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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 thebigapple 06/19/2010 at 10:58 PM

CPM, lol. We will try to encourage peace and harmony. Send out Brazilian emissaries (male and female) to keep everyone mellow.

Anyway, I am off to bed.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 10:58 PM

CPM..hmmm..its the sport's loss in that case.

thebigapple...i don't care too much for the signing..but the racket will be great! And its not that i would care about your signature because its you...its just that I don't care for anyone's signature..most of them are, frankly, illegible and ugly. And that goes for Roger too..

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/19/2010 at 10:59 PM

Rudy 3 Passing you a fan lol!

Well Rafa has certainly changed from when I first saw him in 2005 till now

Posted by Joe ( Rafa Wimby 2) 06/19/2010 at 10:59 PM

Sod'sfriend, I'm just taking care to my man.......
I'm watching *War of the Worlds*, interesting

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/19/2010 at 10:59 PM

tba: you really don't like rafa do you? every time you mention him your posts drip of contempt. I have no problem with it btw. Because you don't take potshots at his fans. thank you for that.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 11:01 PM

CL...good point. Very likely.

Posted by CWATC 06/19/2010 at 11:03 PM

Thank goodness Roger said that. The media have bought into this fetishizing of records, especially Pete's records which is way OTT. Enough already.

Night all, it's been fun :)

Posted by wilson75 06/19/2010 at 11:04 PM

Master Ace: yeah, I'm watching the golf too. NBC really want Mickelson to win. I have to say I'm not a fan, I get a fake vibe from him.

BTW: I'm loving your moniker of Wimbledon.

Pspace: I think Roger has come to realisation that he's not going to win every tournament he enters and is peace with that. But that doesn't mean he's not going to try to win Wimbledon. Just if he loses, he's fine with that. I read another article today where he says that if loses Wimbledon and goes down to No. 5, it wont be the end of the world, he will continue to play because he loves playing. I think since breaking the record and becoming a father he's become more mellow and philosophical about his losses. They don't seem to hurt as much.

Posted by Joe ( Rafa Wimby 2) 06/19/2010 at 11:06 PM

Annie, it's better don't put too much attention to that kind of post, they are not very interesting

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 11:07 PM

Well,Sampras loves to gush on about Roger...he never does get tired does he??/

""Knowing Roger, he's not the sort of person who will walk down the street hoping that people will be pointing and saying, 'that's the greatest tennis player of all time'. Yes, he likes winning Wimbledon titles, but this isn't about his ego.

"He lets his racket do the talking. He loves his tennis. He's a humble, under-stated man," said Sampras.

"We got to know each other pretty well in Asia – there was a connection. We developed a great friendship. We keep in touch, and we talk about tennis we talk and about life. Our personalities are quite similar; we're both quite dry, quite reserved," said Sampras.

"Roger is also a bit of a prankster. That's a side of Roger that people don't really see. He's a classy guy, a great champion.""

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 06/19/2010 at 11:07 PM

Well, thanks for an entertaining evening, guys ... it's been great fun. Night all.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/19/2010 at 11:10 PM

Joe That was a quick change of moniker lol!

Look everybody is not going to like Rafa,Roger etc

Thats just par for the course

Though I know most Roger fans admire Rafa for his achievements in this game

Also that works both ways as well.

As a fan of tennis not to admire both these outstanding athletes is beyond my comprehension

Posted by sod'sfriend ( soderling for sw19 ) 06/19/2010 at 11:11 PM

am,
i did not watch the match (dang to work) - and also i'm not that into soccer, but espn-news does their rolling highlights so often, you can't hardly miss any tourney highlights if you care to know.

good luck the rest of the way.

team usa was robbed yesterday by a hallucinating referee yesterday.

andy roddick put it best: "in fact, i understand the rules of soccer so well that i know if 2 slovenia players maul a usa player, the foul is called against the usa player," and a perfect goal denied.

'nuff said!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/19/2010 at 11:11 PM

Good night Lynne

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/19/2010 at 11:13 PM

Fed and his Wimbledon gold. Ugh. Someone needs to shut that down. I thought this Wintour had exquisite fashion taste or something? Doesn't she advise? Cripes, just go for some simple red trim. And that RF logo? I've always thought it looked like something often a cheesy soap opera or maybe something you'd see on the cast-iron gate at the end of the driveway of some rapper's ten million dollar crib.

The huge irony of Federer's brand/image -- and maybe the friends he cultivates -- is its probably the surest tip off that he's really not of the landed gentry. Conversely, Rafa's humble hard-working/man-of-the-people image might be the one you'd project if you wished to deflect interest in your parents' wealth or privileged background.

Oh well. They both seem like good sports, and ultimately that's all that matters.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 11:13 PM

"andy roddick put it best: "in fact, i understand the rules of soccer so well that i know if 2 slovenia players maul a usa player, the foul is called against the usa player," and a perfect goal denied."

LOL!

Roddick should be commentating at soccer, tennis and practically every event that takes place in this universe!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/19/2010 at 11:14 PM

sods friend I am not that into soccer myself really

Though if someone mentions Basketball thats a different story lol!

Yay Lakers.I am still over the moon cant help myself.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/19/2010 at 11:14 PM

I really wish there was a delete button on this blog. Cus the second i posted that i regretted it. It's been a lovely evening and i wasn't trying to start something. It's the kind of thing i'd say to tba if we were in my living room talking about the players.

rudy3: well, i was at IW for the first time too and had the exact same reaction as you. We probably were standing within a couple of feet of each other at some point. or sitting on the bleachers by the practice courts. I tried to get to see Federer practice because I was curious if I'd think the same about him, being a divine being and all that, but the crush of fans was too big. I think Roger drew more fans to the practice courts. But when rafa was playing dubs on that smaller stadium, the crush of people trying to get in was insane.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( soderling for sw19 ) 06/19/2010 at 11:15 PM

yep, ladyjulia. that randy dude is smart, and gives the best interviews, too!

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeee!!!/We gonna see, no?) 06/19/2010 at 11:15 PM

Annie - FWIW, I also have locks and, like Ruth's son, prefer that term to "dreadlocks" for the reasons mentioned. :)

Also? R.I.P., Manute Bol. An amazing man gone way too soon.

Posted by Master Ace 06/19/2010 at 11:15 PM

Wilson75,
Will Dustin Johnson be able to hang on to his 3 stroke lead to win the USGA? Will McDowell or Woods make a charge at him?

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/19/2010 at 11:19 PM

that quote from Fed about not being obsessed with pete's records was gold. i really think fatherhood agrees with him. it's wonderful!

Posted by sod'sfriend ( soderling for sw19 ) 06/19/2010 at 11:21 PM

lakers are the best.

i'm hoping that the org will do what is necessary to maintain the team (healthwise and revamp through trades, etc.) to keep their edge for the next 3 seasons as they run the board.

other teams sure have something to say about "running the board," and this is why we can't relax.

flove kobe, pau, and the whole crew muchos!

Posted by wilson75 06/19/2010 at 11:22 PM

Master Ace: I'm not sure. Too many times, the leader falls apart in the final round. I think Tiger will try to make a run for the title but his form hasn't good at the majors since coming back from knee surgery. I was hoping Ryo Ishiaka could keep up with the leaders I like his play, but it looks like he's lost it. We just have to see what happens tomorrow.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/19/2010 at 11:24 PM

sblily: noted. locks it is.

rudy3: Squeeee! more great people to meet next year! where did you stay this year? the Hyatt I presume ;)

Posted by Joe ( Rafa Wimby 2) 06/19/2010 at 11:24 PM

AM, I know that not everybody likes Federer or Nadal but I don't understand why someones always are trying to attack one or the other one, it sounds very annoying
Some Federer fans are great but others...... they don't stop , it could be a revenge? hehehe

Posted by wilson75 06/19/2010 at 11:26 PM

Annie: I think having children has made Roger realise that there's more to life than winning titles and breaking records. It helps that he has broken the GS record.

Posted by ladyjulia 06/19/2010 at 11:31 PM

Roddick on Wimyb 2009:

On whether he wanted to put the 2009 Wimbledon behind him: “I mean, I’ve been asked this question about 86,000 times since last year. But ‘put behind you,’ I don’t know exactly what that means. I’m always going to remember it. You don’t Jedi mind trick yourself into making it go away.”

Posted by rudy3 (proud Rafaelite since 2005) 06/19/2010 at 11:31 PM

lol! the IW Hyatt!! I can't even afford the breakfast there. Im a teacher, with a 30 yr old money pit house...I'm a Holiday Inn kind of gal.

Posted by Pspace 06/19/2010 at 11:32 PM

Well, personally, I don't much care for this current version of Federer. It just smacks of disinterest. Not that I blame him or anything...but I just feel like he goes into "whatever" mode too often...not trying to win the match, but just playing whatever he feels like. Ok...if I had 16 slams, many millions of dollars, and family etc., I wouldn't get out of bed in the morning. Nevertheless, Roger is held to a higher standard :-).

Posted by wilson75 06/19/2010 at 11:33 PM

"AM, I know that not everybody likes Federer or Nadal but I don't understand why someones always are trying to attack one or the other one, it sounds very annoying"

Joe: I can't understand either. You would think that both groups of fans would follow Rafa's and Roger's example and be civil and respectful to each other. I can't see how Federer fans could hate Rafa after what he did after the trophy ceremony at AO last year and both always stick up for each other in the press.

Posted by observer (Go Roger, Maria and the USA) 06/19/2010 at 11:35 PM

Karen, thanks for the information about veetle and TC. Unfortunately the internet here is wonky and streams can be problematic... sometimes I get to see one point a game, sometimes it plays normally with minimal pauses. Either way, much appreciated.

I must be the only person in the world that loved the gold touches put on the Nike Wimbledon kits for last year. Federer's shirt was awesome... shoes too. Other players had a little gold in their outfits too, right? Maria had beige lines on her dress that went around her neck and down to the chest (hard to describe, and they were barely visible, but still), and maybe other players had gold in their shoes. It's a perfect look because it goes great with the green courts and it's not an obnoxious contrast like it is when the Adidas players have black stripes on their sleeve, or Andy R's big black stripe on his Lacoste shirt.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( soderling for sw19 ) 06/19/2010 at 11:38 PM

and btw i drive a 06 chevy avalanche. eats gas like water, but i luv it muchos.

Posted by Joe ( Rafa Wimby 2) 06/19/2010 at 11:39 PM

A profesional sport guy never resigns to win titles. Roger still is playing because he wants to win. The problem is that he is a human been and for that reason it's very, very difficult to keep playing great for years and every tournament. It's part of the game but he'll be back

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/19/2010 at 11:40 PM

Pspace -- I feel the same way. Not a huge fan of it, either, but as you said, the man's certainly entitled to take it easy. (I would think just being the face or spokesman for the sport would be wearing.)

I wonder if he was running on fumes of "16" and the twins throughout the USO and AO, and it all caught up to him after the latter. But who knows.

It'll be interesting to see how he handles his first big test at Wimby, however soon or late that comes.

Posted by observer (Go Roger, Maria and the USA) 06/19/2010 at 11:43 PM

Also, while we're talking about players' images and the spark that drew us to our favorite players... I mentioned earlier that W 2004 was the tournament that did it for me for Maria and Roger. There's no doubt that's true for Maria--I am only a few months older than she is, so even though I am a big Serena (and Venus, fwiw) fan, the victory really inspired me. Her backstory, personality, especially her on-court fight-to-the-death spirit, and the fact that she could have cashed out and been a model as soon as she won that tournament instead of continuing to put in the hard work, even through a period of maybe insurmountable doubt... yeah, I'm hooked.

But Roger hadn't sold me yet at W 2004. I started to like him... but the long hair and the fact that his brattish attitude was still in commentator's recent memories were no-gos for me for a while... he really did become the greatest champion ever... but it took a while. The magnanimous nature, walking the fine line between honesty and politeness when discussing the opponents he repeatedly takes to the woodshed... the stories about how great of a person he is in private... now I'm hooked but I guess it took a while for his personality + Nike's marketing agenda to really bring me in.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/19/2010 at 11:44 PM

Joe: my impression is that Rafa rubs some Fed fans the wrong way. And they had Federer all to themselves at the top of the game for a long time. There may be a wee bit of resentment there :) But Fed and Rafa like each other alot so it mystifies me that their fans can't get along better. There are plenty of records and titles to go around.

Posted by wilson75 06/19/2010 at 11:45 PM

Pspace: I don't think he is disinterested, just in a new phase in his career. He knows that he can't win every title but I'm sure he still prefers to win rather than lose. I think he feels he's had a good career and no longer wants to be stressed about having to win all the time, just enjoy playing. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he will be disappointed if he doesn't win Wimbledon this year but if he loses its not a big deal for him anymore. After Madrid, he basically said he didn't understand why the media was getting negative about him losing and that now is the time to relax enjoy the rest of career without all that pressure.

Posted by Joe ( Rafa Wimby 2) 06/19/2010 at 11:46 PM

wilson 75, you got it! what Rafa did in AO is something great. He showed to be a good athlete but at the same time a great partner and friend

Posted by sod'sfriend ( soderling for sw19 ) 06/19/2010 at 11:47 PM

annie vamos, u the peacemaker, eh? ;)

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/19/2010 at 11:47 PM

It's been really fun guys. Thanks for a fun evening. I'm off to pick up my daughter from the prom. I'm dying to meet her date who is 6'6" and 315pounds of Albanian bear (according to her). Hoping to get a pic!

Posted by Joe ( Rafa Wimby 2) 06/19/2010 at 11:51 PM

Annie, I agree with your comment too

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/19/2010 at 11:52 PM

I love when Rafa fans wonder why we all can't get along and then wonder why Fed fans can be so mean or why some Fed fans are wired the way they are -- poor losers apparently being the latest reason. Anyway, nothing spells Fedal impartiality quite like that.

Ah well ...

Posted by Joe ( Rafa Wimby 2) 06/19/2010 at 11:54 PM

Poor losers?

Ah well....

Posted by leigh 06/20/2010 at 12:00 AM

I remember Fed saying in an interview when Rafa became #1 in '08 that if it had to be anyone, he was
happy it was Rafa because he felt Rafa deserved it.
I do think Fed respects Rafa's work ethic on and off the court.

Posted by Joe ( Rafa Wimby 2) 06/20/2010 at 12:03 AM

No more comments for today
nite everyone, enjoy the rest of the weekend

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/20/2010 at 12:37 AM

SI experts picks. Don't know if someone already posted it.

http://tinyurl.com/27qq6b6

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/20/2010 at 12:38 AM

Sod's friend: me the peacemaker? Not all the time apparently..

Action Flunky: i honestly don't know how my post could have been interpreted that way. Not wanting to share the top of the mountain does not equal poor loser. As long as both men are still playing it's going to be like this. Is that more accurate.

Posted by Mela 06/20/2010 at 12:58 AM

And I love when fed fans don't bother to read posts properly. Not.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/20/2010 at 01:08 AM

Hey, everyone. :)

*kisses Wimbledon 2008 DVD* Hope we get a final match as good as this and as good as 2009 this time out! Actually most of the recent finals have been entertaining, going back to 2001.

The thing that sticks in my mind most now are the supporters at the end - Papa Nadal clapping Federer, Mirka and Papa Fed reaching out to congratulate Rafa. That was magic.

Now...am I going to brave reading the comments? :)

Congrats to Henin, Stakhovsky, Llodra and Makarova fans, and commiserations to Tipsy, Azarenka, GGL and Petkovic fans.

Also I am properly that Safina is still suffering from that back problem and that MJMS is out of Wimbledon too.

Posted by Or 06/20/2010 at 01:18 AM

Regarding Rafa and the money - I wonder when the article about him getting an allowence came out. What was true 2 years ago can be completely different now. There's a difference between 22 and 24, and Rafa grew up so much in that time.

As for 'living at home' - from what I know he has a whole unit on the ground of his parents house, he doesn't live in his boyhood room anymore.

Posted by zenggi 06/20/2010 at 02:39 AM

Good morning,

Just to clarify something to our American TW friends. In Europe you DON'T TALK about money. It's a big No-No. People go to great lengths to hide what one has and the rest of the world has to guess.

And Ernie is injured!. All that potential to be seen...

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/20/2010 at 02:50 AM

Hello zenggi! Thanks so much for the reports. Feel for Petkovic, hope she can learn how to win in two sets. Tipsy is just so - unpredictable. Plays well all week and suddenly it all falls away.

Agree...in Britain anyway it seems to me that (outside of the City, maybe) if you do talk about money, it's usually about how little you have, however much you actually *do* have.

Posted by zenggi 06/20/2010 at 03:02 AM

jewell,
Petkovic was incredible for the first set and a half. What a power and accuracy. She was firing on both sides and there was nothing Justine could do about it. She is also a beautiful lady. Justine was rusty and I didn't think she could win. I guess at the end her experience and Andrea's physical collapse gave her the needed victory.

My tennis weekend isn't yet over. My daughter is playing the final of her competition at her club. Yay!. I have to get ready to leave soon.

Posted by zenggi 06/20/2010 at 03:03 AM

Test. Where is my answer to you, jewell?

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/20/2010 at 03:11 AM

Hopefully getting to the final will be a nice confidence-builder for Andrea for next week, anyway. :) I seem to remember that if she gets through the first round she gets Serena in the second..eek.

Good luck for your daughter!

Sometimes you need to refresh with control + F5 before new posts show up. Strange Typepad!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/20/2010 at 03:23 AM

zengii: it used to be that way here re: money. One never ever discussed what they earned or how much their house was worth. big no-no. And then sometime, maybe around the Reagan era, all that changed.

Posted by zenggi 06/20/2010 at 03:26 AM

Thanks, jewell.

I tried before (to refresh the page) but it wasn't working.

Poor Sergei Stakhovsky has to play Sam Querrey as his first match at Wimbledon. He was reading yesterday very well Tipsy's serves and made a few superb ROS. OTOH I learned that they are friends so maybe they've training together.

Posted by zenggi 06/20/2010 at 03:29 AM

Annie,
It was about that time (Reaga-Thatcher era) that it became a no-no issue in Europe. Funny, eh?

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/20/2010 at 03:33 AM

I think people over here generally got a bit more brash about money during the Thatcher years, at least, that's my impression. It seems to have faded again now.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/20/2010 at 03:36 AM

I think Roger looks good in his scarf! It can be quite chilly here even at this time of year.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/20/2010 at 03:47 AM

It is quite Beckham-esque, too - perhaps one year Roger will play Wimbledon in a white sarong. ;-)

Got to go to work, see you all later. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/20/2010 at 03:58 AM

Ahhh I missed Jewell I wanted to talk soccer with her Bummer

Zengii I did post you thanks for your report if you are still around

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/20/2010 at 03:59 AM

Jewell Roger in a white sarong? LOL! well he does have wonderful hair for a Frangipani near his ear

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/20/2010 at 04:36 AM

Rafa news,

Rafa returns to Wimbeldon to play for the first time in 2 years,has felt very patriotic at sw19 ever since his magnificent 2008 triumph in the mens singles.

Rafa said, "That was one of the more emotional moments in my career"

"Spainish players in the past saw Wimbledon as something that was impossible to win,a different sport".

"But I always had my dream of doing well on grass". Wimbledon is the most important tournament of the world,so winning in 2008 was very important for me.

"All I am thinking about is the first match here.I have 7 GS.

"Thats more than I dreamed of 6 years ago or 5 years ago,Rafa added.

"Four months ago,everybody said they didnt know if I was going to stay at the top.

"But in your career you have a lot of good moments".


Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/20/2010 at 04:51 AM

Kim if you are lurking Peter is home now so I will attach those first quotes I got for the AO next year and email you ok.With the help of Peter of course.

I went to the travel agents on Saturday the girl I was dealing with told me she hadnt a answer from the 2nd group regarding the AO.Also she was in the middle of doing a honeymoon trip and they close early on Saturday.I told her I will come back this Tuesday to discuss.She will ring Keith Prowse direct.Also regarding RG for next year.

Posted by Mike 06/20/2010 at 05:51 AM

"Some Federer fans are great but others...... they don't stop , it could be a revenge? hehehe"

Yeah ... those darned Fed KADs. Never get that from the Rafa Kids, no sir! They are all as gracious and humble as their fave. ;)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/20/2010 at 05:59 AM

Mike lol!

Posted by Samantha Elin(Caro to the haters, Don't you wish your pusher was hott like me) 06/20/2010 at 06:17 AM

Testing.

Posted by Cupcake lurker- On a new chapter 06/20/2010 at 06:43 AM

Hello,

Asking again, what happens now that Gulbis has retired, do the players move or someone replaces him?

Posted by Cupcake lurker- On a new chapter 06/20/2010 at 06:56 AM

Now Soderling is in doubt too?????

Posted by GB 06/20/2010 at 07:07 AM

Cupcake Lurker: what's the Sod doubt based on? I thought he won a grass exo and was happy with his form...

Also, is Ernie officially out? I was reading tweets about his practices etc after talk of him withdrawing. I know there's a latvian article on his withdrawal...

Posted by . 06/20/2010 at 07:09 AM

GB:

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/20062010/58/wimbledon-hamstring-injury-rules-gulbis.html

Posted by GB 06/20/2010 at 07:14 AM

Thanks "."

Posted by Cupcake lurker- On a new chapter 06/20/2010 at 07:39 AM

GB, On the Sod, they said something like that on Wimby radio, but I did not catch the whole thing, so am asking.

I see that Gulbis has been replace with Petzschner, so I guess that they moved some people around.

Posted by John 06/20/2010 at 07:59 AM

Yes sir Mike, Rafa Kids we are all of us very graciosus same as our fave.
Any problem with that?

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/20/2010 at 08:07 AM

'morning folks.

geebus, i really can't believe what i'm hearing about the Sod possibly missing Wimby. I wonder if this will be one of the most open fields in recent memory in terms of numer of top 20 players missing from the draw. On both sides of the draw.

Mike: honestly? I think Fed is kind of untouchable on this board because of his phenomenal record and stellar reputation. I'm here a fair amount and it's a rare poster, and usually a drive by, who says something uncomplimentary about roger. rafa, otoh, seems to garner more criticism and snark possibly because he has habits that annoy people and a playing style that doesn't turn everyone on. Whereas, who could possibly take issue with Federer's classic playing style?

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/20/2010 at 08:17 AM

Well, there's an example -- the frequent references to Rafa "kids" as opposed to Fed "Kads" - it's patronizing and derogatory. imho, both rafa's fans and fed's fans are very quick to defend their guy and will say so with emotion. I know I do it.

Posted by Kim (Swiss in Brisbane) 06/20/2010 at 08:18 AM

AM. Thanks.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela Miami, Stuttgart and Rome Doubles Champion) 06/20/2010 at 08:21 AM

Hi everyone

Seems I have missed a lot of aggro by some posters.

I hate the fact I keep forgetting my password for TAT, and I have to wait til I get to work tomorrow morning before making my picks for SP.

Read that Dinara is out of Wimbledon, hopefully she will recover in time for the US hard court swing.

Posted by John 06/20/2010 at 08:24 AM

Nadal has a phenomenal record and stellar reputation too and he looks touchable by some Federer KADS. Ridiculous

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/20/2010 at 08:24 AM

Morning All. A few more hours to Wimbledon. Cannot wait. Nice to see the overnight discussions have remained relatively civil. Nice.

Whoa, Petzchner. That is the guy who was just ripping the ball in his match against Federer at Halle. Thank goodness he is on the other side of the draw. Dangerous player with fire in his eyes and smoke in his belly.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/20/2010 at 08:27 AM

Angel, what's aggro? aggravation? actually we had a wonderful evening last night discussing fed and rafa, not their records, but their personalities and image, and it was a war-free zone! I loved it! JK said it was like the TW of old. Personally I hope it might be a sign that we are all sick and tired of the negativity and want to enjoy this site for all the positives it provides. that's just my opinion. others may have entirely different perceptions.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/20/2010 at 08:35 AM

John: You are agreeing with me, no? I know about rafa's stellar reputation. I absolutely flove him. But he has foibles that annoy the tennis classicists. Roger is perfect on court. Some might even say his demeanor is flat. But there is no denying his tennis is beautiful. Rafa kads prefer the spaniards firey play but how can anyone take issue with Fed on anything pertaining to his professional life? That's what I meant by Rafa having more possible things for people to not like. He's the jackson pollack that walked into an Andrew Wyeth painting. I get that.

Posted by John 06/20/2010 at 08:50 AM

Annie, I agree with you, maybe we have to call this board *The Intouchable Federer*
But to me Roger is not perfect on court. Nobody is perfect, sorry
In the future someone wiil come playing better than Nadal and Federer and then, is it a reason to hate him?. Ridiculous

Posted by Cupcake lurker- On a new chapter 06/20/2010 at 08:53 AM

Annie, LOL love your last post. "He's the jackson pollack that walked into an Andrew Wyeth painting."

John, please don't lump us all in one group, and for the graciousness of ALL Rafa fans may a refer you to this year RG final thread.

Posted by Cupcake lurker- On a new chapter 06/20/2010 at 08:56 AM

Annie- LOL, love your last post. "He's the jackson pollack that walked into an Andrew Wyeth painting."

John, please don't lump us in one group, and for the graciousness of ALL Rafa fans may I refer you to the Final RG thread.

Posted by Cupcake lurker- On a new chapter 06/20/2010 at 08:58 AM

Sorry, for the double post, but I check and it was not there, typepad is acting up again.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/20/2010 at 08:58 AM

New post up about the wonderful women's draw. I keep telling you guys. Come on over to the WTA. Less testy fans and the only thing you will possibly get is perhaps a steely eyed glare and a fist pump :)

Posted by Mike 06/20/2010 at 09:03 AM

I didn't mean anything by the 'Kids' reference, Annie. If you perceive it as derogatory ... I'm sorry you see it that way. What I am saying is that there cannot be a double standard ... both Fed and Rafa Fans can be kind + gracious as well as rude + condescending. There is no single hero or victim here ... we're simply fans stating our opinions, and often times they are respectful and informative, other times they can be heavily biased and hurtful. No one group is more or less innocent or guilty than the other.

If Fed and Rafa were to see some of the threads in this forum, they would probably look at one another and start cracking up. ;)

Posted by John 06/20/2010 at 09:03 AM

hahaha, *untouchable* and not *int......*

Cupcake, I'm talking about the ones that always critic to Nadal for everything. Again, ridiculous

Posted by Ruth 06/20/2010 at 09:05 AM

Love that image, Annie -- Jackson Pollock walking into an Andrew Wyeth painting. And then, Iwill add, reaching over with those muscular arms to rearrange the world of Christina! :-)

But I still don't want to see the two of them battling over Christina (the Wimbledon Cup) this year. I'd prefer two new combatants in the final or, as I said yesterday, only ONE of them battling Roddick for the crown.

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/20/2010 at 09:09 AM

Cupcake lurker@6:56 -- what did you read or hear?

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela Miami, Stuttgart and Rome Doubles Champion) 06/20/2010 at 09:12 AM

Ok I am still trying to catch up on posts up to page 3 so nearly there. Hooray a post on the women's draw, will wonders never cease.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/20/2010 at 09:14 AM

Mike: thanks for your reply and I agree with you. Yippee! And I said the same thing last night about rafa and roger. they really like each other. So you would think, out of respect for them, we could do the same as their fans, no? I'm getting a vibe, rightly or wrongly, that folks are finally making a conscientious choice to be more civil regarding the Fed/Rafa rivalry and I, for one, am very hopeful that this is a turning point on this board. Hee, i wonder if that will come as a massive disappointment to mr.bodo :) Sometimes I think is bread and butter is based on the number of fedal skirmishes he can cause in any given year (i'm only being half-serious about that) :)

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/20/2010 at 09:20 AM

Ruth: It seems a lot of us want to see Roddick win a wimby title. I don't know who he would have the best chance against. He beat Rafa in Miami (or was it IW?) showing that he could keep up with him in the running and scrambling department. Roger on the other hand, would mean a repeat, or something similar to last year. And Fed has the massive
h2h advantage. So I think he'd have a better chance of beating rafa. But I don't know where he is in the draw. Would he have to beat both of them to win the title?

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/20/2010 at 09:21 AM

Annie, yes, Roddick would have to beat both of them to win the title. Fed in the semis and Rafa in the final.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/20/2010 at 09:22 AM

Wow Stosur was really negative in this match against Makarova. These commentators are really getting on top of my nerves especially Katrina Adams *turns off tv*

Posted by Texastennis 06/20/2010 at 09:29 AM

W tomorrow. So excited! I would love Roddick to win....

What's wrong with Soderling?

lady Julia - re Sampras gushing on how he and Fed are soulmates... I really hope that isn't true! They seem to have in common being extraordinary players for sure but hopefully that's about it. I think they're both very arrogant - humble they are not. In Feds's case, I don't mean that as a criticism because he's got plenty of reason to feel his own oats. I don't think I remember enjoying a single Sampras match in terms of watching him and I much prefer Federer whose all around play is sublime - but someone said his demeanor is flat and I guess that may be the reason I'm a huge admirer but haven't really warmed up to him. But Sampras seems extraordinarily self-absorbed and shallow, even for big time athletes, and I have hopes for more for Federer than that although I do think sometimes these things are not as evident until after players retire.
I'm always dismayed when athletes retire in their 30s and can't seem to get any kind of life besides resting on the laurels of their youth. Long, useful lives to be had after that ...

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/20/2010 at 09:32 AM

Ruth: lol on rafa rearranging Christina's World. "excuse me? I need to move you. You are not facing the house at the right angle, no?"

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