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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 Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 08:17 PM

Only way Kim is going to win this match is that Bethanie level must dip

Kim to serve 4-6,1-4

Posted by Flyer 08/18/2010 at 08:19 PM

carnap:

Problem is I'm beginning to come "down" - reality is setting in again and my nice hazy rosey glow is dimming.

It's so dark - so dark......

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 08:20 PM

The bookies are going to be hopping mad having to pay out on Kimmy's match.

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

"Through A Beer Glass Darkly"

Posted by Novela Nadalesca/Celia 08/18/2010 at 08:21 PM

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

Thanks scoreboarding

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 08:22 PM

Now both my stream and SB are acting up. Did Rogie break yet?

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 08:23 PM

yes 4-2 roger serving

Posted by Flyer 08/18/2010 at 08:25 PM

Rogi - are you actually going to back up your break?

You is holding?

You haz cheezeburger?

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 08:25 PM

Thanks Carnap. My internet is crawling at the moment.

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 08:25 PM

thats more like it, robin!

one-set-all, hewitt-soderling 4-6, 6-3, hewitt to serve first deciding set (slight edge).

Posted by Andrew 08/18/2010 at 08:27 PM

Federer breaks, with the help of two nice approach shots that Istomin can't get over the net. Then holds at 30, after an Istomin pass which surprises Federer by, um, clearing the net. Federer 5-2, with a break. Federer is gaining control over the neutral rallies with the heavy FH: Istomin rivals Victor Hanescu in the charisma department.

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

I can't believe how slow it is here and during a Fed match too!

Ah my SB seems to be back. Good to see Soderling leveled the match and has Kim found a second wind in Montreal?

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 08:28 PM

15-40, break here robin! please!

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 08:28 PM

Well, just look who finally woke up for the party? Miss Kimmy is on court.

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 08:29 PM

awesome break. now just maintain serve, bring it on home!

Posted by Flyer 08/18/2010 at 08:29 PM

What happened - I looked away for a sec and I man is down?

Posted by Andrew 08/18/2010 at 08:31 PM

Istomin pings something trying to accelerate for a Federer DS. Doesn't look good.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 08:31 PM

Is Istomin a native Uzbek, or did he just move there for sponsorship? He looks more Germanic to me.

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

what's happening in Roger's match? My SB is stuck at 0-30 Istomin serving but the other match is moving along just fine.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 08:31 PM

15-40 for Kim as Bethanie nets BH approach
Kim breaks as Bethanie nets BH

Kim serving for set 4-6,5-4

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

Soderling up a break. Robin rockin' the house.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 08:33 PM

That more like it, Kimmy!

Posted by Andrew 08/18/2010 at 08:34 PM

Memo to Mr Istomin: you may wish to tape the ankles before the match, not during. I will be surprised if he's able to go at top speed. Looked to me like it might be the achilles tendon - didn't turn the ankle, felt it as he pushed off quick to accelerate.

Posted by Cupcake lurker 08/18/2010 at 08:34 PM

Poor Istomin (?), this does not help anyone, I hope he doesn't retired.

I'm sleepy, this MTO is so not helping me.

Posted by ladyjulia 08/18/2010 at 08:34 PM

what happened to Fed's match?

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

15-0 Bethanie FH return long
30-0 Bethanie BH return long
First 15 games of match, Bethanie played Top 10 tennis
30-15 Bethanie CC BH passings shot winner as Kim came to net
40-15 Bethanie FH long
Kim takes the set as she hit BH winner

Bethanie serving to begin decider 6-4,4-6

Bethanie has requested her coach

Posted by Flyer 08/18/2010 at 08:36 PM

Strapping up now - will see how it goes.

Posted by Cupcake lurker 08/18/2010 at 08:36 PM

ladyjulia, looks like Istomin pull a muscle.

Posted by Flyer 08/18/2010 at 08:36 PM

Retired

Posted by Amit 08/18/2010 at 08:36 PM

That's that for Fed's match. Istomin withdraws.

Posted by Cupcake lurker 08/18/2010 at 08:37 PM

And now he retiers.

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 08:37 PM

Novela Nadalesca/Celia,

The OOP is up now:
http://www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2010/422/op.pdf

Murray v Gulbis at 12 in CC followed by Nadal v Benneteau and then Fed (most likely) v Kohlschreiber. Djokovic v Nalby follows Fish v Gasquet on the Grandstand starting at 12

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 08:37 PM

keep arolling, robin. 3-1. thank you.

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

Good assessment, Andrew. He's in pain, clearly demonstrated when he flinched and pulled his foot back during examination. I'll be surprised if he can continue.

Posted by Pspace 08/18/2010 at 08:38 PM

Ouch! Poor Istomin. Playing against Fudd would've prolly been one of his carrera highlights. I'm guessing that old man Federer will not be unhappy with the extra rest ;-).

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

Ah he did retire.

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 08:38 PM

Ok Just realized Istomin retired!
Happy Fed is through but that was short!

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 08:39 PM

So he goes from TMF to OMF?

Posted by Andrew 08/18/2010 at 08:40 PM

Pity. We're done. I didn't think he'd be too lively, and he took three ginger steps and made a quick hand gesture and called it a day. I'd also be surprised if Mr Istomin shows up in New York - that looked like a six weeker, at least.

I'm happy to get to bed at a reasonable hour (well, 1:40am), and we'll see how Mr Federer does against his recent training partner, Mr Kohlwhenthebelfastchildsingsagain. Commiserations again to Istomin fans, and congratulations to Federer fans.

Posted by Ezekiel Mellifluous 08/18/2010 at 08:40 PM

Looking pretty in pink King Roger simply overpowered the young lad and showed once again why he and only he is TENNIS! All Hail King Rog for there is only he!

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 08:41 PM

Maybe we'll get to see Robin/Leyton on Tennis Channel?

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 08:41 PM

NO--! Old man Fed got a lucky break. Now he may get more rest... Slightly getting nervous on the prospect of my Rafa 2010 Cincy Champ project.

Looking at tomorrow OP; yesterday I said that Djoker would get bumped to 2nd show court. Well I was wrong for today, but I was right for tomorrow! ha! I knew out of top 4, Djoker would be the one that gets bumped. And why does old man fed get 2nd straight night session? If Fedal SF were to happen, it would 99% likely be the night session on saturday, so old man Fed doesn't need any extra practice, you know?

Posted by antoinette 08/18/2010 at 08:43 PM

I cant believe these players dont tape their ankles!! That was a shame as it was shaping up to be a nice little match for Pinky. Hope the injury is not too serious for Istomin.

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 08:44 PM

junkyard dog hewitt, breaks back. dang.

Posted by Cupcake lurker 08/18/2010 at 08:44 PM

WOW six week!, is it really that bad?.

Well I'm out, good night all.

Posted by Arun 08/18/2010 at 08:45 PM

Seriously.. Is it impossible to move Fed or Rafa to Grandstand and schedule Nole-Nalby on stadium court?
That match-up seems to have excellent potential.

Posted by Ezekiel Mellifluous 08/18/2010 at 08:45 PM

..........Roddick? Soderling? Nadal? Who are these people? Where did they come from and when? Why do I not care? They are not King Roger and so for them I feel nothing. We return you to your regularly scheduled program...........

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 08:45 PM

Fed is not getting the night session exactly.
He plays third. Roddick gets the 7pm start

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro to the haters, don't you wish your pusher was hott like me. 08/18/2010 at 08:45 PM

I like Bethanie, think she's an orginal, marches to her own tune, but could somebody please explain her outfit, it looks like someone cut the left side shorter than the right. In spite of the rankings difference I think Sands is the third best American right now on the ladies side. The technical flaws which you see in many aspects of Oudin's game I don't see in hers. Robin, Kampa, Kampa!!Kom igen!!

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

Man, Djoker's quater is loaded... Djoker-Fat Dave, Mono-Rod-Hewitt/Sod.

I just noticed that Hewitt doesn't do his c'mon against old man Fed, for some reasons. Why? Why don't Hewitt shout his c'mon to Fed's face? Now I think of it, he doesn't really do to Rafa anymore. He doesn't have problem with shouting against Sod and other lower ranked players...

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 08:49 PM

scoreboarding

you were right, my bad, my friend. Fed is 3rd up and may even get bumped if Muzz and Rafa play around too long... phew! Getting slightly less nervous now.

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 08:49 PM

Wasn't Soderling up a break in the third? Or did I dream that?

Posted by Ezekiel Mellifluous 08/18/2010 at 08:50 PM

Mattek-Sands is insane and the kneesox are the proof! I will not entertain debate on this subject for I know in my heart what is right.

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 08:50 PM

yeah, robin - way to erase breakpoint!

Posted by Arun 08/18/2010 at 08:50 PM

scoreboarding - he was.

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 08:51 PM

don't let the crowd get to you, robin!

nice hold! 4-4!

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 08:51 PM

Oh, look at Sod all getting excited after saving that break point with an ace. It was a bit awkward. I don't think he's winning any fans from the current mostly pro-Hewitt fans from the stand. Yet he escaped the game. 4-4.

Posted by Andrew 08/18/2010 at 08:51 PM

If you wish to see an example of "no love lost," check out Soderling - Hewitt on the Grandstand. 4-4 in the 3rd.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 08:52 PM

40-40 Kim FH passing shot winner as Bethanie came to net behind BH
A-40 Bethanie jumps to hit BH volley for winner after coming to net behind BH
40-40 Bethanie FH shank long
40-A Bethanie nets BH
Kim 3/8 BP
Kim breaks as she hit CC FH passing shot for winner as Bethanie came to net behind FH

Kim to serve 4-6,6-4,2-1

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

Rafa 2010: Muzz gets his business over and done with in short order, it's Rafa who can delay, delay, delay, delay, zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Posted by tina 08/18/2010 at 08:53 PM

Where did Lleyton and Roger play a final this summer - Halle, right? There were plenty of C'MONs to Fed's face.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 08:54 PM

Samantha Elin,
We are seeing why Bethanie was in the Top 40 before she got injured last year and agree with you, that she is the 3rd best American.

Posted by Amit 08/18/2010 at 08:54 PM

Tina,

Quite right. Federer later claimed that's where his back issues began.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 08:54 PM

Let's go, Kimmy & Robin!

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 08:54 PM

I wish I could check it out but my internet is not cooperating.

I see that now Soderling HAS to hold to stay alive!

Posted by Ezekiel Mellifluous 08/18/2010 at 08:54 PM

Dear Sam
My pusher most definately isn't hot like you. He's a ruddy faced little bastard who keeps jacking up the price! Becoming addicted to quaaludes is beginning to seem like a bad idea.

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 08:54 PM

ok, robin, forget everything else around you, esp the crowd.

just keep holding, keep fighting, we'll take him out in t/b.

Posted by chicklet 08/18/2010 at 08:55 PM

Oh Kimmie, I'm obviously a jinx for you. I leave and you turn it around against Sharapova on Sunday and now Mattek-Sands.
I promise not to watch anymore if you would just hold on to this break.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro to the haters, don't you wish your pusher was hott like me. 08/18/2010 at 08:55 PM

Robin, jag tror pa dig, Kampa! Kampa! Come on Bethanie, break back.

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

15-40 for Bethanie as Kim nets FH
Bethanie breaks as she hit smash winner coming forward after good BH return

Bethanie to serve 6-4,4-6,2-all

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 08:56 PM

well-constructed point, robin. keep moving the junkyard dog around!

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 08/18/2010 at 08:56 PM

Hidey Ho

So happy that I have an easy week at work it allows me to post more often than in the past.

I see Rockin' Robin lost the break he had, damn. C'mon on RR get it together. OTOH Lleyton must be playing some good tennis. AM is this match being shown live.

Good wins for Flavia over Klebys and Dinara over Nads. And I see the Flavia and Gise double act continues to roll along at a nice pace. Hope they don't burn themselves out before the USO.

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 08:57 PM

ouchie return from hewitt 15-30, but now 30-30, woohoo!

Posted by chicklet 08/18/2010 at 08:57 PM

*sigh* That's it Kimmie. I'm going to bed.

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 08:57 PM

beautiful net-play, robin! 40-30

Posted by John 08/18/2010 at 08:58 PM

*Muzz gets his business over and done with in short order......*
Well today Muzz had to play 3 sets, delay, delay, delay, delay zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 08:58 PM

yes, 5-5. a break here would be nice, robin!

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 08:59 PM

Phew! Robin holds!

Break now!!

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 08:59 PM

don't be lazy, robin - keep your head!

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 09:00 PM

What is that annoying sound?

Posted by Ezekiel Mellifluous 08/18/2010 at 09:00 PM

This just in........

Isner leads Mahut 2672 - 2671.

Mahut to serve.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 09:01 PM

John: You're comparing three sets to interminable delays of serve?

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 09:02 PM

LOL Ezekiel

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 08/18/2010 at 09:02 PM

sod's friend - Is RR lookin' tired or anything? Please get the break in this game. I don't ask for a lot in life but a break would be good.

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 09:02 PM

warrior robin - standing strong, just break him. please

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

Did you hear that too carnap? I thought i'm drank

Posted by Ezekiel Mellifluous 08/18/2010 at 09:03 PM

That annoying noise is the new Van Halen single. A minimalist loop/drone that says much about the band's current state.

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 09:03 PM

tina

I saw that match btw Fed and Hewitt at Halle and Hewitt didn't shout C'mons. All he did was some subdue fistpumps to his camp. He did shout c'mons all over in SF, so I found that weird.

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 09:04 PM

surf angel.

i wonder. hewitt is just a geezer!

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 08/18/2010 at 09:04 PM

Are Van Halen still around?

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 09:05 PM

Break check
Now hold for the match Robin!

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 09:05 PM

oh sweet, robin gets the break now - 6-5. still, knowing hewitt, serving this match out is not a given.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (The Youz for the top 10) 08/18/2010 at 09:05 PM

Well done RR now please serve it out and no stuff ups.

Posted by Rafa 2010 Cincy champ, I told you so 08/18/2010 at 09:06 PM

Hewitt done. Sad to see Hewitt definitely no longer top 10 or not even top 20.

Look at Sod, rubbing it into Hewitt with his exaggerated celebrations over winners. Definitely turning the crowd against him. But maybe too late.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 09:07 PM

Almost there, Robin. Steady as she goes.

Posted by Master Ace 08/18/2010 at 09:07 PM

0-40 for Bethanie as Kim DF
4/9 BP for Bethanie
15-40 Kim FH winner on short return
30-40 Bethanie FH return wide
40-40 Kim FH winner DTL
A-40 Kim BH winner
40-40 Kim FH long
A-40 Bethanie nets FH return
40-40 Kim FH wide
A-40 Kim Ace at the T
Kim holds as she hit BH winner on short ball

Bethanie to serve 6-4,4-6,3-all

Posted by sod'sfriend 08/18/2010 at 09:07 PM

40-15, 1 point away now~!

Posted by Ezekiel Mellifluous 08/18/2010 at 09:07 PM

I miss the noise. It had no beat whatsover and you wouldn't even want to dance to it. I give it a 95!

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 08/18/2010 at 09:08 PM

Congrats to Robin and sod's friend(s)

Posted by scoreboarding 08/18/2010 at 09:08 PM

Nice to have good company in rooting for Soderling and he wins, finally!!

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