Peter Bodo's TennisWorld - Your Call, Clay Court Edition
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Your Call, Clay Court Edition 04/08/2009 - 8:17 AM

Smallyourcall Mornin', everyone. It's official, the clay-court season is upon us, and that's a time of year that always creates some lively discussion. For a good portion of yesterday in the post below there were interesting comments made on the concept of "point construction." Is tennis on clay really more like the proverbial chess? Do players really think four, five moves ahead? If you "construct" a great point but your opponent shanks a desperate volley that falls for a winnner, does that mean your effort failed? My feeling is that the game can't be compared to chess in meaningful sense; it's played on a board with far fewer squares and pieces, and it's played on the run (despite the 30-second rule). And the fact that the person across the has an influence on your next move, to a degree that can vary from minimal to total, without you having any say whatsoever in the matter, also undermines the analogy. That doesn't mean that the clay game doesn't have a different tone and pace than tennis on other surfaces; it can and often does. Use this first Your Call of the new season to talk about the action today, or tennis in general. I'll be back later. In other words, your move.

-- Pete


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Posted by NP 04/08/2009 at 08:23 AM

Never would've guessed Pete prefers to be Black.

Posted by Vie 04/08/2009 at 08:24 AM

Usher in Clay! Good morning, Pete.

Posted by NP 04/08/2009 at 08:24 AM

And Rosangel, got your message. Will reply when I have time.

Posted by NP 04/08/2009 at 08:28 AM

"Is tennis on clay really more like the proverbial chess?"

Depends. Karpov was a dirtballer, while Mikhail Tal attacked grass-style.

Posted by Maha - Roger, you have left me no reason to exist. (But I still love you) 04/08/2009 at 08:29 AM

FOURTH!!!!!!!!

Clay court season.... full steam ahead!!!!!!!!!!! CHOO CHOOOOO.

NP! How are you?!?!?! Long time no "see"!!! LOL.

Hmmm random thought: is it just me being an annoying 17-year-old or is Juna Martin Del Potro very very cute for a 20-year-old 6'5" skinny dude???

Posted by NP 04/08/2009 at 08:31 AM

Howdy, Maha. Sorry to ruin your USO.

Posted by yello fuzzy"yummy. yummy, yummy I got love in my tummy' 04/08/2009 at 08:34 AM

Bring on the dirt!!!!!

Posted by yello fuzzy 04/08/2009 at 08:37 AM

ominous foreshadowing
Azarenka with a shoulder injury

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 09:04 AM

Maha no you are not an annoying 17 year old and yes Crazy Elf (Del Potro) is very cute, just ask Gauloise.

I was very rude today I didn't say sorry to Blake fans, so I apologise for this oversight.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/08/2009 at 09:05 AM

CLAY TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*dances stupidly about with total and all-consuming excitement*

thank you for the Your Call. :)

Posted by Master Ace 04/08/2009 at 09:05 AM

Pete,
Seems like you read my mind call this YC, Clay Court Edition for the reason below.

At this time last year, Rafael Nadal just lost to Nikolay Davydenko in the final at Key Biscayne. Last title was at Stuttgart in 2007 following a 5 set defeat at Wimbledon to Roger Federer. Most people were saying that he is only a great clay courter.
However, when Monte Carlo started in 2008 after playing a Davis Cup match, Rafael Nadal is 85-8 with 10 titles.

Titles
Clay: Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Hamburg, French Open
Grass: Queens, Wimbledon
Hard: Canada, Olympics, Australian Open, Indian Wells

Other than maybe Roger Federer in 2006-2007 where he was 88-4 with 12 titles from Indian Wells to Dubai capped off with a 41 match win streak, what other stretch is comparable to this one? Also, in that stretch he lost that memorable 5 set match against Rafael Nadal in Rome.

Roger titles in that stretch:
Hard: Indian Wells, Key Biscayne, Canada, United States Open, Tokyo, Madrid, Basel, Shanghai, Australian Open, Dubai
Grass: Halle, Wimbledon

When comparing, DO NOT count from the beginning of any calendar year.

Posted by NP 04/08/2009 at 09:10 AM

"When comparing, DO NOT count from the beginning of any calendar year."

Agreed, MA. As I've said before, stretches should be broken down into 12-month periods.

Posted by jamesc 04/08/2009 at 09:13 AM

Hi all, new to the commenting

Woo Hoo clay time! (i never liked seeing the ball when i watch a match on tv anyway....)

Posted by NP 04/08/2009 at 09:13 AM

For now I'll just repeat what I said on the previous thread: Borg's FO/Wimby double (any of 'em, according to deeps and me-self) is more impressive, but Rafa's AO title tilts the comparison in his favor.

Posted by Master Ace 04/08/2009 at 09:14 AM

Marbella:

http://www.justin.tv/tennismasters

http://www.atdhe.net/live-tv-5997.html

These links have been posted for that tournament. Hope these links work.

Posted by Master Ace 04/08/2009 at 09:16 AM

Wednesday Order of Play:

WTA:Marbella 5 AM TW - Vaidisova and Medina Garrigues scheduled
ATP:Casablanca 7 AM TW - Ljubicic/Gil, Starace/Ferrero, Montanes, and Hanescu scheduled
WTA:Ponte Vedra Beach 10 AM TW - K Bondarenko/A Bondarenko and Cibulkova scheduled
ATP:Houston 1 PM TW - Melzer, Isner and Chardy scheduled

Evening session
WTA:Marbella 11:30 AM TW - Serena Williams vs Klara Zakopalova
WTA:Ponte Vedra Beach 7 PM TW - Nadia Petrova vs Madison Keys
ATP: Houston 7 PM TW - Lleyton Hewitt scheduled


Some matches have already been completed and others have already started

Posted by NP 04/08/2009 at 09:17 AM

Welcome, jamesc.

And lemme qualify that last remark. Maybe Borg's '79 double wasn't as impressive, as Tanner was (arguably) the Andy Roddick of his time.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/08/2009 at 09:20 AM

Hey, jamesc, welcome to commenting. :)

Posted by Master Ace 04/08/2009 at 09:24 AM

Welcome to TW, Jamesc

Posted by naughty T.... tennistically 04/08/2009 at 09:26 AM

A clay court thread??? Clearly you have all dumbed down you comments in the appropriate manner ;))

Posted by naughty T.... tennistically 04/08/2009 at 09:27 AM

Welcome James

Posted by NP 04/08/2009 at 09:30 AM

No, nT. It's just that clay has turned deep blue.

Posted by Sandra 04/08/2009 at 09:31 AM

So glad the clay court season is beginning. Also, I have never believed in the comparison of tennis to chess - tennis just has too many more moving parts, and points (and the opponent's moves) are too unpredictable for a valid comparison.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/08/2009 at 09:33 AM

*eyes light up*

How about tennis and snooker for the comparison?

LOL, naughty.

Posted by naughty T.... tennistically 04/08/2009 at 09:35 AM

*throws an "r" into Typesad in the hope it turns "you" into "your"

Posted by Sandra 04/08/2009 at 09:35 AM

And what on earth is going on with James Blake? I know clay is not his best surface, but he's been taking dismal losses even on his best surface (hardcourt). He is truly mired in a slump, and the claycourt season probably won't help him to get out of it anytime soon. How old is Blake now - 28? This may signal his last hurrah.

Posted by white line fever 04/08/2009 at 09:38 AM

Any updates on Serena's leg? Or any other parts of her? Amazed that she's still scheduled to play today after being so hobbled in the final against Vika.

Posted by Cotton Jack 04/08/2009 at 09:41 AM

Does anyone have any thoughts on the very poor field at Casablanca?

Posted by ava 04/08/2009 at 09:43 AM

Hi, all.

Sandra, I think you're right. Blake is done.
Too many dismal results even during his favorite hard-court season.
Anyway, I give him credit to have come back after such a bad injury. It was truly inspirational but he is done. I think he will retire at the end of this season.
He will be good as a commentator, I think.

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 09:45 AM

Cotton Jack, I think most of the players are having the week off they get ready for Monte Carlo which starts on Sunday. Don't forget all the top players have had a long month what with Indian Wells and Miami.

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 09:45 AM

Cotton Jack, I think most of the players are having the week off they get ready for Monte Carlo which starts on Sunday. Don't forget all the top players have had a long month what with Indian Wells and Miami.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/08/2009 at 09:46 AM

Angel - I keep missing you on this thing - how are you doing?

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 09:46 AM

Ava I don't think Blake will retire at the end of the year, a lot of players go through bad patches. Agree he could be on the decline but retirement, I don't think so.

Posted by alex 04/08/2009 at 09:48 AM

cotton jack -

clearly you do:)

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 09:48 AM

Hi Jewell I am good. It is still really warm on my side of the world with temps in the low 30's with plenty of sunshine. I still don't have any work but have been for a couple of interviews and I keep missing out.

With MC starting next week we will prolly bump into each other a lot more.

How are you?

Posted by Cotton Jack 04/08/2009 at 09:49 AM

Angel - I was wondering if this tournament traditionally has this weak a field?

I take your point, but was surprised that so few players felt the need to get any kind of clay-court experience under their feet before going into a 1000 event

Here are the seeds, btw

1. Igor Andreev
2. Rainer Schuettler
3. Albert Montanes
4. Victor Hanescu
5. Florent Serra
6. Marc Gicquel
7. Christophe Rochus
8. Arnaud Clement

Posted by Cotton Jack 04/08/2009 at 09:51 AM

Alex - oops, how on earth did my POV slip out? ;-)

Posted by NP 04/08/2009 at 09:51 AM

Let's not forget that Blake had a respectable run at the AO. In fact he looked pretty damn agile against Igor, even volleying with great touch, but didn't quite bring the same game in the next round against Tsonga and lost in straights.

Posted by NP 04/08/2009 at 09:52 AM

AA, didn't know you were outta work. Hope you find a job soon.

Posted by Cotton Jack 04/08/2009 at 09:53 AM

PS I'm either hoping or expecting that someone will tell me that this field is not as bad as I'm suggesting and that I clearly don't know as much about the clay-court scene as I ought

Posted by ava 04/08/2009 at 09:53 AM

i dunno...blake is 28/29 isn't he???

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/08/2009 at 09:56 AM

Go Schuettler and Seal Face and Clement!

Angel - I am good, not as warm as you but sunny. *is surprised at spring-time sunshine miracle* Sorry the interviews didn't work out, they must be mad, not snapping you up immediately. Idiots!

Posted by ava 04/08/2009 at 09:56 AM

I'm all for the players getting more rest but this is BORING!
There is nothing to do, even in TW...

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 09:58 AM

ava don't worry, everything will be back to normal as of Sunday when MC begins.

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 09:59 AM

Jewell there is also no wind so it is quite warm atm and it is 10pm.

Posted by ava 04/08/2009 at 09:59 AM

I know, angel of the surf, my Rafa will be back then..hopefully having conquered the Miami Demons.

So, Fed is not playing MC; Nole and Muzzah are, right?
And DelPo too?

Posted by Marian wtg Rafa!!! 04/08/2009 at 10:00 AM

Morning, from the other thread, if the discussion moved here:

Peter:

I wasn't looking for a fight, nor taking cheap shots at you all day etc. Lol

My posts were civil and replies to your points, because I disagree with most of your arguments (as simple as that). Is that allowed?

You, on the other hand, called people here ungracious, then me a bantam rooster and threaten to ban me.

Clearing what you call "missunderstandings" about your points, would have been better mind you.

I think that Ally answered better then me:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Posted by Ally 04/07/2009 @ 11:50 PM

Have been lurking on this blog forever, but must step out and say that in some ways I agree with Marian. Pete, I feel like most posters are disagreeing with your graciously AND coming up with great arguments. Your counterarguments refer them back to your original post and accuse them of misunderstanding. Which is the more passive-aggressive approach here? Add that to your threat of banning Marian and it all adds up to a distinctly odd way of handling this discussion.

Many good points all around, and a lot of fiery opinions. But what did you expect? A lot of people love clay, and love the game on clay. Your piece claims an objective analytic of the game, while it reveals some of your own biases against certain players and certain styles. So what? Why not just own up to those biases, instead of claiming that your argument is objective and fact-based?

Instead you resort to threatening to "disappear" anyone who points out these discrepancies? Disappointing.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Have a nice day!

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 10:01 AM

Ohh I hope Del Potro and Muzz get to play a clay match against each other, that will be fun.

Posted by Sher 04/08/2009 at 10:02 AM

[ Is tennis on clay really more like the proverbial chess? Do players really think four, five moves ahead? ]

I don't think so.

Posted by ava 04/08/2009 at 10:03 AM

Amgel, I think DelPo-Muzz on clay has all the ingredients to be a boring match.
I don't like the way either of them play.

Posted by ava 04/08/2009 at 10:04 AM

er, I meant 'Angel'...
such a nice moniker, why?

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 10:05 AM

I guess I was more talking about if there would be any fireworks as these two seem to irritate each other.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/08/2009 at 10:06 AM

Racquets at dawn...

Posted by ava 04/08/2009 at 10:06 AM

yeah, delpo once insulted Judy Murray or something like that.
Steve has a very good post about that.

Anyway, does anyone know much about Muzzah's dad?
never heard of him....his mother and father are not together, are they?

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 10:07 AM

Ava I have to thank Jewel for my new moniker I used to be Aussie Angel. I mention going to the beach and body surfing over christmas.

Posted by ava 04/08/2009 at 10:08 AM

wow, jewell is truly creative.
'Angel of the Surf'-actually it sounds like the name of a saint....

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 10:10 AM

ava that is so sweet.

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 10:15 AM

Gosh Viggio Mortennsen is good looking.

Posted by white line fever 04/08/2009 at 10:16 AM

Regarding Casablanca: traditionally it has not been a strongly-fielded tourney. Even though Jackie's hubby and my dearest Baby Owl won last year, the list of past champions isn't exactly overwhelming: Mathieu '07, Bracciali '06, Puerta '05, S. Ventura: Net Detective '04, Boutter '03, and so forth.

As others have said, it's not-so-favorably wedged between big US Hard Court and large European Clay Court events. Plus, it IS only a 250 level tournament.

Still, I've been enjoying the feed from there; some of the local WC's have been adorably funky and can actually play a little, too!

Posted by Master Ace 04/08/2009 at 10:16 AM

"Go Schuettler and Seal Face and Clement!"

Jewell,
Schuettler lost to Ramirez Hidalgo yesterday and Clement lost to Ljubicic on Monday

Posted by Master Ace 04/08/2009 at 10:17 AM

White Line Fever,
Puerta was in the final at the French Open in 2005 where he lost to a certain Spainard in 4 sets, who defeated a 13 time Slam winner in the SF.

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 10:17 AM

Who is Seal Face?

Posted by Master Ace 04/08/2009 at 10:19 AM

Seal Face = Igor Andreev

Posted by gauloises 04/08/2009 at 10:19 AM

Murray's parents are divorced. His dad, who I want to say is named Willy (warning: may not be true) is a very nice, low-key man who often comes to watch Andy but keeps quite a low profile. I think I've only ever read one interview with him and I thought he seemed lovely.

Also ... just for the record, JMDP is taller than six foot five and (I think) remarkably attractive.

*phew*

Posted by alex 04/08/2009 at 10:19 AM

ava -

regarding muzz-delpo, I can see you're no doubt of the same opinion as tignor, that muzz doesn't take enough risk in offence to make his game exciting.

So I've copied my comments on that thread below. Don't expect yuou to agree, but here goes anyway ... (no prizes for guessing who I'm a fan of:))

steve -

I agree with your grades but, while I see where you come from in interpreting muzz's tactic of pressurising opponents into mistakes as minimising his own risk, in another respect muzz's play could be seen as the most risky in the game right now.

I mean, who else, other than someone with incredible speed, lightning reactions and supreme confidence, would dare draw guys like delpo into mid-court with fairly soft medium-bouncers and tempt them to try and whack the ball out of court. It's as if he's saying, "Come on, pass me, look, there's an easy one, try that one, I double dare you ..."

Murray, IMO, with the heavily defensive positions he seems to quite consciously place himself in against the very best players, might be seen as a very high risk taker (and never moreso than last week).

Your problem seems to be that his risk is in defence, rather than offence (although I don't know many who would attempt some of the impossible angled passing shots he repeatedly threw out last week against delpo and nole); it's just that his risk is highly calculated and highly unconventional.

If experts like yourself don't appreciate this, though, I suppose it's maybe too much too expect for the fee paying public to enjoy it and, for that reason, I take your point.

Posted by ava 04/08/2009 at 10:19 AM

viggo mortenson is a god and he is 50.....

"Go Schuettler and Seal Face and Clement!"

Jewell,
Schuettler lost to Ramirez Hidalgo yesterday and Clement lost to Ljubicic on Monday
-------------------
I laughed out aloud when I read that. Poor Jewell..

Posted by white line fever 04/08/2009 at 10:21 AM

Thanks for setting the record straight, MA (and gauloises)!

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 10:21 AM

Well Maha has started to find Crazy Elf attractive as well.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/08/2009 at 10:21 AM

Hm - for some reason I thought today was Monday and the start of the tournament.

*is stupid*

Posted by Marian wtg Rafa!!! 04/08/2009 at 10:23 AM

Hi,

On the chess analogy with tennis in general (ok even more so on clay when you can't rely on a quick shot, like a serve, return, S&V to bail you out quickly):

"Is tennis on clay really more like the proverbial chess?"

Proverbial chess, like tournament play, be in the lower sections (started with amateurs and not necessarily at master level)?

" Do players really think four, five moves ahead? "

- Players in chess don't think 4-5 moves ahead in each variation (only masters and experts do that, while the world champion does up to 13 in a few seconds- usually with the help of pattern recognition). Most average tournament chess players calculate well only 2-3 moves ahead (for each move, trying to cover all the variations/scenarios) for a combination.

- A tennis player doesn't have to do that, he can just make a plan that involves a couple of shots. It would be like a chess player deciding on a short combination, without having the time to calculate all its implications and possible outcomes.

And if "If you "construct" a great point but your opponent shanks a desperate volley that falls for a winnner, does that mean your effort failed? " that just mean, that you haven't done what a chess player does and take all scenarios into account.

So basically when they "construct a point" on the tennis court, Rafa and Roger are just trying to execute a plan, that they've picked (again maybe based on pattern recognising, experience and such) and haven't necessarily calculated all the possible variations in their heads (More like what a pragmatic chess player, as influenced by the Russian chess, would do, at least for 2-3 moves ahead).

It's more like the "positional feeling" chess players have and picking a general plan (or a relatively short precise, which is called a short combination) as opposed to calculating combinations in chess.

About your:

"My feeling is that the game can't be compared to chess in meaningful sense; it's played on a board with far fewer squares and pieces, and it's played on the run (despite the 30-second rule). "

Yes, it can't be really compared to the way chess players really calculate deeply on the board, but more like a short combination/calculation( and based mainly on positional understanding and pattern recognition, rather then actual calculations), except for the end part of a chess game, where players don't necessarily have to calculate so deep, but instead they visualize the position they want to achieve and then they backtrack from there ( in order to come up with a plan).


"And the fact that the person across the has an influence on your next move, to a degree that can vary from minimal to total, without you having any say whatsoever in the matter, also undermines the analogy"

This actually enforces the analogy with chess: like you make a move, then it's your opponent turn and you have to wait until is your turn again. That's what you should take in the account on a chess board when you calculate (harder to do it on a tennis court, except for shorter combinations of shots).

Posted by neil in toronto 04/08/2009 at 10:23 AM

Good Morning All! Still buzzing over the Canas defeat of Blake yesterday, hopefully Willy can build on this victory. Phau over Fish as well, another good win! Here's a question, which field is weaker, Casablanca or Houston?

WLF, S. Ventura Pet Detective ROFL...Gold baby..Gold!

Posted by ava 04/08/2009 at 10:24 AM

alex, nice to see a muzz fan.
i do actually like defense but Muzzah just doesn't entertain me in a way, say Rafa does.
There is no prize for guessing whose fan i am, either.. :)
are you british??

Posted by Cotton Jack 04/08/2009 at 10:25 AM

Alex - fantastically put point!

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 10:26 AM

Santiago Ventura is my favourite male tennis player's name, every time I say it it feels like I am going to a resort.

Neil, there are some great photos of Willy at MTF, I might and send them to you he looks great for a guy over 30.

Posted by naughty T.... tennistically 04/08/2009 at 10:27 AM

I love the technique of writing longer and longer posts stating the same things over and over when people disagree with you. Boring them into submission is worth trying I guess

Posted by Marian wtg Rafa!!! 04/08/2009 at 10:28 AM

Sandra at 9:31 AM : Exactly, too hard to calculate all the implications fast, but tennis players can actually:

a) Use their positional feeling (chess grand masters excel at this, based on pattern recognition, as studied even in Scientific American, that picked chess as the ideal subject for the how the "expert mind" works)

b) Calculate and plan one short combo in a split second (chess players, even averege ones do this as well, especially when in time crunch. The World Champion in chess, someone like Kasparov was able to calculate accuratelly up to 13 moves ahead in a few seconds).

So I would say that tennis players can do a and b, but only the likes of Rafa and Roger :)

Posted by ptenisnet 04/08/2009 at 10:29 AM

Does anyone have any thoughts on the very poor field at Casablanca?


With the coming of the clay court season, many eyes in imprisoned Europe turned hopefully, or desperately, toward the hard courts of the Americas. Lisbon became the great embarkation point. But, not everybody could get to Lisbon directly, and so a tortuous, roundabout refugee trail sprang up - Paris to Marseilles... across the Mediterranean to Oran... then by train, or auto, or foot across the rim of Africa, to Casablanca in French Morocco. Here, the fortunate ones through money, or ranking , or luck, might obtain wild cards and scurry to Lisbon; and from Lisbon, to the New World. But the others play in Casablanca... and play... and play... and play.

Posted by Master Ace 04/08/2009 at 10:29 AM

Neil in Toronto,
Both ATP fields are not that great but Casablanca is a little tougher than Houston.

Posted by Jackie 04/08/2009 at 10:30 AM

Good morning, beautiful people!

I still haven't wrapped my head around the fact that tennis is going on at the moment. On clay, no less. I'm tennis-ed out!

Posted by Angel of the Surf 04/08/2009 at 10:31 AM

ptenisnet lol :)))

Posted by naughty T.... tennistically 04/08/2009 at 10:31 AM

Neil you are missing the point. No Rrrrrfffa, no Fudderuh, no Satan(although one can never be sure where the dark lord is concerned), no (your)Muzzah..... Equals no relevance.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/08/2009 at 10:32 AM

*loves ptenisnet*

Posted by Arun 04/08/2009 at 10:32 AM

Alex: Thnx for that comment about Murray's game. Very well put. Normally, I dont like the defense-oriented game too much (not that there is anything wrong with that.. just a personal choice). But I like Murray's game very much. The reason being his game is just not restricted to the typical dogged defense and the never-ending rallies, there is a lot of thinking and variety out there in addition to his splendid defense. I would like to see him do well on clay too.

Posted by neil in toronto 04/08/2009 at 10:34 AM

Thanks Angel, please send at your leisure!

M.A., i thought so, i like the tournaments where the "second string" get to shine.

jewell!!!!!

Gil hangin tough with Ljuby, good to see him continue the form from last week.

Posted by neil in toronto 04/08/2009 at 10:36 AM

Naughty, lol its fun to exist outside of the box one in a while no? The Gils and Canases of the world deserve a little of our admiration.

Its kind of like a nice cup of coffee after a huge meal.

Posted by alex 04/08/2009 at 10:37 AM

ava -
I'm British and, no, I'm not surprised you're a rafa fan. I like watching him to and, from the pressers, think he's a really great guy.

Cotton Jack and Arun - thnx

Posted by ava 04/08/2009 at 10:43 AM

I miss Satan....

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 04/08/2009 at 10:44 AM

Neil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by neil in toronto 04/08/2009 at 10:44 AM

My favourite part of Murray's game is the sneakiness of it all. He's a very smooth mover and never really looks like he's doing a whole lot. Suddenly he can produce a shot out of nowhere that leaves me shaking my noggin.

Posted by neil in toronto 04/08/2009 at 10:45 AM

hehehehe jewell, how i look forward to that greeting!! Just gets the day started right.

Posted by Carl 04/08/2009 at 10:47 AM

Hi Pete,

Whenever people say that serve & volleyers (or all court players) can't win on clay, I always wonder how the heck did Martina Navratilova & Margaret Court did the feat? Especially for Martina who in 1990 (past her prime) still managed to beat Sabatini (a clay court specialist)on the way to a Family Circle Cup trophy & reached the 1994 Italian open final before losing to yet another clay court specialist Conchita. So, is it fair to say that a good serve & volleyer can still win on clay today (granted that the approach shots and first volleys are well placed)?

Posted by Sherlock 04/08/2009 at 10:47 AM

Good morning, Jackie. :)

Posted by ava 04/08/2009 at 10:48 AM

alex and arun, i will remember your comments next time i watch muzzah play and perhaps i will find him interesting. I want to because I believe he will dominate after a year or a couple.

anyways, alex's analysis is very good and i understood your points usually i don't really get technical arguments...but i'm way too young anyway...

Posted by naughty T.... tennistically 04/08/2009 at 10:49 AM

And some us that live in Lisboa will get to greet the those arrivals very soon. Hoorah.

Posted by Jenni 04/08/2009 at 10:50 AM

"Also ... just for the record, JMDP is taller than six foot five"

Yeah, he's 6'5" just like Dinara is 5'11". I think 6'7" is much closer to the truth, and he appears to still be getting taller.

Posted by ava 04/08/2009 at 10:51 AM

so many people on the murray bandwagon, and i thought he had no fans at all....
i only hope nole gets to be #1 before muzzah wins them all and he will in a couple of years.

Posted by white line fever 04/08/2009 at 10:52 AM

Let's hear it for the Lisboi!

Hi Jackie!

I like clay!

Posted by ava 04/08/2009 at 10:54 AM

naughty t, what does "tennistically" mean??
and where in europe do you live? portugal??

Posted by Jackie 04/08/2009 at 10:56 AM

HA. Hi, guys. :)

Re: Muzzah, I think I'm in agreement w/Steve T. ...

Posted by ptenisnet 04/08/2009 at 11:00 AM

tennistically: in the context of tennis.


e.g. This is a CC post. Please keep all discussions tennistical.

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