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Blue Velvet in the O2 11/21/2010 - 7:42 PM


by Hannah Wilks, TennisWorld Contributing Writer

Two weeks ago, I saw the Paris Meridian, also known as the Rose Line. For many years, it was considered the prime meridian; the line of 0 degrees longtitude which divides the eastern and western hemispheres. But in 1884, a conference of scientists decreed that the Greenwich meridian - which now runs right past the western edge of the 02 Arena - was the Prime Meridian; that London was the alpha and omega of the world. One unintended consequence of this instance of punching above one’s weight on a global scale is that this week’s tennis takes place at 0 degrees longtitude. As the signs insist, it’s the final showdown. Zero hour.

The ATP likes to play up the Britishness of this event; London, as anyone watching the World Tour Finals is repeatedly reminded, is calling. The players pose with the Prime Minister or a red London bus, as if there’s nothing more to being British than a suit and a stiff upper lip. Personally, next year I want to see the eight finalists come out of a TARDIS dressed as various cultural heroes from the UK. Harry Potter. Robin Hood. Shakespeare, complete with tights and Elizabethan ruff. Mr. Darcy and King Arthur. Labyrinth-era David Bowie. Braveheart. Speaking of whom, the stars just might be aligning for Andy Murray, who recorded the first singles victory of the championships today in a 6-2 6-4 defeat of Robin Soderling.

Murray, well-rested, set loose on a slow, low-bouncing indoor court, has as good a chance as anyone of ending his turbulent year on a high note. Better, if you believe in the power of home-court advantage. But I’m wondering if, The Clash notwithstanding, there is anything quintessentially British about this event that makes playing here a better experience for the Scot than what he might find at any other anonymous indoor venue.

A tide of people made its way to the arena, braving the icy rain hanging in the air and the biting wind blowing off the Thames. Tennis is calling, and London is answering. It’s not like a Wimbledon crowd, either; scattered throughout are the sort of middle-ageds you’d expect to see in SW19, who pack for a day’s spectating as if it’s a hiking expedition, but there are plenty of groups of young people, too. It’s not a lawn tennis crowd; it’s a London crowd, and that means that there are all sorts of people here. This is the newly gentrified Docklands (it’s not too far from Deptford, where the street my mother grew up on was condemned for slums and demolished to make way for a high-rise), not leafy Wimbledon. This is the heart of a city that continuously reinvents itself.

The 02 arena itself started out as the Millennium Dome, built by the New Labour government at a cost of 789 million pounds to celebrate what it meant to be British at the year 2000. Five years later, a colossal white elephant, it was sold as an empty shell to Orange to be rebranded; a bloated failure to define our national identity, repackaged as a slick, corporate entertainment facility.

Last time I was here, it was for Kings of Leon; last week, it was the Gorillaz; next week, something else. Everywhere you look this week, though, you see ATP World Tour Finals branding and signage. The big screens carry vignettes on the sponsors’ support for sporting opportunity for children, or remind the crowd that Sky carries over 100 hours of live tennis a year. Volunteers shoot ATP -branded T-shirts into the crowd during breaks; the fans are asked to call the toss at the beginning of the match. Tennis, tennis, everywhere, and plenty of Corona to drink. But this venue was made to be a blank canvas, and the blanket of tennis promotion that covers it this week will be whipped off next.

Unlike the Parisian hip-hop and house of Bercy, the London DJ favours classic rock and pop during changeovers, with a fondness for Britpop, Bowie and Lady Gaga. Raised on the silence of Wimbledon, there’s an expectant hush during points, and a minimum of polite applause between. Invited to show their appreciation for the slick play of the Bryans, the crowd dutifully complies, but it’s about to get a lot louder in the arena. Because Andy Murray is about to play.

There’s no shortage of hyperbole preceding the British no. 1 on to the court. On the pre-match VT, Justin Gimelstob informs us that Andy Murray is the master of when to use the drop shot (a bold statement that Murray will later seem intent on disproving). The announcer describes him, apparently without irony, as “an amazingly gifted and talented athlete who reads the game like a wily veteran”. Robin Soderling is introduced as … Robin Soderling.

They still haven’t got the hang of the son et lumiere in the stadium, missing audio-visual cues all over the place. Soderling, too, looks out of step with events; the choruses of “c’mon Andy” from the crowd are restrained, partly because Murray rapidly establishes dominance. The pace and power of Soderling’s forehand is more impressive, and less ungainly than it looks on TV. For a shot more utilitarian than beautiful, the length of the backswing makes it seem almost impractical.

This one is the fifth Murray match I’ve been lucky enough to watch in 2010, and I’m nowhere near getting sick of it. He’s amazing when he wants to be - smooth, aggressive, clever. I love watching his feet, and the exceptional balance that enables him hit forward while going backwards, which creates good depth on even defensive shots.

I like Soderling, too, but the experience is a bit like watching a Hollywood action hero taking on a gang of foreign terrorists. You know Soderling is going to attack, pummel the ball, press forward until he misses. The formulaic elements don’t vary, but you still want to see it unfold. Watching Murray, on the other hand, is more like viewing a David Lynch movie. It's  incomprehensible at times, full of twists and turns, sequences of unexpected and hypnotic beauty, and permanently on the verge of straying into the surreal.

I’m also aware of how often Murray aces his way out of trouble. One has to wonder, can he - will he - ever serve big for seven matches in a row? Without that ace, you’ve pretty much got a hole where a grand slam should be - and a crowd that still finds more entertainment in ironically cheering for the retired Tim Henman, the paradigm of the plucky over-achiever, than it does in taking the often rocky path of being a full-on Murray fan. Errors are greeted with a peculiarly British mumble of disappointment, a dispirited acknowledgement of the inevitable, and even Murray’s exceptional first set doesn’t satisfy the punters - a young woman near me shyly says “he’s playing well, isn’t he?”, only for her boyfriend to snap “he’s world no. 4 [sic], he should be playing well.” Tough crowd.

But Murray’s a tough player. He isn’t Monfils, looking outside himself, drawing energy from the cheers; I don’t know if he hears the crowd, if it means anything to him. He’s introverted, inwardly focused. It’s not a coincidence that he yells his own name when he commits an error he finds particularly egregious. He does like to complain, looking down at his legs, the court, his racquet when he makes an error, searching for something to blame. That’s British. I think about all of his disappointments this year - Melbourne, the lost months when he seemed sick of it all, his crushing defeat at Wimbledon and the disaster that was the US Open - and what it must take to pick up and carry on.

That’s rather British, too.

[[I'm pleased to say that once again this week,  during the Barclay's ATP World Tour Finals, we have Gauloises covering the action for TennisWorld. Only now, shortly after posting, I've changed her avatar to her proper name. Hannah will be filing regulary, at least during the early going, and don't forget to look for Racquet Reaction posts as well - Pete]]

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Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/22/2010 at 05:13 PM

Hell b/hand cross court Rafa thank you

Pasing Fuzzy 2 flasks of Jack Daniels

AB I agree it wasnt a choke by Andy at all

Rafa played some great shots in that t/break

I guess people only want to see,want they want to see.

Posted by Amit 11/22/2010 at 05:15 PM

sisu @5.12pm,

"AB - "Rafa bears down under pressure."

I think he's the best in the business right now!"

He is peerless in this regard. Seldom seen anyone play pressure-cooker
situations better than Nadal.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/22/2010 at 05:16 PM

forehand winner ratio. Rafa 14 - Roddick 2. Definitely it's Rafa's ROS that keeps Roddick as the favorite.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/22/2010 at 05:18 PM

Never write off Rafa he has the best mindset in Tennis that I have seen.

Posted by CherryNYC 11/22/2010 at 05:19 PM

my stream died and went to stream purgatory..... what's the score?
Andy should have closed it out 2 -- he's playing with fire now....

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/22/2010 at 05:20 PM

Andy must be feeling a bit down after losing the t/break he has to remain aggressive

Posted by CL 11/22/2010 at 05:20 PM

'ello all. I've only seen bit and piece of this match. (And none of ByeBye Byrdy and the Djoker, which apparently was lucky for me.) Rafa does not look happy and neither does Andy. But from what I can see Rafa's starting to find his groove and the Andy starting to slip the rails just a wee bit. And congrats to Rafa for breaking the 'curse of the O2...not the match of course, but at least he got a set. Andy does make THE most bone headed decisions at times.

Really like both guys shirts...not sure about the creamsicle sweat bands for Rafa though. Deeply grateful no 'stache appeared on Andy.

Posted by Master Ace 11/22/2010 at 05:22 PM

Nadal serving 3-6,7-6(5),1-2

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/22/2010 at 05:22 PM

Well at least Rafa's 2nd serve is working well

Better 1st serve there Rafa

Posted by NP 11/22/2010 at 05:22 PM

Kids, Nadal wasn't even in the top 10 at saving BPs last yr. The guy's mentally tough, no doubt, but not much more than that.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/22/2010 at 05:23 PM

Kom igen Robin. I wish Rafa would grow his hair long again, he was really hot with the long hair.

Posted by temes 11/22/2010 at 05:23 PM

That's it Nadal will win this.

Posted by CherryNYC 11/22/2010 at 05:23 PM

"bears down under pressure" sounds like he's giving birth......

thanks Master Ace

Posted by AB 11/22/2010 at 05:24 PM

Hi sisu: I agree - Let go lets, Go, Lets go!

Kristy: Neither player is running away with this match, yet. I think it's till a toss up and agree with earlier poster who said RAndy is the worst 1st game match up for Rafa..esp. after a long lay off.

Having said that, Rafa has settled into his game.

AM: I'm with you. Amazing how fast it can get negative when Rafa plays.

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/22/2010 at 05:24 PM

Roddick is choking....

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/22/2010 at 05:25 PM

Come on Rafa step up here you are retuning better

Ok b.points Rafa and DONT STUFF UP

Posted by CL 11/22/2010 at 05:25 PM

Kristy - well, sometimes. But Andy can bring the junkyard dog fight back as well. Maybe his Miami win will give him some extra confidence here. Unless of course he found out that it was only due to the delicate state of 'the knees.' be trouble. Yup.

Posted by wilson75 11/22/2010 at 05:25 PM

It's over for Roddick now.

Posted by GB 11/22/2010 at 05:26 PM

NP: I don't think last year's stats are particularly representative of his career as a whole. The 2nd 1/2 of the year was pretty much an all-time low.

Pls win one of these friggin bps, Rafa! VAMOS!!!!

Posted by izidane - It's t-shirt tyyyyyyyyme! Nole face/hawk shirt on. 11/22/2010 at 05:26 PM

Crap. Didn't see that ... dead stream, but wtf Andy! Ugh.

Posted by AB 11/22/2010 at 05:27 PM

Cherry - I said "bears up" not bear down! Hah! Though he has looked pretty agonized in this match, especially in the 1st set.

Posted by CherryNYC 11/22/2010 at 05:27 PM

Rafa broke? No offense to Andy, but you've got to stop the freight train before it reaches full speed -- no one rolls like Rafa....

Posted by Andrew 11/22/2010 at 05:27 PM

Nadal gets the break, and now leads 3-2 with a break. Roddick persisting with the net attacks, but Nadal's making him play very tough volleys, or putting the ball where he can't reach it.

Posted by Master Ace 11/22/2010 at 05:27 PM

Unless Nadal loses serve, it look like we will have Nadal vs Djokovic on Wednesday.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/22/2010 at 05:27 PM

yello fuzzy, Roddick is NOT choking. He's just really tired after grunting every single ball he hit. He's paying the price of copying Rafa. That grunting business, I tell ya. It's exhausting, not to mention sore throat the nxt day.

Posted by CL 11/22/2010 at 05:28 PM

If Roddick plays Byrdy, he's gonna KILL him..just out of frustration. lol.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/22/2010 at 05:28 PM

Amazing angle Rafa with the cross court volley you picked up

Thatsmy boy now consolidate the break now

Yahoo b/hand Rafa me likey


Posted by Mr Rick 11/22/2010 at 05:29 PM

yeah, if Rafa's whole family is there already in London, they are expecting him to win this - which means big time pressure - which means nerves - hopefully Rafa will be able to free himself from a lot of the nerves if he survives this major contest

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/22/2010 at 05:29 PM

Rafa keeps on either touching his left ankle or flexing it as if it's hurting bad whenever he's stretched to his right. The plot thickens. More reason for Rafa to bring up his 130+mph serves to get this over ASAP, win or lose.

Posted by AB 11/22/2010 at 05:29 PM

...also, RAndy *did* start fiddling around in his frontal regions during the TB.

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/22/2010 at 05:30 PM

Old man Fed
that might be true...but he has been donating to the Rafa cause since the TB

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/22/2010 at 05:30 PM

Mr Rick, I don't see Rafa's mum nor sister. Nor Xisca, either. But everyone else is there.

Posted by Kristy 11/22/2010 at 05:31 PM

Come on, Andy. Try something, anything.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/22/2010 at 05:31 PM

Watch it Rafa ok

You need the 1st serve that 2nd serve was just waiting for a return

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/22/2010 at 05:33 PM

Shot Rafa love that f/hand

Come on just hold

Posted by GB 11/22/2010 at 05:33 PM

Like that woman who is dying Rafa, I would flove if you could hold here!

Posted by NP 11/22/2010 at 05:34 PM

GB, still the fact that he wasn't in the top 10 despite the great 1st half of the year should give one some pause, no?

Posted by temes 11/22/2010 at 05:35 PM

Too bad Andy probably doesn't care too much for Kylie Minogue he can't look to her for inspiration like Bartoli did with Pierce Brosnan.

Posted by izidane - It's t-shirt tyyyyyyyyme! Nole face/hawk shirt on. 11/22/2010 at 05:36 PM

Okay, match's not over...maybe Andy can fight back. Looking bleak, but it's not over yet.

Pretty good cheering section for Rafa in O2.

Posted by GB 11/22/2010 at 05:36 PM

commies the match is faaarrrrr from over.

Posted by Andrew 11/22/2010 at 05:37 PM

Two holds: Nadal leads 4-3. Am I surprised that a good tennis player came back from a set and a break down? No? Do I think this proves he's the best ever in terms of mental strength? Er, no about that, as well.

Posted by temes 11/22/2010 at 05:38 PM

Hmm I just don't feel Andy is the break back at last minute and take the match type...yeah this match is over.

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/22/2010 at 05:39 PM

Andy has evaporated, disappeared,gone to his hotel room....ppppfffttt

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/22/2010 at 05:39 PM

yep, Roddick tired after all that grunting. Now he can't put the balls back in play after doing so for 2 hours. I don't think Rafa's not serving that better. The placement and speed have not been improved.

5-3 now.

Posted by Mr Rick 11/22/2010 at 05:40 PM

old man fed, someone above said they saw the mom and dad - maybe they saw wrong then... anyway, hopefully the nerves will go away - and the USO serve will return full force

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/22/2010 at 05:40 PM

Love service game Rafa

Come on try to step up for another break

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/22/2010 at 05:41 PM

who the hell is Kylie Minogue!?

Posted by GB 11/22/2010 at 05:42 PM

Rafa's fam was here last year as well, and they damn well didn't think he was gonna win then:) So I don't think them being here is added pressure or about expecting a win.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/22/2010 at 05:42 PM

Great execution on that volley Rafa just wonderful to watch


Posted by CherryNYC 11/22/2010 at 05:42 PM

Bummer for Andy -- he had the match well in hand, I thought.
But then again, this is Rafa we're talking about -- a hurricane in a headband... no stopping him.... just board up the house and hope for the best....

see you tomorrow, everybody...

Posted by temes 11/22/2010 at 05:43 PM

Kylie Minogue is one of those huge outside US celebrities that US folk as "who the hell is that" about lol!

Posted by GB 11/22/2010 at 05:43 PM

Wish he could have broken for the match. Frazzle. Frazzle. Frazzle.

Posted by Andrew 11/22/2010 at 05:44 PM

Two comfortable holds, Nadal 5-4 with the break. Commentators wish Nadal hadn't broken so early this set. A few TW commentors go "huh?"

Posted by Andrew 11/22/2010 at 05:46 PM

Mmmm-kay BT Tower. I know where you are, just not sure what you're doing.....

Posted by imjimmy 11/22/2010 at 05:46 PM

Looks like Nadal's improved his ground game from the pusher tennis in set 1. Still would have liked more heat on his serve. He was regularly cranking out 130 mphs in UsOpen. Here, it seems like he's having trouble reaching 120's.

Time to serve it out. He's been a little lucky to get out of jail. Anyway, he'll have to play a LOT better to have any hope of beating the likes of Djokovic/Murray. Especially Murray..

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/22/2010 at 05:46 PM

I'm not a fan of our 'huge' US celebrities, especially the Mileys, Justins, Keisha's, Jay Z''s all pop garbage to me

Posted by manuelsantanafan 11/22/2010 at 05:46 PM

TennisTV goes away from the match and replaces it with a bulletin board.

What an outfit

Posted by GB 11/22/2010 at 05:46 PM

Crap 15-30:(((( And the hair creep has started...Vamos!!! Pls?

Posted by AB 11/22/2010 at 05:47 PM

WTF? I just lost my paid tennistv stream!

Posted by temes 11/22/2010 at 05:48 PM

yello fuzzy, I agree with that! I'm not a fan of Kylie Minogue either just to get that straight lol.

Posted by GB 11/22/2010 at 05:48 PM

Pls no bp here!

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/22/2010 at 05:48 PM

Roddick is just lame

Posted by CherryNYC 11/22/2010 at 05:49 PM

what's the score???!!!!

Posted by wilson75 11/22/2010 at 05:50 PM

Good match. Congrats Rafa and his fans, it was touch and go for a set and a half but I knew he would pull it off in the end.

Posted by GB 11/22/2010 at 05:50 PM

VAMOS!!! The fact that I'm ridiculously, ridiculously happy that Rafa won this match just goes to show how horrific and scarring last year was.

Commies Andy fans.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/22/2010 at 05:50 PM

Good use of the slice Rafa

Great b/hand reflex shot

Yay Rafa

imjimmy I have to say Andy is my pick to win this tournament after watching him the other day.I hope he can maintain the same level against Roger tomorrow.We shall see,

Posted by Mrs Tennis 11/22/2010 at 05:51 PM

All right, everybody - buckel your seatbelts!

Ausiemarge, feel better now?

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/22/2010 at 05:51 PM

Rafa wins!~
helped by some funky play by Roddick

Posted by temes 11/22/2010 at 05:51 PM

This match is the story of Roddick's career in a nutshell...he just always falls short against the 2 guys on the big stage no matter how well he plays and tries. Pretty entertaining match in any case.

Posted by CherryNYC 11/22/2010 at 05:51 PM

It's over?

what time is Fed tomorrow?

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/22/2010 at 05:51 PM

Poor Andy, so close, good luck to him. The baseline ball bashing really isn't effective anymore, but good luck to him. Kampa Robin, du er den bedste, Sweden's no 1!

Posted by Colette 11/22/2010 at 05:52 PM

One dollop of icing.

Posted by imjimmy 11/22/2010 at 05:53 PM

...And Nadal wins the final set 6-4.

This surface is sooo dead/slow - it really blows. A Nadal-Murray match will probably last for three days here, what with both of them playing top tier pusher tennis.

Posted by izidane - It's t-shirt tyyyyyyyyme! Nole face/hawk shirt on. 11/22/2010 at 05:53 PM

Ouch. Just ouch. Congrats to Rafa fans, he took that match from my guy.

Commies to fellow Andy fans. Oh, so close one. More. Time. *sniff*

Thanks to Nole for one good thing today for this fan.

Posted by AB 11/22/2010 at 05:53 PM

Cherry: Rafa took the match serving 6-3. RAndy had him 30-30, but Rafa took the last 2 points on a RAndy error, then a shoelace bunt into the open court off a strong RAndy ROS on match point.

Posted by NP 11/22/2010 at 05:54 PM

Pretty boring tourney so far. Too bad Paris couldn't be the YEC this yr.

Anyhoo congrats to Rafa. Later.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/22/2010 at 05:54 PM

Don't care what anyone says, this is a great fightback by Rafa. He started the match abysmally but managed to pull off a win. Big congrats to my fellow Rafa fans ! And commies to Andy and fans.

Posted by AB 11/22/2010 at 05:54 PM

whoops, what imjimmy said 6-4 in the 3rd.

Posted by Andrew 11/22/2010 at 05:54 PM

And we're done. Commiserations to Roddick fans: Roddick lost 95/90, or 51% to 49% (not a typo). It's that old tennis scoring system again: Roddick won more actual points, but Nadal won enough big points - particularly that BH return at 3-3 in the TB that just clipped the line.

Congratulations to Nadal fans: a good fightback, and a good win. So now we have the "former Big 4" up against each other in round 2. Lots still to play for.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 11/22/2010 at 05:55 PM

He won a match! Happy Jewell.

Commiserations & hugs to Roddick fans...very close match.

'Night, all. :)

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/22/2010 at 05:55 PM

Commies to Roddick fans he should have won in 2 sets

Though I guess you can never count out Rafa

He found his range better as the match went on and he is one hell of a player to beat when he gets on a roll

To me he has the best mindset I have seen.I always though Borg was until this guy came to play.I have seen hin down and out though he just manages to find something special when needed.The mark of a champion player.

Posted by Carrie 11/22/2010 at 05:55 PM

yello fuzzy- I can't agree with your classification of Jay Z as "pop." He is a rapper and hip hop artist. I personally have grown to become a big fan as I think some of his lyrics are fantastic poetry and may actually pick up his book Decoded.

He has had a very, very interesting life.

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/22/2010 at 05:56 PM

Andy needs to find his big flat FH and stop the moonpies, he's not Rafa...all that topspsin just sits up for the likes of Rafa who feast on such monumental lameness

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/22/2010 at 05:57 PM

I think Rafa vs Djoker should have been the day match at day 4, but because this match ended so late, they push to the night match. They don't seem to care for the money match since they put Fed vs Muzz on the day match tomorrow.

And I thought they would give Rafa the trophies (number 1 and sportsman) after this match like they did to Fed? It doesn't look like they'd do that now. They probably do so tomorrow, I suppose with Rafa wearing a suit or something.

Posted by temes 11/22/2010 at 05:58 PM

Well I don't think pop and garbage are synonyms but most pop out there right now is garbage. Just to correct myself.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/22/2010 at 05:58 PM

Mrs Tennis

I feel a bit better now lol!

Posted by wilson75 11/22/2010 at 05:58 PM

Now that Rafa fans had their day to frazzle, I guess it's time for Roger fans to frazzle.

Posted by Ruth 11/22/2010 at 05:59 PM

Well, finally, we've had a match that actually went to 3 sets and resembles the kind of contest one expects when the best of the best play each other.

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/22/2010 at 05:59 PM

Jay Z needs to grow up , pull his pants up and sing/rap stuff thats intelligible. dark glasses, street cred and gang symbols are artifacts from a life he no longer leads...its all pretty artificial to me

Posted by temes 11/22/2010 at 05:59 PM

Congrats AM but you can lay of the booze now lol!

Posted by Texastennis 11/22/2010 at 06:00 PM

Predictable win for Rafa, another gut wrenching loss for Roddick - usual day on the men's tennis tour!
Ugh Andrew on Andy actually winning more points...

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/22/2010 at 06:01 PM

And Roddick still has a chance, you know, if he beats Berdie in 2 days time. I'd assume that Djoker will beat Rafa now that Rafa can barely hit above 120mph yet again. So then it's a showdown betwen Djoker and Roddick on Friday and Roddick has Djoker's numbers ever since that incident at US open. Roddick is Djoker's daddy. So he can still end up 2-1 and a good chance that 3 players end with 2-1 records. It's a good thing that Roddick won 6-3 easy set, then lost two tight sets.

Posted by Tuulia 11/22/2010 at 06:01 PM


Chocolate and Spanish brandy got me through the match. Plenty of booze still left for the rest of the week...

Posted by wilson75 11/22/2010 at 06:01 PM

yello fuzzy: When was the last time you actually saw Jay-z? He's one of the best dressed men in hip-hop.

Posted by Frances 11/22/2010 at 06:01 PM

Wow!! havent been here for ages!! but wats up people

relieve to see rafa thru

even is he wond 5 points less than roddick...


Posted by Frances 11/22/2010 at 06:02 PM

I have to admit-- its been good not to have frazzles for a while

and RELIEVE to get over it today!!

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/22/2010 at 06:04 PM

wilson75, why Fed fans will frizzle? that he might lose to Muzz? C'mon. Even if he loses to Muzz in straight sets, which I highly doubt, he still has his toy, Evil Sod, to salvage and advance to SF. Personally I'd like Fed to lose to Muzz and therefore advance to SF at number 2. This is purely because I know Rafa will probably advance as number 2 from his group, so I don't want another Fedal SF!!! Fedal F is way way better if it were to happen.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/22/2010 at 06:04 PM

Ruth I agree this match had everything and to me was so entertaining better than the Yawn Fest with Nole v Tomas earlier

Temes I promise not to drink in Rafa's next game

Hang on who is he playing first?

Posted by Tuulia 11/22/2010 at 06:05 PM

AM, don't make promises like that... lol

Posted by Carrie 11/22/2010 at 06:05 PM

yello fuzzzy- we will just have to disagree when it comes to Jay-Z. I find his lyrics "intelligible" and he does not currently do any sorts of gang symbols at all. Have you ever listened to an interview with him- he had an intersting one in Fresh Air. I really enjoyed his discussion of his older song 99 Problems. And it seems to me like the lyrics in his most recent album The Blueprint 3 were a pretty good snapshot of where he is know. In Young Forever for example- he does talk about getting older.

*shrugs* we can't all like the same music.

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