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Final Thoughts 11/28/2010 - 5:59 PM

Hp 

by Hannah Wilks, TW Contributing Writer

On the protracted journey to North Greenwich this morning (London transport is laboring under major engineering works and facing a tube strike), almost every conversation I overhear is a discussion of Federer and Nadal. It makes me so pleased that on a weekend when the first Ashes test is underway, England have taken on South Africa at Twickenham, and the usual round of high-profile Premiership football clashes are on—Spurs v Liverpool being today's hot ticket—tennis can still fill the O2 arena.

It also makes me feel slightly ashamed of myself for not being more excited. As far as I'm concerned, the greatest rivalry in sport—as I understand we're now obligated to call it—reached its zenith at Wimbledon 2008 when Rafa carved out the heart of Roger's empire and more or less devoured it, and since then it's basically been one-way traffic. Rafa is the best player in the world right now, Roger has had one of the greatest careers; these things seem obvious to me. They don't even play each other that much—twice in 2009, and this their second meeting in 2010—meaning that their rivalry is mainly played out in records and statistics, and on their behalf in forums and blogs across the internet by their fans.

If I'm not excited though, I'm clearly the only one. The crowd applauds politely during the doubles final, a straight-sets victory for Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic; the trophy ceremony resembles a game of musical chairs as all four players acknowledge the end of old partnerships and the forming of new ones. It's good fun, but it's not what everyone's come for today.

Never has the O2 arena been so full of flags, Swiss and Spanish, and signs, some painstakingly-sewn and impressive, others scribbled in felt tip on what looks like scrap paper. The reach of the Federer signs is impressively global: 'Lugano Greets King Roger!', and more bafflingly, 'Namibia Loves Roger.' The Nadal supporters' signs read 'VAMOS RAFA' or simply 'RAFA!!!!', as if the man needs no introduction, just punctuation. It's a breathtakingly international crowd, too; in the past few days I've met people—not journalists, just fans—who have come from all over the world to be here. For every estuary voice which howls 'come on, Rog!', there's an 'allez Rafa!' or an authentic 'vamos!'

I've heard enough serious discussion of the crushing psychological blow that one opponent can inflict on the other by making him wait at the beginning of the match to note down how events turn out. This time, Federer manages to stay seated, visibly twiddling his thumbs, until after Nadal has got up to join him at net for the coin toss. It's either a minor miracle or a bold statement of dominance, but Nadal strikes back immediately by being substantially late in rising for play. In the chair, Mohammed Layani is already holding his head in both hands, like the mother of two squabbling siblings on a long car journey.

By the time the first three games have been played, it's obvious that we're not going to see any huge tactical surprises; nobody's come up with a masterstroke since the last time they played. Federer is going all-out aggressive, ending points quickly wherever possible; Nadal is trying to break down Federer's backhand. Not earth-shattering.

Stationary, Nadal looks squat and chunky across the net from the lithe Federer. That impression all but disappears once they both start to move. Nadal's feet scuttle across the baseline like a beetle; it's better to watch the unbelievable speed with which his racquet whips around his head as he delivers each forehand like a grenade. Despite that, it seems to have been all Federer so far, bounding on to every short ball like an eager puppy to smack a forehand winner. More impressively, his backhand doesn't seem to be leaking errors; indeed, more often that not he finishes a protracted exchange by finding an acute and unexpected angle off that side. The same shot gets him the first break, his fifth forehand winner the first set, 6-3. He hasn't lost a point on his first serve yet.

Federer is playing great. Nadal isn't, quite. Whether it's the remarkable speed with which Federer seizes his opportunities or not, the Spaniard looks a step slow, and his shots don't have the same penetration they did against Murray. Time and again his balls have been landing short and Federer isn't giving him a second chance at any of them. At the changeover, he sits miserably with his hands in his lap, looking between coach and umpire as if unsure who to expect a telling-off from first. His is the only long face in here; Maradona, Princess Eugenie, Thierry Henry all get big cheers from a happy crowd. Boris Johnson gets the biggest, proving once again that the fact that people in this city have the good sense to fill arenas for tennis doesn't mean they display the best judgement in all areas of their lives.

Nadal, inevitably, regroups. A return winner at 1-2 lets him fist-pump and strut, predatory for the first time, and he breaks on Federer's first significant forehand error. When Federer slips and falls in the next game trying to reach a bounce off the net cord, the Swiss is starting to look a little frantic and Nadal firmly in control. One weak service game and the set is gone.

The crowd at least are pleased about it; everyone would have felt short-changed if this one finished in straights. It feels almost like the match proper is starting now, and the rallies are growing ever more spectacular; the tennis that these two men can produce on pure instinct, playing on their veins, is breathtaking. Nadal is hitting much deeper than he was at the beginning of the match, but Federer's serve—after a brief vacation in the second set—is clicking beautifully, time and time again leaving Nadal stranded by the wide serve to the deuce court. He's still finding those angles off the backhand, giving him a toehold on Rafa's serve at 1-2 down. When that toehold becomes break point, the roar from the crowd is earsplitting. Lars Graff would have barked 'Please!' down the microphone as if having to restrain himself from adding 'stop embarrassing yourselves!'; Layani, on the other hand, milks the moment, drawing out the words 'aadvaantaaage Federer!' Federer manages to box Nadal into a corner until his attempted passer flies wide and consolidates the break despite alternating service winners and groundstroke errors, and is suddenly looking rather impregnable at 4-1. When he breaks again, the Federer fans are ecstatic and the Nadal fans are putting on their jackets. It's a cold day outside.

There's a slight oddness to the end of the match, as Federer's winning forehand looks out to seventy-five percent of the stadium. The fans sitting behind that line are the first to cheer, then as Nadal shakes his head and starts walking to the net, Federer is next. He's actually won, even if it's taken everyone a moment to realize it.

During his speech, Nadal's voice creaks with fatigue. In a possible Freudian slip, he thanks the crowd for their support 'in Wimbledon.' Federer quickly reiterates the mention of Wimbledon in his own victory speech. Deliberate or not, both of them know that the real battleground is elsewhere. This has been an extended trailer for Roger and Rafa, 2011; coming soon to a Slam near you.

Watching the confetti and camera flashes, I think about the significance of this victory. I'm starting to share some of Pete's skepticism about the format and implications of this event. Nadal may have been defeated, but no-one can deny it's been his year, and a rocky one for Federer by his lofty standards. I doubt that this defeat will impact Nadal for long; and I don''t know what Federer's victory can give him in terms of motivation and confidence for next year that the champion doesn't already possess. The Fedal numbers may have shifted a little, giving the hardcore fans fresh ammunition in their ongoing battles, but I'm not sure it means much more than that.

But it has been a week of great entertainment, of tennis that's encompassed the entire range from execrable to exceptional. It's given the ATP a chance to showcase their product, and London an opportunity to demonstrate another facet of its nature as a tennis city. On a personal level, it's been a week of staying up until 3 a.m., trying to find the right words for the best players in the world; a week when taking longhand notes during Nadal matches left my fingers blistered, and Djokovic's smile distracted me enough that I left my mobile phone in his press conference. (He didn't call.)

It may not quite be the 'fifth Slam' just yet—but it's been a bloody good week all the same.


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Posted by NP 11/30/2010 at 12:22 PM

"I think he passes Borg's record for six (though it won't be consecutive) easily."

Oh, no! Not this fallacious comparison again!

ladyjulia, you do know that Borg skipped the '77 FO for WTT, right? And Borg owned RG winner Villas that same yr, twice in fact on clay.

Now I can hear the same ol' tired response: "But it's his fault that he didn't play the FO that year!" Well, of course he didn't! That's because the FO wasn't the highest-paying tourney at the time! Players, then and now, follow the $$$. And the FO back then didn't attract the strongest field of contenders compared to Wimby and the USO; Connors, Orantes, Gerulaitis, Tanner and, of course, Borg were among the big names missing from the draw that particular yr. Again this is almost unthinkable today.

Eras should be viewed in the context of their time. It's fallacious to judge achievements from one era by by those of another. A better way here would be to, say, compare who had a more dominant season. Going by the # of FOs won alone is a fool's errand.

Posted by gauloises 11/30/2010 at 12:22 PM

"I like for Magnus to keep his lovely smiling face for a while."

:) Maybe he could learn to enjoy the turbulent times of Andy Murray ... probably not though. I was very surprised to see one of the Murray team smoking outside the o2 on Thursday. Always surprised to see tennis-involved people smoke. Anyway, we wouldn't want Magnus to lose his healthy glow either, so perhaps he should just stay far away.

OK ... things to do. Later all, nice chatting.

Posted by Queeny 11/30/2010 at 12:23 PM

My dearest wish is for Roger to win FO next year...maybe I'll ask Santa:))

Posted by freddy 11/30/2010 at 12:26 PM

Queeny - second that.. then we can all go on about a double career grand slam - winning each of the GSs twice, and Rafa will have to win at least 1 more AO and USO to equal that :) Prob more chance of that happening than Roger getting his 2nd FO...where's Soderling when you need him

Posted by CL/AtheGoat 11/30/2010 at 12:27 PM

freddy - agree abut DelPo potential. It will be interesting to see where he is when, (hopefully not 'if'), he comes back. Too bad Cilic fell so badly off the rails. He too had a lot of potential, IMO.

The other thing I keep meaning to mention that pleases me so much about Fed's post USO run is the quality of player he has defeated. He is 1-1 with Muzz, but everyone else, including the Djoker and Robin, who took some big bites out of his GS season, he handled, and handled easily.

Posted by Grant 11/30/2010 at 12:27 PM

"Actually, I thought Del Potro would have been the man this year. He's got the game to take it to Rafa, even on clay. He was scary good in the SF against Roger at FO 2009, and with his first Slam under the belt, who knows what he might have done."

and with his wrist apparently now held together with duct tape and bits of string, who knows what he might still do :(

Posted by ladyjulia 11/30/2010 at 12:27 PM

freddy,

Del Potro would have probably taken the Fed out on clay. I don't seen him as a threat to Rafa on clay. Have they even played on clay? I don't think so.

On HC, yes...Del Potro can be threat to Rafa..but on clay, he can only take out Fed from what i have seen.

Nobody matches Rafa's movement on clay.

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/30/2010 at 12:29 PM

quite honestly, id I didnt post what i do, these fantasies about Rafa would just continue as truth, and someone has to balance out the ship a bit ...

I am not surpirsed that mama lions would think Rafa deserves perfect rest, perfect health, perfect conditoins, and perfect freedom to let his games and neuroses run wild, just funny how no other tennis players in history managed to get perfect conditoins every time they set foot on a tennis court, but with nads, it somone an outgrageous, unfair situation!

lets face it, a little reality check on this side of things is badly needed and plenty welcome reading for many non mama lions on this board ...

that is all LOL!

Posted by Ruth 11/30/2010 at 12:30 PM

Ladyjulia: (Re: your question about why not an indoor Slam) As a lover of indoor tennis (elements under control and all that!), I have always wished that there were an indoor Slam. My tennis fanship grew its adult teeth on the Philly Pro-Indoors (in February) for the men and the Virginia Slims/Advanta late October/early November always indoor tourney in Philly for the women. But I've been told over and over again that to have the umpteen courts necessary availbale to conduct a Slam indoors in one area is an impossible dream.

When I win the really big lottery, I will buy a large piece of land and build the huge venue capable of hosting an indoor Slam in one location! Investors are invited to join me in this venture! LOL

Posted by Caroline 11/30/2010 at 12:36 PM

Just a quick contribution on WTF - I went on Monday and Tuesday both sessions so I saw all the singles players and all the doubles teams. Some of the matches weren't great but for any tennis fan it must be one of best value experiences out there.

Not getting into R&R, except to say that they are quite other from everyone else both in their play and the electric atmosphere they create from the moment the MC does the pre-match crowd warmup.

The crowd was fantastic - every player from the Andy(s) to Zimonjic - had vocal support from fellow countrymen. Unlike TW although it was highly partisan it was very, very good natured:))

And everyone loved the doubles!

Sorry not to meet up with TWibers - but I was tour leader for my little group.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/30/2010 at 12:36 PM

NP,

I didn't mean to be disrespectful to Borg...the problem with tennis has always been that it dosen't have an iota of uniformity with respect to rules, structure, organization, surfaces, racquets, importance for events and the list goes on.

However, if Rafa does get 7 FOs, the story will be that he surpassed Borg "with respect to number of FO's won". Just in terms of #'s won. I don't know if the story will be that he was more dominant..which again will bring up more numbers for comparison...but in the record books, i think there is a line that says Borg won six FOs. And if Rafa wins 7, it will be written that he broke that record.

I mean there isn't a solution to this really...

Posted by NP 11/30/2010 at 12:37 PM

freddy, yeah, Courier was clearly the favorite that yr. That win by Sergi was a huge upset at the time.

I liked Sergei's game me-self, but not him as a player, for the sole reason that the bastard ended yet another one of Pistol Pete's chances to make the FO final.

P.S. Sergi's run at the '93 FO was actually one of the most dominant in the Open era in % of games/sets won. Dude dished out bakery products to the likes of Leconte, Larsson, Sampras and Medvedev. But standing above 'em all is his 2nd-round masterpiece, in which he TRIPLE-bagelled Champion without mercy. Forget the fact that Champion was a solid CC specialist who was better on the surface than his ranking indicated at the time. To triple-bagel anyone in a pro tour is simply out of this world, but against this Bruguera, apart from the 3rd-set bagel, Pistol Pete made it competitive and lost in 4 close sets. Should be enough to debunk the nonsense that Sampras was a mug on clay. Hell, he was even one of the favorites going into the next yr's FO, with his big Rome title in the bag.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/30/2010 at 12:38 PM

NP,

I meant uniformity across time...

Ruth,

I support your endeavor...

Posted by freddy 11/30/2010 at 12:39 PM

I vote for old Willie Renshaw..feller won gazillion Wimblys, beating up on his kid brother Ernie...

Posted by NP 11/30/2010 at 12:43 PM

ladyjulia, yes. Just know in advance that the media will be talking out of their asses, as usual.

Posted by Grant 11/30/2010 at 12:44 PM

Just for the record, when did 'X will break Y's record' come to mean 'X will break Y's record and therefore is superior'? Because I must've missed that memo.

Posted by Fern 11/30/2010 at 12:46 PM

@Gauloises - i'm probably not a proper FOOP as I love Fedal, but as regards young players, I want Delpo back in mint condition asap and Robin Haase to continue his rise up the rankings. Is it too late to hope for Gulbis to have a sudden change of heart and play like he wants to win? I'd love Gulbis to be in the top 10 if only to mix things up a little - I could see him irritating other top players! I want Gonzo to have an Indian Summer style return and Nalby playing like he's bothered. Not much to ask is it? :)

Posted by NP 11/30/2010 at 12:46 PM

"Just for the record, when did 'X will break Y's record' come to mean 'X will break Y's record and therefore is superior'? Because I must've missed that memo."

Ah, Grant, I knew you were gonna say something like that. FYI there was a media poll not too long ago and it said Rafa has already surpassed Borg, so my rant isn't entirely out of pissiness.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 11/30/2010 at 12:47 PM

"I am not surpirsed that mama lions would think Rafa deserves perfect rest, perfect health, perfect conditoins, and perfect freedom to let his games and neuroses run wild, just funny how no other tennis players in history managed to get perfect conditoins every time they set foot on a tennis court, but with nads, it somone an outgrageous, unfair situation!"

I've never heard anybody say that. :)

Posted by freddy 11/30/2010 at 12:48 PM

NP - yeah, I remember that year, Sergi was unstoppable.

Sampras was no mug on clay, but he wasn't in the top 5 clay courters during the decade. Somehow felt, he didn't push himself beyond his limits...unlike say, Lendl's all out efforts to conquer Wimbly..Lendl skipped the FO twice in the late 80s to prepare for Wimbly, with Tony Roche. And Lendl on grass was like Sampras on clay...yet Lendl did reach 2 Wimbly finals and 4-5 SFs, including beating Edberg in a Wimbly SF one year.

Posted by NP 11/30/2010 at 12:49 PM

"NP, he he. Good question. :) All four at the same time would be cool, no doubt. But it's worth much more to me now for Andy to get rid of the slam goose egg. I want to see how things take off for him once he gets over the hump."

Lock, you're a traitor to your gang.

Posted by Grant 11/30/2010 at 12:51 PM

"FYI there was a media poll not too long ago and it said Rafa has already surpassed Borg, so my rant isn't entirely out of pissiness."

Oh, I know you had good reason for your rant, but it's unfortunate that you had to strawman ladyjulia like crazy to get there.

Posted by Sherlock 11/30/2010 at 12:52 PM

Jewell, the voices in Tim's head are a wondrous thing. :)

NP, lol. Just a partial one. :)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 11/30/2010 at 12:54 PM

More on Dimitrov pushing an umpire, courtesy of the incomparable Challenger10s on Twitter:

http://bit.ly/gXq62S

Posted by NP 11/30/2010 at 12:57 PM

"And Lendl on grass was like Sampras on clay...yet Lendl did reach 2 Wimbly finals and 4-5 SFs, including beating Edberg in a Wimbly SF one year."

freddy, this is a fair point, but one that needs yet another one of my 10,000-word essays. Let me see if I have enough time for it right now.

Grant, ladyjulia is a good sport.

Lock, a partial traitor is a bit of an oxymoron.

Posted by freddy 11/30/2010 at 12:58 PM

Ok - gotta go.. see you all later folks...NP - sorry will continue that discussion on Pete's FO / Clay later...We also had a pending "Why are juniors not taught S/v skills anymore" discussion to take up from before...

Posted by NP 11/30/2010 at 12:58 PM

Sounds good, freddy. Later.

Posted by TMFunk 11/30/2010 at 01:01 PM

ladyjulia, freddy - Thanks for taking up my cause while I was enjoying a nice meal with a buddy. Of course, I do hope no one else thought I was throwing a hissy fit with my original post. Anyone who knows me here by now knows I don't throw hissy fits. If anything my posts are unfocused ramblings at best and maniacal rants at worst. Much like Fed's post-victory speeches and post-loss press conferences respectively.

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/30/2010 at 01:01 PM

lol well the mama lions DO feel as entitled as Rafa to post and say anything without a peep in the other direction, followed by the easy dismissal and wink ... if you want one way traffic, rafa's got some fabulous websites where you could spend all day making excuses and reading only what u want to read, ive read at leeast a dozen Fed fan posts in the last day saying exactly what I say, Sherlock, are they hearing 'voices' too?

LOL! Ill start the cut and pasting if you really wanna see them all, funny how we all have the same voices in our heads!

Posted by TMFunk 11/30/2010 at 01:01 PM

ladyjulia, freddy - Thanks for taking up my cause while I was enjoying a nice meal with a buddy. Of course, I do hope no one else thought I was throwing a hissy fit with my original post. Anyone who knows me here by now knows I don't throw hissy fits. If anything my posts are unfocused ramblings at best and maniacal rants at worst. Much like Fed's post-victory speeches and post-loss press conferences respectively.

Posted by Ruth 11/30/2010 at 01:02 PM

lj and freddy: OK, I'll agree that "one-way traffic" may have been too strong a term to describe the traffic flow :) of the rivalry since Wimby 2008; but, as you could see from my comment, my main concern was the way that so many people thought that merely pointing to the 2-2 2008-2010 H2H would somehow make the comment completely illegitimate. I mean, even if you line up the best statistics, I'd bet you'd find as many rational people who believe that either Roger or Rafa was ahead in the overall rivalry for that two-year period. I'd bet real money on that! :)

BTW I've been catching up on coments and responding to a comment when I see it before reading on. If I weren't doing that I might have seen that gauloises -- I prefer Hannah :) -- was here (and quite capapble of speakng for herself), and I would have probably not included a reference to her post in my own comment on the definition of "rivalry."

And now I must dip out again and go to the P.O. to mail two items left here by my most recent houseguest. Don't you hate it when people leave stuff behind and you have to mail it to them? I really, really do!

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 11/30/2010 at 01:06 PM

No-one said they wanted one-way traffic either, Tim. :) But can't we discuss these things without exaggerating every perfectly reasonable point to a ridiculous extreme, and then taking that as gospel truth and using it to bash a particular group of fans?

Posted by Grant 11/30/2010 at 01:08 PM

"I've never heard anybody say that. :)"

I think many people tend to dismiss results where their favorite isn't perfectly healthy, or rested, or even isn't playing well, without doing the same for every other player. It's dumb, but it's done.

It's just that Tim sees rafa fans doing this, and his brain automatically exaggerates the percentage of the fanbase that does so and the degree to which it's done, while somehow ignoring that fans of everyone do it, and then posts the results of his fever-dreams.

Posted by zenggi 11/30/2010 at 01:08 PM

NP,
Are you on holidays? Good heavens, you are writing as a tennis possessed fan.

I loved Lendl. I always went to watch the Antwerpen tournament. That was a fast indoor court.

Posted by NP 11/30/2010 at 01:10 PM

zenggi, I'm always possessed. By something.

Posted by TMFunk 11/30/2010 at 01:10 PM

"I mean, even if you line up the best statistics, I'd bet you'd find as many rational people who believe that either Roger or Rafa was ahead in the overall rivalry for that two-year period."

- These would be either very bad statisticians or irrational people or poor in their grasp of the english language if they all agreed with the term "it has been one-way traffic since 2008"... :)

And yes, pointing to 2-2 H2H post-2008 does make the term "one-way traffic since 2008" illegitimate if the term was referring to H2H. Pointing to their respective professional accomplishments vis-a-vis slams, titles, weeks #1 etc post-2008 does make the term "one-way traffic since 2008" illegitimate if the term was in fact referring to their respective professional accomplishments post-2008

Posted by zenggi 11/30/2010 at 01:14 PM

"More on Dimitrov pushing an umpire"

jewell, I'm surprised he has such a temper. Such an action can only promise good things for his future though.

Posted by Holds2Love 11/30/2010 at 01:15 PM

freddy: "Actually, I thought Del Potro would have been the man this year."

He certainly seemed poised for a great year, and that cautionary tale is one reason I'll never make predictions. Too afraid of coming off like Nostra-dumbass. ;-) Too many variables, injury being the most obvious.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 11/30/2010 at 01:15 PM

exactly, Grant.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/30/2010 at 01:16 PM

NP and Grant...:-)

TMFunk...welcome.

Ruth...no worries. That's the point of Fedal statistics...if only those two were the same age, played the same way, and met up 20 times a year on all surfaces equally so that we have enough of a sample size and enough variation to determine a conclusion..it would make life much easier for this fan.

Posted by CL/AtheGoat 11/30/2010 at 01:16 PM

psst - Pete has a new post up. I win!! Nyah, nyah! (And some people see this place as childish! Silly them!

Posted by zenggi 11/30/2010 at 01:16 PM

NP,
Glad to know you name immaterials.

I found a lovely video of Pico Mónaco showing proudly all the football T-shirts he's got from his friends during his career. I cannot get enough of his cute accent.

Posted by Master Ace 11/30/2010 at 01:18 PM

Pete has posted a new thread for today...

Posted by Sherlock 11/30/2010 at 01:18 PM

Cut and paste all you want, Tim. This whole "Rafa is/was tired" issue has been kept alive by Fed fans since Sunday. Are those the mama lions you speak of?

Posted by manuelsantanafan 11/30/2010 at 01:24 PM

Speaking of players who frequently prevailed over Vilas on clay, Orantes had an 8-3 H2H lead over Vilas on clay, before he lost their last couple of clay matches towards the end of Orantes' career and after one or two wrist/arm surgeries on Orantes.

Now, for some highlights of the most exciting match in the history or Fed Cup:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HK0Fw_4N-8


Posted by zenggi 11/30/2010 at 01:27 PM

Oops. I was lost in thought watching the video of Pico and the T-shirts.
Here is the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbu_XFI6VeM

On to read the new post.

Posted by CL/AtheGoat 11/30/2010 at 01:29 PM

Sherlock - Grrrrr!

Posted by NP 11/30/2010 at 01:32 PM

MSF, you've gotta be the biggest Date KAD in the entire multiverse.

Here's a candidate for the greatest DC tie ever:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXQJK8P9bHU

Posted by NP 11/30/2010 at 01:33 PM

Oh, how could I forget. The single greatest DC performance ever:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Elx3gcT1I_A
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtDUeMXvUyY

Posted by Ruth 11/30/2010 at 03:14 PM

NP: That video shows Sampras, my all-time fave, doing one of the greatest as well as one of the worst things he did during his career: winning all 3 of the rubbers he played in that DC tie -- on clay, no less, and introducing the baggy shorts to the men's Tour. He was the first of any player I saw on TV to wear them, darn it! I've never forgiven him for that even though the silly trend would have taken root with or without him, I guess. :-)

Posted by NP 11/30/2010 at 03:26 PM

In all seriousness, Ruth, Kafelnikov's shorts in those very clips aren't that much leaner than Pete's.

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/30/2010 at 03:51 PM

LOL no sherlock, and well, i think I'll go hang out with all the other Fed fans hearing 'voices' now LOL! and yes, i guess after reading his stories, I think Neil Harman is as much a mama lion as Carol

clearly they both are hearing voices too LOL!

Posted by Bye Video 08/03/2011 at 01:16 PM

By necessity, your role as teacher changes as well. Rather than serve as a conduit for knowledge, you become the choreographer of a dynamic and multi-faceted discussion. Instead of lecturing, you probe, encourage, and sometimes cajole. Often you deliberately step aside to let the students assume the lead roles—and openly challenge each other with contrary opinions and analyses. You don't provide answers; you offer a pathway to greater experience and understanding.

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