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Queen City Diary, Day 3 08/18/2010 - 11:53 AM

103357700 [[Pete is on vacation from Sunday, the 15th, through today. He'll be back with a post tomorrow.]]
 
By Jackie Roe, TW Contributing Writer

Good morning, TWibe. Another day in Cincinnati at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters has come and gone, and I have plenty of stories to report, as usual.

Just as I did on Monday, I tried my best to catch as many matches and practice sessions as my aching feet would allow, but I'll give you a rundown of those in the Deuce Club this week or next. What I thought I'd focus on in today's update are my press conference impressions; the big four held their pre-tournament pressers on Tuesday and we heard from some of the Americans, as well. Sure, you could just look up the transcripts, but where's the fun in that?

Blake's post-match presser was up first, following his loss to Istomin. I wasn't present for either the match or the presser, but as he revealed quite a bit about his state of mind and his upcoming plans, I thought it was worth sharing with y'all.

- Throughout the presser, he noted that he was still feeling the effects of a number of injuries. He didn't attribute the day's loss to illness or injury, though - he just wasn't at his best.

- He plans to take a break for a little while after the Open.

- The last question asked was about Pam Shriver, and he let us know that he received a nice e-mail from her. So they've quashed their beef, I assume.

Federer's pre-tournament presser took place a few hours later. He arrived dressed in his training gear, as he was scheduled to practice for the first time in Cincinnati later that day.

- There was something slightly off about his demeanor during the presser; former TWiber CNote and I described him as "testy," as he demonstrated too much of the reflexive defensiveness that makes even the most ardent of Federer fans wince. Still, he was talkative and self-assured and responded to each question with that singular Federer openness.

- Generally, the presser was far more serious than the ones in Toronto, but there was one light-hearted interaction with a reporter:

Reporter: The perception is that your level has decreased ... I don't necessarily think that's the case ... what's the-"

Federer: Thank you.

- When asked if he preferred the men's and women's tournaments being separate or combined, he decisively chose the former, saying it's much more quiet and "everything is a bit simpler."

- Another reporter brought up his inconsistent results at the tournament - he either wins the championship or he's knocked out early - and Federer responded with, "Well, I prefer it that way than playing quarters every time." Is that how all players feel, I wonder?

Murray's presser was up next. (No transcript for this one. That makes me feel more useful.)

- I was happy to see his eye contact improve as the presser progressed; the public speaking instructor in me always emerges when I watch him speak because his discomfort is so palpable.

- He was asked about the role his mother plays, and he revealed that he doesn't actually speak to her before his matches, though she does try to scout his opponents. She's not fulfilling the role of a coach, really - he said it was just nice having someone in his family around.

- He fielded several questions about his coaching situation, and he stated that he wouldn't replace Maclagan anytime before the Open "for sure," and that in some ways it's nice to be on your own. More responsibility in figuring things out, more freedom.

- As for this tournament, he said he'd still feel confident going into the Open even if he doesn't have a great result here.

After a never-ending wait, Nadal arrived for his pre-tournament presser. (You'd think that pricey watch would help him manage his time a little bit better!)

- In contrast to the Federer and Murray pressers, the vibe in this one was much more light. Nadal was his usual good-natured self and smiled/laughed often. Instead of describing his responses to questions, I'll let him speak for himself. Notable quotes include:

I am not superstitious.
If you play well, you win, if you play bad, you lose.

I don't think if I am number one or number five. I am Rafa.
(after a reporter asked a drawn-out question) I do not understand nothing.
Physically I'm perfect. Remain two weeks to broke everything. (Even more hilarious in person.)

- Another insightful part of the presser was when he discussed his previous performances at the Open and how his disappointing (for him) results had less to do with his physical state than his mental one, contrary to what most observers argue. Particularly interesting was his comment about the '08 Open, when he said he was actually fine physically but "destroyed" mentally, following his dream summer. We see, then, that while winning is nice, it takes its toll, too.

- I had to mention that my understanding of Nadal's English has vastly improved from the first time I heard him speak in person. Have I just gotten used to it or is he getting better?

I missed Djokovic's presser, unfortunately, but ended my day at Isner's.

- This was a fun one, more like a conversation than any of the others. Isner in person surprised me a tad; he's quite serious and a thoughtful, polished speaker.

- He spoke at length about the after-effects of the Wimbledon marathon match, expressing that his win over Kubot was the best he's felt on court in a long time. He's been gassed for a while, and the fatigue hit him especially in DC, which prompted him to skip Toronto. He went home, didn't think about tennis, just hung out with his family (and his dog, a cocker spaniel!). He even turned off his cell phone.

- Regarding the renovations, he said that the locker room is the best part, that it has more space that any other he's been in.

- We all had a good laugh when he said the following, of his doubles success with Querrey: "We really don't know to play doubles. We have big serves."

After the presser officially ended, I mustered up the courage to ask Isner a couple of questions about wrestling. He was gracious enough to humor me and chat briefly about the WWE pay-per-view event on Sunday and his affinity for WWE Raw ("I never miss it!") as he was on his way out of the interview room. And here I thought I was the only one who appreciated both tennis and wrestling. That was a fun cap to a whirlwind day.

That's all for now - time to head out to the courts. This is my last day here, so I have to make it count! I'll be back with some final words about my experience in Friday's DC, and you can also track my movements via Twitter (@JackieRoe).

As always, use this space to call today's matches.


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Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 01:45 PM

Kate Much better and nearly 100% thanks

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 01:46 PM

for the love of sport: LOL! I remember something similar, but thought it was that the security guards were too full on with a fan and Rafa was saying "it's only one people":)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 01:46 PM

Taking deep breath in

Safina to serve for the match

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 01:46 PM

Dinara is serving for the match at 5-4 final set.(Yes, Aussiemarg and Jenni, it is true)

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 01:46 PM

Dent holds again. Rafa serving for the set at 5-2.

Yeah, sucks about Justine. I want her healthy and back on the court so that I can go back to rooting against her. :)

Posted by sokol 08/18/2010 at 01:47 PM

she breaks? good girl, now the big question if she'll be able to serve it out, doubt it, but" DAVAI Dinara!

Posted by Sherlock 08/18/2010 at 01:47 PM

Scoreboarding, lol. I'm going to tread lightly on this one. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 01:47 PM

Jenni and Sokol

Passing you drinks,drugs and have I missed anything?

Posted by sokol 08/18/2010 at 01:47 PM

"Taking deep breath in"

joining AM

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 01:48 PM

Safina serving for the match?
Now that I have to go scoreboard! :)

Posted by sokol 08/18/2010 at 01:48 PM

2 points away, this is too good to be true, just 2 more points, Dinara...

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 01:49 PM

Dinara holds at love and will face Francesca or Ekaterina tomorrow

Posted by sokol 08/18/2010 at 01:50 PM

She serves it out AT LOVE? *faints*

Congrats AM, Jenni and other fans of Dinara

Sorry Nadia, next time I'll root for you, I promise :-)

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 01:50 PM

That must have been a mistake; Rafa's net cord serve clocked at 139mph. No freaking way.
I'd really surprise if Rafa's puny serve can break 130mph.

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 01:50 PM

Impressed, very impressed!
No drama, love hold.
Good going Dinara!

Now Gulbis focus and take the second set, will ya?

Posted by sokol 08/18/2010 at 01:51 PM

AM, it's time to breath out :-)

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 01:51 PM

Yay Dinara!

Posted by @work 08/18/2010 at 01:51 PM

Ok Rafa no drama serving for set, Ok?

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 01:51 PM

Key stats: Nadia 4/23 BP and Dinara 3 DFs

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 01:52 PM

Praise The Lord

She has got through to a 3rd rd

*faints*

Posted by sokol 08/18/2010 at 01:52 PM

"Dinara 3 DFs"

That's a great stat for Dinara


Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 01:53 PM

Dent is stinking so bad in this match, it's a bit of letdown. Not even giving any decent workout to Rafa. What happened to I-serve-1st-serve-78% Dent from two days ago?

Posted by Rafadoc Good Stuff 08/18/2010 at 01:53 PM

Happy for Dinara and fellow fans. Keep going now!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 01:53 PM

sokol You sure??

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 01:54 PM

Have a feeling Dent's gonna settle down in this set.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 01:54 PM

Some first set stats:

W/UFE: N-4/8, D-7/21
1st serve %: N-59%, D-55%
Net points won: N-2/5, D-4/8

High quality this match is not.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 01:54 PM

Sorry Rafa Vamos and all that 6-2 1st set

Posted by Tuulia 08/18/2010 at 01:54 PM

manuelsantanafan - I think it was simply a case of Rafa starting little by little with serve practise this year (unlike last year) after a rather long break... not as long as last year, and a much nicer break, but still weeks without playing. For anyone who's interested, what he said was:

"I didn’t have the big chance to practice with the serve, because I have go slowly. Last year I started in Montreal after important stop, similar what I had this year, and I started hard with the serve and I broke my abdominal, no?
So I prefer to don’t practice too much the serve during the week, because I feel this part of the body, the abdominals, a little bit more challenged than usual, and the most important thing is be healthy physically, no?
And I am perfect conditions physically, so the serve I gonna have now Monday and Tuesday to keep practicing hard with the serve and a little bit more with the backhand."

Posted by Rafadoc Good Stuff 08/18/2010 at 01:54 PM

33 minute first set for Rafa. :)

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 01:55 PM

Just remembered that Dent beat Feli in the previous round. Whaaaaa?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 01:57 PM

Congrats Jenni You did your Hat Trick today.

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 01:57 PM

Geez, Dent is bringing Rafa's level down with him. Rafa can't make a decent pass anymore suddenly. So many error by Dent...

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 01:57 PM

Marion will face Iveta as Kimiko w/d due to left thigh quad strain

Posted by Rafadoc Good Stuff 08/18/2010 at 01:57 PM

In straight sets too Sblily.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 01:57 PM

I think Rafa gets more of a workout from his pre-match running and jumping around the locker room than Dent has given him so far. Ugly stuff.

Posted by sokol 08/18/2010 at 01:57 PM

Come on, Katya, hold. Lets get another all Russian match :-) Davai!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 01:58 PM

Phil K serving for the match against Falla 5-3

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 01:58 PM

sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?)

Yeah Dent whooped Feli's ass by serving 78% 1st serve...

Posted by Arun 08/18/2010 at 01:59 PM

ouch, sblily.
But, you're on fire today.

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 01:59 PM

sblily: I think people were saying Feli said he was tired and not feeling well...Plus, I guess there was a lot less pression.

Dent holds. Do the same pls, Rafa!

Posted by @work 08/18/2010 at 01:59 PM

Well Dent holds to start the set.

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 02:00 PM

Kolschreiber finally wins the match after making a stop at Falla's bakery for a breadstick in the second set. I guess it was lunch time!

Posted by for the love of sport 08/18/2010 at 02:00 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaUNizb2Iqg

absolutely delightful interview of Rafa's before wimby...must watch for all rafa die hards :)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:00 PM

Jason Goodall are you on drugs?.

Dent can hold serve and build in this 2nd set

Dent is just serving to Rafa's b/hand side for a lefty that is Christmas coming early

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 08/18/2010 at 02:00 PM

Anybody else think Henin will try once more for a wimby title and then that might be that? Her return to tennis not quite the success of mommykimmie.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:00 PM

Caroline breaks to take the set 7-5

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:02 PM

Annie,
Valid comment about Justine and Wimbledon. Will have to elaborate in the fall season.

Posted by @work 08/18/2010 at 02:02 PM

Dent making life difficult for Rafa now.

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 02:04 PM

Um *anti jinx* Dent's getting better, no? No getting broken, Rafa!

for the love of sport: that's one of my all time fav Rafa vids. He's sooo happy & smiley.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:05 PM

Clearly Dent hasnt done his homework on Rafa

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 02:06 PM

Apparently Fish said this is the fastest Cincy's ever been...

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 02:06 PM

Kinda quiet around here. I expected Rafa fans to be out in full force.

Gulbis is up a break in the second while Verdasco and Fish are still on serve. Fernando will try to force the tiebreak.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:07 PM

Tight game between Fish and Verdasco

Verdasco to serve to force a t/breaker in the 1st set

Posted by Nam1 08/18/2010 at 02:07 PM

loving the Rafaisms!! keep them coming! what it is about him that just melts my heart and makes me smile??

Ok that was sickening , cant believe l just typed that..ewww as my kids would say!!.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 02:07 PM

GB - Yep. I'm a little worried about Feli and the "m" word. :/

Ugh. I love me some Rafa, but I had to turn away from his match before I started to hate tennis.

Aaaaand Sauce is already testy. Fish holds, and Sauce says "Merry Christmas," I think to the chair ump, as he goes to his chair. Crowd was cheering Fish's hold out of all proportion to his actual popularity, so I'm guessing Sauce has been acting like a jackass... again. *sigh*

Posted by Or 08/18/2010 at 02:09 PM

Howdy all, Rafa out of troubles so far, Wawi (who is fast joining the list of people I will never-ever-ever bet on during suicide) was a disappointment. The others on that blacklist, in case you wondered, are Gasquet and Gulbis. Never again.

Posted by wilson75 08/18/2010 at 02:10 PM

Rafa fans: See, all you frazzling was for nothing, according to the scoreboard Rafa's doing fine.

Annie and Rafadoc: Just so you don't think that Mrs. Dent lost the baby weight in record time. She had the baby during or a short time after the Australian Open. I remember that because the ESPN crew was asking him if she was okay with being in the tournament when she was due to give birth at anytime. Luckily for him he lost in the 2nd round so he was there for the birth.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 02:10 PM

FFS, Sauce. Double faults to give Fish a double set point.

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 02:11 PM

"but I had to turn away from his match before I started to hate tennis"

That bad hmmm?
I guess I shouldn't complain about my non-working stream then.

Verdasco about to get broken for the set

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 02:11 PM

So my fish sauce sb's frozen and Fish held for 6-5?

Posted by Kate 08/18/2010 at 02:11 PM

They can't all have mono!

Maybe there should be blood tests all around. Anyone infected, off the court! No passing it along.

Posted by sokol 08/18/2010 at 02:11 PM

Davai, Vika!

Posted by TheMightyFunk 08/18/2010 at 02:11 PM

Fed's Cincy presser, for those interested:

http://www.tennis-x.com/story/2010-08-18/i.php

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 02:12 PM

Verdasco saves both BPs.
Gulbis now forget who you are and hold for the second set, please!

Posted by Rafadoc Good Stuff 08/18/2010 at 02:12 PM

That serve was out. Hard to stop play when you are trying to return a fast serve. Ugh. Come on line judges!

wilson75: Thanks for the info!

Posted by "" 08/18/2010 at 02:12 PM

Ist set:
Caro W/UFE :12/13
Patty W/UFE: 10/17

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:13 PM

The SB seems behind or slow then

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 02:13 PM

Did Fer get broken?

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 02:13 PM

Dent needs to follow Fish and lose some weight if he is serious about getting back to top 50. He looks a tank, but too slow for any effective play against top guys.

Posted by for the love of sport 08/18/2010 at 02:13 PM

Listen, (since the tennis is fairly uninspiring right now) what ARE we going to do about Rafa's imminent baldness...the sun is glinting off it as we speak...not cool...this constitutes a crisis of epic proportions in rafaworld...

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:14 PM

SB says Fish and Verdasco are going into t/breaker now

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 02:14 PM

Sauce holds. TB time!

So from reading the twitter recaps, it seems that Fergus Murphy gave Sauce a warning for audible obscenity. Sauce says he didn't say anything and Murphy wouldn't repeat the offending language. Cue Sauce mini-meltdown and sarcastic "Merry Christmas" comment.

Aaaaaand Sauce DFs to give Fish the mini-break.

Posted by TeamNadal 08/18/2010 at 02:14 PM

this match is BORING.....and why is Dent SO out of shape??????

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:15 PM

Congrats to Phil K with win over Falla

Posted by linex 08/18/2010 at 02:16 PM

Fish is playing great for what I see. Very aggresively.

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 02:17 PM

fat Roddick => lose some weight => reached final IW and won Miami
fat Fish => lose some weight => won two tourneys in a row
fat Dent => lose some weight?

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 02:17 PM

Well he may be out of shape but he's 3-2 in the second set against Nadal.

Nando saves BPs, forces TB and is now down 1-5

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 02:17 PM

Fish up 5-1 in the TB.

Sauce is "brooding," in commie's words.

Aaaaaand another Sauce DF to give Fish a load of set points. *head to keyboard*

Posted by @work 08/18/2010 at 02:18 PM

Ok Rafa haven't you had enough practice already? Hurry up and finish this match!

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 02:19 PM

Dent definitely playing better...Has 0-30 on Rafa's serve. NO getting broken Rafa! But now it's 0-40:((((( Just great

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:19 PM

Hell Rafa love 40??

Posted by Rafadoc Good Stuff 08/18/2010 at 02:19 PM

Sblily: Thanks for the info. Oh dear Fernando. Settle down.

Rafa's level has dropped. I think he got bored with the match too! Wake up Rafa!

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 02:19 PM

Oh no, Rafa fell to the classic rope-a-dope play by Dent! 0-40 down.

Posted by @work 08/18/2010 at 02:19 PM

Rafa, really?? really??
WTH? I know all this talk about Dent having no chance was going to jinx Rafa :(

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 02:20 PM

TeamNadal - Dent has always carried a bit too much weight. I don't get it.

W/UFE from 1st set of Fish/Verdasco:
F - 21/12, V - 14/22

So yes, credit to Fish for playing well.

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 02:20 PM

Dent breaks:((((((

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:20 PM

Raises "eye brows" Rafa

Break him and get off the court

Posted by Rafadoc Good Stuff 08/18/2010 at 02:20 PM

Okay Rafa...back to work.

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 02:21 PM

@work: yep, that's why I tried to anti jinx...

Posted by Fangorina 08/18/2010 at 02:21 PM

Hi all: wow this Rafa/Dent match is awful in every way. Vamos already Rafa.

Posted by linex 08/18/2010 at 02:21 PM

A lot of moonballs in the patty vs. Caro matchup.

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 02:21 PM

Gulbis levels the match with Melzer at a set a piece. Can he win this in 3.
I think he and Verdasco are in tight competition for the title of Biggest ATP Headcases.

Posted by wilson75 08/18/2010 at 02:23 PM

What happened to Rafa? I hope he breaks back soon.

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 02:23 PM

oh blimey, if Dent was any better, say a top 30, Rafa would have lost this set already. 30-40 and a chance to break back. And he breaks back.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:23 PM

Yeah thanks Rafa

Get back and focus

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:24 PM

Business as usual as Rafael break back and serves 6-2,3-4

Posted by Ruth 08/18/2010 at 02:24 PM

"... so I'm guessing Sauce has been acting like a jackass... again."

Does he know any other way, sblily? ;-)


How does Dent manage to add so much weight but avoid the "pot belly" look? Could the extra pounds be all muscle? He's certainly looking much bigger than he did at USO 2009 when he played one of the best (and longest) matches of the Open for that year.

Posted by TeamNadal 08/18/2010 at 02:24 PM

oh come on, always carried extra weight? He has clearly blown up and needs a manzierre.....and WTF Rafa???

Posted by Nam1 08/18/2010 at 02:25 PM

at least the commies dont babble on endlessly...

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:25 PM

"",
Thanks for the stats on Caroline and Patty. By the numbers, it look like Caroline is trying to go for her shots.

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