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RG Crisis Center, Day Quinze 06/07/2009 - 8:45 AM

PhpaRi9vaAM

Well, it's T-minus 2 hours and 28 minutes as I write this here in the Roland Garros press room. I wrote an preview of the men's final for ESPN, you can read that post here. Beyond that, I think you can throw discussions about the X's and O's out the window on this one, even though they will ultimately constitute the "official" history of the 2009 Roland Garros final.

What we have here is something that only the most passionate of Federer fans might have expected as few as two weeks ago: a potential career-defining match. For just as a win here over Rafael Nadal in the final would have been the sweetest thing imaginable for the Federer faithful, a loss to Robin Soderling today will be a buzz-kill of remarkable proportions, making any defense of Federer's record sound hollow - even if that defense is utterly legitimate.

BTW, I hope all of you will remain civil and compassionate toward each other, no matter how things turn out. No amount of fanlove justifies the kind of chest-thumping or gloating that a huge match like this will invite- whoever wins.

On another front, a number of the Twibe's lovely chicas have assembled here at the last minute, despite scalper tickets running around $600 per seat in Chatrier. Given the historic nature of this match, that's a bargain, at least if you compare it to trying to get a ticket to, say, the seventh game of the World Series in a major market city. Anyway, Viv and her mum flew in from Cork, Ireland, and Alex and Susan K. from New York, who spent the first week here on vacation, extended their stay, hoping to see Federer make  history today (And JB - Susan, Viv and I were going to call you a few minutes ago, but wiser heads prevailed. . .)

Robin When I walked into the press center this morning, Dick Norman was standing at the desk, talking with one of the press assistants. It occurred to me that he may be trying to reach one of my Belgian colleagues, who sit near me in the work room upstairs. As I passed I said, "Dick, are you looking for somebody?"

"No," he said, "I'm just trying to get a video of a match."

When I was halfway up the stairs, he called after me, "Thanks for that article, I thought it was really great. . ."

We don't often get that kind of feedback from the players, so it's welcome when we do. But I bring this up just to let you know that many players read TennisWorld, and we can all be proud about that, right?

Enjoy the men's final, everyone, it's going to be one helluva day no matter what happens.

-- Pete

As at 10:35 TW time, TypePad is freezing, so an overflow is up.  Andrew

And at 1:10pm TW time, Overflow 2..... Andrew

Overflow

Overflow 2


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Posted by yello fuzzy 06/07/2009 at 09:46 AM

I wonder if Rafa is watching?

Posted by TennisRone 1000 06/07/2009 at 09:47 AM

GO ROG!!!

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 09:47 AM

Fed reins in his shots. Mishits are arriving at a once-per-game rate, nothing more.

2-1 Fed on serve.

Posted by Andrew 06/07/2009 at 09:47 AM

Three holds to start the second set. Federer leads 2-1. At the moment, Soderling hasn't found his range, and Federer hit a nice FH DS in the last game that the Swede didn't move for. SOderling is just trying to find the place where he can play calmly.

Posted by Roger That 06/07/2009 at 09:47 AM

Does anyone have non-choppy stream?

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 09:48 AM

Light rain at Chatrier.

Posted by Codge 06/07/2009 at 09:48 AM

Love the start, makes it easier to watch :D

Don't want a blowout though...Soderling looking as if he's having a bit of stage fright.
I think he'll make a match of it soon.

Posted by kiwibee 06/07/2009 at 09:48 AM

Is it going to rain?

Posted by Mike 06/07/2009 at 09:48 AM

Ahh ... Wilander never liked Fed. Glad the weasel lost in doubles. LOL

Posted by Codge 06/07/2009 at 09:48 AM

Rain??? I hope not!

Posted by Samantha Elin, Soderling has friends. 06/07/2009 at 09:48 AM

Ja! Let it rain. That nut isn't Swedish!

Posted by kiwibee 06/07/2009 at 09:48 AM

oh no.What was that?

Posted by yello fuzzy 06/07/2009 at 09:48 AM

nutcase alert!!!!

Posted by Sherlock 06/07/2009 at 09:48 AM

How does a guy get even close to one of the players?????????

Posted by 1221 06/07/2009 at 09:48 AM

A side show? wow...

Posted by seaweed 06/07/2009 at 09:48 AM

crazy! some dude's in a clown/jester suit on the court, and tackled to the clay after leaping over the night.

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 09:48 AM

It's started to rain???

WTF was that guy against Roger...and the Fed might loose his concentration...thiis is terrible...WTF was that?? Mirka is very upset...

Posted by 1221 06/07/2009 at 09:49 AM

where did that come from?

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 09:49 AM

Thanks, Maha!!!!!!! Right back at you!!!!!!! Here's more: Mirka looking very pretty today. Do ya like all my exclamation points? :D

Oh, no .... some crazy guy ran on the court!

Posted by † Hallelujah 06/07/2009 at 09:49 AM

Sod's not getting the pace and height he likes. He's having to generate his own pace outside his preferred strike zone.

dang streakers...

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Dinara Safina the new WTA #1) 06/07/2009 at 09:49 AM

OMFG get that arsehole out of the court. Soderling just checking to see if Roger is ok.

Posted by toonie 06/07/2009 at 09:49 AM

oh my god so not fair I think I'm going to cry

Posted by Jacko (Private Detective) (Sick of unnecessary JJ bashing) 06/07/2009 at 09:49 AM

WTF????!!!!!!!!.....almost monica-esque there.....my heart stopped when he actually got to Fed.....

Posted by Pierre 06/07/2009 at 09:49 AM

And the crowd whistles as Toni Nadal is carried off the court...

Posted by mpiktas 06/07/2009 at 09:49 AM

Who says that tennis is not a contact sport? :)

Posted by Codge 06/07/2009 at 09:49 AM

What is up with these crazy folks running on court. DANGEROUS

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 09:49 AM

Oh, my god.

Mirka had to be beside herself.

I hope this doesn't mess with Fed's mind.

Posted by Tfactor 06/07/2009 at 09:49 AM

Unbelievable!! How can they let the guy get to Roger like that??

Posted by TennisRone 1000 06/07/2009 at 09:49 AM

whoa....that wasn't good. The jester shows up and tries to break up the match.

Freaky. Pick it up and get back on the track.

Posted by kiwibee 06/07/2009 at 09:50 AM

Urgh!!That was ridiculous!!!!!!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President finally comes out of rehab and rejoices in Vamos Forever 06/07/2009 at 09:50 AM

What the hell I cant believe what i just saw

Some Maniac came charging on the court towards Roger

Gee the security was slow had to tackle the guy on court

I am lost for words

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 09:50 AM

Did anyone think of Gunther Parche (spelling)?

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 09:50 AM

My goodness I hope the Fed is ok, dude may have lost his concentration...WTF??

That is soo terrible...C'mon Roger...get your mind back in the game...

Posted by seaweed 06/07/2009 at 09:51 AM

rog a little rattled. 3 errors to lose game.

Posted by Mike 06/07/2009 at 09:51 AM

Geez ... why does there always have to be some kind of drama to disrupt Fed ... shake it off!

Posted by 1221 06/07/2009 at 09:51 AM

Pierre...LOL!!! Good one!!!!

Posted by kiwibee 06/07/2009 at 09:51 AM

I hate that guy.

Come on Roger!!!

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 09:51 AM

Huge game here at 2-all. Only because of that idiot.

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 09:51 AM

And the Fed, put a hand on his heart...Soderling asked the Fed if he's ok??? Nicely done....

Posted by sally 06/07/2009 at 09:51 AM

does europe have security or what? what a joke

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 09:52 AM

Yes, Matt, I did, unfortunately. Very scary. I hope this hasn't unsettled Roger too much.

Posted by kiwibee 06/07/2009 at 09:52 AM

Ok. after this game just calm down!!!

Posted by Jacko (Private Detective) (Sick of unnecessary JJ bashing) 06/07/2009 at 09:52 AM

but i mean...WTF he was SWISS!!!!!.......how cud someone be so idiotic as to do summat like that to Fed......and risk breaking his rhythm......

Posted by Maha - *RG officially in state of chaos - Roger, seize your chance?????* 06/07/2009 at 09:52 AM

Yay Tangi!!!!!! Love em LOL!!!!!

Omg streaker?!?!?!?!? Surely this can't mess Roger's mind

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 09:53 AM

C'mon Roger...and he holds...ALLEZ!!!

Posted by yello fuzzy 06/07/2009 at 09:53 AM

Roger seems a bit unnerved, Sod needs to keep the ball in play, make the old guy run...and none of this mister nice guy stuff!

Posted by Pspace 06/07/2009 at 09:54 AM

Phew. Huuuuuuuge sigh of relief with that hold. C'mon Rog shake it off. Time to use all that experience. Really unfortunate.

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 09:54 AM

I don't think he was Swiss, that's not a Swiss flag...

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 09:54 AM

WAY TO GO, FED!

WILANDERS to hold for 3-2.

French security, you need to bring your A-game next time.

Posted by Josh 06/07/2009 at 09:54 AM

Whew! Roger holds. I wonder what the rulebook says, but I think the tournament head should offer Roger a timeout or something - that must have been pretty scary! But Roger's a tough kid! He'll brush this off and win!

Posted by TheTennisFan 06/07/2009 at 09:54 AM

Man, that was crazy and scary. Anyone can jump over the low barricades and get to the players.
Whatever happened to security?

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 09:54 AM

OK, Fed holds. *exhale* Crowd still buzzing about the nutcase who ran at Fed.

Sherlock,

I totally understand your POV, but I would be perfectly OK if the match were handed to Fed on a platter. And gift wrapped in pretty paper with a pink bow. My nerves would be highly appreciative. :)

Posted by kiwibee 06/07/2009 at 09:54 AM

Stupid streaker!!!!

Come on Roger!!!

Posted by Jacko (Private Detective) (Sick of unnecessary JJ bashing) 06/07/2009 at 09:54 AM

not even a streaker maha...just some obsessive fan....clothed...

Posted by Andrew 06/07/2009 at 09:55 AM

Yikes.

3-2 Federer on serve. But everything has just changed.

No matter how this match ends, its rhythm has been turned upside down, and this is no longer about a tennis match. That could have been a moment of extreme horror.

Posted by Sherlock 06/07/2009 at 09:55 AM

Real crack security team they've got here. Good grief. That took forever.

Posted by seaweed 06/07/2009 at 09:55 AM

what would've happened if rog panicked and whacked the dude with his racket?

Posted by Christopher 06/07/2009 at 09:55 AM

O.K., I'm back. I was going to stay off-line for the match but that crazy %$#& running on the court freaked me out so much I needed to check in. Totally unacceptable. This is the weirdest freakin' slam ever.

Shake it off, Roger.

One shot at a time, Roger. One shot at a time.

Posted by Maha - *RG officially in state of chaos - Roger, seize your chance?????* 06/07/2009 at 09:55 AM

Omg what if that nutter had done something dangerous!!! Omg I'm glad I didn't see that :O

Posted by Tennis Observer 06/07/2009 at 09:55 AM

Mwuhahahaha! Time to start choking Roger!

Posted by Charlie 06/07/2009 at 09:55 AM

that was serious, could play on Fed's mind on reflection ie changeovers. Didn't look like a Swiss flag. WTF was that guy thinking?

Posted by david 06/07/2009 at 09:56 AM

if soderling manages to squeeze out this second, then it's game on baby!!

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 09:56 AM

JMac says the crowd is chanting Roger's name at the changeovers. They must be nervous, too.

Posted by kiwibee 06/07/2009 at 09:56 AM

that was way out of line.They should charge that guy.

Come on Roger!!!!

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 09:56 AM

The other question, naturally, is if that interruption/disturbance will make Soderling loosen up.

By the way, in the interest of full disclosure, Soderling asked after the interruption if Roger was okay.

A very welcome gesture.

Posted by sic (¡este chico es Pata Negra!) 06/07/2009 at 09:57 AM

Nice security RG organizers. You still suck!

Posted by Jacko (Private Detective) (Sick of unnecessary JJ bashing) 06/07/2009 at 09:57 AM

HOW DARE SOD put a towel over his head.....only Bepa is allowed do that...no one else!!LOL ;)

oh no...rain...

Posted by Jag 06/07/2009 at 09:57 AM

Can someone please post a link to the stream for this match? I don't have tv :(

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 09:57 AM

The Fed's game has gone down a notch...c'mon ALLEZ!!

Soderling's game has also gone up a notch...

Posted by sic (¡este chico es Pata Negra!) 06/07/2009 at 09:57 AM

That streaker actually looked like one of the guys that runs alongside the cyclists during the Tour de France. I guess that is just French humor...

Posted by Samantha Elin, Soderling has friends. 06/07/2009 at 09:58 AM

I'm praying for rain, give Soderling a chance to regroup.

Posted by Christopher 06/07/2009 at 09:58 AM

1) That was not a streaker. He had clothes on.

2) I don't know his nationality, but that was definitely NOT a Swiss flag.

3) I feel like things have changed in Roger's play. He's moving differently. That thing definitely had an effect.

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 09:58 AM

Lots of umbrellas out.

Posted by Or 06/07/2009 at 09:58 AM

OMFG.

It was more than 'getting to him' - he actually touched him. That just shouldn't happen.

I took the day off after all - Gosh, it better not rain.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Dinara Safina the new WTA #1) 06/07/2009 at 09:58 AM

Great hold by the Sod, some really nice volleys by him. No please not the rain, the Sod is just getting his game together.

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 09:59 AM

Exactly, it's affected the Fed's game definitely, he's slightly off...and I'm pissed off...and another BH shank...

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 09:59 AM

Exactly, it's affected the Fed's game definitely, he's slightly off...and I'm pissed off...and another BH shank...

Posted by TennisRone 1000 06/07/2009 at 09:59 AM

How about somebody stopping that nut BEFORE he gets on the court.

fantastic use of the DROPPAH by Fed. Things are beginning to calm a little bit...but Andrew is totally right. It ruins the atmosphere of this match.

Posted by Mike 06/07/2009 at 09:59 AM

"And the crowd whistles as Toni Nadal is carried off the court..."

LOL ... from this angle, I could have swore it was Mats. ;)

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 10:00 AM

Or:

Rain would actually be a good thing for EVERYONE, given the incident we just had. Would clear everyone's mind.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Dinara Safina the new WTA #1) 06/07/2009 at 10:00 AM

sic I'm with you I think he is the serial nuisance that turns up to all the major sporting events and causes some kind of havoc.

Posted by toonie 06/07/2009 at 10:00 AM

awesome dropper from Fed

Posted by betty 06/07/2009 at 10:00 AM

It's bad enough to run out to the court, but to get contact with a player is horrifying.

NBC showed an edited verion just now, not when the guy looked like he was trying to put something on his head and Federer was ducking.

Posted by Or 06/07/2009 at 10:01 AM

Roger looking like he's playing okay. Rain may cause him to reflect on what happened a little too much.

They took an awfully long time to get to him.

Posted by david 06/07/2009 at 10:01 AM

soderling's evil twin does a great streak.

Posted by kiwibee 06/07/2009 at 10:01 AM

I say we put that nutter in the jailhouse. LOL

I think Roger will calm down.

Come on Roger!!!

Posted by Nam1 06/07/2009 at 10:02 AM

That crazy could have hurt Federer, how caould they let this happen , dont they have security watching to see that noone crosss the barrier?

Fed has guts to brush that off..

Posted by Josh 06/07/2009 at 10:02 AM

A rain break might be nice. At least Roger can still serve. It now appears we have two players not at their best: Robin still tight and playing like crap, Federer traumatized by the KAD gone bad (let that be a lesson for us all) and playing like crap.

Hopefully a service break will resolve Roger's trauma.

Posted by jb... (Go Smiley Fed!) 06/07/2009 at 10:02 AM

mhm - I'm ok with trusting fed to fite through this, and not get a rain delay. i want soderling to also have to fite through this, and NOT have the opp to regroup and talk to his coach either. just saying.

Posted by Christopher 06/07/2009 at 10:02 AM

Exactly, Or. This is not like some skinny naked Brit running across the middle of the court in a Wimbledon match. The dude actually to to Federer and tried to put something on his head. That's a completely different situation. I think this is going to be a really tough set.

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 10:02 AM

Fed showing Wilanders here.

I mean, you're fighting for a place in the history books, and then it hits you that you could have been injured or killed if that nutcase had a weapon of some sort.

He's staying solid on serve. Better than I could ever hope to do.

I'd be serving like Jana Novotna in the latter stages of the 1993 Wimbledon final.

Posted by Andrew 06/07/2009 at 10:02 AM

Two holds, 4-3 Federer.

The "gentleman" who bounded onto court was, I think, Swiss - red stockings with the white cross. I think he had the flag of a Swiss canton (Basel, anyone?), or possibly a soccer team. He had a jester's cap which he tried to put on Federer. What a f*&%wit (yes, Site Rules violation. Sorry).

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 10:02 AM

It's really really windy right now...

Posted by mpiktas 06/07/2009 at 10:02 AM

Ok, frazzle, frazzle, frazzle. This is FO final, nothing good ever happened to Roger in it.

Posted by kiwibee 06/07/2009 at 10:03 AM

Break him Roger!!!!!!!

Posted by Samantha Elin, Soderling has friends. 06/07/2009 at 10:03 AM

They need to stop play, the rain is too hard. Soderling stop play.

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 10:04 AM

Dude, enough of the BH shanks...break right now...and do something with the Soderling gifts...

Posted by manuelsantanafan 06/07/2009 at 10:04 AM

Today, Soderling has declared his side of the court a footwork-free and running-free zone.

Gotta love these guys who fight their arses off to get to finals, then freeze on the big stage.

Posted by Jacko (Private Detective) (Sick of unnecessary JJ bashing) 06/07/2009 at 10:04 AM

Matt Zemek....dont bring up novotna 93 please.......i wasnt even born when it happened.....and it makes me cringe to think about it!!!!LOL
hope the rain passes fast....and we get to finish today....if they do go off...

Posted by toonie 06/07/2009 at 10:04 AM

oh no rain, please stop, I don't think my nerves could take another wimbledon

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