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Faces of Defeat 11/24/2010 - 10:09 AM

Defeat
by Hannah Wilks.TW Contributing Writer

The World Tour Finals brings its own unique challenges, not least the round-robin format in which each victory, while crucial, still requires ratification by other results. Pride comes before pitfalls and even a defeat still holds out the possibility of redemption.

More than any other tournament, the World Tour Finals rewards the ability to pick oneself up and carry on. Today I decide to watch how the pros handle it when things don't go their way.

The first thing I see when I come to the O2 is Lukas Dlouhy, sweating and pale, mumbling volubly at the camera after his flubbed volley into the net costs him and his partner Leander Paes the first set against Wimbledon champions Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzchner. Dlouhy is clearly a fan of the inaudible monologue; Paes, on the other hand, stays theatrically frozen after his errors, pantomiming his disbelief.

On the other side of the net, their opponents err on the side of seriousness. Jurgen Melzer yells, swipes angrily at the air, hefts his racquet as if to throw it down. Philipp Petzchner hangs his head, trailing meekly around after Melzer, waiting for the fist-bump that absolves his latest error. They’re so open and earnest in their desire to win that when Petzchner lands the winning volley and it’s Melzer’s turn to walk to him for a hug, it’s impossible not to feel pleased for them.

If there is one thing—apart from a first serve—that Andy Murray is lacking today, in his critical battle with Roger Federer, it’s visible passion. His performance is woeful from the beginning, and I’m waiting for the convulsive clutching at his face, the angry berating of himself and his camp, the furious snatched punch at his racquet strings—everything that fuels the meme of the player who’s too negative to win. It doesn’t come. He just sighs after each unforced error, shoulders rising and settling in a weary exhale, and then gets on with it, his racquets all in one piece even if his game is in tatters.

As things go from bad to worse, he’s perfectly calm and I want to scream. I want him to yell, I want the smashed racquet; I want blood, sweat and tears—or at least two out of the three. Anything to get the blood flowing, get the feet moving—even getting the ball over the net would be a start. His calm persists even after a 6-4, 6-2 defeat. In his press conference, he’s matter-of-fact and dignified; challenged on his degree of intensity, he turns the question back on the press: "If I went out there and I smashed the racquet or started shouting, I’d come in and everyone would say to me, you were in a bad mood today, mentally you weren’t strong enough. . .I just tried to stay calm, tried to find a way, and it didn’t happen today."

In other words, sometimes it simply isn’t your day. Can it really be as straightforward as that? Federer seems to think so. He goes out of his way to remind the press of the contrast between this match and the last they played against each other in Shanghai, admitting his surprise at the ease of his win. "Tennis is not rocket science," he reminds the room. Anyone can have a bad day, he says with the vague complacency of those good enough to make their own luck.

How quickly things change in tennis. Murray was all but in the knockout stages after Sunday’s masterful performance against Soderling. Now we’re throwing around words like thrashed, crushed, dominated, and muttering mathematical permutations darkly to each other.

Soderling was down and out, fatigued and overhyped after his win in Paris; now he’s in with an excellent chance of repeating last year’s semi-final feat. The Swede, incongruously cartoon-bright in his acid yellow shirt, faces David Ferrer, the perennially-patronized Spaniard in a match that’s far more of a contest than Murray v Federer. It seems we’re still asking each other who Robin Soderling is and what he can do. David Ferrer carries no such questions with him on to the court. The limits of his abilities are known, implicit in the vaguely surprised tone that introduces him as a former finalist at the year-end championships; and the lack of reaction when he’s hit off the court testifies to the same truism that his ultimate fate is less in his hands than that of his opponents.

Defeat2 The thing that draws the incoherent shout from Ferrer is the unforced error. The pounding power of Soderling, against which the Spaniard’s never-say-die attitude is no defense, does not frustrate. It motivates. At the worst moments, when Soderling batters his way to the net, leaving Ferrer stranded behind the baseline, the Spaniard simply raises his hands: What can I do? And at the best, when he finds the passing shot and guts out a marathon hold, the clenched fist says: Don’t feel sorry for me.

One can never tell from From Soderling’s body language that he’s playing beautifully. The Swede is wound as tightly as a clockwork soldier, and uncoils to swipe savagely at the ball. Ferrer has no answer for his pace and power, but the better Soderling plays, the angrier he seems; he stalks stiff-legged between points and addresses vituperative comments to his box.

When Ferrer’s indomitable defense momentarily puts the second set in doubt, Soderling gestures savagely as if to exclaim, You see!? I told you I couldn’t do it. And when Ferrer frays under the pressure of holding serve, handing Soderling a seemingly well-deserved victory, the Swede faces the crowd with the slightly guilty air of a child who’s been given something he hasn’t entirely earned.

Charged—slightly bafflingly—by Mark Petchey with defying the stereotype of the placid Scandinavian with his ‘Latin character’, he splutters, Really?! with the guilelessness of the dull. In his press conference, all dimples and diffident charm, he gives the lie to his dour reputation. Disarmingly modest, he defuses leading questions, casting himself in the familiar role of underdog against Federer’s pedigree. He’s already thinking about his next match, but I’m still occupied with the one that just finished.

I risk missing the last train to hang on for Ferrer’s press conference. If I was seeking illumination into his psyche, a better understanding of the process of picking oneself up after being outplayed, I’m sorely disappointed. He arrives texting on his Blackberry, answers questions in his soft voice, fingers curling contemplatively around his mouth. He did his best. Robin was better, he did his best, and he’ll do his utmost on Thursday, too.

"I fight everything. I fight, and with Andy too." He states it with the finality of an ultimate truth.


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Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 04:43 PM

Rafa finally earns himself a SP and takes it. Nole's called for the trainer again for his pesky contacts.

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/24/2010 at 04:43 PM

Djoker you are just useless ... and men's tennis is just become a marathon endurance contest you just cannot hit winners in this game anymore, its just who can outrally the other, hate this ...

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 04:43 PM

hey, I think we might get the famous Djoker retirement. Just might. His eye is bothering him, so why not? That would give him 3 out 4 slam+YEC+his own tourney retirements. That only leaves US open and possibly olympics. Man, this dude is something.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 04:44 PM

eye doctor is examing Djoker's right eye. If doctor says that he can damage the cornea or if Djoker gets broken early in 2nd set, he may retire, who knows?

Posted by Holds 2 Love 11/24/2010 at 04:45 PM

gosh AM, this is WITH valium? totally kidding ;-)

Djokovich having an eye exam. he's really frustrated. any serious problem with his eye would have implications not just for the match and tournament, but DC as well, potentially. Nadal frustrated as well.

Posted by eclipse22 (rafagirl VAMOS RAFA WINNER OF ALL FOUR GRAND SLAMS) 11/24/2010 at 04:45 PM

and he does!! whoopeee rafa first set, one set to go
meanwhile french tv is talking about dc preps, monfils seemingly had a little problem should be good for DC though...and a little itw with gilles simon, says he's ready ,bla bla bla gonna give it his all, yes the team is keeping an eye on djoko at wtf!

Posted by AO OPEN 11/24/2010 at 04:45 PM

Nadal.. what a jackass

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 04:46 PM

meanwhile Rafa is complaining to the tourney president for something. Maybe Rafa is getting annoyed by Djoker's constant trainer card tatics.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 04:46 PM

Opens Eyes

Hell he did it

Now the trainer is looking into Noles eyes

Nole you push too many boundaries for me I like your play though this is just going over time

It has disrupted the momentum of this match for you and for Rafa

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 04:47 PM

AO OPEN, how does it taste? The defeat, I mean. oh ha ha. Come to the bright side and join Fed (or Rafa if you choose) team. Muzz and Doker team are in constant pain.

Posted by Frances 11/24/2010 at 04:47 PM

Hi everyone!!!

yeye happy to see rafa win the first set!

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 04:48 PM

Okay who will take a bet with me

Nole will retire??

Anyone?

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/24/2010 at 04:48 PM

OK ... I think Novak will retire.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 04:48 PM

Nole you cant see properly that last shot just showed it

It didnt even make the court

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 04:49 PM

This doesn't look good. Nole looks like he's packed it in. 3 BPs for Rafa.

Posted by Arun 11/24/2010 at 04:49 PM

Comeon, AM.
Djokovic seems to be in some genuine problems.
And it isn't as if Nadal is shy of receiving treatments when something bothers him.

Posted by Or 11/24/2010 at 04:49 PM

Well, its a good thing Rafa won that sportsmanship award already. This time, Nole ain't faking nada.

Posted by eclipse22 (rafagirl VAMOS RAFA WINNER OF ALL FOUR GRAND SLAMS) 11/24/2010 at 04:49 PM

NP just wondering is dumb*** your word of the day?

yikes nole what was that?!! even the best does them huh?

yikes a love break! can rafa reciprocate or is he done playing with serb at rallyfest!

Posted by Master Ace 11/24/2010 at 04:49 PM

0-40 for Rafael as Novak FH sails wide
Rafael breaks as Novak volleys long after coming to net behind serve

Rafael to serve 7-5,1-0

Posted by CL 11/24/2010 at 04:50 PM

"Maybe Rafa is getting annoyed by Djoker's constant trainer card tatics." Irony, thy name is MTO.

If you play minus the full use of one eye, doesn't it like totally screw up your depth perception? I only know/think this because of an old episode of "Medical Center" featuring Sammy Davis Jr. as a baseball shortstop who loses an eye and his career... (WHY do I remember this???)

Told ya Novak was going to go walk-about.

Posted by Anna 11/24/2010 at 04:50 PM

AM, he can still advance to the semis- I vote that he will not retire. Plus it's indoor, his allergies must be in check

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 04:50 PM

man, oh man, this is turning to be a stinker after that rouge contact lens on Djoker's right eye. ugly play by Djoker and now Rafa is 1-0 up and serving.

Posted by AO OPEN 11/24/2010 at 04:50 PM

Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan


HUH??????????????????

Posted by GB 11/24/2010 at 04:50 PM

Finally my friggin internet decides to work! Sooo relieved Rafa held for the set. Poor Nole. But don't let up Rafa!

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 04:50 PM

Ugh, what a piss-poor flubbed volley. That was the easiest volley of the match, and he missed it on the 1st BP. Dumbass!!!!!!

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 04:51 PM

Arun I think I am being fair

Gee how many times have we all seen something that always seems to happen to him

Heat? nose? breathing etc.I too have worn contact lenses ok.

Do you think its really fair in the context of this match? I agree Nole has problems and cant see properly.I think he should retire quite frankly.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/24/2010 at 04:52 PM

I do think that Novak has a genuine problem with his eye - You can't really fake anything like that.

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 04:52 PM

eclipse22, sort of. But it's not personal, I assure you. Kobe's my favorite basketball player and I call him a dumbass all the time.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 04:53 PM

GB, c'mon. be honest. Who did you root for this morning, Roddick or Berdie?

Posted by CL 11/24/2010 at 04:53 PM

Even when he is ahead, Rafa seems a mite 'un colm' in this tournament.

Though that was a very 'colm' cc bh pass.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 04:53 PM

Gee Nole has a b/point?

Posted by Frances 11/24/2010 at 04:55 PM

HI Guys!!

GLAD TO SEE RAFA win the first set

thank you for the link!

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 04:55 PM

Hang on I have eye problems now

Must be catching

Rafa holds 2-0

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/24/2010 at 04:55 PM

ugh these endless rallies just get mind numbing, there is no chance to variate at all, just bang to each corner, until a meltdown occurs ... its mentally exhausting to watch, i cant imagine trying to PLAY the match

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 04:55 PM

OK, Nole, you really are a dumbass. At 30-all you had Rafa's whole ad court open for an approach shot, but you hit back right at Rafa and got dutifully passed. Dumbass!!!!!!!!

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 04:56 PM

GB I was getting worried with you I thought you might have died from Frazzlement?

Dont you have Fox anymore?

Posted by GB 11/24/2010 at 04:56 PM

I agree that Nole's got a genuine problem. As is his breathing issue when it affects him. And, he hasn't retired from a match in forever.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 04:57 PM

well, Djoker is not rubbing his eye out anymore, so my guess is that it has stopped bothering him. His lousy play, on the other hand, is here to stay. Maybe he is starting to worry about his DC in 2 weeks time.

Posted by Frances 11/24/2010 at 04:57 PM

another break VAMOS!

Posted by Master Ace 11/24/2010 at 04:58 PM

30-40 for Rafael as Novak nets half volley coming forward
Rafael breaks as he hits FH passing shot for winner as Novak S&V

Rafael to serve 7-5,3-0

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/24/2010 at 04:58 PM

Novak go home and play Davis Cup, that's the plan, isnt it? tank it out to Roddick and let Fed play birdbrain in the semis !

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 11/24/2010 at 04:58 PM

So much for the lack of match play ! I expect Nadal to win the whole thing. His confidence is sky-high, and it's just been that kind of season for him.

As well as Federer is playing right now, I think he showed enough nerves against Monfils at Bercy and against Murray in Shanghai ... I think those nerves would show up again against Nadal if he meets him here in the semis or the final. He's been choking more frequently now, even as his game has improved. Maybe he is acutely conscious of the fact that the clock is ticking, and he has maybe a couple years of decent play left in him. The game is coming together, but the mental toughness has taken a hit after the many "uncharacteristic" losses of the last 3 years.

And now Djokovic is unravelling as Nadal grows in confidence. This set is going to be a steamroll !

Posted by Arun 11/24/2010 at 04:58 PM

Uhm. Aren't Nadal and Novak supposed to be the best buds? Frankly I wouldn't have been surprised if Fed was in Nadal's role here and complaining about the delay.. given his, let's say, plain indifference to Novak and Murray.

Posted by GB 11/24/2010 at 04:59 PM

Am watching the match on TV, AM. I just couldn't get online to share the frazzle.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 04:59 PM

Look I was enjoying this match before Nole had the lens problem

I like all matches to be competiive.

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 04:59 PM

Nole has packed it in. Rafa should take a hint and get this dusted pronto.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 04:59 PM

man, oh man. I didn't see this coming at all, but maybe, just maybe Rafa can beat Djoker in straight sets! Then maybe my Fedal final could be still on! Of course Rafa still needs to win this, then beat Berdie, then Muzz (or Evil Sod) for that to happen, though. Fed is a given for the final, whether it is Djoker, Berdie, or Roddick he is facing in SF.

Posted by Or 11/24/2010 at 05:00 PM

AusieMarg - I'd agree normally, but I've also seen Rafa taking injury time out in, um, interesting times, Hamburg 2008, anyone? Roger was up 5-1 when Rafa took his time out. That set ended 5-7 to Rafa, and I don't recall Roger venting about it mid-match, and Nole wasn't behind in this set when his eye started giving him troubles.

Rafa was venting that umpires get on his case when he takes extra time - that's not the same, Nole has an obvious medical condition that has nothing to do with fitness, got something in his eye. I recall Rafa calling for a long medical time out over a piece of Banana lodged in his throat a couple of years ago - what's the difference?

Djoko was often accused of 'giving up' when things aren't going his way - it is good that he's sticking it out.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:00 PM

GB Thanks for the clarification I was beginning to worry about you

Carry on as normal

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 05:01 PM

Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!), C'mon, man. No. We want Roddick for Fed. 22-2! Did you see Fed's playing time with his toy, aka Roddick, at Shanghai (or Basel, I can't remember)? Berdie can get hot. Roddick can't. So Roddick.

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 11/24/2010 at 05:01 PM

Tim @ 4:55 ... I daresay our boy Roger would agree with you !

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:02 PM

Of course we all know Rafa is a cheat

Moving on Yawns!

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 05:02 PM

It's really a shame, 'cause this was a pretty good match before that mysterious contacts prob surfaced. This yr's WTF has been a colossal snoozer.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:03 PM

I hope Nole at least gets on the board

Like I said before he is one of my fav players

Posted by Anna 11/24/2010 at 05:03 PM

Am I seeing the scoreboard right or is somthing wrong with my eyes? 4-0????

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 05:04 PM

Or, well you don't know if that was even venting nor it was directed to Djoker. It could very well be typical Spanish gestury or perhaps he was getting angry at his poor english and inablity to communicate with the tourney director.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:05 PM

NP I agree with you.This match was good before the Lens incident.I too used to wear contacts and I know what its like to have dirt in a contact lens.Its stings and you cant see.My point was it did break the momentum of the game for both players.

Posted by GB 11/24/2010 at 05:05 PM

I know nothing about eyes/contacts, will this all be okay for Nole's next match?

Posted by Tuulia 11/24/2010 at 05:07 PM

Rafa wasn't complaining about Nole's MTO, bathroom break, etc, geez.
But all that was happening and then Ullrich got to Rafa about time, so he wasn't exactly happy about that.

Posted by Frances 11/24/2010 at 05:07 PM

Nole is playing agressive tennis-- he looks tanked already

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 05:07 PM

Or, wait, I misread your comment. Forget what I said at 5:04pm.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:07 PM

Anna Nole just won his service game

Rafa 4-1 2nd set

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 05:07 PM

OK, so no bagel in this set. Just stay away from those tempting bakeries.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 05:07 PM

Or, wait, I misread your comment. Forget what I said at 5:04pm.

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 11/24/2010 at 05:07 PM

Or ... did you really have to bring up the Hamburg 2008 final? I was traumatized by that match, and needed therapy to banish it from my memory !

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 05:07 PM

AM, contacts suck.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 05:08 PM

stupid slow Typepad. gave me a double post. If Rafa holds here and go to 5-1, then game over. If not and this goes to 4-2, this ain't over.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/24/2010 at 05:09 PM

I wear contacts and once had to go to hospital with a sore and streaming eye. Nothing was found but they put a dressing on it which had to be kept on for 48 hours after which it was fine.

Posted by Frances 11/24/2010 at 05:09 PM

Rafa's serve is not good lately..those damn tendinitis in his arm!!!!

Posted by eclipse22 (rafagirl VAMOS RAFA WINNER OF ALL FOUR GRAND SLAMS) 11/24/2010 at 05:09 PM

boy this juicy matchup sure fizzled out real fast, and here i thought i was good for 3HRS not happening!!!
adje nole for finally placing four balls in winning position to get a game!
commies saying rafa aint serving all that hot, 42 % THIS SET 52 for the match...rafa whaaat are ya doing trying to revive his eye coordination for a comeback? get this over with!! grrr

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:10 PM

NP Exactly.Thats why I gave them up.I know these days there are new versions out and you can wear them 27/7 and throw them away still I always seem to have problems with mine.I really didnt need them for playing tennis or netball.

Posted by Frances 11/24/2010 at 05:11 PM

VAMOS!!!!!

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 05:11 PM

game over, people. Move along. Nothing to see here. Glad that Fedal final aspect is stil alive.

Posted by tina (ajde, Novak: handsome and talented Balkans #1, world #3, 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) 11/24/2010 at 05:11 PM

The Tennis Channel guys can't remember anyone else having contacts problems. Hello, dudes: Martina and Mary Pierce came immediately to this non-professional mind.

Posted by GB 11/24/2010 at 05:11 PM

Tuulia: the ump talked to Rafa about speeding things up during Nole's MTO? That seems like weird timing to me. Especially since, before Nole's eye problems started, it seemed to me like Nole was taking as long.

Thanks Lynne. So, it could be okay for the next match, but may screw up his practice etc:(

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:12 PM

Lynne Yuck how terrible for you.Hope everything calmed down in the end

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 05:12 PM

Nole keeps frittering away the freebies. Why did you hit the OH right back at him?! Dumbass!!!!!

Yes, THAT's how you hit an OH. You know, where your opponent's not there to receive it. Ugh.

Posted by Diane 11/24/2010 at 05:12 PM

Just got home to see Nole lose a contact lens in his eye, this is a real problem as I can relate to it; I had the same situation in one of my league matches. My partner and I had lost the 1ST set and were down in the second when one of our opponents lost her lens in her eye. She took the legal injury break but couldn't continue and we won by retirement.
After Fed, Nole is my favorite player and I am sad to see him having problems.
Today is my wedding anniversary and I'll be off for a great Thanksgiving family day tomorrow, so to all who celebrate Thanksgiving, have a wonderful day.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:13 PM

Well I give credit for Nole hanging out in this match

Still I hope the lens problem wont affect his next match

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 05:14 PM

I've bastardized too much English grammar already. Just get it over with, Rafa.

5-2, Rafa serving for the match.

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 05:15 PM

AM, anything that costs a fortune sucks.

Posted by CL 11/24/2010 at 05:16 PM

GB - I don't think so... I think Rafa was complaining to the ump about the various time outs and treatments Novak and his eye were getting.

I think from no on, I will call them Time Pouts...which is what i almost typed.

Posted by Tuulia 11/24/2010 at 05:16 PM

Or, Rafa did NOT have the Hamburg MTO at 1-5. He was supposed to have it between sets, Roger was serving for the set with a 5-1 lead and even got to set point, but eneded up getting broken. So Rafa had the MTO 2-5 down. Roger not being able to take the set before that MTO, nor after, was hardly Rafa's MTO's fault.

Posted by CL 11/24/2010 at 05:17 PM

tina- those are two...and Taylor Dent sometime w/in the last year. And maybe someone else at Wimbles.

Posted by Master Ace 11/24/2010 at 05:18 PM

0-15 Rafael nets BH passing shot as Novak came forward behind BH
15-15 Novak nets BH return
30-15 Novak nets BH
40-15 Rafael Ace wide
Rafael win the match as Novak FH return sails long

Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 7-5,6-2

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:18 PM

Bad luck Nole I hope you get your eye problem fixed with those lenses

Cant really get a overall gauge on this match with Nole

Though I am happy Rafa is through in 2 sets.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 05:19 PM

Todd Martin at ATP eat your word. 0-2 today. ha!

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 05:19 PM

Rafa takes it 6-2. Congrats.

Contacts suck.

Dumbed-down pop sucks.

Come to think of it, crowds suck.

Later.

Posted by CL 11/24/2010 at 05:20 PM

Happy Anniversary and Happy Thanksgiving Diane...

And congrats to the Rafalites...looks like he is settling nicely..not finding the O2 such a daunting challenge after all. And why would it be if you stop and think about it.

Ah, Novak - you are a bundle of 'issues.' Sometimes the talent wins out over the issues and sometimes not.

Posted by Master Ace 11/24/2010 at 05:20 PM

17-15 Rafael 17-31 Novak W/UFEs

Novak 9/20 at net

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:20 PM

Maradona shakes Uncle Toni's hands after Rafa wins

I must say Rafa improved on his first match

Though he still has to improve his first serve percentage stats.

Posted by eclipse22 (rafagirl VAMOS RAFA WINNER OF ALL FOUR GRAND SLAMS) 11/24/2010 at 05:22 PM

well well wth rafa is 2-0 this tourney youpiiii...
sorry for nole , it was a really good first set! darn contacts! pfff
well peeps see ya friday! to fans of fed's group enjoy the matches and may they be as equally interesting as this first set was between a number 1&3!
VAMOS RAFA VAMOS !!!!

Posted by GB 11/24/2010 at 05:22 PM

Always glad for a Rafa win, but it doesn't really feel like a Vamos moment as I feel really bad for Nole.

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 11/24/2010 at 05:23 PM

I had no idea Nole wore contacts. I wear contacts myself, and have had the problem of losing them inside my eye, on several occasions. You're supposed to close the eye, and gently rub your eyelid over the cornea to move the lens back into position. It's easier if you don't panic.

Posted by Master Ace 11/24/2010 at 05:24 PM

All Nadal needs to do is win one set and he will be officially in the semifinals

Sets
Nadal 4-1
Djokovic and Berdych 2-2
Roddick 1-4

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/24/2010 at 05:25 PM

Can't help but feel sorry for Novak today, commies to him and his fans.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:25 PM

I think whatever was in Noles eye in the first place dirt whatever he didnt flush his eyes properly in the toilet break? or maybe something else was the problem.Cause he did put in a new pair of lenses so you would think they would have been fine.Though they werent in this case.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 05:26 PM

okay here is the standing of group A.

Rafa 2–0 4–1 29–22
Djoker 1–1 2–2 18–19
Berdie 1–1 2–2 19–20
Roddick 0–2 1–4 24–29

Rafa beats Berdie, Djoker beats Roddick. Rafa 1st and Djoker 2nd
Rafa beats Berdie, Roddick beats Djoker. Rafa 1st and the 2nd determine by set or game ratio.
Berdie beats Rafa, Djoker beats Roddick, 3 players 2-1 record.
Berdie beats Rafa, Roddick beats Djoker, Rafa and Berdie advance, 1st determined by how Berdie beats Rafa.

Roddick's chance of advancing is really low. He has to beat Djoker in straight and hope that Rafa beats Berdie in straight as well.

Posted by eclipse22 (rafagirl VAMOS RAFA WINNER OF ALL FOUR GRAND SLAMS) 11/24/2010 at 05:26 PM

GB i know my vamos is more for the effort put in by both in the first set!
night twibers, gotta get dinner on the road! bye bye

Posted by Or 11/24/2010 at 05:27 PM

Um, when Rafa was complaining just now about Djoko, it WAS between the sets.

I've spoken in the past about Djoko's antics, but he wasn't down in the match, had a very specific problem (not a random backache, nor was he getting a massage, nor was it a fitness problem) - and I don't think Rafa should have said anything.

I don't mind it when a guy gets a long injury time out when he gets really injured in a match - twisted ankle, bad fall, bee sting, something in one's eye. It should be allowed, especially if there's a chance the guy could go on playing.

I just think that Rafa can't call anyone on any time delay, ever. He and Djoko can play mind games on each other all through the match, they've both done that since forever.

BTW, I'd feel the same way had Djoko called Rafa on time delay, he can't do that, he's doing it himself.

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