Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor - Deep Breaths
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Deep Breaths 11/16/2009 - 2:25 PM

Nd-gm We thought this would be the generation of the giant. We hoped it would be the generation of the stylishly versatile. We, or at least I, have feared that it could turn into the generation of the nice. But after three hours of watching Novak Djokovic and Gael Monfils labor their way through the final in Bercy on Sunday, I think I know what to call this current crop of male pros: the Generation of the Heavy Breather. Both guys spent long periods sucking wind—Monfils through his mouth, Djokovic up his nose. Add fellow air seeker Andy Murray to this mix and you can see this sport is taking up its share of the world's oxygen these days.

Fatigue was to be expected, considering what the two finalists had been through to get there. Monfils had won his previous two matches 6-4 in the third, while Djokovic was deep into his second straight full week of play, having beaten Roger Federer in Basel the Sunday before. By the third set yesterday, all of that tennis had taken its toll on the quality of play. After a 43-shot rally to end the second game, both players staggered through a final set that was largely decided by breaks of serve, double faults, missed returns, and exhaustion. 

If they weren’t at their best physically, though, Monfils and Djokovic made up it for it emotionally. After winning a crucial point, the Frenchman would spin, grimace, beat his heart with his racquet, and demand that the Parisian fans get to their feet. For once, one of their tennis players had them under his thumb. At the same time, Djokovic fought—himself, his opponent, the moment—with the life-or-death ferocity that had once made him look like the game’s next No. 1 player. His muscle-straining celebration after match point was memorable because it went beyond joy or relief and into the territory of primal release. That’s the other thing about this generation: The code of gentlemanly behavior no longer precludes wearing your heart way out on your sleeve—or going past your sleeve and pointing to your biceps, if you’re so inclined. And the sport is more colorful for it.

Still, for 45 minutes this match looked like it would have no color at all. Djokovic built a speedy 6-2, 3-0 lead by doing just what he had done the day before to Rafael Nadal: He took the ball early and made changing directions with it look like child’s play. Djokovic didn’t need to take the full-blooded, down-the-line swipes he’s famous for; he kept the pressure on with plenty of margin for error. 

At the same time, Monfils, as is often the case, couldn’t locate the balance between control and aggression. He veered too far in each direction. During his first service game, Monfils rallied passively. On two occasions, Djokovic took advantage of that and pushed him far into his forehand corner. Both times Monfils, rather than sending back something high and safe, let loose with risky down-the-line bullets that ended up in the net. He was broken, the first set was over 15 minutes later, and it looked Djokovic’s momentum from the previous day would be enough to carry him through.

But if Monfils struggles to find a tactical balance, Djokovic struggles to find one mentally. I speculated last week that Grand Slams are difficult for the Serb because over two weeks he expends so much emotionally, goes through so many ups and downs, has to overcome so much frustration, that he can be spent by the semifinals. By Sunday, he was trying to survive another long two weeks, ones in which he had knocked off both Federer and Nadal. He almost didn’t make it. Up a break in each of the last two sets, Djokovic became oddly negative, slump-shouldered, and testy; he’d lost the balance. As the third-set tiebreaker began, he almost looked resigned to defeat. 

This attitude likely came from two factors: (1) Djokovic couldn’t forget the fact that he had lost four Masters finals this year, plus an epic semifinal in a third-set tiebreaker against Nadal in Madrid; and (2) He’s not used to being the clear favorite at this type of tournament. His earlier final-round defeats had come to Nadal (twice), Federer, and Murray. It was hard to imagine either Federer or Nadal, two born front-runners, giving away two big leads in one match to Monfils. This doesn't prove that Djokovic is a choker; rather, it proves how hard it is to win the matches you're supposed to win, and how rare it is to have a guy like Federer who has made it look so routine for so long. Maybe this breakthrough in Paris will make crossing the finish line a little easier for Djokovic in the future. What's more likely, though, is that he'll always struggle to keep his emotions in check.

What does this tournament mean for Monfils? I criticized his flash-over-substance style at the U.S. Open this year, but last week he came as close as he ever has to giving us both. Yes, he went for between-the-legs shots. Yes, he tried his share of jumping forehands. Yes, he threw his arms in the air to get a rise from the crowd at inadvisable moments. And yes, he lost. But his comebacks from the brink on Sunday were impressive and encouraging for two separate reasons. 

In the second set, Monfils found the elusive balance between control and aggression by attacking Djokovic’s short second serves, and by using high-bouncing semi-moonballs to work his way into offensive positions in rallies. The latter, a tactic that tied up Andy Roddick at Roland Garros, is a smart way for Monfils to take advantage of his length and leverage without having to leave his comfort zone on the baseline too soon. Few guys can generate the kind of spin and trajectory that he can; it's time for him to make the most of these assets.

Then, in the third set, just when he looked out of gas and out of the match, Monfils leaned on his first serve to get him to the tiebreaker. With Djokovic shaking his head, I thought we were about to see the emergence of a new Monfils: Gael the survivor, the cagey match player, the winner. Instead, he locked up in the breaker and gave the initiative back to Djokovic. The Frenchman didn’t gag away the tiebreaker, but he suddenly lacked a surefire way to win a point, to work himself forward. When it counted, Monfils lost his balance, while Djokovic found his.

They’ve played better matches, but this tournament was a step forward for each guy. If Monfils can give us this much substance in the future, if he can find his way through the close ones, I won’t complain about the pointless flash, the empty calories anymore—I’ll be able to say “that’s Gael being Gael” with a smile rather than a sigh. And really, would we want to see the guy intentionally not hit a forehand from 10 feet in the air? As for Djokovic, I was heartened, if a little frightened, by the return of his family and their us-against-the-world rooting style in Paris—even his girlfriend looked like she was ready to mix it up. If they keep him this motivated, if he tastes the top again, if he can tip his mental balance from frustration back to the hunger he had in 2007, we won’t have to worry about this generation being too nice. If Djokovic and Monfils keep playing matches like this one in 2010, all we'll have to worry about is that there's enough oxygen around to keep them on their feet.


 
64
Comments
 

Posted by Liem 11/16/2009 at 03:09 PM

First

Posted by H 11/16/2009 at 03:09 PM

Hi, Thank your post. I like your vision of the match.

Posted by Master Ace 11/16/2009 at 03:14 PM

This win was nice for Novak as he finally won tournaments in consecutive weeks for the first time in his career. Now, will he finally be able to defend a title that he won the previous year.

Posted by Maria 11/16/2009 at 03:24 PM

Very nice article, Steve... Still, I found Monfils overdefensive -- apart from the theatrics, he likes too much to chase down all balls, especially improbable ones. He basically likes the points to be controlled by his opponents because this way he gets to run :) If he were playing a bit more aggresively and tried to thereby control the points himself, he'd be much more successful, I am sure, given all his qualities, good serve, amazing athleticism etc.

Posted by lollipop (rafelfole forever) 11/16/2009 at 03:34 PM

Thanks for this article steve, really enjoyed it. I agree that Novak has to find his emotional/mental balance, but for sure this win is a step in the right direction. Hopefully he will be able to gain a lot of confidence from this.

Posted by Syd 11/16/2009 at 03:47 PM

Really nice article, Steve. Thanks. I like your sober analysis of these two.

I think Gael Monfils was the more interesting story of Bercy. I hope Rasheed is able to bring him round to the point where he can harness his enormous athletic ability and make a breakthrough by winning a Masters or even a slam next year.

Posted by tina 11/16/2009 at 04:18 PM

Fed doesn't always make it look so "routine to win the matches he's supposed to win". He surely was supposed to defeat Julien Benneteau, and was a clear favorite to win at "home" in Basel.

As for the appearance of the family, don't be frightened - I would imagine they flew in because they knew Gael would have huge support in France. I don't think we'll suddenly see them as a major presence on tour again. Leave the lovely Jelena Ristic out of it - you're projecting something ugly onto her that she did nothing to deserve. Like any court-side girlfriend, she seemed nervous and excited.

Posted by Ibrahim 11/16/2009 at 04:30 PM

"He’s not used to being the clear favorite at this type of tournament (...) It was hard to imagine either Federer or Nadal (...) giving away two big leads in one match to Monfils. This doesn't prove that Djokovic is a choker; rather, it proves how hard it is to win the matches you're supposed to win, and how rare it is to have a guy like Federer who has made it look so routine for so long."

That kind of domination is not rare Mr.Tignor, it's unique.

Posted by Roger 11/16/2009 at 04:35 PM

With reference to Federer winning routinely, I am sure Steve must have referred to his career between 2004 and 2007.

Posted by ladyjulia 11/16/2009 at 04:45 PM

"Both guys spent long periods sucking wind—Monfils through his mouth, Djokovic up his nose. Add fellow air seeker Andy Murray to this mix and you can see this sport is taking up its share of the world's oxygen these days."

LOL!

Posted by Corleone 11/16/2009 at 05:00 PM

I still don't like Djokovic.

GO FEDERER.

Posted by Master Ace 11/16/2009 at 05:29 PM

Tina,
Unofficial word is that Novak is undefeated when Jelena is watching his matches and agree that his parents will be at fewer tournaments. Did they build a new restaurant in the past 2 years along with purchasing the Serbian Open from Amersfoort? Think Novak parents came to Basel when he made the finals against Roger.

Posted by embug 11/16/2009 at 06:22 PM

Nice observations, Steve.

After Novak ran up a 6-2 3-0 lead, I was inches from the delete button on the DVR. Then, the tables turned. WOW... the rhythm of your post caught the waves of the match nicely.

As the third set tiebreaker was about to begin, I thought either man could pull it off because of their mental and physical conditions. However, the little (way small) wise voice camped out in the far reaches of my cortex leaned toward Novak. Why? Because Gael did one of his arm-lifting rally cries to pump up the crowd at a moment he should have focused on one out of seven points he'd need to walk away the winner.

He swayed, as you said 'out of balance.' He did cut out much of his antics throughout the week, which saved his energy for tennis. HIs strategic choices showed maturity.

Perhaps next year we'll be seeing his name in the top eight. That'd be sweet. Love to watch that man jump! Oh... just a few jumps will do.

Posted by Darko Saric 11/16/2009 at 06:51 PM

Svaka cast Nole.Ono je bilo dobro kad si bacio reket i poslao sve u p.... materinu.

Posted by B.Lara 11/16/2009 at 06:56 PM

Nadal interview

http://www.gototennisblog.com/2009/11/16/rafael-nadal-ponders-the-great-mysteries-war-religion-and-roger-federer/

Original Source:-
http://www.magazinedigital.com/reportajes/los_reportajes_de_la_semana/reportaje/cnt_id/3912/pageID/1

Posted by Whoever 11/16/2009 at 06:59 PM

How did you come up with bringing parents in relation with Nole's hunger? And where the question about his hunger comes from these days? He won 3 out of 4 last tournaments he played and he certainly doesn't go to London less hungry of success.

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/16/2009 at 07:14 PM

Moderator
you might consider deleting Isa's comment at 5:35pm

Posted by amanda townsend 11/16/2009 at 07:20 PM

it was fabulous performance on behalf of Novak.He deserved that win especially after Crushing nadal.I cant believe at time of match point There was agony in face of nadal,hopelessness in eyes he just lookied at that moment to his Girlfriend (who was still wearing same grey shirt)..Fantastic perfprmance by Fox Sports camera man on catching this romantic moment..i loved that part of Mtch...I am hoping to see more Nadal agony in future too:)))))))))
I had enuf of Nadal...Desperately need change..wishing he will knock out in first round of LONDON..gets injured..whatever

Posted by Master Ace 11/16/2009 at 07:23 PM

Yello Fuzzy,
Agreed with your 7:14 PM post on a comment that needs to be deleted

Posted by amanda townsend 11/16/2009 at 07:29 PM

i wish nadal will lose,something will happen to him he will get injured..he just needs to spend time on same mallorca beach with his skinny gorilfriend ..well he doeasnt need to play in london.
nadal take your injury time and dont come to london

Posted by etheralx23crisis 11/16/2009 at 07:31 PM

GO NOLE!

Posted by embug 11/16/2009 at 07:33 PM

yes, please, moderator... delete Isa's comment. Thank you.

Posted by Veka 11/16/2009 at 07:40 PM

Why is this article focusing so much on the negatives? Here is Djokovic winning two tornaments in two weeks beating home players in the finals...beating Nadal ina breathtaking fashion.winning 3 out of 4 tournaments...Monfils first Masters final....and again the talk of the parents...even his gf is now a thorn in the eye...yes they must be evil .heavy breathing.instead of well deserved praise you deliver underhanded hits. yes, biased and disappointing writing...I'm disappointed...

Posted by Bibi 11/16/2009 at 07:44 PM

It looks like Novak will have to prove much more to deserve another "Nole's Best Impersonation Yet" style article from Steve, which is completely understandable.
Congratulations Novak and please continue being yourself-it works.

Posted by mad about fed 11/16/2009 at 08:34 PM

MODERATOR
i third the motion to delete isa's comment. likening a "black man" to a monkey is a racial slur and i thought those things were not allowed on this sight.

Posted by Joker 11/16/2009 at 08:36 PM

So why did Djokovic loses points when he won 2 tournaments in a row while Roger didn't lose much and Rafa on the other hand, gained like 200 points??? The point systems just don't look right.

Posted by mad about fed 11/16/2009 at 08:38 PM

amanda townsend --- I can't believe that you would even think let alone voice your wish that a player injures themselves. that is AWFUL and meanspirited. i'm sure that novak does not want fans like you cheering him.

Posted by Bibi 11/16/2009 at 09:01 PM

Please Moderator, would you review the posts. Two users need to be removed

Posted by Master Ace 11/16/2009 at 09:22 PM

Joker,
The 1500 points from the YEC came off this week on Novak while Roger lost only 200 and Rafael 0 as he did not play.

Posted by Flip 11/16/2009 at 09:44 PM

I'm happy for Novak, for the longest time he was not one of my favorite players, but he's matured wonderfully overtime. Now Monfils on the other hand I can't stand to watch play, he just irrates me something feirce. I will admit he has fantastic skills, and lean slighty towards Isa's comment on how it makes me sick all his jumping around, trying to get the crowd pumped up on almost every shot, though I did not take it as a racial thing like most on here did. We are all entitled to our opinions. What's the saying... 'all flash, no substance?' Now my opinion may change if he shows some consistancy in the months to come.

Posted by Dana 11/16/2009 at 09:56 PM

I was deeply offended by Isa's comments. They should be removed immediately.

Posted by Kristy 11/16/2009 at 10:28 PM

Steve, this is a beautiful piece of writing. Someone else mentioned the rhythm of the prose -- I felt that all the way through, especially in the last paragraph. That's a killer paragraph!

Loved this: And really, would we want to see the guy intentionally not hit a forehand from 10 feet in the air?

That made me laugh. Kudos on this post.

I agree the offensive post by Isa should be removed.

Posted by Azhdaja 11/16/2009 at 10:56 PM

"Maybe this breakthrough in Paris will make crossing the finish line a little easier for Djokovic in the future."
---------------------------------------
Steve you said it pretty much in your predictions "Who will own Paris" when you didn't see Djokovic past q/f?! So, now you're smart to conclude that a Paris match will be breakthrough for Djokovic?!? my goodness, don't you know how many matches like this one Djoker already won before?!
__________________________________
"What's more likely, though, is that he'll always struggle to keep his emotions in check."
-------------------------------

what's even more ridiculous from you is the fact that you failed to remember (or See??) that just a week ago the same Djokovic won Basel defeted Roger Federer in the final in front of 10,000 Swiss fans who also were giving suppport to TMF all the match time - yet the same Djokovic didn't show any of the emotions you were talking about??
How come??

Well, the answer is: the crowd, Mr. Steve. The crowd of the Frenzy French and the unfair French crowd who were chanting, yelling and screaming during Djoko's service delivery!! If you watched carefully, (I doubt it!?) Djokovic's excitement didn't come from the victory over Monfils (BTW he already won 4 of those MS1000s before!!), but he took the moment to strike back and give them the taste of their own medecine.

Beating Federer in the final in his home town is far more emotional for Djoker than shutting off a Gael who he had dominated throughout the match?!

cheap analysis, Steve. You cannot do worse than this, Steve.

To give my two cents, I wouldn't advise neither the crazy crowd to give unfair advantage to their home favourite, nor to Djoko to go on war against 15,000 necks! They both can lose, only! Which was the case yesterday.

Posted by Azhdaja 11/16/2009 at 11:02 PM

Posted by Veka 11/16/2009 @ 7:40 PM

Why is this article focusing so much on the negatives? Here is Djokovic winning two tornaments in two weeks beating home players in the finals...beating Nadal ina breathtaking fashion.winning 3 out of 4 tournaments...Monfils first Masters final....and again the talk of the parents...even his gf is now a thorn in the eye...yes they must be evil .heavy breathing.instead of well deserved praise you deliver underhanded hits. yes, biased and disappointing writing...I'm disappointed...
-----------------------------------

I completely agree!

Just to add: Djokovic won 3 out of last 4 tournaments in slightly over a month! He made to the s/f in the fourth one!! So, taht's almost 4 back-to-back won tournaments!! Very impressive and consistent. And yet Steve is focusing on some negative stuff?? Were there really any negatives at all??

I'd say no!

Posted by Azhdaja 11/16/2009 at 11:09 PM

I speculated last week that Grand Slams are difficult for the Serb because over two weeks he expends so much emotionally,...........
----------------------

....and you were wrong! Again.

Posted by Azhdaja 11/16/2009 at 11:16 PM

Hey Steve how's your family? Your gilfriend, is she ready to mix-it-up!?? I'd advise you, to leave Djokovic's family alone, buddy!
At least do not mix-it-up with tennis sports. ...if you can. Or go back to the college and do unfinished work.

cheers!

Posted by phillykat 11/16/2009 at 11:34 PM

Moderator please remove offensive comment from 5:35pm as it it still up.

Posted by johhny 11/17/2009 at 01:50 AM

monfils is no doubt very good player and extraordinary athlete, but his main fuel is crowd; if crowd support fails to show up, monfils fails; also, he lacks focus in certain moments and plays tentatively;

i find tsonga very similar to monfils, flashy and talented but not focused enough for big achievements. he also regularly tries to fire up the crowd for his own benefit which i find totally unsporty.

nole is coming back, old nole, self confident, powerful, smart, talented, devastating, beautiful, exciting, nole that brings flare and high voltage, electrifying tennis that can zap if not handled properly (nadal), nole devoted to his family, friends, country.
it is amazing how todd martin influenced his game and transformed his lost self belief in such a short period of time.

clearly annoyed with the unclassy french cheese eating crowd that cheers unforced errors and double faults, nole lost focus for the moment but managed to recover and beat 14K gaels.

agree with the comment regarding family, let us leave families out of this. nole's family and nole himself were crushed by media and forced to play by anglo-saxon rules - and they have complied quite successfully. we don't want them to go through the same hell again.

Posted by pov 11/17/2009 at 01:59 AM

Isa,
I know that since you're a baboon you desperately want to have some pro tennis player you can claim as kin. Sorry though, Monfils is a long, lanky athletic - and often joyously exuberant - human.

BTW If that's what you baboons think of as over-muscular, maybe we humans can hip you to Wheaties.

Posted by KHODI-KUBA BENNU 11/17/2009 at 03:23 AM

Interesting Comments ISA,So what are you Inferring,That Monfils isn't subjected to routine Substance abuse Analysis,that he has never visited a Gym maybe,or are you suggesting that he may not be quite as "Normal" as Other Players on the ATP, with your Descriptions and Subsequent Referrences to Animal-like Behavioural Mannerisms???

Posted by Freddy 11/17/2009 at 04:34 AM

Steve, you are obviously a fan of Federer and his “like a baby crying” behavior. I am very sorry your favorites did not pass through. Try to look at it more impartially and maybe your predictions will be more accurate. I know you missed Federer’s gentlemanlike crying like a baby, but he obviously could not win, after having clear lead over another Frenchman, who is not his class definitely. I did not find both players being unfair to each other, including Gael’s pumping the crowd. They wanted a Frenchman to win the tournament – what’s wrong in it. On the other side the Djokovic’s fans, including his family, supported their man, because he obviously needed support, after playing nine matches in row before this one – what’s wrong in it. Only I can see in Djokovic’s girlfriend eyes was love and support and she wanted her man to win the match – what is wrong in being loved. What is wrong if people behave as they really are? Then you must like Novak’s impersonations, pretending to be someone else.

Posted by Sliceman 11/17/2009 at 06:48 AM

I've been stirred from lurking to object to Isa's comment. No place for that here (I hope).

I repeat what others have said:

"Moderator please remove offensive comment from 5:35pm as it it still up."

Posted by susan 11/17/2009 at 06:51 AM

"That’s the other thing about this generation: The code of gentlemanly behavior no longer precludes wearing your heart way out on your sleeve—or going past your sleeve and pointing to your biceps, if you’re so inclined. And the sport is more colorful for it."

Hmmm........ So rafa doesn't wear his "heart on his sleeve" when he fist-pumps, raises his leg (i love that gesture, btw) !???!!

He's a ball of controlled emotion and energy, and is a pleasure to watch. And he's only one year older than nole (yes but started his career earlier). Same generation, no?

And he's 'nice', and HUGELY, massively popular. Has boatloads of charisma and skill that the tennis world should be getting down on its knees to thank him for. He has attracted so many fans and young people,in particular, to the sport. (as has federer, but nadal has brought in a lot of younger folk).

Even Safin, still loved after, what, four years of not winning a tournament, is, well, 'nice'.... and colourful indeed.


Posted by susan 11/17/2009 at 07:10 AM

no one ever seems to be moderating this blog, although pete bodo's is tightly monitored.

not sure if that is due to a different attitude toward moderating or what....it would be interesting to know.

Posted by Realistic 11/17/2009 at 08:28 AM

Terrible article…malicious and it seems Steve that you are jealous. I really agreed you need to be professional and not to mixed Novak’s family and private life with sport. Novak was first in Paris and that is fact. Would you write about Fed on that way if he were on Novak place? Greatings to Tina, Freddy, Azhdaja and other normal people.

Posted by Azhdaja 11/17/2009 at 08:49 AM

AJDE NOLE!!
AJDE NOLE!!
AJDE NOLE!!

Posted by Azhdaja 11/17/2009 at 08:50 AM

y Realistic 11/17/2009 @ 8:28 AM
-----------------------------

thanks, man!

Posted by Tfactor 11/17/2009 at 09:23 AM

How can anyone wish someone else to get injured/hurt, regardless of how much they dislike them??
I am a big believer in karma and all those negative thoughts /intentions tend to come back right at us.

Great article Steve, as usual ;)
I was torn during the entire match as to who to root for. It was a win-win situation for me anyway.
I'm certainly enjoying Nole's form at this time when so many others seem completely out of it or are injured. This has certainly been one year to remember whith all its ups and downs, twists and turns.

Posted by Shocked 11/17/2009 at 09:36 AM

I've never posted here but I was so upset by Isa that I couldn't keep quiet. Please remove that post.

Posted by JohnC 11/17/2009 at 09:49 AM

This is the second time in three days a poster has likened Monfils to a primate, and the second time we have had over-the-top posters trying to project Balkan grievances against the world into tennis (in the latter case not helped by Nole). These two developments seem not unrelated, unfortunately. And the mods sit on their hands.

Not a good look.

Posted by fatguy12 11/17/2009 at 10:00 AM

Good post. But I don't understand why you bring Nole's family into it. One doesn't just cast away their family.

Thanks B. Lara for the Nadal interview. He is such a mature, introspective, and insightful young man. His comment about religion being the biggest killer, especially in the context of the present world, hits the nail right on the head.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/17/2009 at 10:51 AM

It always saddens me, Steve, that your great articles attract such trolls.

Posted by Bhai Mirzai 11/17/2009 at 12:25 PM

Too much celebration for too little an achievement ... This is what I see in Monfils. This has been a turn off for me personally.

On the same note ... all this chest thumping (I think Baghdatis stared it), if used at evey point you win ...

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,thinking of Fish and chips,London 11/18/2009 at 03:47 AM

Thanks Steve,

Well Novak did draw a big breath in? I can understand it believe me.How frustrating must it have been for him making those Masters finals before this one and lost.He deserves accolades.First he has won back to back tournaments.His 1st Master shield this year.

He now has a chance to defend his YEC title.

Is history repeating itself?.I remember this time last year,after a pretty mediocre period for Novak he got his game together.Though the one thing I noticed in this tournament was the "self belief".Maybe bringing Todd Martin in as a co coach has paid off in some ways.His match against Rafa was sublime.He hwas pushed in the final but found a way to come out on top.The mark of a good player.

Novak welcome back.

Posted by tina 11/18/2009 at 01:11 PM

JohnC 11/17/2009 @ 9:49 AM

This is the second time in three days a poster has likened Monfils to a primate, and the second time we have had over-the-top posters trying to project Balkan grievances against the world into tennis (in the latter case not helped by Nole). These two developments seem not unrelated, unfortunately. And the mods sit on their hands.

Thankfully, I missed the comment about Monfils - but I don't see a single reference to "Balkan grievances" anywhere on this thread.

Posted by Corrie 11/18/2009 at 04:15 PM

The Serbian support for Novak often turns into exactly what JohnC said. I've never seen a lot or respect for his opponents.

Posted by OLA 11/18/2009 at 06:38 PM

Tignor hates Djokovic, it's simple. Too funny actually and very transparent.

Posted by noleisthebest 11/23/2009 at 05:27 AM

Steve, whatever you ate before writing this article, keep the concoction.....:)

Posted by noleisthebest 11/23/2009 at 05:29 AM

"I still don't like Djokovic.

GO FEDERER."

I still love Djokovic,(and Federer)
GO TENNIS.

Posted by barry (not Barry) 11/23/2009 at 10:12 PM

I can't wait until Daveed comes back to swing these guys side to side off the courts in true angular fashion. If the GS's were held indoors he'd have racked up several majors!

Posted by KHODI-KUBA BENNU 12/09/2009 at 08:17 AM

Gael Monfils as Nice a Young Happy Go-Lucky Young Man That He Seems To Be,He Will Still Endure The Negative Barbs/Criticisms and Long-Standing Hatred/Vehemence That The Williams Sisters Have Both Recieved/Endured Over Their Careers For The Long-Haul. Tiger Woods is NOW Really on That Ship also,That They All Have/Will Always Find Themselves Pirating,No Matter What Their Great Accomplishments in Sports or Whatever!Nuff Said For Now!

Posted by KHODI-KUBA BENNU 12/09/2009 at 08:48 AM

I Think That What I Should Have Really Stated To Monfils,Tsonga,The Williams Sisters, Mr.Woods,etc etc,is That In My 40 years Of Living,The Only Real Way Of Fighting off Constant Negativity that I Have Found Ultimately Works,is With Forceful Positivity Always,Irregardless of Your Past Misgivings/Misbehavings/Misdeeds! Nuff Said For Now!

Posted by KHODI-KUBA BENNU 12/09/2009 at 08:48 AM

I Think That What I Should Have Really Stated To Monfils,Tsonga,The Williams Sisters, Mr.Woods,etc etc,is That In My 40 years Of Living,The Only Real Way Of Fighting off Constant Negativity that I Have Found Ultimately Works,is With Forceful Positivity Always,Irregardless of Your Past Misgivings/Misbehavings/Misdeeds! Nuff Said For Now!

Posted by KHODI-KUBA BENNU 12/09/2009 at 08:48 AM

I Think That What I Should Have Really Stated To Monfils,Tsonga,The Williams Sisters, Mr.Woods,etc etc,is That In My 40 years Of Living,The Only Real Way Of Fighting off Constant Negativity that I Have Found Ultimately Works,is With Forceful Positivity Always,Irregardless of Your Past Misgivings/Misbehavings/Misdeeds! Nuff Said For Now!


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