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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 Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/24/2010 at 05:27 PM

Hi folks,

Nice to see Rafa looking kind of comfortable on the O2 court. Sorry about Nole's contacts. I can relate to that.

Happy turkey day for those celebrating. I don't know if I'm taking my laptop to England or not. I've put my back out and need to travel light. But I hope to be able to check in from the hotel's computer.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:27 PM

Happy Anniverary Diane by the way

I got caught up in contact lens problems.

Posted by CL 11/24/2010 at 05:28 PM

Aussiemarge - yeah, but the weird thing is, right after he but in the new lenses, he held to either love or 15 and served, like 3 aces and an unreturnable. He seemed to be seeing the ball fine then. Although, come to think of it...hitting your serve is so much about muscle memory and less about vision, that makes a kind of sense.

Hopefully someone will ask him at his presser what was going on out there.

Posted by wilson75 11/24/2010 at 05:28 PM

As long as Rafa and Roger don't meet in SF, I'm happy.

Posted by CL 11/24/2010 at 05:30 PM

Or. Very well put. Hope you have a great time in London.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/24/2010 at 05:30 PM

Annie : I hope that you have a wonderful time in London !! Hope that the weather will be kind to you too.

Posted by wilson75 11/24/2010 at 05:31 PM

Or: We don't know what Rafa was complaining about so we can't accuse him of anything.

Posted by Game Lover 11/24/2010 at 05:31 PM

What I liked most was how Rafa was flattening his shots during the 6-5 game...

As for the contacts, I have a feeling that Nole was just exhausted after those great rallies in the first half of the set, but that's just me.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:31 PM

CL Yes I did post how Nole came out and served to love?

Who really knows we will have to wait for Noles pressor I suppose

The sad part it did change the momentum of this game.

Whenever a player is injured or in this case Nole taking time out fot lens change and then having to go for a toilet break it does have a effect on the other player.

I know you have to block these things out still.............

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 05:31 PM

If Berdie beats Rafa in straight, then Berdie 1st and Rafa could be out if Djoker beats Roddick in straight. If Djoker wins in 3 sets, then game ratio will determine whether Rafa or Djoker will be 2nd.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:33 PM

May I add it also has a effect on both players

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 05:33 PM

wilson75, moi aussi! Fedal final all the way! Of course Berdie and Muzz or evil Sod need to cooperate and lose to Rafa for that to happen.

Posted by Or 11/24/2010 at 05:34 PM

Wilson - I could hear him, at least the begining of the sentence. He said that the umpires are always telling him if he takes too much time, something like that.

Gotta say, his form is peaking and picking up nicely, should be a good match with Roger in the finals, should it come to that.

I'd love to see that, never watched those guys play each other.

Posted by thebigapple 11/24/2010 at 05:35 PM

How can some-one who is a very slow player complain about Nole contact lens problem and time? How thoughtless and unsportmanlike can one be? Perhaps he was compalin about another issue. Now we all know how delicate Nole can be, but trouble with lens is not a trivial thing....

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:36 PM

I see its bash Rafa time around here lol!

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 05:37 PM

ok - typepad messed with my first attempt
so I will try again

As a contact lens wearer , I can sympathize with Nole's discomfort. Shame that happened during a match. As Crazy for Rog said, those things are easier to take care of when you are not in a panic or pressed for time .

This is the first match of the WTF I have seen this year . I am not sure I would like the dark arena too much
And my thoughts on the magenta, orange grey ensemble - yuck , yuck and yuck
Who dresses this young man ? Or do you all think he just gets up - picks up clothes out of the pile on the floor and says " yep , these are clean "
:)

Posted by thebigapple 11/24/2010 at 05:38 PM

You heard him?

Ok. I did not. But I was not paying keen attention.

Posted by Diane 11/24/2010 at 05:39 PM

Annie

Sorry to hear about your back pain, no fun on a trans Atlantic flight. Seems that you will get to see your man play and I'm happy for you. When we flew to Australia last year and had chosen tickets months earlier I was afraid that I would not get to see Roger play but I lucked out and had the right tickets for the right court at the right time, lots of variables!
Have a fun time and I look forward to your reports.

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 05:40 PM

have a wonderful trip , Annie !

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:40 PM

I know Rafa threw dirt in Noles eyes

Just cause he wanted the win!

hey that works for me. lol!

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 05:41 PM

master ace or anyone, there is no way Fed will NOT advance to SF. challenge me with a senario. C'mon. he's 2-0, 4-0, 24-11. There is no way. Even if he were to lose 0-0, he's still 2-1, 4-2, 24-23.

Posted by Kwaku 11/24/2010 at 05:41 PM

Or, you never saw Raf & Fed play each other? Very funny! :-)

Posted by Game Lover 11/24/2010 at 05:42 PM

"We don't know what Rafa was complaining about so we can't accuse him of anything."

Oh, I've heard him saying how "it's been over 6 minutes", "and then again after 5 seconds"...

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:42 PM

Beth I hear you with the colour/combo for Rafa

Yuck and more yuck

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/24/2010 at 05:43 PM

Annie : forgot to say, get some heat on that back !

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 05:43 PM

As a contact lens wearer , I sympathized with the discomfort that Nole must have been feeling. Have had similar experiences myself . And it hurts .
agree totally with Crazy for Rog - much easier to deal with when you are not in a panic or pressed for time

Still , as this is the first match of the WTF I have seen , I have to say - less than overwhelmed. Djokovic seemed to just phone it in until the end there after the contact issue.

and may I weigh in on the magenta , orange , grey combo - yuck , yuck , yuck
Who dresses this young man ? Or do you think he just gets up , picks up clothes out of the pile on the floor and says " yep , these are clean "

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 05:43 PM

okay I suppose if Evil Sod beat Fed 1-1 and Muzz beats Ferru 1-1, then maybe Fed will not advance. But seriously who believes that?

Posted by wilson75 11/24/2010 at 05:44 PM

Or: Right you didn't hear all of what he had to say. Unless you heard the entire conversation, you can't accuse him of anything.

Old man Fed: I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:44 PM

Beth lol! that post of yours came out twice

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:46 PM

Beth I will say this twice ok'

Yuck and more yuck to Rafa's colour combo

Posted by Andrew 11/24/2010 at 05:47 PM

Old Man Fed: Soderling wins 6-2, 6-2. Murray wins 6-3, 6-3. Points and games are equal: Federer 28/23 (54.9%), Soderling 32/26 (55.2%), Murray 30/24 (55.6%). Murray wins group A, Soderling second. Bigger wins by Soderling and Murray adjust the %s and orders, but that's how it could go down.

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 05:47 PM

weird
there out of the vast wasteland of cyberspace
my first attempt to post today just appeared


AM - yep , just an awful combo - and I think the muted grey pants that are just a bit too long don't help at all
Maybe black pants would be better - but it 's hard to say
and black socks with grey pants ? why ?
ewwwww

Posted by Ross (FOE, even Gael) 11/24/2010 at 05:47 PM

I'n enjoying Jimmy Arias this week- quite an improvement over the usual TC mumblers. :)

Posted by thebigapple 11/24/2010 at 05:48 PM

Maybe he was complaining about his clothes. The longer Nole's eye suffering the longer he had to wear that tasteless gear.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/24/2010 at 05:48 PM

"I see its bash Rafa time again around here lol!"

AM : You are always taking the words from my mouth !

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 05:48 PM

I know , AM
totally weird
for the record , I posted the one labeled 5:43 about 5 minute before the one labeled 5:37
totally jumbled up

Posted by wilson75 11/24/2010 at 05:49 PM

AM and beth: I like Rafa WTF outfit. Word is he's wearing crimson at AO. I'm not exactly sure what colour that is. I know it's a reddish colour but not the shade.

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 05:50 PM

or maybe the magenta , orange , grey ensemble was hurting Nole's eyes :)

Posted by GrandSlam 11/24/2010 at 05:50 PM

Pete Sampras is absolutely the number two on the all-time greatest list (yes, Federer is number one and the GOAT). Some PistolPete-stats:

1.) 14 grand slam-titles
2.) Year-End nr1: 6 times (IN A ROW!!)
3.) Total weeks as nr1: 286
4.) Year-End championships (the "fifth major"): 5
5.) Career singles titles: 64

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 05:50 PM

Beth The original colour /combo was to be the caramel tee with white on it with those shorts?

Lord knows where he got that colour tee from? also the socks Yikes!

Posted by Mr Rick 11/24/2010 at 05:50 PM

Ross - I was just going to say how much I dislike Jimmy Arias - LOL!!!

To each his own, eh?!

More often than not I keep the TV volume low/off unless Darren Cahill or one of the BBC guys are commenting anyway...

Posted by wilson75 11/24/2010 at 05:52 PM

Jimmy Arias is terrible.

Posted by Grant 11/24/2010 at 05:52 PM

"Unless you heard the entire conversation, you can't accuse him of anything."

unless you purchased the 4-disk special edition combo pack of the conversation and watched all the making-of documentaries, you can't even say that it happened

Posted by Or 11/24/2010 at 05:53 PM

Wilson - I heard enough. It wasn't a conversation, Rafa made a remark, what he said was clear to me, even if I can't quote him exactly.

Kwaku - I meant LIVE :) I'm traveling to London tomorrow night. Will be at the Semis and Finals.

I'm going to admit my utter and complete idiotism here. When I bought all the tickets, I thought the prices of the tickets were in Euros, the mark is so similiar to that of the pound. It completely slipped my mind that the UK was using the Euro. The difference is 5.1 rate (euro) and 5.7 (Pounds) vs. the Shekel. Yikes.

It won't bankrupt me, but I feel like SUCH an idiot.

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 05:53 PM

wilson75 - really ?
well , everyone has different tastes
we never really have concensus on the fashions around here

crimson is a true deep red
I think that should be a good color for Rafa
like he wears in Davis cup for his Spanish team
but heaven only knows what accents and combos Nike will pair it with

Posted by thebigapple 11/24/2010 at 05:54 PM

Bashing?

I think people are discussing an incident in a just watched tennis match where one young competitor had a high risk impairment. The reports are that the other young competitor showed callous disregard for the welfare of his fellow human being. Two persons reported hearing the ungracious words. I did not hear them myself...

Posted by Game Lover 11/24/2010 at 05:54 PM

Ok, Rafa's colors were yuki, whereas Nole's red and black coupled with his beard made me call him Asmodeu the whole match. That and Aghiamitza!

Posted by wilson75 11/24/2010 at 05:55 PM

beth: the worst outfit Rafa wore was what he wore to AO this year. I've like everything else.

Posted by Kwaku 11/24/2010 at 05:57 PM

Rafa was clearly complaining about having to wait too much. So what? It's easier to sympathise with Nole from your sofa than from across the net with so much at stake. Just leave that little gossip talk alone ble ble ble and talk the tennis!
For me the tennis was a huge improvement by Rafa in two days. I'm talking until the eye problem started, i.e. until 5 all. I don't know where that improvement could possibly come from, but me likey! :-)

Posted by Ross (FOE, even Gael) 11/24/2010 at 05:57 PM

Of course, JA doesn't even have to be good to be an improvement. :)

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 05:57 PM

AM - I am trying to envision a caramel colored tee with white and those pants
hmmmm - like neutral much ? Sort of blah
but , with the magenta / orange change
they blew neutral right out of the water , didn't they ?
talk about a 180 degree shift in a concept ...

Posted by wilson75 11/24/2010 at 05:58 PM

the big apple: I suggest we wait until the presser comes out tomorrow to discuss whether Rafa was being ungracious. He did seem concerned about Novak when they met at the net.

Posted by ebh 11/24/2010 at 05:59 PM

Rafa was complaining because he knows that if it had been him he would've gotten a warning. Djoker was given extra time because they said it was not a health problem, but rather an equipment problem so they were focusing on the contacts rather than the eyes. Equipment problems are allowed more time. I don't think Rafa really cared; in fact he was concerned about Djoker.

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 05:59 PM

refresh my memory , what was the AO kit this year ?
The most awful one I remember was an AO kit from the pirata era
He looked like a ninja turtle
but that was a few years ago

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 06:00 PM

Jimmy Arias really IS terrible and the combo with Ted Robinson makes one yearn for Justin Gimelstob. At least Tennis Channel is suing to get on Comcast's standard line-up, like the Golf Channel already is. Then it will be accessible on every TV here - not just the one it's on now. And it won't be an added cable fee.

Novak's "face of defeat" was a bemused smile. He's not out of this yet - sorry, Tim - and his best bud did seem concerned about what happened with his eyes.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/24/2010 at 06:01 PM

I didn't hear what Rafa said either but I do know that, no matter what, there are always people who will criticise him anyway over the least little thing.

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 06:02 PM

I am not sure that any announcer combo makes me "yearn " for Gimelstob :)
But , I am really not a big fan of the Arias / Robinson team
What was the Yankees/ Red Sox reference all about ?
It went right over my head

being a west coast kind of girl

Posted by Tic 11/24/2010 at 06:02 PM

Some hilarious Rafapics from London.

Another, thicker beanie and a heavy-duty down parka. It's freezing down by the river:
http://s2.postimage.org/2grkp779/bew_1.jpg
http://s2.postimage.org/2guvrw6t/new2.jpg

Nice and tidy covering up:
http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/9700/1101870809ryeaeo3384128.jpg

And he took this pic of hitting partner Marc Lopez being lazy:
http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/9679/14819246555073602564822.jpg

Posted by Master Ace 11/24/2010 at 06:04 PM

London Order of Play:

Thursday
Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan vs Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes at 7:15 AM
Roger Federer(62-13; 13-6) vs Robin Soderling(57-21; 6-8) at 9 AM
Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski vs Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner at 1:15 PM
Andy Murray(45-17; 6-4) vs David Ferrer(60-23; 7-13) at 3 PM

Friday
Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic vs Lukas Kubot and Oliver Marach at 7:15 AM
Rafael Nadal(69-9; 9-4) vs Tomas Berdych(45-25; 6-9) at 9 AM
Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi vs Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman at 1:15 PM
Novak Djokovic(58-17; 3-7) vs Andy Roddick(48-17; 4-4) at 3 PM

Posted by wilson75 11/24/2010 at 06:05 PM

Tina: I haven't Jimmy Arias and Ted Robinson together but considering how bad they are by themselves, I don't doubt that are awful.

Posted by Grant 11/24/2010 at 06:06 PM

"Rafa was complaining because he knows that if it had been him he would've gotten a warning."

not sure 'knows' is the right word there

Posted by GB 11/24/2010 at 06:07 PM

From Neil Harman on twitter:
Nadal said he was more angry that the ump told him to hurry up between points while Djokovic was having his eyes treated

Posted by ebh 11/24/2010 at 06:07 PM

@Grant, ?!?!

Posted by Ruth 11/24/2010 at 06:07 PM

Tuulia: Thanks for confirming for me (@5:16) the way that I remembered the Hamburg MTO incident.

I usually have trouble figuring out whether a player is timimg his/her timeouts to his/her advantage or not, so I don't bother to try to do that. Instead, I say what I've always said...any professional tennis player who hasn't learned how to maintain focus or rhythm during either legitimate or fake disruptions in a match should go back to tennis academy and enroll in Tennis 101 again. :)

Posted by Kwaku 11/24/2010 at 06:08 PM

Or, congrats and enjoy! I thought you were joking :-)
Grant, lol!

Posted by wilson75 11/24/2010 at 06:08 PM

GB: Thanks for that info. I don't think he was being ungracious or callous.

Posted by Or 11/24/2010 at 06:08 PM

Really? Equipment problem? That's interesting, I didn't realize that you get more time for that.

Tennis wise, I thought Rafa was slowly and surely ironing the kinks out of his games. With my luck, when I'd see him against Roger, his game would be on song...*smacks forehand*

In the mean time, Djoko losing means the match against Roddick, which I'm going to wathc live, is going to be a screamer, rather than a dud. Both guys with something to play for.

What has to happen for Roddick to qualify? Beat Djoko and for Rafa to beat Birdy?

Posted by thebigapple 11/24/2010 at 06:09 PM

Yes, imagine that criticizing Rafa. Such nerve. Unreasonable folk.

Nole might not think his eyesight is a little thing.

I am sure the presser will be like all others. Both Nole and Rafa will say polite things. Nole may say: "Contacts? "What contacts?" "Eye?" What eye?" "Nothing happened really to me eye, minor. I just played bad"
Rafa will say "I saw his problem and called the best eyedoctor in the stadium. My heart was broken for him. I was lucky today because Nole is a better player than I am. I never expect to win when I play him"

Posted by ebh 11/24/2010 at 06:10 PM

I don't get the controversy. Djoker had eye problems that were deemed to be equipment ones, so he got extra time as the rules state. Nadal wasn't happy, but what do you expect? These guys are not sitting down to have dinner together! They are competing, trying to beat each other. Come on! All of the players get a little hot under the collar at times. This is to be expected.

Posted by just horsen 11/24/2010 at 06:10 PM

beth: rafa's AO outfit http://tinyurl.com/339ojkl

AM: personally I kinda think that Caramel\white shirt might have looked good. Though I think that it would have probably looked better w\white shorts than the grey\brownish ones. Whatver combination it was going to be it had to be better then what Rafa ended up wearing.

anyway, I'm outta here. see y'all later!

Posted by ladyjulia 11/24/2010 at 06:10 PM

I sympathize with Novak over contact lens problem...I have had them a lot and its very troublesome to lose a lens in an eye.

That said, i give credit to Novak for not retiring.

That said, Novak should have a pair of glasses handy that he can just take the lenses out and play with glasses, that way the MTO is within the time limit.

I carry a pair of glasses everywhere i go because of the contact lenses. Wonder why Novak didn't have glasses in his bag. He must keep them handy.

From the presser, we will know what Rafa was complaining about. But it is ironical that one of the slowest players in the game, as well as a player known for time delays is complaining about the time the other player is taking over a genuine eye problem.

If it was me, I would fine Novak for going overtime (they do this in cricket), and holding up the game. And send him off with a stern warning that he should have glasses that are handy next time.

But there was no need for Rafa to complain either. Rafa dosen't wear contacts, but losing a lens in the eye needs to be looked at and attended to immediately. And looked at until the problem is fixed. Rafa can;t make the umpire make Novak play when there is a problem like that.

But Novak should be willing to pay a fine also. Its just the rules. The game dosen't run on sympathy..it runs on rules. He went overtime..he needed medical attention...fine..but just cough up the fine. And then issue is closed.

Posted by Tic 11/24/2010 at 06:11 PM

"how to maintain focus or rhythm during either legitimate or fake disruptions in a match"

That's how:
http://s3.postimage.org/4wajjhped/image.jpg

Posted by GB 11/24/2010 at 06:13 PM

No worries, wilson75. I think that was weird timing to tell Rafa to hurry up then. Especially because it felt to me like Nole was also taking time/bouncing the ball etc.


Posted by Or 11/24/2010 at 06:13 PM

I don't understand. The umpire told Rafa to hurry up between points while Nole was getting his eyes treated? Um, they weren't playing when Nole was getting his eyes treated. Something gotta be lost in translation here. MAybe the umpire told Rafa something before, and then he complaine about the time.

Posted by Grant 11/24/2010 at 06:15 PM

"Nadal said he was more angry that the ump told him to hurry up between points while Djokovic was having his eyes treated"

That is pretty hilarious.

@ebh: 'believes' would have been better, ditto 'suspects'. He'd have to be correct to 'know'.

Posted by Tuulia 11/24/2010 at 06:15 PM

Well, when Rafa was playing Novak in IW (IIRC), and Ullrich was the umpire, and Rafa needed a MTO for retaping between games, the foot was bothering so much he had hard time concentrating on playing. Ullrich didn't allow the MTO, said it would be unfair to the other player, and decided Rafa had to play on. Rafa did, got MTO later, complained to the supervisor. So there's some history there. Novak was given all the time he needed today, and I have no problem with that, I felt sorry for the problem he had. And Rafa was concerned about Novak's eye issue, too, and they ARE good friends. So.

Posted by GB 11/24/2010 at 06:15 PM

Or: often, umps talk to players in the breaks and tell then to hurry it up, rather than giving them an official warning during play. Seems like Rafa's saying that happened.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/24/2010 at 06:16 PM

tennis is weird...so Novak dosen't get fined..because its within the rules..because its apparently an equipment??? That way Agassi could take timeouts if his hairpiece fell out i suppose..

And Rafa took the opportunity to complain to chastise the umpire when the umpire told him to hurry up between the points???

Weird.

Posted by Grant 11/24/2010 at 06:16 PM

"I don't understand. The umpire told Rafa to hurry up between points while Nole was getting his eyes treated? Um, they weren't playing when Nole was getting his eyes treated. Something gotta be lost in translation here."

I read that as "while Nole was getting his eyes treated, the ump told Rafa that he should hurry up between points"

Posted by Diane 11/24/2010 at 06:17 PM

Ruth

Always the voice of reason, what would TW do without you?

Or

Have a wonderful time in London and as a fellow Fed fan I am giving you all my energy to take to the matches and spur on Fed!!!!!

Posted by Ross (FOE, even Gael) 11/24/2010 at 06:19 PM

thebigapple--LOL!

Posted by CL 11/24/2010 at 06:20 PM

Wow- yup, we never will agree about much about here. (Well, I think most would agree that Mirka rules, full stop, but prolly even that has dissenters.)

For me, compared to Robbie and Jason. Jimmy and Lief, or Jimmy and Poodle, (even), are masters of subtlety, nuance and deft insight. Of course NONE of them shut up for even an instant but that is less about them and more about the 'tv culture' which lives in dread of the remote being clicked. But I still would take Jimmy and Poodle Lief anytime over Robbie and Jason, who seemed to have devolved somehow over the last 2 years or so.

beth - I really like the color of Rafa's shirt...but the sweat bands? No, no. Novak's shirt is just plug ugly. Thumbs up for Roddick's - and suprise! - it actually seems to fit him. Byrdy -blah. Muzz - argyle socks gone mad. Ferruuu in Dutch orange and Robin in a color usually found on in an ICU. Fed's red is quite nice, but the tv cameras don't love it so much...too much saturation. did leave anyone out? At least the boys are trying.

Posted by thebigapple 11/24/2010 at 06:20 PM

Or, enjoy! The tickets are likely worth it. You must have shelled out some decent money.

I hope you see the live Fedal and as a Fed fan enjoy the end as well. (Wink, wink.)

Posted by Kwaku 11/24/2010 at 06:21 PM

Anyway if that's right --that the umpire was telling Rafa to hurry up between points during the time Nole's equipment was being implanted--, you have to admit there's at least some irony to it, lol!

Posted by Tuulia 11/24/2010 at 06:22 PM

Thanks, GB, for info.
(That's what I was saying all along...)

Hi Ruth *waves*
Some people - usually Roger fans - have a tendency to misremember that... ;)

Posted by ladyjulia 11/24/2010 at 06:23 PM

Here's Greg Couch with an article today on the mess that is the ATP...

http://tinyurl.com/2etamuo

Tennis is just weird completely. From the top, all the way to the players.

Posted by Nam1 11/24/2010 at 06:23 PM

"I read that as "while Nole was getting his eyes treated, the ump told Rafa that he should hurry up between points"


Thats how I read it too but I am not claiming sainthood for Rafa here; these guys are human and can be petty like the rest of us sometimes;

I am constantly surprised that folks want such perfection from them; by these standards either they are candidates for sainthood or they are devil spawn.

Posted by ebh 11/24/2010 at 06:23 PM

Only scenario in which Federer might not qualify:

Soderling defeats Federer in 2 Sets + Murray defeats Ferrer in 2 sets - then Ferrer eliminated. Order of remaining players determined by % of Games won.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 06:24 PM

Beth To me the worst outfit was those Brown/Greeny jungle wall paper shorts Rafa wore this year

Like Utter Disgace!

Posted by CL 11/24/2010 at 06:25 PM

thebigapple. ROFL. Fed would have said, "its a pity, but these things happen. Of course playing against the super talent that is me makes them happen more often."

jeejee...

Posted by lilscot 11/24/2010 at 06:25 PM

I only have one thing to say...don't wear contacts when you play tennis. Wear those great big goggle-type glasses attached at the back like Martina used to wear! Or maybe even those funky glasses Natasha Zvereva used to wear. Anything but contacts.

Bad enough players having actual sports-related injuries during a match, or using fake ones at the opportune times. And I remember Martina and Mary Pierce both picking at their eyes, but I don't remember either one actually stopping play not on a change-over to get a trainer to come out and look at their eyes. But, then again, my memory isn't what it used to be so please someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Personally I just think Nole is focused on Davis Cup and needed something, anything to allow him to not exert himself too much. And he knows no matter the outcome, Rafa was going to push him hard.

Still, just when you think you've seen it all...

Posted by ebh 11/24/2010 at 06:25 PM

Only scenario in which Federer might not qualify:

Soderling defeats Federer in 2 Sets + Murray defeats Ferrer in 2 sets - then Ferrer eliminated. Order of remaining players determined by % of Games won.

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 06:26 PM

thanks , just horsen
now I remember that one

bright - summery
better than this magenta thing , I think

and still the ninja turtle get up - complete with red head band , yellow tank and olive piratas - is still one of the most awful looks ever foisted upon a pretty handsome young man in the name of tennis wear . He looked like one of my son's old action figures ! Ha ! I think the turtle was even named Rafael :)

Posted by ebh 11/24/2010 at 06:26 PM

For Nadal, he needs to win one set from Berdych and he is in. If Roddick wins, he is in as well.

Posted by Tuulia 11/24/2010 at 06:26 PM

Oh and I also respect Nole for not retiring, he might have, eye issues are no small matter and it obviously had a big impact on his game.

Posted by wilson75 11/24/2010 at 06:26 PM

ebh: I agree with everything you said. I think sometimes us fans forget that.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 06:27 PM

Well Rafa was serving and I can understand his point of view there when Nole first got the lens problem.I also see the point if it was reversed

I too have worn lenses.

It did stop the momentum of the game regardless.I will wait to read Noles pressor

Though as usual we hear of Rafa and his whatever

Gets a bit boring though it seems to please people lol!

Posted by ladyjulia 11/24/2010 at 06:28 PM

Nam1,

Anybody in the spotlight will have that kind of scrutiny...that is the price of limelight.

Posted by Nam1 11/24/2010 at 06:28 PM

I think the ATP is classifying contact lenses as equipment same as a racquet or shoes or wrapping on feet, right? Hence Nole got more time like 6 minutes?

Posted by Or 11/24/2010 at 06:28 PM

Grant - well, if that's what happened, I understand why that might rub Rafa the wrong way, but it's not like Rafa was taking time between points because Nole had MTO, it's just Rafa. So, what's the solution, not to call him on it?

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