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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 Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 04:45 PM

oh ha ha ha ha. Can Chardy eliminate Muzz and thus making my Rafa 2010 Cincy champ project about 20% easier? Now if someone can eliminate Djoker and old man Fed, then we may get Rafa vs, Kiefer (back at IW or Toronto, I can't remember) sort of final, which will of course work perfectly. ha ha

Posted by TeamNadal 08/18/2010 at 04:45 PM

OMG Andy!!!!!

Posted by antoinette 08/18/2010 at 04:46 PM

Ouch...tough for Isner, hope it is not too serious. But don't these guys tape their ankles? I thought everybody did that as a matter of course.

Posted by Heather 08/18/2010 at 04:46 PM

Oh gosh this sure is a nap inducing match. Andy looks ready to take a nap too.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 04:46 PM

Okay Muzz what gives

Just came back from my run??

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 04:47 PM

Sherlock,
Caroline failed to serve it out at 5-3 in set 2 but broke Patty to end the match.

Posted by Carrie (typos are my freinds) 08/18/2010 at 04:48 PM

Rafa for Cincy- the Keifer/Rafa final was at Toronto in 2008.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 04:51 PM

Look like Jeremy and Andy wants Thiemo and Andy AND Roger and Denis to start behind schedule.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 04:52 PM

An ode to Judy Murray: http://tinyurl.com/2eawen7

:D

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 04:56 PM

Agnes forces a decider with Yanina

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 04:56 PM

On one hand, I think Muzz is getting tired and having a letdown at around mid-2nd set after winning last week and therefore can lose this; but on the other hand, I suspect some devilish plan by Muzz to stretch this match into 3rd set and thus getting some match practice on the new court as it will be hard to mess around against higher ranked and better players he would be facing next round and onward. Okay Gulbis can be dangerous to mess around with. Since either Muzz and old man Fed didn't get to practice much after coming over Monday afternoon/evening, he may actually be doing this on purpose... Oh, no...I am thinking too much, eh?

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP!) 08/18/2010 at 04:56 PM

I'd rather see Judy as Davis Cup captain, but whatever :)

I have basically abandoned watching this match in favour of just staring at the sex photo.

Posted by Nam1 08/18/2010 at 04:56 PM

"there's no accounting for taste"

There sure isnt!!! Murray Hot? what the...? he may be tolerable when he grows into his jaw but until then.....

I dont know...Dent and MAndy good looking? Am I blind or what?

Posted by TeamNadal 08/18/2010 at 04:57 PM

Hanibal Judy!!!!!! YES

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 08/18/2010 at 04:58 PM

I think I'm going to bed, hopefully will wake up to a Murray win in the morning. :)

'Night all.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 05:00 PM

I see Andy showing a bit of thigh action there

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 05:00 PM

Svetlana takes the TB over Timea 8-6

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 05:01 PM

Murray may I ask why are you standing soo far back from the baseline?

Rafa like.

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

Ugh Volley Chardy?

Murray breaks

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

Will Andy consolidate his breaks in this set?

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP!) 08/18/2010 at 05:04 PM

It's about the only thing that could be described as remotely Rafa-like about this performance.

Please put us all out of this misery, Andy.

Posted by Kristy 08/18/2010 at 05:08 PM

Oo, arghh. You're right, this match is miserable (just got a stream). Even the commies sound depressed. Back to the sex photo for me too.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 05:09 PM

Andys first serve percentage is up in this 3rd set which is very helpful

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 05:11 PM

Well Muzz did shout out Come On I feel he is safe and sound

Posted by TeamNadal 08/18/2010 at 05:11 PM

and next up is Mono Man....adjusting his junk every 5 seconds....UGH

Posted by Arun 08/18/2010 at 05:11 PM

Yeah, AM. I noticed it too.
When Murray gets his 1st serve % to 60% or more, he is truly untouchable by his opponents.
When that % falls below 50 though, his 2nd serve is attacked and his puts more pressure on himself to go for more on his 1st serve.

Posted by Arun 08/18/2010 at 05:13 PM

*he puts

Good to see Kolya winning a set against a decent opponent.

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 05:13 PM

Yep, just like I suspected, it was Muzz's devilish plan to have more match practice... Look at him just routinely winning.

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP!) 08/18/2010 at 05:14 PM

Ginepri is a decent opponent now?

Muzz's percentage may be up, but he's just rolling it in half the time.

Posted by Arun 08/18/2010 at 05:16 PM

Kolya lost to Gimeno Traver and the likes recently.. so.

Posted by linex 08/18/2010 at 05:18 PM

Isner's retirement left me a little deflated I was looking forward to that matchup but could hardly see anything as those games of the first set passed by very quickly. I hope that Isner can recover on time for the us open and that David plays a good match tomorrow against Novak.

Posted by Amit 08/18/2010 at 05:20 PM

I suspect the weather is part of the reason for the bad play. Must be quite hot in Cincinnati.

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP!) 08/18/2010 at 05:20 PM

I think we're all deflated by that match.

Thank heaven it's over.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 05:35 PM

Well Andy didnt have much time to get to Cinncy either remember

He will improve no doubt.Not worried at all.

Oh just watching the replay of when Isner rolled his ankle Ahhh

Bad luck John you were playing well at the time

Posted by Heather 08/18/2010 at 05:43 PM

Doug Adler has nothing nice to say about anyone.

Posted by Puffin 08/18/2010 at 05:45 PM

Just seen a video of a pre-Cincy interview with Fed - he's not testy in that one - fairly relaxed, though not quite as serene as he was in any of his Toronto interviews. I presume it's a different interview (more a one-on-one) than the main press interview? If Roger was a bit testy in the main one, maybe he was itching to get out on the practice courts (as opposed to doing interviews), as he did say that he'd not yet done any practice and was due to play the next day - he might have been getting a bit apprehensive that there wouldn't be enough time for him to get used to the change in court speed from Toronto to Cincy. I'm sure he wants to do well this week, or at least get to play more than one match.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 06:21 PM

Heather Doug is being very criitcal of Andy at the moment

Like Doug get over your self

I would just mute

Douggie has been in a "mean" mood from the start of this tournament

Really giving it to everyone.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 06:25 PM

Hang on

Dont faint

Doug said thats "really good" from Andy

Things are looking up

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 06:26 PM

Also I feel Jason Goodall is a bad influence on Doug

Doug and Robbie together are a different team

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.I'am Back and I Am Taking No Prisoners! 08/18/2010 at 06:28 PM

Back later

Come on Andy

Just "bring it"

Thats a old expression of Dougs lol!

Posted by antoinette 08/18/2010 at 06:46 PM

Slow day at TW...I would have thought there would be more Andy ( Roddick) fans here supporting their guy...oh well I better stock up on some alcohol to get me through Pinky's match later. I have a feeling that Mr. Istomin may prove to be a handful for old Feddy...hope he can muddle through.

Go Pinky!!

Posted by Kristy 08/18/2010 at 06:48 PM

Hi Antoinette,

I think Roddick's fans, if they're anything like me, are afraid to watch him closely right now since he seems frail. I'm
sort of half-watching this match and just praying he can pull it out. De Bakker seems, like so many of Roddick's opponents, to be having a real "on" day. Sigh.

Posted by chicklet 08/18/2010 at 06:53 PM

De Bakker has a huge serve and RAndy is an awful returner, so this match was always going to be difficult for him.

So torn. Thiemo is one of my favorite young players, but I don't usually root against Roddick.

Posted by chicklet 08/18/2010 at 06:56 PM

Congrats to Koyla. He takes it in three sets, and will take on Ferru tomorrow.

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 07:12 PM

I really thought DeBakker could pull out this win but it's looking like Roddick will live to play antoher day, tomorrow to be exact.

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 07:15 PM

Where is everyone? I thought with the Master soon to play there will be more people around here.

Posted by chicklet 08/18/2010 at 07:17 PM

DeBakker had a couple errors in one service game, and it's going to cost him the match.
Them's the breaks.

Posted by chicklet 08/18/2010 at 07:19 PM

So Fed plays Istomin. All I can remember about him is a big serve.
As long as Fed keeps his 1st serve % up, I don't foresee any issues.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 07:19 PM

Roddick to serve for the match. C'mon, Andy!

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 07:21 PM

15-40 for Kim as Bethanie nets BH
Kim breaks as she hit FH passing shot for winner as Bethanie came to net behind BH

Kim to serve 2-1

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 07:21 PM

scoreboard: Fed fans are making last minute loo stops; some are in the kitchen grabbing snacks. THey'll be here, soon.

Posted by chicklet 08/18/2010 at 07:24 PM

Sooo many empty seats for the Rusty/Sod match.

Little Lleyton looks extra little against Le Sod.

Posted by Pspace 08/18/2010 at 07:25 PM

So, Muzz dropped a set against Chardy? *grumbles* Hope he hasn't peaked too early. Zat would not be good.

Posted by Sherlock 08/18/2010 at 07:26 PM

I thought Andy had mono? I'm actually surprised he can be out there playing in the heat.

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 07:26 PM

Carnap,
Makes sense. I just went for my snack and I see I'm back just in time.

Pspace,
Murray got bagelled by Monfils in Toronto and still won the tourney so no biggie :)

Posted by chicklet 08/18/2010 at 07:27 PM

Pspace - My prediction for Muzz at the USO is he's either out fourth round to a journeyman on a good day or he makes the final. He doesn't seem to have an in between.

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 07:28 PM

Sherlock,
Yea me too. That mono cost me some precious bracket points!

Posted by Sherlock 08/18/2010 at 07:30 PM

Lol, scoreboarding. :)

It's certainly encouraging to see him out there.

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 07:30 PM

Federer v Istomin
http://www.fromsport.com/v-0/2/160/v-36100.html

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 07:32 PM

Roddick certainly looks a lot better than Fed did when he had mono. I remember him looking quite green and totally listless when he played Fish in CA (and lost to him). Still, I imagine having to look at Fish for more than five minutes would cause one to go green around the gills.

Posted by Heather 08/18/2010 at 07:33 PM

Kristy, I was doing the same thing. Practically watching with one eye open, he did manage to win his first tie break all summer I believe so that's a positive. Tomorrow will be difficult with either Robin or Lleyton.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 07:33 PM

0-40 for Bethanie as Kim DF
Bethanie breaks as she hit BH DTL for winner

Bethanie to serve 3-all

Posted by antoinette 08/18/2010 at 07:34 PM

Am I the only Federer fan who is worried about this match?

Posted by Pspace 08/18/2010 at 07:36 PM

scoreboarding, hehe, but Monfils just bored him to sleep for a while. Maybe Chardy did too. Was only half watching the second set and left midway though.

LOL, chicklet. What a brave prediction ;-).

Hey Sherly. What gives?

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 07:37 PM

I don't think Roddick will have a problem with either Soderling or Hewitt. Anyone know the H2H's?

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 07:38 PM

antoinette: The only way to watch Fed these days is through the bottom of a martini glass. Take two, and call me in the morning.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 07:40 PM

I see Mattek-Sands is toe-to-toe with Kimmy. Whodathunkit? C'mon, Kimmy!

Posted by Sherlock 08/18/2010 at 07:42 PM

Yo, Pspace. How's life, brother? :)

Congratulations on your man's win in Toronto. Hope it translates into good things in New York.

Carnap, are you advocating drinking on a family site? :) I hope so, just wanted to make sure.

Posted by antoinette 08/18/2010 at 07:42 PM

@ Carnap

I concur....it seems that I never have enough alcohol in the house when McFeddruh takes the Court. Off to the liquor to stock up.

Posted by chicklet 08/18/2010 at 07:42 PM

Kimmie, giving the break back against Bethanie of all people..pfft.
Quit with the DFs and wrap this up.

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 07:44 PM

Hewitt up a break against Soderling.
Has Soderling time come and gone already?

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 07:44 PM

Sherlock: As a Scot, would I ever recommend any state other than inebriation?

Posted by Sherlock 08/18/2010 at 07:46 PM

Lol. Good point, carnap. Some beautiful scenery in that state too. :)

Posted by Heather 08/18/2010 at 07:46 PM

Carnap: Soderling leads Andy 2-1 but Andy won the last meeting in Indian Wells. Andy and Lleyton have played 12 times and have each won 6. Andy won their last meeting which was at last year's Wimbledon in the quarters.

Posted by chicklet 08/18/2010 at 07:46 PM

Has Le Sod changed his serving motion? He seems to be arching his back more than he usual.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 07:47 PM

Why isn't Fed on court? It's not as though the circus just left, and masses of elephant dung had to be moved.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 07:48 PM

Thanks, Heather. It all sounds about even, but my money is still on Roddick.

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 07:52 PM

Players on the court.

Posted by Heather 08/18/2010 at 07:52 PM

One can only hope, Carnap! Hopefully it will be the night match on ESPN. I'm sure Fed's match hasn't started yet because they have to get the day session people out.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 07:52 PM

Pinky 'n' Perky

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 07:53 PM

Bethanie takes the set 6-4 as Kim nets BH

Bethanie is playing well as she is going for her returns and she is coming to net consistently.

Posted by Colette 08/18/2010 at 07:53 PM

Whodathunk indeed. Bethanie takes the 1st set

Posted by chicklet 08/18/2010 at 07:54 PM

Kimmie, don't do this to me.

Posted by antoinette 08/18/2010 at 07:55 PM

I am logging off to watch in full frazzle mode......Go Pinky!!

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 07:57 PM

So it's pinky vs purple

Istomin is only 23? He looks older than that.

Posted by jackson 08/18/2010 at 07:58 PM

Has Soderling's time come and gone? When was his time? The guy has won 4 250's and 1 500 in his career.

Posted by Arun 08/18/2010 at 07:58 PM

Haa. Fed is a 11-time AMS RUP. If only he had won at least half of those finals..

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 07:58 PM

They better get this match started, or I'm going back to reading my book.

Posted by "" 08/18/2010 at 07:58 PM

For first set,
Bethanie: W/UFEs = 11/12
Kim" W/UFEs = 6/12

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 08/18/2010 at 08:00 PM

Sod's forehand is an assault. Scary stuff.

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

He's also made a Slam final and upset two defending champions at Roland Garros. I think people will remember that about him too.

Posted by Novela Nadalesca/Celia 08/18/2010 at 08:04 PM

Does anyone know the order of play for tomorrow at Cincy?

Posted by Flyer 08/18/2010 at 08:06 PM

Fed looks a tad pale to me - can that be with such a tan?

Hope he isn't really hurting from Toronto - quick turn around for someone with so many court miles in him - difficult recouping from 3 straight days of tough matches.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 08:06 PM

Sheesh. What's the matter with Kimmy? Down a set and a break to Mattek-Sanda of all people.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 08:08 PM

Flyer: He looks pale to me, too...kinda pasty as though he wants to upchuck.

Posted by Andrew 08/18/2010 at 08:08 PM

Two quick service games by Federer, a hold at deuce for Istomin. Nothing too alarming so far. 2-1 Federer, on serve.

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

I hope this means Soderling has finally woken up. Hewitt to serve 1-4 in the second.

Novela Nadalesca/Celia,
I was looking for it but it didn't seem to be up yet.

Vamos Fed!

Posted by Flyer 08/18/2010 at 08:12 PM

Soderling and Hewitt playing?

Hewie took first set eh? Nice.

Please Roger - stay with the program and put this guy away in 2 easy straight - hear that - STRAIGHT - sets.....

Was out for some drinks and don't have the fortitudie to deal with tennis stress tonight!

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 08:14 PM

Flyer: If you had enough drinks, you're probably comfortably numb and feeling no stress.

Posted by Andrew 08/18/2010 at 08:15 PM

Two holds at 15, 3-2 Federer. The camera pans to Istomin's box, and lights on a blonde young lady. Jason Goodall either calls her "Boydanka" or says "the boy done good." Serve is dominant at the moment - word is this is a quicker court than Toronto, so no surprise there.

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