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Wimbledon: 2008 Revisited 06/19/2010 - 8:31 AM

Cover.HardcourtConfidential On the eve of Wimbledon, I thought it might be a nice idea to re-visit the epic Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal final of 2008, just to remind us how hard to wish for a reprise of that battle. But let's look at it through the eyes of Patrick McEnroe, who shares his thoughts on the match in his new book, Hardcourt Confidential: Tales from Twenty Years in the Pro Tennis Trenches.

Stay tuned as we continue our final countdown to Wimbledon. Bobby Chintapalli will be back tomorrow, with some thoughts on the WTA action.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

-- Pete

I intently watched Nadal, and his entourage suffering in the player’s guest box, as the young Spaniard flopped into his chair on the changeover at the end of the fourth set of the Wimbledon final of 2008.

Toni Nadal, Rafa’s coach and uncle, dropped his head to the railing in the player guest box. Rafa’s father Sebastian stood up and he must have told Toni not to do that, because in a moment his brother was bolt upright again. It was a momentary lapse, a show of despair from a straightforward, even- tempered guy who’s anything but obsessed with winning and losing. What he’s obsessed with— and it shows in his nephew’s conduct and words— is character.

101980353 Toni Nadal used to make Rafa play with poor quality equipment,just to show him that he had to buck up and play with the tools at his disposal. He forbade Rafa jamming his feet into his shoes without untying the laces: “Just because you get them for free doesn’t mean you can ruin them; many people work very hard just to be able to afford the shoes you get for free.” He made Rafa sweep the court before and after practice session, even after the boy had become a

Grand Slam champion. And he made Rafa carry his own bags. In 2005, Rafa scored one of the fi rst big wins on hard courts, winning the big Masters 1000 My ESPN booth-mate Cliff Drysdale and I worked that match, and we were scheduled to call the first match of the Cincinnati Masters, fewer than Twenty- four hours after later. We groused and complained about having to be at the airport to catch a flight on a small commuter airline at six in the morning after the Montreal fi nal, and when we got to the airport we were surprised to see we weren’t the first of the tennis people to arrive.

Toni Nadal and Rafa were already standing in line, patiently waiting to check their bags. “Well,” I said to Cliff. “If Rafa can do it, I guess we can, too.” By then, Rafa’s great rival, Roger Federer, was traveling exclusively by private jet; in fact, after Novak Djokovic beat Rafa and Roger, in back- to- back matches at the same Montreal event in 2007, Roger decided to spare Rafa the indignities of the Com- Air check- in line and gave him a lift to the next event in his private jet.

But back to that fourth set changeover. If Toni had surrendered to despair at the end of that fourth set, I could only imagine what Rafa himself felt. But it was impossible to tell. Beads of perspiration dripped from his damp, dark hair as he sat. He looked curiously at peace with himself, not by any means resigned. He held his chin high and gazed off into the distance, as if
he were watching some strange object crawling across the horizon.

He was devoid of visible emotion, although he had plenty of reason to be captive to feelings, most of them bad. Nadal had won the first two sets by identical 6– 4 scores, setting the stage for the one thing no one had expected: a blowout. He came within a hair’s breadth from winning this match in straight sets, 6– 4, 6– 4, 6– 4. But he faltered, ever so slightly, and lost his momentum.

With the help of rain delays, Federer had found a way back into the hunt. He chipped away at Nadal’s huge lead, and won that third set. And not long after that he had stared down one match point and faced another in the tiebreaker.

 Everyone knows how that 2008 final turned out: Nadal finally won it, 9– 7 in the fifth, under light conditions so poor that had it not developed into the greatest tennis match of our time, it might have been called because of darkness before the last ball was hit.I was really curious to find out what Nadal had been thinking on that changeover at the start of the fifth set, and I found out soon enough. He told us in response to the very first question asked at the official post- match press conference. Did you think you’d blown it after failing to convert those two fourth- set match points?

These were his exact words: “I just reminded myself that I am still here. The match is not over, we are at two sets all. When I lost the fourth set I was sitting down, and just say [to myself], ‘Well, I am playing well, I am doing well, I am with very good positive attitude, so gonna continue like this and wait, wait what’s happening. I feeled confident with myself, so for that reason I was confident on the match . . .”

And that, right there, is one of the major keys to Nadal’s success - and a pretty good explanation of how the guy was able to complete what started out as an impossible mission— to catch and eventually eclipse Federer (albeit briefly), and to bring him down on his own turf.

Every player in a tough match, even at a small club tournament, tells himself: Hey, it’s about now. Forget what happened two moments ago, or back in the first set. Stay in the now. Love the game, indulge your passion for it. Players strive mightily to think that way, and it’s a message I’m always trying to drill into my kids. But it may be the hardest of all things to do in this game. And Nadal had the poise, mental discipline, and the deep confidence to not only think but live that mandate in what had to be the darkest hour of his career.

In the aftermath, people inevitably compared the match with its predecessor “the greatest Wimbledon battle of the Open era,” [my brother] John’s clash with Björn Borg in 1980— the five- set war that featured what is now known simply as The Tiebreaker. John won that fourth- set
tiebreaker, 18– 16, saving a handful of match points along the way.

Like everyone else, John expected that his performance in that tiebreaker might break Borg’s steely spirit, but the Swede overcame the devastating effect of that lost breaker to take the match, 8– 6 in the fifth.

The comparison is specious, and if anything it’s unfair to Nadal.In 1980, Borg was already a Wimbledon champion; he was gunning for an outrageous fifth consecutive Wimbledon title, while John had just one major title, earned at the previous year’s US Open. Borg, like Federer (who already had five Wimbledon trophies in 2008), was the more accomplished, experienced favorite.

Sure, you can appreciate the pressure Björn felt as John, an explosive upstart, set about hunting him down. Roger probably experienced the same apprehensions. But could anyone have more confidence to draw on, more reason to believe that he could, and would, win than Borg— or Federer?  John, also the hunter, did not win his ultimate Wimbledon showdown. Rafael Nadal did.

It’s funny, but there’s nothing earth shattering or especially insightful in Nadal’s explanation of what he was thinking. If you’re unfamiliar with tennis, you might even shrug and say it amounted to a string of typical jock clichés.

Some players say something like that, and you think, The guy is full of crap. He’s just talking. . .

But when Nadal says such obvious, simple things, you really believe him. When he says he feels content, even though he lost in the semifi nals of the US Open because “being one of the last four is good, no?,” you believe him because— because you just know it’s coming from his heart, and because he’s right. He makes his point in a way both innocent and preemptive, like a wise child pointing out the obvious to a confused and overly analytical adult.

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Posted by CPM 06/19/2010 at 09:26 PM

OK, enough pot stirring for one night.

I'm off to snort lines off of hookers' chests and laugh at poor people w/Ernie & Marat.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/19/2010 at 09:27 PM

CPM: what does TIA stand for?

I've always thought it was cool that Fed has an eclectic bunch of friends. What on earth he talks to Gwen Stefani about is anybody's guess. But just because he hangs with glamorous people doesn't mean he isn't down to earth. He's not a snob. On a completely different note, he listed "Silence of the Lambs" as one of his favorite films. Maybe he named it because he'd just seen it or something but I thought it was an odd choice for a "favorite" film only because it is so dark and disturbing.

Posted by Pspace 06/19/2010 at 09:27 PM

*off to join CPM, Ernie and Marat*

Later every1.

Posted by CPM 06/19/2010 at 09:29 PM

*wipes off nose*

"Thanks in advance," Annie.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 09:29 PM


yeah..i do understand your point though that there is marketing involved.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/19/2010 at 09:30 PM

Pspace LOL!!!!!!!

Karen Yes I sa a clip of the players party on our sports tv here last night.She is soo natural and to me graceful as well.Though I must admit I am biased lol!

No really she had no make up on,well little if that she has also a inner beauty to me as well.Calm beauty I call it

Posted by Sherlock 06/19/2010 at 09:30 PM

CPM, it was a good reminder to us all. Interesting topic. And you're right, both images are quite manufactured indeed. Yes, the guys are a bit different, but not THAT different. Though the story isn't near as good when we think about it that way. :)

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/19/2010 at 09:31 PM

FWIW I think that tennis is a very elitist sport. Most of us who here who play the game belong to a club (at least in the Caribbean that is how it is). There are no public courts here. Most of the players who are on tour, even those from so-called impoverished backgrounds are members of some club. There are few who have really had tough beginnings and those their stories are well known.

To play tennis you have to have some amount of disposable income. At the league level at which I play, a tennis racquet of the sort that I play with costs at least US$200.00 and it is not even the most expensive. I string my racquet at least 4 times per year and I have 3. Each time I string, it costs me at least US$40.00.

Tennis lessons are US$60.00 per hour and if I want to play practice matches it costs at least 15.00 per hour for court time and that is always dependent on the time of the day that you wish to play. Monday to Friday 5-7 is usually more expensive. Does not matter if it is clay or hard courts. The membership fee is 500.00 per annum. I will not even include the cost of shoes and other gear that people use to play, especially if you are serious about your game, even at the league level.

I cannot imagine what it must be like if you have a child who shows promise to get into the professional leagues. Hiring a coach, spending money on equipment, physio and all the other stuff that comes with professional sports. These players have worked long and hard and their families have invested sometimes the life savings (see Yuri Sharapov), I doubt if we should begrudge them a private jet, an Aston Martin or staying in a 5 star hotel now that they have made it to the big leagues.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/19/2010 at 09:32 PM

@Cupcake, yes it was the DR

Posted by wilson75 06/19/2010 at 09:32 PM

Layjulia: I read somewhere that when Roger was acting as his own agent that the contract he negotiated with Nike during that time wasn't a good one and that it was considerably low given he was the No. 1 player and GS slam winner.

Posted by Pspace 06/19/2010 at 09:35 PM

a tennis racquet of the sort that I play with costs at least US$200.00 and it is not even the most expensive.

Wow! That's a lot of cha-ching to put down on a racquet! I got Fed's K-Factor second hand for $75. Hehe. But generally, you can get very good racquets for less than $100.

Posted by Sherlock 06/19/2010 at 09:35 PM

"And at a certain point, the way some fans talk about them and their virtues"

Amen. Even I get sick of hearing about St. Rafa's freakin' humility. Enough already. And I get equally sick of hearing about St. Roger tracking every player's personal history on his Blackberry, so he knew to congratulate that Turkish player on his first victory. :)

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 09:39 PM


Yes...I read that too. It seems Roger did not trust IMG very much..he did take on with them, then terminated their services and started being his own agent. Then 2006 or 2007, he signed on with them again.

All in all,I don't think Roger lost out on much...compared to other sports, yes..he made less money..but he kept winning and kept himself in a position to attract sponsers.

Posted by Pspace 06/19/2010 at 09:41 PM

Karen, just to offer some contrast to your Tennis playing Philadelphia, I play on free public courts, strings cost me $40 every two months (ideally I would change them more often, but that's as much as I'm willing to spend), balls about $120 per year. So, it's not that bad. I rarely play indoors...usually I just run during the winter...but now that I'm moving to California...12 months of tennis! 5.0 here I come.

Posted by Pspace 06/19/2010 at 09:43 PM

Hehe...I agree, Sherlock. I've heard that Turkish player incident so many times that it makes Roger sound like a conniving ____.

Posted by wilson75 06/19/2010 at 09:43 PM

Ladyjulia: Apparently Nike made amends for the bad contract when Roger re-negotiated a couple of years ago. Of course, Tony Godsick was around by then.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 09:44 PM

Also, here at universities...there are abundant free courts. At ohio state univ where I was earlier..there were a dozen outdoor courts with proper lights(no signing up so people from outside campus could come and play) and indoor courts (which needed signing up).

Just miles from campus, there were free public courts as well.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 06/19/2010 at 09:44 PM


I actually laughed when I first saw the piratas. Now they seem so yesterday.


I promise never to mention the fact that Rafa "is ever so 'umble."

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/19/2010 at 09:46 PM

@Pspace, in Cayman everything is more expensive. When I just started out I used to use the over the counter racquets that you could get for 29.95. They did not require stringing but they were really bad on my arm. I constantly had to wear elbow pads and I went through about 5 racquets before I finally broke down and bought myself a decent one. I tried many different brands as well, including Fed's KSixOne but you have to have good hand/eye coordination to play with that thing and since most balls kept flying past me, that would have been a precious waste of resources.

I am happy with the Wilson that I now use. Similar to what Serena allegedly uses (KSix Blade or some such). I like the weight of it. I think the stringer uses Luxilon but do not quote me on that. I hit really hard and flat (virtually no spin) so I tend to get broken strings a lot. It is also very humid in Cayman (so you know Murray cannot come here to live LOL) and you have to get your racquets strung a little bit more often than most other places.

You are moving to California. I did not know that. So, will you be hooking up with beth and the rest of the TWibe that lives out west?

Posted by Sherlock 06/19/2010 at 09:46 PM

Pspace, he he. No doubt. :)

Lynne, lol. Well, when you put it that way, it's ok. :)

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 09:47 PM


Did they? Hmm...I would credit TG and IMG with that then..not Roger.

Its hard to imagine a person Vs corporation being beneficial to the person..even if that person is at the peak of his sport.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/19/2010 at 09:47 PM

JK, I assumed, maybe incorrectly, that Rafa is probably gifted the home in exchange for having his name associated with the development. But that could be way off base. As CPM said, we don't really know anything about these guys. I still enjoy talking about it though.

The first time I saw rafa (oy, and this goes right to what Karen just said) was in the pro shop at my club on the television. I hadn't been following tennis for awhile and said to the pro "who's that?" and he said "Nadal!" like I should know who this guy is! I was so upset at what he was wearing. So this is what's happened to tennis??? I was apoplectic about the sleeveless shirt and thought he looked like a sweaty brute. That was probably in 06 and it was a couple of more years until I gave him another thought.

And I wrongly assumed that the piratas were a look he brought from Majorca. Didn't realize it was a Nike device until recently and that disappointed me. His new look has totally grown on me. If he went back to the old look it would be weird. Roger always looks classy. I love his classic looks. But I like the bright colors Rafa wears too.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/19/2010 at 09:48 PM

Hey I wish I could afford a Aston Martin? my fave car

Good luck to anyone in their life if they work hard in any career,they deserve it as far as I am concerned.

I never judge a person by their money or material worth anyway.Thats shallow to me.

By the way I am So Over Humble ist not funny lol!

Posted by wilson75 06/19/2010 at 09:48 PM

Lynne: When Rafa was wearing the piratas etc. I didn't mind them but when I saw a clip of Wimbledon '08 earlier this year, I realised how ridiculous he looked. He really looks much better now.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 09:48 PM

"WAS at the peak of his sport"...sorry Rafa!

Posted by CWATC 06/19/2010 at 09:50 PM

CPM: Roger has a natural grace about him, and no question that the type of clothes he wears on court or at PR appearances are going for a "classy" image. If that turns some people off, I don't have a problem with that. IMO, his people just discovered that Roger looks really good in suits, etc. and so try to use that to advantage.

What I find silly is when people confuse a nouveau riche athelete with some actual aristocrat and forget how hard he had to work to get the wealth he now enjoys.

I also think it's overly cynical to assume certain people are in a player's box for "image." When people are famous, they get to meet other famous people and befriend them. Both Anna W. and Gavin Rossdale are well-known tennis fanatics, who play themselves and practice many hours a week. Why is it suprising they would build a friendship with a tennis player?

It is well-known that Gavin and Roger are close friends. When I went to the USO last year, Gavin was there with Roger's dad watching him practice, looking completely nondescript in sweats and was ignored by all.

Posted by thebigapple 06/19/2010 at 09:51 PM

$180,000 a year? That, my dear, is small change. Any MBA from a decent school in their first job on Wall Street with 2 year experience earns that. No way Rafa lives on that.

Ok, most of us may do OK on that.

US$180,000 provides an ordinary lifestyle in a 1 bedroom rented apt in New York, NYC for a regular working Joe. A couple raising two kids in Brooklyn will not have luxuries on that salary. Ok but not splashy.

Come on. Rafa needs more cash than that. Anyway, last US Open I was staying in midtown NYC. My coleague came in one moring grining, he had run into Rafa buying a muffin at the local coffee shop. I thought...hmmm..couldn't he grab eggs at the Ritz where he was staying. Maybe he ran low on money???

Group hug anyway.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/19/2010 at 09:51 PM

Well I hate Rafa's new gear Period.To me he has lost the Stigma I am afraid.

Seeing him win at RG in 2005 thats the Rafa I know and love

I know I should move on though to me now he looks like some contrived athlete in clothes that dosent fit the "aura" of him at all.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 09:52 PM


True..I totally agree with you there. I don't like dictorship by the media about how people who earn money should be spending them.

As long as they are not running over people or their toes..its all perfectly legal and legitimate.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/19/2010 at 09:52 PM

The Big Apple Maybe Uncle Toni didnt give him his proper allowence that day lol!

Posted by wilson75 06/19/2010 at 09:53 PM

Why can't people believe that Roger is just a nice person like they believe Rafa is humble? For the record, I believe both qualities are true of Roger and Rafa.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 06/19/2010 at 09:55 PM

I agree, Roger and Rafa are both nice guys, different, but both likeable guys.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( soderling for sw19 ) 06/19/2010 at 09:56 PM

"Why Nadal has so difficult draw???????
I need a good answer!"

are you yoking, dude?

how difficult is (possibly):

1. unknown

2. blake (washed up, ranked 110 now, and has flopped in recent outings?)

3. hubris (ankle injury, hasnt played since rg 1st round exit)

4. isner/youzhny (ok, this one's tough)

5. soderling/bagdhatis (now you're talking.)

6. murray (ok, serious stuff)

7. fed (ok) /djoker (ok) /a-rod (ok) hewitt (pfft... will be walking on crutches if he makes it to the final)

so, please.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/19/2010 at 09:56 PM

Pspace, are you excited about moving to CA? geez i dont even know where you are now. May I ask why the change? job or just you want to live in california! Sounds great btw. Best of luck!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/19/2010 at 09:57 PM

OMG, pspace, you have to come to IW next year. *giddy*

Posted by thebigapple 06/19/2010 at 09:57 PM

You know, I am not sure that I would actually like either Roger or Rafa in person. Of course, they would have no time for me. Old codger, that's me. In general I do not have such a great time with young athletes...they chat crap, play silly video games, party too much, not very introspective and are fairly shallow. I expect Roger and Rafa to be much the same.

Posted by Pspace 06/19/2010 at 09:58 PM

thebigapple, c' can get more than a 1 bedroom with $180K! I know my friend started out with much less than that, and he had quite the pad (2 bedroom) overlooking Central Park.

Karen, Head makes some cheaper racquets with pretty good feel, and soft on your joints. For example, the LiquidMetal Radical goes for around $60. Anyway, the elbow problems that you have may be more due to strings (Luxilon is horrible for the joints...unless you string it at really low tension), and of course, all amateur players have technique problems.

*really off to contemplate how I can make 180K*

Posted by wilson75 06/19/2010 at 09:58 PM

aussiemarg: I disagree, I think the new clothes suit his image and he's destroying his opponents despite getting rid of the piratas. You think the other players are no longer afraid to play him especially on clay because he chooses to wear a normal length pants and bright colours? He looked pretty invincible in his blue and green outfit @ RG.

Posted by thebigapple 06/19/2010 at 09:58 PM

CPM, enjoy yourself.

Now that Marat...he may be fun.

Posted by Cupcake lurker- On a new chapter 06/19/2010 at 09:58 PM

"Why can't people believe that Roger is just a nice person like they believe Rafa is humble? For the record, I believe both qualities are true of Roger and Rafa."

I agree, To me Roger is a nice guy, and Rafa is a simple person (just in case, in Spanish this a good thing, una persona sencilla.)

Posted by Pspace 06/19/2010 at 10:00 PM

Annie, yeah, am graduating in the next couple of long as I pass my defense ;-). But, yeah, moving to San Fran on a job. Definitely coming to IW next year. Can't wait to play some tennis with some of y'all :-).

Posted by wilson75 06/19/2010 at 10:00 PM

sod's friend: if by hubris you mean Gulbis, he's not playing anymore. Still nursing his injured hamstring.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/19/2010 at 10:01 PM

Annie, it could very well have been an "investment" opportunity along the lines you have described. The model houses which were shown on the website in the article did look really nice. The development had golf courses and I think individual pool and tennis courts for purchasers as well as a club house. It looked really nice. Not even sure if it still went ahead as I have not seen anything else in the news since that article. I think it was about 3 years ago.

As to image, I think most of what we see is cultivated by PR and perpetrated by the players themselves. It makes for a fantastic story line. one of the reasons why the story of the Serbs captured the media in 2008 had a lot to do with their back story. 3 players from a small war torn country. One who was so beautiful and shy and evenly tanned that she made everyone else pale into oblivion when she walked into a room. The fact that she had a wonderful smile and a great personality as well as a big forehand that reminded folks of Steffi Graf only made the media love her even more.

And how about Novak. Doing impressions on the Grand Slam stage of your fellow players. Who would have thunk it? And in prime time. The fans loved it. Players not so much.

And Jelena. Jelena with glitter in her hair. Glitter on her face and glitter all over her body. Jelena who spent more time patting her face with a towel and looking at herself on the jumbotron and having conversations with the fans while the match is in progress. Personality personified.

What happened to these people? Where did they go? Oh man the cruelties of sport?

Posted by Tari 06/19/2010 at 10:02 PM

CWATC: You said it so, so much better than I did. And so much more diplomatically as well.
Beautifully done.

CPM: I apologize for my prickliness.

Karen: Thanks for the reply. We've been blessed, eh? ;-)

Okay now, really...'night, all.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 10:05 PM


I can believe that Roger is a nice person..but it is quite possible that some of the image is built up to attract sponsers.

I don't know if Roger went out to seek Anna Wintour..but he also would have gotten up with Lenny Kravitz by now then (has Serena W gotten together with GreenDay yet btw??)...but famous people who share an interest will meet up.

Btw...Anna Wintour promised PMac that she will put in a mention in Vogue...

But the image at Wimby...the all manufactured. Its an image that is decided over meetings and is done to attract sponsers and build up a player in a certain way.

When Roger signs up for IMG..they will cultivate his image in some way. It dosen't mean Roger is not a nice person..James Blake says he has not changed in the years that he knew him (before being a top player and after) the personality and image are two different things.

Roger and Rafa get a chance to speak at pressers and they let their personalities do their job.Roger is not acting like a straight talker and get labeled as an arrogant to get company sponserships. He just says what he thinks without consequences. Same way, Rafa is not acting like a humble person claiming he has not thought about the ranking to attract sponsers.

My feeling is that in the pressers their real personalities shows up (and when they deal with other players). Its not IMG at work then.

But the 525,000$ watch...the ridiculous outfits at Wimby....they are all manufactured to project the player to the market.

In the end, they are mini-brands to the big corporations. Their contracts will be terribly interesting.

For example, Roger cannot appear in public unless he is clean-shaven. I am quite certain that contributes a bit to the "classic/elegant" image that he is projected by the media to have.

Posted by Cupcake lurker- On a new chapter 06/19/2010 at 10:05 PM

Since Gulbis is out do the players move in the draw or someone just replaces him?

Posted by thebigapple 06/19/2010 at 10:05 PM

Pspace, introduce me to your friend!! And his apartment...overlooking Central are kidding me.

NYC has many rent controlled properties and if you get one of those, never move. Your rent will be $100 until you die. However, if you are renting a market rate 2 bedroom in mid-town, budget at least US$3-5000 per month for a regular apt.

I have a friend that rents a 1 bedroom apt in US$1000 - rent controlled. He has been there for 15 years. He broke off his enagagment when the lady demand they move to a home. Cancelled the wedding 3 weeks before rather than give up his place.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/19/2010 at 10:06 PM

Wilson 75 Well I did say I cant move on lol!

I still love Rafa in the sleveless to me on court he just had a different aura about him to what he wears now.

Pspace Well if thats the case I might just go to IW myself next year only to see you in Rafa's tight fitting tee of course.I was nearly going this year.Had a great deal on the a/fare though Peters work schedule put paid to that.

Jenn and Beth have always said to me to come over.You never know.

Posted by CPM 06/19/2010 at 10:10 PM


I'm a big fan of David Foster Wallace's essays on tennis, and I think the way he closed "Tracy Austin Broke My Heart" was pretty spot-on. Paraphrasing, he said something to the effect of: To think in platitutdes--to think without all that introspection we normally take to be a sign of 'depth' in a person--isn't the price exceptional athletes pay for their gift; it's the very substance of that gift.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/19/2010 at 10:10 PM

OK folks it has been a pleasure chatting with all of you tonight. Reminds me of the TW of the past. Must go and get some lie down now as have been here for quite a bit.

Take care and I hope everyone's faves does well at Wimbledon. The bestest tournament in the whole wide world. LOL

Good night all.

Posted by Cupcake lurker- On a new chapter 06/19/2010 at 10:13 PM

JK and Annie, He bought it, he is even suppose to go to some golf "tournament" that they're having this year. 3 years wow, where was I when this was happening, I only found out a few months ago while I was back home and saw it on the newspaper.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/19/2010 at 10:14 PM

Pspace: Congrats, and good luck on the defense. I'm sure you will nail it. And so glad you'll be coming to IW. As rafadoc would say, "Squeeeee" - you should look up Cnote in SF. Boy oh boy she can show you that town like you have never seen it.

JK: We saw the same article about the DR development. And nothing since. wow. maybe it's a victim of this awful economy and the real estate down turn. Lots of luxury homes all over the place going begging.

And just to show that i can talk about players not named nadal or federer, I really hope HRH decides against attending wimby. fat chance right? But that kind of added pressure is the last thing Muzz needs. Doesn't she think about stuff like that? But as a British subject, the last thing andy murray is going to do is have his PR guy call the palace...yikes. Hope he plays well.

And Nole needs some love. Saw some pics of him hamming it up this week in...eek, a place I can't pronounce. He is so great for the game. I hope he does well too.

Here's hoping all the players play well. And thankfully we have hawkeye now so we won't have any horrendous line calls robbing anyone of a victory. I'm much more interested in the tenny than in WC though.

Posted by thebigapple 06/19/2010 at 10:14 PM

Serious Pspace, if your friend is overlooking Central Park and his apt is not rent controlled - he is paying some serious money!

No matter where he started, he is doing well now. Or he is using all his money to pay rent.

15 years ago I was pay US$800 per month for 4th floor walk-up studio that looked out unto a brickwall in the East Village.

15 years my buddy bought a studio in the West Village for $50,000. This was about 500 square feet (50 sq meters I think). Tiny. He sold it and move out of the city. In 2008, before the crisis, he showed me a real estate advert offering this same apartment for US$500,000.00. What do you think it rents for?

Posted by sod'sfriend ( soderling for sw19 ) 06/19/2010 at 10:15 PM


thanks for the info - there goes the "tough" draw.

a. i think the toughest quarter must be the roddick/djoker quarter because it contains players with strong grasscourt pedigree, and others who are on a recent run...

-hewitt... old faithful, halle champ - check

-fish... on a nice semi-run since rg - check

-llodra... won something today being coached by "half-a-man" amelie (yum) - check

-cilic... mature. quarter-finalist last time? - check

-kohlschriber... dangerous on any given day - check

-monfils... ok, he ain't all there now, but - check

-mayer (leonardo)... big-hitting, clever rising star - check.

b. rafa/soderling quarter comes next

c. murray/dasco/tsonga/querrey

d. fed/kolya/stan/tipsy

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/19/2010 at 10:15 PM

Good night Karen

Posted by Pspace 06/19/2010 at 10:16 PM

thebigapple, yeah, he was spending around $3500 on rent. Ok, maybe his share was around $2500 with the rest picked up by his girlfriend. But, surely a guy making $18000 can drop $3500 a month on rent? What else do you need money for :-).

Posted by CWATC 06/19/2010 at 10:16 PM

Moving on from Prince Roger, St. Roger, etc., can I just say that Roger's latest presser is one of the reasons I like him so much as an athlete? Admits he's been playing bad since AO, but says despite that, and twins, and age "the fires still burn within and my love for tennis is there still." He always speaks of his sport with a romantic love.

And that ain't image, that's Rog.

Posted by thebigapple 06/19/2010 at 10:16 PM

CPM, ahaha!! Now I know why I am such a massive loser.

Too much second guessing and thinking stupid things. OK, if I change that then I may be able to realize my potential.

Posted by CPM 06/19/2010 at 10:17 PM


I think people in marketing & what-not have to work with what they have in front of them, right? Nadal ain't never gonna be have the appeal that Federer has, and vice versa. The narratives that get woven around these guys aren't just natural by-products of who they are, I think -- but they're not completely arbitrary, either. And their respective attitudes are both, frankly, too weird to be put-ons: Federer is clearly animated by his own place in tennis history, which in most people would look like monomania; and Nadal's singular focus on what sound to all the world like the worst kind of cliches might be mistaken in other contexts for ... uh, call it simplicity.

But the rarefied airs of elite sports competition seems to require a quasi-delusional mind-frame. Need proof? Check out Serena's Twitter feed sometime.

Posted by CPM 06/19/2010 at 10:20 PM


When it comes time to defend: just remember, they're all out to get you. Every last one of them. Every question is a trap, every compliment is back-handed, and every criticism is personally-motivated.

Come with knives out and guns blazing, and ... well, it'll likely be a disaster, but it'd make for a hell of a story some day.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 10:21 PM


"But the rarefied airs of elite sports competition seems to require a quasi-delusional mind-frame."

Absolutely true!!! Infact, +1000 to that...

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 10:22 PM


"When it comes time to defend: just remember, they're all out to get you. Every last one of them. Every question is a trap, every compliment is back-handed, and every criticism is personally-motivated. "

he he...that's a healthy dose of cynicism..

Posted by CPM 06/19/2010 at 10:23 PM


Yeah -- turns out the only thing standing between me & tennis superstardom was my habit of neurotic self-interrogation.

Nothing at all to do with the powder-puff serve, the shanktastic FH, the absent BH, the suspect movement, the terrible work ethic, ...

Posted by wilson75 06/19/2010 at 10:24 PM

Ladyjulia: When did Roger start to wear special outfits for Wimbledon, 2005 or 6? I think the outfits good or bad, is Roger's way of bringing attention to the sport. Of course, it's good marketing tool for Nike but I believe Roger sees it as all in good fun and nothing to take serious. Unfortunately some people including the media feel that he's being a pompous a** and going overboard. Wertheim complains about it all the time and along with Pete feel that Roger has allowed Nike to takeover his image and long for the days when he was looking scruffy and wearing baggy clothes. Now Wertheim and others are complaining about Nadal wearing a $500,000 watch. I don't have a problem with the
Rafa's watch or Roger's wimby clothes both bring much needed attention to the sport.

Posted by thebigapple 06/19/2010 at 10:30 PM

CPM, me too. Me too.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 10:30 PM


Infact, Federer reads up everything written up about him...Mirka says he is crazy to do that...but he does it nevertheless. But there is some he says "I read everything when I win, and nothing when I lose".

Monomania would describe it well...:-)

On that note, I think it actually helped him when he wasn't winning in his early years. He was known for his inconsistency..and that was the theme about which articles were written about him all the time. Pretty sure he read up those.

Seems like he wanted the last word on that.

All articles only harp on the consistency now...:-)

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 10:32 PM


Infact, Federer reads up everything written up about him...Mirka says he is crazy to do that...but he does it nevertheless. But there is some he says "I read everything when I win, and nothing when I lose".

Monomania would describe it well...:-)

On that note, I think it actually helped him when he wasn't winning in his early years. He was known for his inconsistency..and that was the theme about which articles were written about him all the time. Pretty sure he read up those.

Seems like he wanted the last word on that.

All articles only harp on the consistency now...:-)

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/19/2010 at 10:33 PM

tba: I think you're misreading my intent in that post about rafa's money. All i was reporting was what i read in a very respected business journal. The 180K his father has arranged for him is probably just a living allowance. That's 15K a month fun money. His actual living costs and what he needs to run the Nadal machine is vastly more than that. In the hundreds of thousands a year at least. That's why I thought the whole thing kind of strange. It's obvious from all reports that there's a fricking fortune in that family. Rafa earns at least 20 million a year in endorsements and it's growing all the time. that's why i thought that 180K allowance figure was strange, no?

Back in 1983-85 I had a 1BR apt. on West 69th St. for $850 a month. about the same size as your friends place in the village. My guess is your friends old apt is renting for $2200 a month. Am I close?

My husband was telling me tonight that the Trump high-rise luxury apartment building in White Plains NY, 30 minutes from NYC, is only 30% occupied. And it's been finished for a couple of years now. This might be the right time for folks to invest in NYC area real estate. If they can.

Posted by Ruth 06/19/2010 at 10:34 PM

Hi, Annie, if you're still's an excerpt from one of the answers to the dreads/dread locks vs locks question from a contributor on

++Supposedly the term "dreads" came from Europeans seeing the hair of Rastas and exclaiming, "Their hair looks dreadful!!"

Thus the falling away from using dreadlocks, to dreds, to locks, to locs, etc.++

I'm sure that was what my older son meant when he told me about 20 + years ago that he preferred that I not refer to him as having "dreadlocks" since the word "dread" had a negative connotation. He preferred simply "locks." I never questioned his preference and just went along with his wishes. :) However, I'm sure that a lot of people with locks or locs don't mind or object to the use of the terms "dreads" and "dreadlocks."

Posted by Joe ( Rafa Wimby 2) 06/19/2010 at 10:35 PM

Sod'sfriend, I'm not *yoking* dude

Bad answer from you

so please......

Posted by wilson75 06/19/2010 at 10:37 PM

I just saw NBC's promo for Wimbledon- "Will Roger Federer win a record-tying seventh title at Wimbledon?" (or something like that)

My answer to that question: I hope so.

Posted by thebigapple 06/19/2010 at 10:38 PM

Annie, pretty much on the money.

Yes, it is a good time to invest in real estate in NYC. Of course if you can find the cash.

Anyway, CPM and I are about to become rich... If we can get our Nike and IMG contracts organised in time. We may be able to do some buying. I come!

Oh CPM? He is spending his on snorting lines.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 10:39 PM


Sure...Roger sees it as good fun.

Jon W and Pete are within their rights to crticize it i think...besides, it makes fodder for converstations if they criticize it. They are calling attention to the very fact that Roger is wearing something and Rafa a 500,000$ purpose achieved i think.

I don't think Jon W called him a pompous a-- for wearing that jacket...he only questioned why his agent has a job LOL.

Personally, I think the cardigan was great..somehow it seemed very fitting for the trophy ceremony in the era had (supposedly) ended at that moment...or that was the story running at that time..and the cardigan and trousers fit right in with the old fading away. I thought it made a great story...even though as a Fed KAD, it killed me..but I cannot resist a good story :-)

Posted by sod'sfriend ( soderling for sw19 ) 06/19/2010 at 10:40 PM


rendezvous, let's hope rafa and le sod make it to the quarters and face each other again.

i'm itching for a fight, can you tell?

fedal crush is the best payday for a non-fedal. instant cred. instant fame. we crave it.

makes our day any day!

Posted by Pspace 06/19/2010 at 10:41 PM

Cheers, CPM. Will keep that in mind at my defense. I guess a lot of it depends on the field. We computer science ppl are usually a pretty laid back bunch, so most questions are in the spirit of inquiry.

wilson, Fed had this curious response when asked about the possibility of Wimby #7:

"What I want to experience again is lifting the trophy," he said. "I want to feel the atmosphere, the great crowds here. If No 7 comes along that's great, but I don't need to be on the same level with Pete. Beating every record Pete set is not my goal. He's a good friend. It's not the ultimate drive for me."

After RG, I have decided to give up psycho-analyzing Federer. I have no idea what goes through his brain. Thought he would come out flat in Oz, and he goes and wins it. Then, I thought he would be supermotivated for RG and he sleepwalks through 75% of the clay season.

Posted by CPM 06/19/2010 at 10:41 PM


Snorting lines w/Maratski is so 9:26. I've actually started a charitable foundation since then. We build a lot of schools, a lot of community outreach -- mostly modeling schools, and we're primarily targeting the poor unfortunate girls running around Brazilian beaches without so much as a shirt on their backs.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 10:43 PM

CPM and thebigapple,


Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/19/2010 at 10:44 PM

sods friend be careful what you wish for ok lol!

Who knows neither of them might not make it

{secretly getting my dolls prepared}

Posted by Master Ace 06/19/2010 at 10:44 PM

Wilson 75,
Saw that same NBC promo on Roger and number 7 as McDowell and Johnson leading by 3 strokes over Woods(who shot 66 to get back in contention) and Els.

Posted by CPM 06/19/2010 at 10:45 PM


Wait, the 'spirit of inquiry' is different from the 'spirit of crushing your opponents and seeing them humiliated in public'? I've been misled.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 10:46 PM

Since when did Fed stop speaking his mind???? He dosen't want to win 7th Wimby??? He dosen't want to break every record of Pete;s???

Is this what having kids does? He thinks there is some other purpose to his life now????

Before anyone attacks me...I am kidding...but I think Fed has been Rafalized.

Posted by thebigapple 06/19/2010 at 10:47 PM

CPM, the big hearted. ...CPM, man with the golden gun!

If you need help, I standy read for duty. My heart, actually all of me, goes out to the needy and unloved.

Posted by Joe ( Rafa Wimby 2) 06/19/2010 at 10:47 PM


I can tell

I'd love to see Rafa and Sod make it to the quarters and face each other again


Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/19/2010 at 10:47 PM

Master Ace Thanks I caught your message to me on the other post regarding Bobbys post

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 10:47 PM


the LOL was for CPM and thebigapple about their self-inquiry hampering their quest for Pete Sampras's records.

Posted by CPM 06/19/2010 at 10:48 PM

I'm kind of shocked NBC isn't touting Roddick a bit. And for once, it'd be not entirely undeserved!

Posted by wilson75 06/19/2010 at 10:48 PM

ladyjulia: Roger says he doesn't read what that the media says about himanymore because he doesn't have the time and he prefers not read articles because he likes to remain positive and that what is written sometimes tends to be negative. But sometimes he finds out what the media writes about him from friends who come to him concerned after they read them. In fact he didn't now about the uproar in the media, after he cried at AO '09 until some weeks after he returned home from vacation.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/19/2010 at 10:50 PM

Lady Julia Rafalised lol!

Gee Roger and Rafa havent faced each other in a final of Wimby since that epic 2008

Rafa hasnt played much on grass in 2 years remember

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 10:50 PM


True...maybe he dosen't have that much time now...maybe that is why he isn't winning as much anymore???

I mean winning post-AO?

Posted by CL 06/19/2010 at 10:50 PM

This is so cool...if OT...Phil Mickelson is channeling Arnold Palmer circa 1960 or 70 something...scrambling around on the rocks and seaweed at Pebble Beach. Really, all he needs it the golden retriever that helped Ahhhnie and it would be deja vu all over again.

Posted by CPM 06/19/2010 at 10:50 PM

Pete Sampras' record? Small potatoes.

I'd be rounding Graf's records if it weren't for my own abyssal depth of thought & feeling.

Posted by thebigapple 06/19/2010 at 10:51 PM

LadyJ...thanks for your support. That is what makes it worthwhile.

(CPM, fans already! I am so excited for us! We must send LadyJ a signed racket or headband)

Posted by rudy3 (proud Rafaelite since 2005) 06/19/2010 at 10:51 PM

*Warning* Fangirl gush coming up...

I went to IW this year...and saw Rafa in the flesh for the first time.
What struck me about him the most...he has an aura about him that is devestating. He is taller than I thought he was, his shoulders more broad, his feet are bigger, his smile is more electric, pictures do not do him justice. And even though he wore those horrid brown diagonal plaid shorts...he looked awesome.
It was an amazing experience I wanted to have for 5 years. and it finally came to pass. At 1st i was mad at Nike, but when I got there, it didn't matter, because even though they put Rafa in something resembling my grandmother's couch, it didn't matter.

I'm going back next year..already sawing for the trip.

Also note that Feli and Nando are spectacularly handsome as well, but they don't have the aura.

Posted by CPM 06/19/2010 at 10:53 PM


It's all fun and games now, but when the TBAKADs and CPMKADs make the Fedal wars look like a light skirmish before Gettysburg ... well, that's gonna be awesome. I'm not even gonna lie.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( soderling for sw19 ) 06/19/2010 at 10:53 PM

cheers brother joe. i'm glad you're not uptight as some others about your man.

lawd save me! you and your dolls again?! your socceroos did well today, no? they drew 1-1 with 10 men against an african team that is considered among the best on that continent, no?

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/19/2010 at 10:55 PM

Ruth: heehee, thanks for the backstory about "dreadlocks" - that sounds completely plausible about how they got their name. JK provided more info earlier. About the 12 tribes and wearing their hair unshorn etc. I've always like the term "dreads" and kind of thought it had a "badass" quality about it but I get what your son is saying. You said he has them. For how long?

And JK has just gone beddie bye but wanted to thank her for the tidbit about Roger having to appear in public clean-shaven as per his Gillette contract. It makes perfect sense and of course it helps add to his image of being sophisticated and pulled together. That seems restrictive to me but he's probably used to it and he gets paid handsomely to do it.

What I don't like about Rafa and this half million dollar watch is that I don't think it's a good match up. The whole concept of it turns me off. You'll notice that Rafa isn't doing commercials or print ads for this thing. He would never plunk down that kind of money for a watch. Who would? a Saudi prince maybe. Rafa is essentially a mannequin for the watch. To give it exposure and PR. That's a bit different from endorsing the watch. If that makes any sense.

Posted by thebigapple 06/19/2010 at 10:56 PM

Oh, I saw Rafa two weeks ago in Paris. He looked like a normal guy athlete. No aura...but it was rainy so maybe he left his halo in the locker room.

Rudy3, are you feverish?

Posted by Tic 06/19/2010 at 10:56 PM

For Aston Martin afficionados: judging by paparazzi pics, Nadal drives Kia mainly during summer, to ferry friends to the beach, while AM is for going about town or drive to the golf course.

Here's Aston serving as changing booth for golfing in Mallorca between Madrid Masters and RG. Just check out that beauty of a car:

As to the discussion above, the guy is obviously old money, and quite relaxed about it.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/19/2010 at 10:57 PM

sods friend Yes colour me surprise with the result

Question why do we have people sent off in our matches

We are now on some kind of mission

2 match,2 people sent off

Is this a new world cup record we are looking at? lol!

We could end up with some type of trophy for that alone lol!

I do have to get my dolls in order,just saying

Posted by CL 06/19/2010 at 10:57 PM

Well, if Fed most want to lift the trophy and feel that feeling again, then the records will take care of themselves. But sometimes I do think Fed likes to play mind games a bit...not with his opponents so much...but with the press. They ask the same qs over and over and after a while I sense his brain trying to sgueegee out a new way of saying the same thing. And wondering what prepositional phrase the press and the fans...will try and deconstruct.

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