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The Ultra Major? 11/20/2010 - 10:45 PM

Sod by Pete Bodo

If you're anything like me, you're thinking: Okay, let's get this baby over and done with. We're down to the last official tournament of the year, the ATP World Tour Final, and it's a big one—theoretically. But theory and reality are two different things, and the best we can say about the year-end championships is that it's a work in progress. Has been for a long time. Whether it can ever get where it purports to go, where many think it should go, is a question that remains unanswered.

Nobody ever seems really sure what to make of the YEC, by whatever name it travels under (that, I think, is part of the problem, but beyond our scope at the moment). This is, in a roundabout way, a testament to the four-cornered game that has proven to be remarkably resistant to alteration. Think about it: the four Grand Slam events have, for all practical purposes, been the only tournaments that really matter. That this has remained so despite the convulsions of the Open era, in which so many other aspects of the traditional game have fallen by the wayside, is remarkable. And it has to be discouraging for the visionaries who predicted or tried to effect a genuine revolution in how the game is adminstered and presented.

The four "majors" were once vulnerable and might have suffered a loss of status for various reasons. Instead they've grown stronger. This is a testament to how well-managed they've been in recent years. The Australian Open was dead in the water as recently as the early 1980s, due mainly to its awkward position on the calendar (it was once the final official tournament of the year, played during the holiday season). The timing of the event did not play well with players who were weary of travel and, much like today, prone to ask, When do we get some time off?

Fortunately for the status quo, the Australian Open re-invented itself with both a new date (it became the first Grand Slam of the year, played after an adequate interval for the holidays) and a new facility—an effective one-two punch that was bold, risky, and in retrospect, prescient.

Early in the Open era (we're talking about the 1970s) the French Open was woefully behind the times,  but an aggressive marketing strategy and infrasructural changes at the Roland Garros venue saved the day. It also didn't hurt that the advent of Open tennis helped break the Anglo-Australian stranglehold on the game. When players bred on red clay—think Bjorn Borg, Ilie Nastase, Adriano Panatta—rose to stardom, they took the red dirt tournament with them. Borg stood heads and shoulders above the other emerging European stars, and he deserves credit (which he rarely gets) for making Roland Garros relevant in the pro era. He was at his very best on clay, but able to dominate world tennis. This raised the stock of clay enormously.

Murray The U.S. Open did not have Australia's awkward calendar slot, but like the Down Under Slam, it was stuck in a facility (the private West Side Tennis Club, in Forest Hills, NY) that was no longer appropriate in the Open era. The tournament always had two huge advantages: the popularity of tennis in the U.S. and the preponderance of top players who were American. Although those two advantages might have been adequate to tide the U.S. Open through the growing pains of the Open era in and of themselves, the lords of the U.S. game, to their credit, aggressively pursued a growth strategy for the new era.

By moving from the WSTC to a new, "public" facility in 1978, the U.S. Open guaranteed its continuing success, set a percedent that the Australians would follow, and moved into a suddenly available niche that neither the French Open nor Wimbledon needed or particularly wanted to occupy. It was a terrific bit of market creation and/or exploitation. At a time when everyone was talking about the reshaping of tennis, the U.S. Open and then the Australian Open carved out identities that catered to the emerging sensibility.

Wimbledon, being what it is, didn't need to do much. The tournament's stroke of genius was (and continues to be) resisting pressure to re-invent itself. As the other majors were upgraded and re-conceived, Wimbledon officials seemed to recognize that the traditional baseline values and appeal of tennis were still valid, and they understood that as the other tournaments surrendered their cloak of exclusivity, Wimbledon would do well by cultivating it's elitist aura—while making subtle but wise changes to prevent it from becoming a mere curiosity, or anachronism.

So the Grand Slams found a way to remain relevant, the cornerstones of the game. This has hurt the year-end championships, which certainly would be a bigger deal if the majors hadn't been so successful in keeping control of the high ground. Given the way the pro tour developed, it would seem a given that the year-end championships would, if anything, eclipse the individual Grand Slam events. In the best of the world as envisioned by the professional establishment (the ATP), the YEC would naturally become the ne plus ultra among tournaments.

This, incidentally, is one of the reasons the round-robin format has proven so popular to promoters and administrators. How can you compare a single-elimination, luck-of-the-draw tournament with an eight-manm round-robin format in which every match is the de facto equivalent on paper of a tantalizing Masters Series or even Grand Slam semi or final? Today's first singles match (Soderling vs. Murray) is a testament to the genius of the format, as well as the mentality that created it.

I'll have more to say about this subject in the near future, but the main point for now is that despite the concept of the event (a year-end playoff among the top players) and the compelling format, the year-end championships, while undeniably important, has never really challenged the vaunted place of  the Grand Slams, nor has it been embraced for what it clearly wants to be—the ultra major. That won't diminish the enjoyment we take out of the next week, but it raises some questions and helps define how and why tennis still remains different—decentralized, parochial (loosely speaking), individualistic—from our other major sports.

Enjoy the tennis, everyone. Let's get it started!

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Posted by Master Ace 11/21/2010 at 03:47 PM

8-8 Roger 5-17 David W/UFEs

Posted by zenggi 11/21/2010 at 03:47 PM

The score 6-1 seems easier than the action.

How are you faring with the stream?. I cannot log in the mothership. Too busy. I keep trying though.

Posted by TripleF(FedFanForever): Vermillion Red to scare the bulls 11/21/2010 at 03:48 PM

Dusted the first. 6-1. Flashes of old TMF all over. Stretching FH UFEs are there...BH slices don't quite agree with the net height at times...returns are spectacular (he is consistently hitting through the ball)...Ferrer may not be the bar...but I like what i am watching.

Posted by Blue moon 11/21/2010 at 03:48 PM

Hi all! Woo, Fed seems to be playing well! Ferrer is helping, of course, but plenty of fun things to watch just on the Fed end. (As opposed to the dead end.)

Posted by temes 11/21/2010 at 03:48 PM

Bright colors really suit Federer he needs to lose the washed out ones.

Posted by temes 11/21/2010 at 03:50 PM

Ferrer is just not up to the task in any way today...he would need his best to win a few more games.

Posted by Heather 11/21/2010 at 03:51 PM

A few thoughts: Poor David, let's hope he regroups in the second set. Red's a good color on Roger. Why, oh why are Jimmy Arias and Leif doing the commentary on TC, where are Robbie and Jason, I know they're there!

Posted by Blue moon 11/21/2010 at 03:51 PM

temes, how about a crossing guard uniform then? I think it would be very classy. :D

Posted by temes 11/21/2010 at 03:53 PM

Fed is making Ferrer look like they pulled him from the spectators for exhibition purposes...this is not good at all.

Posted by Master Ace 11/21/2010 at 03:54 PM

40-40 David nets volley after coming forward but Roger hit CC BH passing shot low
A-40 Roger nets FH return
40-40 Roger CC FH passing shot winner after David came forward behind FH
A-40 Roger nets BH
David holds as Roger FH passing shot sails wide

Roger to serve 6-1,0-1

Posted by NP 11/21/2010 at 03:55 PM

zenggi, it's better, but still a fair amt of buffering.

imjimmy, follow the livescorehunter link sisu just posted and try either of the WebCastOn streams under Other Links. At least that one doesn't buffer as much.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 03:55 PM

Heather I have Robbie and Jason live on my tv through Fox Sports here

Phew what a hold for David

Roger returning well today

Posted by Andrew 11/21/2010 at 03:55 PM

Afternoon, all. Have I missed anything? Sunday doubles.

Posted by Heather 11/21/2010 at 03:57 PM

I knew they were there AM! Apparently TC is picking up that feed but Lief and Jimmy are broadcasting from LA....silly if you ask me, plus I totally prefer Robbie and Jason!

By the way, not usually a fan of the Bryan Bros, but I loved the "behind the scenes" video blogs they posted.

Posted by Goldilocks 11/21/2010 at 03:57 PM

Oh David, my heart breaks for you. That game that Federer broke for the second time, that game´s duration was almost 9 minutes and Ferrer still lost it. Ok, David clean slate: second set, let´s go David, let´s go!

Posted by Blue moon 11/21/2010 at 03:58 PM

Commentator said Fed's first serve is in the mid-60s. No complaints about that, right?

Meanwhile Ferrer double faults again. Whew.

Posted by sisu 11/21/2010 at 03:58 PM

Agree with Heather, I'm missing Jason and Robbie too. Really prefer them.

Many may disagree, I don't think Roger is playing great. David's off and contributing a lot. That said, this is the first match and Roger really knows how to pace his game. Just don't want any wandering - 2 sets and out.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:00 PM

David making too many u/erros of his f/hand

Posted by Blue moon 11/21/2010 at 04:02 PM

Ferrer is definitely helping out, but the point for deuce just now? I liked it a lot. Roger is playing his style and controlling, whether or not execution is at TMF-levels, don't you think?

Posted by NP 11/21/2010 at 04:03 PM

This one's finally working, but still not too good:

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:03 PM

David what were you thinking with that attempt down the line

Come on play to your strenghts and stop going for high percentage shots

Posted by sisu 11/21/2010 at 04:03 PM

That miss reminded me of the Wimby 2008 FH miss into the net. ;(

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:04 PM

Much better David

Come on

Posted by zenggi 11/21/2010 at 04:05 PM

NP and imjimmy,
Enough choices here. There must be one which is working.

Posted by just horsen 11/21/2010 at 04:05 PM

hmm...TMF seems to be making a comeback. wonder if Jetboy can do the same tomorrow...complete w\LONGER hair!

I like Fed's shirt! and I like David's too just not with the shorts he has on.

Posted by Master Ace 11/21/2010 at 04:05 PM

40-40 Roger volley winner coming forward behind BH
40-A David nets FH
Roger 3/6 BP(David 1/1)
40-40 Roger nets FH
40-A David FH long
40-40 David FH winner after stretching Roger wide with FH
A-40 David FH winner DTL
David holds as he hit FH winner

Roger to serve 6-1,1-2

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:05 PM

Phew only 7mins David though you held serve

Posted by Heather 11/21/2010 at 04:06 PM

Glad he was able to hold there.

Catch you guys later, hope David puts up a fight! My Dad's taking over the good tv for the Patriots.....

Posted by Andrew 11/21/2010 at 04:06 PM

Well done. Ferrer holds, saving two BPs. Federer nets a transition FH - not a bad play, changing up his usual pattern - then Ferrer loops a very wide FH onto the sideline, and flips the Federer BH into the deuce corner for a winner. 2-1 Ferrer, on serve.

Posted by Blue moon 11/21/2010 at 04:06 PM

By the way, how was Soderling-Murray?

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/21/2010 at 04:08 PM

the guys are just ripping the ball and hitting a winner from the baseline is downright impossible... SLOW ... and the serves dont seem to pay much divident either... bah

Posted by NP 11/21/2010 at 04:08 PM

zenggi, those look like the same ones on livescorehunter to me. Anyway there's just not a good stream available today.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:08 PM

I hope Robin is watching this match and takes notes of Roger how to move into the forecourt and play a volley.

Posted by zenggi 11/21/2010 at 04:09 PM

I'm sorry, NP.
Federer had an impecable 40-love game. 2-2.

Posted by imjimmy 11/21/2010 at 04:10 PM

Thx Lynne and NP.

AM: I agree about Sod's net play. Soderling was poor with anticipating Muzz's cc passes and also w.r.t execution. Felt uncomfortable watching it. No surprise really, given the volleying standards of the current ATP. There's only a handful of good volleyers, with Fed leading the pack.

Ferrer's gotta start serving better or it might be over quickly for him. Fed looking very good. He's serving excellent as usual. Plus, I like how he's stepping in the court to hit the top spin backhand aggressively and the dip his slice has even from defensive positions. Good stuff. Can't wait for the Muzz-Fed match..

Posted by Master Ace 11/21/2010 at 04:12 PM

30-40 for Roger as he hit FH winner DTL after stretching David with CC FH
Roger breaks as David FH sails wide

Roger to serve 6-1,3-2

Posted by zenggi 11/21/2010 at 04:13 PM

There is the break. 3-2. Roger to serve.
Those slow-motion images are great!

Posted by Andrew 11/21/2010 at 04:13 PM

Ferrer desperately trying to keep the ball in the ad 20% on his service game: Federer staying at neutral until he can open the court with a wide FH. He does at 30-30, then hustles Ferrer into an error. 3-2 Federer, with the break.

Posted by Master Ace 11/21/2010 at 04:14 PM

I think we get Roger and Andy if Roger gets 3 more consecutive holds of serve.

Posted by NP 11/21/2010 at 04:14 PM

"Fed looking very good."

Can't say I agree, imjimmy. More like Ferru just doesn't enough game to challenge him, especially today.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:16 PM

imjimmy Murray controlled the baseline as well.Good to see Murray playing well.I hope he can keep it up though.Been too inconsistant for me this year.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:19 PM

Vamos David!!

Posted by Blue moon 11/21/2010 at 04:20 PM

Is it just me, or is Ferrer's grunting starting to sound kind of like an exhausted bird of some kind?

Posted by TripleF(FedFanForever): Vermillion Red to scare the bulls 11/21/2010 at 04:20 PM

Looks as though Fed is practicing. All that back-and-forths...david grunting...Fed is getting a good hitting practice.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:20 PM

Great return David

Come On

Posted by TripleF(FedFanForever): Vermillion Red to scare the bulls 11/21/2010 at 04:21 PM

Blue moon
It's a mating call of a sea lion. Or a paragon eagle.

Posted by Master Ace 11/21/2010 at 04:23 PM

40-40 Roger FH long
A-40 David FH return long
40-40 Roger BH long
A-40 Roger service winner at T
40-40 Roger nets BH
40-A David FH winner on short ball during extended rally
David 1/1 BP(Roger 4/9)
40-40 David BH passing shot wide as Roger comes forward behind FH DTL
40-A David smash winner coming forward on good return
40-40 David nets BH
A-40 Roger Ace wide
40-40 Effective lob by David after Roger came forward
A-40 Roger Ace wide
Roger holds as he hit service winner

David to serve 1-6,2-4

Posted by just horsen 11/21/2010 at 04:24 PM

yay! Fed a service game lasting 8min and 39sec.

Posted by NP 11/21/2010 at 04:24 PM

Man, wish these guys would flatten their groundies a little more. No more topspin.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:26 PM

NP You got a decent link

Posted by Andrew 11/21/2010 at 04:27 PM

Two holds, one easier than the other. The easy hold was Ferrer, to 30: the tough one Federer, who needed - what - seven deuces, or so, to eventually prevail. Federer getting lots of free points on serves to deuce, very few on serves to ad. 4-3 Federer, with a break.

Posted by NP 11/21/2010 at 04:28 PM

AM, this one's been decent:

Posted by Master Ace 11/21/2010 at 04:30 PM

40-40 David FH hit the net and bounced over for winner
Roger led 40-0
A-40 Roger FH winner
Roger holds as he aces wide

David to serve 1-6,3-5

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:30 PM

NP I have it live on tv thanks anyway

Posted by Andrew 11/21/2010 at 04:34 PM

Two more holds: Federer was 40-0 up, then let Ferrer bring it back to deuce with a couple of lucky shots, including a net cord. Big FH to the deuce corner for a winner, the ace. 5-4 Federer, with a break.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:36 PM

Good wide 2nd serve by Roger there

Posted by sisu 11/21/2010 at 04:36 PM

The crowd wants 3 sets and I don't. Sets and games matter in the end.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:36 PM

Hmmm Roger where has your 1st serve gone in this game

Posted by sf 11/21/2010 at 04:38 PM

no frigging way! the oldman up a breadstick and a break (5-3) in the 2nd?!

it's a conspiracy! against the lower-ranked players!

@tim moonpie: glad you are game. too bad you missed the "match." twibers would have to content themselves with the puny show on-court for moya earlier today. pfffttt! the real action happened yesterday, people.

@zenggi: i'm back! and i saw your "too much information" missive on that other thread. it kinda reminded of a commercial that run on american tv here a while back, about arbys' massive $5 burger. some hungry joe is chumping away at the monster burger (ketchup and chili dripping all over his mouth/face and on to his pants). then the droopy-voiced narrator chimes with something like: "and the burger comes with fries. too bad if u didnt ask fot it: you've got it anyway!" take that! :)

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:38 PM

Thanks you found it

Hmm David you have had your chances to break in this game.Looking at a lot of 2nd serves?

Posted by Blue moon 11/21/2010 at 04:39 PM

Yuck. What's going on, Fed?

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:39 PM

Hell David you set that shot up well and it missed the court

Posted by Master Ace 11/21/2010 at 04:40 PM

0-15 David BH passing shot hit the net and bounced past Roger for winner as Roger came forward
0-30 Roger FH long
15-30 David FH return wide after serve wide by Roger
15-40 Roger FH long
David 1/3 BP(Roger 4/9)
30-40 David nets BH
40-40 Roger service winner at T
David changes racquet
40-A Roger FH wide - Roger challenges but to no avail
Roger is having 1st serve issues
40-40 David FH long after getting mid-court ball
A-40 David BH return wide after Roger served at T
Roger wins the match as he hit service winner at T

Roger Federer defeated David Ferrer 6-1,6-4

Posted by NP 11/21/2010 at 04:41 PM

AM, anytime.

Ferru just wasted a freebie. Should've been 5-all.

Fed with a MP. Just finish it already. No need to delay the inevitable.

And he does. Congrats.


Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:41 PM

Roger with a ace down the tee on match point

Roger played well in the 1st set and too good tonight

Bad luck David too many u.errors on your f/.hand though you lifted your game in the 2nd set.

Posted by Master Ace 11/21/2010 at 04:42 PM

27-26 Roger 17-30 David W/UFEs

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/21/2010 at 04:43 PM

Congrats to Fed and fans. Commies to David and my fellow David fans. He was very much 'off' his game today, but I blame that wretched old grey suit.

Posted by izidane - It's t-shirt tyyyyyyyyme! Nole face/hawk shirt on. 11/21/2010 at 04:44 PM

Right. Well played by Roger, congrats to his fans.
Commies to Ferru fans, a better effort needed for the rest of the week.

Off to frazzle for both matches tomorrow, should be a little bit more competitive.
*frazzle, frazzle, frazzle.*

Posted by zenggi 11/21/2010 at 04:45 PM

Thanks so much. Because of laughing with tears reading your comment, I missed the last point of the match. :)

Congrats, Roger and fellow fans. Just 5 games lost. Go to the head of the class.

Commisserations to David and his fans. He fought with all his heart. As he always does. He was lucky that nobody understood what he was shouting in Spanish. :)

Posted by Master Ace 11/21/2010 at 04:45 PM

Thanks for the correction on the last point of the match as that is what I thought but relied on SB for determination.

Posted by Andrew 11/21/2010 at 04:45 PM

Well, he made it interesting: Federer misplaces his first serve, and falls to 15-40, but Ferrer can't capitalize. Then a biffed transition FH, but Ferrer again misses the opportunity, rolling a I-O FH wide. Finally Federer closes it out with a T ace. Stat of the day: Federer 6 aces, 1 DF, Ferrer 0 aces, 6 DFs.

Commiserations to Ferrer fans. He had his chances in set 2, as Federer looked to coast home but couldn't get enough free points on first serve to ad to do so. Congratulations to Federer fans - a better start than last year's rollercoaster against Verdasco. Federer won 80-63, or 56% to 44%. Clean kill.

Posted by CL 11/21/2010 at 04:46 PM

Well, in the end Ferruuu's lucky net chords giveth and his ufes taketh away.

Dodgy moments for Roger a bit in the second set. Not as comfortable a win as he had over David a couple of years ago at the WTF. Still, like my commies said, on balance probably a good match for to hit a lot of balls w/out staying out there too long.

AND...NO blown MPS!! Wheee! ;-))

Love the red, but I don't think he video cameras do.

Posted by Deuce 11/21/2010 at 04:46 PM

One match in the book to Fed! Commies to Ferru fans. The match I'm looking forward to is the Fed v Murray match! Let's see what old man Fed has to say about the court speed. What it does to Roddick's serve and Berdy FH tomorrow will let us know how SLOW it is!

Posted by Deuce 11/21/2010 at 04:48 PM

Hi CL - Cheers to this comment "AND...NO blown MPS!! Wheee! ;-))" What a dubious stat that turned out to be for him this year:(

Posted by CL 11/21/2010 at 04:48 PM

I have a question for some of our tennis gurus out there.

Why, as happened today, when a line judge calls a SECOND serve out, but then immediately corrects himself, does the server get 2 serves? The logic to this escapes me. One - of course. But TWO? Why the re-set?

Posted by sf 11/21/2010 at 04:50 PM

zenggi, glad i made you laugh - double-laugh since your man won rather impressively, it'd seem.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 04:51 PM

Master Ace No worries

Posted by sf 11/21/2010 at 04:53 PM

anybody know who plays who next in this group b?

Posted by zenggi 11/21/2010 at 04:55 PM

I don't know. The OOP for Tuesday isn't out yet.

Posted by CL 11/21/2010 at 04:58 PM

Hi Deuce - nice to see you again. :-)

Yeah, well, as they say, 'baby steps' -lol.

It seems to me that, if the court is slow, but also the balls are not bouncing high, it is kind of a 'wash'. Fed seemed able to get to net on occasion ...sometimes w/success and sometimes w/out. And he also managed to hit a 91 mph bh winner so it it at least possible to hit through the ball. (a ONE handed BH winner, may I point out.)

Funny about those net chords... Fed had several go his way against Monfils and the ball bounced in Ferruu's favor and Fed won. Tennis gods...funny that way.

Heather/sisu - you like Robbie and Jason better than Lief and Jimmy? I have come to loathe R&J. I wish Lief and Jimmy were actually, you know THERE...instead of sitting in some studio, but I like their commentary so much better.

Posted by Goldilocks 11/21/2010 at 04:58 PM

Congrats Federer fans and commies Ferrer fans. Another congratulations to Federer on the "Fan Favorite Award." He looks soo happy and touched receiving the award. I love his speech. So gracious and grateful TMF is. Way to go, Roger Federer!

Posted by sf 11/21/2010 at 04:58 PM

zenggi, you mean we don't know whether robin plays ferru or federer next? i'm not concerned about who plays first, just who their opponent is.

Posted by Abraxas 11/21/2010 at 05:00 PM

sf. Winners meet each other. Next are:

Murray vs. Federer
Soderling vs. Ferrer

Soderling and Ferrer must win to keep the slightest chance of making it through.

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/21/2010 at 05:00 PM

well after watching Stockholm and Basel and Paris, THIS court seems totally slow, no one can hit through the court, every ball comes back, its like slow motion... did London do this for Murray? thats the only thing I can figure...

i mean Fed's biggest forehand right in the corner didnt do much, and you sure cant come to the net unless its an obvoius open court

Posted by Tim (Moonpies lead to violence!) 11/21/2010 at 05:03 PM

what did his Fan Fave speech cover, goldi?

Posted by zenggi 11/21/2010 at 05:03 PM

You got the answer from Abraxas. Thanks.

I'm going to retire. Have a nice evening/night, everyone.

Posted by sf 11/21/2010 at 05:04 PM

thanks abraxas. appreciate it.

am, if you read this, you think you can work your voodoo magic against roger (in favor of le sod?) i know it's abig ask, but can you do this for a fellow lakers fan, please? le sod needs all the help he can get - physically and spiritually, lol!

Posted by BrooklynNY 11/21/2010 at 05:04 PM

This type of tennis is so boring, you cant watch an entire match, its like flip the match back every 5 mins or so to watch a few points and, make sure there wasn't a break tennis.

Bercy Semis was the best tennis all year.

Endless Rallies are just mind numbing, David Ferrer doesn't even have a game plan against Federer, he just hits the ball back with no weapons to hurt him.

Even Fed can barely hit through the court

Posted by sf 11/21/2010 at 05:07 PM

goodnight, zenggi. sleep fetal for a change! (scratch that!) and i'm outtie too, till i get inspired to come back here later.

Posted by CWATC 11/21/2010 at 05:13 PM

Congrats Feddy for the win :)

Not particularly confidence-inspiring v. Muzza tho' as he had a tough time hitting through the court.

Terrible start for David; wish him better luck against Sod next match.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 05:14 PM

Hmmm clutch hard court tennis Boring


Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 05:16 PM

SF Well my dolls are all waiting after their new "hair do's"???

Hmmm I see what I can do for you in the next match ok

I cant promise anything

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 05:20 PM

SF Though if Robin does happen to play Rafa

I am sure they will make a apperence

Funny that.

Posted by Andrew Broad 11/21/2010 at 05:21 PM

Majors > Olympics > WTA Championships = ATP World Tour Finals

('=' denotes gender-equality)

Posted by Goldilocks 11/21/2010 at 05:26 PM

Sorry Tim for the late reply, I took my daughter´s dog for a walk. Now I´m back.

Oh, ok, I don´t exactly remember every word, you know, just hearing him talk is like sweet music to my ears, but something like this:

He is so grateful for all the fans all over the world that have been supporting him all these years. Since he has won this award multiple times, the fans obviously see him as a fair player, not only him but so many other players, too and he´s doing many things right and a lot more that I can´t remember but I do remember his parting words, that is: See you when I see you anywhere, everywhere.

Roger, I have to say this: You are indeed one of a kind! I hope to see your amazing play ten years more. Pretty please?

Posted by CL 11/21/2010 at 05:30 PM

Yeah, Fed probably will have a rough time against the Muzz AND the court. **insert rolled eyes here** Tell me, peeps, is this court significantly slower than the AO? Where Fed blitzed Muzz. Or Shangai, were Muzz blitzed Fed? Really, do we have to tailor make a court for each and every player to suit their specific strengths and weaknesses? I hope we do get some faster courts sprinkled throughout the year, and given the thumbs up that the players who were there gave Bercy, I think we probably will, but it is up to the players to adapt as best they can to whatever surface they are presented with.

Moving on... Monday's matches...Headcase Moper vs. Asthmatic 'Is it DC yet'? Tough to call. But you have to give the Djoker the edge, certainly based on the last 4 mos. or so.

A-Rod vs Rafa...h2h definitely favors Rafa and 'psst...have you heard the court is slow?' ...will indeed take some oomph out of Roddick's serves and Gss. To have a chance Roddick will have to serve very well, placement-wise, and hit his BH very well. Make Rafa pay for all those CCs. To win, Rafa just needs to be Rafa.

BTW - Tim -You DID see all those IO FHs that well known rocket firer giant Ferrer hit so hard, flat and wide that even Fed couldn't catch up to them?...even when he was parked there, he couldn't do much with the ball. If Ferrer can do it, so can others.

Posted by Goldilocks 11/21/2010 at 05:32 PM

Correction (the dog is distracting me):

He is so grateful to the fans ...........


I hope to see you play amazingly ..........

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 05:41 PM

CL Plexicushion is med pace court though it takes a good bounce.Rafa games is suited to the plexicushion I feel.I always though that would be his first GS title on a hard court.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 05:43 PM

This court is a med pace though it dosent take the "high bounce" as well.Though good for the slice.

Posted by sisu 11/21/2010 at 05:56 PM

CL @4:58pm - sorry, I stepped away also. I don’t know CL but it seems the Americans talk more; I like a little analysis of the points but they don’t even seem to do that. It feels like constant talking and saying things TWibers say but the TWibe says it better and with less words. It’s probably the TV execs telling them to talk more but if I have to listen to someone talk, I prefer the accents of Robbie and Jason. ;)) I’ll try to listen with a more open mind and see if I can hear what you hear.

Funny thing though, my neighbor and I were chatting about the Basel and Paris matches and we both felt during the Paris Masters, R&J were now talking more. TV execs probably inserting themselves again into what is needed to bring ratings up and when you look at it, maybe it’s true. Dead air is death in TV and when no one’s talking - dead air.

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