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Cupcake Wars 11/16/2010 - 1:46 PM

by Pete Bodo

So let's agree to call them the Cupcake Wars—you know, that pre-tournament ritual of claiming that your favorite player has been frowned upon by the gods of chance, while his rival had bestowed upon him not merely a smile but an enormous, toothy grin. When you're a combatant in the Cupcake Wars, you're apt to see a player through one of two dramatically different lenses, depending on how he might fluster or advance the designs of your favorite, or his theoretical arch-enemy.

Roger Let's say Sam Querrey looms as a potential third-round opponent for Federer at Wimbledon. A Federer fan is apt to scream, "That big serve makes Querrey so deadly, this is a terrible draw!" But if you're a Nadal fan, you look at that match-up, roll your eyes, and say, "Querrey is so 'soft' at majors; what a piece of cake for Federer!"

You know how it works.

So without futher ado, let's take a look at the groupings for the upcoming ATP World Tour Finals, which begin on Sunday in London. It's an eight-man singles field, with two groups of four playing round-robin matches, with the two best performers in both groups advancing to the knockout semifinals. Instead of breaking down the groups myself, I'll try to see them through the eyes of a Federer or a Nadal fan, in a manner befitting the Cupcake Wars.

Here are the group lineups:

Group A: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych, Andy Roddick.

Group B: Roger Federer, Robin Soderling, Andy Murray, David Ferrer.

Federer fan: You've got to be kidding. Roger might as well change his name to Leonidas, because he's got the toughest draw since those 300 Spartans had to fight a gazillion Persians at Thermopylae. Roger is 5-8 against Andy Murray, who's probably—make that definitely!—the toughest guy in the draw. Last year, the guy missed the semis by one measly game—and he beat Federer at the 2008 year-end championships. You want to tell me this guy isn't a monster on an indoor hard court?

And, they're playing in London. Okay, Mr. ATP bigshot Sharko or whatever your name is, if you hate Roger so much, why don't you just go whole hog and make them play the match in Glasgow? If you're going to give a guy home field advantage, why not go all the way? See if I care. But you know what? It will still never erase the memory of that Australian Open final, where Roger made Andy look like the Dunblane Duffer. We'll always have that.

And didn't Robin Soderling just win his first Masters 1000 at Paris Bercy? The dog is off the chain! Go back through the clips you'll see that Soderling's first love was fast indoor courts, even if his best results have been those back-to-back French Open finals. You know what? Uncle Toni got to someone here—just like he told Rafa where to serve against Novak Djokovic in the U.S. Open final. Cheat once, maybe you'll cheat twice. I'm calling for tennis' Integrity Commission to convene, immediately!

And while I'm not saying that David Ferrer can be described as trouble for Roger, I wouldn't rule out that the Nadal camp found a way to get Ferrer on their side. We all know how hard you have to work to beat Ferrer. So they send him in to soften up The Mighty Fed, and then Soderling and/or Murray steps in to do the dirty work and finish Roger off, while he's still heavy-legged and arm weary.

Meanwhile, look at the draw Nadal got—where did it come from, the local patisserie? Andy Roddick. Yeah, right. He's in the midst of a year almost as good as that of his President, Barack Obama! He should change his name to Andy G. Roddick, the "G" being for "Gimme." Then there's Tomas Berdych. Woooo-o-o-o-o-o-o, we're really scared. Granted, Berdych had a pretty good summer, but it wasn't enough to keep those voices out of his head, the ones saying, lose. . .choke. . . give it up. . . embrace your inner journeyman! Berdych is back to his old self, which means he's a sure W for any of the big dogs.

Djokovic might give Rafa a little trouble, but the guy is fixated on the upcoming Davis Cup final and the chance it affords him to become a national hero. What does he need the WTF title for? You all saw what Rafa did to Novak in the U.S. Open final, tell me again why you think it ought to be any different? Sheesh.


Rafa Nadal fan: Hey, did anyone see that great picture of Rafa in the this month's issue of Men's Underwear? Never mind. I guess we're here to handicap the tennis, and all I can say is, if Roger had any more icing on those three cupcakes he drew, his daughters might be destined for hospital time with severe sugar rush.

Murray gets that deer-in-the-headlights look whenever it really counts (his epiteth will read, He Sure Looked Great. . .in Shanghai), the last time I checked, Federer is 14-1 against Soderling, and when did David Ferrer beat anybody when it was even remotely important? What, was Fernando Verdasco unavailable this week?

The biggest danger to Federer is that he might die of boredom before the end of the round-robin stage.

Unfortunately, the draw was as cruel to Rafa as it was generous to Federer. We all know that many people don't like that Rafa is so strong. So they put against him someone like Tomas Berdych, who is bigger and hits the ball like a wild man. Some say Berdych is crazy, but the truth is that he's unpredictable, which makes him especially dangerous. Nobody likes to play Berdych, and Rafa was lucky to escape with a victory over him at Wimbledon. So now Berdych will want revenge. This is a terrible problem for Rafa.

And then they also gave him Andy Roddick, who has a big serve and defeated Rafa the last time they played, in the Miami semifinals, on a hard court. The big serve is the only thing you can use to beat Rafa, because nobody can beat him once the ball is in play. And Roddick can serve like crazy, so maybe he goes to the tiebreaker and then if Rafa double faults—what then? Truly, this could be a very difficult match.

Many people say Rafa should have no problem with Novak Djokovic. But we saw in the U.S. Open that Djokovic is very dangerous, especially on a hard court. And everybody knows that with the Davis Cup final coming up in Belgrade, Djokovic will be fired up to prepare for that battle with a win in London. So why does Rafa have to replay two Grand Slam finals in just the round-robin part of the tour championships? Why does he have to help Djokovic prepare for Davis Cup? Can you imagine anything tougher than those things?

***

So there you have it, two different ways to view the same set of facts. But in case you're not a partisan, here are the basic H2H details for Federer and Nadal in their respective groups:

Federer has an aggregate record of 29-9 against his three round-robin opponents, with a whopping eight of those losses logged against Murray. He's a combined 24-1 against Ferrer and Soderling (and a perfect 10-0 against Ferrer).

Nadal is 28-13, combined. He's lost at least three matches against every one of his group rivals, and the most (7) against Djokovic.

Draw your own conclusions. Will that be vanilla or chocolate icing on that cupcake?


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Posted by temes 11/16/2010 at 04:36 PM

AM no moms in fashion business...I mean I may not know much about fashion but I know Beyonce's mom needs to stop designing clothes. And lady Gaga needs to stop calling her "creations" fashion.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 04:36 PM

CL Levi Strauss?

Hmmm me no likey this is a Royal wedding

*faints*

Though Chanel does jeans well.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 04:38 PM

wilson75 Hmmm Lady Ga Ga would not know about fashion full stop

I am still mad with her when she was Down Under she went into Chanel and practically brought the shop out

Without my permission.


Posted by temes 11/16/2010 at 04:39 PM

Ha yeah I saw the JMac article. I think he is right, Rafa has an excellent chance at becoming GOAT if he stays healthy. I'm hoping Rafa wins much more slams I can't wait for a nuclear war here in TW LOL.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 04:39 PM

oops that post was meant for Temes sorry

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 04:42 PM

Yes as long as Rafa's Knees,Abs,underfeet he has flat feet and now his shoulder stays healthy? Hmmmm

We Gonna See No?

Anyway he got his career slam and won the USO.Thats enough for me I can die a happy woman

I will still shop at Barneys.

Posted by Kris 11/16/2010 at 04:42 PM

Prior to the drawing, my fear was Murray and Djokovic being in the same group - which was possible thanks to Soderling rising to #4. In that situation, you'd have a case for Federer or Nadal, whichever was there, being royally screwed.

The person likely happiest about the draw is Roddick. Berdych is a lame duck regardless of bracket and, if in shape, Roddick is a big problem for both Nadal and Djokovic (something not true regarding Federer, Murray or Soderling).

Posted by wilson75 11/16/2010 at 04:43 PM

I can't stand all this GOAT talk. I say wait until Roger and Rafa to decide who's the GOAT but JMac is not known to keep quiet about anything.

Posted by CL/AtheGOAT* 11/16/2010 at 04:45 PM

*Now that GOAT has entered the room, time to add your postscript to your name....

Fed adds some frosting to his cupcake.

http://i55.tinypic.com/20ggvu1.jpg

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 04:45 PM

wilson75 I was watching the final of the Champions tour in Sydney between Mac and Pat Rafter which Pat won.Mac didnt shut up all match lol!

Posted by wilson75 11/16/2010 at 04:46 PM

Kris: I agree with you Roddick has to feel good about his chances. But I don't understand this fear surrounding Djokovic and Murray being in the same group. I'm going over to the ATP website to check the stats.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 04:47 PM

I love the look Roger has in his eyes there

Though with Lindt chocolate why would he not

Hmmmm I must start buy Lindt up big and store it away for special treats

I wont see much of it in 20 years.

Posted by temes 11/16/2010 at 04:48 PM

wilson75 I don't really care for the GOAT talk either it just goes round and round without an end I just like it for the controversy it creates.

All this fashion talk reminded me Serena's Aneres website says the lingerie line is coming soon in 2008 I'm still waiting what happened?

Posted by sokol 11/16/2010 at 04:48 PM

LOL, Pete!

those cup cake discussions and Fedal wars... :-))

I would like Novak to win, but on the other side I don't want him to be too tired for DC, so hoping Roger wins it.

Posted by Arun 11/16/2010 at 04:49 PM

"..JMac is not known to keep quiet about anything. "
:)

Posted by lightforce101 11/16/2010 at 04:49 PM

As far as the alternate is concerned, I think it is Melzer, since he's already there as one of the top 8 doubles competing.

Master ace, am I correct ?

Posted by Arun 11/16/2010 at 04:50 PM

"...so hoping Roger wins it."

sokol: Really? Cool. :) Fednation is happy about this announcement.
Your Temp Fed fan badge should arrive in a day or two.

Posted by wilson75 11/16/2010 at 04:50 PM

AM: I'm not a JMac fan. I used to enjoy his commentary in the beginning but now he's de-generated into a person who only talks about himself. I'm hoping he doesn't turn up in AO with the ESPN crew.

Posted by Tuulia 11/16/2010 at 04:51 PM

"and for once Pete, you really played it neutral: impossible to guess you're a Nadal fan from this post alone :-) "


LeBen, actually
1) Pete is definitely not a Rafa fan, never was
2) It is also obvious from that post that he isn't, tho maybe not so obvious that one could tell for sure if one didn't already know.

Posted by temes 11/16/2010 at 04:52 PM

LOL AM the look in Fed's eyes is priceless. I wish I had a pound of Lindt chocolate right now.

Posted by sokol 11/16/2010 at 04:52 PM

"Your Temp Fed fan badge should arrive in a day or two."

:-))

Posted by CL/AtheGOAT* 11/16/2010 at 04:53 PM

Aussiemarge - that's pretty much how I look when I gaze at chocolate.

Roger does wear a suit well...but I bet there are chocolate spots on the tie by the time he gets home.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 04:55 PM

wilson75 You want another bet with me? lol!

He will be there I am certain.

Arun You missed a good series with some of the old boys of tennis.Pat played like he was still in the tour at times with a ify shoulder as well.

By the way Mr Cellphone met Tiger Woods for the first time in Melbourne at the golf tournament.Those 2 have a lot in common dont you think? lol!

Posted by wilson75 11/16/2010 at 04:55 PM

temes: I think the GOAT discussion is a waste of time and goes nowhere in the end. I think people like JMac indulge in it because they want to look smart and get some media attention.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 04:56 PM

CL Well I feel that will be a memeory now as chocolate will be extinct

Roger always does a suit well.

Posted by Arun 11/16/2010 at 04:57 PM

AM: I would've loved to watch that tournament on TV. No luck.
By the way, I saw that Rosewall/Rochey video posted by NP. Precious.

Posted by roadrunnerz 11/16/2010 at 04:57 PM

Haaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaa....first time in a long time one of your posts made me laugh out loud. At work no less.

Good one.

Heh.

I don't think a cupcake is a possible when you only have the best eight in the world playing.

And, yeah *ducks*... I do think Rafa had a cupcake en route to his first USO. But hey, they happen. Fed had one in Cincinnati.

Posted by Nico 11/16/2010 at 04:59 PM

Amazing article. Usually not a fan but this one rocks. BTW, first comment ever!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 05:01 PM

Arun I am glad you saw that video that NP posted.Just amazing stuff from both players.

Posted by wilson75 11/16/2010 at 05:02 PM

AM: I'm sure he might be there. With the possibility of the Rafa slam, he'll want to be there so he could get some face time. This is a man who advocates for the 5th set tiebreak every chance he gets but went to Court 18 to watch Isner-Mahut stating he wanted to part of history. I don't but to me if you're so against the no tie breaker in the 5th you wouldn't be there cheering on the players as they approach 70-68.

Posted by x-fan 11/16/2010 at 05:03 PM

How these top players manage to stay fit (and non-diabetic) with all those cupcakes is beyond me! ;-)

Funny post. Indeed cupcakes are in the eye of the beholder (or the baker)
Funny thing is that initial draws rarely come to pass so what starts as perceived cupcakes can end becoming tougher than those that look so difficult at first.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 05:06 PM

wilson75 Well again he didnt want to miss a piece of tennis history so he can then say to everyone I Was There lol!

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/16/2010 at 05:07 PM

Hi, Nico and welcome !

Posted by CL/AtheGOAT* 11/16/2010 at 05:08 PM

x-fan - those kind of cupcakes are known as bran muffins. w/or w/out raisins.

Posted by Tuulia 11/16/2010 at 05:09 PM

People still talking about chocolate. *sigh* My supplies are almost consumed.

And weddings and designers...

It is pretty obvious the tennis season is far two long. ;)

Btw, good point about cupcakes, x-fan. :)

Posted by wilson75 11/16/2010 at 05:09 PM

AM: Yeah, and get some face time on TV at the same time.

Posted by CL/AtheGOAT* 11/16/2010 at 05:10 PM

Welcome nico -

have fun everyone...don't let any GOATs get into the cupcakes...you know it upsets their digestion. I have to go start my campaign to get Mr. CL to make me one of his special martinis. And just so you know...he IS the undisputed GOAT of martini making.

Posted by x-fan 11/16/2010 at 05:10 PM

CL

Thanks for that piece of information I didn't have before :)
Not a lover of muffins myself so I'll take a cupcake if given the choice!

By the way I meant to say the post was funny haha not funny as in strange (just to clarify)

Posted by anyone who thinks Federer isn't the goat, is just kidding himself 11/16/2010 at 05:11 PM

I really do think Soderling-Murray is the tougher draw. Fed has more control over Djokovic-Berdych, but Murray..who knows? And Soderling is in great form and up for it. a bit like Delpo last year.
besides, Berdych is done I think. did he even do anything after wimby? not even 2nd round of us open.

not sure about those cupcakes, but here's a Fed fan who thinks roger did get the tougher draw. that's all.

Posted by Wake me up when Federer has won a Calendar Slam, like the Rocket 11/16/2010 at 05:16 PM

Golden Flower Power:

http://www.gz2010.cn/10/1116/14/6LKBU3140078007F.html

Posted by izidane 11/16/2010 at 05:32 PM

Ha ha, and we are off! Nice one Pete.

Like someone said upstream, nothing is a given at the WTFs.
As usual Andy and Nole are in the same group. Here's to all the cupcakes.

Posted by Abraxas 11/16/2010 at 05:33 PM

Pete, very entertaining post. I had to laugh out loud. Thanks.

I have ranked the players based on a few important variables. The rankings are based on how the players would stack up TODAY.

Best suited to the environment and court (indoors, hard, fast, etc):

1. Soderling
2. Roddick
3. Federer
4. Berdych
5. Djokovic
6. Murray
7. Nadal
8. Ferrer

Home court and crowd favorite advantage:

1. Murray
2. Federer
3. Nadal
4. Djokovic
5. Roddick
6. Soderling
7. Berdych
8. Ferrer

Most on-form and injury free:

1. Soderling
2. Federer
3. Djokovic
4. Murray
5. Ferrer
6. Roddick
7. Nadal
8. Berdych

Most Heart, persistency and mental strength:

1. Nadal
2. Ferrer
3. Roddick
4. Soderling
5. Federer
6. Djokovic
7. Murray
8. Berdych

Most consistency:

1. Nadal
2. Djokovic
3. Federer
4. Soderling
5. Ferrer
6. Murray
7. Roddick
8. Berdych

Best overall game (mental, physical and skill wise):

1. Nadal
2. Federer
3. Djokovic
4. Murray
5. Soderling
6. Roddick
7. Ferrer
8. Berdych

(Sorry, the last ranking looks very similar to the actual ATP rankings. But you know what, there is probably a good reason for it).

This is, of course, solely my own biased opinion, so please feel free to kill each other (not me) arguing about it.

Posted by wilson75 11/16/2010 at 05:40 PM

abraxas: Very good rankings but I have serious problems with the Most heart persistence metal strength category. How are you measuring that? Is that perception alone?

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/16/2010 at 05:42 PM

The draw looks pretty balanced to me. Robin didn't get blessed with Roger. I would have preferred Rafa for him. But Robin is playing so well and he's so full of confidence that this tournament is his for the taking. Kom igen, Robin, Sweden's no l, world's no 4 winner of the pretigeous Paris Master's series.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Rafa fan 11/16/2010 at 05:43 PM

McEnroe likes Nadal's athleticism more than Federer's:


At a sports conference in Qatar, John McEnroe says that “the two greatest athletes of all time are Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal. Federer is one of the greatest players ever, but I don't think he's as good an athlete as those two."—Matthew Cronin


oh ho ho ho. J.Mac is in love! We all know of his huge crush on Borg, but it's getting bigger on Rafa as well!

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Rafa fan 11/16/2010 at 05:45 PM

Abraxas, in no way Roddick can be ranked higher than Fed on ANY surfaces. Hello? Have we learned enough already that Fed can toy with Roddick at any surface, whether it be slow clay or light face indoor hard? C'mon.

Posted by Mr Rick 11/16/2010 at 05:48 PM

...is it just me or does Prince William look more and more everyday like his father, and less like his Mum? It's been a bit of a surprising metamorphosis... when did this start to happen???

Anyway, all that matters, after the bitter disappointment over the break up of Serena and Common, is that AM at last has her wedding.

Posted by wilson75 11/16/2010 at 05:48 PM

Old man Fed: JMac is not stupid, he knows what bandwagon to jump on. Rafa's is hot right now.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/16/2010 at 05:49 PM

The players who I think will go out early and easily are and in this order: Roddick, Ferrer,Berdych.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/16/2010 at 05:50 PM

So far, experts are tipping Bruce Oldfield or Phillipa Lepley to design the wedding gown.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/16/2010 at 05:50 PM

... but I expect there will be many more !

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/16/2010 at 05:52 PM

Agreed Princess Williams looks like his dad and Harry look like Princess Di's boyfriend and nothing like either his mother or father.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 05:53 PM

Mr Rick Welcome

Yes at least I have a wedding

Welcome again Abraxas and thanks for your low down

Posted by tennis muse 11/16/2010 at 05:54 PM

I would handicap it this way:

Djokovic/Murray is about even; objectively Murray should be worse for either Nadal or Federer based on past results, but Djokovic has also owned non-doped or mildly-doped Nadal on hardcourts (although hyper-doped Nadal slaughtered him at the USO).

Soderling is much stronger than Berdych at this point. It may not be an advantage to actually go all the way in the previous tournament, but Berdych has been awful of late, and Soderling will put up a fight no matter what.

Ferrer is a bit stronger than Roddick, I believe... he just won a 500 while Roddick got pounded by Soderling. However, neither Ferrer nor Roddick should trouble Nadal or Federer.

I think the "blood in his steroids" version of Nadal is a favorite in just about any tournament, though no one can guess if he will load up for this one or wait to cycle up for the "Rafanabolic Slam" at the AO in February. In any case, Nadal has one tough out and Federer has two.

Posted by Abraxas 11/16/2010 at 05:54 PM

wilson75. I understand. I hope this helps. I guess the best way to look at would be:

Which player doesn’t give up?
Who keeps on fighting until the end even when losing?
Who would be the toughest to beat even when having a bad playing day?
Who would be least likely to MENTALLY collapse under pressure?

If you take in to account these factors, you would see, for instance, why Ferrer is up there. Ferrer does not have the game or skill set of the rest of the players; yet, you have to wrestle the win way from him because he will not give it to you. Nor will Roddick.

On the other hand, this year, Federer and Murray have given away matches when they where in control (match points) and were clearly superior to their opponent.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 05:57 PM

Well I hope that Rafa has juiced up for the finals in London

Like he wont want to let any body down would he?

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/16/2010 at 06:00 PM

Prince Harry is also the spitting image of his paternal grandfather.

Posted by Mr Rick 11/16/2010 at 06:00 PM

There is no bigger Nadal fan than me, but Jmac's comments are a little over the top, IMHO. Apparently the love one lefty can have for another has no bounds...

Roger Federer's achievements are pretty super-human, his records already will be very hard to top, and his career is no where near even over with yet... these GOAT conversations seems very premature

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Rafa fan 11/16/2010 at 06:03 PM

I think Rafa's chance of reaching SF is entirely up to whether he can win against Roddick. We all know Roddick is evenly matched against Rafa since Rafa is not as good of returner as Fed on fast surfaces. Just look at their head to head on fast courts.

If he does win, even if he ends up losing to Djoker, he can still get 2 wins in the end and therefore can advance to SF.

Whatever happnes, I only hope that for once, Fed and Rafa can get together and synchronize their standing (i.e. both number 2s or number 1s) so that they won't meet in SF again. Fed is playing reasonalby well, so he will likely be number 1 again from his group, but I worry about Rafa. I have a feeling he will once again be number 2 in his group and therefore meet Fed again in SF. Okay, Fed, lose a match to Muzz, so we can avoid another Fedal SF.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/16/2010 at 06:04 PM

Lynne, Prince Harry is the spitting image of Princess Di's boyfriend, James Hewitt. They look almost like twins to me.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Rafa fan 11/16/2010 at 06:05 PM

Don't worry, people. I sent a box of apple juice to Rafa's residence last week. He will be ripely juiced up in London! You're welcome.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/16/2010 at 06:07 PM

Samantha : I agree, but also take a look at Diana's father, there is a striking likeness there too.

Posted by Abraxas 11/16/2010 at 06:07 PM

@Old man Fed/Puny Rafa fan.

Relax. I am not saying that Roddick is better than Federer (Federer is indeed better), only that the conditions of this tournament suit his game better. That may not be enough for Roddick to overcome other disadvantages but it is, nonetheless, a factor that favors him.

That is also why Nadal is at number 7 on that particular list. The tournament conditions favor him much less than all other players save Ferrer.

Posted by Mr Rick 11/16/2010 at 06:07 PM

oh, now I thought Harry took more after the red-headed Spensers on his Mums side...

well, I need to get with it, I don't know my Royal families at all, the next year this is all anyone is going to be talking about ...

Posted by x-fan 11/16/2010 at 06:09 PM

AM

LOL!
This 'juicing' term is quite funny.
I am sure Nadal is having some V8 juice to go along with his cupcakes :)

Obviously some people only see what they want to see and don't let things like evidence and proof stop the from making some absolute statements.

Posted by Mr Rick 11/16/2010 at 06:10 PM

Sam, this is quite the scandalous accusation you are making here, holy cow

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/16/2010 at 06:10 PM

Mr.Rick, google a picture of James Hewitt and they have a side by side with Prince Harry and it's pretty hard to deny a strong resemblance.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 06:10 PM

Actually I like Harry the best out of all the royals

He seems like fun and has a wicked sense of humour lol!

Posted by x-fan 11/16/2010 at 06:11 PM

stop the = stop them

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 06:12 PM

X Fan

I am glad you get my sense of humour

At least Rafa has a bit of time off before he "re juices" for the AO 2011.

Posted by wilson75 11/16/2010 at 06:12 PM

Abraxas: Thanks for your explanation. So it's basically based on perception. I don't think you can measure heart, persistence etc. I think all those players fight for every point they can get. Losing match points doesn't mean a player is mentally weak, it means that his opponent was successful in defending his position. It takes two to play a tennis match. Are you basing it on what happened this year or over an entire career? I don't think a player can reach the top ten without persistence, metal strength and heart.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/16/2010 at 06:13 PM

Mr. Rick, google the picture and you'll see. LOL!

Posted by Mr Rick 11/16/2010 at 06:16 PM

Rafa will be taking just enough juice so that he can hold up the London trophy. Indoor hard courts have never been his best surface, but he is clearly on a mission this Fall - and when that guy is on a mission, he seems very hard to stop...

Posted by wilson75 11/16/2010 at 06:18 PM

SamE: I also think Tom Cruise's adopted children look like him but I don't have any proof that they are actually his biological children. I think unless paternity is proven otherwise re. Prince Harry, I think we should stay clear of such accusations.

Posted by x-fan 11/16/2010 at 06:22 PM

AM,
I think Pete got us started with the humor so it's not difficult to follow suit :)

Hasn't tennis gotten quite culinary with all the cupcakes, muffins, bagels, breadsticks and juices?
They should add a new competition to the tour:
The Next Iron Tennis Chef! ;-)

Posted by Mr Rick 11/16/2010 at 06:22 PM

Sam, forget the photos, I'm going straight to stalking both Harry and Hewitt for disguarded beer bottles and juice glasses to get their DNA samples...

(something the notorious British tabloids have already tried to do, no doubt, what a story that would be...worth a LOT of $$$$$$$$ printed - or NOT printed... holy cow...)

Posted by Mr Rick 11/16/2010 at 06:25 PM

wilson75 - you are right of course - cancelling my stalking mission

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/16/2010 at 06:25 PM

Wilson75, hi, I wasn't making any accusations, I was simply saying that Princess Harry and Hewitt look like twins. And yes there are people who can look identical and not be related.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/16/2010 at 06:25 PM

Mr Rick : Yes, it's all been done before - many times.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/16/2010 at 06:27 PM

LOL Mr.Rick. Good luck, you could make a lot of money if you can prove it.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/16/2010 at 06:30 PM

I think we all can have twins that we're not related to. The problem for Harry is that he's twins with someone his mom had a relationship with at the time he was conceived.

Posted by wilson75 11/16/2010 at 06:31 PM

SamE: You see what you to see. If you believe that Harry is not Charles' but James Hewitt you will see a resemblance. I happen to believe that Harry looks like Charles and as somebody else said there are people on Diana's side of the family that are red heads.

Posted by Mr Rick 11/16/2010 at 06:33 PM

well Sam, as Lynne has pointed out, the British tabloids have already beaten me to it probably 100 times over - if there was an actual story there it would have been out loonnnngggg ago...

...on to the next tantalizing scandal...

Posted by Abraxas 11/16/2010 at 06:33 PM

wilson75.
It is based on this year. Otherwise Federer would be up there with Nadal.

I do think that, even at the highest level, some players fight harder than others and that some give up easier.

I also think that if a player consistently losses matches after having several match points to close it out it shows weakness (at least at that particular moment in time).

I agree that it takes heart, persistency and mental strength to make it to the top 10, as it takes skill, consistency, etc. But that is not the issue at hand here. This group of players are all there now and they form the group we must choose from.

So the question is constrained to this particular group of 8 players today. Thus, in order to have a ranking, by the definition we have to choose between them.

So if Nadal is not at the top of the list and Berdych at the bottom, then who? I invite you to make the list yourself to see what I mean. It may end up being different than mine, that is fine, but it will be a list nonetheless and it will force you to choose between these 8 players (and only these) and rank them one over the other. But it will be fun. Give it a try.

Posted by 40-Love 11/16/2010 at 06:37 PM

Any body read John Mac's comment that "Rafael Nadal may be the greatest player eventually, even possibly now”? The key argument is the 14-7 match record between Nadal and Federer.

I think the comment is ridiculous! I would not necessarily call a young player who can beat John Mac today a legend.

Nadal and his peer grew up chasing Federer, and their goal is to develop skills and strength to surpass Federer. Federer was crowned GOAT not because he convincingly beat Sampras, but after he won the most slams including the French.

Nadal has his chance to become GOAT when he surpasses Federer's number of Slams. That means he needs to continue to dominate his competitions, including young talents such as Del Potro.

Posted by wilson75 11/16/2010 at 06:41 PM

Abraxas: As I said, I don't have a problem with the rest of your listing but when it comes to a person mental strength, persistence and heart. I don't think you can measure that. Even if I were go by your standards Roddick wouldn't be so high because he has some puzzling losses this year as well and has lost matches when he had MPs.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/16/2010 at 06:42 PM

Agree 40 Love, the GOAT is determine by slam titles. Can't change the rules in the middle of the game. Ok, need to study, I have a blast with the Princess Harry stuff. Ciao dudes!

Posted by wilson75 11/16/2010 at 06:44 PM

40-Love: JMac will say anything to get in the papers. Remember this is the same man who made some ridiculous comments about womens' tennis just before the USO.

Posted by Heather 11/16/2010 at 06:45 PM

Hi everyone! Out of the news loop, I was stuck in an all day meeting. Andy R could not have asked for a better draw, he's 5-0 against his group in 2010, however indoor courts usually aren't his very best surface, but he hearts London, we'll have to see! Will be interesting to see how Rafa comes into London with his shoulder problems, I'm sure he'll be just fine and ready to go. I'm kind of more excited for the photo shoots they do before the tournament starts :)

Off topic: Jumping into the royal wedding conversation from earlier, love that he gave her his mom's ring and they are just an adorable, classy couple. I always thought I had a chance of marrying into the royal family (haha), Granny Liz and I would have definitely hit it off!

Posted by Mr Rick 11/16/2010 at 06:48 PM

in fact, why don't the British tabloids with their relentless bush-peeping fact-finding machine do something actually USEFUL for a change and go out find Osama bin Laden or something... if anyone could do it they should be able to

give the Royal family a rest for a few months, cripes

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 06:51 PM

Heather Look I am into bargaining no?

Let Rar win against Andy and I will do my human best that he can a least defend his Brisbane International title in 2011

By the way they have Hawk Eye on Pat Rafter centre court next year

Just for Andy

Posted by Heather 11/16/2010 at 06:54 PM

AM: Only Brisbane?! Can you throw in a Wimbledon victory and maybe we've got a deal? :)

Posted by Mr Rick 11/16/2010 at 06:57 PM

..yeah, AM, just offering the Brisbane title was pretty lame...

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 06:59 PM

Heather Hmmmm you are pushing our friendship a bit far

You know its my Boys fav tournament and yes I know they slowed down the grass for all clay courters well after my idol Borg won there just a few times lol!

Hmmm well I want my Boy to win the AO 2011 ok call me greedy if you will

Stuff Wimby ok Andy can win there.

See I am compassionate?

Posted by Heather 11/16/2010 at 07:02 PM

Thank you, Mr. Rick! :)

Okay AM, we've got a deal! I'm just happy Andy committed to playing well and qualified, and I really don't expect him to beat Rafa here at all, just wishful thinking!

Posted by Alexis 11/16/2010 at 07:05 PM

I HATE the GOAT discussion. Hate it! It's subjective and always will be. Media pundits and former players will always jump on the next bandwagon. They did it with Federer too. And they'll do it with someone else after Nadal. No ONE player is ever going to hold all the records. Why can't we just be happy that there are a bunch of all-time greats/legends???

Posted by Mr Rick 11/16/2010 at 07:07 PM

Heather, I was standing behind AM when she made that agreement just now, and she totally had her fingers crossed

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 07:07 PM

Heather Andy was serving well at Bercy the matches I saw

This court will suit him

Oh I just remembered Rafa has soo many points to defend next year

Can we make that Wimby 2012?

*ducks*

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 07:08 PM

Mr Rick Watch my shoes please ok

When you stand behind me

Posted by Tuulia 11/16/2010 at 07:10 PM

Maybe I just missed anyone commenting Moya's retirement. So he won't be returning to play some more like he wanted to, apart from official retirement in Sevilla in December. The retirement itself was expected, but a bit sad anyway. I'll miss him. He was just practising with Rafa this Tuesday.
http://ib3noticies.com/20101116_118277-rafel-nadal-i-carles-moya-entrenen-junts-per-darrera-vegada.html?ref=nf

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