Thursday, April 16, 2009

Patriot Games

Stanislas Wawrinka, left, and Roger Federer  both of Switzerland are seen during the third round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco, Thursday, April 16 , 2009.

I was stoked to watch the all-Spanish third round between Fernando Verdasco and David Ferrer, and really can't wait to see what Stanislas Wawrinka brings to the dirt against Roger Federer in their all-Swiss affair, but, alas, it's raining on the French Riviera this morning.

I can't say I ever recall that happening in my years of watching this event.

Anyway, when the clouds clear, use this as the third-round Monte-Carlo open thread.

73 comments:

Pamela said...

Another rain delay, but Stan is not being kind to his fellow Swiss. It'll be interesting to see how they come back.

Helen W said...

Interesting that the commies really questioned the umpire halting the match when he did (right after Stan finaly broke & Roger was serving). One of them pointed out that the court was still playable, so why was the match halted? The other pointed out that it was hard for Federer to serve with the rain in his face and anyway it would be good for him to get off the court as quickly as possible to regroup. The first guy responded with (I'm paraphrasing) "So what? The court is still playable, i.e. not dangerous and the conditions were the same for both players." Then he added: It's not all just about Federer.So Federer gets preferential treatment, yet again. Already in this tournament he got seeded even though he was a wild card (and, of course, was in the other side of the draw from Murray).

Helen W said...

Interesting that the Monaco - Beck match is continuing. I guess it's not raining as hard on their court.

Beth said...

Please keep the updates of this match (Fed/Stan) coming. I am at work and cannot see anything! My subscription to TennisTV has expired as well and can't renew it right now. Thanks so much to Craig, Pam and Helen W for any commentary! Still in rain delay? I haven't even seen the match/conditions but I have always been of the mind that unless rain is so bad it unequivocally unplayable conditions, just push through. Easy for me to say as I'm not on the court but some of these rain delays are ridiculous.

Helen W said...

Glad to see Stan came back out and held serve to take the first set.

Pamela said...

Fed looks like he knows he's going to lose the extended rallies. Stan is not letting up.

Pamela said...

And he's broken first game in the 2nd. Stan isn't playing in the dirt.

Helen W said...

First blood to Stan in the second set -- he breaks Fed.

BTW, did you know that one of the sports betting sites is offering odds of 16 to 1 that Fed will btreak another racquet at Monte Carlo?

Pamela said...

lol Helen really? Are they picking him to win or reach the final?

Fed broke back, so it's on serve. I have to say I'm quite disappointed in the Verdasco - Ferrer match.I was expecting a dog fight but Ferrer isn't putting up much of one at all.

Craig Hickman said...

Helen W, all wildcards are seeded according to their ranking.

::

That exchanges was priceless. It was Jason Goodall who said, "It's not all about Federer."

He also said Mirka was tired because Raja was keeping her up all night, being as though they're on their honeymoon.

(He's the same commentator who spoke of wearing is bedroom heels a few weeks ago...)

Craig Hickman said...

About the only thing Raja is doing well in this match is hitting passing shots.

If Stan weren't so timid, he'd have won this match already. He's had 8 or 9 break points and only coverted two.

Craig Hickman said...

I was going to twitter this match, but something told me it would be boring.

It is.

Pamela said...

Is anyone watching the Murray-Fognini match? Andy M. is down 0-4. Is he injured or just being outplayed. His movement was herky jerky to me in the first match I saw him play on clay this year.

Go Fabio!

Craig Hickman said...

Meanwhile, Fabio Fognini is playing GLORIOUS tennis and kicking the teeth out of Andy Murray.

Helen W said...

On anothe note, do you see that Fognini is leading Andy M 5-love in the first set? I guess Andy isn't as ready for clay as the British Hype Machine (tm pending) hoped.

Craig Hickman said...

Murray ALWAYS looks like he can't move.

He's just getting beat down.

Helen W said...

Beth you could probably find a feed on channelsurfing.net.

Helen W said...

Craig it is painful to watch Stan try to give it all back to Raja when he is playing break points or at deuce.

Craig Hickman said...

Fabio Fognini is simply gorgeous.

Pamela said...

Here we go. Fabio is serving for the set at 5-1 and he gets broken. Ugh!

Craig Hickman said...

Woops, Fognini got a little tight.

Craig Hickman said...

Choke. And Murray is helping Fabio along by cheering his every unforced error.

Craig Hickman said...

There's choking by both underdogs. How ugly.

Pamela said...

Stan stinks on break points.

Murray is back on serve? Are you kidding me? It's the beautiful ones, every time. lol

Helen W said...

In the meantime, Stan continues to gift break points to Raja.

Time to get to work :(

Craig Hickman said...

"Wawrinka played that point really well and then suddenly, he had his heart in his mouth."

Matthew said...

Murry-Fognini back on serve at 4-5? Wow.

Also, I'm surprised to see Verdasco manhandle Ferrer 2 and 1. I thought would win that match, or that it was at least going to be close.

Then again, I also thought Gilles Simon was going to make the semis, so it goes to show what I know.

Pamela said...

Is the prospect of actually leading that causes these meltdowns? Fabio could have been well into set 2 by now. Deuce?! Oh come on!

Helen W said...

So despite his best efforts, Stan couldn't gift Federer a break of serve.

Geez Stan -- please pick it up?

Craig Hickman said...

Fabio stared Murray down in that game. It worked. He finally held serve again.

Matthew said...

And Djokovic is off to a 5-0 lead against Montanes! Wanna bet that he'll get off the court before Federer does?

Beth said...

Thanks for all the updates everyone..,.great to read! The best I can do is watch the Live Scoring from the Monte Carlo sight. Leaves much to be desired but at least I can see what the score is. WTF happened to Fognini?? Up 5-0 and blows it?!?!!!

Pamela said...

Unfortunately for me, Djokovic is cruising against Montanes.

If Stan has any fuzzy yellow balls, he'll hold serve easily to prove a point.

Fabio better win this tie-break but it seems so unlikely right now.

Craig Hickman said...

Now Fabio is just trying to be too cute. He's losing points at the net he ought to be winning.

Matthew said...

Uh-oh! Break point for Stan at 5-5 in the second set!

Craig Hickman said...

Stan is playing break points like a bitch. And I don't mean like a woman.

Helen W said...

Wow, another lucky line call for Raja. Luckiest player on the planet, no?

Matthew said...

And Fabio gets a mini-break in the tiebreak against Murray!

Then loses it again.

Does anybody want to win today, other than Djoko?

Pamela said...

Shocking!! Stan nets a backhand on break point. Even more shocking, he floats a forehand long for the 2nd break point. And Verdasco is watching this match.

Amazing, Fed has all but shanked his way through this match and Stan STILL won't take advantage. And he gets the break through a Fed error. Stan will serve for the match.

Helen W said...

In another thread Karen was talking about winning ugly. IMHO, whoever wins between Stan & Raja has won ugly.

Not watching the Murray - Fognini match, but it looks like the same thing.

Helen W said...

So anyone want to bet on whether Stan holds to win?

Matthew said...

Fognini loses a set point on serve against Murray. Stan only breaks when he gets enough chances for Federer to make a forehand error.

Can he serve it out?

Also, Andreas Beck beat Juan Monaco 7-5 in the third!

Pamela said...

Alright!! Fabio takes the first set. It's incredibly pitiful that he let it get to a tie-break after such a massive lead but ... I hope he regains his prior form and takes out Andy M in 2.

Craig Hickman said...

Fabio hit a forehand out by a mile on his first set point on serve.

Craig Hickman said...

He just shanked a bankhand on his second.

Craig Hickman said...

He just buried a backhand into the net at 7-7.

Craig Hickman said...

Stan is choking badly.

Craig Hickman said...

Murray's turn to hit two backhands out in a row.

Pamela said...

Jeez, I thought Fabio won that set. I'm watching the Fed match but the scoreboard for Fabio.

Stan is irking me now.

Craig Hickman said...

9-9. Changing ends. This set is never going to end.

Matthew said...

Chooooooooooooooke!

Helen W said...

YES!!!

Way to go Stan!

I wonder if Raja is enjoying the clay season so far.

Pamela said...

So .. Stan's fuzzy yellow balls are rather small - but he has them. He takes out Daddy Fed.

Beth said...

I guess Stan IS the man! Good job despite what sounds like an ugly match.

Matthew said...

He pulls through! Stan the Man!

Craig Hickman said...

Fabio hits a forehand passing shot winner to save another set point on Murray's serve.

::

Stan fucking did it.

Pamela said...

Fabio! NO words.

Matthew said...

And Murray manages to steal that set from Fognini. I can't believe he got away with that.

Craig Hickman said...

The tiebreak is about to come on the TV.

Fabio should be killing himself right now.

Craig Hickman said...

Murray will escape. Fabio is about to check out.

Pamela said...

Instead of fines or being berated by your coach, you should be flogged by fans when you choke away a massive lead like that.

Craig Hickman said...

Here comes the rain again,
falling on my head
like a tragedy,
tearing me apart
like a new emotion...

Pamela said...

Are they allowed to have coaching during the rain delays? I can't remember. I hope Fabio's coach reminds him of what he did in the 1st set before he lost his mind and the tie-break.

Craig Hickman said...

Coaching is allowed during rain delays.

Craig Hickman said...

I don't know if they're gonna play again today, though.

Matthew said...

The ATP scoreboard says "Match Suspended - Rain" and not "Rain Delay." That usually means we're done for the day.

Graf_sampras said...

I have WARNED of this!!!


that's why Roger should have invited me to his wedding so I could have pulled him aside and WARNED HIM:

"watch out for that other swiss guy" ....

"remember roger....as shakespeare would say in 'the Taming of the Shrew'...:

HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE STANLEY SCORNED!!!"

Craig Hickman said...

Did anyone notice the beatdown Verdasco put on Ferrer?

Helen W said...

Hey Matthew I think that's just the wording they use on the live scoring site, as they used the same words on it for the previous rain delay.

Pamela said...

I would have liked to seen the Ferrer - Verdasco match to see what happened. Ferrer losing like that just seems weird, even to a confident Verdasco.

vw said...

Goodall is a Murray fanboy now. He won't be giving Fed much sympathy anymore.

I hope Fabio comes back and beats the Snowman.

Graf_sampras said...

incidentally

if this is a 1000 point tournament for the champion -- roger loses 500 as finalist.

nadal will need to be very wary at what's happening with the seeded players.

Graf_sampras said...

Federer, who married his girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec on Saturday, decided to take part in the European season's opening claycourt tournament in the last minute.

However, a few minutes after being shown the exit, the second seed refused to blame the defeat on his lack of preparation.

Well, it's the problem for everyone. Nobody had a preparation. Slim excuse, because it's the same for everyone," he told a press conference.

Federer acknowledged he needed to make some serious adjustments to his claycourt game.

"I came again this year because it just gives you information going into your practice sessions, what you need to work on," said Federer, runner-up at the principality for the last three years.

"Today definitely my serve wasn't working. I haven't served my best throughout the season, so I have to make sure I get my serve back in because I just don't hit the spots when I really want to."

Federer, who has not won a title this year, struggled with his serve and Wawrinka snatched a break on his sixth attempt in the seventh game.