apart from his peers. Top players often have what you might call a “locker room strategy,” from aggressively dominating the inner sanctum of the athlete to avoiding it altogether. One of my brother John’s big beefs was that tennis is the only sport where you share the locker room with not just the guy you’re going to engage in intense, one- on- onecombat, but also with someone to whom you might have a deep,genuine aversion. I guess golf is the same way— but then it’s a stretch to call golf a sport.

John disliked Ivan Lendl, and you could feel the tension when they had to inhabit the same locker room. Granted, John liked to strut around, scowling, his body language demanding that you give him wide berth. That could be intimidating. But he didn’t engage guys in the same way as Lendl, who actually talked trash and needled people— sometimes mercilessly. When John Fitzgerald (who was actually a friend of Lendl’s) came into the Australian Open locker room shortly after having his first child, a daughter, Lendl said in his mechanical, clipped Eastern European accent: “Congratulations, John. Maybe next time you vill be man enough to make a son.”

In conclusive proof that there is a God, Lendl ended up having five children of his own— all lovely daughters.

I watched as Brad Gilbert and Ivan Lendl almost came to blows in the locker room in Tokyo one year. Now a lot of guys found Brad’s endless prattling (usually about sports) irritating. But even more glowered at the way Ivan Lendl was constantly razzing and putting others down.

Somehow, the two of them got started on a game of one- upmanship. Brad suggested that he would clean Ivan’s clock in a game of one-on-one basketball. Not to be outdone, Lendl said he could skate rings around Brad in a hockey rink.

“Oh, yeah,” Brad shot back, sticking out that Sgt. Rock jaw of his, “You want a piece of me in a batting cage?”

I could hardly believe my ears, these guys were taking it to another level, like a couple of kids in the schoolyard, until some other players intervened to talk both guys off the ledge before it came to fisticuffs. It was idiotic; clearly, it had nothing to do with either guys’s skill at bowling or beer pong. They just had their backs up and neither was going to back down.

102161069 Wimbledon has two locker rooms, a spacious, well- appointed one for seeded players, and a more bare bones one for everyone else.Yet, Andy Roddick, a three-time finalist at the event, insists on hanging out in the B locker room, so he can be with buddies like Sam Querrey, the Bryan Brothers, Mardy Fish, and James Blake. He just feels more comfortable in there.

Of course, you can’t have individual locker rooms for all 128 players at a major. But at those events, as well as smaller ones, the locker room during the early stages of an event is like a cross between a crowded train station at rush hour and a class reunion. The camaraderie level is high. When whoever won the last tournament walks in, almost everyone slaps him on the back or drops by in front of his locker to say “Well done.”

Friends who haven’t seen each other in weeks say hi and catch up when they meet. At the 2009 US Open, Roger Federer watched the scoreboard as Marsel Ilhan, the first Turkish player (although he’s originally from Uzbekistan) to compete at an Open-era major, won his first- round match. Later, Federer went up to Ilhan in the locker room to congratulate the young player and introduce himself. The journeyman couldn’t believe it.

Carl, the locker room attendant at the US Open, doles out the assignments at the start of the tournament. Over time, he knows which guys like to be near each other, and he generally groups them by nations. It works out well, although the tone in the temple of Ben- Gay changes dramatically later in the event. When it’s down to the finals, the atmosphere in the locker room is almost oppressive.

You’ve got one guy huddled with his team in one corner, his opponent and friends in the other. The tones are hushed. You can almost cut the tension with a knife. It wouldn’t be such a bad idea for tournaments to give the finalists different spaces on that last, critical day. Roger Federer is probably the most relaxed guy I’ve ever seen in the locker room; he’s nothing less than a prince— it’s like he owns the place, but in a good way, like the proud proprietor of a Swiss fondue restaurant.

Rafael Nadal, as nice a kid and good a sportsman as he is, gets into the mind games a bit, wittingly or not. He makes his opponents wait on him, not just between points (for which he gets criticized) but in the locker room and on the sidelines as well. When the tournament officials call Nadal’s match, he goes to take another piss, making his opponent stand there, waiting. When the umpire calls them out to the center of the court for the coin toss, Rafa will often stay in his chair, fiddling with towels or his bottles while the other guy walks right out— and has to wait.

I can understand how Toni Nadal, Rafa’s coach and uncle, tried to drill it into the young, impressionable eighteen- year old of a few years ago that it was important for him to take his time, not feel rushed or obligated to do anything until he was comfortable and well- organized. But you have to grow out of that.

Rafa’s foot- dragging was behind that bad- blood incident at Wimbledon between Rafa and the Swedish player Robin Soderling. Ticked off by the way Rafa had the habit of making an opponent wait, Soderling did some conspicuous stalling of his own, and he even mimicked Rafa’s compulsive habit of plucking at the back of his shorts. It wasn’t a smart thing for Soderling to do, and it didn’t make his life any easier— Rafa is genuinely liked and respected by everyone. Soderling ultimately was cast as a boorish gamesman, but many players felt that his was a point worth making, if not exactly in the way Robin chose.

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9      >>

Posted by robbyfan 06/17/2010 at 06:04 PM

wahoo! This is fun.

Posted by robbyfan 06/17/2010 at 06:14 PM

The only thing that will make Rafa play to speed are point penalties. Why don't the umpires man up and do this?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/17/2010 at 06:21 PM

Thanks Pete, Wow the ins and outs of the Locker Room.Methinks it has enough drama over the years to make a Soapie out of it.There have been many "moments" tense and fun going on in there.

Lendl wasnt a favourite both on and off the court.Though I think people were just "not into him".I also think he wasnt given enough credit for what he achieved either just my personal feelings there.

Roger is also known to be a bit of a Joker in the locker room.

Who knew? lol!.

Well we all know Rafa probably deserves his "own specially built locker room" his sprints and star jumps are well sighted and sometimes players have to move out of his way.Interesting how he "gets himself up" for a game.Message there dont go near Rafa in the locker room.Do that at your own peril!.

Maybe Rafa does his own mind games by keeping his oppoents waiting for him when on court but hey over the years how many mind games have we seen with players? its just another part of the game methinks.Also a little advantage in ways lol!.

In regards to Robin and that "famed" incident with Rafa well to me that was in such low taste

Though in RG we saw who had the Last Laugh didnt we? when Rafa showed him who is The King Of Clay.

Posted by robbyfan 06/17/2010 at 06:25 PM

I would think Nole would be the most fun in the locker room.
There are some players I can't imagine just hanging out with the guys.

Posted by Ruth 06/17/2010 at 06:27 PM

I knew about the two locker rooms at Wimbledon but not about RAndy's choice to stay in the B room even when he was eligible for the A room. Now, I'm dying to find out if he stayed in the B room last year all the way through to final day or if he went and shared the A room with Federer.

Maybe, by the time of the final (or before), the B locker room is shut down and all remaining in the draw (whether they were originally seeded or not) are moved to the A locker room. questions...questions. :-)

Posted by Sherlock 06/17/2010 at 06:27 PM

I hereby offically commence Fedal war #6,372. *waves green flag*

Posted by robbyfan 06/17/2010 at 06:32 PM

Sherlock-is that count from just this week?

Ruth-great questions. And I want to know the answers. I think Patrick should do a Q & A at Wimby.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/17/2010 at 06:32 PM

Sherlock Well that didnt take long did it?

By the way just going o/t for a moment

I am pleased to inform you,while waiting for the cherries,hey I could be dying of malnutrition Hmmmmmm

I found some yummy cherries from Washinton yesterday

No thanks to you of course.

I guess your just not "into me" anymore.

Such is life.

Posted by Master Ace 06/17/2010 at 06:33 PM

Now, Gilbert vs Lendl would have been an interesting pay per view fight.

Posted by Jenni 06/17/2010 at 06:34 PM

"I hereby offically commence Fedal war #6,372. *waves green flag*"

You beat me to it...I'm gonna order another drink and just embrace it. No point in fighting the inevitable.

Posted by Corrie 06/17/2010 at 06:34 PM

It's more likely that smart Uncle Toni decided way back that all this stalling was an excellent strategy and mind game - so it wasn't just to encourage Nadal to gather his thoughts. It's simply gamesmanship that the umpires should have cracked down on way back, particularly for the sake of the spectators. I can't see how anyone - apart from his devoted fans of course - could ever consider Nadal has good sportsmanship.

Posted by Sherlock 06/17/2010 at 06:37 PM

Jenni, he he. Can you pour me one too? We can sit by the pool and talk about how long it'll be before Baylor has it's own conference. :)

Corrie, while I certainly don't like some of the stuff that Rafa does, there was a line near the bottom of this post that read, "Rafa is genuinely liked and respected by everyone."

So obviously it's not the end of the world. :)

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/17/2010 at 06:42 PM

Jenni You are a "mean woman" indeed.

Hey can you pass me the bottle

Posted by Sherlock 06/17/2010 at 06:45 PM

Robbyfan, no kidding. :)

AM, I thought delivery on the first day of Wimby would be appropriate. I hope they're not late. That would really be the pits. Yuk, yuk. :)

Posted by leigh 06/17/2010 at 06:49 PM

Rafa's been on the tour since 2001. I wouldn't think you could classify his rituals as "mind-games".
He seems to do these things for his own preparation for the match, not to throw anyone else off.
I don't understand why he should change what he does before the match if it is part of his preparation.
" But you have to grow out of that." quote from Patrick, I'm not sure Rafa has to change anything except to
speed things up when play actually begins - to stay within the time rules.

I enjoyed this article. I also wonder what Nole would be like in the locker room. He does seem like fun.
Also, looks like Querrey will be in locker room 'A' this year. I wonder if he will want to be in Room 'B'.

Posted by AB 06/17/2010 at 06:51 PM

Agassi's recollections of both Lendl and Connors in the locker room are similarly negative. He gives quite a bit of credit to Brad for his comeback, and frankly, personal development if you can believe it. For all Gilbert's lummox-ness, he seems to be a guy you want in your court.

Connors just seems to be an a$$.

As for Rafa, it's all about the ritual. It's been years. Nothing has changed. You would think his opponents could neutralize such a known pattern. Either by ignoring, or imposing their own. I don't think his compulsions are such a big deal. People read too much into stuff.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/17/2010 at 06:52 PM

Sherlock Your humour goes before you

I think most Rafa fans would agree the sensible ones anyway?? that there is a Umpire on court to make sure the rules are being applied to.

Yes Rafa does take time with his service going onns sometimes I agree and has in the past and present being given time warnings.

Though I could also say with other players there time limits also are very wayward??

I dont wont this to become a all out war putting it lightly lol!

Posted by leigh 06/17/2010 at 06:53 PM

I agree with you, AB.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/17/2010 at 06:55 PM

AB Well to me its a little gamemanship going on there with Rafa

Just my thoughts.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/17/2010 at 07:02 PM

When Rafa does eventually make it to the net to meet his opponent,like I could serve a thre course dinner and wash up waiting for him to arrive

His jumping up and down in front of his opponent and then sprinting to the back of the court isnt sending out a little subtle message?

Come on I wasnt born yesterday

No One need to answer that last line ok.

Posted by Keith 06/17/2010 at 07:03 PM

"When the umpire calls them out to the center of the court for the coin toss, Rafa will often stay in his chair, fiddling with towels or his bottles while the other guy walks right out— and has to wait."

Not true. Nadal does not "often" "fiddle with towels or his bottles". He ALWAYS does exactly the same (places bags, puts bottles in frigde, takes off jacket, sits down, spreads towel, places two bottles between legs, eats gel, sips from both bottles, wipes mouth, jumps to net). This is always the same routine, nothing against the opponent, irrespective of the opponent.

Smart opponents (see Monfils at Madrid Masters) remain casually seated for one minute on their bench, with knees spread wide, contemplating strategy or just breathing deep and concentrating.

Posted by AB 06/17/2010 at 07:05 PM

AM, I'm with leigh. After so many years, it's not a game, it's just part of a prep ritual. In fact, I would go further and say that the oppo has the power to disrupt Rafa's ritual. There would be many fun ways to do this. Rafa is a sitting duck.

Posted by Pspace 06/17/2010 at 07:08 PM

Jeez, this kinda sniping is a little below the belt, no? I mean, isn't there a code of honor when you inhabit a locker room with a guy? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas kinda thing. Maybe next time you vill be man enough and keep your mouth shut. *tongue in cheek*

Posted by Sherlock 06/17/2010 at 07:10 PM

Anyone else tickled by the Gilbert-Lendl story? :) I wonder who would win that battle? Gilbert's built like a wrestler, so I think he takes it.

We need more stuff like this nowadays. All the players are so nice to each other, it's boring. Where's Pspace to back me up on this? :)

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/17/2010 at 07:12 PM

AB I am not saying its not a "ritual" that Rafa has done over the years,though there is also to my way of thinking like

You can wait for me,I am not going to be rushed for anyone? ok in saying that it does in a little way send a message out lol!

Posted by Pspace 06/17/2010 at 07:12 PM

LOL, Sherlock. I back you up. When did it become ok for guys to (a) cry and (b) whine about trash talk. In the words of my favorite politician, such "girly men".

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/17/2010 at 07:13 PM

Pspace Party Pooper!

Though more dirt the merrier in my eyes

Yeah just let it all out

Posted by Sherlock 06/17/2010 at 07:19 PM

He he. Thanks, Pspace. :) Geez, even Sod has tried to soften his image. Come on, guys, embrace the dark side!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/17/2010 at 07:21 PM

I miss Marat on court!

Posted by thebigapple 06/17/2010 at 07:29 PM

Say, I wonder why Rafa has never been voted sportsman of the year by his peers? He seems nice enough and according to the vamos bridage on TW he is a veritable paragon of virtue. Maybe next year.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/17/2010 at 07:32 PM

The Big Apple Well he does have some other little habits on court thay may have gone against him in the past and say present lol!

One can only hope lol!

Posted by Ruth 06/17/2010 at 07:42 PM

"We need more stuff like this nowadays. All the players are so nice to each other, it's boring."

Know what you mean, Sherlock. I just went to the YouTube site and searched for that Rafa-robin wimby incident just for the heck of it. What I find interesting is that people focus on Robin's pants pull and ignore the way Rafa started bouncing the ball as if ready to play, then stopped abruptly and said "new balls" before Robin did the pants bit. And, no, I don't think for one minute that, on that occasion, Rafa wasn't getting a dig in at Robin for going back to his bag for a new racket when Rafa was preparing to serve. He was. So, they were both "messing" with each other. Loved it!

But, as for Rafa's rituals, as many people have said, how can they be considered tricky or gamesmanship when he does the same thing over and over and over and opponents know long in advance what to expect and can even plan how to react?

I am not saying that delays of game shouldn't be penalized. They should. But gamesmanship usually requires a little more spontaneity and surprise than Nadal's boring rituals demonstrate.

Posted by Heather 06/17/2010 at 07:42 PM

Ruth, if I remember correctly there was a story last year about Andy and the B locker room and that before and after the final Roger was in the A locker room and Andy was in the B locker room. The whole point I believe has always been that Andy will only go to the A locker room if he wins Wimbledon, otherwise he will always choose to be in the B locker room. I wish I could remember where I heard/read/saw that!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/17/2010 at 07:44 PM

Ruth Gamesmanship is in the eyes of the beholder I suppose

Regardless how boring and repettive it is.

Posted by thebigapple 06/17/2010 at 07:45 PM

So Andy has never been in the A locker room?

Posted by Keith 06/17/2010 at 07:46 PM

To be voted sportsman of the year by your ATP peers, you need to have a really allert PR who keeps track of all those "first ATP win ever by a Turkish player" and such.

Peers apparently love such recognition by their revered No. 1 player. It makes their day/year/career. It makes them think their No. 1 cares, is a veritable paragon of virtue and deserves to be voted sportsman of the year.

Posted by Heather 06/17/2010 at 07:50 PM

Andy has never been in the A locker room.

Posted by Joe (Celtics Ring) 06/17/2010 at 07:59 PM

Who cares about Rafa's rituals. I rather to see him doing those *rituals* than to see some guy trowing the empty bottles of water behind him and the poor ball boys running to pick up them

Posted by thebigapple 06/17/2010 at 08:03 PM

I suppose you have to give a crap to bother to remember when your PR person tells you some details about some "minor" person. That alone is creditable. You actually remember the face and name of the sucker. At least long enough to greet them and say hello.

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW) 06/17/2010 at 08:04 PM

heather - i read that too. that they had wanted to shift him, but that andy said he'd move when he wins the thing. i thought it was the members locker room that the story was referring to; but now that i think of it, the members room probably IS the A locker room! :lol:

This will be fun read, I'm looking forward to it. I just really like PMac.

Posted by penderewski 06/17/2010 at 08:06 PM

I don't think the publishers of OPEN are quaking in their boots

Posted by aa-yyz 06/17/2010 at 08:08 PM

Keith@07:46 - thanks for clearing that up. I was a Federer fan not just for his game but his character, but no more! You have opened my eyes and for that I am eternally grateful. Now I realise what a facade this man Roger Federer puts up just to win those sportsmanship awards...brilliant in its simplicity. And now it is all falling into place -that trip he supposedly made to Africa to visit his foundation was also probably stage-managed with a few child-actors from Basel in a set in Dubai so it would look like he cared about less fortunate children in a less fortunate part of the world "and such", again, courtesy that really alert PR.

Posted by Ruth 06/17/2010 at 08:11 PM

Heaather: Since I'd never known until today about Andy's choosing the B room all these yearseven as a seeded player, I didn't know that he felt that only Wimbledon title would make him use the A room. That's fascinating.

But, now, the Venus-Lindsay Wimby 2005 final has started on TC,so I'll go watch that now.

Posted by CPM 06/17/2010 at 08:13 PM

Rafa only wins because of his gamesmanship. Playing w/yr left when you're a natural righty? Only hitting to a guy's BH just because it happens to be one-handed?

He needs to grow up.

What a cynical view of things.

I like your style.

Posted by penderewski 06/17/2010 at 08:13 PM

In many books by Martin Amis the main character / main loser is called "Keith". I'm juss sayin'

Posted by Heather 06/17/2010 at 08:14 PM

jb: Oh good, I'm glad you remember reading it too! :) I read PMac's book last week and saw the bit about the locker rooms and was trying to remember then where I had heard the story about Andy and the locker rooms.

Regarding Pmac's book, it was pretty good, some great behind the scenes tales! I actually thought it read better than Andre's book.

Posted by Heather 06/17/2010 at 08:16 PM

Ruth: Cross your fingers for an Andy win so he can finally head to the A locker room!

Posted by Joe (Celtics Ring) 06/17/2010 at 08:26 PM

Rafa wins because is a GREAT player, GREAT human been and........ he has a HIGH level of education

Posted by Sherlock 06/17/2010 at 08:26 PM's front page caption/link:

"Our experts agree this Game 7 is among the most important NBA games in four decades. Is that all?"

Lol. Yes, the fate of nations hangs in the balance!!

Fun to watch? Probably, if L.A. doesn't blow out the Celtics again. Important? Ummmm, no. :)

Posted by Sherlock 06/17/2010 at 08:28 PM

Ooop, sorry. Wrong page for OT.

Posted by Ruth 06/17/2010 at 08:28 PM

I'm driving the Andy Wimby bus again this year, Heather. But I may lose some of my passengers because I insist on making my bus the Andy-Dinara bus this year. Just trying to give a little uplift to a player who needs it and who has come close to a Slam win and flatered. I think andy would understand and sympathize. :)

Posted by penderewski 06/17/2010 at 08:28 PM

Joe - Rafa is a hick

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/17/2010 at 08:28 PM

Heather Living Down Under I will have to wait for the book

Just like Agassi's book which also took forever Sigh!

Posted by Joe (Celtics Ring) 06/17/2010 at 08:36 PM

penderewski, maybe to you because you don't understand what is really CLASS

Come on CELTICS!!!!!!!

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/17/2010 at 08:42 PM

Rafa and Uncle Toni partake in gamesmanship? What's next? I'll learn the Irish drink and reindeer don't fly?

Never been a big fan of the "you gonna wait on me, no?" stuff, but in fairness I believe Rafa's actually sped up his service delivery over the years to the point where most of the time he gets it in under the gun. In terms of the coin toss and locker room stuff, probably tells us why the rest of the tour isn't rushing to vote for Rafa as sportsman of the year (as a couple of pro-Rafa posters wondered why during the FO). Not a huge thing but I could see how it would grate.

Posted by Joe (Celtics Ring) 06/17/2010 at 08:47 PM

It's a big question why still Rafa doesn't get more votes when I was told most of the players have the best relation with him, I wonder is because......

Posted by wilson75 06/17/2010 at 09:00 PM

Re: Rafa's gamemanship. I honestly believe that he doesn't realise that his actions in the locker room rub the other players the wrong way and probably no one has confronted him about them. I don't believe it's gamesmanship, just part of who is. Unfortunately, that, plus the slow playing are probably the main reason why players don't vote for him for SE Sportsman of the year.

Posted by thebigapple 06/17/2010 at 09:06 PM

I imagine if a guy's game depends on running then he would need the rest.

I suppose it must be annoying for the attacking player to have Rafa run down every ball and then openly rest between points. They must think if he did not ignore the rules (sometines in letter and always in spirit) and rest then maybe their great shots would be winners. This is not right, they may be concluding. I cannot get the winner I deserve because he illegally rests-up.

Posted by NP 06/17/2010 at 09:07 PM

If this page is still on topic, where else can I, sf, AM and other b-ball fans with a taste celebrate the Kobies' win tonite?

Posted by Joe (Celtics Ring) 06/17/2010 at 09:07 PM

Nadal haters always talk too much here ..,....who cares!!!!!
Nadal, the greatest

Posted by thebigapple 06/17/2010 at 09:08 PM

Party right here...I am happy to give up tennis for a wild party.

So when does the big game start?

Posted by NP 06/17/2010 at 09:11 PM

thebigapple, the game's already on, LA leading 5-4.

Posted by Pspace 06/17/2010 at 09:11 PM

I honestly don't know why PMac goes into the time-wasting in his book. It gives no real insight into the game or Rafa. My only feeling is a slight sense of irritation that he wouldn't do his best to be more positive about the game's great players.


Anyway, on time-wasting, I once played against this guy who had a strange routine. After every serve, he would turn around and look outside the fence (or at the moon...I have no idea as his back was to me). He would then proceed to do weird stretching exercises (still standing) for about 40 seconds. Every. single. point!! Of course, he was "gentlemanly" enough not to do it on my serve. I won 2 & 3, but it took over 2 hours. Ridiculous. I believe that he played on his high school team, and so, it was encouraged behavior. Suffice to say that I never responded to his emails again.

Posted by thebigapple 06/17/2010 at 09:12 PM

Crap. out of date as usual.

One day I am going find that I have become cider.


Posted by ladyjulia 06/17/2010 at 09:13 PM

I got Hardcourt confidential from the library..and i have plans to read it over the weekend.

Regarding the rituals, I don't think its gamesmanship on Rafa's part. As someone mentioned above, gamesmanship would be something spontaneous and unexpected. Rafa's been doing it for years, so its just a ritual. I think he does to calm himself down or generate focus...everybody has their own way of doing it. Just like Soderling isn't very chatty with others..this is just Rafa's way. It might grate on people, but i doubt if it affects the results.

Or it might affect the players who see it as a power struggle maybe. But then, its a minor issue..I don't see why there is so much of notice being put to it.

Posted by NP 06/17/2010 at 09:14 PM

thebigapple, no prob.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/17/2010 at 09:16 PM

Just heard on our radio here the stores in England have been seeling those "insane horns" at a cheap price for Wimby???

Ahhhhhhhh No please.How are Wimby officials going to stamp this out?

A bag and person search for everyone who goes through the gates

Ban Those Isane Horns Now!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by thebigapple 06/17/2010 at 09:17 PM

Big game on my TV.

Just to warn you NP, I am supporting the Lakers in your honor. However, if the Celtics looks like they are going to win I will be forced to switch loyalties...With Fed losing so much my loser quota is already full for this month, well for 5 months. So I have to be in the winners circle tonight.

Go Lakers!

Posted by ladyjulia 06/17/2010 at 09:17 PM

OTOH, on court is a different matter. There are rules and everybody is expected to follow the rules. If someone takes more than 20 sec all the time, it can be annoying to the opponent...which is why Soderling might have reacted that way (their match was over 5 days and they both needed to be in the locker room + court all those five days)...and Roger also reacting in Madrid.

But then that is the umpires not doing their job. There is no reason why players have to be stretched to such an extent that they need to retort on their own. The umpires have a rulebook to follow..and if the opponent is reacting (again some might, some might not)...the umpire must enforce the rules to ensure fair play.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:20 PM

Yay Lakers are on my tv screen

Posted by NP 06/17/2010 at 09:22 PM

thebigapple, the Lakers will be holding the trophy tonite. Kobe's just being generous right now to build up some suspense.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:22 PM

Ladyjulia Agree.The umpire is there to make sure the rules are being obeyed by from both players.He has the authority to enforce the due penalty,warning etc.

Posted by Pat frm Philippines... 06/17/2010 at 09:22 PM

hi all...

interesting defense from both teams so far...

go boston!!!

boston 13-11


where are you???

i see, ive overlooked dolgopolov 'martina-amelie hybrid' had been in recent form these last two months since meeting rafa in madrid...

maybe rank him as another dark horse/sleeper/floater in wimby next week...

can see boston winning this one!!!

Posted by thebigapple 06/17/2010 at 09:23 PM

I think I prefer vuvuzelas to the shouting of "defense, defense". D

Posted by ladyjulia 06/17/2010 at 09:24 PM

Both Jon W and Steve Tignor have devoted some time describing the time delay. Jon W says the first one to score was Rafa since he took his own time to getting on court while Roger was impatient because it was going to rain. However, I doubt if Roger lets such small things affect him for a big final like Wimby.

Tignor says that no matter how the opponent is playing, Rafa "controls" the time of the match and makes the opponent feel as they are not in control of the match.

Don't really know if this assumption is valid.

I always thought players were ultra focused and didn't let anything bother them. It will be interesting to see what players say about it themselves rather than journos making assumptions about how the opponent feels.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/17/2010 at 09:26 PM


Yes, I always wonder why dosen't the media question the umpires on this issue???? Surely, they can write articles highlighting the umpires not doing their jobs???

Posted by thebigapple 06/17/2010 at 09:28 PM

I thought generosity time was Game 1?

By Game 7, it is junkyard dog territory.

Posted by NP 06/17/2010 at 09:32 PM

That's the way to keep up the suspense.

Posted by Joe (Celtics Ring) 06/17/2010 at 09:32 PM

PMac is a Nadal heter, just you have to hear his comments during the matches

Come on Celtics!!!

Posted by Pat frm Philippines... 06/17/2010 at 09:32 PM

good defense from boston so far...

and kobe missed a free throw??? soemone's off tonight... or maybe im just wrong...


when will the wimby draw comes out??? im excited.. heheheeh :)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:33 PM

Ladyjulia Now with the Hawkeye system I feel in ways the umpire cant make a decision? players will ask the umpire did they think say that ball is out? before going to Hawk eye most umpires say "it was too close and I could not really say"? well they were forced to make decision before Hawk Eye?

In regards to the media highlighting the issue with umpires well they have written and taken up other issues in the game.

Sometimes I feel when players I will give Roddick as a example and please noone take offence at this cause I like Roddick,he has gone over the line with his argueing with the umpire at times.He has been given a code warning though I have seen him going on and on reagrdless.The umpire in this instance has the power to take a point of him? maybe if that was done he would not do this again?

Posted by moniker in monacles (Go Venus #6) 06/17/2010 at 09:33 PM

the draw for Wimbledon starts at 5 am EST.

Radio Wimbledon will be covering the Draw for the 2010 Championships live online on the Wimbledon Website and through the Wimbledon iPhone app. The Draw starts at 10am on Friday 18 June.

There will also be a live blog of the Draw here on, as well as regular updates on the Wimbledon Twitter and Facebook pages.

Click here to listen to Radio Wimbledon (it will broadcast a review of the 2009 Championships until the draw begins).

Posted by NP 06/17/2010 at 09:36 PM

OK, LA's shooting has been crap. That's gotta stop. So far the team who led in the 1st Q went on to win the game every time, but the good thing is that the team who held the edge in boards also won every game, and the Kobies have been dominant in that respect. They just need to start converting the baskets.

Posted by Joe (Celtics Ring) 06/17/2010 at 09:38 PM

I meant *hater* hehe. I'm watching the game and a movie, too many things at the same time

Posted by Pat frm Philippines... 06/17/2010 at 09:40 PM

thanks moniker...

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/17/2010 at 09:46 PM

oh, np, i was wondering where everybody was!

looks like it's going to be a tough nite - as tough as my day has been, but i was all smiles at the end, so i hope the lakers prevail, too.

let's go already!

Posted by Arun 06/17/2010 at 09:46 PM

tied at 23-all.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/17/2010 at 09:47 PM

now artest is cooking! let's go, it's yours for the taking! fight smart like there ain't tomorrow!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:47 PM

Yay Jack I am loving you!!!

Both teams suck with their shooting tonight

Lakers come on find your inner whatever

Remember the other night when you all Rocked!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Sherlock 06/17/2010 at 09:47 PM

Ray Allen is completely useless.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:49 PM

Pau that sucked honestly

Posted by NP 06/17/2010 at 09:49 PM

sf, I can't believe Kobe is being generous in the very last game of the season.

Posted by Sherlock 06/17/2010 at 09:50 PM

Let Artest and Farmar shoot as often as they like. :)

Posted by Pat frm Philippines... 06/17/2010 at 09:55 PM


boston's rebounds are way off the radar....

Posted by NP 06/17/2010 at 09:55 PM

Lock, frankly this has been a rather dismal series. We never got to see both teams playing well in the same game. Tonite both are sucking.

And Kobe has already missed half his FTs. His FT % had been stellar before tonite.

Posted by Pat frm Philippines... 06/17/2010 at 09:57 PM

dont they know its the final game today???...

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/17/2010 at 09:58 PM

i know, np re: kobe generous.

i like it though that he'as ttacking the rim and getting them in foul trouble (3 on kg now, right?)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:59 PM

Pau heavens sake get it in the round hole


Posted by NP 06/17/2010 at 10:01 PM

And the dumbass refs come out of the woodwork. That should've been a double foul or not called at all. Both Pierce and Fisher were pushing each other with their arms.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/17/2010 at 10:01 PM


those wide open jumpers pau is missing (plus the ft's kobe is missing) is nervous energy.

i don't like it one bit, and i hope it passes from them asap.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9      >>

We are no longer accepting comments for this entry.

<<  FORF On the Doubles  >>

Wild Women of the U.S. Open
Wild Men of the U.S. Open
Roddick's Imperfect World
"It's Kind of a Dance"
Nadal's Kneeds
The Racquet Scientist: Canadian Tennis
The Long and Short of It
This blog has 3693 entries and 1646148 comments.
More Video
Daily Spin