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In Broad Daylight 07/04/2010 - 2:59 PM


by Pete Bodo

This time, it required no passing shots fired like small cannons into the deepening gloaming. No desperate second serves that traveled the razor's edge separating those two celebrated Wimbletwins, Triumph and Disaster. No brooding confrontations between fear and courage, both marinated in sweet perspiration that kept them slippery, grasped one moment, gone the next. No flashbulbs bursting like newborn planets in the twilight, and no scaling of the dusty green wall above which the stunned interested parties sat, awaiting the moment: The embrace.

If Rafael Nadal's first singles victory at Wimbledon, in 2008, remains an epic engraved forever on the soul of tournament and those who love it, his second one today was a clinical, almost antiseptic act of reaffirmation. Why go through all that again? Today, Nadal demolished Tomas Berdych, a lanky and late-blooming threat, unstable as acetone peroxide, who was unable to rally the kind of commanding, power-based tennis that had carried him to the final over the fortnight.

Nadal won it, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4, as Berdych's nerves, game, or both failed him at inconvenient times. Thus Nadal became the first man since Bjorn Borg to complete the Channel Slam (back-to-back wins at Roland Garros and Wimbledon) more than once in the Open era. It wasn't very long ago that Borg's accomplishment seemed untouchable, not just because of Borg's game but—in theory—because of essential transformations in the game itself. Now, Nadal and Roger Federer have each done it. As Nadal said in his presser, "It didn't happen since Borg (1980), and now it happened for the past three years. How crazy is life?"

But let's get back to those critical moments in the match. With his punishing serve and quick-strike groundstrokes, Berdych is capable of holding serve until the cows, or John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, come home. But Nadal broke Berdych twice in the first set, and in the second set Nadal broke Berdych in what arguably was the most critical game of the match: the 13th. Had Berdych held there, the set would have gone to the tiebreaker and, against a guy like Berdych, that's always a crapshoot. Nadal also broke Berdych in what would be the final game of the match to clinch it 6-4.

You could argue that Berdych's greatest miscalculation was his stubborn refusal to go to a Plan B when Plan A (engaging Nadal in stock baseline-based play) clearly failed. But in each of the last two sets, Berdych matched Nadal, hold for hold, until deep into the set. So in the end, you can just as easily put down his loss to a failure of nerve. He failed to play the big points well. Berdych was 0 for 5 in break points, compared to Nadal's 4 for 6. If someone had told you before the match that there would be no tiebreakers, you would have known it would hardly be worth watching. Going into the match, Berdych had lost just seven service games; today he lost four, nearly 50 per cent of his tournament total.

But Nadal was broken just eight times in this tournament, a statistic that points to his serving efficiency as well as his generally high level of execution. After all, Nadal's 54 aces is barely half the number served up at Wimbledon by his final opponent (111). Berdych finished second on the ace list (behind John Isner, who served all of his in one match); Nadal finished tied for 22nd.

Still, as Toni Nadal, Rafa’s uncle and coach, told us about his nephew's general level of play: "It was as good as 2008. Maybe better, because he improve some things, like his serve."

Nadal's well-placed lefty slice, less effective for its pop than for its shrewd placement, has made his life easier on grass. But he wins on the surface for the same reason as the former player he most resembles, Borg. It's all about the legs. As he said, "I think I have very good thing for player here on grass—movement. I move well on the court, and that's a very important part of the game."

No secrets there. Berdych begged to differ and put it simply: "His biggest weapon is his left hand. It's not many players like that. It's really tough, you know, to find the right rhythm."

102617131And it's that much tougher when the most basic strength of your opponent exposes your most basic weakness. In this case, the quickness of Nadal matched with the relatively poor movement of Berdych. As the match wore on, Berdych's defense looked weaker and weaker; by the late stages, he was pushing feeble sliced backhands which, when they did make it over the net, were easy pickings for the swift Nadal.

How did he get so fast? "I think all my life I practiced with my high hundred percent of intensity in every ball in the practice. That's why today I am faster, no? Probably now I'm not practicing with the same intensity like when I was a kid. When I was a kid, I practiced—believe me—like crazy."

This appetite, even for a cradle-to-grave tennis pro, is slightly unusual, and it points to a more fundamental attribute that may be the wellspring of Nadal's style as well as his degree of success. That's his passion for the game, which is manifested in both subtle and obvious ways.

We all know that tennis players are coy, proud individuals. They claim never to read anything written about them, but you can catch them at the newsstand with an armload of papers. Once they're out of a tournament, they profess no interest in watching the grand finale. But I'll bet they sit there, doing sit-ups, tuned in to the broadcast, growling: That coulda been me.

When Nadal was asked the other day if he had watched last year's final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick, he said, "I watched at home, on the sofa. Just enjoying the beautiful match. Was a very emotional match. I liked the tennis, so I enjoyed the match."

How often have you heard players, instead of transported fans, call tennis "beautiful?"

Of course, you don't get to be Rafael Nadal by enjoying the moment when you're actually playing out there; you get to be Nadal by living in it and most of all surviving it—even if you get the job done while the sun is still high and the shadows short, while spectators are appreciating every point instead of living—or dying —a little bit with each one.

Today was easy, although Nadal would be the last to tell you so. Don't you think he earned it?

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Posted by zenggi 07/06/2010 at 05:43 PM

Thank you, MA. Good to know that Generalisimo Mahut is still alive.

Posted by chicklet 07/06/2010 at 05:44 PM

Ah yes, Giraldo plays tomorrow. Hope he can win a match or two. He's *this* close to the top 50.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/06/2010 at 05:50 PM

Zengii You have mail

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/06/2010 at 05:51 PM

Go Cadel Evans


Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/06/2010 at 05:52 PM

Come on Andy Schleck riding on the back of the pack now

Posted by zenggi 07/06/2010 at 05:57 PM

Thank you. I'll answer it tomorrow morning. I don't want to disturb you again.

Have a nice evening/night, everyone.

Posted by catrice 07/06/2010 at 06:00 PM

Still trying to figure out how to post the link to the Serena pictures

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/06/2010 at 06:00 PM

Zenggi No worries

Poor Frank Schleck Andys brother a broken collar bone and is out of the race

Bad indeed he helps out Andy big time

Things dont look good for Andys chances now those other team memebers will have to lift big time to help Andy now.

Though Andy is a master on the hill climbs.

Posted by mark 07/06/2010 at 06:10 PM

the h2h matches between nadal and federer will tell you who the better player is ,agassi and many other players will tell you this!

Posted by Brian Hartman 07/06/2010 at 06:12 PM

One interesting point that no one mentions about the recent Grand Slam challengers is that they have to beat BOTH Federer and Nadal in the same event. Beating just one of them is damn near impossible. The only guy to do it has been Del-Potro... very impressive (although Nadal was arguably injured)

2009 French - Soderling beats Nadal, loses to Fed in Finals
2009 US - Del-Potro beats Nadal, beats Fed in Finals
2010 Aussie - Murray beats Nadal, loses to Fed in Finals
2010 French - Soderling beats Fed, loses to Nadal in Finals
2010 Wimbledon - Berdych beats Fed, loses to Nadal in Finals

Vamos Rafa!

Posted by ladyjulia 07/06/2010 at 06:19 PM

Yup...its still a Fedal era.

Cruel on the rest of the field though.

Fedal have won 22 of the last 25 slams if I am not mistaken. That is just a sick statistic.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/06/2010 at 06:24 PM

In regards to Del Potro he happens to be a fav player of mine after Rafa of course lol!

I will wait to see his return on the tour I am hoping with youth on his side and the wrist injury wont upset his chances

Cilic who has had soo much hype about him,I for one arent a fan as yet.He still has to play and make it on the big stage for me.

He was impreesive at the AO since then??? Hmmm I am still out on him

Posted by Tari 07/06/2010 at 06:26 PM

I would really like to understand the psychology of needing to believe and persuade others, tauntingly even, that Nadal is a better player than Roger is (or was). It's a consistent meme of trolls. By only the measure of the H2H between them. Additionally, all other failures to capture the slams that Roger scooped up while they both were at the top of the game must be explained away by injury. Or Nadal would have won them too, darn it! ;-)

I know it's mostly trolls who claim to believe this, but it has been said often enough (even very early on) that it has made me resentful. How sad, really. I know it's a failing of mine to give in to that resentment as well, trust me. I wonder, if this stuff hadn't been so consistently spouted over the years, if I might have become a fan of Nadal's eventually.

How lucky fans of both players are!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/06/2010 at 06:34 PM

Miss Tari I dont give soo much into the head to head that Rafa has over Roger

Okay its true that Rafa has the edge

Though when I look at the overall slams and count them

I think Roger is far superior.I dont like to compare

For me when both players retire I think we can all sit back then and compare their impressive records.To me that is fair.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro to the haters, don't you wish your pusher was hott like me. 07/06/2010 at 06:34 PM

Just took a look at the new ranking and this is the first time Scandinavia had both a female and male player in the top five. Robin is now World's no 5 and Caro is World's no 3. Of course this area of the world has produced so many greats of the game, so no surprise that good players are starting to emerge in the great tradition of Borg, Mats and Edberg. Kom igen Robin, Kom sa, Caro!!Scandinavia's no ones!

Posted by Tari 07/06/2010 at 06:36 PM

Thanks, AM. I think that's so reasonable. Wait and see. :)

Posted by Sherlock 07/06/2010 at 06:54 PM

Aw, Tari, don't sweat it. Or try not to. :)

I know it's hard. Trust me, I know. :) I like Rafa as much as anyone, but he's not Roger. They're both great. But Roger is greatER.

AM, other adjectives??? :)

Posted by Master Ace 07/06/2010 at 07:05 PM

"Fedal have won 22 of the last 25 slams if I am not mistaken. That is just a sick statistic"

And, 24 out of the last 29 Slams therefore, where is the ATP depth?

Posted by Tari 07/06/2010 at 07:06 PM

Aww. Sherlock! That was so sweet. :) I don't even need to know that Roger's greatER. I like them both considered great. That doesn't bother me one bit. They are.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/06/2010 at 07:11 PM

Hmmm Sherlock

Like I believe there are just soo many shopping days to Christmas

I havent the time to list them all

Just be happy I mentioned your name ok

Posted by ladyjulia 07/06/2010 at 07:40 PM


"And, 24 out of the last 29 Slams therefore, where is the ATP depth?"

Depth is a very relative term,no?

The problem is we compare everybody else to Roger and Rafa...and we know these two are apart.

How many players can really hit a FH with 5400 rpm? Or slide on both legs on clay? Or have two FHs instead of a BH and FH? Or have 27 different versions of a FH? Or take a risk for most shots and pull it off touching the outer edge of the lines for seven years?

It depends on how you want to look at can say that the rest of the field is not keeping up or you can say that these two have evolved the game and taken it to greater heights...something the younger generation will emulate.

IMO, the field has depth...that is why Hewitt defeated Roger after losing to him 15 times..its because Roger only brought his A game and not A+ game..not the TMF game...not the one who can aim for the lines and make all of them. Roger has to play like TMF if he wants to keep Hewitt at bay most of the times.

Roger's game has gone down only a notch in my opinion...but he can't make it past the QF of a major. Last year, Rafa's game was down a notch and he couldn't even get past the group stage for the WTF.

That they are able to raise their games to ridiculous levels (Rafa...of all the people...serving like Sampras???) for six months a year i think says a lot.

Posted by Diane 07/06/2010 at 07:42 PM

Well let me say as a Roger fan I had to get out of town this weekend and I am lucky enough to have a husband that knew that when Roger lost in the quarters that he had to do something to save my sanity
Spent the weekend in a nice resort not to far from home drinking Pina Coladas at the pool
Did not watch the final and just now am reading the comments from the last few days.

Congrats to Rafa, did we ever think he would lose to the Byrd, and to all his fans here who are so happy; just as they should be!

As a Fed fan, it's been a little hard here for the last few months, not alot of positve vibes....mostly negative thoughts.
I for one will be happy just to see him play in the future; still a bit worried about the posts earlier that were alluding to inside information about his injury and it didn't sound good.

Posted by Tari 07/06/2010 at 07:59 PM

Hang in there, Diane. :) I can't reveal what zenggi was told, but it is troubling. And I wish it had been more known. But Roger keeps his injuries/aches close to the vest, and I'm sure he'll even be more reluctant to mention them after his press conference aftermath.

I just hope he rests properly and comes back fit, and not before then.

Posted by ladyjulia 07/06/2010 at 08:05 PM

Roger's injury is troubling????

Posted by ladyjulia 07/06/2010 at 08:06 PM

Roger's injury is troubling????

Posted by Diane 07/06/2010 at 08:13 PM


Yes I'm hanging in there, just the fact that zenggi mentioned that inside info alarmed me.
I don't need the details because I assume that they aren't good. Like you, I hope that Roger rests and rehabs so that we may see some of his beautiful Mighty Fed tennis soon.I surely don't want to bring up Roger's injury issues and Rafa's knees in the same sentence as it would just be beating that old, rancid, riga mortis horse.

Posted by Tari 07/06/2010 at 08:37 PM

Yeah. Well, a chronic bad back would be troubling to me, ladyjulia. That's what I'm guessing he deals with off and on, though I don't have any official diagnosis to point to. Hope I'm wrong, reading the tea leaves!

Diane: Yeah! The return of TMF would be nice at any time. :)

Posted by ladyjulia 07/06/2010 at 08:42 PM


yeah..the bad back is well known...even in 2003 Wimby if I remember right and then Murray match as well.

Roger has even mentioned in an interview that he takes pain killers for his back multiple times and plays matches (this was when his back was stiff and he had to withdraw).

But I thought that was manageable. Not serious.

Posted by ladyjulia 07/06/2010 at 08:45 PM


yeah..the bad back is well known...even in 2003 Wimby if I remember right and then Murray match as well.

Roger has even mentioned in an interview that he takes pain killers for his back multiple times and plays matches (this was when his back was stiff and he had to withdraw).

But I thought that was manageable. Not serious.

Posted by CL 07/06/2010 at 08:45 PM

This is completely and utterly ot, but for a woman of 84, QE2 has very nice legs.

Posted by Tari 07/06/2010 at 08:55 PM

LOL, CL. She's adorable. And I love her especially since seeing "The Queen".

Posted by Tari 07/06/2010 at 09:03 PM

I only know my own experience, ladyjulia. It's still a mystery to me, after years of off and on back trouble and treatment, what brings it on and what helps. I think I have it figured out and then I relapse, and I mean that I go from playing tennis one day to not being able to move without spasms the next. But mine involves some disc trouble too.

It's just scary. Back pain is debilitating. That's all I know.

Sorry. Let's talk about something positive! :)

Posted by CL 07/06/2010 at 09:03 PM

Tari - the UN hat was a killer. Stylin'

Back to the limping, wounded, broken footed, bad back, broken ribs, Red Sox...wait! That sounds like the ATP!

Posted by Diane 07/06/2010 at 09:07 PM

Even more OT

We are worrying about Rog's injury and Larry King is devoting an hour to Miss Lohan going to jail, such riveting news!
And he has a her father on to make insightful comments; now quoting Dr. Drew....only in America.

Posted by Ruth 07/06/2010 at 09:11 PM

The silver lining behind any reports of injury for Roger goes like this for me: Unless and only if the injury is untreatable (and I doubt that it is), if it was responsible for the recent drop in the level of Roger's performances, we can look forward to the rise in the level of his performances after proper treatment is complete.

And that means the Tari will owe me 2 GE's very soon when TMF returns to set a new "weeks at #1" record. :)

I'm looking at the Wimby women's final with the sound muted so that I cannot hear the annoyingly loud applause for Serena's UFE's etc. But it's no fun not hearing the sound of the balls on the rackets, and I'm missing JMac and Tracy's commentary which I'm sure is OK. So, I'll probably just give stop watching.

what the heck are performance sheets that help you to play better when you sleep on them? Performance enhancing sheets now? Check them out at Tennis Express!

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 07/06/2010 at 09:12 PM

Somebody gave me a very good tip for back sufferers a few years ago. If you sleep on your back put a pillow under your knees and if you sleep on your side put a pillow between your knees. I've had a lot of back trouble in the past due to two slipped discs but since I've been doing this I've been pain free.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 07/06/2010 at 09:13 PM

Hang in there Rogers fans

Coming from someone who knows how you are feeling right now

Hey I lookes at Rafa's game in thoose months of hell and thought to myself will he Ever get back to the way I know he can play and he did.

Roger has great mental strength we have all seen that and his love for the game wont keep him out for long

Also remember he has the best Hair ever!

Posted by CL 07/06/2010 at 09:14 PM

Tari - I didn't know you had such bad back trouble! :-(( So sorry! I have the mini version of patella tendonitis. I should think about the ONLY thing I have in common with Rafa Nadal.

We all need this guy...again.

BTW, I see your resentment and raise you a martini.

Posted by Kwaku 07/06/2010 at 09:18 PM

Just to say it's nice to have neilintoronto back. (Why did you go in the first place?)
And no matter what we sometimes say about Pete and/or ourselves/eachother, TW prolly remains the best place to talk tennis. Its insight-to-insult ratio is far above the rest, I'm told.

Posted by Tari 07/06/2010 at 09:20 PM

You all are so sweet! And Lynne, lately I have been doing just that and it does work. It helps, anyway. Good advice.

Thanks for the 'tini, CL. Cheers! Hope I owe Ruth some GEs soon. :)

Posted by Diane 07/06/2010 at 09:22 PM


Performance enhancing sheets.....making me laugh.

Are they in the category of ED drugs?

Going to the web site to check them out

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 07/06/2010 at 09:22 PM

Kwaku Hmmm really after yesterdays Crap you could have fooled me lol!

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 07/06/2010 at 09:25 PM


Keep it up, it will get even better.

Posted by Diane 07/06/2010 at 09:29 PM


The King size set is over $200 and they have crib sheets

Should I get Olivia some to ensure that she becomes a great tennis player?

Posted by Kwaku 07/06/2010 at 09:31 PM

AM, I'm on holidays (beach with wife + children) so follow TW less. Was it so bad, apart from Tim saying the final was boring?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 07/06/2010 at 09:34 PM

Kwaku Lucky you at the beach.We are having the Coldest winter ever here.

Well the steriod and Rafa issue came up again? also it came up again on Steves post too.

Do I need to say more on that subject.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 07/06/2010 at 09:44 PM


Weren't there a lot of strange people (trolls) last night too ? Didn't look too pleasant from what I read earlier today.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 07/06/2010 at 09:49 PM

Lynne Its the Tall Poppy Syndrome working over time again

Happens all the time.Rafa gets back to no 1 and people have to pull him down

Dont worry it has also happened to Roger as well.

These people just feed of this kind of stuff.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 07/06/2010 at 09:54 PM

Well, Kwaku, hope that you are having nice weather. It's been raining solidly for 3 days here and July 4th was a complete washout. So no fireworks at all.

Posted by thooz 07/06/2010 at 10:02 PM

I posted a few pages back, and just want to say that I realize that most of the posters here are respectful of both Roger and Rafa's great accomplishments.

Regarding Roger's troubles of late ... every body ages differently, and it's hard to know if we are presently witnessing a permanent decline in his game, or just a temporary funk. I have always marveled at the great champions who could continue winning well into their thirties---Laver, Connors, and Agassi particularly come to mind. On the opposite end of the spectrum was a great idol of mine, Borg, who burned out at 26 even though his tennis skills were still awesome. I remember feeling baffled by his decision to retire, for I was convinced he could still win at least 3 or 4 more Majors. Roger might fall in the middle of this spectrum. He has one more year left in his twenties, and we shall just have to wait and see if he can find his A-game again during this time. I have a feeling he'll win at least one or two more Majors, but I have serious doubts as to whether he can become one of those champions who keeps winning in his thirties. His body type may just not be the right one for such a run. Wonder what others think about this....

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 07/06/2010 at 10:03 PM


Nice compliment to you at 9.57 pm on Lads in London post.

Posted by TheMightyFunk 07/06/2010 at 10:04 PM

stopping by very quickly before I call it a night to repost one of my first posts today - I truly believe in spite of the trolls and all that, TW is one of the best places I've seen recently to have a civil, engaging, intelligent conversation about tennis...though it may not feel like that for you guys who are used to even better around here! Honestly, it was a big reason for me feeling comfortable about posting here after following the tone of the exchanges for a couple of months, so give urselevs a pat on the back for that...for all the moderation/policing of the site, that cannot happen without the people who post sharing that culture...
Reading through the comments, its great to see a blog where the majority of posters are just sensible, balanced, intelligent fans of tennis, Federer and Nadal who appreciate what these two bring to the game and don't engage in juvenile put-downs of one or the other. And yes, some very funny posters too! I am not a regular poster here, but have been visiting the site for a couple of months now primarily because I find a lot of knowledge and insight here and a general civility in the discussion. Yes, there are times when a few outliers (trolls you call them?) spoil the environment, but to those regulars who feel times are-a changing for the worse here, I'd suggest you visit other sites like the espn conversations site to get a sense of the garbage that passes for regular conversation there - trust me, you'll have a new-found appreciation for TW!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 07/06/2010 at 10:08 PM

Lynne I saw that from Glenn though he might be a bit biased lol!

The Mighty Funk.I agree with you.I have seen other site and Hello?

People here that are sensible dont get om my goat oops mind the pun please lol!

Posted by Ruth 07/06/2010 at 10:10 PM

Diane: Yes, you get Olivia a set of those sheets, and I'll get Soli a set, and we'll see how well they work! I hope that Soli will take to his grandmother-supplied tennis lessons (when the time comes) as eagerly as I hear he's taken to his swimming lessons (after trying to taste the water a few times). Ugh! I read that Atlanta has one of the USTA's biggest Quick Start (is that the right term?) programs for young tennis players, so I'll be checking that out when I get there.

BTW The pictures and poses of the couple in bed in the TV ad on TC for those sheets make me think that they are promoting the enhancement of some other "performances" in additon to those on the tennis court. ;-)

Posted by CL 07/06/2010 at 10:14 PM

thooz -re Fed...dunno...and i doubt anyone else does either. To coin a cliche, only time will tell. In this case, literally.

The feeling in the past has been that Roger is so light on his feet...seems to float above the court so much, that his game will take less out of his body than most. Prefect body type for long range tennis playing in fact. However, he has shown a tendency to back very difficult to resolve... as well as being susceptible to some combination of illness and bad luck to get the illness. (Mono and a post '10 lung infection.) Those twins are going to become more and more germ transmission units. Staying healthy is a challenge for any new parent...

TMFunk. :-) ***pats self on the back*** oh, you didn't mean ME??!!?? Never mind. ;-))

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 07/06/2010 at 10:16 PM

CL Wait till the twins start walking

Roger and Mirka wont know what hit them lol!

Posted by Kwaku 07/06/2010 at 10:17 PM

AM, do you mean things like this?:

"alice 07/06/2010 at 06:19 AM
Mr.Bodo, why dont you do an investigative piece in the interest of tennis as to how Nadal who perennially complains of knee problems can perform like a mean machine? Just last year I thought the world was rid of this beast but somehow its back..when will the truth come out? when?"

Well, I had a great, great laugh with this one. Picturing this poor alice in my mind, clueless about the meaning of the world, lol!

But we know better. Every serious tennis person knows Rafa is clean, so let them suffer, lol!

I have often heard you advice to live with intensity, which is great wisdom; but there is a difference between that and suffering because the foolish show their ignorance by way of insult. Let them be the ones who suffer! And if they want to know better, they can always come to read you and others (even me!) and learn!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 07/06/2010 at 10:19 PM

Kwaku Just one there was other too go further back lol!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 07/06/2010 at 10:22 PM

Kwaku Actually Rosangel came in on it to

I asked who started this bloody rubbish that might give you a clue lol!

Posted by TheMightyFunk 07/06/2010 at 10:36 PM

CL - let me clarify - you ALL should give urselves a pat on the back... :) Geez - and you wonder how these superstar athletes get themselves in trouble in press conferences... :)

Posted by ladyjulia 07/06/2010 at 10:38 PM

LOL TMFunk! Good one...:-)

Posted by Kwaku 07/06/2010 at 10:38 PM

Another poster who gives me good laughs is Tim when he complains about the moonballs and the knees not beind really so bad (as he wished :-)
He reminds me of the chief of Inspector Clousseau in The Pink Panther, always obsessed about his incompetence and good luck... different cases, of course, but similar funny obsession.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 07/06/2010 at 10:42 PM

Kwaku Tim dosent worry me at all

I know how to handle him lol!

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 07/06/2010 at 10:46 PM

It's time a made tracks to bed. And take heart, Roger fans, I'm sure that he will get some good treatment and will be back raring to go again ! Night all.

Posted by Kwaku 07/06/2010 at 10:48 PM

Another poster who gives me good laughs is Tim when he complains about the moonballs and the knees not beind really so bad (as he wished :-)
He reminds me of the chief of Inspector Clousseau in The Pink Panther, always obsessed about his incompetence and good luck... different cases, of course, but similar funny obsession.

As for Rafa's channel slam, I always thought he could do it again. He showed Fed the way, and will continue in it as Fed declines. Fed did 3 slams/year for 3 years. Rafa's best slams are soft surfaces.

Posted by Kwaku 07/06/2010 at 10:53 PM

Sorry for repeating first paragraph.
Me too go sleep now (almost 5 am my time).

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 07/06/2010 at 10:56 PM

Good Night Lynne I agree 100% with you thoughts too on Roger

Cant wait for Spain v Germany should be a cracker of a game

I wonder how Mr X is faring right now

Posted by Sirhan Sirhan Sirhan Sirhan Sirhan 07/06/2010 at 10:56 PM

What if the infinite set were still going on?

Then the Queen would have to proclaim a winner.

Posted by rg.nadal 07/07/2010 at 01:34 AM

Zenggi: Hello. You there? Congrats!

Posted by RubyP (permantly delurking) 07/07/2010 at 01:42 AM

TMFunk, you are a welcome addition to TW. I have been reading and occasionally delurking for a few years, and I really enjoy the posters - Ja Karen, AussieM, CL, Zengi,Lump of K who makes me laugh out loudly,(where are you?), and who would call themself Sirhan Sirhan? Makes me shudder! I love this site for it's sheer intelligence and wit, which make the losses of my faves so much easier to bear. My grown-up PH.D daughter declares herself a tennis orphan, and she knows that I hide and visit this forum whether I am at her home or mine. My 7 year old grandson has started tennis lessions, and she blames me, happily, because he loves it, always practicing his footwork!

Just a hail out to the poster (sorry I can't remember) who thinks it's time for Uncle Toni to give Rafa some slack - any coach who refers to his player as "we" completely turns me off.

Goodnight all, and sweet Fedal dreams.

Posted by Marie 07/07/2010 at 02:49 AM

Espnalanaldo I get a kick out of reading your posts, you just keep posting. The Federlings have had control of this site for quite sometime now. Its good to see you defend Nadal, new Rafa fans are always welcome.

Posted by thebigapple 07/07/2010 at 06:34 AM

This back business of Fed is a big worry for me. What is this secret information? How tantalizing? How cruel you keep it secret? What became of the tradition of disinformation and inneundo on the Intrenet? Come, on...Zggi. Let us know!!!!!

Bad backs do not get better with age...If Fed keeps this back and foot business, he will soon go the way of CL. Old and CL advises up.

Now me, I am spry for my age.

Posted by Geellis (Missing Piece in the Fedal War) 07/07/2010 at 08:22 AM

There's an oft-repeated trope in the Fedal wars that asserts that Nadal's H2H, and indeed his records in general, are skewed to clay courts and, thus, he's not the player that Roger is because he's not dominated on the HC or grass (though 4 straight Wimby finals might allay this trope with respect to the latter surfrace) as much as Roger. It seems to me that this trope is missing something. Namely, it's missing the fact that about 45 of the top 50 players honed their games, learned their games, on the red dirt. I do not mean that clay is the FAVORITE surface of all 45 of these players. It is not. But they are not at a "natural" disadvantage on the dirt in the way the Americans and Aussies are because they learned their games on the dirt (and only discovered later that the HC rewarded their power games more).

That so many tennis tournaments are played on HC is more a relic of the historical importance of Australia and the U.S. in tennis and their aversion to the dirt. Only 1% of the courts in Oz are clay and 13% of those in the U.S. ( And certainly top Aussie/American prospects do not learn their game on the clay (though they certainly get some clay practice in). My point is, simply, that in this sense Rafa, more than Fed, has dominated the tour on the surface upon which the great majority of the game's top players (including Fed himself) honed their games. It's arguable, therefore, that Rafa's domination of the tour on clay is MUCH MORE compelling than Federer's dominance of the tour on both grass and HC given how few of the top 50 players honed their games on either of those surfaces.

Posted by Geellis 07/07/2010 at 09:25 AM

couldn't resist stirring the pot a bit

Posted by thebigapple 07/07/2010 at 09:32 AM

yeah, Nadal is king on clay and quite a performer on other surfaces as well.

Posted by TheMightyFunk 07/07/2010 at 10:42 AM

RubyP - Thanks for the welcome note!

Geelis - I'm a big fed fan here, but I don't think anyone who follows tennis can assert that Nadal's accomplishments are confined to clay - not since 2008 anyway. He's very accomplished on multiple surfaces and that's just fact. In the same way, the H2H is what it is: 10-2 on clay and 4-5 (I think!) outside clay, so by that token, Nadal's wins over Federer have come primarily on clay. That's an undisputable fact as well. Are those wins any lesser or inferior as a result? Of course not - wins are wins. I don't really like getting into what-if's etc...You take the H2H at face value and ascribe to it the importance you want to give it...

Posted by Geellis 07/07/2010 at 10:51 AM

but you don't address my central point about the increased difficulty of dominating on a surface that most of the top players grew up on versus dominance on a surface on which most of the top players did not grow up on. in that sense, clay is a great equalizer in a way that American HCs or English lawns are not. That's my point.

Posted by Sherlock 07/07/2010 at 10:53 AM

RubyP, welcome aboard. Glad you decided to delurk permanently. :)

Great story about your daughter and grandson. Hope the young lad grows up to be the next Roger or Rafa. :)

Posted by TheMightyFunk 07/07/2010 at 11:07 AM

Hi Geelis,
Sorry, you are right - I should have done a better job of articulating my disagreement with your central point. Let me try again - I don't necessarily agree it is more difficult to dominate on a surface most top players grew up on as opposed to play on for a mojority of their playing career due to the way the ATP tour is structured simply becasue I feel it can be argued that a) the very act of playing a majority of matches away from clay may very well nullify any additional comfort playing on clay versus other surfaces. b) It can be argued that it is much more difficult to maintain a high winning percentage as the sample size of matches increases, i.e., more difficult to win 90% of 100 matches than 90% of 10 matches, so by that token it is more difficult to dominate on non-clay surfaces because of the higher number of matches played away from clay

To be clear - I'm not saying you are wrong, I'm just saying once we get beyond the black and white of the numbers and stats, its quite easy and endless to form arguments based on circumstantial evidence for or against a particular view point...that was my central, though badly articulated point - that IMHO yyou take the H2H at face value and ascribe your importance to it. the why's and what-if's of the H2H are not particularly relevant or useful...

Posted by Geellis 07/07/2010 at 11:39 AM

I agree that it's more diff to win 90 matches than 9. This simple mathematical truism, however, becomes more complicated if you factor in my point about the familiarity of surface. Furthermore, as you know, 90%of the tour is not played on HCs. Moreover, most of the top players (i.e., within the top 100) skip all the HC tournaments except those that lead up to the HC GSs and the American winter HC swing. This is why the USO series has been a relative bust with only spotty attendance by the world's best. In this sense, I agree with Nadal that more tournaments should be played on clay given it is the surface the great majority of players know best and it's far easier on the body.

Posted by Tari 07/07/2010 at 11:43 AM

TMFunk: Mind if I ask if you're male or female?

And well said, by the way. This is all going to be very interesting when it gets sorted out one day with a little distance and some added gray hairs (oop - *pluck*, not THAT one, that was a outlier, hehe).

Posted by TheMightyFunk 07/07/2010 at 11:56 AM

@Geelis - Yes, the 90% was just to illustrate my point, I know the tour is not played 90% on HC's. Fully agree on your point with respect to being easier on the body part, but not convinced by the "majority of players know best" argument for the reasons I mentioned earlier...:) One example that comes to mind for me is Andy Murray - I believe he grew up playing on clay in Spain, but don't think he'd say that's the surface he knows best...Of course, that's just one eexample and there may well be others to counter the Murray example. Perhaps we agree to disagree on that front? Its a fun question to debate though!

Posted by TheMightyFunk 07/07/2010 at 12:01 PM

Hi Tari,
Thanks, and not at all - I am a happily married male with a 3-year old daughter who melted my heart one day when she asked in her baby language if "Federer uncle" had won!!! :)

Posted by zenggi 07/07/2010 at 12:09 PM

Good afternoon,

You get millions and MILLIONS of bonus points for creating such an adorable daughter. May you daughter become a great tennis champion!. How about competing with the twins in 15 years time? I'll be a retired senior citizen by then and I could follow their careers day by day unlike now with their ancestors. What a bright future.... :)

Posted by Tari 07/07/2010 at 12:11 PM

Awwww. That's adorable, TMFunk! My kid calls me at work nowadays to see if I've heard the bad Federer news and to tell me he's sorry! lol :)

Posted by TheMightyFunk 07/07/2010 at 12:11 PM

Thanks Zenggi - Such would be my wish as well...we shall see, no ? :)

Posted by TheMightyFunk 07/07/2010 at 12:13 PM

Thanks Tari - Its geat to have supportive kids, but you wish you didn't need that kind of support, right? :) Anyway, got to run folks - ttyl later!

Posted by Tari 07/07/2010 at 12:15 PM

I sure hope I'm retired by then too, zenggi! And that I have piles of money in my "tennis travel" account. ;-)

Posted by zenggi 07/07/2010 at 12:16 PM

We will, Tari (have piles of money). By the way, you've got mail.

On to the other thread.

Posted by Ruth 07/07/2010 at 12:30 PM

I am sure that, in about 12-15 years, Diane and I will be happy to join me in hosting a tourney of the then teenaged kids and grandkids of TW, but it'll have to be on hard courts and in Atlanta! :) Any takers? Tari, your son can be the umpire since, if I remember correctly, he'll be past his teens by then.

Posted by Tari 07/07/2010 at 12:44 PM

He'd love it, Ruth. He'll be an "old man" by then - he's 17! :)

Posted by zenggi 07/07/2010 at 12:50 PM

Why in Atlanta and on hard courts? Being such a devoted defender of DC you should allow for the tournament to be played according to the same rules :) Home team choses the court.
Older generations arguing about young generations' "goatness". Awesome, as you say! It would cheer us (the seniors) enormously. Of course the kids and grandkids of TW wouldn't understand a thing about it. Double fun!

Posted by Diane 07/07/2010 at 01:09 PM


I do hope Olivia will play tennis, my daughter was a state ranked player and she and my son in law still compete on ALTA teams(Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association) all year long.
Missed your post last night about getting the kids started in tennis here in Atlanta.
There are lots of programs and plenty of courts available. Most neighborhoods have a swim and tennis club that is reasonably priced; we have 8 lit hard courts in our club and the annual dues are $500. There are also many public parks with very low priced court fees.
I think I'm going to pass on the high performance crib sheets and save that money for college or a good tennis coach for Olivia!
Hope your AC is working well with those high temps, hotter up there than here in Atlanta.

Posted by court1234 07/07/2010 at 02:18 PM

Well Rafa just turned 24 within 2 months so he might just be getting into his real "peak" years...

The telling stat is that he holds serve so often, I think he's top 3 as far as that ATP stats on holding serve. That serve is deceptive...Murray said it's "heavier" and has more action then most laymen realize.

Nobody would have predicted that about his serve when he burst onto the top scene in 2005. Rafa's serve seemed so "attackable" then. Ironically due to the relatively poor serve then, he was forced to try to have pinpoint accuracy and all that hardwork is paying dividends now.

Posted by ladyjulia 07/07/2010 at 02:27 PM


Actually, even Roger Federer grew up on clay...even the very first title he won was on clay...and Wimbledon actually wrote an article about how his "clay" game (when he won Wimby juniors) will not be suited for winning Wimbledon on the pro circuit anytime.

Just because they grew up on it, dosen't mean that they are proficient in it.

By that argument also, dominating the grass season must be the toughest, no? Nobody grows up on that stuff anymore.

Posted by ladyjulia 07/07/2010 at 02:28 PM


Actually, even Roger Federer grew up on clay...even the very first title he won was on clay...and Wimbledon actually wrote an article about how his "clay" game (when he won Wimby juniors) will not be suited for winning Wimbledon on the pro circuit anytime.

Just because they grew up on it, dosen't mean that they are proficient in it.

By that argument also, dominating the grass season must be the toughest, no? Nobody grows up on that stuff anymore.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/07/2010 at 02:54 PM

Well I have never seen a player that has been brought up on clay and not being good at it at all? lol!

Even our Aussie juniors go to Felix Mantilla to get trained on clay.Which is difficult cause they have not been "brought up on it"

I was brought up on clay and my game transends to all surfaces.I can also play on grass very easy as well.

Coming to Australia when we had grass courts back in the days of Adam and Eve lol!

Synethic grass is the way these days.

Clay gives you the foundation.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/07/2010 at 03:32 PM

zengii If you are around I returned your email

I do read my emails eventually ok

Posted by Ethan 07/07/2010 at 04:57 PM

Did anyone tape Soderling's song to Rafa after his loss to him at Wimbeldon?

He did a pretty good rendition of Bryan Adam's "Everything I do, I do it for you".

As Rafa looked on clapping, while his coach Norman stared in disbelief and the British crowd yelled "Bloody marvellous Robin!" before he left the court with the grass blades on his VIKING HEAD.

Posted by Ethan 07/07/2010 at 07:00 PM

Highs & Lows of Wimb. 2010

High: That it occured
Low: When Mahut was horizontally airborne in his dive in an attempt to get a ball back in the 5th set. Clearly, the umpire SHOULD HAVE given Mahut a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct for failing to try hard enough.

Serena Williams:
High: She won
Low: Didn't get to hear her customary ungraciousness at a press conference how she "gave her the match" or "I played bad, she didn't really have to do much". The most arrogant and poor loser champion in sports history.

Rafael Nadal
High: His spontaneous somersault
Low: He should have tortured Soderling over 5 sets, not 4.

Boris Becker
High: His commentary is legendary
Low: His associate's commentary is annoying

Roger Federer
High: He kept his GS quarter final record going
Low: His very poor sportsmanship after he lost to Berdych

Robin Soderling
High: He was up 5-0 against Rafael Nadal
Low: He still ended up getting his SAAB NOSE driven deep into the earthworm infested soil

Nick Bolleteri
High: Was so looking forward to his thoughts
Low: All his predicitions were wrong

Pam Shriver
High: I didn't get to see much of her this Wimbledon
Low: She's sooo frickin LOUD and ANNOYING!

James Blake
High: Telling Pam Shriver to shut her blabbermouth cakehole
Low: He lost first round, hence depriving me to see him do it again

Andy Murray
High: He found form overnight
Low: He looks miserable, even when he's winning.

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