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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 TeamNadal 08/18/2010 at 02:27 PM

Ruth, that looks like muscle to you? He's shaped like a pear

Posted by wilson75 08/18/2010 at 02:27 PM

Ruth: It helpe that his opponent, Ivan Navarro was just as overweight as him. If he's serious about being competitive he has to lose weight.

Posted by Fangorina 08/18/2010 at 02:27 PM

I think Taylor can't train his "core" too much since his back surgery.

Posted by Frances 08/18/2010 at 02:28 PM

Hi guys!!!

@ teamnadal?

what happend to him-- set 1 was clear his -- whats up on the second set?

HI AND HUGS to everyone-- its been a long long time!!

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 02:28 PM

Ruth - It's because Dent carries his extra weight in his breasts and hips. :p Or maybe he's just "big bone-ded." LOL. Whatev - definitely not muscle. Oh, and Ouch, re: Sauce. Ouch, but... yeah. I kinda preferred him when he was just a headcase w/out the attitude.

Posted by @work 08/18/2010 at 02:29 PM

Now Rafa, 'for the love of the sport' break already and serves this out!

Posted by Nam1 08/18/2010 at 02:29 PM

I can see why Rafa's level has dropped; his eyes are glazing over with boredom...

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:29 PM

4 games all Rafa good time for another break

Ruth I saw Taylor at Medibank earlier this year he has added some pounds on.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:30 PM

Frances Hi back!

Posted by Or 08/18/2010 at 02:30 PM

Well, now that I've read Roger's article, I didn't notice anything unusual about it. Very open and candid as always. Maybe slightly defensive, but the questions sort of demanded that.

Interesting they've asked him about the mixed in the Olympics, I was half hoping he'd say "Yeah, Mirka gonna un-retire and we'd play mixed together" - Well, obviously not going to happen, but pity there wasn't any mixed doubles in the 2000 Olympics - though he would have probably played with Hingis anyway.

Posted by Babe 08/18/2010 at 02:30 PM

Henin out till neat year.

Posted by Rafadoc Good Stuff 08/18/2010 at 02:31 PM

What the heck...lol...Dent with a rather long outburst there.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:31 PM

Dent you should have been going to Rafa's f/hand hard like that before

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 02:31 PM

Nam1

From the few minutes my stream allows me to see, Nadal is just leaving his shots short in the perfect location for the forever approaching Dent.

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 02:31 PM

Dent holds with a huge ace.
Since he's improving and Rafa's um, not, I fear a t/break. But, Rafa's gotta keep holding first.

Posted by Rafadoc Good Stuff 08/18/2010 at 02:32 PM

Rafa appears to be awake now...I think. 4-4

Posted by Or 08/18/2010 at 02:33 PM

Nice serve, Taylor.

He's a nice looking chap, would have been a real hottie if he was slimmer.

Posted by Rafadoc Good Stuff 08/18/2010 at 02:33 PM

...and TV is behind stream so I don't know why I posted the score. lol

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 02:33 PM

0-15 start yet again:)

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:33 PM

With Justine out until 2011, it seems like Pete compairson of Kim and Justine are spot on as Justine's game takes time to get fine tuned while Kim's game is already ready for prime time.

Posted by TeamNadal 08/18/2010 at 02:34 PM

It doesn't matter how much you work out in the gym....if you are not eating right you will never see muscle definition.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:35 PM

Dent has lovely thick head of hair too

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:35 PM

Caroline rallies from 40-0 to break and now will serve for a date with Flavia tomorrow at 7-5,5-3

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:36 PM

Okay Rafa another good time to break

Posted by Or 08/18/2010 at 02:36 PM

BTW, speaking of Roger - the RFers watching his practice said he was stretching his chest, shoulder, doing squats. Yup, still feeling it. Hopefully he'll warm up into it, his first round match isn't the easiest match there is.

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 02:37 PM

0-30 becomes 30-30:(

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:38 PM

Approach shot by Dent??

Rafa just serve it out

Posted by TeamNadal 08/18/2010 at 02:39 PM

Hi there Frances ;)....I don't know WTH happened here....I thought this match would be over by now

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:39 PM

Caroline fails to serve it out as she DF at 15-40, Patty to serve 5-7,4-5

Posted by Tuulia 08/18/2010 at 02:40 PM

live stream for Rafa-Dent pls? :(

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:43 PM

Aussiemarg vs Jenni tomorrow.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:44 PM

Patty denied Caroline 2 MP. Deuce

Posted by TeamNadal 08/18/2010 at 02:44 PM

Rafa, please no drama....close it out

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 02:44 PM

Oh I just got a look at Dent and with the shirt sticking to his body you can really see the excess weight around the middle.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:45 PM

Master Ace LOL!!

I will be ready and waiting.Though I cant speak for my opponent though.

Posted by GB 08/18/2010 at 02:45 PM

Well, it's finally over...At least Rafa didn't have to go 3. That's about all I can say. Agree with Robbie that Rafa'll be heading for the practice courts.

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 02:46 PM

Rafa 2010 Cincy Champ project 20% complete. Benneteau next. He beat Stan the man rather easily (easy score, at least), but Rafa should handle him. Big test may come against Berdie man, but Rafa's got him many times in row now, unlike old man Fed.

Posted by wilson75 08/18/2010 at 02:46 PM

Or: There's a video of the presser in the video section of rf.com. He didn't seem testy to me but guess it depends on who is watching or attending the presser.

Posted by CherryNYC 08/18/2010 at 02:47 PM

Hey -- something for Muzz fans -- I'm getting a quick lunchtime pedicure, flipping through the 50-lbs. September Vogue, and who pops out at about p. 650 but Muzz himself! I must say, put a tux on that guy and add a famous fashion photographer, and he looks goooood! The interview was a bit of a dud -- the deadpan one-liners don't go over well in print, in my opinion, but the pics are great.
Most of its available at www.vogue.com

Carry one

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:48 PM

Patty holds for 5-all set 2

Posted by CherryNYC 08/18/2010 at 02:48 PM

make that "Carry on"

Posted by Tuulia 08/18/2010 at 02:48 PM

*sigh* I can't BELIEVE that a stupid tv channel stops broadcasting a live tennis match at 6-5 in 2nd set to go a few mins early to a Champions league QUALIFIERS match. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

I wish I had known in advance to find a livestream, if there was one. :(

Posted by wilson75 08/18/2010 at 02:49 PM

CherryNYC: Isn't photoshopping a marvellous invention. It can make anybody look good.

Posted by CherryNYC 08/18/2010 at 02:50 PM

wilson -- hahahaha!!! good one!

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:53 PM

3 more MP for Caroline which Patty denies the first but finally on the 4th one, Caroline gets that date with Flavia

Posted by Or 08/18/2010 at 02:54 PM

Fish playing great. Where the heck was that all those years? Why did you wait till you were 28 to drop the pounds, man?

Posted by Babe 08/18/2010 at 02:55 PM

To think I used to like Verdasco, he has just morphed into a CLASS-A JERK!

Posted by "" 08/18/2010 at 02:55 PM

final tally as Caro wins 7-5, 7-5
Caro: W/UFE 21/25
Patty: w/UFE 25/41

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:55 PM

Francesca vs Dinara tomorrow with the winner facing Caroline vs Flavia on Friday

Posted by robbyfan 08/18/2010 at 02:55 PM

Or-sometimes it just takes a good woman to inspire one to improve.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:55 PM

Still tight with Fish V Verdasco

and

Melzer v Gulbis

Posted by Kate 08/18/2010 at 02:56 PM

Okay, that was one boring match. Taylor Dent might want to rethink the black and white ensemble--gets that Orca thing going.

Crowds not very wild in Cincy--lots of empty seats. At the Oscars, they have seat-fillers. Wish they did for tennis. I'd volunteer--and it's the only way I could afford to attend.

Yesterday, I think during the match between Berdych and Matthieu, I was ironing, not watching, and apparently a Hawkeye challenge revealed the linesman was wrong. Robbie says, "And the crowd goes wild." I looked up to see one guy in the stands behind the player. Overwhelming silence.

Where are all the people????

Posted by linex 08/18/2010 at 02:56 PM

It is not very nice/classy of Caro`s father to do those gestures when her daughter misses a point even is she was mistaken with the tactics. Come on that is not the attitude of the father of a top player, the juniour times are far behind now for Caro. A lot to learn from Venus & Serena's parents current attitude.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:56 PM

"",
Look like Caroline went back in defensive mode and Patty started to go for her shots.

Robbyfan,
Ready for Robby vs Nikolay today? Winnable match for him.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 02:58 PM

Melzer has 2 match points against Gulbis

Posted by robbyfan 08/18/2010 at 02:58 PM

Hi Master Ace-sure hope Robby will come good.

Linex-what did Caro's father do?

Posted by TeamNadal 08/18/2010 at 02:58 PM

Well the Sockless Wonder is married to one of the "Deal or No Deal" girls so no doubt she inspired him to get in better shape.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:58 PM

2 MP for Jurgen

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP!) 08/18/2010 at 02:59 PM

Amazed that that moonball fest in the last few games between Caroline and Patty didn't summon Tim from the abyss. Hideous stuff.

Posted by Nam1 08/18/2010 at 02:59 PM

Taylor Dent good looking?? I must be missing something!! He looks like that guy "Jaws" from the Bond movies of the 70's...the ones with Roger Moore..

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 02:59 PM

2 MPs denied by Ernests

Posted by linex 08/18/2010 at 02:59 PM

So doubles partners Kirilenko and Azarenka are facing off today, this is the tennis tour, quite tough in some regards.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 02:59 PM

Woot! Franny won a match! Forza!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 03:00 PM

Murray and Chardy are on court

Umpire for the game is Lars Graf

Murray won the toss and will serve

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 03:01 PM

Gauloises,
How did Caroline play? Did she play defensive tennis again especially in the 2nd set?

Posted by linex 08/18/2010 at 03:01 PM

Robbyfan, he did not curse or something like that, but he gave her a nasty look, like a denial sign, saying like that not or something similar, and when she had 2 match points in her favour.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 03:02 PM

Aussiemarg,
Do you remember who was in the chair for Viktor/Novak earlier?

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro to the haters, don't you wish your pusher was hott like me. 08/18/2010 at 03:02 PM

Kom sa, Caro, Congrats to Scandinavia's beautiful and talented no 1, du er den bedste, Caro.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 03:02 PM

Fish serving to force another t/break in the 2nd set against Verdasco

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP!) 08/18/2010 at 03:03 PM

I can really see Murray losing to Chardy here.

That said ... 'mon.

Posted by linex 08/18/2010 at 03:03 PM

Master Ace for most points that I saw and with the exception of some backhand winners Caro was mainly playing moonballs and running a lot, bringing all Patty's shots back.

Posted by Arun 08/18/2010 at 03:03 PM

*Robbie says, "And the crowd goes wild." I looked up to see one guy in the stands behind the player. Overwhelming silence.*
lol, Kate.

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP!) 08/18/2010 at 03:04 PM

Master Ace, I only saw the last few games - from 5-3 onwards.

But 'defensive' would be putting it politely. In fairness, it worked for her.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 03:05 PM

Victoria takes the first set 6-4

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 03:05 PM

Master Ace The umpire was Gerry Armstrong

Posted by linex 08/18/2010 at 03:06 PM

A pity that we do not get to see Gulbis match.

Posted by Nam1 08/18/2010 at 03:06 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..."


There is hair transplant and Rafa can certainly afford it!! maybe one of us should email him on his facebook page.
I just cant bear to hurt his feelings!!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 03:06 PM

Verdasco with 2 set points

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 03:07 PM

Sauce w/ 2 BPs/SPs. Vamos jackass!

Posted by TeamNadal 08/18/2010 at 03:08 PM

LOL Nam1

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 03:08 PM

Linex,
Thanks. Look like the ankle she injured at Charleston has healed if she is doing a lot of running. Two last questions - how was the serve and was her forehand still loopy?

Gauloises,
That is more games than I saw(Darn, that day job).

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 03:09 PM

"Vamos jackass!"

Sblily,
Be nice as Sockless Wonder got it to deuce.

MP 3 for Jurgen

Posted by Kate 08/18/2010 at 03:09 PM

Empty seats. Empty seats. Maybe they need a sign out front: Free Beer.

Did you hear they've created a new cheeseburger donut? I thought that was a joke on The Simpsons ("Donut Burger. Uuummmm.") And now it's reality. Coming, they say, to a State Fair near you.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 03:09 PM

MP 3 denied by Ernests and Mardy forces 2nd set TB

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 03:09 PM

Pfft Jackass into a t/breaker we go

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 03:10 PM

Bleh. Fish holds. TB time.

MA - Sowwy. Love Sauce, but dang, he has been working my nerves lately.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 03:11 PM

Kate,
Surprised that Cincinnati has empty seats with the heavy hitters playing. If it is a sellout, some of the crowd must be watching players on the practice courts.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 03:11 PM

A cheeseburger donut? That sounds amaaaaaazing... It comes with bacon, I hope?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 03:13 PM

Melzer 4-0 in t/breaker against Gulbis

Posted by Kate 08/18/2010 at 03:14 PM

sblily: A cheeseburger donut? That sounds amaaaaaazing... It comes with bacon, I hope?

More likely, it comes with a heart attack.

And an egg, I think, in some regions.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 03:14 PM

Coco(done well at San Diego) and Christina(done well at Cincinnati) gets wildcards into the main draw at USO.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 03:16 PM

Sauce DFs to give Fish a MB. Kvetching ensues.

Posted by Nam1 08/18/2010 at 03:17 PM

cheeseburger donut...blech!!

well, at least its not the sandwich made with 2 fried chicken breasts instead of bread..KFC has that one I think...comes witha side order of obesity and a heart attack waiting to happen.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 03:17 PM

Fish with 2 serves at 5-4.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 03:17 PM

Back on serve at 5-all in TB b/w Tuna Melzer and Ernests

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 03:18 PM

Gulbis vs Chardy or Murray tomorrow

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 03:19 PM

Fish vs Gasquet tomorrow

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 03:19 PM

Yay Young Earnie prevails in a tight match.Good come back in the t/breaker

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 03:20 PM

Fish takes the second set TB (and match) with a service winner.
Sauce...Ahhh, there are no words.

Posted by wilson75 08/18/2010 at 03:20 PM

Master Ace: Thanks for the info. I was just going to ask who Gulbis was playing in the next round.

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