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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 Fangorina 09/18/2009 at 06:40 PM

It occurred to me after reading your post for the second time, that again, and as usual, you wrote the post about Roger Federer. Del Potro appears only as his foil, not as a flesh and blood athlete who beat Roger on the biggest stage by over-powering him, out-maneuvering him and then wearing him out. I usually enjoy your tennis writing, and love this site. But this Roger-centric writing is getting stale just at the time when mens' tennis is evolving from the Roger Era (not to mention that you seem to have ignored the Nadal Era which is still in play)into something infinitely more various and interesting.

Posted by Ganesh 09/18/2009 at 08:56 PM

There is no nadal era or godal era. No Sampras era or cumpras era. Listen fed haters. Clearly most of you have little or no clue about tennis. Let us make this very clear. It does not matter how many GS TMF has won. It does not matter if Fed goes on to lose all of his matches from here on.

Roger is simply the most gifted , talented ,kinesthetically perfect , aesthestically sublime human being to touch a racquet. Ever. Laver is very close in pure natural talent but I would rather watch TMF practice than watch your legends gut it out or pick their wedgies.

David Foster Wallace won't write about your ugly tennis legends.

Do you get it idiots? Good for you.

Posted by sally 09/18/2009 at 09:08 PM

david won't write about anyone anymore,
since he is deceased.

Posted by FMG 09/18/2009 at 10:00 PM

juan...in tandil.

http://www.ole.clarin.com/notas/2009/09/18/tenis/02001269.html

Posted by FMG 09/18/2009 at 10:01 PM

juan...in tandil...

www.ole.clarin.com/notas/2009/09/18/tenis/02001269.html

Posted by John 09/18/2009 at 10:05 PM

Hehe sally, good answer!!, who is the really idiot here? hehe, we know who..........

Posted by Ganesh 09/18/2009 at 10:36 PM

Impressed john and sally know about DFW. Now sally go back to flipping burgers while john empties that can of baked beans.

Posted by susan 09/18/2009 at 10:45 PM

i am not a proponent of heavy-handed moderation; in fact, i think there is too much of it here on this board.

But your remark @10:36 pm (Ganesh) should be deleted.

nothing more than an ugly personal attack, pure and simple.

Posted by Corrie 09/18/2009 at 11:38 PM

Sally, your comments seem always designed to be flummoxing and they certainly are to me. All I can say is that you, like many other people, seem a rather hard task master: it's impossible to win everything all the time no matter how great you are. I agree that Roger reverted to his liking for casual when he had a chance to get to match point and hit a stupid drop volley. But that is still just one point in a great career, not a constant thing.

I heard Roger say he was only getting 5 to 6 hours sleep a night and he sure looked tired. We all seem to forget he had a short turn around after quite a tough match with Novak and that he likes to be hands on with the twins. If that's in the middle of the night, then it's a bit too hands on for his tennis. It's tough enough to compete against your main rivals who are all years younger, let alone not getting enough sleep.

However, all credit to Delpotro for not giving up and taking every advantage. Lets stop ticking Roger off for not winning what some of people think he should win and praise Delpotro for a fantastic effort.

Posted by Corrie 09/18/2009 at 11:49 PM

To Susan, or who ever was talking about Anna Wintour - have you seen the movie "The September Issue"? All about Anna and Vogue. She actually comes across as quite human and amusing, though headstrong.

Since the Safin defeat of Federer was mentioned, I'll mention that Federer was injured in that match. Generally he had a pretty dominant record over Safin, including the AO final in straight sets.

Posted by susan 09/19/2009 at 12:08 AM

Corrie

I haven't seen it, but I've read reviews and articles about it. The real star, according to reports, is the woman she works with (forgotten the name). The creative stylist who comes up with ideas for layouts, clothes, etc. (But you saw it, I didn't it)

Don't get me started on this topic; I have strong views about it. As I said, I have an 'irrational" antipathy toward her. But some of my views are grounded in fact. And they are coloured, of course, by my own opinions regarding a myriad of issues, some of which I mentioned earlier. Who knows? We don't know her personally. I can be a Fed fan and dislike her at the same time. :)

Someone on an earlier thread defended Sally, saying she's just 'cranky'. I tend to agree. Yeah, she really gets down on Federer win he loses, although she's a fan! But she doesn't do or say anything that is indefensible in my view. It might irritate some people (hey, sometimes i find it so...) but it seems harmless to me.

Posted by susan 09/19/2009 at 12:15 AM

i should amend that to 'anything that is unacceptable on the board'. some remarks, yeah, i would disagree with and could defend.

but again my point is "harmless"..

and words like idiot and stupid, and go back to flipping burgers, etc. from the poster... geez...

Posted by The40Love 09/19/2009 at 12:17 AM

Cilic beat Murray, Del Potro beat Nadal and Federer in a roll, sets a milestone of taller player advantage. Rgardless Federer's stuborness , Del potro's game is difficult to beat (Unless he beat himself).

Federer had good chance , especially If his serve were better. He could have tried to slice to DP's forehand.

Anybody can coach Nadal to beat DP?

Posted by susan 09/19/2009 at 12:17 AM

i meant she doesn't say anythng that is unacceptable for this site.

wooo, i am overcaffeinated right now. ..

Posted by Corrie 09/19/2009 at 12:25 AM

Susan, you're right about the second in command, can't remember her name either, and I saw the movie! But it did give me a new appreciation for Anna. She's tough for sure, but definitely has a human side! She was particularly good with her daughter who has no interest in fashion. She does seem to have a crush on Federer (who got a one line mention)- she's a real cougar! But it's not recripocated in any meaningful way!

Posted by susan 09/19/2009 at 12:39 AM

corrie

i doubt very seriously that Roger Federer is getting up in the middle of the night during the US Open to comfort or do whatever is needed with his twin daughters !!!!

he conceded that he was much less hands-on while being in New York, and that he can sleep in another room.

(however, he did mention that he was getting less sleep. something also about getting up a bit earlier and practicing earlier, which didn't bother him,he said)

they have a fulltime nanny, who was with them in NYC, as well as his mother and father. 50 mill in earnings and travels via Netjets. he has the financial resources.
if only other parents had this kind of cushion.


Posted by susan 09/19/2009 at 12:41 AM

corrie

i don't mind the toughness at all, or the headstrong quality. in fact, i admire that about her.

i'll have to see the movie. thanks for mentioning it.


Posted by Peg 09/19/2009 at 01:26 AM

"roddick is still in there hustling away and i hope he has at least as good a 2010 as he did this year."

Annie - from your mouth to the tennis gods' ears. I really would like to see him capture AO '10 (and the presser that would follow that).

Posted by Andre Becker 09/19/2009 at 01:58 AM

I dont know if anybody wrote something like this before, but I thought Delpo beat Federer just like Safin did at the AO semifinals and Berdych at the olympics: the best power play of their lives. It is a way of winning a deep game from Federer, but it is not sustainable (or at least wasn't for the other 2 guys, lets see Delpo...)

Posted by remain anonymous 09/19/2009 at 02:00 AM

Ganesh.....

"Sampras didn't care how beautifully you played, he had the ability to bludgeon and shut you down!" -John McEnroe on why he'd take Pistol over Roger

So yes it may not be "kinesthetically perfect , aesthestically" as you so succintly put it... but then again bloodshed never is!!!

Pistol 4 ever.... Sampras 4 life!!!!!!!!!

Posted by remain anonymous 09/19/2009 at 02:00 AM

.... and yeah Pancho, and Rocket would get Rogeer too.

Posted by Ganesh 09/19/2009 at 05:08 AM

Heard of hewitt and safin before. Didn't they wipe the floor with Sampras at the US open ? Sampras was an awesome server but when his serve came back he was a good player with an above average forehand and weak backhand. Check out his 'achievements' on clay where his serve got neutralized. Sampras filled the gap after edberg and Becker started to go downhill in the early 90s. If you remove Agassi from his contemporaries there were a whole bunch of over achievers like chang , courier , rafter brugerra etc but none who play the all court game like todays players.

McEnroe already called TMF the greatest player he has ever seen and AGassi who should know a thing or two about Sampras clearly puts TMF on another higher level.
Pancho sure looks like an awesome player but I have not seen him play but I have seen enough of rocket to appreciate the greatness of the man.

Fed can hit shots that Sampras cannot even dream of but there is no shot that TMF cannot hit better than anyone else. TMF is not a once in a lifetime player but once in the history of the sport player.

Fed 'happened' for a reason ...to put emphasis back on technique and mechanics when players were mindlessly bludgeoning the ball. In this case it seems that evolution was directed. It seemed to possess innate intelligence in defining parameters for the 'fittest' . Just when power and raw athletism seemed to take over the game , the system , in choosing a player who has since come to epitomize the fundamentals of this game , a player who has brought form and function together like never before, to dominate the game, has shown us that talent , technique and beauty will triumph over ugliness.

Posted by rock 09/19/2009 at 07:25 AM

Hey,stupid sally..pete is certainly not roger.Roger will be remembered as great player who won the four grand slams while pete was the great player never even enter the final of French open.

Is it very hard for us human to accept the outcome of every game?We always criticize the style and strategy of the losing player.Isn't right to commend them both?? In fact,del potro-federer game reached 5sets,which means they did their best game.One more thing,who we are to tell federer what to do,he has 15 grand slam titles.Anyway,SALLY HOW MANY TITLES DO YOU HAVE???


Posted by John 09/19/2009 at 08:07 AM

The40Love

Nadal doesn't need any coach to beat DP, he needs just to be injuries free and you'll see what different everything is going to look

Posted by Tom in Smalltown 09/19/2009 at 09:06 AM

Excellent article. Really, I don't blame the Fed. Right to the end I thought Del Potro was going to go off-line and start making mistakes, although I did start wishing Federer would soften his strokes a bit and experiment with a different style to coax out the supposedly inevitable Del Potro mistakes.

Posted by pollypurebred 09/19/2009 at 10:27 AM

There were a couple of posts here I liked. Fed wanted the match to be more interesting was one of them. Isn't the point to win, regardless of how interesting?

The other was about Fed's ego. After cruising through the first set, that ego thought it was going to be a breeze, and for a while it was. And then, he saw his genius in the mirror!

Reminds me of that great line from the movie "Top Gun". "Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash." Fed lost, Delpo won. It's that simple.

Posted by Gerald Jude 09/19/2009 at 11:20 AM

70% of the time, the winner of the SECOND semi-final match in the US Open LOSES the final! There's just not enough TURNAROUND TIME!

If the men this year played the semi-finals concurrently like the women did, I think you'd see a different result.

Taking nothing away from Del Potro, Federer was tired.

PS: When will the US Open grow-up and get rid of the TIE-BREAKER in the 5th set, and give the players a day off between the semis and final like the other 3 majors...?!

Posted by Walter 09/19/2009 at 11:39 AM

Hi Sally

Sampras was a great champion.
He played Roger at Wimbledon, and lost.
He knows what he's talking about.
The truth is
Roger IS THE BEST!!! 15GS (Australian Open, FRENCH OPEN - ROLAND GARROS, Wimbledon and US Open) and counting...

By the way... I don't care about what you Sally says

Sorry...

Posted by remain anonymous 09/19/2009 at 02:11 PM

Gerald Jude....

I agree with you that the winner of the 2nd SF is at a disadvantage, but it's not impossible. Sampras won 3 of his 5 US Open crowns after playing the 2nd SF. His 5th one came after playing 5 matches in 7 days. Edberg in 1992, 3 straight 5 setters (down a break in the 5th in each), 5 hr 26 min in the SF, before repeating. And Johnny Mac (never the fittest of players), 5 sets with Lenld in QF, doubles on Friday, 7-6 in the 5th vs Connrs in the Sf the 6-4 in the 5th vs Borg for the title in 1980. And we know about 1984.

I think it's imperative to the player who wins the 2nd SF, to start well in the F. it's easier to hold the lead than to come from behind. Fed started well, but it didn't seem to help. Mistakes hurt him a lot.


Ganesh.....

Hewitt and Safin wiped the florr with what?? A 30 yr old Sampras. Fed got smacke 1,3 and 0 at age 26. Age 26!!!!!!!!! Coming off a 23 slam year, Pete was coming off a year when injuries kept him out of 2 slams. See the differene??

mac says Fed is the greatest, when he's on TV, and that TV is "paying" him to be there. What has he said to tennis magazines, radio, about Roger the competition around him, when the suits can't censor him??

Agassi should know a thing or two. When he said there's no where to go vs Rog after the 2005 US Open F?? So what did broke back Agasi get from Fed's backhand wing that day. Something lik 7 winners and 25 unforced errors?!? So apparaently the evidence does not support Dre now does it.

Fed hit shots that Pete can only dream of... like what?? Shoestring half volleys, even from behind his back (ask medvedev), 2nd serve aces consistently that aren't flukes, running forehands, please enlighten me on theses shots. What the backhand flick?? What Pete was hitting 10-15 trs ago with the Wilson Pro Staff, ask, becker, Agassi, Rafter??

You're right as you said.....
"to put emphasis back on technique and mechanics when players were mindlessly bludgeoning the ball."

While Fed put the emphasis on that, Sampras played when it was apparent!!!!

Posted by Ganesh 09/19/2009 at 05:22 PM

Anonymous -
Let Sampras first win the french open...then let us talk. Fed 15 , Sampras 14. Has he even made it to the finals of the french open ? Medvedev , korolev , karamzhev , kafakev...who the hell cares ? Dude , do you even know your tennis ? The best thing Sampras can do on a clay court is to throw up. Get real..!

Mac is censored by empty suits...Agassi is broke back...he ..he...take your medication. and good luck!

Posted by Sam 09/19/2009 at 06:58 PM

After reading through all the comments about keeping the ball in the middle of the court and taking the room away from Delpo, I completely disagree. Going into this match Federer was 6-0 against him so he definately knew how to play him.

He is a giant 6'6 powerhouse who relishes baseline exchanges. Slices, loops or flat shots sit right in his strike zone and didn't appear to bother him at all.

I would have done my best to Santoro him around with heavy angles and keep him on the run. Do my best to make him labor his massive frame around the court. It's a lot easier to club winners when he has time to wind up and unleash then when he's running TOWARD a shot moving AWAY from him; particularly that two handed backhand with such a large man behind it.

Even better the above while you're at the net.

Posted by Sam 09/19/2009 at 07:03 PM

Ganesh - get a life and learn to look at reality for a moment.

Federer won the FO beating players he had a collective 43-1 record against.

Oh wooow - he really showed the world how to play awesome clay court tennis. Whatever dude. He only won it because the ailing Nadal lost.

Had federer met a fully fit Nadal in the finals again he would have been spanked again.

You know it.

Posted by jojo 09/19/2009 at 08:00 PM

Roger "plays" tennis....that's why we love him......he is a great sportsman who never loses sight of the fact that it is a game, and all players should respect each other and even be friends....when the match turns into a war, Roger is not at his best.....this is what happened at all the finals where Roger "choked".....He did get just a little cocky up a set and a break...he ha dchances to get that second break, and he just didn't concentrate like he could have. Juan Martin competed "unbelievably"( to quote all European players)He came up with those tow monstrous passing shots when he needed them, and he turned up his game in the tiebreaks.....It seemed like the pressure was on Roger to break because the way Juan had played tie breaks all summer, he had the advantage. Roger ran out of gas just enough at the end, and Juan MArtin lifted his game to its highest level....great match....the better man won.

Posted by jojo 09/19/2009 at 08:02 PM

the key overturned line call looked good (hit the outside of the line) on the actual replay.....

Posted by John 09/19/2009 at 08:10 PM

Sally, u r not that BRIGHT. federer isnt showboating. hes hitting the shot that is his only choice.Federer played terrible. delpotro played lights out and slapped almost every ball. END OF STORY.

Posted by John 09/19/2009 at 08:23 PM

there once was a girl named sally,
who never won a major
let alone have a rally,
she is a crappy player
yet she critiques all the players,
she obviously thinks she knows it all
yet if i were her
id readily admit that i dont know nothing at all,
she cant compose a poem,
or a single line of a poem,
so why even bother critiquing the worlds best,
and let us critique you,
thank you,
now i bid you adieu!

Posted by Dinesh 09/19/2009 at 10:58 PM

Good analysis by Pete about Fed's suprising change of tactics even though it was all working quite well in the beginning. I think he started to get over confident or began to relax too much by taking his foot off the pedal. But none of this would have mattered had Fed stupidly not given away the 2nd set. He had the 2nd set on his racket but just could not seal the deal thanks to his own questionable shot selection. Also, he missed so many chances to get a double break because of his passive play after playing aggressively to get the break points. Fed lost the match in the 2nd set not in the 5th because it would never have gone that far had he won the 2nd.

I feel worse about this loss than the loss to Nadal at Wimby 08 because this is a match he should have won whereas the one against Nadal was much tighter. He should be kicking himself for missing out on this once in a lifetime opportunity for winning the US Open 6 times in a row. He will never get another opportunity in his playing career to win any tournament 6 times in a row let alone a GS event. I would like to see how he responds to this loss for the remaining part of this season.

Posted by mark downs 09/19/2009 at 11:11 PM

main thing is that if fed got his first serve in on any consistent basis, he would have won at least set #2. definitely give props to del potro for hitting some rediculous and amazing forehands. but fed got away from a winning game. however, it game down to his service. granted, second serve was pretty amazing, but allowed for questions. if he was hitting first serve, del potro never could have hit deep enough to bother fed's serve. that's just the way it is. fed apparently didn't adjust quite enough and shouldn't have been hitting to dp's forehand, but del potro never would have been able to whether the storm of fed's first serve it was getting in. i was a bit shocked by first serve percetage, that is sustained through entire match, and probably so was fed. fed's serve won't break down like that consistently, no matter the hype or thought by fans. clearly an abberation.
still, he went for more than he should have in critical moments,and he lost his net game, but this points to the lack of first serves coming in and also del potros ridiculous forehand. anyway, just saying.

Posted by sally 09/20/2009 at 12:49 AM

john-stick to your day job cleaning toilets
for a writer you will never be.

Posted by Carrie 09/20/2009 at 01:20 AM

Lovely to see all the credit to Delpo for his win here. It is good to see him credited for his play and not to see it all about what his opponent didn't do.; Great to see it be about Delpo winning as oppossed to it being all about Roger losing and his opponent not even being a factor.

Wait- I am kidding. I see still it is all about Roger- no credit to Delpo.

Posted by sally 09/20/2009 at 01:27 AM

well. to be fair all delpo did was wait
for roger to self destruct, which is what
he has done in a number of slam finals.

Posted by remain anonymous 09/20/2009 at 02:15 AM

Ganesh....

Let Sampras get Haas, Del Potro and Soderling in the last 3 rds at RG, and then I'll have this discussion. Pete was getting established claycourters and French Open Champs (Agassi, Courier, Bruguera). Read Sam's comment @ 09/19/2009 @ 7:03 PM... he broke you down.

As far as broke back Agassi, wasn't he the one at 35 yrs old, getting cortizone shots, leading a peak Fed 3-6,6-2,4-2 30-0 in the 2005 US Open F before running out of gas?? As I reacall Pete was up 2 sets and a break over peak Agassi in the 1995 F??

Now stop quoting Mac, cuz he's flat out said who he'd take in a fair one... and it wasn't Roger. Now Federer is great, but stop with all this nonsense that e's hands down the greatest, most gifted etc. Cuz there are others definitely in the running and some may be ahead of Roger.

Posted by remain anonymous 09/20/2009 at 02:27 AM

Posted by Ganesh 09/19/2009 @ 5:08 AM

Heard of hewitt and safin before. Didn't they wipe the floor with Sampras at the US open ? Sampras was an awesome server but when his serve came back he was a good player with an above average forehand and weak backhand. Check out his 'achievements' on clay where his serve got neutralized. Sampras filled the gap after edberg and Becker started to go downhill in the early 90s. If you remove Agassi from his contemporaries there were a whole bunch of over achievers like chang , courier , rafter brugerra etc but none who play the all court game like todays players.


--------------------------------------------------------

You know I had to beat the hell ou of this nonsense.

Sampras won 5 slams when Edberg was seeded in the top 5... FIVE!!!!!!!!!
Becker.... look at his career 1984-89, and then 1990-96... then get back to me.
Courier and overachiever???

Let's look at Fed's contemporaries......

-Djokovic & Murray remove them both, Novak not a factor til Rog had what 11,12 slams, Murray even less of a factor than that.

-Safin.. tell me how many weeks he's spent inside the top 10 and how many outside. When Fed beat him in slams he was ranked 86, 24, 75 and 63. Not once inside the top 20!!!!

-Nadal while Fed won his 1st 12 slams, Rafa did not make a single SF of a hardcourt slam.

So that leaves who Roddick and Hewitt?!?

Oh yes those all around players, like Blake, Davydenko, Gonzalez,, all baseline drones.

Didn't you say.....

"Fed 'happened' for a reason ...to put emphasis back on technique and mechanics when players were mindlessly bludgeoning the ball."

...so one second they are baseline bashers, and Fed had to put the emphasis on technique and mechanics, but they are great all around players unlike Bruguera and Rafter.

Get your nonsense together will you??

Posted by sally 09/20/2009 at 02:35 AM

remain anonymous-you might as well forget it,
most everyone has left this thread.

Posted by John 09/20/2009 at 10:17 AM

Sally, Federer has destructed in two major finals. Australian 09 and open 09. Hes still ALOT BETTER THAN YOU. So shut your trap with all ur analyses and go work on ur own game(laugh). Del Potro on the other hand slapped almost every single ball like he always does and he was lucky that his shots were falling in.

*He definately has the ugliest game on tour and he doesnt even deserve to have won a major.

Posted by wiki 09/20/2009 at 11:42 AM

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Roger_Federer

many greats on Federer

Posted by the_dragonlily 09/20/2009 at 01:01 PM

As I recall, Martina Navrotalova said del Potro's backhand is his best shot. If that's the opinion on the tour, it explains why Federer kept trying to break down that monster forehand.

About Del Potro's improvement this year against Federer: Fed's defeat of Delpo at the AO was called at the time "destruction," but instead it turned out to be a motivator. Every time Delpo has played Fed since then, has been a great improvement over the time before. It only took him 3 matches to reach a win.

That's not a fluke, it's character.

Posted by the_dragonlily 09/20/2009 at 02:16 PM

I've been watching a tape of Del Potro's match against Davydenko at Shanghai last year. He eventually lost the match, but he does have a lovely touch on the backhand.

Posted by md 09/20/2009 at 02:52 PM

check out Fed's post Davis Cup comments - he was injured for the US Open final - interesting

Posted by John 09/20/2009 at 05:02 PM

Del potro has the ugliest backhand ive ever seen. its terrible. Hes such a tree. SLAP SLAP SLAP. He wont ever win another major unless Nadal, Murray, Federer, Djokovic, and Roddick quit tennis. He wont even make it to another major final. HE SUCKS AT TENNIS. HES BARELY ANY BETTER THAN SALLY WHO CANT KEEP MORE THAN TWO BALLS IN THE COURT. Dragonpansy, Navritilova is clearly insane if she thinks delpotro has a pretty game or is a good player.

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