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Bercy Diary: Dolls and Bunnies 11/11/2010 - 10:55 AM

Rod

by Gauloises, TW Contributing Writer

8.15 a.m. - While breakfasting on ham and madeleines, I contemplate the order of play. It’s a big day; the top seeds are playing their first matches, which means that many players we’ve watched and cheered for over the past few days will be running smack into the elite of the game. It’s going to be a day of tough choices about what to watch; there’s no time to waste.

10.35 a.m. - Waste valuable time being propositioned by the guy with one eye who hands out the free newspapers outside Bercy metro station.

11.03 a.m. - Through security (“for you, no problem!”) and wait outside the arena for a break in play. Roddick is serving for the set at 5-1 and it’s clear that as hungry as Nieminen appeared against Malisse, Roddick on a fast court is simply a class above. I pick up a copy of the OOP and realize Marin Cilic is playing Sergiy Stakhovsky on Court 1. Knowing Marin as I do, it’s clear his need will be greater.

11.11 a.m. - Settle into a mainly deserted Court 1. With the blue and green walls and various susurrations of machinery, it’s like being underwater. Cilic is facing break points right, left and centre in the second set. I watch and try to understand how, with all that game and his physical gifts, he isn’t a permanent fixture in the Top 10. The charitable interpretation is that he still has a way to go.

11.51 a.m. - The first gut-wrenching choice of a packed day’s play confronts me; to leave Cilic now seems tantamount to abandonment, but Roddick has just served out the match and Djokovic will be next on centre. The thought of Djokovic’s traditional Bercy entrance in a Halloween mask makes up my mind for me.

11.53 a.m. - The James Bond music and light show somehow doesn’t seem so inappropriate when the one being introduced is Djokovic.

11.55 a.m. - He’s not wearing a Halloween mask! I abandoned Cilic for this?!

12.10 p.m. - Monaco is hitting the ball exceptionally cleanly, absorbing and redirecting pace effortlessly. Djokovic, on the other hand, doesn’t look fully awake and his game as yet has no bite. It’s a predictable early break for Monaco, and we eat our first ficelles and settle in for a long match.

But part of being a champion is having the wherewithal to change the flow of play when the match isn’t going your way. Djokovic starts by attacking the net, forcing an edge of aggression into his play. Monaco is left stranded and looking ordinary, confronting the limitations of his game. The elderly French couple behind us are swiftly sighing ooh la la . . . after each point.

Match point comes and just like that, Monaco is leaving the court disregarded while Djokovic earns a huge roar of applause for speaking to the crowd in French. When he hits the ball into the stands, a white-haired gentlemen plucks it from the air in a neat disply of left-handed fielding, then hands it proudly to his teenage daughter. At least we hope she’s his daughter.

Andy 1.55 p.m. - Murray and Nalbandian are underway. We have a lovely view of Murray’s unbelievable defense, and a perfect one of Nalbandian’s sharp, lethal mid-court volleys. I abandon journalistic impartiality, resign myself to being publicly British, and give it some . . . C’mon Andy!

He doesn’t. He’s punching his strings, looking distinctly unhappy with life. I should be despairing, but I’m finding it impossible not to rejoice in Nalbandian’s stunning play, forehands into the corners as flat and precise as bullets, lobs on the run that seem laser-targeted. The Argentine is utterly in control.

The worst part about live tennis is how a favourite’s defeat can impact your day. My friend is rapidly descending into the blackest of moods while I try to persuade her there’s still hope. Murray follows in Djokovic’s footsteps by finding another gear to his game. He starts the second set with consecutive serve and volleys and makes the most of his own excellent net skills. At least he’s trying to do something different, I tell my friend. She grunts something unintelligible. There’s a reason that he’s good, I say to her (but mostly to myself). There’s a reason that he’s good.

3.00 p.m. - And there it is. Nalbandian’s level drops and Murray steals the second set out from under him. Having demonstrated that he can survive a period of less-than-spectacular play and still find himself well in the match, the momentum is always in his favour in the third set, and even a painful wrist can’t prevent him from reaching the next round. By the end, Nalbandian looks impotent and furious.

4.01 p.m. - I have finally found the secret smoking area by the river. My joy is tempered by the news that while I have been watching the tennis, Amelie Mauresmo has been in the press centre. Not all choices work out for the best.

4.13 p.m. - Rather than listen to the drums for Llodra, I decide to prove my theory that doubles on Court 2 is the hot ticket, opting for Ljubicic and Cilic against the Bryan brothers. Maybe I’m seeing them on an off day, but I’m not that impressed by the Bryans. All the while, the Croatians were more charimsatic. They alternate hitting eye-catching winners with ugly misses, and laugh with each other and their coaches.

The Bryans are poker-faced, communicating in monosyllables - “yeah?” “Right.” “Dude.” “Yeah.” But in the crucial moments, they summon their best play with the assurance that comes with the mastery of their craft.

The Croatians push them hard, but lose by the narrowest of margins in two tiebreak sets. As we leave the court, a Bryan says to me, “Thanks for watching,” with such sincerity that I take back at least half the negative things I’ve ever said about them.

5.58 p.m. The magic of live tennis. A match that you thought was going to be merely a pleasant way of passing the time becomes the most absorbing thing you’ve seen all day. David Ferrer and Fabio Fognini on a packed Court 1 are locked in a battle that’s compelling from the start, not least because of the similarities in their style of play.

Between points, Ferrer paces the baseline with grim determination, round-shouldered and never still; Fognini has a cocky strut, he's a Ken doll to Ferrer’s Energizer bunny. When a rally starts, however, they trade hammer blows from the baseline, running what seems like miles in a single point. They trade breaks, then split sets; Ferrer bellows in frustration like a wounded bull, while Fognini lets loose streams of Italian invective, helpfully translated and thus rendered unrepeatable by our acquaintance from Milan.

7.02 p.m. - Into a third set, and the spectators are leaving in droves to take their seats for Federer-Gasquet, but we and a few others are staying at our posts like the band on the Titanic.

Ferrer is still unable to read the Fognini serve or eliminate the unforced errors from his game, but he seems to play better—or at any rate run faster—the longer the match goes on. He throws himself bodily into his forehands so that his feet rise high above the surface. This is a player who makes his living punching above his weight, and attempting to out-Ferrer Ferrer can only take Fognini so far.

When match point comes and goes, it’s the Spaniard waving and basking in the fervent applause. The TV coverage might have cut away to more glamorous climes, and he doesn’t get the light show, but a different James Bond theme comes to mind—Nobody Does It Better. Ferrer may not be the best player in the world, but he’s proved once again that he’s the best at what he does.

8.13 p.m. - Still buzzing, we secure tickets for tomorrow—we haven’t had nearly enough of this—and take our seats on centre court. Federer already leads Gasquet by a set and a break, and despite the packed arena and hypnotic drum beat between points, there’s nothing here that can match the intensity of what we’ve just witnessed.

9.57 p.m. - Soderling has taken the first set without doing very much, and it’s obvious that the frisson has left the building for the day. We decide to do the same.

10.18 p.m. - Disembarking the metro at Chatelet, we’re accosted by an unsavory gentleman who persists in trying to set up a rendez-vous. So much for James Bond.

11.05 p.m. - Back to our tiny, rented apartment. And now, to write …


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Posted by Andrew 11/11/2010 at 02:45 PM

Two attacking FHs miss the mark in game 1, and one in game 3 for Federer. Stepanek guesses right on an approach to ad - Federer still can't hit that topspin CC pass, and Stepanek has BP twice in game 3. Both are averted, and we're on serve, 2-1 Federer. I would quite like Mr Annacone to help Mr Federer relearn that passing shot.

Posted by CherryNYC 11/11/2010 at 02:46 PM

Hi everybody! - I've get Fed on my computer and am successfully avoiding work (which is really not good, since I am swamped....). Anyhoooooo, the Legend in Lavender is looking smooth as always -- that shirt Stepanek is wearing is -- apologies to those who like it -- flat-out hideous...

oh! Fed nearly took Worm's head off!! Not a bad strategy, actually...

Posted by wilson75 11/11/2010 at 02:47 PM

AM and beth: The French team is going to be Monfils and Llodra playing singles, Clement and Llodra doubles with Simon as the alternate. No way Gasquet is getting picked because he hasn't shown mental and physical toughness.

Posted by Arun 11/11/2010 at 02:47 PM

"Now , they to pick an alternate between Simon and Gasquet - just in case he is too tired to go out on the Sunday "

beth: It's a difficult exercise trying to choose a pick between those two, neither of whom won't win a match.
*insert a disappointed Gasquet fan emoticon here*

Posted by Colette 11/11/2010 at 02:48 PM

Come back again to find yet another surprise - Berdych bageled in the 3rd. Nice to see DavyD perhaps getting his pre-injury form back.

Keep it coming Gauloises. And thanks for taking us to Bercy with you.

Posted by JB (FOOPs unite!!!) 11/11/2010 at 02:49 PM

cherrynyc - er, have you found someone who likes radek's tony the tiger shirt? :))))

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 02:49 PM

wilson 75 Yeah again I think your right

Though I think I still will win our bet

Remember Weight Loss in tennis is the big thing in 2010

Posted by CherryNYC 11/11/2010 at 02:49 PM

Nice, patient BH passer from Fed. Deuce.... G-d, that shirt!.....

Posted by beth 11/11/2010 at 02:49 PM

Wilson75 - I pretty much agree with your choices on the french team - except that Simon has not exactly distinguished himself on the court in his bigger matches the past few weeks . And his DC record is pretty bad .
Not that Gasquet's is much better -
so I would not think it is a slam dunk - but probably Simon is the choice .
( and I would hope that Llodra just toughs it out and goes out there for any and all live rubbers :))

CherryNYC - I can hardly bear to look . Is he still wearing the orange tiger stripe thing ?

Posted by wilson75 11/11/2010 at 02:50 PM

zenggi: I know, I'm wishing that too. I feel if Roger gets thru Stepanek, Melzer could beat him. Roger has already said he's a little fatigued and now that Djokovic is out he can relax a little.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 02:50 PM

The Worm actually gets paid to wear his Tommy the Tiger shirt

Shudders!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 02:52 PM

The Worm skips back to serve

Honestly?

Posted by CherryNYC 11/11/2010 at 02:53 PM

The shirt is honestly distracting.... Imagine what Mirka is thinking..

I mean, Worm has a lovely young bride - no way she approved of that thing...

I don't think Fed has ever worn a shirt with a print, or stripes or anything -- not his style, and Mirka would never allow it....

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 02:54 PM

Great hands at the net and reflexes by the Worm

Maybe his shirt is a added bonus

Perish the thought

Posted by wilson75 11/11/2010 at 02:55 PM

beth: It's the lesser of two evils, I think Simon wins over Gasquet. He's less likely to crumble in a tense situation. It's a real shame Tsonga's injured though.

AM: I'm sitting here trying to figure out what Nicole Vaidisova sees in Stepanek.

Posted by beth 11/11/2010 at 02:55 PM

Arun - we could litter this blog with those "disappointed Gasquet fan " emoticons
I often wonder why he chose competitive sport as a profession . He just does not seem to love the competition at all - he loves the game , and the way he plays it - but he does not relish the fight like some of the others do . ( Nadal , Ferrer come to mind )

I see you have answered my question re the shirt
do I really want to watch this ?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 02:55 PM

wilson75 He must have a wonderful personality

Thats the conclusion I have come to.

Posted by zenggi 11/11/2010 at 02:56 PM

Love game for Roger. I wish he could convert more BP's. It's a long standing wish of mine.

These two know each other games through and through.

Posted by Andrew 11/11/2010 at 02:56 PM

Federer can't win a point on the deuce side, Stepanek can't win a point on ad. On we go, until Stepanek finally holds. Federer holds at love. 3-2 Federer, on serve. My stream freezes.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 02:57 PM

beth I just get soo frustrated with Richard.He has the shots but still....

Posted by wilson75 11/11/2010 at 02:57 PM

AM: That's the conclusion I've come to as well.

Posted by CherryNYC 11/11/2010 at 02:59 PM

"I'm sitting here trying to figure out what Nicole Vaidisova sees in Stepanek."
Haaaaaaaaa! Good one, wilson. I personally would rather not let my mind wander -- yuck....

Worm serving, 2-3, 30-15.

Posted by zenggi 11/11/2010 at 02:59 PM

The backhand was working all-right but that curled FH was such a beautiful shot. That's why people pay hundreds of currency to watch Roger.

Posted by pogiako 11/11/2010 at 03:00 PM

I feel sorry for Thomas. Now, its really going to be anybody's game for the lower half.

Posted by beth 11/11/2010 at 03:00 PM

I am not so sure that it is the tense situation of the match that does Gasquet in
I believe it is the crowd - and the very thought that he is out there in front of so many people
He plays his best tennis on outer courts , and away from the big crowds
His best match this year - beating Monfils in their last matchup - was played in front of about 10 people.
And his other big win - against Davydenko at the US Open - was definitely not a huge draw in New York compared to others .

with that in mind - Simon is definitely a better selection .

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 03:01 PM

Beth Though DC is different.Players often rise to the occasion when playing for your country.

Posted by beth 11/11/2010 at 03:03 PM

Stepanek and his bride
hmmm - well , I have seen him with her
and he treats her like a princess - very loving , protective , affectionate
clearly , she sees past his less than perfect physical appearance and sees the man who loves her .

Not sure I could have ever given him the benefit of the doubt long enough to find that man though .

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 03:03 PM

Do the camera's have to linger on the Worm for soo long

Tommy the Tiger shirt is really getting to me now more than ever.

Posted by Andrew 11/11/2010 at 03:04 PM

Stream now super choppy, sigh....

Federer holds from 30, Stepanek from 15. 4-3 Federer on serve. Federer not at his sharpest right now, to my eyes.

Posted by wilson75 11/11/2010 at 03:04 PM

CherryNYC: LOL!

beth: If Gasquet is afraid of large crowds, then no way he's going to Serbia.

Posted by beth 11/11/2010 at 03:06 PM

oddly - in an interview - Gasquet said that his three favorite matches of his career
1 ) when he beat Federer in Monaco
2) the Wimbledon win over Roddick
3) the Davis Cup match against Haas when the whole crowd was against him , and he fed off the energy in the place

interesting

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 03:06 PM

Roger good time to break

Posted by zenggi 11/11/2010 at 03:07 PM

wilson 75,
I'm liking the way Melzer is playing this year. I would like for him to get in the top-10 but not at Roger's expense. I feel Roger would love to win this tournament above the WTF this year. Career curriculum above points. Let the other younger players fight in London. He has had a tremendous run this autumn.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 03:07 PM

Great f/hand by Roger there

Posted by beth 11/11/2010 at 03:07 PM

yep , wilson75 , there is most definitely gonna be a big , loud home crowd there
we shall see

I feel fairly certain that he will go in at least a fifth man , practice partner capacity
but taking the court - probably not

Posted by CherryNYC 11/11/2010 at 03:08 PM

Does Fed just not want to break serve?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 03:09 PM

CherryNYC lol! give him time

Posted by wilson75 11/11/2010 at 03:09 PM

beth: It sounds to me that Gassquet prefers to be the underdog rather than he fears crowds. Those 3 matches would've have big crowds in attendance.

Posted by sokol 11/11/2010 at 03:09 PM

"Not sure I could have ever given him the benefit of the doubt long enough to find that man though ."

:-))

Posted by Colette 11/11/2010 at 03:11 PM

It's not just that Radek's shirt is a fashion abomination, he also has this overall sloppy look, to boot. Shirt half tucked in ... clothes about a size-and-a-half too big. Then, contrast that with perfectly draped, perfectly sized, perfectly coiffed Fed. Almost makes me feel sorry for Radek. I hope he continues to play well.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 03:11 PM

Good use of the b/hand slice by Roger there and he holds

Posted by zenggi 11/11/2010 at 03:12 PM

What a well constructed point by Roger. He'll try now to break and win the first set.

Posted by Andrew 11/11/2010 at 03:12 PM

Restarts Google Chrome, sees Federer hold for 5-4, on serve. Federer very patient in that last rally, finally Stepanek with the UFE.

Posted by wilson75 11/11/2010 at 03:13 PM

zenggi: I agree re. Melzer. As for WTF, Ithink Roger is hungrier for that title rather than Paris. It's a bigger title. But it would be nice if he could win Paris this year.

beth: I hope Forget will pick Gasquet as the fifth man too. It will help him in the long run and I think he's been punished enough for bailing on the team against the US some years ago.

Posted by CherryNYC 11/11/2010 at 03:15 PM

15-30 (although my stream might be behind) Break so I can get some work done, Fed!

Posted by CherryNYC 11/11/2010 at 03:15 PM

15-40 Allez!

Posted by zenggi 11/11/2010 at 03:17 PM

Perfectly executed plan. Roger wins first set 6-4.

Posted by wilson75 11/11/2010 at 03:17 PM

Something tells me Roger really wants to win this title.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 03:17 PM

Allez Roger with a great pass and he takes the 1st set

See Cherry I told you give Roger some time lol!

Posted by CherryNYC 11/11/2010 at 03:18 PM

Nice!! great, looping CC FH passing shot winner for the break!!! I've got to sign off for a bit before I get fired..... See you later, everybody.

Posted by Andrew 11/11/2010 at 03:19 PM

Aha. 15-15, DF, FH in the net: Federer can't get the T second serve in play, but then Federer tracks down a FH volley to deuce and hits a superb wrong footing CC pass. First set Federer, but Stepanek is still in this matc, one thinks.

Posted by beth 11/11/2010 at 03:21 PM

I am trying to eat my lunch - it is not easy while looking at that shirt :)
Fed breaks to take the first

wilson75 - all three were also played long ago , before the suspension
He is considerably more private and guarded since then .
If that was even possible .

Posted by wilson75 11/11/2010 at 03:22 PM

beth: Well, he has to get over that fear if he wants to move up the rankings. Maybe he should see a sports psychologist.

Posted by CWATC 11/11/2010 at 03:23 PM

So impressed with Roger lately; great composure.
Steps played really really well at the begining, the Roger of a few months ago would have gone down a break for sure. Instead he's got a nice clean 6-4 set. Allez!

Posted by Blue moon 11/11/2010 at 03:24 PM

Hi! Lurker surfacing to grin about the Fed moonball just now. :D

Posted by zenggi 11/11/2010 at 03:26 PM

Welcome, Blue moon.

Delurk, please, and join us enjoying Federer's lobs and other tricks. 2-0 Roger with a break.

Posted by roadrunnerz 11/11/2010 at 03:26 PM

AWESOME return on breakpoint! Gooo Fed!!

Posted by Andrew 11/11/2010 at 03:31 PM

Federer with a superb BH stab return to get the early break in set 2. Then a bit of Hawkeye chuntering, but the break is consolidated. 3-0 Federer, with a break.

Posted by beth 11/11/2010 at 03:33 PM

wilson75 - agreed - 100%

wait - Fed throwing in a moonpie
where is Tim ?

Posted by zenggi 11/11/2010 at 03:36 PM

That game was an exhibition. 4-1 Roger. Radek to serve.

Posted by Andrew 11/11/2010 at 03:38 PM

Federer's in full exo mode now: it would be a shame if he lost his concentration. FH DS, volley dropper, little flicks and nudges - and always the crunching serve. 4-1 Federer, with a break.

Posted by thebigapple 11/11/2010 at 03:40 PM

Legend in Lavender...nice phrase! Shirt is drab though, looks like the outcome of an accident in the washing machine.

Is today ugly shirt day? Radek wins!

Posted by zenggi 11/11/2010 at 03:45 PM

That was a nasty twist Roger had in his ankle. I hope he is all-right tomorrow.

Posted by zenggi 11/11/2010 at 03:47 PM

Another love game for Roger. 5-2, Radek to serve.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 03:47 PM

Roger took 1 minute and 7 secs to hold serve there as quoted by Robbie

Posted by zenggi 11/11/2010 at 03:48 PM

Crowd doing the wave. Where is Gauloises?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 03:48 PM

Fans doing the Mexican Wave at least its better than insane James Bond music

Posted by Andrew 11/11/2010 at 03:49 PM

Ruh-roh. Definite ankle tweak for Federer in Stepanek's long service game: looks like he may have walked it off, and no call for a trainer. No break, then a love hold. It's 5-2 Federer, but I did not like those grimaces.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 03:50 PM

The Worm with a love service game him self

Posted by Blue moon 11/11/2010 at 03:51 PM

Thanks! My stream suddenly died though :(

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 03:52 PM

The Worm with the full splits

Roger just opens up the court beautifully

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 03:52 PM

Roger with 3 match points

Posted by sisu 11/11/2010 at 03:53 PM

Zenggi @ pm - “I'm liking the way Melzer is playing this year. I would like for him to get in the top-10 but not at Roger's expense. I feel Roger would love to win this tournament above the WTF this year. Career curriculum above points. Let the other younger players fight in London. He has had a tremendous run this autumn.”

Agree - though I’d love for him to win the WTF also. I think he’s currently tied with Pete with 4 year-end titles and would love to get to 5. Greedy, maybe, but time keeps turning and will not be his ally. Gotta get those wins now!

As to Radek’s personal appeal, I’ve found intellect, kindness and humor can often make one overlook perceived physical deficiencies. And if, as Beth says, Radek treats his partner as a princess, I’m sure that increases his appeal. You know the old saying, “Can’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

Welcome Blue moon.

Roger wins!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 03:53 PM

Congrats to Roger and his fans

Roger looking in good form as he marches on in this tournament

Posted by zenggi 11/11/2010 at 03:54 PM

It wasn't difficult at all. Another love hold. Congratulations, Roger and fellow fans. Commisserations to Radek and his fans.

Take good care of that ankle tonight. Excellent first serve percentages.

Posted by sisu 11/11/2010 at 03:55 PM

That was zenggi at 3:07pm

Congrats to Roger and his fans and sorry for Radak and his fans. Good match. Hope Roger's ankle is OK. Melzer will probably having him running a bit.

Posted by wilson75 11/11/2010 at 03:55 PM

AM: Yeah, Roger is really good today, I'd say better than yesterday. Tomorrow is going to be tough against Melzer but I hope he can win.

Posted by chegu 11/11/2010 at 03:57 PM

congrats fellow fed fans.
i am njoying the hot gravy fed is serving in this chilly winter:-))

Posted by beth 11/11/2010 at 03:57 PM

congrats to Roger
hope the ankle tweaking was just a minor thing
and does not get worse over night

and now I am off to Pilates
enjoy your day , folks

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 03:57 PM

wilson75 I think Roger and Andy Roddick have been the 2 players here that have impressed me

Lets see which Andy Murray turns up next on court

Andy I feel can win here though he has been too up and down for me of late

Posted by zenggi 11/11/2010 at 03:59 PM

sisu,
You need to pace Roger's wins. I agree with you, though. :)

Posted by CherryNYC 11/11/2010 at 04:00 PM

I'm back for a second just to say thank you, Fed for a no-drama match. He looked wonderful -- relaxed, chilled out, flicking shots left and right... I'm happy (although I admit this Fed fan is missing Rafa ... I haven't seen him since ESPN2 cut him off during the USO trophy ceremony....feels like ages ago....)

Worm -- burn that shirt and demand a new clothing contract....then go home and thank your lucky stars you convinced a beautiful young woman to marry you..... I'm really leaving now....

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 04:01 PM

Bye Beth do some extra Pilates for me ok lol!

Posted by Andrew 11/11/2010 at 04:02 PM

Federer doesn't drop a point on either of his last two service games: I couldn't be sure, but on the rally points he seemed to be a hair cautious in his movement. We'll see tomorrow: Melzer isn't a cream puff.

Commiserations to Stepanek fans: Federer put together a run of 4 games, and that turned out to be that. I think Federer decided to try and make Stepanek look a bit silly in set 2: the ankle roll didn't come because of sloppy play, but I thought Federer was playing with his food again. Congratulations to Federer fans: he won 71-54, or 57% to 43%. Federer is playing well: it would be a shame if a twinge hampers him.

Posted by Master Ace 11/11/2010 at 04:03 PM

Friday Order of Play for Bercy:

8 AM - Roddick vs Soderling followed by Davydenko vs Llodra
1:30 PM - Federer vs Melzer
2:30 PM - Murray or Cilic vs Monfils

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 04:07 PM

I am interested to see how Cilic goes

I am quite surprised he got soo far in this tournament condsidering his form of late.

Posted by xyz 11/11/2010 at 04:12 PM

If Roddick wins tomorrow, he will get back to #6 and overtake Berdych & Ferrer. The year-end order to be decided at the WTF.

Posted by zenggi 11/11/2010 at 04:13 PM

Enjoy the next match, AM. I'll read tomorrow your match calls. Thank you in advance.

Have a nice evening/night, everyone.

Posted by Holds2Love 11/11/2010 at 04:21 PM

Following up on the discussion upthread between beth, wilson75, et al., regarding Gasquet, psychology and the crowd, I would imagine among his least favorite matches is his Wimbledon 08 contest with Murray. At that time, the 'local' boy wasn't fully embraced by the crowd and their support was tepid as Gasquet took the first two sets and played with confidence. When Murray roared back from two sets down and took the TB, most of the capacity Centre Court crowd threw their support behind the Scot. Murray seemed emboldened by a degree of crowd support he hadn't previously experienced, while Gasquet seemed completely deflated, imho. After a ridiculously long bathroom break at a changeover (one imagined Gasquet trying to compose himself), the crowd lustily booed Gasquet and he appeared visibly shaken. I was at the match and some excellent tennis was played, but it was perhaps most memorable as a case study in sports psychology and crowd dynamics. Of course for some, the match may be most memorable for the victorious Murray's bicep flex. ;-)

And speaking of Murray, I see live tennis is on...

Posted by Blue moon 11/11/2010 at 04:28 PM

Wow... I haven't watched Cilic playing for a while but it doesn't look like he's as down and out as people have said.

Oof. But this game is going terribly. Never mind, perhaps.

Posted by Heather 11/11/2010 at 04:30 PM

AM: Don't forget you're supporting Andy for the AO! Put in a good word with Lil' Wayne! :)

Posted by Christopher 11/11/2010 at 04:30 PM

I missed the whole match, alas.

But in reading the comments I found the following by Andrew to be oddly poetic:

Federer can't win a point on the deuce side,
Stepanek can't win a point on ad.
On we go,
until Stepanek finally holds.
Federer holds
at love. 3-2 Federer,
on serve.

My stream freezes.

Posted by Blue moon 11/11/2010 at 04:31 PM

--aagh, roller coaster! Five big points in a row from Cilic to save three break points. Murray to serve *2-4.

Posted by wilson75 11/11/2010 at 04:32 PM

Blue moon: I was thinking the same thing re. Cilic. He has to be loving the court though.

Posted by Blue moon 11/11/2010 at 04:42 PM

Seems like Cilic fighting hard for points which he really doesn't need to get (the point for Murray's 40-0 just now)... good sign?

Posted by sisu 11/11/2010 at 04:48 PM

Yeah! Come on Marin, live up to your height and serve it out!

Posted by sisu 11/11/2010 at 04:49 PM

Not meant to be. ;(

Posted by Blue moon 11/11/2010 at 04:49 PM

Marin goes down two break points again--! Is he the mental reincarnation of another "Mar--" with five letters in both his names? D:

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 04:53 PM

Heather I am only human I will try my best

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/11/2010 at 04:55 PM

Blue Moon Well we shall see with Marin

He hasnt lived up to his hype at all

His game suits the hard court too

He has been missing mentally for soemtime now

Apparently he has been tweaking his game

When your on a good thing why mess with it?

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