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Rock Stars For a Week 11/25/2010 - 11:38 PM

Bb by Hannah Wilks, TennisWorld Contributing Writer

Numbers are a big part of any tennis fan's life, and there’s always a day at the year-end championship when the numbers take centre stage. Last year, Andy Murray was denied a place in the semifinals by an abstract mathematical calculation, a del Potro second-serve ace and a Hawkeye challenge; a matter of millimetres and the progress of the championships was altered. This year, Murray is ranked No. 5 and back at the O2 among the elite; del Potro, last year’s finalist, played six matches in 2010 and is currently ranked No. 262 due to the vagaries of injury. Sometimes numbers do tell the whole story.

It’s clear today that the organizers here at the ATP World Tour Finals have learned from the embarrassments of last year. Everywhere, the big screens flash group standings and qualification scenarios for the crowds; the media are handed briefing notes updating the latest outcomes and possibilities at regular intervals. Permutations and probabilities are bandied back and forth at the bar, on the stairs, in whispers inside the arena. It starts to feel like a drinking game (sponsored by Corona, of course)Soderling took it to a tiebreak: two fingers! Murray won more than four games in a set: down in one!

As it turns out, however, everybody might as well have left their calculators at home, as the Group B progressions were settled by the simplest of eventualities; Roger Federer defeated Robin Soderling 7-6 (5), 6-3 in a majestic defensive display, leaving himself in solitary state as the first player to qualify for the semifinals. The Swede is eliminated from contention and heading home for the holidays, with the second semifinal spot to be decided between Andy Murray and David Ferrer. The consensus is that Murray has to win a set, or win a minimum of seven games in losing. It sounds simple, but when is anything with the Scot ever as straightforward as it should be?

It turns out you can’t even depend on Murray to be undependable. He starts off in woeful fashion by losing serve, but before anyone can hunker down for a long night, he recovers and doesn’t look back, winning not just the first set but the second to book his semifinal spot. David Ferrer leaves London without winning a match, Murray gets to experience a semifinal Saturday at the O2, and everyone’s left with rather an anticlimactic feeling.

But the most interesting numbers of the day for me are the ones that come up in the Bryan brothers’ press conference, after the twins have sealed their qualification for the semifinals by beating Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes in straight sets, afterwards being presented with the ATP fans’ favorite award. Their numbers in 2010 tell their own story: two Grand Slams, in Melbourne and New York. Their 600th match win in Delray Beach. The sixth time they have finished the year ranked No. 1. Their 62nd championship win in L.A., surpassing the all-time career titles record. Those are GOAT numbers, even if they have to be marginally qualified with the insertion of' 'team.'

Having accomplished all of this, there’s a sad inevitability to the main thrust of the questionsthe health of the doubles game. Usually, it’s the aging of the viewer demographic that is the concern, not the participants. But the average age of the players in this year’s draw is 32, as opposed to 26 in the singles; the youngest player in the doubles draw is the 26-year-old Philipp Petzchner, a relative baby next to 39-year-old Dick Norman. The oldest player in the singles is Federer at 29 and the draw includes two 23-year-olds, Murray and Djokovic. A Bryan (I can’t tell them apart when they’re not holding their racquets) acknowledges the problem: These 20 guys are the same guys we’ve been playing against for the last 10 years. We’re all still at the top of the game. There aren’t a lot of guys breaking through. It’s being repopulated by singles players. It used to be the Top 50 guys used to have two or three singles players in it. Now it’s half and half.

Think about that for a minute. Then name, if you can, one successful doubles specialist who is under 25 and who promises much for the future. It’s easy to dismiss doubles, an attitude that I’ve been guilty of myself; it’s an opportunity to see more of your favourite singles players, perhaps, or a way to kill time while you’re waiting for some real action to begin. I’ve had the opportunity this week to watch the best playing the best, and yet until today, the most attention I’ve paid to the top seeds is to enjoy the slo-mo replay of Mike getting hit in the back of the head with Bob’s serve. Or possibly the other way around.

Doubles doesn’t just require discipline; it is a discipline. Jurgen Melzer, No. 11 in the world, teamed with a solid singles player in Petzchner, still found himself eliminated today by Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski. Nobody’s going to stop the latter team in the street, but they are masters of their sport and the specific skills it rewards. Power from the baseline can accomplish much, but it can still be rendered impotent by the cool head and practiced hands required to finish a point at the net. How different might today’s singles results have been had Robin Soderling had the split-second confidence to put away Federer’s high, floating ball?

It may all too often be treated as an encumbrance at worst, a consolation prize at bestnot a lot of kids growing up wanting to be the best in the world in doubles, as even said best players admitbut if doubles as an end in itself dies, to be replaced by singles players supplementing their incomes and match play, something will be lost. Not just the particular skills of serve and volley, familiarity and precision at net, but a sport that rewards eccentricity and uniqueness, the coming together of two players that separately would have been very ordinary to become something greater than the sum of their parts.

Any commenter or commentator is familiar with those who lament tennis’ increasing homogeneity; they should watch more doubles. Yesterday, a day that saw public complaints from one singles player about the time his opponent was taking in order to be physically able to continue the match, I witnessed Max Miyrni bending down to the ground to chat to his partner Mahesh Bhupathi while he received medical attention, folding his angular limbs to put their heads close together. Their opponents, meanwhile, the soon-to-split Nestor and Zimonjic, were as far apart as two players could be, Nestor slumping in a chair shrouded in towels while Zimonjic took energetic practice swings at the far end of the court. Talk about the range of human experience. And today, I’m listening to two people I’ve often derided talk with warmth and a total lack of self-pity about the senescence of the sport they have dedicated their life to, the sport that has made them extraordinary. 

That at least is one thing that the World Tour Finals has going for it, despite the occasional limpness of the round-robin format. I haven’t seen the arena less than two-thirds full for a doubles match this week; they’ve been cheered, slow-clapped, bemoaned, had their names chanted. There’s nothing like it, a Bryan says; when you have intros, smoke, lights, music, you have goosebumps … We feel like rock stars.

To be treated like stars one week out of fifty-two isn’t the best ratio, but for a team who have broken the greatest of records, it’s a lot better than none.


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Posted by Tuulia 11/26/2010 at 07:00 PM

Well, L.Rubin, it's a matter of taste like most things. :) I don't miss profanities and huge tantrums, I find them not entertaining but embarrassing to witness.

Posted by Metro 11/26/2010 at 07:01 PM

Murray will have his work cut out against formidable Nadal. Nadal doesn't give away freebies and Murray will play his best to win games or even a set. Home advantage element for Murray? Nadal and Federer bring enough vocal supporters to offset home advantage. I really believe that Nadal will be tougher than Federer on Tuesday.

Posted by Tic 11/26/2010 at 07:01 PM

Patch Nole:
http://tinyurl.com/32klq3o
http://tinyurl.com/3xko6dy

And, this from Tim Henman while commentating Nadal-Berdych:
On BBC Two, Tim Henman on his experience of hitting with a 17-year-old Nadal: "At first I thought, 'This is just ridiculous, you can't try and hit the ball that hard without making mistakes all over the shop'. Forty-five minutes later, he had beaten me 6-1 and I thought 'Maybe you can'."

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/26/2010 at 07:03 PM

Look at this crap Muzz pulled at his interview on British press.


Q. I'm intrigued with you saying you don't think you have much chance to beat Rafa. You beat him the last time on hard courts. Why don't you think you'll have a good chance this time?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, he's obviously the best player in the world. I've watched his matches here. He's been playing unbelievably well. You know, I don't seem to beat those guys in the big matches. So, you know, I'm going to have to play my best tennis against him to win. I need to do it in a big match, in the semis. I have to see whether I can do that or not.

Q. So you're not confident?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really. But I'll try and win against him.

is this a new tatic? It could be saying like "bugger off you british press and leave me in peace". Or is he genuinely scared after being destroyed by Fed the other day? I wish the latter, so I can watch Fedal final for once!

Posted by Master Ace 11/26/2010 at 07:03 PM

Saturday Order of Play from London:

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan vs Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic at 7:15 AM
Rafael Nadal(70-9; 10-4) vs Andy Murray(46-17; 7-4) at 9 AM
Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski vs Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi at 1:15 PM
Novak Djokovic(59-17; 4-7) vs Roger Federer(63-13; 14-6) at 3 PM

Sunday Order of Play from London:
Doubles Final at 10:30 AM
Singles Final at 12:30 PM


Posted by ladyjulia 11/26/2010 at 07:08 PM

xfan,

yeah..as Metro said, home is not much of an advantage for Muzz. Though its a three setter..Muzz isn't exactly in sparkling form. And Rafa always finds a way to win. This isn't 2009.

I just hope the media dosen't go and call the final before the second SF is played like USO. Its only going to fire up Nole tremendously if a Fedal final is called..and then we all know what happens when that happens.

I just hope its TMF for tomorrow for all the three sets that they play. I can't wait for the second SF tomorrow. Might watch/might not watch the first one tomorrow.

Posted by x-fan 11/26/2010 at 07:13 PM

Ladyjulia,
You don't think Fed can beat Rafa on this surface, over three sets?
I think his chances would be good if they actually met.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/26/2010 at 07:14 PM

Well, whatever happens tomorrow, I say again, I've really enjoyed WTF and don't really understand why some people have found it a little boring.

Posted by CL 11/26/2010 at 07:14 PM

Metro - you're welcome...Cleese also shows up as the voice on some GPS systems...when you arrive at your destination the voice sez, "I will NOT be getting your luggage for you!"

Old Man - try and keep up. Muzz, thetwit, then tweeted that he was just going all sarcastic on the Brit press's backside... who can say what REALLY goes on in the MuzzHead. Carnap! where are you when we need you.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/26/2010 at 07:17 PM

CL, yes Muzz indeed said on his tweety bird, "If sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, why don't smart people get it? Or are they smart?". He's now toying with British press, that jerk! Press people have feelings, you know?....I think... eh, right?

Posted by Tic 11/26/2010 at 07:22 PM

"Look at this crap Muzz pulled at his interview on British press."

It's called sarcasm. If you read carefully, he says "I need to do it in a big match, in the semis", which is exactly what he already did (he beat Nadal at USO 2009 and AO 2010).

This from Neil Harman (The Times):
"Murray insists that he was having a bit of fun on Thursday when he suggested that he “doesn’t seem to beat these guys in the big matches” and wonders how the media could have taken his comments at face value. It is because he said them without a trace of sardonic cadence in his voice, so he was taken at his word."

Posted by Metro 11/26/2010 at 07:23 PM

Lynne,
"I've really enjoyed WTF and don't really understand why some people have found it a little boring."

Ditto here. 17,000 fans in the arena for most matches surely can't be all wrong? plus tv coverage, more sponsors. Most fans I spoke to were happy to experience WTF, maybe some complaints about quick straight sets and too little tennis.

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/26/2010 at 07:26 PM

lol oh great now Murray is a Rafa minion, too? Djoker waves the white flad easy enough, too...

BAH!

men's tennis needs some NEW stars, pronto, none of these jokers have a chance to upset the apple cart with that attitude...

Posted by x-fan 11/26/2010 at 07:27 PM

Well I'm out for now.
I'll watch both semis tomorrow, hoping for some compelling tennis.
Can't really think of too many great matches in 2010 and this is all we have left.

Posted by VamosRafa 11/26/2010 at 07:30 PM

ladyjulia -

Fed losing to Rafa on clay is a norm.

Fed's GOAT status gets compromised more and more as he loses to Rafa on grass and hard courts. His H2H against Rafa on these 2 surfaces is still respectable.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/26/2010 at 07:30 PM

Metro : I hope you don't mind if I ask, are you English or American. Feel free not to answer if you don't want to, I won't be offended.

Posted by Tuulia 11/26/2010 at 07:33 PM

Old man, it wasn't Carlos in either case in Wimbledon. Plus Rafa seems to like Carlos anyway, and also complimented him now afterwards, too, just thought he made a mistake, which he probably did as far as I understand. As for previous mistakes, since you were wondering... there was that line call at last year's WTF in the Söderling match, first set, when Rafa's shot was erronously called out, and I guess low on confidence and all that, Rafa just accepted Carlos's affirmation that the shot was indeed out instead of challenging - had he challenged he'd have won that game. Anyway, I can't imagine Rafa would hold that against Carlos, and don't see a connection to the Berdych match incident at all. (Unlike with Ullrich the other day.)

Posted by Metro 11/26/2010 at 07:40 PM

Lynne,

That is OK. I'm a English and a Federer fan. Though I have a penchant for American TV series and worked previously for a US company with US expats in the office. Cultural gem: In order to foster teambuilding, the US management introduced a company softball team. The catch was that most Brits didn't understand the rules to play the game. Whereas Americans don't understand our obsession with soccer.

Posted by Master Ace 11/26/2010 at 07:45 PM

Match call for the semifinals will be in the Deuce Club unless we get a fresh thread from London...

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/26/2010 at 07:51 PM

Metro : I'm English and thought you were too. I live in the US and find that Americans generally don't understand our soccer at all any more than we do theirs. It's definitely a cultural thing !

Posted by Tic 11/26/2010 at 07:51 PM

Smiley post-match presser for Rafa:
http://s2.postimage.org/487npmwtx/28469957.jpg
http://s2.postimage.org/487r0plth/28469962.jpg

Dawid Law (BBC Radio) tweeted:
"Rafa asked about Murray's assertion yesterday that Murray has not much chance. Rafa laughed and said Murray was trying to remove pressure."

"Rafa typically polite about umpire Carlos Barnardes. 'he's a great umpire but he made a mistake.'"

Posted by ladyjulia 11/26/2010 at 07:51 PM

xfan,

I think Fed has good chances against Rafa if he brings TMF along..but he shanks his way (which is going to happen with Rafa hitting to his BH all day long) and the match might not look so good for him. Overall, if he plays like Cincinnati 2009...i think he stands a very good chance.

But its only logical that the younger player will win..Rafa is ofcourse the #1 coming in with 3 GS of this year. Fed is coming in with 1 GS this year..but a year full of blown matchpoints, shanks and struggles. Its up to the Fed how he wants to approach it. He can use it a rare opportunity to make the H2H less skewed..but tactics wise, he's pretty much at a dead end on what to do against Rafa.

He'll take all the risks and chances...and Rafa will play safe. In the end, as it has been 13 times (or is it 14?)...i would put my money on Rafa in a Fedal final. The Fed will tease..he might have matchpoints..but he won't win.

Seen it way too many times. This isn't the fast Shanghai court and it isn't 2006 or 2007.

Still...the Djoker has good chances tomorrow, the final is still a long way.

Posted by Diane 11/26/2010 at 07:55 PM

Metro

You mentioned that it's easier to get tickets to the WTF than Wimbledon and I must agree as my birtday is the end of June and hubby's is the beginning of July so we are looking into a Wimbledon trip this summer. The only option with gaurenteed tickets is Grand Slam Tennis Tours and I have been on the phone with them lots this past week. A tour with tickets for two days of tennis is going to cost abour $5,0000 apiece. That's including hotels but the tickect which are debentures are the big cost. We are also trying to then leave London and book a Mediteranean cruise for a few weeks.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/26/2010 at 07:59 PM

VamosRafa,

I don't think the Fed can do anything about the H2H. Its going to get worse for sure.

xfan,

When Fed was asked about at USO...he said we are not going to see anything new in the matches between him and Rafa.I think that pretty much sums it up.

Posted by Metro 11/26/2010 at 08:00 PM

Lynne: Fascinating, I assume you are American based on your location. Have you lived in the US for long? I am Arsenal fan, do you still follow your footie? The Premierleague is so international nowadays. When I lived abroad, I could find a pub broadcasting PL matches, choose fan clubs, street vendors sell kits.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/26/2010 at 08:11 PM

Metro : Yes, I've been in SW Florida for over nine years. I came from a football-mad family and it's where I spent most Saturday afternoons as I
was growing up. I'm a (wait for it!) Sheffield Wednesday supporter. They have fallen on hard times, alas, but it's a family tradition and old habits die hard. I still love the game though.

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 11/26/2010 at 08:14 PM

I still think Nadal will win this tournament. His confidence is really up there after his phenomenal season, and he wants to cap it off by winning the WTF which he has never won. That would be a huge exclamation point, and I really don't see anybody with the mental strength to combat him.

Roger is in fine form and playing closer to his form from 3 years ago. But, mentally, I just don't think his confidence is all the way there. He has a tendency to get tight when his opponent is firing on all cylinders. And when Roger gets tight, the shanks follow, and his footwork and anticipation are adversely affected. His game flows when he is in auto-pilot and playing from instinct. He can only do that when he is composed and confident. We'll see which Federer shows up in the semi-final ... the one who beat Djokovic in Shanghai or the one who played so miserably against Monfils in Paris Bercy.

Posted by Metro 11/26/2010 at 08:23 PM

Diane,

I have done my fair share of Wimbledon. Ballot tickets are lottery, can't get LTA tickets as I don't belong to club, won't pay premium for hospitality agencies, so I just queue for ground pass (excluding show courts). I get materials from promoters: A day at W Centre Court plus lunch, GBP 900 plus VAT. W has the 2nd highest corporate hospitality rate among British sports events (Twickeham Rugby is 1) and few tickets on the open market. I spoke to other tennis fans and they are in the same boat.

$5,0000 apiece for flight, hotel and 2 days of tennis is a rip off, if I may be honest. Med cruise sounds fun and would be lovely birthday treat, which part? Balerics, Italian Amalfi Coast, East Adriatic/Crotia. I did Aegean (Greece,Turkey)if one likes archeology (Ephesus, Knossos)and good food.

WTF is a breeze: internet, box office, other fans have spare tickets to sell and some friends are clients of sponsors. Some people bought tickets in June. The only match I failed to get affordable tickets was Fed/Sod.

Posted by Tic 11/26/2010 at 08:23 PM

Those poor tennis journos are now totally confuzzled about taking or not at face value what players tell them.

Piers Newbery tweeted:
" 'I would prefer to play against someone a little bit easier,' says Rafa when asked if he is happy to face Murray. He's being sarcastic too."

Posted by ladyjulia 11/26/2010 at 08:24 PM

At espn...there is article about the WTF and the full crowds...

http://www.espn.co.uk/tennis/sport/story/59067.html

Posted by Metro 11/26/2010 at 08:38 PM

Lynne,

Nine years, wow. You are almost naturalised. Never been to Florida, but it sounds lovely and tennis mecca with plenty courts. I heard that some Brits bought vacation property in FL and various travel and property tv programmes feature FL.

Sheffield Wednesday (Blades?) supporter, I don't meet many of you in the Southeast. Soem friend read law at Sheffield Uni and encountered some local Sheffield Wednesday fans. I really respect those who support unfashionable teams because it is in their blood. Sheffield Wednesday, are they in the 2nd division now? Doesn't Sean Bean support your Club?

I know a North London couple, he is a hotspurs and she is a gunner. The best man said in speech that it is a Match made in Hell. They try to work out club affiliation for their children, it wasn't covered in the pre-nup.

Posted by roadrunnerz 11/26/2010 at 08:42 PM

Bwaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaa...I love the eyepatch.

Thanks for the pics. I like Nole a little more every day.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/26/2010 at 08:47 PM

he he...lots of mind games for tomorrow's match...so its not only British press who resort to making comclusons?

From espn:

"Who knows what Murray's mindset is?

He said following his win over David Ferrer on Thursday evening he had little chance of beating Rafa. It was a silly stance, given his recent positive hard-court record against the world No. 1. Perhaps Murray was trying to fool the media, since he was lambasted after a horribly disappointing performance against Federer in the round-robin stage.

Nadal wasn't buying Murray's prematch analysis, and he looked annoyed when told of the Scot's words.

When he got down to talking about the nuts and bolts of the encounter, Nadal shifted a bit of the pressure back to Murray.

"Everybody can say the conditions are a little bit easier for Andy than for me here," Nadal said. "The court is a little bit easier for him than for me." "

Also...same writer from tennis.com..

"Trying to rectify matters and explain his responses, or so we think, Murray tweeted Friday afternoon, “If sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, why don’t smart people get it? Or are they smart?”

As fully expected, Nadal didn’t buy into Murray’s pessimism.

Why would Murray say what he did, Rafa?

“That’s easy,” Nadal said. “(Reduce) the pressure. The pressure comes back to him now.” "

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/26/2010 at 08:52 PM

Metro :

No, Wednesday are the Owls, Blades are United. There are not so many tennis courts here as there used to be, which is sad.

I lived in Wimbledon before we came to live here, just about 10 or 15 mins walk from the All England Club and I was very lucky to be able to go
quite a few times in my life.

Good luck with the WTF tickets, it's been a pleasure talking to you, Metro.

Posted by CL 11/26/2010 at 09:09 PM

"Rafa laughed and said Murray was trying to remove pressure."

Pot/Kettle

Posted by Nordic Light 11/26/2010 at 09:12 PM

Hi AB,
Are you there? You are the one with the delicious sounding fudge-chocolate-melt recipe, right? Might try it this weekend, when we celebrate the first of Advent with some kiddies around.
Thank you for mentioning my posts. Unfortunately my English writing skills are a little rusty and for some reason this typepad thing swallows most of my posts (can anyone explain to me, why?), so it takes me too long to get them posted and the discussion has moved on most of the time. So it's nice to know that some read it anyway.
Missed most of the exitement today because of work. Seems to be the week of "Rafa and the rules". Have to say, that, after reading all the comments, I was very disappointed when I finally watched the videos of "Ruling Gate". I was promised a raging bull. That was supposed to be a tantrum? Rafa's roid rage? First, it was way too short; no foaming, no raquet braking, no threatening of tiny lines people. You can do better than this, Rafa! The intonation was nice and mean, though Spanish speaking posters pointed out, that four letter words and personal insults were missing. Well, it's a beginning but The Tantrum Goat he is not. There is still a lot to learn from former GOATS like Connors, McEnroe, Ivanisevic, Safin and this underground star Koellerer.
Well, good night everybody. I'm looking forward to the semis tomorrow, the best four made it and I'm very happy for The One Eyed Djoker.

Posted by CL 11/26/2010 at 09:12 PM

"Whereas Americans don't understand our obsession with soccer."

To say nothing of cricket! THAT we don't/can't even understand the rules for.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/26/2010 at 09:20 PM

CL..pot/kettle is apt.

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/26/2010 at 09:26 PM

only Rafa can throw a hissyfit and retain the illusion of angelic perfection lol ... if he would stop calling the lines for the linespeople, this wouldnt have happened ... nice to see him jab murray, he's the real favorite, no? the court favors him lol

this guy is a riot! doesnt every court pretty much favor the No. 1 in the world????? even red clay is the playground of his opponents from his perspective...

Posted by CL 11/26/2010 at 09:27 PM

Nordic Light - "The One Eyed Djoker" is excellent! OED for short.

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/26/2010 at 09:28 PM

Rafa is never wrong, never the favorite, never really loses a match without a reason, the conditions never favor him, wow, life is rough for poor Rafa, isnt it?

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/26/2010 at 09:29 PM

this is reporting from the AP on CNN...

Berdych, who was making his debut at the season-ending tournament, lost all three of his matches in London.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/tennis/11/26/nadal.riled.ap/index.html#ixzz16Ri1ECRL

Am i wrong or did Berdy beat Roddick? some reporting, huh?

Posted by Arun 11/26/2010 at 09:44 PM

"Rafa laughed and said Murray was trying to remove pressure."

Whaat? Seriously, ladyjulia? Do you have a link?

Posted by ladyjulia 11/26/2010 at 09:47 PM

Arun,

I copy pasted the relevant bits from the ESPN article...in my post above.

will give u the links too..give me 2 min..

I don't recall the word "laughed" being used..but Rafa did say Murray was trying to remove pressure and the pressure is back on Murray.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/26/2010 at 09:50 PM

Arun,

Here's the ESPN article:

http://tinyurl.com/24t6nu5

and tennis.com one..

http://tinyurl.com/2fan8ub

Posted by Arun 11/26/2010 at 09:55 PM

Thanks, ladyjulia. That's very strange! Hmmph.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/26/2010 at 09:58 PM

Arun,

What is strange? That Muzz played with the british press or Nadal saying that the pressure is on Muzz?

Posted by Arun 11/26/2010 at 10:03 PM

In a way, both. Probably Murray is trying to play a lil bit of mindgames himself or or he was just being honest. But I find Nadal saying that Murray is just trying to deflect the pressure (or something like that) to be kind of hypocritical.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/26/2010 at 10:06 PM

Arun,

Yeah...that's why pot/kettle was apt.

Both matches should be fun tomorrow though. Any predictions?

Posted by Arun 11/26/2010 at 10:08 PM

I don't know, ladyjulia.
I find it stupid for the 2nd SF to be scheduled 6 hours after the 1st.
So a clear advantage to the winner of the 1st SF. I think it's probably going to be Nadal. To me he looked perfect in the match this morning. He is gonna go all the way.

Posted by MikeDC 11/26/2010 at 10:11 PM

Murray was obviously being sarcastic in his comment. What is worrisome is not his possible lack of confidence against Rafa, but instead how annoyed / wrapped up he is in the attack of the British press.

Now, I'm sure he gets annoyed at being eviscerated after every loss (his sarcasm seems to flow from what was said after Fed beat him), but the fact that he's dragging the baggage with him to future press conferences says a lot.

Just the idea that what's being written about him sticks in his mind for days probably means his focus is screwed up. Not a good sign for this tournament, or for Wimbledons in the future.

It's kind of old school, but maybe he should not read the papers during a tournament if such things bother him so much. In modern terms he'll have to shut off his twitter too for a bit. Just stick with xbox for a bit maybe... even if that puts the thumbs at risk...

Posted by ladyjulia 11/26/2010 at 10:15 PM

Arun,

True...no need for 6 hrs. That too on a Saturday when crowds will come anyway.

Still, I am hoping Fed-Djokovic will be short. And hopefully in favor of Fed.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/26/2010 at 10:17 PM

G'nite Arun..see u tomorrow for SFs.

Posted by Arun 11/26/2010 at 10:20 PM

Later, ladyjulia.

Posted by Master Ace 11/26/2010 at 10:26 PM

Don't forget that the match call thread will be in the Deuce Club unless a new thread for London is posted...

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/26/2010 at 10:27 PM

well Rafa having the first semi will save this board a lot of crocodile tears from the mama lions freaking out about their poor boy's fitness levels for the final, how unfair it is, and if he's getting enough sleep and if he drank his warm cocoa before beddie bye lol ...

let the old man deal with less rest, as it should be .. this is a year of just golden platters why not one more? that said, i suppose its time for the Shankmeister to show up after the run of great form, huh?

Fed's beaten a long list of Top 10 foes in the last month, hope he can keep it up ... Im wondering if Djokie loses the first set, how much fight he will have, given the Davis Cup starting in less than a week's time...

and duh, Murray is being sarcastic, his Tweet even explained it, I say bravo for him to stick it to the press, he must get darn fed up with their hysterical nonsense about his worth and form

Posted by Aube,"Colored girls" is a fine movie... 11/26/2010 at 10:41 PM

Why is everybody saying Rafa is going to win?,Federer is 3-0 so far too
Don't jinx Nadou,let's let it play out Sunday,trying to jinx Nadal talking about he's probably going to win,huh!

Posted by Arun 11/26/2010 at 10:44 PM

So some of us saying that Nadal has a good chance to win from here is going to jinx him 5000 miles away? :)

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/26/2010 at 10:50 PM

Arun, are you trying to be logical in response to such posts? lol ... cmon u know better!

Posted by Arun 11/26/2010 at 10:52 PM

She was probably joking or half-joking though, Tim.
I didn't take it too seriously. Sorry if I came across otherwise.

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/26/2010 at 10:54 PM

how could nadal possibly win? the court's not the best for him, right? he lost all his maches last year, right? he's only No. 1 by 4000 points, right?

LOL! and some washed up old Swiss who he beats like a drum is the only real competition left, how could be possibly win??

and dont forget about the knees, the must be getting shaky about now, those magical injections must be wearing off by now ...

I hope Fred surprises but in a way, id rather have Nads have just enormous pressure going into Australia, and see how he wiggles off the hook there, going for the Nads Slam, etc.

Let old man Fred sneak it from behind and steal another Slam or two, cant wait!

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/26/2010 at 10:56 PM

ive read a million of those arun, if this one is joking there's another coming fast on its heels ..

Posted by Aube,"Colored girls" is a fine movie... 11/26/2010 at 11:34 PM

Arun,I'm actually joking but still seriously do not want my Nadou to be jinxed,I know, confusiong huh?plus about coming across otherwise I'm one never to take it for more than it is:virtual funny comments,I come here to laugh and make some laugh and I usually leave happy!!!
Peace!

Posted by Master Ace 11/27/2010 at 08:40 AM

Match call will be in Deuce Club unless new thread comes up for London...

Posted by GrandSlam 11/27/2010 at 11:54 AM

Question: Why is Rafael Nadal winning so much?

Answer: Because ALL surfaces are slooooooooow like CLAY!!

Posted by Chany 11/27/2010 at 01:02 PM

Rafa is the BEST!

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