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Hero of the Fall 10/13/2010 - 12:23 PM

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by Pete Bodo

Okay, so let's begin this discussion with a multiple-choice question. Who said, "I’m playing well, moving well, motivated mentally and full of energy. I’m hoping that it’s going to stay that way."

A: Andy Roddick, after he won the Miami Masters back in April.

B: Novak Djokovic, after he improved his record in matches delayed for at least 24 hours by rain to 1-1.

C: Roger Federer, in his press conference after winning the Australian Open at the beginning of this year.

D: Andy Murray, after establishing a personal best score in the new F-! 2010 video game for Playstation 3 or Xbox 360.

If you chose "B," you're a winner (If you chose "A," you were just duped by the picture I ran at the top of this piece. Clever me.)

Anyway, when was the last time you heard a top player issue such a strange utterance in the month of October?

And it isn't like Djokovic has been cooling his jets since he was upended in the Wimbledon semis by Tomas Berdych, in one of the least persuasive matches Djokovic has ever played. Djokovic has been on a rampage ever since. Sucking it up after that critical failure against Berdych, Djokovic returned to lead Serbia, a nation still in recovery mode and therefore given to chest-thumping and overt displays of national pride, to the Davis Cup semifinals with singles wins over two Croatians, Ivan Ljubicic and Marin Cilic. (It was almost fitting that Djokovic bagged that benchmark 50th win of the year in Shanghai yesterday against Ljubicic, while Cilic played a desultory match and was upset by Andreas Seppi.)

Djokovic followed up his Davis Cup heroics with a semi in Toronto (where he lost to Roger Federer) and a quarter in Cincinnati (where he lost to Andy Roddick). You all know what happened at the U.S. Open; Djokovic bested Federer in five and brought unbridled aggression to the final against Nadal. It was eye-opening and spine-tingling, despite Nadal's ultimate triumph. Djokovic then played a critical role in Serbia's Davis Cup drive by taking out Berdych in a tough semifinal tie; Serbia will now play France for the title.

At about this time, with that record, any comparable ATP or WTA pro could be forgiven for quietly writing off the fall as a time to either gather information (for use in the year-end championships) or relax and bask in a sense of his own badness. But Djokovic, after an appropriate rest, bounced back to win Beijing and he showed no interest in pausing to smell the roses. He went straight to Shanghai, where the guy is even playing doubles.

Of course, the doubles is all about the upcoming Davis Cup final. Is there any doubt that it's the No. 1 priority for Djokovic now? The great, hidden benefit in his situation is that wherever he plays until the final, Djokovic can swing from the heels, relieved from feeling any pressure whatsoever—a circumstance that makes any quality player especially dangerous. And that's bad news for Nadal, Federer, and even Murray, who could certainly use a late-season surge of his own to get his reputation back on track.

Djokovic is a man remade, and that's cause for celebration. But his revival also contains some valuable truths about his profession. If anyone has reason to complain about the nearly year-round calendar, it's Djokovic. And while he's a sturdily built guy, he's never exactly been an iron man. So how come he's gamboling across the court these days, 50 matches into the year, and declaring he's fresh, motivated, and ready to mow down anyone standing in his way? You can't put it down to adrenaline, because that can't be generated on a time-release basis. You can't attribute it to some new fitness regimen, because there isn't one. There's really just one reason Djokovic is so sanguine about the rest of the year. He wants to play.

Once again, it demonstrates that despite the siren song off a longer off-season, one to which both tours are dangerously attracted, tennis is by nature an interval sport. And the spacing between the major occasions in tennis, with the exception of Davis Cup, allows for the pros to have adequate rest and recovery. When the players complain about the length of the season, they're just like anyone else who's given to whining about the number of hours he or she must dedicate to work. And the one thing that most successful people, in any field, seem to have in common is their willingness and ability to put in the hours.

Federer provides us with another good example. Before jump-starting his campaign again in Shanghai, he declared that he was well-rested and coming off intensive training in the period following the U.S. Open. Federer is playing straight through to the end of November, and seemingly looking forward to the experience. That must be partly because it offers him one more opportunity to win back ground he's lost to Nadal this year, and under the conditions most favorable to Federer's game. It's funny how the fall is now a time of opportunity, not a period of punishment.

Djokovic undoubtedly will have something to say about Federer's plans, while Nadal is so close to enjoying utter dominion over the game that he can almost taste it, or could if he can ever get that taste of silver or pewter out of his mouth. Seriously, the guy has to stop biting those trophies, because who knows what chemicals go into plating them? Headline: Nadal Hospitalized, Suspected Metal Poisoning.

What a fall it's turning out to be, and who would have predicted it? It all goes to show the calendar isn't a problem unless you want to make it one. Tennis ought to celebrate the fact that it's a year-round, interval sport; it's a mark of distinction, not a liability. Injuries are a problem, for sure, but not a seasonal one. Lack of motivation is problem, but one that's no more likely to be solved than the injury problem by a shortening of the year. All it takes to create a credible and compelling fall narrative is desire.

Just ask Novak Djokovic.


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Posted by Master Ace 10/13/2010 at 12:26 PM

Thursday Order of Play:

WTA: Osaka at 10 PM(Wednesday) - Craybas, Peer and Benesova scheduled
ATP: Shanghai at 2 AM - Murray vs Chardy and Berdych vs Garcia-Lopez scheduled
ATP: Shanghai at 3 AM - Gasquet vs Djokovic, Tsonga vs Mayer and Soderling vs Ferrer scheduled
WTA: Osaka at 4:30 AM - Nakamura vs Date Krumm
ATP: Shanghai at 6 AM - Nadal vs Melzer and Monaco vs Zverev scheduled
ATP: Shanghai at 8 AM - Seppi vs Federer
WTA: Linz at 8 AM - Matches to be announced
WTA: Linz at 2:15 PM - Match to be announced

Posted by Ross (FOE) 10/13/2010 at 12:34 PM

"Seriously, the guy has to stop biting those trophies, because who knows what chemicals go into plating them?"

One more thing for Rafa fans to worry about. :)

From TW accounts I'll have something to watch tonight.

Posted by Master Ace 10/13/2010 at 12:35 PM

Pete,
Very good piece on Djokovic as Djokovic has proved year after year starting with 2007 that he plays well after the USO season. Nadal has had a solid Asian tour to date and Federer is ready to make a late push to close out 2010 on a good note. Therefore, the fall schedule has agreed with the ATP capped off so far with the top 20 players in the world playing in Shanghai. Last year at this time, the ATP had consistent injuries therefore, I hope that the injuries stay away from the ATP(too late for Roddick but hopefully, he will be back for Basel) unlike the WTA where 7 or 8 (depending on Serena) Top 20 players have closed their 2010 season due to illness or injury.

Posted by zenggi 10/13/2010 at 12:41 PM

For those of you who couldn't watch the match between Federer and Isner here are some highlights:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpKh4yF7cUw

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 10/13/2010 at 12:44 PM

Nice write up on Novak and I'm very happy to see him back to where he deserves to be. He has, in my opinion, been very unfortunate to be dogged by those breathing problems this year and I hope that he can overcome them next year.

Posted by Kristy 10/13/2010 at 12:46 PM

Awwww poor Roddick. I hope Brooklyn has some great cheering-up techniques.

Linz had tweeted he was crying. Heartbreaking! Well, very gutting, at least.

Posted by rafadoc Waka Waka 10/13/2010 at 12:47 PM

Thanks for writing about Novak Pete. Glad to see and hear that he is energized. At one point in the season he didn't seem to be enjoying himself much. He seems to be inspired right now.

It should be an interesting fall indeed. The top 3 are looking good...didn't see Andy Murray's match.

I still think the season is too long with Davis Cup. Guess we'll continue to disagree on that Pete. We'll always have our shoe appreciation though! :)

Posted by Kristy 10/13/2010 at 12:56 PM

Pete, I love this analysis of Djokovic, who certainly hasn't always given off an air of wanting to play. But you're right, now he does. He looks bright-eyed and zealous, for the first time in - years? And it's exciting that he may be the one to challenge Rafa. I'm sure he put a good scare into him at the USO.

I especially like the phrase "gamboling across the court". (Although it might describe Monfils better. Novak doesn't exactly gambol - he zigs and zags with lightning speed.) But you do capture his state of mind, which finally seems *willing* in a way it hasn't been.

Posted by CL 10/13/2010 at 12:58 PM

Mr. CL once described Gael as the Harpo Marx of tennis.

Posted by zenggi 10/13/2010 at 01:00 PM

I like Mr CL. A lot. We have to meet, CL.:)

Posted by CL 10/13/2010 at 01:04 PM

zenggi -That would be loverly. :-)

I rather like him too. Most of the time. ;-)

Posted by CL 10/13/2010 at 01:05 PM

Kristy - Andy R was crying? That must have been a major OUCHIE for Andy.

Crying is not just for wusses like Fed anymore, it seems.

Posted by Heather 10/13/2010 at 01:08 PM

Kristy, crying, really? Ugh. My Andy-loving heart just broke some more.

Brooklyn was just on Dan Patrick's show and talked about Andy getting injured and that basically "it happens." She's in Hawaii so hopefully she'll cheer him up over the phone or skype or however they communicate when a part (must be rough).

Posted by lilscot 10/13/2010 at 01:14 PM

rafadoc:

Is it 1983 yet? :)

Posted by Or 10/13/2010 at 01:15 PM

I watched when the trainer was working on him, if he wasn't crying, he was close. Tears of pain, more than angst, I think. The trainer massaged his thigh/groin, and he jumped about a ft in the air, big grimacing, biting his lip, etc.

Posted by rafadoc Waka Waka 10/13/2010 at 01:15 PM

I hope this is the new thread for conversation. If not, apologies. I wanted to post the most important part of Rafa's press conference:

;-P

Q. Andy Murray just said he thought he and his partner won the game last night against you and your partner. I want to hear the story from your side. Who won?

RAFAEL NADAL: Is not a story about that. That's the true. I not going to answer because everybody who was there knows who win yesterday night. So if he's happy coming here and lie everybody, it's okay (smiling).

But we won, that's true. Monaco and me, we won 2-1. That's true. But, anyway, if he doesn't recognize that they lost, we don't gonna play against them another time. That's for sure.


http://www.shanghairolexmasters.com/Eng ... 0/424.html

Posted by lilscot 10/13/2010 at 01:16 PM

Or: 1:15 p.m.

Hey, the trainer massaged his groin? Well now, that calls for a whole other "medical time-out!" :) Hell, why not, Andy's always, "adjusting," that area anyway. Might as well rub it.

Posted by zenggi 10/13/2010 at 01:16 PM

CL,
Roger's presser is out on the Chinese youtube. It takes for ever to download but you know the proverb: "The ox is slow, but the Earth is patient..." Yeah.

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjE0NTEyMjI0.html

I keep liking Mr. CL. We must concoct a plan. :)

Posted by rafadoc Waka Waka 10/13/2010 at 01:16 PM

Ohhh. Poor Andy. :(

lilscot: Its 1984. Keep up! ;-)

Posted by Kristy 10/13/2010 at 01:21 PM

Haha, CL, good one from Mr. CL.

Heather, I'm glad Brooklyn has such adown-to-earth attitude to Andy's career -- maybe it calms his own teeth-gnashing style. Actually, after a bad loss he usually drops out of sight (from Twitter) for a few days, but eventually pops up with his usual jokes, sarcasm and funny links. In other words I think he suffers for a time but it passes and then he's fine, philosophical.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 10/13/2010 at 01:21 PM

zenggi : Did you know Picto won today ? And I wasn't ordered under the sofa ... lol !

Posted by lilscot 10/13/2010 at 01:21 PM

rafadoc:

1984!!! Man does time ever fly by. Faster than A-Ha can say Take On Me! Oh the 80s. Hated them! Being my age the 70s was my, "influential," period, if you know what I mean. When I was in senior high things were pretty mellow. The Vietnam war ended and the only real problems we thought about was not getting caught by the teachers smoking a joint under the bleachers. Or, even better, catching the teacher doing the same thing.

Then the 80s came along and everything was cocaine and fast-paced and buying that Mercedes and the Cold War. Such a tense and serious decade, but also so full of decadence.

But, most importantly, most of the music suuuucked.

Remember though, this is coming from an old fart like me! :)

Posted by lilscot 10/13/2010 at 01:23 PM

Pete:

I echo the others in saying thank-you for the great write-up on Nole. He's my second favourite player and it's so great to see him back where he belongs and playing like we know he can play.

This may sound strange, but ever since Marat left the scene we've needed another big personality around like that. And I think Nole comes close. :) And that's a good thing.

Posted by zenggi 10/13/2010 at 01:26 PM

Lynne,
I was SB that match myself while watching Roger-Isner. I couldn't order you anything because I couldn't judge what was really happening on court. Happy for Pico as you know, though a bit dissapointed for my countryman. Thiemo.

I love Pico because he was twitting this morning that he was watching the rescue of the Chilean miners. Good heart or "heart on the right place" besides being his adorable self.

Now to the important matters: Have you used your hoover at last?
And congratulations to you on Rafa's win also!

Posted by Kristy 10/13/2010 at 01:28 PM

lilscot, I agree. Nole isn't afraid to show his emotions and he also clowns around occasionally - that kind of stuff is almost completely absent from the men's tour right now, so I really appreciate him and Monfils.

AndyR used to good for both emo and clowning around, but Jimmy Connors sobered him right up and he hasn't goofed around since. He's all business. I see the purpose, competitively, but it's not as much fun. I fondly remember Nastase and Connors himself (!) being entertainers as well as athletes.

Posted by rafadoc Waka Waka 10/13/2010 at 01:28 PM

lilscot: I am "older" (ahem) too. I agree about music in the 80's. I had a lot of fun in that decade though! Heehee.

I also agree about the tour needing a personality like Nole's. I miss Marat. :(

Posted by Colette 10/13/2010 at 01:29 PM

"I hope Brooklyn has some great cheering-up techniques."

Kristy, I'd say Brooklyn probably IS a cheering-up technique. (too bad she's in Hawaii).

So sorry about Andy. Hope, altho' it seems painful now, it's something quickly-recoverable.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 10/13/2010 at 01:29 PM

zenggi : Sorry about Thiemo. Yep, hoovered and mopped, both done with alarm yesterday. Good news about Roger too and nice to see him back.

Posted by zenggi 10/13/2010 at 01:33 PM

Lynne,
Well done you! Now I don't see any reason for you to crawl under the sofa tomorrow. Melzer isn't a threat at all. Anyway if you need me to order you anything just yell. :)

Posted by Kristy 10/13/2010 at 01:34 PM

"I'd say Brooklyn probably IS a cheering-up technique."

LOL, this is a nice way to say the obvious. Thanks, Colette.

Who does Roger play next?

Posted by Colette 10/13/2010 at 01:35 PM

And, yes, great write-up on Nole finding/maintaining his Modjo. Think maybe the cooler weather (in most tournament locations now) helps to some degree (npi).

For those who don't access through Tennis.com, he's ahead in the reader poll on who's gonna win Shanghai. (Think he was even further ahead yesterday.)

http://tinyurl.com/2bkcxws

Posted by zenggi 10/13/2010 at 01:36 PM

Kristy,
Roger plays against Seppi tomorrow the last match after Rafa-Melzer.

Posted by Tuulia 10/13/2010 at 01:36 PM

rafadoc, surely you also should have posted the important part of AndyM's presser+ :)

Damn those guys are adorable! Well, I'm not familiar with AndyM's partner in crime, but the other 3 certainly are.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 10/13/2010 at 01:37 PM

Er, no, zenggi. In fact, I'm off to tackle the ironing now. See you later.

Posted by Gseries 10/13/2010 at 01:40 PM

If this is an article about Djokovic at least show a picture of HIM and not some guy on the shelf.

Posted by Kristy 10/13/2010 at 01:41 PM

Thank you, zenggi!

CL, I think Andy was mostly grimacing in pain, prolly crying a few miserable tears. Linz was majorly bummed. She said it was the worst moment in the history of her watching tennis.

Posted by arbiter 10/13/2010 at 01:44 PM

"I fear the Danaan's even bearing gifts". That is all I can say about this writer, mr. Bodo. I don't see any of his texts as hones writing, but always with hidden agenda.

Posted by rafadoc Waka Waka 10/13/2010 at 01:47 PM

Tuulia: Oops! I didn't know Andy talked about it...awesome! This has been fun. Now the trash talkin' starts. ;-)

I have to head to work. Its been fun!

See you all later.

Posted by tina (ajde, Novak: handsome and talented Balkans #1, world #2, Davis Cup hero, AO 2008 titleist, reigning USO finalist, cutest butt in tennis, rapper, the face of Belgrade t-shirts, Novak water and Restaurant - don't u wish your polyglot was hott like me) 10/13/2010 at 01:50 PM

Finally breaking through the Federer Wall in New York did so much for Novak's confidence - and that's the key to his current energy and motivation.
That his confidence got an extra jolt from Davis Cup is also pretty clear.

Since Shanghai is the biggest title of the Asian Swing, I'll continue to wake up at 3 am, or whenever necessary. Though I don't know why I couldn't find working streams 12 hours ago....


Posted by Or 10/13/2010 at 01:52 PM

With a groin injury, Brooklyn's cheering options are kind of, um, limited.

Posted by Tuulia 10/13/2010 at 01:56 PM

rafadoc, you "didn't know"? How's that possible - did you read the bit you posted yourself? ;) And now you're off to work, some excuse... lol ok, I guess I gotta do it then.


Q. Who won yesterday evening, Monaco and you or Nadal and your partner?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, you can hear my side and you can ask Rafa later after his match (smiling).
Basically we agreed to play best of three. They won the first match. The second match went into extra time, and they decided if it went to penalties, it didn't count because they didn't know how to take penalties. So the match finished as a draw.
They said, Okay, we're not playing. Didn't want to play penalties. We drew the game. I think we won that one because they didn't want to take the penalties. Then we won the third game. Then they wanted to play a fourth one, which they won.
So I think it was 2 All. They think it was 2 1 for them. But we were the better team, so that was the most important thing (smiling).

Q. You're not blaming your partner?
ANDY MURRAY: No, my partner was okay. I did have the weaker partner. Juan Monaco, he was good. Rafa and my partner weren't as good.

http://www.shanghairolexmasters.com/English/news/50/428.html

Posted by lilscot 10/13/2010 at 02:07 PM

Or: 1:52 p.m.

Lol!

Posted by lilscot 10/13/2010 at 02:09 PM

Gseries: 1:40 p.m.

I agree it doesn't make sense to have a piece about Nole and have a photo of Andy above. I think it was mainly because of his little trivia game with the question about who said the quotation. He put that picture there to see how many people guessed Andy said it.

On the home-page the story is headed by a really nice photo of Nole though. :)

Posted by Vie 10/13/2010 at 02:12 PM

Funny, you're a Nole KAD, Pete. I knew this since early days.

Posted by Vie 10/13/2010 at 02:16 PM

I am not sure now who I want to win DC. At first I thought Nole's team. But then, wouldn't it be nice for the young French team to hoist that cup too.

Posted by Nam1 10/13/2010 at 02:23 PM

ANDY MURRAY: No, my partner was okay. I did have the weaker partner. Juan Monaco, he was good. Rafa and my partner weren't as good.

OMG, Andy you are in BIG trouble when Raf hears this! That guys is the biggest competitor in the world!

Posted by rafadoc Waka Waka 10/13/2010 at 02:28 PM

Nam1: Thanks for posting the Andy part of the Play Station "issue"

Tuulia: D'oh!! Of course I knew Andy talked about it...but hadn't seen it.


Posted by rafadoc Waka Waka 10/13/2010 at 02:33 PM

Okay...settled in at work and obviously not working. lol

Nam1: Andy is asking for it now! Although I do hear Rafa is not as good at the Play Station as he is on the court.

I also love that when Rafa plays the tennis video game, he uses "Roger" not "Rafa" because "Rafa just runs and runs and never hits a winner". (I think that is from a Jim Courier AO interview)

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 10/13/2010 at 02:53 PM

The excerpt from Andy M.s presser is GOLD. This is going to
become tennis lore and the ps match is going to take on epic
proportions. money will be won! lives will be at stake! The
different partners names will change over the years...

sooo much fun. Thank you Andy, Rafa, Juan and whoever that fouth guy is.
just too good. wait til Grant sees this.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 10/13/2010 at 02:58 PM

oh and pete, how I love to see the words Djokovic and Rampage showing up in the same sentence! Ajde!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 10/13/2010 at 03:08 PM

hey rafadoc: somehow i don't think rafa is still 'being' roger when he plays playstation :)

Posted by deeps 10/13/2010 at 03:21 PM

So, Rafa called Andy a liar and Andy said Rafa sucked. I want a rematch with live video streaming.

Posted by Nam1 10/13/2010 at 03:29 PM

deeps, you said it, I cant wait!!

Posted by Tuulia 10/13/2010 at 03:33 PM

Here's a fabulous Japanese Rafa documentary, in 4 languages, and even if you'd understand none of them I'd still recommend you watch if you're a fan, and a lot of this is understandable without words anyway.

One thing Toni said tho I wanna mention. He was talking about how before the AO '09 final Rafa was saying that he was too tired etc. and Toni said don't tell me that, also quoted Obama (hee). Then he explains how he thinks that no matter how tired you are or what your head tells you you can always give a little more if you really have to - and then says that if someone points a gun at you then surely you can push yourself a bit more no matter what. An excellent example, actually. Yes, Toni, if you put it like that... lol. But seriously speaking I think he's right. People often do give up too easily.

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yi2sLPQAybc
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFO2r1Mo4yM
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV49wefqvT4
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNeVg3SarDU
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4_gCEb2ujY

Posted by Tuulia 10/13/2010 at 03:35 PM

deeps, that's an excellent idea!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 10/13/2010 at 03:37 PM

wow. Tuulia, thanks. now I have my evening viewing all lined up. this will be fun.

and a rematch of the video game is sooo on. but we'll never know the real story. the partners keep changing and so does the score. it's nonsensical and very funny.

Posted by deeps 10/13/2010 at 03:40 PM

Nam1, Tuulia,

If they had live video streaming in the first place, we all could have solved the dispute for them and they wouldn't have to resort to trash talking.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 03:46 PM

Thanks Pete

I think Nole found his "swagger" again duing the USO I hope he dosent lose it again he did take some time to get it back.

To Andy Fans Sorry.At the moment Andy cant take a trick.

Lilscot Noone comes close to Marat on any level ok lol!

Posted by Master Ace 10/13/2010 at 03:47 PM

Thursday Order of Play:

WTA: Osaka at 10 PM(Wednesday) - Craybas, Peer and Benesova scheduled
ATP: Shanghai at 2 AM - Murray vs Chardy and Berdych vs Garcia-Lopez scheduled
ATP: Shanghai at 3 AM - Gasquet vs Djokovic, Tsonga vs Mayer and Soderling vs Ferrer scheduled
WTA: Osaka at 4:30 AM - Nakamura vs Date Krumm
ATP: Shanghai at 6 AM - Nadal vs Melzer and Monaco vs Zverev scheduled
ATP: Shanghai at 8 AM - Seppi vs Federer
WTA: Linz at 8 AM - Kvitova, Ivanovic, Bammer, Suarez Navarro vs Hantuchova
WTA: Linz at 2:15 PM - Zakopalova vs Schnyder

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 03:55 PM

I am so pleased that Tsonga has managed to win a few games here.Joe has had injury troubles since his junior days till now.Its the one thing that has kept him from his true potiental and winning tournaments.I am a fan of his game.Keep well Joe

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 04:04 PM

Pete I believe Rafa has taken up to biting his racquets now

I too was getting worried he could end up with some type of poison of a metal variety with the over chewing of the Trophy.

Gosh its soo hard to be a Winner these days isnt it no? lol!

Posted by Tuulia 10/13/2010 at 04:14 PM

deeps that's true - except we might not all agree, either, lol - but still, that might be a usefull selling point to support the LS availability. :)

Posted by lollipop 10/13/2010 at 04:16 PM

Thanks for the write-up. I agree with Tina, the win against has done the world for Nole's confidence. He seems like he is swinging more freely, taking more risks, etc. It has been nice to see Novak reconstruct himself in this way. Hopefully he can keep up the good work.

Here's a video of Nole doing the 'Art of Tennis" portrait for the ATP World Tour Finals. The top 3 who have qualified used tennis balls and paint to create portraits to auction off to charity. http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Media/Videos/2010/10/Art-Of-Tennis-Novak-Djokovic.aspx

Posted by lollipop 10/13/2010 at 04:17 PM

oops typo- lastpost should read the 'win against Federer'.

Posted by rg 10/13/2010 at 04:21 PM

Djkoer seems to play well at the end of the year. Rafa is one weird dude..annoying guy to watch.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 04:26 PM

lollipop I am soo happy Nole is back with us

Has always been a fav player of mine

I have watched this young man play live he is such a well balanced athlete

To me Balance is a vital key in any sport you take up and its the first thing I look for when watching a player.

The likes of Federer and also in the womens game Serena and Venus stand out to me.

I remember last year when you were nearly giving up on him though I kept telling you Keep The Faith

Players like to tease us fans dont they? lol! I felt in ways with Rafa when he went through that Dark Period.Though I kept tellig myself he had come though things in his career before.At one time early on in his career they feared he might not be able to play the game again.Just look at him now.

Posted by Beth 10/13/2010 at 04:30 PM

Loving the playstation throw down
That is fun stuff
I love how these guys, though competitors ,seem to have a good time together

I saw the Andy injury timeout , and yes, it did look like he was about to cry from pain- not gonna say he was crying in front of the crowd. But he was truly miserable

Posted by FoT 10/13/2010 at 04:34 PM

Don't know if this was mentioned earlier or hot but in the press conference interview with Roger - he did confirm that his sister (Diana) is pregnant with TWINS (what else!) lol! He said she’s going to have a boy and a girl. Wow, Roger’s parents went from zero grand children 2 years ago to having 4 in less than 3 years! lol! Congrats to his sister and her boyfriend. Roger said he talked with her today and she’s doing great and that he would see her in Basel when he goes home to the tournament.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!/We gonna see, no?) 10/13/2010 at 04:36 PM

lollipop - Thx for Nole clip. Charming, per his usual.

And a humorous take on Caro's ascent to #1: http://tinyurl.com/26vlzz9

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 04:39 PM

Beth I remember once Uncle Toni came and found that one of the controls that Rafa had been playing with on his "play station" had been smashed? lol! Well one does have to take out their frustrations some how lol!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 04:41 PM

sblily LOL! thanks for that article on Little Miss Sunshine.Love de Rosa's view on things.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 04:46 PM

Beth I watched Richards game yesterday he was playing well.He will have a big test against Nole.I wonder if Guy Forget is still condisering him for a DC position.

Posted by Beth 10/13/2010 at 04:46 PM

Congrats to the Federer family
Growing by leaps and bounds
Guess mom and pop Fed are now experienced twin sitters , so this will be helpful to the new mom, I am sure

Posted by Beth 10/13/2010 at 04:53 PM

Am , I have heard before - and I cannot remember where - but it must have been here
That in spite of his passion for playstation ,Rafa is not the best at the game. Remember the video of he, Moya , Pico playing ? And Rafa was losing ? And oh so upset?

I saw Richard's match against Gulbis ,he played really well . Did not lose focus, even while Gulbis seemed to be barely interested in the match. That is an accomplishment for Richard. Did not see any of the match against Gael , but Rasheed apparently tweeted that it was a very high level match
So , yes, I am sure Forget is keeping his eye on Richard for Davis Cup. Neverr hurts to have three or four good players to choose from , in case of injury ,etc. He can just go with the hot hand at the time.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 04:57 PM

Beth LOL! Rafa cant be good at everything I guess

I agree with your thoughts regarding the postions for DC.

Posted by TMFunk 10/13/2010 at 05:00 PM

lilscot - left you a response on the crisis center thread

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 05:04 PM

TMFunk have you shortened your moniker?

Posted by Beth 10/13/2010 at 05:04 PM

I am sorry I did not get to see any of the match between Gasquet and Monfils. But I guess it was on some outer faraway court away from the tv camera.
At least Gael got rid of the braids/headband
Finally listened to the girlfriend , I see

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 10/13/2010 at 05:07 PM

I'm just watching a replay of Richard/Gulbis match and it's striking how elderly their respective fathers look.

Posted by Or 10/13/2010 at 05:10 PM

The play station stuff is hilarious. Did no one youtube it? What a pity!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 05:10 PM

Beth I saw Gael watching Richards match and I thought to myself

Thank goodness he has finally come to his senses regarding his "hair"

Shout out to his g/friend.

Posted by Beth 10/13/2010 at 05:15 PM

Lynne - that was Gasquet's coach, Deblicker , in the stands
The camera did not show his dad , if he was indeed there
His dad has grey hair, but I would guess he is only mid fifties -and he does not look particularly old or younger than that age
Gulbis' dad is another story , he looks well
...
Let's just say he looks weathered , and leave it at that

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 10/13/2010 at 05:18 PM

Thanks, Beth, I made a mistake in thinking that was Richard's dad.

Posted by lollipop 10/13/2010 at 05:21 PM

sbily- no problem. he is quite charming, isnt he? It kills me sometimes :)

AM- well, thanks for consoling me when I was down on him. :) Yes it is great to see him playing well again. (knock on wood!) and I too have seen him live. Balance is impeccable but what stood out to me was his speed around the court and his flexibility and his defense.

Posted by Arun 10/13/2010 at 05:25 PM

I don't think Gasquet will have anything left in the tank against Djokovic.
Last time he won 2 matches on the same day (curiously involving a Frenchie and Gulbis again), he was beaten quite easily by Verdasco in the next round - Rome'09.

Posted by Beth 10/13/2010 at 05:25 PM

No worries ,Lynne
I made that mistake once too - years ago
Only I thought Deblicker was his grampa :)

Richard's parents have both come to IW on occasion
Dad is pretty stern looking, the mom has a very sweet face.
I would describe her behavior as overprotective of Richard.
Clearly ,she still sees him as her baby and not as a grown young man
She follows him about with this adoring look in her eyes
Like a mom of a toddler on a park play day
He seems to tolerate it , with only mild irritation
Like when he wants to talk to girls , and mom is right there
She is not a good wingman:)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 05:25 PM

lollipop No worries.I used to have a great mate here named Sic who did the same thing for me.I remember when Rafa was beaten by Soderling at RG 09 I just could not believe it and was in tears.I still remember to this day what he told me and he was soo right.I love Nole return game he is one of the best and he can slide on a hard court like no other.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 05:27 PM

Arun We wont talk cricket ok

Gotta Keep Some faith

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 10/13/2010 at 05:27 PM

Beth LOL ! Yes, I remember your report after you came back from IW this year ...

Posted by Beth 10/13/2010 at 05:28 PM

That is a weird coincidence about the two matches,Arun
And I am not gonna say he will be gassed, but I would not bet the house nite money on
Gasquet winning tomorrow either

Posted by Arun 10/13/2010 at 05:30 PM

AM: Australia is in transition phase. All that matters to them right now is the home series in about a month.
The series goes by a famous name which I keep forgetting. :)

Posted by Arun 10/13/2010 at 05:32 PM

Yeah, Beth. Djokovic is playing well too.
I hope this doesn't end up as an insulting loss involving eatables.

Posted by Kwaku 10/13/2010 at 05:32 PM

Pete, I agree the season is not too long. As an aficionado, I want to can watch tennis all year round. As a not-top player, I'd like to can earn money and points all year round. And as a top player, maybe I'd just like to can rest for maybe a month-something while tourneys are no more than 250 events for those (spectators and players) who need it.
But I do think there should be more clay and grass, less HC which is hard on the body.

Posted by Beth 10/13/2010 at 05:33 PM

This year, in the aftermath of the suspension
Mama Gasquet was really close to Richard everywhere he went
No cocaine tainted lips were gonna get near her boy
In the past she was not quite that bad

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 05:33 PM

Arun Hell a transition phase is that what you call it

My memory on all cricket at the moment is just a Blur let me tell you

Where is Shane Warne when you need him.Pity about the idoit Captain.

Though shout out to Tandulker a class act.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 05:34 PM

Beth I did suggest you take Mama Gasquet out on a long shopping adventure

Posted by Beth 10/13/2010 at 05:35 PM

I know exactly what you mean , Arun
But you know the French do have a fondness for bread :)

Insert indignant remark about stereotypes here

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/13/2010 at 05:36 PM

Arun Just heard that our idoit Captain has blamed the batsman

People in Glass Houses hey? he is a batsman.Too funny Ricky.

Posted by lilscot 10/13/2010 at 05:36 PM

TMF: 5:00 p.m.

Hey Funky. Just got your message and, sh*t, you're right. I had meant to type, "at this time of year," not, "this year," as you said! NOW I get the joke! Doh.

Posted by Beth 10/13/2010 at 05:38 PM

AM - Annie suggested the same thing
This year,maybe I will
Or maybe a spa day!

I don't know about her English though
And my French, well, it is pretty weak

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