Saturday, March 21, 2009

Comment Of The Week

Christopher Crocker said...

The nature, and irony, of an individual sport like tennis is that as you rise to the top of the game, your success breeds the players that will come to supplant you. The game changed so much from the beginning of Roger Federer's run at the top until now. This is not unique to his game, it happened before him with Pete Sampras, and before that with any other number of great players. His success brought the level of the game up, the coaches saw the way he was changing the game, and at least in a small part, trained the young players so that they could handle that type of player. The same thing will probably, and already has started to happen with Nadal. Have you seen the muscle that Andy Murray has put on over the last year? The new breed of players that will come up soon will in some part be modeled on playing, and handling a game like [Rafael] Nadal's, which was built in some part on handling Federer, which was built in some part on handling Sampras, which was built ...

This is why tennis is such a beautiful sport - visual f*cking poetry.



Post: Quote For The Day

26 comments:

Christopher Crocker said...

I forgot to mention that, if hegel was right, within the next 10 years we'll be doing this all over again.

Graf_sampras said...

Federer opts to miss Monte Carlo
Roger Federer
Federer has been unable to challenge Nadal's supremacy on clay

World number two Roger Federer will not play in next month's Monte Carlo Masters, organisers have confirmed.

"Roger told me some time ago that he had to [miss] our event because of a change in his clay season schedule," said tournament chief Zljko Franulovic.

dapxin said...

that was deep!

btw, how do I get not to enter this captcha thingy every single time I wanna post here. It drives me nuts!

Craig Hickman said...

dapxin, it's the only way to keep spam comments out of the threads.

b said...

Hmmm.... I think it's kinda insulting to suggest Nadal tooled his game


I think a lot depends on Nadal - if he keeps the same attitude that he has right now then he will be willing to continue tinkering with his game and to keep coming back to win.... I never got the impression that Nadal has ever focused on any one opponnent and the reason for his h2h against Federer is more due to his rgarding Fed as just another opponent..... As long as he keeps his humility and work ethic he should be able to stay in the mix as long as he wants (a la Williams sisters) - by humility in particular I mean he seems to realise he can lose to anyone so it isn't so crushing when he does

b said...

I didn't finish my first sentence I menat that it was insulting to think that Nadal, coming up, tooled his game SPECIFICALLY to beat Federer.... I think he's just been playing his game....

===

on another note anyone know if anyone, male or female (particularly in open era rather than in the early century) who has simply won a slam on their first outing and then continued to win... i.e someone who has played at a slam only 4 times.... 3 times in a row... and won each time?

Pamela said...

On another note anyone know if anyone, male or female (particularly in open era rather than in the early century) who has simply won a slam on their first outing and then continued to win.

***
If I understand your question,you mean like Rafa? He's never lost at Roland Garros. In fact, he has never even been taken to a 5th set.

Christopher Crocker said...

Hi b,
I didn't mean to insinuate that Rafael's success is entirely as a result of tuning his game to beat Roger Federer. If this was the case he would have little staying power, which it seems he has a great deal of. What I meant, and what I believe, is that often players come along and raise the level of the game - this happens in any sport - and that Roger Federer is (not uniquely)one of these players, and that whether conscious or not, the young players of the time trained in some part to counter his game, which seems logical as it was the best game of the time. This is not a slight on today's players, as I said this is the nature of sport. The same thing will probably happen with Rafael Nadal as he seems to be quite a special player himself.

1, 2, 3 Go! Now all of the Nadal fans attack me for that 'probably'.

oddman said...

I'm raining shyte down on ya right now, Christopher Crocker!!!! Feel it???

nah, j.k. - of course, the same thing will happen to Rafael. We can't stop time... one of these days, long into the future, I hope, Rafa will retire. It's inevitable. A whole new crop of players are out there all the time.

rabbit said...

Agree mostly.

The problem for me personally is that after Federer, it is difficult to find another player that captures me in a similar way. Murray is very intelligent in how he structures his points, but it is so hard for me to watch as he refuses to take risks, refuses to go for the spectacular. Rafa, I can muster more support for, since he hits his regular share of winners. But his underlying philosophy is similar: outlast your opponent from the baseline by hitting precise but high-percentage shots and punish him if he tries to come in. When Roger plays (not going to use the past tense) at his highest level, there is a sense that he can hit winners from everywhere on the court, not give up the slightest inch from the baseline, hitting half-volleys repeatedly after need be, and anticipate every slight misstep of the opponent. It pains me to hear of Roger's game as antiquated because still, I haven't seen anybody that can out-Roger Roger (I didn't see the Monte Carlo match against Gasquet). It might be true that defense is the response to offense, but I personally cannot become a fan of the type of tennis Murray showed yesterday.

rabbit said...

P.S.: out-Roger Roger in the same sense that Federer out-Peted Pete at Wimbledon 2001. This was not meant to offend Rafa or Murray fans, just my feelings :)

b said...

Pamela - I was referring particularly to Rafa - to me that seems to be his greatest achievement - to completely dominate a major event to point where he has a 28-0 record at that slam - I'm wondering if anyone has that - usually even people who went on long stretches like Evert - needed some "warm up" tournaments - some people have won slams in first outing but then to win repeatedly year after year is something else

and I remember several times he did not get good draws at all

so my question again - anyone else done this?

b said...

rabbit, there are a lot of people out there

it's interesting, the type of tennis i respect the most is that which is patient and athletic - have always preferred it - nothing at all to do w- Rafa - I like watching that type of tennis - long rallies are exciting for me

I enjoy watching shot makers if they can also stay in rallies when they need to - example serena-venus match at USO..... I also enjoy jankovic's game (when it's working) even though her personality is ugh

Fed has long had a tendency to break down/ get impatient is his opponent doesn't cave in after a few shots - thus perhaps why I've never been "mesmerized" by him... Rafa or not.... To me, he's the best player to watch is I want someone to string together 2-3 great points.... but for a whole match or even a set end-to-end against most players he has always bored me.... Murray's game (for me) is far ore innovative and exciting....

just adding this b/c the fans of shotmakers (not meaning you personally but tennis fans in general) seem to be unaware that there are people who actually love tenacious and versatile tennis and hence have started watching men's tennis in particular b/c of players like simon, nadal, ferrer, murray etc etc

Graf_sampras said...

HAIL

RAFAEL NADAL..

TRUE MASTER of CLAY, GRASS and HARDCOURTand MASTER of his RIVALS...

and CHAMPION WARRIOR like no one else..

that is an EMPEROR of Tennis.

Graf_sampras said...

the evolution of nadal's game has less to do with emulating roger federer or because nadal had to challenge federer.

had federer never been there and the rest of the competition was the way it was since nadal came in 2004 - nadal's SOLE REASON for WHAT he has become today as a tennis player is this, from uncle toni, confirming what nadal ALWAYS had said "since i was a child ".........

"IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT WIMBLEDON, everything we had done with rafael was for the purpose of becoming the first spaniard to win wimbledon since our own Pancho Seguera"...


while roger MAY LOOK as if it was he that was being "emulated" since he was the dominant player as nadal was entering the tour...in reality nadal's statement the day after he won his first FO is much MORE to the heart of the matter, REGARDLESS of who was the "wimbledon great" of the moment during federer's reign in the tour:

"Any spaniard can win the FO...If I am to win on grass...i must improve, a lot a lot a lot...i grew up watching Sampras win in wimbledon....I want to win wimbledon...it is my dream to win wimbledon....'til the day i Die"....

and EVERYTHING flows from that dream since he was a child...roger federer or no as an "obstacle" to overcome.

Graf_sampras said...

I loved this kid's style, personality and utter dedication and humility to be as good as he could be since I first saw a few seconds of his TV news clips playing in 2003..especially when , after being asked about his "talent" and precociousness, his IMMEDIATE response was: "I am not the only one...there are others, my friends...you should see them play"....

I knew I picked a player to like , just like I did with sampras and graf long before, and NEVER regret for a single moment and find great satisfaction in appreciating that player.

as his uncle toni said:

"i can not imagine workiong with anyone else...rafa is so easy to work with...he never complains and no matter what i tell him to do, he will put his head down and listen quietly and go to work until I am satisfied ..with no complaints about the conditions knowing he must play whether it is bad or good court ...".


HERE is a true example of a "great student" of the game or whatever it is he professes...become a GREAT champion in every sense.

"I can not pay attention to what people say...how they say how good i am ...what is important is i must do my best everytime"



I was CERTAIN he was going to be a great, great player.

Savannah said...

b said:
Fed has long had a tendency to break down/ get impatient is his opponent doesn't cave in after a few shots - thus perhaps why I've never been "mesmerized" by him
===================
B if you watched Federer play Murray this is exactly what happened. I've always said that the soft draws Fed gets have not helped his game at all. In fact it's made it so that when someone is standing across the net who is not to use b's word "mesmerized" by his hype he comes apart. As one fan of his said Roger is too arrogant to realize that he has to tweak his game in order to compete with the up and comers. This fan accepts Roger's arrogance as part of his sports personality but feels it's getting in the way of his being able to accept coaching, etc.

And in case someone wants to get in my grill about Roger's draws keep in mind that Roger had a combined record of 28-1 against the seeds in his section of the draw.

Karen said...

@Savannah, at some point in time Rafa will have the same record against his opponents in draws. What will you say then? Will it be that he is getting a soft draw or will someone say that this is the opponent that is put in front of him? Federer has a 28-1 record against everyone in his side of the draw because he has been on tour for over 10 years. I am sure that if you look at Rafa's side of draws you will find that he either has a winning advantage over most people in his draw or he was even. I doubt that he had a losing record against anyone in the draw. Is the draw then fixed? No, you just play the opponent across the net.

Craig Hickman said...

Fixed or not, soft draws don't make tough players.

Karen said...

OK - it is either that Roger Federer is a genius with a racquet, or everyone else on the men's tour have been duds for the past 10 years. It is either one or the other. Cannot be both. If we are saying that Roger only got soft draws, then it stands to reason that for the past 10 years, he has faced no competition (which sort of disrespects every player who has played the game since Roger came on the scene). Now, if it is that we are saying that Roger is talented hence him having a wonderful record against everyone in the ATP, thus paving the way for him to have soft draws, then that basically throws the argument out the window that he gets soft draws, having regard to the fact that it is as a result of him being talented why he has been able to dominate players and be in a position to have soft draws. Which is it?
On another note, I see that Rafa will be at the top of the leaderboard when it comes to MS titles. Anyone ever asked the question: what if these matches were still being played in the best of five format as in the days when Andre won 17, would Nadal have been able to accumulate so many of these MS titles. Also, would Roger? In my humble opinion I think that the change in the format of MS titles has paved the way for more players to be able to win these things than say 4-5 years ago. If any Nadal fans are out there, can you say how many MS titles Rafa has won playing in the best of 5 format as against best of 3

Carleton said...

Hi, b and everyone. To answer your first question about winners of slams in first outing who repeated multiple times, I think the closest men would be Boris Becker (Wimbledon 1985, 1986, 1989) and perhaps Gustavo Kuerten (French 1997, 2000, 2001). Don't know about the women off the top of my head.

Graf_sampras said...

Craig Hickman said...

Fixed or not, soft draws don't make tough players.

Mon Mar 23, 02:55:00 PM

=========


Craighickman has a way of putting things in a kernel that speaks clearly. hehe!!

what Savannah detailed, i recall craighickman had many times observed already.

in ways "soft draws" are soft draws through a number of characteristics:

the players may not be that good after all...

or the players MIGHT be better and have BEEN better otherwise -- but upon seeing a CERTAIN oppponent - "remember" what has "been announced" about that opponent in advance, i.e., where it applies to federer even BEFORE he became dominant that he was SUPPOSED to "become dominant" "because he is the most complete EVER"....."everyone get out of the way".......

and consequently -- against THEIR own BEST INTERESTS....players such as gasquet, berdych, roddick, ferrer, davydenko, ljubicic, gather some of their most well-known performances as "FOILS" to roger federer...and BECOME 'soft draws'......

PREDICTABLY defeatable BY roger federer because "it was fated to be so" according to "advance wisdom".

and they BECOME what , in retrospect, after the fact, what many veteran players have variously described:

"these players around roger federer....the way they act and play and talk around him...you'd think they want to BED HIM...don't they know that he's taking food OFF of their plates? what the HELL IS WRONG WITH THEM?"

Charles Barkley that I recall Craighickman brought to our attention long ago...and which has its various other incarnations in the observations by others :

"These players ...they see roger hit a few great shots...they wave the white flag...they shouldn't be playing roger federer...they should be playing TENNIS"......Thomas Muster

"these players nowadays -- they have no ReAL fight in them...they see roger across the net and they are in a little trouble...and they just go home....the reason Rafael is so successful is because he FIGHTS"....Sergei Bruguera

"the players that CAME with Roger federer are so respectful to the point of being deferential....but in the halls of tennis,,,there are some growing whispers from among the younger ones.....they are smelling blood, and they want to taste it, not tomorrow, NOW!"

Australian Newspaper 2008.

but BEST OF ALL -- it is summed up by the player that showed everyone else HOW to do it:

"We all like to watch roger play, because it is so beautiful his tennis, no? but i must fight , no?"

RAFAEL NADAL.

Graf_sampras said...

Rabbit -- i admire your explanation of why you are a Roger Fan.

thanks.

Craig Hickman said...

OK - it is either that Roger Federer is a genius with a racquet, or everyone else on the men's tour have been duds for the past 10 years. It is either one or the other. Cannot be both.

::

Really? Why can't it be both? And I wouldn't say 10 years, because Fed hasn't dominated since 1999.

But I believe in both/and. Not either/or.

I happen to think Raja is a genius with a racquet, who also happens to fold when tenacious opponents aren't not all that impressed with his genius and up a dogged fight.

Players with far less genius have fought their way to victory against him for there to be any other reality.

Craig Hickman said...

Have mercy. I just read my last comment in this thread. I need a better editor.

Karen said...

@Craig - LMAO - you mean you have finally admitted the truth that Rabbit and I have been trying to point out to you for all these years - yippppeeeeeeeeeee