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Four American Guns 06/14/2010 - 2:57 PM

102037426 by Pete Bodo

It's entirely possible that we'll see an American player in the final of Wimbledon; there's no news in that. But it won't necessarily be Andy Roddick, and that does qualify as noteworthy.

Roddick has been in three Wimbledon finals—all of them ending in ruin at the hands of Roger Federer and his superb grass-court game. But on Sunday, Sam Querrey and Mardy Fish played in the Queen's Club final (Querrey won that battle), and thereby positioned themselves as contenders at Wimbledon. Queen's, after all, has always been the bellwether warm-up event.

The winner at Queen's has been in the Wimbledon final five times since 1999. That statistic misrepresents the significance of the Queen's results, because Roger Federer—Wimbledon finalist seven years running now, six of them successful—decided some time ago to take a more low-key approach to his Wimbledon warm-ups and play at Halle instead of Queen's. But while Federer cooled his jets in Germany, most of the top names turned out to play Queen's. This year, the field included Roddick, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, leaving Federer the odd man out in this gathering of Wimbledon contenders. 

Last year, Andy Murray beat James Blake in the final. Andy Roddick has won at Queens four times (he's never lost a final there). Roddick and Blake have carried the stars and stripes at Queens for the better part of a decade. But the last American to have won the event before Roddick was Pete Sampras, in 1999—a year when Can Anyone Stop the Yanks? was a more persuasive story line than our current, Whatever Happened to American Tennis?

And that's why the Querrey vs. Fish final was such welcome news to U.S. fans and tennis establishment types. Among other things, it confirmed that Fish, a 28-year old who woke up early this year to realize that his career might be passing him by, can still be an impact player on grass - a surface especially well-suited to his attacking proclivities. It also exonerated Querrey, who had raised eyebrows—and serious questions—at Roland Garros a few weeks ago, when he pretty much quit trying in the course of his first-round loss to countryman Robby Ginepri.

In Paris, Querrey complained that he was burned-out and homesick, and admitted that his desultory loss to Ginepri was "unprofessional." His greatest sin, though, may have been the honesty with which he articulated his actions and feelings. Nobody likes a truth-teller, not really. Querrey endured a storm of criticism, but he performance at Queen's is de facto vindication. The story line morphed from Querrey is a quitter into There's no quit in that Querrey. This was the second most timely self-affirmation we've witnessed in the past few weeks, the first being Rafael Nadal's win in Paris.

So now we have four legitimate Wimbledon contenders with USA attached to their names, as well as a few guys capable of doing major damage on the grass. Let's take a quick look at them:

Andy Roddick (34-9 at Wimbledon; best result: finalist, three times): This thing with Andy and Wimbledon, Andy and Roger, now . . .it's personal. That's a mixed blessing, as Andy Murray might be inclined to tell you. Why do I bring Murray into it? Well, the reasons may be different, but success at Wimbledon would be of a different order of magnitude for those two men than anyone else in the draw.

Sure, Federer is still tracking Pete Sampras, who has one more Wimbledon title (with seven). But let's be real—can anything mean more than that single, elusive Wimbledon title Murray and Roddick seek?  Murray is the great British hope, carrying the expectations of a champion-starved nation that hosts the most prestigious tennis tournament of them all. Roddick's own quest is more intense, because it's more about Roddick and the way he views himself. He reminds us more and more of Goran Ivanisevic, who burned for years to win Wimbledon and was man enough to let everyone know it. Now we all know how much a Wimbledon title would mean to Roddick. And that, after Federer, is the main impediment to his quest.

Job No. 1 for Roddick: Bring the A-game and spirit for that inevitable match-up with a Richard Gasquet, Marcos Baghdatis, or even Ivo Karlovic.

Mardy Fish (7-7, best result: third round): Some pundits are amazed that Fish has never been past the third round at Wimbledon. Count me among them. Granted, Fish has struggled with injury, and he isn't the most nimble guy on the tour. But with that big serve, those "soft" hands, and the history of American players of similar inclination, style-wise, at Wimbledon, you can't help but be disappointed at Fish's record at the All England Club.

As a fan of country music, Fish certainly knows the meaning of that famous refrain, If it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. . .Fish has lost to Novak Djokovic, Richard Gasquet, Rafael Nadal and Federer, all men who have been to the semifinals or better at Wimbledon. How about that loss to Irakli Labadze, in 2006? Fish had to retire due to injury after the first set. The closest thing he's had to a "bad loss" at Wimbledon was in 2004, when he was bounced by Joachim Johansson—and Johansson was one of the great unrealized talents of our era.

If Fish gets a bit of a break from the gods of the draw, he'll be set up to wipe away many years of disappointment, and he's now mature and fit enough to take full advantage of his opportunities.

102036943 Sam Querrey (2-3, best results: second round): Well, there's nowhere to go but up for Querrey; two of his three previous losses at Wimbledon were to Alejandro Falla (in Sam's first SW19 in 2007) and Juan Carlos Ferrero—who's a better player on grass than some of his other clay-court amigos. But last year, Querrey took down Ivan Ljubicic and Danai Udomchoke before losing a very close five-setter to a player much like himself, Marin Cilic. There's no question that Querrey has been a work in progress on grass, but the advancement is evident.

Given the kind of year Querrey has been having, and his win at Queen's, there's reason to believe he could have an outstanding and highly professional Wimbledon. Besides, he'll be engaging in a little one-upmanship with his pal and doubles partnerJohn Isner, and that's always good motivational fuel. Both American novices are at the Top 20 level, and you can see their confidence growing, almost by the day.

John Isner (0-1, best result: er, none): Isner missed Wimbledon with mono last year, and in his only previous appearance he lost a close four-setter to Ernests Gulbis. Of course, an inordinate number of Isner's losses—as well as his wins—are "close" matches. It tends to work that way with guys who have atomic serves. Even when Isner loses early at a tournament, his ace-count remains right up there, high on the leaderboard, during the final weekend. No doubt about it; Isner's serve will be a terrible weapon next week.

The major questions surrounding Isner, who has so little history on grass (he even pulled out of Eastbourne this week, in order to better prepare for Wimbledon), is how he'll adapt to the relatively low bounces of grass courts. He's 6-9, so even vicious topspin shots tend to sit up, right in his strike zone on clay and slow, gritty hard courts. Whether he'll be up to all the bending, lunging and stretching required on grass will be as important an issue as his first-serve conversion percentage, and his ability to get his racket on enough returns to pressure his opponents.

Those are the four big American guns lining up for Wimbledon. But there are others. Robby Ginepri is in the midst of a resurgence, and his excellent service return is an asset on grass. Michael Russell is a good competitor, ranked just outside the Top 100 and on the cusp of direct entry into the main draw. The USA also has some competent grass-court players in Robert Kendrick and Bobby Reynolds—both of whom have won main-draw matches at Wimbledon, but will probably have to qualify to get in this year's tournament. And there's Jesse Levine and Donald Young. In other words, the USA has a fair number of players who could run interference for their more well-positioned and accomplished peers.

All in all, I'm feeling very good about the USA's chances at Wimbledon; I'm going so far as to predict an American Wimbledon semifinalist not named Roddick.


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Posted by ActionFlunky 06/14/2010 at 03:05 PM

"All in all, I'm feeling very good about the USA's chances at Wimbledon; I'm going so far as to predict an American Wimbledon semifinalist not named Roddick."

Who?

Posted by robbyfan 06/14/2010 at 03:20 PM

Sorry-not jumping on the American band wagon other than Andy R. for the win.

Posted by Master Ace 06/14/2010 at 03:37 PM

Other than maybe Roddick, I do not see an American on the ATP making it past the quarterfinals. Donald Young already lost his first qualifying match today therefore, he will probably be playing Challengers while Wimbledon is playing.

Now, if you want to see an American playing on the weekend of Indepedence Day, need to put your money on the Williams Sisters. For the past 10 years, Serena or Venus have played for the title 9 of those years winning 8. Only loss was in 2004 when Maria Sharapova stopped Serena from winning Wimbledon 3 times in a row. Only match not involving the Williams Sisters was in 2006 when Amelie Mauresmo defeated Justine Henin, who came back in an attempt to complete the career Slam, in a 3 set affair. Until 2010 AO, that match was the last 3 setter in a WTA Slam final.

Posted by wilson75 06/14/2010 at 03:38 PM

Andy Roddick was not a finalist or the winner of Queens last year. He pulled out the SF against Blake with an ankle injury. Murray won Queens, first Brit in 70 years to win.

As for the 4 American contenders, I agree Roddick is not going to make to the finals again this year. His concentration on winning Wimbledon aka missing most of the clay season has backfired so far, with him playing only 5 matches since Miami. Querrey despite winning Queens is not a slam player yet and I believe he will not make it pass the third round. Isner, has not played on grass this season and does not have the stamina to play seven 5 set matches yet. Fish is too streaky but probably do the best of all the Americans this year maybe reaching the fourth round.

Posted by robbyfan 06/14/2010 at 03:44 PM

Donald Young lost in the first round? Good grief, maybe it is time for him to consider a career change or get a coach that isn't a parent. Who is sponsoring him to attend these matches? Are the Youngs independently wealthy?

Posted by robbyfan 06/14/2010 at 03:45 PM

And where is James Blake? He fell off the radar this year. Is he injured?

Posted by Kenneth (marry me Susan?) 06/14/2010 at 03:56 PM

Querrey played some fine tennis to take out an in-form Fish and a confident Lopez. It looked as if he has been working on his fitness too, with a little more muscle than before this tournament. If that's the case I don't see why he shouldn't have a great Wimbledon. And we all know how an atmosphere of winning aids in the American (and Australian it seems) tennis effort.

Posted by @work 06/14/2010 at 03:58 PM

Unfortunately J. Blake lost today to Benneteau in Eastbourne.
I just don't remember the last time Blake won consistently (maybe neither does he) :(

I wish I could share the optimism about US chances at Wimbledon...

Posted by leigh 06/14/2010 at 04:03 PM

Andy is probably the only American with the mental strength it takes to go far into the Slams.
(Robby Ginepri has been to a semifinal.) I am hopeful that Sam and John can toughen up mentally
and go far. I think it takes more mental strength (concentration, focus, belief) that physical strength
to go far in the five-set matches. Sam's behavior at Roland Garros shows how the focus and belief left him.
Maybe he could have won that match if he hadn't given-up. How can a coach help with that? Ask Roddick?

Posted by leigh 06/14/2010 at 04:12 PM

Querrey beat 250 tournament caliber players to win Queens. Any win is a good win.- but......
His road to the finals included wins over Schuettler, Malisse, Granollers, and Ginepri.-not
one seeded player. And an unseeded Fish in the finals.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/14/2010 at 04:14 PM

haha, what did i just say on the other post about needing to rehire editors and fact checkers. I read that, knowing that Muzz was the defending champ, and wondering what was I missing? sigh. I'm hoping Andy gets to the AELTC and finds his form but i must be dreaming. It's going to be a strange tourney this year. I think Fed has the best chance, then Nole or Rafa. Soderling maybe?

Pete, when is your book with pmac coming out? and are you going to have a partaaay??

Posted by Batz 06/14/2010 at 04:17 PM

"Last year, the finalists were that pair of veterans who have almost single-handedly carried the flag for American tennis for nearly a full decade, Andy Roddick and James Blake."


I could've swore Blake played Andy Murray is last year's final.

Posted by Master Ace 06/14/2010 at 04:20 PM

Robbyfan,
Blake has been injured and his ranking dropped to 110. He played Benneteau at Eastbourne losing in straights 7-6,7-5.

Posted by @work 06/14/2010 at 04:21 PM

Well at least the first name was correct, if not the surname and nationality :)

I believe the best chance for the US at Wimbledon is Andy Roddick.
Good win for Sam Querrey and he can't be blamed for how the draw at Queens turned out but I am just wondering if he has what it takes to go all the way for two weeks, esp after what happened at the French Open!

Posted by BruceLee 06/14/2010 at 04:22 PM

If you want to read a great article check this out: http://www.tennisgrandstand.com/archives/6557

Posted by Kenneth (marry me Susan?) 06/14/2010 at 04:24 PM

The fact that Queens is a 250 hasn't mattered in the past when Roddick, Nadal, and Murray were winning there. And the fact that all the seeds were dispatched early isn't to great of a concern either, I mean Nadal just finished an entire major playing one seed (and I'm not equating Querrey with Nadal, just saying).

Posted by allezaravane 06/14/2010 at 04:29 PM

All in all, I'm feeling very good about the USA's chances at Wimbledon; I'm going so far as to predict an American Wimbledon semifinalist not named Roddick.

I love your chauvinism.

Posted by Heather 06/14/2010 at 04:35 PM

This article is incredibly bogus. Normally I agree with most of what Pete writes but this really is insane. Just take a look at the records they stand for themselves, sure Andy didn't put out the best effort during the clay season but in reality he never does, why can't people just let a tournament play out? Or in fact, make presumptions when the draw is at least made. Best chance is Andy, the rest are second class at best.

Posted by ilovetennis 06/14/2010 at 04:35 PM

Honestly, I don't think Mardy Fish can go any further than the 3rd round at Wimbledon.
He's almost seeded 90 and doesn't have what it takes.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/14/2010 at 04:39 PM

I was talking about Andy Roddick finding his form. Andy Murray? I just can't get excited.

And pete's book is out and I just ordered it from Amazon. I want really juicy stories, please don't disappoint!

Posted by Jay 06/14/2010 at 04:52 PM

If this (Eastbourne) is Blake's first tourney back from his illness, its not a bad result at all. Benneteau has been playing well this year. Unfortunately, Blake's ranking will probably cause him to run into a top player in the early rounds at Wimby.

Posted by BrooklynNY 06/14/2010 at 04:55 PM

Yea this is funny stuff.

Roddick will be going out in Quarters this year. Especially if the grass is playing like its usual slow self.

Lets see a draw first.

Posted by Alan 06/14/2010 at 04:58 PM

Pete, your optimism is delusional. Fish, Querrey, and Isner have a grand total of two quarterfinals combined in Slam events, both by Fish. If any of them make it that far at Wimbledon, I would consider it a huge victory in of itself. Roddick is the only American who has any shot at making it to the finals. The rest of them simply aren't worth mentioning in that argument.

Posted by Samantha Elin(Caro to the haters, Don't you wish your pusher was hott like me) 06/14/2010 at 04:59 PM

I think American men are looking good for the future. Isner and Quarry are two good future prospects. Are they capable of going deep in the slams? I'm not sure, I need to see better results than in the past with the new comers. Would I be surprise if Roddick were out before the semi? Not in the least, I think there are many players who can beat him. Patrick, the Williamses numbers at Wimbledon are unbelievable, their best surface by far. Go Justine! Go Caro, Scandinavia's#1.

Posted by Samantha Elin(Caro to the haters, Don't you wish your pusher was hott like me) 06/14/2010 at 05:00 PM

I forgot to mention Fish, no, I don't think Fish is capable of winning a slam. I don't see the game for that, but good luck to him.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/14/2010 at 05:02 PM

"Last year, the finalists were that pair of veterans who have almost single-handedly carried the flag for American tennis for nearly a full decade, Andy Roddick and James Blake."

Is this a retaliatory strike against the Murray-hype around Wimbledon time? ;-) I remember Roddick twisted an ankle or something in the SF, and it was a Murray-Blake final, with Murray ending up the first British player to win the tournament since 1536 or something.

British tennis needs all the achievements it can get - don't take them away! :)

Posted by Larry 06/14/2010 at 05:06 PM

I think Pete is overly enthusiastic. Perhaps he does not wish to be misunderestimated. No one does.

I believe like some previous scribes that only Andy Roddick can be considered a serious contender, with the possible exception of Querrey. On Roddick, yes, he's a fit man now, a very fit tennis man, but how many injuries have piled up now? If he is truly fixated on beating Roger, that's not a good thing necessarily. What if Cilic or Murray or someone beats Rog, and Andy were to play, say, Rafa in the finals? I give him little chance against Rafa, and I can't really say why. :)

I really think that Andy goes to the 'blame the chair ump' option too often. He's mentally fragile, or at least too quick to defocus by seeking hostile targets.

Querrey might make a run, but he's not going to the Finals. I don't see his game as (yet) truly a grass court game. Sam is more of a slow hard court player in my opinion, or a medium hard court player. I think the same is true of Isner, but I don't think Isner really can handle the low balls. Fed and the like would torture Isner with such shots.

Mardy Fish? I like him, I really do. I have watched Mardy off and on, and I have never seen the consistency and mental application needed to win seven matches in 3 of 5 format. I don't believe it.

Good luck to D Young. I saw him sputter 2-3 years ago, as did so many. He's on a fast track to nowhere without a big transformation.

James Blake? About time to call it a career...

Posted by Samantha Elin(Caro to the haters, Don't you wish your pusher was hott like me) 06/14/2010 at 05:06 PM

To me, the most fascinating thing about Ameican tennis is where are the Agassis, Sampras and Chris Everts? I don't think in any of the new players(Isner, Querrey, Oudin) you see the elite players that America has produced in the past. It's quite possible that none of these player will win a slam.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/14/2010 at 05:08 PM

Thanks Pete.

Well on current form before Wimbleon and say going on results Sam Querry who recently won Queens and then Mardy Fish the runner up in this tournament could do some damage.

For me though I would say Roddick.Though this year a lot of the other top seeds went out early in tournaments.Bringing my point that there is very little time for all players to adjust to the grass after the Clay.

That was soo obvious to me at Queens.Also the rain didnt help at all.

I had to chuckle to myself when Rafa nearly tumbled head first into the net at one stage.

Out of all the Americans Roddick to me is the stronger.

Posted by wilson75 06/14/2010 at 05:08 PM

BTW wasn't a similar article written by Pete when Isner and Querrey reached the finals of Serbia. Isner and Querrey were predicted to reach the second week of RG. If I'm not mistaken Querrey tanked his first round match because he was burnt out and missed California and Isner reached the third round.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/14/2010 at 05:12 PM

From watching at Queens, it seems to me to be more likely that the main Americans (apart from Roddick) will be dangerous people to meet, rather than solid contenders for the title. Both Fish and Querrey looked a bit iffy mentality-wise at certain points to me, & I wonder if that might get shown up more in a slam.

Posted by jb (Roddick FTW!) 06/14/2010 at 05:14 PM

I don't see how Pete is THAT delusional; maybe Sam Q and Isner haven't done that well in the past, but they're up and coming. There's no reason to think they WON'T do well, imo. (Except John's ability to bend for the slices, and that i think is knee is a bit dicey atm. at least, i think it was his knee...)

And Sam may have beaten Mardy in the final of Queens, and sure, Mardy's ranking has fallen, but he DID have surgery last year. He's in the best shape of his career now, and he could put together a good run this year. And he beat the higher ranked guys that were across the net from him.

Also, didn't he and James do fairly well in the dubs last year at wimby? Face it, ANY player with a big serve and a reasonably solid game has a shot on the day, on the grass. Think anyone looks at Dr Ivo and goes pfft? They're more likely to go Oh NO IVO! :)

Its not to say its a guarantee that these guys will be in the quarters or beyond, but there's nothing screaming out that they won't get to the second Monday. Except that they're Americans, which seems to be reason enough for some to downplay / dislike them. *shrugs*

Posted by Kenneth (marry me Susan?) 06/14/2010 at 05:15 PM

Jeez, one would think Querrey is 32 instead of 22 and improving by the match. Whose the last American male to take RG serious? Everyone's a loser until they're not. If Sam improves his service holds he is as dangerous on grass as anyone. Two men have won Wimbledon since 2002. Everyone outside of those two guys have as good a chance as anyone, especially the two guys who have just won the warm-up tournys.

Posted by adicecream 06/14/2010 at 05:19 PM

Delusional? No. Optimistic? Sure. But why not? It's the beginning of a slam and right now anyone can win.

Can we all say Jurgen Melzer?

Even if the views in this article are a stretch, Pete didn't write about Nadal or Federer -- a bonus as far as I am concerned.

Posted by Mr.X (Live, from Minionland!) 06/14/2010 at 05:32 PM

Well, Pete is optimistic about the chances of his countrymen. Dont really see anything wrong with that. Personally, i have trouble to see an American other than Roddick in the SFs, but if someone, somehow, takes out Fed (i guess this year it looks extremely improbable instead of absolutely impossible), i think Andy Roddick will win Wimbledon.
About the others, it's true that Fish is in the best form of his career, and this urface suits him and favours the veterans, so i think he's the one i see doing better of the rest, more than the 2 young guys, who probably still have some lessons to learn in the grass Slam. For Isner, obviously, how he will be able to handle low balls is a big question mark, and one that i dont know if he will be able to answer with that huge serve.
And since i defended Pete's right to be optimistic about his countrymen, i will do the same:
"Juan Carlos Ferrero—who's a better player on grass than some of his other clay-court amigos."
And going by the fact that he has made the Wimbledon QFs twice (even taking a set from Fed once), he's also a better grass court player than 3 of the players presented in the article.

Posted by robbyfan 06/14/2010 at 05:57 PM

Which would be more memorable for Andy R? Beating Fed or Rafa in the final?

Posted by gliciouss 06/14/2010 at 06:03 PM

this article makes no sense to me...

don't you always have to see a draw first??? and that goes for top players too

Posted by Larry 06/14/2010 at 06:18 PM

If it rains frequently, Fish will swim through.

If it's sunny and dry, an ice cream cone might Melzer.

If reporters get curious about a player's game, they might ask a Querrey.

But almost certainly, one Frenchman will blow a Gasquet.

Posted by reckoner 06/14/2010 at 06:25 PM


this piece is a stretch... as far as the americans go, nobody outside roddick has a chance at a wimby title

Posted by Geellis 06/14/2010 at 06:32 PM

@Everyone
Wow. So Negative on the chances of the Americans. First, need we remind ourselves that we are, currently, indulging in the extraordinarily fun, though highly fatuous, art of GS prognostication. Have fun with it. As such, IMHO, folks are underselling various of the Americans and here's the simple reason why..............no one else, other than perhaps Fedal, can be counted on for anything at this moment in men's GS tennis. Voila! It's really that simple. It's one thing to poo-poo the chances of the Fishes, Isners, and Qerrey's (or is that Qerries,lol) of the world when the Djokos, Murray's, Davydenko's of the world are playing well. But, fact is they are not. Djoko and Murray have variously been in a death-spiral for months and months. Davydenko is still relatively fresh from his injury time-off as evidenced by his loss in Halle to the German Becker. Given these facts, I fail to see how folks can so easily dismiss the chances of the Americans. Of course, anything can and will happen at a GS. But to so underrate the chances of Americans not named Roddick/Williams seems, IMHO, counter-factual. The other top players are just playing too inconsistently to pencil them anywhere just yet. I think it likely that two Americans make it to the quarters. You can take your pick on who.

Posted by Sherlock 06/14/2010 at 06:34 PM

"Can we all say Jurgen Melzer?"

Lol, adicecream. :)

"Even if the views in this article are a stretch, Pete didn't write about Nadal or Federer -- a bonus as far as I am concerned."

+1

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/14/2010 at 06:39 PM

Larry, brilliant.

Master Ace: ditto what you said

Posted by Cotton Jack 06/14/2010 at 06:45 PM

Yes Roddick turned his ankle in early on in his semifinal with Blake. Given the form he and Murray were in that week, I think Murray would still have won the final, notwithstanding the result of the semi at Wimbledon.

Posted by Carol 06/14/2010 at 07:03 PM

Rafa cheering up to Spain team World Cup
We can, we cannnn!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EaexFQ6tUQ

Posted by Griffen427 06/14/2010 at 07:06 PM

Isner won't do well at Wimbledon - despite the courts supposedly slowing down, they're still too fast for him and he lacks the speed and variety to go into the second week there.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/14/2010 at 07:26 PM

Larry LOL!!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/14/2010 at 07:29 PM

Personally and as I did post.There is still not enough grass tournaments for all players before Wimby

Players do need to adjust.Some do quicker than others.That also applies with the ladies of the WTA.

Of course it means changes in the ATP and WTA schedule

We Gonna See No? I wont be holding my breath though lol!

Posted by Larry 06/14/2010 at 07:42 PM

Thanks, ladies. A sprite or a West Wind or something invaded my otherwise standard-issue self!

Posted by AB 06/14/2010 at 07:47 PM

robbyfan: RAndy would be overjoyed to lift the trophy even against a toe-shoes wearing Mardy Fish.

I don't think he cares about avenging his losses to Fed.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/14/2010 at 07:54 PM

Reposted from previous thread:

The following is a public service announcement. Please note that live streams will be available for matches being played in The Netherlands and Eastbourne at the following sites:

livescorehunter.com
channelsurfing.com
atdhe.net
bet365.com
fromsport.com

Please take a moment to bookmark the above websites. Play commences at 4:00 a.m. EST. If you are in the Caribbean like me that is way too early for a tennis match, no matter who is playing :)

As an assistance to those of us who do not rise that early (me), match calls from our European, Australian and those in the Pacific Rim will be welcome.

Please note that if you visit livescorehunter.com right now you will get an idea as to which matches will be live streamed and the approximate time of the match.

Thanks very much

Posted by Red 1.7.17.287⁺ = Legacy Solidified 06/14/2010 at 07:54 PM

Pete,
Of all the Americans my money is still on Roddick with Fish a close runner up.
None of whom I expect to make the final.

Posted by Colette 06/14/2010 at 07:59 PM

"If it rains frequently, Fish will swim through."

Aha, now we know why he doesn't wear socks!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/14/2010 at 08:04 PM

Karen I was really angry last night I had a small siesta then got up for Eastbourne.ESPN who had listed here the WTA tournament live starting at 11.00pm our time.They replayed the final at Birmingham pfft.I wanted to see live a few players Sam Stosur being one.Though she got through.I am sick of SB.Hopefully tonight my time order will be restored.I have no trouble at all giving match calls.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/14/2010 at 08:10 PM

Methinks Mr Fish is getting way too much "air time" on TW

Regardless of the mystery of him not wearing socks

I learn something new here every day

Fish can swim without socks.

Posted by boppytop 06/14/2010 at 08:18 PM

I don't see anyone other than Nadal or Federer winning Wimbledon - these two have dominated men's tennis for so long - all the others can only hope to win a match or tournament from time to time - if they are lucky.

Posted by juniper 06/14/2010 at 08:19 PM

Who is the photo of the guy who looks like he's trying to take a #2 on the bowl?

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/14/2010 at 08:25 PM

AM, I saw that. I wish I had the luxury of even seeing repeats on tv. Right now I have to rely on live streams for my tennis. I am not even sure how Wimbledon will happen this year as I will not be able to purchase my usual Wimbledon live feed because it is not available in the Caribbean this year. This sucks as most of the time I always like to watch the archived matches.

Last year there were no archived matches which sucked big time but then I had TC to go home to. Which leads me to my next issue. How come TC does not get to carry any of the early round coverage of Wimbledon. They only get the highlight show in the evenings. I think that is so wrong as they do a pretty good job of covering the majors.

I am hopeful that they will change the format at the Wimbledon site and allow me to watch the matches that I want to watch.

Posted by Heather 06/14/2010 at 08:26 PM

I am still annoyed by this article. Yes, I want Andy to win Wimbledon. Do I think it will happen? I'm not sure...you never know..

The other three are promising contenders, why? Because Mardy and Sam had a good run at a 250 event when all of the seeds crashed out? There's MUCH more that goes into a slam like mental strength and fortitude and they do not have it at all period.

If we're going to make assumptions based on the warm-up tournaments and compare the seeds to others from their country then Warwrinka is going to do better than Fed? Ferrer will do better than Nadal? Tipsarevic will do better than Djokovic and R. Hutchins will be better than Murray?

Is ANYTHING possible? Absolutely but let's not going making grand assumptions before the draw is even made.

Posted by thebigapple 06/14/2010 at 08:26 PM

I hope Roddick wins something worthwhile this year - as long as it is not at Fed's expense. The others - Meh. Actually Isner - double Meh.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/14/2010 at 08:26 PM

@SamE, if you around, here is a nice article on Wozniacki. You may want to skip the comments.

http://www.onthebaseline.com/

Posted by Colette 06/14/2010 at 08:27 PM

Francesca back in azione tomorrow - Yeah!

Posted by thebigapple 06/14/2010 at 08:30 PM

Larry, nice,nice!

Posted by adicecream 06/14/2010 at 08:37 PM

Karen, thanks for the stream info. Some of it is too early for me in the eastern US too, though one never knows when the dog will have a nightmare and pop one out of bed!

Posted by Ruth 06/14/2010 at 09:03 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if the four Americans Pete discussed weren't around for the second week and gunning for bigger game. but I'll wait to see the draws before getting serious hopes up. So much depends on whom you meet in the earlier rounds, and I'm not talking about facing the top guys, but simply meeting a player, even in Round 1, whose game just doesn't match up well with yours.

Let's just say that, as the driver of the Roddick-Safina bus, I hope that Pete is right about RAndy; and I hope that all the naysayers and nabobs of negativity (remember that term or something like it used by a politician?) will find their way back to TW to make appropriate comments if Pete's hopes and predictions just happen to come true. (I'm sure that they'll be here if he's wrong!)

Posted by Ruth 06/14/2010 at 09:06 PM

"nattering nabobs of negativism" -- U.S. Vice-President Spiro Agnew, September 1970

LOL

Posted by kym 06/14/2010 at 09:13 PM

This time if Nadal wins wimbledon, I will write a poem and deliver it to his personal website.

Posted by Keith 06/14/2010 at 09:57 PM

Flying Fish:
http://tinyurl.com/37rom7a

His goofy looks aside, he actually has an interesting pleasantly oldfashioned S&V netrushing game, resembling Llodra's, but with better serve. He lacks consistency and stamina, though, which was again proven when he just disappeared in the second half of the Queen's final.

Querrey and Isner? No. Just - no. Ballbashing beanpoles of blandness.

Luckily, Roddick stopped being that. He has managed to retool his game and finally became a more complete player.

Posted by evie 06/14/2010 at 10:02 PM

An American not named Roddick in the semis? I assume Bodo means Isner, who has not had to prove himself on grass this season at all, because there is no way Fish or Querrey will make the semis.

My dark horse for the Wimbledon title: Djokovic. I'm not a fan, but I saw what the Olympics doubles win did for Federer, and this first grass court title for Nole is at least as important to him. He's definitely getting to the semifinals at a minimum.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/14/2010 at 10:11 PM

Well I just Nole can get over his breathing problems,pollen problems.serving problems,not to mention his concentration on big points in matches.

He is not the Nole of 2008 anymore thats for sure.

Okay seeing I am in still in Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,Oi,Oi,Oi, Mode

Hoping those 2 hips can stand the 2 weeeks on Grass.I think Lleyton could be a dark horse at Wimby this year.

If he can reproduce the form that beat Roger who knows? he can play on grass and already has won a GS title there.I know that was like in the days of Adam and Eve though lol!

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/14/2010 at 10:15 PM

Fish and Quisner as serious contenders, eh? Certainly, a patchy year for the top dogs. Well, take that back. Fed had some TMF moments in Oz, and played his best Slam defensively in arguably three or four years, and Rafa completely dominated/steamrolled through the CC season and the FO. But the door seems a bit open amid the top five and hard to know what to make of everyone's form after only one week on turf. Nadal, I suppose, should be given the biggest pass as he seemed the least aggrieved about being sent packing to watch some WC, plus he's been the tour's most consistent performer since January. The others? Who knows?

Since it's all giggles, no harm in such a coy "American not named Roddick" SF prediction. But then again, I distinctly remember hearing some buzz about Quisner a month ago, post-Belgrade. You know, how the burger-loving, finals-meeting friends had taken to the clay like a fly to steaming dung and we shouldn't be surprised if one or both of them appeared in the second week at second week at Paris.

Posted by CPM 06/14/2010 at 10:31 PM

evie, that's an awfully bold prediction to be making about Novak, given his current form going into what has been his weakest Slam (made the semis once, IIRC). He & Murray are under the same heading in my book: Expected to under-perform until they prove otherwise.
--------
It's certainly not inconceivable that Querrey or Isner could score an upset against a contender (likely scoreline: 7-6, 5-7, 7-6, 7-6), but that's a far, far cry from thinking them capable of even making the second week. And Fish? I mean, sure, who knows -- except no. That's just crazy talk.

Posted by Pspace 06/14/2010 at 10:34 PM

Querrey certainly deserves to be a notable in discussing the Wimbledon draw. Champion of Queen's is pretty decent*. I'd tentatively speculate that this is the most wide open Wimbledon since '03. But, I wouldn't bet money on any1 other than Federer or Nadal winning. If you give me Federer, Nadal or Roddick vs the rest of the field, I'd bet my house on it.


*- Rafa lost to Lopez, Randy lost to Dudi. So, basically he beat the guy who beat Murray.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/14/2010 at 10:42 PM

Ahhhh Pspace just letting you know I air express posted your goodies today to you

It cost me a arm and a leg by the way? just saying

In future my lips are sealed.

I am not betting with you at Wimby

Just giving your early notice.

Posted by Pspace 06/14/2010 at 10:44 PM

LOL, AM. You didn't have to do it. But, thanks for keeping your word ;-). I will send you a picture of me in the Rafa shirt.

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/14/2010 at 10:45 PM

Yeah, but can Querry be bothered to care? Remember, this was an issue at a recent Slam. ;)

*ducks incoming ordnance from Querry patrols*

Posted by Pspace 06/14/2010 at 10:47 PM

AF, hehe, let's just hope he gets his eggs done just the way he wants them, and fresh socks every day. I'm told he's using his Queen's prize winnings to fly in his momma so that she can tuck him in at night.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/14/2010 at 10:48 PM

Pspace Yes I am a woman of my word

Look I am only interested to see the "tight fitting tee across your chest" ok

Theres no need for anything else

I think all TW Tribers would also love to see that as well

Oh dont forget the Thorlo socks as well.

Posted by Rafalicious 06/14/2010 at 10:55 PM

Posted by juniper 06/14/2010 at 08:19 PM
Who is the photo of the guy who looks like he's trying to take a #2 on the bowl?

that's Sam Querrey, who kinda looks like Homer Simpson in that pic

Posted by adicecream 06/14/2010 at 10:59 PM

Thorlo socks are great.

Posted by Larry 06/14/2010 at 11:02 PM

Have read the comments. There's one thing I will say about Mr. Fish - he is kind of a momentum player. If he should get a few big wins early he might actually believe. I guess there is a difference between being thin, as he is now, and being fit, as Fed, Roddick, Murray, Nadal etc. are. I am not sure Fish has that sort of oxygen going past the gills.

I too like Hewitt's chances, Marge, not because I especially like Hewitt. But I do admire his passion for the game and competing, and wish I were as much as a fighter in life as he is. Still, his game is circa 2002 next to Fed's and Nadal's. That is, they can just outhit him in the critical moments. I will not easily forget, though, watching him in 2002 (?) at IW when was #1, and going into the corners to hit incredible defensive-offensive shots, kind of like Santoro with additional pop.

I notice that nobody is picking Murray. Well, that makes sense, as he appears to mope through most of the year on tour. Still, he's played some great matches at Wimbledon and has been deep in the tournament. He is a possibility. I also think Cilic's game is made for grass. Tsonga is another player whose Sampras-style athleticism should produce a Wimbledon championship, but he's clearly very unreliable in big events.

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/14/2010 at 11:03 PM

"Who is the photo of the guy who looks like he's trying to take a #2 on the bowl?"

Didn't notice that. Pretty funny. Querry also bears a slight resemblance to Steve Bartman, sans eyeglasses.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/14/2010 at 11:05 PM

Larry May I say I havent been a big supporter of Lleyton.Though I do give him credit.He is a fighter to the end.Also he really hasnt got any big weapons in his game.Today a serve and at least a huge f/hand or b/hand is vital in todays game.Also he has been the back bone of our Davis Cup team over the years.

Posted by Sherlock 06/15/2010 at 12:00 AM

Was anyone happening to watch Tennis Channel the past couple hours? They showed the Rafter-Agassi semifinal from 2001. What an amazing match.

Posted by ack 06/15/2010 at 12:06 AM

I thought Lleyton looked pretty good yesterday. So I'd pick him over any of the Americans that ended up (or didn't end up) in the final at Queens. Sorry, my fellow Americans, I'm not feeling Sam or Andy or Isner or Fish this year.

So it's Rafa and Lleyton in the final. (Unless they happen to be on the same side of the draw.) You heard it here first!

Posted by Arun 06/15/2010 at 12:07 AM

I did, 'lock. Truly a classic! So good to watch that contrast in style.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 06/15/2010 at 12:07 AM

Hey Sherlock you should be Cherry Picking Ok

Havent got time to watch tennis matches

Though anything that involves Pat I suppose I will give you a free pass this time

Posted by Sherlock 06/15/2010 at 12:26 AM

Arun!! Classic, indeed. And while Patrick had a nice serve, it wasn't so powerful that his matches became acefests. What a pleasure to watch him volleying again, as well as Andre's amazing groundies.

Lol. Thanks, AM. Everyone deserves a break once in a while to watch Patrick. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/15/2010 at 12:30 AM

Sherlock As long as noone brings up You Know What.Sniff!

Posted by Sherlock 06/15/2010 at 12:36 AM

AM, no kidding. :(

Oh, how I'd love to have Patrick back on tour again.

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/15/2010 at 12:46 AM

Loved watching Rafter play, too. In terms of rating famous tennis players as pure athletes, we always rate Borg first, with which I have no objection, but if I had to pick a #2 it would be Rafter. Dude looked like he could have excelled at about five different sports. And hey, any guy that donates half of the earnings of his two USO titles to that children's charity as he did is a true hombre in my book. That was heart in your throat stuff.

Just wish he would have snared that elusive Wimby title.

Posted by Sherlock 06/15/2010 at 12:52 AM

Well said, AF.

Yeah, Rafter was some kind of athlete. I loved watch Stefan play as well, with that gorgeous volley of his. But Rafter was such a different kind of animal heading towards that net.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/15/2010 at 01:04 AM

Morning, everyone. :)

Also loved Rafter - did you see he played in that champions thing at Royal Albert Hall last year? Think it might've even have been against Edberg in the final. I wish he hadn't been playing Goran in 2001.

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/15/2010 at 01:08 AM

Sherlock -- yeah, good comparison/contrast. I watch Edberg, I think pure tennis player. I watch Rafter, I think pure athlete. Guess it's a bit like art. Not always the easiest to describe, but you know it when you see it. Animal is good word to use describing his rushes. Also, you know a guy's cool when, as a fellow dude, you never resent his good looks. Rafter seems like a guy you'd want to go have a Foster's with.

Posted by Sherlock 06/15/2010 at 01:11 AM

Jewell!! Good morning. :)

I'm always afraid that watching these guys now will ruin my great memories. :)

Wow, that Paraguay goalie totally missed the ball when he jumped for it, which allowed the goal behind him. Ouch. :)

Posted by Sherlock 06/15/2010 at 01:17 AM

"Rafter seems like a guy you'd want to go have a Foster's with."

Exactly. :)

Lol on the resentment. Indeed. On the replay tonight, as Rafter's walking off and signing a few autographis, the expressions on the faces of the women watching was priceless. :)

Is Edberg/Rafter comparable to Roger/Rafa?

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/15/2010 at 01:18 AM

Hey Sherly. :) I don't know that it would, still got the touch and talent ok.

I've heard some of the players (looking at you, Rob Green!) say that it's partly the fault of the new Adidas ball - it doesn't fly true and can veer off course or something, particularly at altitude. Well, I could sort of see that with the Paraguay goalie yesterday, but how that works when the ball is on the ground and practically under your body I just don't know.

Are you watching the football now? I thought Italy were pretty bad but then they usually start off a bit slow.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/15/2010 at 01:20 AM

Although to be fair I don't think Paraguay gave them much room to play.

Tennis, Jewell, tennis...

Posted by Sherlock 06/15/2010 at 01:23 AM

Was priceless? My English teacher just felt a tremor in the force.

Ahhh, the old "it's the ball!!" trick, huh? :)

Seriously, that's interesting though. Is this some new design or something? One thing in Green's favor, wasn't it quite wet and slick at that time? I still feel for the guy, so I'm hunting for excuses. )

Just highlights on ESPN, Jewell. Almost bedtime, so I had to catch up. :)

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/15/2010 at 01:29 AM

Yeah, Green must be contagious and sneezed on the goalies for Paraguay and Algieria. It was Algeria that let in the other soft one, right?

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/15/2010 at 01:31 AM

Of course, it never rains in Britain. ;-) I feel for him a bit too but that was just terrible.

Yes, it was designed partly by the sports science lot at Loughborough University, I think. Which doesn't really fill me confidence. I seem to remember one of them saying "this is the most circular ball EVER!" while trying to defend it (there have been murmurings for the past few days).

ooh...just saw that Heather Watson has qualified for the main draw in Eastbourne, which makes me reasonably happy. And that Dan Evans came through in a deciding set, 12-10, in Wimbledon qualifying which is a bit of a surprise. I think he plays one of those pesky Lithuanians next though.

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