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Del Potro's Chapter 09/17/2009 - 2:03 PM

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by Pete Bodo

My wife Lisa and I had dinner the other night with long-time TennisWorld reader Steve Manning and his wife, Anne. We met them at a Mexican bistro suggested by Steve, who's from Los Angeles, but the six-piece mariachi band (one member of which was a pale-skinned woman who looked rather French) proved a bit much. While the prospect of two couples meeting for the first time having to shout over a mariachi band has great comic potential, we wisely decided to repair to a quiet sushi joint across the street, where we had wonderful, quiet time.

Steve had an interesting analysis of Monday's men's final: He thought it was not only unwise but bone-headed of Roger Federer to exchange cross-court rockets and down-the-line scorchers with Juan Martin del Potro. "Federer looked a little tired," Steve suggested. "It would have been much wiser for him to play down the middle, keep del Potro from taking advantage of all the angles he was opening up."

I think there's a lot to be said for this analysis, both at the visceral and conceptual level. My overwhelming image of that match is of Federer, making scrambling, heroic efforts to retrieve poisonous del Potro placements - and trying to outdo his young challenger. There was Roger, stretched to the limit, desperately trying to flick one of those magical backhand cross-courts out of Delpo's reach. There was Federer, lunging to gain that last step to a deep ball, his back to the net, trying to conjure up a cross-court forehand of his own in a familiar act of Federer-esque one-upmanship.

Up to this point in his career, Federer has almost always won such battles. His quickness, racket control, confidence and cool nerve routinely enable him to take any probing shot his opponent hits and return it with postage due. It often seems that you're most in danger from Federer after you've hit what might very well be your best, most penetrating, offensive shot. Federer's preternatural ability to transition from defense to offense has become one of his most talked-about qualities.

Only this time, Federer wasn't able to turn the tables often enough. I don't fault Federer for this, I give the credit to del Potro, who's now added a new chapter (albeit only the second one) to an extremely slim volume entitled: How to Beat Roger Federer. The chapter could be titled: Maximize Your Power to Contain his Versatility. And good luck to all of you who buy the book, because you're going to need it - unless you can strike the ball with the same lethal combination of pace and accuracy as Delpo.

Federer fans can point to many seeming inconsistencies in their hero's game and even demeanor on Monday. They can recite serve percentages and error-to-winner ratios applied to either the port or starboard wing. They can make a point about Roger's seeming fatigue, or that odd irritability that is manifested overtly when Federer gets into an argument with Hawkeye. None of the really matters, because it was the U.S. Open final, and del Potro won and Federer did not. And the interesting thing about that is that Delpo beat Federer in the most unlikely way - in a battle of big shots. It was Extreme Tennis at its testosterone-loaded best, and for once the "other guy" came out on top.

Manning suggested that Federer would have been better off pursuing a strategy of containment. If Delpo, Tower of Tandil, can blast 110 mph forehands cross-court, you've got to keep the ball away from that forehand. If he thrives on pace, do your best to loop, slice or massage rather than blast the ball. If he licks his chops and cocks his wrist the moment he sees an angle opening on the other side, deny him that open court. This game plan can be constructed the simple determination to keep the ball in the middle of the court, which in turn shortens the court.

I'm not sure that strategy would have beaten del Potro, but it would have handcuffed him to a much greater degree, and also saved precious energy. Instead, Federer seemed determined to rely on his tried-and-true formula of aggressive counter-punching. When Delpo belted a huge forehand to Federer's backhand side,  he tried using his quickness and that all-purpose wrist to counter with a sizzling backhand down the line. The formula generally works, because Federer is so quick, and such an artful ball-striker. But it broke down because his opponent pushed the known power threshold, and had the upper hand in enough of the rallies to get to Federer's best retrieves.

After a slow start, Delpo found his range and his money shot - the forehand - went from solid to spectacular. I think Federer instinctively wanted to, and felt he could, weather the storm of del Potro's game. Or perhaps he thought that at some point, Delpo's lack of experience (this was his first Grand Slam final) would cause him to tighten up. It's not an unreasonable expectation. That neither of those happened was somewhat surprising, and a ringing endorsement of Delpo's temperament. Federer took a calculated risk that didn't pay off. Worse, his Plan B was to win the shotmaking battle, and that proved impossible.

None of this is unusual, nor could Federer's miscalculation be called egregious. He, like the rest of us, probably was blind-sided by del Potro's tenacity as well as the furious level of play he was able to sustain. And having led by a set and a break, Federer had plenty of reason to feel that del Potro's streak of great play would inevitably ramp down and give the defending champion more room to operate. One thing we know about Federer is that he's not inclined to make many on-the-trot adjustments in his game. Champions who have achieved far, far less than he have frequently and volubly reiterated the familiar refrain: I'm just going to play my game, if I execute at a sufficiently high level, I'll be fine. . .  That, I imagine, was Federer's attitude.

You may also remember that a few days ago I quoted Jose Luis Clerc on a curious feature of del Potro's game: his tendency to stay away from the lines. He hits hard and deep, but he doesn't live for the paint. I don't think the final discredited that analysis, although one feature of it was a newfound interest in those lines on Delpo's part. He hit with unusually good length (depth), which is why he was able to contain and push around his opponent. And Delpo worked the angles on his cross-court shots well; allowing angle took precedence over proximity to the sideline. After all, the point-of-impact (the bounce) can be anywhere along the entire length of the imaginary line formed by the angle; closer to the line is always better, but it isn't nearly as critical as it is on shots aimed at the baseline. Delpo is very good at opening up the court with the cross-court shot. Once both men were far from the center service notches, he was able to employ his power and pace with great success.

This match might have developed very differently if Federer had found a way to push del Potro back, to make him hit rally shots from the center of the court. It isn't by any means a surefire formula to beating a player like del Potro, who has a robust appetite for taking matters into his own hands. Both finalists like playing the angles, but denying them might present more problems for a del Potro than a Federer, simply because Federer is a more resourceful, versatile player. You can't really handcuff Federer; he can beat you with finesse or power. But del Potro is a meat-and-potatoes power player, as he demonstrated throughout this tournament, most particularly in his quarterfinals with Marin Cilic and that semifinal with Rafael Nadal. 

So, avoiding a hitting contest with del Potro might have been a wiser way to go. I'm sure Federer had plenty of respect for del Potro going into this match. You could hardly blame him for deciding to stick with the game that has cloaked him in glory. Besides, we have yet to see if Delpo can hit the peak of his game, tournament after tournament, month after month.

The only thing we know for sure is that on Monday, del Potro found a way to impose himself on The Man himself. He was able to make the court big - so big that his significant advantage in height (he's 6-6; Federer is 6-1) and power had a greater bearing on the match than did Federer's skills and quickness. None of the other players who have beaten Federer have done it quite this way, which will give the No. 1 player something to think about, and give us some delicious fodder for discussion the next time they meet.


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Posted by BlueDog 09/17/2009 at 05:03 PM

joe-

If we under analyze it, then the blog becomes very short:

"Well, Delpo won."

"Yep."

"Well, see ya next year."

"Yep."

Posted by Tari 09/17/2009 at 05:05 PM

And thanks, sally!

Posted by The Truth 09/17/2009 at 05:07 PM

"""Why did del Potro take so much off his first serve in the last two sets? Was he tired"""

There was an interview from Del Potro the day after his maiden GS title. Delpo said that he was cramping in the 4th set, but he didn't want to show that to Federer and so Del Potro took "considerable" pace off his serves and tried to be more aggressive. Despite this, Federer failed to punish the serves nor did he make the match more physical. Instead of moving DelPotro around, Federer got tentative and his backhand broke down under DelPotro's consistent onslaught. He was outplayed by Del Potro - plain and simple. [ Maybe Djokovic should take notes here. Compare del Potro's demeanor, his honesty, his hunger, his heart, to Djokovic the day before and we can see clearly what a winner looks like.]

As for Federer his record in fifth sets in champion ship slam matches is fairly poor for such a world #1.. That's a stat. And this is the second fifth set final in a slam where the fight went out of him in the fifth. Why? Random fluke? Law of averages? That doesn't really cut it, does it? Federer likes room to move, he kills by stealth. He's a boxer, not a fighter and when a match gets in too close to him, he get uncomfortable.

He simply DOESN'T like players who won't "defer". He becomes tentative, his sense of entitlement is outraged and he CRUMBLES, as often as not. He didn't crumble against Roddick because Roddick didn't have the wherewithal to wrench that title from his fingers - and Federer knew that.

But Federer withers against Nadal, just as he withered against Del Potro. And his final set blues - which we've also seen in 3rd sets (in ATP 1000 events) against Murray and Djoker earlier this year - continue.

Federer's burden hasn't been made lighter by winning the 15th slam, or having twins, or even marrying the wonderful Mirka.

It's the still the same old Roger, one who gets tentative in the clutch...

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 09/17/2009 at 05:07 PM

Well, if we couldn't analyse the matches then there wouldn't be much to talk about really, would there? - even if we are all wrong.

I dunno, the story-making aspects of analysis seem to me to be much more over-thinking than going over what happened and how in terms of patterns of play.

It's too early to tell yet whether Elfie is going to be able to keep last weekend's level up consistently, but beating both Rafa and Federer in a slam is not that easy to do - it bodes well, I think.

Of course Federer will go away and think about what he did and what he didn't do, and how to counteract some of del Potro's weapons - but, as with some of his matches with Rafa, he's not necessarily going to be able both to follow his thought-out game plan, or to execute his shots on the day.

Posted by Mr. X 09/17/2009 at 05:08 PM

That's interesting, Pete.
However, i dont know if any strategy could have worked against Delpo playing the way he was. Remember he had destroyed Nadal the day before, and there probably arent 2 guys with more different styles than Rafa and Fed. And i actually think Fed hit the slice quite a lot, but Delpo has really improved in handling that.
To me, the key was that i felt Fed got a little confident when he was up a break in the second, and Delpo was playing far from his level. Fed has been in that same situation other times, and the opponent had never reacted the way Delpo did. Had Fed won that 2nd set, the match was his. Obviously, another key was the 1st serve %.
And i think, even though he was very calmed in the final set, Delpo did get a little tight when he was up a break in the 3rd and 4th set. Fed capitalized in the 3rd, but couldnt do it in the 4th, when Delpo showed tremendous toughness.
However, as you said, in the end Fed lost and Delpo won, and i think he was the better player on Monday. The sound of some of those FHs is still in my head, and the "OOOoooohhhh!"s and "Aaaaaahhhh!"s by the crowd.

Posted by Ozone 09/17/2009 at 05:10 PM

One thing common about Roger, Rafa and JM,

They all have a sister who is not very much in the limelight, and a very nice family...well Rafa still does I guess.

Posted by roGER 09/17/2009 at 05:23 PM

An interesting analysis. However, as Bluedog pointed out, surely the key factor was Roger's appallingly bad serving. At the elite level, serving at around 50% of first serves is going to cause any player huge problems.

Roger more than anyone must have been aware of this; giving any elite player that many second serves to attack is asking for trouble. I can't recall Roger serving that badly, even during his 'crisis' in 2008.

As the match went on I kept waiting for Roger to find his 1st serve. It's got him out of tight spots so many times, and it basically won him Wimbledon this year. Having a unreliable 1st serve was new territory for Roger - a massive handicap which gave his opponent more and more confidence, and sapped his own.

Despite having a terrible off day, Roger is such a brilliant player that his strategy almost worked - my recollection is he was within two points of victory at one stage, and as we all know, when you're that close anything can happen. Del Potro showed tremendous character and self belief to cope with that kind of pressure.

I'd be interested to watch them both next time they play - hopefully Roger will be serving at his usual high 60s/low 70 1st serve percentage - things may well be different then.

As for Roger's future, provided he continues to remain fit and well, I see no reason why he shouldn't continue to be the world's best player for another season or two, followed by another two or three seasons when he could still be a significant threat at any major, with the possible exception of the French Open.

I really hope he plays for as long as possible; I for one have never seen a more beautiful creative player and I've been a serious tennis fan for over 30 years now.

Posted by Carrie 09/17/2009 at 05:27 PM


The Truth- were those comments from Charlie Rose? I thought that was a very good interview.

It seems like a lot of the comments here are about what Federer did or did not do. While I can understand that can be frustrating. I do think some more credit should be given to what Delpo did do. He actually played a smart match after a horrible start- and I found the aforementioned Charlie Rose interview to be pretty illuminating.

Slice- I don’t feel like Delpo is a carbon copy of Mark, Goran or Richard so I can not share in your worries that we are going to return to the 1990s game. For one thing- look how he can play on clay compared to those guys. He is actually a pretty good mover and I think his defense in the match was a very important aspect of the USO final. He can get into longer rallies if he wants to. He may be brining back some power to the game- but I don’t think it will be the same as it was in the 1990s. Each generation adds a new aspect to the sport- and I think that is something I like about it.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 09/17/2009 at 05:28 PM

oh looky! another cheery post from sally!

Posted by Fred 09/17/2009 at 05:28 PM

A bit of an over analysis if you ask me. 1. Federer served 50% for the match and had more doubles than I have seen in 5 finals total. A normal Fed serving day and Del Po goes down in 3 sets. 2. I believe Fed had over 20 brake chances. One thing I will say is that it seems Fed has more problems against guys who spin the ball in over players who hit with power. This was a match where Fed lost it more than Del Po won it. Just my opinion.

Posted by Carrie 09/17/2009 at 05:32 PM

*I believe Fed had over 20 brake chances.*

Perhaps Delpo's play had a factor in the break point conversion.

*This was a match where Fed lost it more than Del Po won it. Just my opinion. *

Good to see that it is just about the person who lost and not about the person who won the title. I know, as you stated it is your opinion. :)

Sigh....I just have the feeling that my wish for more credit to Delpo for his win is a hapless hope.

Posted by sally 09/17/2009 at 05:33 PM

annie-is this site only supposed to have cheery posts??
i don't see that in the site rules.
and what is cheery about roger giving the match away??

Posted by Azhdaja 09/17/2009 at 05:33 PM

I am so happy there's no Fed vs Nad final anymore! Thanks to Delpo.
The guy did awesome job: dismantled Nadal and federer both in two days@! Right on.

This opens the field: there were two, then three, then four, now there are the five! A lot of fun is waiting for true tennis fan. Can't wait for Shanghai and Paris MS.

Posted by Slice-n-Dice 09/17/2009 at 05:37 PM

Carrie, I agree. I was just testing th waters, seeing what others felt. The game continues to evolve in a positive direction, I think. And I suspect we will soon see some serve-and-volley play from guys like Del potro, too. He's certainly got the wingspan for it.

Posted by Stuart 09/17/2009 at 05:39 PM

Great Article

In addition to a killer forehand Delpo essentially beat Roger the same way Rafael does. The high bouncing kicker serve to Rogers backhand in the ad-court. This allowed Delpo to a first shot attack.
Instead of Rafa like spin on Clay Delpo used that indcredible forehand
Wonder if fellow Argentinian Nalbandian shared any secrets of beating Roger.

Posted by Mike 09/17/2009 at 05:40 PM

Yeah, Annie ... doncha know you can straight out bait other posters into an argument with outright bashing as long as you swear the target of your abuse is your fave? And then you get beat up for voicing your opinion. Go figure.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 09/17/2009 at 05:44 PM

...and I guess I should say that one reason that Federer may not be able to follow his game plan or execute is the guy on the other side of the net, and what he's doing.

Carrie - I think it's just natural that people are going to talk more about Federer, it's Federer. :) With him being one of the best and most creative players in history, it always kind of seems that he has all the matches on his racquet. He's also always expected to win, so the talk becomes more about why he lost than why the other man won. And that's aside from Monday where he did have chances and served for that two sets to love lead.

I do see where you're coming from though - I've often felt like that about some of Federer's matches with Rafa. :)

It should be possible to go through all the BPs and see which ones could be put down to del Potro's clutch play and which lost chances come down to Federer missing, really, shouldn't it?

I think the thing that impressed me most in the SF was del Potro's clutch play - Rafa had chances in the first two sets, but del Potro saved a fair few with big serves etc. And I think he probably carried some of that over to the final as well.

Anyway...it's late here, going to bed, 'night, all. :)

Posted by adicecream 09/17/2009 at 05:48 PM

sally, I pretty much never agree with your posts or your tone, but stupid? Definitely not.

Posted by sally 09/17/2009 at 05:49 PM

roger was two points from the second set,
i think he was two points from the match
in the fourth set. how is that bashing
roger when it is facts?? he thought he
had the match won, so did so many on here,
go back and read comments in match call,
people were leaving and calling delpotro names
roger got cocky and stopped playing
and lost a match he should have won.

Posted by Benny 09/17/2009 at 05:50 PM

Just heard Federer was fined $1,500 for his profanity laced tirade to the chair umpire during the Delpo match - Roger is nuts if he pay's this!

Posted by CL 09/17/2009 at 05:53 PM

Carrie -Honestly -IMO, if you read back through the WHOLE thread you will find a LOT of people who think this was more about the Ent winning than Fed losing. The fact that some of us are talking about Fed more only means that, at this point, he probably has some more fans on this board than JM does and we are trying to suss out exactly what happened and why. If JM continues his level of play, that may well change however, so be of good cheer. (And on the upside, he also attracts far fewer trolls that EITHER Fed or Rafa. Yet.)

Now for a little minor league pot stirring. Several people have criticized Fed for, in essence, falling in love with himself after 'the shot' (heard 'round the tennis world.), against Novak in the semi, and for playing to and for the crowd too much in the final. Well may I point out that AFTER he hit that shot, Fed jumped in the air, raised his racket to acknowledge the crowd's cheers and then got back to work thumping Novak's next second serve to win the match. He did NOT, like a certain 6.6 Argentinian, do a half circuit of the court high fiving the fans after his stupendous shot. Fed could have done the circuit twice, high 5-ing away, the crowd was that dazzled. But unlike JPM, he had too much respect for the moment and his opponent. The Ent should be careful about learning on court decorum from Jimmy Connors. Pfft.

Posted by Barkley 09/17/2009 at 05:55 PM

Mr. Bodo - Did you really have dinner with Steve Manning or was it Pete Sampras?

Posted by Pspace (Elf of DecoTurf) 09/17/2009 at 05:57 PM

Regarding Federer getting tentative in the clutch, I think Safin made a similar point about the SF in the '05 Australian Open. And, Federer himself has said that he likes/chooses/has to play defensively in those situations. However, if he were as good in the clutch as he is in frontrunning, how would you beat the guy? I think his record says that once it gets to the 5th, it's roughly a 50-50 proposition (16-13 overall and 2-3 in GS finals...from memory). Seems like his play in the fifth is directly correlated with how he serves, as that's the only aggresive shot he hits :-).

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/17/2009 at 05:57 PM

My 2 cents as this match continues to be absorbed and digested:

1) The key point of the whole match was 5-4, 30-15 in the second set, where Fed made a bad decision to drop-shot Delpo. The decision was bad because Fed was in control of the point and merely needed to rip an angled forehand to finish things. With that said, however, it's worth going back to the French semis--shouldn't we be doing more of that as we discuss this US Open final???

In that match, Fed's constant use of the drop shot through the first 4 sets (even when he lost points because of them) took away Delpo's legs in the fifth. At 5-4, 30-15, one ought not think about future sets. You finish points and tuck away a two-set lead. Nevertheless, I'm quite confident that Fed felt he could take away Delpo's legs, and that the big guy's groundies (not to mention his mental toughness in his first major final) would be eroded in a fifth set. This time, though, Delpo made the adjustment in his serve and in his conservation of energy, playing mature yet big tennis in finely-calibrated fashion. Massive props to Delpo rather than any demerits to Fed.

2) What I saw in the final few sets was Fed hitting to the middle third of the court, but usually with a half-volley off a rocket Delpo forehand. Fed was putting the ball in the middle third of Delpo's court by bunting the ball, sans pace, which enabled the Argentine to whale away from the back. Fed had much more conviction on his groundies early on, before Delpo got dialed in and confident.

3) CL is EXACTLY right on two very key issues: First, Fed's supposed "showboating" was nothing more than a stab attempt to keep the ball in play and actually win points. The idea that Fed took Delpo lightly after the French semis is absurd. Secondly, I saw what CL did in the latter stages of the match: Namely, Fed hitting the slice BH to Delpo's backhand corner, only for the South American to crush an I-O forehand crosscourt to the opposite corner. Yeah, Fed wasn't able to hit as much of a knifing midcourt offensive slice as he would have liked (the kind of ball that enables him to expose Davydenko, Blake, Soderling and Roddick), but Delpo's pace surely made it hard for Fed to hit that kind of offensive slice, not to mention other shots in Roger's typical arsenal.

4) We should realize this aspect of Fed's thought process on the court: He doesn't spill the tank right away; he might come out really sharp (as he did in the first set, minus his balky serve, and as he did in the first two sets against Soderling), but he rarely plays with maniacal intensity. Only Rafa has, to date, brought out his very, very best effort in major finals. The 2008 Wimbledon F and the 2009 Aussie F witnessed incredible outpourings of effort on Fed's part. Fed is judicious about how much energy he expends, and given that Delpo was both the challenger and a person vulnerable to fitness issues (at least historically), Fed felt--as an act of in-match mental jujitsu--that he should not press too hard unless or until he really needed to. This subjective claim is bolstered by the notion that in set four, we saw not only the best tennis of the match, but Fed's most dogged defense and scrambling. In retrospect, the fourth-set tiebreaker was the match, though I didn't know it or think of it that way at the time.

5) Flowing from point #4 above, I think the next time Fed plays Delpo at a major, you'll see a different approach and a more selective use of drop shots. Delpo has raised the bar in terms of both fitness and mental stamina to levels that approach what Rafa displayed against Roger at majors.

6) Andrew put it simply yet accurately: Delpo was better in the big points: won 2 of 2 TBs. After all, the only reason Fed won the 2007 and 2009 Wimbledon finals was that he was able to pull a pair of tiebreaks out of his rear end despite getting outplayed from the backcourt by Rafa and Roddick in those matches. Monday, Delpo took the tiebreaks away from him. As I told PSpace before the Soderling match (in which Soderling DID win a tiebreak from Fed, and very nearly two of them), a tiebreak is a crapshoot... even with Fed.

7) This is the one thought I'm repeating from earlier in the week, but it bears repeating: Recall the progression Delpo has made vs. Fed in majors this year: Australia to Roland Garros to this.

Absolutely phenomenal. If Fed expected Delpo to somehow tire or lose some starch in the fourth and fifth sets, he had good reason to think as much. But Delpo--in a marvelous imitation of Federer himself--"lifted the level" and came from behind with uncommon resolve, turning the tables on Roger after the Roland Garros semifinal that experienced an eerily similar progression, only in Federer's favor.

Posted by Syd 09/17/2009 at 05:58 PM

Good analysis Pete; as others have noted, Federer seemed to abandon his game plan in the third. This match never should have gone beyond three, but Fed lost the plot and just could not close down surging 6'6" or 7 ft? Juan Martin. He looked fatigued, there was some incompetent umpiring going on, and it just wasn't his day. All credit to Juan for taking the match.

Posted by Moneypenny 09/17/2009 at 06:00 PM

Pete - your postings are getting tedious. You seem to be a one trick pony.

Despite the title of this piece, it's pretty much all about Federer (again).

More's the pity. Because I'm fascinated in the way Delpo, such a young player, has been able to progress within a matter of months from Federer's whipping boy (exhibit A, Australian Open QF) to a GS winner.

Delpo did not get handed the US Open final. Even if Federer made his own mistakes, Delpo still had to play to win. Yet you offer no real insights into how he did it.

How does this performance compare with Delpo's previous GS losses (the honourable and the miserable) to Federer? What have you learnt about Delpo? What has Delpo learnt about his own game?

Posted by VC 09/17/2009 at 06:01 PM

"As for Federer his record in fifth sets in champion ship slam matches is fairly poor for such a world #1.. That's a stat. And this is the second fifth set final in a slam where the fight went out of him in the fifth. Why? Random fluke? Law of averages? That doesn't really cut it, does it? Federer likes room to move, he kills by stealth. He's a boxer, not a fighter and when a match gets in too close to him, he get uncomfortable.

He simply DOESN'T like players who won't "defer". He becomes tentative, his sense of entitlement is outraged and he CRUMBLES, as often as not. He didn't crumble against Roddick because Roddick didn't have the wherewithal to wrench that title from his fingers - and Federer knew that.

But Federer withers against Nadal, just as he withered against Del Potro. And his final set blues - which we've also seen in 3rd sets (in ATP 1000 events) against Murray and Djoker earlier this year - continue.

Federer's burden hasn't been made lighter by winning the 15th slam, or having twins, or even marrying the wonderful Mirka.

It's the still the same old Roger, one who gets tentative in the clutch..."

Yeah, yeah, he's a mentally weak choker who's been handed all his Slams by a weak era...

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 09/17/2009 at 06:01 PM

Slice Yes I share your thoughts with the s/volley,another play indeed Del Potro could use with his wing span.The more variety and say surprise a player has in his game the better.

Posted by Vince 09/17/2009 at 06:02 PM

You guys take this game too seriously. It could have gone Federer's way. He just made a couple more unforce errors.
Pete, you are over analyzing, and too many Roger haters are just in it for the ride.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 09/17/2009 at 06:03 PM

sally, no you can be as grumpy as you want to be here as i'm sure you're well aware. i was just wondering what player you liked since most of your posts express unhappiness with one player or other. didn't mean to offend, just trying to be funny. humor FAIL i guess.

Posted by RafaFan-San Juan 09/17/2009 at 06:05 PM

Pete: If you apply the same kind of logic/analysis to Delpo, the Tower of Tandil would have won in 3 sets!!!!! Nadal beats Roger simply because he is better...it seems Delpo may be better too....maybe better than Nadal...

Posted by Damien 09/17/2009 at 06:05 PM

I think there are so many comments about Federer because they are from people venting their frustrations. I know I am frustrated. Frustrated over Federer's poor serving, his loss of a match he could have won (despite the horrible serving), his inability to play the game we expect from the master (whether it was DelPo, or tiredness, or he was just 'off', or whatever other reason or combination of reasons). I'm still in shock that he lost - I was only able to catch parts of 1st and 2nd sets in the Philadelphia airport as I was in transit - and from what I witnessed, he had the match firmly in his grasp...

Posted by Mike 09/17/2009 at 06:06 PM

Hey .... I would never call another regular poster 'stupid'. No opinion is stupid.

Posted by wilson75 09/17/2009 at 06:07 PM

First of all when I saw the title I thought this post was going to be about Del Potro and his prospects for the future but anyway...I think there's too much over-analysing of what Roger did or didn't do. It all boils down to the serve. He had an off day in serving and Del Potro was able to take advantage. I'm sure he realised quite early that he wasn't going to win that match when he found that his serve wasn't working. What happened in Australia for that matter the first half of the year would have told him that. But I'm not writing off at all, he's going to win some slams next year for sure.

Posted by Tari 09/17/2009 at 06:07 PM

CL, thanks for mentioning that. Now, I like Juan Martin, but I have to say my sister called me after the high fiving stuff and her quote "Del Potro is in the toilet now, for me." I laughed. It's...well, it was not the most considerate thing to do, and if Fed had done that? Good Lord. ;-)

Posted by Barkley 09/17/2009 at 06:07 PM

Benny - I see where Roger was fined. I am in agreement that he would be crazy to pay this fine just on principal. He didn't even use the F word!

Posted by sally 09/17/2009 at 06:11 PM

you didn't offend me so no problem.
i guess i am just miserable person
in real life and it shows on this
board. i like roger but he has
choked how many matches away to
rafa. he let rafa get in his head
so you have a 7-13 h2h. rafa is
great player, but roger should
have more wins against him, how can
he be GOAT when he can't win against
main nemesis unless nemesis is injured??

i adore kim and i like serena, too many
bagging against serena, she made mistake
some sound like they want her driven from
the sport.

but thanks for post.

Posted by sally 09/17/2009 at 06:12 PM

he used the f word twice from what i saw.

Posted by maedal 09/17/2009 at 06:12 PM

FMG, thank you for reporting on JuanMa's reception. I'm glad he's getting the recognition he so well deserves.

Posted by wilson75 09/17/2009 at 06:13 PM

Cursing in a tennis match....$1,500
Seeing Roger Federer curse on TV....priceless!!

Posted by BlueDog 09/17/2009 at 06:17 PM

CL- Don't know if you're referring to me, but I didn't think Fed was acting out of narcissism, I just think he was trying to make it fun, when he should have been all business. I think the actual moment was 5-4 30-0 in the second set when he made a drop shot instead of an easy volley, and thereby lost the point. I'm talking momentary lapse, not character flaw.

None of this is to diminish Delpo's win. When Delpo was double bageled at AO it wasn't just Fed's brilliant play. It was probably more that Juan froze up on that big stage. He obviously has learned how to let his game flow since, but I'm just pointing out that when any player loses, it's almost always more illuminating to talk about what they may have done wrong, than what their opponent did right.

Posted by Ross 09/17/2009 at 06:17 PM

That's a boyishly handsome guy on the top of the page. I don't think I've seen him before. :)

Posted by Benny 09/17/2009 at 06:19 PM

"I think he played well. Unfortunately I didn't play my best at the end," Federer said. "Of course, everyone is tired at the end of a Grand Slam, but I don't think that's why I lost."

Unfortunately, typical Roger with not giving the opponent credit and leaving well enough alone.

Posted by CL 09/17/2009 at 06:21 PM

Tari - the '...if Roger had done that...' kinda popped into my head too. As did the image of Jimmy Connors suddenly grown by about a foot and a half. I mean if I was gonna be mean I would connect the dots thusly: The Ent sez he respects Roger....his behavior was very disrespectful to Roger...therefore the Ent is a liar and uses gamesmanship. It SO easy. Connecting the silly dots that way happens ALL the time around here - mostly regarding Roger and Rafa and Serena, but woe betide any other top player who thinks he or she is gonna get free ride.

However, since I am NOT mean...I'll just chalk it up to youthful exuberance and wait and see.

Cosmo time!!!

Posted by CL 09/17/2009 at 06:25 PM

BlueDog - I was talking about Roger's tweener in the SEMIs...and the way SOME people on the first page of this thread seemed to take it that he went into the final not taking the Elf seriously and/ or playing to and for the crowd too much. See Seabra's post early in this thread, among others.....comparing that to the non-reaction to The Ent's serious hot dogging in the final.

Bartender!

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 09/17/2009 at 06:34 PM

I think Fed was tired, too, and he made a few questionable choices as a result, but i think the rain and quick turnaround were part of it, he seemed a tiny bit jaded and short tempered, rare for him...

but with 15 Slams, perhaps that stubbornness is responsible for claiming more Slams than losing them...

Posted by rave 09/17/2009 at 06:38 PM

All this anlyzing and over analyzing. As Roger said, you cannot win them all. He lost, he did not make any excuses. He took his loss like a champion. Let it go, he has. He has moved on. You guys are so pathetic, stuck forever in this holier than thou attitude and self righteous indignation/glee over his loss. There is no way he would have come this far if he was mentally fragile, if he was not a great tennis player. He worked hard to get where he is today, it was not handed to him on a platter. He understands that he cannot be at the top forever and win every match. So you all, please go get a life and stop proseltyzing. You bare all idiots.

Posted by BlueDog 09/17/2009 at 06:39 PM

CL- I had quoted that poster in my first page post. I didn't take his post to imply Roger didn't take Delpo seriously. I actually think he always takes his opponents seriously, knowing that he can lose on any given day.

I thought the 'tweener was just so darn fun for him, that he was looking for another opportunity to pull off an amazing shot. Had Delpo come out of the gate faster, I doubt we would have seen any glimpse of smiley Fed. This is all by way of trivia, as it is the bad serving day that, in my opinion, opened the door for the Ent.

Posted by BlueDog 09/17/2009 at 06:41 PM

Nothing I like more than a naked idiot!

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 09/17/2009 at 06:43 PM

you mean the 'same old' Federer who's won more Grand SLams than any man in history?

yup, thats what i thought u meant! ha

Posted by Azhdaja 09/17/2009 at 06:52 PM

Posted by The Truth 09/17/2009 @ 5:07 PM
excellent analysys of Federer! You got it all.

Posted by Azhdaja 09/17/2009 at 06:52 PM

Posted by The Truth 09/17/2009 @ 5:07 PM
excellent analysys of Federer! You got it all.

Posted by Andrew 09/17/2009 at 07:09 PM

Ah, Azhdaja. How's that "Federer will retire by the US Open" observation working out for you? Good job you didn't accept my wager, huh?

Posted by CL 09/17/2009 at 07:13 PM

"bare all idiots" I love this...to the ramparts!!!

Posted by loll 09/17/2009 at 07:23 PM

I THINK WITHOUT THE PLAYERS ,THEY BE NO TENNIS AND FANS WILL NOT SUPPORT THE GAME , SO EVERYONE WILL LOOSE. SO WHY IS THE US OPEN IS THE ONLY BIG SLAM THAT KEEP DOING THIS TO THE PLAYERS? AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO SEES THAT THE SHAPE OF THE LINE PEOPLE OR EVEN THEIR VISION IS CONSIDER TO BE UNPROFESIONAL FOR THE SPORT , OR WHAT? STOP HIRING PEOPLE WHOM PROBABLY NEVER HIT A TENNIS BALL AND GO BACK TO THE OLD DAYS. MEANNING COLLEGE STUDENTS AND YOUNG PLAYERS FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. GIVE THEM THE CHANCE TO BE THE LINE PEOPLE, BALL BOYS AND GIRLS. WE NEED TO PROMOTE THE SPORT IN A BETTER WAY THAN THIS. IF THE PLAYERS SEE THAT UMPIRE IS A PROFESINAL AND ALSO THE LINE PEOPLE , MAY BE THEY WILL NOT ACT LIKE THAT IN CRITICAL GAMES AND POINTS. WILL SOMEONE ADVISE THE ORGANIZERS FOR SUCH A BIG SLAM TO RECONSIDER HIRING PEOPLE WITH THE BELLY STICKING OUT CLOSE TO THE LINE OR EVEN THEIR TRIPLE LAYER GLASS...COME ON..WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS.

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 09/17/2009 at 07:26 PM

adzgaja, cmon, you and The Truth are one and the same, right? check the IP addy, mods!

Posted by BlueDog 09/17/2009 at 07:29 PM

What if Finnegans Wake had been written in all caps?

Posted by Tim (Year of Red Rogie ) 09/17/2009 at 07:41 PM

cmon Fed has dropped the S bomb before people!

dont you rmember Montreal a few years ago, he missed a forehand wide and screamed it out, im sure the whole stadium heard it ... even the ATP Supervisor on the sidelines laughed...

Posted by John 09/17/2009 at 07:43 PM

I don't think it's fair to talk again and again that Rafa lost against Delpo in the USO. Rafa couldn't play better because his abs and poor preparation, only he played well in the second match and day against Gonzalez, because it was just one set, so everything was so fast that he didn't have time to feel the pain.
Next day he played againt Delpo, this one two days resting, Rafa three days in a row and with an injury

Posted by ladyjulia 09/17/2009 at 07:46 PM

hehehe!

I didn't know "The Guardian" was such a tabloid newspaper..its saying that Federer lost because Anna Wintour left early..so apparently he plays well only to impress her. It also says that Anna clings to his arm in parties and pointedly ignores Mirka.

http://tinyurl.com/n7xqcb

hehe..I can't imagine Roger allowing somebody other than Mirka clinging to his arm all the time.

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 09/17/2009 at 08:06 PM

Tim@7:41- "dont you rmember Montreal a few years ago, he missed a forehand wide and screamed it out, im sure the whole stadium heard it ... even the ATP Supervisor on the sidelines laughed"

That was Toronto 2006, against Dimitry Tursunov:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1BIe35skSU

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 09/17/2009 at 08:15 PM

Delpo looks cute in the picture posted above. I remember a couple years ago, when he had long frizzy hair, beard, and bad skin, thinking that he was possibly the ugliest tennis player I had ever seen. Then he matured, had his hair cut short (what a difference the haircut made!), cleaned up, and recently he's actually gotten quite good-looking !

Posted by Cliff Reuter 09/17/2009 at 08:19 PM

So Pete, you and Steve know more about tennis than Fed??
Get real, you guys know nothing. Fed ran out of gas plain and simple and Delpo played the match of his life. Roger got old in front of our eyes much like Pete when he lost to Marat in the US Open final. Why do I think I know so much about tennis, well I'm 41 and started playing at 5 years old and am currently a teaching pro. I think Roger will win a couple more Slams but Delpo was just a better player on that day, no matter what Fed's strategy was!

Posted by Sherlock 09/17/2009 at 08:23 PM

"I think Fed was tired, too, and he made a few questionable choices as a result, but i think the rain and quick turnaround were part of it"

Tim, is that you? Making excuses, old boy? Tut, tut. Can't have any of that. Otherwise I'll have to remind you of the 4,762 times you've whined about folks daring to say Rafa was tired. :)

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 09/17/2009 at 08:24 PM

Speaking of looks ... why do journalists who are Fed-haters keep referring to Fed as a "Quentin Trarantino look-alike"? I mean, ok, I get that they both possess an angular jawline and dark bushy eyebrows. But that's where the similarity ends. Tarantino is ugly. http://tinyurl.com/lt62rq - Roger is way more handsome.

Posted by Carol (Rafa will be back soon) 09/17/2009 at 08:26 PM

Sorry but I think that Delpo and Stepanek are the most ugly looking players in all circuit

Posted by Azhdaja 09/17/2009 at 08:27 PM

Posted by Andrew 09/17/2009 @ 7:09 PM
-----------

hahaha...I see you remember that one.
ahem, well,...you know,... I was wrong on that one. I am glad I was wrong. Coz Federer gave his best and that`s for the good of the game. I am tennis fan foremost.

And yeah, at least i did smart not excepting your wager. But I did except other wager somewhere else and lost. So, I had to pay anyway. I guess, when you`re wrong then you have to pay.

My estimate was based on slumpy play of Rog`s for almost year and a half. So, I truly thought his last few titles were fake. Now I see that actually the only fake were few of other players who I believed would dethrone federer (Djoker, Roddick, Tsonga, Murray).

Federer at 28 outran Djoker and Murray who are 22!! The guys are lazy. I don`t think their talent is less then Fed`s. Just they need some time to mature. At 22 Federer`s game was also uneven, unbalanced and green.

Ohh, well, we all are learning. Bear one thing on mind, Federer has legacy, but no one is unbeatable. DelPo proved that. So, to conclude my prediction: I failed not because of Federer, but because of failure of his opponents.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 09/17/2009 at 08:28 PM

ladyjulia: ooh what dish about Anna's notsosecret crush on roger. I knew she liked him but didn't know she was obsessed with him. verrrry interesting.

Posted by robert 09/17/2009 at 08:31 PM

Quentin served poorly and expected Lurch to beat himself, but Lurch refused. Thus the result.

Junkballing him a la Muzza would have been an option.

Posted by ladyjulia 09/17/2009 at 08:34 PM

Annie...being a fan of the Fed..i hope that article was garbage.

Posted by Carrie 09/17/2009 at 08:43 PM

Re Elf doing the high five- one of the biggest complaints about Elf here on this board has been that he shows no personality. Maybe he knows that is one of the complaints about him. I mean hasn't Pete said he seems depressive.

It may not have been the best thing to do and *clutch pearls* I know not everyone is Roger. But he is a 20 year old in his first final- so I will cut him some slack. And I thought it was more about being happy for the moment and connecting with the fans (he said that the fans really helped him) that to be a horrible person who is disrespectful of Roger and is just a huge lar. I know you said you didn't want to think that- but you certainly threw those thought that Delp SHOULD be seen as a bad sportsperson out there. And granted, I am a huge fan- but even if not I would not be ready to damn someone so early.

I am not ready to say he is Jimmy Connors territory yet. :)

I agree that sometimes people are quick to connect the dots for negative things. But I don't know- I don't really enjoy it. *shrug* I kind of like to look at things with a more positive angle. I like the sport and tend to look for the best in folks- as opposed to always wanting to look for the worst.

Posted by Carrie 09/17/2009 at 08:44 PM

^^^ oops I meant to say that I thought it was more about being happy than being a huge horrible liar filled with gamesmanship.

But hey- slamming people is fun, no. :P

Posted by John 09/17/2009 at 08:48 PM

Azhdaja

You're a really Nadal and Federer hater, you don't have any idea about Tennis, just you know about to whom you sympathise.
Murray and Djoker are not lazy but this year they are not playing so good. Do you think they don't want to win?, of course the want!, probably more than anybody
If you don't know the lastest news, Murray has played USO with the wrist in very bad condition and Djoker is a very good player but not enough to be number 1 or 2

Posted by tina (Ajmo Hrvatska!) 09/17/2009 at 09:09 PM

[He did NOT, like a certain 6.6 Argentinian, do a half circuit of the court high fiving the fans after his stupendous shot.]

High-fiving the excited folks who turned up on a Monday for the final was, I thought, a wise move for the "slam virgin" Juan Martin. He fed off that unique US Open energy and got the crowd behind him.

As for various contenders for the "throne" - doesn't Rafa still deserve to be in that conversation? I also thought Nole played a great match on Sunday. Now that RF's got his *15* and the "insta-family", the on-court Fed seems as beatable to me now as he seemed in late 2007. Other players have his number, and one couldn't blame him for having a motivational dip - he has nothing left to prove.

But Juan Martin was an absolute delight to watch - even my 82-year-old father was pulling for him (and wondering why Federer had so many double faults.)

Yay - Davis Cup tomorrow!

Posted by tina (Ajmo Hrvatska!) 09/17/2009 at 09:15 PM

I tried to find video of his arrival in Tandil, but so far only found this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll-iRiI-1do

And hang on - he was on Charlie Rose and I missed it?!

Posted by Carrie 09/17/2009 at 09:53 PM

tina- you can see the Charlie Rose interview on the PBS website. It was quite good imo. :)

Posted by JJC 09/17/2009 at 09:58 PM

About the narcissistic issue: did anyone notice that when Fed tried a behind the back shot to lose a game in the second set, DP gently tossed a ball from his pocket at Fed as they went to their chairs? At that moment, I felt DP might have taken a little offense to perceived showboating and though this could have an effect on DPs play, loosening him up.

On the serve: At the AO, Nadal received from far beyond the baseline. With the angles so tempting, it seemed as though Fed tried too hard to hit the lines for those angles. DP also received from far behind the baseline Monday and Fed's serve had a similarly low percentage. On the deuce court, he seemed to miss the T a lot wide of the box, for example. Perhaps this is an intentional strategy to goad Fed into losing his service rhythm.

Posted by CL 09/17/2009 at 10:29 PM

Carrie - Exactly - if you go back to the first part of my post, I was just trying to explain why MAYBE there was a bit more head scratching about Fed and not quite enough celebrating of the Ent's win.

As for the second bit - it was just an example of the 'ol double standard rearing its twin heads. And as a Rafa fan, I would think you would be especially sensitive to that.

I defy you or tina or anyone else to tell me with a straight face that if Fed had high fived his way around the court after hitting any of his especially fabulous shots in either the semi or the final, he would not be eviscerated by many here at TW. Although you...and others, and heck maybe even me...saw the Ent's interaction with the crowd as a charming...and as tina says a smart bit of 'crowd control'.... it can easily be seen by some as crass and showboating in the worst sense.

Posted by CL 09/17/2009 at 10:33 PM

JJC - that is an interesting theory and one of the more original ones I have seen but the only problem is that he also served poorly against Novak, who, IIRC wasn't standing nearly as far behind the baseline to receive serve. In fact, except in spurts, and in one or two matches, Fed really didn't serve that well for much of the tournament.

My theory is that his serve got left at the Cincinnati airport.

Posted by Ginger 09/17/2009 at 10:37 PM

From the start Fed looked tired and the first place that shows up is in the serve. So I don't think that this strategy is an automatic win against Fed by any player - they would need to have Fed tired. Having said that I am really looking forward to the next Del Potro - Fed match at the Austialian. Its great when there are now 2 likable guys playing top tennis

Posted by Anil 09/17/2009 at 10:41 PM

Could everyone just stop saying that IF Roger's serve had been solid, IF Roger whatever, he would have easily won? Because I think that if you give Roger that, you also have to think that maybe Delpo's serve could have been better too, maybe he could have played at his best from the first set, whatever.
The thing is, at this level, it's not only about one player, it's about two players doing their absolute best to disrupt each other's games.

Posted by Carrie 09/17/2009 at 10:46 PM

CL-

Sorry- but if my standard is to not look for negative things about players, including Rafa, Roger and Fed- how is that a double standard that I am not looking for negatives in Elf's actions?


And perhaps there is a difference between a first time grand slam finalist and a 15 grand slam winner. A 20 year old and a 28 year old? Someone who felt like he was being lifted by the crowd in his first grand slam final after looking out of it versus someone who almost always has the crowd on his side? If Roger had done it in a moment of joy in his first grand slam final after looking like he would be out of it I am pretty sure that folks would not have been calling him a crass liar full of gamesmanship who showboats in the worst sense the way you feel some should. This is not something he does often and he does not call chair umps an abortion and he does not yell curses to the crowd like Connors so I am not ready to say that comparison is apt.

And by the way- I saw absolutely nothing with Federer's actions in the semi.

I guess my thing is if you don't like it when negatives are automatically hurled towards your favorites- why would I want to automatically be negative about others and damn their character as nothing but a crass, showboating, liar? As a Rafa fan- I am sensitive towards that- and my solution is to NOT always see the negative in other players or say that they have an awful character.

I realize that not everyone is F

Posted by Carrie 09/17/2009 at 10:53 PM

Ooops- darn I hate that we can't edit posts.

CL I meant to say "If Roger had done it in a moment of joy in his first grand slam final after looking like he would be out of it I am pretty sure that folks would not have been calling him a crass liar full of gamesmanship who showboats in the worst sense the way you feel some should regarding Elf"

I guess my main thing is that there is such a rush to see the worst and say people have bad characters and all that- and now the rush is to do that to Elf at 20. Why would I enjoy that when I didn't like it when it was done to Rafa in his early days or to Roger in his early days. Or enjoy seeing it done to them, Murray, Nole, and others now?

I just think as a general rule- a lot of guys in tennis seem to be pretty decent dudes. I do not think they are like Connors (the only player I ever really disliked).

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 09/17/2009 at 10:53 PM

carrie and CL: i missed the high fiving point. must have been driving home from the NTC. I think that's great to show some real enthusiasm and connect with the crowd. seems out of character for delpo anyway. I thought Taylor Dent's high fiving the entire grandstand after one of his matches was just wonderful. let's face it, roger's tennis is perfection but his on-court personality, or lackof, is a little bland, don't you think?

and no way does fed look like quentin tarantino. not even close. they're both white males and that's about where the comparison ends.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 09/17/2009 at 10:58 PM

carrie: FWIW, don't know if you read my open report but of all the pros i saw, connors impressed me the most. he has mellowed amazingly since his playing days. he was so nice and polite and friendly with fans. completely different person.

Posted by Chris 09/17/2009 at 10:58 PM

I am a big TMF fan but he "show boated" the 2nd set. Too much confidence led to too many droppers and "trick" shots. TMF needed a little fear of his opponent and not so much confidence late in the 2nd set. Had he spanked the forehand approach instead of trying the dropper that led to Del Po's lob, he would have likely held out for 2 sets to love. I like the analysis about playing Del Po down the middle and mixing slice in too. Del Po is very dangerous when wide on the forehand. TMF started out with this strategy but got over confident after dominating the first 1 and 3/4 sets. Oh well, you can't win 'em all. TMF, bring a little fear next time, keep you head down, and go for the throat when you get your chance.

Posted by Ade 09/17/2009 at 11:00 PM

I agree with Steve, Roger has beaten Del Potro many times. It was a power struggle for sure. I mean, who can compete with a giant of a man like him? Roger for sure did tire out. Doesn't mean he didn't try or didn't have the right strategy. Does't mean Nadal didn't try either. Both lost, so what. Can't win them all. I understand you need something to write about and you and all the other writers will be "attempting" to analyze the game forever. (as "Steve" mentions, at 4:58P Thanks Steve) Fact is, somebody had to loose.

Posted by Suze 09/17/2009 at 11:00 PM

"I defy you or tina or anyone else to tell me with a straight face that if Fed had high fived his way around the court after hitting any of his especially fabulous shots in either the semi or the final, he would not be eviscerated by many here at TW. Although you...and others, and heck maybe even me...saw the Ent's interaction with the crowd as a charming...and as tina says a smart bit of 'crowd control'.... it can easily be seen by some as crass and showboating in the worst sense."

Good point! Ohhh, no doubt about that, Federer would have been thoroughly eviscerated. I also wondered what the honest reaction would have been and not the politically correct one from Nada'sl fans, especially the KADs, if del Potro had done that too at the semi final match.

Posted by CL 09/17/2009 at 11:03 PM

Carrie - I think that at this point we are like 'ships passing in the night.'...we are not 'hearing' each other very well. My original point, (and I DID have one...lol) has long been drowned in the ship's wake

I will just re-iterate that I feel like JMDP definitely WON this match and all congratulations and credit are due him. However, as a Fed fan, I have used this thread to puzzle out, with fellow Fed fans and other just plain tennis fans, why Roger played, in our OPINION, something less than his best tennis. Whether you perceive this as a 'positive' or 'negative' expression is, well, up to you. But, IMO, this sort of 'puzzling out' of wins AND losses are at least part of what these threads are for and people should feel free to express how they feel about those wins and losses in any way, within site rules, they like.

Cheers.

Posted by Carrie 09/17/2009 at 11:08 PM

Suze- do you really think Roger would have been eviscerated if he had done it as a young player in his first grand slam final when he was fighting against a huge favorite and the crowd was trying to get him back into it?

If Delpo had done it in the semi and he was behind and trying to fight his way back into the match and had a fantastic get and the crowd was cheering him to get back into the match my "honest" reaction would have thought it was a way that he was trying to connect to the crowd.

Whatevs, well it seems now the die has been cast regarding Delpo's character. But I can not agree that he is a crass lying showboat and if that makes me "politically correct" so be it.

Annie- it does seem like Connors has mellowed a lot since his playing days. That is nice to see. I don't dislike him as a retired tennis player- I just disliked him as a player but that was only my opinion and he did have some great fight and I can see why he had fans. :)

Posted by L. Rubin 09/17/2009 at 11:13 PM

Sherlock,

A KAD is a KAD is a KAD. What is one to do? Wait, I know: File away Tim's flimsy excuse and use it against him the next time he mauls some Nadal fan for making excuses. This will happen soon, Sherlock, for ole Tim has made a strange a habit of calling Nadal and his fans "excuse-makers." It's an odd obsession, no doubt, and one that may interest TW's psychologists. No, I take that back; hypocrisy is a fairly simple human characteristic, and one that does not deserve the attention of psychologists.

--Liron

P.S. I do like Tim.

Posted by CL 09/17/2009 at 11:13 PM

Carrie - I do NOT feel that the Ent was a 'crass liar' or indulging in gamesmanship because he high fived the crowd. My 6:21 was an example of how one COULD connect the dots and twist things around to make them SEEM so much worse then any actual reality. And that it is the kind of things that happens frequently around here - usually directed at either Fed or Rafa, but really it can be done to anyone who pops into the radar.

I think we are not only ships passing in the night, but I am beginning to feel like the Titanic. so if someone will whistle a few bars of "Nearer My God to Thee," I'll be off.


Annie - that is good to know about Connors. I was actually sorta impressed with some of his work on TC. I MAY forgive him for turning me away from tennis. Someday.

Posted by Fot 09/17/2009 at 11:14 PM

Well as Roger said over and over and over in his interview: Juan Martin was the better man today and he deserved to win it. Period.

Hey, I'm one of the strongest Federer fans in the world and even I know Roger can't win them all! What do you guys expect??? He's the only guy who has consistently gotten to the finals of ALL the grand slams; he won 2 this year - heck, Samprass said a good year is winning at least 'ONE' grand slam. Roger won 2 and made the finals in the other 2. Yet some folks still have something to complain about.

Take it from Roger. He said the best man that day won but he also said he can move on from this loss.

I know all Federer fans, at the beginning of the year, if someone would have said:
(1) Roger would finally beat Nada on clay again (Madrid)
(2) Roger would FINALLY win that French Open and tie Pete
(3) Roger would get back his Wimbledon crown, break Pete's record, and get the #1 ranking back;
(4) Roger and Mirka would finally marry
(5) Roger not only had 1 child - but 2 beautiful twin girls;

Now if someone had predicted those things at the beginning of this year - with the way it was going from January-right before Madrid - you know all of us would have taken that in a heartbeat!

So he lost the US Open. I'm still proud of what Roger has done this year and this loss didn't hurt as much as that Wimbledon loss last year.

So congrats to Del Potro for winning his firsts title. For his sake, I hope people don't put too much pressure on him now. When Djokovic won his first everyone thought he would then become the new #1 and rule tennis; when Murray came on the scene and got to the US Open final - it was then his time. He was suppose to win the AO, if not that - surely Wimbledon, not that? Well then he definitely would win the US Open. And we know what happened.

So Del Potro is in the mix, but like he said in his press - he has to learn how to play this kind of tennis week end and week out like Roger and Nadal has been playing. It's very difficult to do that and it's something a lot of folks take for granted.

So congratulations to Del Potro and I hope he enjoys his first major. He was the better man in the final. But I definitely will not count Roger out. You guys see what can happen when you counted him out earlier this year!? lol!

Now I have to concentrate on the Davis Cus. Hopp Swiss!!!

Posted by Carrie 09/17/2009 at 11:16 PM

CL- I can see why fans are trying to puzzle out Roger's loss. That makes sense. I am sorry if you felt that I was saying that people were not "free" to express those feelings. My original wish was that I wished a little more could be said about Delpo's play since he was also at the match. I did not mean to say that anyone could not discuss Roger- who the hell am I to say that? :) It was interesting because in a way- both players were not playing their best for much of the match. One adjusted better after the slow start- and gained confidence. The other did the opposite.

As to the other point- I guess we are just ships passing bobbing in the wake of not agreeing about character and negativity and double standards.

Sorry for being a pain in the butt and if you thought that I was trying to censure folks. As a fan of both Kim and Elf, I think it is just natural that I would like to see more chat about the title winners. Others may not agree. I just wanted to express my wish.

Posted by btforres 09/17/2009 at 11:17 PM

Let's simplify this. Federer had more double faults in one match than he does in six months.

Thanks.

Posted by Carrie 09/17/2009 at 11:20 PM

Awww- CL. Sorry for making you leave. I seem to have that gift here of frustrating people until they want to leave.

I am sorry if I misunderstood you- I took it kind of as tongue in cheek "Well....I COULD say that I would say that she is a lying, mean gold-digger but I don't want to be mean." Wink...wink. :)

Posted by Suze 09/17/2009 at 11:34 PM

Carrie, I was thinking more in terms of the Federer of today doing it and not in the context of his being a young player on his first final. If so, probably not. I would probably use the word that the BBC commentators used to describe del Potro's action when he complained about Federer's late challenge which was "cheeky" given that he has been doing all those late challenges himself. But, as CL as said, it can easily be seen as crass and showboating by others, especially the KADs. There's too much hatred around Federer and even Nadal too by each side that they are not capable of taking a middle ground. Just look at the Serena and Federer incident with people lumping their actions together even though the differences are obvious. I'm not putting down del Potro's character here. In fact, I was impressed by what he has achieved since the AO 09 and as I said before, 2010 will be interesting.

Posted by mike 09/17/2009 at 11:43 PM

"Fot" you are right on. Roger did very good this year and much better than anyone of us die-hard-Fed-fan could have expected after his loss at the AO early this year.

Can't wait to see Fed's next Major, especially against either Nadal or DelPo. Win or lose, it's gonna be good (said with extended "oooooo").

But, I do wonder what would have happened if Fed hadn't double-fault so much in that final...

Posted by SM 09/17/2009 at 11:45 PM

The strategy that federer had in the biginning was working. Comming to net more and applying pressure. After a while he abandoned that and got creamed. credit to del Potro. federer was scared and had no answers. Fed is still my favorite on tour. Hope he learns.

Posted by Fot 09/17/2009 at 11:47 PM

Mike, I'm just concentrating on his next match tomorrow in DC! lol! He said in the interview that he was very tired but will give it his best. He still has jet-lag! lol!

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