Friday, September 19, 2008

Spain Leads USA 2-0

Sam Querrey did the best he could. Even got up a set and a break against world No. 1 Rafael Nadal. But we all knew how it would end. Props to Sam for putting up a fight.

Andy Roddick loses another grueling five-setter in overtime to David Ferrer. At this point, I'm so numb to such things, I can't even feign upset.

No one gave the USA much of a chance, even though they teased us with an upset and got close to a victory, which, in itself, was a surprise to most.

I'm sure Sam is eating up the atmosphere, playing for his country for the first time in Davis Cup. I'm sure Andy is gutted yet again.

Behind David Nalbandian and Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina is up 2-0 on Russia. They haven't even dropped a set.


Karen said...

Hugs to all USA fans. I was praying for the upset but it was not to be. Then again, there is the reverse singles to be played and I am sure that JMac has taken a look at what went wrong today and will come out with a game plan that makes the Americans play an aggressive game, especially against Rafa. This is now 2 tournaments that Sam has taken a set off Rafa. I think if Sam plays well tomorrow he can beat Ferrer because he is not afraid of mixing it up and such. As to Andy, if he serves well and hits through his forehand I can actually see him winning a match against Rafa, who from reports that I have read is not playing very well. I watched the first set of the match between Rafa and Sam and I have to say (and forgive me Rafa fans) but Raf is a one dimensional player. He plays the same way with everyone. He feeds almost every single ball to people's backhand, especially on clay in the hopes that the heavy topspin that he puts on the ball will force errors. Good on Sam for having that 2 handed backhand that really did a lot of damage today. If Sam gets fitter etc, I can see him being a force on clay because he serves well and for a tall guy he really does move well on the clay.

rabbit said...

I was also rooting hard for Andy. As karen said, there is actually some hope that Roddick can pull off the Rafa upset. But first thing first. Go Mardy and Mike!

tangerine said...

Gah. Another five set loss on clay, another winnable match slips through his fingers at the end. How many more of these can Andy take? How many more can *I* take?

Still, I find it difficult to be upset with him when I see him pouring his heart and soul out there, as he always does in Davis Cup. Same with Querrey, who once again surprised everybody and managed to steal a set from the Clay King himself, on Rafa's home turf, in his first Davis Cup match no less. I am very impressed with Sam.

I guess the USA team can take some comfort in the moral victory: they were underdogs in the literal sense. Everybody said they'd get steamrolled and embarrassed by the clay masters but that didn't happen at all. The matches were more competitive than Argentina vs Russia today. So well done to the Americans, I'm proud of their willingness to fight. No Gasquets on this team! ;)

oddman said...

Guys, guys, it's not over yet... they're fighting in the dubs here. If they win that, they have a good chance of coming back, imo. I love me my Rafa, but he doesn't look like the Clay Monster he was in the spring, and Andy was very close in the Ferrer match... I thought he played wonderfully. It pisses me off to see Andy playing so well on clay in DC, but not on the ATP tour... what gives?

karen, you can say whatever you want. I just have to add, if Rafa feeds balls to backhands and so on, blah blah, it's because it WORKS... on the clay. I'm guessing YOU didn't watch Rafa win the Olympic gold medal. I didn't see a one dimensional player there. But whatever... I am so friggin' tired of hearing this over and over. Oh, well, I guess it's fantastic that some guy with a one-dimensional game is now the number one player and winner of the FO (again!) and most cherished Wimbledon, as well as the Gold... must be a mistake, how could someone with such a boring game (forcing errors constantly, yawn) succeed? If it works, then why change it?

IAC, I do think Andy could take Rafa, and Sam take Ferrer, but first the cobbled-up dubs team have to get thru these two. Could happen.

Tennisfan said...

I am hoping Mardy and Mike win their double.

Karen said...

Oddman, LOL - ooh you got mad at me - hush - that was Karen the KAD talking - I was very upset yesterday when I was watching the match and I had nightmares of Roland Garros 2006, 2007 and if my memory serves me correctly 2008. Never hid the fact that I am not a fan of the serve to the backhand and play to the backhand and make no apologies for it - LOL

Karen said...

somewhere in the land of cows, chocolate and other things Swiss, I am hoping a Swiss guy watched how Sam Querrey played Rafa. Methinks hitting through Rafa on clay might just work

oddman said...

I think Andy has a helluva chance against Rafa tomorrow, esp. after seeing how well he played against David. The US is not dead by any means here. Sam vs Ferrer? Very do-able.
karen, your Swiss guy doesn't play like Querrey. He can watch all he wants to.. check out Monte Carlo 08 for a reminder. Not saying he can't beat Rafa on the red stuff, he's done it before, but he does not have the same game as Querrey. Or the height. Or the same backhand. The Swiss Miss' is very pretty though. Maybe he'll get style points for it....

Beth said...

oddman, touché on your response. To say that Nadal is one dimensional after his phenomenal accomplishments this year - I'm just left shaking my head.

oddman said...

Yeah, beth. Me too.
My guess is if karen actually *watched* Rafa play anyone else this year besides her beloved Fed, she might not be calling him so one-dimensional. But hey, she saw the *first* set of Querrey-Rafa yesterday. Good on ya, karen.

IAC, I do think, after yesterday's matches, that Rafa is beatable. He was playing poorly and barely hanging in until the fourth set, where he finally found his clay feet. I think he's not used to the change in surface yet. We gonna see what happens, no? He can lose to anyone, no?

I'm torn here, think I'm rooting for the US though.

Beth said...

oddman, yes, he does look tired. It's been a LONG year for him and with all of his wins at so many tournaments he just has to be burned out. I'm sure his spirit is there for the Davis matches but his body must be begging for an extended rest. I thought he looked 'off' for a good part of the match with Querrey, yes, he is beatable. Any of them are, especially if they are not playing 100%. He needs some rest, some fishing in Majorca, some time with his family and a break from tennis for even just a little while. I'm enjoying watching the doubles match right now - just went into a 5th set!

Karen said...

OK, so everyone can criticise Fed and make all sorts of disparaging remarks about him but when fans of other players criticise Rafa all of a sudden he seems to be off limit. This is a tennis blog where people with differing views and with different favourite players come here and express their views. You may not like it, but thems the breaks. I am quite upset when people criticise Roger and call his US Open win a consolation prize. When did a major become a consolation prize. If that is the case, I am sure that if Rafa had won it would have been a consolation prize as well.
Oddman, when I made the remark about Rafa being one-dimensional clearly I should have put it in a different context, but the fact remains that I notice that here and elsewhere on the internet criticism of Mr. Nadal seems to be off limit. To my mind that is not fair. You play the game, you take the lumps like everyone else.
On the matter of Rafa being tired, every one of the players on the ATP play a similar schedule. The difference with Rafa is that while he may get to the latter stages of tournament the amount of effort that it takes him to get to the latter stages of those tournaments causes him to have the physical and mental breakdowns in the latter part of the series. This is as a result of his style of play, which is to send top spin forehands to people's backhands consistently and draw errors. Yes, he has improved in some areas of his game, but the basic part of his game still remains.

oddman said...


Did I make 'all sorts of disparaging remarks' about Fed here? Oh, yes, I see one - 'the Swiss Miss' - sorry. I take that back. The Swiss man... excuse me. That WAS pissy of me. Anything else? Criticizing his game? Did I call Fed's USO win a consolation prize? Where did I say any of that?
Did I say your criticizing of Rafa was off-limits here? Where do you read that? Critique away, karen. I'm simply responding to your criticism with points of my own. I can certainly bemoan the fact that Rafa gets called 'one-dimensional' far too often on this blog, and others. I can certainly surmise you likely did not watch any Rafa matches that didn't involve a player you weren't interested in. Much as I don't always watch Fed play - depends on who's the opponent. I'm pointing out that I disagree with your assessment that Rafa always plays the same way with everyone. I'm pointing out the fact that I saw some other good tactics in his hardcourt matches in Beijing, esp. against Djokovic in the semi's, and Gonzo in the final. I'm assuming that you probably didn't see those matches. Am I right?

Wheeeeeeeeee! Here we go on the merry-go-round again. I'm getting off.

rabbit said...

Karen, I'm sorry, but I've to agree with Oddman. Rafa was one-dimensional at the beginning of his career. Far from it now. Roger explained as much after Wimbledon 2007 when he said that Rafa has developed his game for faster courts and plays with lots of variety.

But just as a point, one-dimensional does not necessarily mean ineffective. Sampras was also one-dimensional, but obviously very successful.

oddman said...

Yes, rabbit. I totally agree. I do tend to a knee-jerk reaction when I see the 'one-dimensional' phrase come out. In my defense, it usually gets used in a disparaging manner.
We had a great discussion of all this on Craig's blog post-Monte Carlo, as I recall. And this much was true, that the same game that Rafa plays - on clay against Fed - has been very effective for some time. So why change something that works? Or why fix it if it ain't broke? It friggin' works.
Sam played Rafa tough on the clay, I also believe Andy will too. Very tough. I liked what I saw from Andy yesterday. We gonna see.

(smooths own feathers...)

Karen said...

Rabbit, thanks for doing what I obviously cannot do, which is to explain myself clearly as regards the one-dimensional statement. Oddman, at no point in my post did I accuse you of saying anything disparaging about Roger. Matter of fact I ever overlooked the Swiss Miss thinking you were speaking of Hingis or Schynder (yes I am that dense). The fact of the matter is that when Roger made the comment, if you are true fan of tennis you would not know that Rafa was a one-dimensional player and like Rabbit says so was Sampras and if the truth be told so is Andy Roddick, Roger Federer, the Williams Sisters. The list goes on and on. One dimensional by no means means that you have nothing left in your arsenal, it simply means that you play in a style, while not beloved by many works for you etc. I could call myself a one-dimensional player as well because I try to hit every single shot on my forehand side. I spend all day long running around my forehand and if you see my size you will see why I lose matches. I have absolutely no backhand which is why I personally over compensate on my forehand side. For Nadal the professional I just dont like to see it and that is a personal preference and by no way to diminish the young man's accomplishment.
As to the Roger with the consolation prize, try taking a gander over at men's tennis forum as well as even some of the more so called mainstream media and you will see that even though they dont say it, by their very words they imply that Fed got a consolation prize in winning the USO.