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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 beth 11/24/2010 at 06:28 PM

hmmm - the upholstery shorts - yeah , I remember they were supposed to be a part of the AO kit ,but got pushed back into the IW / Miami look
They were pretty bad - but - I got to find some photos , just for comparison's sake
brb

Posted by ebh 11/24/2010 at 06:29 PM

@wilson75, Thanks!

For Djoker, he needs to beat Roddick in 2 to go. Other things would get him there as well, but controlling his own destiny, this is what he needs to do.

Posted by FedererFTW 11/24/2010 at 06:29 PM

Djokovic ALWAYS has something going on! Jesus Christ, Noksir! I guess he didn't retire, which is always a plus for him.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 06:30 PM

Tuulia I too give credit for Nole not retiring some of those balls he played werent in the court.I hope he gets the problem fixed.

Posted by ebh 11/24/2010 at 06:30 PM

@wilson75, Thanks!

For Djoker, he needs to beat Roddick in 2 to go. Other things would get him there as well, but controlling his own destiny, this is what he needs to do.

Posted by wilson75 11/24/2010 at 06:31 PM

Not Greg Couch again? I think it's time for him to cover another sport.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/24/2010 at 06:31 PM

Or,

The solution is for the authorities to ignore it. Ignore the complaining and continue with the warnings.

Tennis as it is has an authority problem. Letting the #1 player have his own way is not a good thing to do.

And that goes for all the top 10 too, including Nole.

Posted by Nam1 11/24/2010 at 06:32 PM

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

True Lj but we as fans need to get over it.

Who am I kidding, if Bristol Palin can be on "dancing with the stars" ....since when was becoming a teen mom candidacy for becoming a star?

But I digress...returning to lurkdom.

Posted by ebh 11/24/2010 at 06:32 PM

Also, if Birdie wins in 2 he is in.

Posted by Heather 11/24/2010 at 06:33 PM

Ohhhh Andy's still alive, thank you Rafa! :) Can't wait for the Andy-Nole match on Friday, hoping it's the night match since my Mom is dragging me out shopping at 4am! Yikes!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who will be celebrating tomorrow! :)

Posted by wilson75 11/24/2010 at 06:33 PM

This non-fiasco reminds of the one involving Roger and Jay Garner at the USO last year. Much ado about nothing.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 06:34 PM

Beth I think the Caramel tee would have worked with those shorts and say have a purple/marron headband as a contrast.To me that was the orginal kit.

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 06:35 PM

http://tinyurl.com/25mcrgf

and

http://tinyurl.com/373wf8v

see if these work for a laugh

Posted by Tuulia 11/24/2010 at 06:36 PM

Nam, I agree about saint/devil issue. It's sorta ridiculous. None of the players (or anyone else) are perfect, nowhere near sainthood, surely, but they seem good people on the whole, no monsters there as far as I know.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/24/2010 at 06:36 PM

wilson75,

Its important what he has written about. Guess who is on the board of directors of ATP.

Guess why the ATP won't investigate Fed?

The Fed is going to be served with a deposition..and Fed himself said he wants to know what is going on.

Somehow, the thing dosen't interest the ITF/ATP.

If its just one thing..you can say its not a big deal...tennis has gambling issues, huge conflict of interests, players blatantly disobeying rules, and then there's drug testing. There is nothing much right that the authorities ever do.

Posted by thebigapple 11/24/2010 at 06:36 PM

CL, nice! Lol!

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 06:39 PM

http://tinyurl.com/2bpbgx2

shoot , it only half worked
try again or epic fail ?

anyway , trying to link photos of the ninja turtle and the tennis player

yep , AM , I agree the original idea would not have been so bad as this one , IMO

Posted by Ruth 11/24/2010 at 06:39 PM

Tic: LOL @ Rafa focussing!

Posted by GB 11/24/2010 at 06:42 PM

Tweet from a bbc journo:
"Rafa "really sorry" for Djokovic over #lensgate + says "he struggled to see the ball" towards end of 1st set. Says he'll go to see him later"

And
"Djokovic on #lensgate: "feel sick talking abt it", "never happend in my life", "from 5-5 I cudn't play", "playing with 1 eye is not enough"".

Poor Nole:(

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 06:44 PM

So , if Andy wins , how can he still be in as that will be his only win ?
Does Berdych have to lose , and Andy win to have a shot
Since all three - Berdych, Nole and Andy would have 2 losses in that scenario ?

These things really tax my little blonde brain

Posted by Tuulia 11/24/2010 at 06:48 PM

GB, thanks again. Poor Nole, indeed. It was uncomfortable just watching him...

Posted by Ruth 11/24/2010 at 06:49 PM

Annie and Or: Have a wonderful time in London!

And, Happy Anniversary to you and Glenn, Diane!

Posted by Tic 11/24/2010 at 06:57 PM

It's deep purple, not magenta (magenta is more towards deep reddish pink).

The whole combo does very little to detract from the playa himself. He could wear rainbow-splashed shirt, green & pink polka-dotted shorts, electric blue socks and black & white chequered shoes and still not be overwhelmed by his clothes.

Models show off clothes. Rafa shows off himself despite the clothes, be they tasteful or fugly. He just wears it well:
http://tinyurl.com/34h2vph
http://tinyurl.com/35t7dph
http://tinyurl.com/389okpa
http://tinyurl.com/3289742

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 07:00 PM

Kids, in case you don't know, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. There are more important matters in the world, like how much time before Willy's extramarital exploits hit the tabloids.

And poor Jimmy Arias' woefully underappeciated FH. I'll let this guy take over:

"I can say that I have been a hitting partner to or have warmed up many of these [top] players from the 90's to the present. (Former coach with Bollettierri and Hopman Academy as well as a private traveling coach). I also had the pleasure of hitting with many of the greats on the Nuveen Masters Tour back in 1999 and 2000. Borg, Conners, McEnroe, Wilander, etc. The one forehand that really stood out and was more powerful than any mentioned (I really mean this too) was Jimmy Arias. No comparison. I have done countless forehand to forehand drills with Courier, Agassi, and others (including the women who can hit a very big ball as well) and Arias' forehand was the one that tried to take the racquet out of my hand more than any other. It was crazy. He literally would warp the ball he would hit it with so much force and spin. He, according to Bollettieri, was the man who ushered in the modern forehand. I have no doubt that Nick was right. The rest of his game was good (he made it to #4 in the world his first year on tour and then his body started giving out after the second year), but his forehand was off the charts. Hell, the guy was 5'9" tall and 140-150 lbs! Truly gifted timing on that shot. I think everyone on here has wonderful choices and insights on the players with big forehands, but from an insider who played on tour, I can say that Arias truly deserves an award for his forehand. ( I watched his pound about 50 winners on Wilander after I warmed him up. It was pretty sick. Forehand after forehand winner)"

Oh noes! But according to the know-nothing pundits and their gullible followers, today's players are bigger and stronger and thus better than ever! What blasphemy!

Happy Thanksgiving 2 me.

Posted by Or 11/24/2010 at 07:02 PM

The only thing I have to say about Roger's depo, other than 'poor Roger' is 'at least it's in the off season" but tell me he won't have to fly to the states for that!

Posted by Master Ace 11/24/2010 at 07:08 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 Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 07:14 PM

Thanks GB

Rafa and Nole are good mates

Remember that "man hug" Rafa gave Nole after winning the USO this year?

A highlight indeed

Posted by Grant 11/24/2010 at 07:15 PM

"Oh noes! But according to the know-nothing pundits and their gullible followers, today's players are bigger and stronger and thus better than ever! What blasphemy!"

be sure to watch out for NP's next rant: "My Lawn, and Why You Should Get Off It"

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 07:16 PM

See Beth being Blonde does have its "down side" at times lol!

Dont worry being Brunette I cant work that out either lol!

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 07:16 PM

Grant LOL!

Posted by Metro 11/24/2010 at 07:17 PM

Hannah: Thanks for the post and thoughts of players' reflections. Things can change after first defeat with a win. See Berdych and Soderling who have a slim change to reach semis.

I watched both matches today. Roddick-Berdych was only 2/3 full with plenty empty seats. I thought Roddick will win after his formidable performance on Mon. He had a set point, but couldn't convert and Berdych broke and took the 1st set. Berdych's serve was impressive, hit FH winners and as the match progressed, improved his net winners with good volleys. Roddick had more UFEs and didn't hit many winners. Hawkeye challenges didn't go to his favour and it was sad to see Roddick lose.

The Nadal-Djokovic match was sold out with mostly Nadal supporters and great atmosphere. The first set lived up to its premier billing with excellent shot making. Nadal defended well and made Djokovic work for each point. It was even with breakpoints for both until 5 all, Nadal broke and took the set. Djokovic had treatment and loo break. He lost momentum in 2nd and Nadal led 4-0 quickly. Djokovic held his serve, but Nadal didn't lose focus and maintained pressure throughout the match.

I like how fans customise flags, posters and banners. Some young woman held a banner upside down, noticed she is on big arena screen during break, turned her poster: "Rafa, marry me" and showed 2nd poster with a grin: "How about just a kiss?" People in the stadium laughed and gave her applause for her originality. Nadal did laugh with his fans about her antics.

I notice that 4 players use Head, 2 Babolat, 1 Wilson and 1 Prince. Quite remarkable how Head signs them up. I spoke to some club coach and he gave me useful advice on racquets (weight, grip, budget). Will go tomorrow and try to get tickets to afternoon match.

Posted by Ruth 11/24/2010 at 07:19 PM

"These things really tax my little blonde brain"

beth: My brain ain't blonde, and I am pretty good at math (LOL)...but I am scrolling by all comments that deal with the what-ifs and the various RR scenarios. I'm happy to wait to see how everything turns out on Tuday or Friday. Let Sharko and the ATP guys do their job and have the proper semi-finalists named as soon as they are officially determined -- none of that is he? isn't he? like last year!

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 07:20 PM

Metro Thanks again a wonderful report

Indeed sad for Nole the momentum of the game did change with the lens

Hard for me to gauge that match.Though Rafa improved from his first match

Still his 1st serve could be higher.Onwards for Rafa

Still cant believe I saw the same Tomas on court today.He played well.

Posted by beth 11/24/2010 at 07:21 PM

ok -to all of you who celebrate the day
Happy Thanksgiving - may you enjoy it with friends and family !

If you do not happen to live where Thanksgiving is celebrated , have a great day all the same

I imagine that - though I am baffled by it - someone in the ATP understands these labyrinthine rules for figuring out who is in the semis , and the TW folks in attendance will get to see their favorites

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

Beth

Have a great Thanksgiving to you and all your family.I believe Missie will be home as well.

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 07:25 PM

Grant, and you even avoided the "off of" solecism. Color me impressed.

Posted by lilscot 11/24/2010 at 07:28 PM

AM:

Hey Marg. How ya goin'? Was out west visiting my parents in Saskatchewan and was out of the loop for a while. Glad to get back just in time to see Rafa win his first WTF!

And Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans out there. We also celebrate Thanksgiving, but ours is in October.

Posted by Tuulia 11/24/2010 at 07:28 PM

Tic, thanks for great pics, gotta agree on what you said - except I'd rather not see the outfit you described on Rafa. I hope Nike people aren't reading, they might get some ideas...

Metro, thanks for report.

Posted by Tuulia 11/24/2010 at 07:31 PM

Heck I wouldn't have realised it's Thanksgiving time if I hadn't been here today. So happy Thanksgiving to those who are having it.

Posted by GB 11/24/2010 at 07:32 PM

Great report Metro!

I fell asleep in the early stages of the Andy - Berdy match and was surprised to see that Berdy won. Is he finally over his slump? Or did Andy not have a good day?

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 07:33 PM

lilscot I have missed you.Well I think the fans need a break as well as the players lol!

It has been a long season again for all.Rafa did improve today.Good to see.Though the match lost its momentum after Nole and his contact lens.

Them the brakes I suppose.I will be interested to see Rafa v Tomas as Tomas today came out and showed much better form against Roddick

Posted by Tuulia 11/24/2010 at 07:35 PM

Fans sure need a break, too! I've been ready for a break for weeks already. lol

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 07:36 PM

Tic Thanks for those photos

Still Ugly to me in the colour/combo

Original colour/combo would have worked better I think

Posted by Diane 11/24/2010 at 07:37 PM

Ruth
I'm with as to taxing one's brain with this formula of who makes the finals and even though you don't have a "blonde brain", I will say that the one you do have is just fine. I am blonde, with a little help, but would never classify myself in the "blonde brain" can't figure it out mode! A stereotype that I don't buy.
No offense Beth as I don't think that you fit into that category either.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 07:38 PM

Tuulia Word!

I cant wait for a break then tennis Down Under that means no more getting up at 1.00am in the morning

Like Yay and Yay and more Yay

Posted by lilscot 11/24/2010 at 07:39 PM

AM:

I also missed our silly banter! :) I was actually fairly impressed with Rafa today. He was a little shaky getting started, but once they both got into it, it was sure looking like it was going to be the match of the tourney so far. Until Lensegate of course. lol. But, considering Rafa has been off for a few weeks now, I think he's brushing off the rust quite nicely. If he was able to pull out his great win over Andy, then follow it up with what he did today over Nole, he should be able to come out 3-0 after Friday(fingers and toes crossed)

And as much as I cringed when Nole had his lense trouble, I still adore him and he's still my second favourite player. I just wish these strange things didn't always seem to come from him. It would make it that much easier to like him.

Posted by GB 11/24/2010 at 07:39 PM

I like Rafa's outfit. I know the wrist bands/bandana don't go with the rest of the ensemble, but that's part of Rafa's look.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 07:42 PM

Thanks Rafa

I get to keep my manicure appointment on time since you won in straights sets today.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 07:45 PM

Lilscot I too am a Nole fan.I just got short tempered with the lens thing I too have worn contact lenses myslef and understand the trouble they can cause.Though at times its seems he cant stay away from drama in matches and Rafa was serving at the time.I hope he solves the problem he also has to play DC for Servia and I know how much he wants to do well there.

Posted by Ruth 11/24/2010 at 07:50 PM

But, GB (and beth and AM), the color of the wristband and bandana matches the color of the trim (including the word Nike) on the shirt!

After making 2 separate trips to the Georgia Aquarium in the past month with my visiting friends, I've decided that Nike gets Rafa's combinations of colors from those of the beautiful, brilliantly colored fish that I saw there. You should see them! :-)

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 07:53 PM

Ruth LOL! I need to pay a visit to our Aquarium in Sydney then

Thanks for your thoughts on the matter lol!

Well Rafa does like the sea dosent he?

Posted by Metro 11/24/2010 at 07:54 PM

Happy Thanksgiving to all US based posters.

GB: A bit of both. Berdych said in post match that he was nervous on Mon and didn't play his best. What if Roddick won his set point in 1st set? He didn't and the momentum shifted to Berdych who used his opportunities. Rare to see Roddick facing an opponent with more powerful shots.

Posted by Tuulia 11/24/2010 at 07:56 PM

Oh, it's tropical fish colours! Figures... :)
I don't mind the colour combo, it's not the best, but much better than waffle shorts or collared Ikea outfit, ugh. Those were bad. This is fine in comparison. :)

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/24/2010 at 07:59 PM

Oh dear, it looks as if I will miss David's match tomorrow as we will
be going to a friends house for a thanksgiving dinner. She rounds up all us "strays" every year as we don't have our families nearby.

To all those who celebrate the day ... Happy Thanksgiving !

Posted by Arun 11/24/2010 at 08:00 PM

"Fans sure need a break, too! I've been ready for a break for weeks already."

Tennis season is too taxing for the fans! We need a longer off-season. At least I do!

Happy Anniversary, Diane.

Posted by Tuulia 11/24/2010 at 08:04 PM

Friday Rafa-Tomas afternoon match, Nole-Andy evening match... which seems to mean I get to watch Rafa's match on tv, woohoo.

Posted by Joe 11/24/2010 at 08:05 PM

I have a question, if Nole couldn't see with one eye, why he kept playing? odd..... sory but Nole always has something......

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 08:05 PM

Dont worry about me

I am just getting older and crabbier

I dont like much at the moment

Except my 2 cats

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 08:06 PM

Arun The who know what has started?

Do I dare turn the tv on and see the score?

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

Yes, longer off season for fans! There was no fan representative in the ATP negotions was there? Darn...

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

The Magic are kicking LeMoron and the Heat's sorry asses tonite. Mwahahahahahahaha!

Posted by Tuulia 11/24/2010 at 08:08 PM

negotiations, rather, ehem

Posted by Arun 11/24/2010 at 08:09 PM

A wicket of the third ball off the series, AM. Some things never change.

Posted by GB 11/24/2010 at 08:09 PM

Thanks again Metro. I didn't realise RAndy had a set point.

Joe: I give Nole loads of credit for finishing the match. He hasn't retired from a match in a long, long time. Also, the more games he could win, the greater his chances of advancing if it goes down to the wire.

Ruth: well, since Rafa/Nike are having the clothes made, they can make any combos explicitly 'match' by throwing splashes of one on the other, no?:)

Posted by Arun 11/24/2010 at 08:12 PM

Tuulia: That's a thought. We need to nominate one first.
I vote for Grant, Sherlock or some random person who can.. uhm.. 'negotiate'?!

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 08:13 PM

Arun Thanks

My day just got worse

I vote for Grant hands down!

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 08:15 PM

"I vote for Grant hands down!"

Hey, what about moi? What could be more persuasive than calling the bigwigs what they are, a bunch of dumbasses?

Posted by Arun 11/24/2010 at 08:17 PM

2-down now, AM. Pietersen out there to bat.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/24/2010 at 08:17 PM

Metro : I just read your very nice report, many thanks.

I've always had a soft spot for Novak but he does seem to have been a little delicate this year, or maybe he has just been unlucky. How he managed to carry on today was very surprising, I was sure that he would have to retire.

There are snow warnings in parts of Britain tomorrow, so take care all those travelling to London.

Posted by Arun 11/24/2010 at 08:18 PM

["The walking ego is in," declares Warne on Sky.]
LOL, Warney. Only you could.. But how dare YOU?

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 08:18 PM

Arun

*DIES*

NP Your are too Frugal sorry

Grant is a lawyer and will drive a hard bargain

I want him on my team.

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 08:20 PM

Wow, Reddick's still shooting bricks. Only 44%?!

MA, what's your take on this?

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 08:20 PM

Hell Mr Cell Phone cant help himslef

Arun He has a Macc'a buurger in Aussie now?

Like wasnt his undies enough? geez and also Warnes World???????????????

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 08:22 PM

AM, I'm very generous with other people's money.

And I'll speak my mind--unlike Grant, who, as you point out, is a lawyer.

Posted by Aube,Happy Thanksgiving America.!!! 11/24/2010 at 08:26 PM

I just got here and see that my Nadouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu had won!oh men,I'm missing so much lately due to an outstanding schedule and my beloved mother in law's visiting,I mean it,she's nice and I'm trying to treat her right!!!red light is she spoils the kidos though!

Posted by Master Ace 11/24/2010 at 08:28 PM

NP,
If I recall, the Magic had to match another team offer for Redick. In my opinion, Redick has been overrated since he played his college ball at Duke. I am not surprised at 44% for Redick though. Heat still trying to get Wade, James and Bosh to mesh together for a lot of minutes and their supporting cast either get injured or just do not perform well.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 08:28 PM

NP Hmmmm other peoples money Hey?

That would mean us fans right?

I still vote for Grant

Posted by Aube,Happy Thanksgiving America.!!! 11/24/2010 at 08:29 PM

Madame President,please pretty please,tell me everything Nadal did right before Tim the moonpie etc... comes her,lol!

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 08:32 PM

Aube

Rafa improved today.Though he still needs to lift his first serve percentage

Nole had eye contact lens problem so the match was started good lost its momentum though Nole hung in there till the end.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 08:36 PM

What if Djoker pulls out from Friday match to protect his eye for DC? Maybe it could turn out to be a little bit more serious. Would that automatically disqualify Roddick as well since he'll be stuck at 0-2? Or will they bring in the alternative? I thought both Verdasco and Youz left by now?

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/24/2010 at 08:36 PM

Okay at least I can go to get my manicure

Later everyone

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 08:37 PM

MA, Redick overrated? I don't think any1 expected him to become another Kobe or even Joe Johnson. Just a dependable scorer with a relatively high b-ball IQ. And by all accounts the guy's a very hard worker. Gotta disagree with you there.

AM, I meant the voluntary $$$ paid by us fans, yes.

Posted by Aube,Happy Thanksgiving America.!!! 11/24/2010 at 08:38 PM

Thank you Madame President,I'll fedex you some prestigious thanksgiving dinner and exquisite dessert, but warning,no Brandy Wine!

Posted by Master Ace 11/24/2010 at 08:39 PM

Old Man Fed/Puny Server Rafa Fan,
Alternate(Verdasco and Youzhny are still in London at the moment) will be called into play if Djokovic w/d but if that is the case, Berdych will be in the SF over Roddick at 1-2 since H2H will determine the spot. Roddick needs Djokovic to play.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 08:40 PM

from atp:

Berdych defeats Nadal in 2 sets and Djokovic defeats Roddick in 2 sets = Djokovic Wins Group and Berdych Qualifies 2nd.
Berdych defeats Nadal in 2 sets and Djokovic defeats Roddick in 3 sets = Berdych Wins Group and Nadal Qualifies 2nd.
Berdych defeats Nadal in 3 sets and Djokovic defeats Roddick in 2 sets = Djokovic Wins Group and Nadal Qualifies 2nd.
Berdych defeats Nadal in 3 sets and Djokovic defeats Roddick in 3 sets = Nadal Wins Group and Djokovic Qualifies 2nd.

Roddick defeats Djokovic in 2 sets and Nadal defeats Berdych in 2 sets = Nadal Wins Group and Roddick Qualifies 2nd.
Roddick defeats Djokovic in 2 sets and Nadal defeats Berdych in 3 sets = Nadal Wins Group and Berdych Qualifies 2nd.
Roddick defeats Djokovic in 3 sets and Nadal defeats Berdych in 2 sets = Nadal Wins Group and Djokovic Qualifies 2nd.
Roddick defeats Djokovic in 3 sets and Nadal defeats Berdych in 3 sets = Nadal Wins Group and Djokovic Qualifies 2nd.

what is this, a rocket science?

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/24/2010 at 08:42 PM

Master Ace, I thought win-loss, set win-loss, game win-loss will determine the SF lineup? When does Head to head comes into play? If somebody withdraws?

Posted by Master Ace 11/24/2010 at 08:44 PM

NP,
Did you read where Phil talked about the Heat coaching situation and what Stan said that Phil was ignorant. Fun times when the Late show play the Florida teams this year.

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 08:48 PM

MA, no, I haven't. What did Phil say exactly?

Posted by Joe 11/24/2010 at 08:52 PM

If Nole had problems with the contacts, didn't he have extra eye contacts to wear like everybody have? a couple of eye drops and that's all. I wearing contacts and I know about it

Posted by CL 11/24/2010 at 08:53 PM

metro - are you still around by any chance?

Posted by Master Ace 11/24/2010 at 08:55 PM

Here is the link NP on Phil:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5846687

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

MA, looks like our Van Gundy was, shall we say, a tad butthurt. Anyhoo no biggie. Pat knows what he's doing and he'll do what needs to be done.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela YEC Doubles Champion and Winner of 7 Titles in 2010) 11/24/2010 at 09:06 PM

Marge

Very quickly Australia not doing too bad in the first test in Brisbane, very surprising.

We're talking about the cricket.

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 09:21 PM

Dwight can actually knock down more than dunks now. Any chance of him joining the Kobies?

Posted by Master Ace 11/24/2010 at 09:26 PM

NP,
No Howard for Lakers. He is not going to repeat the Shaq move and leave the Magic Kingdom.

Posted by Master Ace 11/24/2010 at 09:32 PM

NP,
Did you see Williams get the boot for today for throwing the ball at the Heat player after the players start talking at each other?

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 09:41 PM

MA, I was being facetious. And yah, I did see it. That was somewhat iffy. Didn't look like he threw the ball out of sheer malice, but throw it he did. Dunno if that warranted ejection.

Posted by Master Ace 11/24/2010 at 10:03 PM

NP,
Shaq went back in time as he had 25 and 11 as the Celtics won while the Magic scored the last 6 with Nelson leading the charge.

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 10:03 PM

Dwight the dumbass is gonna give away this game with his horrendous FT shooting. Why don't the NBA bigs try underhand FTs to improve their %? Rick freakin' Barry used it to great success, and he was no one-trick pony.

But fortunately Nelson is hot tonite. Miami calls a TO. Good. I want another reason to be thankful.

Posted by NP 11/24/2010 at 10:07 PM

MA, thx for the update. Do you think it'll be the Lakers vs. the Celtics again this season?

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