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The Slamless Ones 11/01/2010 - 2:11 PM

Woz

by Pete Bodo

Mornin'. I got a kick out of this comment left at the Blondes Away! post, and it also got me thinking about a few issues that ought to be raised regarding this Slamless No. 1 issue that has become a staple of the WTA conversation these days. This comes from a poster called Thomas:

manuelsantanafan wrote:

Pete, 44-74 being labelled a .500 winning percentage is consistent with "unreliable math."

When the history of my unexceptional (except for some serious boneheaded plays) baseball career is written, would you be so good as take on the task of calculating my batting averages."

LOL!

True 44 wins in 118 matches is a .373 winning percentage. (.369 if you inlude Capriati matches).

Thomas's outstanding mathematical skills extends, if inadvertently, manuelsantanafan's self-effacing reference to baseball. And while my own woefully poor grasp of statistics—actually, simple math—has often been laid bare in these posts, I can't help but notice that almost any batter in Major League Baseball history would be be more than happy with a .373 batting average against the best teams he faces. Which re-raises the question, how come Elena Dementieva didn't hit at least one out of the park in Paris, New York, London or Melbourne?

I admit the analogy is a bit too deft, and is relevant only because it's so inviting. Comparing baseball, a team sport, with tennis, is an apples and oranges exercise. Still, winning more than a third (oh, please tell me I don't have that percentage wrong!) of your matches against the very best players seems to me a pretty danged good record—especially in the comparative terms in which I used the stat. Anyone care to crunch the numbers and post Wozniacki's winning percentage, based on her 5-20 record against the best players of her time? (And yes, I did leave Jennifer Capriati off that considerably lengthy list; my bad.) I want to say .200. And that's a batting average that might get you shipped to the minors.

This morning, I posted on Wozniacki and the Doha result over at ESPN, and I'd like to further explore an issue I raised there. I might as well come out and flat-out declare it "The Curse of Number Oneness," a hex that befalls players who reach the year-end No. 1 ranking before they've won their first major. I'm not sure that the sample-size is large enough to draw hard and fast conclusions, and we all know that in tennis, anything can happen (if you're former No. 1s Dinara Safina or Marcelo Rios, that something is bad). But when I look at the career trajectory of the greatest of players, one thing really stands out: Most of them expressed their potential greatness before, and in some cases way before, they developed the consistency that enabled them to stay at the top.

In other words, the record suggests that you want to win your major first, then worry about rankings and all that other minutae of the pro life. And I believe this is one reason that most great players will tell you that they don't pay much attention to the numerical rankings, as well as the reason some No. 1 players (year-end and otherwise) have spent a fair amount of time almost apologizing for earning the top spot: Hey, don't blame me, I just swing the rackets. Take your beef to the computer!

Take someone like Amelie Mauresmo, who was No. 1 briefly, but never at the end of the year. She first claimed the top spot (and held it for five weeks) in September 2004, and her Grand Slam performance actually tailed off (if only by a little) for over a year before she won her first major, at the 2006 Australian Open. In any event, she ended her career with "just" two Grand Slam titles. Wouldn't a No. 1 ranking generally predict greater success? But given the history of other Slamless Ones, she acquited herself pretty well.

How about Kim Clijster? She hit No. 1 without benefit of winning a major in August 2003, but didn't win that first major until September 2005, at the U.S. Open (she missed four of nine Slams in that interim, but those are the dates). To date, she's still stuck at three majors, all captured in New York. She may add to that Grand Slam haul yet, but in terms of this discussion her results have been so-so.

The ATP has had only one Slamless One—hail, even Thomas Muster and Yevgeny Kafelnikov won majors before they smelled the roses at the peak of the game. But the ATP has never produced a slamless year-end No. 1 (more about that subset later). The man who came closest to performing what would be, in its own right, the remarkable feat of ascending to the top of the ATP pile without benefit of having taken a Grand Slam title is Marcelo Rios.

Rios became No. 1 on March 30, 1998, and engaged in a protracted tug-of-war for the top spot with Pete Sampras until the very last tournament of the year, the ATP Tour Championships. Sampras, driven by the desire to complete a record sixth-consecutive year at No. 1, practically killed himself in the course of his fall, "Stop Rios!" drive. In the end, Rios proved to be Sampras's greatest ally, as he was forced to withdraw from the year-end championships—and a potential showdown with Sampras for the top spot—because of a bad back that ultimately ended his career not long thereafter.

The big takeaway from all that? Sampras was driven less by the determination to finish No. 1 than by the extraordianary opportunity it represented for him that particular year. And rightly so. Sampras's six straight seasons as year-end No. 1 is a record that any future player will have only once chance to equal or surpass. When players say it's all about the majors, they're telling the truth, which is why there's really no harm in questioning the quality of any given year-end No. 1, especially on Jan. 1. What can't be questioned, though, is whether this or that player "deserves" the top ranking.

In some ways, becoming a Slamless One, especially a Slamless Year-End One, is as much burden as opportunity. Don't for a moment think that Wozniacki wasn't aware of her position as she went out to play Clijsters in Doha. The pressure on No. 1 is enormous, but even more importantly, certain facts suggest that becoming the year-end No. 1 without winning a major only makes the road ahead rougher.

There's little data to go on, but the last person to run a mile in Wozniacki's shoes was Jelena Jankovic. And we saw how finishing the year at No. 1 impacted her performance. Her results took a nosedive from which they have yet to fully recover. She finished No. 1 (without a major) in 2008, and just plain hasn't been the same since. It's no longer a question of whether Jankovic will find her equilibrium; it looks more like she's just searching for niche in the rankings somewhere below—perhaps well below—No. 1.

If you look at the careers of the Steffi Grafs and John McEnroes and Roger Federers and Ivan Lendls of this world, it's obvious that winning a major was part of a process, the first giant step rather than the final one. The tension underlying what the numbers show is between greatness and consistency, and in that regard it's helpful to think of the present system as less of a ranking than a rating. But greatness and consistency don't necessarily go hand-in-hand, as Marat Safin and even Svetlana Kuznetsova have demonstrated, time and again. It's handy to keep that in mind.

Jelena2 Winning a major provides a kind of psychic and emotional fuel, and a stamp of credibility, that makes it easier to achieve a high rating. Mauresmo and Clijsters may argue that it works the other way around, too, although I'm not convinced. Perhaps over time Wozniacki will make me change my mind.

The quality percolating under the surface for these players is confidence, not skill. It's also a matter of priorities and focus. The rule of thumb for those who would be great might as well be: Set your sights on the majors, and the rest will take care of itself. Just look how long it took Rafael Nadal to become No. 1, and if you think that was only because of his rival Federer, think again. It took Sampras took about two-and-a-half years to become No. 1 after he won is first major, in 1990.

But I wouldn't despair if I was a Wozniacki fan. What was she supposed to do, tank matches in order to avoid the Curse of Number Oneness? In that sense, the ranking could almost be said to have fallen in her lap. And she has terrific chances to build on her reputation because of her relative youth (20) and the state of the competition. We're at one of those curious transitional times when a great group of champions probably is in the waning days of a collective career. Imagine if Federer, Nadal, Murray and Djokovic were suddenly unable or unwilling to play and/or win enough to capture the top ranking. I'd say a handful of guys like David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Fernando Verdasco and Robin Soderling would suddenly like their chances of winning a major, and even more their odds on reaching No. 1.

It would have been silly for anyone over the past two or three years to claim that Nadal was in a position to put the hammer down and take control of the men's game as its undisputed top dog. But Wozniacki has that sort of opportunity now, which is why her loss to Clijsters has to be considered a set back. You can't expect every legitimate rival to be removed from your path, can you?

What Wozniacki has going for her is a solid game, a strong constitution, and a healthy appetitie for playing—and winning—matches. And she's handled the circumstances surrounding her rise very well, without seeming to get too high, or too low, as it played out. At this moment in history, those are valuable assets. She needs to focus on elevating her game at the most important moments, because that "living in the moment" and "you win some, you lose some" mentality will get her through many matches against her equals or lesser players, but it won't be good enough against players who have tasted ultimate Grand Slam success. And even in the worst case scenarios for the WTA, there will be a few of those players lurking in 2011.


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Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 01:21 PM

Gulbis and Djoker are apparently good friends which explains the french kiss they shared at the net before the match. Djoker holds 2-1. Roger still busy somewhere doing something or other.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 11/02/2010 at 01:23 PM

RubyP, me fren how you do. LOL out on the curried goat. I think someone else here mentioned that they cook a nice curried goat as well.

Golden Spring, have not been that side of the world in a long time. Should really go up there.

Years ago I used to watch MI5 on A&E network (used to be the best tv channel ever) and then all of a sudden I stopped seeing it being broadcast and noticed that A&E just had a lot of debunked shows from network tv that were being re-broadcast. I was quite upset at that. One of my other favourite shows there was City Confidential. Loved that show. I have seen folks here talking about MI5 but I have never been able to find it on tv. Hopefully, I can do a google search and see what channels it airs (I have enough of them as it is).

Right now I am enjoying Law & Order:UK. It really embodies the English justice system especially that is what we practice here in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean (common law from the days of Chancery really). My dream is really to attend Wimbledon and hopefully some day I will be able to make that happen.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:23 PM

Lump: How is Ernie's hair? And-any update on Roger?

2-2 in Valenthia.

Posted by Craig 11/02/2010 at 01:25 PM

@manuelsantanafan

The individual who runs Marion Bartoli Fan Blog is called Alice I think. She used to post on another well known forum under the handle SuperMarion. But I haven't seen her around there in a while.

Posted by sokol 11/02/2010 at 01:25 PM

Dementieva about the future:

"Anna Dmitrieva had a big influence in my life and she asked if I would like to try myslef as a journalist. Large part of my decision to go to University was influenced by that"

(It's her second year, now she can concentrate on studying, she says)

"I would like to share my experience with the next generation. I would like to stay in the sport, help beginning tennis players. Honestly, I can't imagine my life without tennis... I end my career with love to this sport. Of course, I'll play, practice and meet with other girls, because tennis is a part of my life and that's forever."

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 01:26 PM

Gulbis/Djoker both in grind it out and get it over with mode. Nothing inspired yet. Roger steps to the fridge for a Kit Kat bar. Almost slips but regains his composure in nick of time. Gulbis holds 2-2.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:26 PM

Sokol: Thanks for the Lena update. :)

Garcia-Lopez won the first set 7-6 and it is 2-2 in the second, GL serving at Deuce.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 11/02/2010 at 01:27 PM

Ahhh the mellifluous tones of rafadoc and Lumpy. Can life get better?

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:27 PM

Mmmm. Kit Kats.

Ferru with a BP...erased...back to deuce.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 11/02/2010 at 01:28 PM

sokol: I have no doubt that Lenochka will do well in whatever she does. Thanks for the update.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:28 PM

Heehee.

Hi Carnap. :)

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 01:28 PM

Don't interrupt my flow Carnap, I'm busy.

Posted by sokol 11/02/2010 at 01:28 PM

lol, LOK, really entertaining match calls

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 11/02/2010 at 01:29 PM

Lumpy: I'm speechless!!

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:30 PM

Lump you are very focused. :)

Ferru with another BP...

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 01:30 PM

Djoker holds 3-2. The twins start crying. Roger yells at Mirka to shut the kids up as, "I'm trying to watch tennis!" Mirka complies.

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

"I have no doubt that Lenochka will do well in whatever she does"

+1, Carnap

Posted by sokol 11/02/2010 at 01:31 PM

Come on, Tursunov, you can beat Andujar, can you?

and Ajde, Novak!

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:31 PM

Sokol: I wouldn't call what I am doing a "match call". ;-P

Just filling cyberspace with some tennis information especially related to the wonderful David Ferrer. :)

He breaks to go up 3-2 in the second. Yeah!

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 01:32 PM

Hair update

Gulbis in his usual "I just woke up and can't be bothered about my hair," mood.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:33 PM

Lump: I appreciate your breaking your groove or "riddum" to give the hair update. :)

I love Ernie's "I just rolled out of bed-what are you looking at?" look.

Posted by sokol 11/02/2010 at 01:33 PM

my SB doesn't show Novak's match, so the only source of information of what's going on in that match are your posts, LOK. Thanks.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 11/02/2010 at 01:35 PM

Gulbis is the new Monfils in terms of hair looking like an explosion in a mattress factory.

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 01:35 PM

Gulbis with a bad service game; gets broken. Dloker leads 4-2. Roger yawns, alert the press!

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:36 PM

Hee. Good description Carnap. :)

Ferru saves a BP with a nice volley at the net. Deuce.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 11/02/2010 at 01:37 PM

Roger better stay awake or Nole will hold the title for another year.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:38 PM

Marathon game and GL with another BP. Vamos Daveeeeeed!

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 01:38 PM

Djoker holds to go up 5-2. Roger feels a slight twinge and heads for the bathroom. He proceeds to (the following has been deleted for obvious reasons). He takes this morning's Basil Tribune with him.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:39 PM

David talking to himself. I don't think he is being very complimentary. Ahem.

GL with another BP

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 11/02/2010 at 01:39 PM

David is doing pretty nicely in climbing back up the rankings...8 as we speak. I really admire his tenacity and love watching him play...a hard-working man.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:40 PM

carnap: True about David. Great to see him in the top 10 again. :) Hope he gets to London.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 11/02/2010 at 01:41 PM

Lumpy: Was that self-editing, or did the Mod get ya?

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 01:41 PM

Ruby: MI-5 is my absolute favorite series ever. Seen them all a couple of times through netflix. When they uncovered the bombs on the planes going to Chicago in the UK last week, first thing I think of is Harry and co. and how true to life those stories always are. Sorry the show's been cancelled by BBC.

sorry for the OT but MI-5 warrants it. really.

Hi rafadoc, carnap and Lump! thanks for the match calls.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 11/02/2010 at 01:41 PM

rafadoc: I'm hoping for that, too!

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:42 PM

Phew! David fiiiiinally holds. 4-2 second set. David leads.

GL won the first set 7-6

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 11/02/2010 at 01:42 PM

Hiya Annie! Hope all's well with you.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:43 PM

Hi Annie. Wouldn't it be great if you got to see David in London too?

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 11/02/2010 at 01:43 PM

need lunch...bbl

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 01:43 PM

Roger leaves bathroom feeling well pleased with himself. Stops to adjust his hair along the way. Mirka sees this and thinks to herself, "I married the vainest man in history." His hair dealt with Roger settles in on couch for a siesta. Gulbis holds. Djoker to serve for set at 5-3.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:45 PM

See you later carnap.

Thanks for the...err...updates Lump! lol

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 01:46 PM

hey, i just realized they're streaming Basel on tennistv. nice! Nole is defending champ! Ajde!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 01:47 PM

rafadoc: fingers crossed re Ferru. I thought he had a spot but then the Youz usurped him. need to check the atp website for the latest standings.

Posted by Master Ace 11/02/2010 at 01:48 PM

Annie,
ESPN3 started to stream from Basel yesterday at 1:30 PM when Federer took the court.

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 01:50 PM

Djoker gets broken! 5-4. Games getting competitive now. Meanwhile back on the couch Roger slips into a nice dream. In it Rafa is permanently gimpy with knee cancer and Roger wins everything. Mirka wakes him up to announce that Djoker has been broken and ruins everything. Thanks Mirka.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 01:51 PM

rafadoc: looks like Ferru's in! He's number 7 right now with Roddick 8 :)))- Nando is in 9th and Youz is 10th. maybe they haven't updated their site from the weekend? I thought I read where Youz was into London.
me confused now.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:51 PM

Ferrer is #8, Roddick 9 and Youz 10 right now.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:52 PM

Annie: Heh...I am confused too! I just went to ATP to look-don't go by my info.

Master Ace: Do you know?

Ferru breaks to get the second set. Onto the third...

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 01:53 PM

MA: unfortunately I don't get espn360...but glad you do. it's supposed to be good.

commies saying Gulbis's game has been lacking of late and that "lapses" are all too common. You said it, whoever you are.

Posted by Master Ace 11/02/2010 at 01:54 PM

Annie,
Unfortunately for me, I can not watch the action as I am at the day job:(

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 01:55 PM

Oof. David gets broken and performs an amazing racket smash. Dude. Focus.

Posted by lilscot 11/02/2010 at 01:56 PM

LOK:

You're cracking me up with your great commentary! I love the one about Roger going to the fridge to get a Kit Kat (delicious), and slipping. :) Don't stop. You're making an otherwise mundane tennis day quite entertaining.

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 01:57 PM

Gulbis gets broken and blows the set.. Gulbis in "why me" mode. Djoker in "why not" mode. Gulbis breaks his stick showing it who's boss. Awake and bored Roger flips the channel, flips it back, nods off. It's a thrill ride with Roger and Mirka at all times!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 01:58 PM

I just ate two Ben&Jerry's half-bakeds in quick succession. I guess my plan for losing ten pounds before London is going to stay just a plan and not a reality. and now I feel sick.

I like Nole's kit. The blue and red has grown on me. Ernests wrecks his stick when Nole ties up the set. Is Gulbis just too spoiled to ever be a true champion? The discipline is not there. He really is a baby Marat, no?

Posted by lilscot 11/02/2010 at 01:59 PM

Annie:

I didn't mean for it to sound like you didn't know how many wives he killed, I was only saying that part in general just because I love the subject so much and sometimes just run with my thoughts! :)

rafadoc: 1:55 p.m.

Lol! Did my little hummingbird just smash his racket? I'm not getting a feed so I'm visualizing everything based on your and LOK's commentary. :)

Posted by zenggi 11/02/2010 at 02:00 PM

Good afternoon or evening (it's dark as a dungeon where I live)

I see that Gulbis is doing his thing again. After watching Dolgopolov last night and despite his unpredictability, I like Alexander more. One to add to my list of OP's. First set to Novak. As it should be.

Roger said that he is nowadays trying to guess in which direction his daughters are going to run. He always guess wrong. Just like with Hawkeye. He is a very devoted parent.

Posted by Ruth 11/02/2010 at 02:00 PM

Thanks to all you lovely TWibers who responded or reacted to my voting comment. As I mentioned, I voted absentee in PA since I moved to GA less than two months ago, but I just returned from driving around to see how things were going at neighboring polling places. Hard to determine anything since, as I also mentioned, Georgians do take advantage of the early voting process that started weeks ago.

I should be watching a livestream with current matches; but, instead, I'm enjoying the TC replay of an old Paris match with Nadal and Nalby.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 02:02 PM

Lump, are you hanging with the Feds this week? I didn't know! Are you helping them with the darlings? Which one is cuter, Myra or um or -- what's the other one's name? crikey! I can't remember. (been watching alot of Top Gear - Cock!)

Posted by hahahah 11/02/2010 at 02:02 PM

"He really is a baby Marat, no?"

Slamless baby Marat, lol

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:03 PM

lilscot: Yes-David did a full racket smash and it looked like it may have hurt his hand a bit.

He breaks though and gets it to 2-2...your little hummingbird is serving now.

Love that nickname by the way! lol

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 02:04 PM

Gulbis holds to open the 2nd set. His hair looks unfazed. Roger compares his left arm to his right arm and laughs. The twins are asleep now. Mirka now trying to make eye contact. Uh oh..........

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:04 PM

Riuth: Thank you!

David working from behind...gets it to 30-30

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:05 PM

ROFL now Lump. The arm comparison comment-gold.

Ferru skvetching seriously now. I think he had an ace (so did he). Not loving the umpire right now.

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 02:07 PM

Djoker holds 1-1. Roger studiously avoiding making eye contact back. He knows it's futile but anything's possible, no?

Posted by lilscot 11/02/2010 at 02:07 PM

Yay, my adthe feed is working now! I see Nole is still wearing the same outfit he's been wearing since the USO. Not that I don't like it or anything, but don't these guys get paid enough to buy some new clothes? Or is it just superstition to wear the same outfit until the next GS??

Now I'm going to switch over to see how the hummingbird is doing.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:07 PM

Ack. On game point GL smacks a winner...back to deuce. I am starting to svetch too.

Posted by zenggi 11/02/2010 at 02:07 PM

Gulbis has to work on his fitness. And on his backhand. NOW!

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:08 PM

*skvetch.

BP for Garcia-Lopez. *nerviose*

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 02:09 PM

Lump! cancer? Isn't that a little extreme? progressive crippling arthritis maybe but not cancer!

If Marat had been more disciplined he might have more than two slams - that's for sure.

So rafadoc, are you watching Valencia then?

Roddick has to play Querry later. Unless they played and no one mentioned it.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:09 PM

Phew again.

David holds. I need a drink but will settle for Halloween candy. Here I come Almond Joy bar.

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 02:10 PM

Djoker breaks again. Serving at 3-1. Roger now busy with the wife fufilling his "obligations." Film at 11:00.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:10 PM

Annie: Yep-I really want David to win the tournament since it is his "home" tournament.

This match is tough though. GL is playing really, really well.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 02:11 PM

zengii: love the story of Roger never knowing where the girls are going to run! Daddies with baby girls make me all mushy.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:12 PM

Hmmmm. Ferru with a BP now. Vamos!

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:14 PM

Garcia-Lopez just wiffed his shot. Weird. Must have taken an odd bounce.

Anyhooooo...Ferru breaks so Yeah! 4-2

Posted by sokol 11/02/2010 at 02:15 PM

does anyone know what happened to Tursunov? He retired from the match. Not an injury again....

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 02:15 PM

Djoker holds to go up 4-1 in the 2nd set. Obligations fulfilled (that was quick) Roger heads back to the couch. He looks for an episode of Top Gear but is foiled. He settles for "Pippi Longstockings; The Lost Years."
It's Switzerland.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 02:15 PM

ah ha! Gulbis getting a little coaching from his box!!! Unquestionable coaching there. So leave uncle toni alone! They all do it!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 02:16 PM

rafadoc: Is Valencia indoor clay? I can't remember.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:16 PM

Annie: What happened with the Ernie coaching?

Lump: Thanks for the update. I am a bit disappointed in Roger's performance. ;-P

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:17 PM

*of course, my opinion doesn't matter...as long as Mirka is happy. :)

Annie: Indoor hard court.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 11/02/2010 at 02:17 PM

OK, I just choked on my salad..."Pippi Longstockings: The Lost Years." ROFL!!!!!!!

Posted by cimmerian 11/02/2010 at 02:18 PM

I really wish Garcia-Lopez would get it together and win this match. I like David, but I need two of the three ahead of Mischa in the Race - Ferrer, Roddick and Verdasco - to lose early and often over the next couple weeks!

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:18 PM

Replay showed Garcia-Lopez' whiff was due to the ball skidding off the baseline.

David now up 5-2.

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 02:19 PM

Mirka emerges from the bedroom and says, "Roger, do be a dear and breast-feed the little ones while I go shopping." Roger shoots her a dirty look and Mirka goes shopping. Gulbis holds, 4-2.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:20 PM

Hi cimmerian. I like Misha too. I know Angel was hoping he would make it to London too.

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 11/02/2010 at 02:20 PM

Lumpy: I think Nalby would do a better job.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 02:21 PM

Lump: LOL!

rafadoc: right after the change over, as the players were taking their sides, Gulbis's coach was talking to him and motioning with his hand to "go up" I don't know, higher service toss? whatever. but the commies started a discussion of players and their coaches. The ump didn't see anything or call anything. It was just blatantly obvious.

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 02:21 PM

Djoker holds 5-2. Mirka buys a dress. Cost? 30,000 dollars. She'll wear it once.

Posted by zenggi 11/02/2010 at 02:21 PM

Gulbis doing all sorts of faults. His FH isn't working either. Novak will win easily. Good!

Somebody is making a free advertising for watches.

Annie,
I guess is double difficult with twins. I remember those times and my back ache. I laugh now watching the videos. My kids laugh as well. Anyway, Roger is really enjoying this stage of his daughters' life. As it should be enjoyed and cherished.

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:21 PM

Okay David. Lets do this!

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:22 PM

Annie: Thanks for the information. Yah-that sounds pretty blatant.

30-0 for Ferru.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 02:22 PM

too funny lumpy - omg!

Charlene!

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 11/02/2010 at 02:23 PM

3mp's for daveed

Posted by Babe 11/02/2010 at 02:24 PM

Gulbis, Gulbis, Gulbis--when will you grow up? Will you ever fulfill your potential? Not bloody likely!

Posted by carnap Not-for-Prophet 11/02/2010 at 02:24 PM

Little Davy Ferrer does his mummy proud by beating GG-Lo. Congrats!

Posted by rafadoc...Waka Waka...Its Stanzi time! 11/02/2010 at 02:25 PM

Yes!! Congrats to fellow fans of David.

Commiserations to Garcia-Lopez fans.

Lump: Thanks for the hilarity. And the match call. :)

I have to head to work. Enjoy the tennis everyone!

See you all later. :)

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 02:25 PM

ouch! Gulbis double faults on match point!

Nole wins! Beautiful boy.

Cilic and Chudenelli next in about 30 minutes they say.

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (this space for rent) 11/02/2010 at 02:26 PM

Gulbis blows chunks and double faults on match point. Djoker wins easily. Roger misses Mirka terribly. She's been gone for 15 minutes.

Posted by zenggi 11/02/2010 at 02:26 PM

And Novak wins 6-4,6-2. Congratulations.
Commisserations to Gulbis and fans.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/02/2010 at 02:26 PM

Woot! Vamos Ferru! He lives to skvetch another day.

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