Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor - Taking the Pole Positions
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Taking the Pole Positions 08/24/2009 - 2:30 PM

Ed Let’s back up and start with a tentative big-picture question:

Is the roadmap working?

In past summers, the word most frequently heard during the women’s summer season was one of the more depressing in tennis: “withdrawal.” Injuries and pullouts devastated the North American hard-court season and made the WTA look like a poor cousin to its male counterpart, the ATP, in the U.S. Open Series. This summer, while we may not have been given a blockbuster final or a Serena-Safina showdown for No. 1, we have at least seen the world's best women play tennis. The roadmap was designed to work in two ways: By lightening players’ workloads and narrowing the focus of fans by emphasizing a few significant events. We’ll have to wait until the end of the year to see how the first part of that equation has worked—will everyone still be ready to go in November?—but for the moment the WTA seems to have succeeded in defining more clearly which events should matter to players and spectators. The last two of those events, Cincinnati and Toronto, neither of which were mandatory tournaments, still featured draws that could fairly be called “loaded.”

The upshot in Canada was, as I said, not a classic final by any measure. But it did involve two very recognizable names, Maria Sharapova and Elena Dementieva, a vast improvement, from a marquee-maker's perspective, over 2009 runner-up Dominika Cibulkova. And while the 6-4, 6-3 score might tell you that Dementieva’s win wasn’t all that that close, it was nevertheless a deceptively absorbing match, especially for those of us who like our tennis hard earned rather than effortless.

Unusually, the more absorbing play came from the loser’s end. Sharapova, unseeded and thus forced to play one more match than her opponent, had trudged through a long week. By the time the first game was over on Sunday and she had double-faulted three times to be broken at love, she appeared to be a wounded warrior. She glanced irritably at her coach, she rotated her injured shoulder and grimaced, she fought against the wind that whipped across the court all afternoon. But while it wasn’t reflected in the score, she very nearly won.

Whatever the result, Sharapova was the player on top of the baseline dictating play. She was the one trying drop shots and fighting to find her range in the breeze without caving in and playing safe—an unthinkable idea for her. At the end of the first set, Sharapova’s coach, Michael Joyce, told her to stop trying to hit forcing shots when she was backed up; her arm was too tired for that, and she should just put some “air” under her shots and wait for a shorter ball. This was logical, sensitive advice, but Sharapova wasn’t having any of it: She curled her lip and said, outraged, “You mean push it?” She made it sound like an act of treasonable cowardice. Joyce finally managed to motivate her with a neat little turn of reverse psychology. “What do you want to do out here? You want to just get of here, or do you want to fight?” As he turned to walk away, he finished with, “You do whatever you want.”

Sharapova fought, of course. She forced Dementieva to work for 2 hours and through many multiple deuce games to finally beat her for just the third time in their 11 meetings. But while Sharapova made it much more interesting by throwing the kitchen sink at her opponent—she even tried rushing the net behind her returns late in the second set—her serve remains an issue. Just when you thought she had banished the double fault, it crept back in at crucial moments. More important for the long term is the fact that Sharapova has always been lifted above the mass of women players by her ability to hold serve—she was one of the few who could routinely go through two sets against a quality opponent without being broken. That’s not true at the moment, and no amount of fighting spirit or kitchen-sink tactical variety is going to make up for that.

As for Dementieva, she has made a quiet case to be a co-favorite, along with Serena Williams, at the U.S. Open–I don’t think you can put the world No. 1, Safina, up there with them at the moment. Dementieva beat Serena in the semis in Toronto, and she’s playing a game right now that reminds me, in its smooth practicality, of Andy Murray’s—they’re both experts at making their opponents uncomfortable. On Sunday she was content to hunch over, send the ball back safely near the middle of the court, and track down Sharapova’s riskier shots. But what looked like a simple strategy had its intelligent wrinkles. She directed floating backhand slices at Sharapova’s forehand, forcing her to generate her own pace while hitting with extra topspin, two things she doesn’t like to do. And when she did go on defense, Dementieva did it, like Murray, in a highly organized way. She recovered quickly, with no wasted motion, toward the center, and she put her stab returns in difficult spots for Sharapova to handle.

Like Maria, though, so much comes down to the serve with Elena. Through most of yesterday’s match, she was able to get it where she wanted. But when it came time to serve out the match, she reverted to, as Cliff Drysdale put it, “the old sidewinder,” her famously shaky low-toss slice second serve. But it was enough. When Dementieva finally won, she dropped to her knees, not something you see very often after a 6-4, 6-3 victory. As I said, this was a tough win rather than a beautiful one, and she earned that celebration. Has she also earned the pole position at the Open? Is she really ready, after all these years, to win her first major? You can look at it a couple of ways. The last two times this tournament was held in Toronto, it was won by the eventual U.S. Open champion. In 2005, that was Kim Clijsters, who made her own Slam breakthrough in Flushing. In 2007, it was Justine Henin. We know Dementieva is no Justine Henin, but if Clijsters can win one, I have to think the Russian can too.


Rf Speaking of U.S. Open front-runners, there’s little question after Sunday who that is on the men’s side. Roger Federer, perhaps in search of some new motivation after the year he’s already had, found it in the forms of Murray and Novak Djokovic in Cincinnati. He hadn’t beaten either of them this year, even during his runs to the French Open and Wimbledon titles. But he put any questions about his ability to hang with the younger crowd to rest by taking care of both of them in straight sets to hoist his 16th Masters Series shield.

What did Federer do differently against Djokovic this time? I thought he, like Dementieva, did a good job of forcing his opponent to hit the shots he didn’t want to hit. In beating Nadal the night before, Djokovic had feasted on high-topspin balls to his backhand side—he has a high stroke zone with that shot. Federer, logically enough, made sure he didn’t see too many balls there; he used his backhand slice to force Djokovic to bend and hit up. All he could do was put those shots in the middle of the court, where Federer had a chance to run around them and knock off forehands. The one time that Federer did give him all topspin to his backhand, on the first point at 4-4 in the second set, Djokovic opened up the court and eventually hit a backhand winner down the line. Federer went back to the slice thereafter and won the set.

Just as with Sharapova, Dementieva, and the rest of the world, it’s Federer’s serve that will make the difference. He says this shot is working better than it did early in the season, when he said his back was ailing him and he was losing regularly to Murray and Djokovic. This may be the case, even though it strikes me as a classic chicken-and-egg situation—does feeling better help you win, or do you feel better because you’re winning? Whatever the case was then, Federer’s serve helped him yesterday. Down 4-5, 30-40, set point for Djokovic, the world No. 1 came up with three excellent first serves to hold.

Slice backhands, solid serving, quiet motivation—we’ve seen all that from Federer. But he also showed off a shiny new weapon that I’m going to call the Haas Shot. Serving at 4-5 in the second, 15-30, with Djokovic and the Cincy crowd primed for a third, Federer saw his opponent’s down-the-middle return, backpedaled two steps, and fired off an inside-out forehand winner. It was the exact shot he hit to turn the tables when his back was pressed to the wall against Tommy Haas in Paris. Not merely a winner, but an authoritative, any-more-questions kind of winner, it silenced the crowd, evened the score in the game, and stopped Djokovic’s momentum in its tracks. 

Some players use these tune-ups tournaments to get in shape. Others use them to get match tough. Is Federer now using them to hone his unstoppable, game-changing, only-hit-it-when-you-absolutely-need-it Haas Shot? I think we have our favorite for the U.S. Open.


Posted by Bibi 08/24/2009 at 03:03 PM

Come on Nole, get your serve back on track.

Posted by reckoner 08/24/2009 at 03:16 PM


Posted by pk 08/24/2009 at 03:17 PM

nice post steve. i enjoy reading the grades you assign players after slams...would love to see something like that about the the masters 1000 too..they are after all mini-slams

Posted by Andrew 08/24/2009 at 03:17 PM

Steve: nice analysis on the Federer-Djokovic match. I put up a major rant yesterday at TW on the appalling CBS commentary during the match - some of your insights would have been much preferable.

Federer's serve is better because he's returned to his old motion. From the AO 2009 through Miami, you see a lower ball toss by about 6-9 inches, and a shallower knee flex (watch set 5 of the AO F 2009). Result - more arm, mistiming, less spin, DFs, less accuracy, less confidence. Now - deeper knee bend, more confidence, 4 aces in 2nd set TB at RG, holds in a marathon 5th set at Wimbledon.

The I-O FH you mention was a great shot, but it was set up by a bunch of inside-in FHs earlier in the match. Djokovic was looking for the I-I FH at 4-5 15,30, and he was surprised when Federer went the other way.

It's an interesting thought that Federer's run in recent months, to all effects and purposes, began when he beat Nadal in Madrid. At 30-40, 4-5, Federer went for the inside-in FH, was out of position, but Nadal sent an attempted CC 2H BH winner inches wide. Had he made that shot and broken for 5-5, what might have been different this summer?

Posted by pk 08/24/2009 at 03:19 PM

andrew, I COMPLETELY AGREE...mary carillo and ian eagle need to "zip it" during points...and even when they do say something, make it an analysis of the point.



Posted by reckoner 08/24/2009 at 03:20 PM

if federer matches tilden and wins 6 in a row @ flushing its b/c 2009 was like a perfect storm scenario where the players right on federers heels were lapped by those on their own heels... nadal and djokovic have been upstaged lately by murray, del potro and roddick not only in the rankings, but on the court, which kind of elevates federer back to the top by default

this time last yr ppl were saying roger never wins another major

Posted by Pspace (Lestat Time!) 08/24/2009 at 03:29 PM

Nice one, Steve. The Haas Shot. I like it.

Djokovic did have some success handling the (short) slice in the second set, when he hit good approaches to Federer's backhand. I didn't see Fed make many/any of his trick BH passing shots. Perhaps something that should be exploited with more regularity...or at least the question should be asked more frequently.

Posted by Master Ace 08/24/2009 at 03:49 PM

Yes, Elena has had a very good summer winning Toronto after finishing in the semifinals at Cincinnati(she had 4 match points at 6-2 in the 3rd set TB against Jelena Jankovic, who had a nice summer also) and at Stanford where she was handed her worst defeat since 2007 to Venus Williams by winning only one game. Conditions yesterday was a very windy affair which led to the error ridden match. However, I would not say she is a co-favorite with Serena Williams, who holds 3 of the 4 Slam trophies. Besides the Toronto winner winning the USO every odd year, another thing that is in Elena's favor is that Serena has only defended one of the first 8 Slams she won. Number 9 defence will start in one week.

Ravi Uhba's Power Rankings
Guess who is the top WTA player?

Posted by M-life 08/24/2009 at 04:33 PM


Regarding Elena. She does this from time to time though doesn't she? Has a real nice stretch where she plays pretty damn well. Wins a tournament here and there, makes you realize you can't discount her because if you do, she swoops in under the radar and smacks your favorite, or the media's favorite flavor of the moment player.

As I mentioned in your previous post I think, Elena has been such a good player for so long, it would be a pity if she finishes her career without a Slam. If she does I think she's a lock for Tennis HoF, if not solely based on body of work. But throughout her career, when it came down to the Prime Time, a make it or break it moment, she was just never quite ready. Whenever she was in position to really "Seal the Deal" she would play just well enough to lose.

So has she made that final step? Has she matured physically, in her ability, and mentally, to not just see the cake but to take it? I think she is playing better now than she ever has in her career. So here is my answer...


That's about as much as I can give her. Again, I would love to see it. She is such a classy women and player. It would be a shame if it doesn't get one. If the tennis Gods finally gave a Wimbledon title to Jana Novatna, Elena Dementieva should win herself a Slam.

Posted by karin1492 08/24/2009 at 04:34 PM

The last three winners of the event in Toronto won the US Open. Henin managed to complete the feat in 2003 and 2007.

Posted by Mickey 08/24/2009 at 04:44 PM

Ditto about the atrocious Carillo and Eagle commentary during the Fed-Djokovic match. I nearly turned off the volume. And was it just me or did Eagle seem a little unsure at the start of the show of how to pronounce some well known players' names?

Posted by rudy3 (Proud Rafaelite since 2005) 08/24/2009 at 04:46 PM

And as we now know Andrew, Rafa played that shot on 1 leg. His right leg was useless by that point.

What might the summer have been if Rafa had had the good sense to pull out of Madrid, as he now says would have been best.

May not have made any difference, as Soderling was red lining in Paris. But it might have.

Posted by therealfrances 08/24/2009 at 04:54 PM

Can you guys give the Sharapova "warrior" thing a rest please. She gets down a set or games to a player she should beat -- then she comes back and beats them and all the writers and commentators want to call her Muhammad Ali. How come she never summons that great "fight" of hers when she's up against another champion? Need I name names? But only against players that she should beat. I don't call getting down to a player ranked outside the top-50, 5-love in the third set of first round slam match and then coming back to beat that player any great shakes. Come on. Or being down to Petrova and then coming back to beat her, any indication of heart (come on -- it's Petrova). Sharapova has lost plenty of big matches (at slams and Tier 1's) when she's been up match points. When she saves a match point in a semi or final of a slam against a player ranked above her or who has a slam trophy, and comes back to win the tournament then call me, Tignor. Until then, the biggest heart, the biggest fighter on the tour is Serena Williams and her sister Vee. Their grand-slam-winning-save-match-point episodes are legendary. Sharapova never does more than she should.

Posted by Andrew Broad 08/24/2009 at 05:16 PM

I know a Sharapova v Dementieva final is a "vast improvement", but why do you have to pick on Dominika Cibulková?

Posted by Aube 08/24/2009 at 05:18 PM

As someone who likes fighters to one day achieve their goals and see themselves rewarded I might say I will be happy seeing Dementieva winning a grand slam,only problem is I don't want to see it while my Serebaby and Venus are seeking for a win too...haha,reasonable,huh?
Listen,the only problem I have with Dementieva is she will put everything into perspective for her and in the least expected time let go of it...
This coming US OPEN will be yummy while unfolding before our eyes,because of the way the WTA is,everyone can take out anyone...
That's what I indeed think!!!
GO SEREBABY and VENUS,I mean the real ones,not their twins as Avid says...

Posted by Master Ace 08/24/2009 at 05:37 PM

Andrew Broad,
Guess Dominika Cibulkova is mentioned because she played for the title against Dinara Safina last year.

Posted by mw 08/24/2009 at 05:37 PM


Your correct..I was watching a tape of last years' Open and noticed he had trouble with names.

Agree about the commentators also. Fed can hit a GREAT shot in a match, and all you think is "WOW!" But all you hear is Carillo chiming "..and when he was 12, they moved to.."

It's like sometimes they're not even watching the match.

Posted by Azhdaja 08/24/2009 at 05:58 PM

Good comment Steve. Federer definitelly silenced Djokovic ground strokes by slicing on his forehand. That put Djokovic in the inferior/defensive position where he is not comfortable at all.

Beside the strong serve that was the key of his success. On other side Djokovic seemed to be surprised to that tactic and never found adequate respond.

That tells me about his poor preparation to the match. It's proven for several times this season that Djoker gets out on the court totally unprepared. There were a lot of matches where he had to come from first set down.!? Doesn't he have a coach? Or does he listen to his coach? Or does he plan to hire a coach who knows more than himself??

I believe the help of Johnny Mac would be excellently suitable for the Djoko's agressive play style. Net play is definitelly room for improvement in his game. (Beside slices and unfamous drop-shots).

Posted by TennisFan2 08/24/2009 at 06:17 PM

As I wrote yesterday I like the ESPN crew better! I've really had enough of Mary C - ugh!

Give me a Darren and Martina for analysis and Johnny Mac for color! Brad is ok - a little goofy but definitely colorful.

Posted by M-life 08/24/2009 at 06:50 PM

D. Cib is worthy of mentioning just on account of her surplus of Li'l Hottie Factor. To bad the WTA doesn't keep a stat for that. The LHF ratio. She can play a little bit too. This years final was (in terms of gravitas) an upgrade no doubt.

Posted by Cosi 08/24/2009 at 06:51 PM

I thought Ian Eagle and Mary Carillo were FANTASTIC compared to what I've had to listen as far as commentators. they let us watch the match, not too much chattering during points. I've been very critical of the inane, off the wall, never ending chatter of our commentators, but I have no complaints for Ian and Mary, I thought they gave just enough commentary during this match, but not so much that they distracted from the match.

Posted by thebigapple 08/24/2009 at 07:30 PM

Roger is only one of the guys in the running for this Open. He may be in front but not by much.

Posted by tennissy 08/24/2009 at 08:26 PM

Nice article Steve..

Heres my take on Nole

I think someone mentioned on other thread that he has lost precision in his shots after the famous racketgate incident. I say spot on. The new one as he says gives him power sans control (Hence) He goes for a 'safer' option to cut down UFEs.He says he is aware of it and "they" ( i assume the Co)are currently working on this problem.

His serve is still up and down. He needs to fix it ASAP.

I think the one positive thing was he finally came out of the his defensive mode and started playing aggressively.

Posted by johny 08/24/2009 at 10:07 PM

lame bunch of people, specially andrew

Posted by Eddy 08/24/2009 at 11:21 PM

Haas shot...hehehe.

Posted by Ryota 08/25/2009 at 12:28 AM

Federer is the man to beat in New York - has been for the past 5 years. He won the USO last year despite failing to win a Masters title. What's revealing in this tournament (at least to me) was how EASILY he handled both Murray and Djokovic on back-to-back days. The person who gave him the fits in this tournament was Ferrer, a scrapper not unlike a certain Mallorcan with a gatling-gun forehand. The USO draw cannot come out sooner!

For the women, I don't think Dementieva is the favorite for the USO. While I'm glad she won the Rogers Cup, I see it as an added pressure for her to do well in New York. Like Safina, she hasn't exactly performed her best when she's been tagged as favorite. I do hope she proves me wrong.

Posted by felizjulianidad 08/25/2009 at 04:38 AM

Surface aside, this environment is ideal for Nadal. He is not the man to beat - he is on the chase again. Actually, I don't know - he's always handled pressure well, and his best HC results came once he reached World Number One (USO SF, AO W, and one other MS shield).

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President finally comes out of rehab and rejoices in Vamos Forever 08/25/2009 at 04:39 AM

Thanks Steve,

Yes always the bridesmaid never the bride is Elena.I would love to see her win a GS title like the rest of us no doubt.She is a great athletic and great striker of the ball.Her downfall as we have seen many times is her serve.Under pressure it collapses.

The serve is the most important single shot in the game.I cant see her winning the US OPEN because of it.Its like take away the serve of Federer,how many times have we seen his serve get him out of trouble.

Serena will indeed be angry with her self for her poor showing at Toronto.Beware the wounded Tigeress.As for Safina,well until she stops struggling with herself,same old,same old.

Roger showed at the final at Cinncy he is the one to beat at the US OPEN in the mens side.

Posted by Tennis Fan 08/25/2009 at 07:48 AM

Okay I agree Federer may be the one to beat in Flushing, but I also think Nadal is to. I saw plenty of the old Nadal is in his match against Paul-Henri and Tomas (I'm going with their first names because I can't spell their last) last week to convince me of that. When it came to Djokovic I think he had memories of what happened in Madrid and was determined not to get into another war and thus take himself out of contention for the US Open. So while he tried he did not kill himself, smart! For that reason I think he is fresh heading into Flushing and has just as good a shot as Federer.

As for Djokovic and Murray I don't know what to say. Djokovic seems to struggle to find his game at crucial moments and that is of course a major problem. Murray I had him as a favorite for the open but after his match with Federer on Saturday I'm not so sure. He seemed sluggish and watching him throughout the week I wondered if he might have been struggling with some sort of injury himself. I hope not as I'd like to see him win. Bottom line whatever happens it should be fun to watch!

Posted by JohnC 08/25/2009 at 08:05 AM

"What did Federer do differently against Djokovic this time?"

Steve, surprised you didn't mention the footwork/movement. Consistently being able to get behind the ball with maximum economy is the hallmark of Federer's best game, and was on full display in the final. He's probably a tad slower than at his peak, but with movement like that it doesn't matter too much. Bodes well for his longevity.

Posted by princepro110 08/25/2009 at 08:16 AM

I see a major problem for the WTA for the future in trying to sell its product. The summer WTA tour had all the big names yet could not draw flies with the TV shots never showing the empty stands. What happens when the William sisters retire in a few years? Toronto even took a big hit this year in the sports starved city!
The only hope for the WTA is total association with the ATP or to move its tournaments to Asia.

Please give me as little as possible of Tracy Austin & Pam Shriver at this years do they have a job?

Posted by ari arza 08/25/2009 at 08:41 AM

i really feels sorry for sharapova,she should have won this match, it will boost her confidence in us open, being runner up won't help her that much i guess. whatever the result is, she was always the one who dictate the match, if she's good, she'll beat anyone, i mean anyone.
she only lost when she has errors frenzy, really ridiculous, she should have won birmingham and la actually, but again she let those go.i mean SHE LET THOSE GO..
nevertheless, i look forward to seeing her in us open, although i am sure she has no chance there.

Posted by JohnC 08/25/2009 at 08:56 AM

princepro110, your description could well have applied to the ATP tour in the interregnum between the Sampras and Federer eras -- and it was then seeking to lean on the WTA for support.

The answer historically seems to be the emergence of a great champion(s) who people want, and will pay, to see. WSs will probably be around for a bit longer, but hopefully somebody will emerge soon, preferrably with a different and certainly more rounded game than the current crop of wannabe's.

Posted by kchowcrazy 08/25/2009 at 09:16 AM

While Lena played well beating Maria and ReRe, that feat sounds more impresssive then it actually was. Maria still can't serve and ReRe completely half-assed the second set so i don't really believe Lena is a favourite. In fact of the big names on th wta, the only ones Lena really believes she can beat are Serena and Dina, everyone else she has an awful h2h with like Jankovic, Vee, Kuzzy and Maria. Hell even Azarenka could probably take her. At Wimbledon she played the best match she has ever played against someone she had beaten 3 times in a row and still lost, don't know if she would get that close with a partisan crowd.

Posted by Azhdaja 08/25/2009 at 10:12 AM

Well, I found this Federer's performance to be very beneficial to the tennis.

Federer delivered huge challenge to Djokovic, and Djoko lost the match. Great! Why? B/c now Djokovic has to look for the room for improvement in his game. And that's awesome. That means he is going to ugrade his game, (he has no choice if he wants to win against Federer next time) we are going to enjoy Djokovic's play on the higher level throughout. That guy definitelly has the potential and talent, so just press him heavily and he will give us his best.

Remember his play against Nadal on clay this season? 4 hours of battle and excellent shots, tactics, strategy...And that's all because Djoker was frustrating losing to Nadal all time. We all enjoyed that one.

On the other hand, had Federer played less, then Djoko might won that match with the same amount of effort and delivery, so he wouldv'e tought that that's enough to stay on top, and thus his game wouldn't be as great as we want to watch.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 08/25/2009 at 10:38 AM

Thanks for the analysis of the WTA final, Steve. :)

Posted by JohnC 08/25/2009 at 10:43 AM

Azhdaja, a much more constructive post than most of your contributions last week. Keep it up.

FWIW I also hope that Nole can realize his very obvious potential.

Posted by M-life 08/25/2009 at 11:57 AM

It will take a very good performance to beat Nadal, but I think someone will find that performance and take him out. He's a bit like Cljisters right now, very tough, but not quite there yet. I wouldn't put him as the favorite or even a co-favorite, but he is in the mix Big-Time and has an outside chance to win. He cannot be overlooked for certain. Don't think anyone will.

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Posted by embug 08/25/2009 at 01:45 PM

About Toronto...
One of the most discouraging stats from the tournament came out right before the semis. Three of them -- Sharapova, Dementieva, Kleybanova -- faced a total of 80 break points up to that round. Serena faced two. Safina lost in her first match, committing 17 doubles faults. Sharapova, having done the same thing -- hit 17 double faults -- won her match. The final, too, was error prone. Watching these matches discouraged me and a lot of the people watching. It'll be interesting to see if it continues at the Open.

Posted by andrea 08/25/2009 at 02:30 PM

it would be nice for elena to finally step it up and win a slam. she's definitely another clijsters where she's been the bridesmaid and not the bride.

after watching her poofy serving for years, it's good to see her winning at this level.

as far as the men's side, roger is for sure a front runner. nadal post tendinitis seems like a long shot...too streaky at this point. the 2 andy's and del potro are liklier bets. novak tends to creep into tournaments these days without a lot of attention. he seems to have learned from his earlier PR disaster days that leaving his family far away from any venue he is playing is a good idea.

wasn't it just two years ago that novak's dad publicly stated (after the USO loss to Fed) that Fed would never beat Novak again? i wonder if his family keeps a quote book of all the retarded things they have said.

Posted by Master Ace 08/25/2009 at 03:01 PM

Yes, it was the 2007 USO where his Dad made the comments. Novak blew multiple set points in the first set against Roger and Roger made him pay dearly.

Posted by M-life 08/25/2009 at 03:04 PM


There is a commonality that women like Sharapova, Kleybanova, Ivanovic and the Williams sisters have that excerbates their high ufe's & Double faults. They are power players who try to end points fast and off their serve. Those women know they are not going to win most matches rallying from the baseline, quite the contrary, they want to end their points with their serve preferably, or within the next couple shots. Since they are hell bent on pulverizing the ball every time, they're going to miss there share too. In the end, if they can overpower their opponent, which is most always, hitting 8,9 dbls and 25,28 ufe's, it won't be a problem. If they hit 18-20 dbls and 50-60 ufe's, thats going to be problem especially by the round of 16. By then they will be playing a Schiavone, Jie Zheng or Flavia Panetta who can exploit their "bad" tendencies more effectively .

Posted by M-life 08/25/2009 at 03:20 PM


I think you are spot on in your assessment of the men's favorites. I haven't thought about specifically but I think I would pick the same four guys with Djoko coming in with his sneaky, backdoor slider. Nadal next, then with the group Roddick, Davydenko, Gonzales, Tsonga, Verdasco and whoever else you may want to throw out there.

Posted by embug 08/25/2009 at 04:59 PM


Thanks for your comments...

Of the players you listed the only I think that could end a point with their serve are Kleybanova and Serena Williams. If Venus's serve isn't going off, then I'd throw her in that group.

Sharapova's serve needs attention. Too much knee bend. Too little shoulder rotation. In Toronto it looked great for much of a match or whole match. But for some matches, like the final, it was a shadow of her previous motion and effectiveness. She hit three DFs in first game, losing it obviously.

Ivanovic, too, has changed her service motion, using the simple 'pull back' method. I'd say she caught 6 of 10 ball tosses on her first serve because it went off to the right, as if she wanted to hit a slice serve. When she didn't catch the ball, it was weakly sliced, resembling Dementieva's abysmal serve from a year ago and Ivanovic's in the French Open final of 2007. I haven't heard anything about a shoulder injury for her. However, she didn't look the happy player I saw this spring in Indian Wells. She laughed about anything and everything there. Last week she looked tired and worked over, as if the chaos of not winning and trying to fix strokes, coaches, and her mental outlook were all works in un-progress. It was sad to witness.

Dementieva, though, has broken through. In her semifinal match against Serena, Elena served beautifully. Timing good. Depth good. Variety okay. It was great to see. Serena, of course when asked, gave her any kudos.

Posted by M-life 08/25/2009 at 05:46 PM


I sure you meant "didn't give her any kudos." Well- doesn't surprise me. Same old Serena, classy and honorable till the very end. Thats why its so easy to root and cheer for her don't you think? She's just delightful and charming.

Posted by kchowcrazy 08/25/2009 at 06:10 PM

M-Life i'm sorry but why does Serena have to give Elena kudos for serving well, is she her mother? and shouldn't she always serve well?
I'm of sooo tired of people saying Serena never gives people any credit, why should she have to consistently praise and encourage her opponents, if you can't handle Serena not being your biggest fan then you shouldn't play professional tennis. Its easy to twist Serena's remarks, but when Elena says the Williams matches are fixed (twice!) or when Dina says Serena is jealous beacuse she is young and #1 nobody has anything to say.
The ridiculousness of these girls are the reason why they are slamless, they don't have the mental fortitude to handel criticsm and are way too dependant on their box so flouder when the pressure is on. Yeah Serena is bratty and occasionally has foot in mouth syndrome but i'm sure her 11 slams more then make up for it.

Posted by Earl 08/25/2009 at 06:25 PM

Roger is World #1 by 2400 points over #2 and Roger is 5-time defending champion at US Open. He's won in NY last 5 straight years.

I see more anti Federer posts here. When will the hate and disrespect ever stop? It's horrible, unacceptable and embarrassing.

Nobody lost.
Federer beat Murray. Then he beat Djokovic.

Master Ace and M-Life,
In 2007 US Open final, Federer beat Djokovic in 3 straight sets. Novak played very well. Nobody blew or choked away any set points. The better and best player won them, won the match, is more clutch, and deserved what he got - another win.

Last year was win #5 in a row for Federer, beating Djokovic and Murray in a combined 7 sets (6-1) was impressive and 3 6-2 set wins and a 6-3 set win was too.

Posted by Earl 08/25/2009 at 06:34 PM

Being anti Federer and disrespecting him too is also bad for tennis, inexcusable, bitter and baiting other posters too.

Federer has more than earned all the credit and he deserves to be given all the credit too. All of it.

That doesn't mean some jealous, envious, hateful people will stop though unfortunately. If they don't care, they don't care and they will do what they want to do and think what they want to think, regardles of anything else unfortunately.

Posted by M-life 08/25/2009 at 06:47 PM


No- she is not her mother, nobody said she was her mother and nobody expects her to be her mother. I have no idea why you're brought it up since the comparison has no relevance.
Look guy- I simply feel and I think most people feel, that a champion or any player, at any level, no matter if the spotlight is on you, or wether your playing pickup games at a school yard, should be gracious in defeat as well as in Victory.
At the top levels of any sport, being a champion is more than winning trophies, really more about how ones behavior and how this person conducts him/herself will be seen as important if not more so, as to how they are viewed by fans and the public eye. That's just the way it is and it's the way it should be.
If a player decides not to extend graciousness, reasonable respect and courtesy to their opponent, then they don't have too, and they won't. But you and they can be certain that that will to be leave quite a bitter taste in the mouths of many and leave them (Serena in this case) open to deserved criticism. Regardless of wether you are tired of it or not.

Posted by Tim C 08/25/2009 at 07:16 PM

I agree with all the Roger fans out there, and that is essentially that Roger has won this title five years in a row against a wide variety of finalists (Hewitt, Agassi, Roddick, Murray, Djokovic).

This is NOT Wimbledon wherein three years running, Roger had to fight off a competitor in three consecutive finals (Nadal) who DID manage to beat him in the greatest GS Finale in History. For Rogers three titles, he had to do battle with only three finalists (Nadal - 2 titles, Roddick - 3 titles, and Philippoussis - 1 title)

Soooo...HOW is Nadal even favored here? HOW is Nadal, coming off a knee injury that is more important to him than Roger's back injury was to his earlier year results going to be a threat this week? If Nadal is up against Tsonga, Djoko, Murray, or any tall two handed backhand sluggers, Nadal is in trouble. We all know that his main strength plays to Roger's base weakness (high lefthanded topspin forehand to a one handed backhand that he is 'forced' to slice low).

So please, let's look at the results. This hardcourt season shows us that DP, Djoko, Murray are all in the running (NOT Nadal...please be objective). We can also say that the Hardcourt players have a shot...finally, let's acknowledge that the World #1...a man who lost his ranking after a mono bout affected his training, his footwork, his overall confidence (think of any other athlete who suffered mono in Tennis - what happened to THEM?) THE favorite. He is riding a confidence high, he has NOTHING to lose and can now swing freely and in a relaxed manner. THIS is when he is most dangerous. Any GS is icing on the cake to a man who just seems to keep finding a way to win.

My votes, Federer...Delpotro...Djokovic...Murray...Tsonga...Roddick...Nadal (YES NADAL)

Posted by kchowcrazy 08/25/2009 at 07:31 PM

The reason i brought up the mother aspect is that you were expecting Serena to give Lena kudos as if she is somehow supposed to, like a parent would after a child does well. Far enough that she has left herself open to criticism with her comments in post match pressers but so has every other player after a loss.

Federer, Rafa, Novak all great champions on the mens tour could be argued to have been less then gracious in defeat then they should have been by their detractors.
My point was that Serena seems to be held to a different standard then any other player on the WTA tour. When Safina didn't acknowledge Kuzzy great play at RG '09/JJ complains that she was injured or Lena says the Williams fix their matches there is not a much of an uproar as when Serena says that she played terrible. I do think that she should be more gracious in defeat, but on the flip side believe that her accomplishments and place as one of the greats in the game should also be respected.

Posted by M-life 08/25/2009 at 07:49 PM


I am a BIG Federer fan. I want him to win every match, none more than against Murry and Nadal. You won't get any argument from me. I don't recall mentioning "choke" ever, nor do I remember claiming anybody won undeservedly. Whatever incident or post you are referring too, I am unaware of it. It wasn't me Earl. Peace my man.

Posted by Azhdaja 08/25/2009 at 08:01 PM

Posted by M-life 08/25/2009 @ 6:47 PM

"At the top levels of any sport, being a champion is more than winning trophies, really more about how ones behavior and how this person conducts him/herself will be seen as important if not more so, as to how they are viewed by fans and the public eye. That's just the way it is and it's the way it should be.

If a player decides not to extend graciousness, reasonable respect and courtesy to their opponent, then they don't have too, and they won't. But you and they can be certain that that will to be leave quite a bitter taste in the mouths of many and leave them (Serena in this case) open to deserved criticism. Regardless of wether you are tired of it or not."

I think you hit the pin right on its head, here!
I do not remember seing/reading better observation regarding the Roger federer's behaviour, on any tennis forums. And that's where Federer is the least at the top level: horrible in defeat. Never gives credit to his opponents (except to Rafa), crying at his opponent trophy award ceremony, shutting up his opponent's camp during the match right from the court...).

This comes across as arrogance. And in fact it is. The least. Could've been viewed even as worse.

Posted by Azhdaja 08/25/2009 at 08:12 PM

I see more anti Federer posts here. When will the hate and disrespect ever stop? It's horrible, unacceptable and embarrassing.

well, Earl, apparently, people dislike Roger Federer. Like it or not, but that`s the fact, and you have to except the facts.
Why? Well, see my post above (@ 8:01PM).

Now you have to separate Federer as a tennis player from Federer as the person. Even though situated in the same body, yet those two are different things.

For instance: when somebody refuse to shake umpoire's hand after the match they lost, then it's poor personality and spoortsman in there. And Mr. Roger Federer refused to shake umpire's hands twice this season: Doha and Miami (after he lost to Murray and Djokovic respectfully).

Posted by Azhdaja 08/25/2009 at 08:31 PM

And, Earl: do not confuse "disrespect" with "dislike". Those two are two totally different concepts. If I dislike Roger Federer as the person, I do not disrespect his tennis legacy.

For instance: Djoker likes to do chest pumping. Someone says: after I saw him doing that, I dislike watching his game. Well, Djoker, if you wanna be liked by more people, stop doing chest pump.

The same applies to Federer: If you wanna be liked by millions, then give credits to your opponents when they BEAT you. Say: I was beat today by better opponent. Then, give a hug to Djoker and Murray; apologise to Djokovic's parents publicly; apologise to JJ, Safina; apologise to all chair umpires, state that you will never ever do the same thing again, at least half of the tennis professionals.

Is Federer ready to do that? If not, then let the people dislike him.

And for his tennis game? Well, let me tell you something: the world seen better tennis players than Roger Federer. The players who has their game more perfect than Roger federer. SO, why do you expect of the world to die for Federer's game??

Carlos Moya said after Nadal vs Djokovic Madrid 2009 s/f match, that it was the best 3-setter match he ever seen in his entire life. I agree with this one.

Every time before Federer is going to hit the ball during any match, the idea of his arrogance and egoism crosses my mind.

Cool off, man. You're too hot for Federer to be able to think clearly.


Posted by Master Ace 08/25/2009 at 09:06 PM

Please watch the first set of Roger/Novak 2007 USO at the end and tell me Novak did not choke those set points and why he did not choke. I bet Azhdaja will agree on Novak choking those set points. Once the set was over, Roger made him pay for that by winning in straight sets and if Roger repeats his USO SF and F performance, you can engrave his name on the trophy for the 6th time.

Posted by Azhdaja 08/25/2009 at 09:41 PM

Master Ace, you bet I'd bet that Djoker chocked 5 set points in the first set and then tw0 set points in the second (At USO final 2007). He simply had the set in his pocket, yet he let it slipped away.

In the first set he had 40:0 on his serve. He let it go to deuce! And after that he had another two set points and he blew it. That's called chocking. The set went into the TB, and of course after that chocke, one would lose concentration and the set.

For some reason, at the cruscial moments (set points) he decided not to play agressively, but rather percentage, hopeing Federer would go UFO. Once he realised that's not gonna happened, all in frustration he decided to pull the trigger when he did not suppose to. At one of his set shots (there was a player's challenge) hawk eye found to be 1mm outside of Federer's base line! Ohh, well...apparently his aiming apparatus was off.

Very similar thing happened in the second. Again, TB and again, Djoker had lack of concentration.

I found the same poroblem to be still sitting on Djoker's game. Although little less than 2 years ago, yet something that he has to work on had he wanted to pocket more GS, MS and other titles: he does everything ok, played agressive, forced his opponents to get to losing position, and then he stopped!? A mental block? All of a sudden Djoker decided not to stick to his guns nor to the game that brought him to the winning position, thus giving his opponent agressive role!?

Whenever he supposed to do ONE more effort to finish his opponent off, and end the match, he chocked. (That's what he had last USo against Chilic and Robredo. He managed to beat them somehow, yet that was a 5 setter, and cost his hell of effort and lack of energy for his next round match).

I believe that's how he lost many titles. I believe that's something related to the emotion he shows?? Once he let his emotions out (yelling, chest pumping, etc) he got better concentration and he doesn't chocke anymore.?? Or I am wrong on this one?

Posted by VC 08/25/2009 at 10:26 PM

Azhdaja : You are right that Novak did not play well on those setpoints. Federer took full advantage of his tightness. However, when you criticize Federer's personality and sportsmanship, you pick out all the isolated incidents that supports your argument. FWIW, I do not believe crying in a trophy ceremony is unsportsmanlike. Some of his comments after losing could have been phrased better, sure. But he has also been extremely generous and sportsmanlike 90% of the time. When he was asked whether mono was a factor for his defeat to Djokovic in the AO 2008 SF, he said it did not matter and Djokovic was playing too well on the day. Did you watch him applaud one of Djokovic's winners in the final? There are numerous other examples, too many to list.

Posted by fay elisabeth coleman 08/25/2009 at 10:31 PM

I hear over and over the poor coverage of live tennis in the US, this surprises me! here in the UK we manage to cover all sport live and the tennis especially on sky sports or eurosport is marvelous in general, we are blessed!!
Interesting analysis on Feds serve improvement I knew it had gotten better but didn't know excatly why, thanx great comments on here. Nice to see Dementieva(OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST) latest win, she's a great athelete and one of the few women I like to watch on the tour since the retirement of Justin Henin..

Posted by Azhdaja 08/25/2009 at 11:08 PM

Posted by VC 08/25/2009 @ 10:26 PM

Azhdaja : You are right that Novak did not play well on those setpoints....FWIW, I do not believe crying in a trophy ceremony is unsportsmanlike.

FWIW? Can you trnaslate it into English for me, pls?

- lol, about crying! He spoilt his opponents stellar moment! Instead of being happy, celebrate it and ejoy the true moment in his life, Rafa felt like tief! Like someone who stolen a toy from a 8y.o. kid?!?!

So, Rafa turned to Roger saying: "don't cry Roger. You are the best player in the world!"

Again translated this means: "Don't weep, boy. I didn't stole your toy. You just lost it. Let me enjoy the moment. I can lose to you later on, (I can lose early on FO and retire before Wimby) if you want."

"Some of his comments after losing could have been phrased better, sure. But he has also been extremely generous and sportsmanlike 90% of the time."

yeah! He commented (after his defeat at AO final) that "not always better player wins in 5 setter"!??
Now you go on: phrase it however you like.

"When he was asked whether mono was a factor for his defeat to Djokovic in the AO 2008 SF, he said it did not matter and Djokovic was playing too well on the day."

He said that he had mono! Yet that "mono" was never medically/officially confirmed. So, in my opinion the "mono" issue was the b/s.

B/C once you show up, you're 100% fit. Even if he had mono, that proves nothing. So, please do not go on with "mono" excuse because that only ruins Federe's credibility.

Did you watch him applaud one of Djokovic's winners in the final?

What final?? Prove me that and i'll give up my pay-check to you! Federer NEVER do that to ANYONE! EVER! I ahve all finals on tape, watched them several times already, never seen federer applauding to anybody. Besides, Roger Federer hates Djokovic! He would've rather die than Applaud top Djoker by any mean.

That was a poor try to prove something, dude. One must do better than that.

Posted by Master Ace 08/25/2009 at 11:16 PM

Believe it or not, Roger did applaud after Novak got to a Roger's smash and hit a FH passing shot by him to give him a break point(think that was his 2nd one of the game where eventually Novak broke him on his 3rd chance to lead 2-0 in set 2)

Posted by Azhdaja 08/25/2009 at 11:21 PM

Master Ace, thanks for remind. It's hard to believe. I'll watch my recordings again.

VC, sorry. If Master Ace is right, I'll take it back. I mean: my pay check. lol

Posted by VC 08/25/2009 at 11:33 PM

Azhdaja : Clearly we are not going to agree on the sportsmanship issue, so let's leave it at that. Anyway, it's always easy to find fault in players if you look hard enough. I used to criticize Djokovic for retiring from matches and taking medical timeouts, but I don't do that anymore because he has had breathing issues and trouble with the heat. His family members have made several arrogant-sounding statements about Federer (the King is dead, etc.) but it seems everybody has moved on now. I admire Djokovic for applauding his opponent's shots, and his gracious post-match handshakes even when he loses. Point being, no one is perfect, but the good in most of these top guys outweighs the bad, by far. And that includes Federer.

Posted by Azhdaja 08/25/2009 at 11:51 PM

VC, that's alright. We do not have to agree. As long as we respect each other. "Argue opinions and not the person" is motto of my own website (

Exchanging opinions in healthy way can only benefit all of us. I have already learnt something new thanks to this little chat.

For the very good USO 2009,


Posted by VC 08/25/2009 at 11:56 PM

That's nice. Hope we see some good tennis in the next few weeks.

Posted by Melissa 08/26/2009 at 01:41 AM

Why is anyone bothering arguing with Azhdaja about Federer being liked and a good sport??? He's the most popular tennis player out there (crowds everywhere,absolutly everywhere love and cheer for him) and he got the Stefan Edberg Sportmanship Award 5 times!5 times, he got honored by his peers (not haters on the internet) and celebrated as being the player who " throughout the year, conducted himself at the highest level of professionalism and integrity, who competed with his fellow players with the utmost spirit of fairness and who promoted the game through his off-court activities". That's what a champion is about, that and 15 Grand Slams!
I suggest taking a page on Barney's Frank handbook on how to deal
with the birthers and active anti-Federers of this world: do not even bother!

Posted by M-life 08/26/2009 at 04:37 AM

Hey Patrick-

Enough with all this external noise. Let's get back to tennis, specifically our observations regarding Wozi's continuing development. Good matchup tonight against A. Pav and a good measuring test for both girls. I expect Caroline to win a close 3 set match that could go to Pav. If Caroline loses and gets pushed around in the process, then that will leave no doubt (in my mind) that she has slipped a bit as the season's gone on. If she comes out and dictates play, keeps Pav off balance utilizing superior court game, crisp shot making and calm mental disposition, then she should win. I discount her double bagel victory yesterday as having any effect on todays match, other than it might make her feel pretty good about herself going in. But she still got to return Pav's serve and catch up to her forehand once the match begins. Both girls are trying to position themselves mentally and get their confidence together for next week. I'm looking forward to see how each handle it.

Posted by Master Ace 08/26/2009 at 09:06 AM

Caroline needed that win in more ways than one yesterday as she has struggled during the USO Series. Speaking of Anastasia, what have she done since her "lucky" run at Indian Wells? However, I do agree that if Anastasia win today, Caroline may have slipped which can be due to playing a lot in the first half of the season and her prospects of doing well at USO will not be good.

Posted by michael 08/26/2009 at 10:42 AM

Good analysis of Dementieva. I just love that girl for her stamina
and perseverance. This year she's added willpower to her talent.
Your right about the other's feeling more and more uncomfortable.
She'll win the U.S.OPEN on her way to a full GRAND SLAM. This lady
learns from her mistakes and knows how to come back. She has got
a hidden agenda that will surprise you all...
With ELENA it is only a matter of time.
best regards

Posted by M-life 08/26/2009 at 11:12 AM


Anastsia can smack the pill. I really see little difference between her and Lisicki, Kleybenova, Christea, and even Ivanovic right now. You can throw them all into a group and put a label on'em as "Dangerous on a given night." All are beatable, all can beat each other, and all can take out a highly seeded player on a given night.
About 6 weeks ago, Lisicki was the new "it" girl on the tour. Last week it was Kleybenova. If A. Pav makes it to the semi's this week- well- need I go on. My point is, if you want to talk about any one of them, you're really talking about all of them as a pack, because they are basically they are the same. Anyways- it will be a good test tonight, so we will see.

Posted by M-life 08/26/2009 at 11:24 AM


Elena will be 28 years old in a month and a half. She may get her Slam, (she may not) but a full Grand Slam??? If she isn't well on her way by now, (meaning 2 in the bag already) it's highly unlikely that she's gonna get there at this stage of her career. As for "With Elena its only a matter of time." quote, she's an 11 year veteran Michael, if there is one thing that is no longer on her side, its a lot more time. She had better get on it if she is to fulfill your wishes.

Posted by Bluedog 08/26/2009 at 12:00 PM

"What final?? Prove me that and i'll give up my pay-check to you! Federer NEVER do that to ANYONE! EVER! I ahve all finals on tape, watched them several times already, never seen federer applauding to anybody. Besides, Roger Federer hates Djokovic! He would've rather die than Applaud top Djoker by any mean.

That was a poor try to prove something, dude. One must do better than that."

So much for your credebility! Shouldn't your apology be just as enthusiastic as your dismissal?

Posted by Master Ace 08/26/2009 at 12:31 PM

Indeed when a player make a deep run in a tournament, there is the "it" player but over the course of the season, the "it" player results are below the new expectations given to them by the media. Remember Dulgheru who won Warsaw, the week before the French Open? Since that title, I have seen her in qualies but do not make it into the main draw. However, thanks to winning Warsaw, she is in the main draw at the USO.

Posted by M-life 08/26/2009 at 01:55 PM

Patrick, my brother-

I forgot about her.

Hey- I just saw and responded to your Contenders/Floaters post on Pete's blog from yesterday. Take a look, while you had it almost right... well... I straightened you out on a couple of near misses. You'll have to go to pg. 7 to find it- but no problem right- you're a smart guy.

Posted by knownaim& 08/26/2009 at 02:16 PM


federer "woohooing" a great nadal shot (monte carlo 2008):

Posted by Well Left 08/26/2009 at 02:17 PM

Haas-shot. Way to diss the second tier, Steve.

I like to think of that particular breakthrough shot as the final push to greatness. An unequivocal refusal to fall short. We'll see it again at the US Open this year and probably Wimbledon for the next 5 years or so.

I'll sit back and sweat the slightly unpredictable return games TMF brings out and try not to think of Tommy when the IO forehand comes to the fore.

Posted by Master Ace 08/26/2009 at 02:43 PM

I responded to your comments. Floaters are in alphabetical order only as I do not rank them. 4 thru 7 was very difficult to place.

Posted by Idris Kazzanah 08/26/2009 at 06:20 PM

Hmm... Dementieva and Federer as the top picks, yes yes yes good.......JOKE, Federer is fine, and is doing fine blah blah blah, but i dont think it'll b a cake walk, Djokovic no problem now, Nadal (tweaked edition) not a threat either, and Neither is Andy Murray now, Federer can handle all of them now. Although Juan Martin Del Potro, Andy Roddick, Haas, Querry, big continders now, i think the one with the real probabilty of takin out Federer would b, Mr. Del Potro, except he's not really ready for a 5 setter is he? well no he came mighty close in the French, not his favorite surface but no Federer is playing better, can i see the draw? i like that idea, but o well i think Federer wont have any trouble going deep short of a early Del Po meeting, but yea, Big 4 meaningless this time, Federer, Roddick, and Del Po, yes yes

O thats rite, Venus and Serena, Mz Clijters only real continders at the moment, Venus can always find form, fools need not confuse themselves, Serena can pop in and out of her Victory zone any time she perfers, and CLijsters is just reallly good lol, so hmmmmm ill put my money on Venus, seeing as i always do, but w/e sooner than l8r shes bak, and shes bak foreal Serena has time at the Nxt Us open, im sreiously puttin my money on Serena for the nxt French but hmm whoever gets thru the Semi i think wins the open, *Vee and sereans semi i mean Demented llamma lookin lady, yea doesnt have wat it takes, quite yet, and can b taken out by venus very vyer vyerrrrry easily id she gets hold of her, and serena can slug her way to any win, in a major, although she may lost a huge pre view to the major, as seen in the begignin, and very often things end in the way they begin,

Federer easily wins 17th major and possibly fires down in the off season

Venus beats serena in the Semi final, and calmly wins the Us Open over whoever challenges her in the final, but hmm a better word choice shud b used, get decimated by her, cuz the ppl who get to the final, are the big hitting higher ranked ppl, such as Dinara, or Dementiva, Or Azeranka, or Sveta or somone of the sort, but it shud b well known by now, that the big hitters like that onlu challenge Serena, but Venus just crushed the big names, not Azeranka yet, but she has the same huge game, as sharopova, that venus loves, the same rule applies to all of them, they r in no contetnion of Venus who if she gets thru the early round whoas, and takes out serena which i think is well due then shes got her major rite in her hands, and who knows, she may really bring it bak tasting huge of wimby sucess, Venus wins final in straits, wit and easiy tourny, idk bout Federer, just wins but thats all that matters rite?

Posted by Master Ace 08/26/2009 at 08:07 PM

"Federer easily wins 17th major and possibly fires down in the off season"

Do you mean 16th major to match his 16 Masters?

Posted by er9803 08/26/2009 at 09:33 PM

I really hope a first time slam winner wins this one!! Elena, Jankovic, or Azarenka!! Wish Kim can win it!!

Posted by GOD 08/27/2009 at 07:43 PM

Dearest Azhdaja.....Perhaps Federer's enormous success is GOD's will....or perhaps Roger is just really good. As for your sportmanship rants consider this (probably because you've never known such accomplishment, few have)...of course he's sometimes a poor sport and yes Australia was a low but anybody who wins that much and wants to win that bad is going to fail in the graciousness arena here and there. Rafa almost always has excuses when he loses just like Roger does. It's called a winning mind-set and these guys are obsessed, no? As for Nole's parents, if Roger was the King than the Djoker's are the village idiots! The kicker is your admission of what you think whenever our lovely Rog takes a racket back. Such venom, such hate, such thoroughly retarded nonsense. Get help soon but leave me out of it. As always, GOD

p.s. I created Caroline Wozniacki and am well pleased with my labors!

Posted by Justin 08/31/2009 at 02:21 AM

I really hope Elena comes out on top with this one! it just feels like her time has finally come.

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