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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 wilson75 11/16/2010 at 07:12 PM

Alexis: Hear, hear!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 07:12 PM

Tuulia Thanks for that link

I wasnt surprised at Moya's retirement.Good to see he still shares such a strong bond with Rafa.I guess that will never change.

Posted by Heather 11/16/2010 at 07:15 PM

Mr. Rick, a couple of months ago, I'm pretty sure AM made a deal with me that if I rooted for Rafa to win the USO she would allow Andy to win the AO, now there's been a change!

AM: 2012?! Isn't the world going to end then or something, haha...I don't know, maybe we should stop making our deals? :)

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

Alexis, I agree. It's a mythical creature that doesn't really exist, anyway, IMO, and I don't understand the fascination. Therefore I find the discussion useless, repetitive, irritating and boring.

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

AM: Speaking of close with Rafa, Feli's twitter profile picture is a cute picture with he and Rafa, have you seen it?

Posted by Tuulia 11/16/2010 at 07:22 PM

AM, yes, and I also don't think it'll ever change, there's lots of love there. Carlos has said he loves Rafa a lot, and Carlos was Rafa's best friend on tour, plus Rafa's family loves Carlos, too.

Heather, yes, it's cute. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 07:23 PM

Heather I am not getting any younger as you are well aware and my memeory can fade at times?

Look I feel Andy will at least be around till 2012 ok

Posted by x-fan 11/16/2010 at 07:23 PM

Heather,

Not until 21/12/12 and Wimby is in June :)

I guess that def. makes any Goat discussion useless!

Posted by Heather 11/16/2010 at 07:24 PM

Okay AM, sounds like a plan. As long as he wins Wimbledon before he retires, we're good. :)

Posted by Heather 11/16/2010 at 07:25 PM

Oh great X-man, my birthday is December 29 so I guess the world will end before I turn 27! :)

Posted by Heather 11/16/2010 at 07:26 PM

Oh correction, 28, hahahaha....wow you know it's been a long day when you forget how old you currently are and can't add that two years to that.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 07:28 PM

Heather No I havent seen that photo of Feli and Rafa together

Feli isnt my cup of tea really and I wish he would give up those "nappy" he calls shorts for starters

Posted by Heather 11/16/2010 at 07:32 PM

Oh yes, those shorts are a wee bit much.

Real life is calling, hope you all have a great evening! :)

Posted by Wake me up when Federer has won a Calendar Slam, like the Rocket 11/16/2010 at 07:32 PM

"Federer was crowned GOAT not because he convincingly beat Sampras, but after he won the most slams including the French."

Who crowned Federer GOAT?

"Agree 40 Love, the GOAT is determine by slam titles."

According to whom? I don't know of anyone who considered Roy Emerson the GOAT when he held the most "slam titles." Why did the "rules" change once Sampras and Federer reached Emerson's singles majors count?

The "GOAT" title gets thrown around quite a bit by people who have very little knowledge of tennis history.

Posted by Tuulia 11/16/2010 at 07:33 PM

AM, not really my cup of tea, either, but here's that pic anyway:
http://www.imagebam.com/image/739744106320523

Posted by Jack Bond 11/16/2010 at 07:36 PM

Yo Pete, just wanted to say, epiteth ain't a word. it's epithet. but you meant to say epitaph. get your words right buddy, you're a writer.

Posted by MamaG 11/16/2010 at 07:36 PM

Not liking Rafa's draw at all but this isn't supposed to be a cakewalk for anyone, it's supposed to be the best of the best fighting it out to see who will take the title...there should be no easy matches. That said, if Rafa can't win I hope one of the Andy's comes out on top in the end.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 07:37 PM

Tuulia Thanks.I am glad where on the same page with Feli.I watched him play with Tommy at Medibank in the doubles a few years ago and his antics in their warm up was enough for me lol!

Posted by MamaG 11/16/2010 at 07:40 PM

I wish ALL the GOAT talk would cease. IMO, there is no way to pick a greatest of ALL time unless all conditions are the same and the players have to compete with each other. Too many variables, too many changes to equipment and surfaces through the years.

Posted by Slick 11/16/2010 at 07:45 PM

I guess length of time at #1 and total titles mean nothing in the GOAT discussion?
Connors > Borg big time!!!

The young Mr. Nadal has a ways to go himself in those stats...

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 07:57 PM

Actually I was discussing that Borg and Rafa share similar stats and also their junior days in ways were parallel.

Though I dont know how the *G* discussion comes up here when this post is on the draw lol!

Posted by Rajat Jain 11/16/2010 at 07:57 PM

Brilliant article, Mr. Bodo!

Posted by RW 11/16/2010 at 08:00 PM

I agree with a couple other posts I have seen: if you can make the argument that your YEC draw is a cupcake/cakewalk/walk of cake/frosting cup/etc, when the others competitors are the super duper elite players in the world, then it's more a reflection of individual dominance than the draw. The YEC shouldn't be easy for any of these players, and hopefully the level of tennis will illustrate as much.

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

RW Well we have say the best 8 players that had to qualify for this end of year final in London.I agree I hope the tennis from all players will illustrate that.

Posted by patricia 29 11/16/2010 at 08:07 PM

Mr . John Mcenroe is entitled to his own opinion. But is he not the same man who said Roger IS the GOAT when the latter won the FO? C'mon, where is his credibility??? He said Rafa " COULD " and not "WILL". Oh well...

Posted by Mike 11/16/2010 at 08:07 PM

I agree that Rafa ... if he stays healthy, can be the GOAT one day ... but his H2H with Roger, Davis Cup, and Olympic medal has little to do with it.

Your record against one player you simply don't match up well against means nothing ... it's how you play them all that matters ... and the Davis Cup and Olympics, please ... it's as much luck to be in peak form at the right time as anything. Simply gravy ... not a sign of greatness.

Posted by Carol 11/16/2010 at 08:11 PM

Hi everybody

*cupkake wars*? silly war!. Who knows who is going to play better.
Rafa and Roger are the best players in the circuit. The others are up and down. Sometimes Murray plays better, then Nole, then Davydenko (just last year) then Berdych, then Roddick (Miami) then Llodra, Monfils, Soderling, and???. Any of them don't have any consistency because the *head*, the *coach* etc, etc.
But of course all of them want to win and to beat Rafa and Roger
The winner will be the one that will play better, that's all.
I'm crossing my fingers to see Rafa playing great and healthy, then he has a lot of probability to win

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

I will be also interested to see what happens when the officials from the ATP meet in London to discuss the ATP tour draw.Seeing most players say the season is too long.

Posted by ivy29 11/16/2010 at 08:14 PM

So Mr. Bodo, are you saying that Nadal has more problems than Federer?

Posted by Carol 11/16/2010 at 08:18 PM

probability= probabilities

Posted by RW 11/16/2010 at 08:30 PM

Just saw the Feliciano picture. That man is so creepy lol. Please stay far away from Rafa, far far away.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 11/16/2010 at 08:35 PM

"Your record against one player you simply don't match up well against means nothing ... it's how you play them all that matters ... and the Davis Cup and Olympics, please ... it's as much luck to be in peak form at the right time as anything. Simply gravy ... not a sign of greatness."

Federer is one of the best tennis players of all time.

So, the fact that Rafa has beat Federer 14 out of the 21 times they've played "means nothing."

That's an interesting concept.

Rafa's Olympic Gold Medal in Singles is a "[s]imply gravy . . . not a sign of greatness."

Another interesting concept

Now for the trifecta.

Rafa's 14-1 singles record in Davis Cup also is "[s]imply gravy . . . not a sign of greatness."

Wow. So much fascinating thinking to attempt to comprehend.

Posted by Blake 11/16/2010 at 09:16 PM

Funny stuff Pete, well done :)

Posted by blush212 11/16/2010 at 09:17 PM

Lol pete..love these cupcake draws fanwar but gotta say Fed fans sure have a more logical reason to fret.Also love the wit with which they presented their angst!FED fans you ROCK!;-)

Posted by sf 11/16/2010 at 09:26 PM

it's a conspiracy.

against robin soderling.

they stacked him, against the goat, the hometown favorite with enormous support (his nation's hopes rests on his shoulders), and a precocious and irrepresible spaniard who beat him the last time they played.

and this is only the round-robin stage! darn! no fair!

the wtf should be ashamed of themselves for stacking the deck so heavily against robin soderling.

but i have news for you! remember the frenchies llodra and monfils from last week?

y-e-a-h, do y'all r-e-m-e-m-b-e-r???!!! the viking warrior a'int scared of nobody, nor any home crowd. he will silence them all!

just ask kat stacks!

Posted by CL/AtheGOAT* 11/16/2010 at 09:34 PM

Mr. Rick - I agree...they are like computer hackers...if they only turned their powers to good!

Posted by ardi 11/16/2010 at 09:41 PM

sorry to say that ,but can't you (the writer) choose better words to say what you mean.
sorry for whoever pays you to write these nonsenses.Please be more respectful to all of them.
Your article has zero analytic value.just like you woke up one day ,angry at the world that you are not like them and then somebody handed you.............a pen.

Posted by sf 11/16/2010 at 10:02 PM

ardi,

get a grip. pete addresses a true tennis fans' theme (cupcake draws and asterisks) with witty humor, and you want him burned at the stake for it?

get over yourself already, whoever you are.

Posted by JimF 11/16/2010 at 10:12 PM

What Bodo is doing is very disappointing.

Tennis.com's discussion threads used to be the more interesting around, with fewer trolls, snarks and flamers.

But Bodo deliberately stirs up that evil triumvirate with his vacuous posts (is he paid by the page view, perhaps?) and the quality of the discussion threads here has gone done substantially.

Sad.

Posted by MikeDC 11/16/2010 at 10:14 PM

Odd thing is I think both camps have something to gripe about. And maybe they are not whining...

As a fed fan, I can definitely say I'd rather see Roger have Rafa's group.

For Fed,
Djoko is easier than Murray
Berdy (now!) is easier than Sod
Roddick is likely easier than Ferrer (head to head doesn't show it, but match up does).

However, when I put down the kool aid mixed with vodka... I guess Rafa fans might be pissed too. For them

Djoko (on hard esp) is a harder out for Nadal than Murray
Berdy may be equal to sod (rafa plays bad, either plays well, he can lose)
Roddick is like 100 times harder than Ferrer. A sure win over Ferrer is iffy with Roddick... in round robin this is critical.

So, in a wierd cosmic way, the draws don't favor either. What the draws do favor is the potential for them to be knocked out early.

So, both Nadal and Fed fans can complain. Now if the FOOP's start b*tchin then that's another story. They got the cupcake draw.

Posted by rudy3 (proud Rafaelite since 2005) 11/16/2010 at 10:19 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"

LOL! Mr Rick you have brought me out of retirement! bin Laden...and when they find him, no doubt he will be wearing the hideous Stella McCartney.

On the topic du jour...If Rafa wins a set, he has improved his performance of last year. Put that in perspective...the guy couldn't win a set a year ago. Amazing year.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela YEC Doubles Champion and Winner of 7 Titles in 2010) 11/16/2010 at 10:33 PM

Hidey Ho

Just reading a few comments and would like to add that Rockin' Robin has a tough time in reaching the semis alone making the finals. First match up Andy Murray, yikes.

Posted by sf 11/16/2010 at 10:49 PM

surf angel,

u r the best! and smartest! it should be clear to everybody that the cards were DELIBERATELY stacked against rockin' robin. no question about that.

even katt stacks acknowledges that (she sent me a txt msg).

Posted by JadedTraveler 11/16/2010 at 11:09 PM

It's been a long season. Who really cares? Do any of the final eight need the money that bad? Or the prestige. Davydenko won it last year. What did he get out of it besides a fat paycheck? Respect? No. A huge jump in rankings? No. It's an entertaining tournament wrapping up the year, but it certainly does have the import of a Major. Let's all take a break, and start dreaming about Australia.

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

Just got back in

Rudy3 So glad to see you posting here.Rafa has had a incredible year.

Winning in London will just be icing on the cake.Though as I said before I got to see him achieve his career slam and I can go to "tennis heaven" a happy woman

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 11:19 PM

SF Hi!

Well I feel the indoor surface will suit Robin quite frankly and he is going into this tournament with confidence after his Masters win in Bercy

Who knows which Andy Murray will turn up? he has been too hot and cold for me this year and his results show that.

Though I guess being in London Murray will want to play better or else the UK media will go him.

Posted by sf 11/16/2010 at 11:33 PM

hi, am.

which robin shows up will be telling. does he come in limp and tired from last week's exploits? i hope not.

if the london courts are slower than bercy (as seems to be the case) mandy has a chance. they're tied 2-2, but i like my man's chances better. i keep reliving that bercy final in my head - it's oh so awesome! those clever inside-in double-handed down-the-line shots. so tricky and so effective. i can't wait to watch them all over again!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 11:35 PM

SF See I didnt use my "sod dolls" at all lol!

Well I hope he does well cause he had been missing mentally for a bit.

Winning breeds success

Hmmm I am still trying to get my head around the Lakers losing to the Suns of all teams like

*triple faints*

Posted by sf 11/16/2010 at 11:39 PM

u r a good girl, am! no more "sod dolls," ok?

the lakers! oh don't get me started! but you know what, i like it that they suffer some of these defeats early. going so long without a loss isn't that helpful for this team. it's a healthy reality check for them, help them work out the kinks. it's a long season, so no fears, ok?

phil jackson is still a moron, i know, i know - lol.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/16/2010 at 11:44 PM

SF Hmmm well I cant promise that my dolls wont show up in the future ok?

Hmmm NP keeps saying Kobe is being too generous?

I hope his finger dosent play up later in the season when he is needed

I will Die

Posted by sf 11/16/2010 at 11:50 PM

i am at a loss why kobe did not fix his finger over the summer. he must have weighed the pros and cons and probably decided to leave it alone for another season. like you, i truly hope it doesnt become a problem during play-off crunch time. we shall see.

as far as those pin-infested voodoo dolls, i think you should see your catholic priest to exorcise that "evil" habit (idol worship) from you ! ;-o

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

SF Hmmm well I just hope the other team players lift.

Hmmm I dont think my parish priest is into such things

After seeing that movie I dont think I will ever be the same again

Shudders

Anyway I have a phone call.Talk to your soon ok.

Posted by sf 11/16/2010 at 11:58 PM

ok, am, my bed time is here, anyway. enjoy your day, see you around l8r.

"the exorcist" is a scary movie indeed.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela YEC Doubles Champion and Winner of 7 Titles in 2010) 11/17/2010 at 12:11 AM

st the only reason Marge didn't use the sods doll was because he wasn't playing Rafa, you can beat that if he was the doll would of come out with extra big pins.

I hope Robin isn't still feeling ill or tired though with the weeks's rest will help. I need to stop typing as I have just had a manicure during my lunch break.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/17/2010 at 12:17 AM

AA LOL!

Hmmm maybe there is some truth in what you say

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/17/2010 at 12:22 AM

Australian Tennis News,17th November

Moorilla Hobart International 7th-15th January 2011

Aussie Jarmila Groth has confirmed to play

Sydney Medibank International 9th -15th January 2011

Ana Ivanovic has confirmed to play

Posted by ahem 11/17/2010 at 12:40 AM

ha ha had to admit the mens underwear part made me laugh

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela YEC Doubles Champion and Winner of 7 Titles in 2010) 11/17/2010 at 12:42 AM

beat should of been 'bet'.

Posted by Stewart 11/17/2010 at 01:16 AM

Bah - screw Fedal wars. Bring on Djokovic v. Soderling!!!

Posted by jewell - back to the grind. Gah! 11/17/2010 at 01:35 AM

Morning, everyone. :)

This made me laugh - *adds to favourites pile* - especially this: "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." I am certainly guilty as charged, I spent hours yesterday discussing with someone whether Rafa more resembled a Labrador or a seal pup. :)

Nice picture choices too. :)

The tennis.com headline struck me a minute ago - both Roger and Rafa fans are up in arms? Haven't been to RF.com or VB but most of the reactions here from everyone yesterday seemed to be that the groups were evenly split. And that is what I think, too.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela YEC Doubles Champion and Winner of 7 Titles in 2010) 11/17/2010 at 02:17 AM

Hey Jewell welcome back from your holidays glad you had a good time and I don't mind what you brought in the slightest. Everyone needs good wine glasses and a saute pan.

Posted by jewell - back to the grind. Gah! 11/17/2010 at 02:28 AM

Hiya Angel, how are you?

That is what I tell myself. :) I love cooking & I can't ever have too many kitchen-y things.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela YEC Doubles Champion and Winner of 7 Titles in 2010) 11/17/2010 at 02:31 AM

Jewell I am with you on kitchen gadegets. If I had a bigger kitchen with more space then I would. I would love a paella pan but I don't have anywhere to put it.

Posted by zenggi 11/17/2010 at 02:33 AM

Good morning,

I missed sf again. Rats! :)

Have you seen this rock? Sold by Sotheby's (Geneva) for 33 mil. euros. Wow!
http://www.elpais.com/recorte/20101117elpepucul_2/LCO340/Ies/diamante_caro_mundo.jpg

Congrats to the Lakers, specially to Pau. About time they start winning.

And this is outrageous. The next Harry Potter film can already be downloaded from the net.

Tennis. No idea about anything new. I'd like to be informed. Thanks.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/17/2010 at 02:37 AM

Good Morning Jewell and Zengii and Hi AA

Well I have Kates dress,shoes,hair and flowers done

Phew it was hard work though I like to be organised

Hey is there tennis on?

Posted by jewell - back to the grind. Gah! 11/17/2010 at 02:38 AM

Tuulia (from back in the comments): Moya retiring makes me sad, too.

Morning, zenggi. :)

Posted by jewell - back to the grind. Gah! 11/17/2010 at 02:42 AM

Morning AM. :)

I hope you are all going to find a way to watch "Wills and Kate: Where Did It All Go Right?" and "William and Kate: A Royal Love Story" (yuck) in the near future. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/17/2010 at 02:44 AM

Jewell I am counting on you for all the gossip ok

Our Mags here are in a total spin with all the news

There was even a poll taken today if people here were happy with the news?

Like hey its a Royal Wedding and we here are still attached to the Commonwealth.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/17/2010 at 02:46 AM

Jewell I understand the "cooking gadjets"

Though I still feel you could have spent some time finding "you know what?"

Moving On

Posted by jewell - back to the grind. Gah! 11/17/2010 at 02:50 AM

I really did mean to, AM, but I got sidetracked. Oh well, perhaps there will be free Royal Wedding commemoration bags or something. ;-)

Posted by zenggi 11/17/2010 at 02:50 AM

I'm also sad for Carlos Moyá. But now he has another life married and with a beautiful daughter. Time to move on. Adéu,Carles.

He'll play the Spanish Masters in Sevilla in December. Nadal and Verdasco will not attend. The rest of the players will be: David Ferrer, Nicolás Almagro, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Albert Montañés, Guillermo García, Daniel Jimeno and Marcel Granollers.

AM,
You should be looking here from now on for any "wedding gossip"
http://www.hellomagazine.com/

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela YEC Doubles Champion and Winner of 7 Titles in 2010) 11/17/2010 at 02:53 AM

Who cares about Will and Kate, I don't. BTW I would of preferred a different engagement ring. Very cheap of Will, don't you think. yes I am being serious.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/17/2010 at 02:57 AM

Jewell Please dont buy that kind of bag ok

Zenggi Thanks

AA I see your point regarding the ring.Though I feel personally it was a deep thought from William regarding his mother

Lets face it she had a woeful life and should have never married Charles.

Posted by jewell - back to the grind. Gah! 11/17/2010 at 03:03 AM

I am having most fun imagining what kind of poor-taste party Harry would organise for the stag night. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/17/2010 at 03:05 AM

Jewell I adore Harry he is my fav Royal and has a wicked sense of fun

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/17/2010 at 03:07 AM

AA Did you get a manicure in your lunch time I was reading your comments before

May I ask how much does that cost?

Here it varies

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/17/2010 at 03:12 AM

By the way RG has emailed me

He got his old job back though he cant go online here like before

He enjoys it and misses us all

I said to him come online though he said to me cause of the time difference he would miss us.

I miss RG

Posted by jewell - back to the grind. Gah! 11/17/2010 at 03:17 AM

Me too although we catch up on Twitter & FB occasionally.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela YEC Doubles Champion and Winner of 7 Titles in 2010) 11/17/2010 at 03:17 AM

what Serena and Common broke up again?

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela YEC Doubles Champion and Winner of 7 Titles in 2010) 11/17/2010 at 03:22 AM

AM my manicure was $30 but it was a deluxe one and they look great. My work colleague had a deluxe pedicure which includes foot spa and massage.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/17/2010 at 03:28 AM

AA Thats a good price.A deluxe manicure here costs around $60 depending you you go to.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/17/2010 at 03:34 AM

oops meant to say "depending who you go to"

Posted by jewell - back to the grind. Gah! 11/17/2010 at 03:38 AM

Better think about work, I suppose...see you all later. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/17/2010 at 03:53 AM

Bye Jewell

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/17/2010 at 04:22 AM

Rafa news from his website,16th November

Rafa will travel to London tomorrow.Rafa has won 5 ATP titles apart from the 3 Grand Slam Titles.Rafa will try to make this year perfect as he will be on the favourite and one of the most liable players to have the capacity to win this title.

Vamos Rafa!


Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/17/2010 at 04:23 AM

'morning folks!

The groups seem fair to me. All I care about is Rafa making it to the semifinal stage on saturday, but that's a pretty big ask considering his performance last year.

Looking forward to London. Tickets in hand and can't wait! Unfortunately the Royal engagement will be all the news and tennis might take a back seat in the newspapers. I hope not.

In a couple of hours I'm heading to Kentucky for my brother in law's funeral. Twelve - 14 hour drive and we're going straight through. And it's raining cats and dogs right now. This is going to be a long day. I won't be near a computer for a few days so I'll miss all the tennis talk.
play nice everybody. See you all when I return.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/17/2010 at 04:27 AM

Well I will have a good cup of coffee and just 2 squares of Lindt dark chocolate I am on a ration with chocolate seeing it will be extinct in 20 years from now.

Later everyone!

Posted by Holds 2 Love 11/17/2010 at 04:36 AM

Condolences on the loss of your brother-in-law, Annie. Sounds like you have a difficult day ahead of you, with the long, rainy drive and then of course, the sad occasion of the funeral. Hope being with loved ones is a comfort to all of you. And you have London to look forward to. Have a terrific time at the O2. Hope you share your observations here.

Posted by GB 11/17/2010 at 05:38 AM

I'm so sorry for your loss Annie. Travel safely

Posted by Mike 11/17/2010 at 05:58 AM

I didn't say the Rafa - Fed H2H didn't matter ... it matters to them, 1 on 1 ... but how does that figure into them against everyone else? Rafa reached #2 5 years ago, and for the majority of that 5 years ... Fed has been #1. How much do you need to know beyond that? Of course, now that Fed is on a natural decline ... Rafa will start picking up ground. Am I missing something here, or isn't this all pretty obvious?

As far as Davis Cup and the Olympics, consistently showing up for the former might help in Fed's case. Fed has chosen through most of his career to not focus on it. That makes Rafa more of a patriot, I suppose ... as far as the latter, there have been a lot of decent players that have won gold medals that are no Fed or Rafa. Being hot at the right time matters a great deal.

I'm saying that if Rafa has 2 more years like 2010, his name will be up there with the greats ... he hasn't yet been as consistent as Fed over the length of his career to be there already. Fed had 3 years of better, more consistent results than Rafa had this year.

Rafa can do it, but in my opinion ... he's not as close as JMac is touting quite yet. That's my opinion, whether you like it ... or not. ;)

Posted by GB 11/17/2010 at 06:04 AM

I'm so sorry for your loss Annie. Travel safely

Posted by Lennon 1980 11/17/2010 at 06:17 AM

As someone mentioned earlier concerning JMac going to Australia.. please please, Tennis Gods, serve up some rancid fruitcake to JMac over the holidays so that he has to stay in the States. He is an a** and should learn to keep his mouth shut, before, during and after tennis tournaments. By the second week of a Grand Slam, I am ready to grand slam my head into a moving bus due to his non-stop fawning and self absorbed blabber. Wow, someone is cranky today. Sorry..........

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/17/2010 at 06:26 AM

Good morning all, just surfing the web and read where Carillo pick Kim as the player of the year. No surprise there, Carillo is the same commentator who used to tell players that to hit the ball down the middle was the best way to defeat the Williamses. And can anyone forget her AO comments after Serena beat Sharapova, "this kid is better", she proclaimed of the loser of the match who would go on to not have a win against Serena in six years. If we were talking about any other player but Serena, it would be clear and consistent with tennis, that two slams beat out one and other titles. The rules just seem to change when it comes to the Williamses who have never been accepted by the tennis establishment. It we were talking about players who the tennis establishment likes such as Kim, or Sharapova there would be no problem giving credit. Kim is a player who has been dominant on one surface, the hardcourts of North American where about 90% of her titles have been won. Serena, throughout the years has proven that she can win on every major surfaces. She has won a GS on every surface. And in 2010, won the most pretigeous trophy in tennis Wimbledon. Kom sa, Caro.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/17/2010 at 06:32 AM

Although Caro has won six title, the quality of her titles don't compare with Serena. The quality of Serena's titles are the highest you can reach in tennis. If Oudin was holding two slams, would Carillo think Kim had been the better player? I don't think so.

Posted by Great Tennis 11/17/2010 at 07:22 AM

Mike, Nadal reached 24 years old in June.
Check his records and then tell me how many players have gotten those results at that age starting with Fedex
Give credit to whom deserve it

Posted by Omolola 11/17/2010 at 07:33 AM

Still Nadal has not attain Fed's records. When he reaches 16 GS the age factor will matter. Unless you achieve what others have already done there is no reason why we should be looking for what could separate you from them. This age thing is irrelevant, as long as Nadal still has to overcome what Federer did. Just my peace of mind.

Posted by GB 11/17/2010 at 07:35 AM

Marat training in a Rafa tshirt: http://tinyurl.com/33q48e3

Posted by gauloises 11/17/2010 at 07:48 AM

Late to the party, but I loved this post. So true to TW, particularly in the sense that we FOOPs don't even get a look in :)

By the way, for those who are asking about the court speed: the tournament director and Adam Helfant have been quoted that the court speed will be the same as last year. Herewith:

"The speed of the court will also have a considerable effect. The consensus from the Paris Masters was that a surface with a CPR (Court Pace Rating) of 45 — ie, fast — suited most players, made for a greater variety, nullified sterility and, for this stage of the season, reduced strain on the players.

At the O2, where the court will be laid in the early hours of next Wednesday morning, after Gorillaz have done their stuff the night before, the surface will be “just as it has been for the past 15 of these events”, Brad Drewett, the tournament director, said.

“You will never get a consensus among the top eight players as to the best surface,” Helfant said. “For this year, it’s too late to change. We will take what the players say into account and see what we will do next year.”

... So there you are. Surface is the same.

Posted by Samantha Elin 11/17/2010 at 07:50 AM

I'm sure that the tennis establishment will give Kim player of the year. I think for reasons other than tennis, she is a more appealing player to them. Robin for YEC!

Posted by mick1303 11/17/2010 at 07:54 AM

8 players are clearly divided into 3 groups: 1) Nadal, Federer; 2) Djokovic, Soderling, Murray; 3) Roddick, Berdych, Ferrer. Whoever of Nadal/Federer gets only one opponent from the second group - gets an easier draw.

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